Title: Fall Into Darkness Part 3/?
Author: Lora Darcy
Summary: Buffy Summers finds herself pulled out of Heaven and into…. Victorian England?
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Note: For the sake of my fanfiction Buffy was buried in her dress from “The Prom.”
Chapter 3: The Awakening
Buffy’s eyelids fluttered. Disoriented, her unseeing eyes opened and darted frantically about. She didn’t understand. Everything was muddled. What had happened? Where was she? Nothing made any sense!
Buffy brought a hand up to her face, rubbing at her forehead. She was wet. That’s right. Things were starting to fall into place. A chill crept up her spine. Buffy’s memories were returning. Drowning. She’d been drowning. After…. After. “No,” Buffy whispered, closing her eyes against the onslaught of pain. “No-oo…..” She repeated, tears starting to pour down her cheeks, mixing in with the river water. Buffy could remember. Remember everything so well. Too well. Her mother’s death. Glory. The Tower. Dawn. Her own death. Heaven. It was all so much. Too much. “Mommy,” she gasped, sobbing. “Mommy…. Make it go away.....”
It was too much. It was all too, too much. Buffy’s thoughts grew frenzied as she thought about her abrupt snatch from heaven. But she started to become confused. The entire experience was too much for her fragile mind. Suddenly, her memories began to mix. Her thoughts jumbled and everything important now seemed just out of reach. Buffy could only try to sort through the mess of her mind. She remembered brief glimpses, small shadows of her past. But somehow, her mind was chaotic; Buffy’s history was scattered together without any rhyme or reason. Yet, the mayhem in Buffy’s head was preferable to the earlier pain. For a second time, Buffy opened her eyes.
Daniel Deronda found he could only watch the girl in amazement as she cried. He had never before seen anyone so incredibly miserable. He furrowed his brow, unable to discern what was the matter with the girl. She seemed to have survived her near-death experience, but obviously her bout in the water had some strange effect on her. Daniel only wished that there were some way he could alleviate her pained tears. No one should be allowed to be so clearly unhappy. He desperately wished he could help her and save her from her despair. Daniel blinked. Abruptly, it seemed that the girl *was* indeed recovering. He sighed in relief, as she opened her eyes. “Don’t be afraid,” Daniel said, cautiously. “You’re quite alright now Miss.”
Startled, Buffy looked up. For the first time, Buffy noticed her surroundings. A handsome man was leaning over her and speaking to her. Buffy’s senses went on high-alert. She raised a fist. Buffy knew she could take him, even if she was…. In a boat? Buffy’s thoughts distracted her. I’m definitely in a boat. There’s the rocking and the crampness from way too little space and it’s definitely all boat-like. Buffy shook her head. It didn’t matter that she was in a boat. What mattered was that a strange man seemed to be bending over her. She lifted her arms again, prepared to fight lying down.
“You’re alright now Miss,” Daniel repeated, mistaking Buffy’s fist for a sign of her shock. “You were drowning and you… I thought it best to try and jump in and save you…. I managed to get you out of the water. You’re safe. Pray, trust me. Tell me what I can do to help you?”
Buffy warily lowered her arm. Just who was this guy? And what language was he speaking? Buffy’s newly reawakened mind was a mess. There were just too many things that refused to make sense. Miss? Did he just call me Miss? Buffy knew that was not of the normal. And yet, his manner of speaking put her at ease. I think…He has an accent? But his tones seemed vaguely familiar. Comforting.
“Where…” Buffy swallowed. “Where am I?”
Daniel let out a woosh of breath, relieved. She could talk! The girl must truly be alright. But wait— “You’re American?” Daniel said out-loud, his surprise evident.
Buffy was silent. Daniel blushed, afraid he had embarrassed her with his blunt question. “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean any offense….”
“Why’d I be offended?” Buffy asked, shrugging. She began to sit up in the boat. “Yes, I’m… American. Witness my Americanness!” Yes, Buffy thought. I am from the ol’ US of A.. And the boy’s accent was British, she decided. He was definitely British. She liked that about him.
Daniel couldn’t help but be surprised by the tone of the young woman’s answers. He’d heard Americans were vulgar, but, never having met one before, had no idea exactly how vulgar. He’d never heard anyone speak like that. But, somehow, the girl’s words suited her. “We’re on the Thames,” Daniel finally said, answering Buffy’s earlier question. “Do you not remember?”
“Thames?” Buffy repeated. “Never heard of this Thamey thing. Is that the river we’re floating with here? Or what?”
It was all that Daniel could do not to laugh. “Yes, it’s the river. Quite famous, actually.”
“Right. Right.” Buffy began to think. “A famous river in…. England?”
“Yes, Miss.” Daniel was finding it difficult to keep quiet. The young woman said the most fascinating things. He wondered how she could be so clueless as to not know her location. “How did you come to be in the river then?”
Buffy grew still. That was not a question she wanted to think about. But inexplicably, her mind was helping her and prevented her from over-analyzing her earlier situation. “I fell” was all she would say in response to Daniel’s question. Unconsciously, Buffy began to rub her hands across her arms, shivering.
Daniel mentally cursed himself. He was also beginning to feel cold. Why hadn’t he thought of that sooner? “You must be cold. I wish I had my coat with me, but….” Daniel gestured to his dark-blue shirt and trousers. “I’m afraid I’m just as soaked.”
Buffy stared at Daniel’s clothes. They’re weird. She knew that. Last time she’d checked, his clothes weren’t the big hits in the fashion mall. But then, Giles was British. And he dressed weird. Way unfashionable. A corner of Buffy’s mouth lifted in a small smile. She could just remember Giles, her watcher. Giles. She wished he was with her. He’d know what was going on. Know how to fix everything.
With a sigh, Buffy realized she didn’t even know what she was wearing. A quick inspection told her that her soaked dress was ruined and it was From Prom. My dress from the Prom. Why would I… As soon as Buffy tried to ponder the possible reasons behind her attire, she found her thoughts drifted away. Against her will, she was being distracted. Instead, she found herself talking. “My dress. Not good for the swimming. Definitely, a ‘towel sold separately’ item.”
Her dress was unusual, Daniel noticed. Clearly, before its wetting, it was made of some kind of unusually fancy material. Additionally, it seemed rather immodest. Daniel didn’t know much about women’s fashions, but he didn’t think the young woman was dressed at all properly. He realized he had been staring at her. Good one, Deronda! “I’m sorry….” He said again, trying not to blush. “Pray let me carry you in my boat to wherever it is you are staying, Miss…???”
“Just Buffy,” She replied quickly. “Buffy Summers. But try and steer clear of the whole ‘miss’ thing. Not big in America. Makes me feel all awkwardy and formal. So yeah, just Buffy.” Daniel raised his eyebrows, but said nothing. “And who’re you? You pull me out of the water, you offer me rides. Now, I get to know you’re name. So cough up.”
“Erm… Deronda,” He replied. “Daniel Deronda. And, again, where is it you were before you, ahem, fell?”
Buffy frowned. She didn’t like his line of questioning. Didn’t like it at all. Way too prying. Way too thought-provoking. She needed to move away from it, and pronto. “Uh….” She gave a fake little laugh, wishing she was better at covering things up. Why was she always so bad at being crypto girl? From all the people she’d spent time with, Buffy thought she should have learned to be an expert. “I’m not sure. Guess I’ve forgotten it in all the uh… excitement?”
“Are you sure? You must allow me to take you somewhere safe. Until you remember, I will take you to a lady who has daughters…. She lives near hear and is a friend of-”
“London!” Buffy interrupted. “I need to go to London!” Giles is from London. I get to London, I get answers. No more with the spooky-dooky memory confusions.
“London! I have friends in London…. I must have been with them before I fell and I uh am sure that they are back there…. In London,” Buffy trailed off, rambling.
“I’m afraid we’re not exactly very near London right now,” Daniel admitted, desperately wishing he could take Buffy to the city immediately and help her. “But, do trust me. I will help you. I can get you to London in time. But until then, I can take you to my friends. They are good people who will take care of you. But I will get you to London, if that is what you desire.” There was something about Buffy that he was drawn to. There was something mysterious, almost mystical, about Buffy Summers. Daniel never knew who his mother was. He couldn’t help but wonder if his mother would have been a little bit like Buffy. “I will get you to London,” he repeated. “That, I promise you.”
“Thank you.” Buffy couldn’t understand why it would take so long to get to London. What, did Daniel think he’d have to row her there? Haven’t these people heard of cars? I know they drive backwards here, but God! Do they go in slow-motion?
Daniel began to ply his oar in the water, and the two traveled swiftly downriver. Neither spoke. Buffy studied Mr. Deronda out of the corner of her eye. Everything else, even the clear water underneath them seemed horribly bright and harsh to Buffy. Only Daniel somehow seemed different. He was less glaring, Buffy decided. Trustworthy. Safe. He would help her. That she knew. And, once in London, Buffy hoped she’d be able to sort out her jumbled memories. There were so many things she could only half-remember and so many more that refused to make any sense.
End Chapter 3. Please R&R! Should have another chapter up very soon-ish with more crossovery goodness. Another, more familiar, fandom will be involved.