"Hello, luv" Spike said gently as he knelt down by the gravestone and traced his fingers along the lettering.
Drusilla Annabel Walker
1982 - 2004
With no real family or friends around at the time of her burial, that was all the small stone said, no fancy inscription or pretty verse, but it wasn't important.
"Can hardly believe it's been a year since you left me" Spike sighed, "I know you didn't want to, and you gotta believe me, pet, I never wanted you to either. You were my world, Dru, and it all came tumbling down around me when I knew you were gone" he fought tears as he laid a bunch of daisies, her favourite flowers, on the ground she lay under.
"I won't ever forget you, luv" he promised, "Couldn't even if I wanted to, but I got a shot at happiness now, and we all deserve that, right?"
He got to his feet and took Buffy's hand in his.
"This is Buffy" he told a woman who wasn't even there, but the blonde knew he wasn't insane or crazy, he just needed this closure, "She makes me happy, pet, in ways I didn't know were possible" he told his old lover's grave, "You'd have liked her if you'd have known her, she's a hell of a woman..." his voice wavered with emotion and Buffy squeezed his hand, reassuring him that she was there for him, always.
"I won't be coming back again, Dru" Spike said firmly, "Doesn't mean I didn't love you cos I bloody did, always will somehow, but I have to move on. Wherever you are now I hope you're happy like you ought to be...Rest in peace, luv" he said finally, before walking away still gripping his girlfriends hand.
"You okay?" she checked as they cleared the cemetery gates.
"Yeah, actually, reckon I am" Spike nodded, stopping walking suddenly, "Buffy, the last year everything's changed so damn much, not least since I met you" he told her, looking into her eyes, "You brought light back into my life that I thought I'd lost for good. I got my innocence back somehow, I don't have to feel guilty anymore and that's all because of you, Buffy" he said, putting a hand to her cheek as tears sprang from her eyes.
"I love you, Spike" she told him, voice shaking with emotion as he leant in close to her.
"I know" he nodded, "and that's why I had to come here today, say my proper goodbyes to Dru. Now I'm free of all of this, my past, all the bad things that have happened...Buffy" he sighed, "God, I love you. Will you marry me?"
"Yes" she forced out, so overcome by it all and with tears pouring down her face, only this time not from pain, anger, or sadness, just of pure joy.
When he kissed her then and the world spun beautifully out of control, they were just two young people who loved each other unconditionally.
What could be more innocent than that?
A/N : A final review would be very much appreciated at this juncture, as all previous reviews have been similarly appreciated :-)