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The stupid Q-Tip’s still bent. Nothing. Nothing happens. Nothing works. ‘My will be done,’ phooey! “No wonder no one wants me around anymore,” I grumble, straightening the Q-Tip myself since the stupid spell obviously flopped. “Buffy’s the worst. We live together in this dinky little room, but she isn’t around enough to even—” The door clacks. I clam up as it flies open and the object of my objection barges into the room.

“Hi, Will,” Buffy says. I should be mortified, but she sounds so chipper I just want to knock her block off. She doesn’t even look at me. She’s doing that pirouettey thing she does, dancing with the door as she shuts it. “Whatcha—?” Her expression changes when she sees my face. She lets out a breathy little, “Oh.”

She was like this not that long ago over Angel and everybody bent over backwards to make her feel better. What about me? I was one of the bendy ones. The bendiest. Don’t I deserve a little bendiness?

Apparently not. Something at her desk must be more important than me because after giving me a short, bland stare, she wanders that way.

The Q-Tip snaps. I look down. I’ve been fiddling with it, not really paying attention. I toss the two halves, muttering under my breath, “I just wish you’d stick around…with me. Not be so—”

By the time I look up, she’s almost to my bed. She leans down. I don’t want her to touch me, but it’s too late. Her arms are around me.

“I’m sorry,” she whispers, trying to turn her head. I think she wants to give me a peck on the cheek or something, but it doesn’t work. Her grip slackens. She tries to pull away.

I feel the tug on my shoulders, my cheek, where her hands touch my back and pull too. It’s not working. We’re not— Why’s it not—?

She cries, “Will, I—” and yanks more, “I can’t!” and more. “What did you do?”

She’s hurting me. I yelp, “Oww,” and she stops.

I try to slide my hands along her back, hoping it’s something weirdly magnetic. It’s no good. They won’t budge. She’s st—

Oh. Uh. Uh-oh.