Champion

(A/N. Hey guys this is a one-shot fic. Just wanted to make that clear. This is in memory of Spike aka William the bloody. This is Buffy's POV on his death after the series finale.)

She walked down the aisle. Buffy Summers had wondered when she would walk down the aisle in a church. But it wasn't for her wedding that she now strode down the red carpet. All around her people dressed in black glanced at her in sympathy. There was Xander, looking at the coffin in sorrow remembering Anya's funereal a few days ago. There was Angel and his gang, her ex-lover's face devoid of emotion. Buffy kept walking. Her sister's slender hand was tightly clutched in hers. They stopped in front of the coffin. It was mahogany, with silver lining. Buffy dropped her sister's hand and touched the coffin. A silent tear slipped down her pale cheek. She remembered when Spike had first told her he loved her, how repulsed she had been and now he was gone. She remembered the look on his face when she had told him she loved him. After that she had left him. Left him alone in that dark cave. Pain hadn't settled in for a while, she had been too happy that they had managed to win. Then the pain had flooded her, leaving her a sobbing wreck, her sister's arms wrapped around her. She had lied to Angel.

"I did love him." She whispered. Her sister came up beside her and placed her small hand on top of Buffy's.

"I know."

"He didn't believe me." She said and she knew her voice was small and child-like, not yet comprehending the world she lived in.

"He never thought he was good enough for you." Dawn answered as if that explained everything.

"He's not coming back, is he?" Buffy asked softly glancing up at her sister. Dawn shook her head, wiping away the tears spilling from her doe-like brown eyes.

"No, Buffy, he's not." She answered. Buffy glanced back at the coffin. It was empty but it was there for the symbol. Buffy called up a picture of how Spike would look if he had been human and his corpse had rested in there. His eyes would be so terribly cold; devoid of the beauty life had given them. Buffy thought about how she would never be able to hold him again, never share passion with him, never patrol with him…The people watched as she put pressed her hand to her mouth kissing it and then putting it back on the coffin. Buffy stepped back, wanting to die to end the pain. She never thought that she would have to feel the pain again. Not after her mother died.

"I love you." She told the empty coffin, the word filled with promises that would never be completed, filled with apologies that would never be spoken, and filled with love and sorrow. She started to cry the sobs wracking her body. She realized with a sharp pang that she no longer had anything to remind her of him. Not his duster which had turned to ash like his body, not his favorite boots. Nothing. The wounds his death had caused seemed to stay open, mocking her. Oh the pain, it was so strong so fearsome. She continued to cry not caring who was watching. How could he have left her? For some greater good? What did that matter when he was dead and gone? Time would never erase these wounds. Nothing would heal it. Four men dressed in black suits came up and picked up the casket. She followed them as they carried it out of the church. The wind was crisp and it cut her face but she didn't care. Flashes of their time together played before her glazed, tear stricken eyes. She looked at the tombstone, an angel. He had compared her so many times to an angel. Oh god, how come she hadn't realized she had loved him? The words on the stone were simple and she sobbed harder as she read them. 'The Champion who saved the world.' Dawn had written it, no other Scooby member had cared when she had announced Spike's death. Why would they? They had never cared. She felt thin arms wrap themselves around her shoulders and looked up at her sister. She smiled, her eyes filled with a wisdom Buffy had never seen before.

"He will live on in your heart, and mine." She whispered. Buffy glanced back at the grave. The leaves rustled as the four men lowered the casket down into the ground. It was then that she realized that one never knew what mattered most until it was gone. Gone.

"I loved him." She whispered again, wishing he could hear her. Wishing so many things. Dawn brushed her hair gently.

"I know, I know."