I suppose this concludes my exciting day of posting. Thanks to everyone in the community who's kept (or will be keeping) me on a pleasant Spuffy high over the season, and especial thanks to enigmaticblues for organising the whole shindig!
Rating: PG (for angst?)
Summary: Spike pays his respects to Illyria.
Author's Notes: I have a bit of a goth streak that I can't help letting out every now and then. My original conception for this was a great, dark poetic sweep of a fic, but it wouldn't come out in a way that wasn't gratuitous - but then I fortunately realised that I quite like it in miniature. I hope you do too.
“Why did you come?” The words rang around the cavern, soft surprise echoing down the hole to the other side of the world.
“You’re not the only one who wants to pay their respects, Spike.” He glanced at her, taking in her face for the first time in decades, sharpening the lines of the image he held of her. She was still beautiful.
“Didn’t know you knew about this place.”
“We didn’t,” she admitted, resting her forearms next to his on the railing. “I knew about you though.”
“How?” How did you know? The words seemed to speak themselves. “Why?” Why did you never say anything?
“You think Angel was the only one with people watching?” Another look, drinking her in – the shadows of the torches lighting her cheeks with gold. The way she smiled. “It’s in the name.”
He grinned himself, though his mouth’s corners curved in bitterness. “Stubbornness was always our forte, wasn’t it?”
“You could say that.”
The silence was soft. Exquisite, but then more so as she spoke again. “Illyria’s gone, huh?”
Years of draining power, months of drawn-out agony, but in the end, “Yeah.”
“The Old Ones are dying.” She could feel it too. He knew she could.
“And everything else.” They were anachronisms, both of them.
“It’ll be just you soon, won’t it?”
And then not even him.
He risked another glance at her. So strange to think he got the soul for her, that she was the reason he was still not dead. That he hadn’t seen her since that time he’d burned. “Never thought I’d see the day.”
She agreed. “Not in my lifetime, anyhow.”
“Can’t exactly call it a lifetime.” A rare bubble of real humour, rising from the depths of his chest. “Bit protracted, innit?”
He smiled and breathed the cold air of the cavern. It seemed to fill him from the inside, washing through his cells and escaping through his skin, leaving nothing but air.
“I’m glad you’re here with me.” His very voice seemed porous now.
Her hand brushed his, its own protracted whisper before it too fell away.
“Did it ever seem odd to you?” That we never found anyone the same?
“No.” Knew I bollocksed it up.
Motes of dust beside his fingers tingled on the railing. From silence the great groan of the Earth rose up through the chamber, ripping shreds into his heart.
They were alone now, alone together in a fresh new world.
“Stay with me a little longer.” His whispered words died the moment they hit the air. No part of him belonged anymore.
“You know I can’t.”
Driving agony thundered through him. His face contorted.
He opened his eyes; she was gone.