A/N: All said and done...21
It was less than two hours until sundown as Micah lay under a giant old tree at the edge of the forest behind Anita’s house. He was on his back, his hands crossed to pillow his head staring at the moving waves of green leaves far above his head.
His mind was, for once, pleasantly free of pressing worries and terrible things. The only thing that currently swam through his head was the fact that in two hours Buffy would really truly and irrevocably be one of them. A leopard. The thought made him a lot happier than it should have. It had, after all, only been twenty six days since the blonde slayer had breezed into his life, saving him, saving Anita from herself, and Nathaniel from certain death.
It was hard to keep track of all the things that had happened since Buffy had shown up but each and every one of those things were accompanied by an all encompassing feeling of rightness. The changes, the evolution some of the people around him had been through, none of them were forced. Everything was just… right.
The Nimir-Raj lifted his head slightly as he heard gentle feet on the grass, coming closer. He smiled as he realized the object of his thoughts was making her way over to him. She looked pale in the sunlight and he knew she always would be a winter’s girl, even though she had told him she’d once been different. It didn’t faze him that she wasn’t who she had once been because who she was now was more than enough for him. But she did look happier than she had a month ago. Her hair was free of the customary messy bun and fell in soft waves to her shoulders. She didn’t look quite as tired as she had and her clothes didn’t hang off her slim frame quite as badly as they had prior to a month of Nathaniel’s cooking.
And she was smiling.
He extracted one hand from beneath his head to pat the space next to him invitingly. She tilted her head to one side, contemplating the place he offered and then walked around him on silent cat’s feet to lie down above him, their hair mingling where their heads touched, black and blonde. Reaching above his head, Micah searched for and found her hand and clasped it in his own, content to wait for the slayer to start talking.
“I wrote some letters.”
He could feel her nod as she answered, “Yes. To Dawn and Faith and to the Scoobies. One to Edward as well. And Stephen.”
“What about,” he wondered out loud.
“This and that. Some explanations, some apologies to Edward and Faith and Stephen. Mostly explanations for the others. Some of the things I never had the courage to say to their faces.”
“Would you mail them for me if anything happens…”
He cut her off before she could finish the sentence, refusing to let her thing negatively. “Nothing’s going to happen!”
He pulled his hands free and turned, shifting upward a bit until his face was right above hers and he could give her a no-nonsense expression as he repeated his previous words evenly, “Nothing is going to happen.”
“But…” She sounded unsure, fragile and young, to Micah’s ears at least. It wasn’t right for her to sound that way.
Again, she was cut off, “For the third time, nothing is going to happen. You will not die tonight. Everything will be just fine.
Her expression changed and her smile slipped of her face as she glared up at him. “Then it shouldn’t be so hard for you to promise to post them for me if
something should happen.”
Micah sighed, running a hand through his hair, causing it to fall around their heads like a curtain, cutting off the outside world. He looked down at her long and hard before he tilted his head a bit and gave a curt nod.
“I promise,” he whispered, “that I will post those letters first thing tomorrow morning. With you. You should tell your friends how you feel regardless of how long you think you have left to live.”
“You think so?”
He gave her his best impish grin as he replied, “I know so.”
She chuckled and blinked and for a few very long minutes they just stayed the way they were, studying the other’s face intently but silently.
Suddenly a thought crossed Micah’s mind and he asked before he knew it, “Do you want to live?”
There was a moment of silence as he feared he’d said the wrong thing. Then Buffy’s hand suddenly shot up and her fingers dug tightly into his hair. He met her eyes, startled to find them brighter than he’d ever seen them before as she pulled his head down until their lips were only a breath apart.
He could feel her smile against his face.
“Do you?” she asked.
And then she kissed him.