Title: White Adler
Series: Miles to Go
Prompt: #368 light @ tamingthemuse
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright Joss Whedon and ME. Supernatural and all related characters are copyright Eric Kripke, Kripke Enterprises & The CW Network. No infringement intended.
Synopsis: Pike was nearly finished with his cigarette by the time he'd reached the grave he’d come to Sunnydale to see.
Sunlight crept in through the leaves of the tree Pike had claimed as his own soon after entering Shady Hill Cemetery. The low-lying limbs offered some cover, but the white bark scratched at him through the sleeve of his shirt. He leant against the trunk and studied a cemetery that was neither shady nor hilly and his mouth quirked at the shoddy promise its name entailed as he brought his cigarette up and took a quick inhalation of nicotine packed smoke.
He exhaled through his nose, welcoming the slight burn of it, and dropped his arm back down. He scrapped his thumb over the flitter to ash the cigarette and watched as the little bits of grey floated down onto the manicured grass beneath his boots. Another sigh expelled from his nose and he missed the burn from the smoke which brought his arm up as he stepped free of the tree’s shadow and headed towards the path setup to lead people through the cemetery. He took another drag from his cigarette as his foot falls crunched over the white rocks creating that path and followed them on a winding trail past mausoleums and stone angels.
He was nearly finished with his cigarette and the sun had created a damp path down his spine by the time he'd reached the marker he’d come to Sunnydale to see. Pike hesitated several yards back and paused, cigarette clamped in his teeth, to retrieve the pack of smokes from the pocket of his jeans. His fingers and palm were clammy as he freed the pack and another cigarette before he switched out lit for unlit from between his teeth.
Blue eyes narrowed on the marker as he brought the still burning cherry to the new cigarette and inhaled, bringing the heat and spark to another. He brought his boot up and scratched out the old one, glanced down at it once to ensure it was out before pocketing it and the pack of smokes. He took another inhalation before taking a spot beside her grave. The headstone was grey with only a slight curving at the top to differentiate from the rows upon rows of other markers.
The script was simple, the words bland and Pike took another drag from his cigarette. He supposed be could blame the welling of his eyes on the smoke as it spilled out of his mouth, but he wasn’t such a bitch that he couldn’t admit her death shook him. He swallowed and stepped forward, his free hand rising so that he could lick his thumb before he rubbed it against a small smudge on the granite.
It fairly gleamed beneath the California sun and for some reason the urge to make her last mark on the world perfect had him acting like a pansy. His hand dropped away and he squatted down to press his knuckles against the carving of her name as he took another drag from his cigarette. Pike blew it out the side of his mouth, away from her headstone, and dropped his head to lean his damp forehead against the warm stone.
A breeze tickled the back of his neck now that it was exposed and his eyes fell closed, pushing free the tears gathering in his lashes. They traveled down his cheeks to become trapped within several days’ worth of stubble while he did his best to quell his sudden need to shout at God and anything else that would listen.
He’d thought she’d live longer without him distracting her, without him holding her back. Bobby Singer would call him a damn fool if he’d knew the reasons he’d had for tossing aside one of the few things in his life that made sense to him—especially since the ‘thing
’ had been a person and a damn important one at that.
His head lifted and he dragged a hand down his face, wiping away the tears before he leaned in to whisper against her carved name, “I love you, Summers. I miss you,” his voice caught and he sniffed, “Just though you ought’a know.”
Pike exhaled once more before he rose and brought the cigarette to his mouth. He gave her gave his back and forced himself to put one foot in front of the other until he was past the tree he’d claimed and heading towards the gate. He passed through the opening in the hedges that lined the cemetery and made his way back to the sidewalk.
He caught sight of the Griswold; his nickname for Ellen Harvelle’s monster of an automobile. A nickname Summers would have approved of wholeheartedly and that thought brought his arm up so he could take another drag. He glanced from side to side before crossing the street at a jog. He slowed as he neared the parked station wagon and his chin dipped in acknowledgement of the car’s occupants before Pike opened the passenger’s side door.
Ignoring the the pinched look to Ellen’s face he took one last drag before grinding the cigarette out on the street and slid into the seat beside her. He took another swipe at his face again as a voice piped up from the backseat. “You were in there awhile.”
Pike turned to Joanna ‘call her Jo or else’ Harvelle, whose brown eyes were soft with an understanding that chafed. He fought his urge to glower at her and instead a shrug lifted his shoulder before Pike offered, “I suppose I was.”
Ellen cleared her throat and dragged Pike’s gaze away from her daughter as she inquired, “Where to now, Oliver?”
His mouth quirked inward with her use of his first name and her inability to call him anything else—aside from a pain in the ass and the like— but he was
grateful for her un-lady like approach to the touchy feely shit. Ellen tended to repress like, well, a hunter and at times like these Pike welcomed her particular brand of suppress it and maybe it’ll go away.
It rarely did, but Pike wasn’t one to bitch.
He turned his attention to the road beyond the windshield and replied, “Missouri.”