Disclaimer:  I own nothing.  All characters are property of Joss Whedon, etc.

Summary:  A short vignette on the fate of Buffy and Spike.  Told from Dawn's POV.  Set four years after "Grave"

No One Escapes Death

By

Anessa Ramsey

            I watch her sometimes, when she stares out the window or daydreams, and I know that is when she thinks about him.  She never mentions his name but I know that he occupies her thoughts more often that she would ever admit.  I think sometimes she is plagued by regrets when it comes to him.  I believe what upsets her the most is that he never knew she loved him.  She loved him with everything she had, even though it wasn't much at the time.  Instead she used her fists and harsh words to guard her heart and keep him at a distance.  And now that is all there is between them, distance.  He is miles away and never coming back.

            When he returned, just months after his departure, he was not well received.   I think I was the only one who noticed the change in him.  Gone was the peroxide blond hair and black clothing.  Instead he'd sported short spiked chestnut brown hair and had worn jeans and a t-shirt.  No one else paid attention though.  All they focused on was the fact that he had returned.  No one gave him a chance to apologize, let alone explain.  He was told to go and, thinking that things would never change, he left again.

            For four years we heard nothing of him.  It was as if the vampire Spike had disappeared off the face of the earth.  Of course I knew that he had.  Being human doesn't exactly require you to live on blood to survive.  I was the only one who knew that he had changed, but no one would even let me mention his name.  Buffy pretended that everything was all right though we all knew better.  She never did admit to missing him, let alone loving him. 

            Then came the phone call.  No one had heard from Angel for nearly a year so we were all surprised to hear Buffy say his name into the receiver. Only he wasn't calling with good news, but that was always the way it was with him.  Unfortunately this news was more tragic than most.  Spike was dead.   He didn't go out the way that he had always talked about, fighting a big bad.  No, he was all too human for that.  He died when a drunk driver ran into his car on his way home from work.  I can remember the look on Buffy's face as Angel explained to her exactly what had occurred.  She tried arguing with him, refusing to believe that Spike had been human and was now dead, only to begin crying when Angel insisted it was true.  I thought she would have collapsed had Giles not been there to steady her.  I think what hit her harder than his death was that he'd come back with this incredible news and no one had been willing to listen to him long enough to hear it.  Maybe if they had he wouldn't be lying in the morgue in Los Angeles.

            There are times when I believe that Death is all Buffy will ever experience.  It seems that every time something good might happen, something bad comes along and steals it away.  She has experienced so much death in the ten long years that she's been the slayer it doesn't seem fair.  The saddest part is that she had the chance to experience more, because Spike would have done anything to make her happy, but her pride and her friends opinions stood in the way.  Now that chance is gone and with his death I think that part of Buffy will fade away into nothing.  I know that with his death hers may follow shortly.  She lived for the hope of his return and now even that has been taken away.  Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock, to make everything right, to make Buffy the sister I remember from so long ago.  I wish I could make her believe in love and happily ever after, because I don't think she does anymore.