Disclaimer: I wrote down a very cool one earlier, but the goat ate it...really. So, it just ain't mine.
I wish to thank those people who have sent me response/reviews already. I was quite tickled to get such a good response so early in the game. Do please continue and don't be afraid to send corrections when you feel them needed or opinions on how you think the story is proceeding. Also, a note to rating. There is some swearing in this chapter.
Buffy sat in her room, one of the ten that Giles had rented on his credit card after they had arrived. San Fransisco and Los Angeles had become the main evacuation sites for Sunnydale residents. The plan had actually been to go to L.A. to get Angel’s help but they had ended up on the wrong side of the crater. San Fransisco was closer and they’d had wounded. They’d actually been very lucky to get the rooms that they’d had as they’d been the people out of Sunnydale. All of the rest of the hotels had been full, they’d had to take what they could get. Buffy had known none of this of course. She’d been unconscious for two days.
Buffy had only found out this morning that the others were okay. Woods would have a wicked scar, but he’d live. The girls, now that they had Slayer healing, were all pretty much fine. They were all finding out first hand about Faith’s H’s theory, though. After they’d spent the first day recovering and sleeping they’d proceeded to throw a crazy party in one of the rooms and only the swift interference by Willow and a rather substantial bribe from Giles had kept them all from getting kicked out. There had been no party for Buffy, she'd been sequestered in her room.
The room was built like any other cheap motel room, one double bed, a closet, a bathroom. It was decorated in a god awful pink and cream color scheme that doubtless at a less stressful time in her life Buffy would have ridiculed, but not right now. Buffy had woken up in the bed, disoriented and panicking. Dawn had been on watch and had the unlucky task of watching her sister fall out of bed and crash around the room like a crazy person. She'd tried to help but Buffy had just snarled and shouted her out of the room. She had spent the first day huddled in the bathroom with the door closed, trying to figure out what was wrong with her.
At first she'd had to keep all the lights off completely, they bothered her, but now she could keep the lights on low. She'd done what she could about the noise but it was a hotel and the walls were fairly thin. Suffice it to say she now knew more about everyone's lives than she wanted to. Buffy had finally gotten so that she could go outside with people. Her hearing, sense of smell, even her sense of touch were all heightened. Luckily for her, she’d gone through something like this before when she’d been Chosen, just not this intense. Otherwise she’d probably be going bat shit crazy right now. She knew it was only a matter of concentration and practice. But the rage and her strength were becoming too much for her to handle. That’s why she’d called all her friends together.
“I need to leave.”
Buffy sat breathing slowly as the expected protests rolled over her, her eyes almost completely closed. She was trying to stay calm.
“Are you trying to run away again, Buffy?!” Dawn yelled, tears in her eyes.
“If I were trying to run away, Dawn,” Buffy breathed in, “Then I wouldn’t be here talking to all of you, would I?”
“Damn it, Buffy,” Xander said, “We’re all hurt here. You weren’t the only one to loose someone. But you don’t see us leaving, do you?”
“We do have a responsibility to those girls, Buffy,” Giles cleaned his glasses, “And we’ve yet to figure out what happened to you at the crater.”
“I know what happened.”
“It’s very simple,” Buffy overrode their questions. “Those bastard Shadow Men had the last laugh. The emergency Slayer kit, the one Woods' gave me. We left it back at the house. It must have gotten broken and the Shadow Men sent the power out and stuck it in me, so that it wouldn’t be lost.”
“So, you’re saying you’re all super Slayer?” Faith rasped out. Buffy found she couldn’t hate the girl anymore, not after experiencing her life. They would likely never be the best of friends, they had to much history, but she felt she understood the other Slayer a little better now. Besides, at least Faith wasn’t yelling at her. Her hands were shaking now and she clasped them together in desperation. The rage and irritation were crawling around under her skin like ants. She stayed huddled in her chair, focusing on a pinhole in the wall opposite her.
“Is that why you locked yourself in the room?” Willow asked.
“Yeah, everything’s more…vivid. You know how it felt when you were Chosen?” Buffy looked at Faith, who nodded. “Think ten or twenty times that, it’s like I’m on overload 24/7.”
“Shit,” was all Faith had to say, succinct as always. The rest of them sat back, stunned. Then, “Oh, shit, B,” Faith finally got it, “That’s gotta suck. How you holdin’ it in?”
“Holding what in?” Xander asked, confused, “And why would it suck? Wouldn’t Buffy being more powerful be better?”
“You know what I did when I first got my power, X-man?” Faith’s eyes were hard. “I tracked down my mother’s last boyfriend and I almost beat him to death. And don’t look at me like that. This was way before I got into my whole homicide phase. This is the dirty side of the Slayer that nobody likes to talk about.”
“Yes,” Giles sighed and slipped his glasses back on. “Slayers often have…violent reactions…when they first receive their power.”
“It’s the Slayer,” Faith leered, “She’s a nasty bitch and what she don’t like, she usually kills. Till' you get a handle on her it's like...it's like its perfectly normal to go out and kill someone just for looking at you strangely.”
“You must understand,” Giles tried to explain this new aspect of their friend to the Scoobies. “The Slayer was made from demonic forces and was originally a simple killing machine. Over the years she has evolved and the human side has taken over, but she’s still there.”
“Yeah, we met her that one night, after Adam.” Willow shuddered in remembrance. “So why didn’t Buffy do this…go crazy…thing?”
“Who says I didn’t?” Buffy whispered.
“Buffy?” Willow looked at her, wide-eyed. Buffy had never told her about this.
“Oh, I didn’t go out and do anything at first. Because I was to shallow to care about anything really and I was so spoiled that I got whatever I wanted.” Her voice was bitter and harsh. “But when Merrick, my first Watcher died, I went…I went a little crazy…”
“I’d never heard of this,” Giles muttered.
“I didn’t tell you,” Buffy snapped, then breathed in more. “I went to Las Vegas with Pike and then, when I realized I was gonna get him killed one day, I left him. I made my way home, but I…I made a few stops on the way home.” Her eyes were haunted and old and a little bit afraid as she looked at her friends. “I snapped and it wasn’t pretty. Luckily, I stayed away from people and stuck to demons, but it’s worse now, Giles. I can feel it and it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I need to leave and get a handle on this thing, before I hurt somebody.”
“But Buffy,” Willow protested, “Shouldn’t you stay here with us, instead. I m…mean we c…can help you! You have to stop running away!”
“You know what?” Buffy stayed seated, but the rest began to stir as waves of anger streamed from her. Her voice was low and deadly. Unconsciously everyone in the room shrank back slightly. “I’m fucking tired of that crap. I run away, once, because I had some bad stuff to deal with and now I have to crawl every time I do something wrong. While you guys abandon me…kick me out of my own house…RIP ME OUT OF HEAVEN AND I DON’T EVEN GET A FUCKING APOLOGY?!” Her voice was a roar and her eyes a bright gold color, almost like a vampire's but more vivid. Her hand came down on the table next to her and it shattered into pieces, fragments flying out wildly.
Only Willow’s instinctive spell shielded them from being hit by splinters and the glow in Buffy’s eyes bled out as fast as it had come in and she slumped back in her chair. “Do you see now?” she whispered, taking in everyone’s scared expressions. Except Faith, she just looked impressed. “I do love you guys and I can’t take the chance that I might hurt you, much less one of the Potentials. I need to get under control and then I’ll come back, I promise. Just please…let me go…let me protect you.”
Alrighty then, a few points of explanation. The part about Buffy going to Las Vegas was taken from Slayers Omnibus, a rather well told tale of the time in between the original movie and the beginning of the television series. Should you wish to read it I’m quite sure it is still available at your local Barnes & Noble or Borders. Also, I am very obviously ignoring the comic book continuation that was done by Mr. Whedon (Though I am following it in my own reading. ROCK ON giant Dawn!).
As for Buffy’s outburst at the end I realize that it was somewhat out of character but I put it in there to emphasize the point that her emotions are not at all under control at the moment. Don’t worry, this isn’t a hate on the Scoobies fic. I simply didn’t like the way they tied everything up at the end of the t.v. series, it was to pat. People don’t make up that easily and, if my story continues the way I wish it to, everyone will be airing their dirty laundry.
That’s all for my ramblings right now, see you in the future….