A Shocking Discovery
That morning, she was happy; happy for being back home; happy for having everyone around her. She was also confused. Confused by how she got to and from Egypt. Confused about the Slayer dream, but she knew what she had to do, not that it would be easy.
She got up, got dressed, and went downstairs to see her mom. However, she wasn't down there. Buffy extended her Slayer senses and felt something in her mom's room. She ran up the stairs in concern for her mother's safety.
When she walked into her mom's room, she almost collapsed. Her mom was paler than normal and almost looked like she was asleep. She even had a smile on her face.
"Mom?" Buffy asked, her voice shaking and filled with sadness and tears.
When she didn't answer, she ran over and shook her a little. “Mom? Mommy? You have to wake up! Please! Wake up!” Buffy moved to check her pulse and started crying more than before. She didn't feel her pulse, although she couldn't hear her heart beating. She moved her mother’s body straighter and tried to do CPR until she heard something crack in the chest. She stepped back and started crying. After a few minutes, she went to the phone to call Giles. She dialed the number.
Giles answered after a few rings, "Hello?"
"Giles?" Buffy asked, her voice barely audible, filled with the tears running down her face.
"Buffy, what's wrong?" Giles asked quickly. Buffy had sounded too scared and sad. She didn't answer, but he could hear her crying over the phone. He asked worriedly a second time. "Buffy?"
There was a long pause as she stopped crying enough for him to understand. "Giles, can you come over? As in right now? It's Mom."
Giles said quickly, "I'm on my way. Call an ambulance if you haven't already. I'll be there shortly."
"Thank you, Giles." They hung up then.
As he said he was on his way, he was getting his keys and wallet. He rushed outside and sped away in his car to Buffy's house.
Meanwhile, Buffy had called the ambulance like Giles had said to. They were on their way. Buffy also called Willow and Xander, who were now on their way also.
Giles arrived in five minutes and held Buffy to comfort her. The paramedics arrived five minutes later. Willow and Xander arrived together about ten minutes after the ambulance had gotten there.
The paramedics tried all they could but had announced her Dead on Arrival.
“What happened to cause this?” Giles asked for Buffy, who was still nauseous from where she had been throwing up.
The one paramedic turned to him and Buffy and answered. “She had an aneurysm from the brain tumor last year. Even though they removed it, this kind of thing is common.” He turned more towards Buffy. “I’m very sorry for your loss, ma’am. If it’s any consolation, your mother never felt anything.”
Buffy nodded and thanked him. Just then, a voice came over the radio on one of the paramedic’s shoulders. They had another call. They informed the pair to not touch the body until the coroner came and said it was okay. She would be transferred straight to the morgue. Giles said he would take care of the funeral arrangements.
Giles was staying with Buffy for at least a few days, until she felt better enough to be alone, if that would happen. Giles had called Faith to tell her to patrol for Buffy for a while after explaining what happened. She agreed immediately and passed her condolences on to Buffy.
After everyone had left and Giles had gotten off the phone with everyone, Buffy went and got the note from her dream.
Buffy went into the living room, where Giles was sitting. "Hey, you got a minute?"
He immediately knew she wasn't going to talk about her mom, but about slaying because the look in her eyes. "Of course."
Buffy hesitated a moment before saying, "I had a Slayer dream last night."
Giles perked up instantly. "Please, do tell."
"I dreamed about a stone ring I encountered in Egypt. There were five people there: Colonel Jack O'Neill, Major Samantha Carter, Dr. Daniel Jackson, Teal'c, and Major General George Hammond. I got this note in the dream too. I woke up and it was beside me."
"What do you think it means?" Giles asked.
"They said I have to go to Colorado."
The arrangements had been made and a few days later, they had the funeral. Giles took Buffy, who had to rely on Slayer strength to get around. It was a very sad day and everyone she knew was there. People from school, their parents, frequent visitors of the art gallery, Willow and her parents, Xander and his parents, and even Cordelia and her parents. Faith came too, and supported the other Slayer in every way she could.
They had the funeral right after sun fall, so that way Spike and Angel could come if they wanted. They did come and Buffy felt slightly better, but not much. The coffin was a deep mahogany colored wood with silver handles on the side.
The minister read from a book he had in his hand. “We commend to almighty God our sister, Joyce Summers, and we commit her body to the ground. Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust.” Someone got a shovel and put the dirt on top of the coffin. “The Lord bless her and keep her. The Lord makes his face to shine upon her and be gracious to her. The Lord lift up his countenance upon her and give her peace.”
After the funeral, Angel stayed behind with Buffy. They sat down at the foot of a nearby tree. Buffy sits beside Angel and leans over onto his shoulder.
“The funeral was…” She sighs. “It was brutal, but it’s tomorrow that I’m worried about.”
“What’s tomorrow?” Angel asked, looking down at the top of her head.
“That’s exactly what I don’t know. Up until now, I-I’ve had a road map; things to do every minute, having to do with Mom.” She continued to look at the grave sullenly.
Angel responded, “Tomorrow the stuff of everyday living resumes.”
“And everybody expects me to know how to do it, because I’m so strong.” She said the last part sarcastically.
“You just need some time. I’m sure everybody understands that,” he soothed.
“Time’s not the issue. I can stick wood in vampires… but Mom was the strong one in real life. She always knew how to make things better; just what to say.”
Angel stared at the grave, remembering the wonderful woman that was no longer living. “Yeah.” He was silent for a minute before saying, “You’ll find your way. I mean, not all at once, but…”
Buffy shakes her head no. “I don’t know. I keep thinking about it… when I found her.”
He rubbed her shoulders some. “It’s going to be okay. I know you don’t feel like it now, but you are strong, Buffy. You’re going to figure this out. And you have people to help you. You don’t have to heal alone.”
She was silent for a while before saying anything else. “It’s going to be light soon.”
“I can stay in town as long as you want me.” He looked down at her.
“How’s forever? Does forever work for you?”
She looked up at him before sighing and sitting up to look him in his eyes. “That’s a bad idea. I’m seriously needy right now.”
He looked at her in the eyes lovingly. “Let me worry about the neediness. I can handle it.”
They stare into each other’s eyes before Buffy leans in and kisses Angel. The kiss is soft. They deepen a little before letting go.
“I’m so grateful that you came, Angel. I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it through the night.”
Angel looked up at the sky. “Well, we still have a few more minutes until we have to go.”
“Good.” She curls up and leans into him. He puts his arm around her and holds her. “Good.” They sit quietly for a while before getting up and heading towards Angel’s car to go back to the now empty feeling house.
Angel and Spike were staying with Buffy for a night. She slept curled up on her mom's bed crying that night, like she had the last two nights.
After they were sure Buffy was asleep, downstairs, Giles, Angel, and Spike were talking. Giles mentioned the Slayer dream Buffy had, but didn't give many details.
"What do you think she'll do?" asked Angel.
Giles thought for a minute before answering. "I'm not sure actually. I hope she makes the choice to stay though."
Spike laughed darkly a little. "It's the bloody Powers That Be. She won't have a choice."
Giles sighed. "I'm afraid you might be right, Spike. If the Powers are involved, she won't have any other choice but to follow their directions about this secret military organization. Of course it's secret. It's the bloody military. Damn pillocks."
Spike said flatly and instantly, "I don't like it."
Giles stated, "Neither do I, especially since Buffy just got back from Egypt the day before her mom died."
Angel quickly started saying before anyone else could say anything, "She was in Egypt?"
Giles nodded. "Yes, the Powers sent her to Ancient Egypt to help get rid of a demon passing as Ra. It turns out that Buffy is the greatest Slayer in the past, present, and future."
Spike said, "She ought to be with everything she's been through."
Giles agreed, "Yes, she has definitely been through a lot in her life. She's one of the oldest living Slayers. She's had to see too much for her young age."
Angel was just sitting there staring into space while Spike and Giles were talking. He was thinking about Buffy, and himself. He came out of his thoughts when Spike started talking to him.
"Well, well. Look at Mr. Brooding Vampire over there."
Angel growled. "Shut up, Spike. I am not brooding. I'm just thinking. (long pause) I'm going to go and check on Buffy."
He walked upstairs to Joyce's room, because that is where she had been before. When he opened the door, she wasn't there. He ran to check the bathroom. No Buffy. He ran to her room and opened the door. On the bed there was a note from Buffy.