Non Sequitur

Summary: Buffy's thoughts during the last scene of "Fool For Love."

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters portrayed here, they remain the property of their respective owners/creators.

Rating: PG-13, for themes.

Time Frame: Fifth season, during the last scene of "Fool For Love" (this is your spoiler warning, folks).

Archiving: Be my guest, but e-mail me ( to let me know. . .I like to know where stuff I write ends up and I might want to see what else you've got.


She's going to die.

I numbly step out onto the back porch and manage to sit on the top step without tripping, and after a few seconds I am sobbing harder than I have in a long time. Funny, I've spent the last day angsting about my own mortality, to the point where I was willing to spend two hours listening to Spike alternately brag about killing two Slayers and playing mind games with me, and all the time my mother is. . .she says it's probably nothing. . .and that the doctors can deal with it. . .but every instinct inside me is screaming that this is it. . .the thing I can't kill, or frighten away. . .the prophecy I can't beat.

I've had to face death before. . .thinking Giles was dead when Ethan Rayne cast that spell on him, losing Miss Calendar, thinking Willow had died. . .but this is worse. . .it isn't just a sudden stroke of cruel fate. . .it's slow, and subtle. . .and inevitable. I can't do a damned thing about this. . .I can't even kill the thing that is doing this to her.

Sitting out here like this is stupid. . .the most pathetic vampire in the world could come over here and take me down while I'm here hunkered down, crying my eyes out. Sure enough, I hear a noise, and I slowly look up and see a pale figure in leather.


Through my haze of grief, I can see that he's holding a gun. After I found out that Xander knew about military stuff due to that whole Halloween mess, I asked him to fill me in on guns. . .Giles didn't know all that much about them, and after having Darla and Patrice take pot shots at me, I wanted to know all about the damned things that I could, in case some other demons got the bright idea of moving into the nineteenth century. Spike's carrying a double-barreled shotgun: from ten feet away, even the pain from that chip won't screw up his aim enough to keep him from blowing my head all over the back porch with both barrels, and the anger I see in his eyes tells me that he knows it.

I'm dead. Just like that. A sudden pang of rebellion rises up inside me: I can give it a shot. . .he still has to raise the barrel of the shotgun, and I might be able to cross the ten feet between us before he can do it and pull the triggers. . .then I can finally stake the bastard once and for all. . .

I don't want to. I've had it. Spike was right, damn him. I've been at this for too long, seen too much, lost too much. . .and now this. Mom is one of my few ties to this world, and I'm going to lose her. . .and I'm just not sure I want to live to see another sunrise if I have to go on without her. My conscience whispers to me, telling me I have duties to those I would be leaving behind. . .Dawn, my friends, Giles. . .but I just don't care, damn it! I can't deal with this any more. I look at Spike, and think of goading him on, but I can't bring myself to do it. I settle for, "What do you want now?", then look at him, waiting for the ugly weapon to come to bear and end my pain.

His eyes stay hard for a moment, then somehow they soften, and I see the muscles in his jaw unclench. After a few seconds of waiting for him to realize he's got me right where he wants me and decide to blow me away, I am stunned to the core by his words:

"What's wrong?"

It isn't just the words. . .I've had to listen to Spike way more than I would have liked the last three years, and I've heard him sound sarcastic, joyful, angry, and even just pathetic. . .but I've never heard him sound like Xander, or Giles, or even Willow might if they came and found me in this state. Genuine concern: what in the hell is this? Coming from Spike. . .what's that term from that big list I had to screw into my brain for SATs. . .oh yeah, non sequitur. . .completely different from what I've always come to expect from Spike. . .like if I walked in on Xander watching Masterpiece Theater or if I heard Tara swearing like a truck driver. . .weird. Apparently, I'm not going to die. . .Spike must be getting heat from his demon buddies again, and the shotgun is backup. Running into me crying my eyes out is a tailor-made opportunity for him to get cheap entertainment at my expense, and I'll be damned if I'm going to give it to him. I try to snarl at him, but I just don't have the strength, and my reply is subdued: "I don't want to talk about it." I turn away from him, unwilling to see the mockery that I know will dance in his eyes when he decides to taunt me for my miserable state.

But there is only silence. I can see him out of the corner of my eye, and his expression is strange. It isn't the cruel look I would expect, nor is it the look of open compassion and support that I have seen when Giles, Angel, Willow, and Xander have seen me in similar states. He looks. . .puzzled. I wait for him to get bored and leave, or to decide that it's time to start tearing into me. He does neither, and once again his words totally blindside me:

"Is there something I can do?"

I cannot bring myself to reply. I wasn't imagining it the first time: the tone in his voice was concern. What's his game? Is he thinking that he went too far tonight, and that I'm finally ready to put him out of my misery? I think of just telling him that I'm not going to stake him, so he can quit sucking up to me, and would he please just leave me the hell alone, but once again I just can't bring myself to do it.

He moves toward me, then sits next to me, putting the shotgun down on the porch. I continue to watch him out of the corner of my eye, baffled by his behavior. On the bright side, it's keeping me from crying. After a few seconds, I see him move, and he starts patting me softly on the back.

OK. . .this is just too weird. I involuntarily remember Willow telling me about the night that Spike came into our room with the intention of killing her, only to find out what the Initiative had done to him. They had a weird conversation together, where Spike had actually been rather comforting to Willow in his seriously twisted way before she remembered that he had intended to kill her and ended the conversation with a table lamp against his skull. Is that what this is: I'm a trigger for whatever comfort reflex he picked up having to deal with Drusilla and all of her craziness for a hundred years? This is just too perverse. . .I have to make him go away.

I can't. I'm not going to dump this all on Dawn. . .unnatural origins aside, she still thinks she's a fourteen year old girl, and telling her that the person she thinks is her mother may be dying is not an option. I don't want to run to Giles, or Willow and Xander, or even Riley with this. . .and I'm certainly not going to pour my heart out to my mortal enemy, even if he does seem to be acting somewhat less maliciously than usual.

He stops patting my back, and just sits there, apparently willing to wait for me to say something. I don't intend to. . .but I am irrationally comforted by his presence. I still hate him, for all of the reasons I always have. . .but somehow in a month where my sister has become alien to me, and in which I may soon lose my mother forever, Spike's continued presence is a bizarre comfort to me. . .some things never change, and life goes on.

The sense of resignation that had me ready to die minutes before dissipates like an evil mist, leaving only the silence between Spike and me. We stare into the night, saying nothing, understanding nothing. Tomorrow, we may well be snarling at each other again. . .but for now, the silence between us will be my security blanket as I prepare to face my destiny anew.

As always, comments are welcomed and desired