Disclaimer: All Joss' peeps, not mine.
Distribution: Already at I Kind of Love 2 (IKOLY2): http://www.ikoly2.com/fanfiction/index.php< /a>
The Mystic Muse: http://mysticmuse.net
Spoilers: It takes place during Season One. Everything is canon through "I Robot...You Jane." The story deviates from there. Also one small spoiler for "Graduation Day Part Two."
Author's Notes: (1) The writing style for this story is a departure from my usual style. I will not be telling you whose POV is in each chapter, unless it is necessary because of format. I'm sure you're smart enough to figure that out by yourselves. I will tell you this, though: Flashbacks are indented and marked with ///. In Chapter Four, the plain text is Willow, the italicized text is Buffy, and the boldfaced-and-italicized text is Buffy and the Slayer Merged. (2) A big thanks to my beta Dirk who somehow manages to deal with my insanity.
Summary: Willow is afraid she may lose the one who matters to her most.
Chapter One: Thesis
She comes to me in the middle of the night, but I don't mind.
I did, maybe, in the beginning, but not now.
Not now, because I love her.
It started right after the Moloch incident. Well, not really so much an incident as yet another failed attempt (in my mind anyways) at having someone notice me.
The way I had always wanted Xander to notice me.
I don't care about Xander anymore. I only care about her. Her with the toned, muscled body overlaid with the softest skin you could find. How she manages to keep it that way I can't be sure. I only know that when she comes to me and I touch her, her skin is like a rose petal, so smooth and soft.
When she wishes, her touch is incredibly soft and tender. When I first see her after the Hunt, though, the touch tends to be animalistic and hard. I feel her need to touch me everywhere and anywhere at once, as if she were drowning and I was her lifeline.
She takes me then, and claims me.
And I love it.
I love her. I always will.
There's just one problem.
"Hey Wills, so what's the what?"
"Oh, there is no what, that's what's what. Or...er...uh...what the what is..."
Buffy smiles. "It's okay. I get it, Wills." She looks at me for a moment, and I can tell she's reading me. Buffy knows I only babble when I'm nervous, or when I'm hiding something. I hope she doesn't call me on it.
So, I divert her. Hope it works.
"Are you seeing Angel tonight?"
Her mouth turns into a goofy smile. I don't really understand how she can reconcile the fact that she is a vampire slayer who kills vampires, and is dating a vampire. She's a killer of demons, but kisses one, and makes out with one instead.
Do I sound jealous? I think I used to be. Whether I was jealous of her or jealous of Angel, I can't be sure. I often thought how wonderful it would be to have a handsome guy agree to meet me in clandestine places; to secretly share whispered longings and passionate kisses.
Does that sound mushy? Perhaps. I was, certainly then. However much consciously I was jealous over their "relationship" (or whatever it is), subconsciously there was another jealousy I can admit to now.
It wasn't because Angel had Buffy, if that's what you're thinking. No. It was jealousy, because Angel had the Hunter.
Or so I thought.
It's Friday night.
The clock shows 12:30 a.m., and I'm feeling sleepy, but my body is also, as it always is at night, humming with anticipation.
I stand up and stretch my entire body, almost grinning at the thought that by 3 a.m. I will be completely relaxed, and fall asleep in her arms. I switch off the computer, staring at the bed and then down at my nightshirt and panties, wondering if I should even leave them on. They'll only just come off as soon as she is here.
Often, more than not, she will rip them from my body in her heat of Primal lust. That thought alone sends a bolt of lust through me, and I feel the dampness coating my panties.
Well that did it. Time to take them off before the juices flow even more. Might as well take off the shirt too.
I slide under my bedcovers, naked as a jaybird and turn off the desk lamp.
And I wait.
"Will, where were you Friday night? You never come to the Bronze anymore."
"I do too, Xander. Unlike some people," I glare pointedly at him, "I do my homework."
Xander looks at me like I have two heads.
"Will, we all know that two weeks into the semester you have the entire syllabus from each class done. What homework could you possibly have?"
I turn to grab my books from my locker, because Xander is aware, even more so than Buffy, when I'm lying.
And he can't know.
No one can know.
Certainly Buffy can't.
But, I think she's starting to.
And that scares me.
It's dark, and I know she will be here soon.
I can feel it.
Not long after this began, I began to sense her more and more. I can feel her as she comes to me, because Buffy isn't holding her back. It's too late because the Hunter is still out, and she's hunting me.
And I can't wait to be captured.
It's now spring break.
Buffy has questioned me in a roundabout way from time to time, asking how I slept the previous night because I look so tired. Or, why don't I patrol with her anymore, and insist on being home every night, foregoing our sleepovers at her house.
I don't want to lie, but she makes me. She's relentless. Buffy is just that way. She goes on and on about it all being best friend duty, but I brush it all aside, saying ridiculous things like, "Buffy, I just have really been all study gal for a while, that's all."
She frowns at me, not buying it. I don't think I would either, if I were in her shoes. So, I continue. Unfortunately, my answer turns into a rambling rant.
"It's a well documented fact that one can never start too early preparing for PSATs and SATs, or even MCATs . I haven't quite made up my mind yet, but medical school may be an option, so what about my residency? I need to be prepared...what if I want to become a neurologist...or...an ophthalmologist...or a podiatrist...okay, maybe not that, I don't think I can do the whole foot thing...coz ewwness--"
And then it happens.
I knew we were getting close. Before I am aware of what is happening she draws me to her, pressing my body firmly against hers, and kisses me long and deep and hard. I mold my own body to match hers, feeling my nipples harden so much they hurt. I return her kisses desperately, wanting nothing more than for her to devour me.
As abruptly as it comes, it stops.
She pulls back, releasing me, as I do the same. I see her eyes glowing, and a happy purr escapes her. Before I can say anything, she's sucked back in again. Buffy looks at me, shaking her head as if in a stupor, and asks:
"What did you say, Will? I lost you somewhere around you being study gal."
How can she be so oblivious?
Is it that possible?
How can Buffy not know when the Hunter springs forth? We've never really discussed it actually. I always assumed Buffy was still present, but watching as if from a distance; holding onto the strings loosely, ready to tighten them; rein them in when the battle was done.
But maybe I'm wrong?
I thought about asking Giles but he might question me on why I would want to know. So sometimes I pretend to be research gal in the stacks, while I'm really researching where "Buffy the girl" goes during the battle.
I haven't found much so far, and I'm starting to wonder how much or how little the Council is aware of, or understands. As selfish as it sounds, I don't really care unless it involves taking her away from me.
But it's getting worse.
Xander has noticed it.
He sees the glow in Buffy's eyes as she looks at me. Xander hears an intermittent growl or purr, depending upon the circumstances. He gives me funny looks, and all I can do is shrug.
I'm afraid Xander will say something to Giles. And I can tell Giles has seen it, and he frowns at me. It's just a matter of time before he questions me.
Or he questions her.
Sometimes, I think I should just come clean to Giles. How I will do that, I can't be sure. Even the implied seems 'R' rated, and I'm afraid Giles will break a lens just listening about it.
But what else can I do?
The popped out lens sits on his desk next to his glasses, and he clears his throat.
For about the hundredth time.
Finally he speaks.
"Willow, I have no wish to judge, if that is what you are concerned with. I only want to make sure you are safe. But, I must impress upon you that she is a primal beast after all."
"She's more than that Giles!" I implore him to understand. "She understands me when I talk to her, she cares about me, she takes care of me, she loves me when no one else will..." I break off with a small sob but then continue on. "Yes, she can be rough sometimes after the hunt," Giles opens his mouth to speak but I hold up my hand to stop him. "She is also very gentle and loving. She understands me, and I understand her. Please don't take her away from me."
My eyes are watery and the restrained Englishman actually gives me a tentative hug. I think I startle him when I begin to cling to him and cry in his arms, while he awkwardly pats me on the back. Finally the sobs subside, and I raise my head to gaze at the Watcher with red-rimmed eyes.
"Oh, Giles, what should I do?"
He tells me that there are actually a few accounts of this happening before but it is not widely documented.
Why am I not surprised?
If there is any mention at all, it is often very slight. It is often just disregarded as myth, or maybe a "side effect"; a small price to pay for the fight to continue. It is her Calling to protect this world and to save those whom I have now come to despise; because they will never know how much she gives, and she will only die in anonymity.
He vows to do some research on it before confronting Buffy on the matter. He knows that I've been avoiding this like the plague. If he can't find anything, he tells me, Buffy will have to be told, especially in light of how close she is to the surface.
And especially because he fears Buffy is slowly losing her humanity.
My best friend may be losing her humanity and I realize I should be feeling some kind of guilt, but I just can't.
I am now secretly wishing for her to be present all the time, not just at night. That is so wrong and I know it. I just love her so much that it has become too much to bear, being without her for even a moment.
But what of Buffy, my best friend? Buffy the girl? I love Buffy, I do, but she can never love me like the Beast inside of her. Buffy the girl is still pining after boys, new shoes, a trip to the mall, and make-up. Buffy the girl is still too innocent for this, even with her little trysts with Angel. No matter how much she has seen, it's the Hunter who kills, not Buffy. It's the Hunter who springs forth to deal with the things that go bump in the night.
Angel is another story. I'm scared to be in his presence anymore. I go out of my way to avoid him, but researching about the latest big bad brings him into our midst. Thank God, Xander is 'Mr. Diversion' with his "I hate Angel because he's a vampire" to cover up for the "I hate Angel because Buffy loves him and not me".
They glower in distaste at each other, with Xander flinging verbal childish taunts Angel's way while Buffy plays referee. Angel has caught my eye a few times, and I quickly look away but I see the suspicions in his eyes.
And I know it is only a matter of time until he raps his cold knuckles on my bedroom French doors.
"I don't know what else to tell you, Willow."
I watch his sympathetic face through my tears, and realize that he is right.
We have to tell Buffy.
Buffy's been in Giles' office for over an hour now.
There's been no yelling, so I guess that's good. I can hear unintelligible murmurs, but, other than that, nothing.
I toyed with the idea of being in there when Giles talked to Buffy, and then immediately dismissed it. I didn't think I could take it, not to mention the Hunter. If I came in the Hunter would surface, and Giles needed to talk to Buffy, not the Hunter.
As I wait, sweating and fiddling with the straps of my backpack, I flash back to that first night she came to me.
Buffy rushes out of Giles' office, not even looking at me, like the hounds of hell were on her heels.
Giles, glasses in hand, rubs his palm across the back of his neck. When he raises his head to look at me, I see the helplessness in his face and the truth in his eyes.
I have lost my best friend. I should feel shame or remorse, but I am only concerned with one thing.
Losing my Slayer.
Chapter Two: Antithesis Part One
I am running.
Why oh god why?
Why must the beast inside of me torture me so?
All I ever wanted was to just be a normal girl. How I have longed to only worry if Jimmy or Johnny, or whatever my latest crush's name is, likes me as much I like him.
Will he invite me to the Prom? If so, what kind of dress will I wear?
I have no idea where I am going. The fact that I am running through a graveyard is not lost on me. As much as I try to escape her, she influences my decisions.
And now because of her I have lost my very best friend.
And I am losing myself in the process.
I burst into the mansion, calling out Angel's name frantically.
He answers, and my legs give out as soon as I am inside.
I sob uncontrollably.
I feel strong arms wrap around me, comforting me. He gently tips my face to his own concerned gaze. As he tenderly wipes away my tears with his thumbs, it strikes me for the first time how cold his touch really is.
He cradles my face and asks, "Buffy, what is it? What's wrong?"
He has spoken to me of the irony of the situation; a vampire slayer dating a vampire. He has even warned me of the danger, reminding me that it is not just Angel and Buffy involved.
It is also Angelus and the Slayer.
And if given the chance, each would kill the other.
But of course I didn't listen.
After all we are soulmates.
He knew, and he didn't tell me.
Well suspected is really what he said.
How could he? I thought he loved me, respected me.
His demon had sensed the Slayer close to the surface in Willow's presence, not to mention the scent of Willow's arousal.
This last part angers me. How dare he smell Willow. He has no right to that. That is only meant for me...er...I mean her.
This last thought strikes me as odd.
My thoughts and feelings are all over the map.
At the moment anger is king.
Xander looks at me in concern. He sees the seething anger on my face and notices Willow darting out of sight every time I'm nearby.
He is trying to play Mr. Fix-It man, and it's pissing me off. He continually runs back and forth between us saying things like, "Come on Buffy, it can't be that bad. I know she misses you and whether you want to admit it or not, you miss her too."
We are standing at my locker when he says this and I am so mad I punch a sizable dent in it.
"Xander, shut up."
He pulls back a bit, and I see a trace of fear in his eyes at my public display. Before I can apologize, Snyder shows up and I am forced to spend an afternoon cleaning the school basement, a month's detention, and made to pay for the damage.
Stupid troll man.
I haven't talked to Willow in a week.
I can't avoid her permanently. We do share classes after all.
But I feel the Slayer rise to the surface every time I see Willow in class. I can barely hold her back anymore in Willow's presence.
I have no idea what is happening after patrol. Hell, I don't even remembering starting patrol anymore. I pick up my stakes, climb out the window, and the next moment I wake up to sunshine with Mom calling me to get ready for school.
Is she still taking me to Willow's? Is Willow still having sex with her?
Sex with Willow.
Willow, a girl.
Willow, my best friend.
I still feel so mad at Willow. How can she justify using my body like that?
Without my consent for God's sakes!
I don't care if the Slayer is a separate person...er...being...whatever. It doesn't matter; we are both sharing the same body.
Don't I even get a say?
I've never even considered being with a girl. I mean, jeezus, I'm straight! I think about Angel, and I'm all mushy, goofy, and extremely warm in certain places.
But well...I just...have never considered... Willow... in that way. With all those sweaters hiding her body, it's hard to think of Will as... um... as anything but Willow. Sweet, smart, adorable Willow.
Not Willow as sensual.
Not Willow as desirable.
But I can't help wondering if the Slayer sees something I don't.
And really, really should.
I feel the need for comfort so I go to the one who understands me most.
I enter the mansion and immediately Angel is by my side.
I ask him how he knew I was there. He looks uncomfortable for a moment before flashing his game face.
I push him away.
He doesn't say anything.
He doesn't need to. I see the sorrow in his eyes.
And then he asks me a surprising question.
"I know how the Slayer feels for Willow, but what does Buffy the girl feel?"
I stare at him, trying to get a beat on what he's asking me.
"What does that have to do with anything?"
He looks at me for a moment.
"Are you angry because the Slayer is using your body for sex with Willow, or are you jealous because Willow wants the Slayer and not you?"
His question stuns me.
He shakes his head sadly.
"Think about it."
Angel walks away, and once again I am left alone.
What the fuck is he talking about?
Okay, yeah, it hurts that Willow doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about our friendship; that she would rather be with the Slayer instead of me, her supposed best friend.
Does she really think that I am so shallow that I won't understand her need to be loved in that way? I was there for the Moloch fiasco, after all.
But maybe I didn't pay enough attention?
I always knew she was insecure. Is she only with the Slayer because the Slayer wants her? I'd like to not believe that. From what Giles has said, I don't think he does either.
I think on some level I have always known of the Slayer's attraction for Willow. The Slayer is always at the forefront during the Hunt, and I would often bring Willow with me.
The Slayer loves the innocent, genuine warmth radiated by Willow, something she never experiences in the dark. I can feel her overwhelming urge to protect Willow, to protect what the Slayer considered hers.
The way Willow watched the Slayer should have clued me in as well. She would smile shyly at the Slayer, and I remember how her eyes would sparkle as she watched the Slayer in action.
I brushed it off.
My inflated ego told me that Willow had never met a girl like me before. I am ashamed to admit it, but I felt it flattering that she thought so much of me. Someone, whom she considered beautiful and confident, picking her as a friend over Cordelia.
Willow is a wonderful beautiful girl, and it is ridiculous how she feels about herself. Sometimes I have the urge to knock Xander on the head for the way he treats her.
But is the way I treat her any better?
"Giles, this isn't working."
I feel defeated. These stupid meditation exercises Giles makes me do are supposed to help control her.
It's not working, and I just don't know what to do anymore.
I tell Giles that maybe I should just let the Slayer have complete control. Trying to be Buffy the girl and Buffy the Slayer is too much some days. He tells me to be patient.
He should know by now that patience was never one of my virtues.
It's been over two weeks now, and I finally feel a measure of hope.
While I am still unable to have complete control, the mediation exercises have at least gained me a sense of awareness. I am now at the point to where I am more and more present everyday in Willow's encounters with the Slayer. I just need to somehow have enough control to speak to Willow as me, Buffy the girl.
Willow, to her credit, has been holding the Slayer off from any sexual activity. I must admit to being surprised at their relationship being more than about sex. There is actually tenderness; and on a certain level, the Slayer, primitive as she may be, understands Willow's needs and provides them.
Unlike some people, accusing myself with every word.
It always seemed such a one-sided conversation during their meetings. Or at least it felt like that in the beginning to me.
Now it feels like something different.
The Slayer's speech seems to only consist of purring, growling, and grunting. But Willow doesn't seem to mind or even notice. Willow tells her secrets that I was not even aware of, and I'm supposedly her best friend.
Did I do that with Angel? Yes, I told him some things; but looking back I realize that I have opened myself up to Willow more than anyone. She knows some of my deepest, darkest secrets.
Why hasn't she shared hers with me? Is she afraid of my judgment?
Maybe it's because the Slayer does something I never do.
I fight so hard, but I remain an impassive observer as Willow comes to the doors and opens them for us.
Within seconds, the Slayer is in a desperate lip lock with Willow. The Slayer starts to grope, and I'm afraid that any second Willow will be flushed and naked below me. A thought, strangely enough, that doesn't bother me as much as it should.
But Willow pushes the Slayer back, holding her off. I feel the displeasure in the Slayer, but she obeys Willow's commands. Willow looks in our eyes, and I can see a spark of recognition in her eyes.
She knows I'm in here too!
Good, maybe I can talk to her.
She silently guides us to her bed and sits us down, looking at us in concern.
"Buffy?" she asks.
She brushes hair away from our face.
I try to speak, and only succeed in opening and closing my mouth. Finally I hear a struggled, "Yes." Escape our lips.
Willow's eyes open wide. I see flickers of fear only to quickly turn into a pleading hope, and a glimmer of, dare I say it...love?
The Slayer sees it as well, and I can feel that she takes it as a sign of rejection. She pulls back, with overwhelming sadness. I can barely feel our face, but I feel tears streak down our cheek. Willow reaches out to touch us, but the Slayer tries to flee.
The Slayer stops at the feel of Willow's arms circling our body, engulfing us in her love. She buries our face in the crux of Willow's neck inhaling her scent, as Willow whispers soothing words of comfort in our ear.
Then, Willow pulls back, still maintaining a grip on the Slayer. I never realized how strong Willow is. Her grip actually hurts a bit.
"Slayer, I need to talk to Buffy." Again the Slayer tries to move away, but Willow pulls back the Slayer to her and kisses her. It is a kiss not of passion, but of love.
And resolve face is out in full force.
"Don't worry. I love you. I just need to talk to Buffy for a moment. You're not going to lose me."
The Slayer in a moment of tenderness lifts her hand to gently place her palm on Willow's heart and raises Willow's hand to rest on her own chest. Willow smiles and nods in acceptance of the Slayer's silent declaration of love.
The Slayer withdraws her hand. She tenderly takes Willow's and kisses her palm. After a moment, the Slayer releases Willow's hand and mentally retreats.
I am allowed finally to talk to Willow. I do however hear a warning growl in the back of my mind directed towards me. I inwardly glare at the Slayer and turn my attention to Willow.
"Willow, I think we need to talk."
Chapter Three: Antithesis Part Two
As I sit on her bed, I look into her eyes and for the first time I wonder.
Who does she really see when she looks at me?
I'm there, Willow.
In this memory Buffy is there too.
If I wondered who she saw when Willow looks at me, she makes it abundantly clear.
She launches into some babble about how Buffy the girl is: Buffy the girl is straight; Buffy the girl only cares about clothes, boys, and make-up. Too innocent for this little tryst she and the Slayer have been having.
That girl no longer exists.
Buffy the popular conceited cheerleader left the moment she saw her first vampire and realized that there really are monsters hiding under your bed.
I stare at her in hurt. Is this why she thinks I can't love her like the beast inside of me?
Her eyes widen in surprise at my reaction.
A question from my lips pops out unbidden.
I have to know.
"Do you love me Willow?"
She responds after a moment. "Of course I love you, Buffy. You're my best friend."
"Willow, that's not what I mean."
She avoids my eyes. What is she hiding? Or maybe what is she hiding from herself and from the Slayer?
"Do you have romantic feelings towards me?"
She briefly glances at me and I see guilt and fear written all over her face.
I have my answer.
The Slayer is howling inside me, but I hold her back.
"The Slayer is the one who kills, Buffy, not you."
It was Buffy the girl who lost all her friends.
It was Buffy the girl who sat by in shame and remorse as her first watcher died in her arms.
It was Buffy the girl who chose to go and save the people in the gym that night.
It was Buffy the girl that night who killed just as much as the Slayer.
I AM NOT AN INNOCENT!
I yell this at her, and the Slayer breaks through, angry with me for making Willow cry.
Can't say I'm thrilled with myself either.
The Slayer is pushing me down, down, down...
Everything is black.
Giles calls me into his office, and gives me the look of shame.
"Willow was in here earlier, crying."
He sees the contrition on my face, and I see the judgment in his eyes.
Suddenly my anger rises.
"Giles, what am I supposed to say? She's making decisions about me without even finding out what I want." I hang my head.
"She thinks she knows me so well. I'm not the same person I was a year ago, Giles. I'm more than a shallow girl with a beast inside of her."
My head pops up as I cross my arms and scowl in defiance in any refute he decides to throw my way.
He knocks me for a loop by smiling. "That's exactly what I wanted to hear and see."
He sees the confusion on my face as my pose starts to falter.
"And in this instance this is what will save you."
He's found a ritual.
A complicated ritual.
Is there any other kind?
A ritual that requires strength of character and true knowledge of oneself.
Why can't he just say it?
A ritual that requires me to be stubborn.
Apparently I have this in spades.
Should be easy right?
Yes, that was sarcasm.
I have to make certain sacrifices.
And I have to make more sacrifices than the Slayer!
I go off on poor Giles over this.
I scream at him about what I have already lost and sacrificed ever since I was Called.
She doesn't have to sacrifice much of anything apparently.
"Are you quite through?"
My fists are tight by my sides, and I have the urge to stomp my feet.
How old are we again?
Giles shoots me a glare that would make my mother proud. Maybe Giles has kids he hasn't told us about?
Giles tells me that the only things that will change will be my level of feelings for Willow, and a different state of consciousness.
Whatever the fuck that means.
"It means Buffy that any primal instincts that already exist within you will be heightened, but these will also be tempered by your humanity. And you will also no longer have the option of ...um...male companionship."
He cleans his glasses furiously.
"You must make a decision, but know this: the Slayer considers Willow to be her Mate, which you must accept."
The subtext is clear.
The Slayer will never give up Willow.
And Willow will never give up the Slayer.
Why can't it be dark right now?
I need to kill some vamps. I need to beat something up.
And no, this isn't the Slayer inside of me.
This is Buffy.
I can't get near Angel anymore.
He has to frequently change his hiding place. She is on the Hunt for him, and I know she will dust him the moment she sees him.
I think both of us knew it was only a matter of time anyways. Maybe it's better that this situation has forced us to break up. Angel's right; a vampire slayer and a vampire together is against all reason.
And when it comes down to it that is who we really are.
Angel and Buffy never really stood a chance.
Xander corners me in the courtyard.
Of course I'm the Slayer. I can easily push him away, but I feel so tired. So I let him spout off.
"You're killing her."
I yell at him that it is none of his business.
I feel his breath as he inches closer and closer to my face. "Willow is my soul, Buffy. She's what kept me going in this god forsaken town. Whatever is going on with you, get over it. She deserves to be treated better than that."
"Like you're one to talk!" I scream at him.
He gives me a venomous look and storms off.
Tears of frustration threaten to roll down my face. I glance around the busy courtyard to see if anyone has noticed.
No one has.
Just like always.
It's been three days.
Xander's words haunt me.
As does the thought that I have lost my two best friends.
I'm over it.
I'm not about to lose Xander too.
I wave him over into the library.
We smile sheepishly at each other. I see the remorse in his eyes and I breathe a sigh of relief.
"Willow won't tell me much. Well, anything. Want to tell me your side of the story?"
And I do.
"I think you should do it."
Xander is actually serious. I didn't realize that he has a resolve face.
I had been afraid of his reaction; a hormonal teenage boy with fantasies filling his head was not something I needed. But when Xander wants to, he can be insightful. I somehow feel that if he can't have me, he would rather lose me to Willow instead of to Angel.
"Seriously, Buff. G-man's right. Not much is really gonna change."
I gape at him like he has two heads.
"I am mated to Willow for god's sakes! I will be having sex with Willow!"
A goofy grin passes his face, which he hides quickly by coughing. I officially revoke my earlier statement. Is it too much to ask that he keep his mind out of his pants for two minutes?
"Look, just take the whole you and Willow thing slow."
The Slayer is obsessed with Willow, and he expects us to take it slow?!
"Willow will understand that. Trust me."
I want to; I really, really do.
I am shamed by his next words.
"Just remember one thing; whatever you decide, it affects Willow too."
Giles hasn't breached that subject, and as usual I'm so lost in how something affects me that I forget how things affect others.
"Whether you want to admit it or not, you know who Buffy Summers is; the good and the bad. Just don't lose sight of that and you'll be fine."
He nudges me. "After all, we all know how stubborn you can be." He winks and walks away from me.
Leaving me to ponder the wisdom of a sixteen year-old boy.
Who are you, Buffy Summers?
I am not the kinda gal who likes to reflect. I leave that to people who do not have a life expectancy so short they are happy just to be able to make it to their next birthday.
My association with Merrick was along the lines of him trying to get me to face up to my destiny and teach me how to fight. He died before we got into any deep conversation about how Buffy the girl and the slayer co-exist or whatever.
Not that I would have listened.
Giles has tried unsuccessfully of course time and again to sit me down to discuss this very topic. I brush him off, roll my eyes, and make it abundantly clear I have no interest in the subject.
I'm always complaining about the curse of being the Chosen One and losing any semblance of young adulthood.
Is this a way to end the constant struggle between my needs and hers?
Is it possible for us to become one person without each persona losing her true self, or must one half always lose out?
Do I really have to choose to be either Buffy or the Slayer?
There is still a part of me that will always love shopping, dancing, make-up, and ice skating.
This is quintessential Buffy.
But the shallow vindictive side has been replaced; instead, there exists a person who is genuinely kind, loyal to her friends, and loving.
Did I become this person because of the Slayer, or because of what I have seen?
My mind drifts through what I've seen in the past year.
I should retract that.
I've seen hell.
But so has the Slayer.
I sit up and take notice at this musing.
It is her.
I wander in the courtyard aimlessly.
That's when I see it.
"Hi, I'm Buffy."
"Why? I-I mean, hi! Uh, did you want me to move?"
I never want you to move Willow.
I have my answer.
I may have the Slayer's strength, speed, and healing powers, but she has given me a better gift.
I now care.
More than just about me.
I have come to a decision.
He gages my sincerity and nods. "All right Buffy, I will talk to Willow at lunch. You will have full control by this afternoon."
I smile my thanks as the tears roll down my cheek.
It's time to let go.
I steel my resolve and step into the mansion.
Angel is at my side in a flash, his game face on display.
I feel her stirring. I am confident she will not surface in his presence; a promise to Willow is something she would never break.
Angel shakes away his demon, and holds out his arms.
I fall into his embrace for what will be the last time.
As we let go, I see the sadness and the resignation on his face. And I hear myself say the word I never thought I would say.
Chapter Four: Synthesis
A watched pot never boils.
Or at least that's what my mother says, when she's here of course.
I don't know how long I have been staring at this alien creature otherwise called a phone. It feels like hours.
But time has no meaning for me right now.
All that matters is when that phone rings, I will breathe a sigh of relief.
For I no longer have to sacrifice.
I will have both.
I feel strangely calm.
It's eerie really. Somehow I thought I would be more freaked.
After all, it isn't everyday a girl becomes One with her primal half.
The phone becomes more and more fuzzy with each passing second.
My mind is vaguely aware of what is happening and the thought strikes me that I should shake it off. But I give in to my subconscious, letting it take me for a ride.
And the past becomes the present.
The phone rings, nearly causing me a heart attack.
My shaking hands fumble with the receiver.
My voice quivers, half in fear, half in excitement.
"The ritual's done, Willow."
I can hear the smile in his voice.
"Buffy and the Slayer are now One."
She comes to me in the middle of the night, but I don't mind.
I come to her in the middle of the night, but she doesn't mind.
I did, maybe, in the beginning.
She did, maybe, in the beginning.
But not now.
But not now.
Not now because I love her.
Not now because I love her.
Send Feedback to AuthorBack to Wiffyscoob's Stories...