Title: This World Falls on Me
Rating: FR-15 for subject matter.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Spoilers: General for 8 seasons of Buffy. None for Supernatural
Summary: She had been wrong about her destiny. Buffy understood now why they had chosen her. And she wasn’t afraid anymore. Companion to The World Has Lost Its Sway. AN:
I swore I wasn’t going to write this. I really did. And then I swore I wasn’t going to post it. But here it is. I apologize for torturing you in advance.
Here at the end of all things, all Buffy could think was that the end of the world was a lot prettier than she thought it would be. Give in to us.
Maybe it was jaded of her, but of all the world-ending portals she had seen, this one was the nicest. The one that had been opened by Glory had been bright and sparkly, true, but this one got extra points for color. We will hollow you out. Devour you. The feel of teeth ripping your flesh and gnashing your bones will never cease. Your screams will last eternity.
It was a shame that the Ram and Hart had to ruin it with their whining at her. Well, just the Ram so far. And really, even Angelus had been more inventive with his threats, and he had been rusty. You are damned forever for what you do. You will never again see Heaven. …. You will belong to us. We will make you great and terrible. You deliver us from this world, but you bring thousands more to their knees. You will rape and kill and tear. You will enslave more numbers than you can fathom. You will do this in our name. Give in and we will spare you.
Much better threats. GIVE IN!
She ignored them. It was, after all, her death, and it was her right to watch her life flash before her eyes, to think of all her regrets, and to mourn all the things she would never do now. All that stuff.
She deserved to contemplate her life without some stupid, has-been axis of evil (one-third of which she had killed, so was it still an axis?) ruining it by making her think about what was going to happen to her. She had all eternity for them to torment her, after all. These last moments were hers.
After a second’s thought, she realized she actually didn’t have any regrets. Sure she had made mistakes, colossal screw-ups, and even full on FUBARS. She had gotten good people killed. She had killed good people in the name of the greater good.
Hell, here in this moment, she was sealing the fate of the entire human race, the majority of which would not live to see tomorrow.
Permanently separating this reality from all hell dimensions wasn’t that hard actually. It could have been done long before now. Many times, others had come close.
It wasn’t until this moment, caught in the energies of the ever-shrinking vortex that meant the removal of everything demonic to this universe, that Buffy realized how close. And why they had failed.
They had chosen to fail. We will save them. We will save the lives of the billions you would kill. Who are you to decide their fate? Who are you to murder children and babies? Who gave you that right?
Ah. There was the Hart. Why was she not surprise they had invented good-cop bad-cop?
But the thing about getting rid of evil was you had to get rid of it all. Its roots were deep and old. It controlled oceans and mountains, nations and kings.
The world, as it existed, existed on the foundations it had been laying for eons.
And Buffy was demolishing those foundations. Tearing up every root and tendril, and burning it all.
She couldn’t help but marvel at the rich irony of it all.
For years, Buffy had been followed by one fear; a single doubt that had chased her all across her life.
The fear that she wasn’t the right person for this duty. That someone high up had made a mistake in giving her this destiny.
Everyday, there had been this gnawing dread that she could never rid herself of. This terror of living to see the world end, and knowing it would all be her fault.
And here, now, she knew she was more right than she could have ever known. But she had been wrong about the destiny. She understood now why they had chosen her. And she wasn’t afraid anymore. We will save their lives, and leave this world. Only let a small portion stay. We will only take a small place. So small. You will be the judge of them. They will not kill or harm. You will keep them from it. Billions need not die. You are young, foolish; you don’t know what you are doing. Give in and save them. Save them.
Over the sound of the Ram and the Hart, their voices going from harsh and guttural to smooth and consoling, she could hear Willow scream her name. She could feel the witch’s magic try to reach her, to save her. No Willow. It has to be this way. GIVE IN!
Where was she? Oh yeah. No regrets.
Not that there weren’t things that should be regretted. There were. But regret was pointless.
And Buffy just couldn’t bring herself to care anymore. She had done what needed to be done, and that was that.
Now she was finished. Again. These moments, mere fractions of a second that the Ram and Hart were stretching out, the bright beautiful colors of the portal flickering over her eyes, caressing her skin, were all that was left of their world. Their world would soon be gone. She could hear the tear shrinking, see the seams sealing even as they delayed the inevitable. We will give the whole of the Earth to you. We will make you its queen. You will rule fairly and justly over paradise. There never need be any more pain and suffering. You will save them all. Only let it be in our name, and you may do as you wish with the world.
So no regrets about the things she had done. And no regrets about the things she hadn’t done. She did not regret the life she would not have. Her life didn’t belong to her. It never had, it never would. She would not regret the life her friends would not have because of her. They had made their choice too. We will bring them back. You will see Giles and Xander alive again. Sane and whole.
She didn’t regret because she finally understood. She had figured out why she had been called. Why she had loved Angel, why she had been forced to kill him at the age of 17. Why she had been allowed to see Heaven, twice, only to be shoved back into this world. Why she had battled the First. Why she had called the Slayers. The why of everything. We will bring your sister back. She will live forever in your world. You will make it heaven on earth. The whole world will love and worship you. You will save the world.
She had been chosen to make this choice. Give in, and save it. Or you will destroy it. The world will perish because of you. You will murder billions of innocents. GIVE IN!
And with those words, the world snapped back into the rest of time. She saw the body-strewn battlefield. She saw Willow, a form made of light, reaching for her. She saw the Slayers she had led into this battle watching her and the portal, stoically waiting for their deaths.
She felt the light burning her skin. Felt the claws of the Ram and Hart deep in her flesh and soul. Felt their hatred and desperation pressed on her. And she felt the universe pause to hear her choice.
The Ram roared, the Hart screeched, the portal tumbled closed, and Buffy fell into hell.
But as she fell, her mind slipped away to her serenity, to the one thing that had allowed her comfort in these last days. He was sitting on their hill under their tree, waiting for her. She stood next to him, and she reached to brush his cheek with her palm. She gave him one last smile. And then something happened that had never happened in the dreamscape.
“I’ve been waiting for you.”
And then so did she.
“I was delayed,” she replied just as softly.
“I missed you,” he said plainly, staring up at her face with that calm intensity that always made everything seem right.
“I can’t stay,” Buffy said, choking up.
“I love you.”
The tears fell. “I know.”
He stood and held her in his arms, one hand wiping her tears.
“I love you,” he said again.
She felt them then. Tearing at her. They would find her mind, and rip her out of this place.
She looked at his eyes, the hazel green so like hers, and she realized something she hadn’t ever before.
He was real.
Air rushed in her lungs, and she memorized his face one last time. And she said her goodbye.
“The hardest thing in the world is to live in it. To simply go on
. Even when you can’t find anything to live for. To keep fighting when you know you can’t win.”
She cupped his face in her hands.
“We fight. We go on. We sacrifice the things we want the most, and we lose the people we love the most. We do what must be done, no matter the cost.”
They were here.
“But most of all…”
The sky darkened and the edges of their world crumbled away.
“We never give in.”
The ground fell away around them, and he grasped her arms tightly, never letting his eyes leave her face.
“Don’t…” he began, fear coating his voice, somehow knowing what was happening.
“I love you,” she said.
She felt their claws sink into her.
And she was torn away.