His friends said he was crazy.
You can't fight them, they said. There's just no way. You can't win.
He said, We scored five touchdowns against Canlon Crest High, when they'd been undefeated until we got there – and no-one thought we could do that, either.
Well, yes, they said, but that was a football team. And these are vampires. You're going to get killed.
Larry just shrugged, and said, Then I'm taking them down with me.
So a group gathered in the library – and Larry stood up in front and said, We're all here today because we're crazy – crazy enough to think that maybe we shouldn't just stand back and watch our friends get killed.
I don't know about you, but I think crazy can be worth something.
And everyone cheered.
Everyone laughed. And danced. And drank. And smiled. And tried to think of new ways to make the helpless humans scream.
Angel just lay there, and wondered if he had ever really seen the sun.
He used to protest. He used to watch them, torturing the people they'd chained to the pool tables, and try frantically to somehow break out and save them. He used to care.
Now he knew better.
They'd scream. They'd sob. They'd wait. They'd scream some more. And then they'd die.
Then the vampires would capture a fresh group, and the cycle would begin again.
Caring wouldn't change any of that. So why care?
Sometimes he remembered being in Ireland – having a family, and friends, and something besides pain to look forward to.
And sometimes he wondered if that had really happened at all. It felt so far away.
Sometimes he wondered if maybe he'd always been here. If he'd always been scarred from head to toe. Whether there had actually been a time when he cared what happened to the people they'd captured – or if that had been a dream, too.
Sometimes he thought he was going crazy. Sometimes he thought he always had been.
There had always been a prom at Sunnydale High, and there was always going to be one – no matter how weird the town got.
So said the Cordettes. And what they said, everyone else went along with.
Of course, it was a bit different from normal.
They couldn't hold it in the school gym – so Cordelia Chase volunteered her house, with a general announcement made in class, and formal invitations to be issued at the door, if you could prove you had a reflection.
They put up decorations, organised catering, made posters, and managed – for a whole week – to get the entire class talking "prom" and nothing else, even after the Espresso Pump Massacre.
And when the Whitehats said they'd be too busy to come, Cordelia and Harmony marched straight into the library, and came out half an hour later with a guarantee that they'd all take the night off specially.
(After all, Cordelia had reasoned, everyone needs time off occasionally. Just… a night not to think about vampires or impending doom or anything gross like that. We're going to spend an evening going crazy, in true teenage style. Coming?
Then she'd turned to Oz, and informed him that they'd need music, and now that Devon was off sucking blood or whatever, she'd need him to sing, too.)
On the night, three more people were killed, and one turned. But, for the first time in a long time, the students danced, and smiled, and forgot to notice at all.
She didn't notice for two whole weeks – that was the funny thing.
A town over-run, colleagues gone missing, a daughter who…
And she didn't see it. Not a bit.
Two weeks, and then her daughter – her well-behaved, responsible daughter – was on the local news, ripping the throat out of a local hairdresser. And Sheila suddenly realised that her daughter hadn't come home even once in the previous two weeks.
Highly amusing, given the right perspective.
She didn't move from the couch for the next month. No point, really.
It was all so pointless.
He'd really been looking forward to high school – getting to do AV club, getting a girlfriend, getting to buy a guitar, getting to be someone…
And then vampires. Life really sucked, sometimes.
And from then on, it was all curfew, and watch your step, and carry a cross, and keep safe, and stay home. No AV club, no guitar. No girlfriend – not after Jacie Li was killed during midterms.
Nothing to do. And nothing much to look forward to.
So that was it, really. Until the night he was cornered outside the Espresso Pump. He pulled out a pencil, and they sneered and said, What do you think you are, a Whitehat?
And he grinned and said, Nah, not a Whitehat. They can't keep up with me - 'cause I'm Crazy Jay!
He managed to get four of them before they took him down. (So, he got to be someone, at least.)