Um... this is a Post-Grad sequel that comes after "Wave." After Spike's fic,

by Te
December 1999

Disclaimers: If they belonged to me, I would be a
bit creeped out, actually.
Spoilers: For nothing but Post-Grad I and II.
Summary: Another graveside vignette, sorry...
Ratings Note: R.
Author's Note: Kasha asks, Kasha receives.
Acknowledgments: Kasha also audiences.

Burnt out, grass scorched by the sun.
The buildings remain.
We will beat them all to dust, I'll bet...
--"Then She Did" by Jane's Addiction

He wears leather, even after all these years.
"Some things," he says, "are eternal." And he has
a point, of course. Not very many people look
twice as we walk through the streets, and when
they do the approval is nearly always palpable.

He is a beautiful man. I am, too. Sometimes I
think back on how long it took him to convince
me of that fact and smile.

I must've been irresistible as a human.

Don't get me wrong, I have all the memories I
did when I died, but it's all sort of... colorless.
Spike says it never quite fades away completely,
but sometimes I doubt.

I try to see myself as he saw me, and it takes a
while. Finally, though, there I am: Fresh, young,
unblemished. Healthy and strong, witty enough
to keep the endless self-deprecation entertaining.
Desperately needy.

When Spike took me I barely fought, as time
passed I came to beg. And then I simply took, and
took until he surrendered to my last wish.

I remember that with perfect clarity. I'd gone
home to Sunnydale, to tell the truths I'd hidden
so clumsily before running away with Spike. Angel
had kept my secret as best he could, but the
others had dug at things...

I forgave him, of course.

Willow, Buffy... they wouldn't believe at first. I
joked about it not being my *first*
self-destructive relationship choice, and no one

I... still don't know for sure why I had to make
them believe. Certainly it would've been kinder
to leave room for denial.

And that was probably it, of course. I was angry,
and in love, and terrified of all of it. Very young.
I needed... just one moment of acknowledgment,
however small and unflattering.

Once Spike and I argued about stereos for eight
straight hours... I suppose I haven't changed all
that much.

Giles came while Buffy and Willow were still trying
to tell me what really happened to me, and simply
called me away. He never even looked at them. He
drove me back to his home, invited me in with a
pointed glance.

Everything there... so much warmth. I wanted to
rest my head against his wall, or just let him pull
me into his arms. I wanted to erase the look in his

At the very least, I wanted him to blame me. I
needed no acknowledgment -- I know he must
have understood soon after I disappeared. I suppose
what I really wanted was one good reason from
outside myself to go with Spike.

If Giles would only *condemn* me then it would all
be over, so comfortably.

I wanted him to be the man I'd thought he was
when I tried to commit suicide.

He wasn't, of course.

Sometimes I wonder how it would've been if he'd
said anything at all, if he *had* taken me in his
arms... As it was, neither of us moved, and
eventually I was steady enough in my own mind
to say goodbye.

And I walked out of his home, and I never walked
back in.

Spike caught me up just outside of town, where he
had been waiting... it had only been a day. I didn't
speak to him either, and he gave me all the space
I could stand until we got back to Chicago. Our
black-walled home with no real furniture save a
chair, a mattress, and a stereo stand. Neither of
us have ever been much for collecting *useful*

We got home and I cleaved to him and I made love
to someone with faces that faded one by one,
until Spike brought me back to him by slipping
inside me.

I remember the sound my sweat-slick palms made
on the floor.

And I remember that when I said "please," he never
had to ask me what I meant.

I opened my eyes that night disturbingly twinned in
my own mind, and Spike promised my demon and I
would merge, eventually.

"Will you love me then?"

"Forever." I watched him banish the shadows in his
eyes... I know he had doubts as to how well Xander
would survive the change.

Spike never makes promises he doesn't keep. Three
hundred yards southeast from where we stand,
Buffy's grave is already beginning to look untended.
I will leave flowers before we go... she should have
left us alone.

The last man to demand the full service of perpetual
care is beneath our feet. I can still smell his body,
though the embalmers and nature has left little
enough of his own scent. I'd like to know how Giles
managed to die of old age, heart failure after
everything, all the years.

I would have liked to hear him tell me.

The scratch-flare of an old-fashioned match lighting
an old-fashioned -- and thoroughly illegal --
cigarette. "I know you loved him."

"Not enough."

Spike nods, smokes. "I'm glad."

I take his cigarette out of his mouth long enough
to kiss him and take a drag before returning it.

I drop the flowers on the grave -- not roses, I
remember that, too -- and take his hand.

"Time to go, then?"


And we do.