Cry for Me
+Cry for Me
Ajo watched indifferently as Chris dropped to his knees in the middle of the parking lot in front of the Circus of the Damned and shifted into a solid one hundred and forty pound of reddish brown fox.
He suddenly understood why Buffy had always refused to drop her shields when they had asked her to. Her power had hit him only seconds before like a brick wall to the head. He didn’t want to know what if felt like without tons and tons of concrete and rock between himself and her. Every supernatural creature in a ten block radius now knew that she existed.
He bit his lip and closed his eyes in concentration as wave after wave of power crashed over him. He was not going to shift in the middle of a damn parking lot. Not freaking way. He was alpha. Besides, someone had to drive when this was all over and he seriously doubted Jay was still on two legs down in the bowels of the Circus. Ajo really hoped that his alpha was doing this to make a statement because if she wasn’t, if this was just letting go
, then he was in deep shit if he ever really pissed her off and that was….
He stumbled as the wall of power that had been pressing against him suddenly vanished into thin air and he could breathe freely again. Chris whined and pressed his nose into Ajo’s hip. With a sigh, the hyena opened the car for the fox, allowing him to curl up on the back seat.
A moment later, Buffy was walking toward him, looking tired but more relaxed than he’d ever seen her. Jay was slinking around her legs like an overgrown cat and before Ajo knew it, he had dropped to his knees in front of her slight form. He had never done this before. He had been leader of their little coven before she had come. He had acknowledged her dominance. But he had never submitted to her and most certainly not in public.
For a moment, she stood in front of him, her navel level with his gaze. Then she dropped to her knees with a painful crunch and wrapped him into a giant hug, pressing her face into his neck. They stayed like this for long moments, both afraid to move, to break what was left to be broken.
“Can you please get us home?” She asked.
He nodded after only a second’s hesitation, lifting her up and placing her in the passenger seat where she curled up, looking younger than her body’s eighteen years. He directed Jay into the backseat next to Chris and then rounded the car.
A second later they were on the road, heading home.
“How did it go?” He dared to ask when they had left the Blood District.
She shrugged, not looking at him. “Alright. I got what I wanted. Mostly.”
“No more hiding?”
That got a smile out of her. “No more hiding.”
Ajo had been infected by his own father when he’d been twelve. He knew what it was like to not have a childhood. He knew what an adult living in a child’s body looked like and he’d recognized Buffy for what she was the first time he’d seen her. Since then, almost a year had passed.
A year during which she’d let a few things slip here and there. He knew how she’d landed here. Knew that she had been blown to kingdom come by a magical bomb along with most of London in 2029. He knew that she had woken, naked and alone, in the worst part of St. Louis in 1997. He knew that she had lost too much and that she had a hard time trusting anyone. He knew that she had been something terribly powerful in her home world. He knew that she loved him and Jay and Chris as much as she could. He knew that she liked her eggs sunny side up.
And he knew that sooner or later, she’d have to stop closing herself off from everyone and try to live again, just a bit. They’d almost had her convinced to try at one point. That had been before the tattoo business had started. After that, she’d locked down even tighter.
He didn’t like that the Master of the City knew she existed, mainly because he would have liked to keep her for himself a while longer. That and because he loved her, in his own way and wanted to spare her pain. But maybe being forced to interact with people who were more her equals than he and the boys and the teenagers she went to school with would help her. Maybe one of the people down in the Circus had what it took to make the dam burst.
He snuck a peek at her out of the corner of his eye. She sat curled up in her seat, staring outside blankly. She was remembering again. Wordlessly, he reached out a hand to take hers. She barely reacted.
Maybe one of them could make her cry.