To Want To Need
He stood in the shadows watching the boy in the bed. The others had gone home not knowing he had come back to stand vigil.
He watched the lights on the machines next to the bed intently knowing they meant the boy was alive. When had this human, this man-child become so important to him?
Wanting the boy he understood. He knew want, the want of the bloodlust, the want of the childe, the want of the demon. The need he did not understand, to need meant to be hurt. He needed his sire and the hurt went spirit deep when he was left behind. He hid it in anger, wrapping the pain so tightly that no one would ever know about it. He needed his Dark Princess, his Dru but she wasn't his Dru. She would always leave him for her Daddy, her Angelus. More need, more hurt, more pain.
He had made a vow to himself to never need again. It had been fine until this innocent, laughing, self-effacing child came into his unlife, babbling and stumbling while facing demons and death daily.
His want for this boy grew and became a burning need to possess. He could bring the boy over but at what cost? So he waited silently in the shadows willing the boy to live, to not leave him alone again.
It is very early in the morning, maybe I will be able to be alone with Xander, no one to watch me. Of course they are already here, watching me, waiting for me to do something.
What am I supposed to do? I don't know how to act. Am I supposed to wail and weep like Willow? Am I supposed to be cool and calm like Giles or maybe angry and impatient like Buffy. I don't know what they want from me.
There, I carefully patted Xander on the head, was that good? Is that what I should do? I was a demon for a thousand years, I don't know how to be human. Xander helped me, he always told me how I should act but he can't now.
I don't think I love him but I don't want to be alone. Does that make me evil? I need him to tell me if I am being human enough. I miss my life, I was a good vengeance demon but I am not a good human. I don't want to be here.
Xander cannot help me anymore, he needs someone who will love him and that is not me. Was that what a human would say? Am I making the appropriate responses? Have I done well?
I don't want to be human anymore,it hurts.
"Hi Xander, it's Dawnie. Yeah, I know I should be in school but I wanted to come see you. The Doctors say you probably can't hear me but I think you can so I am going to keep talking to you.
You have to wake up Xander, I need you to, please. Who am I going to play Life with and watch cheesy horror movies with so we can make fun of the monsters together and stuff our faces with pizza and chocolate? Who else can I gripe to about her bitchyness? You listen to me, you don't look at me like I'm something else. To you I'm just the Dawnster.
Do you know that you are the only one that I don't mind calling me a silly name. I wanna beat Riley every time he does...I'm your Dawnster, just like I'm Spike's Niblet.
You know I love you don't you, no not like that silly. You're my big doofus brother who will always fight the bogy man for me, and give me nuggies and listen to me babble.
I know, I know, you and Willow are the babble King and Queen but I can be the Princess right?" sighing deeply, "I better leave now before her Slayerness finds out I skipped, yeah like she never did that, right? Xander please get better, I don't think I can do this alone. Nobody else can make me laugh... no one else really cares if I laugh or not."
ripper's thoughts in italics
Xander how did you manage to end up here again? Do you ever listen to me? I have done my best to teach you children...
Yeah, you really taught the lad just fine didn't ya Rupes?
...to be careful and know what you are fighting.
You taught the slayer bint just fine didn't ya? You even taught the witch, too bleedin' much if you ask me, but what did you teach the boy? He was the only one who never asked for nothin', the one who expected nothin'.
Xander I did my best to prepare you to face whatever enemy came our way. Why do you insist on rushing about in so foolhardy a fashion?
BECAUSE YOU BLOODY STUPID, USELESS PILLOCK YOU DIDN'T TEACH THE LAD SHITTE. Need bait, use the lad, need an extra weapon, use the lad, need a distraction, use the lad.
Oh God, I really did fail you didn't I? I did not even begin to teach you what you really needed to know.
Now you get the idea Rupes, little too late though ain't it. All the lad wanted was some notice, some caring, even I could figure that out.
Xander you need to fight, we all need you to come back. Buffy may be the group's strength, Willow the brains but you, you're the heart of the group. I never realized it before but you are our soul. We are not complete without you.
"Goddess, Xander it's been a week now, you have to wake up. I keep telling Giles that there has to be some spell somewhere that will make you better but he always says no. I can't just sit here doing nothing but Giles is so mad at me right now, I guess I shouldn't do anything. When you got hurt hh..he...well he noticed the signs from spells I cast on you and made me remove them.
They were only protection spells, I swear, I get so worried about you, you're such a trouble magnet never mind the fact that you're a demon magnet too. Let's face it you need all the help you can get. Okay, so one was a "little" love and devotion thing, it really wasn't much and you and Anya seemed much happier after I did it. I mean what kind of trouble could a tiny love spell cause?
Giles said it was irresponsible and careless of me but IT WASN'T! I knew what I was doing. I needed to protect you, you're my best friend. I am not careless, I'm not. It was for your own good, it really was, no matter what Giles says.
I know there's a spell that would help you in one of those books, I just have to find it. I know I can find it if I can get at the books Giles keeps locked up.
If I could only get Tara to help me but she thinks I'm doing too much magic too. What harm could a little spell or two cause? It's not like it's black magic or evil, right?
Maybe a little "forget" spell on them so I can get to the right books...yes, that would work...they'd never have to know...would they?"
"Hey Xan, don't you think it's about time you woke up? We're all just kind of hanging around here waiting for you. You know I do have other things to do, important slayeree stuff, demons to kill, worlds to save..you have to wake up Xander.
Why Xander? Why didn't you wait for me, I'm the slayer, the one chosen yada yada. It should have been me facing that monster it wouldn't have hurt me like it did you.
You always try to do stuff you know I should be doing. Jealous much? I'M THE SLAYER not you, ME..it should have been me. I'm supposed to fight the icky things and stake the vamps not you. You're just supposed to be my loyal sidekick and stay out of the way.
Oh God Xander I'm so sorry...I wasn't there, I should have been there. I'm so tired, it's too much sometimes, this being the chosen thing.
Sometimes I want it all go away. I want to wake up one morning and not be Buffy the Slayer but just Buffy the girl I used to be. I want to go out at night and not have to carry a stake and watch for vampires, to not know five hundred ways to kill a demon, be able to hold someone's hand and not worry about crushing it..sometimes I hate being the slayer.
Everyone who knows thinks it's so cool and that I really get off on it but it's lonely Xander and it hurts so much sometimes.
You always manage to make me feel better. You can't leave me, being with you makes me almost feel like I'm normal, not a freak of nature. You treat me like I'm just the Buffster and I need that.
If I didn't have you and Willow and Dawn and Giles I don't think I could do this. I don't think I would want to do this anymore."
`Darkness, pain...oh God it hurts so bad..please someone make it stop..darkness again, the pain always goes away as the darkness falls.
Is someone there? It's getting lighter, oh God the pain is coming back, it hurts, it hurts please someone help.
Something cool on my face, that feels nice please stay there. No wait the coolness is leaving..the pain is here again..please do something..oh good the darkness is coming back. I think I'll just stay in the darkness for awhile and rest.
It's getting light again, the light always brings the pain back. I don't like the light.
Somebody is there but I can't move. Anya is that you? I can almost hear you. An..it hurts really bad. Please stop the pain. Wait, where are you going? Please don't go, please don't leave me alone. Somebody stay with me.
Oh there's the coolness again, someone stroking my face and arm. I should know you shouldn't I? I know that smell, you smell so good. Umm that feels so good. Please stay, please don't stop..the darkness is coming again. It's blessedly pain free in the darkness you know.
Someone is talking to me. Who is it, I can't hear them. There's the light again. Am I supposed to go to the light? No stupid that's a movie..oh my God it hurts again. Something's poking at me, stop it, leave me alone I hurt, don't touch me you aren't the coolness, you're hurting me. Don't I already hurt enough stop it. Oh God make it stop. Why isn't the darkness coming? It feels better in the darkness.
Wait, it's the cool hand on my face again. It soothes me. It helps the pain. Please stay this time, don't leave me alone.' Slowly the man in the bed moves his hand up until he touches the cool hand stroking his face. He holds the hand and brings it carefully to his lips. "Spike..."
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