by Saber ShadowKitten
My Childe 8

I don't know why he's doing this.

I try and try and try to figure it out, but so far, no answers come to me. He's opened his home and his heart to me. Me. The worthless, cocky demon who tried to end his unlife over and over again.

I want to ask him why, but I'm afraid. Afraid he'll tell me that it was because Buffy told him to keep me here, or that he felt guilty, or worse, pity. Or maybe I'm afraid that if I open up, he'll proclaim me better and send me on my merry way.

I don't want to go anywhere. At least, not yet.

This is going to sound stupid, but sleeping in that bed of his, the covers pulled up all around me, I feel safe. It's like...his presence is surrounding me. Comforting me. Protecting me.

Bloody nancyish, eh?

Trouble is, I'm not too sure of myself anymore, not so cocky, not I feel naked, stripped down and defenseless. Exposed. I can't bring myself to fully enter a room. All that open space, leaving me vulnerable to attack from any side.

I can't even take my clothes off.

I'm clean though. Kind of. Well, I don't smell. Washrag, soap and water works just fine for the parts I can reach without taking anything off. I got used to the damp jeans.

The shower running is just to hide my crying.

I don't do it when he's home, only when he's gone. Then I lock myself in the bathroom, turn on the shower, then sit in the corner between the toilet and the wall and cry. I am so pathetic, but I can't help it. Holding myself together all day while he's around is really hard. All I really want to do is crawl into a hole and die.

But Buffy said things would get better, and for some dumb reason I believe her. It could be because she's been through much worse shit than I have. She had to send the love of her life to hell. I just visited there briefly. Hell disguised as a sterile, underground facility where I was treated like a lab rat.

I almost escaped.


But almost is never good enough, is it?

The Slayer found me down there who the bloody hell knows how long after I'd been recaptured. The days disappeared in a haze of pain as they poked and prodded and ran their tests and experiments. When she found me, I was laying on my stomach, naked, hooked up to a machine that sent electric impulses through metal clips on various nerves in my back. I think the experiment was to differentiate between the nerves that cause pleasure and pain.

Then again, they could have just been sadistic bastards.

And for some reason, Buffy rescued me. I don't know why. I begged her to stake me. I begged her. But she didn't. She pried those things out of my back, found my clothes, helped me dress, then sent me here. She hadn't gotten the fuckers behind that place, so she let the word get around that she dusted me. And I've been hiding here since.

God, I'm fucking miserable.

Yet, I feel safe. And that's what I need. I know it, he knows it, Buffy knows it. Doesn't mean I want to admit it out loud, though.

Mostly I want to curl up in some corner and cry.

Because the mental experiments were worse than the physical ones.

He's here now, watching me with his worried eyes. He pretends he's not, and I pretend I don't know he's watching me. But I'm glad he is.

I'm glad that for some soddin' reason he cares.

Because I really, really need him.

I really need my Sire.