The Urn of Osiris
Disclaimer: Star Wars is property of George Lucas. Buffy is property of Joss Whedon.
A/N: Ok, (deep breath) this is my first Star Wars fanfic. I’m excited about it, but I’m still a Padawan when it comes to all things Star Wars. I’ve seen and love all the movies, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge, so please bear with me on this. This takes place post Season 5 finale “The Gift” on BtvS and approximately during the events of Episode I in Star Wars. For the sake of this story, Buffy’s body was never found after she jumped. They just assumed that it had disintegrated in the energy.
The Urn of Osiris
Willow felt bad about the deer, she really did. But what’s a Wiccan supposed to do? Buffy could be in a hell dimension at this very moment, her tiny slayer body being ripped to shreds in an eternal torment like some kind of twisted Slayer-y version of Prometheus.
Giving a sigh, the redheaded witch picked up the Egyptian Urn, her hand still slick with the blood of the doe, and made the decision not to tell the rest of the Scoobies about the slaughter. She stood up from their trusty table at the Magic Box and nodded to herself- it was a necessary kind of evil.
Yea, Willow, keep telling yourself that, she thought later that same night as a snake calmly dropped from her retching mouth. It felt sinisterly slick and cool as it slithered up her throat leaving the tissue aflame and very scratchy; and not in the ‘I have a head cold and need to sneeze’ kind of way either. It was more of the ‘OH MY GODDESS!! I think I just threw up lava’ sort of way.
But thoughts of lava snakes quickly dispelled as an even deeper, darker magic took hold and Willow succumbed, humbled to the might of it.
Something was definitely wrong, and not just a little wrong either. Way out there wrong; Xander was positive of it.
First of all, it wasn’t like Willow to smear blood all over face and then go and cough up a huge slithery snake. That just wasn’t Willow’s style. As far as Xander knew, she’d always been terrified of snakes.
And then you had the whole, ‘Urn of Ostrich’ thingy spewing poofs of white smoke. That probably wasn’t much with the goodness any more than Willow’s going all scary veiny like she had a moment ago.
Now forced to shield his eyes from the glowing intensity of the stormy white cloud forming over the Slayer’s grave- and that’s all it was really, they had never found her body. Giles had speculated that energy from the gate Dawn’s blood had opened had been so powerful it had completely disintegrated Buffy’s body- Xander shuttered at the thought once again, even as the hand not forced to protect his eyes clasped itself to Anya’s.
And that was when he heard a voice. A sweet, slightly banter-wearied voice that, no offense Willow, Xander thought he’d never hear again.
Buffy? Had it really worked? On weakened and slashed arms, Willow rose to a kneeling position and looked up at the swirling columns of murky white smoke- the source of Buffy’s voice.
“Hi guys!” The smoke said, for all the world sounding like their fallen friend. And then, before their eyes, the smokey cloud twirled and twisted until it was a very familiar Buffy-like shape and enthusiastically waved to them.
Anya was the first to recover. “Hi Buffy!” She raised her hand that wasn’t being squeezed to death by Xander’s and pointed, “You’re a cloud!”
Then familiar music filled Willow’s ears as smoke Buffy laughed.
How long had it been since Willow had heard that laugh? Certainly not while the Slayer had been dead. And definitely not when Buffy had been worried about Glory finding out about Dawn. Nor when she had watched Riley walk out of her life. Or when her mom had died… it had really been a while, and Willow was surprised by how strange and perfect it sounded.
“Yea, who woulda thought? I guess I accidentally brought a little of heaven back with me,” Cloud Buffy said as its puffy Slayer-sized head turned to gaze at each of them.
Willow flinched. “Heaven? You…You weren’t in a hell dimension?” Willow was fighting a migraine, complicated by a stomach ache –both of which probably had something to do with Mr. Slithery- and now she felt a wave of hyperventilation coming on. “I…I…pulled you out…of…of…” Tears began to stream freely down her face as Willow once more collapsed onto her soft dirt of her friend’s grave. Tara rushed to her side, her gentle face filled with worry, but all Willow could see was Buffy’s headstone, ‘A Devoted Friend.’
What kind of a person would rip their best friend from heaven? Willow anguished as the sobs continued to rack her trembling body. Then a wave of deep disgust washed over Willow’s soul and she literally couldn’t breath.
“Shh,” the Buffy cloud breathed comfortingly as it knelt before Willow. In a soft, tranquil tone, “It’s alright Willow. I forgive you,” the Buffy cloud whispered while waving her smokey hand in front of Willow’s tormented face.
A calmness permeated Willow’s mind and the pain melted away from her constricted throat. She sniffled and slowly sat up. “You…forgive me.” It wasn’t a question. Somehow, she knew that by Buffy saying it, it was reality.
The Buffy cloud gracefully swirled up to a standing position and looked around at all of them once again.
“This connection is kinda hard to keep. Something about the whole ‘space-time’ continuum thing.” She shook her smokey head and went on, obviously not wanting to get off track. “Anyway, long story short, I’m now with the force. Err…I guess I should say the Powers that Be -whatever you want to call them… I know it might sound confusing to you guys, but I actually didn’t go to a hell dimension when the gate opened. I went like way back in time to a galaxy a long way away.”
Cutting off four simultaneous “What?’s”, Buffy cloud continued quickly, her texture becoming more transparent, “And I was meant to be there. Just like I was meant to be the Slayer on the Hellmouth and meet all of you.”
Xander splintered. “You’re leaving us again?” The look on his face broke Anya’s heart, but she quickly turned to the wispy cloud of Buffy as well to hear her reply.
“I wish I could say something cool like, ‘No! I’ll never leave any of you because I’ll always be in your hearts!’ but yea, pretty much. You have no idea what they charge for long distance connections like these.” Although her words were light, Buffy’s voice was choking.
“Are you sure you’re happy there Buffy? You’ve only been gone a couple of months,” Anya pointed out with all her demonic wisdom. “I didn’t start to like being human until I spent a few years here…and met Xander of course…” she added as an afterthought and pecked him on the cheek for good measure.
“I forgot how…nice, it was to hear you talk Anya,” Cloud Buffy said with amusement evident. “But I’m already in the beyond, like I said. The whole, ‘PTM’ thingy. I’ve lived a full life and died a good death. Time moves differently in other dimensions I guess. Decades there must be like a matter of weeks here. But anyway, like I said, it’s this whole huge story, and I really can’t materialize here for much longer. I just wanted to tell you all bye and that I’m happy.”
By now, they were all, except for Anya who seemed pleased with Buffy’s explanation, looking very dejected.
“No guys! REALLY! I’m good! Me and the goodness are one! We’re like totally good. Please don’t cry. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but be like Anya.” She waved her hand again. “Be happy for me.” And they were.
Her transparent cloudy shape beginning to fade even more, Buffy urgently said, “Xander, Willow, you guys will always be my best friends. I love you both.” Xander nodded solemnly and pulled Anya to him as he buried his face in her hair. Willow muffled a sob and gripped Tara’s hand until her knuckles turned white. “Anya, Tara, take care of them…and yourselves. I trust both of you to keep them in line.” Tara gave a weak smile to Buffy and grimly nodded. Anya gave a little salute, little because she was still clutched to Xander. “Now, I’ve already said what I needed to Dawn, but please tell Giles that I’m happy, I love him, and I could never have asked for a better father figure –or you know, something nice like that. And tell Spike…tell Spike that he’s a good man. A better man than his vampire and that the force, umm…the PTB, they dropped me a hint that there’s something blue...err…better…waiting for him just around the corner. He just has to find the courage to meet it.”
Her form now just barely visible and her voice light as the breeze drifting through the cemetery, the last words Willow heard were, “Come to think of it, I guess I do see him again. But that’s another in a series of very long stories…like mine. Maybe someday…I’ll be able to tell all of you about it.”