Summary: A Slayer, a vampire, a big ol' prophecy, and life after Sunnydale. To tell you any more in the summary would probably ruin it. Come on, don't you trust me?
Rating: PG to PG-13, depending entirely on how it progresses. PG-13 will be for language, if nothing else. Angst, of course. Songfic. Sort of.
Disclaimer: The characters don't belong to me, and nor do any of the songs. They're all credited in the fic itself. Only one character belongs to me, and… I can't tell you who that is yet.
Pairing/s: Buffy/Spike, mainly, though not for a while. Willow/Kennedy for all of five minutes, then probably more Willow/Xander-based. Buffy/Giles in the same way as in "Cradle"… Xander/Anya by default through the angst, some overtones of Xander/Andrew (you'll see…) and Robin/Faith, though they're not in it that much. Angel's in this, but… okay, avoiding Buffy/Angel is a stupid idea in that case, but I'll just… think of something. It's appealing to obliterate him entirely, but he's sort of a key figure in this…
Setting: Spoils for season 7 in general, and the season finale. This is technically set after my "Touched" and "Chosen" Counterpoint fics, but… it's not vital to read them. I'd appreciate, it, though.
Warning/s: It's a cliché! I know it is! I'm so, so sorry. You know how it is when you're inspired. In any case, it's an ironic self-aware post-modern cliché, so that sort of makes up for it. It's going to end on a cliffhanger, of sorts, because I already know what I'm doing for its sequel.
Author's Notes: This was inspired by a song in Miss Saigon, the film of Interview With the Vampire, purely because it had vampires in it, lots of re-watching of "Chosen", and the desperate urge to write a continuation. I'm attempting to make each chapter based on a song, not necessarily a songfic, but rather… related to the mood of the lyrics. Maybe some recycling of a line, or something. I'm not quite sure, but I'll see how it plays out. Consider it a journey through my CD collection. (Although there's lots by Katie Melua; I highly recommend her Call Off the Search album, by the way.) Feel free to smack me very hard for a) attempting this and b) the cliché. I have no excuse…

Broken Record


She still remembers it: that split second when she managed to ruin it all. The conversation, what little there was of it, replays itself, over and over in her memory, every word, every confused and conflicted feeling, every one of those long, lingering expressions, so full of blind hope. Everything repeats as though stuck on freeze-frame, forcing her, inch by inch, to relive the way the light in his eyes faltered, how his smile fell; she can pinpoint the exact moment his heart shattered into a million tiny shards. Some days, she's even convinced she can hear it.

Six words was all it had taken; six stupid, unplanned words, that if she'd only thought more carefully about… well, perhaps it wouldn't have made a difference to that act of final nobility, but she might not be feeling so utterly terrible.

'Does it have to mean something?' she'd asked. It had been an honest question, and her motives had been real and plain enough to her. She'd been confused, frightened of her ever deepening feelings for him, and of what those feelings could mean. She'd needed his insight, wanted him to help her analyse her emotions like he was used to doing; he was the expert, after all, in baring his soul for the world to see, so it stood to reason he could be the one to excavate her own from whatever cavity she'd exiled it to. Unfortunately, he hadn't realised; correction, she hadn't made it clear. And so, instead of taking his heart as he laid it out before her, instead of holding it as hers and keeping it safe, she'd only watched it fracture. The fragments scattered across the kitchen, skittering over the surfaces and all over the floor, as he turned and left without bothering to try and collect the salvageable pieces. They fell on her skin, dug into her soul where he'd soothed it once before, and cursed her forever with the memory of how she'd finally destroyed him beyond repair.

After that, it had been futile. She tried to make up for it; she proved that she trusted him, and tried so hard to show that she cared - that she loved - enough to be with him one last time. But even the mind-numbing kisses hadn't been enough to fill the void where his heart had been; even her promise of a future, of the truth he already knew - Hell, even her badly timed confession - hadn't been enough to fulfil his soul's purpose and make it worth the pain. It hadn't been enough to save him.

So why had it been enough to save the world? Why does she wish, more often than not, that it hadn't been?

A month down the road, she hasn't managed to forget it. Nothing works: not drinking, not sleeping - that only causes her to dream - and not trying to move on. The memory continues to plague her, even after the grieving has ceased and acceptance has come, at least in part. She can never forget how she broke his heart, and wasn't strong enough to fix it.

To be continued...

A/N: Sorry the prologue's so short, but it was already written in lieu of an "End of Days" Counterpoint (although that may occur anyway.) No song for the prologue, but something of a theme, maybe. As I write these notes, the fic is nothing but a collection of song lyrics and a vague plan, but rest assured updates will be probably slightly more regular than they were for "Cradle". Hopefully. Anyway, kindly leave me some reviews, and I'll gladly get this thing going.

And... yes, I know, I said I wouldn't sequelise, but... gah, the Muses wouldn't shut up, and here's the result.