"On the Left Hand..."

PG-13

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon, Mutant
Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Summary: Tara helps Buffy make up a list...

A list...Buffy thought...

That's the way to do it...

Mom's way, Giles' way...The Adult way...

Tara had her doubts...But after Buffy's tearstorm anything to help her get a
handle on these emotions was clearly a blessing...

"For William:" Buffy wrote...On the left side of the sheet Tara had found...

"Against Spike:..." On the right side...

Tara looked it over and nodded...

"One..." Buffy began...

For William...

"He cried for me...When I died..."

Kinda putting the best thing first, aren't we...Tara thought...Still...A good
start for "William"...

"Two..."

For William...

"He kept on caring for Dawny...After it couldn't benefit him..."

Unless he thought my soul might think kindly of him in the afterlife...she
looked at Tara...

"That's actually a point in Will's favor, right?...Thinking our souls might
meet...If he was thinking that..."

I'll make that number three?...

Tara nodded...Absolutely...

"One..." Buffy frowned...

Against Spike...

"Mass killings...100 years x at least 1 per day, 365 days per year..."

But...William couldn't help what the demon forced him to do, right?...she
looked at Tara...Nobody could...

Right?...

Tara smiled gently and nodded...Right...

Sounds like another point for William...Tara thought...

I'll list that as number four for William...Buffy noted...

Preserving some measure of humanity in the face of his demon...

"Five...For Will..."

"He's dreamed of saving me...Since last spring...And tried when he could..."

Even if he hasn't been too successful...Oh...

"Remember to pick up some bandages, salve, and iodine..." she wrote at the top
of the sheet...

Extra points for severe wounds and bleeding, right?...she looked at Tara...

"Two..." she hesitated...

Against Spike...

"Tried to get the chip out and kill me..."

She looked forlornly at the sheet...

But, she brightened...Then he turned round and was ready to kill Dru for me...
Still...He has tried before that...Many times...

She sat a bit...

"Three...Against Spike..."

Killed two Slayers...

Her downcast mood deepened...Then a thought occurred to her...

"But...Maybe William was pushing him...Angelis never tangled with Slayers until
me...Maybe Will was hoping to die...If the Slayer was strong enough..."

Maybe...Tara agreed gently...Still...They were his victims...

But maybe...

"Six...For William..."

He makes me laugh...

Oh God, how I need to laugh...

"Two points?..." she asked Tara hopefully...

Sure...

"Seven...For Will..."

"He could've have killed Mom...And Dawn...Several times before he got the
chip..."

But he spared them...Grew fond of them...And they became fond of him...

"I guess..." Buffy paused... "I should've put that above making me laugh,
right?..."

This is your list, honey...Tara patted her...You do it your way...

Four...Against Spike...

"No steady job...And not much ambition...Far as I can see..."

But...Maybe if he had a reason...

He said he'd find a way to get money for me...

Though I notice he hasn't come back with a wallet full of cash as yet...And he
wasn't much help to Dawny financeswise last summer...

But, hey...I haven't even asked him if he still writes poetry...Maybe he's got
tons of stuff just waiting for a sharp publisher to bring it to the world?...

She looked sheepishly at her friend...

Reaching...?

Well...Tara grinned...

"Five...Against Spike..."

Night-dweller...Could never take me out in daylight...

Vacation strolls around springtime Paris in the sun would definitely be out...

Lets not even consider...Taking the kids out to the park on a Sunday
afternoon...

Kids?...Tara gulped...

Unless...

"There might be another daylight crystal around...Somewhere..." Buffy noted
hopefully...

"Eight...For Will..."

He has never lied to me...Tried to deceive me like Angelis did...

"It's always been upfront with him..."Slayer, I'm gonna kill you"..."Slayer, if
I ever get this chip out I'll kill you"...Until it became..."Buffy, I love
you"..."

And now..."Buffy, I won't settle for anything less than all of you"...

No Angelis crap about how we both got something out of this...Letting me think
he was still Angel...

Not to mention...No running off to father Drusilla's child after telling me he
lived for the day we'd be together...
Nine...For Will...

Threw me out...

Tara blinked...?

"When I was invisible...I went to him...And he said...He wouldn't settle for
part of me...For Invisible Slut-Girl...And threw me out..."

Three points?...Buffy looked hopefully at Tara...

Yeah...Tara nodded...For that, he gets three...

"Six...Against Spike..."

Buffy turned beet red...

He...ummn...

Snores...

Tara looked around the room as Buffy tried not to look at her...

"Why don't we leave that one off the list?..." Tara suggested...

Absolutely...Buffy agreed...
***
"List is getting a little lopsided, isn't it?..." she noted...

I guess I really should add more points to the Mass Killings one...

Well...Tara hesitated...

Three?...Buffy looked at her...

More honest perhaps...But still leaving Will well in the lead...

"Seven...Against Spike..."

Well, really against me...

"I'm not Immortal..."

He'd have to face Eternity or at least the time till Judgment Day alone...

Watch me age and die...Then Dawny and the rest of you...

He might even...Try to prevent it...

Out of love, in a way, you could say...

Still...I could always stake him before death...I'd bet he'd agree to it...

"Maybe we could program the Buffy-bot, if we can ever get her, fixed to stake
him if I'm too sick to do it and you guys can't..."

If he agrees, this one goes over to the left...she noted happily in a
parentheses...

She paused and looked at the list...

Oh God, one more...

Ten...For William...

He could have killed me when I was sleeping in his lair with him...Transformed
me then and there and no worrying about whether I'll come to love him one day
or if I'll go on treating him like a therapy doll...

But he didn't...With everything to gain and nothing to lose...He let me live...

And I took it for granted that I was safe with him...Never even thought about
it...

She grinned at an embarrassed Tara...Who'd learned far more than she had wanted
to know...

"Thanks..."

She tore the list into bits...

Well...

We'll see how things go...What we can do for him...What I can do to help
him...She told her friend...But, for now...

"You know...It's practically my birthday...And Valentine's Day..." she
smiled...

And I feel...Happy...To be back...Here with you guys...Dawny...And Will...

"How's about a trip over to the Mall?...I have cards to sign...Candy to force
upon the helpless..."

And I have an invite to deliver...

To my new feller...

***

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