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Tis the Season

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Summary: Twenty-four prompts, twenty-four fics, twenty-four days till Christmas. Brought to you by Wishlist_fic on LiveJournal.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General > Ficlet Collections - Other(Moderator)AvaFR152023,98815714,7561 Dec 1027 May 13No

Numb

Title :: Numb
Rating :: FR15
Disclaimer :: Supernatural and all related characters are copyright Eric Kripke, Kripke Enterprises & The CW Network. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright Joss Whedon and ME. I Am Legend and all related characters and dialogue are copyright of Richard Matheson, Mark Protosevich, Akiva Goldsman and Warner Bros. Pictures. No infringement intended.

Prompt :: slayerkate/Buffy, Dean/BtVS, SPN, I Am Legend/ “Horror or angst, your choice. I want to see the two of them existing in that world (I Am Legend), where everyone they know is dead. Pair them up or not, I’m fine with either. Avoid the cliché.”

+

“My name is Robert Neville. I am a survivor living in New York City. I am broadcasting on all AM frequencies. I will be at the South Street Seaport everyday at mid-day, when the sun is the highest in the sky. If you are out there… if anyone is out there… I can provide food. I can provide shelter. I can provide security. If there’s anybody out there… anybody… please. You are not alone.

+

Routine.

It’s what keeps you safe.

It keeps you sane.

It’s why you’ve listened to this broadcast every day for nearly a year, ever since you broke into that Radio Shack and pillaged all that you could use to survive. It’s also why you’ve never taken Robert up on his offer. You know Cleveland isn’t that far from New York. A day’s ride at the most which means you’d never have to stress over nightfall, but still you stay.

Nightfall.

From sunset to daybreak use to be yours.

Before the world went to hell and you right along with it. You’ve faced apocalypse (plural) and never faltered because you knew you were the Slayer and it was your duty, it was your right to save people, hunt things. And you did. With a flourish, with quips and stakes you kept the monsters at bay and humanity safe until some scientist found the cure for cancer.

They murdered the world and if you had the chance you’d wrap your hands around that doctor’s neck and squeeze until things popped and blood flowed. They made you alone. They killed everyone.

Though technically you killed everyone and you remember. God, do you remember.

You remember Dawn’s curved teeth, bloodshot eyes and her hands. Those terribly strong hands as she tried to rip you open and feast on what was inside. She hollowed you out. Left you empty when you snapped her neck and held her still warm body in your arms until Faith dragged you free of her and back into the world. She forced you to focus on the present and to leave the past the fuck alone. She brought you back, but it was too late. There were too many infected and too few Slayers.

Was this your punishment?

You created an army so the world, the powers that be, created something worse.

But still you both fought and still you both patrolled. Long after you knew you’d lost. Long after there was no one left to save. You’d patrolled and killed as many of the infected as you both could. During the day. At night. It didn’t matter because you had one another and for some godforsaken reason you were both immune to this sickness.

None of the other Slayers were.

None save you.

And then you lost Faith.

You lost that spark that kept you fighting. Kept you sane and so you clung to your routine. You gathered what you could, avoiding the darkened buildings and abandoned sewer system, and instead stuck to the streets. You drive and you find it much easier without anyone else on the road, no one else to worry about and no one else to care if you have a minor fender bender.

It’s happened only twice—fine—three times since you’ve started.

The day is your friend. You embrace it and use it to keep you safe from the infected. You can kill them easy enough one on one but a swarm of them will tear you apart and there’s no one left to gather the pieces once they’re done and bury you. Not like you did for Faith and the thought of what’s left after they’re done just rotting for all the world to see and not care keeps you inside at night.

That’s what locks you inside the Council’s safe room. Behind steel and concrete and where you can only faintly hear the screams above you on the streets.

Why do they scream?

You’re not sure you want to know.

+

It’s a Wednesday.

You’re not sure why you still keep track of something so trivial, but you do and it gives you some sense of normalcy. You’re enclosed in Dawn’s Civic and making your way deeper into the city and towards the grocery store you’ve stocked full with supplies. You’re not sure why you’ve stocked a grocery story with supplies and not your room beneath the house. Maybe it has something to do with having an excuse to escape the compound for a few short hours.

You’re not sure of a lot of things and your eyes narrow on the black car sitting directly in front of the sliding doors that lead into the store because you are sure that car doesn’t belong. It’s a break in the routine and it makes you nervous. The routine is what keeps you safe and sane. It’s why you’re reaching for the axe you have laying across the seat and get out of the Civic human slow.

Boot heels hitting the asphalt with barely any sound as you stroll forward and the axe comes up to sit comfortable on your shoulder. “Holy shit!” the startled shout inclines your head and you watch a guy free himself of your store and move around his car towards you. A gun is held in a two-handed grip in front of him and his green eyes are wide and focused entirely on your face in a way that makes the hand holding the wooden handle of your axe twitch.

You take a step back from him and he separates his hands, holds the gun up and to the side of his shoulder as he speaks, voice soft and slow, “Hey, wait. Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to scare you,” a smirk twists your mouth because there’s not much left in this world that scares you and then you remember the thought of your bleached bones and your smile slips as he’s rattling on, “My name’s Dean. What’s yours?”

You don’t answer. You turn to look down the road, the cars you know by heart lining it and turn back to him and his car.

They’re out of place.

They don’t belong.

And he’s talking again, “I know. It’s crazy. I thought it was just me and that Neville guy left,” his words turn your head back to him as he gives a nervous laugh and asks, “You’ve heard his broadcast?”

A nod drops your chin and you take a step forward. He relaxes some and lowers the gun to hang loosely from his hand before adding, “I’m headed there myself. Thought I’d stop and get some supplies and when I heard you pull up I couldn’t freakin’ believe it.”

The smile he flashes you is attractive and it’s almost enough to stop you.

Make you hesitate.

But you don’t and you step into him, axe lifting from your shoulder and dropping down before you bring it up and sink it deep into his upper chest. He sputters and gags when you yank the axe free and he stumbles back, gun falling from his hand and the shock clearly written across that attractive face. You move into him and bring the axe forward and he goes down.

The axe follows the movement.

It continues to fall until the blade hits asphalt and you’re covered in warm blood and breathing hard. Those green eyes are sightless, his features slack and there’s a hole where his chest should be. You turn away from him and back to his car, searching the interior for his keys before you give up and head back to the body. You fumble in his pockets before you find them in the pocket of his jeans and drag the jingling mass free and open the trunk of the car.

The array of weapons impresses even you and you slam the trunk lid, rocking the car before opening the back passenger door. A wide bench seat greets you and you smile before moving back to the body and grab his leather jacket. He’s heavier then you thought he’d be, but you manage him easily enough into the back seat and drive his car around to the back of the grocery story.

You park it out of sight (out of sight, out of mind) and make your way back towards the front of the building. You stop long enough to retrieve your axe before you head into the store to stock up on your weekly supplies.

You’re not sure why you keep them here.

Perhaps you like the routine of it.

And the routine is what keeps you safe.

It’s what keeps you sane.

+


Note :: I was asked to avoid the cliché. How’d I do?
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