Disclaimer: I don’t own anything. Not one lick of anything recognizable from Buffy or Twilight.
Rating: Mostly FR-18.
Summery: Buffy and the others unknowingly tipped the balance, causing fatal consequences. Now they have to come to terms and two will usher in a new world.
A/N: First chapter is set in the Buffyverse. This is not a Buffy-centered fic. She is, however, the leading part of the series so she is the main voice. After the first chapter, the spotlight will be given to someone else and will be set in Twi-land. Twilight will be played with a bit, but most of the major events will be included.Chapter One
Three figures stood vigil on a roof. Watching the world they had fought long and hard to save. Through all of their trials, their sorrows and triumphs they had missed one tiny detail. Miniscule, even. Microscopic for those who had bled and cried and fought until they were so exhausted, they were almost happy for it to be over.
The bus trip to Cleveland had let them believe that it was over. The First was gone, every potential slayer awakened to help battle the forces of Darkness. Buffy, like the others, had hoped they could lead semi-normal lives with this new development. Now, standing on the roof of a mall, they were getting a bird’s eye view of what the future was really going to be like. It was not pretty. Not in the slightest.
“Balance.” Buffy stated, her monotone voice belying her incomprehension of the situation. “The world is being destroyed because of the balance?!” Her voice shrieked the last word, eyes promising a slow painful death as she turned to face Whistler. Slim fingers tightened around the Slayer Scythe, just one more threatening action to make the Power’s lackey talk.
Whistler had arrived just before the hoards of demons had come spilling out of the Hellmouth. Thousands of them in varying species. “The balance was tipped too far!” Whistler yelped, quickly backing away and flinching into a smaller target. “Too many slayers. Not enough vampires and demons.” Wringing his hands, the Balance Demon looked around at all the other present, trying to see if he would stop Buffy from ripping out his spine. The horrified look told him he had no friends here. “It’s not all that bad.” He stammered, backing away again as the irate Slayer stalked towards him. “The Powers That Be are chalking this up to a…” He struggled to find a word that wouldn’t get him maimed.
“A win!” He decided, his eyes brightening as Buffy stopped. “Yeah, a win. Light won.” If you simply ignored the Legions that were gathering behind the Hellmouth, waiting for the chance to set foot on Earth. “So they decided that there would be a restart. Like, another chance.” He tried to persuade the oldest Slayer that this was a good thing.
Buffy bent her knees, ready to pounce on the Demon, but a heavy hand dropped onto her shoulder, stilling her attack. “Buff…” Xander started, his wide brown eye looking over at the city, the world, they had condemned. “Let him talk.” Anya’s death still weighed heavily on his shoulders, the strong man nearly sagging with it. Xander briefly let his mind decide that it was best that Willow wasn’t here, with them. She would blame herself. That belonged to all of them. Not solely Willow. Or Buffy. His fingers squeezed the oldest Slayer’s shoulder comfortingly. When she leaned into him, he squeezed again.
Encouraged, Whistler stepped forward again, straightening his back and touching the brim of his hat in thanks. “The Powers are going to do a rolling restart. Back to the beginning. Change a few things here and there.” The Balance Demon didn’t go into specifics. It wasn’t his job to do the higher thinking. “Make sure this doesn’t happen again. Sure, ya did good. You all did.” He hastily tacked on the last sentence, glancing behind the Slayer to Xander.
“You’re not making another line of us.” Buffy stated, anger and guilt eating at her. “And… And…” She grasped for something more to say, to limit what the Powers would be doing with their restart. She didn’t trust them. They had manipulated and lead her and their other ‘Champions’ around by the nose. “We should get some say in what happens in the restart.” The Slayer stated, the end of her train of thought coming out of her mouth.
Whistler opened his mouth, as if to argue, but he paused to cock his head to the side. Listening to something that only he could hear. Buffy tensed, causing Xander to turn towards them to see exactly what was going on. Quickly darting his gaze from the Slayer to the Demon. Even with only one eye, he didn’t miss much. “They agreed. You can choose two to help the Powers create the new world.” Whistler finally told them sounding a bit shocked. “Two who are still living.”
It was instinct for Buffy to immediately jump to nominate herself. To bare the burden of being Chosen. Another squeeze to her shoulder made her pause, her attention drawn to the man behind her. The man who had always been there to watch her back. “What about everyone else?” Xander asked, focus completely on the Demon before them.
“All good souls go to Heaven.” Whistler replied, waving his hand as if dismissing the concern. He flinched back after he’d finished, as if remembering who he was talking to.
“And Dawn?” Buffy demanded, confrontation clear in every line of her body while the axe head jabbed towards the Demon’s neck.
“The monks used part of the Key to make her a soul!” Whistler hurried to explain, holding his hands up in surrender. “What’s left of the Key and Dawn’s soul will be separated!”
“And she’ll keep everything that is her? Non-functioning taste buds included?” Buffy harassed, protective of her little sister. She would have moved forward, but Xander still had his hand on her shoulder, and she was reluctant to shrug it off. She needed the moral support right now. She could break down later. Much later. Crunch time was now.
Xander couldn’t help the grin that spread over his lips as he watched the confrontation between the two. Buffy’s jaw was set and she had that unholy gleam in her eye that said someone was going to pay if she didn’t hear what she wanted to hear. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on who you were, Whistler was spilling his proverbial guts. At least he seemed to be. Xander left a moment of doubt. They would have to play this carefully.
When it looked like Buffy was winding down, and after so many years by her side he knew the signs, he coughed. When he had their attention, he looked into the Slayer’s eyes before turning to Whistler. “I’ll go.” He decided, hoping that his voice didn’t sound as unsure as he felt. Buffy would immediately pounce on his weakness, to try to ‘protect’ him. He didn’t mind so much when it came to monsters, but he needed to do this. No matter how tired and defeated he was, Buffy was ten times worse.
Xander watched as Buffy prepared to verbally argue, but he spoke first. “Spike.”
“Anya.” Was the Slayer’s reply and the two were off, completely ignoring Whistler.
“Low blow. Love spell.”
“Calling every Slayer.” Xander almost regretted that one as he watched Buffy curl up on herself, a haunted look in her eyes. He had to make that point, though. As much as it hurt him to add salt to an already open wound it had to be done. Buffy deserved to go back to Heaven. To be happy and not have to fight anymore. If anyone could continue, Xander could.
Pulling Buffy into his arms, Xander hugged her tightly, hoping to reverse some of the damage he had just done. “Are you sure?” The Slayer asked against his chest, clinging to him and the Slayer Scythe in a desperate attempt to hide from what she had done. What she had forced Willow to do.
“I am sure.” He told her, his conviction in his words as he gently pushed her back so she could look into his eye. Singular. The only one he had left. The blond nodded, stepping back a little more and straightening her spine so she was collected when she faced the ‘enemy’ again.
Pursing her lips, Buffy rested the stake side of the scythe on the ground as he glared at Whistler as if everything was his fault. She just had to think of someone else, now. Someone who she could trust to do the right thing for all the generations to come in this new world. This restart. She could do this, make the hard choices. She just had to think of someone. Maybe one like Xander so that they could gang up on the Powers…
A/N: Tell me what you think. Good? Bad?