Crawling
By Renee

PLOT - Buffy's had enough of life.
AUTHOR - Renee
TITLE - Crawling
RATING - R for violent themes
SPOILER - Set during season 6 imagining Glory's tower never fell in the Bargaining.
DISCLAIMER - Joss owns Buffy etc and Linkin Park own the song.
FEEDBACK - I don't live on air just feedback so pleaaaaaaaaaaasssssssseeeeeeeee! tell me what you think.
EMAIL - renzach@hotmail.com
WARNING - Suicidal themes.


The wind whipped painfully through her hair but she barely noticed it. The view from here was spectacular, you could see all of Sunnydale, but she wasn't looking. She was in a world of her own, untouched by the wind, or views or anything real. In her world there was nothing, no feeling, no people just blessed numbness. Her blue satin dress clung to her tiny frame as the wind pressed in on her. She walked into it getting closer and closer to the edge of the platform. They'd all be mad but they'd deal, she'd been expected to so turnabout was fair play.

For months it was 'cheer up Buffy' or 'you know we're always here for you'. She was tired ... tired of the desperate stares as they took turns watching her, tired of plastering on a smile so they'd leave her alone. She knew they were trying to help but all they'd succeeded in was suffocating her. She was even tired of Spike, her skin shivered revolted as it recalled his touch. She'd once told Angel 'When you kiss me I want to die,' with Spike that was true too, except this time she wanted to die to get away from him. She dropped to her knees and vomited over the side of the tower as she thought of the things he'd done ..... she'd let him do. No matter how many times she'd scrubbed he never seemed to come off, like he'd crawled under her skin. She had come back wrong but he'd tainted her even deeper with his darkness and despair. "Dammit why can't I get clean?" she screamed into the night, relieved when no answer came.

She was done, no more fake smiles or pretending everything was alright .... that she didn't think about death every single second of the day. It was summer and she'd been forced to wear long sleeved shirts and pants to cover the signs. Last week she'd been cutting vegetables, trying jokingly for once to prepare a proper meal for Dawn. It had taken ten minutes for her to realise she was cutting herself instead. When she focused on the pain something inside lit up and she cut deeper and further. It was exhilarating to feel something, anything. She lost herself in the moment and when she finally came out of it her body was covered in wounds.

Before patrol tonight she'd heard a song on the radio that seemed to sum her feelings up perfectly as if she was naked to anyone who listened. She had turned it up as loud as it would go until the walls were vibrating from it, maybe if she could hear nothing else then she'd be safe. She'd screamed the lyrics at the top of her lungs along with the singer, relieved to know that someone else knew what she was feeling.

"Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real
There's something inside me that pulls beneath the surface
Consuming, confusing
This lack of self-control I fear is never ending
Controlling, I can't seem
To find myself again my walls are closing in
I felt this way before, so insecure
Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real
Discomfort endlessly has pulled itself upon me
Distracting, reacting
Against my will I stand beside my own reflection
It's haunting how I can't seem
To find myself again my walls are closing in
I felt this way before, so insecure"

Finally Xander had broken her door down and shut it off, 'Dawn must have called' the thought floated through her head and was gone. Without explanation or apology she shrugged and left for patrol. Xander followed her out but gave up when his continued attempts to attract her attention failed. 'Alone again,' she liked being alone, there was a time when she'd sought the company of someone, anyone at all times but that was too much pressure now. No, when she was alone she could forget it all and become numb. She'd wandered for hours, somewhere not too deep down she'd hoped a vamp would take her, end it all. Things were unnaturally quiet tonight of all luck so she'd walked aimlessly. As if on instinct she had walked straight to the tower that had begun it all...Glory's. It would be poetic to leap to her death once more from this spot, she'd always enjoyed her poetry classes in college the most.

She climbed and climbed no longer afraid for she knew she'd be at peace soon. She peered over the edge but instead of seeing a junkyard she saw paradise, this was her one way ticket out of here. They wouldn't bring her back this time she was sure of it, they'd learnt their lesson the hard way. She allowed herself one last look around Sunnydale, the memories were bittersweet, she wouldn't miss here. They were all better off without her anyway, the gang were a far better influence on Dawnie than she'd been. The only one she'd truly miss was Giles but he was gone, he'd grieved for her and tried to move on but then she'd returned. It was better if she left now and allowed him to get over her.

She leant forward but a voice stopped her.

"Buffy." Despite the softness of his tone and the wind crashing against her she heard him perfectly and her heart plummeted.

"Giles go home, I don't want you to see this." He was on her in a flash pulling them to their knees.

"Don't leave me alone, I can't do this without you." The words that had once poured from her mouth stung when she heard them from his.

She pulled away, "I have to Giles, there's nothing here for me now."

"What about me?" He shook her violently, his fear taking control.

"You left or don't you remember?" The bitterness in her voice was like a dagger in the heart.

"And I came back." He pulled her to him, her hair became wet with his tears. They embraced sobbing for everything they'd lost.

"Giles, I can't do this anymore, it's... it's too damn hard. I don't want this life anymore, I don't want to fight anymore. Every day I struggle to just live and now I'm done and it's such a relief Giles you have no idea."

His voice shook with uncontrolled fury, "You think I don't know about loss and pain? You think you're the only one that's life has been a series of heartache and terror? Buffy look at me, I'm a scarred, beaten, broken old man," her hand began to stroke his face as a slide show of the atrocities Giles had been forced to survive swam through her mind. "But I fight Buffy, everyday and I won't say I've done a bang up job of it but I'm still here, I'm still with you." Her face told him everything he needed to know, how hard things had been, how the only thing she was able to feel now was misery and despair.

"I love you Buffy and if you let me I'll give you a reason to live."

"Giles you don't love me like I love you and without that love there's no reason for me to stay."

"Buffy," he wavered as the emotion caught in his throat, "I don't know how you love me but I'll tell you what I feel. When I'm near you the world is a perfect place and my heart sings, when we're apart my soul cries and I feel desperately alone even in a crowded room. When you touch me my skin burns and I'm aware of nothing but you. I dream of you at night and fantasise during the day. My every thought, prayer and breath is for you. I love you, you're my life."

He pulled her up till they were eye to eye then began to kiss her, she dared not move but he continued putting every ounce of the love he felt into that one moment. His hands cupped her face as his lips continued to place kiss after kiss on her mouth. Finally slowly he felt her lean into him and his heart soared, her lips began to return his love. She kissed him as though he were air and she'd been in a vacuum for months. He felt the ferocity of her love and returned it in equal amounts. When they finally broke apart their faces were flushed and their hearts were pounding from their chests.

"My dearest Buffy, Lord how I love you." She smiled, the movement awkward at first, it was the first genuine smile since she'd returned. His heart began to mend itself, the pieces long missing slid back into place as he watched her face light up.

"I love you too Giles and I want you to help me, I want to live for you and if you'll allow me, I...I.. want to live with you, will you let me love you Giles?" He grabbed her fiercely and held her to him whispering yes again and again in her ear. He helped her to her feet and they slowly, carefully made their way back down the tower.

When they reached the ground again he lifted her into his arms and was overjoyed at the giggle he felt reverberate through her. He kissed her again but this time slowly, sensually, feeling every contour of her lips. He placed her into the front seat of his car and reluctantly let her go to move to the driver's side.

"Where are we going Giles?"

"Home luv, home." She snuggled into his side and remained burrowed there as his arm slipped around her pulling her even closer. He sent up a silent prayer of thanks for the beautiful gift he'd received tonight and a prayer that he'd be everything she needed.