Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Highlander
Summary: Answer to a prompt. When Immortals die near the Hellmouth, they don't revive quite so quickly or maybe not at all. What happens when Jana (Jenny Calendar) revives following the closing of the Hellmouth?
She woke in a casket. It was dark and she was disorientated. Her gasps for breath echoed in her ears. The last thing she remembered was Angelus. She had run for her life through the halls of Sunnydale High. The endeavor had turned out to be futile. She had died, so why was she now very much alive and trapped in her coffin?
Was she in one of Sunnydale’s funeral homes? God she hoped so, though she knew that it was much more likely that the funeral had already taken place and she now faced a dig straight up through six feet of dirt with nothing but her hands.
A choked sob escaped her. Why was this happening? Just then a horrible thought occurred to her and her hands frantically rose to her chest and her neck checking for two things: bite marks and a heartbeat.
The skin on her neck was reassuringly bare of bite marks to her touch and her heart pounded hard enough to be felt through the dress her other hand lay atop of. If she had been paying attention, she would have noticed her heart beating its staccato rhythm sooner.
So that was something at least. Living on the Hellmouth for those aware of what lay below and went bump in the night presented certain fears the uninitiated didn’t have to contend with. Chief among them was waking as a vampire and killing your friends and family in a vampiric killing spree, not that you’d be there to care about the fate of your loved ones. After death, when the vampire demon took over a body it forced the soul out. The only exception to this rule had been when her tribe found a way to curse Angelus with his body’s soul and rightful inhabitant. Not that her tribe had cared much about that. No, they had only cared about making the vampire Angelus suffer eternally for what he had done.
The ritual! This thought sent alarm traveling anew down Jana, or Jenny’s, limbs. She had to get the hell out of here and perform the ritual as soon as possible. The longer Angelus went unsouled, the more damage he could be doing. Had he killed anyone else while she lay here unaware for who knew how long?
Her hands pushed frantically above her at the lid of the coffin. She had to get out.
While she pushed up, the weight of the earth above her pushed back. All the more determined, Jenny shoved harder finally making some headway. Dirt poured into the coffin. Undeterred, Jenny kept at her task.
Up above, at the edge of the crater, Xander and Buffy sat in folding canvas chairs facing the fire. Beyond, if they looked down, the basin that was left by the destruction of the Hellmouth stretched far before them. They had set up camp here to make sure that nothing bad escaped the site of the former Hellmouth. They didn’t expect anything to do so really, but you couldn’t be too careful when dealing with Hellmouths. So Buffy and Xander had agreed to go camping at the edge of the crater. Partly because they believed in caution, partly to escape too many hormonal teenagers, and partly because this was the site where their loved ones had fallen and they weren’t quite ready to let that go yet.
Xander reached down between their chairs and grabbed another marshmallow out of the bag. Sugary goodness obtained he placed it on his barbecue fork and held it out to the flames. “Wouldn’t it be ironic to have an accident with one of these babies,” he said waving his barbecue fork around, “after
the Hellmouth has been closed.”
Buffy snorted. “Or if we were attacked by a gang member on PCP once we join everyone in Cleveland?”
“I gotta say, Buff, I’m not really looking forward to moving to the Snow Belt. The Hellmouth is bad enough. Lake effect snow is just adding insult to injury.”
“Well, we could move somewhere else. There’s no shortage of places where we need to set up a local Scooby branch.” Buffy pulled her marshmallow out of the fire and blew out the flame in one efficient breath. Just how she liked it. “We’ll leave Cleveland to Faith and Robin. They can handle it.”
“Bermuda is always nice.”
“Yeah, but too many stories about the Bermuda Triangle can’t be wrong.”
“Ah, what’s a little mysterious disappearance among friends?”
“Not Bermuda!” Buffy said, laughing.
“Alright. There’s always-“
“Wait! We’ve got movement down there.” Buffy’s relaxed pose of a moment before was gone now. Every sense she had as the Slayer was on alert, trying to figure out what was down there.
“Seriously?” Xander had also dropped his easygoing posture and was every bit as tense as his friend. His hand slid towards his axe, which he had left within easy reach after they set up camp.
“I’m going to check it out.” One quick grab of her Scythe and the Slayer was off before she had even finished speaking.
“I hate when she does that,” Xander remarked to empty air, before quickly following the Slayer’s trail.
Gravity on the downward slope of the crater helped him catch up to the Slayer as Xander ran. “Any idea what it is, yet?”
After that silence reigned until they reached an area of disturbed earth, which was still moving as whatever was buried continued its struggles to reach the surface.
“Maybe you should give whatever it is a helping hand so we’re not here all night,” Xander suggested.
Buffy rolled her eyes but reached down anyway through the shifting soil and grabbed the hand that had finally breached the barrier of the earth. A quick flex of her Slayer muscles and a body started making its way up above the ground, clumps of earth dropping from it as it broke free.
The body, female, they could now see was wearing what was once a nice dress. Her head was lowered as she swept dirt from her arms and shoulders. Her voice was soft with gratitude as she said, “Thank you for the help.” Then she finally looked up, meeting their eyes, and that’s when all three of them froze.
Buffy and Xander were looking straight at the unforgettable face of their fallen computer teacher, Miss Calender.
“I’m not seeing things, right?” Xander asked. “That is Miss Calendar, isn’t it?”
“If you are, I’m hallucinating too.” Buffy gazed in wonder at her old teacher. She knew it wasn’t the First in her guise. Even if they hadn’t defeated their oldest enemy, the fact that Buffy could touch her spoke volumes. She wasn’t registering to her Slayer senses as a vampire either. Her senses were attuned now to the supernatural after so many years on the Hellmouth and years growing as the Slayer. There was no comparison of her powers as the Slayer now to what they were eight years ago when she was first Called. Unbelievably, Miss Calender was alive and mostly human. There was a tinge of something Other that registered on her senses but she was inclined to believe that this really was her old teacher. Giles was going to… well she wasn’t sure what Giles going to do but he would have to be told right away.
Miss Calender couldn’t believe her eyes either. “Xander? Buffy? You’re so different. How long was I buried and where are
we? This isn’t Sunnydale.” Jenny gazed in disbelief at finding herself standing in some kind of crater. None of this was what she imagined finding when she was digging herself out.
“It’s been five years,” Buffy softly answered. “And this is Sunnydale, or what’s left of it,” she answered, her voice turning wry.
“We closed the Hellmouth for good a few days ago when we fought the First Evil,” Xander elaborated.
“Closed?” Jenny asked looking around in shock. “You destroyed the town?
” she said, her voice rising in disbelief at the end. “Wait a minute. Five years? How can that be? The last thing I remember is Angelus. His hands on my…” she trailed off uneasily, hand rising to her throat as she recalled her death.
“Yeah, about that… He’s Angel again,” Buffy informed her. “He’s currently living in L.A. doing a lot of good there. You’ve missed a lot.”
“Willow found your translation,” Xander explained excitedly. “She performed the spell.”
Buffy rested a reassuring hand on Jenny’s shoulder. “As for, how you’re here now? We’ll figure that out. I’m sorry you had to dig your way out of your coffin. I know exactly what that’s like.”
Jenny rested shocked eyes on the Slayer’s face. “How?”
“I died again and was resurrected five months later. It was a whole save the worlds thing. We’ll catch you up. First, we need to get back to camp and then we need to call Giles. He and Dawn will get started on figuring out what’s going on. We’ll make a run to the nearest town for you; find a hotel where you can get cleaned up. You’re going to want to change out of that dress, I know.”
AN: So what do you think? I have no idea how long this will be. Not very many parts I imagine. I still have to answer the other prompts too. Feedback/ideas on this would be much appreciated.