Ficlet: My Heart an Altar (PG, 1/1)

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Here’s my second story for the day. This is the final story in the Truceverse: not the last story I will write, but the last one on the timeline.

Title: My Heart an Altar
Wordcount: 450
Timeline: far post-series
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: still not mine, alas

Spike bent his back to the oars. The little boat rose and fell with the ocean waves. He could still see the shore from here, the lights from the occasional car tracing along the coastal highway. Above, the stars shone icily.

He glanced over his shoulder. Buffy slept snug in her blankets. He could hear her heartbeat, thready against the ocean’s song. A lock of white hair escaped her hood and fluttered against her nose.

He’d saved the weapons from her last battle in a footlocker at home. All the axes and knives the demons had carried against them, the arrows that had missed their mark. They were piled in the stern. In a place of honor at Buffy’s side was the Scythe with which she’d changed the world.

Spike looked again and realized he could no longer make out the line where coast met sky. It was dark still, but he could sense the sun creeping round the globe’s edge. For two hundred years he’d dodged its menace. Not much longer now.

Buffy’s eyes opened and Spike was suddenly terrified he’d misjudged his timing. Was he about to die and leave her, helpless and adrift? He quickly shipped the oars. He crept to her side, careful not to upset the boat.

“It’s cold,” she whispered.

“Sorry, love.” Spike lifted Buffy as gently as he could and slid beneath her so she could recline against his chest. He wrapped his arms and legs around her, wishing for body warmth to share.


She could have been asking the time. Spike answered the more important question. “Dawn’s fine. She staying with Alex now. Great-grandkid two is on the way.”

Buffy made a satisfied sound that was not quite a sigh.

They rocked together on the ocean’s swells as the sky began to lighten. Spike’s world contracted to the boat, the blankets, Buffy’s cheek, each breath.

The drum of her great heart finally faltered. Her breath paused and did not resume.

Spike reached for the Scythe lying beside them and laid it across her chest like a chieftain’s axe. Her defeated enemies’ weapons were heaped at their feet.

When the sun rose red over the horizon, it set him ablaze like the funeral pyre he’d meant to be. Spike gasped. He thought he’d known exactly how much this would hurt. What was the use of having died if he couldn’t be ready for the next time? Then the melodrama struck him and he began to laugh. They’d done the impossible. His Slayer had lived to die of old age.

It was a real good day.


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