Buffy sat staring into the mirror fixed on the wall. It was late, middle of the night kind of late, but she couldn't sleep a wink. To sleep you needed to feel tired but she didn't. She didn't feel tired: in fact she felt nothing. She was numb. The day's events still hadn't sunk in and she
couldn't believe they'd won. She refused to believe that it was real because that meant admitting what Spike did. What Spike was. She gazed deeper into the mirror, hoping beyond hope that she would fall through the mirror into a world that she understood. She had never wanted this: none of it. Why couldn't someone else be the sodding slayer and leave her to lead her own life? She sighed painfully and stared down at the floor.
"You're the one." She heard the voice she knew only too well whispering in her ears. She gasped as she felt a wide grin running across her face at the idea of being in the same room as him. Maybe she'd been wrong, maybe he'd got out… somehow. Gingerly she let her eyes wander up and back to the mirror she had been so fixated with a moment ago. Her heart stopped so suddenly as she saw him there. It was really him. But Vampires don't have- Shut up! Buffy scolded herself. She didn't want facts to spoil this moment. She could feel all her senses coming back to life again and no little voice was going to stop that.
"Spike." She whispered. Her trembling hands gently touched the surface of the glass. She wanted some conformation that he was really here and that she would never be alone again but she couldn't bare to turn and look at him, feeling that if she tried to look at him he would disappear. He said nothing but just cocked his head to one side and smiled in the way that only he could. She felt her legs turn to mush and wondered why he could make her feel like this. What was it with her and un-dead guys? She sighed. This so was not the time to be going into all this. Right now all she
wanted to concentrate on was Spike.
"Oh Spike. You're really here. I can't believe." She paused: there was only one thing she wanted to say but getting the courage to say it was quite another thing. "I love you." She whispered for the second time that day, hoping that her words would make him finally understand how she felt.
"No you don't but thank you for saying it." Buffy gasped. Not again. Finally she had admitted it: told him what she'd been hiding all these years and what did he do? Dismiss her like she was a little kid. How did he know what she was feeling? He had no idea how hard it was for her to finally tell him that she loved him. She was the slayer for god's sake. This wasn't what she did, or at least it shouldn't be, not after Angel- you would have thought she would learn her lesson. Anyone in their right mind would have staked Spike long ago but not her, she couldn't. Tears
threatened to spill as she gazed back into the mirror and into Spike's piercing eyes.
"Why wont you believe me?" She grunted as she clenched her fists. Why was this so hard? Everything in her life was so complex and impossible. He smiled at her in that dreamy way he had and for a second it seemed like maybe everything would be okay. Then she remembered: he didn't believe her. No amount of smiling would make that little fact go away. She turned angrily to where he was standing and tried to punch him: hoping that it would make her fell just a bit better. To her horror she felt her hand slip through him like he wasn't there then as she blinked she saw that he
wasn't. Bit by bit he disappeared from her sight as she tried to hug him and stop him leaving her again but she fell forward through where he had been and landed painfully on the ground. She looked around hoping to see him laughing at her falling on her face but there was nothing: no one.
"I love you!" She screamed as tears poured out of her eyes in a way she would never have thought possible. She pounded her fists on the floor and kicked with everything she had. This was what she did when things went wrong: she hit things, usually spike. Sure she couldn't keep a boyfriend but she could pound one into oblivion. Now she was alone with no one to beat up but herself. Why did she always do this? Push away the people that she loved. Angel, Riley. Spike. All he wanted to do was love her but she wouldn't let him, always thinking herself better than him, always resisting. Only in moments of weakness would she let him anywhere near her and then it was so easy to claim he had taken advantage, to call him all the names under the sun and pretend she felt nothing. If only it was that simple.
"Buffy are you okay? I heard..." Willow trailed off as she entered the room and saw her lying there on the floor: so helpless. Buffy looked up into her friend's kind eyes and cried harder.
"Sorry Will, didn't mean to wake you." She sobbed as she pulled herself up and Willow crouched down beside her, sympathy splattered all over her face.
"Hey," She whispered softly as they pulled together into a hug. "Come on Buff, what's up? We won remember? Supposed to be happy." Buffy managed a small smile: Willow would never understand.
"It's nothing." She said shakily as she tried to pull away. All this displaying emotion was embarrassing and just so not her. She didn't do stuff like this. Never
"Come on Buffy, it's me- me and you. You can tell me. Best friend, remember?" Somewhere deep inside she recalled what she'd once said to Spike: "Spike, it's me. It's you, and it's me, and we'll get through this." and it made her cry more.
"It's just." Could she tell her? Would she ever understand? "It's Spike."
"Oh." She replied simply but when she saw Buffy's expression she realised that it might take a bit more than that to console her.
"We'll all miss him, he was..." It seemed Willow was searching for something positive to say
about Spike. "He was a good guy. One of us." Buffy felt a grin spreading across her face despite herself when she thought how Spike would react to being called a 'good guy'.
"He was, wasn't he?" A tear slid down her face. "I just… I really hate him, you know?"
"Umm no, not really Buffy."
"I hate him for doing this. Why did he have to go being all brave? I mean I'd only just found him again, the real him- soul and all, and now I've lost him forever. They all leave me but, but I really thought he was different, you know Will?"
"You really felt for him didn't you?"
"He got me, you know?"
"And I don't?" Willow snapped but Buffy just sighed. She wasn't ready to go into this: not yet.
"It's… different. Spike and I, we're the same. He got what I was about."
"He was obsessed with you Buffy."
"And I was obsessed with him." Buffy shouted before staring at the ground once more and trying to ignore the uncomfortable silence. Willow just stared at her, obviously expecting an explanation. "I was just better at hiding it than he was I suppose. Every part of him intrigued me but I never really understood him. I never got what he was really about- deep down, y'know? He loved me so much but I never knew why; what did he see in me? He could have killed me if he'd wanted to yet he chose not to. After all of the things I did to him, all the things I said, he still loved me." Willow opened her mouth to complain. "Yes I know he was obsessed with me. I know that but that doesn't mean he didn't love me does it? Because he did. He loved me so much for all those-"
"Stop it would you! You talk about him like he's a saint or something."
"That doesn't make it all alright. He tried to kill you, tried to rape you- why can't you see that?"
"It was different after, he changed. Changed for me. All my life I've been trying to change to fit in with the people around me. Be a better slayer for Giles, stop being a slayer for mum and you lot, be a better girlfriend to Angel and then to Riley. All the time I tried to change to be what you wanted me to be yet there was one person, only one, who was willing to change for me and he was the one I was pushing away for all those years." Suddenly the words stopped and she could speak no more. Just to mention his name meant opening the gaping wound she felt pulsating inside her. All she wanted to do was curl up into a ball and feel sorry for herself and all she knew was that she couldn't do that when Willow was here. She had to get rid of her.
"Will, do you mind?"
"You want me to go?" Her voice was somewhere between hurt and understanding as she cautiously stood up. As Buffy heard the door close she crawled her way up onto her bed, which seemed awfully empty now it was just her. Alone. Suddenly the full force of it all hit her; she was going to be alone forever. Nothing could help her and no one could heal her. Spike was gone
but she could still feel his arms around her, still hear his harsh voice singing in her ear from all that time ago:
"I know I should go
But I follow you like a man possessed
There's a traitor here beneath my breast
And it hurts me more than you've ever guessed
If my heart could beat, it would break my chest"
Well her heart could beat and it certainly could break and right now she wished for nothing more than the damn thing to stop.
But it wasn't real. None of it. Just an echo of a song… of a vampire… no- a man. A man she once knew who she has lost forever. She knew she would open her eyes and he wouldn't be there. Deep down she realised that when she awoke he would still be dead, she would still be alive and life would still be unfair. The darkness was closing in on her even though the first rays of sunlight were
hitting the window. Today her world had been turned upside down and as she fell deep into her subconscious she felt all the feelings she had being mixed around in a giant pallet. Her pillow was soaked with tears and her heart was torn. Nothing was stable, nowhere was safe and there was only one thing in this world she could depend on: her love for Spike.