I don't own the characters here, just the words that I use to make them dance my mad dance of Post-Gift angst.

The song 'Schism' is a fantastic, haunting, creepy thing by Tool, and you should all go out and buy it, or download it, or something.  So worth it.  I don't know how close the lyrics are to the fanfic, but the mood of the music is exactly right, so imagine that as you read.

Reader opinion is always welcome and loved.

Schism
By Rashaka

      I know the pieces fit
      'Cause I watched them fall away
      Mildewed and smouldering
      Fundamental differing
      Pure intention juxtaposed will set
      Two lovers souls in motion
      Disintegrating as it goes
     Testing our communication

       The gravesoil crumbled damply between his fingers, staining the pale, near translucent flesh a sickly dark color, like a bruising akin to the dark welts that were already fading from his body after the fall.  If only they'd wash from his heart with such flagrant ease, he thought.

        "I tried, you know.  I tried to walk into the sun-- I wanted it so sodding badly.  I wanted the release, love; I wanted to be gone from a world that didn't have you in it to light a corner in the dark, to be the candle.  But I couldn't do it.  Pathetic poof I was—I couldn't do it."

        His forehead met the liquid-smooth stone, surface cool like his own, and rickety fingertips outlined the words with broken disparity.  He tried to reclaim the breath he didn't need, to once again exaggerate his human façade, but the trick escaped him, left him shuddering without even the strength to pretend to be like her anymore.

      The light that fuelled a fire
      That has burned a hole
      Between us so
      We cannot seem to reach an end
      Crippling our communication

        "Why?" She whispered softly.  His imagination, again.  In his swirling illusions, she always whispered back.

        "I was afraid.  Like a fucking silly mortal, I was afraid.  Only-- I knew that if I died, it wouldn't be release that it is for you, love.  No halcyon days of tranquility and peace.  It'd be torment.  I came from hell and every moment I spend here, with the living, is a moment that I'm free.  Well, free in the most superficial sense only, my love.  As much as I want to die, it would pointless.  I would never get to follow you to heaven, and after that, love, nothing else matters." 

        Hands curled into fists, squeezing tighter and tighter, knees sinking into watery grass, voice choking on nothing more than the flimsy, fickle concept called emotion.

      I know the pieces fit
      'Cause I watched them tumble down
      No fault, none to blame
      It doesn't mean I don't desire

        "I'll be in hell wherever I am, because now wherever I am is not where you are, Summers.  I'm dying without you in every way but the way that matters, love, but I thought that this hell was only slightly better than the other, and I thought maybe I could bare it a little longer.  This world holds Dawn, the only part of you I've ever had."

        The scent around him was changing, sparking with warmth to come.  Stolen blood raged at him, clawing within his skin and hammering in its fear.  It smelled death on the horizon.  He couldn't open his eyes to see the change, because his eyes were too filled with apparitions of her.

        "But it's so hard, Buffy.  And I'm already so weary."

        She danced in his vision, and part of his sanity slipped away as the light slipped closer.

      To point the finger, blame the other
      Watch the temple topple over
      To bring the pieces back together
      Rediscover communication

        New hands grasping at leather, pulling and cursing, tiny hands warm with blood and life.  Whispers floating around him, begging him, clutching and now near screaming.  Sunrise.  Can't move him.  Stupid jerk.  Got to before.  Why won't he listen.  Move.  Please.  Need you.  Can't leave me here alone. God, get up please.  Please.

        Rough hands now, dragging him up, ripping his fingers from the wet ground he clung to, taking him away from her.  He shoved forward, desperate to be touching the shrine, to be tracing her name in stone when the light hit.  His earlier words were forgotten, banished.  The light could take him away, mortal fear be damned and sod all else.  He wanted hell over this.  He needed it.

        Blindness invaded him, and he never saw the light.

      The poetry that comes from
      The squaring off between
      And the circling is worth it
      Finding beauty in the dissonance

        "Stupid pillock.  Is this the best you could do?"

        Eyes cracked open, icy blue that ran a cursory glance over his surroundings, taking in what should have been hell.

        "I'm very disappointed.  I had actually expected better of you."

        He groaned, and his parched throat grated with the same hunger that scratched his voice and burned his eyes.  He hadn't eaten since that night; it hadn't seemed worth the effort.

        "Bugger off, Rupert."

        "Sending yourself to hell won't bring you any closer to her, William."

        "Don't call me that.  And it doesn't matter if it doesn't.  There.  Here.  I wouldn't know the difference."

      There was a time that the pieces fit
      But I watched them fall away
      Mildewed and smouldering
      Strangled by our coveting

        "You're pathetic.  Buffy's gift—her gift was for you as well, you sodding bleach git.  Even if you don't deserve it, you're part of the world she died to protect, and she knew it when she jumped."

        He sat up a pulled himself off the couch, stray hand snagging the black trench coat, avoiding the man's bitter gaze.

        "Dawn."

        "You don't even have the right to ask."  That baleful stare ate at his insides, even though nothing the human had to say should have mattered to him.

        "Where is she."

        "Where do you think?  She's at the bloody house, sobbing because she just had to save the person she loves second most in the world from committing suicide.  Sobbing because the only person she's got left tried to leave her too."

      I've done the math enough to know
      The dangers of our second-guessing
      Doomed to crumble unless we grow
      And strengthen our communication

        Flinching was immediate upon his words.  Then shame, soon after.  The watcher was right.  He was being selfish, causing pain.  Ignoring his promise.

        Oh god.  The promise.  Waves of feeling.  Regret.  Pain.  Guilt.  Shame again, so strong he nearly choked.  He's almost broken it again, like when he failed that night.  No, he had broken it again, by trying to die, even knowing that he'd go to hell.  Especially knowing that he'd go to hell.  He'd been ready to abandon Dawn, and over fucking nothing.  Over eternal torment.  If he really loved Buffy, how could he do that to her?  She had left him her greatest treasure, and he had tried to run away from it.

        She gave him his crumbs, and every time he proved unworthy of them.

      Cold silence has a tendency
      To atrophy any sense of compassion
      Between supposed lovers
      Between supposed lovers

        "I'm going to talk to her.  Got words that need giving."

        A grunt from the man in the hallways, and a curt, "An' well you should."

        He raised a trembling hand, and examined dark dirt that caked the fingernails and caked his heart as well.  The blanket was nearby, tattered and singed and alone.  Alone, like good ole Spike.  How fitting it was that they should be such good friends.

        "This—" he paused, but only just. "This won't happen again.  Goodbye Rupert.  I'll see you tonight for patrol."

     

      I know the pieces fit
      I know the pieces fit
      I know the pieces fit
      I know the pieces fit
      And I know the pieces fit

.end.