Leaving

Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction

by cheebs!

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Leave.

It was what every cell of her being told her. Leave the dank, pitiful excuse for a room in which she'd spent too many solitary days. Leave the too-perfect suburbia in which she would never - could never - belong.

Leave behind the horrid sick feeling in her gut which refused to be assuaged. Leave the body of another she'd been too slow to save. Leave the shock on his face...on hers.

Leave. It was what she was best at...wasn't it? It certainly had been in Southie, when she'd escaped her stepfather's rapes and beatings. She'd waited for him to get lost in his usual drug haze, then had slipped out her bedroom window with the few outfits she'd stuffed into her bag.

But that hadn't been the last time she'd left; far from it. She'd gotten away from men twice her size who'd woken her with hands around her neck as they forced her legs apart, whose leers and fetid breath still haunted her. She'd run from store owners and police, evading them by the slimmest margins, scared more of being sent home than anything else.

Finally she'd left Boston, happily and willingly leaving behind a city that had held nothing for her but pain and helplessness. She'd been told she was Chosen for something far greater, and life would improve. It had, somewhat; she'd had her basic needs provided for, at least.

Then Missouri had happened, and again, she'd left. Her mind had fled first, screaming at her feet to follow. Her watcher's voice had trailed not far behind, accusing her of being weak, slow and unworthy of her Calling. Unworthy she would never have argued, as she'd often asked why she'd been called. Weak she certainly had been in comparison to girls who'd been trained and cared for, never sleeping in abandoned buildings and eating garbage, never selling their bodies for a good meal or a few hours in a warm bed. But slow she hadn't been; panic and self-preservation had given her feet wings and she had slipped away into the darkness.

She'd even left Sunnydale after The Bitch and her Evil Glove of Doom, as she had come to think of them. As soon as her bruising and swelling had faded enough to avoid unwanted attention, she'd hitched to L.A. and tried to lose herself among the other street kids. True, she had returned a little over a week later, but even that had been a departure of sorts, from the faceless forms that populated her dreams, shades of innocents who had undoubtedly died during her sulk. It certainly hadn't been fear of street life that had caused her flight - in that one week she'd already made sure one would-be rapist never could again, and had had more food in her stomach than she'd had in a long while. But guilt had caught up with her after the first night, and her nightmares had left her insomnolent.

No longer was she the scared child she'd been just months earlier, yet she would always be. Leaving would always be her modus operandi. This time could be different, though, she decided in the time it took to blink. She had an opportunity to set things right, as well as the power to do so.

With new resolve, she crossed the dock and buried her stake in the vampire's heart.

Leaving could wait.

~never an end~
12/04/02