All Fall Down
After everyone returned to their own homes for the night, Buffy called and arranged a date with Ben. He'd asked her before, and while she'd said no then, she managed to convince him that she'd changed her mind.
Buffy smiled as she looked down at the body on the floor. After killing Dawn, killing Ben hadn't even phased her.
Slitting his throat had been so easy. It was made even easier by the fact that as he'd died the face of Glory had overlaid his for a moment. That had removed any lingering issues she might have had with killing him.
This time there was no rush of power, Ben/Glory was just dead. It was finally and truly over.
She couldn't even pretend to be surprised when Spike stepped out of the shadows. She was mildly surprised to see Giles step out a second after Spike.
"You should have let me do this," Giles said.
Buffy almost smiled, because it was clear that Spike agreed with Giles. They walked over to the body.
"It seemed like cheating," Buffy replied, and was almost shocked to realize that she sounded completely normal.
Giles looked at her, and Buffy wondered what he was looking for. If it was signs of sadness or regret, he would be disappointed. After a moment, he nodded, smiled, then followed Spike who was carrying Ben out into the woods. It was the smile that she couldn't figure out.
Buffy knew she should follow them, because it also seemed like cheating to duck out on the burial, but she knew she'd done her duty in killing Ben/Glory so there was no harm in letting Spike and Giles handle the rest of it.
When they returned, Spike was looking at her as though he didn't know her, which was weird. He probably knew her better than even Giles at this point. She realized with a jolt that seeing Spike look at her that way cut her deeply.
The sad thing was that it wasn't supposed to be Spike who looked at her this way, it was supposed to be Giles, Xander, and Willow, not Spike.
She even knew that the Watcher's Council wouldn't be bothered by the fact that Buffy had killed two humans in saving the world. Of course, Buffy suspected they would never find out, Giles would probably tell them about Ben, but she didn't believe he'd ever tell them about Dawn.
"I believe we should keep this between the three of us," Giles finally said. "We should have probably kept the knowledge of Dawn from them as well."
Buffy almost laughed. Apparently, Giles hadn't caught the looks on her friends faces - he didn't know that they'd been planning to do themselves what she had done. Still she had no intention of not telling at least Xander and Willow, Willow certainly needed to know that the hell god was no longer gunning for her.
With a jolt, she realized that Spike knew what Giles didn't. Spike knew that her friends had been planning to do the killing if she hadn't done it herself.
There was something about Spike right here right now that seemed more human than her, and she didn't like it.
As they walked toward her home, Buffy finally took her eyes off Spike, and looked around. It almost felt as though she was seeing Sunnydale again for the very first time, despite the fact that Sunnydale was the same as it had always been. Somehow, though, tonight it looked a little bit brighter.
Buffy smiled. She knew she'd averted a very dark future for herself.
The shine dimmed a bit when something at the back of her mind suggested that she'd only traded one dark future for another.
Buffy ignored it, but after a moment she realized that she probably hadn't changed anything. After all, she was still the Slayer, and because of that her life would always be about the killing, At least until it wasn't, and she simply refused to think about that.~ * ~ * ~All Fall Down
Before Jason could type "the end," Anita's voice came from behind him, and he jumped badly. So badly that he almost fell out of his chair.
"You can't end it like that," Anita said.
He wondered how long she'd been reading over his shoulder. He realized he'd have been dead meat in another situation, because it seemed that everyone had been reading over his shoulder for quite some time.
Well, maybe not everyone, but Anita, Micah, Jean-Claude, Nathaniel, Asher, Rafael, four ever-present rat bodyguards, and he could even see Richard towering over the others from the back.
"Yeah," Micah said. "It's depressing."
Jason grinned. "That's the whole point," after a moment, and a look from Anita. "I'm in a mood," he added.
Jean-Claude almost smiled, which made Jason happy.
"I must agree with ma petite
"Of course," Jason said with only a touch of sarcasm.
"No," Anita said. "Seriously. What happens? What does this change about season six? Not to mention season seven."
Jason shrugged. "Not much, except obviously the Dawn parts. Well, okay, and since the end was different obviously Xander never asked Anya to marry him," Jason said, and then closed his eyes.
"So that arc would be slightly different. Anya would probably start dropping 'marry me' hints, and Xander would play clueless. Of course, since this is Anya we're talking about...," Jason grinned. "Well, I don't think she'd try with the hints long until she come right out and demand Xander marry her."
"And Xander would refuse?" Micah asked.
"Yeah, after which Anya would leave, but I probably wouldn't have her become a VD again."
"Sounds like a sexual disease when you say it like that," Anita said, and Jason chuckled.
"And?" Jean-Claude prompted.
"I'd have her return before the final battle - maybe mid season seven. I might would try pairing her with Giles. I mean Xander and Anya worked, but I just never bought the idea that they were perfect for each other. Mostly because they were so much alike. I think both Xander and Anya need someone a bit more mature."
"What else?" Micah asked, and Jason could admit this whole thing was a major stroking for his ego.
"Well, obviously Spike would never try to rape Buffy, so he wouldn't run off in a that whole 'he was so not going off for soul' bit of WTF."
Micah rolled his eyes. "Yes, we get that you never thought that made sense."
"It so did not," Jason insisted.
"I'm forced to agree," Rafael said.
"I might have him be rewarded for his good works with a soul," Jason said. "But I'm not sure I'd go there, at least not until after the final battle."
"But what about the feelings he has about what Buffy has become?" Jean-Claude asked.
Jason grinned, leave it to Jean-Claude to notice that. "I'm actually thinking that's why he'd leave for a little while in this universe."
"What else?" Anita pressed.
"Well, I'm thinking I'd still kill Tara, because it seems to me that the geeks would still try their bit even without Dawn around," Jason replied. "And I can't see Buffy taking them any more seriously than she did in canon until it was to late."
"So, we'd still get scary vein-y Willow?" Nathaniel asked with a shiver.
Jason nodded. "With a twist though. Obviously this Buffy wouldn't get so bent out of shape over a potential human killing. So," Jason said, and rubbed his hands together. "I'm thinking rather than she and Xander running around trying to stop Willow, they would instead actually help her with the killing of Warren. You know Xander really wanted to hurt Warren."
"Yeah," Anita said thoughtfully. "But I think Xander wanted to do it so Willow wouldn't have to. I'm not sure I could see him just standing by while Willow killed him."
"Ah, but he did just stand by once way back when Buffy tortured a vampire," Rafael said.
Jason smiled as Anita and Rafael started to debate the differences in the two situations. It was amusing.
"And the other two?" Richard, to Jason's surprise, asked.
"I'm thinking since Willow wouldn't need to rush things with Warren - you know because she wouldn't need to make sure he was dead before they
showed up," Jason answered. "Well, I think she'd get the whole thing out of her system with him and not really feel the need to go after Jonathan and Andrew."
"So, they'd go off to jail," one of the body guards said, Jason couldn't remember his name.
"I might have the First break them out at some point. But, yeah, they'd go to jail for a little while anyway," Jason replied.
"You have issues with them?" Jean-Claude said.
Jason nodded. "I get why Buffy and the others worked so hard to protect those two, I do. Really. But I believe they still deserved some punishment."
"Well, Andrew does kill Jonathan," Micah pointed out.
"Yeah, when Andrew was the little piss-ant that deserved to be punished the most," Jason snapped. "At least Jonathan helped Buffy, and felt regret for what he'd done."
Jason looked around and realized that many of them were smiling indulgently at him.
"Don't get me started," Jason replied, and several people laughed. It was rather well known that Jason hated Whedon for killing Jonathan and leaving Andrew around to annoy another day.
"So, no Giles returning in the nick of time?" Anita asked.
"And Xander doesn't save the world?" Nathaniel said, and he sounded unhappy.
"Well, he would, just in a different way, he'd be standing beside his girls which would be what saves the world in this reality, really."
"I think you just like the idea of having a threesome with two girls," Anita said. "And that you really over-identify with Xander," she paused. "But what about Willow? You didn't write very much about her."
Jason grinned. "Well, of course, to the first, maybe to the second, and sorry on the third. But since Willow's season four and five didn't change much it seemed silly just to pop her in without having a good reason."
"So," Anita said. "No Willow/Kennedy."
"Of course not," Jason said, and was almost offended that she of all people would ask him that. The only thing that kept him from actually being offended was because he'd caught the teasing lilt to her voice.
"Okay, smart-y pants," Anita shot back. "What about season seven?"
"I think the First would still rise," Jason said, which he could see shocked several people. "The First started screwing around with things in season three, if you'll recall, so I think it was Buffy's first death that gave him an opening, especially since her second death doesn't seem to have called another Slayer," Jason said, and he knew he sounded disgruntled, but he couldn't help himself that little bit had always bugged him.
Once again many of the people around him were grinning. This was merely another one of his opinions on the subject that was very well known.
"Basically, I would have Angel do the thing with the thing since I've made Spike so completely unable to."
Several people chuckled.
"He would, of course, come back just like Spike did, but because he filled Spike's role things would alter as far as his show is concerned as well. See, I've made Dawn, or the lack thereof affect everything."
"I'm impressed," Anita said. "I know how much you dislike her. I'm almost stunned that you didn't have her death lead to sunshine and puppies all around."
Jason smiled. "I'm not sure why I didn't do that myself."
"You're in a mood," Anita replied.
"Anything else?" Jean-Claude asked, and Jason loved that everyone was so interested.
"Well, instead of Giles stupidly believing everything is sunshine and puppies, I would have the Council call him in because of the First. Though I might have it play as though part of him does believe his leaving would be for the best, since he'd probably on some level expect them to start owning up and act like the adults they're supposed to be. But mostly he'd be leaving because the Council called him in," Jason said.
"Actually, I'd probably wouldn't have him return until season seven so I could have my sweet summer of love with no uptight British man around to rain on my parade."
"What else?" Nathaniel asked, he was practically begging.
Jason shrugged. "That's all I've got. You have no idea how hard it was to write this much. Honestly, I'd rather just go to Sunnydale and interact with the characters instead of writing about them."
"Then I wish you would," Nathaniel said.
There was a bright light, and when Jason opened his eyes everyone was gone and he was standing in the middle of main street Sunnydale. Thankfully it seemed to be the middle of the afternoon.
"Oh, shit," Jason said. "This is bad, this is very bad."
He was going to find his way back home and his first order of business would be to kill Nathaniel.
Jason walked over to the nearest car, and prepared to leave Sunnydale and fast.
It was all well and good to play pretend, but there was no way he was staying in this crazy ass town, no way in hell. He'd go somewhere else and wait, hopefully someone from back in his reality would be able to find some way to get him back, but he sure as hell wasn't going to wait around in Sunnydale for that to happen.
As he drove away, Jason realized the really sad thing about all this was that because everyone had been looking so disappointed at the no-sequel news, he'd actually been considering writing one. Probably would have if Nathaniel hadn't wished him away.
Finally, after driving for what felt like forever, he finally caught sight of the 'now leaving Sunnydale' sign off in the distance.
As he watched the sigh get closer, he wondered where in the Buffy time line he was. Was he at the end of his fanfic? Or was he somewhere in the actual canon?
Jason shrugged, and put his foot down a little harder on the gas pedal. While it would be interesting to know, he didn't want to know bad enough to risk staying in Sunnydale a moment longer than necessary.
Just before he could get past the sign, Jason heard a terrible noise. Something had broken, and moments later the car gave what almost seemed like a massive breath and died.
"This is bad," Jason whispered. "This is very bad."
Especially since the road ahead was filled with nothing as far as the eye could see. There was no telling how far he'd have to walk before he found another car. However, just a couple miles back inside the hell known as Sunnydale he'd passed a building of some sort and he remembered seeing plenty of cars.
Jason opened the door and stepped out of his stolen car. It wasn't yet dark, hopefully he'd have time to walk back, steal another car, and get the hell out of dodge before night fell.~ * ~ * ~
? ? ?Note:
Here's the deal - this was the end of the fanfic I originally planned (without the car breaking down), but as I went back and did the proofing and edits I came to realize that I was missing out on a bit of the fun I could have with Jason in Sunnydale. The problem is that this is all I'd planned on writing for this fanfic, which means if I do decide to write a couple more chapters for this fanfic it will be a bit (if not longer) before I can get thenext chapter written, because I really need to get Part Three of "Consequences" finished, I'd actually planned to have that finished last month, so I need to play a bit of catch-up to get back on my schedule.NEW Note:
As of the 30th of July I've decided to mark this fanfic as complete. While I've been working on other fanfics I have tried to write a bit more here, but in the end I believe my original impression was correct and the story really does end here. For those of you who were hoping for more I'm sorry. Maybe one day, but not today and not in the foreseeable future.