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03 May 2010 @ 10:20 pm
Near Enna's Walls is a Deep Lake (1/1)  
Title: Near Enna's Walls is a Deep Lake
Author: dipenates 
Pairing: None. Characters: Xander and Buffy
Rating: R
Warnings: Non-explicit discussions of attempted rape.
Summary: A missing scene from episode 6.19 "Seeing Red". Xander and Buffy talk on the floor of the bathroom.

Near Enna’s Walls is a Deep Lake

He rounded on her as soon as Willow had left the bathroom. Turned on her although she was trying to pull herself together on the bathroom floor, and that fact alone made the acid hiss and gurgle in his stomach.

“You’re not going to tell her?”

“Tell her what?” The tears she hadn’t wiped away had dried on Buffy’s cheeks, leaving the faintest streaks behind.

“That Spike tried to rape you.”

The word seemed too big and ugly for the space; bouncing off the tile.

Buffy winced. “He didn’t—“

“Not because he didn’t try.”

She didn’t hesitate. “I’m fine.”

“Buff, you have bruises on your legs.”

He sat down, then. Sat down on the bathroom floor, next to her. Sat down because his own legs wouldn’t hold him up anymore and he had montages from bad Lifetime movies, and hyenas, and – oh, God – Faith running through his head.

“Xander, I’m okay.” She gathered the torn robe around her. “It made me realise that I should have called a stop to this a long time ago.”

And he knew, somewhere, that Buffy being okay should have been the whole point, but it wasn’t. 

“How can you be so—?”

She looked at him, slowly, as though her neck was stiff. “So what?”

“I can’t stand the thought of him putting his hands on you.” Fighting to put himself inside you.

Buffy tightened her lips. “If there’s any standing to be done, aren’t I the me that should be doing it?”

He leaned against the bath, feeling the hard plastic against his back.

“You don’t have to be all warrior Buffy about this.”

She looked at him, scanning his face.

“What do you want from me, Xander?” She wrinkled her nose. “You want me to cry more? Be the damsel in distress? Let you go get your ass handed to you by Spike?”

He shook his head, and they sat in silence, his arms wrapped loosely around his knees, her staring at the floor.

He would never have told her in a thousand years, felt ashamed of the feelings jittering under his skin, but her stonefaced reaction to Spike hurling her to the floor and leaving bruises on her skin made him feel like a pathetic little girl. Some days he could swear that he caught the shadows of the bruises Faith left behind, in the mirror as he shaved.  

She bit her lip. “I’m sorry. That was—.”

He waved her apology away. “I know that you’re a superhero, Buff. I know that I’m not the white knight in this scenario. I just don’t get how this happened. I don’t get how someone, something, goes from fuckbuddy to this?” 

“It’s not as simple as that.” She flicked her eyes away. “Spike and I, we’ve been dancing on the line for a while now.”

He sucked in a quick breath, tried to keep his voice even. “You wanted him to hurt you?”

“Could you be a little more judgey, Xander?” She hunched her shoulders. “It aches all the time, in my chest. It hurts worse than when Mom—.” She jerked her chin up.  “It hurts so much that sometimes I think that my knees will buckle and I’ll just fall down dead right there on the ground, but I can’t.”

He knew a little something about aches that didn’t ever seem to go away. He picked up her hand and kissed the back of it.

“And Spike was what? A distraction?” 

She stared at the wall.

“When I was in—“ She rubbed her eyes. “I felt pure. Light. Whole. This body,” she plucked at her robe, “feels wrong. Alien. Bad.”

He felt the horror ghost up the back of his neck, and fizz in his skull like Alka-Seltzer.

“And so you let him hurt it? Hurt you?”

She looked away.

“Buffy, I think that you need some help. More than us.”

She laughed, mirthlessly. “Which professional do you suggest I drop this on? That I was pulled out of heaven and now I’m hatefucking a vampire because it distracts me from the fact that my heart is breaking in my chest?”

He squeezed her hand.

She touched her tongue to her lips. “Spike wasn’t trying to hurt me, he was trying to help me.”


She held up her hand. “Let me finish. The fact that he thought making me would help just goes to show how much I should never have started with all of this.”

“What can I do?” He could hear the plea in his own voice. “What can I do to make this better?”

She looked down, and he could see tears shining in her lashes, like morning dew on a cobweb.

“I wish I knew.”

Kevin Jonesmulder200 on May 3rd, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
Ouch! This was quite brutal and very painful!

You also bought up an interesting point about how seeing Buffy in this state would remind Xander of his near-attempted rape as well. A sickening thought indeed.
dipenates: Buffy - Mom I'm the Slayerdipenates on May 5th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm glad you thought it was interesting (if painful).
whichclotheswhichclothes on May 3rd, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
This was so poignant. Thank you for sharing.
dipenates: Buffy - rocket launcherdipenates on May 5th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your comment.
cmk418: BtVS xandercmk418 on May 3rd, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
The quietness of the scene packs quite an emotional wallop. And I like how you paralleled this with Xander's experience of Faith. It's a hard moment and you handled it very well.
dipenates: Xander - OMWFdipenates on May 5th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
orchidluv: aerangis punctataorchidluv on May 4th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
Painful and true. When you're trying to help but can't seem to find the right words - probably because there aren't any right ones.
dipenates: Xander - orange 1dipenates on May 5th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
lusciousxanderlusciousxander on May 4th, 2010 07:07 am (UTC)
Wow, that was just amazing! My heart hurts for both of them. I love how Buffy's situation reminded Xander of what Faith had tried to do to him. Loved the part about seeing the bruises while shaving.
dipenates: Xander - kissing Willowdipenates on May 5th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much.
Dr Squidlovedrsquidlove on May 4th, 2010 07:08 am (UTC)
Nice piece - I like how it reawakens Xander's memories.

You also made a bunny gnaw at my ankles. ~glares at bunny~

dipenates: Xander - B&Wdipenates on May 5th, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

(And I would encourage you to give in to any bunnies that may have popped out of their hats after reading this.)
texanfantexanfan on May 4th, 2010 12:36 pm (UTC)
You've shown a very complicated situation in an intriguing light. I really enjoyed you letting the complicated be complicated.
dipenates: Scoobies - graduation gownsdipenates on May 5th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I had hoped there would be something more resolution-y, but it just didn't work out that way.
What Is A "Witch"witchway on May 9th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
resolution-y, but it just didn't work out

Which means it was honest. I agree, this was brave.
sparrow2000sparrow2000 on May 4th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
Very nice, sensitive look at an impossible situation. Congratulations hon, you did really good.
dipenates: Ozdipenates on May 5th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you v. much.
What Is A "Witch"witchway on May 9th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)
an impossible situation

THAT sums it up very well! I was so depressed after that episode because it HAD become so impossible.

(by the way, this was VERY well written!)
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on May 4th, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
You're a brave person, tackling this one. But I think you've really captured a lot of the distance between them at this point, despite the continuing caring on both sides; and how they both want things to be better, yet can't see how that might happen.
dipenates: Xander and Buffydipenates on May 5th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comment. :)
Butterflysnogged on January 13th, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)

This was excellent. You did a great job exploring the emotional tenseness of the situation.

dipenates: Xander hugs Buffydipenates on January 13th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much.