Buffy woke and sat up and looked around, completely disoriented. It took her a few moments to realise where she was. She was in the abandoned building. Wow…they’d really done some damage…
Crap, where was he? There was no way he was ever gonna shut up about this.
Looking around, Buffy saw no sign of him. Surprised, she let out her senses and…nothing. He had left? The bastard had left her to wake up alone, and she didn’t know whether to be pissed that he had gone or happy that she didn’t have to face him. She was filled with a mixture of relief and remorse. She didn’t understand what it meant; didn’t dare try to analyze it. Ambivalence, thy name is Buffy. Sudden insecurity overwhelmed her and as she gazed around the room forlornly, she spotted it. An envelope propped up against the wall next to the door, a stark white rectangle against a dark brown background.
Moving to pick it up, Buffy made note of the artistic way her name was written in the beautifully elegant and ornate script. The paper that the envelope had been made from, seemed soft and thick under her fingertips, and the word expensive came to mind. She realised that he must have gone out and got it while she slept. Turning it over, she noted the wax seal and the tiny crest that seemed to have been pressed into the wax. Carefully sliding her finger underneath the flap, she eased the seal from its place. Gently opening the flap, she removed the papers inside, unfolded them, and started to read.
I want so much to watch you as you wake, enjoying the bliss of holding you in my arms, but the truth is Slayer, I’m afraid. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not afraid of the Slayer…I’m afraid of Buffy.
With the Slayer, I know where I stand. She can’t see me as anything more than a soulless demon. She sees me as the monster I was and she won’t allow herself to see me as anything else because of Angelus.
See I figured it out, luv. The Slayer went against her nature and trusted a demon, and the fact that he had a soul made it easier. When he lost his soul and wasn’t able to love her anymore, she blamed her Buffy half for holding her back from killing him when she had the chance. She blamed Buffy for the lives that were lost after that and she vowed never to trust another demon. So, you see, I do understand where the Slayer is coming from, and I respect her right to make that vow.
The Buffy part is harder, because she’s so bloody fragile. She’s been hurt so much and usually by the ones she loves most. I knew that leaving you alone to wake up would hurt that insecure little girl, but I also know that if I’d stayed, I would have buggered it up by saying something stupid and she would have been hurt anyway. I mean, look at last night, bloody wanker that I am. You didn’t come back wrong, pet. You’re all human, and if you get the white witch to suss it out, I’m sure you’ll find a perfectly logical reason for the chip not working on you. I know you won’t believe me, but I’m sorry that I said that to you. I never wanted to hurt you.
I wish I felt secure enough to talk to you about all this, but I know how I am. I’m an insecure bastard and I get defensive the minute I think someone is having a go at me. I speak before I think and I end up making a balls up of everything.
I thought about this long and hard before I decided to do it this way. There’s some things that I think need to be said and I know you won’t listen to me, but I thought that if I write all down, you might just read it while you’re alone. I give you my word that I will never mention anything that has happened or anything I put on this letter. I’ll leave it totally in your hands from this point on.
I think Buffy stopped trusting herself when Angel lost his soul. She built walls around her heart that just got higher and thicker with every new hurt. She never lost her ability to love; just her ability to trust, and without trust, you can’t have love. She’s also scared— scared that if she takes that leap of faith, that she’ll be hurt again. That whoever she gives her heart to will leave her, and honestly, given her history, you can’t really blame her for feeling that way.
When you add the whole being pulled out of Heaven bit on to all that you’ve been through, it’s understandable that you feel emotionally frozen. But I think you’re doing yourself more harm than good by not being straight with your friends. They need to know how they’ve hurt you far worse than Angel did after losing his soul. They need to understand that they don’t have the right to make decisions for you, that they don’t live your life; you do. They need to know it so they won’t do it again. Telling them these things is the only way to purge the anger that’s poisoning your soul.
Now, before you start saying, ‘what would he know about a soul,’ let me just say this— I was human once, pet. I understand what you’re going through. See, I allowed the opinions of others to have such an impact on my life that in a moment of great distress, I gave in to my own death wish. I don’t want you to give in to yours.
I know you’ll never love me. I finally get it, but I still want to be able to help you and maybe one day earn your trust. If I thought getting a soul was the answer, I’d be on the next plane to Africa to go through those trials I’ve heard so much about. But I don’t think that’s a solution to what you’re going through. Much as it pains me to say it, I think the only one who can really help you, luv, is you.
Last night meant more to me than you could ever imagine. You let me touch heaven. You also showed me what I am. It was a bloody revelation, Buffy. Every part of me loves every part of you, and if I had my way you would never want for anything ever again. I still have money from when I was human, so it’s totally legal. I’d use it to make sure you never had to worry about mundane things like bills again. I’d shower you with presents, watch your back when you fight, pamper you when you need it, be your sounding board when you want to vent. I could be your partner, your friend, and your lover. But, as I am, I can’t be anything to you, can I?
Tell me what to do, Buffy. Tell me what you want. Give me a chance to prove I can, at the very least, be your friend.
You have my heart, Slayer. Do with it what you will.
As she read the letter for the third time, Buffy cried.