Spreading the Light

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Rating: R
Author: Sandy S.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Joss owns all.
Summary: Buffy journeys to LA to help in the final battle at the end of “Not Fade Away.” Spike saves her life at a cost, and humans can’t be in denial about the existence of demons and vampires anymore. The world is turned upside down and scientific advancements skyrocket…literally. Far in the future, Buffy and Spike are facing another apocalypse.

(As an aside, this is sort of the story of how Spike and Buffy ended up where they did in Exquisite Consequences, a round robin of sorts on Elysian Fields, but you don’t have to read that to get this.)

Huge thank you to yellowb for betaing part one.

Written for the Sunnydale Fanfic Club July 2018 challenge, which involves stars and a football (say what?)!

A/N: Several parts for this fic are written but I have until the end of July to publish for the contest. I’ll be posting the rest then on Elysian Fields. And yeah, yeah, the title is from my own fic. I really agonized over it. (I have the hardest time with titles!)

It ain’t over love
This I swear
We’re coming up for air
It ain’t over yet
The light’s right here

“Coming Up for Air,” Signals in Smoke

no more long goodbyes
‘cause I’m staying right here by your side

“By Your Side,” Brooke Annabelle

Or will you sail on moth wings
To the edges of the blue…
To find the very moon and stars
Are waiting just for you?

“Dream Animals,” Emily Winfield Martin

The truth is that when I fight, something comes alive inside me. . . something Spike was always nagging me to embrace.
I never quite understood what he meant. . .
. . . not until that day in the cavern when his light. . . his soul saved the world.
The fight isn’t about darkness or pushing it back. . . it’s about spreading the light.

“Oblivion,” Sandy S.
* * *


Her heart still beat.

This she knew. She felt it thudding in a haphazard way, a bird with a broken wing in her chest.

The ground beneath her body was hard and wet and warm, growing wetter and warmer with each flutter beneath her breast.

Her eyelids were heavy like someone was dragging them down or gravity was making them too weighty to lift.

Somehow, air entered and exited her lungs in shallow rasps.

Pain was nonexistent despite the twisted rendering of her body.

She’d been soaring before.

The dance had been hers in the battle against the horde of dark creatures. She’d landed kicks and punches and twirled and leaped, sinking the blade of her ancient weapon into and through the bodies of demons from beyond.

Her sisters had danced around her, going blindly into another hopeless battle with her; together, they’d soared.

The energy of the battle had fueled her. That and the intense desire to find him.

Now that she knew he was alive, she had to find him, and when she did, she planned to yell at him for not telling her, for not coming to her.

Her heart had been broken yet again by his death. He wasn’t supposed to break her heart. It was already too bruised and battered to sustain another hit, another gaping wound.

So, when the battle had raged on and on and she hadn’t found him, her hope had faltered – only for a moment, just a moment. She had let her guard down, for the briefest of moments, her foot going the wrong direction in the dance, her arm dipping too low.

A creature with horns on his head and in a cascade over his shoulders and down his arms had slipped past. A claw had ripped her gut, and her voice had called out without sound over the cacophony of the battlefield.

She didn’t remember the contact with the earth. All she’d known was darkness.

When she’d woken, her mind somehow swimming and pushing back to the surface, everything around her was quiet. No battle sounds, no demon cries, no grunts or shouts of jubilation from her sisters.

And there was only darkness, manmade light snuffed out.

She wondered if she was in hell.

So, she focused on the only thing she knew.

Her heart was drumming, and her breath mingled with it to create a ragged, disharmonious tune.

Time felt infinite as she waited for her body to give up for the third time.

It was slower this time, dying this way, but somehow more comforting. At least she knew it was coming in measured steps. This was different than hurtling herself into oblivion or being at the mercy of evil while she wore her fancy party dress.

She tried to remember more, but her brain had reached the place beyond thought where all that was knowable was that the licking heat beneath her was bad, and for some reason, she pictured a tree, its branches full and heavy with green leaves that were gently swaying in a breeze.

Then, she heard something. . . a pounding and splashing that crescendoed progressively louder in her ears.

A voice sailed over the sound of her breath. “I think I found her.”

Orange light flowed like a mini-sun over her eyelids.

The voice rose. “It’s her! Spike, it’s her!”

More pounding.

There was a rush of air, and she felt the dead weight of her body being pulled away from the grip of gravity and the suction of her life force on the ground.

A second voice, a familiar deep one, swept over her mind and warm fingers grasped her arms. “Her heart’s still beating. I hear it. Oh, god. She’s not going to make it. There’s too much blood.”

Was it him? He was here, he was here, he was here. She’d found him. This realization allowed her body to scrounge up its remaining energy, and somehow, she moved. Somehow, she defied the odds one last time, and her eyelids lifted.

The orange glow illuminated his blood-streaked face, the concave of his familiar cheek, the lightness of his eyes, the shock of his bleached hair. Her mind wept tears of joy though she couldn’t express it. And she was mad at herself because there was no way to yell at him now. All her vim had gone with the opening of her eyes.

“Buffy, love. Stay with me. We have to get you help. Red, is there nothing you can do?”

“She needs a hospital.”

“There are no sodding hospitals left. In case you haven’t noticed, the city of angels is a wasteland. There’s got to be something you can do.” The slippery fingers of desperation slid through his words.

“We promised her. Never again.”

“I-I know. God, I was so stupid. So stupid.” He buried his face in her hair, and she vaguely worried that it couldn’t smell good, not Doublemeat bad, but demon-guts bad.

Her body shivered without her permission, and he lifted his head again. Wet salty paths had joined the red ones on his skin, physical pain mixed with love and sorrow. She had to tell him somehow. She didn’t want to lose him again.

A cough escaped her lips first, a stumbling wet noise that tripped over her lips in clumsy fashion, and then, somehow words tumbled out as air left her lungs. “No die. Not d-done with. . . y-you.” She tried to infuse her eyes with fire, but the heat was all on the ground, far away.

And then, he got it. Somehow, he did, and she was relieved that once again, he knew her, read her mind in that usual annoying way of his. “You want me to turn you? God, pet, I don’t think so. I dunno.”

Irritation asserted itself, pushing its enthusiastic fist past the lure of darkness. “Wil help.”

“Will help? What’s she saying?” The witch sounded frantic. “And what does she mean? She wants you to turn her?”

“Quiet, Red,” he growled, not angry, just firm. His eyes were wide and clear and full of love. And they were searching hers. “You’re sure, aren’t you?” He waited, but she couldn’t. There was nothing left with which to respond. “All right then.” He looked away, and she felt the loss again. “Can you help?”

“H-help how? I did when I was darkest me, but then, I was focused and pissed off and not tapped out. Oh, god. H-her intestines are hanging out, and I can’t reinsert blood from the ground into her veins.”

“Not that. Her soul. Can you anchor her soul?”

“I-I can try.”

“Do it.” At his words, her eyes fell closed like a heavy door she could no longer force open, but his final words reignited her hope. “I got you, love. We’re going to do this. I can’t give you the sun, but I can give you the stars. Just don’t dust me when you wake up.”

No promises, she thought.

Next part is Present Day.

PS So sorry this is all I have this time. I have my hands full with Small Boat and working on this fic…


Originally posted at: https://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/617832.html