Five linked drabbles by Aadler
Copyright January 2020
Disclaimer: Characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel: the Series are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Kuzui Enterprises, Sandollar Television, and the WB.
– i –
They don’t see. Nobody sees.
Okay, they do, actually, but they don’t recognize what they’re seeing. It’s become so familiar, it’s taken for granted, so even when they remark on it, they accept remarkable as … normal.
It isn’t normal.
‘Ordinary’ human, no special talents or abilities. Yet magic somehow doesn’t affect him quite the way it does others. Coincidences multiply around him. Time and again, he’s the pivot around which extreme events swing.
He begins fighting vampires the same day he learns they exist. By the end of the school term, he’s already saved the world.
… For the first time.
– ii –
Mark this: one after another, he survives all four members of the Scourge of Europe. (So does the Slayer, but then she’s a mystically empowered warrior. Him? Nuh-uh.) Trivial chance at first, but growing in time to glaring inexplicability. Darla, her attention elsewhere, barely notices him. Spike, somehow, repeatedly deems him too unimportant to bother killing. Drusilla becomes briefly infatuated with him. Angelus … Angelus backs down from him.
(Laughing. Mocking. But he backs down.)
There has to be an explanation, some explanation. Not only is none ever found, nobody ever really bothers to seek one.
… Angelus backs down.
– iii –
Mantis demon? Inca mummy girl? Soon-to-be-rogue Slayer? Anyanka (oh, and don’t forget Cordelia)?
Jokes about the ‘demon magnet.’
Alpha hyena? Hallowe’en soldier? Love god? Dracula thrall? Twins? Host to multiple extinct diseases (to which he’s never actually been exposed)?
He recovers without visible aftereffect.
A blow from an enchanted troll hammer, which will someday be used to bludgeon an actual god into submission?
He wears a cast for three weeks.
And, along the way, saves the world a couple more times.
’Cause, yeah, your typical ordinary guy typically does that kind of thing.
Gimme a frickin’ break
– iv –
If there were an explanation, it would have to be something crazy.
Like a bored quasi-sorcerer, on sabbatical from his beloved chaos till the heat can die down in England, encountering a self-professed ‘wild child’ immersing herself in hedonistic escapades in San Francisco, an inept Summer-of-Love redux. Lighthearted rituals done for thrills, obligatory orgies (because, hey, orgies!). Finally, the chastened girl returning to Sunnydale to settle into stodgy domesticity with the dutiful boyfriend who ‘does right by her’ (and then spends the next twenty years muttering darkly about ‘no son of mine’).
Yeah. Something like that.
– v –
Anywhere else, the contradictions and exceptions about him would attract notice.
In Sunnydale, though? Slayer, Watcher, witch, werewolf, former vengeance demon … and those are his friends. Add in the daily weirdness, the weekly threats, the seasonal apocalypses … well, surrounded by that much strange, he seems humdrum by comparison.
(Except for how he keeps surviving. And saving the Slayer. And, um, occasionally the world. Stuff like that.)
Still, even here, you’d think those around him might begin to wonder how an ordinary guy, born of ordinary unmagical parents, could keep being so ridiculously … extraordinary.
They don’t see.