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Death is Easy…Living is Hard

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Summary: The slayer activation spell carried a double-edged gift with it. Buffy is immortal, but her friends are not. As death creeps upon them, she wonders how she can continue living in the absences.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Vampire/Supernatural > Mercedes Thompson Series(Recent Donor)LunaFR15622,360611111,16925 Dec 115 Sep 12No

Don’t Mess with Divorce Lawyers

A/N
I’m a naughty writer whose life has been consumed my moving and starting school and a new job. I hope you enjoy the update!

And because it’s been 2 months since the last update…Recap!
*About 20 years ago Harmony turned Xander into a vampire
*Willow killed vamp Xander
*Buffy now hates Willow and went on a killing spree of almost all yellow-eyed vampries
*Buffy is now in her 40s and immortal (except for death in battle) thanks to the Slayer Activation Spell
*She’s on a road trip and decides to go find Oz, because she needs to talk to someone else who is immortal, too.
*Meets Mercy by accident, during a vamp attack
*Samuel mistakenly attacks Buffy because Slayers are supposed to be harmful to werewolves
*Buffy is now pack approved thanks to Oz and Mercy’s boyfriend, the Alpha of the local pack



Buffy parked her ‘rental’ car – courtesy of Mercy while she waited for her Ford to be fixed – outside the brick building numbered 1304 Billings Street. It was tall and skinny, smushed between two larger apartment buildings. This was Oz’s music store, studio and; on the second floor, his home.

She heard music as soon as she stepped outside the car. Buffy grinned. Suddenly she was reminded of hanging out in the school courtyard with the Scoobies while Oz fiddled with his guitar.

Of course, Scooby time at school immediately made her think of Willow…Buffy’s smile evaporated at the thought.

Sometimes she wondered if she was too hard on Willow. A decade had passed and Buffy still hated her former witchy friend. Willow had tried, of course, to make amends but Buffy had made it clear to her that she didn’t give a damn.

But sometimes she did. Like right now. She knew that Willow, regardless of the ‘Gay Now’, still thought of Oz as an important figure in her life at a key period. Willow would have loved to learn all the Oz gossip. In fact, Buffy could totally see Willow smiling happily as she explained the ‘Omega’ deal and thinking, just like Buffy, how that fit Oz to a ‘t’.

Buffy sighed. Whatever. It didn’t matter. Even if she sometimes wished for a moment like that, the feeling was few and far between. Willow had destroyed Buffy’s future when she staked Xander. Buffy wanted nothing to do with her.

But! Happy thoughts. Buffy forced a smile on her face. She had already done the “woe is me, lack of mortality” song for Oz and he didn’t deserve a sad Buffy.

A glass panel surrounded by an oak door frame greeted her at the entrance with the signs “Music Store” “Guitar Lessons” and “Open”.

Buffy laughed suddenly – she realized that there was no name for Oz’s business. He just marketed himself as “Music Store”. Somehow she was not surprised that her succinct friend would have a simple marketing strategy.

A bell jingled when she opened up the door, but it was drowned out by three teenage boys playing on guitars. Oz’s back was to her and Buffy hoped she wasn’t interrupting.

The music died off once there was a terrible screeching sound from one of the guitarists and Oz raised his hand.

“James, watch out for that diminished ninth. That’s a man’s chord. You could lose a finger.”

Buffy could hear the smile in his voice.

“Dude, I swear I will conquer this chord!” James promised. He was lanky with sun-kissed hair. Buffy could see him playing a guitar by the beach. Too bad there were no beaches around here.

Oz chuckled. “You will. You’re halfway there. Take this song home, all of you, and come back next week ready to rock.”

The three boys laughed and began to chat about their plans while they packed up their instruments. Oz turned to her with a slight smile. “Here for lessons?”

“Yeah right!” Buffy laughed. “I can’t do instruments but I can slay….” The boys spotted her and appeared interested. “Ah—”

“You can lay down a nice beat in the DJ booth?” Oz finished. His lips curved slightly and his eyes sparkled with amusement.

The students heard him. “Whoa Oz, you have a DJ friend?” This boy was about Oz’s height and also had dyed electric blue hair. Huh. Looked like Oz had a fan. That was cute.

“Umm…”

“Buffy’s a burgeoning DJ,” Oz explained. “Buffy; James, Tyler, and Ronan.”

Buffy smiled at the boys.

“Sweet, yo!” Tyler, the blue-haired boy shouted. “Hey, um, maybe once we start practicing and record a song you can play it?”

“Oh, well…”

“First things first – master the diminished ninth this week. Then we’ll see,” Oz said with an enigmatic smile.

“Cool!” The boys said their good-byes and left, the bell ringing in their wake.

“I’m a DJ?” Buffy asked with an arched brow.

Oz shrugged. A smile played along his lips as he began pushing the wooden stools the boys had been using underneath a shelf. “If you’re going to live forever, you should have a hobby,” he commented.

Buffy let out a snort of laughter. “Yeah, okay. I’m going to be a musician-type person.” She rolled her eyes. “My band teacher in fifth grade actually encouraged my mother to just enroll me in two choir classes instead of band.” She frowned. “Not that my singing was very good either. My choir teacher, Mr. Outerman, told me – after I bugged him – that I didn’t get a solo in the Christmas play because I sang “so loudly that I needed to be in the choir to encourage others”. It wasn’t until I was older I realized that was a nice way of saying I sucked.”

Oz chuckled softly and lounged back on a black upholstered Lazy-Boy with a crimson acoustic guitar in his hands. “Didn’t you once kill demons with your voice?”

“Huh?” Buffy asked, bewildered. She was forty two. There had been a lot of demons in her life.

“When you all were in Tibet searching out that sorcerer, Xander updated me on Scooby stories afterwards. Something called the…Gentlemen?” Oz’s brows rose, as if he wasn’t sure about the name – or even the story.

Buffy burst out laughing. “Oh yeah.” She smiled wistfully – and you knew you had a pretty damn crazy life if voice-stealing demons made you wistful of days past. Without further encouragement, Buffy began to talk about that incident, even going so far as to tell Oz about her futile attempts to hand gesture to the Scoobs about the need to ‘stake’ the demons – which looked a lot like a hand job gesture.

Soon enough, both of them were laughing and telling stories. Sure, Oz more of a listener then storyteller, but he had some good ones too. There was a black love seat nestled in between a drum set and a shelf of sheet music that Buffy lounged in while Oz sat in his chair and absentmindedly strummed his guitar.

“So what made you decide to open up a music store anyways?” Buffy asked after a while.

Oz looked around at his collection of instruments and equipment. He shrugged. “I needed to do something. Sometimes…It can be easy to forget who you are when everything changes but you. It’s my way to feel connected.”

Buffy nodded. She got that. “If I didn’t have the slayers, I don’t know what I would have. They keep me connected.” Even now, regardless of distance, she knew that if she opened up that part of herself she would be able to feel them.

“And you have your family,” Oz pointed out.

“Yeah…” Buffy shrugged. “I dunno. I stopped being close with them after…”

“Xander.”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

Buffy shrugged uncomfortably again. “I went on a rampage against all the yellow-eyed vampires in the U.S. Giles warned me not to give in to my lust for revenge, but I took out the Slayer Scythe and went to town. It didn’t help that I hated – no, despised – Willow. And most people had her back during our arguments.”

“Really?”

“Yeah,” Buffy nodded. “Giles agreed with her decision. Faith was, whatever, but I think it was her feelings for Willow that had Faith side with her. Dawn and her husband Carlos…they weren’t happy about it, especially Dawn, but she understood Willow’s reason,” Buffy explained in a hard voice.

Oz strummed in silence for a while. “Will you ever forgive her?”

… “No.”

He must have sensed the anger emanating from her. Buffy couldn’t help but get super cranky on this subject. “Back to your new hobby. Here.” Oz got up to hand the guitar to her.

“Ahh…no. That’s okay,” Buffy said hastily. “I wouldn’t want to make music so bad the wolves start howling.” She flashed Oz a grin, which he returned.

“Just try.”

“Hmmph.” Buffy took the guitar anyways…because to be honest she was interested. She strummed the strings once, noticing how cool the vibration felt against her hand. It brought a smile to her face unexpectedly. Her fingers glided against the taut strings twice more, enjoying the sounds emanating from her actions.

“You’re a natural,” Oz promised with a lopsided grin.

“Hmm.” Buffy’s brow rose questioningly. “This part is okay. The action learning how to actually play sounds less fun.”

Oz’s expression turned thoughtful. “Ah. I see.”

Buffy’s eyes narrowed. “See what?” she demanded.

He shrugged, his green threadbare tee shifting over his slim body. “You don’t like the challenge of it.”

“Hmmph.” Buffy snorted distastefully. “I never said that.”

“Of course,” Oz affirmed placidly.

Scowling at him, she sat up straighter and held the guitar against her chest. “Fine then. Show me something.”

A secretive smile wove its way onto Oz’s lips as he obliged with a lesson on the “G” major chord.


***


Buffy’s ringing cellphone – an upbeat dance tune – interrupted her first guitar lesson near the end of the hour. “Hello?” she answered, fumbling a little with a guitar before setting it on her lap.

“Buffy, hey,” came Mercy’s voice. “There’s an issue with your car.”

“Oh.” Dread gathered in her gut. She loved that car. “What?”

“It’s kind of…dead.”

“Really?” Buffy asked faintly. Damn. Now she would need to actually purchase a rental (nice as she was, Buffy doubted that Mercy would let her borrow a car forever) or buy a new car. She had to be in L.A. in next week. Of course, she supposed she could fly, but being stuck around strangers aggravated her. There was something about driving that allowed her to lose herself in her thoughts that she preferred.

“Really. I’m sorry, Zee and I tried everything but…” And then Mercy went on to explain all the problems with the engine but Buffy wasn’t really listening. She hated talking about car things. It bored her.

“But there are some decent rental agencies out here. We get a lot of tourists who stop through to explore the state parks so a long-term request shouldn’t be unusual.”

“Nah. I think I’d feel better buying a new car.” Buffy grinned eagerly. Actually, that sounded not so bad…shopping time ahead!

“Oh, okay. Well, just remember to actually get oil changes done next time,” Mercy suggested, a hint of dry humor in her voice.

“Will do.” Buffy rolled her eyes. Sue her, she had a lot of stuff going on. Car maintenance wasn’t exactly a priority. “Thanks Mercy. I’ll stop by later today to pay.”

“No problem, Buffy. See you.”

Buffy turned the call off with the press of a button on her high tech smart phone. She still had a big smile on her face as she pondered what color and style to get her new car in.

“So…not sad about the dead car?” Oz asked with a perplexed furrow of his brows.

“At first. It was a good car. But now I get to buy a new car, and shopping is very therapeutic.” Buffy held up the acoustic guitar she had been playing. “Where should I put this?”

Oz waved her question away. “Keep it.”

“What? No.” Buffy shook her head forcefully.

“It’s a gift. Practice.”

Pursing her lips, Buffy looked down at the guitar. “But I suck.”

Oz chuckled. “Everyone sucks at first. Besides, you’ve got years to master it.”

“Hmm.” Buffy supposed he was right. And surprisingly, she really liked playing the guitar. It was cool to do something with her hands that didn’t involve death. Plus, music is pretty – mmmkay, not her music, not yet. But still.

“I should pay for it, at least,” Buffy offered. “I mean, you listened to all my problems and helped me find a mechanic, and helped so the local werewolves didn’t try to make war and try to kill me. I can’t accept this.” She smiled wryly. “I’m not the same poor college kid you used to know.”

He leaned forward conspiratorially. “Me either.” Oz grinned. “Investment portfolio, remember?”

Buffy laughed loudly and nodded her assent. “Okay then. Prezzie accepted.”

Oz handed her a guitar case and she put it away lovingly, even petting it once or twice. “Hmm. I should give her a name.” She shot him a look. “People do that, right?”

Oz nodded, the ghost of a smile on his face, as if he were trying not to laugh too loudly at her.

“Hmm. Maybe Betsy?”

Oz made a choking sound.

“What?” Buffy asked, appalled.

“Betsy?” he questioned with a raised brow and open smile.

“Yeah, what’s so wrong with that? People name things ‘Betsy’ all the time,” Buffy stated, miffed.

“Exactly.”

“Hmm.”

“Name her ‘Joan’.”

Joan…why did that sound familiar…“Why?”

“Joan Jett. Queen of Rock and Roll. Amazing guitarist.”

Buffy’s lips curled into a smile. “Joan”, she whispered experimentally. She liked that. “Joan it is.” Buffy locked up the guitar case and pulled Oz into a big hug. He was about her height, which was nice because she could fold her chin into the crook of his neck instead of feeling like she had to reach up on her tippy-toes. “Thank you.”

Oz hugged her back tightly. “You’re welcome.”


***


Buffy drove to Mercy’s garage, waved hi to Gabriel at the reception area, and greeted Mercy with a happy smile – she was already imagining what her new car would be. Giles’ middle-age-crisis mobile came to mind and she couldn’t help but decide shiny and red was the way to go. Of course, it bothered her slightly to think that she was middle-aged now, youthful appearance notwithstanding.

When she told the skinwalker her plans, Mercy gave her a skeptical look.

“What?” Buffy asked, a wry smile on her face.

“Shiny and red are not good qualities in a car, Buffy,” Mercy stated dryly.

Buffy stuffed her hands in her pockets and leaned against a tool table. “You’re right. Shiny and green would be better.” She smirked.

Mercy clenched her eyes shut. “Oh god. You are one of those females,” she teased.

“Hey, just because I can make mincemeat out of the undead doesn’t mean I don’t have a fashion sense,” Buffy remarked with a grin.

Mercy guffawed loudly and rolled her eyes. “Please for the love of all that is holy, do not tell Adam that. He will want to make us shopping buddies or something.”

Buffy fought to hide a judgey look. Mercy was definitely a tomboy, all denim and stained tees. Not that, you know, that was bad or anything…Just, not Buffy’s preference. “Is Adam a fashion diva?”

“Yeah,” Mercy laughed. “He’s all into suits.” Her eyes lit up. “Which I do like on him.”

“Just not for you?”

“Exactly.” Mercy smiled. “Don’t get me wrong, he loves me and I know he’s okay with my grease-stained shirts, but I know he likes it when I dress up to.”

Buffy suddenly saw a project. “Well,” she drawled, “maybe I can take you clothes shopping and you can help me buy a car?” Maybe she didn’t particularly care about her miles per gallon or engine size, but she also didn’t want to accidentally buy a lemon that broke down halfway to Los Angeles.

“Hmm.” Mercy narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “Not sure if I want a shopping trip with you—”

“Hey!”

“Only because I hate shopping,” Mercy smiled apologetically, “but I will help you buy a car. I’m supposed to hang out with Warren and Kyle for dinner, but maybe they can come along?”

“Warren and Kyle?”

“Sorry. Warren’s is Adam’s third in the pack – basically meaning he’s third in line to being the pack alpha – and Kyle is his boyfriend. Warren has been alive since the forties and is a born and bred cowboy, so he’s also into ‘car things’,” Mercy quoted with her fingers. Then she smiled. “And Kyle is a brilliant divorce lawyer who loves fashion way too much, so I think you two will get along just fine.”

Buffy laughed. “One, I’d like for someone to be there who understands the need for shiny. Two…not to sound prejudiced, but…there are gay werewolves?”

“Yeah,” Mercy nodded, and Buffy hurried to explain.

“I just ask because when I was hunting a pyscho French packmaster who attacked some of my slayers, our research showed that the werewolves are super traditional, like 1950s style, and not too into equal rights.” Buffy shrugged. “Me, I’m down for the rainbow parade. A couple of my best friends are—were,” she corrected herself, “gay.”

“Were?”

Buffy winced and shifted slightly. “Were my friend. Still gay though.” God, old habits die hard.

“Ah.” Mercy nodded. “Got it. And, to answer your question, yes. Werewolves are jerks, basically. But Adam is cool and doesn’t care about that – mind you, some of the other wolves care, but they’re not in charge.” She smiled, and it wasn’t a very pleasant smile. Buffy had a feeling that Mercy didn’t like those other wolves very much.

“So,” Buffy said brightly. “Shopping time?”


***


Buffy decided that she really liked Mercy’s friends. Warren was a gruff and tough type, totally werewolf material, but he had a wicked sense of humor that Buffy liked. Mercy explained that gay werewolves didn’t live long – they were challenged often by other werewolves to deadly fights and rarely were allowed in a pack – so Buffy could see why someone as strong as Warren was able to handle himself for decades.

Kyle was the sweetest thing ever. Until Buffy’s car salesman began snake oiling her.

About fifty years old with a paunch belly and plaid sports jacket, Doug Bryce had the cheesiest grin ever; which Buffy bet helped the man sell a lot of cars in his time.

The car, in this instance, was crimson and sparkled underneath the sunlight. It was a BMW sports car with convertible roof and only two years old, the youngest model on the used car lot.

Buffy likey.

Doug saw the gleam in her eyes once she spotted it and began giving her the speal.

“Yeah, whatever,” Buffy said with a wave of her hand and eager smile. “Me likey.”

“Me likey too,” Kyle grinned. “Nice eye, Buffy.” The two had been gossiping about cars like teenage girls at the mall, while Warren and Mercy both groaned in exasperation.”

“Great! At $35,000, it’s a steal. I’ll draw up the papers.”

“One second,” Mercy intervened. “What about…” And then she proceeded to rattle of a bunch of questions, along with Warren.

Buffy shared a look with Kyle and pouted. “Can’t I just have the pretty?”

Kyle smiled widely; he had the kind of smile that would make any judge rule in his favor. “Don’t worry hun, let those two do all the work. We just get to stand here and look amazing.”

Laughing, Buffy nodded in agreement and trailed her hand over the BMW’s smooth surface. Likewise, Kyle also admired the car. “You’re lucky, you know,” Kyle said. “Difficult to find a luxury car in this city.”

“Where did you get yours?” Buffy inquired. Kyle and Warren had driven up in a very nice vehicle, of which Buffy was insanely jealous.

“Seattle. Ever been?”

“Once.” Back when she was on her cross-country slaying rampage. “Good coffee.” She had needed the caffeine for her hunts.

“Definitely,” Kyle laughed. Then his fingers ran over a spot over the driver’s side door, and his expression darkened. “Hmm.”

“What?” Buffy asked suspiciously. “Frowning and pretty cars were unmixy things.”

Kyle’s expression turned stony the longer he looked at the patch of metal.

“What?” Buffy asked again, more urgent this time.

“Hmm” was all Kyle said and then he was walking over to where Mercy and Warren were speaking to the salesman. Both appeared pretty satisfied with the answers provided.

“So what’s the ownership history of this car?” Kyle inquired.

Holding up his clipboard with the answers, Doug smiled. “Rental car for Enterprise. Driven $13,000 miles each year. ” His smiled broadened. “Which is a great set of miles for you, miss.”

Buffy frowned. She didn’t like it when people called her ‘miss’ like she was some young girl. God, was this going to be her life forever? Hmmph. Also, what was Kyle doing?

“Right,” Kyle replied briskly with his shoulders straightened. His gaze focused on the man’s eyes as he took the clipboard and reviewed it with a cursory glance before turning back to Doug. “I do see that in the paperwork. The problem is, I’m not so sure it is true.”

Doug’s eyebrows rose casually and he shot Kyle another smooth smile. However, the skin tightened around his blue eyes ever so slightly. “And why would you think that, young man?”

Kyle bristled and Buffy silently laughed – it appeared he didn’t like being called young, either!

“Because I noticed the serial number had been etched just enough to turn a ‘6’ into an ‘8’. I wondered why would someone do that, if not to screw someone over. Add into the fact that a my client’s husband got into a car accident last year, totaling their BMW, and screwing her over, and I put two and two together. So tell me again, Doug, is this car really what you say it is.”

Doug gave them a look like the lawyer was crazy. “Yes, of course it is!”

“He’s lying,” Warren whispered to them, low enough so the salesman didn’t notice.

Kyle pulled out a cell phone. “Great. Let me call up my detective friend at the station. I’m sure he would love to hear that you are selling a previously wrecked car, certainly put together with various parts from other cars, as a whole set with a fake background.”

“W-wait!” Doug cried out.

After that, it got interesting, what with the used car lot’s owner coming out (who apparently knew nothing about the car; just said that Doug had acquired it and used the correct paperwork) and the police visit. Needless to say, Kyle was correct. Apparently it was a big no-no to falsely advertise like that – not that Buffy actually knew why.

“Because once a car is wrecked, it’s doomed,” Mercy tried explaining afterwards. “It would have been incredibly unreliable and would probably cause another accident. The false paperwork is pretty illegal.”

“Whoa.” Buffy was immortal but that really was only in regards to illness and natural aging. She was pretty sure a major car accident could kill her. “Thanks Kyle!” Buffy said with a quick hug. “I didn’t realize you were so car-smart.”

“Oh, I’m pretty smart in just about everything,” Kyle boasted, eyes twinkling.

“You are,” Warren agreed with an admiring smile.

“Kyle’s a genius lawyer,” Mercy explained. “Have to say, I feel bad for anyone who goes against you.”

“Tell me about it,” Warren joked with gesture towards his chest, causing them all to laugh.

“The only thing I don’t get,” Buffy mused, “is how Warren knew he was lying. He seemed pretty sure of himself.”

“Werewolf senses,” Warren explained matter-of-factly as he wrapped an arm around Kyle’s shoulders. “We can tell a lie.”

“It’s all about the heartbeat – they can hear when it jumps, and that usually happens when someone lies,” Kyle added. “And yes, it can suck sometimes.”

“Hey, well maybe you shouldn’t have eaten the last frozen pizza and then told me Mercy had gotten to it,” Warren shot back. His lips quirked into a half smile.

Kyle rolled his eyes. Mercy glared.

“That sounds…awful! If someone knew when I was lying…” Yuck. Although, Buffy could read the minds of the slayers when she wanted to, so maybe she couldn’t say anything…but still!

“Don’t worry.” Mercy flashed a smile at her. “There are ways around it.”

“Ooh, tell me more ‘O’ Wise Woman.” Not that Buffy hung around with werewolves often, but still.

“The trick is to tell half-truths. Or avoid answering questions.” Mercy laughed. “Trust me, it’s worked for me!”

“I’ll have to take your word for it.” Maybe Buffy would practice that with Oz tomorrow at lunch. Although, he was really too nice to call her on lying. Well, probably. She supposed she didn’t really know him all that well.

Mercy’s phone rang once they began heading out for dinner – no new car for Buffy, maybe at a different place tomorrow – and the four of them rode in Kyle’s convertible.

“Hey Samuel,” Mercy greeted. Her shoulders loosened as she listened to Samuel talking on the other end. “Aw, you made dinner? Hmm. Well, I would, but we’re all heading to get pizza right now…Who? Warren, Kyle, Buffy….” Mercy rolled her eyes and stole a glance at Buffy. Buffy pretended not to notice. “Sam, I dunno…well, yes, I guess…fine...okay, but be good,” Mercy finished in a whisper. She hung up the phone and rolled her eyes.

“Samuel coming to dinner?” Warren asked, turning around in the passenger seat to face them.

“Yes,” Mercy answered shortly. She flashed Buffy an apologetic smile. “Sorry.”

Buffy frowned in surprise and shrugged. “It’s no big deal.” She laughed. “I mean, sure he tried to kill me yesterday but otherwise we’re best buds,” Buffy said sarcastically.

“I know.” Mercy winced. “And I know he’s kind of…well, Samuel is a handful. And he’s not used to people standing up against him, so I think he finds you interesting.”

“Stand up against him? Why, is he like a Big Bad?” Buffy snorted.

“Samuel’s the third most dominant wolf in North America. His father is the Marrok and the leader of all the werewolves. So yeah, he can be a big bad wolf when he wants to,” Warren illuminated.

“Ugh.” Buffy rolled her eyes. “I’ve dealt with enough types like that in my life.”

“But he’s a good person,” Mercy interjected. “Really.”

Buffy studied her closely. “And just how did a coyote manage to surround herself with so many wolves? Especially,” Buffy laughed, “a very un-tame female coyote?”

“Coyote in wolf’s clothing,” Warren chuckled.

Mercy laughed and shook her head. “Well, when my mom went to check on her baby daughter, only to find a coyote pup in the crib, she realized she needed some help. Sent me to Bran – Samuel’s dad – to be raised with the wolves up in Montana. I lived there for sixteen years with a foster family.”

“Wow.” Buffy couldn’t imagine that. “And your mom…did you ever go visit?”

Turning her head to watch the passing city streets, Mercy gave a careless shrug. “No. Not until I left. But my mom had a new family by then.” Realizing that sounded kind of bad, Mercy turned to shake her head at Buffy. “Not that my mom was mean, or my new family. But I was just different. And that was kind of hard.”

“Yeah.” Buffy nodded. “I get being the ‘freak’ of the family.” Suddenly she felt bad about causing the somber atmosphere in the car. “If it makes you feel better, my parents institutionalized me when I was in high school, because I kept trying to explain monsters and vampires to them.”

“Yikes.” A concerned look crossed her face. “That must have been rough.”

Now it was Buffy’s turn to feel uncomfortable. “Yeah. It was.” She remembered that she really didn’t know Mercy – or any of them – very well. It had been a while since she actually discussed something personal with new people – and Buffy wasn’t sure if she liked it. “Anyways, so this pizza place. I vote mushrooms!”

Kyle grinned back in the rearview mirror. “Anchovies all the way!”

Warren swatted him. “I am not kissing you if you do that!”

They laughed, and Buffy felt a little bit better. Hopefully dinner would fun also.



A/N
Update time! :) Thanks for reading!

References
*“James, watch out for that diminished ninth. That’s a man’s chord. You could lose a finger.” -- In season 2 Oz talked about how he still had to conquer the diminished ninth and that it was a ‘man’s chord’.
*First chord to learn on guitar: http://guitar.about.com/library/weekly/aa071200e.htm
*Joan Jett: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Jett (Incidentally, Buffy was accidentally called ‘Joan’ after Willow’s terrible Tabula Rasa spell in season 6

The End?

You have reached the end of "Death is Easy…Living is Hard" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 5 Sep 12.

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