Title: Seeing from the Right Side – Drabble Set 3 – The Rest
Notes: Credit goes to David Hayter for a couple of lines in the last drabble. (And to Joss, always, for creating these characters in the first place).
Summary: What happens after you lose an eye
She’s gone, again. Willow is still here, has been from the start. Hovering.
But Buffy is gone. Chasing down some doctor or another. Asking questions that you already have heard the answers to. Finding out everything there is to know about your condition, your medications, your treatment.
It’s her way of being protective, you think. She’s taken on this role of den mother to Dawn and the Potentials. You suppose now it’s been extended to you.
You don’t need a mother. You’re fully capable.
Well, okay, there might be one or two things you’ll need help with for a while.
And it’s good to have someone looking out for you.
... you need her to be here, holding your hand, looking into your good eye, and telling you that everything’s going to be all right.
She’s the only chance you have of believing it.
This is hell. It always has been, since those first few precious drops were spilled between you all those years ago. You’ve worked so hard your whole life to keep this from happening. Even now, you’re trying to keep things light – keep the smile on your face, keep the worry out of your voice, keep the fear out of your eyes – eye. You wish there was something as simple as a yellow crayon that could make it all better.
Because, your pain you can handle, you can laugh off. But Willow’s pain has always and will always cut straight through to your soul.
“Willow just went down to get a cup of tea.”
“She asked me to sit with you.”
“Okay.” You really don’t know what to say to the girl whose life you saved. Not when you’re even sure you like her yet. She’s pushy, kind of like Wil’s version of Anya. The thought of which makes you laugh.
Kennedy glances toward the call button, but doesn’t touch it.
You smile at her and say, “I guess at some point I’m supposed to ask what your intentions are toward my best friend.”
“We’re not... it’s..."
You’ve noticed the strain between them in the past few weeks, but thought she’d be over it by now. This is something you can handle – something that can take your mind off yourself for a little while. You take her hand and begin, “After Tara... Wil got into a very dark place. World-ending dark. She hurt people, and would have done much worse. We had to stop the worst from happening, but in doing that, we... It scared the hell out of me what we might have to do.”
She nods, then whispers, “How did you get past it?”
She nods again, tightens her fingers around yours.
Even without the eye, you still see.
Faith seems glad you're home and after all that’s gone down between the two of you, it’s a bit surprising. Still, for better or worse, you’re linked by that piece of history. She’ll always be your first.
There’s a part of you that responds to her, maybe it’s the last vestiges of the hyena drawn to her wild nature. She’s like a wildcat herself, always ready to pounce.
She leans against the door frame with a casual, “how’s it going, stud?” which makes you laugh.
And you realize, with even more surprise, that you’re glad to see her too.
She advances on you, hitting you in the chest repeatedly with her little, but powerful fists. “Extrodinary, you tell me. In the background, you say. Let them have the spotlight,” she yells.
You wince a little, knowing where she’s going with this.
“What the hell were you thinking?”
“After everything I’ve been through these past three years, after everyone I’ve lost, you tried to kill yourself?”
“I was helping Kennedy get out.”
“He could have killed you, Xander.”
“Don’t you think I don’t know that?! Don’t you think I don’t wake up screaming every night feeling the pain over and over again?! Don’t you think it doesn’t come back every time I look in a mirror?! But even knowing all that, there’s not a thing I would have done differently.”
She stares at you then, running her fingertips across your forehead and down the left side of your face. “Does it hurt?”
“Not right now.”
She wraps her arms around you. “Don’t do anything like that again, okay?”
You kiss her forehead and whisper against her hair. "Not if I can help it."
It happens at the strangest times. Today you’re in the kitchen, pouring yourself a cup of coffee when he starts his newest game. You wish he wouldn’t, but it’s his way of coping, this making you into someone that you’re not.
Any other time and place, this would be fun.
You going to tell me to stay away from your girl?
Now, it’s just torture.
If he didn’t wave his hand, expecting you to say the next line.
If the next line didn’t fall from your lips as easily as breathing.
If I had to do that, she wouldn't be my girl.
“We need to get you a visor,” Andrew says.
You sigh and realize that you’ll never be Wolverine again.