The One Who Sees

"The one who sees," he said, and he was right
But only partly. Yes, he sees the Witch --
He sees her better than she sees herself,
Sees better than his friends, he sees the pain
She's in and danger to them all she holds.
He sees the niblet in her quiet strength,
Determination to fill up the space
The tragedy has landed at her door.
Of course, he never sees the teenaged lust
And awe with which she holds him. I saw it when
It came at me -- but since that night, there's been
No camaraderie between the little bit
And me. And Xander sees Anyanka's love,
And Buffy's power and her worrying
Are naked to his eyes. His eyes. O God!

He hated me -- that's only fair, for in
Those days I hated him as well. It was
The breakup with his bit, the rebar, Red,
More than the years of killing sprees. I thought
Of suicide, and happily he would
Have held the stake. In thick of battle, though,
He -- thoughtless -- saved my life. He gathered up
My demon arse and hauled it from the fight.
Mere instinct for the boy. A comrade falls,
You save him. Just the way things work. But for
Myself -- for me -- no one had risked herself
but Dru. Not ever in my undead life
Has even such a thoughtless gift been mine.
It lay between us like a brand. It mixed
unhealthily with hatred (hatred not
Diminished, but polluted, ill, as if
His rescue weakened evil and its kin).

To have such vile obligation gone,
Was all my need. Despite my hate, I saved
His worthless life and then again. He'd smack
Me down -- the only Scooby weaker, more
Pathetic than himself -- and when they came
To kill the demon magnet boy, I'd pull
Him from the line of fire. I only sought
To end his hold on me. But never once
Did he acknowledge rescue. Never saw.
Though time and time again, I threw him from
A demon's path, corruption lessened not
at all. Persistence isn't usually
My gig, but I desired healthy spite,
Unfettered by his adolescent good.
He never saw. He never set me free.

Until tonight, when Buffy needed me,
I grabbed her, got her out to safety while
The children, helpless, stayed to die. He made
To save that girl of Red's. He stayed. He fell.
I turned too late. The very earth did shake,
As I -- I turned too late. I wasn't there.

He lies unconscious now. When he wakes,
He will still see, despite the ravaged face,
Those places where his heart does lie. The witch,
The niblet, Buffy. Maybe Andrew's crush
At last will be apparent, more than nerds
Who bond. But any chance to notice Spike
Was gouged out with that eye. No vision lies
On me. No chance to justify the ways
Of Spike to Xan. I'm tied to him, bereft,
For evermore. He will not see my pain.