Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

Grief And Graveyard Love
By Megan
For Thomas Madden

There's a fine line sometimes that love manages to cross, you've found, and in some cases the line doesn't matter at all. The negative space, the teacher had said, draw the negative space. Here in the summer of heavy air and confusion that settles firmly on your shoulders, the negative space is almost tangible: it fills up her room, her chair at the table, her spot on the couch where you used to watch the old movies like you did with Mom.

But now it's being filled with something neither negative nor positive, rather a neutral that is neither here nor there, neither her nor anyone else: where there was heart and soul before is now battery operated: electrons flowing instead of blood. And you've caught yourself staring at second too long: not imagining its her because with that creation, though it shares her face, her space, it can never be her but straying to the curves. Shouldn't a robot be all angles, squares, geometrical shapes that can never capture the grace of the human form? But here it is, and you can't help but wonder what those curves really look like, do the wires beat under her breast in perfect rhythm, just so quiet that you cannot feel them when you curl up against it at night those occasions you find yourself in her room, frequency increasing at an alarming rate?

It's not asleep, but it's gone: lost in a mechanical dream world. It wouldn't notice if you ran your hand like this, just so, lightly skimming, an explorer poised on the brink of discovery, at the edge of the world. The world isn't flat it isn't either, those curves your disobedient hands will be the death of you.

On this night, something has broken deep inside you, and while you know you loved her, you're not quite sure how anymore. And though it is her, you can't remember her laugh, her smile, the way she would wake you up with a pillow to the face.

Fall: rental movies and popcorn, shared blanket on the couch. Your head in her lap, simple times for you both. When she wasn't the Slayer, and when you weren't the Key. But in reality, you weren't anything at all. There are never simple times.

This thing was programmed for sex. With Spike you trust him, perhaps because you both love her in frighteningly similar ways, to the same extent. You imagine what it must have been like for him: graveyard, fully dressed. The bot underneath him, perhaps on top of him. Riding him. You may be young, but you still know these things. You might have had a few thoughts about Spike that way, but your thoughts are still dominated by her. It's wrong, but you put yourself in that graveyard, but it's not the bot that you're thinking of, it's the real thing. You want her back so bad, and that line is being crossed again. But even though you know it's wrong, it's all you can think about these days. Her tongue, your fingers inside you. Incoherent thoughts rattle across the back of your eyelids: negative space, cool night grass below your knees, raised skirt, pajama bottoms around your knees. You're a screamer in your human nightmare.

Grief is a funny thing.

Except it's not.


When you see her for the first time when she's back magician tricks and parlor games with dangerous results guilt comes flooding through: you couldn't have thought of her in that way. But in the summer, all the lines are blurred driving to LA, highway in the distance meets sky through the waves of heat and humidity and the lines are practically gone.

You hug her, and it's hard to define the emotions you're reeling with. There's of course the guilt, the relief, the tone underneath of the utter impossibility of the situation. She was dead and buried, long gone to the earth and worms and your fertile imagination.

There's an unmistakable urge in the back of your mind, in the corner of your stomach, in the bottom of the deep pit that was growing inside you that wants to do something to her the rational side of your brain screams at you is wrong. Beyond wrong, beyond morals. But maybe it is beyond morals. Maybe it's just about you, and her.

But then again, maybe it's not.

Graveyard love: kisses that the dead cannot share six feet under, while she drives you into the ground, holding you there, grass flattened under your shoulder blades, dirt staining her smell. Sharp moonlight, pale breasts as you slowly examine the angle of her neck, distracted for a minute from the curves that always fascinate you. Cautious touching, marking inexperience and uncertainty. Finding life amongst the dead in a preconceived sliding back and forth back and forth against hot mouths slick fingers falsely cool skin spring breezes. Your hands above your head, held by one of hers, the others lost to a place that you thought forever impervious. Heavy breathing you swear you can see in little puffs were it not well above the temperature required to see your own breath. And then there's a dull roar in behind above your ears and everything fades away for one brief moment where everything can be simple and just about you and her and making each other forget that you're the Key and she's the Slayer and your mother is here underneath the grass underneath your shoulders and there's monsters and demons and vampires. You just want everything to fade away.

There's too much confusion. Like the way that Tara sometimes gets when it's almost like she's back in that place where Glory took her, fucking with her brain. She'll look at Willow like she doesn't even recognize her. But then again, maybe there's another reason for that. Or the way Giles just disappeared, trying to escape without even saying goodbye. You might have been able to talk to him about it. It's obvious he's just as confused himself when it comes to Buffy: daughter, love-object, et cetera. Of you all, there isn't anyone she hasn't touched. In some form or another. She slipped under the skin and settled there, in all of you. And like the proverbial itch that can never be scratched, she picked at your thoughts from beyond the grave, sneaking about at the corners of your conscious. Always too much confusion.

She doesn't look well at all, so you put these thoughts aside. You're always second to her, shadowed by her light. But you have to take care of her. It's your job. You remember now how she's shorter than you, even with funeral heels, how she fits into you, not the other way around. How she's the one in your arms right now, not the other way around. How she's the weaker one right now, not the other way around. She's back. She's back. And from the looks of it, she's not the same Buffy you've been dreaming of. Negative space is eating away the edges of her form. Her curves are sunken, eyes darting and furtive, hands clammy and clutching at your shoulders.

But at least she's back. Things can only get better from here, right?