"Bottom line is even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what, are we helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come, can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean."
Every moment was a knife wound, twisting deep inside where she could not believe a person could hurt so much. As she danced around her enemies, taunting, laughing, her eyes bright, inside she could feel herself dying. She knew what the fallen Slayers had known, she finally understood the weight of all that she was, all she had become. A Slayer had a death wish, he had told her that once, and thought she was the strongest, the one to live the longest, the one that had finally beat the odds, although she had family and friends the ties that had held her life in check had unravelled. Because he was dead. She remembered that one night when they had just held each other, his cold body pressed against her warmth. Heating him, heating her, comforting safe. She remembered the look in his eyes, the love, when he told her it was the best night of his life.
Ashes drift lazily around her as her smile evens out. Here was the Slayer, in all her glory, beautiful, aching, strong, dead. Her green eyes held no light, there was nothing there, no spark, no fire. Even as she had danced she had been incomplete, her partner gone, her heart shattered. Buffy took in a steadying breath, pushing against her pain, feeling that knife twist just a bit deeper. SHe understood what was going to happen soon, too soon. One day she'd see an opening for a kick and not take it, down a foe and hesitate, there would be a single miscalculation, a single moment where she just couldn't do it anymore and the monsters would finally get her. It was hard to care.
She wasn't sure when she'd started moving, unsure as to why her body wanted to move at all but accepting it regardless. Her mind was on other things, things more important than her bare little apartment her feet moved her to. Her mind was on Spike, wasn't it always? She'd never wanted the destiny thrust upon her, had fought it every step of the way, got lucky, saved the world, made big mistakes. Angel. How could she have ever loved Angel? The vampire had been mysterious, true, and handsome but he had been so...so...USELESS. He never fought with her, not really, he's only ever wanted to keep her safe. To let her be normal. He's hurt her so much more than she'd ever realized.
But Spike...He'd been a thorn in her side. Never letting her forget who she was, why she was. He pushed her, insulted her, tested her, fought for her, fought with her. Spike had never wanted her to be normal, he'd wanted her to be what he always knew she could be. A hell of a woman. The thought brought a broken sob, her hand slamming up to stop it, to hide it, as her other hand fumbled with the keys. Seconds, like hours, and she pushed through the door, running to the bathroom. Head instantly over the toilet as her stomach heaved what little contents had been in it. The tears welled in her eyes, refusing to fall. After a few moments she clawed her way up from the ground.
"Are you well Slayer?"
The soft voice made Buffy's eyes widen in alarm. It was old, ancient, but somehow young. Soft, lilting, strong. inanely female. Turning, slowly because why not? If she was a demon, or vampire, or new bringer of the apocalypse she was to tired to fight it. Oh she'd try, sure, but she wouldn't win another fight. Not now, maybe not ever again. Green eyes took in the sparse room, wishing she'd taken the time to grab a weapon before she'd tossed her guts. The woman that stood before her was...fuzzy. One second she seemed young, innocent the next she was more refined, beautiful then in a blink she was old, powerful. Buffy couldn't seem to get the ever-changing face in focus, only the bright moonlight eyes stayed still. She was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen and Buffy found her mouth opening against her will. In awe or in an attempt to speak she wasn't sure.
The strange woman smiled, kindly, indulgently. Buffy abruptly realized that she hadn't answered the question posed to her. Snapping her mouth shut she struggled to come up with a suitable answer. But really what could she say? I make myself sick? It was the truth. When she looked back at her life, the ups and downs, all her regrets, her actions made her physically ill. She'd hurt him so much and still...He'd always forgiven her, always been there for her, always loved her. Green eyes clenched shut, the sound that came from her mouth was almost inhuman. It was so broken, the sound of a being that has understood that every bad thing that had ever happened to her had, indeed, been her own fault.
Startled by her own voice Buffy raised her hand to cover her eyes, the tears spilling freely, knees buckling. The stranger caught her before she fell, the warmth of the embrace surprised more sobs from her shaking form. For a long time Buffy just lay there, awareness creeping in slowly through the heart wrenching sobs. The strangers fingers ran gently through her hair, humming a soft sad song, calming her. When she'd cried all she thought she could Buffy leaned out of the embrace, surprised by the soft tears running down the strangers face.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Ananke."
The name sounded vaguely familiar, a tickle across her brain nut that was all. Buffy shook her head gently. Ananke smiled, face changing faster and faster and Buffy found herself drawn to her eyes again.
"I am destiny, necessity, fate."
Understanding dawned Buffy pushed herself away, "You're one of the PTB."
Ananke chuckled softly as she stood, the sound fluttering through the air. Gently she placed a hand against Buffy's cheek, stilling her with a touch.
"We have wronged you Slayer. We have taken from you everything but it had to be done. It was meant to be done. It was necessary."
"Necessary!?" Buffy whispered fiercely, wrenching away again Buffy growled fiercely.
"Necessary? Was it necessary? Was it necessary for it to be me? Necessary for me to lose myself to Angel, to bring back Angelus? to let my mom die? To bring me Spike? Was it necessary to make me hate him? To hurt him over and over again? To watch him die never believing in my love? How could that be necessary?" Tears spilled over, angry bitter tears.
Ananke saw them and stilled. The face settling on one of a woman in her early thirties, delicate and fierce. Achingly beautiful, obviously inhuman.
"It was Necessary because the battles you have won had to be won. And this was the only guarantee we had to ensure that. We wronged you Slayer because it could only be you, because your journey has only just begun."
"I CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE!" Buffy snarled, chest heaving, agony ripping her tattered soul to shreds. Ananke raised a hand, stilled her with a look.
"You will, you must, because now that the battle has been assured our victory we must do it again. You must do it again. You must do it RIGHT this time."
"Wha-? What? What are you taking about? I'm not doing it again. Why can't you just leave me alone? Why can't I just go to be with him? Why me?"
Ananke smiled once more, harsher, fiercer. Crossing the distance in an instant, arms pulling the Slayer against her securely. Buffy struggled, futily, for long minutes. Cursing into the silence until her anger settled like a vice against her heart. Ananke sighed softly, cheek resting against the blond locks.
"It was your destiny to suffer all you could because you are our greatest, our most precious creation. You have within you the power, the will, that none before you have held. A power strong enough to accept a life you never wanted, a will of such strength that even now, when you are broken beyond repair, you struggle to do your duty."
Buffy hung her hands to her side, done. Tired of fighting, tired of destiny, the last glimmers of all that made her who she was slowly flickering out. In answer to this Ananke pulled her at arms length, locking moonlight eyes with green and smiling brilliantly.
"But this was not your fate Slayer." The words were gentle, the few glimmers standing still in time.
"What do you mean?"
"I am here to right the wrong. You have done so much, and there is still so much to do. I will send you back, your heart, your mind, your memories. To be merged with the you of the time before."
Buffy's eyes flickered, brightened.
"What are you saying?"
"I will give you the chance for the fate that was always meant to be yours. It will be difficult, you can not change everything, they will happen no matter what you do, some thing MUST happen and some things need never happen."
"I can go back?" It was a whisper in the stagnant room. Filled with reluctant hope.
"Why? How?" Suspicion warred with Hope but Buffy paid it no mind. Something was happening here, something she thought she'd never have.
"Because you deserved better." Now Anankes voice was almost fierce, fingers tensing in anger. Sighing softly Ananke turned sad eyes to the Slayer. "I made him for you and you for him. My greatest creations but when the others found what I had done, the potential, they sought to guide you onto a better path. They did not watch, they did not see, but I am fate and I knew and I saw."
"You will be returned, into the past, your memories fusing with your younger self. Some things will be missing, some things will be fuzzy, and this conversation will never return. It is all I can do without destroying everything you sacrificed yourself for. However it will be enough to give you what was taken from you before."
"Choice. I will give you choice and the knowledge of what consequences come with those choices."
"Spike..." Buffy muttered softly, a soft click echoing in her head, "You're giving me the chance to choose Spike?"
Ananke said nothing, giving instead an almost imperceptible nod. Buffy sucked in a sharp breath, green eyes blazing.
"Do it." She commanded desperately. Ananke raised a hand, halting her.
"There are no guarantees. You will not be the you you are now, nor will you be the you that you were then. It will not be easy, there will be struggle, you will feel pain again. It is possible that this changes nothing, can you accept that?"
But I get to see him again. That was all she could thing of, all she could see. She'd do it over and over again, a hundred, no a thousand times if it meant she could see him again. If it meant that there was a chance, no matter how small, that she could tell him one more time. Selfish it might be but she just wanted to tell him, had to tell him, that she loved him. Make him believe it even if he didn't care.
"I can do it." The voice was no longer dead, Buffy felt the rush of life flow through her. Determination etched into ever feature. "Just tell me how."
Anankes face began to shift again, moonlight eyes abruptly turning red, like the splash of fresh blood against white stones.
"All you have to do...Is die."
The knife wrenched, a real one. The pain exploded around her, her body slumped over in pain, her eyes searched the ground unseeing. Then darkness.
Buffy Summers woke up, a scream lodged in her throat. Gasping, hands rushing to her stomach where a phantom pain lingered. It took nearly five minutes to calm herself. To make her racing heart slow and pull herself out of whatever dream she'd been having. Easing herself upwards, hand placed against her head, she gazed around the room.
"Come on Buffy, it's ok. Relax."
It had only been a few weeks since she'd found out her destiny as a Slayer. The former cheerleader had been on a roller coaster of denial, shock, and anger for all that time. She was fifteen years old, she was suppose to be dealing with boys, bitchy friends, school not killing monsters. Grumbling in agitation she turned on the light and turned towards the door. She found herself stopping, though, when she caught her image in the mirror situated on the back of her door. Frowning Buffy moved closer, inspecting herself critically. Nothing had changed since she had gone to sleep not five hours ago. Frowning she gazed at her eyes, seeing her own blue eyes reflected back at her. There! What was that?
Reflection Buffys eyes were older somehow, almost bitter, but determined. Buffy gave a soft gasp and pulled herself away but it was too late. In an instant she felt herself fall backwards, thankfully onto her bed because otherwise that would've hurt. It was like a dream, but not a dream. Images, pictures, voices, faces. Round and round, slamming into her again and again. She felt her mind fight it, try to push away this intruder. It was a vicious battle, both sides evenly matched. Then a voice whispered from the darkness. Something she'd never heard before. Honest. The voice was honest in a way no one had ever been with her. Caring, brutal, kind, resilient. The voice of someone who cared, who loved. Buffys eyes teared up.
You listen to me. I've been alive a bit longer than you, and dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldn't imagine, and done things I prefer you didn't. Don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I've only my blood, which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain, so I make a lot of mistakes, a lot of wrong, bloody calls. A hundred plus years, and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of - you. Hey, look at me. I'm not asking you for anything. When I say I love you, it's not because I want you, or because I can't have you, and it has nothing to do with me. I love what you are. What you do. How you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you, and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You are a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy
Who? Whose voice? How did she-? The pain was coming on faster now and with it more words, more whispers. But who? That voice who did it belong to? Her body spasmed.
Hair, peroxide blond, glinting under moonlight.
She felt as if her body was on fire.
A dark, hungry look flashing behind ancient blue eyes.
She wanted to cry out but couldn't, the pain was too much.
So many, there were so many. And when she couldn't stand it anymore, when she felt that the fight would destroy her she saw him. He was standing proud, strong, surrounded by struggling combatants. His blue eyes were locked on hers, her heart was still in her chest. Her hand reached for his, closed.
" I love you." She felt herself whisper, begging him to believe, to understand, to not DO this.
He smiled at her, so full of life but so sad. So broken. His eyes sparkled, hand tightened.
"No you don't. Bu thanks for saying it."
Burned. Gone. NO!
"SPIKE!" The cry was wretched from the deepest part of her heart, from the very fabric of her soul. In an instant she accepted, the pain receding. She let the memories come. Some of things she had done, most of things she would do. Of who she would meet, what she had to do, what she could change. Consciousness left her as the memories dove into her but over the din, through every image and face of loved ones yet to come, battles yet to be fought, friends in need of saving, she could hear him whispering against her heart. She could feel him holding her, grounding her into place.
"I love you." His voice whispered, caressed her.
"I love you."
This is my first attempt at a Buffy/Spike romance. Please review, let me know how I did and if you think it's worth continuing.
Thank you for your time.