Breakdown
by Anne
Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: Joss Whedon and any others who own the characters of BtVS, I'm just dabbling. Please do not sue.
Spoilers: Bad Girls and afterwards if anything.
Author's Notes: I wrote this bit of fluff because it was a break from another piece I am writing - so don't expect too much!! This is written assuming that a) the little stabbing accident at the end of 'Bad Girls' never happened, but b) something tore them apart later. Buffy's POV.
Feedback: Would be interesting to see what you all think of this one, so yes please.

We stood there, and it seemed that nothing had really changed. She still looked the same, still the same bad girl routine, the same swagger she had developed when she was still only sixteen. Facing each other though, was no longer like looking at my own reflection in a mirror. She had always been bad girl through and through, and it made me seem like I had been playing all along. She stood there in tight leather trousers and a tight red top, straps revealing her tattoo. I had never seen anyone else with that pattern in all my travels, and I remember so clearly how proud she had been when she had returned home with it on her arm. She stood there now, her hands on her hips, a smile on her lips that seemed to be taunting me. It seemed to say 'I knew you'd be back'. Even after all these years I can still read her like a book, her expressions and casual arrogance had not changed. She had said those words to me when I had left last time, had told me that I would be back, but I thought that I was stronger than she knew. I was wrong it seemed. It had taken many years, but now I was standing in front of her, feeling strange. Wanting to change back into the person I had once been, the person I was once so desperate to escape from.

The room had not changed either. When I had knocked on the door, I had expected someone else to be there, had thought that she might have moved on. But when she opened the door I soon discovered standing there what I had hoped to discover. But all the traces of me had gone, so I guess she had moved on after all. She still went for the minimalist look, and the floor seemed to sprawl in the middle of the empty room. Now I was standing here, snippets of the conversations we've had, standing faced just as we are now, come back to me in snatched sentences. Whenever we argued, we seemed to take the positions we were now standing in, and despite the fact we had not yet really spoken, instinctively I felt as if the battle lines had been drawn. The room was chilly, and I tried not to let a shiver run up the length of my spine. Still she said nothing, but simply stared waited for me to speak. She knew that it was I who had come to her, and that meant that she could wield her small amount of power over me. I could see her watching me, taking in the person who she had once known so well, who was now so mixed up in the stranger standing before her now.

When we had met I had been so certain of who I was. So was she. We must have reacted to that in the other, knowing what it meant, rising to the challenge of seeing who would ultimately turn out to be the stronger. I thought at the beginning that it would be me. I knew from the moment we first saw each other that we would become lovers, so did she. There was never any doubt about it, the attraction was there, sparking in our very first look. The other thing that we were certain of was that we would not fall in love. I suppose we were young enough then to still believe that some things in life could be certain. And I think that we both fought the feelings that grew for a long time. Until they grew too strong to be denied. I suppose that was the part of it all that began our downfall. Once again, it would be a case of which one of us would survive the longest, if at all.

We had used to fight on this floor. Really fight, using our fists, until one of us would submit to the other. It had been part of what had made us up, it was part of a way of life. I knew that if she hit me now, I probably would no longer see it coming, let alone defend myself. She would win any such battle we would have now. In a strange way, I missed that physicality, that electricity that passed between us. It was something that existed, regardless of whether it was right or wrong, it was just there. I could see that spark was still there in her eyes now, was still there burning the same as when we had met for the first time. I wondered briefly whether that spark was still in my eyes, whether being in this room again and staring at her the way I used to would have brought it back. Perhaps I had known all along, like her, I'd be back here again one day. There were so many things I had thought of on the journey over here, so many things I knew I should say, but they all seemed to have escaped from my head now that I was actually standing here. And I suddenly had the masochistic urge to kiss her, to take myself back to the pain and the blindness, to undo all the things I had worked so hard at the previous few years.

For as much as we fought on that floor, we used to make love on it as well. And that had all the drive and energy and passion as the fights, and left us both feeling just as fragile. Lips torn and bruised from the ferocity of our kisses. Minds and bodies exhausted. And sometimes it was a fight just to get the other to submit in the slightest. And those times were the best times, trying to find the tenderness under the passion, trying to feel for the others emotions under the pressure of their hands

When we had first met there had been so much of her in me. We were the same thing, and we had both wanted the same thing. She was just one step ahead of me, that was the only difference. I had wanted to take it to the edge, she had wanted to make everything tumble over. She was dangerous, and that was what had made me want to be with her. It was never dull. And when the two of us had been together, there had been nothing but fireworks. Until the day the edge loomed a little too close for comfort. Enough to scare me and make me think twice. And when she saw the hesitation in my eyes, it seemed to destroy everything we had ever had. Now I was standing in front of her again, watching her, and finding that she still captivated me.

I tried to open my mouth to speak, but nothing came out. There was something stealing my words, and she laughed. It was the first real sound that either of us have made. I notice that it is the same laugh, only a hint of bitterness and frustration tinkling through.

The End

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