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This story is No. 1 in the series "Goodnight Daughters". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: She would open her eyes and remember nothing. When she did, they would take it away from her.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Firefly > Buffy-CenteredSyriopeFR1511,3473113,76819 Feb 0819 Feb 08Yes

Title: Misbegotten
Rating: 15, mostly safe.
Disclaimer: Anything you recognize is owned by someone other than me. Joss Whedon owns both series. I just own a part of the plot.
Summary: What if you open your eyes and remember nothing? And if you did, would you remember it tomorrow? 1,250 words.
Misbegotten: Not lawfully obtained; badly conceived, made or carried out.


She opened her eyes, blinking at the sharp white light. As the little dots in her gaze faded, she focused on the two faces hovering above her. There was a click and a penlight flashed into each iris.

“She’s awake,” came the distorted voice, sounding like it was coming from underwater. Calm eyes crinkled in the corners and gazed up to the two faces as one bent closer. “What do you remember?”

The light, she remembered, waking up to the blinding white light. She opened her mouth to talk, but no sound came out.

“What is your name?” The words were clearer now, but she still didn’t know how to answer them. She couldn’t remember.

“I…” she choked out, swallowed hard, tried again. “I…”

“She remembers nothing.” The voice was filled with relief. That much she could tell. Her stomach fluttered uncomfortably and she struggled to shift it as the bile rose in her throat.

They managed to back away in time. The bedpan was in place as she heaved, resting her hot forehead against the cold metal, her chest rising and falling, tears stinging in her eyes. She waited a moment before the nausea subsided. She fell back against the pillow, tears trickling into her hair, down to the pillow.

“Breathe,” came the distorted voice again. “Just breathe.”

It was hard to breathe, hard to control the rapid fire beat of her heart, of the pulse thudding in her ears. The bile began to rise again and she fought to control it. Closing her eyes, she tried to calm racing thoughts of nothing.

She felt something cool on her face and realized that they had pulled her up. Water dribbled down her chin and onto a standard white hospital gown, even as a trickle went into her mouth and down her throat. Eyes burned as they focused blurrily on the two figures holding her up. A damp cloth was pressed to her forehead. Everything seemed to blur more as her sidelong gaze swept to an IV drip and something blue that had just been injected. She collapsed against one of the men holding her, choking on the water as her eyes closed and all became dark.

There was a flash of light, a face lined with grief and a pain far deeper than anything she could know. There was a dirt road and the sound of sullen footsteps. There were tears and angry words shouted to the sky. There was pain and a circle and rocks flying and a person throwing themselves at the mercy of fate.

There was white padding on the walls, parts that had been ripped apart, left on the white padded floor. The exposed metal had been clawed at, as though the person inside was itching to get out. There were also streaks of blood on the spotless white, marring the perfect vision. Bits of hair ripped from a scalp were mixed in with the bits of white padding.

There were dreams, horrid dreams that made her leap from her skin, screaming and clasping hands over her ears. Dreams of a man sinking his teeth into her neck, of draining her blood and then leaving her to drown in mere inches of water. There were dreams of falling off of tall buildings, of burst through windows and bursting into flames. None of it made any sense.

Through it all, a voice, a single voice, speaking slowly and seriously, as though to a child who could not understand: “They’re hurting us.”

There was a burst of glass as a figure stood atop a roof, the voices of those shouting behind her, telling her to stop. But she can’t stop now. Not if she wants to live. She can’t live like this anymore, trapped in a white room, trapped in her thoughts. She can’t hear anything. She can’t remember anything. All that is locked up there is black and white and there is nothing.

She takes a step and then starts to run, the tears trickling from the corners of her eyes as she leaps. She’s flying, flying farther than she’s ever gone before, the freedom beneath her spread arms, the wind moving through her hair, drying the tears on her face.

Then she’s lying in a bed and can’t remember a bit of it.

And then she remembers with a scream of pain, clasping her hands over her ears. She hears the sounds of footsteps, feels them grabbing at her arms, feels the sleeve of her shirt move upwards, feels the inevitable pinch that will take everything away again, just when she’s started to feel.

“What have they done to me?” she whispers, seeing her blank face staring at her from the metallic wall. She touches the metal, like touching a piece of her reflected soul, some ugly, transparent thing they’ve turned her into.

She then hits at the wall, feeling the pleasure of beating it, the dents growing closer together, splatters of blood from broken knuckles smearing her work. When she’s done, she’s on her side, breathing hard, staring at the metal plating and feeling like there could have been more. The adrenaline is running through her body now, surging through her like electricity. She stands up, bare feet pounding on the white floor as she rips at the white padding, trying to find a door, any door.

At the end, she’s walking, her arms at her sides, hands shaking, her body taut and powerful, but her mind completely blank.

A merciful hand touches her wrist, trying not to scare her. A young face, so perfect and angelic, holds the clue to her past and all the hopes for her future. A faint scar runs along her forehead, in the same place, always the same place. “They’re hurting us,” she says, so quietly, it hurts to hear.

“I…” she tries, swallowing hard. “I…”

The hand moves up to her shoulder. “They make us forget.”

She swallowed again, feeling the bile burning. “I…”

“Your name is Buffy.”

With a moan, her eyes open, staring at the blurred ceiling overhead even as they ease her body back onto the cot. She’s crying now, tears running helplessly down her cheeks. She feels a great strength dampened within, struggling to break the hold the drugs have on her. She feels as though everything she is, everything she was, has been ripped away. Tears filled her eyes as she realized just how much she’s lost, how long it’s been since she has seen the sun.

“Buffy,” she whispers, knowing what it will cost her, knowing that when she wakes up again tomorrow, she won’t remember. “My name is Buffy.”

Even as the memories fade into nothing, even as every day she is forced to forget, only to remember again, she will remember one thing. She came from a place with sunlight, a place where she could feel pain and loss and anger and fear and not hate herself because they were a threat to what she was now, because they would make her forget these existed.

The dark-haired girl is holding her now as she falls to her knees, a hand stroking her hair. “Shhh, shhh,” she whispers. “He will come for us. Simon will come for us.”

Buffy can only cling to her, a silent lifeline named after a body of water, closing her eyes against the vapid rise of memories in her mind, wishing against hope that tomorrow she will again remember nothing. They can’t take it away if she doesn’t remember.


A/N: As if I needed a drabble to complete my day. But I knew I wouldn't get it out of my head unless I got it on paper. Just a random little bit, nothing more. If you'd like to comment, I'd like that. If you'd like to ignore, move it on out.

The End

You have reached the end of "Misbegotten". This story is complete.

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