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Chapter Text

The night was still, heavy with a hint of humidity, thick like a blanket. The rain from the day before soaked into the streets and shimmered underneath the streetlamps. Buffy circled the Summers house for the third time that night. Part guilt and part determination, Buffy continued to stubbornly patrol long after any threat had reared its bumpy face.

Buffy had promised that nothing would ever happen to Dawn as long as she lived. But she had failed. Hadn't she learned? Hadn't she seen what damage a selfish Slayer could do?

And I thought I was different than Faith.

The saintly and superior attitude she had clung to when she had come back had blinded her irreparably. And so she had failed in so many ways. She failed to protect Tara, darling Tara, who made pancakes and juice in the morning. She failed to safeguard her family who had suffered enough that year. Useless and aloof, Buffy was unable to save and defend the people who had selflessly upheld a vigil of support for her and her duty, adopting it as their own.

Thus wrapped up in her thoughts, she sheathed Mr. Pointy. Satisfied with her sweep of the house, Buffy walked back up the front porch. Letting her eyes scan the front yard once more, she reached one hand to the doorknob and hesitated. Twisting around, she stared at the moon for a long moment.

Round and full, the moon shone foggy, caught behind a light mist of clouds. The moon had meant so much before. Cycles of cages, wolves, and magic had occupied the past. Now the only thing that seemed to orbit the Summers house was pain, blood, and death.

Turning her back on the heavens, Buffy entered the house and shut the door on the moon.