|Drowning in the Poison
Author: smellslikecorruption PM
In a post-apocalyptic world Buffy runs into a familiar face. "Each touch feels a little more desperate, every I love you sounding more and more like goodbye."Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Buffy S. & Spike - Words: 1,395 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-01-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6522139
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Stupid. It's so stupid that this is the way the world ends. After all she's done to protect them, humans pay her back by destroying the Earth themselves. Every time she stood up against the darkness, everything she risked, everything she lost, everyone she hurt, all for naught. In her darkest hours, she thinks that she should have just given up years ago. Let the world be taken by Acathla, or Glory, or The First. Her job would have been so much easier if she'd only known that humans would eventually destroy each other. If she'd known that she was only delaying the inevitable. Perhaps it would have been kinder to let the world end at the hands of the supernatural. If she'd just let everyone go down by an unexplainable force, instead of letting them sit in their homes, knowing that destruction was imminent.
But there is a somber sort of knowledge that tells her she is wrong. When given a choice, people will always choose to know how they will die. Bombs are safe, bombs are known, and nobody gets sucked into hell. It's a cold comfort knowing that everyone who died ended up where they belonged. And she knows that if she'd given up there would have been hell on earth, and no human deserves that. So if the world had to end, then this really was the kindest way to do it.
Less than six months and everyone was gone. Everyone except her. Her and a handful of demons and animals that were, somehow, impervious (the first time she sees a cockroach she laughs until she remembers that there's no one to share the joke with). She doesn't think about why she's the only one left. She stopped asking questions like that several years and one resurrection ago. She spends her days wandering. She mostly lets the demons be. They aren't going to kill humans anymore and killing the only living things for miles seems so futile.
She's not sure how many days, weeks, months, she's been alone when she sees him. He's sitting alone in an abandoned bar, drinking straight from a bottle, and she's stumbled inside to get out of the rain. She should be surprised but she's not. He's lived through much worse than this (all that fire, all that fire). She could make a scene, a year ago she would have, but instead she simply slides into the booth across from him. He meets her eyes, holds them for a moment, and then he slides the bottle across the table and into her hands.
After that they're not alone. They never discuss it, but they travel together now, across the twisted broken ground. It doesn't really matter what time of day they walk. There have been clouds hanging low and dark in the sky, obscuring the sun, for pretty much ever. All they do now is move. They wander up and down streets, through forests, across deserts. It gets cold, then hot, then cold again. Though they can't see the sun, she's sure they're traveling west. She survives on the non-perishable foods they find in grocery stores along the way, he survives by drinking the blood of demons, and the occasional animal.
And as they walk they speak. They talk about the places they pass, and the things they see. They talk about how disgusting demon blood is, and how she doesn't even like beans, not really.
They don't talk about the past. They don't talk about what they used to be to each other, or what they might be now, if things had gone a bit differently. They don't talk about the reasons he's been hiding from her for years, or the fact that she's known all along where he's been hiding. They don't talk about the ones they've lost, or the ones they loved, or any of their past experiences. He asks her, once, what she thinks the world would be like if it was still full of people, living breathing people instead of demons and dead girls. She kisses him, so sweetly, and when she pulls away she says it would be like that (but there are tears in her eyes and he never asks again).
They don't talk about the future. They don't talk about what they'll do if they survive until the last of the canned food goes bad, and all the edible demons are gone. They don't speak of tomorrow because one day it won't come, and there aren't any people to pretend for anymore. She tells him, once, to use her blood when she is too weak to go on. He pretends not to hear her (but there are tears in his eyes and she never speaks of it again).
By her estimation they've been walking across the country for nearly two years when they stumble upon the crater. The world is full of holes now, but this one is still distinct. This one still feels like home. She falls to the ground, to tired, to empty to go any farther. He kneels next to her. They rarely touch and they've only kissed the once, but as soon as her tears start to fall he pulls her into his arms. Her body shakes with sobs, all the emotions she's pushed aside coming up all at once. She clings to him, useless words spilling from her lips. She's tired, she's hungry, she's so, so sorry, and she just wants to stop but this place will never let her. This pathetic little hole in the ground will never, ever let her go. When her tears run out, and her body stops shaking, he tries to say something. But before he can get the words out, her mouth is on his and they don't need to speak. Actions have always been their preferred mode of communication.
They take their time. No one expects them anywhere, and no one will catch them. Only ghosts are left for them here. They come together again and again; any moment they aren't touching each other seems a waste. At some point she starts to murmur words she hasn't even thought about in years, but now, in this place, she realizes how true they are and she can't hold them back. She doesn't notice the exact moment he starts to whisper them back, but as soon as she hears them she starts to cry again. Her tears slide down into her hair, as his fall from his face to hers. Two lost, dying people, scrambling for familiar ground. Their words beating out a solemn soundtrack, as their mouths and bodies continue to meet. Each touch feels a little more desperate, every I love you sounding more and more like goodbye.
When they can't move anymore, can't breath, can't cry, can't think; they curl together in exhaustion. It has to end tomorrow, here where it first began. It has to end and they both know it.
When they wake up they pull away from each other and dress. She finds a tree and breaks off a small branch, hands shaking. She turns to face him, and he drags golden eyes from the ground, to meet hers. And then they fly at each other. They hurl into one another beating every inch of flesh they can get their hands on. They rip and tear, and destroy until they are both left bruised and bleeding. Until they are finally left broken.
It ends like this. Her trembling hand holding the stake at his heart, and his fangless mouth open over her neck. She can feel him, can feel the tremors of exhaustion and victory and defeat. Can feel them mirrored in her. It's over, finally over, ending with their special brand of mutually assured destruction.
He backs her up until she's standing right on the edge. The wood at his heart will slide in with any sort of impact. His face shifts, his fangs piercing her neck. She takes one step back and they both fall.