Today, we buried my mother.
It was a simple, quiet funeral. It was held at night, of course, in the Sunnydale Cemetery. All of my honorary relatives were there. Grandma Joyce had died last year (see entry 791), which is a good thing. I don't think she would have kept her sanity if her daughter died before her.
And the way Mom died - it was horrible. Uncle Angel was the one who found her body. She had gone on patrol without Dad and had been attacked, but not by vampires. By ordinary humans. They shot her multiple times, then cut her up and removed several organs. They were harvesters - black market organ dealers.
It hurts, losing my mother. But I don't think I'm hurting nearly as much as my father. When Uncle Angel came over the other night, he and I had been sitting at the kitchen table, studying for my history test.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
"Angelus! What brings you here this fine evening?" Spike said as he opened the door to his sire.
Angel didn't know how to break the news. He was still in shock himself, having just found Buffy. Or what was left of her.
"Um, Spike, William. I have some...er...bad news," Angel said, emotion starting to thicken his voice.
"What, Uncle Angel?"
"It's Buffy," Angel said.
"What about her?" Spike said quickly, anger and fear in his voice.
Angel looked at William then turned to Spike. "She's dead."
Spike stood immobile as what Angel said seeped into his brain. His face was a calm, human mask.
"D-dead?" William said. Tears began to run down his face.
Angel nodded sadly. His cursed soul felt as though it had been ripped in two.
Spike just looked at Angel, his face showing no emotion. "Well, I guess that's that," he said, and shrugged. "You win some, you lose some."
Angel and William both looked in shock at Spike's casual tone.
"Wh-what?" William asked through his tears.
"Hey, it's not like I had a curse on me or anything, like Angelus here," Spike said. With that, he turned and walked out the still open kitchen door.
William allowed himself to cry fully. Angel walked over and took the boy in his arms, his own bloody tears streaming down his face. "Shh. It'll be ok," he said. But of that, he wasn't sure.
After a few minutes, William calmed down somewhat and Angel released him. "Would you like me to call Giles and have him come over?"
Giles arrived as soon as he could, having already heard the news.
"Where's Spike?" he asked, his eyes still red and swollen from crying.
"I don't know. He took off about ten - fifteen minutes ago," Angel replied. Then he quietly briefed Giles on Spike's reaction.
"I think you better go after him," Giles said.
Angel nodded and turned to William. "Will you be alright here?"
"Yeah," William said morosely.
It turned out to be easy to find Spike. He was sitting in the cemetery against the mausoleum wall, eyes closed, arms resting lightly on his bent knees.
"Spike?" Angel said quietly as he approached.
Spike opened his eyes. "What?"
Angel squatted down in front of his childe. "Are you ok?"
"Of course I am! Why the bloody hell wouldn't I be?"
"Look, Angelus. I thank you for being there with William and his human emotions, but I don't need you. I'm a vampire, remember? A full-fledged demon. So, if you don't mind."
Angel shook his head sadly and stood. "Did Buffy mean nothing to you?"
Angel became furious. "Then what the Hell were you doing with her? I loved her with all my heart and soul, but I stepped aside when she chose you! If you didn't love her, why didn't you let me?! She deserved it!"
"Oh, right. And let you win? After taking Dru from me?"
"WHAT?!" Angel's face changed to reflect his fury. "You were only with her because of THAT?"
Spike shrugged once again.
Angel grabbed Spike off the ground and slammed him up against the wall repeatedly. "How dare you!"
Spike allowed himself to be beaten, not really feeling anything.
"You didn't deserve her," Angel finally said, dropping him to the ground in a bloody heap before storming off into the night. Spike watched him go through swollen eyes, then answered quietly.
Angel stayed with William over the next few days as preparations were made for Buffy's funeral. Spike never returned home.
The night of the funeral, grief stricken faces arrived at the Summers' residence. Each person present had loved Buffy completely and without regard for their own safety that came with being friends with the Slayer.
They all went together to the cemetery, walking slowly as if in a dream. Buffy's coffin had been buried earlier that afternoon, and the fresh dirt was a grim reminder of all the people turned vampire Buffy had slayed in life.
Giles cleared his throat. "I th-think we should begin this ceremony with the reminder that Buffy spent her life protecting others, and she lived much longer than any other Slayer in-in history. I am glad that she was able to have the, er, the happiness she longed for as a teenager, and she left a strong, handsome young man as her legacy -- her son."
Giles turned to William, who was standing next to Angel. "I know she was always proud of you."
William smiled, the tears streaming down his face. "Thanks, Grandpa Giles."
Each mourner took a turn speaking about Buffy. They were turning to leave when Spike appeared.
Angel's face morphed and he growled menacingly. "What do you want?"
The others looked at Spike with disgust as well, having been filled in by Angel about his callousness.
"I wanted to say my good-byes to Buffy," Spike responded dully.
"Like she really meant anything to you," Xander said with a sneer.
"C'mon guys, let's just go," Willow said sadly. "Just ignore him."
As one, they left the cemetery, never once looking back at Spike.
Spike ran his hand through his short blond hair as he watched the retreating figures, then he crouched down next to the fresh grave. He reached out and traced the letters on the headstone with one long finger.
Angel left the group, telling them he was going to make sure Spike didn't desecrate Buffy's grave. He silently approached and stood several feet away, behind a tall headstone, and waited.
"Slayer," Angel heard Spike say. "You were a great opponent. I have never met anyone better than you."
Spike laughed quietly as the memories of his first meeting with Buffy. "Even your mum had guts," he said. Then he inhaled the cool night air into his dead lungs, his eyes starting to fill with bloody tears.
"Damn it, Tiger. You weren't suppose to die like this. You were suppose to let me talk you into becoming a vampire...with a soul, of course...so we could be together forever."
The tears were running freely down Spike's face, his voice becoming thick. "Everyone hates me, love. I gave them good reason to, so don't worry your pretty little head. I didn't want them to know that I actually had feelings."
Spike choked up and started to sob, his face morphing into its demon form. Angel moved from the shadows and approached. "Spike?"
Spike heard Angel's voice and quickly stood up, turning away. "What do you want?" he said through his tears.
"I thought you didn't care," Angel replied.
Spike whirled to face him. "I loved her, ok! Me! A bloody demon! In love with a human! And you want to know why I was able to love her? That night, when I killed Drusilla at the library, the Slayer gave me a part of her soul."
Angel was stunned. He hadn't realized the true depth of Spike's pain. When Spike had lost Buffy, he had lost his soul, as well.
Spike started to leave, but Angel stopped him with an embrace.
"I'm so sorry, my childe," Angel whispered, holding Spike tightly.
Spike allowed himself to break down in his father's arms.
Dad came home with Angel and hugged me tightly. He told me he was sorry about the way he acted. I immediately forgave him, of course. We each had to deal with the grief in our own way.
I guess it's up to us now. We need to live up to Mom's memory. After all, she was the greatest Slayer that ever lived.
She had to be. She got a vampire without a soul to love her.