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Pure and simple
Cold and hollow
With sweet breath you'd come to warm me
But I held on too hard to only a memory

You lie there on the swollen ground
Deserted in your heart
Still longing for what yesterday's lost
And for all that tomorrow might bring
And for all that tomorrow might bring

The passion lost
Taken stolen
The dreams we had and we shared
Shattered broken
With kind words youíd come to soothe me
But I so blind and filled with fear
Would send you away from me

There's no hope in regretting now
All the pain that we could not see
We both knew what we wanted
And we took it believing it free
And we took it believing it free

~Lyrics by Sarah McLachlan

Title: Mercy

Author: Robin the Crossover Junkie

Rating: NC-17

Spoilers: So far, Iíve only spoiled up to Hellís Bells, and it goes pretty fricking AU after that. Giles is in England, Anya has left for greener pastures, but Hellís Bells DID happen.

Disclaimer: WB, Fox, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc, are all people that I am not. And these are the people who own BtVS and its affiliates. There are some original characters I created myself, but I own them and they donít count. The rest are not mine, so donít sue me.

Warnings: Angst, child rape, molestation, and more angst. There are also some naughty words, and the kind of stuff that happens when one sexy carpenter and one sexy vampire get horny together. At least, that's what happens in MY mind. Rowr.

Authorís Note: I was working one day in the summer of 2002, and suddenly this plot bunny came into my head. It sprung from basically nowhere, and I was quite shocked, because this particular type of storyline is something I never thought I would write. Iíve read some great ones, but Iíve never even thought about writing it. I've seen it written a million times. But, my drama prof told me that when we see something done that we were going to do, to react with the attitude, "They did it. Now I'll do it right." I'm not saying that's what I've done here, but I sure tried. We'll see how it works out. There have been times when I wanted to take the whole fic and throw it in my trash bin, but with the help of some very lovely people, I managed to salvage it so that at least I liked it, which is what is most important when writing anything. Also, there is credit due to several musicians, but it's credited directly after the reference, so I'm not breaking any laws there, either. This story has taken me a very, very long time to write. I started it in early August of 2002, and I finally finished it on January 30, 2003. I'm very excited to be finished with this, as I put a lot of time and effort into it. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Dedication: To those "very lovely (and helpful) people" I mentioned, Wolfram, Leoff, Masher, and Rynophyx, for keeping me sane. For Buffychick, because youíre my muse and such an amazing person that I donít think I could be who I am without you. To Jillapet and Spiffy Da Wondersheep. I couldn't have finished this without either of you, and it probably would have wound up in the trash bin halfway through if you hadn't gotten me back on track, repeatedly. And finally, to all my list sibs everywhere, for putting out such amazing work that I feel I have to compete. *huggles everyone ever* Except my drama prof, because even though I like what he says about rehashing used ideas, he's kind of a really big prick. *g*

Prologue - "Every Day"
Chapter One - "Diminished"
Chapter Two - "Carry That Weight"
Chapter Three - "Shaking"
Chapter Four - "Inside"
Chapter Five - "Smoke"
Chapter Six - "Somewhere In Between"
Chapter Seven - "Silence"
Chapter Eight - "I'm Crying Out"
Chapter Nine - "In A Little While"
Chapter Ten - "Honestly OK"
Chapter Eleven - "Bother"
Chapter Twelve - "Black"
Chapter Thirteen - "Damn Cold Night"
Chapter Fourteen - "Same Boy You've Always Known"
Chapter Fifteen - "In This Life"
Chapter Sixteen - "Stop"
Chapter Seventeen - "Weapon"
Chapter Eighteen - "Family"
Chapter Nineteen - "Bulletproof"
Chapter Twenty - "Julia"
Chapter Twenty-One - "Basket Case"
Chapter Twenty-Two - "Everybody Hurts"
Chapter Twenty-Three - "Needs"
Chapter Twenty-Four - "Not Pretty Enough"
Chapter Twenty-Five - "Get Over It"
Chapter Twenty-Six - "The Sky Is Broken"
Chapter Twenty-Seven - "Because The Night"
Chapter Twenty-Eight - "I Will Love You"
Chapter Twenty-Nine - "19th Nervous Breakdown"
Chapter Thirty - "Goodbye To You"
Chapter Thirty-One - "Do What You Have To Do"
Chapter Thirty-Two - "When I'm Gone"
Chapter Thirty-Three - "I'd Do Anything"
Chapter Thirty-Four - "Somewhat Damaged"
Chapter Thirty-Five - "Let's Make Love"
Epilogue - "Naked"

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