Author's Note: A 20 Minutes With type story, though I can't say it's in reaction to any particular challenge. Possibly something I'll expand on later. But right now I've hit a minor writer's block -- minor, he stressed -- in The Sum of Their Parts
, and I wanted to get some writing done today.
Disclaimer: Buffy characters created by Joss Whedon. Star Trek characters created by Gene Roddenberry.
X X X X X
Standing on the bridge of the Enterprise, she remembered how it started as vividly as if it were yesterday. Still, nearly three hundred years later, she remembered it.
The two of them -- long after they'd become friends again -- had taken down a sorcerer -- evil son of a bitch, necromancer by trade, who'd been busy raiding cemeteries and setting up his own personal Night of the Living Dead scenario.
Remarkably easy to take down, what with the lack of actual zombies to face, though he did have a vampire or two hanging around. No challenge at all for the two of them, of course.
But -- while they'd had to 'kill' the sorcerer -- not a real kill, of course, they didn't do those to human beings, not any more, he was a high-functioning zombie anyway -- they hadn't escaped unharmed. Literally, all he'd been able to do was lay a hand on them, but that was enough.
At first the "curse" hadn't seemed to affect them much. Willow had given them the once-over three times, and while she detected some residual magic, she hadn't been able to determine what effect, if any, the sorcerer's curse had had.
They only figured it out years later, when they looked at each other and then themselves and figured something out:
Willow had streaks of gray in her hair. Xander had a small potbelly. Giles was in the early stages, unfortunately, of Alzheimer's. Even Dawn seemed older.
Willow examined them again and found out the necromancer -- of course, with the power over life and death -- had cursed them with the most powerful curse he could come up with: Immortality.
Honestly, as they thought over the last ten years, they realized they'd each been injured badly enough to kill even a Slayer at least once. And yet they'd recovered.
"Yeah," Will said, "It may not seem like much of a curse now. But it will." And they'd caught as they watched everyone else get older. Everyone except the vampires, but then Spike and Angel were dead, had been since a tragic night in an alley a long time ago in Los Angeles, and none of the rest of them were good company. First Giles died. Then Xander. Then Dawn.
And Willow, at the height of her powers easily the most powerful magic-user on the planet, good, evil, or otherwise, hadn't been able to lift the curse. The necromancer, while he hadn't been in Willow's league overall, was superior to her at his specialty. And if Willow couldn't cure them, no one could. She survived the longest, but eventually even her magically enhanced body had given out. And she'd been the last of them.
Buffy and Faith went into other dimensions, contacted the Gods -- nothing worked. They were stuck with each other.
There were entire generations of Slayers who'd come and gone since their curse. They were living legends.
Living legends who only had each other now, and would only have each other for the rest of eternity.
They tried suicide a couple of times. It didn't work. Faith threw herself into a volcano; Buffy spent a year at the bottom of the Thames waking up, falling asleep, and generally just scaring the hell out of the fish. Nothing worked.
And eventually, the other one had given up. They fought the good fight for centuries, but eventually she gave up. "There's no point anymore," she said. "It doesn't matter. If I've learned anything, I've learned that," and became a mercenary, willing to hire herself out to anyone.
And there were lots of anyone’s by this point. Klingons. Orions. Romulans, Ferengi. Cardassians. She kept by her code of not killing -- she quoted an old TV show even she couldn’t quite remember, saying, "There are two things I won't do for money. I won't kill for it and I won't marry for it. Other than that, I'm open to anything."
But she went too far. And then she had to be hunted down.
That's what she was doing there. Over the years, the revived Council had assured itself of a position of power in Starfleet, and she had a rank equivalent of admiral. No one believed her until she showed them the proof.
And that's why she was on the bridge of the Enterprise, next to a guy who thought he was more charming than he was and hit on her -- though he was polite about it and took no for an answer -- and a Vulcan who, thankfully, hadn't, and a doctor, who was more interested in complaining than anything else.
She liked him.
But now her job was to persuade them to give her first crack at the woman who in the course of one of her missions had set prisoners free -- dangerous prisoners, who'd killed people.
Because now it looked like she’d gone off the rails.
"And," she whispered to herself. "I got my second chance. You deserve one too, B."