"I have one thing to ask you." Xander said as he gave the woman before him a dead look from one of his eyes.
She steeled herself, and nodded. "Ask it."
He was quiet. Silent. He didn't even breath as he mentally prepared himself, or so it looked to her.
After a minute, she got antsy and opened her mouth to ask if he was actually going to ask her anything.
"Do you hate me?"
She blinked and closed her mouth. That.... couldn't be what she thought she heard. A second of silence, and she asked lowly, "Pardon?"
"Do. You. Hate. Me."
She blinked and opened her mouth to ask him, why the hell she'd hate him... and then closed her mouth again as it occured to her just why he would.
"I mean, at first I thought, nah, not important like Giles or Buffy are. I'm just a normal kid that learned the truth of things. Somewhere along the way I realised that no one normal learns the truth of things. Not the way I did. A Slayer does not run from her calling the way Buffy did. A slayer is not even allowed to be put into a psychiatric home by her well-meaning parents, as the Council ensures such actions go before one of the judges who is in the know. Watcher with her or not, once they were aware of a Slayer and such a thing starts to happen, it is always stopped before a slayer steps foot near an asylum to become a patient. And yet the council were entirely unaware of what her parents did in that case.
"Then I realised that everything that Joyce Summers said about moving to Sunnydale, was either a lie, and believe me, Joyce wouldn't about it, or crafted to purposely get Buffy into Sunnydale. At first on learning all this, I figured that was the council - afterall, Giles arrived in Sunnydale weeks before Buffy did in order to cement his cover as librarian."
She was silent, and had to admit, he'd done his research on this one.
"That brings me to another point. The Slayer is always
taken from her family once called. Giles was even ordered to do as much, and he most definitely was not ordered to take the cover that he did. In fact, he wouldn't have gotten the post as Librarian, if it wasn't for a tiny fact that the paper-round kid who all the demons avoided that morning conveniently posted through his mailbox the local paper on his first morning in Sunnydale before the 'for sale' sign had even been changed to 'sold', and it landed open, indicating that the school was looking for a librarian - a position they never felt the need for until then, because they didn't have that big of a library until about, oh, a week before he arrived in sunnydale. And guess what, that one wasn't even Wilkin's doing, like most other stuff on those lines had been. As guess what, that stuff was him reacting to the Slayer's presence and taking advantage of it for his ascension. He never even wanted a slayer there, and with her there he realised that maybe his 'snack' could be a bigger one."
She winced at her part in that bit.
"Next, we've got how those two met. Without even checking
for anyone who can hear - and believe me he saw me go into the stacks seconds before Buffy arrived - he starts on about how she's the slayer it's her calling and so on."
He glared at her. "At this point, I must say that I don't mind being part of the fight. I very bloody well know that I'd be dead if I wasn't."
She smiled a bit at that, and nodded a little. That he wasn't pissed off about.
"Now, I loose Jesse. Fine, shit happens in this business, I've long learned that no amount of meddling from you can make certain things happen unless that's the way they're headed anyway. Even You're along for the ride with that. From there... well, things get weird."
He sighed, and moved over to a chair, and waved her into another opposite him. She took it, in silence, allowing him to continue.
"Up until Buffy, I was 'The King of Cretins'. The Chess club saw me as a protector, the Jocks saw me as someone to tease if only because I'm the one they can without trouble. Willow, Jonathan, Derek, Bill, Jack, Fred... they were all safe from bullying by the Jocks and most of the 'Popular' lot. In fact, they got some respect because they're the ones a lot of the Jocks got help from to maintain grades. I know half the football team that graduated the year before Buffy arrived, got into college only because of all that tutoring from the Chess Club.
"But After Buffy, I was a 'loser'. Someone not fit to be in the presence of anyone. Suddenly, the Jocks who teased me because I was their only target, teased me because I no longer stood up for anyone - even myself when push came to shove - and relied on 'Buffy that weird girl that hangs out with the loser crowd'. I wasn't the one protecting everyone from the jocks, Buffy was.
"A job I'd been doing well in, and even Willow then thinks I can't handle it, and they both tried to follow me when I went to stop those idiots from feeding Jonathan to Hyena's. If I hadn't stopped them, oh... they definitely would have. And then... you strike."
She blinked. He couldn't think that...
"I had smudged the graphics on the floor... smudged
! That should have been enough to stop the ritual from occuring, Not Counting that when I read up on it, it was supposed to be fully invoked, and not just 'do this, this happens', but full 'say that you do this for this to happen'. hell, that's exactly what was needed for Halloween, but don't get me started on that."
She sighed and wrapped her arms around herself, he'd certainly done his research, more than she would have expected.
"And not only that, but I got the Matriarch." He sounded colder than before, and she shuddered from the anger. "Just because Giles hadn't read about amnesia being a side effect, that is exactly
what should have happened too. But it didn't, and I still remember every single bloody moment with perfect clarity. Just as I remember everything I've done since with that same perfect clarity."
She looked up, that actually did shock her. He saw the shock, and nodded. "Even you didn't expect that one. I thought as much." He sighed. "Now you understand some of my anger?"
"The things I've done? to remember in full dolby surround and technicolor, everything
She couldn't help it, a tear escaped.
But he wasn't done.
A bit morbid. Sorry. I... was wanting to go with humour at first, but then I got pulled into the arguments and making connections that hadn't occured to me (like the mindset of the old council being contrary to what set up the premise of the show and that buffy lived with her mom and went to school, when we know from kendra that the opposite happens.)
I disclaim, I own nothing
, not even this computer. Microsoft owns the software (except Opera, the web browser I borrow to make illegal copies of the website whenever I visit, because that's how the internet works - by copy from one computer, paste to the next to show it on that screen. Or did you think 'temporary internet files' was something different?
Also... I'm stuck. As in, I've reached the limit of my I-know-it's-canon canon knowledge Everything else is all might-be-but-I-read-too-many-fanfics. And just a hint about who he's talking to - at work, I realised that I'm building up to a groaner of a pun involving xander, a hug, and in reference to Dirty Harry and the person he's talking to, he gives a most daring answer to that question. (Hint: The title is significant.)
... see, Groaner. :D