Written for the LJ’s 2011 Wishlist
Requested By: delspeth
Fandoms: BtVS/Fast and Furious
Prompt: When the Scoobies kick Buffy out, she calls Dom. Background - Buffy and Dom have been dating secretly for a while and he knows all about the slayer/demon thing.
Rated: PG-13 for language
Disclaimer: I don't own F&F or BtVS.A Road Now Taken
The streets were empty as Buffy made her way down the sidewalk, the houses she passed dark and quiet. She felt bad for them - once so full of life, their only job to protect and shelter, now abandoned. She knew the feeling all too well.
She paused to watch an SUV roar past her, one of the last remaining families finally leaving the sinking ship that was Sunnydale, then continued her trek to… where? Where was she going? What was she going to do now? She didn’t know, didn’t really care. A numbness had settled over her and she felt a little more distant with each step she took away from her home. Each step past an empty house. Each step by the abandoned businesses. Just when she thought she couldn’t feel more drained, she spotted something that called to her, clawed its way through her haze of emptiness, and stopped.
The payphone sat in front of a coffee shop that Dawn had sworn had the best blueberry muffins on earth. And while a muffin would be pretty tasty about then, it was the phone and not the thought of blueberry goodness that stopped her, brought her back to herself some. Digging in her pocket and coming up with some change, she headed toward the booth, the thought of who would be on the other end of her call thawing her with every step.
She paused before putting the coins in the slot though - wondering if she should really call him. Things here were going south quick and there was a good chance she wouldn’t be getting out of this town alive. The sudden pang of regret she felt was so sharp it took her breath away. She’d wasted so much time…
Buffy recalled Faith’s words about how she hadn’t even bothered to learn the potentials names. She’d told herself it was because so many of them probably wouldn’t make it through this - it would be easier to carry on, to lead, if she didn’t have that grief weighing her down. And it was true. Partially. But it was also a fact that she kept everyone at arms length. Her friends, her sister, her lovers. Hell, she’d kept Spike at a football fields length. Riley only a little closer than that. Angel… Well, he’d been the closest. But he’d also been the first. She’d closed herself off a little more each time.
Then she’d met Dom. She’d kept him the furthest away of all. All the way in another city. And he hadn’t complained about it once. He was perfectly fine with seeing her once or twice a month. Said he liked the drive. Plus, Sunnydale was always full of cheap cars for sale, their previous owners having died of mysterious circumstances. That was how she’d met him in the first place. He’d come to town to check out some deal, then of course the demon welcoming committee had to come do their job. That’s when Buffy had arrived. Not that he’d needed any help - according to him, you couldn’t rule the L.A. street racing scene without knowing about vamps and demons.
His voice had been what made her agree to dinner, somehow like velvet and gravel at the same time, she could listen to him talk for days on end. His amazing body hadn’t hurt either, Buffy was always one for a nice view. But his love and loyalty to those he considered family were what sucked her in and kept her there. His willingness to do anything it took to take care of them, the weight of feeling that responsibility…
She’d been drawn to him, so she kept seeing him. Not often, only every once in a while. It was comfortable, no pressure, no disappointment, always left with a longing for a little more. To be fair, her distance wasn’t one sided. He’d gotten out of a pretty serious relationship right before they’d met and hadn't been looking to dive into another one. So, they’d kept their arrangement, meeting for weekends of fire and passion and laughter. Long drives along the coast and nights by the beach. And it was enough for both of them.
Dom had been hinting that he wanted to see her more the last couple times she’d talked to him. And how did she react? By not calling him for the last two weeks. Regret reared its ugly head again, bringing along its buddy Shame for the ride.
“Yeah?” A rough distracted voice answered.
A pause. “Was wondering if I’d hear from you again.”
“Things here have been a little rough…”
Excuses, again. Self-disgust joined Shame and Regret.
“Apocalypse?” He asked, his blasé tone making her lips twitch a little.
“Yep, a big fat one,” she said, trying to adopt his carefree tone, but failing miserably. She just felt so…
“Tell me,” he said, his voice serious and demanding.
But instead of bristling at the order, she slumped against the side of the booth and told him all of it. The First, the Bringers, the Ubervamp, the Potentials - she got through all of it, but when she got to the events of tonight, her voice faltered. She took shaky breath.
“They said I was being reckless. That I wasn’t the Slayer because I’d earned it or because I deserved it, that I was just lucky. Maybe they were right…”
Dom snorted. The first sound he’d made since she started talking. Somehow, that derisive little noise made her feel better.
“Lucky, huh? Yeah, you’ve been really fucking lucky alright,” he said, sarcasm coating his words thickly.
“Okay,” Buffy conceded. “Maybe not lucky, but-”
“No ‘buts’. They don’t think you deserve this? Who are they? They’re fucking no one. Something way more important that they can ever imagine decided you were strong enough to handle that weight. You think they just throw all that power out there to anyone and wish them luck with it? Hell no. I‘m sure they‘re pretty damn picky about it.”
Buffy was a little surprised, both at what was practically a speech coming from Dom and the vehemence of his words. That empty place inside her filled a little. But that wasn’t what had been bothering her the most…
“They voted Faith in to replace me,” she said quietly. “They trust her more than me. After everything… All that I’ve done, that I’ve lost, all I’ve given up…” She swallowed hard. “And Dawn… she kicked me out…”
“Out of the house you worked your ass off to keep after your mom’s death? Screw that!” He half growled, half shouted. “Go back and kick their asses out of your
house. Let those traitors live on the street if they know so damn much. And I know you love your sister, babe, but I think it’s time you reminded her that you flung your ass of off a tower for her.”
“I can’t do that. I can’t just throw them out because they don’t want me anymore. They’re being hunted like animals. I-”
“Family is everything, Buffy. You don’t betray your family like that.”
She let out a slow breath. His words making her feel both better and more miserable.
“You know, Mexico’s nice this time of year,” he said after a moment of silence.
“You want to run off to Mexico?” She laughed, surprising herself with the sound. She’d been wondering if she’d ever laugh again.
“Just think about it.”
His words were quiet and serious, stopping her from laughing it off again.
" Mexico…” She said softly.
“Call me after the apocalypse.”
And that was that. No voiced concerns or revealed feelings because this might be their last chance. Just simple acceptance that she’d still be standing when it was all said and done - like it wasn’t even a question. The sky is blue, the tides roll in and Buffy will call after she’s smacked down the evil. She smiled as she hung up the phone and headed back off into the night. Nothing was fixed, she was still on her own and she still felt hurt and betrayed. But this wasn’t the end. Not by a long shot.*******
Buffy stared at the gaping hole where Sunnydale used to sit. It had been a hole that sucked her life away when it stood, it was only fitting it was now more than just figurative.
“What are we going to do now, Buffy?” She heard them asking behind her.
What was next? She’d spent so long here, so much time devoted to her calling, this town, the people that lived there. Now it was gone and it wasn’t just her
calling anymore. There were others. So many others
. It wasn’t all her weight to carry anymore. She could have a life of her own.
The small grin spreading over her face grew into a full fledged smile as she caught the throaty growl of a car with a powerful engine flying towards them.
“I hear Mexico is nice this time of year,” she said.