Double Standards

Summary: Buffy asks the Scoobies about the double standards they have concerning her. WARNING: This is a venting fic, so no happy, fuzzy feelings between Buffy and the Scoobies.

Warning: I don't know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way. Snarky Buffy.

Timeline: season 7, during 'End of Days'.

A/N: I'm trying to use the comments I've heard in reviews and such to explain away what the Scoobies et al did to Buffy.

Thanks to my betas: zigpal, AshDawnSoulmates, and AerynSpeedleCaine.

Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission. Dialogue from .

Outside the Summers home

Having helped carry the wounded back to the house, Buffy turned to leave, Scythe in hand.

"Buffy, wait!" Willow called out before she could get down the stairs. "Where are you going? Aren't you going to come in?"

Quirking her eyebrow, Buffy replied by asking, "Did you forget that I'm not welcome here anymore? I'm not coming back until you've apologized."

Dawn frowned at her sister's attitude. "Why do we need to apologize? It's not as if we kicked you out; you chose to leave," she reminded the older Summers girl.

Buffy considered the statement for a moment, then inquired calmly, "Tell me something…if it had been any of you who was ganged up on, can you honestly say that you would have stayed? If you were told basically 'We don't trust you anymore, and would rather have somebody who's tried to kill us several times running the show. Suck it up and do what we tell you.' Huh?"

She glanced at them, but none of them answered her, and she continued, "I thought so. And the reason why I think you should apologize is because Faith just did the same thing you said I did wrong; she led the girls into a situation that a 5 year old could have figured out was an obvious trap. Or should I just wait here until you strip her of leadership too? Hate to tell you, but you've run out of Slayers to put in charge if it's not one of us. Of course, if she happens to die from her injuries, I suppose maybe Kennedy will get her shot, then she can lead you."

"We all decided that raiding the armory was a good idea," Giles defended, ignoring the comment about it being an obvious trap. "it wasn't Faith's fault it didn't turn out the way we'd hoped."

"Ahh, I get it now," Buffy said with an understanding nod. "So horrendously bad decisions are okay as long as majority rules? Think that makes a difference to the girls who died in the tunnels?" she asked brutally.

"But at least we made the decision together, Buffy. You just did whatever you wanted and dragged us along without caring if we died or lost an eye," Xander complained, pointing to the bandages on his face.

For a moment, Buffy felt a pang of regret at the reminder of her failure. Then she brushed it aside and asked, "So an eye is the cost of your loyalty, Xander? 'Cause I seem to recall what you told the girls a couple days ago. What was it again? '…she cares more about your lives than you will ever know. You gotta trust her. She's earned it.' Good to know what it takes to change your mind."

"You wouldn't even spend time with me in the hospital afterwards!" he shouted at her.

"Because I had information about Caleb to study!" she yelled right back. "Isn't that what we're supposed to do when we need to learn about a bad guy…research?"

Trying to keep things under control, Giles scolded his Slayer…or former Slayer, whatever she was now, "You could have shown a little more compassion for Xander or the girls, Buffy."

"Oh, like Faith did? Okay." Buffy looked at the one-eyed carpenter and suggested with fake enthusiasm, "Hey, Xander, let's go to a strip club, and I'll buy you a lap dance. Then we can get drunk, fight some cops with guns and stagger home in dark, where there are Turok Han and Bringers running around. Sound like fun?"

"She couldn't have known that the cops would be nuts," Dawn protested.

"But she did know that she was an escaped felon who should be laying low," Buffy replied.

"Nevertheless, this isn't about what Faith did. It's about the poor choices you've made recently. The final straw being the vineyard," Giles reminded.

Buffy gave them that nod again; somehow they were starting to recognize that it was sarcastic. "Oh right! The mistake I made of thinking that Caleb had something of mine there. That's the mistake you're talking about, right?" Before he could answer, she started twirling the Scythe in her hands. "Gee, what could he have had there that belongs to me? Wait a second…I've almost got it….Hey! I think it might be this nifty little toy here that can kill the uber-vamps like they were fledges!"

Willow tried to say something, "Buffy-"

But the blonde Slayer cut her off, "But you know what? I will admit that you were right about one thing. I never should have had the girls go with me. Of course, if you had bothered to ask me what I thought should be done with them, I never would have brought them to the Hellmouth in the first place. Not if they didn't expect to fight. Just living here under normal circumstances requires you to fight for your life. But during an apocalypse? Nuh-uh, you are responsible for putting those girls in danger, Giles, not me. You and whatever screwy dreams told them that Sunnydale is a place for protection."

Xander was getting fed up with the way Buffy was talking to them. "What about Spike? How are you going to justify putting him before all of us?" he demanded. "Especially after he killed all those people?"

"Because he was being manipulated by the First. If it had been you the First was controlling, should we have given up on you?" Buffy asked.

"I'm not a bloodsucking killer," Xander snapped.

Another sarcastic nod of understanding. "What about a vengeance demon? Are they fair game? Or an out-of-control witch who's trying to destroy the world? Who else aren't we allowed to give second chances to? Hey, what about a guy who decides to summon a demon, and people end up dying because of it, 'cause we have two of those here. And your new leader tried to help the Mayor become a full demon. How 'bout her?"

"What about a Slayer who won't kill her demon boyfriend when he's killing hundreds of people?" Xander spat. "We gave her a second chance."

Buffy scoffed at his estimate of Angelus' death count, "Hundreds? You actually think he killed several people a day? First of all, the average death and disappearance rate didn't go up those months that Angelus was loose. Second, Angelus loves to torture his victims before killing them. I'd be surprised if he killed more than say…three or four a week. I may not be as smart as Willow or Giles, but my math has that adding up to about five dozen or so. Not something I'm proud of, but it's hardly hundreds."

"And you seem to be forgetting that I didn't have daily chances to kill him that I ignored," she reminded all of them. "One of those chances happened to be when Giles went after him. I could have finished it then, but Giles would have died. I had to make a choice which was more important: a vampire or my Watcher. Maybe you all think I should have made the other choice, huh?"

Then she turned back to Xander, and said, "Besides, you wanted me to give Anya another chance after she killed a bunch of guys. What makes her any different than Angel? Is it the fact that she chose to become a demon…not once, but twice when things didn't go the way she wanted?"

On a roll now, Buffy had an epiphany that she shared with them, "You know, I think I've figured out what the real problem is between us. There's one set of rules and expectations for you, and a different set for me. And all because I was lucky enough to have my life turned upside-down by becoming a Slayer. Yeah, that seems fair," she bit out sarcastically. "I'll be seeing ya around," the blonde slayer said, turning to walk away from her home for the second time. This time, though, she walked with her head held up high.

A/N: There, another venting session comes to a close. Now I suppose I have to brace myself for your venting sessions, huh? You really shouldn't read my venting fics if you don't like to see the Scoobies in a bad light. I did warn you in the summary what it was.