Flowers For Spike


by Saber ShadowKitten







Buffy wiped the back of her hand across her brow and looked up at the blue, cloudless sky. She closed her eyes and inhaled the fragrance of the late summer day. The day smelled of sunshine and flowers in full bloom.

She opened her eyes and looked at the array of fresh blooms she'd just planted on her mother's grave. Yellow, purple, and dark pink pansies lined Joyce Summers' headstone, planted with care by a daughter who missed her terribly. Joyce's death still hurt horribly, but it was a hurt Buffy knew she would survive. She had to, for Dawn.

Buffy picked up her small gardening shovel and the second tray of pansies, and moved to the grave next to her mother's. She began to dig near the headstone, preparing the earth to hold the flowers. She missed this grave's occupant, too, more than she'd ever thought possible. His ash was probably shifting in protest at her planting pretty flowers on his final resting place, especially flowers called 'pansies.'

But pansies were fierce and stubborn, just like Spike had been. The flowers seemed fitting for a grave of a master vampire who'd given his life to save another.

*****

Dawn was on the ground in the alley, listening fearfully as Ben and Glory fought with each other. It was scary to see her captor morph from one to the other, Glory to Ben to Glory to Ben, never breaking in their yelling match as it happened. Dawn had tried to escape the alley several times, but Glory always appeared and stopped her.

She watched in horror as Glory-Ben sank to the ground, back against a building's wall. The fight seemed to be winding down, and the shifting between the doctor and the hellgod was getting slower. A ball of dread formed in the pit of Dawn's stomach. She wasn't going to get away, and no one was going to rescue--

Dawn heard a loud crack, like a firework going off in her ear, and she let out a loud scream as Ben's face suddenly exploded. Blood streaked the wall as he slowly fell over. Her scream tapered off, and she huddled near the garbage dumpster for a long time, staring at the unmoving body.

Eventually she got up enough nerve to move. She picked up a broken board and cautiously crept to Ben. She held her breath, waiting for him to jump up and grab her, or for Glory to suddenly reappear. When neither happened, she poked the body with the board, its entire face gone in a wash of blood and gore. It made her nauseous, but having the Slayer as her sister had desensitized her to death. And it looked like Ben was definitely dead.

Dawn didn't bother to check his pulse. She wanted to get out of there. Buffy could come back later to see if he was really deceased and not just faking it. Dropping the board, she picked up a smaller hunk of wood to use as a stake and started to run out of the alley

Out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of a prone figure dressed in black with very white-blond hair hidden behind the cement steps leading to a loading bay door. She'd recognize the duster and hair anywhere.

"Spike!" she cried out, rushing to him. He was on his side, facing away from her. A shotgun was on the ground by his hand. "Spike, thank God you're here. Is Buffy close by? We need to hurry, I don't know if any of those ugly minions are--"

For the second time that night, Dawn screamed in horror as her tug on Spike's shoulder caused him to roll onto his back. Dark blood covered his face, coming from him mouth, nose, and ruptured eyes. A large pool of blood and some slimy greyish liquid had formed on the ground where his head had been, the thick life-giving fluid having poured from his ear.

"Spike... oh no, Spike," Dawn sobbed. She yanked her shirt off and tried to wipe away the blood on his face, but there was too much. With another hiccoughing sob, she tugged her blood-stained shirt on, stood, and ran as fast as she could for help.

*****

Buffy finished planting the pansies on Spike's grave. She'd had to stake him, and it was the third worst day of her life. But Spike would never have healed from the damage the chip had done to his brain when he had pulled the trigger and had saved Dawn's life. And Buffy knew he wouldn't want to continue living in the state he'd been in.

She'd staked him on a cold, rainy day, and buried his ashes next to her mother. There had been arguments about that, loud vocal protestations that a killer be honored with a headstone, like family. Technically, Spike had murdered Ben, an innocent human stuck in the middle of things. But the General of the Knights of Byzantium had said the only way to destroy Glory was to end the host's life, and Spike had taken away what would've been an almost impossible choice for the rest of the gang and killed Ben himself. The price for making that decision had been Spike's life, and Buffy knew that he had understood the consequences before he'd acted. And still, he pulled the trigger.

Buffy gathered her gardening supplies, stood and stepped back to eye her work. She saw some dirt on Spike's headstone and quickly brushed away the dirt until the words were once more clear:

Here rests Spike

A Master Vampire
and a Man

He saved the world
For love







End