Disclaimer: As you know these characters and concepts don't belong to me, I'm just borrowing them for a while and I make no profit from these stories (though they do help me get through sleepless nights).
Title: Drowning Sorrows
Author: Alec Star
And now to the story.
by Alec Star
"Buffy, could I ask you something?"
"Depends. Are you willing to take 'NO' for an answer?"
"Yes, but I'd rather ask you than someone else."
"Not much of a choice then, is it?"
"I promise, it has nothing to do with Giles."
"Why don't you just call him 'dad'?"
"'Cause I just met him... don't get me started on the whole what to call him thing. The mere idea of having a father still feels beyond weird."
"You got lucky."
"You promised it wasn't about him."
"You brought it up. It really isn't. I'm just curious about the fact that you are the Slayer."
"And you finally found the nerve to ask?"
"So what do you want to know?"
"Well, I know the general story, the facts, but I want to know what it's like for you."
"I guess I'm sort of OK with it now."
"But you weren't before?"
"Not really. I mean, at first I just wanted to go back to my old life, you know? The one in which my parents were still together and I actually had a future."
"What do you mean 'had a future'?"
"Well, let's face it, one of the many perks of being the Slayer is the pretty much guaranteed extra-short life span. Not much I can do about it. Now I've pretty much gotten used to the idea --and the fact that I'm one of the oldest Slayers on record helps, at least a little-- but back then it was pretty awful. I don't think any sixteen year old girl wants to hear that there's a prophecy foretelling her death, you know?"
"Yeah, this old book said that I was going to die and there wasn't a thing I could do about it. I wanted to run, leave everything behind, but I couldn't. Not without allowing others to die... or at least that's what we thought at the time. The funny thing is that if I had run away the whole thing could have been prevented. That's kind of why I really don't like prophecies."
"But you didn't die."
"Yes I did. I was bitten and drowned. It was enough to call the next Slayer, but that's a whole different mess."
"Drowning is so not a nice way to go."
"Tell me about it... the burning in your lungs as you try not to breathe until you can't take it any more and you gasp for air only to have your lungs fill up with water... and the cold."
"I know, and the pain and that moment in which you realize that your body is shutting down and you know that it is the end."
"Yes... wait... how do you know?"
"Try the short version."
"You drowned or you were drowned?"
"I was drowned. Psycho bitch from hell. You?"
"Master vampire trying to break free. How did you manage to make it?"
"Jim. Official version is CPR."
"Xander. What do you mean official version?"
"Believe me when I tell you that you don't want to go there."
"Weird forest, animal spirits merging and a flash of light. It's not like I understand it myself."
"Yups, a grey wolf and a black jaguar."
"And here I had the idea that cats and dogs don't mix."
"Sometimes they get along."
"So, why did the psycho bitch from hell want you dead?"
"Sentinel, wanted a Guide. I already had a Sentinel and she figured if she couldn't have me no one else would... I guess. Maybe it was just 'cause she was crazy. What's the story of your master vampire?"
"Got stuck trying to open the hellmouth, needed a Slayer's blood to break free and that damn prophecy took me straight to him. He got out, we fought, he got dusted. End of story... or at least it should have been only some of his followers wanted to bring him back."
"No, that would be CPR."
"How many ribs?"
"Not sure. I hate hospitals but I suspect a couple."
"How did you manage to avoid the hospital after you had died?"
"Slayer healing, plus my mom didn't find out about what happened until over a year later."
"Mine never heard about it, period. She would have freaked."
"How could she not know?"
"Well, she's usually not around when I need her. I may be a detective but I still have a hard time trying to track her down. She wasn't there at the time and then I just didn't see the point in telling her."
"Makes sense. My mom didn't even know I was the Slayer at the time."
"How did she find out?"
"Saw me dust a vampire, then kicked me out of the house."
"That must have been rough."
"Yes, well, I couldn't really afford to stick around and debate the issue with her at the time. Giles was being tortured and I couldn't just leave him there."
"What do you mean Giles was being tortured?"
"I don't want to talk about it. It's over, he made it. You have your father, now can you just drop it!"
"Sorry, I didn't mean..."
"It's OK. It's just that I'd rather just forget about that."
"No you don't."
"I'd like to."
"You can't. No one can."
"Wanna try me?"
"Why are you being nice to me?"
"Why shouldn't I be nice to you?"
"That's not an answer."
"Then come up with a better question."
"That's up to you."
"You're weird, you know?"
"I get that a lot."
"I can imagine, so your mom's not around much?"
"I think that could probably qualify for the title of 'Understatement of the Year'. I've been pretty much on my own since I was admitted to college when I was sixteen, and it's not like she was around most of the time before that either, but things turned out fine in the end."
"At least you've got Jim."
"And you've got Giles."