Disclaimer: All of the characters belong to their respective creators, I am just borrowing them for a bit.
He stood at her graveside, bitter ashes filling his mouth. Remnants of the fire that had burnt them both to death. Her death.
He'd been flint to her steel. Striking, they created flame as hot as the stars'. All that remained were ashes, made bitter for the heat that had spawned them.
So short a time together. Thirteen months. He'd known from the first day that their time would be brief. Too many enemies. Hers, not his. His feared to approach, lest they be consumed. Hers feared nothing, seeking immolation within the fire.
Their courtship had been brief, a whirlwind affair. Sparks had been struck upon their first true meeting, igniting the fires of passion. Passion consummated on black silk, between sleek thighs. Breathy sighs. Desperate caresses. Love as much as possible, for time would catch them, consume them. Death always followed the blaze of living. The hotter the blaze, the quicker the death.
He'd seen her first in Istanbul, again in Athens. Lithe and graceful, moving between assignments. A competitor, he'd thought. Only when he searched for her did he discover a deeper truth. Only when he found her was he enlightened. The great war did not take place in the halls of man, but in a deeper, darker reality, behind those walls. The truth had horrified even him and he sought escape. Too late. The fire that had ensnared him only offered consumption, never release.
He stared at the casket, bronze-chased teak, as it was lowered. He stared while the first few clods of earth were tossed in by other mourners. Nothing of her remained now, only memories. Mouthing a goodbye, he turned away, ignoring the inconsequentiality of the other mourners. They were cardboard cutouts, who had feared to be too close to so hot a blaze, now treading carelessly through the ashes of the aftermath. Their arguments had fallen on deaf ears. Their angry expressions had been lost in the blinding light. Inconsequential then, inconsequential now. Fire was the only thing that had substance then, ashes were the only thing of substance now.
They would be coming for him soon. The fire was gone. Ashes were meant to be sweep away, making room for another future blaze. Discarding his gun, he went to meet his fate. He walked for a short time before he felt them, twin blows to his chest. As he stared at the blue sky, he wondered when had he fallen and how? Life leached from him in crimson streams. As the light began to darken, he wondered would God unite them again? He'd never believed, despite her tales of Heaven, in a higher power. Only in her. In their fire. When had the sky become so dark? A point of light entered his vision. It grew swiftly, until it filled his dimming vision. A figure stepped out of the light, kneeling at his side. Recognition bloomed. “Buffy,” he whispered desperately, meeting clear, green eyes. Her smile calmed him, reassured him. “James.” His name, nothing more. Then he moved into the light with her. What awaited him did not matter. Only she mattered. Only the fire that was theirs.