Waiting for Dawn
Frau Hunter Ash
Disclaimers: The characters and show all belong to Joss Whedon, Fox, Mutant Enemy, Kuzui, and God only knows who else. The storyline, however, is the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.
F/F romance: the story assumes a loving and sexual relationship between people of the same gender. If this offends or is illegal for you, then please leave. Come back when you are older, have an open mind, moved, or changed your laws.
Warning: major character death, angst. A short and romantic one.
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I can't see her but I know she's waiting. I know she's waiting because she promised she would, no matter how long it took. I have to believe that, especially now.
I look around the familiar place. How many nights have I spent in this goddamned graveyard? Hunting and being hunted? I can't even begin to wonder how many bodies I've left behind as mere piles of dust, in all these years.
You see, it's been 10 years since I've seen a Watcher or made a report. I've always left that up to whoever was watching over the latest Slayer. They knew I was there and stayed out of my way. Smart move. I train the new Slayers during the day, the Watchers try to keep them alive at night.
You probably think me cold and heartless after all these years. You might be right. I died the night that my love made her promise and I didn't come back to life this time. I don't get close to the new Slayers, I learned that mistake after the first two died quickly and brutally. The rest that followed were mere faces, sometimes I didn't even learn their last names.
I sense him. Of course he'd show up tonight. It's only fitting.
I try and raise my head but I'm too tired. I feel his fingers lifting my chin, assessing the damage and what little spark remains. I'm surprised to see tears in his eyes.
"What? Isn't this what you wanted?" I demand, still a smart ass after all these years.
"You know that's not so, pet," Spike answers softly. He starts to reach for me but I shake my head.
"Don't," I simply say and he nods his head, knowing what gravestone I'm leaning against.
"It was always her, even when you were moping around after that poof and me, wasn't it?" he says easily.
"Yes, everyone knew but me," I smile a bitter smile. So many years and chances lost because I was too blinded by gender do's and don'ts.
"What went wrong, Slayer?"
"When? Tonight or ten years ago?" I ask for clarification. I'm getting really tired and cold.
"I know what happened 10 years ago," Spike snaps. "Damned wizard Rack tried to open the Hellmouth and Little Tree took him on, getting herself killed in the process of frying his ass to hell."
"That's when I died," I tell him and he nods again, understanding all too well. He's watched me for the last ten years and knows that I was more dead and different than when Willow brought me back. "Everything fell apart after that," I say, wondering if I'm just remembering aloud or actually telling Spike the story. "The Hellmouth remained closed but with major cracks and the evil just got worse and the slaying harder and harder. Tonight it just finally caught up with me."
"Yeah, I remember," Spike says softly, wrapping his leather duster around me. "Does it hurt?"
"Now? No, just cold," I answer and continue my reminiscing. "It was so hard, Anya turning back into a demon and Xander having to kill her. After losing Tara, Willow and then Anya, I knew he wouldn't last long."
"He went out fighting, have to give the kid that," Spike commented.
"Yeah," I say, remembering the sight of Xander falling to a pack of vampires, taking most of them with him and forcing them to kill rather than turn him. "Dawn never did forgive me for letting Dad take her away to Europe."
"You can't blame yourself for that," Spike scolds me. "It was the best thing for her."
"I know that," I say impatiently. "She's married, teaching art and has two wonderful children in Germany. She thinks of Sunnydale as a distant bad memory."
I open my eyes and realize I must have drifted off but Spike is still with me, I'm in his arms.
"Ten years and how many Slayers since?" I ask softly.
"Seven at my last count," Spike mutters.
"Did I ever tell you that Sam wrote me about Riley?" I ask. I can't feel my legs.
"No, you didn't," he answers. "Then again, you haven't talked to me in five years."
"He died in a helicopter crash in the Andes," I tell the vampire. "Stupid waste, a helicopter crash. Not a demon, a werewolf or a vampire, but a stupid mechanical malfunction."
"Maybe he survived, ate his fellow soldiers and turned into a cannibal demon," Spike suggests and somehow I find it funny and smile.
"That's better," I agree. A more fitting end to a demon hunter who once dated a Slayer.
"Why didn't you move on after Willow?" he asks, again.
"Why didn't you move on after me?" I counter. "You stayed in Sunnydale even though we weren't even talking, fighting or shagging."
God, now I'm talking like him, it must be bad.
He won't answer that because he can't. Spike might have to admit to having feelings and he quit doing that a long time ago. The night Willow died and I nearly killed him out of grief when he touched me.
"I'm tired," I mutter, closing my eyes.
"I know, Buff," Spike says softly. I think he's stroking my hair. "You lived double what a Slayer normally lives. You've become a legend."
"I don't know why I kept going, except that is what she would have wanted," I say softly.
"She was the best out of all of you," Spike agrees.
"Even me?" I try to tease.
"Especially you, you self centered, neurotic bitch."
I know he's grinning.
"I'd talk bleach blonde bad," I retort. I feel my body shiver and spasm and Spike's arms tightening around me.
Then I feel it, a warm wind, like Spring time and a hint of a familiar scent. It no longer hurts and I look up into green eyes.
"Spike," I say, my voice barely a whisper.
"I see her, Slayer," he whispers back. "Let go, she's waiting."
"Just like she promised," I nod. "Tell Dawn I love her."
"I love you, Buffy," Spike's voice seems far away as Willow reaches her hand down to me and I take it, standing up into her arms.
"Goddess, I love you," she says and I close my eyes, remembering that voice, remembering that night when I finally realized how much I loved her and how much she had always loved me. She took that blast from Rack to save me, knowing it would kill her. I found the love of my life as she was dying.
"I've missed you," I smile, opening my eyes. She's beautiful.
"Took you long enough, Summers," she teases and we begin walking away through the graveyard towards the sunlight waiting at the edge of the gates.
I glance back and see Spike weeping over the non-moving form that was once me, until three demons ripped it apart earlier tonight.
"He'll join us soon," Willow comments.
"After he tells Dawn and Angel," I agree and turn back, meeting Willow's lips for the first time. I plan on doing it for the rest of eternity.
"I love you, Willow."
"Forever, Buffy," Willow promises and then everything is right again.