Length: 511 words
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Note: My username was coyote_william; I’ve now changed it to green_maia
Summary: The vampire saw what it means to be the Slayer; the human is married to the consequences.
Note: Takes place in my Gifts-verse (where Spike was resurrected as a human after dying in “Chosen” in 2003; after becoming human again, Spike went back to the name William; in 2008 William-formerly-Spike was reunited with Buffy; in 2009 Buffy and William were married). Ties in with Lacewings and At Rest (and also Summers’ Lease).
He watches her sleep, and knows that in her dreams she wanders in a world he can no longer enter, for she is still a Slayer, and he is but a man.
He watches her chest rise and fall, and knows that her breath flows partly from a demon, but his only from the memory of one.
He puts his hand above her heart, and knows that their hearts were more akin when his was not beating.
“Until death do us part,” they promised. And not lightly, for each has died twice. But his third lease has more substance than hers.
He touches her swollen belly, and knows that Life is their art, they made it together, she grows it within her. But Death is still her art, too. She makes it every day. And someday she will want it again, and he will have to be both father and mother to the child.
He is walking one day when a hawk swoops down and perches on a branch, so close to him, and he gazes at it with understanding, for he was once a predator too. And he stands with it for as long as it stays with him, but it is only for a brief time, and then it flies away.
The days are filled with the business of living. They walk together, they talk together, they work well together, they understand each other.
They dance together.
They make love together.
But she is a warrior, and he is not.
And she is only visiting the world, and he is not.
He knows that he ties her to the world she fights to protect. He knows that the child will tie her to the world too. But it isn’t her world anymore, and never can be again.
They pay the bills and clean the apartment and go to work (and she fights, but that’s her job, and she’s so good at it that he doesn’t worry, much). They complain about the petty irritations of their days. They get on each other’s nerves and argue and get angry and say things they wish they could take back and sulk and don’t speak to each other (they’re both so very stubborn and so very volatile). They have make-up sex. They hold each other all night. He reads his poetry aloud to her and she likes it. They can be quiet together, good companionable silence. They talk over midnight snacks. They go dancing together. They go ice skating together. They play in the snow together like two kids. And maybe her expiration date will be far in the future. Like a Cheeto.
But then… he sees a glimpse of it in her eyes once more, and he wakes in the night, and takes her hand, and watches her sleep.
“With my Body I Thee Worship,” he vowed. He cherishes her warm flesh. But he knows it is only for a brief time.
She saves the world. It’s what she does. But he knows that he won’t be able to save her.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/271324.html