Part 14. Bittersweet Symphony
Especially when they appear out of thin air.
Mike. Isn't that such a yummy name? Mike the Warlock - aka Oz's best 'mate'. God, it was so cool the way they just appeared in the middle of the kitchen. He finished making all these really amazing signs with his hands. He has gorgeous hands, with some really wacky silver rings. He finished with the chanting, punched the air, and said, "Yes! It worked, Oz! It actually bloody worked! And we didn't explode or anything! Three top shamans to open it, and I managed to close it! Classic!" Did I mention he has a really sexy voice? Then Oz just said, "Hi."
Mike apologised for just appearing in our house, but - and this was so cool! "If we'd come by plane, with our passport stamps, we'd still be going through security. Plus we'd have had to change planes at Miami, and who wants to go there? You lot still haven't discovered the concept of transit." Cute, adorable, and even apologises - nobody ever does that here, no matter what they do.
Oz is so cool. I know I never really met him before - not in the Real World anyway. In my head though, there's all these really great memories of him. In my head he's always nice to me - and cool. Did I mention cool? I've got the memories of him helping Buffy, being devoted to Willow, and quiet, really quiet, but cool - way cool as that Canadian girl we had for a semester always said. I feel these memories. They're real to me. I know they're false. They're all I've got.
In the Real World I'm not even two. I only know Oz from what Willow and Buffy told me. I know I didn't get the whole, 'why he left' story. I'm sure it was, "Complicated." Lots of angst, sex, and violence, with an NC17 rating unfit for the ears of the littlest Summers. But that's what happens isn't it. All men are beasts, and if they don't run out on you on your wedding day, they try to rape you.
She still won't sit down and tell me the whole story. Oh I get bits of it. In the spirit of Summers! Girl! Bonding! I get some of the edited lowlights. I mainly get the, "It was complicated," and, "We both hurt each other very much, not that that excuses anything - just explains it." Then of course she goes Clam-like avoidy Buffy. Of course it's now avoidy Buffy who'll take me patrolling sometimes - so I forebear.
I still don't believe it though. I know he loved her. I know he loved me. He wouldn't have hurt us. He stayed, and cared for me so much when she was gone. That couldn't have been fake. I know it can't have been. Then Xander says such horrible words, and for once she not all denial Buffy. And he ran out on us, like everyone always does. That's got to be a sign of guilt - right? I don't want it to be. I don't want any of this. I wanted it all the way it was in my head, all sweet and us as a family. I guess I was an idiot. Xander certainly enjoys telling me I was.
But I wanted us as a family. I needed that. Every family I have I lose. The fake family in my head, complete with the Father Unit I've never really met. Mom, Buffy and Pumpinbelly - lost to the tumour, or the mess they made of the surgery. Buffy and Me - I lost that when she took my place. Tara, and her funny-shaped pancakes, and Willow and me - lost to Willow's magic binge, along with my fully functioning arm. I get back zombie Buffy - and yes I know the difference, and that she wasn't a real zombie - but she sure felt like one. She'd got no time for me, but plenty of time to throw out Mom's stuff to help out Willow - even after she nearly killed me, and did break my arm - and that hurt, even if nobody cared. I get Tara back - and she was the only one who was there for me - and I lose her again, permanently. I still see all that blood when I close my eyes. I don't do that much now. Turns out I lose Spike at the same time - not that he'd been allowed in the house much for me to lose. Wanted him to herself - and see where that got her.
Now she tells me he's coming back with Giles and Wesley - of all people. What parallel universe are we living in, that he's been staying with Giles, and dares to show his face around here? God! He is so going down! Nobody messes with the Summers girls. Even if she's told me she needs to talk to him, and I'm not allowed to stake him. Why, I don't know. I don't think she does. I certainly don't.
Then again I want a change of universe, from the one where Willow tried to turn me back into whatever it is I am. Green, swirly blob of energy girl. Not real, no matter what they all say. Mike's a Warlock, I shouldn't go near him; he might want to turn me back too. It's so not fair - the first hot guy I've seen, in like forever, and he's one of the things I'm supposed to avoid. Not that he'll probably even notice I'm alive - they always want Buffy. Plus he and Oz are staying with that Devon guy - who'll probably introduce him to all those really hot seniors - my life is so not fair!
I'm still having nightmares about Willow and that room at Rack's. I close my eyes and I see Rack there, all withered, and dead, and disgusting. A group of us were messing about on the swingset in the playground. Kevin was pushing me on the swing, and it was wonderful. Wonderful that is until the back and forth made me all dizzy, and flashed me right back into teleporting from that room into the Magic Box. Tossing your cookies in front of Kevin - so not of the good. Remembering both - so totally of the bad.
She tried to kill me. She tried to kill all of us. Hell, she tried to destroy the planet. I thought that was my job. She stole my memories; and even if they're mostly fake they're all I've got. She tried to kill me, and now I'm relieved she can't do it again. Does that make me evil? Coz, not big with the knowing here. I still don't really know who, or what, I am. Am I good? Am I a soulless thing? If I'm really a green blob of energy do I have a soul? Am I real? Why won't anyone tell me? I need to know.
I do feel some grief. I do. I cried. I'm not evil. I know I'm not. I cried for the girl that looked after me that summer. I cried for the girl Buffy and I watched videos with. I did. Why isn't it enough for some people? Why am I supposed to forget that she tried to kill me and my sister? I thought we're never supposed to forget, or forgive, those who attack us. Why does none of this make sense, and why won't anyone just sit down and talk to me?
She did try. She is trying to be talky Buffy. But she's starting from kindergarten level, and not moving up the grades that fast. Weird thing is that the only one who ever talked about that sort of thing with me is Spike - and that was all to get in my sisters pants - wasn't it? I don't know anything anymore. I don't know if I ever did. Everything's all fuzzy, and all wrong, and I don't like it anymore. I want it to all go away, and everything and everyone to be all right again. I'd make a wish to Anya, but I'd probably only end up starving, locked in the house with everyone's putrid corpses - plus Buffy's ruled out the use of the "w" word anywhere near Anya.
I miss Giles, he was always awkward around me but he'd know. He'd tell me, or he'd try anyway I can't believe all the yuk Xander was saying about him. He didn't want to kill me; I know that. He loves me. Ok, so he's not so good with the showing it, but I know he does. He wouldn't do want to kill me. He certainly wouldn't let Spike rape and murder Willow. It's just too horrible. He just wouldn't. And I know I'm mad, I get told it often enough, but I know Spike wouldn't kill Willow. I know he wouldn't, whatever else he might have done. He liked her. They got on. But then...God, none of this makes sense. I just want my life to make sense!
But I'm a swirly green energy blob, with a Vampire Slayer for a sister, who I'm made from, making her my Mom, who's dead. My best friend was a chipped vampire; and how can a chipped vampire rape or murder anyone? And why won't anyone answer that question? Yeah, I'm just the kid, I can't ask the sensible question. I know nothing - I'm from Barcelona. Great now I'm doing Fawlty Towers impressions. Being around Brits is scary - it'll be the dead parrot sketch next. Did I mention Mike's English?
That went down well with Xander - not. He dragged Oz out to the Bronze for a beer, muttering something about, "Not more Brits," and, "Mel Gibson's got the right idea." That was so mean, leaving poor Mike here with strangers, after he'd teleported him and Oz all the way from Central America. God he's so cool, he's been everywhere! I guess I have too, before I was me, I just don't remember it. I'm not sure if I want to.
Mike's so nice though. He's told me all about where he's been, where he met Oz, and god he's just so adorable! He helped me get all the good china up from the basement, ahead of 'The Return', while Buffy patrolled. We're holding a wake for Willow's return home, I'm told. Nobody ever asks what I want. At least they're not staying here. Anya's new place is big enough - from what I'm told. I'm not allowed to go round there yet. I wonder if it's in a hell dimension, or just overlooks one of the cemeteries? Nobody ever tells me anything.
He's even got cool music. He put on 'Bittersweet Symphony' while we moved enough china to feed the DMP twice over. It'll be our song. Ok he doesn't know it yet, but I do, and that's enough right now. Ok, he's just being nice, and hasn't really noticed I'm alive, but a girl's gotta have some illusions. I've got precious few left.
Continued in Part 15. The Boys are Back in Town