By day, she was Anne.
Anne had seen it all; no skeezy guys with groping hands could surprise her.
Anne had done it all; no writing bodies on packed dance floors could interest her.
Anne had heard it all; no gentle words of love could reach her.
Anne was impenetrable; her flimsy uniform armoured her against a world filled with pain.
Anne was alone.
By night, she was Buffy.
Buffy really had seen it all; seen the monsters that most believed were mere fantasy.
Buffy really had done it all; done terrible things in the name of saving the world.
Buffy really had heard it all; heard the lies that love made you believe.
Buffy was shattered, the certainty of youth and love falling in tatters around her, leaving her defenseless.
Buffy was alone.
By night, she was Slayer.
Slayer had seen it all; nothing hiding in the shadows could frighten her.
Slayer had done it all; nothing was beyond her ability to kill.
Slayer had heard it all; nothing was real or true or worth listening to.
Slayer was strong; her body honed to a razor’s edge that inflicted only pain.
Slayer was alone.
By day, she was Buffy.
Buffy really had seen it all; seen the pain that only life can cause.
Buffy really had done it all; done impossible things at unfathomable cost.
Buffy really had heard it all; heard honesty in lies and deceit in promises.
Buffy was weak, her heart torn apart by those who claimed to be defenders.
Buffy was alone.
By day and by night, she was Buffy.
Buffy saw the monsters in men.
Buffy did what must be done.
Buffy heard the clash of battle and the whine of weapons.
Buffy watched the man in the monster.
Buffy did what she could do.
Buffy heard the whisper of love and the sighs of lovers.
Buffy was real, strength and beauty only enhanced by loss and grief.
Buffy was real, words never easy but always true.
Buffy was real, loved and loving thanks to the lessons of a broken heart.
Buffy was real, laughing brightly and remembering those lost.
Buffy was real, crying on the shoulders of those still remaining.
Buffy was real.
And Buffy was never alone.
Originally posted at: https://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/616443.html