once more with feeling
It's in this weird twisted moment that you realize that you relate to Buffy Summers. Which, you're not exactly sure how to take that, because you're not a kickass woman and you're not a vampire hunter. But the coming back from the dead, you can relate to that. You've watched a few episodes in the past, but it's the season where she's ripped out of the afterlife to come back, you relate to that. Granted, there was no afterlife for you. It was all just nothing. But now...now you're forced to remember how to breathe, how to eat, how to drink, how to feel. You know you should be over the moon. You should be beyond happy that you're alive, that you're given a second chance at life, but you're not. You're not because you're a man of science and people are not resurrected. They are not connected in the body of a healthy attractive man who still has his own hopes and dreams that you're suddenly imposing on.

At first, you try being honest with friends about it. You try to explain how you feel, that everything feels like it's been years or it's been just seconds, and it's a weird combination of the two. But to them, they're just glad you're alive. They're just glad that you're back. That you have a second chance. That you should go out and enjoy it, but not to get hurt. That's always the underlining, to not get hurt as if they think you're going to go and jump off the nearest bridge.

(Granted, right now you would, if it meant you would feel something. Dramatic? Yes. But proves a point. No one listens anymore if it's not overly dramatic, right?)

You hate that you're brooding. You're not Batman, you're not Bruce Wayne, that guy has the brooding on lockdown and sure you're just as smart as him but not as dark as him. That was always why people liked you, right? The cosmic joke. The comedic relief. You know that Michael is happy that you're back, and you want to feel happy that you're back too, because you've missed him. But everything feels wrong. Everything feels off.

Because you know that you were supposed to die so the timeline would keep going, the last minute time traveling to save your life told you that much, and you finally accepted that in every timeline...you have to die. It doesn't matter how much Michael tries to save you, you always die. And where you don't die, Michael does. You're both constantly trying to save each other, and with you back in play...what does that mean? Did that put him in danger?

So how can you possibly enjoy this 'second chance' when it's only going to be ripped away from you again? Last time it was a bullet in the head. Maybe this time it's a heart attack. Or a car crash. Maybe a robbery gone wrong. But it's inevitable, because that's just how it goes. Michael can't save you. You can't save Michael. You can't save you.

You feel numb. Well, the phrasing of that is off, because you can't actually feel anything, and you're so tired of people asking how you are. They ask if you're feeling good, that you must be happy to be alive, and aren't you happy for the second chance?

Somewhere, you want to feel something. Anything. Even if it's pain. But you're so numb to the world, that when you watch a rerun of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and she talks about not feeling anything now that she's back from the dead, you nod and mutter, "You don't know the half of it."

You want to feel something. You want to feel anything, even if it brings pain because this is no way to live. And part of you still isn't convinced that this is even real.

But they don't understand. They're too happy that you're back, expecting you to be just as glad, and you're willing to pretend that you're just as happy.

But you're not.