Disclaimer-I do NOT own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Supernatural. They belong to Whedon and Kirpike. I make no profit from this at all.
A/N: Ok so I know this is yet another new series and it's gonna piss some people off that I'm writing this and not working on my existing stuff but let me explain.
About three months ago my laptop died. Which wasn't so much of a big deal because I had all my writing backed up on an external hard drive with everything else in my life from the last eight years. But then the unthinkable and downright painful happened and my external died. I lost everything. Everything. All my notes, stories, research, movies, tv shows, art, pictures, music, and personal stuff (engagement party pics and other stuff that was irreplaceable). Needless to say its a massive setback. I tend to put hundreds of hours of research into my stories over the course of them and trust me when I say its hitting me harder than anyone else.
So yeah, I can't really work on any of my established stuff until I rebuild my notes which I AM working on but its gonna be a while. Plus I'm currently out of the country and on an island with limited time and internet access for work. I promise that NOTHING has been abandoned but as this series is gonna be a lot of one shots for a good while its the only thing I can really work on at all. Plus it lets everyone know that yes I am alive and yes I am still writing.
I'm sorry everyone I really am. Especially since I got blown away by winning Crossover Writer of the Year. I never expected it and I want to thank everyone for it from the bottom of my heart.
Ok, on to the fic. It's set during the BTVS ep Afterlife.
Sometimes pain is all you get. Sometimes, its all you have to let you know you're alive. It's supposed to teach you, warn you, make you stop and pay attention.
But the lack of it. No pain. No emptyness. No feeling of loss.
It was what made her pay attention.
Hours, just a few hours that felt like an eternity of pain.
Gone, the pain was just gone. And in its place.....
Not the complete, the finished, the happy, the whole feeling of before.
Something else. Something different. Not pain. Not peace.
The sense of just being. A space in between.
She could feel the cool of the boulder she was sitting on seep through her jeans just like she could feel the chilling moisture of the river flowing along side her and the crisp autumn air sinking through the brown sweater and leather jacket she wore.
Her exhaled breath gave off a little puff of steam as she took in the area around her. High mountains, dense trees touched by the hands of the changing seasons and a rocky mountain river flowing with clear waters.
An earthy smell, sharp and sweet and crisp. It was a comforting clean thing.
"Interesting choice little sister." there was a quality to the voice beside her. Something that went beyond anything she had proper words for. Love, hate, wisdom, loyalty, family-just labels for greater things. Things that time had seen over and over again and again and that still lay beyond any words or meanings that could ever be given them.
"I like it." she didn't even bother to shrug as she watched the water flow over rocks.
"Not surprising considering."
She turned away from the river, eyes moving over to settle on the features of her companion. He looked so young, not even twenty five, with handsome features topped by dark hair. Clear blue eyes met her own green and she forced herself to meet the gaze for only a moment before she took in the rest of him. A gray t-shirt under a dark blue button up and a dark jacket. Heavy work boots and jeans and the whole outfit had the look of things well worn but taken care of. Not exactly what she'd pictured him wearing on the off chance she ever came face to face with him again. But then again faces could change so easily, hers had. Among other things. She ruturned her gaze to the river, to the small piece of not pain she'd found even if it was only a dream. "What are you doing here Michael?"
"It's been a very long time since we've spoken."
That pulled at something in her and a sound escaped her, something between a laugh and a snort. "We never had anything to talk about to begin with big brother."
The wind picked up, clean and clear as she felt it brush against her face and hair. "There's a war coming." his tone was even despite the fact that she could tell what was underneath. Old family business that should have been dealt with instead of just shoved into a closet like a rotting corpse allowed to stink up the place.
"Coming?" she turned her gaze back to him, met his eyes. "It never stopped." she looked back out at the flowing water. "It never stops. And it never will." she closed her eyes, memories of beauty and peace and being whole doing battle with all the pain and emptiness and war that filled her. "And I never get to either." it was a whisper, an echo that would fade where she couln't, wouldn't ever be allowed to.
"I didn't approve of what happened."
A bark of laughter escaped her, hollow and bitter and tired and old and so very angry. Like bleached bones left to the desert sun. Which was exactly what she was. "But you didn't stop it either."
"I am sorry that things have come to this."
She shook her head, opened her eyes. "I don't want sorry, Michael." she didn't. Sorry didn't fix things, change them. Forgiveness was something that was supposed to be given without even asking. She didn't want sorry. Never had. "I want..." she stopped. What did she want?
A sigh escaped her as she shook her head. "You know what I want? I want someone to finally ask me what I want."
His expression changed, one corner of his mouth twiching into almost a smile while the other looked like it wanted to frown. "We aren't supposed to want."
A lone eyebrow rose. "Well in case you haven't noticed I'm not exactly sitting up there with the rest of our disfunctional little family any more am I?" she looked away from him, from the reminder of what had been taken from her. Of what she'd chosen and had never been able to take back. Of what she'd finally gotten only to have it ripped away. No rest for a good little soldier. "Go away Michael. I'm done playing games."
"Take care of yourself little sister."
She didn't need to look over to know he was gone, and she didn't care if he had ignored her and stayed. All she wanted was to sit and not feel any more. To not have to think about the million hollow spaces between what was, what could be and what might have been if duty and honor had never entered into the equation. But duty and honor and pain was all she'd ever gotten and it was how she knew that she was among the living again.
*****Review please. SPN is a new fandom for me and all the feedback I can get will be highly appreciated. And oh yeah, this was written on a plane ride and is very much without the touch of a beta.