Man! challenge in a can Man!






Post-mission and he's feeling like crap. Maybe it was the fatigue speaking, but right then he would have given his right arm to be able to sleep in his own bed, no team mates snoring, no wake-up call at six thirty in the morning. Just a good, warm bed.

His arm. The one what was currently in a cast, after being torn out of its socket by a particularly vicious demon. 'Not bad', the team physician had said. 'But you'll need painkillers'.

Painkillers seemed to be the solution to most problems there. You break something, you receive your bottle of painkillers and get sent to bed. Lost a friend? Hey -- nothing a few of them white pills can't solve, right? They'll take care of it. Don't you worry about it, buddy. They'll fill that hollow feeling you got in your stomach in no time.

Yeah, right.... Take away the pain and you're left with nothing but a killer.

Which was what everyone wanted him to be, it seemed.

He knows he should be reviewing the mission. Calculating what had gone wrong. What to improve before the next mission. But he was thinking about Buffy and couldn't seem to stop.

No, that wasn't an unusual occurrence. He had thought about her a lot lately. Disappointed, heartbroken at first. Hey, that's what you're supposed to feel like after you've broken up, right? It's okay to be bitter. To feel more than a little bit worthless for not being able to make her love him.

Perfectly normal.

And he was just a normal guy, right? Not his fault if that was not good enough.

Maybe it was still normal, getting more and more bitter about it, instead of letting 'time heal all wounds'. To think, that just maybe, he wasn't the only one being a failure. Hey, he had a broken arm, but at least he'd managed to stay alive, right? So who was the biggest fucking failure here, really?

Was it normal also, to sit on your cot, clutching a letter from Xander in your left hand and feeling some sort of perverse satisfaction that her pet vampire had been there, and still not able to save her? That maybe she would have made it, had you been there instead of a useless demon with a chip in his head?

No. Of course not.

Had to be the painkillers.

Riley. Hollow. Painkillers.

Man! challenge in a can Man!