pg. mostly.

another contemplative ficlet. written for the creative arts magazine at university.

set sometime during season 7, as a reflection of season 6 and early season 7.

She doesn't know where she is, but she does know that he's here with her. He's always with her.

She thought she'd finally fought him off, purged him from her system, made him run, made him cry, made him scream (so loud that a year later it reverberates in her mind and ears, leaving her in absolute disorder and everything around her in chaos). She apologizes desperately to him with her thoughts, begging, crying, pleading with him to love her still, to forgive her; "I just wanted the PAIN to stop!" she cries, staring into his feral yellow (yet still so obviously heartbroken) eyes.

But that's the thing about pain. It never stops. Worms it's way into you. Makes you cry. Makes you hurt. Makes you scared. Above all, it's what makes you human, and above all, this is what she has denied him. He isn't human, though... would never be so again, not after more than a century of being dead.

And it is in the most contradictory of statements that seems to prove that he is more human than most humans. But this is what he has always been: a contradiction. Most of his kind feels perpetual hatred, perpetual hunger, perpetual selfishness. Okay, and most of the time, he has the selfishness narrowed down to a 'T,' but not all the time.

That is the key phrase - 'not all the time.' When it is to his benefit, he can betray the best and worst, and cause an uproar, chaos bleeds, hell running rampant on earth. But when he never even receives anything... not the slightest smile, or the kindest word from her, he continues to work toward gaining the littlest affection, toward encouraging his hope. He is deeper than the rest of his kind, he has more presence, learns more, feels more - sadness, anger, lust, love, adoration. He encompasses all emotions. He is Passion personified.

Is he human? Not internally; physically, yes, even in his demonic visage, and oh, how she knows that so well. Personal experience did wonders for the psyche. Did the demon inside him have any humanity? Not exactly, yet surprisingly it did; at least, more so than any other of his kind. Is he still in love with her?

Okay, this is off topic, but it goes well with the generality of it all. And it is doubtful at this point, but God, she hopes so.

Now... has she been scared so senseless that she rejected him last year, and inadvertently subjects him to months of psychological torture from his own mind? Psychological torture that stems from the power of the one thing in the world that he's gone to get willingly, the one thing that gives him the hope that she will no longer look at him and see him as a vicious, disgusting monster?

You betcha.

But the major question here is that now that he's come back, now that he's (mostly) sane again, now that his guilt eats at him every moment of every day, now that he is forced to hide all the emotion and passion inside of him behind the strongest facade he has, and is no longer near the same strong, brave, confident man that he once was...

He is a shell of himself. Does she still fear him? Does she still fear the heat of love, the longing, worshipful gazes he throws her way when he thinks she doesn't see him? Does she still fear his utter devotion to her, and his staying willingness to kill and be killed for her?

She's stronger now. Older, aged ten years in the span of six months, wiser, and braver than she was, and she is only twenty-two years old. She's willing to admit and confront her mistakes, her... demons; she's more than willing not to hold his own against him. No grudges.

He hovers around her, despite the vigil he holds for himself in her basement. His presence is always around her, and instead of being uncomfortable, and edgy, and weary as she once was, she is at peace. Calm. Reassured that no matter what she does in the future, he will always be by her side. She still doesn't know where she is, but she knows that she's with him.

She has no reason to run away anymore. She has no reason to hide - from herself, from the world, and most especially not from him.

She has no fear.


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