Twilight in Sunnydale
Chapter 13: Sacrifice (Rating for this chapter upped for violence)
Summary: Instead of James, Victoria & Laurent finding Bella & the Cullens in the field, The Bringers do.
Disclaimer: I certainly don’t own any of these characters. Twilight characters belong to Stephenie Meyers and BtVS, of course, belongs to Joss Whedon.
Notes: This story is set during S7 of BtVS and begins during the baseball game in Twilight. I have since seen the movie, but this is still based on the book, hence why it is included under the Literature section. I don’t usually write 1st person POV, so please wish me luck on remembering to do so!
Thank you to MaraLiz and Rorylondra for your excellent beta assistance!
The first moment I was aware again was filled with searing pain. I was confused until the memory of being bitten and then kicked out of the church tower resurfaced. Rational thought fled again after that for a long while and I had no idea if I was screaming or thrashing or even begging for death. I had fleeting moments of reality—or maybe I was wrong and it all hallucination—where I could hear Buffy talking to me, pleading with me to live, or where cool hands or lips would brush against my forehead and Esme would whisper comforting words into my ear.
Despite Esme’s words, the fire racing through my veins seemed as though it would never end. The only constant, besides the pain, was The First. I could feel it next to me, above me, behind me, even within me, feeding me lies. I knew they were lies, but they were hard to hear just the same as First-Edward sneered at me, telling me I would never be a part of his family, First-Esme laughed at the notion that I would be her newest daughter, and finally First-Buffy, hate in her eyes, lunged for my chest over and over with a stake, declaring that her sister was dead and she would kill the shell left behind.
I repeated over and over that it wasn’t real.
It wasn’t real, right?
The Potentials were freaking the hell out and I couldn’t blame them. It was inevitable that one of the girls would overhear me tell Spike that Bella and Dawn had been kidnapped and that Dawn was in the painful process of becoming a vampire. They had been taken right out from under the Cullens’ fucking noses so how exactly were the ones at the house safer with just me and Spike protecting them? We had already fended off several of the Turok-han while Kennedy was at the busted living room window and picking off Bringers with the crossbow. With the power company’s closure earlier that day, the only thing keeping us from having to fight in total darkness was the generator Rosalie had installed, but if the Bringers or the Turok-han managed to get into the house or sever the wires running from the house next door, we’d be in serious trouble with only Spike’s night vision and my enhanced Slayer vision.
The Cullens had only been our allies for a few days, and I understood the necessity to chase after the Vampire who took Bella. I even agreed with it, but we needed them back here to help us and the only way to do that was to get Bella away from the Vampire.
Something had to give. I had an idea, but wasn’t sure if I would be able to pull it off without getting all of us slaughtered in the process. At that moment, my cell phone rang. It was Alice.
I answered with a clipped, “Yeah?”“It’s a good idea,”
Alice told me. Of course, psychic,
I reminded myself as she continued, “Call Carlisle, then wait exactly twelve minutes and you will have your opportunity…if you kill the thing trying to come down the chimney.”
I took the phone away from my head and yelled, “Spike! Chimney!”
He ran past me and I went back to the conversation, “Okay, chimney’s handled. You’re sure."“Yes,”
she replied. Then, with gratitude in her voice, she whispered, “Thank you.”
“See you on the flip side,” I told her and hung up, immediately calling Carlisle.
As soon as he picked up, I yelled into the phone, “Carlisle, we need you here—now!”
I dropped the phone in the grass as another Turok-han rushed me. I stepped swiftly to the side and decapitated him as he moved past me. I only had moments to spare to prepare for what I was going to do, so trusting Alice’s word that all would be okay with the Potentials, I ran to the basement and grabbed the extra chains Buffy kept there in case Spike busted out of the ones fastened to the wall.
I threw them over my shoulder and grabbed Kennedy’s arm as I raced to the stairs. “C’mon,” I told her.
“Where are we going?” she asked, barely able to toss the crossbow to Rona before I dragged her up to the second floor.
“You’re going to help me do something stupid,” I told her as I barricaded us into the bathroom.
James, the crazy Vampire’s name is James. He had well and truly lost it. The death of his mate had obviously destroyed whatever piece of sanity he had retained from his human life. I had already known he was cruel and violent. He seemed to think Dawn was nothing more than a chew toy for him to play with, but now even The First was having difficulty keeping him from killing me. The only thing keeping me alive, as far as I could tell, was the fact that he wanted me to watch him kill Edward before he killed me.
James paced the length of the trailer—or what was left of it after he had finished destroying the table, benches and kitchenette—that he had decided was a sufficient hidey hole. I could understand why. I wasn’t a Vampire and the smell was putrid. I was certain that if I went up to the front area, I would find a decomposing corpse. It was not very likely that the Cullens would be able to trace my scent to this very trailer given the other odors present. My only hope was that the Cullens would make an educated guess that he had picked the only trailer in the trailer park that could possibly hide my scent. James didn’t really seem to notice the smell, though, as he continued to spell out exactly what my fate would be once he killed Edward. It didn’t sound pleasant. He seemed to be getting more violent the longer he paced, but interrupting him didn’t seem like a very prudent idea either, so I just stayed in the small sleeping area that he had shoved me into and tried to stay off his radar until help could get to me.
I was really worried about Dawn, too. If she survived the fall, I knew she had to be in tremendous pain. I saw that the spell she had performed had kept her blood from spilling, but it had not eliminated her pain. She was hurting because of me. If I hadn’t been so clumsy, or if I hadn’t been a Potential, she would have been safe in her own home instead of kidnapped out of the mansion and tortured, maybe dying or dead. The guilt was eating away at me and that probably helped with the intense fear that wanted to claw its way to the surface as James began to describe how long I could survive without certain parts of my body still attached. Apparently, he was debating the degree versus prolongation of pain factors. This was not something I wanted to dwell on.
I had just begun considering if there was a way for me to kill myself without James noticing when I felt something surge through me. Metaphorical wind blew my hair out around me and every muscle in my body tensed for what felt like the first time in my life. The sensation should have been commonplace as I had been tense all day, but there was something that felt fresh and new about the very air I breathed in. Actually, the smell coming from the front of the trailer seemed worse—stronger—than it had before. I struggled not to make a sound, fearing that I might draw James’ attention to me.
I felt energized and there was a confidence brewing within me that had never been there before. I almost gasped as I realized what must have happened. Faith was dead and I had been 'Called' as the next Slayer. I didn’t know if Emmett and Faith ever had their arm wrestling match, so I had no way of knowing whether or not a Slayer could take on a Vampire or if I
would be able to take on James. Neither Faith nor Buffy were particularly clumsy, but for all I knew, they weren’t clumsy before they became Slayers. All I could do was hope that there would be a repeat of what happened when Spike was training me—until the shelving unit fell on me anyway. For a brief moment, I thought I saw a fading image of Faith in front of me. She nodded to me solemnly and then disappeared, but I got the message: I could
I would have to time it just right. The First continued to attempt to cajole James, paying no attention to me, not even glancing in my direction. That was a good thing. It might be incorporeal, but it could warn James of imminent danger. I watched in silence as James paced, and counted off his steps so that I would be able to get behind him just as he got next to the door. I might be able to break the windows now, but I was pretty sure the glass would tear up my skin more than breaking down the door would. If I could get outside, I thought the Cullens would be able to break through that unbearable stench and find me. I had no doubt that they were
looking for me. Edward had made it clear that he would follow me into Hell—or the Hellmouth—itself.
James’ diatribe went in an even more disturbing direction, wondering how long it would take for him to break me psychologically so that I would be his slave for eternity, even after he had turned me and I knew the time to act had come. I wasn’t staying with that psychopath for five more minutes, let alone multiple lifetimes. I’d rather die and it was with that thought that I slowly drew in a deep breath and held it as I quietly lowered myself down off the bunk. I was surprised when my sneakers did not make any audible sound as I touched the ground. If James heard anything, he didn’t give any outward sign of it. All I could do was hope that he was too engrossed in his latest and greatest plan to cause me as much pain for as long as possible to notice me moving.
It happened in a matter of seconds, but it felt like everything was moving in slow motion. I was suddenly right behind James, next to the door as I had planned and when he turned toward me, I didn’t think about my actions. I just grabbed hold of his arm and planted my sneakered foot into his stomach and pushed
with all my might. He was startled for the briefest moments before he was suddenly flying
away from me. There was a horrible screeching sound, like metal tearing and I was surprised to find that even though James had flown backward into the forward compartment, I was still holding his arm in my hand. I, Bella Swan, had managed to pull off a Vampire’s arm. Holy Crow!
I turned to run and came face to face with The First. For a second, I froze, but then I remembered it was incorporeal, so I just ran through it and knocked the decrepit door off its hinges in my haste to exit the trailer.
As soon as I was outside, I tried to scream out for Edward, but a hand wrapped around my mouth—James. I expected another steel band to wrap around my middle, but then remembered that would be difficult seeing as he only had one arm now. Again, I seemed to react without thinking and I planted my elbow into his ribs, heard him grunt, and then I twisted out of his grasp, but I didn’t stop. I continued to spin and pulled his severed arm up along with me, smashing it into his head with as much force as I could. James’ face cracked and part of his arm crumbled, but I couldn’t stop. He fell under the weight of my blows and I screamed as I continued to pummel his broken granite body with the appendage I had initially ripped off.
I didn’t stop until I felt another set of cold arms—these ones very familiar—surround me. I was still shaking and hurling every epithet I could think of at the dismembered Vampire at my feet, but as I collapsed into hysteria, my thoughts became disorganized. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jasper raise his hand to touch my cheek gently and I sunk into the welcome darkness.
When Faith called, I quickly told Esme that I needed to leave and grabbed my bag. Surprisingly, Buffy met me at the door.
“You should stay with your sister,” I told her.
“I have dozens more sisters out there, all under attack,” she replied. “I can’t help Dawn right now, but I can try to help them at least. Esme will take care of Dawn.”
I nodded and gestured for her to get into my car. Normally, I would run, but I didn’t know what injuries we might be facing and whether or not we would have to take any of the girls to the hospital for surgery. My car was faster than any of the ones at the house and with the mass exodus of the Sunnydale population, I would be able to drive faster than would normally be safe on suburban streets.
I navigated the streets as quickly as I dared, but couldn’t change the fact that there was a park in between the mansion and Revello Drive. I was about to drive around it when Buffy grabbed the wheel and snapped, “Just go through it.”
“Is there a road?” I asked as we swerved onto the grass.
“No,” she told me.
She didn’t seem to be bothered by the destruction wrought by my Mercedes as we sped across the grass and through a small bank of perennials in between two rows of trees. I suppose the wrath of the Sunnydale Parks & Recreations Department pales in comparison to the destruction The First could be bringing to the house right at this very moment,
I surmised as the car tore up another patch of grass on our way out the other side of the park.
The car wasn’t even fully stopped when Buffy launched herself through the open window, tucked into a somersault and killed two Bringers as she sped toward the house. One girl was lying on the front lawn, but Buffy ran past her without stopping. I knew she could hear the lack of heartbeat just as well as I could and I spared a fraction of a second to mourn the loss of life before I turned my efforts to tending to the girls still in need of my medical expertise. However, to get to them, I had to dispatch three more of the Bringers and one of the Turok-han. The Bringers were, as expected, easy to kill, but the ancient breed of Vampire proved more difficult and I was surprised to find that its nails were able to dig into my rock-like flesh and sting. It seemed we were not impervious to these creatures after all; I would have to let my family know this. During patrols, we had mostly encountered contemporary Vampires of the demonic breed and the occasional variety of demon looking to capitalize on Sunnydale’s evacuation. Thus far, only Jasper had come upon an actual Turok-han and he had the element of surprise on his side to destroy the creature before he had realized my son was there.
“Carlisle,” Buffy called to me and I saw that she had cleared a path to the door and was guarding the entrance.
I hurried over to her, as a crossbow bolt neatly landed in the chest of another Bringer. I saw Rona wave quickly as she re-loaded the crossbow and realized that these girls were truly outnumbered here. This siege would not end well unless something changed—quickly.
As we entered the house, Buffy scanned the area quickly and then barked out, “Where’s Faith? Where’s Kennedy?”
Spike ran past us, one of the Bringer’s knives clutched in his hand as he headed for the back door. “Think the chits are upstairs. Faith said something about a plan. Been a bit busy to find out, though.”
“Great,” Buffy rolled her eyes. She looked over at the girls and began giving orders, “Molly, find more ammo for Rona. Rona, keep shooting. Vi, get the book on the top shelf of Willow’s closet. There’s a spell in there that may keep the Bringers out. Not sure if it will keep out the Turok-han, too, but it’s worth a shot. The rest of you, guard the windows and doors. Anything tries to get in, kill it. Carlisle, come with me.”
I followed Buffy as she ran up the stairs. It was quiet up there, but I could hear two heartbeats coming from the bathroom. The door was closed and the light was on. Suddenly, I heard splashing and a thud. Buffy must have heard it as well because we both took off for the bathroom at the same time. Buffy quickly broke the lock, but had difficulty opening the door. Finally, she pried it open and we realized that the difficulty had been because the thump we had heard was Kennedy landing on the floor. She was conscious, but was bleeding from a wound on her head. Buffy spared her a cursory glance and then drew my attention to the bathtub. It was filled with water—overflowing actually—and water was still pouring out of the faucet, but we soon found out what caused the splashing we heard. In the middle of the tub, thrashing against thick, heavy chains was Faith.
“What the hell is going on here?” Buffy demanded as she moved to release Faith from the chains.
“No!” Kennedy exclaimed. “It was her idea. Her heart only has to stop for a moment, right? To trigger the next Slayer? She asked me to help her, but I’m not strong enough.”
I struggled with forming a response. The father in me didn’t want to see Bella die at the hands of the Vampire who had taken her hostage, but the doctor in me railed against the sacrifice this woman in front of me was willing to make to give Bella the chance to survive. She had called me to get me there, presumably so that I could revive her, but there was always a chance that I wouldn’t be able to do so. She was still thrashing and I couldn’t know whether she had changed her mind, so I had just made up my mind to help release her when Buffy moved toward the tub. Not even two seconds had passed since Kennedy had told us of Faith’s plan. Instead of releasing her, Buffy’s hand clamped down on her chest and pressed her down into the bottom of the tub. The blond Slayer’s face was devoid of emotion as she leaned over the side of the tub, but her pounding heartbeat gave away her internal struggle as she essentially killed her sister Slayer. Faith continued to thrash against the chains for another few seconds and then she simply ceased. She was out of air, and no longer conscious, but her heart had not yet stopped.
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” I asked her as gently as I could muster, resisting the urge to tear her away and yank Faith out of the tub.
“Ask her,” Buffy gestured to the dark-haired Slayer with her free hand, “after
we get her heart beating again.”
“Buffy, you know I will do my absolute best, but there are no guarantees,” I warned her.
“Faith knew that,” Kennedy told me as she turned off the faucet. She was so certain that it allayed my fears somewhat, but not completely.
It seemed like minutes, but was in reality only a few seconds, when Faith’s heart faltered. It stuttered one last time and then was silent. Buffy waited two more seconds before motioning to me to grab hold of the chains with her. Together, we hauled Faith’s body from the tub and I made short work of breaking the chains. She would need to be able to expand her chest if she was going to make it. It surprised me to learn that Buffy knew CPR and was already moving Faith into the proper position when I finished with the chains.
I found that I was reluctant to attempt chest compressions. I knew exactly how much force I needed to use on a regular human, but Faith was a Slayer and that could prove problematic. Too much force and I would crush her chest cavity; too little and my compressions would be ineffectual. I moved over to Faith’s head and breathed two quick breaths into her mouth. Since my body does not convert oxygen into carbon dioxide, she would be getting more oxygen than if either Buffy or Kennedy were handling the pulmonary portion. Buffy immediately began the chest compressions and we worked together for just over two minutes before Faith began to respond. Most of the water had already been expelled, but she coughed some up anyway.
She curled onto her side, away from Buffy, her hair covering her face, but her heartbeat was strong and sure and her breathing slowed from hyperventilating to something closer to normal within a few more moments. She glanced over her shoulder at Buffy and snorted weakly, “So, B. You finally got to kill me for real. How’d it feel?”
“Don’t ever do something that stupid again,” Buffy retorted.
“Any idea if it worked?” she asked, pushing her upper body off floor. She was soaked clean through, but seemed to be back in perfect health, something that wouldn’t be possible for a normal human. But then, she was no normal human.
“Guess we’ll have to wait to find out,” Kennedy replied. “All I know is I wasn’t the next in line so I don’t feel any stronger or anything.”
“Can we go kill something while we wait?” Faith asked, allowing Buffy and Kennedy to pull her up off the floor, but then shrugging them off and grabbing the sword that had been propped up against the sink.
“Sounds like a plan,” Buffy replied with a deadly look in her eyes.
To say that I was frantic with worry as I chased after my siblings as they tracked my Bella would be a gross understatement. They had a large lead on me, but I was always the fastest in my family and I caught up with them quickly enough. Without Alice’s visions to rely on—apparently, The First was able to wreak havoc with those—we had no way of knowing whether James had more reinforcements until we would already be close enough that I could hear their thoughts.
I didn’t care. Bella was in danger and I would never give up looking for her. If I was too late when I found her, I would spend the rest of my existence tracking and killing James for his crimes. And, it truly would be the rest of my existence for as soon as James was fully destroyed, I would join my Bella in death. It would hurt my family—Esme, Carlisle, Alice and Dawn especially—but I could not exist in this world without the rest of me. I had finally accepted what Dawn told me about having a soul and I knew that soul would surely die with Bella. There was simply no other way for me.
I hated leaving Dawn behind as she burned, but I also knew she would want me to do whatever I could to save Bella. The part of my brain not entirely consumed with tracking James and Bella contemplated Dawn’s unending sacrifice for our family. Though I did confess to Buffy that I considered Dawn to be my baby sister, I never wanted her to go through the pain she would suffer as she changed into a Vampire. I made a note to make sure that one of our other family members help her mourn the loss of her human life if I was not able to be there for her.
I caught up with Rosalie a moment later and slowed down to get any information she could share with me. She showed me in her thoughts that Jasper, Alice and Emmett had outrun her a few minutes earlier. Be careful, Edward,
she warned in her thoughts. The First put in an appearance. Tried to make us think James was in another direction. Jasper was able to tell that it wasn’t giving off any emotions. We figure it probably can’t replicate thoughts either, so it shouldn’t be able to fool you.
“How do you know I’m
not The First?” I asked as we ran.
Rosalie shot me a pointed look and answered silently, Only the real Edward could look so tortured. Go on, I’ll catch up. Tear him to shreds.
Speeding up once again, Rosalie’s thoughts were soon out of my range as I flew through the woods. The other three were up ahead, but I had already caught James’ scent. Bella’s scent was there, too, but it was harder to pick up since James had been carrying her. I growled low in my throat and sped ahead of the others.
When I reached a trailer park, the smells of various humans, even though they had already vacated Sunnydale, made it more difficult to pinpoint where James and Bella were. Strangely enough, most of the people seemed to have simply left rather than actually packing up their homes and relocating their residences to a safer location. I ran through the rows of mobile homes and just as I decided to follow the putrid smell toward the center of the trailer park, figuring James would hide where he could best mask his scent, when I heard a scream that could only have come from Bella.
I didn’t stop to think about the fact that I couldn’t hear any of James’ thoughts. I just ran toward Bella and hoped I could get to her in time. When I turned the corner—sure enough, right next to the horrid smelling trailer—I saw Bella—my Bella—swinging something at a crumbling figure on the ground. I could smell James nearby, but my mind just did not compute that the figure was
James and that Bella had somehow destroyed him.My God, she’s a Slayer,
I realized with a start as I tried to get closer to her. She was swinging something wildly now, even as it broke apart in pieces. Words that I never knew Bella had even heard of, much less thought, came out of her mouth as she rained down blow after blow on the broken body in front of her.
Jasper and Emmett arrived next and I heard their thoughts overlapping each other. Jasper’s was most clear: Oh my God. She ripped his arm off and beat him to death with it. She’s…
With a start, I realized he was right: It was James’ arm she was hitting him with. I pushed away both of my brothers’ thoughts—and Alice’s as she arrived—and tried calling out to Bella, but she didn’t hear me. I had to break through her wild panic before she accidentally hurt herself. I saw my chance when her foot caught on James’ empty shirt sleeve. She faltered for a brief moment and I managed to get my arms wrapped around her, quickly pulling the arm out of her grasp and tossing it to Emmett.Freaking bad ass,
he thought in return, but I ignored him and just focused on Bella.
I whispered to her, hoping that if she couldn’t understand my words or even hear my tone, she would smell my scent and calm down. It had started to work—I could feel her body relax with recognition, but instead of calming down, waves of hysteria seemed to come out of her, building and building until I was afraid she would permanently crack her psyche.Edward, let me help her,
I heard from Jasper. I looked over at him and he took a tentative step closer. I could see how badly her emotions were affecting him as well and hoped he had enough lucidity left in him to help Bella. Knowing it was now or never, I nodded and he was suddenly right in front of us.
Though he didn’t need words to use his gift, I was touched when he spoke as he touched Bella’s cheek, “Bella, you’re safe now. Sleep and let us shelter you, little sister.”
As Bella sagged against me with a deep sigh of relief, I wondered if she would remember his words and realize that she had conquered one of the most battle-seasoned warriors of our kind. A few months ago, he had voted to end her life just in case she was a threat to our family and now he was calling her ‘sister.’
I didn’t take any longer to ponder his turnaround as gave him a nod of thanks before I scooped Bella into my arms. Alice came to my side then and pressed a kiss to Bella’s forehead. I saw the unshed tears that couldn’t fall in my sister’s eyes. We didn’t lose her,
she told me by way of explanation. The emotion in that one short sentence was palpable and we communicated our gratitude that Bella had lived through our special brand of communication that we had honed over the last fifty-plus years.
As we walked away from the clearing and entered the woods once more, I could smell the sweet smell of James’ corpse burning. I would have liked to kill him myself, but I was just grateful that one way or another, he was no longer a threat to anyone. Suddenly needing to get back to the mansion to check on Dawn and have Carlisle examine Bella, I tucked my love against my chest and began to run through the woods.
When we should have turned to go to Crawford St., Alice told me that Carlisle was at Buffy’s house and we would have to go there. As soon as we arrived, I saw we were just in time. The house was surrounded by Bringers and Turok-han, as well as a few other random demons, and Buffy and Faith were on the front lawn, each taking on more than their fair share of the enemy. I turned to hand Bella over to Alice so I could go help them when Alice was suddenly flying through the air. I tracked her path and watched as she landed on an abandoned car in the neighbor’s yard. She didn’t move, but I couldn’t go to her because there was suddenly a man wearing a preacher’s collar standing in my way.
“Well, now,” he said with a distinct southern accent. “Looks like someone showed up to the party uninvited. Would you say that is an example of pride, envy or gluttony?”
With Bella in my arms, I couldn’t defend myself against the blow I knew was coming, but I was unprepared for it to actually hurt
or for the speed at which I flew through the air. All I had time to do was cradle Bella’s unconscious form and hope that the impact would not injure her.
The last thing I remembered before the darkness took me was Bella’s voice calling my name, but that didn’t seem possible since she was still limp in my arms.
TBCP.S. Thank you to SarahLou and shinysolace for the new recs!