1Fic title: Memento mori
Summary: Spike's been missing something ever since he re-materialised, he finally gets it back. Takes place exactly one-year post 'Chosen'
Characters: Spike, Buffy
Word count: 1,150
A/N: I wrote in part to celebrate my one year LJ anniversary. The timing may not make sense exactly, but please, just ignore would you?
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
"Gimme 'nother," Spike slurred as he slammed his empty glass down on the bar. "I'm celebratin'."
"All right," the barkeep replied, turning and picking up the bottle of whiskey to refill Spike's tumbler for the fourth time. "An' what's it your celebrating exactly—if ya don't mind my askin'."
Spike smiled up at him. "Not at all, mate," he plucked up the glass and upended it swiftly knocking back the contents. "Aaahh," he sighed. "Today," he began, getting back to the question, "just so happens to be the first anniversary of when I died for the second time."
He plunked down his glass and nudged it forward and smiled winningly at the confused looking barkeep.
"Hit me again."
The gravel crunched under Buffy's boots as she stood at the edge of the crater that was now the grave of the town she had called home for seven years of her life.
She closed her eyes and leaned forward–she could swear she felt a gust of heat flush against her face from the phantom blaze that had consumed her lover.
She could taste salt in her mouth and the sting of it in her eyes. Her eyes snapped open and she coughed away the tears threatening to choke her.
She raised her head to look across the crater at her friends standing on the other side.
Willow was bent down on her knees placing flowers on the ground for Tara–though she didn't die in the battle, her body was down there now as well.
Dawn was squeezing Xander's hand in support as he paid his respects to his own lost love.
A few of the other surviving Slayers milled about, laying down flowers and saying kind words on behalf of the ones that weren't as lucky as them.
Buffy, stuck her hand in her pocket and wrapped her fist tightly around the thing inside; the metal was cool and hard against her palm. She had been carrying it with her for a year now–she didn't want to let it go.
But, she had already decided it was time.
Buffy pulled her hand from her pocket and opened her palm. She stared down at the familiar object. The sun glinted off its shiny surface, almost blinding her.
She quickly closed her hand again.
One would think she'd be used to this by now; letting go, saying goodbye.
She was, after all, an old pro in such matters after living through seven years on the Hellmouth–and more apocalypses than she could keep track of.
But, she wasn't it.
She still hated it.
It would never get easy.
But, she'd do it anyway.
Buffy knelt down. She brought it to her mouth and pressed her lips against it.
"Goodbye, Spike," she murmured. "I hope you found your rest." She gently laid it down on the ground and got to her feet.
She cast a glance about the others still saying their own goodbyes before turning and heading back to sit alone in the van they'd came in–she didn't look back.
Spike banged his head along in time with the music blaring out of the speakers of the Ferrari he had 'barrowed' from Angel. The car had an amazing stereo system –Johnny Rotten's voice hadn't sounded quite so god-awful since Spike had seen the Sex Pistols live decades ago. He bloody loved it!
Spike brought his head down–it had been tipped back as he gulped down the remainders of the bottle of Jack he'd bought just before leaving L.A.–and saw that he was heading toward the hole that used to be Sunnydale at an alarming rate.
"Oh shit!" he yelped as he slammed his foot down on the breaks; they squealed like a dying cat as the tyres skidded in the gravel. Spike clenched his eyes shut as the car came to a perilous stop–the hood just nosing over the edge of the crater.
He opened his eye as he wrapped his hands tightly around the steering wheel–of course, now he put them in the correct ten and two positions–as he let out a slow breath from between his pursed lips.
Spike looked out at the earth yawning out before him–the crater was pitch black as he peered over the dashboard and tried to look down. He let out a low whistle, then began to laugh at how close he had come to driving straight down into it.
He could appreciate the poetic irony of the situation; if he had crashed is car in the crater, it likely would have burst into flames, then he would have died for the third time in the exact spot as the second one year to the day.
He snickered again as he shook his head and pushed open the door. He climbed out and stepped up to the edge, his boots mirroring the car and tipping just over the lip.
Spike reached into his pocket and took out his cigarettes. He popped one into his mouth and began to pad his jacket for his lighter. He couldn't find it. He figured it must've fell out in the car. He turned to go and have a look and stepped on something that made a light clinking sound.
He looked down and saw the silver glint in the moonlight.
His brow furrowed as he gazed down in disbelief at the object.
He laughed again as he knelt down and scooped it up-he couldn't describe how right it felt to have that familiar light weight in his palm that had been missing this whole year. He curled his fingers around it and gasped as the sensation hit him.
Suddenly he was surrounded by her essence.
It was so strong. Much more than the illusions he'd had in the past.
She'd been here–not just a year ago–recently. Very recently–just hours ago.
Spike let out a choked laugh as he tossed his lighter up in the air and caught it again. He flopped down on the ground and dangled his legs over the edge of the chasm. He looked down at the lighter in his and, rubbing his thumb over the smooth surface. He brought it up to his mouth and pressed it to his lips–the taste of hers still lingered there.
He ran his tongue along his lips, savouring her taste.
He let out a sigh and stuck his cigarette back into his mouth. He flipped back the top of his lighter and flicked the flame.
As he sucked the smoke into his mouth and let it feel his lungs, he could swear the tobacco had never tasted so good in his unlife.
"Thanks pet," he murmured aloud into the night as he wrapped his hand tightly around his treasured lighter glad to have it back and vowing to never let it go again for as long as he walked this earth–however long that might be.