Fic: The Sun Rises (PG)

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Title: The Sun Rises
Words: ~500
Rating: PG
Setting: Post-series
A/N: *Waves*  For those of you who don’t recognize the username, I used to be spuffy_luvr.  I finally quit complaining about how lame my username was and changed it.
Warnings: I tried to write the happy and the fluffy, but my brain said NO!!! (It was very emphatic.) This story deserves warnings, but because it’s so very short, warnings would be spoilery.  Let’s just say that if you need to read happy fluffiness today, this is not the fic you are looking for.

The Sun Rises

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.

Buffy stands in the same spot she’s occupied for the past hour, feet planted on the dry, sun-cracked earth as though she’s sprouted roots and grown down into it, seeking water and sustenance. She faces the eastern horizon, staring into the inky darkness without registering what she’s seeing. A small breeze trickles along the ground, eddying upward as it reaches her to send wisps of escaped hair feathering along her neck and cheek. Dust rises with the breeze, tickling her nose before drifting back downward, coating drying splashes of red with colorless grey as it falls.

Off to her left, Willow rests in lotus, eyes closed and bottom hovering several feet above the earth. Recuperating. Seemingly insensate to the world, but Buffy knows Willow is aware of all, watching with her inner eye for any sign of further threat. The Scoobs have beaten back the apocalypse, or so it seems, but they’d thought the same hours earlier and been wrong.

Willow is also watching over her. Buffy knows this too. Together they watch, one with eyes closed but seeing all, the other with eyes open but seeing nothing.

The others have gone to ground, tending to the wounded or to themselves. Retreating from the coming day and the too-bright sun, vampires and humans alike, while the rest of the world sleeps on, never knowing how close they came to winking out of existence.

It’s how Buffy prefers it.

The sky begins to lighten, velvety indigo caressing the star-studded black, navy twined with the faintest of pinks on its heels.

Streaks appear in the dust on her cheeks.

In her mind, she can hear Spike, the words he’s repeated over the years. “When the time comes, pet, I’ll greet the sunrise with open arms.” A funeral pyre of her and him, ashes mingling on the breeze for all eternity. Romantic, sure, but not what Buffy wants for him. They’ve argued over it before every battle, every apocalypse. Every chance that she would die, for good this time, no take-backsies.

They’d never discussed the opposite. Spike had actively courted death for over a century before she’d even been born, had continued his reckless dance through the decades since, and had never met his demise (excepting that once, but that time didn’t count, did it?). The odds were stacked the other way. Her first, him – later. Much later, if she had her way.

The sun crests the horizon, faint rays illuminating the burnt ochre of the soil, the darker red of the night’s carnage, and the colorless grey of the dust at her feet . She opens her arms wide. The wind picks up, scattering ash, and with a strangled cry, Buffy falls to her knees. She scoops up the mingled ash and dirt and smears it onto her arms and face, her torso, rubbing it into all the red and sticky spots. Keeping him with her.

The sun rises on a new day.

She doesn’t burn up.

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.



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