Disclaimer: I own nothing…

Summary: A short post-Chosen fic. Deals with Buffy's feelings after losing everything after the collapse of Sunnydale.

Rating: G

Author's Notes: So, apparently I never posted this here… Not sure how that happened, seeing as how this is usually the first place I post… Although, I'll be honest, I had actually completely forgotten this fic existed until now, when I was going through my fic over at The Spuffy Realm… Oh well… Hope you like it.

Distribution: If you want it, take it, just give me credit… And, if you could, let me know where it's going.


Memories:


Sometimes I wish I could go back home… Back to a place where my mother was still alive, and he was still here with me. It hurts to know that everything I've ever loved, everything I've ever know, is gone. Completely and utterly gone… My mother's grave, my love's ashes… The pictures, the memories… Everything. Completely destroyed.

It had to be done. We all know that. I refuse to delude myself into thinking that it could have been contained. It was contained. In Sunnydale. If we hadn't allowed that collapse, it would have destroyed the world. And I know that. So I don't pretend like the action we took could have been avoided. It was necessary to save the world…

That doesn't make it hurt any less.

When your entire life is swallowed into a hellmouth without you, there's this big empty hole it leaves in your heart. Like all of you has been emptied out into that hole with all those possessions you lost.

The funny thing is, when it hit me; I mean really hit me that it was all gone, all I could think of was Mr. Gordo. I know, a stuffed pig really shouldn't have been my main priority, but when you're in that much pain, it's like everything that's weighing on you, all that pain and fear you've got inside you focuses on one tiny little thing that, to the outside world would seem completely insignificant. Because that one, tiny little thing held all those memories.

For me, that was Mr. Gordo. He'd been there, through it all. Every single important event in my life I could tie to that stuffed pig in one way or another. Because he was the one thing that I had held onto through it all. So when it all crumbled at my feet, quite literally might I add, he's what I held onto. Just like I always had…

So for the first couple of weeks, all I cried over was Mr. Gordo… And then, in time, I moved on to the pain I felt because I would never again be able to visit my mother's final resting place. I would never again be able to bring her flowers and talk to her for hours. Because now it was all gone.

Then there was Spike.

It took me a long time to get around to him, but he was next in line. My grief over losing him was something I had denied for so long that one night, just when I thought I was finally learning to deal, I simply broke down. It was in front of all the new Slayers. Some parents even. People I was supposed to be strong for. And really, they must have thought I was nuts, because not one of the new Slayers had lost what I had. Not even Amanda could have understood, because her family had gotten out of Sunnydale long before the final fight, and they had taken everything with them. Looking back now, I still wonder why Dawn and I hadn't found some way of taking some things with us. Pictures… Something… We could have done it… I guess when you're in that situation, you just don't think…

By the time I began grieving for Spike, they all thought I should have long since been completely over it. And I mean all of them. Not just the Slayers, but Giles, Xander, Willow… The only two who weren't pushing me to let it go were Dawn and Faith. Faith helped a lot. As strange as that may seem… She would sit with me and just listen. No one else could do that for me. Just Faith. For some reason, the others always felt the need to talk me through it… But Faith just listened. I guess it must have been because she had been there. In that dark place where you need to sort it all out for yourself, but you just don't want to be alone while you're sorting…

I remember being in so much pain over Spike's loss. It took forever for me to get around to grieving for him, but when it hit, it hit hard. I hadn't felt like that since I had been forced to kill Angel. I had so much guilt over his death that had just been building and building inside me. Because I felt like I had let him down… I told him I loved him, but he didn't believe me. And I don't blame him. There was so much between us… Too much. There wasn't time to fix it all. There wasn't time to erase all those bad memories that the two of us had made. No time to make it all better…

And still, in my heart I knew. I knew that at that moment he wasn't saving the world...

He was saving me…

Because Spike had so much love in his heart that all that bad that we had been through together did nothing to sway his feelings for me. I was still his world… And I wish more than anything that I had been able to show him that he was mine…

So for months I went on like that. Feeling sorry for myself. Feeling like I had lost every tiny little part of me, because in my mind everything was gone. Including my memories…

Until one night I had a dream. He was there with me, and he told me how much he loved me in that beautiful little speech he had given way back when, and then he just held me. All night long… And in the morning, when I woke up, I knew it was real. It was a memory, and it was real. And suddenly, I didn't need all those things I had lost anymore, because finally I understood that my memories could never leave me. Not as long as I remained on this earth.

So after that wonderful understanding finally gripped me, I made the decision to just think about them… Talk to them. Write about them... For at least a few minutes a day. I wrote down every memory I had. Even the bad ones… Because they were still ours. They were still a part of me, no matter how bad they were. And so I finally learned to deal with the grief I was still suffering from.

It was Spike who made it all clear to me. I loved him more than anything, and I lost him… But that didn't mean he was gone.

Because no matter how long I had to go on without him, he was still there, in my heart…

Exactly where he belonged…