Title: "Reflection"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Spoilers: S4/early S5 Rating/Classification: 'PG-13', B/S-ish, angst, Buffy POV, ficlet.
Disclaimer: Grr aargh.
Summary: Buffy thinks about the men in her life and her own darkness. Companion to "Respiration."

Angel was the love of my life. The kind of love that sinks so deep under your skin that it becomes a part of you. The kind that you expect to last forever. You don't just get over that in a day or a month or a year. And I've stopped expecting myself to. Loving Angel is what made me who I am today. Letting go of it would be like letting go of the journey. I can't. I won't.

Riley? Riley was...is...more than I deserve. Sweet. Good. Kind. Noble. Cute. Ripped. Smart. Supportive. Human. And I love him as much as I can. With every part of my heart that doesn't belong to someone else.

There's love...and then there's need.

There's want.

There's lust.

There's the thrill of chasing a vampire six miles and staking him as my heart echoes in my ears and his eyes plead for mercy.

There's the darkness outside my window and the call of it.

There's Spike.

There's the feel of his body slamming into mine and knocking away the breath. The awareness of pain. The awareness of how much he wants to hurt me...and to have me. There's the shadow behind the tree in my front yard. The glow of his cigarettes. The shy stammers and idiotic mumbling he curses himself for after I walk past.

I pretend I don't know. That I'm too busy to clue in, or to care.

But I feel it.

I feel it like the wind and the night and the dust spilling from between my fingers like grains of sand.

I want him. It's visceral. It's primal. It's like hunting. It's what we've had ever since I sensed his eyes on me at the Bronze all those years ago. Something so tight...so ready to snap...that I could scream. He's the ultimate kill. The perfect prey.

The one that I can't kill.

And he loves me for those exact reasons. For the violence. For the wildness. For the insanity of it.

He loves me in a way that Riley can't.

That's something else I pretend I don't know.

Because Spike is more than my life or what I don't deserve...he's the other side of me. My mirror image. My reflection.

Maybe that's why I can't shatter the glass.

--The End--
November 2000.

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