Disclaimers: His Infernal Majesty, Joss Whedon, and the Queen of Pain, Marti Noxon, own all.  I, their humble subject, merely pay tribute.

Spoilers: "Dead Things"

Note: I think Jonathan might just be redeemable, and this is what I'm hoping his thoughts are following "Dead Things."

Note II: Thanks yet again to my Darling Betas, Tanja and Gyrus.




This was supposed to be fun.

We had this idea, Andrew, Warren, and me, that we'd team up and take over Sunnydale.  It'd be like a big role-playing game, or a comic book.  We'd be supervillains, like the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, just without being furry or blue or whatever.  We'd have a big, ultra-cool mansion with all kinds of gadgets, girls in skimpy clothes would be falling all over us, and all the people who tormented us while we were growing up would be our slaves.  We thought we'd be unstoppable: Warren the genius inventor, Andrew the demon wrangler, and me, the warlock.  With all that, how could we fail?  It wouldn't even be work.  We'd have all we wanted, and we'd have fun getting it.

Except for a few messy details, like the Slayer.  She's always stopped everyone who's tried to take over Sunnydale before, like the Master, the Mayor, Adam the cyber-Frankenstein, heck, she's even got Spike on a leash now.  So we figured we'd have to fight her.  Every supervillain's got to have a superhero, after all.  We'd fight her, we'd win, and we'd make her our sex toy, 'cause after all, she's hot, right?  Our own personal Lara Croft.  It would be fun.

God, we're numbskulls!  No, I'm the numbskull.  I'm the numbskull, Warren's the sociopath, and Andy's the kid we're introducing to the wonderful world of rape and murder before his eighteenth birthday.

They're in bed now.  Warren's sleeping the sleep of the conscience-impaired while Andy twitches in his dreams.  Me, I can't sleep, so I head for the computer and log on to the 'net.

But the 'net's not fun anymore.  I can't even go to my favorite porn sites without seeing Katrina in that French maid getup, furious and accusing us of rape.  I couldn't believe it when she said that; after all, this was just a fantasy, right?  Every guy dreams of making a gorgeous girl his willing sex slave.  Besides, mind control is a basic part of the supervillain package.  It was just fun, y'know?  Never hurts anyone in the comics.  I guess I never thought of what the girl would have to say about it. 

Katrina had plenty to say.  She was mad, and she was grossed out at the thought of being passed around by us.  I could see her point, too.  After all, how would I feel if guys like us made me—ew, bad mental place.  I can't even think about it.  The way she was looking at us made me feel all dirty.

It made her feel dirty, too.  I could see that.  We should've just let her go and gone on the lam, but Warren wouldn't let her.  I still can't believe . . . the sound it made when Warren . . . that'll never be out of my head.  He was right about one thing: we all killed her.  With what we did, we killed her.

I should've stood up to Warren then.  I should've told him I was leaving.  When he started making plans, I should've told him I wouldn't go along with it. 

"Should've" doesn't mean a damn thing, as my dad used to say.

I was scared.  I was scared of the police, of going to prison, and I was scared of Warren.  I suddenly saw what he's really like.  He was totally willing to kill Buffy twice before.  Once with that M'Fashnik demon we hired, and then with the invisibility ray.  Warren told us Willow was lying, trying to throw us off when she said he had it set too high.  I believed him then.  I don't now.

We pinned the murder on Buffy.  I stood behind a tree and watched as she checked Katrina's pulse.  Then she just knelt by the body, completely still.  Spike had to drag her away.  She didn't want to leave; she wanted to take responsibility for what she'd done.  What she thought she'd done.  Not like me.

What if she goes to the police and confesses to Katrina's murder?  She's got friends, and responsibilities, like her little sister . . . what's her name?  I know I've heard it before.  What's Buffy's little sister's name?

God, I can't remember.  I can't remember the name of the poor kid whose life we might have just ruined.

Warren's the real master with the 'puter, but I'm not a half-bad hacker myself.  Willow Rosenberg taught me some stuff because she was nice and liked to help people.  No wonder she and Buffy are friends.  I do a search to see what's out there on Buffy.  If she's been arrested, maybe I can help her out.

No arrests.  What pops up instead is her mother's obituary.  I didn't think I could feel any worse, but when I see the picture of Buffy's dead mother, it's like she's accusing me from the grave.  This being Sunnydale and all, that's entirely possible, too.  I read the obit:  Joyce Summers, survived by her daughters Buffy and Dawn.  There.  Now I know who I might be taking Buffy away from.

I wonder if Buffy's figured it out, or if she still thinks she killed Katrina and can't confess because she's got to take care of Dawn.  Does Buffy feel as dirty as I do?  Did she sit in the shower and scrub her skin raw, like I did?

Two days ago, the thought of Buffy in the shower would've just been another item for my Spank Bank.  Now all I can see is her pale face while she knelt by Katrina's body.

Buffy doesn't deserve this!  She's a friggin' hero!  All she's ever done is be nice to me and save lives, and now her life's being ruined by three guys who need to grow up and get lives.

This was supposed to be fun.  It was supposed to be like a comic book.  Only, it's not.  Real people are involved.  Real Andy's turning into as much of a psycho as Warren.  Real Buffy blames herself for something we did.  Real Dawn might lose her only family.  Real Katrina is dead.  Real Katrina's family thinks she committed suicide.

Real Jonathan's got to do something.  I look at the picture of Joyce Summers and swear to her I'll make this right, even if it kills me.  Hey, it just might.  No great loss to the world.

This isn't fun anymore.  I'm ashamed of myself for ever thinking it was.