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This story is No. 5 in the series "Powerless". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The sequel to "Real" and "Powerless": Buffy, Johnny and Angel have changed the world, but now the world is changing to something far worse. Can they stop the events they have set in motion?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Dead ZoneNatalieKushnerFR151029,998092,9681 May 076 Sep 07No

The End

Legal Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all characters belong to Joss Whedon, Fox, UPN and the WB. The Dead Zone and all characters belong to Shawn & Michael Piller, Stephen King, Lion's Gate Television and USA Network. No profit is being made off of this and no copyright infringement is intended.

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1: The End

Buffy Anne Summers sat in the back of the taxicab alone, staring blankly out the window as the blurry scenery passed by. Sunlight poured upon an expression of peace on her face. The calm was due to the fact that her life had turned out very differently than she had ever imagined. She lived her life according to her choice.

Once upon a time, she was the outcome of a choice. A grand choice by the Powers that Be, who dictate and try to make the world go ‘round. She was the Slayer. The Chosen One. The one girl in all the world to blah blah blah the vampires and the blah and the whatever about world peace. The point was that Buffy used to have to face the evil in the world because of someone else’s choice until one day she made a choice to share her power with all the potential Slayers in the world – a choice that changed the world dramatically (and changed the landscape of her hometown into a gaping crater).

It was near the time of that same choice that she chose not to be with her first love. It was made clear that now wasn’t the time. She had a lot of discovering to do within herself before she could commit to a relationship with him. It had something to do with cookie dough, Buffy remembered. But she remembered very clearly that it was the right decision.

It was about a year later when she first started having the dreams. The dreams of the man that would become her other true love. They were pleasant nighttime meetings to escape the pressures of the new world she created and the people who couldn’t quite understand. Everyone looked to her for the answer. They looked for her to save them. Buffy had been so lost, she found solace in her dreams. Until the night she had a dream of snow-covered Sunnydale and the first kiss with her wise, comforting, understanding – not to mention, cute – new friend. With the first kiss, came the first vision of Armageddon. But not like the ones she foiled in the past. This one was of fire and greed, brought about by the foolish actions of men, and most terrifyingly – it was real. And it was coming.

So her next choice was to find the man in her dreams, the only key to stopping Armageddon. She found him. And perhaps, not by her choice, she fell deeply in love with him. Johnny Smith, the famed psychic who was also chosen by fate to be without a normal life, fell in love with her just as quickly and in the same fashion – through their dreams, or visions, of each other in which Johnny had always taken the place of Buffy’s first love, Angel.

Through these visions of Buffy’s past, he met her, he learned her life, he watched her heartaches, and he knew he had to be with her. Unfortunately, another storm had come about from their meeting. The greedy congressmen behind the Armageddon that Buffy and Johnny had seen had teamed up with a mysterious man from an evil sect. This man, Malcolm Janus, had his own plans for the end of the world. Greg Stillson was just a pawn. Janus and his Illuminati had carefully constructed a plan to bring forth the God of Vampires, Utarefson, who would bring about the end of the world. Johnny and Buffy foiled this plan, but not without sacrifice.

Buffy made another choice that night when she faced the Demon to save Johnny, who was being possessed and controlled by Utarefson and about to kill Stillson in cold blood. She chose to give Utarefson the power inside of her that made her the Slayer of all time. She chose a normal, mortal life to free the man she loved.

It was a choice she had to live with, being powerless. Or so she thought.

For Johnny and Buffy realized not long after that the Powers that Be, in their infinite wisdom, had swayed the balance in their favor. The power that was taken from Buffy was given to Johnny, thus creating the first male Slayer. In return, Johnny’s visions were permanently given to Buffy, giving them a greater advantage in the ongoing fight to stop Stillson’s Armageddon, but also giving Buffy a wave of pain and responsibility that came with the visions.

Since then, they had to work together to save the world. One choice at a time.

Until last night.

Buffy glanced over at the dashboard radio and the station that the cabbie had been listening to. It had been breaking news 24/7 in Los Angeles since the night before. The female news reporter’s voice came over the radio, “A Los Angeles coroner has finally determined that the death of Vice President Greg Stillson was an apparent suicide. The young vice president from Maine who was suspected to run for the Presidency next election leapt to his death from the roof of his hotel room yesterday morning.”

Buffy looked down past her golden curls at her evening glove-covered hands. She had felt silly when she first began to wear them, knowing she would get X-Men references from Xander about it. But it made sense. With them covered, she wouldn’t really have to touch anything. She wouldn’t have a thousand visions – happy, sad, weird, horrifying and maddening – running through her head all the time.

She put her thumb under the evening glove covering her left forearm. With a smile of satisfaction, she pulled it off slowly, revealing each of her dainty fingers. She stared down at the single diamond ring on her left hand with a warm smile. The memory of last night filled her mind.

The night wind whipped across Johnny Smith’s face. His piercing blue eyes gazed across the rooftop of the Le Parke Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles as he stared at his adversary. Vice President Greg Stillson stared back at Johnny Smith lividly. This was the man that was seconds away from destroying his entire career. But the things the vice president had sacrificed – the things he’d done… He would not let Johnny Smith take this away from him.

“It’s over, Stillson,” Johnny announced. “You’ve failed.”

“If you think I’m going to give up that easily,” Stillson sneered, “you’re out of your damn mind.”

“Walk away, Greg,” John declared calmly. He stood in her black button-up shirt and slacks with a black blazer over the outfit. He fit in perfectly in the gala downstairs. “You don’t understand what you’re into. You’re a pawn in Janus’ game.”

“Don’t feed me this again!” Greg Stillson shouted with offense.

“You don’t think that all this power came with a price?” Johnny tried to reason for the final time. “Stand down.” Greg Stillson glanced around at the empty rooftop and decided that this was the place where he would end it all. He was going to take care of Johnny Smith for the last time.

“The last time you and I had a scuffle,” Greg declared, “I remember it being significantly one-sided.” Johnny glanced down with a hint of remorse. He was referring to the time when he was possessed by Utarefson and he nearly beat Greg Stillson to death, fueled by demonic power and rage. “I don’t think that’s the way this is going to turn out,” Stillson shouted.

“It’s not like that now,” Johnny warned. “But it’s close.”

“So it’s true?” Stillson asked with a half-smile. “You’re the Slayer now?”

Nearby, Buffy was in a brown, glittering evening gown and black evening gloves covering her forearms, crouched down behind an air vent. She overheard the shouting of Johnny and Stillson over the whipping of the wind. She knew that Malcolm Janus will have noticed Stillson’s absence by now and was probably running his way up the stairs since the elevators had been shut down by Bruce and Walt.

Was that enough time?

Buffy hid in silence, watching carefully as she made sure she didn’t give away her position to either of the men, since Johnny made her promise to stay downstairs. Just because she was the sidekick now doesn’t mean there’s any way in hell she was going to miss the big finale. Buffy removed one of the gloves and placed her hand on the cold ground.

“I mean it,” Johnny declared simply. “Stand down.”

“Don’t think so,” Greg answered angrily. “I call your bluff.” He rushed at Johnny in a flash and swung a vicious right hook. Johnny blocked it simply and quickly, and blocked the next punch even faster. Stillson backhanded Johnny swiftly, as a result of the ‘special training’ from Malcolm Janus. The punch meant nothing to Johnny, as it rolled off of his cheek like water. Johnny spun around and kicked the vice president backwards and sent him rolling across the cement floor.

Stillson would not let Johnny have the best of him. He was back on his feet and engaging in a hopeless battle with his adversary who had gained supernatural strength and agility. Buffy watched intently and noted several times that Johnny had the opportunity to kill him. However, she noticed that Johnny despised every kick and hated every punch and he threw. He wasn’t ready to murder him, no matter how much he deserved it. It was the difference between Johnny the Vampire Slayer and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Buffy watched as Johnny lifted Greg Stillson in the night air and tossed him easily across the roof of the building. His body smashed through a concrete guarder protecting another air vent. Greg’s body rolled across the floor, coming to a stop near the edge of the roof, as pieces of concrete stone scattered across the roof. A little more of a throw and Stillson would’ve been flapping his wings down to the street below. It was another choice that Johnny was letting Stillson have.

“I’ve been waiting for this a long time,” Johnny said, not without his own sense of satisfaction in pounding Stillson again. “This is the end for you.” Stillson stared up at Johnny, reeling from his pain. “You’ve got one last chance,” Johnny declared, “and it doesn’t have to end like this.” Buffy watched as Stillson pushed himself off of the ground, not ten feet away from where Buffy was hiding, and came to a stand.

Stillson sighed tiredly and gazed at Johnny slyly with one hand placed on his aching ribs inside his jacket. “Yes, it does,” Stillson answered. He yanked a pistol from the inside of his jacket and pointed it at Johnny, pulling back the trigger. With a crack, a bullet pieced Johnny in the chest. He stepped back in shock and was stung with a second bullet in the heart.

Buffy screamed in horror as Johnny sunk down to his knees, blankness in his eyes.

“You’ve got one last chance,” Johnny declared, “and it doesn’t have to end like this.”

Buffy glanced around to find that she had experienced a vision of the very immediate future. She saw Stillson’s hand reach into his jacket as she leapt up from her position. “No!” she screamed.

Johnny glanced over at Buffy, suddenly in distress. “Get out of here!” he demanded, her safety becoming priority. She grabbed him by the shoulder and pushed him down to the ground just as Stillson pulled out his weapon and fired in Johnny’s direction. The bullet barely missed as the couple crashed to the ground.

They scrambled to their feet as Johnny ordered, “Run!” Johnny dived behind another air shaft as Buffy followed directions – for once – but it was too late. Stillson sprang up from behind Buffy and grabbed her, holding the gun to her head.

“No,” he grinned. “Stay.”

Johnny was nowhere in sight, but Stillson knew that he was holding the most important thing in his life at the end of a gun. Behind the air shaft, Johnny could do nothing but feel his heart race with terror.

“Let her go, Stillson,” Johnny called out. “This is between you and me.”

“No, it’s not,” Stillson answered as he stared into the empty space around the roof. “She’s very much apart of this. She’s the reason you just won’t go away.”

“I may not be the Slayer anymore,” Buffy warned as Greg pinched her arm coldly, “but I’m not helpless.”

She felt the hot barrel of the gun against her temple, still warm from the last bullet. “Now you are,” Greg smiled. He enjoyed too much the suffering of those that caused him trouble. Buffy swallowed hard, but kept a stone-cold expression. “Doesn’t it scare you?” he asked her.

“You never scared me,” Buffy replied.

“Johnny’s scared,” he whispered back through a grin. His hazel eyes searched across the roof for Johnny to appear. The new Slayer, broken into a sweat, waited vulnerably as he struggled to devise a plan. There wasn’t any question that Stillson would kill her. The question was how long he was willing to let Johnny watch.

“Don’t come out!” Buffy yelled. Stillson pinched her arm hard and held the barrel more firmly to her head.

“Shut up!” he hissed. “Come out, Johnny. You don’t want her to die, do you? We wouldn’t want to mess up this pretty little head before she gets that wedding veil on it, would we?” Stillson was desperate for Johnny to come out of hiding. It didn’t matter what new powers he had. All it takes to kill a Slayer is a single bullet.

He whispered in Buffy’s ear, “Now if Johnny dies, does that mean another Slayer is called? Or is his death just as pointless as it would’ve been had he stayed the same?”

Johnny squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath. He pushed himself off of the ground and strolled out into the open, staring Stillson down. Greg gazed at him with a small smile twisting his face; the gun was now at his side. “Good,” he declared calmly. “I wanted you to see this up close and personal.”

Johnny saw him lift the weight of the gun and instantly he was thrust into action. He glanced down at one of the concrete pieces on the ground and lifted his foot kicking it into the air in Stillson’s direction. Buffy lowered her head as the concrete rock, at least four pounds in weight, smashed into Greg Stillson’s forehead.

He saw a bright red light and then blackness as his body fell backwards. His hand released the weight of the gun as Buffy fell forwards to the ground and Stillson’s body toppled backwards over the railing at the edge of the building. Johnny raced over to Buffy, helping her to her feet, but she was just as concerned as he to gaze over the edge of the roof.

Both of them came to the railing and stared down the skyscraping tower to see Greg Stillson falling down to the street below. There was no sinking scream as Stillson’s body smashed into a parked limousine with the force of a thousand pounds, crushing the hood. Both of them, stunned into silence, watched as the gathering crowds began to panic around the street.

Buffy’s hand clenched around the iron railing as her green eyes squeezed shut.

In her mind, a vision of fire receding across Washington, D.C. crashed inside her skull. Flames unfolded revealing the Capitol building intact and untouched.

Buffy came out of the vision and glanced up at Johnny immediately, tears of joy and relief welling in her eyes. It was a for which they had been waiting a long time. The vision of Armageddon undoing itself. They had saved the world.

Johnny’s stunned expression melted with this revelation as Buffy sank into his arms. Johnny heard the scrape of a shoe behind him. The two of them turned around to see Malcolm Janus standing by the exit to the stairs. His long, dark face was horrified and stunned. All of his planning was once again foiled. He gazed at Johnny and Buffy in horror.

They stared back at him in silence. Janus gazed at the edge of the roof, and stared back up at them, his shocked face filling with anger. “You will regret this night,” Malcolm warned coldly. He turned on his heel and bolted through the door like a madman, rushing down the stairs out of sight.

Johnny continued to stand strong, wrapping his arms around Buffy. “It’s okay,” his warm voice said with a bit of a laugh. He closed his eyes as the two of them embraced each other as the cold, night wind surrounded them. “It’s over,” Johnny continued saying as tears rolled down Buffy’s face. “Everything’s going to be okay…”

Buffy sat in the taxicab reminiscing on that night. She stared down at her engagement ring, and then used it to take off her other glove. She dropped both gloves into her lap, and with them, dropping the grim future which was no longer a reality. It was the end of a dark period and the beginning of a new era.

The future had not yet been written. She had hope for what it would be like, and what the outcome of their choices would be.

Everything is going to be okay, Buffy thought as she smiled, staring down at her ring. She let her bare hands fall into her lap. Her warm smile slowly faded. Buffy glanced up through the windshield immediately, just long enough to see the cab driver panic and the blinding white headlights of a truck.
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