When the portal opened before her, Buffy felt she was barely more than an animal. She had let go of all else, even the first slayer, her reflection, her friend. It was past the year 2700, though she couldn't recall how far past. The world was no safer than it ever was, and she had learned it would never change. Inventions and leaders and wars came and went but nothing new happened anymore. The 'future' was disappointingly anticlimactic.
The portal was dark. She could see nothing beyond the circular, swirling entrance. But she thought, "What do I have to lose?
" She had gotten more daring as time went, but still she retained her beauty, her power, her pain, and her life. She walked forward, not really caring if her feet would fall on solid ground or not.
A step through the darkness brought her into an office. A man in a wheelchair spoke to her mind.
"Ms. Summers, you are welcome here and will not be harmed."
Buffy looked at him, her head cocked to the side like a dog's, her stance ready as it had been for over 700 years. She was listening, learning, watching - but did not have any questions to ask. She really didn't care. So he had read her mind. It had been done before.
The man in the chair spoke aloud. "This is my school. I am Professor Xavier and these are some of my teachers and students." His arm raised as he waved his hand at the dozen or so people on the side of the room. "We felt you through a dimensional rift that one of my students inadvertently opened and, once we determined you were both exceptional and in need of some direction, we broadened the portal. I'm glad you chose to come."
Buffy began to wonder who these people were. They were not demons, but they did feel different. It was the difference that she clung to. Perhaps this was the change she had been longing for in her deepest heart. As her head turned, her hair swept over her shoulders in knots that hung down to her waist. Her cold eyes pierced each person. Her hands hung at her sides, relaxed but ready.
The professor continued, seeing she was beginning to take interest in her surroundings. "I'm sure you are already quite skilled in the use of your talents, but I can feel you have become disconnected. We, here, are like you. We are all different."
She gazed at him, her eyes changing from dangerous to hesitatingly hopeful. Her voice was raw when she spoke.
She eyed the strangers around her. Trust? Why not. What's to loose.
"Can you teach me how to die?"
She ignored the gasp from one of the teachers.
"Oh, my dear. You may find that life can still be interesting. For now, Ororo will show you to your room. Get cleaned up and settled in. Dinner is at 6. Buffy, you may stay as long as you wish. I've a feeling you'll get along just fine."
Then she heard him in her head once more. "We'll talk about your mortality in a few days, once you get to know a bit more about our school."
Buffy nodded. A new dimension, with new possibilities. Perhaps it was time she change as well. Life might still have some surprises left.
She pressed her hair behind her, standing a bit straighter. The one called Ororo opened the door for her. Buffy looked behind her at the portal standing open, black and empty. Turning back to the group, the ancient slayer stepped forward, letting Ororo lead her someplace new.