She Who Was My Love Chapter 11

Pain and heartache

Author's Note: Tomorrow's going to be a busy day so I thought I should post this today.

Buffy's POV

What am I gonna do? How do I live like this? How do I live with all these thoughts and feelings? Knowing what I know, feeling what I feel. Being where I've... been. I didn't ask for this. I didn't want this. But I'm here. I don't have a choice.

I drop my head into my hands on the park bench.

I can't do this. I can't be here in this place, with these people. It's so hard just breathing when I feel this way. Empty, alone, trapped inside this shell. I can't live like this. I just can't do it. It hurts too much. But I don't get a choice. I have to live with it.

"Hey B, mind if I sit down?"

Oh god... it's her. Of all the people that I can't stand the idea of being around...

"I'll take that as a no."

She sits down next to me.

"So how are you?"

How am I? I honestly don't know.

"Yeah well if I had been through what you've been through, I'd probably feel the same way."

What is she talking about? I haven't even said a thing.

"Look, Buffy..."

I finally look up at her.

"What do you want?"

She stops dead at my words, cold as they were.

Why does that make me feel good?

She looks at me confused.

"You know what I want B."

She reaches out to touch me and I get this horrible sinking feeling in me, making me slide down the bench a few inches to avoid her. Her hand freezes in mid-air and just hangs there for a few moments before pulling back.

"Buffy I'm sorry about what I said last night..."

Oh great.

"Not for the words themselves because I meant every last one but... I shouldn't have done that to you. It's just one more thing you didn't need to deal with."

Actually it made a few things perfectly clear.

"But I meant what I said about helping you through whatever you're going through."

We fall into silence together.

Oh yeah, this silence thing is really a big help.

"So what was it like?"

Did she really just ask that?

"What was what like?"

"Where you were... what was it like?"

I let my hair fall around my face so I don't have to look at her.

"I don't want to talk about it."

I don't ever wanna talk about it.

"Well, okay... you don't have to talk about it."

There's a long pause before she speaks again.

"You wanna do something? We could, go see a movie... or something."

A movie...? Don't think so.

"Or we could... Joyce said she was gonna make brunch later. We could go back home, have some good food."

Home... she thinks of it as home now does she?

"Or you know the ice cream place... remember the ice cream place? We could go get some ice cream, if you want."

I just want to be alone.

"Come on B, we'll go see the gang. See if there are any big evil things we can pummel for fun."

"Yeah sure... whatever..."

"You know we don't have to if you don't..."

I stand up and start walking.

"Let's go."

She follows me.

God I wish she'd just leave me alone. I guess I don't have a choice in that either.

Tara's POV

"And she seems okay?"

Well there's a question that can't be answered easily.

"Yeah..."

I was wrong.

"I guess... I mean she was kinda out of it for a while, quiet mostly. But she'll be okay."

"Will she?"

"Of course..."

"Buffy has clearly just been through an extremely traumatic experience. She may never come to accept what she's been through."

Willow seems to get more frustrated with every point Giles makes.

"She has Faith to help her."

"Faith herself has just been through a particularly traumatic experience. I highly doubt she is in any condition to help Buffy with her problems."

"She is, I mean, she will... Giles everything is gonna be okay. Faith is okay and so is Buffy, why can't you see that?"

"Because we are dealing with forces beyond our control, and when involved with such forces there are serious..."

"Consequences yes I know."

"Repercussions..."

Giles looks directly at me with his last word.

"I'm, I'm sorry... I t-tried to t-talk her out of, of it but..."

Willow puts her hand up to stop my apology.

"You don't have to apologize Tara. And you can skip the speech about dire consequences Giles, Spike gave us the same high and mighty speech when we brought Buffy home."

"Spike..."

"Yes and I didn't much appreciate it from him either. I know there are gonna be consequences to what we did, we all do and we'll deal with it when it happens. Just like Joyce said."

I should've tried harder.

"Joyce sees things through a mother's eyes."

I should've done more to try and stop this.

"Yet you left Joyce with the final decision."

"I did so because I believed as an adult Joyce would make the right decision. I realize now I was wrong."

There had to have been something I could've done.

"No, you weren't Giles. She made the right call for Faith and so did we. Now come on Giles, I don't wanna fight about this anymore. Can't we just be happy Buffy's back and leave it at that?"

Giles takes a deep breath and cleans his glasses.

"Having Buffy back makes me happier than I ever thought possible, but we still don't know where she was and how she's dealing with it. I have yet to even see her."

"Well you're in luck then..."

We all turn to see Faith and Buffy standing in the doorway.

"Cause here she is."

End of Chapter 11