Title: Final Exam, Basic Slaying 101
Series/’Verse: The Normal Sister
Author: Jinni (email@example.com)
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things Supernatural belong to Eric Kripke, et al. Have I mentioned lately that Kripke stole my soul from Whedon?
Notes: For my 50 Missing Scenes.
Summary: One night of this, and then she’s done with it all. Off to a normal life, in a normal town, where maybe she’ll even find a normal boyfriend.
There are books to be packed, clothes to be sorted through. Jess needs
to be getting ready to leave at the beginning of August, not sitting in a cemetery with her little sister and some of said little sister’s friends, waiting for the undead to rise.
Right. Did you get that? Waiting for the undead to rise.
It still freaks her out, months later. Vampires are real. Ghosts are real. All kinds of things are real
. And her little sister – the valley girl cheerleader? – is the one person in all the world destined to fight these big bad evils.
Yeah, it was surreal the first time it was explained to her, too. But Jess thinks that she’s handled it pretty well, all things considered. It wasn’t everyday that a girl woke up and had her whole world turned upside down, after all. One night you go to bed with the light off, not thinking twice, and the next you’re afraid to turn it off because you don’t know what’s hiding in the darkness?
She also tries not to hold it against Buffy that they had to leave their old school because she set fire to it. Now that she knows it was because of a vampire infestation, Jess is willing to let the whole picking up and having to leave during her senior year thing go. Matter of perspective, right? The vampires had to die, Buffy dealt with it.
Besides, it isn’t like Jess wouldn’t have had to say goodbye to all of her friends from Hemry at the end of the school year anyway. She’s got a full ride to Stanford, and that means leaving behind her friends, her family.
She’ll miss Buffy and her mom, but this town? This mouth of hell
? She doesn’t think that she’s going to miss that at all.
“Should be up soon,” Buffy tells her conversationally, leaning against a headstone with a stake in her hand. She twirls it with the kind of comfort that a knife thrower has with their knives. It is the sort of comfort that you only get from handling a dangerous weapon on a regular basis.
And her sister has it.
It makes her sad, seeing how Buffy had to grow up so quickly. She didn’t get to be normal. Didn’t get to just deal with the regular crap that being in high school meant. No, she had to be saving the world.
Almost made Jess feel bad for feeling a driving need to get away from Sunnydale and this life.
“Good,” Jess says after a moment’s pause. She sighs. “I still need to go through my closet.”
Buffy frowns and turns away, looking over where Xander and Willow are talking without a care in the world.
Jess almost doesn’t say anything. It would be easier if she didn’t. Wasn’t as if she didn’t know what was going through her sister’s mind. Still, she asks, “What?”
“Nothing,” Buffy says and doesn’t turn back around.
There’s a bitter sigh on Jess’ lips. “I’m just going to college, you know. It isn’t the end of the world.”
There’s a glance over her shoulder, and then Buffy is right back to looking anywhere but Jess. It hurts. She won’t lie about that. When she’d announced that she was going to Stanford instead of UC Sunnydale, Jess had honestly expected that Buffy would be happy for her. It was a good school and
Jess had gotten a full ride. This was so much better than UC Sunnydale could have been.
Buffy didn’t see it that way.
Jess is leaving them. Leaving the limited sphere of influence that Buffy had over the world. There might be things that would come after her, and there wouldn’t be anything that Buffy could do. She wouldn’t even know
until it was too late.”How am I going to protect you? … What if something that wants to get to me comes after you?”
Jess had listened, and then told Buffy to make sure she knew enough before she left to keep her safe. If anything really bad came up, she’d call.
call, Jess promises herself. Just because she doesn’t want to stay here and be a part of this
doesn’t mean that she’s giving up her family or that she has no common sense.
The request to learn is why they’re out here right now, waiting for this guy – someone she thinks might have gone to their school – to rise up. She gets to do the staking tonight. Just one, just to prove that she listened and paid attention. It’s her ‘graduation’ exercise.
The earth moves below the headstone she’s sitting on, and Jess goes immediately wide eyed. While not the first vamp that she’s ever seen, this guy will definitely be the most up close that she’s come. She swallows, opens her mouth to warn Buffy, but her sister is already there, standing over the grave and waiting.
As soon as an arm comes free of the dirt, Buffy grabs hold. Jess watches in a sort of fascinated awe as her sister roughs the guy up. His face keeps going from human to vamp and then back again, as if he doesn’t quite know what’s going on. It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. In fact, if this was a horror movie, it would be a really, really cheesy bad one.
God, where did her sister get all those bad one liners from, anyway?
“Jess? You going to do this?”
She snaps back to reality with a twist of her stomach. The vamp is on the ground, Xander sitting on his legs, Buffy pinning his shoulders. He isn’t going anywhere. Right. Time to end this.
“Remember – in the heart,” Buffy reminds her.
Jess rolls her eyes when Xander taps a finger on the vamp’s chest to let her know just where that should be. He catches her eye and winks.
She’s not stupid, she knows where the heart is. With a glare at Buffy for making her do this, Jess swings the stake up, then down, her stomach churning horribly at the thought that she’s about to ram a stake through this thing’s heart
. It isn’t that she feels sorry for the thing beneath her. It’s not even human anymore and
it’s completely evil. Didn’t it just try to kill her? Still – it’s flesh and blood, and she’s about to stab
Maybe it’s thoughts like that which keep her from swinging hard enough. The stake goes in not even an inch, then lodges in the vampire’s ribs. It screams. Howling its pain loudly, face contorting into those ridges and lines that she’s seen pictures of.
Buffy snorts. “A little harder might help, sis.”
“That looks painful,” Xander quips. Jess watches as he reaches out, completely unafraid, to poke at the vamp’s chest, right around where the stake is (sort of) embedded. The vampire screams, curses, and flails a little.
“Take it out and try again,” Buffy orders when they’ve got the vampire secured again. The fight has left his eyes. Maybe it’s from the pain. Jess can’t tell.
The staking wasn’t as bad as she’d thought it would be. She can do this.
Jess grabs hold of the stake, yanks it out of the body. There’s a wet sound and Jess’s stomach does another uncomfortable roll. She swallows and raises her arm up again.
This time the stake goes clean through, to the heart.
Nothing but ash.
Jess exhales. Loudly. That… wasn’t that bad at all. Would’ve been even better if she’d just done it right the first time. Adrenaline leaves her in a rush and --
“Hey – you okay?”
Jess blinks, looking up at stars. Overhead. Huh?
“What?” she mutters. How did she end up on her back?
And the look on her sister’s face says she’s never going to let her live it down.