Chapter Notes:

The morning after the night before. 

A big thanks to Telsa who said, "just post it already!"

 


The One Where Spike Does that Other Thing He Does

 

Good thing I was still disqualified from competition. I went to the school the next morning and rode the bus to the track meet to cheer for the team. I wasn’t limping, but I was moving slowly and with considerably less grace than I usually did. Slayer super healing is real up to a point, but it doesn’t work nearly as fast as it did on TV. I’m more human than that. Injuries hurt, and they took time to heal. Not as long as it would for you and the bag boy at the grocery store, but actual time. In other words, I wasn’t always fight ready by the next episode.

 

I didn’t exactly mind the stinging soreness. It cemented the fact that what had happened with Spike wasn’t just another lusty dream. It also cemented the fact that there were these pesky things called “morning afters” and things called consequences, such as “Oh god, what have I done?”, “Will he call me?”, and “Ow”.

 

Giles noticed that I was walking oddly. “Did you patrol last night? Did you fight?” The concern in his tone was real. I did sometimes patrol alone, though not often. He didn’t like me to, and rightly so. Vampires and demons aren’t all stupid gits. (Giles’s word). A gang of them could do some serious damage to me.

 

“Nah, just…pulled something…Tai Chi, go figure.” Sheepish smile. It wasn’t unusual for me to pull something doing Tai Chi, mostly because I did it wrong and partly because I was used to moving fast. Slow exercise requires a different kind of strength. Patience has never been one of my virtues. Good thing I had my Watchers to strategize, Wendy to do research, and Xander to watch my back, because I was all about the going in to beat something to death, and not so much with the subtle.

 

Giles accepted my explanation, and returned to his chart of times and events. I did some stretches. I chose stretches that weren’t going to make my girl parts hurt too much, but I got a weird little thrill when they did hurt. The ache brought a frown too. I didn’t know how to put what happened with Spike into context. Maybe there was no context. My first one night stand…whoo hoo. I’m all grown up now. Go Team!

 

When I got home from the meet, Mom and I drove to LA to see my sister in a dance performance. She was graceful and beautiful. I was jealous, her skill and athleticism was art, mine was violence and killing. She was confident in just about everything. The only thing I knew I did well, was fight.

 

My sister said she didn’t have a boyfriend, she claimed she didn’t have time. One, I didn’t believe her, and two, if it was true, that was a better reason than why I didn’t have one.

 

We had a very nice late dinner, then Mom and I drove home.

 

“I’m bushed.” My mom said.

 

“You could have let ME drive.” I pointed out…again.

 

“Not on the expressway YET… the drivers are so aggressive. I don’t think being the Slayer gives you have enhanced driving skills. You’re still a regular 17 year old girl in every other way,” she reminded me.

 

She reminded me of that a lot, and it was more accurate than I wanted it to be. Her saying it now, after my night with Spike, made me want to burst into tears again.

 

Of course that would only prove her point. Grown women don’t cry repeatedly just because they had sex. I was just a girl, a stupid, hopeful girl.

 

“Goodnight honey.” Mom kissed me and gave me a hug. “I’m so proud of both of my girls. No,” she corrected herself, “Young women.”

 

“Dawn was great. Really great,” I agreed.

 

“What happened to you...being disqualified from the track meet. I know it wasn’t fair, and we were all very disappointed we didn’t get to see you compete.”

 

“And it’s not like you can watch me…slay things or whatever,” I added, with a shaky laugh.

 

“Buffy, I know how hard you work. I do wish you had more time for...everything. But you won’t be the Slayer forever. There are things you can put on hold, like boys. But not your education. Not friendships.”

 

“Yeah, well, Giles kind of owns me right now and he’s not so much with the boys.”

 

“And I think he could do better with the education.” My mom put her arms across her chest, trying to hold back a diatribe about Giles’s plans for my life.

 

“He’s all about education, he just…has chosen some weird subjects for me,” I said in his defense.

 

She sighed, she didn’t have the energy or interest to get riled up about it tonight. We had a good happy going on. We’d spent quality time with my sister, had a nice drive home, singing to the radio, shooting the breeze , and NOT bringing up “Mom…something happened..”

 

I didn’t know why I wanted to tell her. It made no sense. Why did I want to tell her?

 

“G’night.” She hugged me again, I watched her disappear into her room.

 

I went to my room to grab my jammies so I could get ready for bed. I stopped at the door. I was hesitant to go in there, in the dark. Everything came rushing back to me. Not the details of what we did, but the feelings. The crazy want, the overwhelming need and then…what was that feeling afterwards. Love? Belonging? I’d never felt that.

 

I put on the overhead light, hitting the switch by the door. I hated that light but I didn’t want to be in the dark, even for the few seconds it would take me to cross the room to turn on my lamp.

 

Great…a Slayer who’s afraid of the dark. This will look REAL good on my resume.  Another one of those wacky consequences that I couldn’t have predicted in a thousand years. Made sense though, didn’t it? That’s what happens when you get naughty with a creature of the night, you end up afraid of the dark.

 

I went to the bathroom and did my routine. Makeup off, wash face, put hair in a ponytail, pee, take my vitamin and calcium supplement. Then it was time to return to my bedroom where eventually the light was going to have to go off and I was going to have to go to sleep. Why was this scarier than sneaking up on some evil thing lurking at the Fissure to Hell?

 

I did it.

 

Once the light was out, but before I managed to crawl into bed there was a tapping at the window. My first thought was NO. OMG, NO. I can’t do this again. I can’t. It will only make it worse and I can barely stand this.

 

The window inched up…three inches, six inches, 12 inches. Spike ducked his head down, “Can I come in?”

 

Well, he already had an invitation. It wasn’t like I could keep him out.

 

It inched up another four inches. “Buffy? Can I come in?”

 

His using my name undid me. I went over to the window and raised it. “I already invited you in.”

 

“That was last night. I’m not going to come barging in any time I please. I won’t come in unless you ask me.” He sounded offended.

 

Again, this was most likely because showing up unannounced in the Slayer’s room is asking for it. “It” being total annihilation.

 

Still, I was touched. Not only had he asked to come in, but he used my name, meaning…he came in peace, meaning... he came to see ME, not the Slayer, not on business, not itching for a fight.

 

I stepped back. “Yes, you can come in.” He hopped in light as a feather, and reached for me. I flinched, and instantly hated myself for it.

 

I know he frowned, but I don’t know how I know, because the lights were off. Maybe it was the tiny puff of breath he released, and because I know him so well now, that when I think back on it, I realize he was frowning.

 

He reached for me, but slowly now, and instead of pulling me into his space, he stepped into mine. Brought himself to me. “Hey.”

 

Then I was against his chest, my face pressed to him, and he was holding me. I don’t know if I had mashed myself against him or if he had pulled me to him, but it didn’t matter, because I was there and he was glad I was.

 

“Are you OK?” he asked, saying the words very carefully, desperately hoping the answer was yes, but prepared to accept if the answer was no.

 

“Yeah.” I was now. He was there.

 

“Good.” Total relief in his tone. If he’d had any concern that maybe I wasn’t OK, it was pretty stupid for him to have come to my room and taken the chance that I might invite him in and skewer him. He didn’t have to come back. He didn’t have to take the chance. The fact that he was a vampire pretty much explained any bad behavior. He could always default to “Well, what did you expect?”

 

He sat down on the bed and pulled me onto his lap. “You were out late.” Apparently he’d been waiting for me.

 

“Went to LA with my mom...Were you here?”

 

“For a bit…a long bit.”

 

“I’m still…kinda sore.” I wanted him to know that there wasn’t going to be a repeat performance.

 

“Yeah, sorry bout that…it’s not why I’m here.”

 

OK...so yeah, that was a good thing, because I was sore, and because it meant there was something wanted from me besides sex. Still, part of me was insulted. What did he mean he hadn’t come back for that? Wasn’t that good enough for him to want it again, very soon?

 

“Oh.” I’m sure that “oh” spoke volumes.

 

I could feel his face draw into a grin against my cheek. A tiny part of me realized that I was thinking crazy. I knew nothing he said or did was going to be enough to address these things I was feeling but had no name for and no understanding of.

 

I hated him because I knew he was being patient with me and my feelings.  I was confused, angry, and possibly sort of in love with him. It was so unfair that having sex with him made me feel like I was sort of in love with him. How could my body and mind betray me that way?

 

“Can I kiss you?” He sounded for all the world like a sweaty palmed boy. I mean, how absurd is that? After what we did, NOW he asks if he can kiss me?

 

For a few seconds I wasn’t sure if he COULD kiss me. I didn’t know how I felt about it. I guess it made sense that he’d asked, because if I didn’t know, there was no way he could have.

 

I turned my face towards him and he kissed me. It wasn’t a sexy kiss, more than a peck, but not much more. And there went my brain, crashing down a steep incline. What was this? The kiss off? Didn’t he even want to give me an actual kiss? What was wrong with me?

 

“You’re not OK,” he said.

 

I buried my face in his shoulder. “No,” I admitted.

 

He didn’t apologize, and honestly, it wasn’t his fault. I had been right there with him.

 

“Buffy.”

 

He wanted me to look at him, but I was afraid of what he’d see there. It wasn’t just that he had night vision, it was as if he had Buffy vision, he could see what I was thinking and feeling...things I wasn’t able to put into words. Things I needed him to know. I looked at him.

 

He studied my face a minute. “You are OK,” he said, not like he was commanding me to be, or asking me to be. He was just a stating a fact.

 

He was right. What I was feeling was something big and important, but it wasn’t wrong. I was sore. My mind and my heart were as sore as my bottom, but there was no damage. I just needed a little time.

 

He kissed me again, and it was a real kiss. Not a sexy one, but very nice just the same.

 

“I think you ruined me for other men,” I said. It was a thought that had first occurred to me the night before, during the act itself…I thought, wow…it will never be this good again. It had occurred to me several times during the day, including twice during my sister’s performance, and at least three times on the drive home.

 

“Someone was bound to do it sooner or later.” He’s so damn pragmatic.

 

“Maybe later would have been better than sooner.” I thought outloud. I was young, I had a lot of years of sex ahead of me and it was depressing to think that my first time would be my best time.

 

“Maybe,” he conceded. “But it was just that one thing, there are lots things…we didn’t get to. Some other bloke will get the MVP trophy.”

 

My heart more than sank, it exploded, then sank, then bobbed back to the surface so it could sink again. “Yeah, maybe.” He was probably right. He couldn’t hold the record for something he hadn’t done.

 

“You’re not sorry.” Again, it wasn’t a question. He was stating a fact, like he knew my mind. I wanted to contradict him, but no, I wasn’t sorry. I would never BE sorry. At some point down the line, when I got my head and heart sorted out I was going to be even less sorry and think, Hot damn! That was amazing, it was one of the best things ever!

 

He knew that already, because he’d been around so long. He knew that things just took time. What’s more, he believed I had time. He didn’t expect me to die in the line of duty. He expected me to have a long life with time to process this, and make wonderful memories and to have a long list of lovers that I’d have mind blowing sex with. He managed to wrap all that up in three words. You’re not sorry.

 

“Giles and Wesley…they don’t really let me date.” He probably already knew this.

 

“Still, you only have a few years left…what are you? 18?”

 

“17.” I hated how small my voice was when I said that. It sounded more like I was 7.

 

“If you make it to 18, you’re home free,” he said, which I thought was weird.

 

Obviously the fact that he’d had sex with a 17 yr old when he was…well, I didn’t even know how old he was, I mean in people years...But even in people years he was a lot older than me. He didn’t feel any sort of remorse for screwing some hot young thing. But why would he?  And why did he assume that somehow the Slayer gig would be a breeze once I hit voting age.

 

“Why do you say that?”

 

“You’re good, you’re smart. You have two excellent watchers…You’ll be your strongest and well trained…a damn lethal weapon. Most Slayers die young. VERY young.”

 

“Or right near the end,” I corrected him. I knew the stories. I’d read the Watcher’s diaries.”

 

“Yeah…but that’s different. They don’t get killed because they’re not good. They get reckless…They’re ambivalent, don’t know what they’ll do with themselves. Don’t know if they can give up the Slayer gig and have the guts to live in the real world.”

 

What he said didn’t make sense. Who wouldn’t want to live a NORMAL life? Who wouldn’t be thrilled to hang up their stake and go to college, or have a career or get married and have children. What kind of crazy person wouldn’t want that? He had to be wrong. They were killed because they had either peaked and were starting to fall in physical ability. Or because they’d gotten too cocky and  thought they were invincible.

 

“All I want is to live in the real world.”

 

“Hold that thought. It will keep you alive.”

 

Here he was again, god damn him, talking to me like I was a real person. Talking to me truthfully, not in lies or veiled words or threats and predictions of doom.

 

“But you love it too…being the Slayer,” he went on.

 

“Well, some days…” But not today, not tonight.

 

“You love being fast, strong…” His hands moved to my biceps as if he was testing them for strength.

 

“Killing things…” I smiled.

 

“Being important,” he said definitively.

 

That was something I’d never owned. I did resent being chosen, without being asked, but…it was pretty amazing to be THE one. To be important, like crazy important.

 

I snuggled close to his chest. “I like you…why do you know so much?”

 

“You don’t want to know Luv…”

 

“Don’t patronize me.”

 

“I’m not. I don’t,” he argued.

 

“Then tell me.”

 

“Bloke’s got a right to privacy,” he said. I felt a niggling sense of doubt. If he wasn’t telling me, it was probably something bad. He had a whole long history, a lot of which was bad. Very, very bad. I was like one of those women fascinated by a serial killer.

 

“Buffy, I have to go.”

 

“Already?” I heard the panic in my tone.

 

“I don’t mean this minute…but I have to GO.”

 

“Oh.” That “oh” again, that could have easily been followed by “shit”.

 

“Back to your ho bag girlfriend.” My words came out SO spiteful.

 

“To be fair Luv, I never left my ho bag girlfriend.” His tone belied that he was slightly amused. “You know what I am…and what you are.”

 

So damned pragmatic. Here it came, the inevitable brush off...It’s been nice, but sayonara.

 

“You vampire, me Slayer…” I said what was expected of me.

 

“Well, that too…”

 

“What else is there?” I mean duh…that was the big why this can’t happen.

 

“We both have a job to do.”

 

You vampire, me Slayer…” I repeated.

 

Me Tribunal liaison, professional bad guy…boyfriend…” Yeah, he just had to slip that in there. “You Slayer, student, daughter…would be track star…”

 

Somewhere in there my brain was ticking…wait, did this mean that if all that wasn’t true, there would be something here? Something that could happen?

 

“Great, so maybe look me up in 5 years..” I tried to sound lighthearted, but again with the spite, sarcasm and fear. Fear that I might not be here in 5 years. Fear that I might not have made any progress in life, and that in 5 years the best I could hope for was that some vampire would take pity on me.

 

“I won’t be gone THAT long.”

 

“That’s right. I’m sure your job will bring you back to the Fissures of Hell.” Duh, well of course it would.

 

“Something like that.” I caught the exasperation in his tone. He knew that no matter what he said I wasn’t going to believe him. I had already categorized “us”. He might be able to wait out the process, but I couldn’t. I had to make sense of this NOW, this instant, and it had to be clear and definitive. There couldn’t be any “wait and see what happens next”, not for me.

 

He sighed, and kissed me again, and pushed me back onto the bed. I could feel myself wanting him, feel my rising desire. I wanted my brain and heart to stop aching for a little while. I wanted to forget, and he could make me forget, but he was just kissing me.

 

“Fuck…” he cursed. “I want to…”

 

I tensed up.

 

“No, not that…well, OK, yeah that, but it wasn’t what I meant.” Well, score one for me, at least he DID want to fuck me, that was a relief.

 

“You’re OK,” he said again, letting out a puff of breath. He said it like he was reminding himself.

 

“Sounds like you aren’t,” I noticed.

 

He had a silent laugh at his own expense. “You might be right.”

 

I liked being pressed to the bed, beneath him, having this veiled conversation. His weight on me confirmed that this was real. That, in this moment, we were real.

 

“I’ve never been this close to a man.” The words squirted out of me, as if the weight of him had forced them out. He looked surprised.

 

Scott wasn’t a man and the night before, Spike and I hadn’t been face to face like we were now.

 

“What have I done…” he said. I guess the pressure was forcing words out of him too.

 

I didn’t want him to look that way, to SOUND that way. I couldn’t bear to be nothing but a regret to him.

 

“If there’s anything I’m good at it’s getting myself into a pickle.”

 

Wait, what? He wasn’t feeling regret for doing something to me?

 

“I have to go…be me. And you have to stay here and be you.” He said it like we were making some kind of deal. But he didn’t say the next part. The part where you find out what the reward for “being” was. He was just stating facts. Maybe he didn’t know what the reward was, or if there would be one. He wasn’t going to say something he didn’t feel sure of.

 

He wasn’t going to say anything about us. Or anything about what would happen when each of us, being who we were, ended up face to face again. But then it really wasn’t his place to say, or to make presumptions.

 

“Can I stay here tonight?” he asked.

 

My face must have said yes. He smiled, got up, undressed then went to the other side of the room and locked the door.  I watched him, not knowing what else to do. He came back to the bed and pulled down the covers. He made a motion, like he was inviting me in, ushering me under my own blankets.

 

Naked man, naked vampire, just standing there waiting for me to get into bed with him. This is who you are now Buffy, click, clink…another bit falling into place. This is who I was now. One of his women, a consort to a vampire.

 

I was too young for this, not ready for this. I wasn’t supposed to be sharing my bed...not with a naked man who was going to sleep beside me. I was still in the furtive “sex on the sly, then everyone goes home alone” phase.

 

This was something new…something wonderful. He was here, and I didn’t have to be alone, feeling awkward in my own bed, and wondering why.

 

Tomorrow I probably would be alone, but I would know why...because he had to do his thing and I had to do my thing, and not because he didn’t want to be with me. When he was here, he was with me.

 

So I got in and he got in and pulled me up against him. He nuzzled my neck and put his hand over my hands, holding them together as if in prayer.

 

“Thank you.” I whispered.

 

“For what?”

 

“For coming back.”

 

“You’re welcome?” Of course it was a question because my thank you didn’t make sense to him.

 

“I mean…”

 

“Let it be, Luv.”

 

I wondered if he called everyone Luv, was it just his thing? He didn’t love me. I knew that. I didn’t love him either.

 

“I’m glad you’re here.”

 

“So am I.”

 

“I didn’t think…” clearly I wasn’t letting it be. “I mean before…when we almost…”

 

“It was different,” he stated.

 

“But how?” He was right. It WAS different. Very, very different. I wondered if we had gone through with it a year ago, would I feel like I did now?

 

“Because that was before, and we didn’t know how it would be.” He kissed the back of my neck, under my pony tail.

 

That was exactly how I felt, but I thought it was because I was young, inexperienced and stupid.

 

“How come it’s like this?”

 

“Because it’s you...and it’s me.” There it was again. You and me. Like he’d said a week before…it would change things for you and me.

 

I think he could feel my heart racing.

 

“What’s it going to take to make you sleep?” he asked, with one of his little chuckles.

 

“I don’t know.” It was true. I didn’t even know what was wrong with me. He was here. Why wasn’t it ok? Why wasn’t it enough?

 

He started humming something low and quiet. I didn’t recognize it but it sounded like a lullaby...the lilting sound of a mother trying to calm a child.

 

This was just, weird weird weird. A vampire, humming me to sleep. A vampire trying to sooth a savage Slayer. But it was nice.

 

“Shhh…you’re thinking so loud it’s keeping ME awake,” he said, then he began humming again.

 

He was right, my brain was whirring and I wouldn’t let it stop, and just BE. Just be here with him.

 

“Shhh…” He nipped my shoulder hard enough to make me jerk. Hard enough to yank my brain into the present.

 

This is ok, this is ok, this is ok…no one is going to come and tell you, you can’t have this, I tried to reassure myself.

 

When I woke up, he was dressing. I wondered if he had planned to take off into the night while I was sleeping, but he came to me immediately. “I really do have to go.”

 

Yes, I knew. I nodded. He finished dressing, and came back and leaned over me on the bed. I thought he was going to kiss me, but he didn’t. “Buffy…” his voice was a tiny bit shaky. “Don’t wait for me.”

 

He didn’t know when he’d be back. He would someday, but it could be 50 years from now, or 5 years from now. Maybe he’d breeze by to see if I’d survived Slayerhood after all.

 

Don’t wait for me meant, don’t expect a postcard...don’t believe every story you hear about me... go out and fuck some other boys... kill lots of bad guys... go to college. But most of all…remember me fondly.

 

That was the most important part. He didn’t want me to forget him or put him behind me…he just didn’t want me to wait.

 

This wasn’t how this was supposed to go. He shouldn’t be here telling me this. It was implied, right? Wasn’t it implied, when we decided to make good on the lusties we’d got cranking a year ago? It was implied that we’d satisfy our curiosity, thumb our noses at my Watchers and go on our merry debauched ways.

 

Maybe we could have then, why couldn’t we now?

 

He shouldn’t have to tell me not to wait, it shouldn’t have even been an option. The idea of waiting should have been so ridiculous that it didn’t need to be mentioned. But here he was, mentioning it.

 

I reached up to him…a goodbye kiss…

 

“Mmm-mm.” He shook his head. I could see his point. Why go there? Why have something like that be our last memory of each other, the thing that would eat at our brains.

 

He left. I watched him go out the window, but I didn’t close it behind him. Amazingly, I fell back asleep. I did it again the next night, and the next night and for a few hundred nights after that.

 

There are many things that Spike does well, and sadly, one of them is leaving. He’s had a lot of practice.



*******************************************

 

Q&A

 

-Are the sewers system as complex as in the show? I know it's a weird question but I was wondering how did the vampires manage to move from one place to another during the day and the sewers are a little too convenient

First thing, there are two kinds of sewer systems. The ones that take away actual sewage from the drains and toilets and take it to a treatment plant.

 

They are also full of gross, stinking sewage, and there is no easy way to get in or out of them, they are sort of a closed system because carry human waste.  

 

A few demons use them but no human or vampire I’ve ever known has used the Collinsville sewers for transit.

 

However, there are also what is known as a storm drain, that is where the water that falls on streets during rain runs off to. You see the openings in the curbs of streets,etc. Those are much larger and easy to get in and out of. They are also much cleaner.

 

In a city the size of Collinsville even the storm drains aren’t large enough to stand in except where lines interconnect, for instance under manholes, because that is where workers get in.

 

Most of the pipes you’d have to crawl through, some you can get through by stooping.  They are not as extensive as the actual sewage system and more importantly, they aren’t all connected to each other. They usually run to the nearest reservoir, retention pond or body of water, in other words, they won't always take you where you want to go.

 

You can definitely use them to get around, but it’s not like a stroll in the park. Vamps, demons and middle school kids make use of them. There is usually quite a bit of graffiti, broken bottles and trash in them.

 

Most vampires stay inside during the day. However, demons not so much. Depending on the variety they can be found in all sorts of places day or night.

 

You know how you see Spike running around in daylight with a blanket over him in the show, a vampire can do that, but it does tend to draw attention.

 

He’s had to do it to get out of tight spots. The eyes are the real problem. It takes much less UV to damage them than the skin of a vampire.



-Are you stronger than the vampires?in the show it looks like you are about the same but to have a person with equal strength fight a lot of vampires doesn't make sense to me :P

 

A Slayer is very strong, has excellent reflexes, and some metabolic differences that help put that to good use.

 

Training is key because without it, even with the physical advantages, fighting vampires and demons would be very hit or miss. A weapon is most effective when you know how to use it. That’s as true for the body as anything else.

 

I can definitely hold my own in a fight and defend myself when I am attacked. I know how to use a variety of weapons as well. Vampires vary in strength. Larger vamps, and male vamps tend to be stronger. Most aren’t trained fighters, so I have the advantage. Overall I am stronger than the average vampire, but not as strong as the strongest.




The role of the Slayer is complex. The title is The Slayer, not vampire Slayer, meaning vampires weren’t the thing I primarily focused on.

 

As cool as it was on the TV show, I couldn’t easily take out a gang of five vampires on my own. Ugh, I hate to admit that. On the other hand, many of the things I dealt with were way scarier and nastier than a strong guy with pointy teeth.





-How do you manage the fact that you keep getting old while Spike stays the same?That part of dating vampires is a little bit overlooked in the show so I was wondering what you thought

Gah. I HATE this issue. Spike and I have talked about it, and it does come up in the story.

 

 

I was wondering how old you were when you became a public figure.  I mean, I guess I could just wikipedia it, but I also wonder what it was like.  I was thinking it's hard enough to a) come of age as a girl in the world and b) come of age as a girl as the Slayer -- never mind coping with people believing in a famous, partially fictionalized version of you during all of that.

The first book didn’t come out until several years after I aged out of being the Slayer. I wasn’t in the public eye when I was a teen aged girl.

 

I will address how that happened in the epilogue, because I don’t want to give the story away.

 

As far as coming of age, it’s hard and it’s not something that I did just once. I think we have to come of age over and over again because we keep aging and entering new stages in life.

 

I know I’ve been surprised over and over in my life when I’ve been faced with a new challenge, met it and then was like “Wow, now I know who I am in a situation like that!”

 

However, since we are at a point in the book where people traditionally think of as the “coming of age” time, I’ll address that more specifically.

 

I mentioned earlier that I was not so great a friend because I was distracted by my mission. You can apply that same level of distraction to every other area of my life.

 

Being the Slayer made me grow up quickly in a few ways, while holding me back in others. That will become more and more apparent as you read the story.

 

I can tell you this. I felt younger than the other students at school, sometimes younger than my sister who is a bit more than three years younger than me. They all seemed to know how to handle themselves. I knew how to handle weapons and fight bad guys, both skills I hoped not to need once I hit my 22nd birthday.

 

Spike had a point, Slayers aren’t trained to live, they’re trained to fight and to some extent, to die honorably in the line of duty as heroes. To die fighting evil, is a noble thing. Failing at real life...not so much.





 

 

 


Chapter End Notes:

Buffy is thrilled that people are enjoying the story and asking questions! Feel free to leave any questions or comments in the reviews (I love reviews, they make my day!) and she will respond to them in the next update.

 





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