Willow doesn’t get to Buffy in time to remove the bullet. Disclaimer:
I don’t own anything in the Buffyverse or Whoniverse. Author’s Note:
Set directly after the final episode of Season 6.
She was surrounded by a darkness, an oppressive weight pushing down on her chest making it difficult to draw in breath. There was a voice echoing around her, and if she strained her ears she could make out the words.
Her name, shouted in Xander’s voice. Why was he shouting so damn loud? She was tired, and the weight on her chest was pushing her into further darkness. Why was he there anyway? The last time they had spoke, he was upset at her for not killing Spike after he caught the vampire and Anya together.
Her chest hurt, the most pain she had felt in a long time and she wondered what could have caused it. She had been outside, sitting on the stone bench in the backyard. Buffy remembered she had been thinking about her mom. Joyce had been so excited when she had found that bench, saying it was perfect to sit next to the little garden she had been working on. Buffy had carried the heavy stone bench in, griping about being used as a mule.
Sitting on it again, she had felt petty and sad. If she had known her days with her mother were limited, she would have carried this bench anywhere Joyce had asked. Buffy had tilted her head back, the sun warming her face. In that moment, sitting in her mother’s garden with her memories floating about her, she had felt some semblance of peace. A peace that was soon interrupted by the sound of heavy breathing and shouted words.
“This is your fault!”
Then the sound of gun shots, and the ripping pain as a bullet tore through her chest.
Buffy tried to open her eyes so she could snap at him for disturbing her rest, but her eyelids felt too heavy.
Instead, she slipped further into darkness until she could feel no more.
“The only time you were ever at peace in your whole life was when you were dead.”
A few days after Dark Willow had tried to end the world, and that’s all Buffy could still think about. The words Willow had uttered in Rack’s lair, trying to convince the Slayer to let her continue on her act of vengeance. For a moment, Buffy had felt tempted. She had felt tempted to let Willow go, let Willow kill the man who had caused her so much pain.
Would it have been so bad? Willow was right, the world was screwed up and it was loud and it was dark. Warren had done a bad thing, had dampened a dark spot in their life. He had taken Tara away from them, from Willow, and that was something that was unforgivable. He deserved to die, deserved to suffer, deserved….
No. The gold dust in her veins had practically screamed at her, warming her body and telling her to not give into dark thoughts that pervaded her mind. The Doctor’s voice had whispered to her, consoled her. The Slayer in her had fought against the gold dust and the Doctor, had wanted her to let Willow go.
But in the end, she had resisted. The promise she had made to herself, to the Doctor, and to the world wouldn’t allow this. Not because Warren didn’t deserve to die, because he sure as hell did, but because when Willow beat this thing… she wanted her best friend to be able to live with herself.
Laying in her field, Buffy stared at the night sky. Looked for a sign of the Doctor, like she always did.
Imagined a desert beneath her.
Grains of sand running through her fingers, turning into gold dust and swirling into the night.
There was something different about her now. Something new.
She had died. She had been shot in the chest, in her backyard. The darkness had claimed her, body and soul. There had been nothing, only an awareness, an expectation. Xander’s voice had faded to nothing. When she had woke up with a gasp and confusion clouding her brain, he had been gone. Buffy had patted her chest in disbelief, any wound she had received from the gun shot completely healed. She had nothing to show for being shot, except some blood staining her shirt.
There was something wrong with her.
She had known this, as soon as she had come back from the dead almost a year ago. When she had woken in her coffin, she had known there was something different about her. Besides having the partial knowledge of a time traveling alien with two hearts, that is.
This past year she had struggled with herself.
Between dealing with raising her sister, and working to keep them afloat, questioning her sanity, her reality… she hadn’t been able to figure out what was so different about herself.
Of course, she realized that saying there was something different about herself, something that set her apart from everyone else, was a little crazy. She was a Slayer, she obviously knew that. Buffy was different from everyone in the aspect, as different as a super powered human being who was destined to save the world was.
She never claimed to be a god. She had always recognized the fragility of her mortality, all the way up to the end. The end, when she died again and came back to life with a gasping breath and a pounding heart. That’s when she realized that her mortality had left her the moment that gold dust had settled on her bones and formed skin. The moment that gold dust had given her another chance at life, and taken away any chance she ever had at a final death, a final chance to rest.
She had Time running through her veins, coursing through her body like gold dust in the wind.
Things were going to change, even more than they had.
The desert was approaching, coming to claim their land and their lives.
Buffy smiled at the stars.