"You brought literal Satan as your party date?!" Asked Xander, panic in his tone as he looked over Buffy's shoulder at the man that she had walked into the holiday party with. He was already being surrounded by a bunch of girls that were at the party. Of course, all trying to get to know the tall, dark, and handsome guy in a sharp suit. All hoping to get his attention. There went any chances of Xander trying to woo any girl tonight. How could he compete with that? "Buffy, I know you like flirting with the enemy, but I'm putting my foot down. Satan is crossing the line!"
Buffy rolled her eyes, "Not my date, not dating at all. And definitely not flirting. God, Xander, do you think I just jump on every evil attractive guy that comes my way?" She asked, furrowing her brows.
Xander stared at her blankly.
"Don't answer that. " Buffy retorted. "Look, we're just friends. Not that I feel like I should be explaining my love life to you - yet... somehow, I always end up having to." Annoyance was present in her tone. Her friends could be so nosy sometimes, especially Xander - always dogging the guys she chose to date. Who was he to judge anyways? I mean, sure... her last boyfriend turned crazy murderer and killed Giles' girlfriend and all... but, can everyone just get over that now? It's been long enough! They needed to cut her some slack. Besides, it wasn't like she was lying or anything. Lucifer was her friend, nothing more. "Believe it or not, The Devil's actually a pretty nice dude." Her shoulders shrugged.
"I never thought I'd live to hear that sentence, ever." Xander said.
Buffy quickly nodded in agreement, raising her brows. "Yeah, me too."
Okay, so maybe she had a problem? But, the issue was dating potentially evil guys - not befriending them. There was a difference.
"So, what's gonna happen if he actually does go all pure evil, soul sucky - or whatever the hell it is that Satan does, on us? I'd say it would ruin the party, but whenever you're around, it's usually never a party unless someone gets impaled on something. Hopefully the someone is a demon. I'd like to impale someone too, Buffy. You know, the good sort of impalement. Can't do that if he murders the sexy lady party goers." Xander spoke.
Buffy stared at him, unamused. "Gee, I feel so welcomed. I should come to parties more often. " She quipped sarcastically, "Also, ew. TMI, Xander." She said, curling her lip up in disgust. "Listen, if he goes all soul sucky, I'll kill him. He's my friend. My responsibility. It's only right if I do." Buffy answered calmly, shrugging her shoulder lazily.
"You can do that?" Xander rose a brow.
"I think so? I mean... I'm the Slayer - killer of all things evil. He gets evil, I chop off his head. Decapitation kills everything. Even Satan, I'm sure." Her brows raised. Finally, she turned to look over at Lucifer, who was currently grabbing a microphone in his hand; the tune of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' playing in the background. "But see? Harmless. Just a karaoke singin' demon. That's not very evil if you ask me. Unless his voice sucks and we're all made to suffer through his infernal singing. Haha, get it? Infernal, 'cause he's Lucifer." Buffy laughed at her own little pun, and Xander took a sip of the eggnog in his hand.
"On second thought, the bad impalement is starting to sound better by the second." He quipped.
Buffy had turned her head and opened her mouth to respond to Xander's little retort, but before anything could come out of her mouth, her name was being called loudly through a microphone.
"Buffy, come join me up here!" Lucifer called, flashing her an inviting grin.
Buffy's eyes widened. Oh no, she didn't want to go sing holiday songs. Not in front of all these people. She didn't even have any liquid courage in her at the moment to push her into even trying such a thing. Buffy froze up in her spot. She was sure some of the girls that had gathered around Lucifer were staring back at her with death glares; shooting daggers with their eyes.
Cordelia was one of them, rolling her eyes at the fact that he had even chosen Buffy to sing a duet with him. Who was he? How did he even meet Buffy? And why her? What was so special about Buffy Summers? Her nail polish was so last week, and don't even get her started on the fact that Buffy came to the party dressed in a red Alice Olivia dress that was runway popular in last year's fashion magazines.
Xander poked the middle of Buffy's back with his index finger, and leaned over her shoulder to speak into her ear. "Not very evil, huh?" He teased, a chuckle in his tone.
"Shut up, Xander..." She grumbled in annoyance.
Lucifer was waving her over now. She couldn't ignore it. It'd be rude if she did. Buffy gulped and finally began to move towards him, through the small crowd, stopping once she had reached him. She flashed him a nervous little smile, before grabbing the second mic within her grip. Was she actually going to do this? Buffy licked her lips and took a deep breath - this shouldn't be so bad, right? She just had to calm down. It'd be like singing into her hairbrush in front of the mirror... only not in the privacy of her own room. Was her voice even that good? Would people judge her? Would they laugh at her? Buffy's nerves were on end. It was just karaoke - why was she so worried? It wasn't like she was auditioning for American Idol or anything.
Lucifer moved in close, "Don't worry, I won't embarrass you." He uttered into her ear.
Buffy nodded her head, and brought the mic to her lips; almost sheepishly, she began to sing the words into it.
"I really can't stay..."
"But, baby it's cold outside," Lucifer's voice was low, deep; alluring. Woah, she wasn't expecting that.
"I've got to go away..." Buffy continued to sing, this time a bit clearer.
"But, baby it's cold outside,"
"This evening has been..."
"Been hoping that you'd drop it." Lucifer walked closer to her, their eyes meeting.
Buffy blushed and her voice faltered. "S-so... very nice..."
"I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice." Lucifer grabbed her free hand within his and Buffy blushed even further. Should she pull away? Would it be too obvious? Her voice began to fail her; her mind was beginning to get distracted. That voice of his was just so... perfect. The most beautiful thing that had ever graced her ears.
"My mother will start to..." This time, she didn't even finish her lyrics.
Lucifer twirled her around using the hand that she never pulled away from him and continued to sing his lines. "Beautiful what's your hurry?"
Oh! He was such a liar. He said he wouldn't embarrass her - and yet, here he was. So much for hammering the fact that they were just friends into Xander's head. He was definitely going to think that Buffy was bullsh.itting him now. But, she really wasn't! Lucifer just liked to tease her - he found it amusing to do so; much to Buffy's dismay - she was totally going to punch him in the face in private after this. She should've known better than to trust the Devil, duh. Prince of Lies and all that. This was so unfair. Using his angelic gifts of music, making all the girls swoon - including Buffy, who was the one being serenaded at the moment. Ugh, why couldn't she be normal and bring a normal guy to the party? Why Satan? Why not Bradley? He was normal.
Okay, did he have a button that she could push to make him all evil? She'd prefer him getting all sucky with the souls right about now - violence and blood would be welcomed for once.
Buffy's hand rose to press her index into the doorbell of her new neighbor's home. A redhead woman named Elizabeth, mother to four children. They had only been in Sunnydale for about a month now, if Buffy could remember correctly. The first time Buffy had met Beth was when her mother volunteered her to babysit for the woman's kids. Buffy didn't want to at first, but she really didn't have a good excuse as to why she couldn't do it (other than the stuff she couldn't obviously tell Joyce - Slayer duties, killing vampires, saving the world; that sort of stuff.) That night was interesting to say the least; babysitting and trying to keep a demon with a particular taste for children's flesh from eating her kids while they all slept soundly in their beds without a single care in the world (unless we counted Jane, the youngest, who had woken up when Buffy had lunged into her room to tackle said demon, but Buffy told her it was all dream. Luckily, she believed it and went back to sleep.) Okay, so that night was almost a complete disaster, but, hey! On the brightside, she managed to keep herself from breaking anything in Beth's house, and her kids were still alive and not skinless (thanks to the scary big and sharp butcher knives that Beth kept in her kitchen) - so... good!
"Buffy!" The redhead woman finally answered the door, and Buffy smiled softly at her.
"Can I come in? Mom's gonna be at work late... and... I feel like crud." Buffy spoke, sighing.
She had become close to Beth little by little since that first time, and had begun to look at her as a second motherly figure. It was usually hard with Buffy to connect fully with adults, but there were the few that gave her those welcoming and warm vibes that made her feel safe and comfortable around them; Beth was one of them.
"Oh, of course, of course! Come in, honey." Beth welcomed her, and Buffy stepped inside.
Beth locked the door behind her, following Buffy as she walked into the living room, tossing her bookbag upon the couch, before taking a seat.
Beth sat next to Buffy and furrowed her brows in concern. "So what's bothering you? Who do I have to kill?" She joked, chuckling, attempting to lighten up the mood.
Buffy sighed again and pouted, "Boys." She responded, "Bradley broke up with me today. Said we don't spend enough time together or something. Oh! But... no killing." She chuckled softly. "I just...." Buffy paused momentarily, attempting to find the words in her head, before she opened her mouth to speak again, "I used to be so popular, you know? I never had trouble when it came to boys. I never had trouble finding dates... in fact, I was usually the one doing the dumping... they begged me to take them back. And now... everything's changed... since..." Buffy paused again, she couldn't tell Beth she was The Slayer - she'd think she was insane. "Ever since... just everything. I feel like I'm cursed. Maybe it's karma or something. I bet I sound so pathetic..."
Beth shook her head, bringing her hand up to place it upon Buffy's shoulder; squeezing softly to comfort her. "Not at all. Men can be jerks, take it from me. I know, trust me. I don't think you're cursed at all, Buffy. I think you're still young... and you just need to be patient. You'll find the right one."
"Even though I feel like I had that twice already and it still didn't work out?" Buffy asked, brows raised; a sad puppy dog look upon her visage.
Beth nodded her head and smiled. "Third time's the charm. Now, let's turn that frown upside down. I've got just the thing to make you feel better. I'll be right back."
Buffy watched as Beth got up from the couch and disappeared off into the kitchen; only to re-appear a few minutes later, holding two mugs in her grip.
"Hot chocolate always makes me feel better whenever I'm feeling crappy. I give it to my kids too whenever they feel down in the dumps." She smiled, handing one of the mugs over to Buffy.
Buffy's gaze looked down at the contents in her cup and almost immediately, a small smile pulled at the corner of her lips. "Aw, it even has those cute little marshmallows floating in it..." She took a sip and felt the warmness overtake her body as she swallowed the hot liquid down. Her eyes closed and she savored it. So, Beth was right. Hot chocolate really had a way of lifting your spirits somehow - between their talk and the chocolate, Buffy was starting to feel a bit better.
"Thanks, Beth... I really needed this."
Beth nodded her head, "Remember, boys come and go, but hot chocolate is forever." She softly laughed and took a sip of her own drink.
"Spike, what are you doing here?!" Buffy asked, her eyes wide in surprise; her hands grabbing at the top of the towel that she had wrapped around her body. It was late, and she had just gotten out of the shower when she walked into her room, only to see Spike standing in it by her bed. What was he doing here? What did he want? "I've told you to stop sneaking into my room!" She whispered, afraid that her mom would hear her speaking to someone, but Joyce was downstairs, watching the television - how could she even hear? Buffy closed her bedroom door behind her and furrowed her brows, "I swear... get out!" It was her night off from hunting today, Giles had granted her with a break, after she begged him so much that he allowed his annoyance to win and give her what she was whining for (not to mention that she made sure to flash him her cute little pout and puppy dog eyes for good measure). A break meant, she didn't want to deal with any baddies, and that was including Spike.
No matter if he was here for the usual kissing and touching that Buffy usually protested to... yet never really meant it because... well... he was hot? And let's face it - Spike really knew all the right spots to touch and to kiss on. Okay, maybe... he could stay? Oh no, her mind was wandering now and her cheeks blushed. Ugh, damn her weaknesses! She closed her eyes and shook her head, shaking the thoughts out of her mind immediately. No, not tonight. Not right now. She had to resist. She could do it, right? Yeah. She could.
"Get dressed, I want to show you something." Spike spoke.
Buffy rose her brow. Wait, he wanted to show her something that involved her getting dressed and not getting naked? Well, this was different. Not... that it was ever a problem whenever he did want her to be naked. There went her mind again, wandering. Hey, but she couldn't be blamed! "Show me what?" She asked.
Spike rolled his eyes, "Just do it, Summers. Don't ask me questions."
Why couldn't he just tell her? What was the big secret? Should she trust him? Was this a trap of some sort? I know, a lot of questions. They were bouncing around Buffy's head and she stood there, staring at him suspiciously; eyes narrowed. She had plenty of reasons to not trust him, but she also had plenty of reasons as to why she should. There were a lot of times where she was vulnerable in his grip, a lot of times where he could've ended her life without a second thought, and he never did. Besides, they had a thing together... didn't they? Whatever said thing was that they had... it was a thing thing. She was almost sure that murder was definitely out of the picture by now.
"Fine." She huffed, rolling her eyes and agreeing to do as she was told. "But, turn around." She commanded with raised brows, as if he hadn't seen her nude before.
Spike stared at her blankly for a moment, furrowing his brows, was she joking? He figured he wouldn't argue, however. He needed her to hurry it up, and arguing with her would only slow things down. Buffy was a little brat if he had ever met one, and by now he knew better than to go against her wishes - he didn't always comply, but he decided that he'd behave for now; for the sake of getting her out of the house and taking her to see the surprise he had in store for her. Spike shook his head and turned around, thinning his lips in annoyance. "Right then, whatever. Just hurry up." He commanded.
"Don't rush me!" She bickered back, unraveling the towel from around her body and tossing it over onto her bed. She grabbed some undergarments from her drawers and slipped them on, then headed to her closet to grab some clothes.
"It's cold, wear something warm." Spike spoke again, a little less force in his tone.
"Kay, dad." Buffy sarcastically responded, although she thought it was cute that he seemed concerned enough about her to make sure that she'd be warm.
"That's daddy to you, pet." Came Spike's little quip, a smirk pulling at the corner of his lips.
Buffy playfully rolled her eyes, a little smirk of her own appearing upon her face. Man, she hated Spike so much (but not really).
Then a knock came to her door, and Buffy gasped; pressing the blue cashmere sweater that she had picked out against her chest. Spike turned and their eyes met, "Stand behind the door." Buffy whispered, and Spike quickly did just that.
Joyce spoke from the other side. "Honey, I'm going to sleep early, I'm tired."
"Okay, mom! Uhm, me too, I have a headache!" She lied; pushing down her bra straps and grabbing her towel off the bed to wrap it around her body once more. Her mom couldn't see her wearing undergarments to bed - she'd be suspicious, she'd ask questions.
She headed towards her door and only opened it a tad bit, making sure to leave Spike some space to stand behind it. This wouldn't be the first time Spike and Buffy had a close call with Joyce. This should be easy peasy to get through. Buffy stuck her head out from the opening and smiled at her mom. "Goodnight, mom." She said as casually as possible. There was nothing to be nervous about. If she was calm, Joyce would just kiss her goodnight as usual and go her merry way to bed.
Buffy learned her lesson the first time - she was too nervous then, acting weird. Good thing Spike was quick and had jumped out the window, otherwise, she would've gotten into so much trouble.
Joyce didn't suspect a thing this time. Thank goodness.
"Goodnight, honey." She smiled back, softly kissing Buffy on the forehead, caressing the side of her face gently, brushing away the few strands of hair that had been misplaced from the messy bun atop of her head. "Feel better. Call me if you need anything."
"Thanks, mom..." Buffy responded, watching as her mother turned and headed down the hallway and into her own bedroom. She listened for the door to close, and sighed in relief; closing her own door once again. Buffy gazed over at Spike, who had casually begun to light a cigarette - which she snatched away from his lips before he could even light it. "Nuh-uh. Not in my room."
Spike looked at her, annoyed, but said nothing. However, he was beginning to become impatient and Buffy could read it on his face.
Buffy placed his fag on top of her drawer, and tossed the towel off her body once more (forgetting to tell Spike to turn around this time, but it wasn't like she was entirely in the nude anymore). She headed towards her closet, slipping her bra straps back onto her shoulders and finally rummaging through her clothes; grabbing whatever cute pieces she could find to throw onto herself.
Warm leggings, Ugg boots, fuzzy blue earmuffs, and her leopard printed fleece jacket. She figured this would be good enough. It wasn't like she had to really worry about super freezing temperatures in California. The Winter was cold, but not excruciating.
"Alright, I'm ready. Let's go." Buffy nodded, rolling her lips together to evenly spread the glittery pink lipgloss that she had just added to her lips.
"About bloody time." Retorted Spike, motioning his hand towards the window so that Buffy could go first.
Always the gentleman, even when he was rushing her and being a rude pain in her ass.
Buffy rolled her eyes at his comment, giving him a dirty look. "Shut up, Spike." She responded to him (as she usually did ninety percent of the time), climbing out the window; Spike following after.
"Wow..." Buffy whispered in awe, her eyes stared up at the sky from where they stood. At first, she questioned why Spike was leading her into the dark woods, so far away from civilization - so deep, but now... now she understood why. There was no way she could see such a stunning natural event out there in the city. Nature was such an amazing thing. It was incredible, breathtaking; the way the sky changed colors like that - the waves of green and splashes of pink and blue that shone against the pitch black skies. The twinkling stars that seemed to burn for miles among the heavens. She didn't know what to say, what to do, other than stand there, mouth ajar, eyes admiring the pure beauty of it all. It was mystical. She had never witnessed anything like it before - at least not in person.
Spike smirked, his gaze transfixed upon Buffy instead of the celestial light show. She was so radiant, beautiful, he thought - the way she looked up with amazement shining within her doe eyes; the way the changing lights hit her fair skin making it almost glow beneath its touch. Her rosy cheeks and blushing nose from the cold that kissed her flesh. He could stare at her forever.
"What is it?" Buffy asked, finally looking away from the sky and turning her attention to him.
His focus shifted away from her, finally turning to look above. "The Northern Lights." He responded.
Buffy furrowed her brows, confused. Were they really? But they were in California. Was that even a possible thing? "... But isn't that like... a thing that happens in Alaska or something?" She asked. Gosh, she probably sounded so stupid. She honestly didn't mean to. "Are you sure it's not anything supernatural that I have to worry about?" Buffy's brow raised.
Spike shook his head, looking back at her. "No super, only natural. It happens in other places sometimes. You just have to know when to catch it."
"Oh..." Buffy uttered, turning her gaze back up to look at the sky.
"I wanted you to see it. I figured you'd like it." Spike said.
Buffy nodded her head, shifting her attention back to him. "Oh! I do... it's..." She paused, biting her bottom lip for a moment, her gaze lowering. "Magical." Buffy felt overwhelmed by the entire thing. Was it silly to say that her eyes were beginning to water? Oh, but she knew Spike wouldn't judge her. He never did. Buffy felt special, that he chose to bring her here - that he thought of her. For someone without a soul, he surely was the most passionate and charming guy she had ever gotten close to. "It's the most romantic thing I've ever done..." She concluded her sentence, stepping closer to him - grabbing for his hand and lacing her fingers between his own. Spike was perfect - she didn't deserve him.
Buffy pressed herself onto the tips of her toes and placed a soft kiss against his cheek, smiling and whispering into his ear, "Thanks for sharing it with me..." She kept herself close to Spike, the grip on his hand tightening softly; her gaze focused on the sky again - watching the luminous soft glow of expanding lights that moved against it. There were no words that could ever perfectly describe how beautiful everything looked, or the overwhelming emotions that Buffy was feeling at the moment.
They stood in silence then - transfixed on the ghostly glow of the aurora as it swayed left, then right, undulating like a sheet in the wind.
dead girl walking - nine days after the master's death.
“You tried. It was noble of you. You heard the prophecy that I was about to break free and you came to stop me. But, prophecies are tricky creatures. They don't tell you everything. You're the one that sets me free. If you hadn't come, I couldn't go. Think about that...”
Buffy could still hear his voice echoing within her mind, she could still feel her life leaving her; her heart slowing down, thumping loudly in her ears, her vision going blurry and then everything going black. He wouldn't leave her thoughts, she couldn't shake his presence away from her soul. He had infiltrated her body, took over her like a creeping disease. The scar he had left behind upon her neck burned and throbbed in pain. Although he was nothing but dusted bones, buried six feet deep beneath hollow ground, his touch was as real as ever. The Master plagued her dreams - her nightmares, her every waking moment. She couldn't close her eyes for a single second without seeing him. She couldn't fight the monsters without fearing that she would face that cold hard grip of death pulling at her soul once again. Buffy tossed and turned, pale and sweaty upon her bed every single night, and although she was surrounded by people that she considered friends, she felt so alone; so very alone with this horrible feeling that ate at her mind.
They wouldn't get it. She knew that they wouldn't get it. They would try to, they would pretend to understand, but in the end; Buffy knew they'd just become tired of dealing with her emotions - they'd become upset with her. It was usually how it went. Get over it Buffy; you died, but you're alive now, and that's all that truly matters. It's not such a big deal. You have to be strong Buffy, you have to be strong for all of us. We need you. We need you to get back up on your feet and save the world, even if your life was on the line. Don't be so selfish, Buffy, isolating yourself from us like that. Xander saved you - what more do you want, Buffy? Swallow your tears, lock your emotions in a box and go on living.
But, why her? Why did she have to be the Chosen One? Why did she have to be the one to give her life for others? She never asked for any of this. She never asked to be anyone's super hero - to have to have the entire weight of the world upon her shoulders. She was just a baby; and here she was having to deal with more than she could ever handle. Buffy didn't want to die, and it sucked to have to deal with constantly having that fear at the back of her mind; eating her alive - whispering to her that at any given moment she could face it once again and never come back - would she live to see sixteen? Eighteen? Twenty-one? She could feel herself slowly descending, spiraling downwards as the days trickled by. Buffy didn't want to deal with any of this - and she didn't have to if she didn't want to. They needed her, she didn't need them. She could run away and never come back.
What a selfish and self-centered thought to have, Buffy.
You're such a bitch.
it's all going down hill from here - on the tenth day, things got worse.
“Every Slayer has a deathwish.”
Buffy tossed and turned upon her bed - another night, another nightmare stealing away the chances of her ever having a peaceful sleep. Would she ever escape the monsters? Not even in her dreams. Death followed her everywhere, nipping at her heels, always there, close behind... reminding her. Reminding her that she would never escape it, no matter how far or how fast she'd attempt to run and distance herself from it. However, tonight - death had a new face. It wasn't The Master who wrapped his bony fingers around her throat, it wasn't his claws that dug themselves painfully into her delicate flesh, and it wasn't his voice who whispered promises of her demise into her ears. It was a new face, a new voice - low and accented. Sinister and almost seductive in nature; it almost made her want to die. Something about its presence caused her to shudder beneath the demon's touch, to fear him even deeper than she had feared The Master. The dread ran almost as deep as it did when Lothos had began to invade her dreams for the first time. Before she knew that such a terror even existed.
Who was he? Where did he come from? Buffy jolted up upon her bed, sucking in a sharp breath; horror written clearly upon her visage, sweat adorning her hairline and dripping from the tip of her nose.
"I really should start to consider never sleeping again..." She breathlessly uttered to herself.
Buffy didn't want to talk to Giles about it, and it's not like Angel was around for her to even think about mentioning it to him. However, she still wouldn't. They were all worried enough about her since The Master. They all thought she was this fragile little thing. She didn't want anyone's pity. She didn't want to talk about her nightmares anymore. Maybe if she ignored them, they would go away? If she gave them no mind, they would fade into the abyss and they would leave her alone.
But, she was wrong. So very wrong. It wouldn't be the last time Buffy felt this new presence. No amount of ignoring it changed that.
Every single night since then, he came - every night he got closer and closer, until Buffy could feel him all around her. His closeness made her entire body feel like a migraine. It ached and it burned. She didn't want him to touch her. She didn't want to feel him. However, she held no control over the prophetic dreams that came with her powers or what happened in them. The Master had faded away into the background, and in his place laid this new boogeyman. She could feel his warm breath against her throat; his body crushing her beneath his weight, and she couldn't push him off. Buffy was paralyzed, unable to move, unable to breathe - there was no use in fighting, there was no use in trying. All she could do was cry, beg, plead for her life to be spared. But, there was no mercy that he was willing to give.
A sinister laughter filled her mind.
A blur of platinum blonde, a shadow to her view.
“Death is on your heels, baby.”
He was so close to her now; hovering above her - pinning her down. Within a span of two weeks, he had reached her, he had breached her mind and violated her thoughts, he had taken over; held her hostage inside of her own head. Her heart was drumming so loudly within her chest that she was sure it would beat right through. His lips brushed against her throat causing goosebumps - then he bit her; that familiar feeling of sharp teeth ripping through flesh, of her blood being pulled through her veins... of her life escaping her body with every second and she couldn't make it stop. Buffy could feel herself dying again. She was fading. She was losing, she was...
Buffy screamed and the ground quaked.
Then loud whispers filled her mind --
Autumn carries death upon its breeze; cherry scented blood seeps into the earth and the golden petals of daffodils will cover your body...
Buffy awoke screaming, her eyes shooting open; her body springing up from her mattress. She gasped and wildly searched the darkness of her room. Was she alone? Was something in there with her? Watching her? Her body was shivering, her skin was damp with sweat - her hair stuck to her forehead and her heart was beating rapidly within her ribcage. She licked her dry lips and her hand immediately reached for her neck, although she still felt the throbbing heat and pain of teeth puncturing her skin; there was nothing there. No blood, no holes.
Buffy felt sick to her stomach, her insides felt like rubber and her head was pounding. Quickly, she jumped out of her bed, running towards the bathroom and locking the door behind. Her insides felt like they were colliding with one another, and as soon as she lifted the toilet seat, she hunched over and vomited into the bowl. She collapsed onto the floor by the toilet and heaved a couple of more times, before resting her head against the toilet seat. Her eyes closed and she groaned - her head was spinning with the words that were still fresh inside her mind. That voice. The warning...
Autumn carries death upon its breeze; cherry scented blood seeps into the earth and the golden petals of daffodils will cover your body...
But, what did it mean? And who was this new invader? Couldn't she ever catch a break? Of course she couldn't. She was the Slayer - this was her life now.
Buffy furrowed her brows and finally found the strength to push herself up off the floor; flushing the toilet and turning to stare at herself in the mirror. She looked a mess, felt a mess... she was a mess. She wasn't even over The Master yet... wasn't even fully over the fact that she had died, that he had managed to kill her, before she could even defeat him, before she could even say she had been a Slayer for more than three months... and now here she was - getting prophetic dreams about another potential enemy. One that she couldn't even fight off. One that caused her to weaken beneath his touch, to feel helpless... to fall victim to his bite. How was she going to be ready to face such a threat so soon again? Buffy was terrified. This is all this Slayer gig had been since the very first time Merrick had found her. This was all she was pushed to do since day one - go headfirst and unready to face these powerful demons. Defeating an ancient Slayer killer like Lothos made a name for her - gave her an ego boost that led her to her own demise when she recklessly decided to face The Master one on one.
But then, Xander had found her; pulled her away from death's grip just in time and then The Master fell beneath her just as Lothos did. Yet, this time her ego was shaken. The Master came too close, and the scar he had left behind upon the side of her throat would always be a reminder of that.
Now, she had to be more careful than ever. Lothos, The Master - such powerful beings, defeated by such a newbie Slayer. She surely had a target on her back now; who would be the one to lop off her pretty little head and truly end her? So as terrified as she was about everything at the moment, as scared as she was to step out every night and hunt - she couldn't let any of them see her crumble, see her break beneath the pressure. Not the monsters, not her friends. She couldn't. Buffy didn't want to die again, not ever. Not like that.
A knock came at the bathroom door, "Buffy! Are you alright?" Asked her mother from the other side. "I heard you screaming..."
Buffy was knocked out of her thoughts and she responded. "Yes! Yes... I'm alright, mom. Just a nightmare."
"Are you sure?" Her mother asked again.
"Promise!" Said Buffy, trying her best to sound normal, so that her mother wouldn't worry.
"Okay... well, I've got to wake up for work soon... I'm going back to bed. I love you."
"I love you too, mom... goodnight."
Buffy stared at herself in the mirror again, turning the faucet on and splashing some cold water onto her face.
Get a grip, Buffy. Get a grip.
sunnydale high library - friday after school.
"I didn't want to say anything before, but I figured I should, being that I literally haven't been able to sleep right for the last two weeks. Must be something important..." Buffy shrugged her shoulders, kicking her legs up onto the library table. She hated being in there - it brought back memories of that night with The Master, but she kept those thoughts to herself.
"Yeah, Buff, you're not looking too good." Xander spoke.
Buffy glared at him, "Gee, thanks for telling me, I haven't noticed." She responded sarcastically, cutting her eyes and frowning.
"Oh, Buffy... Xander didn't mean it. He's just... a stupid boy, who says stupid things." Willow also shot a glare at Xander.
Xander raised his hands up in defense. "Yes, very stupid boy, who constantly says stupid things. In fact, saying stupid things is an aesthetic of mine. Xander - the stupid things sayer. That's who I am." He nodded his head and flashed Buffy a goofy little grin.
Willow nodded her head in agreement, "See? Buffy you look... fine. Nothing a little make-up can't fix, right? Isn't that what you always tell me? Make-up can fix everything? And it's true! You can't even see the weird zit I have on my chin because I put some concealer on it." Willow smiled proudly. She had been taking make-up tips from Buffy since they've become friends, and she hoped that this would at least cheer Buffy up a little bit.
Buffy rolled her eyes at Xander, and flashed Willow a small smile. "I didn't even know you had a zit on your chin, Willow." She complimented her friend's skills, but none of this changed the fact that she still felt like total crud. Buffy appreciated that her friends were lying to her in attempts to make her feel better, but she knew that she wasn't looking her best at all. Xander was right. The dark circles around her eyes, her hair up in a messy bun. The mediocre outfit she threw onto herself today - ew, grey sweatpants and a hoodie. Her nail polish was even chipped and she couldn't even find the energy inside of herself to care about any of it. Clearly, she wasn't herself. Clearly, she was stressed out - depressed.
"I'm afraid Buffy's got a lot more to worry about than covering anything up with make-up, Willow." Came Giles' voice as he emerged from his back office and joined them. "Buffy, legs off the table, thank you."
Buffy narrowed her eyes at her Watcher and rudely gave her eyes a roll before huffing and putting her legs down as he asked. She folded her arms against her chest like a brat child.
Giles spoke again, fixing his glasses. "Not only has she been having these prophetic dreams warning her of a new threat to come, but The Night of Saint Vigeous is just a few days away and-"
Buffy stared up at Giles with a perplexed look upon her face. "The Night of St. Veggie-us? What the hell is that?" She interrupted. "Do I have to worry about some vegetable demon attacking us? I can't do this anymore, Giles. If I have to get stressed about being turned into a carrot or being attacked by one, on top of possibly becoming some new big bad's Slayer blood shake, I'm quitting."
Giles stared at her for a few seconds, his brows furrowed. My goodness, he needed patience with this girl. He shook his head. "No vegetable demon, I assure you. The Night of Saint Vigeous, Buffy..." He corrected her, "Or otherwise known as The Feast of Saint Vigeous, is held every year on October fourth - it is a night where a vampire's power reaches its peak. Which means, you must be prepared, Buffy. What was it that the warning was? Autumn carries death upon its breeze?" Giles asked.
"This new threat might come along with The Feast. It might use this opportunity to confront you at its full power."
"I'm almost surprised your gloom and doom stalker vampire boyfriend hasn't popped up with the good news." Quipped Xander sarcastically, accidentally sounding a lot more bitter than he had intended to sound. It was just so annoying, how Buffy looked at Angel with those googly eyes - if only she would look at him that way. Maybe he had to gel his hair up, be broody and instead of making her laugh with his jokes, he could make her wig out with monthly updates on potential end of the world scenarios.
"Not my boyfriend." Buffy quipped back, yet her cheeks blushed at the thought of it.
"Besides, I haven't even seen him since..." Her gaze lowered.
"Let's focus on the more important task at hand, children. This mysterious specter that has been terrorizing Buffy in her dreams. Really, Buffy. I don't understand why you chose not to speak of these dreams to me a lot sooner. We must train as quickly as possible. You shouldn't be caught unprepared or-"
Buffy interrupted. "Or I might die again? I could get killed? Is that what could happen to me, Giles?" Her tone was full of anger, venom. Buffy stood up from her seat then. "What if I said I don't want to be prepared? That I didn't want to train? What difference would it make, huh? Would it matter if I was prepared? If I knew what I was going to do at every turn?" Her eyes were watering now, her voice choking up.
"Buffy..." Willow spoke.
"We're just trying to help." Xander said right after.
"I don't want help. No one can help me." Buffy spoke. "None of this matters. I could train until I turn blue, and none of it would matter in the end. I've seen them all die, Giles. I've felt them, all of them. They were all better than me. All those that existed before I did - and none. of. that. mattered. They all still died. I don't want to waste my life... or time. If I could die at any second, I want to have fun. I want to live it." She made her way towards Giles as she spoke; standing before him, a defiant look within her blue orbs.
"Buffy, training would slim your chances of such things. It matters, you mustn't become reckless just because of what you faced with The Master." He spoke and Buffy scoffed.
"But, there's no guarantee. No promise that I'd win my fights. Giles, The Master killed me, I tasted death and... that fear burning inside my chest... that fear has made me feel more alive than ever. There's so much that I want to do..." Buffy shook her head. "I'm sorry, it's Friday, and I'm gonna do what every other normal teenage girl will be doing tonight - going out. I defeated Lothos and I defeated The Master - I'll defeat whatever this is too. I promise you that." She turned her head to look over at Xander and Willow. "The Bronze, at eight. You guys can meet me there, or not, your choice." Buffy shrugged, and began to walk out of the library.
"Buffy, that sort of attitude is not going to get you very far!" Giles warned, grabbing her by the arm and stopping her in her tracks.
Buffy didn't want to hear it, and when she made up her mind - it was very hard to control her and make her change it. Buffy frowned and snatched her arm away from him with all her might, and Giles lost his grip. "Don't try to stop me again, Giles." Buffy's words held a tone of warning within them, and Giles didn't wish to push his luck with her. He wasn't too keen on getting punched in the face by an angry Slayer at the moment.
Buffy walked off again, this time - no one dared to stop her. It wasn't fair that even after the traumatic events of The Master, that she had to sit here and stress about training for her next big fight. Screw that. Buffy wanted to go out, she wanted to party. Especially if being the Slayer meant that she could lose it all at any moment. She earned it, hasn't she? She earned the time off. That's what she really needed - not training. Buffy wasn't a f.ucking robot.
"Go with her. Watch that she doesn't do anything stupid..." Giles said.
Xander and Willow nodded in unison.
"Aye-aye, cap!" Xander saluted.
"We'll take care of her, promise." Said Willow.
the bronze that night.
I'm scared, yeah, it's an addiction, I scream the whispers in my brain, I drain the secrets from my veins, They sleep, but I bring the pain,
Why is everything wrong right now? Why is everything falling down?
I feel so alive right now, ohh, I feel like a god right now...
The woman on stage sang into the mic - dancing people surrounded Buffy. The music flowed through her body and took over her mind (the lyrics oddly spoke to her), she swayed left and right, hips rolling to the beat of the music; she looked completely different from how she looked earlier at the library. Her make-up and hair were done, her nails were neatly polished pink and her outfit consisted of a black mini-skirt, a fuzzy pink crop-top, and her favorite designer Chanel black chunky heeled ankle-boots. She was good at cleaning up fast. She was even better at hiding the storm that was brewing within.
Willow sang along to the lyrics and danced with her. Xander was surely somewhere trying to make some smooth moves on some pretty girl, as usual. Buffy was glad that they had decided to come.
Yet, something felt off; she had been feeling it for a while now. Buffy attempted to ignore the feeling, to focus on having her fun; but she felt it in her gut - that odd ache in her lower abdomen. That cramping feeling that Merrick had taught her to control. Buffy knew her period wasn't happening any time soon - the app on her phone said she had at least another three weeks or so before she had to worry about it again. This uneasy feeling was creeping over her, as if she was being watched, hunted. Buffy stopped dancing and hunched over, grabbing her abdomen and wincing at the sudden sharp pain. Willow immediately ceased dancing as well.
"Are you okay, Buffy?" She asked, worry in her tone.
"Yeah... I just. I think I pulled a muscle dancing too hard." Buffy lied. "I think... I should just sit down for a little bit."
"Okay, come on!" Willow grabbed her hand and guided her out of the crowd of people, finding them a place to sit.
Buffy took a seat on the couch that Willow had guided her to and smiled at her, trying her best to mask her discomfort. She still felt eyes on her, and her own gaze darted about the club in attempts to possibly find whatever thing might've been watching her - or maybe she was paranoid and nothing was there? Was her mind playing tricks on her? Was she going insane?
"Buffy, are you sure you're alright?" Willow asked again, brows furrowed.
Buffy nodded. "Yeah, promise. I mean... I'd be better if I had some Jack and Coke in me..." She joked, and Willow laughed.
"I can't get you Jack and Coke, but I can get us some hella good tasting Roy Rogers'!" She smiled.
Buffy smiled back, "That really does sound hella good, Willow."
"Cool! Two Roy Rogers comin' right up! You stay here, I'll be right back." Willow got up and disappeared into the crowd again, making her way towards the bar.
Once Buffy was left alone, her eyes began to wander again. That's when she spotted him. Lanky, tall, and awkward looking - pallid skin, sexy brunette in his arms. She was way out of his league, but she was clearly drunk and so very easily falling for that nifty vampire glamour that could make any loser seduce the girl of their dreams. That was it, Buffy thought. That's who had probably been watching her all this time, that's who she had felt. Her crampy vampire radar wasn't a frequent thing anymore, but in the mental state that she was currently in - she was guessing that her entire body was going topsy-turvy.
Buffy reached into her mini pink Gucci shoulder bag and wrapped her fingers around her stake. She wasn't thinking about getting into a fight tonight, but a girl could never leave her home unprepared - especially if said girl happened to be The Slayer. Buffy watched as the vampire and the brunette walked out of The Bronze, and she got up from her seat and followed after. She'd just dust him, save the girl, and come back in. He was clearly just some run of the mill vampire, how hard could it be?
There was no one when Buffy stepped out. There was no odd noises, just the sound of muffled music that could be heard behind her, but Buffy listened carefully, doing her best to isolate each and every sound in her surroundings. She scanned the place around her, every dark corner that she could see from where she stood; there was no way that they could've gotten very far in such a short time. She was right on their heels. Buffy carefully walked further away from The Bronze, finally fishing her stake out of her bag and holding it tightly within her grip, ready to attack if she had to. Then she heard it, a muffled yelp from the dark and damp alleyway to her right. It was quick, but Buffy had caught it, and she followed the noise as fast as her feet could take her in platform boots.
The sight she was met with didn't come as a surprise to her at all; the gangly loser vampire had lured his victim to a lonely dark place and made his attack. Buffy scoffed audibly and shook her head as she walked towards the scene. "You vampires are all the same, can't even take a girl to a nice place..." She spoke, and the vampire immediately shifted its focus onto her; ripping his teeth from its victim's neck and hissing at Buffy like some sort of angry cat.
"Sluts that let a guy bite on the first date don't deserve it." The vampire spat with a sly grin on his face, tossing the girl's body to the floor like a piece of trash.
Buffy furrowed her brows when she finally caught a good glimpse of who the vampire was. She knew him. She went to school with him. "Kevin? Kevin Thornberg?" She asked, tilting her head to the right. Then she rose her brows. "Of course, the only chance you'd ever have with a girl is under alcohol and supernatural influence. No surprise there. Tsk, it's not very safe to drink and suck."
"Buffy Summers?" He recognized her too. "Oh, I'm gonna have fun making you scream!" He responded, finally making his move and lunging himself at her.
Buffy was quick on her feet and stepped out of his way, spinning her body to stand behind him and lifting her left leg to dig her boot into the middle of his back; kicking him with all her strength.
"You wouldn't know how to make me scream, even if I told you all the right spots." Buffy retorted.
Kevin stumbled forward and growled, turning to lunge at her again. This time, he managed to catch her - sending a punch to the side of her face. Buffy grunted and stumbled backwards, yet the grip on her stake never loosened. Kevin chuckled at his success, throwing another blow at Buffy while she was disoriented by the first one. This time, his punch was to her stomach, causing her to yelp - knocking the air out of her.
Adrenaline was rushing through Buffy's body - flashbacks of that night with The Master played in her brain, visions of her latest nightmares blurred her sight. Buffy fell to her knees and Kevin sent a kick to her face. She gasped and cried out in pain. Buffy fell backwards and laid flat on her back, the stake was no longer in her hand; she had lost it when he had punched her in the stomach earlier. What was wrong with her? She had to get up. She had to fight back.
“Every Slayer has a deathwish. Even you.”
Her captor's voice filled her head again, and a rush ran through her body.
Kevin launched himself onto her and Buffy's leg lifted, bending at the knee against her chest; catching his body against her boot, pressing into his stomach and kicking him up and over into the air, away from her.
Swiftly, Buffy curved her back up from the pavement and swung her legs forward, pushing herself up off from the floor and right back onto her feet. "Sorry, I like to be on top." She quipped, and the vampire hissed angrily at her.
He went for the attack again, but this time Buffy was ready with this new energy that overtook her. Her fist cocked back and flew forward, colliding with his jaw at full force. He grunted and growled, and attempted to grab her at her. Teeth gnashing and looking for any flesh to cling onto. Buffy shoved him against the brick wall behind him and brought her knee up to crash against his abdomen; another few punches to the face, a leg sweep and a quick grab for her stake sealed his fate - on his back, turned to ashes upon the damp alleyway pavement.
Buffy took in a deep breath and adjusted herself once it was over, brushing away a bit of dirt, ashes, and blood that had gotten onto her fluffy pink shirt. She complained to herself, about how blood was so hard to get out of clothes, and crinkled her nose at the sore feeling that it was giving her. He hadn't managed to break her nose (Buffy would know, she had dealt with a broken nose before), but he he had hit her hard enough to make it bleed and surely bruise a bit by tomorrow; good thing her Slayer abilities allowed her to heal quickly so she wouldn't have to worry about it for too long. Buffy sniffled and wiped the blood away on the back of her hand; finally turning her attention to the girl Kevin had attacked earlier. She was starting to stir and groan, which meant Kevin hadn't killed her and Buffy came in just in time to save her life.
"Hey! I'm so totally glad to see that you're alright." She said, extending a helping hand to the brunette.
However, the girl looked up at her confused and gave her a dirty look. "Huh? What? What are you talking about?"
She ignored Buffy's hand and pushed herself up on her own, dusting her black mini dress off. She winced at the odd pain at her throat, and she lifted her hand to touch it. "Ugh, ew." She groaned, disgusted at the sight of blood on her fingers. Buffy dug into her purse and offered her a napkin. The girl took it and wiped at her wound. "Where's Kevin? That little creep bit me. I'm gonna punch his lights out when I find him."
"Would you believe me if I told you he was a vampire and I killed him to save you?" Buffy asked, her brows raised and an awkward grin appeared upon her face.
The girl stared at her like she was stupid.
"Yeah, I wouldn't either..." Buffy concluded with a sigh; shifting her eyes.
"Hey, aren't you that Muffy girl?" The girl asked.
"Buffy..." Buffy corrected her.
"Whatever. Cordelia's told me about you. I didn't believe her when she said you were crazy, but wow, she was right. You really are a freak. I bet you and Kevin planned this. It's not a funny joke, you know. Vampires, yeah right."
Buffy's blood was boiling at this point. Was this real life? Did this girl truly have the audacity to come at her in this way right now? To accuse her of being in cahoots with such a weirdo like Kevin? Her hands were fists, pressed so hard that she had snapped her wooden stake in two (good thing she always carried a spare). She had just risked her life saving this girl, and for what? To get called crazy? A freak? Her jaw clenched. She wanted to punch her square in the face. Maybe she should've let Kevin eat her.
Oh, but Buffy, those thoughts were wrong. That's not who you are.
"Anyways, I think I've had enough of this freakshow. I'm going back inside. By the way, your nose is totally bleeding onto your shirt."
Buffy furrowed her brows and looked down at her shirt, new droplets of fresh blood stained the pink material. Buffy sniffled again and decided to look inside of her bag for more tissue for herself this time to wipe her blood away. Her gaze shifted to watch her ungrateful rescuee walk away and disappear around the corner on her way to The Bronze again.
"You're welcome!" Buffy yelled, "Bitch..." She grumbled under her breath. Then her phone vibrated.
[Text from Willow] "Where r u?"
[Response] "Sorry, I didn't feel too good and decided to head home. Hope ur not mad."
Buffy was clearly lying to her friends again, but she had decided that she didn't want to go back into The Bronze. She wasn't even cute anymore. She was hurt, her clothes were ruined and agitation was flowing through her veins. She needed to let it out and dancing at The Bronze wasn't going to be enough - especially if she couldn't even find some cute college guy to buy her some drinks (she should really consider getting her hands on a fake ID some time). Buffy knew very well that this was what she had been doing ever since her close brush with death at the hands of The Master - she had been avoiding her friends, isolating herself from everyone, keeping secrets, lying. But, this was her way of coping. Being alone was how she could attempt to figure out her emotions. Alone was how she always felt - in the shadows. This was the path of The Slayer; as Merrick had told her before. She didn't want to believe him at first, and she was determined to prove him wrong, but right about now she was beginning to feel it. The darkness that consumed her.
[Text from Willow] "Oh... no. That's fine. Let me know when you get home."
Buffy read the text, sighed and didn't respond. She knew that she didn't plan on going home any time soon. If she couldn't sleep without nightmares, then what was the point? Buffy tossed her phone into her bag and walked out of the alley, standing in front of the entrance to The Bronze for a few seconds; feeling bad for lying to Willow, thinking that she should just walk in and explain everything to her, but she didn't want to. Surely, that girl had found Cordelia and her group of bimbos and Buffy would just walk in to being ridiculed by them - by the very girl that she had saved from dying just a while back. She was afraid that she'd lose it and hurt somebody. Buffy shook her head and scoffed, deciding that she'd continue to walk. She didn't need any of that crap right now.
"Hey! Where's the Buffster?" Asked Xander.
"She didn't feel good... so she went home." Willow responded sadly, frowning.
"Oh... I see. So in that case, she wouldn't mind if I had her Roy Rogers?" He tried to joke, grabbing the second drink that Willow had placed upon the table in his hand - chuckling.
Willow didn't seem to be amused much. "No, I guess not..." She sighed.
Xander thinned his lips and furrowed his brows. "Hey, Willow... Buffy's The Slayer. She'll be alright. At least she'll be safe at home."
"Yeah. I just think... there's something she's not telling us. So much for keeping an eye on her." Willow spoke again.
"I learned that Buffy's gonna do what Buffy wants to do, and she's been through some sh.it, you know. She just needs space, right? Girls like space when they're all freaking out. That's what I've learned about girls from dating advice Metube videos. That I totally only watch 'cause they pop up on my recommended and I can't pass up a good laugh about such ridiculous content for a video, hahaha...." Xander laughed nervously, shifting his eyes. "Point is, I'm sure she'll come around, Will. Buffy could get through anything. I'm sure she'll be okay."
"I guess you're right... I just worry." Willow sighed. "I kinda want to go home too, Xander. I'm no longer in a very party mood."
Xander almost opened his mouth to protest; something about there being a girl at the bar that he thought was very cute and something about hitting on her, but he saw just how glum his redhead bestie was and instead, he nodded his head in understanding, placing a hand upon her shoulder and squeezing softly, pulling her close. "Come on then, I'll walk you home."
"Thanks, Xander." Willow smiled softly.
"Yeah, what are friends for?" He smiled back.
Buffy wrapped her arms around her body as she walked down the dark streets of Sunnydale; keeping her eyes and ears open for anything that seemed like trouble. Buffy was looking for trouble, anything she could unload her anger onto, anything that she could burn this rush on - the destination in mind was the cemetery, but if something came along on her way there, she wouldn't deny it her rage.
Buffy was being reckless again; letting her emotions take the wheel.
"Is there any reason as to why you're getting drunk on a Tuesday afternoon?"
It was the first day of summer. School was over for the next three months, no more having to worry about tests, pop quizzes, or cheerleading practice for a little while. Buffy could finally relax, could finally have free time to just breathe, if even for a little bit; one would think that this meant that Buffy would be happy. That'd she'd be rejoicing her little vacation from high school life, that she'd be ecstatic that she made it through tenth grade, barely, but what mattered was that she did her best and had managed to pass well enough to be an eleventh grader next year. She should be proud of herself - juggling the whole Slayer gig and high school student thing together, and actually succeeding, that was a feat that she had accomplished. Not many Slayers got around doing all of that.
She. Should. Be. Proud.
Yet... she found herself, alone (mom was still at work), sitting upon a stool in her kitchen, leaning up against the marble counter with a glass cup full of vicious clear liquid. It was the second time she had filled the cup and downed the liquor inside - burning down her throat and causing her to slightly wince and gag from the taste as it went down and fell into the pit of her stomach a lot heavier than she had anticipated that it would. But, Buffy didn't care about what it tasted like, or how it felt, she just wanted something to numb her as quickly as possible, to keep her from thinking and keep her from feeling anything at all. Honestly, she didn't even know what she had chosen from her mother's cabinet - she just reached in and grabbed whatever bottle her fingers wrapped themselves around first. Her vision was a blurry and her brain was a bit too scrambled to even attempt to read the name upon the bottle. Whatever it was, she was sure that her mom would be mad about it later on when she'd notice, but would Joyce understand why Buffy did it?
Why was Buffy so sad? What was bothering her so much?
'I'm sorry, Buffy. I can't pick you up this summer. I promised Paige a vacation to Jamaica this year, she'd be so upset if I skipped on her. I'm sorry I couldn't tell you sooner, hope you're not too mad at me, I'm sure you understand. Have a fun summer! xx'
Read one of her texts, the other one read the following.
'Hey, Buffy. I think you're really cool and all... but a lot of weird things happen around you... and you're pretty weird too. I don't think this is gonna work out. Hope we can still be friends, only if you want to. If not then, see you around.'
One from her father, the other from one of the latest guys that she was dating - or at least, attempting to date normally. Ashton.
Buffy groaned and slid her phone away from her. She didn't want to see it anymore. She didn't care to read the texts any longer. She was sure that when she'd sober up, she wouldn't even want to respond to them. And she was sure that if she payed too much attention to her phone at the moment, she would eventually muster-up the courage and enough anger to actually respond to them, and if she responded to them now, her drunken thoughts wouldn't be very nice.
Screw Paige, I'm your f.ucking daughter, you always do this to me. I hate you.
Hey, Ashton. F.uck. You.
Buffy downed another gulp of her drink and laid her forehead against the cold marble surface. Her eyes closed and she huffed in frustration; she could feel the heat rising upon her face, and the warmth of tears swelling up within her eyes, threatening to trickle down her cheeks. Why were men all such jerks? Mainly to her. Was she cursed? Was this her destiny forever? Would she ever be able to hold a steady relationship? Would her father ever stop being the douchebag that he had been ever since he had cheated on her mother? The answers to all of those at the moment for Buffy were a real hard - no. A hard yes to the first two. Buffy didn't understand. She didn't get it. She was trying so hard. She tried so hard, but none of it ever seemed to matter in the end. She was the one who always got screwed, she was the one whose feelings were thrown into a blender without a single thought of remorse.
Why did she keep trying at this point?
"Is there any reason as to why you're getting drunk on a Tuesday afternoon?"
A voice spoke through the silence and had snapped her out of her mental pity party. The voice was familiar, and Buffy's eyes shot open. She knew who it was before she even lifted her head from the table to look up at him. He was always there, somehow. Especially in her miserable moments, almost as if he knew.
"Spike," She spoke, her voice a bit choked-up from the sudden emotions that had built-up inside of her and crawled their way up her throat. Immediately, she lifted her arm to wipe the tears that indeed did escape and wet her cheeks, on the back of her sleeve. Buffy swallowed and pushed down the knot that had formed at the bottom of her throat and her brows knitted together in confusion; that perplexed yet angry look she was always giving him. She cleared her throat and attempted her best to regain her composure, although it was pretty obvious that she was currently drunk.
"Spike." Buffy repeated herself, was she slurring? Oh god, she wasn't sure if she was. "What-what are you doing here? I... think..." Take your time Buffy, take your time. "I think, that's the question that truly matters here." Her head nodded, and that made her feel dizzy - stop doing that Buffy, stop nodding your head. Don't move. Sit still. Gosh, she probably seemed like such a loser right about now, but that wouldn't be a new sight to see for Spike. Oddly enough, he had witnessed her drunk and mopey plenty of times. He was somewhat of a therapist to her... yet, it was always the same routine. She attempted to appear strong to him, not vulnerable and broken, even if she knew that she wasn't bullsh.itting him. It was always worth a try.
"You know, you should really learn how to knock... and also... vampire..." She pointed at him, "stick to night time, you... loon." It was the best insult she could muster up at the moment. Buffy frowned and huffed again.
Spike just simply stared at her, his brow raised - amusement etched upon his face at the display before him. He would never stop thinking about how adorable she looked whenever she was giving him that knitted brow look of hers, and that frown. She was also an adorable drunk, but all of that was besides the point here. Spike knew that today marked the first day of her summer vacation and well, she had been talking non-stop about how she was going off with her dad to Los Angeles for the next three months - not to him, of course, he just overhead from afar when she was talking to her friends (hey, it's not stalking! It was super vampire hearing!) and felt inclined to say goodbye to her.
Spike didn't really bother to answer her and grabbed one of the stools on the opposite end to her and took a seat, reaching over for the green mystery bottle that she kept by her side.
"Hey..." Buffy nearly whined, but made no effort to retrieve the bottle from him.
Spike's eyes scanned the label. "Right, so what has you drowning your sorrows with Bobby's Jenever, pet?" His brow perked, his gaze meeting her own. "Didn't make the grade? Getting left back?" He asked, reaching over again - this time to grab her cup to fill it up for himself. She didn't need to drink any more, he was cutting her off.
"I didn't get left back, stupid.... I... passed for your information. I'm not dumb, you know..." She responded, reaching to grab her cup back, but Spike was much too quick to pull it away before she could even grip it. Buffy glared at him, annoyed, and Spike nodded his head once, holding the glass up with a sly grin upon his face, "Cheers to that then." He said, before tossing the drink back, as if it were nothing. He slammed the glass onto the counter then, savoring the taste of the liquor, before he was pouring himself some more.
He was so rude. Just barging into her home like that, grabbing her Jennifer or whatever it was that he said... serving himself in her cup. Interrupting her self loathing!
"Why are you even here?" Buffy asked, a brow perked.
"Clearly to keep you company." Spike avoided actually giving her a true answer to the question - not that he was doing anything wrong. He wasn't in her basement stealing pictures of her that Joyce had put into storage, before coming upstairs. Nope, not at all. No such thing.
"I don't need it." Buffy responded with a grumble.
"Yeah, obviously you don't." Came his sarcastic response, "Now, c'mon, you can do it. Tell ol' Spike why you're so glum, love?" He sipped from his cup now, his eyes transfixed upon her.
Buffy glared at him some more; her face read unamused all over it. She didn't want to tell him anything, she didn't, she wasn't, she...
"Fine," Buffy sighed, "if you're so eager to get a joy boner from my misery." She spoke, her eyes rolling. "But, you have to promise that you're gonna buzz off and leave me alone once I do."
Spike nodded his head, "Scout's honor."
Buffy rolled her eyes again.
"I was..." She began, pausing for a second to gather her thoughts together and make sure that her jumbled words were actually making sense as they came out of her mouth. "I was supposed to go on summer vacation with my dad. He was... supposed to... pick me up... tomorrow... but..." Oh no, she was choking up again, she could hear it in her voice. Buffy stopped speaking once again, closing her eyes momentarily and breathing in deep to regain herself. Then, she opened her mouth to speak once she was confident enough that she was ready to do so, "But, he made a stupid promise to his stupid bimbo fiance, Paige," Her voice turned mocking as her name left her lips, "about taking her to Jamaica this summer. God forbid if he breaks his promise with Paige - she'd be so upset, but oh... Buffy. You understand right? You're so understanding. So damn understanding." Her tone seemed angry now, frustrated. "Three whole summers now, excuse after excuse. I should know better by now. And then!" Oh, once she began to talk, the words just kept pouring out like word vomit. She couldn't stop herself from spilling her guts out to Spike now, not even if she wanted to. "To make things worse... Ashton broke up with me..." Did Spike know who Ashton was? Probably not.
Ashton. Spike knew who Ashton was, but Buffy didn't need to know that. He just listened to her, as he usually did. Listened, analyzed, payed attention. No comments, no judgement. It's what she needed. It's what he always gave her.
"He said I was weird. That's what I am to people now. Weird. He says he wants to be friends, but... I don't want to be, because... because... who even breaks up with a girl through text?!" Her voice had risen higher than she had intended it to be, "And I'm just cursed. Totally bad luck Brian with the male species." She frowned, pressing her hand to the side of her face, propping her head up with her elbow resting against the counter.
There was silence between Buffy and Spike for about a minute, he wanted to make sure that she was done speaking. Wanted to give her a minute to pick herself up. He had noticed her watery eyes and the redness in her cheeks that formed when she was just about to cry, but was holding herself back from doing so. The pressure that she fought to keep inside - he had witnessed it plenty of times by now. It made him want to kiss her, but he fought the urge. Instead, Spike finally poured her another drink and slid the cup back towards her.
"Well," He finally spoke, breaking the silence.
Buffy's gaze was lowered, just staring at the clear liquid in her cup.
"I can't disagree with Ashton there when he said you were weird." He chuckled, and Buffy scoffed, still looking down at her drink. Her head shook.
"But, weird shouldn't be an insult, love. Weird can be good. You're that. The good weird. He's a soddin' idiot, really. Missing out on a girl like you." Uh-oh, he was talking too much now. Spike cleared his throat and shifted his eyes.
Buffy furrowed her brows and lifted her gaze to look up at him. He was being nice. He was saying nice things, and Buffy couldn't deny that they were making her feel a little better. That's what he always did in moments like this. Even if he was a jerk to her every other time. Yet, she stood silent and waited for him to continue, if he had anything else to say.
"And your dad? Well, his loss. He doesn't deserve your tears if he chooses to hurt you so often. They're both bloody stupid and don't deserve a single second of your thoughts." He paused when his eyes met hers; mesmerized by her melancholic gaze if only for a second. And then she spoke and it was broken. Spike looked down.
"You think so, Spike?" She asked, a faint sideways smile was now pulling at the corner of her lips.
Spike nodded, "Know so."
"Thanks..." Buffy uttered, why was he always so sweet to her? She was such a pain in the ass to deal with. Especially towards him. Yet, that never changed how these moments played out between them. She wanted to kiss him. She knew that she shouldn't, everyone would be so mad at her if they knew... but she wanted to.
Spike nodded once more. He really wanted to kiss her now. Then, he quickly stood from his seat, his open palm slapping the marble counter once. "Right then! I should be going. You told me, and I made a promise. Reckon you want me to be leaving you alone now." He grabbed his sheet from upon the floor and tossed it over himself. "Catch you ar-"
"Wait. No." Buffy interrupted him just as he was reaching for the kitchen door's knob.
Spike paused and looked at her.
Buffy thinned her lips and rolled her eyes, pushing her untouched cup towards him again. She didn't want to drink anymore. He could have it.
"It's... daylight outside. And... I need to unpack since I'm not going anywhere now. I guess... you can help me do that. And I guess... you can hang around until the sun goes down." Buffy shrugged.
Spike perked a brow. She was letting him stay? Of course, he wasn't going to question it. He wasn't going to protest. If she wanted him to stay, then she wanted him to stay. Who was he to say no? He tossed his sheet off his shoulders and pushed it aside with his foot into a crumpled pile in a corner by the door.
Buffy stood to her feet and her world seemed to have spun for a moment; Buffy wobbled, and outstretched her hands out a bit to keep her balance. Okay, now all she needed to do was focus. She'd be fine. She just got up too fast. Buffy breathed, and silently counted to three, before taking her first step forward. There. That was good. Keep walking.
"Come." Her voice was almost demanding, and Spike followed - after he grabbed the offered drink and gulped it down, of course.
Buffy had made it out of the kitchen and was heading up the stairs now; Spike close behind. Too close.
She smelled nice. He couldn't be blamed.
"Hm." His eyes wandered. "Remind me to walk behind you more often." He said, a chuckle on his tone.
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Shut up, Spike. I will literally kick you out into the burning sun."
"Understood." Spike responded, but that didn't mean he couldn't keep checking her out, right? Right.
Then they disappeared into her room - for some unpacking... that might've somehow led to some kissing. But, not too much. Spike wasn't the type; and although she had only drunk enough to make her feel buzzed - he'd much rather she be kissing him when she was completely sober-minded and not the emotional mess that she currently was. Buffy wanted to feel nice, and kissing him made her feel nice... but, he was right and honestly, her rash decisions wouldn't be fair to him. It was actually pretty embarrassing and she had apologized for it, but he reassured her that there was no reason that she had to. Maybe not all guys were jerks? God, but this was Spike she was talking about... sweet, caring... sometimes wanted to murder her, Spike.
Then, the unpacking commenced. This time, actual unpacking.
God, Buffy's life was a mess. Was unpacking her suitcases with Spike some sort of metaphor for that?
It had plagued her dreams (nightmares, moreso) for several months. An ancient evil was brewing beneath the Los Angeles streets, and she was beginning to panic. Could she possibly stop yet another apocalypse from happening? By herself? With no help? Her friends weren't here and neither was Giles to do any form of research, any form of preparation. They were all back in Sunnydale, keeping an eye on the Hellmouth while she was gone away on summer vacation with her dad. All she could do is text them. Call them. She understood that a Slayer's job was usually a lone wolf sort of thing, but she was still learning the ropes of it all. It's not like she was taught about her birthright from the very beginning - her first Watcher found her later than he should have, her signal was weak and when he did find her, she had practically be pushed headfirst into her line of duty as quickly as possible. The world needed its Slayer. So, having the help of friends and Giles was always greatly appreciated, and it made her job a lot easier - however, this wasn't the case now. Not to mention, that it was hard to do any Slayer activity with her dad around. I mean, he wasn't there all the time, to be honest. He'd just mostly give her his black card and drop her off at the mall, but, shopping to keep a front for her dad and slaying vampires on the side was starting to be a real chore. Exhausting, even; but, she had to do her job. Even if she was on her so-called summer vacation. Gosh, she could never catch a break. If only evil took vacations too. Much to her dismay, it didn't, and so she had to put her butt in gear and find out as much information as she could on her own, about what her dreams were warning her about, and so sneaking out of her dad's house at night became her routine for the next few weeks.
Of course, going to Angel and seeking his help would've been the easiest way to probably finding out what she wanted to know, but she was being stubborn, and she wasn't exactly ready to see him again, not so soon, not when her heart's wounds were still open and bleeding from their last break-up. She was weak and afraid that her emotions would take over and she would be distracted from what she really needed to focus on - preventing the world from ending, again. This was honestly getting ridiculous.
Seriously, what was the obsession with destroying the world? Why were all these bad guys so hellbent on it? If the world ended, they'd have no world to be bad in anymore. Buffy honestly didn't get the logic behind it all, but it wasn't for her to understand, it was for her to put a stop to it.
That's how she caught wind of the existence of a karaoke bar that was frequented by all those things that went bump in the night named Caritas.
Now, she wasn't really old enough to be going into any bar, but Buffy highly doubted that she was going to get carded for entry into a demon bar. And well, if they did... she could always go all Slayer on the bouncer and walk right in anyways. She had to go there, a bar full of demons and vampires and other sorts of Hellspawn would surely have someone in there that would lead her to the right direction. Was it a dangerous thing that she was doing, walking right into the lion's den? Yeah, yeah it was. The Slayer, surrounding herself with bad guys who possibly, surely, wanted her head on a silver platter. Giles would've called it reckless, but Buffy liked to call it improvising.
Another word for; you're literally being stupid, Buffy.
But, she had money on her - Buffy knew just how much demons loved money. She'd just pay up for the information that she wanted. She'd behave. Absolutely, no punching!
... Okay, that was a lie.
Buffy had found Caritas, and although everyone was looking at her weird, she had managed to get inside with no problem. It was... an interesting sight to see, for lack of a better word. The oddest creatures that Buffy had never even seen in her life just drinking, mingling... she was sure there was a three-horned, five-eyed, blue demon thing drunkenly singing into the mic on stage to a Katy Perry song. She was almost fascinated by the whole thing and considered taking a seat and just watching, but she didn't have time for that. She was here on a mission, and that mission was important. But, bribing demons for information was the hard part (who knew?) and that's when her frustrations began to build up. Frustrated Buffy equaled angry and violent Buffy, angry and violent Buffy threw punches, but hey! Even though the punching was thrown there wasn't exactly any punching that went fulfilled! So... technically, no punching! Of course, against her will. Something stopped her the moment her fist cocked back and tried to move forward. She couldn't - as if some supernatural force was holding her back. The demon didn't attack her either, despite it being very obviously displeased with the fact that she was attempting to punch his lights out.
"Ah-ah, can't be doing that in here, sweetheart. Anti-violence spell. Nifty, huh?"
Buffy turned her head to look at the person who was speaking to her. Her gaze was met with yet another demon, yet this one seemed a little more charismatic then the one she was trying to pummel at the moment. Green skin, little red horns protruding from his forehead, and red eyes - that actually matched the red suit that he was wearing (she always noticed these little things). Buffy's brow perked as he stood there, grinning at her. Her fist lowered and she finally turned her body to face him.
"Not when you're trying to beat information about an incoming apocalypse outta someone." She responded, flashing him a little sarcastic and annoyed smile.
"Right.... I sense that you're in distress, little lady. I'm Lorne, owner of this lovely establishment." He answered, sticking his hand out so that Buffy could shake it. But, she simply stared down at it, folding her arms against her chest and shifting her gaze back up at his face; unamused.
Lorne pulled back his hand and thinned his lips. "Oo-kay. Here's a suggestion!" He clapped his hands together and raised his brows, grinning at her again. "How about some karaoke? Singing always makes me feel better, you'll love it!"
But, again, Buffy wasn't biting. Her brows furrowed and her eyes narrowed, starring at him perplexed. "I'm sorry, but... did I say incoming apocalypse clear enough? Or... did you go deaf during that part? Somewhere out there there's a cult of bad guys trying to raise some demon god that's gonna swallow the world whole, and you want me... to do karaoke? That's a joke, right?" Buffy took a step forward then, and Lorne took a step back. Buffy opened her mouth to speak again, "What would really make me feel better is if you told me that you knew something about this. Do you think you can help me, Lorne? Because, hi... yeah, Buffy the Slayer," She said, pointing a finger at herself, "would really hate to have to set this place on fire, because... hey... who knows? Maybe it's you who's behind this apocalypse."
"The Slayer?" Lorne repeated after her. "I knew there was something about you..." He starred at her, brows knitted, then he closed his eyes and shook his head; throwing his hands up in innocence. "Hey! Me? Trying to bring on an apocalypse? No way! I like it here! No need to threaten with violence, Buffy? Buffy. Nice name, by the way!" He attempted to compliment her, in hopes of calming her down. Honestly, he didn't want to get involved in helping the Slayer do anything. He usually liked keeping himself neutral, you know? Not good, not bad; just, in the middle. It felt right, nice. Not so stressful. And it made everyone trust him more.
Buffy rolled her eyes.
Lorne sighed. "Listen, honey. Hate to burst your bubble, but I've got nothing, and to be honest, I don't think that you'll find what you're looking for in here either. I'm telling you the truth. No need to set anything on fire..."
Buffy listened, eyeing him suspiciously, before she huffed and frowned. Oddly enough, she actually believed him. This was just another dead end. A waste of her time.
It was stupid - just like her mental Giles voice said it was going to be.
"Fine." Buffy responded, poking him in the chest with her index finger. "But if you're lying and the we all get sucked into Hell, just... know it was your fault for not helping the Slayer stop it."
But, if the world ended there would be no more Caritas - maybe he should help her? ... A little.
Three days went by after that.
It was too late then.
Buffy's dad has just dropped her off by the mall and she was just wandering around - she knew that today was the day. Her prophetic dreams told her so. She just didn't know exactly when it was going to hit.
'I'm here', said her sent text.
'I'll be there soon.' Read the response.
It was the late afternoon when the heavens darkened - opening up and crying blood upon the earth. The ground beneath them all shook and groaned and split. Everyone screamed and ran for cover, except for Buffy, who was prepared for the battle that was to come. Too late? Nah, it was never too late for the Slayer to stand in the way of an apocalypse.
All went to sh*t really fast.
But, she wasn't alone; Buffy had an unlikely ally by her side - Lorne, who actually served to be very convenient in finding the cult that she had been searching for.
"I've got their book! There's gotta be something in here that'll reverse this thing..." He said, flipping through the blood soaked pages.
"Try to hurry it up!" Buffy yelled, as she witnessed a creature climbing out of one of the cracks from the earth; it screeched and it growled crawling its way out of its hellish grave.
"You try to reading blood soaked book pages under pressure!" Lorne yelled back.
Buffy rolled her eyes and searched her surroundings for some better weapons. Clearly, whatever thing had crawled out of that crack was going to need more than just a stake through the heart. Luckily, there was a hardware store nearby, and right there in their window was a nifty looking chainsaw just begging for Buffy to use it.
And who was she to deny it of such request?
Swiftly, she ran towards the store; slipping on the slick pavement that was now literally running with blood. Buffy kicked the glass as hard as she could and shattered it; wasting no time grabbing the chainsaw, pulling at the cable in attempts to start it. Lorne had moved from his place and hid behind a nearby car for safety. Buffy hoped he could find what he needed to find soon.
The creature, crooked and hideous had spotted her and it screeched loudly, quickly making its way towards her. Buffy attempted to start the chainsaw again, pulling on the cable faster, and faster, until - screw it.
She swung the chainsaw at the demon once it was too close for comfort and she had managed to hit it on the side, causing it to stumble sideways and fall, but that didn't keep it down for very long. It was back up on its feet and charging towards her, Buffy swung the weapon at it again, but this time she wasn't so lucky. It had dodged it and jumped onto her, causing her to lose grip on the chainsaw. She was soaked in blood from head to toe; her hands were slippery. Buffy wiggled beneath the demon's heavy body and pressed her hands against its shoulders, pushing it back and keeping it away from biting her face. It growled wildly and thrashed about upon her, crushing her beneath its strength and gnashing its teeth at her face.
Buffy groaned and grimaced, as she tried her best to get it off of her. Its sharp nails dug into her sides and she screamed out in pain. This wasn't the typical run of the mill demon that she was dealing with. This was something much stronger, and if there were more coming like this - she didn't know if she stood a chance against them. She had to get it off of her. She had to. She couldn't die now. Not like this.
Buffy gathered up all her strength and focused her mind. She couldn't panic. She had to concentrate, like Giles had taught her. Her eyes closed for a second and she took in a deep breath, before she was shoving the creature once more, "Get. Off. Of. Me!" Buffy groaned through gritted teeth, this time actually succeeding in pushing it off. The demon screeched angrily as it fell backwards, and Buffy quickly got up upon her hands and knees and began to crawl towards where the chainsaw had slid to earlier.
Everything was so slick, it was hard to see anything through the pouring blood; and her hair kept getting in the way, sticking to her face and over her eyes from getting tossed around.
The demon was after her again, crawling behind her - clawed hands reaching for her legs. Buffy reached for the chainsaw, and the beast reached for her left leg. It grabbed her, its nails raking down her flesh, and again, Buffy screamed out as the searing pain sent fire coursing through her veins. The demon was dragging her down towards it, her knees pressed to the concrete beneath her and it ate away at the layers of flesh, but Buffy wasn't giving up so easily. Her fingers curved against the pavement and she pulled herself upwards, kicking with her free leg and landing a blow onto the demon's face. It yelped in pain, tugging her down again, causing one of Buffy's nails to pull back against the pressure. She screamed louder then, and Buffy kicked once more, landing a second blow - this time, it had let her go. She was so close to the chainsaw, so very close. The adrenaline was rushing through her entire body and through the pain, Buffy crawled her way towards the weapon and reached for the handle - wrapping her fingers around it and quickly pushing herself up to her feet.
What was taking Lorne so long? Was he even still there? Had he given up? Abandoned her?
She cried out, as she began her attempts to start up the chainsaw once again. The earth beneath them grumbled and shook once more, a store behind her exploded and burst into flames, and the demon had recovered from her attacks and was crawling its way back to her on hands and knees.
The sounds of more screeching caught her ears, and it made her panic. She could hear them from below; there was more coming up to the surface. More like this one. Buffy knew her death was certain if this was the case.
"Lorne! Now would be the time!" She called out again, panic clearly in her tone.
But, still, no response.
He had left her, Buffy was sure of that now. He had betrayed her. She was going to fail the world. She was going to die.
Then, the chainsaw started; just in time for Buffy to shove it straight into the demons mouth as it opened it, revealing sharp teeth that were ready to bite into her. The creature screamed in pure agony, as its head split open with ease and the chainsaw chewed its way right through the other end of its skull. The gore was intense; even more blood splattering all over Buffy, chunks of skull and demon brain flopping onto her face and chest. It was absolutely disgusting, Buffy was sure that if she survived this at all - she'd be washing blood off her body for the next forty years. She screamed as she cut into the beast; which really wasn't a smart idea, being that there was blood and brain chunks flying all over the place, but Buffy didn't care at the moment. She shoved the chainsaw further into its mouth and didn't stop until it wasn't moving or making a single sound anymore. Tears were running down her cheeks by then. She didn't want to die. She didn't want this to be the end of the world. The chainsaw stopped working after a few minutes, and she just stood there; breathing heavy, staring down at what was left of the mangled demon that was still stuck on the chainsaw's blade. Buffy loosened her grip on the handle, watching it fall to the floor, demon and all - and then, she threw up onto its corpse, because, you know... things couldn't get more disgusting than they already were.
She had to get a hold of herself. She had to run, hide. And do what? How was she going to fix this?
Just when she felt hopeless, the crimson rain had suddenly come to a halt. The ground shook again, but this time... it was mending itself. Pulling itself back together. The horrifying screeches were fading, as the ground closed and locked them all away from reaching the surface.
But... how? Buffy was... confused?
"It worked! Haha!" Said Lorne, finally jumping out from the car he had hidden behind of - bloodsoaked, just like she was.
"...Lorne?" Buffy blinked, wiping the blood away from her eyes with the back of her hand. She was wrong. He never left her.
"No, the Ghost of Christmas Past. Of course, me!"
"I thought you..."
"Left? Gee, I'm hurt, Slayer. You should learn to trust people a little more. I told you, I didn't want the world to end. Just had to concentrate on the spell once I found it. Figured I'd leave the fighting to you, being the Slayer and all. Seems like you did a good job." He said, shifting his eyes to the mangled demon beneath her feet, his grimaced at the sight. Lorne walked out and began to make his way towards her - walking around the demon corpse, of course.
Buffy lowered her gaze, her mouth hanging ajar. She couldn't believe it. The world wasn't going to be destroyed. She won, with the help of a demon, no less. She saved the world. Lorne, saved the world. Buffy blinked a couple of times and then chuckled, grinning to herself.
Lorne perked a brow. "So, what now, Slayer gal? You've got a mighty mess to clean up." He said, pausing for a moment and looking over the bloody landscape.
Buffy sighed and thinned her lips.
Lorne looked back at her, and gave his head a nod. "You grab the bleach, I'll grab the gloves." He said jokingly.
Buffy shifted her eyes towards his visage and gave him that same unamused stare that she had given him the first time they had met, then she playfully punched him on the forearm. "Ha. Ha. You're hilarious. Really. You should do comedy instead of karaoke." Her tone was sarcastic, yet she cracked a small smirk, then snatched away the book that was still in his hands. "Lets start with the easy stuff first, like getting rid of this." She said, tossing it into the fiery building behind her. "And then... you're gonna get me a drink." She concluded, beginning to walk away, down the street; covered in battle wounds, but she was already used to that.
"I can definitely do that." Lorne responded, beginning to walk after her.
As the book burned, the blood behind them began to slowly fade into the earth - unbeknownst to them.
Professional shopper, winner of the bathing suit competition in Hemery High, voted Fiesta Queen of the Hemery High Spring Fling, retired head cheerleader, and... full time Vampire Slayer.
'But, vampires aren't real!'
Buffy thought the very same thing, before she was given the news about her destiny as the Chosen One. Her birthright. It wasn't exactly something she was all cracked-up about doing or being, for that matter, but she really didn't have a choice in the whole thing. I mean, she really tried to have a choice - she said no about fifty times, but there was no escaping it. It was something that she couldn't just ignore and pretend that it didn't exist. It was there, within her, all around her, and it would follow her wherever she went. Buffy couldn't do anything other than to accept what she was chosen to become.
Now, she'd be lying if she said that being the Vampire Slayer got easier as the days and months passed by. In fact, it seemed like it only became harder. The enemies she had to face, the sacrifices she had to make. Juggling between her normal (if one could call it that) teenage life and her secret identity was even harder. Not to mention the many times she had practically saved everyone from dying, yet, aside from the handful of friends that knew of her big secret, everyone else treated her like total crap. It wasn't as if she could tell them that they were alive because of her - no, they'd think she was crazier than they already thought she was. Even back in Hemery High, she saved all of them from becoming vampire chow, and did any of them thank her? Of course not! Instead, she was feared, remembered as a freak and expelled for burning the gym down.
Gee, you're welcome.
Yet, that was always the case. She'd save the world, and the world still chewed her up and spat her out. Hell! She was practically a superhero, but a superhero's job was selfless. She knew that, but, she couldn't help but feel crappy about it - a thank you once in a while would be nice. I guess this was something that they never really went into depths with in superhero movies. You know, that high you get when you're being badass and heroic; saving the world from total destruction, and then that low you get when that random person (who's even existing right now because of you) bumps into you and calls you a loser and tells you that your hair is flat. Maybe these were just first world problems that Buffy was dealing with? There were bigger and badder things out there that she should've been worrying about - and she knew that. However, she was a teenage girl, and she couldn't help her feelings. She couldn't help wanting to just fit in and be normal; or at least pretend to be.
She missed it sometimes. Normal life. Going on dates. Dating normal guys. Going out at night and not just on slayer duty. She missed not having a single care in the world, and her only complaints were that her nail polish didn't match her skirt. And, if she was being honest, she missed being popular... when everybody loved her - even if it was fake. It felt nice.
Maybe it was her ego talking? But, at this particular moment, she found herself daydreaming.
What if they all knew that she was the Vampire Slayer? What if they all knew that she had saved them all from getting sucked into a Hell vortex and becoming enslaved by demons for all eternity? Or if she had saved them from The Master and the Harvest? How she died for them. And how she was saving them all, each and every single day, from the Hellmouth they all unknowingly lived upon?
Buffy's mind wandered off into her daydream, and she could hear them and see them, all clapping. Cheering her on. Praising her.
"You're so great, Buffy!"
"We love you, Buffy!"
"You're so brave, Buffy!"
"Can I have your autograph!?"
"Your hair is never flat! I wish I had hair like yours!"
Buffy smiled, lost in her little fantasy world... and then she was bumped roughly, sending the drink that she was holding toppling to the floor and exploding all over her brand new boots.
"Get outta the way, freak." Someone snapped at her. Buffy recognized who it was as they passed her by with their giggling group of friends; Cordelia Chase... of course.
Buffy's daydream had dwindled away and she was faced with her reality once again.
"Ugh..." She groaned, brows furrowed.
A reality full of sticky Coke all over her 'Kiss Me Gena' suede thigh high Christian Louboutin's.
"Reality bites..." She uttered to herself - cheeks red, catching a few other laughs at her expense from the people in the outdoor lunch area. She turned away - rushing as quickly as possible to the bathroom to clean herself off and hide away from the total embarrassment.