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A Ghost of Meaning

She’s sitting at the edge of the bed when Spike wakes up, Slayer still mewling fretfully in her sleep beside him, unaware that they’ve got company. “What are you doing here?” Seems a bit of a silly thing for one dead thing to say to another but he can’t be blamed for being just a bit nonplussed by the presence of Glinda, the late, lamented good witch, in what passes for his bedroom.

Buffy doesn’t wake up at the sound of his voice.

Must be the First at work again, eh? But if it is, why isn’t this appearance taking place upstairs, where Willow and the brattiest of all those hormone-ripe, teen-tantrum Potentials are getting it on? Should be a way to get a nice lot of guilt roiled up in Red’s gullet; enough to choke her magic off proper, he’d be bound.

Tara just stays where she is, though, sitting on the edge of the bed, the hint of a smile creeping up the sides of her mouth, like some sort of fragile spider.

Then, just when he’s going to ask once more what she’s about, she says, in that soft way of hers he’s shocked he remembers so well, “You won’t stay.”

And she’s gone as Buffy stirs and opens her eyes and the world is suddenly what it was again.

Later, in a cave, with the sweetest of lies ringing in his ears, he thinks he gets what Tara meant.

Later still, he’ll know and it will be something different after all.

The End.
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