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Digging a Ditch

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Buffy and Tyler fumble against each other in the back of his dad's BMW. His football-rough hands catch in her long golden hair. He tugs, and a mewl escapes her lips. Her floral-patterned skirt rides up her legs as she tightens her thighs around his hips.

She arches and the DKNY shirt pulls up her chest until Tyler is looking at the undersides of her braless breasts. Tyler's breath catches and Buffy thrashes, his nails scraping along the sensitive skin. Buffy squeezes her eyes shut, blocks out the memories and the voices. Loses herself in her idiot boyfriend.

Hot breath puffs across her face and it's like Buffy's falling backwards, away from this moment. Hank stands above her, fury prematurely etching lines in his face.

"What did you think you were doing? You embarrassed me in front of all my clients." His voice is flat, beyond calm. His fist descends like slow motion and it snaps Buffy's head back, sprawls her across her father's desk.

"Did you think it was fun, baby?" ("Does this hurt, baby?")


"Make it better." ("Make you better.")


The world rights itself as her head slams into the backdoor. Pain makes her vision swim, but she doesn't stop. Holds onto Tyler tighter. He's nice, and he likes her. He would never ever hurt her.

It hurts. He slips inside and it hurts like nothing ever else has. Not like daddy's fist, or mommy's careless words, or falling 10 feet from a pyramid at cheerleader practice. Sharp and brittle and Buffy feels dead inside. Should have waited; shouldn't be desperate; should want this.

Buffy doesn't often do as she should.


Buffy sat on the steps of Hemery High, sucking on a sub-par lollipop from the vending machines. She craned her neck as she looked for Tyler, resisting the urge to chew on it. She totally got now why no one knew how many licks it took to get to the center of a Tootsie-Pop. No one licked; they all sucked or bit.

Buffy was just considering the ways in which you could discipline yourself to lick when a shadow fell across her. If she'd been applying make-up she would have whined about light-blockage. But she wasn't; she was waiting for someone who would cast a pretty dark shadow, all that muscle and everything ...

It wasn't Tyler standing before her. No, it was someone astronomically hotter. A boy, at least sixteen, probably older – not that she was a good judge of age – smiled at her. He had dark hair that was so long it should have fallen into his eyes, but instead defied gravity and stuck straight up.

"Hi, I'm Angel."

Buffy almost gave him a 100-watt smile. But he was hot, and her knees were already tremble-y despite sitting, and there was no way she wasn't gonna play this cool. She half-smiled, a positive smirk.

"That's an interesting name. I have one too. I'm Buffy." She offered her hand to be shaken, and instead he pulled her up from the steps.

"I'm a new student. Wanna show me around?"

Now Buffy did grace him with a blinding smile. She twinkled her eyes at him over the lollipop, then gave him a considering head tilt.

"Okay. It would be rude not show a new student around."

He smiled cheekily at her, and they started up the stairs toward the front doors. As they mounted the final step, Tyler wandered around the corner, still in his football uniform. He saw his girlfriend with some guy, and he freaked.

"Hey! Buffy!" he yelled ineffectually after them. They didn't notice. They were laughing and smiling. "What about the dance?!" Tyler threw his helmet down, and it bounced off the edge of the bottom step and sailed back toward him where it hit him in the face. "Ow."


Buffy was four. Buffy was in yellow. Mommy was so much taller than her when Buffy watched her pay for the cookies at the bakery. Mr. Gordo was with Buffy. Buffy never went anywhere without Mr. Gordo.

Buffy didn't want cookies; she wanted cake. She wandered away from Mommy, and somewhere between the cash register and the coolers filled with bright-colored cakes, Mr. Gordo was lost. Fell out of her hand, forgotten in the momentary obsession with getting to the cakes.

Later, when Mommy strapped her into the car seat, Buffy screamed and cried. Mommy went back inside, asked the nice woman at the counter if anyone had seen a plush pink pig. The woman hadn't, and Joyce couldn't find him anywhere in the store.

It took hours to calm Buffy down. Took until well after bedtime to make her sleep without her favorite thing in the whole world.

It was the day Buffy learned what it was like to be left, to be bereft and lost and alone because of your own stupidity. It wasn't a feeling she was going to forget.


Dear Diary:

It was hugs and puppies and so much more. Not that I would say no to either thing, especially a puppy - although mom would *kill* me if I brought a puppy home. But Angel? And waking up in the same bed as him? *So* much better than either of those things. Cause one, neither of those things gives you orgasms unless you're seriously messed up and *so* not going there. But, right. It was wonderful. And totally not out of a romance novel, or my head. Except my talking. That certainly came from my head. I hope.

Angel smiled down at me and my eyes glazed over. I was giddy and hyper and frozen in this moment and just – . Angel was in bed next me, all smile-y and naked. And my brain? Kinda fizzling out. I said: "Aoyer." And he laughed at me.

"Wanna try that again, Ionuin?" I hit him on the shoulder, not Slayer strength or anything. More of a "shut up, you horrible person, dammit why am I laughing when it isn't funny?" thing. But he kept laughing, and suddenly we were a mess of arms and legs and giggles and then we were on the floor, which was less fun.

Angel cradled me during the fall, so it was his supernatural ass that took the brunt of it. I would have felt badly if I'd landed on top of him differently and he wasn't looking at me like Joey on "Friends" looks at everyone. I swear, I thought he was gonna say "How you doin'?" before he leaned up and kissed me.

Best. Birthday. Ever.