Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Patricia Briggs owns "The Mercedes Thompson Series" and related characters; I own nothing.Prompts:
"Were" for XOverland, "The End" for 25crossovers on LJ.Note:
Thank you so much to akat for helping me work out some of the kinks, and putting up with me while writing this. :)~*~*~
I knew something was wrong from the minute I walked into the small house that I shared with Samuel. It was his evening off from the hospital where he worked (I know; me, dating a doctor, hello to the irony), and normally he would be in the kitchen getting dinner ready, occasionally singing softly in that beautiful voice of his. It was never loud, but there was always a quiet noise when he was home. It was absolutely silent now, despite the fact that his pick-up truck was parked in the driveway in the space next to mine.
On guard, I quietly reached into the duffel bag I had brought inside to get the closest weapon, just in case something had happened. I had managed to keep my life as the Slayer separate from Buffy Summers in this dimension, but I wasn't about to take anything for granted.
"Samuel?" I called out, walking slowly in the hallway, knife in hand. I sensed movement behind me, and I whirled around, knife raised before somebody tried to grab my arm. I ducked and whirled around, knife pointed at my assailant.
"So Charles was right," Samuel said in a cold, almost dead voice, his eyes boring into mine. I met his gaze, determined not to give him any ground. "You're the Slayer."
A heavy silence filled the room after Samuel's statement, neither of us moving.
"And what if I am?" I finally replied, cocking my head slightly. "What's it to you?"
"Don't play dumb, Slayer. It doesn't suit you." He took a step closer, trying to intimidate me. "Was this a lie this entire time, some way to get close to the Marrok so you could kill him?"
, I may be blonde, but I'm not stupid," I shot back, trying to hold my anger in check. "Don't insult me by thinking I would ever be that suicidal to target the Marrok. And second, like you were ever
going to tell me who you really were. We've been together almost ten months, did you expect me not to notice? Did you think that little of me?"
"This isn't about me," he snarled, trying to push me back against the wall. I tried to side-step him, but he managed to back me into the corner of the hallway. He grabbed the arm with the knife, squeezing hard enough to make me drop it. This only made me angrier than I already was.
"Like hell, it isn't!" I yelled back, losing some of my control. "Do not make this all about me and my secret keeping!" Through my anger, I vaguely noticed his eyes becoming lighter in color. "What is this really about? That I didn't tell you that I already knew your secret? That you couldn't figure it out on your own?"
"How many?" Samuel growled, moving in closer. "How many of us have you murdered, Slayer?"
Before I could stop myself, I raised my free hand and slapped Samuel across the face. Hard. He hadn't been expecting this, loosening his grip slightly, enough for me to break free and slip underneath is his arms. I took several steps away from him, trying to force down the doubts and the guilt that plagued me whenever I had to go hunt a rogue werewolf, especially after these last few months. Every single time, I was afraid that the eyes looking back at me would be his, even though I knew better.
"Don't want to think about it, do you?" he asked, turning around to face me, the outline of my hand stark against his face. "That every time you kill the wolf, you kill the person inside as well." I resisted the urge to close my eyes in an attempt to block out the images that I was always trying keep at bay.
"Don't you dare," I whispered, finally finding my voice. "Don't you dare judge me when you have no idea who I am."
I don't know how long we stood there, staring at each other from across the narrow space between us.
"Then who are you?" Samuel demanded, his voice still a growl. "Better yet, what are you?
That was the wrong thing to say. How many times had I heard that before? How many times did I ask that every time that I couldn't die, every time that I cursed Willow for bringing me back?
"Just a girl," I answered defiantly, lifting my chin. "Why? Just because I go after things that are hunting and killing innocents means I'm something other than human? That I'm some sort of monster?" Did that mean that I had come back wrong, just like Spike had said all those years ago?
"You're not just killing a wolf, you're killing the person inside!" Samuel yelled at me, only making me angrier, fanning my temper even higher. The fact that he was echoing what had just been going through my head wasn't helping calm me down at all.
"You think I don't know that?" I shouted back. "You don't think that goes through my head every single fucking time? But I do what I need to do! I protect people from things that would kill them without a second thought!"
"Is that what you tell yourself to make yourself sleep at night? That you didn't just end a human life, but that they were just a monster?" Samuel asked, his voice dropping dangerously low. "They don't have a choice, but you? You do. They're animals, doing what instinct tells them to. You have a choice about whether or not you pull that trigger. You're worse of a monster than those you're hunting, Slayer."
With those parting words, Samuel grabbed his jacket and stalked out the door. I stood there, for who knows how long, trying to catch my breath and feeling the world I had slowly constructed for myself shatter around me.
Fighting back the tears that I knew would only come later, I ignored the empty feeling in my chest and walked into the small room I shared with Samuel. Determined not to think, because thinking would only hurt too much, I pulled out the bags from the closet and threw what little I had inside, not caring about whether they were folded or not. I didn't have much, not now. When I was traveling from place to place to place, what was the point?
I was done in less than thirty minutes, my life packed into three overflowing suitcases. Looking around, I swallowed the lump in my throat as I took in the unmade queen bed, the medical books piled haphazardly around the room, the conspicuous spaces where my belongings had once been.
My eyes were drawn to the nightstand next to what had been my side of the bed. On top of it was a framed photograph of Samuel and I at the Texas State Fair a few months ago, one of those photos that you get at the end of a rollar coaster. Gently picking it up, I pressed my free hand to my mouth to try to stop any noise that was about to escape. Looking at the smiling happy faces, it really hit me. This, my life with Samuel, it was over. I was alone, again. He had pushed me away, just like so many others had before him.
Putting the picture back in its spot and ignoring the tears that were starting to flow, I grabbed my suitcases and walked outside. Throwing them into the trunk, I went back to the door, slipping the key off of my ring. Carefully, deliberately, I locked the door for the last time and slipped the key underneath the mat, ignoring the voice in my head that sounded like Giles accusing me of running away yet again.
"Goodbye, Samuel," I whispered, turning away from the small house I had called home and the man I had fallen for despite everything. Getting into my car, I did the best to drive away from the wreck of this day, forget what happened here, and start my life all over again.