Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer nor Bleach. Each belong to their respective owners and I make no profit from this.
A/N: Because of the sheer overwhelming response to Learning to Breathe I've decided to post this, the second story in the series. It's the shortest one by far. Expect the the Third story in the series, Learning to Live to be a little ways off as I've only got the basic outline done and none of the writing but because I have my great Nightwolf I shouldn't get too stuck along the way.
This is dedicated to her. My fabulous Wolfie who rocks on so many levels.
Taste. Touch. Smell. Sound. Feeling. They all felt wrong. She felt wrong. Like she'd been stuffed into too tight skin. Her mind, her.....body, kept screaming at her. Screaming that everything was WRONG.
Everything was so very wrong. Everything hurt.
Her body hurt, all of who she was crammed into a space that had grown too small, too limited. Her senses were off. Her ability to fight the 'gift with purchase' demon had been off.
She'd almost wanted it to win. To set her free of all the screaming in her head, in her body. To let her go back home.
She sat on the roof of the house, her house. Only it wasn't her house. Her house was bigger, more serene, brighter and beautiful. The house that had once been her birth mother's was dark and dreary and without life or hope. It was a distant memory that was suddenly a waking nightmare.
It felt wrong. All of it.
Water tasted dull, food stale. Even during the day the sun didn't reflect the light correctly. Dark paved streets and buildings that looked out of place. The smells were wrong. Ocean and dirt and modern things tainting it. No smells of sakura. No sounds of Japanese rolling off the tongues of her friends and men.
And the feel of evil all around her, pouring like dark liquid over the whole town from the hellmouth. From the Court of Pure Souls into the very mouth of hell in one searing pain filled swoop.
She wanted to die. She wanted to scream. She wanted to rant and rage and hurt the people she'd called friends once upon a time. She wanted to go back home.
But then she'd look into those bright blue eyes of Dawn's and she couldn't do it. She couldn't. She couldn't hurt the only innocent one in all of this. She couldn't hurt her sister.
But the word felt wrong. Sister. Buffy Summers had had a sister. Buffy Summers had spoken English and loved to shop and had the weight of the world on her shoulders.
She wasn't Buffy Summers any more. She almost didn't react when someone called her by that name. Because she wasn't Buffy any more. She was Mimasaka Amaya. Mimasaka Amaya who led her clan, who led her division. Who had no blood family but five amazing best friends, two young proteges, and an arranged marriage looming in the future. Who liked green tea, who loved to draw in her spare time, who might have been dead but felt so very alive.
Now she was Buffy Summers again and she was alive, but she felt dead inside.
Death was lighter than a feather but duty heavier than a mountain. She wondered if anyone could ever understand that saying like she did.
Bright. At the edge of the crater that had once been her home and all she could think was bright, clean.
The smells of the desert outside of the fallen town brought back memories of a power that had been taken from her. A comfort when things went wrong. The smell of sand, the taste of dry earth.
The feeling of the the evil poured from the hellmouth was gone. And everything was bright. A part of her soul felt like it had come back to her.
“Buffy, what are we gonna do now?” Dawn's voice brought her back to reality. Back from the knowledge that the only person she'd ever told about Soul Society had given his life to set her free. To try and give her back what her once friends had stolen from her.
What was SHE going to do now?
***This is the end of this story. A transition point between the two larger stories. I've left out the detailed events of the last two seasons of Buffy because we all know how they went down.
Remember reviews are love and anything you want to say or know will be addressed. But flames get the usual balrog bunny treatment.