Title: Up For Grabs.
Author: A.M. Glass
Copyright: Nov. 13th, 2002
Revised: Nov. 17th, 2002.
Rating: PG for context, not content.
Spoilers: None, but it's a given that this takes place during the third early part of the fourth season.
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon, Fox Studios, Mutant Enemy, et al, have something to do with "Buffy The Vampire Slayer". No copyright infringement is intended or inferred. The story along with any/all original characters are the sole property of the author and cannot be used without expressed permission first.
Thanks: Goes to Fiona and Diana my beta readers for this endeavor. Diana for pushing me... in a nice way to make this piece better, and Fiona for tweaking it after Diana's hard work.
Feedback: Would be nice, as I haven't really written about this couple in a while.
Note: There be angst in this here fic.
'Okay, your best friend needs you. You can be there for her,' I thought to myself. And as I held her in my arms, I knew that I hadn't stopped loving her.
Not that I really tried.
I may have pushed it away, but it was still there.
As her body shook with sobs, I felt my arms move slowly up and down her back.
'Trying to comfort,' I kept telling myself. That's all. There wasn't any underlying sense of 'Finally, I don't need an excuse to hold her.'
Okay, so I'm fooling myself.
That's all I've been doing the past few years.
What are a few more minutes?
I'm always fooling myself where she's concerned, it's kind of a habit.
You see, I'm not supposed to love her.
I mean it's okay to love her, as long as I don't *love* her.
And who made up that silly rule anyway?
Where was it written?
I'd like to have a chat with the person who wrote that particular rule. I'd have a few things to say.
Before my thoughts run rampant, I feel her squeezing me tighter, I pull back to look into her face. God, I hate to see her hurting so much. I'd do anything to take it away. She's trying so hard to stop the tears that etch themselves on her cheeks.
I lean forward and whisper, "It's okay to cry." I take my thumbs and gently wipe those damn tears away.
She looks up and smiles.
And my breath catches in my throat.
'Oh my... I'm a goner. Even in tears, how does she do it? She's so beautiful.'
All the thoughts about rules and anything else fly out the window, except for one thing.
I love her.
*Love* love her.
So what if she's my best friend.
It's happened before, to lots of people, and it's probably happening right now. This very second while I hold on to her, someone is falling for his or her best friend. But at least they get to say something.
I can't tell her.
I want to.
Wanted to for a long time now.
I can't risk losing her.
She means so much to me that the thought of having said something to her and having her look at me with those eyes...
And instead of seeing laughter, compassion, joy...
I'd gaze into their depths and see them filled with shock, betrayal, and disgust.
Anything *but* love.
It's not a chance I want to take.
Besides, things got in the way - vampires, demons, and boy friends-that one in particular put a stop to things.
She was *in* my life, but not like I've dreamt.
And those dreams... wow.
Of course I shouldn't be thinking about this now.
However, when has my mind listened to what I've wanted where she's concerned?
My head tells me: "I... Can't... Have... Her."
And gives me a list of reasons why.
But it's too late for my heart - that pump whose sole purpose is to keep me alive...until she came into my life.
It pretty much told me: "I belong to her. So get used to it."
I can't explain how that piece of news threw me, I'd never thought about it. When it finally hit me, I had to find a place to sit down otherwise I think I would have ended up on the floor.
I mean I can honestly say that I've always been interested in the male form.
All with the checking out of guys.
Sometimes it was one guy in particular.
The dreamy kinda of guy that makes you wonder about all the things you'd heard in the girls' locker rooms.
How his hands might feel.
His... his...yeah well.
I thought about guys a lot.
Yep, that's me.
Then she changed everything.
How could I tell my newest best friend that I had the hots for her?
Okay. It's so much more than hots ...now.
But could I tell her?
And I didn't.
It hurt not to.
Sometimes I'd wake up and find that my pillow was soaked with tears I'd shed the night before.
Back to the present, back to the feel of her in my arms.
To the warmth that invades my body by this simple gesture. I sigh inwardly as I realize that I'll have to let go soon. And I'll have to live with the ache once again.
"Thanks," I hear her say as she slowly loosens her grip.
"Anytime," I reply as she leaves my embrace. I don't want to let her go but I do, much to my heart's discontent.
"I'd better get going," she tells me. "Got things to do."
"I'll see you later?" I ask as I brush a strand of hair from her cheek.
And as I watch Buffy leaving I close my eyes and hug myself, trying to substitute my arms for hers.
One day I may tell her.
But now, now's not that time.
I know she still loves Angel.
The tears... they were a dead give away.
And besides - I love Oz.
And I won't hurt him.
No matter what I feel for Buffy.
Oz is now.
She's a part of my past and present.
It's up for grabs.
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