Disclaimer: Hail Joss. Mutant Enemy. 20th Century Fox.
I wanted to see her one last time. To feel her lips, hear her voice, hold her hand… One final time before it would be too late. My undead life would likely be over within the day, and if I could only choose two people to be with before my final death, the choice would be a simple one.
My son, who didn't remember he was my son until quite recently, comforted me greatly in my last hours. He didn't really know me, and I knew that he would still always look at his false mortal father as his real father, but he was there for me. Conner knew why I had called him over, and I felt like he forgave me truly for all the mistakes I made with him.
But her, my one true love, the only woman I would literally sell my soul for, was not there. Every time I close my eyes I can see her, every time my heart closes up from sheer loneliness, I can hear her soothe me from the distance. I wasn't given the chance to be a man until she walked into my life. Before her, I was a pathetic waste of space on the earth, and before that I was a cruel monster. With her, I was everything any person can hope to become. After her, I was forever changed…after her, I am nothing because everything that I am links back to what she has given me.
I don't even know where she is any more. Ireland, from last I heard, but it was a long time ago that I had heard anything. It really hurts me if I let myself think too hard about it. There were many moments when both of us thought that we would lose our lives fighting for the greater good, and because of the several occasions where death was not only a chance but almost an inevitably, we didn't visit each other often to fight side by side. We each had our own battles, and neither of us could risk leaving our own respective apocalypse in order to help the other with theirs. It was something we both understood. Just because we couldn't be there didn't mean we didn't care. I had left town to give her the chance for a better life, going back weekly to make sure she was all right would defeat the purpose of my exit.
That's what I tell myself. It's what I know to be the truth. The truth didn't make me feel any less hating towards myself when the inevitable finally happened. She died to save the world and I wasn't there. I didn't fight at her side; I wasn't able to even wish her good luck before her fight. Standing in front of her tombstone for the first time rammed several knives in my chest. Her name in stone cemented just how final this was. I heard about what happened from commentaries by her friends, and I toyed with the notion of saving her in my mind's eye. I hated Spike for claiming to care about her and yet for failing to save her. I wanted to hate her sister for being the reason she died. I understood why she did it; her heart was always strong when she had to do what she had to do. She could still be here if she had only let her sister do what was needed. That wasn't an option for her, though; she always did choose self sacrifice over pain of others any time it was possible.
When she came back from the dead, when she was really alive again, I swore that I wouldn't ever face the situation of having to hear about her death from someone else again.
Which is why I went to her side when arguably her biggest challenge yet was brought down upon her. She pushed me away as I knew she would. It was her fight, and I knew that our lives were on two different paths now. I couldn't help her. But I did tell her my feelings and she told me hers, and I took comfort in the fact that if she were to die, she would know that I still thought of her.
I was there right before her last major battle. When I found out she survived, a large part of me wanted to see her. But I knew that wasn't something that would come to pass.
Now I'm standing here, about to engage in my own last battle. She fought the biggest bad she knew, and I'd be doing the same, one year later. But where I was there for her, she wasn't standing before me now. I wondered if she was even aware that tomorrow I could be dead. I'm not blaming her- she could be on the other side of the planet. And if any one deserves a break from this, it's her. I just wish that I could have seen her one last time.
Maybe that's selfish of me. But it's only natural that I feel that way. I didn't live before her and I didn't want to live after her. She was everything I cared about, and even if she wasn't standing with me today, I still knew that she cared about me. It was a fact that no one could rip away from me. They could take away everything else, but I knew that her love for me would remain even when I did not. Love transcends all barriers, and she was on my mind as every single demon I had ever seen, read, thought, or heard about (and a great deal I hadn't), charged before me.
If my life had to end, well, I had lived a long life. If I had to give up my hope for redemption in my Shanshu, the one thing that had kept me trudging through every horrible thing in my existence, then it had to be done. When it boils down to it, I didn't fight because I wanted someone to thank me. I didn't do this to help myself. I had hoped that saving those who could not save themselves would one day grant me the gift of salvation for myself. Sure, I wanted to be forgiven. And maybe that's why I wasn't rewarded- because it wouldn't be a reward, it'd be an award. Some of my purposes were selfish. But when it came down to it, I would do anything to stop the evil that I once was. Maybe it started out as a way to purify my soul, but as the years passed, I knew that it wasn't for me any more, it was for them. I would do this for humanity. And she represented humanity at it's finest.
Buffy's golden hair framed her beautiful face with an air of grace that only she could pull off. A smile touched her lips and her eyes were gentle and welcoming. I felt my own lips quirking upwards at the sight of her.
She held out her hand to me and entwined our fingers together. "Hello." And then my arms were around her in a tight embrace, my body language screaming about my fear of losing her. She brushed her lips against mine and her hands ran through my dark hair. When we finally broke apart, she didn't let go of my hand.
"The one with the Angelic face." She quoted my namesake lightly and traced my jaw with her fingertips.
"I love you." I told her quietly.
"I know." Buffy nodded. "And I love you, too. I always will. I'm never going to let go of you, okay?"
"If this is heaven, I'm glad I died." I chuckled.
"We're together now."
"Don't be so broody." She laughed. I loved the sound of her laughter. "You can lighten up now. We all can."
"I'd give you everything I have, Buffy."
"You already have."
I held on tighter to her smooth hand and closed my eyes.