This series of connected drabbles was inspired by and dedicated to sunnyd_lite!
She didn’t want to sing anymore.
She didn’t want to be in that room with her friends and family. Their concern left her cold and untouched, their questions and demands left her heart untouched.
She wanted quiet. She wanted peace. She wanted to sit in the sunshine and pretend that the heat and light were soaking into her soul.
She wanted to scream. She wanted to fight. She wanted to run through the night and know
that she was made of darkness and cold.
She wanted to lash out. She wanted to cling to something.
And Spike tasted like ashes.
The taste of ash woke her for a few days. It let her get up, get dressed, get a job, get in motion. It let her pretend for just a little while that she could be herself again.
But eventually the taste wore off, and every kiss after that was less and less effective.
She needed pain. She needed battle. She needed to trade punches and pretend that the bruises meant she was winning.
She needed comfort. She needed soothing. She needed to be treated gently and pretend that it meant she was loved.
And Spike’s passion felt like smoldering.
She burned now. It let her force Willow out, let her ignore Dawn’s pain, let her do what she must to while she spent her energy on hating and hiding that hate behind a facade of utter blankness.
She wanted peace and she wanted quiet – and so she ignored everything that wasn’t peaceful.
She wanted pain and she wanted battle – and so she sought out the most dangerous things.
She wanted cold and she wanted fire.
And so she let Spike’s cold body cover hers, and let him sink into her until she felt his heat would blister her skin.
Life continues, as Spike had said (but she’d refused to listen).
Life was worth living, as Spike had sang (but she’d refused to believe).
Life was painful and hard but also gentle and kind, as Spike had demonstrated (but she’d refused to see).
Life was reaching out your hand for help and reaching out your hand to help someone else, as Spike had done (but she’d refused to try).
Life was complicated and the easiest she’d ever done, and she could hear and believe and see and try once more.
But Spike was gone, and her mouth tasted like ashes.