A Lesson in Manners



Xander’s voice holds a note of scorn but he’s trying to hide it as he asks, “So, why do you love him, Buffy?”

She stares off into the distance, her eyes a little dreamy, her lips curved in a wistful smile. “I suppose it is asking a lot for you to understand it. If you were a girl, I’d say, well just look at him! I mean, what’s not to love? But it’s more than that. It’s the way he makes me feel. Important. I’m his whole life – yes, I know he’s not alive! -but I’m the only one he has, the only one who cares. I look after him.”

He makes fake gagging sounds and she throws a cushion at him, hard enough to change the sounds to a yelp of pain. Satisfied, she continues, her voice taking on a teasing edge, as if she knows how hard it will be for him to hear the next part. “When he’s in my bed, tucked in next to me, I’m safe. There’s not a monster in the world that’d get past him. They wouldn’t dare. And cuddling up to him makes me feel, oh, all warm and happy.”

He’s silent now, his mouth twisted with pained disapproval but she ignores him, almost talking to herself now. “I didn’t like him at first, you know? Hard to believe. I thought I’d outgrown that type. But he looked at me with those eyes of his and I just melted. When he got hurt once, I nearly died. He needed all these stitches, and I was scared he wouldn’t look the same but, well, it’s not like he scars, is it?”

She opens her mouth to continue but he’s had enough. Standing up, Xander stalks to the door, his back stiff. “Buffy, it’s just a stuffed pig. If I’d known he was there, I wouldn’t have sat on him. I’m sorry, O.K?”

Her voice is inflexible as she says, “Don’t say ‘sorry’ to me, say it to Mr Gordo.”



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