She's sure there's a clever ironic philosophy in here somewhere, about how as the Slayer she's surrounded by death every day and she should be used to it by now. She imagines saying it (whatever it is) and her mouth twists on the imagined words; a nasty snarl of satisfaction unfurls in her belly as she pictures their reactions, Willow's pursed forehead and Dawn's pinched nostrils and Giles's genteel harrumphing. The feeling spreads through her like boiling vinegar and is awful and exultant at the same time, and she could almost open her mouth and vomit ropes of wrathful, resentful bile all over the nice tablecloth.

Instead, she says, "uh, what about an announcement? People are gonna be expecting a wake after the burial unless we say something." The words come out milk-smooth and Buffy's disgusted with herself and her own duplicity and the way her mind is running with schedules and checklists

(clear Dawn's absences with her school and get her homework and talk to the banks and the utilities and the post office)

but she doesn't have time for it now.

Later, maybe, she'll take a shower so hot that she can barely breathe, and she'll lie in bed and dig her nails in to her palms terrified about what she's going to do without her mom. But not right now. Right now, she's a big sister, and she's not used to death.

mail .. index