Disclaimer: I don't own anything. I wish I did because then I'd be rich.


Author's note: This is another fic I wrote about Buffy's grief over her mother. This one is from Spike's POV.



Out of Reach




I watched her sitting there by the large pile of fresh dirt. She was alone and crying. I watched as she picked up a flower and brought it to her face. Was she smelling it? Maybe just savoring the way the soft petals felt against her tear stained cheeks?


I had seen her sit in this graveyard at least a hundred times before. Sometimes she just sat and waited for the dead to rise again. I guess it was easier for her to stop the undead before they had a chance to do any harm. This time, she wasn't waiting for anything. Or maybe she was waiting. Waiting for her mother to come back to her.


Maybe she thought that if she sat there long enough, her mother would come back. Sometimes they came back, but not this time. This time it was for real.


I wanted to go to her and pull her deep in my arms. I wanted to kiss her salty tears away. I wanted to assure her that everything would be okay. But how could I do that? Things for her would not be okay again and my presence would only add to her anguish. So I stood there in the shadows and watched.


I held the single rose in my hand and played with the sharp thorns. Maybe if I let them prick my finger I could feel pain too? I wanted to feel pain, I wanted to feel her pain. I was mourning for her loss too. I liked Joyce. She had always treated me like a person, like I was human. She treated me better than her daughter ever did, yet I didn't cry for her. She left this world with dignity and peace. I think I almost envied her.


I was deprived of death. I had died more than a hundred years ago and yet I still exist. At first it seemed like a gift, eternal life, forever young, but it was feeling more like a curse every day. What good was eternity when you were destined to be alone?


I looked over at her again. This time she was lying on the damp ground next to the place where her mother lay. She was looking up at the sky and I noticed that she had stopped weeping. I looked up and wondered what she was looking at so intently. I decided to go to her. A mistake, I realize, but one I'm doomed to make. How can I not go to her?


I walked slowly over to where she lay. I stood directly over her with the rose still in my hand. I know she sees me, yet she says nothing. There isn't even the faintest glimmer of recognition in her eyes. I gaze back up at the sky, then lean over to place the rose on her mother's grave.


"The moon is bright tonight." She says softly. I'm startled at her voice and I wonder if she is talking to me or herself.


"Yeah. It's nice." I say to her cautiously. I expect she will jump up and berate me for being here any moment now. "What are you doing down there anyway?"


"I just want to see what she sees. This is the view she will have forever..." She says with tears forming in her eyes again.


I just look up at the moon again and say nothing. What can I say? Should I try and comfort her? Instead, I decide to explain my presence.


"I-I know you probably don't want me here, and I'll go, but I just wanted to pay my respects, you know? I brought that flower for her." I said pointing to the rose that rested on all the other flowers.


"She loved roses." She says to me. She isn't yelling at me or forcing me to leave. It's as if all the fight has left her body. I'm not sure what to make of this.


"So, how are you doing?" I ask. Stupid question really. I know how she's doing but what else to say?


"I've been better." She says as she finally sits up. I expect that her wrath will be coming shortly.


"Of course, right. Well, I guess I'll be going." I tell her not wanting to overstay my fragile welcome.


"Spike." She says my name as I turn to walk away.


"Yes, Luv?"


She looks at me with the strangest expression. I can't tell if it's just grief or despair or sorrow, but it doesn't appear to be her usual anger.


She shakes her head. "Never mind."


I just stare at her wondering what she meant to say but wouldn't. Do I really want to know?


"Take care of yourself, Buffy." I tell her. I love her so much and I know it's futile, but it doesn't stop me from feeling.


"I will." She says softly.


I turn to go and suddenly her tiny hand grabs my sleeve. I turn to look at her standing now before me.


"Wait." She says to me.


"What is it?" I ask.


She is still holding on to my arm and I am acutely aware of the warmth of her hand through my clothing. She takes my hand in hers and I draw in a sharp, unneeded breath.


"I'm sorry about everything, Spike. I just wanted you to know that. Life is too short and I don't have the energy anymore to fight with you." She said with a defeated expression on her face.


"Sorry? You're sorry about what happened with me?" I ask.


"Yes. I know that I was harsh, I was just scared." She said softly. She looked down at my hand that was still in hers and she quickly let go. "But, this doesn't change anything, Spike. This doesn't mean I want you in my life, it just means that I don't hate you." She said a bit nervously.


This was good news to me, and I could see that it pained her greatly to admit this, yet she was admitting it anyway.


I looked at her with a smile. She turned away from me.


"Just because I don't hate you, doesn't mean were friends either, it just means I don't have time for hate anymore." She said trying to backpedal her way out of this moment.


"Fair enough." I said to her. I wanted to be in her life so much that it hurt. She had shut me out completely and now she was opening the door, ever so slightly, but it was open again.


"I just wanted to be clear, and I just wanted you to know." She said seemingly running out of words to say.


"Fine, Buffy. I understand. I'm not stupid, you know? I see why you shut me out." The door was open and I was going to say what I needed to say before she slammed it in my face again. "I know that you think I'm evil, and I guess I am, but that doesn't mean that what I feel isn't real. It is real. And just because I don't have a soul, doesn't mean that I can't do good. Just understand that, okay? Can you tell me that you at least understand that?"


I'm pleading with her now, and I hate myself for it. The door is open and I am going to break through it if it kills me.


"I'm not sure what I understand anymore." She said her voice trembling. She slumped down on the ground again and looked completely defeated.


I think I had gone too far with my tirade. This wasn't the time or the place to be talking about me and what I needed. I realized that now. It was hard trying to do the right thing. Evil came naturally, but goodness was difficult. I made a lot of mistakes.


"Look, I'm sorry. I shouldn't be bothering you like this. I'll leave." I told her trying to smooth things over.


She looked up at me again, this time I definitely saw something in her eyes. It looked almost like realization. Maybe she was finally understanding that I was trying, that I could be more than just a monster.


"Thanks for bringing the flower. I know that you liked her." She said in a voice that sounded almost timid.


"I did like her. Your mum was a great woman." I told her and I meant it. "I'm...I'm sorry that she's gone."


"Me too..." She said with a tear in her eye. "Me too."


I patted her on the shoulder. I needed to touch her. I felt like if I didn't I would die too. I leaned down and kissed the top of her head quickly.


"I still love you." I said in a voice barely above a whisper. Then I turned and walked away.


I glanced over my shoulder just to see her reaction, and I saw that she was crying again. I hope that I didn't make her cry like that. I only wanted to make her feel better not add to her pain. I decided to keep walking.


I felt something trickle down my face and reached up to touch it. It was a tear. I was bloody crying! This is what she does to me. With her I feel almost human again. Sometimes I want to be if it means that I could be with her. But she's like the sun to me. I want to be near it and experience all the light that it has to offer, but if I get close, I'll burst into flame. That's the way I feel now, like I'm burning. I'm burning for her.


I continued to walk along into night. I had just left her sitting there alone and crying. I wondered if I should turn back and grab her into my arms, but I knew that I had to keep going. I had to let her go. She didn't need me in her life. Mostly, she just didn't want me to be a part of it.


So I just kept going, leaving her alone to her grief and forcing myself to be alone with mine. I think we both cried that night for what we lost and what we would never have. Both of us knowing that the one thing we wanted most was out of reach for us. She wanted her mother back and I only wanted her. Neither of us would ever get our wish.