Prologue. A Choice
Disclaimer: I do not own BTVS, Highlander:The Series, Stargate, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter or Bioshock anything else. BTVS is owned by the great and powerful Joss Whedon, Bioshock belongs to 2K or whoever, Highlander belongs to Russel Mulcahy or whoever, Stargate belongs to Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin. Anita Blake belongs to Laurell K. Hamilton. All rights or whatever else belong to each of them. I own absolutely nothing, except maybe myself. Hopefully.
The portal opened, demonic beasts flying out. The demon holding her looked around gleefully, Dawn stared around in shock. The demon suddenly flew off the side, Buffy stood there. She walked up to Dawn and pulled her into her arms, hugging her tightly, and then held her at arms length as she spoke.
“Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will always love you. But this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles... tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I'm okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world... is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.”
Buffy gave her a pained smile, turned around and did a perfect swan-dive. And jumped into the portal…
White… Whiteness all around her… that was all she could see. She looked down, examining her body. Same clothes as… how long ago was it now? A few minutes… no… more than that… but she wasn’t sure. She looked around trying to see anything. Just white… A darker patch started to appear before her. It gained a human shape, colour filtering into it as definition of its shape was gained. The shape was recognized.
“It’s kind of a temporary place made by the Powers so I can speak to you.”
“So get speaking, I wanna see what the big deal is.”
“That’s the problem Slayer, you’ve got a choice now…”
“What. Do. You. Mean.”
“Your friend the Witch? Well about half-way through the next year she’s gonna get the idea that your trapped in a hell dimension someplace… and that it’s her duty
to save you from it. So now you see the problem… You get Heaven; you get the perfect pure bliss deal… But then your torn out of it back down to the mouth of hell till you die again, this time with no mom, your Watchers gone to England and eventually you’ll push him away cause of throwing all the responsibility of looking after you and the Key on him. You’ll hate your friends for dragging you out, and barely be able to cope with the depression of losing peace.”
Buffy was horrified.
“That’s if you go to heaven, sorry slayer but the Witch is one of your friends, not our Champions so we don’t get any leeway, added to that The First is influencing her, whispering in her head, and everyone else’s.”
“The First as-in The First Evil, the guy that tried to get Angel to dust himself?”
“That’s the one, and it took us a heck of a bit of power to pull of that snowfall lemme tell ya.”
“That was you guys?”
“Sure was, didn’t want to lose one of our most promising people.”
“Thanks, but you said I have another option?”
“Instead of heaven, you get the long road… by the end you’ll be one of the strongest people we’ve got, but you’ll have to take care of yourself. We won’t be able to help you other than move you along the path. You’re on your own.”
“But will I be able to get back?”
“Yes, once the Powers feel you’re ready, they’ll send you back to the point where the Witch casts the spell.”
“Trust me on this, you don’t want to know how long… but even when you’re at the worst point ever, it will still feel better than how you’d feel if you’re on the Mouth of Hell, but can remember Heaven, just trust me about that.”
“Fine, I’ll take the long road then, and kick your ass at the end of it.”
Whistler nodded and stood back, Buffy faded.
“Good luck Slayer, see you in 25,000 years time…”