After Dawn sacrifices herself in Buffy's place, she learns the Council killed Joyce. Knowing she can't involve her friends in what she plans to do, a series of events leads her to Chicago and an interesting company called Leverage Inc. Disclaimer:
BtVS property of Joss Whedon. Leverage created by John Rogers and Chris Downey
Buffy/Eliot Spencer, Nathan/Sophie, Parker/Hardison (hinted at)Author's Notes:
Although, the actor who played Lindsey McDonald on Angel and Eliot Spencer are one in the same, there will be no crossover between them. They are two very different men. It's just a fluke, cosmic joke, everyone has a twin somewhere, like Angel and Booth. So, just go with it. This story looks at the perspective of how does the Slayer, Buffy, handle going against humans without crossing the line, and learning to rely on more than just her Slayer power. Special Note:
Thank you to my wonderful Beta - Drea. Her help has been invaluable in bringing this story to life.~*~
I'm walking the streets of Chicago alone tonight wondering how, the hell, I ended up here. Six months ago, my mother learned there was a tumor pressing on her brain. She waited another two months before telling me, which was also when some magical monks whipped up my younger sister, Dawn. They created her using my blood and sent her to me. It turned out some fashion disaster hell-god named Glory needed Dawnie, who's actually a mystical key, to return to her hell dimension.
I tried everything to help Mom get well and keep Dawn safe, but it was all for nothing. They're gone. Gone, and me, the Slayer, who's supposed to the kill the bad guys to protect the innocent couldn't do squat to save them.
I sat for hours in my empty house praying I'd hear Mom call me down for dinner, or Dawn slam the door as she came into the house. My beautiful, stubborn, brave Dawnie won't ever slam doors again, at least not on this physical plane.
When I close my eyes, I see her standing at the end of the scaffolding. She was so calm and the most serene expression came over her face as she looked at me. She started to turn around when I screamed for her to stop, begging her not to do this.
Looking back, Dawn smiled at me, and then said, "I love you, Buffy. Remember me, when everyone else has forgotten, remember."
She stepped into the portal and hovered at its center. Her face remained serene as she faded away into an ever-growing ancient green mist that encompassed the portal and pulled it back through time. I wouldn't understand her words fully until I stumbled down from Glory's platform. Somehow, Dawnie knew the spell would end with her death. My heart was laying in a thousand pieces on the ground and my friends and Watcher were congratulating me on a job well done. They asked me how I closed the portal, wanting to hear the details of how I had once again stopped the world from ending. They didn't remember her at all.
I hated them in that moment as I gently pushed my way through them to stumble home alone, forever alone. Oh, I didn't really hate them, I never could they were my lifeline and had helped me more than I could ever say. They called after me to come back not understanding what had happened, what they had done or said for me to snub them this way. I remembered calling back over my shoulder something Spike had told me once before, "Blood, all it ever takes is blood."
It took my blood, my heart, my soul and my family. Despite what Dawnie started out as, some ancient mystical Key, to me she was my little sister, my only remaining family after Mom's death. And, she was gone and I'm the only one who remembered her.
The only thing I had left was my life and I didn't much want it anymore. I'm not sure how I got home, pure luck or bad. My feet could barely keep moving one in front of the other, but somehow I ended up back at 1620 Revello Drive. Walking back inside without Dawn beside me, knowing my Mom wouldn't be there to greet me almost had me ready to turn and run the other way. I slipped inside like a thief in my own home, and that was as far as I got as I slid down the door and cried until I had no more tears. ~*~
The next morning I woke up tired and achy from sleeping on the floor and crawled upstairs on my hand and knees. My body took quite a beating last night. I welcomed the pain, thinking it appropriately matched the ache in my heart. Too bad Slayer healing wouldn't mend the deep gouges rendered to it from losing my family. I felt like someone had staked me, except no convenient dustiness for Buffy. The stake seemed to move deeper with each breath I took. There was no relief for it. I couldn't remove it, there was no one to vent my pain and fury on, and even my tears seemed to have abandoned me. Perhaps, my heart had died with them.
I almost jumped out of my skin when the phone rang while someone banged on the front door. Some Slayer I was, startled in my own house. I started to answer the door, when the answering machine picked up and the caller started speaking. My steps faltered, as I listened to a call I never expected, one which sent me down a path I had never seen myself following.
"Mrs. Summers, this is Dr. Havershem's office. I'm calling to remind you about your post-op check up tomorrow at 2:00. The Dr wanted me to apologize for missing your previous appointment. Please, call if you need to reschedule or are having medical difficulties."
Most people think I don't have more in my head than the latest shoe sale. I admit to perpetuating the dumb blonde persona for everything its worth. It worked to my advantage more times than I can count. My grades lowered when I became an active Slayer. I'm not sure anyone, no matter how intelligent, could patrol until two or three, rush home to some sleep, go to school for eight hours, followed by training, research, eat, possibly some homework and studying, occasionally dancing at the Bronze with my friends, only to repeat it all again.
Maybe, I should have followed Cordelia to LA and tried my hand at acting. Everyone seemed blown away with my SAT scores. They were amazed and proud, like it was a fluke. I was almost afraid they would pat me on the head when they saw me like the puppy that finally learned to pee on the paper. They forgot about my scores all too soon and I was back to dumb ole Buffy, see evil, go and kill.
I must have lost my mind along with my heart. The message from the doctor's office had frozen everything, locking me in place. I had often wondered how Willow's mind worked, and now I felt like I was inside my own as it pulled information together. The world phased outward as colors swirled around me. The synapses arced and jumped one from another as they relayed the data across the neurons. It joined into larger clusters as it continued its journey upward always gathering more information along the curving highways in my brain. The information buried in my subconscious, long and short-term memory coalesced into a horrific picture.
No one had rescheduled mom's appointment. She religiously went to each one. Feeling came back into my legs as I rushed into the office and there on the desk lay her calendar. I flipped through the pages until I found what I was looking for. I think Dawn and I got our journaling bug from Mom. She came home after each appointment and jotted down notes. It helped her keep up with everything and us as well. There written in my mother's looping script mere two days before her death were her appointment details, including the doctor's name underlined - Dr. Winston Chesterland. It wasn't her regular doctor. She noted how an associate had filled in for her doctor. Sunnydale was small, and lucky enough to have one neurologist. Mom's doctor didn't have an associate.
I dug through the stacks of mail I had ignored while I worried about keeping Dawn away from Glory, when I found the letter. My fingers shook as I tore it open. The return address listed London and the outside writing appeared feminine. I'm not sure how I knew what I would find inside the seemingly innocent folded pages, but some inner alarms went off immediately. Miss Summers,
Forgive me for interrupting you during your time of bereavement, but I write to you on behalf of my husband Winston Chesterland. He was an associate of the Watchers Council, which I'm to understand you are intimately familiar. My husband died due to complication from an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver. This is his deathbed confession, although he cannot take back what he did to you and your family. He can only hope in some small way to right the wrong he played in the Council's machinations with regards to you. Winston wanted me to inform you that he was responsible for you mother's death. It was not by natural causes. I'm so sorry my dear. My husband was not an evil man, though I know this does not lessen the hatred you must feel toward him. What the Council asked him to do ate away at his soul, until he became a shadow of the man, I knew and loved, so much so he stepped off the lane into an on-coming auto. I hope this news can somehow bring you peace as it did Winston in ensuring you the truth was to do with, as you will. His last words were of you, saying 'You would do what's right for you and those yet to come.' I hope my words and dear Winston's help you in some way, dear.
Peace be with you
Tears dotted the pages, smudging the fine script as I stared at the words. Divine intervention finally decided to lend me a hand. As I sat in numbed shock realizing the Council had ordered my mother's death, the phone rang endlessly leaving messages that would rearrange my life.