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Fic: "..."

Title: ...

By: caia
Prompt: Silence
Rating: PG
Setting: S7
Word count: 351
Genre: humor/angst/Monster of the Week
Standard disclaimer: The characters aren't mine, just the story.
Feedback: ...


"A demon of silence. Ooh, boy, let's all fear the terror of quiet time."

"Xander -- " Willow tries to squelch his poor humor.

"Does it shush us like a humorless librarian?" What did she ever see in him?

"I say -- "

"Fool."

Spike's solitary word cuts through the chatter like a arrow. It is low and full of detached pity. Not derisive and scornful as it might have been the year before, or mocking and gleeful the year before that.

Xander still bristles. But he, like everyone else, is listening now.

"Silence is not about not speaking. It's about what is unspoken. It's what you cannot say, what eats you up."

"From beneath you, it devours," Andrew attempts to intone. Only Spike glances at him, and only for a moment.

Now that they're finally taking this seriously, Anya speaks up. "The more you haven't said, the more you're afraid to say, the more the Iltspek can paralyze you." She gives the Scoobs an assessing glance. "You guys are screwed." Pauses. "I'm not." She settles herself on the couch.

"She's right."

"Spike."

Stern Buffy can silence Spike.

Anya imagines what she could say to her.

I haven't seen this much repression since Halfrek and I toured the drawing rooms of Victorian England. Giles is in mourning and furious that no one's noticed. Dawn's afraid she's abnormal. Which she is. Oh, not in her body, the monks did fine with that. Presumably. They were all entirely celibate, so who knows what they thought goes on 'down there'. Willow's afraid of herself. She should be; she did try to destroy the world. Xander is hiding both his alcoholic tendencies and his latent bisexuality. Andrew's worried that he's evil, and worse, useless. You're afraid of what you feel for Spike. And Spike's afraid of you.


But it won't help if she says it. They have to. Those, and a hundred other things they been holding back over the years.

They're all totally screwed.

Spike is looking at Buffy. Buffy is looking at Spike. They both look stricken.

Buffy opens her mouth to speak.

...

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
drizzlydaze
Oct. 24th, 2014 06:20 am (UTC)
"The more you haven't said, the more you're afraid to say, the more the Iltspek can paralyze you." I love your demon! Especially when it's framed against: "Silence is not about not speaking. It's about what is unspoken. It's what you cannot say, what eats you up." Very nicely worded, and that eats you up bit calls nicely to devours while being a smashing phrase on its own.

let's all fear the terror of quiet time. Haha!

Anya's internal summation of the situation is very nice indeed. She really should say it out, if only to stop the Iltspek from paralysing her.

Spike is looking at Buffy. Buffy is looking at Spike. They both look stricken.

Buffy opens her mouth to speak.

Perfect!

And I needn't mention the great title.
thisficklemob
Oct. 24th, 2014 06:31 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!

My theory of the demon was that you have to speak what you need to get out, not what other people need to say. Anya can't save them by saying all that, but she also says everything she needs to for herself, so she's totally safe.

It's been lovely sharing these prompts with you.
velvetwhip
Oct. 24th, 2014 06:38 am (UTC)
I love Anya calling out Xander's bisexuality.


Gabrielle
thisficklemob
Oct. 24th, 2014 06:40 am (UTC)
I feel like there's canon there to support that, if you squint. *g*
trepkos
Oct. 24th, 2014 07:57 am (UTC)
Lovely - and scary - parallel to OMWF!
thisficklemob
Oct. 24th, 2014 08:11 am (UTC)
It is! I hadn't thought of that.

Thanks! (I love the facial expressions in your icon.)
rebcake
Oct. 24th, 2014 08:27 am (UTC)
Hoo boy! This one might really be too much for the Scoobies!

Anya's summary of their many fears is absolutely wonderful!
thisficklemob
Oct. 24th, 2014 08:45 am (UTC)
They really were a messed up bunch by the end, weren't they, poor dears.

Thanks!
kikimay
Oct. 24th, 2014 12:45 pm (UTC)
Anya's imaginary monologue is the best thing. Also silence between Spike and Buffy: SO IC.
thisficklemob
Oct. 24th, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I started with it being actual monologue, but decided it worked better mental. Even Anya can't blurt out everything she thinks. ;)

Silence, or she womans up. I left it open.
shapinglight
Oct. 24th, 2014 01:30 pm (UTC)
Wow! Devastating summary from Anya, and all so true.
thisficklemob
Oct. 24th, 2014 03:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much.
baphrosia
Oct. 30th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, what a scary idea. It'd be interesting to see what they actually admit to.
thisficklemob
Oct. 31st, 2014 07:21 pm (UTC)
As Twain, I think, said, physical courage is so common, and moral courage so rare...
the_moonmoth
Nov. 5th, 2014 12:05 am (UTC)
Yesssss! This would be an awesome demon of the week, and, incidentally, an awesome full length story ;)
thisficklemob
Nov. 5th, 2014 01:46 am (UTC)
Thank you! But I don't even know how I'd fix this for the Scoobies. Their issues by S7 are beyond me... and probably even beyond Anya. ;)
(Deleted comment)
thisficklemob
Jan. 20th, 2015 02:29 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
slaymesoftly
Jan. 19th, 2015 03:33 am (UTC)
Oh well done! "Stern Buffy can silence Spike" So very true.
thisficklemob
Jan. 20th, 2015 02:31 am (UTC)
In S7, anyway. Thanks. :)
rabid1st
Sep. 23rd, 2015 12:15 am (UTC)
Again, you whipped a ficlet past me. I really thought I looked at every post you made, but apparently not. Anyway, this is fab. I love the idea of the monster. I tried not to snicker at the way I pronounced its name, because it reminded me of all the hidden meanings literary people try to uncover.

And, I can see how such a creature would sow havoc in the Whedon-verse, because so much goes unsaid there. There should also be a similar monster for Jeff Davis' universe. One that fills in gaping holes in the plot. ;->

Rae
thisficklemob
Sep. 23rd, 2015 02:55 am (UTC)
Well, this was part of a Zombie Stompathon here, where I wote something like 9 little ficlets in a week, so it'd be easy to miss one.

Iltspek? Were you thinking ill-spoken? I confess I didn't have any hidden meaning in mind, but if we're playing at lit analysis, what I meant doesn't matter. *g*

What 'verse is Davis?
rabid1st
Sep. 24th, 2015 03:00 am (UTC)
The Davis verse is Teen Wolf.

I was reading it as Lit-Speak. Though now I have my new computer glasses it looks more like an iL rather than an Li, so it turns out that the author really WASN'T writing about her relationship with her mother. <<--Another literary book club reference. Basically, I spend too much time around people who try to make books more meaningful than they are.

I'm well. Hope you are, too.

(Deleted comment)
thisficklemob
Sep. 23rd, 2015 02:59 am (UTC)
Merci beaucoup on both counts. :)
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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