Living a Lie
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I do not own Doctor Who. I am making no money from this.
A/N: Okay, so I know I should be working on my unfinished fics, like Perpetual Tuesday, Smart Person, and ITROTN. This idea bit me hard and won’t let go until I’ve at least done something
with it. I blame you, BuffyCharmed. You and your damn inspiring pictures!
Warnings: Angst, angst and more angst. Also, likely slow update times as I’m working on all those other things listed above, plus RL.
Buffy wandered slowly toward her house, one reluctant step at a time. The windows were dark; her mom must have given up waiting for her to get back and gone to sleep. It didn’t matter. She’d be in for it in the morning. She’d kept everything secret for so long, trying to protect her mom from the truth, trying to keep some semblance of sanity in her life to come back to. Sometimes she’d thought it would be nice if she didn’t have to hide what she was, that it would make things so much easier if her mom didn’t ground her for sneaking out to slay. Now she knew, and it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered.
Angel was dead.
Gone. Ash. Goodbye.
With a kiss and a lie, he’d died and gone to hell with a sword in his gut. A sword Buffy had put there. She’d killed him. She knew it was to save the world, that there had been no other choice. Knowing that didn’t make it hurt any less. Her legs, arms – everything – ached. Hurting for him, for what she’d done to him. And as bad as things felt now she knew tomorrow would be worse. Tonight she was still numb, in shock, not thinking. Experience told her the reality hadn’t even hit her yet.
But tomorrow she would have to get up, dress, comb her hair, go to school, sit through a lecture from her mom and all the while know she would never see him again. She would visit Willow in the hospital, another reminder of what that monster who’d worn his face had done. Giles and Xander and Cordelia and Oz would be in the library. They would be so happy to know he was dead. It was good he was dead, they’d say, now everything will be back to normal. And she would smile and nod and pretend she wasn’t dying inside without him there.
She shimmied up the tree to her window and stepped silently into her room on automatic. It was dark, but her eyes were better able to see than normal human eyes. She looked around in a daze, forgetting for a moment how she’d gotten there.
She was surrounded by stuff. There was a bed covered in fluffy toy animals, a closet bursting with clothes, tables holding miscellany and more toys. Who did all this belong to? So…so vapid and useless. This couldn’t be her room. Nothing here showed who she was, what she had done, her heartbreak. This belonged to a child, a stupid child who believed in happily-ever-afters and romance and didn’t kill her lover. This was all shit
Tears were gushing down her face, clouding her vision and she held down a wordless scream of pain and rage by sheer force of will. She swiped her arm across the table by her bed in one swift motion. She knocked off jewelry, knickknacks, that old fob watch that never worked.
They struck the floor, the watch bounced twice. It sprung open.
Buffy’s mind exploded.
The world burned.
Dalek ships rained fire on the Panopticon. The shield held, but for how long was anyone’s guess, had anyone been willing to make one. Outside, the mountains, the forests, everything was on fire, but it was nothing compared to the inferno in the sky. Time was being altered again.”Who are you?” she asked, her stance was threatening, but in her voice was a dare. Don’t answer, it said, so I can write you off, ignore your warning, go back to my life. He held her eyes for a moment, that infuriating little smirk on his lips.
“Let’s just say, I’m a friend.” The vague response only served to annoy her further.
“Oh, yeah? Well, what if I don’t want a friend!” she shot back.
He chuckled, refusing to be even a little put off by her attitude. “I never said I was yours.”
“Announcement for all students!”
She sat up straight with all the other students ensconced behind the computer terminals. They waited attentively for the instructions, a very few whispering in the back, quickly shushed by the professor.
“The Lord President has declared classes are hereby cancelled for the foreseeable future. Students are to report to the Office of Assignment to receive their new duties in the war effort. That is all.”
They had known that was coming. The war had dragged on longer than she’d been alive, sides gaining and losing the advantage like a tide coming to shore and being pulled back ever time. Time was in flux, she could feel it prickling on her skin as the Daleks and Time Lords fought along the timeline, changing history again and again, trying to eradicate each other once and for all. She was scared. Looking at the faces around her, she knew she wasn’t the only one. This class had lost mothers and fathers, sisters; she herself had lost a brother – his existence wiped clean by Dalek trickery. Her family was only left with the knowledge that he had existed, the feeling of difference in the course of history.
It left an empty spot inside her. She loved her now only brother, they didn’t get to see each other often but he had cared for her. What had it been like with two?She wavered in her resolve. Her arm that held the stake ready lowered.
”You can’t do it. You can’t kill me.” His voice was mocking. Not Angel’s voice. She should be able to finish this, now, keep more badness from happening. But he wore the face of her love. How dare he torment her so, that son of a bitch!
She leg struck out with all her pent up rage behind it. It was Angel’s face, but what wore it was a demon, and the shocked look of agony upon it felt weirdly satisfying.
“Give me time.”
Time Lord and Dalek vessels alike exploded overhead as they had forever it seemed to her. Only now the vibrations in the ground from the explosions in the atmosphere, and beyond, in the space above Gallifrey, felt like they were reaching a crescendo as she ran. Terror coursed through her. All the exits would be blocked by people the Time Lords had sentenced to be caged. She was stuck in a building full of older, awful prisoners she had helped her mother oversee in the last months of the war. The Daleks would be coming to claim their brethren, locked up in the prison ships deep in the lowest levels.
An arm shot out of a doorway. She shrieked and her mouth was covered by a slim hand.
“Hush!” It was her mother. Gone was the stately warden’s uniform she had worn with detached pride all these years. Now she was in a crumpled cleaner’s outfit, half her face masked by a long scarf. “Come on, we’re getting out. Now.”He listed those things in her life she had depended on. He was right; they weren’t here with her now. Angel had gone, disappeared into the demon in front of her. Willow was hospitalized; Xander had gotten Giles out as she’d ordered. She was alone.
The Slayer was always alone.
“Take all that way, and what’s left?”
The point of the sword came to skewer her forehead to the wall. She clapped her hands together so fast they blurred, stopping it a centimeter away in a grip tight like a vice. Surprise was written across his face.
“Me.” She smashed it with the pommel.
girl!” her mother screamed back at her.
They ran down the corridors. White, white all around on the walls, the floor, the ceiling. White was good, white wasn’t red. There was no red on these walls, not yet. Run, run, run, her instincts said, don’t stop for breath, it’ll be your last, run, run away from the violence and the death. She tried to convince her muscles they were not
failing from exhaustion, her hearts were not pounding in her chest from fear, pumping blood like fire through her veins. Blood and flame, red, so red, too red. She felt herself slow, but a wave of energy propelled her onwards. Not far behind she could hear that chilling word devoid of any emotion other than complete and utter loathing repeated over and over.
“Exterminate. Exterminate. EXTERMINATE.”Pain. Burning pain in her soul as she kissed him. She felt cold. Devoid of emotion. Nothing other than pain. The kiss ended. She put the sword through him.
That look on his face. Shock. Hurt.
She felt only pain. That, and a weird sense of satisfaction.
She was dimly aware her face was pressed against the floor, tears and saliva dripping down the side into a wet spot on the carpet. She lay there gasping as the memories flooded her brain, trying not to make a sound. There was someone she couldn’t wake here, had to remember that, push everything away.
Her eyes rolled to the watch, lying so innocently on the floor, ticking softly. Her arm seemed to reach for it of its own accord. She shut her eyes, trying to make the images stop. Her hands clenched, there was a crunch of glass. She stared uncomprehendingly. There in her palm, a great piece of workmanship reduced to scrap metal and fragments. Her fingers had left indentations along its rim, the insides cracked and broken. She turned over, letting the pieces fall away.
Her nose itched; she rubbed it, welcoming anything to distract her from her growing horror, the information pouring into her head. Muscles ached from fighting, heart hurt from breaking.
But which heart was it?
She groped for the bed and used it to push herself upright. She coughed and pulled carpet fibers from her mouth. All those disorganized, chaotic images were from another life, no, her life. The sky had been burning in Gallifrey’s last few hours.
The world had burned and everyone had died. Her father, brother, what people she knew at the Academy. Everyone but herself and her mother, who had taken her to the family’s TARDIS, hidden away in the prison in case of emergency.
They were the last ones left.Alone
Panic flooded her mind. Too hearts beat a tango. She felt like she would burst out of her skin. It burned from cells that had been rewritten suddenly reverting back to what they were meant to be. She felt feverish. Organs shifted and reappeared inside her. She could feel the passage of moment to moment, like she was a blur along the timestream. And somewhere inside she knew she was the only one to feel it.Always alone
Everything around her, the floor, the walls, the bed, took up a hazy half-recognition in her head. It felt like hers, but she didn’t know this place, this house, it was so strange. This wasn’t really real. That family she’d had, her fairytale life in LA she had so wanted back – none of it was real. Just a fantasy cooked up to survive the war. Buffy wasn’t real. So why did it hurt so much if it wasn’t real?
One heart. Two hearts. They both felt like they’d been torn from her chest. Her world, her Angel, both gone and it felt like the same thing.
She pulled a duffel bag out from under the bed. She began piling clothes into it. Anything near at hand went in the bag, no care for style or matching colors. She vaguely remembered the need for cash, and put that inside with everything else. She didn’t know what she was doing, she just acted. This wasn’t her house, that wasn’t her mother in the other room, though she wore her face. She had no friends. She hadn’t just lost her love.
But it hurt
. He’d died in front of her, by her – no – Buffy’s hand and just thinking about it made her hearts ache. She was terrified Willow wouldn’t be okay, hoped Giles didn’t blame her for not rescuing him sooner.
She had to tell herself over and over she wasn’t that girl, she wasn’t. Her name was Blissa, a child of Gallifrey. She wasn’t a hero or a warrior. She hadn’t even graduated from the Academy. She didn’t have people relying on her. This was just a fantasy written into her head, a cocoon of lies her mother was still wrapped up in.
But it felt so real.Was it really a fantasy?
The question rang in her head. She could just be delirious, imagining she was an alien. Try to make killing Angel hurt less if it wasn’t really her. No. Maybe. Her head hurt. She covered her ears with her hands, a vain effort to make the memories stop mixing together like some freaky kaleidoscopic kool-aid.
She zipped up the bag and threw it out the window in a move she realized she had been planning since she started packing. She needed to run. Get away from this place. She couldn’t stay here, where the memories were so raw. Reality was unwinding inside her, two choices, two lives. Which one was hers? She couldn’t answer that here, seeing the faces of the friends who felt like her friends but weren’t her
friends, look at her mom who she loved but was nothing at all like her mother
.Run, run, run, run away from the violence and the death.
She stuck a leg out the window, her fingers digging into the frame. Blissa needed to run, but Buffy couldn’t – wouldn’t – leave until she left her mom something to know she wasn’t dead.
She didn’t know what to tell her. It wasn’t like she could explain any of this. Her mom had just found out her daughter was the Slayer, and look how she’d handled that. All she could write was that she was alive, and she was leaving like her mother had wanted, asked her not to blame her.
She left it where it was sure to be found, lying alone on the bed. She was already out the window and heading off, she didn’t know where. This wasn’t her life. She had to get away.Run, run, run.
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Note to readers: If you notice anything totally against Doctor Who canon, be sure to leave a review. I am going to be picking and choosing what bits of DW canon go into the story since it's all so contradictory, but I'm still not that familiar with the universe. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.