Wounded by Amanda Arlequin Disclaimer: The characters in this story are from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and belong to the God Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. The lyrics are from the song "Wounded" by Third Eye Blind and belong to them. No copyright infringement intended.

The guy who put his hands on you
Has got nothing to do with me
And the bruises that you feel will heal
And I hope you come around
Cause we're missing you
You used to speak so easy 
Now you're afraid to talk to me
It's like walking with the wounded

	She was perched on the barstool, her long legs crossed so that one bare 
expanse of thigh rested against the other.  She left one hand resting on the 
hem of her short leather skirt, while the other swirled the frothy pink 
liquid of her drink.  Her long, crimson hair was pulled up in a French 
twist, a few curly tendrils falling around to frame her face.  Her lips were 
curled in a perpetual smile as the numerous males vying for her attention 
furnished her with an endless supply of drinks and regaled her with tales of 
their male prowess.  With the grace and charm of one who knows that all eyes 
are on her, the woman leaned forward to whisper in the ear of the young man 
sitting on the barstool next to hers.  She used one hand to flick the 
strands of his long hair away while she placed her other hand on his thigh.  
As she pulled back, a faint blush colored his cheeks and he stared at her 
with open admiration.

Carrying that weight way too far
The concrete pulled you down so hard
Out there with the wounded
Missing you
Well I never claimed to understand what happens after dark
But my fingers catch the sparks at the thought of touching you
When you're wounded

	He stood apart from the group of admirers flanking the young woman on all 
sides.  He remained unseen at the end of the bar, preferring to remain in 
the shadows as he watched her with sad, sympathetic eyes.  Only someone who 
knew her as well as he did would recognize the frailty and insecurity 
beneath her confidant and care free exterior.  Only he noticed the jagged 
look of pain that colored her eyes.  No matter how many years filled the 
rift of time between the present and all that had happened to her, those 
eyes never changed.  They remained reflections of the pain and suffering 
she'd been made to go through, a concrete reminder of how he had failed her. 
 His love hadn't been enough for her.  No matter how hard he had tried, he 
had failed to save her from destiny's curse.

Let me break it down till I force the issue
We miss your face and you know I wish you
Would come back down to the Dalva Bar 
You tell them, that's just my battle scar
I want to kiss you
And knock them down like we used to
You're the marigold
Till you're walking down shaking that ass again
And then you walk on baby, walk on, you walk onů on and on
You're an angel in the pit with your hands in the air
And we're missing you

	As she uncrossed her legs, tantalizing the men with a power that was wholly 
feminine and completely hers, she stood in a single practiced movement and 
reached for the hand of the lucky guy sitting next to her.  Grasping his 
fingers, she lead him on to the dance floor and began to perform a mating 
ritual that left her other discarded admirers fuming with jealous longing.  
As he watched from his corner, he couldn't help the surge of jealousy that 
went through him at the sight of her with her body pressed so intimately 
against another.  She was supposed to be his.  If things were the way they 
were supposed to, if they hadn't gone so wrong, then her dance card would 
have been filled with only his name- forever.  Now he was forced to watch 
her move on without him. 

Now it's fall, and your shoulders get tighter
Nervous flicks on your lighter, boots
Your pissed off poets, your women's groups
And the friends with you, we should have known this fool
Well I guess we missed the mark
Still my fingers catch sparks at the thought of
Them touching you
Now you're wounded

	He was no longer in her life, and yet she still lived, as did he.  Against 
all reason, they were both surviving without each other.  And now he could 
no longer wrap his arms around her, as this young mortal now did, and heal 
her bruised soul with his love.  All her pain and suffering were being kept 
locked inside of her, festering in the dark recesses of her soul.  It broke 
his dead heart to see her like this, to know that her once pure and 
untouched soul was tainted.  But there was nothing he could do.  She had 
made it clear that she wanted him to stay away from her.  And so he 
respected her wishes.  He was once again relegated to the role of the unseen 
but ever present watcher, lurking in the dark, as he watched what he could 
never again have.

Let me break it down till I force the issue
You never come around, and you know we miss you
Well nobody took your pride away
I said, that's something people say
Back down the bully to the back of the bus
Cause its time for them to be scared of us
Till you're yelling, how we living cause you got the ball
Then you rock on baby, rock on, you rock onů on and on

	Years ago he had tried to see her again.  After years of tracking her down, 
he'd finally found her living in Milan.  He'd shown up late one night to beg 
for her forgiveness.  He'd given her the only gift he could think of- the 
lives of those who had stolen hers.  But even that hadn't been enough.  Too 
many years laid between then and the love they had once shared.  As she 
turned her back on him, her entire body radiating her new found cold and 
detached feelings for him, he'd fallen to his knees, begging her not to 
leave him again.  A flicker of emotion that quickly died back into the 
unfeeling eyes that marked their kind. 

You're a summer time hottie with her socks in the air 
You're screaming I don't care baby, I don't care
You say you don't know
You say you can't grow
All I know is we're missing you
You're the marigold
Show up wounded

	That quick glimpse into her true pain and loneliness haunted him still, and 
kept him from walking into the daylight.  As long as she walked the earth he 
would be there for her, whether she wanted him or not.  He would wait and 
watch her as he had sworn to always, and keep buried in his heart, where 
only he could see, the flicker of hope that one day she would want him again 
too.  No matter what she did or who she became, she would always be his Willow.

Next: Half in Love and Half in Hate Back to Love Is Immortal