Title: After all, she was the Slayer (B & G, Rating: G)
Summary/Timeline: Moments after the credits roll on Helpless (Season 3). A quiet moment in the library.
Disclaimer: These characters aren’t mine. Plot lines aren’t even really mine; they’re just beamed to me via satellite. All hail the mighty and benevolent Joss for making it all possible.
Feedback: Welcomed and appreciated. Concrit is valued as well, although preferred in an email.
Thanks: To my darling Elizabuffy, who betaed this through a headache and who is always willing to let me throw things at her that come out of my brain, even if it’s after a long stretch of time when I wasn’t writing anything at all. All corrections are hers, all remaining mistakes are mine.
He held his handkerchief to her temple, and she closed her eyes against everything. He’d betrayed her and lied to her, and she sat under his hand, thinking about the look in his eye, the one that said he was sorry and he was hurting and the one she almost didn’t want to face. It would be easier to be angry at him. She wanted to be angry. She’d wanted to send him back with Travers and the rest of them, get rid of him and be done with Slaying – never pick up another stake. Never deal with another dusting. Never ever have to rescue her mom from a bastard psychopath vampire ever again.
But he looked at her with those eyes, so full of pain an hurt and *sorry,* and she just couldn’t hate him. Not as completely as she needed to. There were too many other people who deserved it way more. Travers. The bastard. He wallowed in her pain, wrapped in his stupid smug smile and is oh-so-sanctimonious congratulations She wished she had the energy to beat that smug smile out of him. But she didn’t. She did the only thing that she could think of to hurt him as much as possible – getting rid of him like he wasn’t important, like he didn’t matter, like he had no power over her.
But Giles sat in front of her, still there, still sorry, and she almost wished she didn’t have to open her eyes ever again. Then she wouldn’t have to face him, and the things she knew, on some level, that he needed from her. She was so tired of giving. Even if they didn’t see it that way, that’s what slaying was, a gift that sucked the life out of her as much as it made her strong sometimes. And now she felt like strong wasn’t a word that applied to her; she just wanted to curl up in a ball somewhere, stop thinking about the bastards around her, and stop being the big, bad slayer, just for a couple of seconds.
She could almost taste it… Her own blood. The look Giles was trying not to give her. The fear of the last couple of days. It was on the tip of her tongue – a bitter pill she didn’t want to have to swallow.
But it hurt just as much to keep her eyes closed. So she opened them, and looked Giles in the face. After all, she was the Slayer.