A/N: Phew, I'm overworked.
“Buffy?” Not the first time he’d asked. Not the last. “Buffy, please let me in? I got tea.”
Chris lifted the mug in his hand slightly, as if to show the door he was telling the truth. In her room, Buffy didn’t budge, didn’t move. She had come home late the night before, closing the front door too gently. The three of them had been sitting on the couch, watching late night crap movies and she’d looked at them for one endless moment before rushing past and hiding in her room.
She hadn’t showered. She hadn’t eaten. She hadn’t spoken. All she’d done was strip and curl up in bed, refusing any human contact. The door wasn’t locked, it never was. But Ajo, Chris and Jay all knew better than to walk into their alpha’s room without permission. Especially when they didn’t know what was going on.
Ajo had, in a fit of rage, called the Circus and demanded to know what the hell Asher had done to her. The only answer he had received was that no-one knew because Asher was in much the same state as his date, silent and borderline catatonic.
Chris lifted his hand to knock one more time before deciding to hell with it. He carefully pushed the door open and slipped into the dark room. Buffy was harming herself. He was allowed to make sure she didn’t to anything stupid. And to do that, he had to break the door-rule.
He put the mug of tea down on the bedside table and stood next to the bed for a while before saying very softly, “We’re worried about you. Can you please tell me what’s wrong?”
For long minutes it seemed she wouldn’t answer. Then, as he was about to give up and leave, she stirred. She shifted enough to face him, although she didn’t meet his gaze.
“More than thirty years,” she whispered, eyes unfocused, “I fought for so long. I thought it was over, that I was getting rewarded. Stupid, huh?”
He knelt down so he was level with her face, “But you are, aren’t you? You got us and you’re going to school and living life the way you want it, right?”
Her voice was harder than he’d ever heard it, even that first night when she’d laid out Ajo in two seconds flat. It was…dead. “I’m here because you need me, Chris. All of you, you need me. I’m not here because of me. I’m here because of you. Little Buffy, the tin soldier marching in a war without even knowing it. Asher is right. I’m a wish. Whatever.”
She turned so she was facing the wall without acknowledging him at all and he was scared of touching her. She was so bitter. So very bitter and he didn’t understand what she was talking about.
He stood slowly and walked toward the door, hoping she would call out, hoping she would stop him in some way. But all she said was this: “I’m fucking dead anyway.”
In the living room, Chris cried.