[Attenborough] Behold the devastating effect of Sylvilagus coniuratus
, or the Plot Bunny, distracting authors from their other work, and causing them to initiate knew projects. Nature at its worst, maybe.
Disclaimer: If I owned this, I would also own my own home, and a nice car... [muffled sobs]*****
It began, as always, with Buffy. She began to lose motivation, to lose the drive to fight, to dominate the supernatural. Soon, she began to feel that she was drifting in a world no longer her own. It finally came to a head when she walked away from a patrol, and into Giles' office, and asked that she be taken off the active roster. It was only after this that the Scoobies realised that she had been an active Slayer for over ten years.
The process had been a slow one, but when Faith mentioned, off-hand, that her desire to fight was likewise fading, they counted back the years, and realised that she, too, had served her decade as Slayer.
Which was setting up a disturbing trend.
Over the intervening years, Slayers had died, and had been replaced, but no one appeared to have been called to replace either of the Chosen when they had been mystically retired by, it was assumed, the Powers. Two theories now arose about what would happen with the mass retirement of those Slayers that remained of the original calling. One side said that the eighty-nine remaining Slayers would be retired, and not replaced, just as the Chosen Two had been, while the other, more optimistic, said that a fresh batch of eighty-nine would be called. There were other theories, wilder, more or less optimistic, but there were no prophecies, no messages via the Seers, and they were being kept decidedly in the dark.
It happened, though, pretty much as one of the Scoobies secretly thought it might. The Powers, not being the nicest of beings, retired not just the Slayers activated in the mass Calling, but every last one of them. Suddenly, in May 2013, there were no Slayers left. Even Charlie, who had been called only weeks prior, was no longer a Slayer. Some of the girls had lost everything, but the original ones, the ones who had served their decade, retained their strength, agility, and gift of healing. But they had lost all drive to be a Slayer.
They continued, but everyone knew it was little more than a stop-gap measure. They were no longer driven to do this by anything more than duty. The Chosen Two came out of retirement to help, but they were now in their early thirties, and agreed that they were well past all this.
Just as well, then, that the supernatural world seemed to have gotten the memo that the Slayers were no longer in such abundance as they had been, and so seemed to automatically dial back their activities to match.
The Scoobies shook their heads at the irony. Yes, there were no more Slayers, and there had been no official notice (the bastards) but the balance seemed to have been reset.*****
He was running away. He knew he was running away, doing the cowardly, avoidy, don't-want-to-think-about-it thing, but he frankly didn't care. He was here, walking along a suburban street, on a nice weekday morning, being all avoidy and running-away-guy, and he just didn't care.
A door slammed, and he automatically glanced over to form a threat assessment. Yep, still got the reflexes. What he saw was the rather comical picture of a dismayed girl holding a door handle, and looking at the now-bereft front door to her house. He heard her curse mildly, then drop the mangled handle and turn to leave the house.
He smiled. “Hey kid,” he called, “heads up.”
A gleaming dagger spun towards the girl.