I don't own Buffyverse characters, but I do own this.

Well, this is a somewhat admittedly self-indulgent piece, written mostly to soothe my aching fan heart and try to organize my thought in the aftermath of Seeing Red. That bathroom scene was harder for me to watch than anything I've ever seen on that show before—I totally unspoiled and "shell shock" is the term for my condition. The acting by both James Marsters and Sarah Michelle Gellar was mind-blowing, and the pain & emotion of the entire…thing was shocking. I'm SO mad at everybody in that show right now… in these last two eps my heart finally softened to Buffy after a whole season of being unhappy with her, only to find myself very VERY angry at Spike, my heretofore proclaimed 'favorite character'. Which he still is, I think. I can't hate him, cause I GET IT. It was wrong, and VERY VERY BAD. But at the same time, it was a sad, misguided attempt at trying to reach something very human. I want to kick his ass right now for being well, CHILDISH. He was like an angry, lost little kid that doesn't understand how to make his way in the world, and he did something so STUPID and WRONG because of it. But at the same time I feel bad that he doesn't know who he is anymore or why… why he failed at being bad and still obviously hasn't made it to good yet. See kiddies?! This is what comes from building relationships based solely on violence! For this whole season Spike was essentially told that through violence was the only way he could have Buffy, and look what he did because of it! GGRRR!! I'm so mad! But this will not conquer my shippiness… Joss is a harsh god of buffyverse, but he WILL make things right by the end of season seven. I've always rooted for them to be together at last in the final episodes, and I'm sure now that's how long it will take. Cause, as painful and cruel as it is, Spike still has growing up to do; in a way this terrible ugly thing… it was human ugliness, and born from human emotions, not those of a monster. I'm just hoping that by the time he does get to be ok, that Buffy will be able to forgive him (which will rightfully take a LONG time). God, I love and I hate this show.


Red Letter Partings

By Rashaka

Home-manicured fingers quavered as they opened the folds of soft, over- handled paper. Foggy blue eyes, impatient and angry, bitter and scared, roved the landscape of pen with ambivalence—does a good person forgive a friend if the friend hurts the person one loves the most? If that friend is a nightmare on a leash, is only human in pretend—is the forgiveness ones to give? Did it not belong to all those wronged? The letter's recipient thought maybe so, maybe not. Thought perhaps only the dead had the right, but maybe only the living had the power. So she let her gaze fall down to the letter,angry tears at the end of her eyes. The words scrawled before her, letters elegant in form but awkward from lack of practice, did not ask for forgiveness though. They asked instead for her quiet attention, and only that.


Don't burn this yet. Please, Dawn, just read this through. It's important—to you, to Buffy, to me. I'm writing to you because of all the Scoobies you know me, or at least you almost do. Yeah, I'm not calling you Little Bit this time—you're too old for it now, really, and besides what I have to say you need to hear as the young woman you're becoming, not the child you're growing out of.

I'm leaving, Dawn. I'm leaving Sunnydale, leaving California, probably leaving the whole lovely sodding continent. Don't scream; don't rant—just keep reading. You have to read because I have to make you understand why. You need to hear it, I need to tell it, and I'm not going to coddle you.

I remember when I vowed I'd never leave you. June 17th, pre-sunrise and post-monster attack—you made me swear again a promise I'd already made to Buffy. But the world was different then, pet. It was a world without Buffy. In that world you needed me to protect you, and I needed you as a reason to hold on. Now the world's changed on us again… Buffy's back, but she's different. I'm different. This place, this town and its people, it changed me. I'm not the same vampire who rode in on a black dragon with royal murder on my mind, and I'm not the same creature that suffered Glory for two humans, or the one who failed you both that night on the tower. My love was strong then, it was bright and deep and singing in my blood. It was unrequited, but that was ok, because it was the kind of love that didn't need reciprocity to thrive.

She went and sodding changed everything. It's not unrequited anymore and isn't that funny? My love can survive rejection and loss, but it can't survive being almost returned.

The last time we had words, you asked me if I truly loved your sister. I didn't answer you then because it was blurry…everything was. It was mere hours ago, yet the world has changed on me again since then, at least from here. But the answer is yes, Dawn. I do love Buffy. But I hate her too, and that's something you can't afford to forget. What's happened between us these last months—it's been ugly Dawn. I wanted to make it more; I tried to make it more, but none of it happened the way I wanted it to no matter how far I reached. There were moments it almost could have beautiful, could have been something worth being proud of, but we were neither of us quite adept enough to catch and hold onto them.

I did something evil tonight, Dawn. The first evil thing I've done in what seems like years. It was unsuccessful, thank god, but what's killing me is that I did it at all. Maybe she'll tell you, but I doubt it. They'll try and protect you from it, but I'm going to protect you now by making sure you can protect yourself. The world can be a bad place, and people you think you know do bad things. It's a fact of life parents don't want to tell you. As for what it was—I almost did something I never though I could do to a woman I loved—but at the same time, I know somewhere in my gut that being the person that I am, I only ever could have done it to a woman I loved. And I know I'm a soulless, selfless thing, but I say person because it was the person in me that drove me to try. The lack of a soul only stopped me from stopping myself. It's unforgivable, what I did, and I can't stop thinking about it, stop running it through my head like eight millimeter show behind scratched glass. Was that me, in there, doing that? Was that me, so insane with pain and confusion that I was hurting her? I was so lost, Dawn. I've been so lost for so long. I've never loved anyone the way I love Buffy, and I've never tried to hurt a woman I loved the way I almost hurt her. And I'm so fucking adrift Dawn, because what I wanted from her tonight—it's not something vampires want. Not with that intent or those muddled reasons. The evil behind what I did, it was a fucking human evil, and I can't handle it. I don't know what to do about anything anymore. I used to cherish being in love with Buffy, as hard and harsh as it was; now I just want everything to stop. I want all of it to end, to go away.

And that, Dawn, was a revelation in itself. I'm leaving Sunnydale tonight, but I know I'll be coming back, because it won't just stop. The one true bit of enlightenment to make itself indelibly clear to me tonight was that this thing between Buffy and I won't end until one of is dead. This I know; I know it with clarity one can't imagine till its brained you full on. It's a sick parody of a lifetime commitment—I will love and I will hate Buffy until death do us part. Maybe it'll be me, maybe her. Maybe, if wishes were granted to creatures of my kind, it'll be the both of us together, years from now, going down side-by-side and heart-to-heart. I can't guess, and I've learned not to try, even if the pragmatist in me looks back at 149 years of history and snarks that I'll be the one to kick it first. Love was the death of me as a human; as a vampire I expect it will be no different.

I will come back, Dawn, only when the world has changed for me again. Maybe I'll have a chip, maybe I won't. But when I do come back it will mean things are different. As I am now, everything is wrong. I can't be a monster for her to fight and I can't be a man for her to love. I have to be sure before I return that what I'm feeling comes from me, and not from a piece of plastic and metal. I have to know why and how I can feel these things immortality promised to purge me of. Before you see me again, I need you to perform the disinvite spell. Buffy won't do it, and Willow won't without her permission. I need you to do it, Dawnie. Not for yourself, because whether you believe me or not, I will never touch you—a beloved woman asked it of me the night she died, and if nothing else I will hold to that forever. But I can't promise you the same for Buffy. I love and hate her too much to say that when I return it won't be for her life and blood.

Protect your sister, Dawn. Disinvite me, and when I return don't assume I'm the man I was last summer. Maybe more like you, maybe like who I used to be. I can't say who I will become, except that as long as we are on the same earth, good or bad she will be the center of my existence, the pull I can't ignore.

Farewell Dawn. Watch for the monsters in the night, especially the ones you think you know.

-William Terrence Beckerson,


The well-worn stationary, worked almost delicate from too much handling between cigarette smoke and pale, calloused hands, was folded neatly. It was placed gently into a box and pressed with it into a corner, out of sight and perhaps one day out of mind. Tears slowly drifted down a young girls cheeks, but her face was oddly serene. Silent weeping was all she could spare for that one—she had a sister who needed her far more. But as she left the room to scope the situation downstairs, she pocketed a pen and paper. She'd require them for copying a spell when she stopped by the magic box the next day. After all, a friend had asked a parting favor of her.