Title: The Normal Sister
Series: Five Siblings Buffy Never Had
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things SPN belong to Eric Kripke, et al.
Author’s Note: Another Five Things response.
Summary: Jess had only ever wanted to be normal...
When she gets the news, Buffy feels like her world has suddenly shattered into a million razor sharp pieces that slash over her skin, leaving her bloody and raw. She can’t move, can’t think. The phone is still lying on the ground where she dropped it when Willow and Xander find her. She can barely find the words to tell them what’s wrong.Jess is dead… a fire… she’s dead, guys… dead…
She goes to Stanford, morbidly wanting to see the place where her sister died. The building is burned, the apartment where her sister had lived with her boyfriend nothing but a ruined, charred mess. She finds a picture in the ruins, Jess and a guy that Buffy thinks must be Sam, but she never met him so she can’t be sure. She wonders where he is, if he did anything to save her sister, and she falls to her knees amongst the ruins, crying tears that refuse to stop.
Her older sister is dead
, the word keeps echoing through her head until it spills past her lips. Dead dead dead deaddeaddead
- a litany that goes on and on until she feels like she might die from the pain.
All Jess had wanted was to be normal, and she’d still died. She had left home knowing what was out there because she didn’t want that to be a part of her like it was for Buffy.
Buffy was the Chosen One, Jess had always been quick to point out. She was just the Chosen One’s older sister, not as special and certainly not needed.
But Buffy had always needed her.
Letters and phone calls – that was all they’d had for two years. Letters and phone calls and no visits back home because Jess didn’t want to go back to that evil place
. Buffy had never blamed her. Missed her like crazy but never blamed her. She never got to really meet Dawn – who is sobbing her eyes out back home even now. Not really, anyway, because Jess left home before Dawn entered their world. All Jess ever had were fabricated memories of the youngest of the Summers sisters, nothing real to call her own.
Buffy never told her about Dawn’s origins. There wasn’t really a good time, and it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway. Jess loved Dawn, and that was good enough for Buffy.
Even now, she isn’t blaming Jess for leaving though she wonders if she could have saved her.
In the morning she works some charm and manages to find out – first from people that also lived in that building and then from someone at the local police station – that Sam disappeared right after the fire.
It seems like guilt to Buffy, his disappearance. It cries that he could have – should have – done something to save her sister.
“Willow, I need you to find someone for me, please,” she says when she comes back to Sunnydale, broken apart on the inside, steely resolve on the outside. For the longest time it seems like maybe Sam did disappear because Willow can’t find anything on him that’s recent. Not a single credit card use or a hit to his bank account. In a world where people disappear everyday for reasons that the police would never think to look for, Buffy starts to worry that maybe her sister didn’t die of regular causes, that maybe something supernatural happened, and it got Sam, too. So now she’s mourning her sister and the innocent person that must have - had to have
- gotten caught up when something came for her.
Just when they’ve given up hope, Willow gets a hit. Sam uses one of his credit cards for a motel room. Waiting just long enough for Willow give her directions, Buffy is gone.
She drives through the night to get there – her entire world narrowed to this one person that has to know what happened to Jess. And if he’s to blame, there won’t be a world big enough for him to hide in. She will make him pay. In blood and sweat and pain.
It’s almost noon when she pulls up outside of the cheap, sleazy motel that Willow said was her target. She stretches out her muscles when she gets out of the car, glaring at the door of the motel room even as she thanks Willow for having the foresight to call the motel and get the room number for Sam Winchester. The motel looks like the kind of rundown place that hookers would bring their clients back to for a few hours at a time. It’s shabby and dirty, and it makes Buffy’s skin crawl just being here.
The door rattles in its hinges when she knocks, her temper flaring too much for her to keep a check on her strength. She swallows and waits, shoving her hands down into her pockets so that she doesn’t lay into this guy the first time she lays eyes on him.
Turns out, the hands-in-pockets thing? Not really that much of a deterrent, because when she sees the guy from Jess’s picture standing in the doorframe, she snaps.
“Wha--?” his startled cry cuts off as she pulls him out of the room, shoving him against the motel with a hand to his throat.
“What happened to Jess?”
His eyes go wide, pain and fear and something that she just cannot understand warring within them. The fact that she’s a tiny little thing and he’s a fucking giant of a man doesn’t escape her notice, either; so she’s sure that he has to be wondering how she can hold him there with one hand.
She doesn’t care.
“Who are you?” he manages when she eases up her grip on his throat.
This isn’t his show to run. She doesn’t have to answer to him, and yet Buffy finds herself doing just that.
Maybe Jess never mentioned her to Sam because he looks sort of confused. That – if that’s actually what happened – hurts more than Buffy would like to admit, but it isn’t why she’s here.
“There was a fire –“
“And then you disappeared,” Buffy snaps, voice low and lethal. She tries to swallow down some of the rage that she’s feeling, knows that, as much as she wants to hurt Sam, she can’t kill him. Not for this. Not unless he’s some kind of demon – because then? – then she’d be all over him and tear him limb from limb.
She’s not going to kill a human, though. Even if he deserves it.
“You disappeared,” she continues, taking a breath through clenched teeth. “My sister died and you fucking disappeared right after it happened! You dropped out of school, Sam. Tell me why – give me one good reason – why I shouldn’t think that its all your fault.”
He flinches, deflates, and those wide eyes of his water. “I didn’t hurt Jess. I could never
have hurt Jess. I loved her.”
There’s something else, something he’s not saying, but Buffy – call her naïve – believes him when the first tears roll down his cheeks. She flexes her fingers once in the flesh of his neck and then lets go, fighting back her own tears.
“So what happened, then? The truth.”
Slumped against the building, looking just as broken as she
feels inside, he nods. “You won’t believe me, though,” he tells her, leading the way into the motel room. Two beds, both unmade. Someone else is traveling with him, and Buffy silently vows that if it’s a new girlfriend, she might still beat the living hell out of Sam.
There are papers and drawings on the table near the door, an open laptop. She glances at the topmost of the sheets without even meaning to.
“Try me,” she whispers, picking up the handwritten notes, sadness uncurling itself in the pit of her stomach. Ways to kill a shapeshifter. Ways to kill a fucking shapeshifter? There’s a scream on the tip of her tongue, a protest that this wasn’t what Jess had wanted and no way in hell was she supposed to have died like this. Her gaze flicks back up to Sam. “What was it? What got Jess?”
Buffy laughs sadly, softly.
“No. We don’t ask ‘who’ in my family.” She drops the notes back to the table and puts her hands on her hips. “Now tell me what big bad thing
killed my sister so that I can go slay its ass.”
A/N: This was only supposed to be a one shot, but I find myself wanting to write a sequel-ish from Sam’s POV, perhaps. We’ll see.