Uninvited by Alanis Morissette
Like anyone would be
I am flattered by your fascination with me
Like any hot-blooded woman
I have simply wanted an object to crave
But you, you're not allowed
An unfortunate slight
Must be strangely exciting
To watch the stoic squirm
Must be somewhat heartening
To watch shepherd need shepherd
But you you're not allowed
An unfortunate slight
Like any uncharted territory
I must seem greatly intriguing
You speak of my love like
You have experienced love like mine before
But this is not allowed
An unfortunate slight
I don't think you unworthy
I need a moment to deliberate
Buffy huddled against the wall, trembling; her face in her hands wishing that she had more tears to spare. Her eyes were dried out, her tears non-existent after she’s spilled them over and over, first after losing her only lover but later as her friends died one by one.
Giles was the first one to die. If she was honest with herself she would have known that it was a matter of time before he took matters into his own hands and went to avenge Ms. Calendar. Buffy and the gang kept a very close eye on him because they knew that he was on the edge. Days after the death, he stopped wandering around with a bottle in his hand and even started to bathe and they eased up a bit on their constant supervision.
Giles was smart; he managed to convince them that he was fine, recovering he said, and finally one night, they decided to trust him and gave him the space that he demanded. That night Giles headed for Jenny’s killer, knowing with intense clarity that he would not return.
Day’s later Buffy found him, while she was patrolling. His body was leaning against a headstone, head lolling on the side exposing his bitten neck. The flesh was ravaged, gnawed upon, until his bone was visible. Buffy managed to hold on to the content of her stomach despite the gruesome sight but not until she noticed his hand.
In his open palm was a heart, with a small note pinned to it. Buffy’s hands trembled as she reached for the bloody paper.
It said, “He argued that I broke his heart, but I showed him that it was indeed intact.”
Her knees had buckled and she had screamed until her voice was raw. She ran through the town eyes red and puffy, rage and revenge burning in her veins. She searched the town looking for the killer, but there was no sign of the treacherous bastard.
Buffy believed that that night her heart had shattered, her mind was in fragment and she floated in a haze. She became purely the Slayer. She didn’t return home to her mother and pushed Xander and Willow completely out of her life in the hopes of protecting them but alas, it was for naught.
She took Giles's house as her base and her time was spent only patrolling and searching the streets for his killer. Another routine night, she returned home only to startled when the door creaked open minutes after her arrival. She waited stake in hand for the intruder hoping that it was the murderer that she had hoped to kill. The door widened only to show a bloody Xander that shuffled inside eyes glazed, mumbling a jumble of words over and over.
She ran towards her friend and gently led him to the couch.
He grabbed her hand making her pause in her haste with an unusual show of strength and slurred, “I’m…I’m the message. Words,” he coughed, “so many words written all over. Couldn’t remember, tried to repeat it, but can’t remember, so he wrote it for me. All over, it’s written all over. I’m the message.”
“What are you talking about Xander?” Buffy asked panic growing at the amount of blood soaking up the couch. “Calm down. I’m going to bring you to the hospital.”
She scrambled off the couch, tears flowing at a steady stream from her eyes, “I’m getting the keys, don’t worry, you’ll be just fine.”
Xander coughed, a horrid sound, and blood trailed from his mouth, “No,” he whispered raggedly, “no hospital.”
Buffy wiped the blood away with her sleeve sobbing, “You need a hospital, Xander. They’ll make you better.”
He shook his head, and smiled, it was an eerie sight what with the blood dripping from his gum, staining his teeth. “No hospitals, Buffy. No need, I’m dying.”
“No you’re not,” Buffy cried out. “Not if we go to the hospital. They’ll help, Xander. Please let me take you, if I have to force you I’ll just end up hurting you more.”
She bowed her head, slim shoulders shaking and begged, “Please, Xander.”
Xander shook his head and said voice weakening, “Poison, I, he gave me Mohra’s blood, poison, I’m dying Buffy,” he whispered, “I hurt so much, so much pain.”
She shook her head in disbelief and watched as his body shook, fine tremors traveling from his fingers, up his arm, until his whole body was shuddering. Tears leaked from his eyes and she followed the drop as it traveled across his broken nose, and pooled on his upper lip mixing with the blood that clotted on the torn flesh.
His eyes were closing sleep claiming him, and Buffy stood heading for the kitchen. She grabbed the phone hanging there and phoned Willow’s place. It rang and rang but there was no answer.
She headed for the couch, worry niggling in her gut. She knew that she had to check on Willow but she couldn’t leave Xander here, bleeding, her mind stuttered as she thought of the word but she forged on, dying.
She shook Xander awake, “Xander, Xander wake up.”
His lashes fluttered and he blinked awake staring at her with glazed eyes, “Buffy,” he smiled, “Buffy, you’re here.”
“Yeah,” she whispered, “I’m here.”
She tugged him up gently, wincing as he moaned in pain, “I’m sorry, Xander but I’m worried about Willow. She’s not picking up. We’re just going to drive to her place.”
His body began shaking and Buffy panicked, thinking that she had aggravated an injury. She pushed him down gently but firmly, and asked urgently, “What’s wrong? Where are you hurting?”
She placed his head upon the pillow, pushing his hair away from her face. He was still shaking and his eyes were staring straight ahead, sightlessly. Buffy worried, brushing a hand over his face whispering comforting words, useless though they were.
He tilted his head back, “Willow, my willow,” he suddenly wailed, voice broken.
He screamed and whimpered muttering Willow’s name under his breath before he passed out, unconscious.
Buffy skin was covered in goose bumps. She hurried towards the phone, dialing Willow’s number over and over, listening brokenly as it rang and rang, no one picking up.
She shivered, Xander’s broken screams echoing in her mind. She imagined thousands of scenarios, all of them featuring Willow dead or dying, or worse being tortured.
She straightened her back, decision made. It was difficult but no less needed, Xander was already dying and Willow probably needed her help. She walked to the weapons chest and began arming herself, grabbing knives, crossbows, stakes, any weapon that she could carry.
She stopped by Xander, shaking him awake, knowing that this might be the last time she spoke to him, and fully intended to say her goodbyes.
Xander blinked awake and his eyes had that faraway look but this time there were no smiles, “A message, I have a message. No, no,” he shook his head, frowning slightly, “I’m the message, must tell Buffy, a message.”
“What is the message,” she asked humoring him, still not understanding.
He blinked at her and said blankly, “I don’t know you have to read it.”
She frowned and with a start realized the possible importance of what Xander was murmuring.
Her lips trembled as she thought back to the note pinned on Giles’ heart, and she asked, voice shaking, “W-where, where is it Xander,” she asks, “Where is the message.”
He grabbed the end of his shirt and began pulling the blood soaked clothing up. Buffy made to grab his hands to stop him from jeering his bruises but stopped at the cuts on his chest. They were deep gashes across his chest and blood trickled anew from them, falling on the couch.
Her eyes were riveted on the message that the cuts formed and she read the livid marks. “He broke watching the redhead die, a pity. I’ll tell you mom hi for you.”
The words repeated over his whole body, traveling from his stomach down to his pants.
Buffy moaned brokenly and crawled away from the couch, away from Xander’s incessant muttering that he was the message. She paused at the wall and curled in a ball, staring straight ahead.
She was still sitting there, listening to Xander die on the couch, thinking of her friends, her watcher, and wondering about her mom. She wanted to get up and run to her aid but she knew that she would be too late.
Her body shook anew, this was all her fault, and she was to blame. She shuddered, shaking her head in disbelief. She was the Slayer, she was supposed to protect them, but she had abandoned them. She wanted to cry but her tears were long dried, her eyes red and throbbing. The doorbell rang, the sound echoing in the house loudly. She got up ignoring the cramping of her legs and headed for the door, wishing and hoping that it was him. She opened the door and stared at the man wearing her lover’s face.
He pulled out a necklace and held it up. It was the necklace that her mom wore around her neck, the one that she never took off.
Buffy’s mind shattered, cracks upon cracks, until there was nothing left. She looked blankly ahead, her last bit of coherency making her utter the words that she knew would bring her sweet, sweet death.
She whispered, “Come in Angelus,” inviting death in at last.