Title: Because I Could Not Stop for Death (1/1)
Author: V. Mures
Archives: Whoever would like it, though it would be nice to know where it's going.
Summary: The final battle does not go quite as planned.
Pairing(s): Willow, Death
Warnings: Dark, Deathfic, angst
Disclaimer: I own neither BtVS, nor The Sandman comic books. DC Vertigo, and Mutant Enemy do, along with several individuals whom I cannot at this moment name.
Spoilers: Season 7
Author's Notes: AU--the relationship with Kennedy did not happen. I'm really sorry folks, I didn't plan on writing such a sad fic, but this is what came out of my fingertips. ::sigh:: It's not really a pairing fic, and it's probably too long for the challenge. I try to keep things short, but then I start writing. But the good news is I finished a fic. That is good news right?
"Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality. "
-- Emily Dickinson - Because I could not stop for Death
The trio that had always been the heart of the Scoobies gazed determinately at each other, and for a moment an indescribable feeling passed between them. So much had happened in the seven years they had been friends; they had seen love and heartbreak, extreme joy and extreme pain. They had endured it all, and been changed by it all. And now before what was perhaps to be their greatest battle, they once again stood together for one moment and remembered what had been. Nothing was said aloud, but a multitude of conversations passed between then at that moment, a brief eternity of apologies, and admonitions of survival. And Death, unobserved, watched it all.
She watched as the three separated, each one gone off to do their own tasks, to prepare for the horrid battle to come. Yet she only followed the petite redhead. She knew that she would be bouncing around once the battle came, and helping souls transition to their next existence, whatever that would be. But this one soul intrigued her more than the others. This beautiful girl held such an odd mix of darkness and light. It was a combination she had not often seen in mortals. She watched as Willow barricaded herself in one room with one of the Slayers in training guarding the door. Willow carefully prepared both herself and the space for a powerful spell. She closed her eyes; called on her power. Then she began chanting. She had a lovely voice and its power wove around the room.
Those lovely green eyes never opened, and that compelling voice continued on pure and strong even after the barricade burst open, revealing several ubervamps and one dead potential slayer. They continued on even after said demons invaded the circle and with brutal savagery killed the caster, and left in search of other prey. But Willow, well she simply refused to acknowledge her death. She poured her entire being into finishing the spell, and finish it she did. She connected directly to her Goddess and the earth itself. In one blinding moment of power she activated all the potential slayers, forever changing the world.
And as the light ebbed, and the white faded from her ghostly hair and eyes, she blinked up at the figure standing before her. She was tiny in structure, dressed all in black, very pale, had a black spiral painted from the corner of her right eye, and was wearing an ankh.
"Um, who are you? I don't think you are one of the S.i.Ts think I'd remember a cute goth chick...¨ Willow blushed and let the sentence trial off.
Death smiled, "Everyone meets me eventually, I'm afraid. And they usually have a hard time recognizing me, so don't be too worried about that. Here let me help you up." She offered Willow her hand.
Still confused Willow took her hand and shakily got to her feet. It was then she noticed the dead potential. She stumbled back, passing through her own body, and sat in shock.
"Tha..that's me?! I'm dead?!" Wide panic filled green eyes grasped onto the sad, gentle black eyes of her companion, who nodded.
"I'm sorry. I wish I could change things, but unfortunately I'm just here to help people transition from their lives to whatever awaits them next."
Death knelt in front of Willow, her arms offering Willow the comfort that she desperately needed. Willow leaned into Death's embrace and let the tears fall.
"Am I going to hell?" Willow gasped, "I've done enough bad things you kn.."
"I know what you've done, Willow, but you've done so much good too. I can not say where you will go from here, sweet lady. I have never been allowed to know where my charges go when they leave this world." She chuckled softly and tilted Willow's face towards hers. "But if the Powers That Be can't decide what to do with you, maybe they'll let you come back and keep me company for a while. I certainly wouldn't mind, and it might be nice to have some help from time to time."
Death nodded. "Really."
Willow smiled, "Thank you." She leaned her head once more against Death¡¦s comforting shoulder, and whispered, "Can you at least tell me if we won? Did my friends survive? Or is the end of the world here? Of course, that's a silly question you wouldn't be spending so much time here with me if the world was ending. You'd be very busy, unless of course you can be multiple places at one time."
Death laughed interrupting Willow's babble. "Most of your friends, including those who were your heart's family, did survive this battle little Red, and the world is not ending. Well not today at any rate."
Then Death cocked her head, and smiled sadly down at Willow. "It is time little Red."
She helped Willow to her feet. "I wouldn't worry too much if I were you. The powers are usually fair in their placement. And who knows maybe you will get to come back and visit me."
Hugging Willow, she placed a tiny kiss on her forehead. Standing back Death caressed Willow's tear streaked face, and whispered, "Goodbye Willow Rosenberg. You have saved the world far more often that you have tried to destroy it. You are a hero. May your next life bring you the peace and happiness that you deserve."
In a swirl of raven feathers and light they both disappeared. The bodies that were left behind were soon buried under rubble and earth when the Sunnydale hellmouth closed forever.