Author: Dark Star
Written for B/A Rosebuds prompt: Road.
Word Count 511
He sets out as soon as the sky darkens enough to allow him to leave home. Even then, he risks combustion by sneaking out earlier than he should. But he can’t wait. He needs to be with her, and he doesn’t want to make her wait any longer than he has to.
It’s only a couple of hours’ drive, but it seems to take forever. Why does it always take so long to get somewhere you need to be? He scowls and puts his foot down.
Sunnydale is as he remembers it. It has twelve cemeteries but he knows where to go.
Nobody has told him where to find her – he knows. He always knows, and unerringly he picks his way through the silent cemetery. He spots his destination and slows to a stop. What should he do now? He hangs his head and mutters, “I’m sorry I couldn’t come sooner.”
There is no answer, but then – he didn’t expect one. He steps forward and stares down at the heaped mound of fresh earth.
He feels numb. Alone.
He looks up, staring round the dark cemetery. At this time of night, it is deserted, and he almost wishes for something to lunge at him from the dark. Anything, so that he doesn’t have to feel the hole where his heart should be.
His eyes settle on the tombstone, and he reads: BELOVED SISTER. BELOVED FRIEND.
He swallows painfully. Beloved.
SHE SAVED THE WORLD A LOT
She tried to save him, too, and look how that turned out. He should have been here, should have been with her. He should have… he shakes his head. He should never have believed he could ever be good enough for her.
He stays next to the grave for hours, and he debates staying until the sun rises and perhaps that way they could be together again. But that’s a foolish dream, and he knows it. She has always been better than him, and she deserves to be somewhere better.
He stirs. “I’m going away,” he tells her silent grave. I need…” he pauses. What does he need? “…Time. To…” to what, he has no idea.
He steps back from the grave and says hoarsely, “I love you.”
He longs to hear the whisper of her voice from the darkness but there is nothing, and he turns reluctantly away. He starts to walk and he remembers her expression as she stared at him after Graduation. He can almost feel her standing behind him. If he turns, will she be standing there watching? It takes everything he has to not turn back, and every step away from her is another nail in his wizened heart. If he hurries to the docks he should be able to find something heading out. He doesn’t know where he is going and he doesn’t care. His future is lying in the ground and his present is too damned painful to stand. What more has he to lose?
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