Log in

Just a couple, I promise!

Your Word is "Think"

You see life as an amazing mix of possibilities, ideas, and fascinations.

And sometimes you feel like you don't have enough time to take it all in.

You love learning. Whether you're in school or not, you're probably immersed in several subjects right now.

When you're not learning, you're busy reflecting. You think a lot about the people you know and the things you've experienced.

(Not all that surprising, I know)

You Are Buttermilk Pancakes

Your prefer traditional, old fashioned foods.

You shy away from anything fake, and you like meals with simple ingredients.

It's not likely someone would find margarine or diet soda in your kitchen.

Instead, someone might find a loaf of homemade bread baking or a soup simmering.

(Again, not that surprising, but I couldn't help myself!)

[QM] 98: The Apartment

Five years is a long time. Especially when you're stuck in a dimension like Pylea where humans aren't treated like anything more than livestock. Cows, actually, was what they called us. At first you try to fight back, but it doesn't take long for them to break you and make you think you are a cow. And once that happens, well... you forget and you lose perspective on what it means to be human. It wasn't until Cordelia showed up that I remembered what that meant or until Angel (when he went vampire, only in Pylea he really went vampire) was all set to attack Charles and Wesley and I knew I had to do something so I drew him away with that bag of blood. And it didn't seem anything particularly extraordinary at the time, although after I went back to LA I started looking back at that as the moment when I kind of became something of a hero.

But the thing I learned, after all those years fighting side by side with people like Angel and Cordy and Charles and Wesley, and even Lorne, is that... well, it ain't nothing special. Standing up, doing the right thing, fighting back, it's all just what you do when you're human - or even if you're not. It's nothing to do with being particularly good or brave or noble. It's just the way you ought to be.

I think it's something I need to learn again.

"I've decided to become a 'mensch'. You know what that means? A human being."
254 words

[AA Muses] Step One

"If you are brave too often, people will come to expect it of you."

I guess just about every time I've been brave, it was 'cause I had to be, to protect someone I loved. Except when I got infected. I was only brave that first day, not because I wanted to be or because I thought it would help me beat it, but because I knew that if I gave up - and it was real hard not to, believe me - the boys would break, and I couldn't do that to them. Until Wesley took me home, and I knew he'd love me no matter what, and I was so grateful because I was just so tired. I stopped being brave, I gave in, I gave up, I let him see how scared I really was.

But then I got better and he got worse, and I knew that if I didn't act brave again, it would kill him. Of course, he died anyway, so a whole lotta good being brave did me, or him, or anyone, and I decided then that I was done being strong, done being brave, done being a hero or even trying to be. You don't have to be any of those things in a lab where you control everything, so that's where I stayed.

Of course, there was still the world outside, trying to draw me out, put me back in the fight. I think that's why I started smoking again. When you're high - well, when I'm high - nothing really matters, you don't have to care. And I didn't want to. If I didn't care, then I wouldn't have to fight or be brave. I could just be, on my own, plain little Fred walking her own path without anything else being dependent on me. Except that wasn't true, I still had responsibilities, but the more I smoked the more I forgot that. It was comforting to just float and finally forget the pain that comes with losing everything you held dear, to not feel obligated to protect anyone.

But I forgot that I hadn't lost everything. There were still people who cared about me, and as much as I wanted to hate them for bringing all of this down on me, for trying to bring me back to a world I wasn't ready to return to, I couldn't hurt them. And when I almost did, well...

I guess that's why we're all here, isn't it. To remind ourselves and each other that we don't have to feel obligated to brave for them. It's enough to know that we can be, if necessary.

442 words

[QM] Quote 95

Knox was sweet. That first day at Wolfram & Hart, he just let me run amok around everything. And when they brought me in to be his boss, well... he took it real well. Usually, guys take that whole usurping of power thing pretty seriously, but he didn't seem to mind one bit. Of course, he didn't seem the kind of guy who was after power in the first place, just really liked to support the people in power. While everyone else was grumbling about new leadership, a new direction, he was right there to help me whenever I needed it. He was always so sweet about it.

Know was smart. Not crazy genius smart or street smart or book smart, just all around, solidly smart (except maybe when it came to street smart, but then again, I'm not too great in that area either). He was the only person in the department who could really track was I was saying most of the time, so it was natural selection that he'd be the one I favored, the one I worked with most, the one I trusted most. I mean, we could work all through the night on something and never get bored, never even realize that all that time had passed. Of course, there were still things I had to do on my own, but I felt good knowing that I could delegate things to him without having to check over his shoulder all the time.

Knox was corrupt. Nobody even knew it, because he never gave it away until it was too late. Then the truth came out: him, me, Illyria. It was all because of him that the stupid sarcophagus came to me, that I opened it, that... that everything happened the way it did. Who knows why he was picked to be her Qwa'ha-whatever priest, because showing all your cards just because you think you're gonna win the hand is a real stupid thing for someone like that to do. Humility and all that, not over-confidence, right? But maybe he'd been chosen the same reason I picked him; he was flawed, but at least he was better than the other options. But none of that mattered anymore.

Knox had to die. Because of him, thousands had suffered. (Well, technically that part was Angel and Spike's fault, but in the end I can't lay all that blame on them. Lord knows they've got enough already.) I had almost died, but more than that... more than that, Wesley was gone. He was gone, eaten up in that same awful way, and there wasn't a thing to be done. And all of that rested squarely on Knox's sweet, smart, corrupt shoulders. For all the hurt he caused, he didn't deserve to walk on this Earth another day, end of story. It was a nice bit of an inversion; this time I marked him not because he was immoral, but because he was so much more than anyone else who could come to mind. In that way, I suppose he was a lot like Professor Seidel.

But unlike him, this time Gunn knew better than to try and get in my way.

"I picked you for the job, not because I think you're so darn smart, but because I thought you were a shade less dumb than the rest of the outfit."
Double Indemnity
554 words

[QM] Application Prompt

Fred's curled up in her desk chair, a cup of coffee that's long since gone cold balanced on one knee. She stares straight ahead at the Dixie Chicks poster on the wall. One of the corners is starting to peel away, but she's not tall enough to reach it.

I'll ask Wesley... she starts to think, and then closes her eyes. No, I won't.

There's a knock at the door.

"Fred?" Angel's muffled voice comes through. Out of the corner of her eye, she can see him trying to get a look inside. She keeps staring at the poster on the wall, takes a sip of her coffee. Eventually, he gives up.

She knows he'll come back again tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that. It's been part of their daily routine for almost a month now, ever since...

"Why can't I stay?"

She sets the mug harshly down on the desk, pulling her knees tighter. Her head lowers to rest upon them, and she sniffles, trying not to cry. She's cried every day; she's amazed that there's still any moisture left in her body. But since she doesn't feel as parched as she did...

As he did, she thinks, remembering how awful it had felt lying helplessly in bed, but he hadn't cared, he'd stayed with her until...

"Why can't I stay?"

The sobs come quietly and she holds them back when there's another knock at the door. She knows it's Spike from the way his hand hits the door. Just once, open palmed, before he leans against it and talks to her through it.

It's all routine now, she thinks, waiting silently for him to leave. No end in sight.

Right on time, she clutches at her stomach. It's not from hunger; she hasn't had an appetite for weeks. It's the guilt setting in, so deep it hurts.

I just wanted another day, just one more to spend with you. I didn't think it would cost so much to have it.

She closes her eyes and drifts off to a restless sleep, right there in the chair. For a moment she thinks about going home, getting an actual night's rest. But like she's done every night before, she puts it off to tomorrow. After all, she thinks bitterly, I've got another day.

"After all, tomorrow is another day."
Gone With the Wind
367 words (not counting the quote from the series)
[ c a n o n ]
End of Season 2 - Mid-Season 5

Winifred Burkle grew up in Dallas, Texas being called Fred. She was loved dearly by her parents, as she was their only child, and she loved them back just as much. In high school, she was a bit of a stoner and conspiracy theorist, but grew out of it when she went to college. She earned a degree in history, and then went on to do graduate work in Los Angeles. There she found a greater passion for physics, and changed subjects immediately. However, before she could finish her degree there, a jealous professor arranged for her to be transported to another dimension known as Pylea. She was trapped there for five years, treated like livestock, eventually escaping to live in solitude in a cave until she was rescued by Angel, Wesley, Gunn, and Cordelia.

Back in Los Angeles, Fred spent her first months holed up inside her new cave - the room at the Hyperion that Angel let her stay in. She had developed a little crush on him, after he became a knight in shining armor to her; but over time, she let the feeling settle into a deep, familial affection. She grew to be an integral part of Angel Investigations, eventually falling in love with Gunn - much to the dismay of Wesley, whom she still cared deeply about, even after his betrayal of Angel.

After about a year, Fred had a physics paper published, which facillitated her reunion with the man who had been her favorite professor before her disappearance to Pylea. Upon learning that he was the one responsible, she vowed to he would pay with his life. Gunn, in an attempt to save her the guilt of taking another's life, killed him instead, resulting in a severe strain and the eventual end to their relationship (Fred having mixed feelings for Wesley upon his return didn't help either).

At Wolfram & Hart, Fred fell into her element as chief of the Science Division. She flirted with the idea of a relationship with one of her employees, Knox, and developed a close kinship with the then-incorporeal Spike. But eventually, it was to Wesley that she gave her heart, and they finally began their long-delayed romance. However, it was cut short when Fred was infected by the essence of the ancient God-King Illyria, an infection that consumed her from the inside out. In an attempt to save her, Angel and Spike traveled to the Deeper Well that had housed Illyria's sarcophagus; there they learned that the only way to save her would be to draw Illyria back, but in doing so, the God-King would kill thousands as it cut a path back from LA. They made the terrible choice to let Fred die.

Back in Los Angeles, Wesley had taken Fred home and spent her last hours with her as she bravely fought for her life. He held her in his arms as she asked, "Why can't I stay?" before finally succumbing to Illyria. They would later learn that not only had Fred's body been consumed, her soul had as well. All that was left of Winifred Burkle were the memories held by her friends and family and the barest shreds floating somewhere in Illyria's being.

[ a l t e r n a t e . v e r s e ]
does not include events from the post-series comics

As Fred lay dying, Angel and Spike decided (either jointly or independently, neither has admitted which) that she was too valuable to lose. In the moment when Illyria would have taken hold, the Old One was instead drawn back to the Deeper Well - infecting thousands, just as Drogan had said, among them Wesley. As Fred slowly recovered, she was forced to watch him die; broken hearted once again, she demanded to know why she was alive, why Wesley had to die, why so many others had died. Angel and Spike informed her of their decision; she stopped speaking to them and isolated herself in her lab.

After a few weeks, she began to have strange dreams where she could do extraordinary things - throw a man across a room with very little effort, stop time all around her so she could walk as she pleased. At the end of one such dream, she looked in the mirror and was shocked to see not herself, but a blue-tinged version clad in an armored suit molded to her body. Instantly, she knew that these were not dreams; Illyria had not been entirely eradicated from her body and had started to manifest while she slept, although the once-powerful God-King now only possessed enough strength to appear for a few hours every few days. This caused Fred great concern at first, until she realized that with Illyria's knowledge and power, she might be able to find a way to undo the damage done by drawing her back to the Deeper Well. She might be able to find a way to bring back Wesley.