Every evening, as soon as it was safe to go outside and sometimes before, Spike found himself at Buffy's grave. Sometimes he'd bring a bottle and drunkenly rail at her for leaving him, but not often. He'd promised to keep an eye on Little Bit after all, and he didn't want to disappoint Buffy by neglecting his responsibilites. Other nights, when he knew Dawn was under Willow's, or even better Tara's, watchful eyes, he'd bring a flower, a pure white rose, and sit with her, in silence, the whole night through.

Once he recited a poem. That had taken all his courage. Even with the dead, he found it difficult to share his innermost heart.

Each and every night he longed for a real winter, for trees swept bare of dried brown leaves, for a chill wind that cut him to the bone, for grass shriveled up and colorless, so that the world would reflect the desolation in his heart.