A/N: Had this idea after watching Escape From L.A. this evening. Just had to sacrifice this plot bunny before it drove me nuts. Buffy and co. are owned by Joss and Mutant Enemy, Snake Plissken and the Escape series is owned by John Carpenter and Kurt Russell.
The air was heavy, stale. Of course, it always was, but growing up on the Hellmouth meant you didn't notice it. But returning here after twenty long years meant the atmosphere hit Buffy like a ton of bricks almost as heavily as it had when she first moved here, all those years ago.
In the years after its collapse, and following the carnage of World War III, Sunnydale had been paved over and rebuilt as one of America's three major penetentiaries. When L.A. broke off from the mainland in the big earthquake; a fracture had caused a deep pit to open up all around the town, functioning as a kind of moat with an endless bottom to keep people in. Not that it had stopped Buffy.
Looking around, it became clear how hard the EMP event had hit America, and most likely the rest of the world. This place was actually doing well compared to the rest of the country. She walked down Main Street, the criminals and demons giving her a wide berth. Of course the demons still got in here. Willow had explained that although they closed the Sunnydale Hellmouth for good, it would always have a residual energy that would attract anything demonic.
"To think I helped turn this place into a crater and twenty years later it comes back to haunt me," Buffy muttered to herself as she neared the end of the road.
"How do you think I felt when I got here?" a gravely voice behind her responded.
Buffy spun to see him standing there. Her mission. Her target. The man who had single handedly ended civilisation as we know it. Snake Plissken.
"I was wondering when I'd find you," Buffy replied ", of course...I thought you were dead."
"So do a lot of people," Snake replied ", what are you doing here?"
"Looking for you...I'm here to bring you in," Buffy told him.
"Bring me in? To who? Don't tell me the government have got you doing their dirty work just like they had me doing it," Snake asked, his eye remaining locked on Buffy's form.
"You need to come with me, Snake. Don't make this harder," Buffy said, her face a picture of grim reality.
"I should have figured they'd send you...you're gonna have to kill me, Buff. And I know you can't do that," Snake said.
"They...they have Dawn. I have twenty four hours to find you and bring you to them, or they kill her," Buffy told him.
Snake froze for a second, his usually unshakably calm demenour rocked at that news.
"Sons of bitches...I'll come with you...but I'm bringing her out alive. And I'm gonna kill that bastard President-" Snake began, before Buffy cut him off.
"No, you can't. I don't even know where they are...it's too dangerous," Buffy explained.
"So it comes down to this huh? And there I was thinking they wouldn't look for me here," Snake said, lighting a cigarette.
"I guess that's why they sent me. I knew where you'd be. Of course, who knows this town better than you..." Buffy said.
"You," Snake finished, walking towards her.
He reached out, a single hand on her cheek. The pain in her expression was unbelievable. Snake mentally swore to make sure they got what they deserved.
"Then I guess I'm coming with you...I couldn't leave Dawnie in danger like that," Snake said, as trhey turned and began a slow walk back down the way Buffy had came.
"This is so messed up. All of this. And I understand why you did what you did, all of it. It's okay, I guess," Buffy told him.
"I never stopped fighting...even when everyone else did," Snake replied ", I guess I couldn't live with myself if I'd given in to them."
"I understand. And Snake...Xander. I'm sorry," Buffy replied.
They then fell silent, and began the long walk out of Sunnydale, and back into the so called free world of the United States of America.