All She’s Got
She drowns her pain in multi-colored nail polish. Her toenails are a canvas of colors that never match. Her fingers always covered in chipped glitter of different kinds, repainted once a month. The chipping reminds her of her soul, which wastes away on a daily basis with her sorrow.
She had lost everything- Her friends, her family, her job. She scoffed. Her job was actually the cause of her misery. Being a Slayer wasn’t supposed to be luxurious; heck- she wasn’t even sure what luxury was anymore. But she had accepted her job with little understanding of what it even meant. She fought vampires, killed demons, stopped apocalypses, and even fulfilled prophecies. She didn’t know that she was forfeiting everyone she had ever loved when she had been called as a Slayer.
She only had one person now, her former nemesis. The vampire who had loved her even when she beat him to a pulp and insulted him in so many ways. She dug into her memory, avoiding the areas of mass destruction and grief, to the day that she and Spike made a pact. When he said those fateful words to her, never really knowing how far it would take the both of them.
// “I hate you,” Buffy said disdainfully, narrowing her eyes at the vampire.
Spike just smirked.
“And I’m all you’ve got.”//
He’s all she’s got.
“Buffy?” a voice said, bringing her to the present, “Luv, are you alright?”
Of course she's not, but she lied and said, “Yeah.”
The peroxide blonde kneeled beside Buffy, examining her toenails. He had encouraged her from the start to do something creative in order to ease her suffering, no matter what that was. Spike had no intention of commenting on the color choices, seeing the mismatched array of polish decorating her tiny feet. Buffy’s creative tendencies were a story all their own, not even Spike could decipher them at times. Wrapped up in the velveteen cloth that was her blanket, Buffy seemed vulnerable and weak. She no longer exuded power and grace, instead she was an angel of grief, forever weeping for ones lost.
“Spike. I’m hungry. Can I have a tangerine?” Buffy asked in a pleading voice. That was her diet- tangerines and fruit juice. She never ate anything else, even when Spike begged for her to take just a bite of something more nutritious. Buffy had a diet for herself and she stuck to it. It seemed to be the only thing she could control in her pathetic excuse for a life.
Spike hurried to the kitchen in search of the tangerine pile, which were stolen from the farmer's market before the fires reached it. He opened a cabinet filled with the orange fruit, took the ripest one, and closed the door. He peeled the skin for her, knowing that her nails were still wet from the polish. Returning to the room in which Buffy sat solemnly, Spike handed her the fruit. She gave him a small smile in thanks, which surprised him. Buffy rarely smiled, refusing to show one ounce of happiness in this world that seemed so bleak and uncaring.
The petite blond devoured the ripe tangerine in a matter of seconds. She licked the remaining juice off her lips. She noticed Spike staring at the wall, obviously caught up in his own world. The question that haunted her ever since she and Spike came to live together reappeared. Buffy slowly exhaled and said, “Spike, why do you stay?”
This surprised Spike. She of all people should know, thought Spike. Spike, even though bewildered, answered her question.
“I could never leave you.” -----------------------------------------------------------------------
// “BUFFY!” Spike yelled, seeing the warehouse go up in flames. He kicked down the heavy door that separated him and his beloved. Running through the broken down metal building, he felt the fire flickering on his back. He knew that he was on fire but he still ignored the constant pain that the flames delivered. Through the smoke he saw Buffy, huddling near the charred figure of Dawn, shaking her.
“Dawn? Dawn? DAWN!” Buffy cried, still trying to revive the young brunette. Buffy saw Spike running towards her, still flaming. Spike ripped Buffy away from her sister and ran through the warehouse and out the door.
When they were safe, Buffy broke down, crying, “Dawn…” as Spike rolled on the dirt ground, trying to douse the flames. As soon as the fire was out, he went to embrace Buffy. She pushed him away, still yelling for her sister. // -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Shaking, Buffy pulled out of her thoughts and returned to the present. At the sound of her sobs, Spike ran to Buffy’s side and held her. He said gently, “Let it out, luv. It’s alright.”
When the tremors subsided, Buffy relaxed into Spike’s embrace, pushing all memories aside. Spike smelled like cigarettes and old leather. The scent never seemed to fade, even after he bathed. Buffy wasn’t complaining.
Seeing the Slayer in his arms, Spike was slightly shaken. Her willingness to let Spike touch her had increased over the past months, but she never had prolonged the moment longer than necessary. To her, Spike was still a soulless criminal. Still stubborn as an ol' cow, Spike thought, heart lifting for a moment. With that, Spike's eyes drifted closed and he started breathing deeply, dead lungs filling with air as the human habit returned.
Feeling Spike's chest rising and falling underneath her head, she smiled. It was amazing how human he could act at times. And why can't you be with him again?, said her consience naggingly.
She realized that her feeble excuses weren't going to work anymore. His valor and help made up for all the terrible things he did in the past, so he wasn't evil, no matter what he claimed. As for soulless, at times he could be more caring and loving than Angel ever was. Would letting yourself love Spike be so horrible?, asked that same voice.
Confusion and uneasiness fluttered across her face as she contemplated her relationship with Spike. Suddenly, a small snore escaped from her companion and interrupted Buffy's thoughts. Turning her head to face his, Buffy studied Spike's features. He looked peaceful and angelic, wearing a small grin on his face.
After staring at the vampire's face for a while longer, Buffy was finally overcome by weariness. Resting her head against Spike's, she allowed her eyes to flutter shut.
The pair slept side-by-side, free from their inhibitions and memories for a few sweet hours. Outside, the ruins of Kerseva were illiminated by a flash of blinding light as the sun began to rise for the first time in three months. Vampire and slayer still slept as the sun's rays swept over the sorrowful lands, bringing wonder-filled inhabitants out of their homes.
Even as the day broke and the sun returned, the pair continued to sleep, their pain no longer evident and a smile on both of their faces.
After all, they had each other and no apocalypse was going to change that.Review!