A/N : Short fic, post-Chosen. I know I have three other fics I should be writing but I just didn't feel inspired to work on them in the last couple of days. However, after reading an excellent Fantasy fic at Spuffy Archives called 'In The Dark With You' by Moxie (you should all read it, it's one of the best AUFantasy Spuffy fics I've ever read!) I was inspired to write a poem, which mutated, and then led to a short story, and so here it is. Hope you like it and aren't too mad at me for leaving my other three fics for a few days, I'll get back to them ASAP, I promise.
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Title: Final Words
Author: Ultrawoman
Rating: G
Category: Tragedy, Poetry, Spuffy Romance (kind of), S-X friendship (kind of).
Feedback : Wanted and craved, please!
Disclaimer : Joss owns all BtVS characters. Even Spike. Lucky, isn't he?
Summary: As the gang stares out across the crater that was once home, Xander has a message he was supposed to give to Buffy...guess who from?
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As Buffy, her friends, and her fellow fighters, stood beside the crater where Sunnydale once stood, Xander suddenly had a thought. His hand went to the back pocket of his jeans and produce and folded and very crumpled envelope.

"Hey Buff" he said quietly, his hand on her shoulder to gain her attention. She continued to stare out across the blackened hole that was once home, "I'm supposed to give you this" the brunette pressed, but still the Slayer didn't turn. the rest of the gang were filtering away back towards the bus to help the injured, until just Buffy and Xander remained, "It's from Spike" Xander finally admitted, making the blonde girl turn sharply.

"Spike?" she echoed, staring at the paper between her friends fingers with wide eyes, threatening to spill tears.

"Yeah, he said to give it to you if he...well, y'know, didn't make it" the young man trailed off as he looked down at his feet and held the envelope out to Buffy.

The Slayer was in two minds whether to take it or not. Did she want to read something written by a man who knew, or at least thought it was likely, he would die? But it was Spike, and he wanted her to have this, after all that had happened between them, after what he'd just done to save the world, how could she deny him the chance to communicate his final words to her?

With a shaking hand she reached for the paper Xander held, a questioning look on her face as she glanced up at him.

"Why do you have this?" she asked, suddenly wondering why the special vamp had given his final words to the one member of the Scooby gang he professed to hate the most.

"I dunno" Xander shrugged, "it was weird..."

~Flashback - 24 hours ago~

"Hey whelp! Come 'ere, will you" Spike called from the basement door.

With an aggravated sigh Xander turned to look at the bleached blond, completely ready to complain about being addressed in such away, but the words died on his tongue when he saw the tear stains on the vamps face.

"What's going on?" he asked bemused, "You look like you've been cry..." his sentence was quickly cut off as Spike grabbed his arm and dragged him into the basement and closed the door against the prying ears of the potential Slayers. He hurried down the stairs, Xander following him out of curiosity more than anything else.

"Okay, now tell me what is going on" the young man demanded, "With the obvious tearyness and the yankage into dark places with you..."

"I need you to do me a favour" Spike mumbled his request as Xander's eyes grew wider at the words.

"A favour? From me to you?" he almost laughed "I thought you were over the whole insane-o phase"

Spike sighed in sheer annoyance, wondering if this had been much of a good idea after all, but he needed someone to do this for him, and unfortunately he knew it had to be the whelp.

"I wrote this for Buffy" he explained, holding up an envelope to the brunette that stood opposite him, "I need you to give it to her if I don't...after the battle, y'know" he said, pleading with his eyes for Xander to, for once in his life, understand this without it having to be spelt out for him.

"You want me to give this to the Buffster if you die?" the boy said bluntly and Spike nodded once in reply.

There was silence as the envelope was held out by one hand but not yet taken by another, Xander weighing up in his mind whether he should or not.

"Look" Spike sighed again, "I know we don't get on, and you don't owe me any favours. I also know you don't believe I care about Buffy, but I do"

"I know you do" Xander said quietly, shocking Spike more than the vamp thought possible. He was sure that if breathing had been a necessity he'd have died from lack of oxygen at that statement. On seeing his wide eyed expression, Xander sighed too.

"Look, I never thought you did, I just thought it was a stupid obsession, and then what you did...well, less said about that the better. But now you have this soul, you're trying to do the right thing, and Buffy trusts you. I don't know if you love her, since all my theories about what love is seem to have gone kablooey in the past year or so, but I know you care for her and that you're trying to be a better man for her"

"Thanks" Spike whispered, meaning to say it louder but not being able to. None of the Scoobies had ever really given a damn about him, and he hadn't cared all that much for them, but knowing someone actually believed he was genuine in his feelings for the Slayer, it was almost as good as knowing she believed it.

"So you'll give this to her?" Spike asked as he recovered his composure, holding the envelope out again.

Xander said nothing he took it, folded it once and pushed it into his back pocket.

"Let's hope I won't ever need to" he said softly as he turned on his heel and left the basement.

"Yeah, let's hope" Spike whispered behind him, "S'all we can do now"

~ End Flashback~

Buffy closed her eyes, two tears sliding down her cheeks as Xander finished his explanation. He asked if she wanted to be alone to read it and she nodded yes, sitting down on a rock near the edge of the ex-town, as her friend headed over to the bus a few feet away.

Swallowing hard and with shaking hands, Buffy unfolded the envelope to see her name written in Spike's perfect handwriting. She ran a finger lightly over the letters, imagining him in the basement, sitting down to write this for her.

Turning over the envelope she opened it up and slid out to small pieces of paper and began to read;

To my sweet Slayer,
If you're reading this Buffy, I know it means I never made it out of that damn hellmouth. All I can hope is that I went down fighting like I always wanted to, and that I did what I could for you and Dawn. No two people have ever meant so much to me as you have, I want you to remember that always.
I'll be honest, this is about my hundredth attempt at writing what is basically goodbye, my only hope is that it won't be needed anyway, but in my heart and, yeah, in that bloody soul of mine too, something's telling me this is it, the final battle for me.
Everything I write seems to come out in poncing poetry, so I've decided to give in and share the verse that's in my mind right now. As you know I was a bloody awful poet in times past, I hope I have improved over the decades. If I haven't, it doesn't matter. They're only words, it's the feeling behind them that matters. As I once told another girl I knew 'I may be a bad poet but I'm a good man'. Not so sure it's true anymore, but you once told me that you believed in me, despite the fact I'd given up on myself, and that's the only reason I survived this last year as I have.
I wish you a long and happy life, Slayer. I'm only sorry I won't be sharing it with you.
Yours eternally
~ William

Tears fell unchecked down Buffy's face, as a small sobbing sound escaped from her body. Blinking away the salt water she brought the second page to the front and read the poem he had written for her.

Nothing is easy as it should be
Certainly not for you and me
It never would have worked, I know
Despite the fact I love you so
Right now it's tough, and we must part
Though it's difficult for our hearts
But I promise you, my darling love
As I watch here from up above
One day we'll live another life
Where there won't be such sacrifice
Across barriers of time we'll meet
On the corner of Ordinary Street
And we will walk out into the light
With no more demons left to fight
We will be just you and me
A pair of spirits eternally free

Buffy couldn't help the smile that graced her lips, despite the fact she was crying and sobbing uncontrollably. As much as it hurt to have lost him, she knew that Spike was right. They would be together, somehow, someday. The universe could not be so cruel as to make this the end for them. Even if they didn't find each other again in this lifetime there would be another in which their souls would join once more.

'And everytime I miss him', she said to herself as she wiped her eyes on her sleeve, stood up and walked back to the bus, 'I'll read this poem and remember it's not the end for us, just another act of a never-ending performance, that will eventually let us live happily ever after'

~ The End~