*checks* Nope, not mine.Written for: August Fic A Day ChallengeSummary: It should have given her a sense of serenity on a night such as this, but instead all she felt was hollow.Author's notes:
Set during season six of BtVS and after Stars for BSSM.~*~*~*~*~
She was perched atop an old, worn down headstone, her legs crossed and swinging idly as she stared up into the clouds. The moon hung full and bright in the sky, and it almost seemed as if she could touch it if she only reached high enough. The beginnings of exactly such an act were hidden by casually brushing back a lock of hair as soon as she realized what she was doing. Then, with a sigh, she shoved off the headstone, landing neatly on her heeled boots and heading down the winding path to the cemetery gates.
It was a silent night; none of the vamps had been biting. Right. Bad pun, Buffy. Shaking her head, the slayer couldn't help but cast her eyes up once more to the moon. It should have given her a sense of serenity on a night such as this, but instead all she felt was hollow. Wrong
. No one would ever understand, but it was a feeling etched deep into her heart after so long. It shouldn't be there
As she approached the entrance to the cemetery, she pushed those thoughts from her mind. Regardless of how she felt, it would always be there now, beautifully (tragically)
misplaced for the rest of her life. And no one could ever know.
Lost in her thoughts, she didn't notice the woman waiting for her at the gates until she spoke softly, her unfamiliar yet oddly familiar voice delicately accented.
"It's exquisite, isn't it?"
Buffy’s attention was immediately drawn, and she couldn't withhold a stunned gasp as her eyes widened in recognition. Standing there was the vision of someone she had never thought to see again. A woman she had in fact been sure was lost to her forever.
"Buffy." That single word held such warmth... It was a warmth that, given time, could thaw the ice cold that had stolen over her since her return. "It's good to see you."
"B- But... how?"
"It took a long time to find you." The suddenly no nonsense tone was accompanied by a twinkle in those deep blue eyes as the woman stepped forward, closer to the stunned slayer, only for a second woman to move from behind the stone gate and into sight.
"But we never gave up! How could we, once we remembered!" The blonde woman's exuberance was something she remembered well, a feeling that had seen them through so much; what she wouldn't give to be able to share it now, but...
"After all, did you think we'd leave you to cause trouble all by yourself?" A third figure, stern despite the sparkle in strangely violet eyes. "No way. You need us to watch out for you!"
"And of course, what would you do without your favorite treats? Or your sparring partner, for that matter?" The laugh that followed the fourth woman's statement was amused, happy, even as she shook her head vigorously, the long brown ponytail flying back and forth with the movement. "You know, no one else has ever matched you in that category."
Shocked couldn't begin to describe it. They were really there; four of the women she’d grown to love as sisters during her time... away. Four women she'd been cruelly torn away from by the best of intentions; women who had helped her gain a serenity unmatched by anything on this brutal world, in this place that destroyed her piece by piece. And yet...
"Buffy!" Before she could blink, the fifth and final figure had emerged. Long blonde locks flew as a pair of excited arms threw themselves around her, and she couldn't breathe; she couldn't believe it was really happening. She couldn't even stop herself from being toppled over by the force of the oncoming woman, much to the laughter of the other four as she found herself on the ground with an arm full of absolute joy. Bright blue eyes met her own hazel gaze, and the other woman giggled happily. Buffy could only turn her astonished face up to them.
"How did you..."
"We've been reborn here," the first answered with a smile.
"Reborn?" It was astonishing... and frightening, remembering how things had been when she had been forced away. She looked down to the smaller blonde still hugging her tightly before returning her eyes to the other four. "Then-"
"It's a long story." Knowing green eyes met her own as the tall brunette reached a hand down to help them up.
"We're just really glad to have you back!"
"Mmm!" The smaller blonde locked her arms around one of Buffy's own, and began tugging in the direction of the street. "And we're never letting you go again!"
She couldn't explain it, but suddenly she didn't feel so hollow. A smile formed on her face, the first true smile since she'd come back, and Buffy laughed as she let herself be pulled along.
"Don’t worry. I'm not going anywhere, Serenity."