Dead Man's Party
Disclaimer: I own nothing of Buffy, Charmed or Doctor who though I may use speech from their episodes.
.. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .... .... ... ... ... ... .. .... .. .. . .. .... .. ... ...
I stood outside the door, staring blankly at it. If I knocked then I was basically saying goodbye to the life I had made in San Francisco and was at risk of, yet again, being thrown out by the first mother I had ever known. I wasn't sure I was ready for that leap yet but I had a duty which meant I had to be back in this town.
After Chris had orbed out mid-kiss I had looked at the place he had occupied in confusion for about a second before getting annoyed. The only reason he had orbed out was because he knew that if I lost my courage I would beg him to take me back, so he removed the temptation by getting out of there. After a few moments of annoyance I slowly made my way to my impending doom. 'Knock on the door,'
Chris' soothing voice sounded through my mind, wrapping me in a blanket of calmness and soothing my nerves slightly. 'It would be easier if you were here, coward'
I thought back to him but I held a light tone. Chris didn't say anything but I did as he said. There was a rustling of movement from inside the house and I could feel my fight or flight response screaming in my mind. It demanded flight. If it wasn't for Chris' soothing presence in my mind I probably would have listened to it, especially as the door swung open...
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
It was weird being back in my room. I was still used to being at Sophanisba's place or the room Chris and I shared in P3. Putting away the last of my stuff I couldn't help but feel desperate to get out again. Mom had made a gigantic dinner then an equally huge snack which was filled with small talk. I really needed to get my head around being back and being in this house was stifling. I grabbed my sweeter and went to mom's room.
Joyce was in there hammering a nail on the wall but when I called for her she thrust the hammer through the wall in surprise. Mom spun around and I couldn't help but cringing at the hole. I apologised but mom knocked it off.
"No, no! Don't worry about it," she said. "I-I guess I just got used to all the quiet while you were gone. But it's no problem." She turned back to the wall to hang a wooden mask over the hole. The thing gave me the Wiggins but Mom seemed to like it. It was Nigerian or something and part of a collection from the gallery that she worked out.
"It's angry at the room, Mom," I told her when she said the creepy thing would cheer up the room. "It wants the room to suffer."
"You have no appreciation of primitive art," she criticised, then seeing the sweeter in my hand added- "You going out?" I could hear her lack of enthusiasm at the idea but ignored it and told her I was going to see my friends. "Will you be slaying?" She was trying I guess so I tried making a joke of it. It made me feel really guilty when she tried to stall me from going.
"Mom... If you don't want me to go, just say so," I told her. I couldn't stand her skirting around the issue.
"No, no," she denied but when she looked down at the keys now in her hands I could see she was lying. "I-I just want to put this whole thing behind us, get back to normal. You go. Have a good time." I could tell Chris could feel the guilt welling up in me since I could feel him enter my mind. We had practised the whole power sharing thing and learnt how to block each other out or not listen into each other's thoughts. 'You okay?'
Chris thought to me. I could feel his worry for me which made me feel more remorse. 'Yeah, just feel a bit guilty. Mom's pretending that she's okay with me going to find my friends but I can tell she's lying,'
I thought back to him with a sigh. I knew this was going to be hard I just didn't realize how hard. There was a slight pause before he answered. 'Aunt Phoebe says to give it time and that you just need to get used to each other again,'
Chris relayed for me. It was good advice but then what did you expect from the best advice columnist in San Francisco. I just hopped it would be that simple.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
It was surprisingly easy to find the Scooby gang; all I had to do was walk towards the Bronze. I saw a man who was dressed all in black going into an empty ally and I couldn't help but investigate. I accidently stepped on a can which made the man swing around and try to stab me with a stake. I was lucky that I instinctually threw up my hands or I would have ended up regenerating again. I grabbed the stake out of his hands making him step back. I looked up and saw someone I didn't expect. Xander.
"Didn't anyone ever warn you about playing with pointy sticks?" I mocked shaking the stick in front of him. "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye." While my tone was light I couldn't help but feel worried. If I had been a normal person or hadn't had reacted as quickly as I did Xander would have killed me. What was wrong with him? I get that he was patrolling but he should check that what he is killing is a demon or not. I could feel Chris' worry for me so I sent him a message that I would explain later.
"You shouldn't sneak up on people like that!" he exclaimed like that excused him nearly killing someone. I tried to put that to the back of my head. It was probably just a mistake... A deadly mistake. A vampire appeared and then so did the rest of the gang with walkie talkies and everything. Even with them working as a group they ended up on the floor while I saved them from the leech.
They ended up taking me to see Giles which was another awkward moment for me. Though Giles seemed more understanding then everyone else. He didn't force her to answer lots of questions about where I was or what I was doing. He even told everyone to give me time to adjust before the drilled me. I did however get Willow to meet up with me the next day.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
"Absolutely not," Principle Snyder said in glee. Mom and I had gone to see the man so I could get back in school but he seemed to be getting great pleasure from telling me I couldn't. His excuse for keeping me out was that while I wasn't wanted for murder anymore I was a delinquent. Apparently I had caused too much trouble to be allowed to go to school there thanks to all the damage I had done to property and to people while I was trying to stop people from getting killed, but he didn't know that and I wasn't sure he would have cared if he did.
Once we left mom dropped me off for my meet up with Willow, telling me that we would figure something out about schooling. She even suggested private school which didn't really appeal to me. The problem was that Willow never showed. I waited two hours for her outside the coffee shop but there was no sign of her. On my way back home if it wasn't for Chris talking to me in our heads I think I would have found somewhere to hide to I could cry my eyes out. Willow clearly didn't want to be around me and I had no idea how to make everything right again.
When I did get to my house a woman, who I had never met before, was coming out. She introduced herself as Pat and said that she was friends with my Mom. From what I gathered they met through a book club... Since when was she part of a book club.
Inside, mom was in the kitchen. She told me Willow had called which gave me a brief bit of hope and made me ask if she had left a message.
"No," Joyce replied, not realizing that she crushed what little hope I had. "But I had a thought. What if I invited Willow and Mr. Giles and everybody over for dinner tomorrow night? Don't you think that would be nice?" To be honest no I didn't think that was a good idea but I didn't say that. "Since I sort of already did, I was hoping for a yes." Part of me wanted to scream at her for that but our relationship was so strained at the moment that I didn't think I should. Instead I just smiled and nodded, telling her it was fine. "Uh, do me a favour? Run down and get the company plates."
"Mom," I told her. "Willow and everybody aren't company-plate people. They're normal-plate people."
"We never have guests for dinner. Indulge your mother?" I just sighed and did as I was told. My mood was not improved by the fact I found a dead cat on top of the plates. Mom and I ended up burying the poor thing was such a great bonding exercise. Hint on the sarcasm.
The next morning mom and I were in the kitchen. She was talking about how she talked to the superintendent of schools and everything. She started talking about private schools again but I protested I told that homeschooling would be better. Which was true. Homeschooling would mean I could actually fit school in around slaying.
"Buffy, you made some bad choices," Joyce scolded. "You just might have to live with some consequences." I stayed quiet knowing she was right. 'No she's not,'
Chris shouted out in my mind. 'You made the choices with what they gave you. You did what you had to. You said the reason Snyder won't let you back in was because of the damage that was caused when you were slaying. You had to protect those people.'
I really wanted to go up and kiss him for that. What he said gave me more confidence then I could ever thank him for. 'Thank you.'
I sent back to him then returned my attention back to my mom.
"Nothing's settled yet," Joyce reasoned. "I just wish you didn't have to be so secretive about things. I mean, it's not your fault you have a special circumstance. They should make allowances for you." While she was talking she was sorting out some trash that was lying about.
"Mom, I'm a Slayer," I reminded her with a sigh. "It's not like I need to ride a little bus to school."
"Couldn't you just tell a few people, like Principal Snyder and maybe the police?" She suggested. My urge to scream at her returned.
"Yeah and maybe they'll send me to the loony bin like you did the first time I told you!" I shouted just as she opened the door to put the trash away. She was saved from making a comeback by a cat running into the house. The dead cat that we buried the other day.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
"Welcome to the Hellmouth petting zoo," I greeted Giles as I opened the door for him. The first thing I had done after seeing the cat was call the Watcher then mom and I tried to capture it. We had managed to get the thing trapped in mom's bedroom where the cat was hiding. Once they had caught the thing in a cage that Giles had bring I went to the door intending to go to the library with him to do research but Giles stopped me, saying maybe I should stay with my mom. I felt a brief bit of hurt at that. He didn't want to be around me either.
"Please, no. I, its fine. She can go with you," mom assured.
"A-actually, she can't. Um..." He stuttered out then looked at me. "You're not allowed on school property." That made me feel a bit better surprisingly. Not long after that he left.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Later that night I was pushing my way through the crowd to find Willow. My house was over filled with people and noise. There was no way it was healthy.
My friends had decided that instead of just coming to dinner they would start a party without even asking me or my mom. They had Oz's band, Dingoes ate my Baby, playing and there must have been nearly half of Sunnydale high dancing and shouting about. None of whom I knew. To be honest I couldn't help but think they organized the party so they wouldn't have to talk to me. The loud music meant that we wouldn't be able to hear each other and the crowd made it harder for me to find them anyway.
I finally spotted her near where Oz was playing. I made my way over to her.
"Hey," I greeted which she returned before going back to listening to the music which stung. "This is Large."
"You like?" Willow questioned, shouting over the music and the sound.
"Yeah. It's great," I replied trying not to hurt her feelings. "I-I was just sort of hoping it would be... us." She told me to repeat that since she couldn't hear anything. I tried again but a bit louder this time. "This is amazing, but I was sort of hoping we could just hang together, the gang." The red head indicated to the band meaning she couldn't hear me then turned back to her boyfriend. I realized I probably wouldn't get anything more out of her so walked off to find something to do.'Try again,'
Chris told me, soothingly. I didn't even realize he was listening in.'What I wouldn't give to have you here right now'
I told him. I really wanted him to hold me and just tell me everything was going to be all right. I sighed but turned back. I poked Willow in the arm and indicated for her to follow me. I led her to a slightly quieter part of the house. "Is everything okay?" I checked cautiously. "You... You seem to be avoiding me, I-in the one-on-one sense." She seemed genially surprised at that which made me think that maybe I was over reacting a bit.
"What?" she exclaimed. "This isn't avoiding. See? Here you are, here I am." Yeah because I made you, I thought. I didn't say it out loud but I decided to accept the answer. I asked her if we were cool and she told me that we were which is why they had the party but then she walked off again to watch the band, leaving me alone in a crowd of strangers. I needed to get out of this place and just give my head room to think. Somewhere quieter. Since I couldn't leave I tried to go to my room. 'Tried' being the operative word. Xander and Cordeila were kissing by the stairs. Xander saw me and we had a small talk all the while Cordy was kissing him. Obviously not the best convocation.
Since it was unlikely I would get to my room I started tidying the place up a bit. I needed something to do and there was no demon to hit. My mood wasn't improved when I heard some guy say that the party was for someone who had just come out of rehab but I ignored it and just moved to the kitchen to see how mom and Pat, who mom had invited, were. I was about to go in when I heard mom talking.
"Having Buffy home, I-I thought it was gonna make it all better, but in some ways, it's almost worse." My breath caught in my throat at that. Tears started to form in my eyes but I held them back. I walked away not willing to hear anymore. 'Chris,'
I called out. I couldn't do this. I could feel his anger towards Joyce but I couldn't help but think what she said was deserved. She was right. I was a bad daughter. I was the one who broke her and Hank up. I was the one who caused all their arguments, all the fights, all the tears she cried. I couldn't be the girl they wanted when they adopted me. I hid those thoughts from Chris. 'I'll meet you just outside of town,'
he said. I didn't even have to ask if I could come back. That was one of the things I loved about Chris: he understood me. I felt selfish knowing that I would probably ruin his life as well but I couldn't help it. I needed him.
I ran to my room, luckily without the snogging pair seeing me, and started packing.
"You're leaving again?" I shot a quick look behind me to see Willow there. I could hear the sound of betrayal in her voice but I just couldn't deal with it. It's not like they really wanted me there. "What, you just stopped by for your lint brush and now you're ready to go?"
"It's not like anyone will mind," I commented, not even stopping in my packing.
"Oh, no," Willow shouted, her tone heavy with sarcasm. "Have a good time. Oh, oh, and don't forget to not write." There was a strong emphasis on the 'not' and I couldn't stand it anymore.
"Why are you attacking me?" I sobbed spinning round to face her. It was too much. I couldn't deal with all this emotion. "I'm trying."
"Wow, and it looks so much like giving up!" Willow mocked viscously. It hurt but I tried to make her understand. She didn't realize that I was doing it for them and that I had to leave after Angel died.
"Well," she considered. "Maybe I don't need to understand. Maybe I... I just need you to talk to me."
"How could I talk to you when you were avoiding me?" I reminded her, shouting. Part of me knew that she was right. I should have talked to her but after I killed Angel but my head was so messed up and I just needed to understand it myself before I could even get around to telling her.
"This isn't easy, Buffy!" She shouted but I already knew that. "I know you're going through stuff, but... so am I."
"I know that you were worried about me, but..." I started but she interrupted me.
"No! I don't just mean that. I mean my life! You know? I, um... I'm having all sorts of... I'm dating, I'm having serious dating with a werewolf, a-and I'm studying witchcraft and killing vampires, and I didn't have anyone to talk to about all this scary life stuff. And you were my best friend." She was sobbing now and I didn't know what to do. The purely self involved part of me screamed out that I went through that alone and that she had Xander. I had to deal with fighting vampires and demons with no one to talk to. I was dating a vampire without the support of all of my friends. Besides point Willow would have been fighting vampires that summer anyway considering I should have been with my dad, so wouldn't I have been on the Hellmouth anyway.
Things got worse when mom came in and Willow just had to tell her I was running away again. They were both shouting and accusing so much that my head was swimming. I didn't know how to get them to understand. I just needed some time to get my head back together again. I could tell that Chris wanted to say something but he was staying quiet. He knew that I wouldn't be able to process it with what my mom and friend were saying. He hadn't orbed out of San Francisco yet.
I pushed past them to go downstairs. I just needed Chris. I made my way through the people but I could hear mom shouting out after me. I would have gone out the front door but Xander and Cordelia were locked in a passionate embrace in front of it. I went towards the kitchen intending to go out the back door but mom grabbed my arm and turned me around.
"You and I are going to have a talk," she demanded. Suddenly the room went silent.
"Mom, please..." I implored noticing everyone looking at us.
"You know what? I don't care!" Joyce shouted. "I don't care what your friends think of me or you for that matter, because you put me through the wringer, Buffy. I mean it. And I've had schnapps. Do you have any idea what it's been like?" I tried to tell her it wasn't the time to be talking about this but she didn't care. "You can't imagine months of not knowing. Not knowing whether you're lying dead in a ditch somewhere or, I don't know, living it up..."
"But you told me!" I interrupted, yelling just as loud as she was. "You're the one who said I should go. You said if I leave this house, don't come back. You found out who I really was, and you couldn't deal. Don't you remember?"
"Buffy, you didn't give me time," she reasoned but I saw red on what she added. "You just dumped this thing on me and you expected me to get it. Well, guess what? Mom's not perfect, okay? I handled it badly. But..."
"Dumped this on you!" I couldn't stand this. What she was saying was completely untrue. "I didn't just dump this on you. You've had over two years to deal with this or did you forget the actual first time I told. Do you remember what you and dad did, where you put me?" My mind went back to the time when my dear adoptive parents put me into a mental hospital when I tried to tell them about the supernatural.
"You know, maybe you don't want to hear it, Buffy," a voice called out from behind mom. I looked around her and saw that it was Xander. "But taking off like you did was incredibly selfish and stupid."
"Okay yes I screwed up by not telling anyone that I was going," I admitted. "But I had to go. I had to deal with it on my own."
"Yeah, and you see how well that one worked out." Xander commented. That was a low blow.
"You know Xander," I started. "You can be one of the most insensitive jerks I have ever meant." He was about to respond when a man... or something smashed through the window. More soon followed it. They seemed dead but when I staked one the thing still kept moving. Xander, Mom, Willow and I ended up in mom's room with the body of Pat. Zombies or whatever they were trying to get through the door. I was backhanded in the face the second they managed to get through. Suddenly the things stopped fighting and I looked to see Pat wearing mom's freaky mask on her face. Eventually I managed to pull myself and Pat through the window and into the garden.
"Would you like a hand?" A voice said from above me. I looked up to see Sophanisba holding her hand out. I took it and she helped lift me up from the ground. "Chris called for me and said you might need some help." She looked at Pat who was getting up as well. "Go for the eyes but do not look into them." That's a bit easier said than done.
"Thanks, think you can distract her?" I asked. I noticed a shovel and made my way to it.
"As you wish."
I moved towards the tool while Soph moved towards the masked woman. I noticed that she never looked at Pat in the eyes but just below the face. Smart, I thought. The Vessel kept Pat's attention on her and moved so that Pat was facing away from me. I grabbed the shovel and silently moved behind the woman.
"Hey Pat!" I shouted making her turn. I quickly brought the shovel up and embedded it in her eyes before she could stop me. There was a flask of white light then Pat disappeared.
... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
"Hey Giles," I greeted the next day when I saw him. I had decided that Snyder was not going to keep me from school. He had absolutely no right. I had the best grade point average in the school, excluding French, and he had barely any proof that I had caused damage to the school or people... Well there was one boy who I punched last year but he deserved it and he wasn't even human anymore.
Giles was standing outside the principal's office looking like he was about to knock.
"Good Morning Buffy. What are you doing here?" he asked in his British accent.
"I thought I'd try again with trying to get in, without mom," I replied cheerfully. After I had killed Pat all the zombies had disappeared and me and everyone made up.
"Good, good," Giles said taking off his glasses and wiping them.
"Do you mind if I go in first, I'm supposed to be meeting Willow soon?" I queried indicating to the door.
"O yes, of course. I'll speak to you soon." He told me before walking off.
"Bye Giles." I waved. I knocked on the door then went through. Snyder looked up from some files he was looking at.
"Do we have an appointment?" He checked.
"No, but I'd like to have a little word with you..."