S/B, NC-17 (eventually), Prologue/24
SPOILERS: Season 5, up to "Listening to Fear". It would also help to have seen the Angel episode "The Trial", as I stol...er...borrowed elements from this. OK, I borrowed the entire last act. When you care enough to steal from the very best...
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: To my beta reader, Linda Campbell, who knew that Spike was a hottie, long before I did. What can I say? Better late than never! :) Oh yeah...and for the awesome beta reading.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Not mine. 'Nuff said.
"For love is blind and lovers cannot see"
-- William Shakespeare
Well, this is pretty strange. Plus, I'm not certain this thing is working. It sounds like it is but I can't really be sure. I hope so. It would be too ironic if my last words wound up as just a bunch of static on the tape.
Oops. Gave the ending away there, didn't I. Sorry. Still, it's not like you didn't see this coming, right? We both know this is bad. Actually I think I've reached a whole new level on the Buffy bad spectrum.
And it's not going to get any better, is it?
Poor Giles. You've been trying so hard to sound upbeat and positive around me. But...well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you're a really bad liar.
Or maybe it's just that you can't lie to me.
Not that I don't appreciate you trying, really. It gave me a nice couple of days, where I could pretend everything was going to be all right, that my eyes would somehow get better, and we'd all live happily ever after.
OK, back to what I was saying. Since I can't tell when the tape is about to run out, I'd better get to the important stuff sooner rather than later.
First of all -- this wasn't your fault. Please don't blame yourself (and don't tell me you're not -- I can hear it in your voice). You gave me plenty of warning -- I distinctly remember the words "...and be careful Buffy. Don't forget it can spit acid...." And how revolting is that anyway? (the acid, not your warning).
I did listen to you, honest. But I was...well, not overconfident, exactly. More -- distracted, I guess. Too much going around in circles in my mind. I should have known better, especially after that vampire skewered me with my own stake. Guess my heart wasn't really in it that night. Too worried about my mom, wondering what I was going to do about Dawn, thinking about Glory... And besides, it was just a little demon -- relatively speaking. But then its really, really big cousin showed up and... well, you know what happened next.
I know I killed the small one while I could still see a bit, but the other got away. Actually, I'm kind of surprised it didn't stop and kill me on the way, but maybe the wound I gave it was more serious than I thought. Still, that means there's an injured monster roaming around out there...and no Slayer to stop it.
You've all done a great job of patrolling and keeping things under control, really you have. I know I shouldn't blame myself for what happened to Willow. Yes, I know she'll be all right, and that we're all lucky that it was just a broken arm and all, but still...
It was my job. I'm the Slayer. I'm the one who's supposed to be out there keeping the night safe, not sitting here, all sheltered and warm. And I keep asking myself -- what's going to happen when Glory crawls back out from whatever rock she's hiding under? She wiped the floor with me before - you guys won't stand a chance.
So -- where does that leave us? The doctors weren't exactly holding back with the naked truth. I'm never going to see again, not even with Slayer super healing powers. Just too much damage. I know there's no magical cure either -- we already had this conversation when my Mom got sick. And I'm not sure I believe in miracles -- at least the good kind -- anymore.
So what's left? I know - I'm being way rhetorical. And probably pretty pretentious. Must be all those Psych classes at College. But I'm just trying to prove that I really have thought all this out, that I'm not just doing this on some suicidal whim.
Sorry. Poor choice of words there. I don't have a death wish, really I don't, no matter what Spike said (and why am I even thinking about him right anyway? Sometimes I worry about my psyche...) Anyhow, I really have thought this through and we both know there's only one answer.
The world needs a Slayer. And...and I can't be her anymore.
So I'm going out tonight to hunt down the demon that helped do this to me.
Don't get me wrong. I know I don't have a hope in hell. I'm not blind. Well, OK, I am. But you know what I mean. I know what the odds are and how this is all going to end. It's pretty much a given. But maybe, just maybe, I can take the demon with me. Give Willow a little goodbye vengeance present. And keep the night a little bit safer until... ...
...until the next Slayer comes along.
Poor little Slayer. Doesn't seem fair to load all this on her somehow. I know how tough it was when I was just starting out, and I had Merrick and then you and all my friends to help me.
I hope she has someone.
I don't know if you'll be her Watcher. There's a lot of stuff I never asked, although I always wondered. Just seemed like it would be too painful to talk about somehow. And the time was never right. Well, it's definitely too late for twenty questions now. But -- if you do get to meet her, the new Slayer I mean, will you ask her to watch out for Dawn for me? I still don't know what or who she is, but I know she's important. Besides, she feels like my little sister. I love her, even if she is annoying pretty much all of the time.
So, where was I? Oh yeah, Buffy's famous last words.
Er...drawing a blank. How about if you just think of something clever and pretend I said it?
Anyway, you do understand why I'm doing it this way, rather than in person, right? For starters, I know you guys wouldn't let me out of your sight if you knew what I was planning to do. Which is why I had to wait over a week until you all let your guard down a bit.
Still, I got a week. More time than most Slayers do, probably. And I got to say goodbye to everyone, in my own way. I don't think anyone suspected what I was planning, although I could be wrong. It wouldn't surprise me if you knew, or at least guessed. You could always see right through me, couldn't you? No pun intended.
Today was nice. A day in the sun with my Watcher and all my friends. Will you tell Riley that I'm sorry for snapping at him? I didn't mean to, it's just he seems to like me so much better helpless, like he wants to protect me and look after me and... ...
...and I am so not going to discuss my boyfriend with you. Besides, I can tell him everything on his own tape. Just forget everything I just said, okay?
Except...you will look after him, won't you? And Willow and Xander and all the rest? And my mom and Dawn? They're going to need someone.
OK. I'll put the other tapes in the top drawer of my nightstand. They'll be labelled, although it's kind of hard to write when you can't see. Not that my handwriting was ever that great to start with. Still, I'm sure you'll figure out which is which. You'll make sure my Mom and the others get them, won't you? Thanks.
I...I guess there's nothing more to say.
Thank you for being my Watcher. I love you.
Continued in Part 1