Post-Chosen. A bit of meditative reflection on Buffy's loves and losses.

Usual Disclaimer: I do not own anything

Love's Waters

Her love for Angel had been like a tsunami. A crashing wave of passion that engulfed her, drowned her, in a moment. She had been lost in it, consumed by it, so quickly. She had hardly had the chance to take a breath before plunging in. She loved him deeply and in an instant. With him it had been easy. She hadn't been given a choice. She had been swallowed up by it. Afraid at first. And then relishing in the waves. Swimming in their love. It had been beautiful, powerful. While it had lasted. It had left her scarred and gasping for breath.

Riley had been a calm lake. Peaceful. Clear. Pure. But tepid, lacking the depth, the excitement, the passion of the sea. She could not get lost in those waters; they were too shallow, too still. They stagnated around her. She had failed to see the violence churning beneath the tranquil facade. She looked unto the glassy surface of the lake, and all she saw was her. Mirrored. Her image reflected through his love. She had not seen him. Not really. She had taken the serenity, the purity, of those water for granted. She had not perceived the silt gathering on the lake's floor. They muck that would pull her under. Drown her. Force her to recognize the quiet beauty of what they had only once it was too late to save.

With Spike things had been different. His love and her desire had been a storm. A violent cyclone that had beaten and broken them both. The winds and the rain and the waves threw them against one another. Their bodies pounding and pumping, striking, crashing, clinging. They had not weathered the storm, they had ridden it. Indulged in it. Mounted its waves. Danced on its winds. It was killing them and, yet, they reveled in the hurt, the ruin, the annihilation. The very pleasure of it had been in its violence. Its destruction. Its pain.

She had been so cruel to him for so long. She had not loved him. She had beaten him and used him. She had exploited his love for her own selfish gratification. She had rebuffed his gentler touches, ignored his kinder words. She had been cruel and wanted him to be cruel too. It hadn't been love. Not even close.

And he had pounded against her. Trying to erode her defenses with his wild crashing waves of love. Fierce and uncontrolled, he had bombarded her. Assaulted her. Battered her. Roughly tried to detect the slightest chink in her defenses. Tried find the point where she would let him in, first a drop, then a trickle, then a flood. But she had resisted him. She had let him penetrate her body, but she had never really let him in.

Then, like the waves, he went away, out to sea. And then came back to where she was still broken on the beach.

The storm had passed. But they still wore the scars and the bruises of its violence. They were both so damaged.

And, yet, they could not let each other go.

Like the gradual flow of the tide, love had snuck up on her. She hadn't noticed the pull of moon, the flowing of the tides, the drift of the sea.

She had spent so long fighting him, hating him, being disgusted by him. And then she had fought herself, hated herself, been disgusted by herself. She had not noticed the waters rising all around her. And then it was too late. Then she had found herself wadding though currents of love, the flood of her desires. The water rising to her naval, then her breasts, then her shoulders, until, eventual, she slipped beneath the gentle lapping waves. She let the water flow around her, caress her, hold her.

There had been no moment of epiphany. Just the gradual acceptance that this was love. That in spite of everything he had done, everything she had, she had grown to love him.

But she had been too late.

Her last words to him had been love. An admission that she had denied, repressed, refused for so long. She had finally stopped swimming against the tide. Had let its currents move her. Had uttered the rhythm of its waves.

But it had come too late. He had not believed her. He had taken the words as kind lies. Gentle deceits spoken out of fondness, respect, gratitude, but not love.

And then fire scorched him, took him, consumed him, and all love's waters could not save him.