Man! challenge in a can Man!





Falling Apart

When he spoke about it later, Giles would change only one detail. He would say it had been foggy, that the mists on top of the ill-lit streets had made it hard to see clearly. He didn't want to examine why he needed to lie about such a small thing. It was just easier to deal with clouded vision than his own clouded mind.

There were other things he only acknowledged to himself, like the irrational hope that had flared in him when he'd spotted her halfway down the street. He'd called out her name and she'd turned, startled, then run from him. Every so many blocks he'd lose sight of her and pull up panting in despair until she'd appear, always tantalizingly close, always out of reach. He could never get any closer to her, no matter how fast he moved. Finally he'd stood near collapse on a dark unknown corner, having lost her again. He sagged, dejected until he'd heard her calling him and looked up. She was smiling at him, hardly seeming out of breath at all, holding a crossbow awkwardly just like that night so many nights ago.

Giles knew it was impossible for Jenny Calendar to be standing there, that it was wrong, that it didn't make sense. He just didn't care.

" is this possible?" he'd croaked out.

"I've been so lost..." she sighed. "So very lost...and then I saw you."

At that she had laughed, and it all came back to him.

"Why?" he whispered. "Why now?"

"Because I missed you, Rupert," she had answered. "Because you loved me, and I-"

He couldn't let her say those words. If she had told him she loved him he'd have damned them both.

Maybe he had anyway, only time would tell.

Jenny had frowned, puzzled, then afraid. Her eyes wide with disbelief and betrayal, she'd dropped the crossbow, clutching at his shirt as the stake found its home and her face shifted like the imaginary mist.

"You don't play nice," Drusilla whimpered, just before they both fell apart.

Giles. Stake. Hopeful.

Man! challenge in a can Man!