Author's Note: Songs excerpts are borrowed from the Counting Crows CD "Recovering the Satellites" songs are 'Have You Seen Me Lately?' and 'Mercury'. No copyright infringement intended. If you want to see the words to the whole songs, let me know and I'll e-mail you a copy.
"She tried to get him to stay and wait for you and he, um, pushed her, out of
"I don't believe this."
"Believe it, Buffy. He had this maddening look in his eye. He threw her to
the ground and headed out after you. There was no stopping him."
"Why didn't she tell me? Was she hurt?"
"I don't believe so. I really didn't see it coming, otherwise I would have
kept her away from him."
"I didn't see it coming either, Giles. He's not the guy I thought he was, not
if he could do this."
She appeared thoughtful for a moment then headed towards the door.
"Buffy, where are you going?"
"To fix things."
"It's really not wise to go near him right now. We don't know how stable he
"I wasn't talking about Riley, Giles." She gave him a sad smile and was out
She turned around startled. "Oh, hey Buffy." She turned back to the dresser
and pulled out a pair of pajamas. "How was patrol?"
She crossed the room and sat on Willow's bed. "Alright. I really didn't have
my heart in it tonight. I did a quick sweep of the grounds on campus and came
back. All is quiet on the home front."
"That's good. No vampires means good vampires.. not that vampires can be good
...well, except for Angel, but he's different, and...never mind. Tired plus brain
activity equals babble-mode." She turned her back to Buffy and pulled her shirt
over her head. She flinched a little and Buffy caught it.
"Will, what's wrong? You never flinch...flinching is a Slayer activity." She
got to her feet and moved next to her.
Willow turned. "Nothing...I must have pulled a muscle or something, that's
all." She smiled hoping to drop the subject.
"Doing what? Surfing the web? Lemme see.. " Buffy reached out but Willow
took two steps backwards.
"I'm fine, really. It's not a big deal." <Gee, your boyfriend threw me
to the floor like a sack of potatoes, but still, it's no biggie.> She gave
Buffy her best 'please-drop-it' look but could tell it wasn't working.
"Your mouth tells me your fine but your body is telling a different story."
She reached out again and wasn't met with resistance this time.
Willow turned around willingly and allowed Buffy to examine her. Upon closer
inspection, Buffy found a big purple bruise from her shoulder to her elbow and her
elbow was swollen. "Oh, Will."
"Don't make a big deal out of it...please?"
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I'm a klutz...I wasn't paying attention and I slipped getting out of the
shower. I really need to..."
"You really need to stop covering for Riley. I know he did this."
"Oh....how did you?...Giles."
"I went to see him before patrol. That's a nasty bruise and you don't have
Slayer healing so you're gonna be sore for a while. Put your shirt on and I'll
get you an ice pack."
Before she could protest, Buffy was out the door headed for the nearest ice
machine. Did the dorms even have ice machines? She didn't even think of that so
the next best thing would have to be the soda machine.
She had enough change in her pockets for three cans of soda and threw in a pack
of chocolate donuts for good measure.
She froze at the sound of his voice. "Riley. I don't have time to talk." She
tried to walk around him but he darted into her path.
"Just give me a minute to explain..."
"Explain what? How your precious Professor Frankenstein didn't try to have me
killed? Or how about how you pushed Willow out of your way and hurt her? Bad.
That's what the soda's for...to bring down the swelling you caused. So which part
would you like to explain?"
"Buffy... I was on my way to talk to Willow, to apologize. I was off my
vitamins, that's why I acted the way I did. I didn't know what they were feeding
me. You have to believe me."
"I don't have to do anything...and don't bother apologizing to Willow. She'd
forgive you in an instant, that's the kind of person she is... and I don't think
you deserve that right now."
"Buffy, give me another chance, please."
"I trusted you...I tried to convince my friends to trust you. At the first
sign that the Initiative might not be what it appears to be you go all commando
on my best friend when she was only trying to help you. Look, just forget it.
I have to get back."
He tried again to step in front of her and receive a swift punch in the gut
complimented with the soda can exploding upon impact. She stepped over him and
didn't look back. "You owe me a soda."
She quietly slipped back into the dorm room. Most of the lights were off and
Willow was laying across her bed listening to the stereo.
Get away from me
This isn't gonna be easy
But I don't need you
You got a piece of me
But it's just a little piece of me
But I don't need anyone
And these days I feel like I'm fading away
Like sometimes when I hear myself on the radio
Have you seen me lately?
Buffy crossed the room and sat down next to her. "You okay, Will?"
"I'm okay. What'cha got there? Do I see donuts?" She offered a weak smile.
"You only listen to the Counting Crows when something's bothering you, so
spill." Buffy offered the soda and donuts to her. "It's for your elbow...
Apparently our dorms don't have ice machines. I'm sure you can figure out a use
for the donuts."
Willow smiled and placed the can on her arm. She winced a little but finally
found a comfortable position. "So what have you been up to lately?"
"Nothing much, really. School work, patrolling.. you know, plunge and move on
plunge and move on."