birthday Rosebud written for the Blood
Characters property of Joss Whedon. Just borrowing them, sir.
She looks radiant. She laughs at his lame joke, and she wraps her arm round
his broad shoulder. They leave the church behind, friends and guests swarming
around them to offer hugs and hearty congratulations. The car pulls up and
Buffy pulls her new husband into the back seat. Xander offers ribald comments
and Dawn hugs her before they are cocooned inside the lush interior. Giles
removes his glasses and nods to her; Buffy’s eyes glaze just a little, and
she waves to everyone as the limousine pulls away.
The guests mill around for a while longer, before piling into their own cars
to meet the happy couple at the reception.
The vampire with a soul watches everything from the darkness of the trees. He
wonders if she chose this place for her ceremony so that he could be close to
her on the big day. He wishes it could have been his arm that she clung to so
tightly, but it’s right that she should spend her life with the living.
So why is it that his unbeating heart is clenching so tightly that it hurts?
Why have his fingers curled in on themselves so hard that his hands form
He waits until the darkness falls and he walks over to where she has been,
and her scent is still hanging in the air. He looks down past his shoes to
where the wedding group had stood, and the only evidence that anyone had been
there were the petals lying abandoned at his feet.
The vase holds fourteen roses. Beautiful and delicate, Buffy loves to breathe
in the delicate scent, and her fingers lovingly caress the velvet petals of
red and white. She does this every day, several times a day, until one day
she strokes them and the fragile petals detach themselves from the stem and
tumble silently to the table.
The broken flowers make her feel sad, and she reaches into the vase in search
of one that is still whole. She brings the unblemished flower to her lips and
kisses it, just as the first tear escapes and runs silently down her cheek.
Fourteen roses, one for each year that she had known him. She hadn’t realised
then that it would be the last time she would ever see him, and as each
flower crumbled away, the emptiness in her heart grew and grief flowered in its
She misses him, would do anything to bring him back; she watches in silent
detachment as her tears drip from her face to splash next to the fallen
flowers on the table, and she finds it curious that they mimic the shape of
his last gift and look to her exactly like tiny crystal petals.
- And because I can’t leave it like that:
There are petals of yellow and red, petals of pure white and pink. Petals
stretching out in flower, and tight little rosebuds that haven’t yet opened.
She clutches them to her chest, not caring about the thorns that snag on her
new sweater, and she smiles happily up at the unexpected visitor at her front
“Thank you. They’re beautiful.”
He moves forward, uninvited, to draw her into his arms, and she carefully
moves the flowers to one side to protect them. She welcomes him in the only
way she can, and when they finally break apart, he pulls back just enough to
properly look at her.
“So are you.”
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