Chapter One: Let Her Cross Over
Deals of the Damned
Chapter One: Let Her Cross Over
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy or Supernatural. Any recognizable dialogue was taken from the Season Six episode Bargaining pt. 1 and 2.
Author’s Note: This story was inspired by Mistress Ashley’s manipulation entitled Lost to HerselfItalics
indicate one of Buffy's memories.
Mary Campbell drew in a sharp breath. Slowly she exhaled slumping with relief back into the soft mattress underneath her. Just a dream she thought to herself, lip curling at the feel of cold sweat as it trickled down her back. It was dark, really dark.
“John?” she choked on the air and no sound came out.
It smelled, it smelled like death, and graveyard soil. Ah the scents of her childhood, something was wrong. Her breathed hitched, there wasn’t enough air, she could barely breathe. Where was she?
A croak this time. We were getting better.
She tried to sit up and got about three inches before bumping her head on something hard but padded. She made a noise in the back of her throat and groped above her head. Her hand encountered the same padding. It felt familiar but Mary couldn’t say why. She pushed on it breathing heavily. It didn’t budge.
“Help! Somebody help me I’m trapped!” she whispered.
She was supposed to have screamed.
In her head she heard screaming, her own screaming. There was a fire…
“Sammy, oh god, Sammy!” she coughed banging desperately on the walls and roof of her prison.
She remembered, the yellow-eyed demon, Azazel, the fire and the smoke, the pain, and John’s face as he watched her burn…oh god John, Dean, Sammy, what happened to them? Where were they?
She had to get out, now, she had to find them.
Sobbing she tore at the padding above her ripped it away until her hands found wood. Screaming and grunting she punched at the wood with all of her strength, she was surprised and relieved when it gave way with no more than a few good punches. Holding her breath on what remained of her air Mary ripped out the slat and found herself covered with dirt.
Her eyes closed reflexively and she groped with her hands tearing more wood away and tunneling ferociously through the loose earth. Her lungs burned for air and she grunted teeth grit with effort as she pushed and wiggled her way up out of the ground. A hand burst through to no resistance. Mary thrust the other one out and heaved herself out of the ground gasping and coughing as her abused lungs were filled with sweet fresh night air, untainted by the stench of rot, and death. She crawled forward slowly collapsing in the soft grass to catch her breath.
John must have thought she was dead, he must have buried her. How was she alive? She’d seen Azazel kill before, when he meant to kill you, you died. She’d been burning alive, he’d slashed open her belly. How did she survive only to wake up and have to crawl out of her own grave? Unless…
“No, John no, please tell me you didn’t make a deal…please,” she sobbed her voice hoarse and wheezy and alien even to her own ears.
She had to find him.
Carefully she got her feet under her. What idiot decided that dressing corpses up in high heels was a good plan? With a grunt she stood throwing out her arms for balance as she wobbled dangerously, her muscles not responding smoothly to her brain’s commands. She turned around trying to get her bearings when she saw it. Her gravestone.
It was simple, small and granite.
Buffy Anne Summers
She Saved the World
Her vision was so blurry and hazy she must be reading the stone wrong.
The image of her face with short bottle blond hair, and a dark tan came to mind. What was going on? Her name was Mary…“Hi, I’m Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and you are?”
her memory supplied.
No southern twang, just bubble gum sweetness.
“I’m Mary Winchester,” she wheezed insistently, “Aren’t I?”“Because you are the Slayer. One Girl in all the world, the Chosen One, she alone will stand against the forces of darkness and stop the spread of their evil…”
“NO! I’m Mary! I’m a mother, I have two sons, my husband is John…I gave it up, hunting I gave it up when I made the deal,” she muttered to herself collapsing to her knees and running her fingers over the letters carved into the granite as if this would magically change them. “You see this blood? Its Summers blood, its just like mine…”
“I’m Mary, Mary Jane Winchester, my name is Mary, I am Mary. I have to find John. John, Sammy, and Dean, once I find them everything will be okay,” she coughed standing and stumbling away from the grave site on shaky legs.
She found the road easily enough, it was hard to miss, all the buildings and cars were burning.
Mary shuddered at the familiar hungry roar of the flames. She could feel them crawling all over her and turning her skin to crackling blackened flakes. She turned away, her tunnel vision insured she could look straight ahead without seeing the flames. It was bad enough knowing they were there.
Something blurred by her on a motorcycle. A creature? Not one she’d ever seen before. A bottle smashed somewhere around her feet. Where was she? She had to get off the street, before she got herself killed or injured…again.
Sirens sounded off in the distance as her feet carried her away from fire and destruction and into what looked like suburbia, a quiet, grim suburbia. The quiet was nice, every noise grated against her ringing ears. She slowed down, leaning against a car to rest.
The car began to scream and blare an alarm of its own. Mary clapped her hands over her ears as the pain lanced through her head like a white hot knife.
“Who’s there? What are you doing?” said an unfriendly male voice, “Get away from there!”
Mary could barely hear him over the sirens. He was holding a gun, what did he think she was going to do?
“You hear me? Get off my property!” he growled, “Leave us alone! Get out of here!”
A shot went off. Mary turned and fled, confused. Since when did cars have alarms? Why was the man so angry? Where was she? Not Lawrence certainly she knew practically everyone in Lawrence and a good number of the surrounding counties. They wouldn’t shoot at her.
She kept walking; her feet seemed to be steadier, moving without her having to think about where she was going.
The road was littered with debris, ahead of her was a group of guys; maybe…they were in the light of a fire. If she could just find out where she was…she thought moving closer. The lead guy was talking, they seemed to be celebrating…maybe these were bad guys to try and talk to.
Indecisive Mary halted in the middle of the street and watched, her vision was getting better by the minute. Then she saw her, standing in the middle of the road one arm chained to one motorcycle and the other chained to another.
It was her…a younger version of her, but they could have been twins when she was twenty.
“Buffy!” cried her reflection joyously, her voice drowned out by the roar of motorcycle engines and the ringing in Mary’s ears.
“NO!” she screamed as the engine revved.
Her reflection was pulled apart instantly as the motorcycles drove in opposite directions. There was no blood, no screaming, nothing. Though Mary saw a flash of blond hair as the biggest part of her double hit the ground. Her scream had drawn the attention of the people speaking…no, not people, more creatures!
“Tear it up!” growled the thing delightedly.
Mary didn’t think, she turned tail and ran as fast as her rusty creaking legs would carry her. Not fast enough apparently. A motorcycle got in front of her and she made a hairpin direction switch her heels skittering out from under her. Her body remembered her training, although it had been ten years since she’d practiced, and she tucked and rolled out of the way. She heard the crunch and scream of tearing metal; the creatures had crashed into each other than. Good!
Mary wasn’t under any illusions though, she could hear the distant roar of yet another approaching thing intent on dismembering her like they had her younger twin. Adrenaline rushed through her giving her legs strength and sharpening her vision back into twenty-twenty as she scrambled up a mound of garbage and over a fence with no particular grace. She tripped and stumbled and came face to face with, humans thank god, although they looked like hunters carrying around crossbows and axes like they were handbags. Well any port in a storm she supposed regarding them suspiciously.
“It’s the Buffy-Bot,” said one, a female.
“Ah peachy, no doubt to lead the wild bunch right to us again. Will next time this thing is damaged can’t you program in to find the nearest Radio Shack…” started the male clearly addressing the redhead.
The redhead was staring at her, staring deep into her eyes, searching…those eyes, they were so familiar…
“Buffy?” she asked.
Mary shook her head, turned around and ran. Not that name again!
They all called out, for her.
“I’m Mary, I’m Mary,” she muttered to herself as she ran.
She ran straight into a dead end. Behind her eyes flashes of things, nightmares she’d had as a child, clamored for her attention, tearing up her brain like shards of glass. They found her, the four hunters, easily enough.
“Buffy…are you…it’s Willow,” said the redhead breathing heavily, her brow furrowed with distress, “Can you hear me?”
“What’s wrong with her?” asked one of the other females.
“Nothing,” snapped the red head, “She’s in shock,”
“Her hands are bleeding,” said the last female, “Her fingers…”
Mary looked down at her hands and sure enough they’d been torn open and were dripping blood. She hadn’t even noticed. How could she not have noticed?
“Oh no,” said the male.
Mary’s eyes snapped to his. He had John’s eyes almost, kind deep brown and just a little bit haunted, older than they should be. She could tell he had figured out what happened to her, although how he knew…
“What?” asked the red head.
“No, how could we be so stupid!” he shouted.
Mary flinched at the noise.
“Xander!” shrieked the red head.
That was worse the high pitch grating on her already abused eardrums.
“Our resurrection spell worked like a magic charm, we brought you back to life Buffy,” he turned to the red head, “Right where we left her, in her coffin,”
“Oh god!” gasped the redhead horrified.
“She had to dig out of her own grave,”
The male knelt down to her level.
“Buffy? Buffy it’s Xander,” he called to her, “We’re sorry, we didn’t know,”
“You aren’t reaching her, she’s too traumatized,”
Mary tried to make sense of it. These people, these hunters, had brought her back to life. Why? Unless they thought she was this Buffy they kept calling for.
“Buffy, it’s going to be alright, we brought you back, you’re home now,” the male said trying to be comforting.
Vaguely Mary registered that one of the creatures had found her, more than one, and they were planning to kill her and rape her. Somehow this didn’t seem nearly as important as trying to figure out what had been done to her. If John hadn’t made a deal, if these hunters had brought her back from the dead accidentally, while trying to resurrect this Buffy person…she could be anywhere, and any-when. How long had she been dead? Would any of her family be alive still? Was she all alone? Despairingly she got up and started to move, everything was easier when she was moving at least, the thoughts flowed more clearly, instead of floating around her head in a cloud of panic.
The creature was in her way.
Mary stared at the creature paying no mind to its words. All of a sudden she felt like she could make this thing get out of her way. A violent confidence flooded through her body. It struck her; she could taste the blood on her tongue. She looked at it; it raised its clawed and mutilated hand to hit her again. She could see the fist moving as if in slow motion and without thinking she grabbed it stopping it in its tracks and sending a punch of her own flying towards its mutilated face.
Mary fell away, the petty concerns and problems inherent in being raised from the dead left behind in the whirling dance of destruction her body knew so well. Punch, duck, kick, block, swirl, and twist, the motions were fluid and precise interspersed here and there with grunts and cries. Blood pounded through her and she drew in measured breaths, and then there were no more opponents.
The hunters stared at her.
Mary crashed back to herself staring at the drop of blood she’d wiped from her split lip. They were hunters, she had taken down six demon bikers with only her fists, they would kill her. She started running again, pouring on enough speed that they couldn’t hope to follow. Her feet found purchase on the ground as her legs pumped in a familiar strong, level rhythm. She let her mind fall away, into that trance like state where nothing bothered her, nothing hurt her.
Another creature came at her. This one she flipped over and impaled on a protruding piece of pipe. It was dead in seconds.“Slain,”
whispered a croaky voice on the wind.
She looked up, and saw it, it was familiar, she needed to go there. If she went there everything would be better, clearer.
She climbed the creaking metal structure blindly her eyes fixed on a point high above her in the open space. Soon she was standing at the edge looking down at the spot. It was all wrong. She knew this place, she had died here. No that wasn’t right…she’d died in Sammy’s nursery, the fire…was crackling green and white energy that seared her very soul peeling it out of her body and hurling it into the ether.
She turned to look behind her. No one was there, there should be someone there, a girl, a younger girl with long brown hair. “It was given to the slayer to protect,”
The girl had yellow eyes…no that was the demon…what was her name?
Mary closed her eyes and the scene appeared to her as clear as day. “Buffy no!”
the girl had cried.
“Dawnie I have to,” she whispered aloud.
Mary snapped out of her vision, dream, and looked wide eyed behind her. There stood the girl. The same girl. Dawn. “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it…be brave, live…for me,”
The magical winds had whipped her hair around her as the towers creaked and the air rumbled she ran, mind clear, at peace and she jumped into the swirling mass of energy. To save her. To save Dawnie.
“Say something!” the girl pleaded her blue eyes wet with tears.
“Is this hell?” she asked, the jumbled imaged pounding at the inside of her head, “Is this hell?”
“No, Buffy no,”
She opened her mouth to say she wasn’t Buffy, that her name was Mary Winchester. The tower creaked and groaned, she’d said it was built by crazy people, it would be so easy. She would just slip and fall, the pain behind her eyes would be splattered all over the pavement.
Not her name, a similar scream, she acted without thinking. The girl, Dawn, needed to be protected at all costs. She ran to her side and grabbed her around the waist flinging them both into space and catching the rope attached to the pulley at the last second. They hung for a moment and then slipped. Dawn screamed.
She barely felt it when she hit the ground, all she saw was the bits of crumbling tower ready to crush them. She pulled Dawn up and got her running out of the way, out of the path of the tumbling debris.
Mary came back to herself suddenly, an armful of teen trying to crush her lungs, she hesitantly wrapped her arms around the child. For she was, a child.
“Buffy, it’s really you, you’re alive. You’re home,”
No, she wasn’t Buffy. This wasn’t home. Home was with John and her sons, but…the child needed her. Now was not the time to make a fuss. Instead she allowed herself to be hugged and led away from the site of the tower.
She turned her head for one last look at the remnants of the structure.
“I’m Mary,” she whispered to the spot in the air defiantly.
Then she turned around and walked briskly away.
AN: What do you think? Like it, love it, hate it? I thrive on your comments and appreciate any and all feedback.