Disclaimer: All of the really good characters belong to Joss Whedon or their respective owners, who are noted at the end of the story, to avoid spoiling the story. I'm just borrowing them for a while. There is no intent to profit from this. Only the story is mine.
Time frame: Conclusion of Season Five.
Character Bashing: None.
Feedback: Of course! Constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated. Flamers will be added to the lists of those to be painfully exterminated, once I am appointed to my rightful position as King of the World. (Yeah, you wait and see if I’m kidding. Dogbert had nothing on me!)
Author’s note 1: This has been sitting on my hard drive for some time now, while I decided whether to expand it or not. I may or may not come back and expand it at a later date.
Author’s note 2: Thanks to Lori Bush, Tim Joy, Bill Haden, Drake the Archr and Starway Man for beta-ing this story.
Author’s note 3: Some of the dialogue is from the BtVS Episode Guide and transcripts site, http://www.buffy-vs-angel.com/guide.shtml , for episode 100, ‘The Gift.’
Title: Now You See Me…
Buffy and Dawn both stood on the top of the tower as it shook beneath them, making them both stumble.
"What are you doing?" Buffy demanded as she grabbed hold of Dawn's arm.
"I have to jump. The energy…" Dawn half-explained.
" It'll kill you," Buffy protested.
"I know," Dawn agreed softly, staring at her sister. "Buffy, I know about the ritual. I have to stop it."
"I have to. Look at what's happening," Dawn replied, waving her hand to indicate the chaos around them. More lightning crackled across the sky, the bolts even larger than before. As Buffy looked off to the side, a huge dragon flew out of the portal and buzzed the tower, flying away even as they watched.
"Buffy, you have to let me go. Blood starts it, and until the blood stops flowing, it'll never stop."
"You know you have to let me. It has to have the blood," Dawn stated, tears running down her face as Buffy stared at Dawn in anguish.
The blonde's expression changed as a sudden realization hit her.
Her mind flashed to Spike's words earlier that evening: "Cause it's always got to be blood."
Another memory, of herself and Dawn in the hospital, as she put her hand to her wound, then pressed it against Dawn's own bloody hand: "It's Summers blood. It's just like mine."
Another memory and she heard her own voice: "She's me. The monks made her out of me."
And yet another, as the First Slayer spoke to her: "Death is your gift."
In the distance, additional holes seem to be opening across the sky, which was growing lighter as the sun tried to rise. A peaceful look on her face, Buffy turned back to Dawn, who stared back at her, wide-eyed.
"Dawnie, I have to," Buffy told her.
"Listen to me. Please, there's not a lot of time. Listen," Buffy asked, holding Dawn by the upper arms as she spoke.
"Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will *always* love you. But this is the work that I have to do," Buffy as the younger woman cried, tears running down her cheeks.
"Tell Giles... tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I'm okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other," she went on, even as Dawn was vehemently shaking her head in denial of her words. "You have to be strong.
"Dawn, the hardest thing in this world ... is to live in it."
As lightning continued to crackle behind them, Buffy stroked the side of Dawn's face, kissed her on the cheek, then turned and ran down the platform as Dawn dropped to her knees, crying.
Launching herself off the end of the platform, Buffy did a swan-dive into the portal, hanging motionlessly in the air for several long moments, expressions of pain crossing her face.
A precious few seconds passed before the portal abruptly shrank away and disappeared into nothingness, taking Buffy's writhing body with it.
On the ground below, the stunned faces of the Scoobies reflected their incomprehension at what had just happened and the overwhelming loss of their loved one.
The massive upright disc drew everyone's attention as the inner ring unexpectedly began whirring and spun inside the confines of its outer shell. Several of the V-shaped chevrons decorating the outer ring clacked and locked into place a moment before the apparently solid surface erupted outward in a fountain-like burst of some form of energy, only to then fall back and form what appeared to a fluid-like greenish surface.
A moment afterward, a small golden-haired form tumbled out of the faintly glowing surface to collapse on the floor. Immediately afterward, the green glow dissipated as though it had never existed, leaving the small blonde lying in a crumpled heap.
The group of people who had been staring in stunned disbelief at what they had just seen all shook off their semi-paralysis and carefully approached the unmoving body which seemed to be barely breathing.
"I was of the belief that the Stargate was not functioning, Major Sheppard," the titian-haired woman standing next to the tall man in the somewhat scruffy-looking uniform said, turning to look up at him with a quizzical expression on her face.
"I kinda thought so, too, Teyla; we shut it down after that Jarod guy fell through yesterday," her companion replied as he stared at the unconscious blonde who appeared to be even more petite than the woman standing next to him.
"Looks like we might have been wrong."
“Hey, she’s hot!” was Rodney’s only contribution to the conversation.
The crossover is with Stargate Atlantis and The Pretender and can be placed in pretty much any first season Stargate Atlantis episode you want. The Stargate Atlantis characters all belong to Brad Wright and Martin Wood. The Pretender belongs to Steven Long Mitchell, Craig W. Van Sickle and NBC.