Love Is A Mystery
Love Is A Mystery
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to BtVS or LotR. They belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Peter Jackson and Wingnut Films.
Note: Set before RotK and S5 for Angel and after S7 for Buffy.
Spike was gone. Anya was gone and all Buffy had to show for it was her friends and her life. She had traveled far for a way to bring him back but alas, there was no cure for a dead vampire.
When Angel first saw Buffy, he thought Willow or Xander had died. When they entered along with the other potentials and Giles and Dawn it took them all to explain to Angel what had happened. He seemed crest-fallen but kept his sorrow to himself.
Willow was just happy that the people she cared for most were alive. Xander took the death of Anya surprisingly well but at night, Willow could hear him in his room, crying for his lost love.
Dawn only seemed concerned for her sister but Willow knew that Spike had been one of her only friends despite everyone’s efforts. They needed to get out of here and leave the memories behind.
Kennedy agreed but everyone was too tired to start moving again. They’d traveled four hours after they’d just defeated the First and half of them were badly injured, a few of them fatally ill.
Buffy emerged from her room and as she descended the stairs, Willow started towards her. “Buffy, you’re up! Are you feeling any better? Do you want something to eat? Or something to drink? Do you wanna sit down even though you’ve been sitting up in your room all this time, not that that’s a bad thing, I mean you need some time to adjust and you’re doing well and Kennedy, you’re supposed to stop me when I babble.” Willow looked at her lover.
“But you were babbling so well and you’re cute when you babble.” Kennedy smiled at Willow but stopped when she remembered Buffy. “I’m sorry, Buffy.”
“No. It’s OK. You guys shouldn’t hold off because of me. Spike’s gone and he died a hero. Just like everybody else. He chose to do what he did and if he thought it best, then there’s no use mourning,” Buffy convinced them but when she had seen what had become of Sunnydale, a hole that had recently been filled had become bigger. Everyone man she ever loved had left her.
“Buffy, are you OK?” Buffy looked to the office and saw Angel there.
“Angel. I’m fine. Just tired. You know, fighting the big bad.”
“I’m glad you’re OK.” It pained Buffy to see the look in his eyes, knowing she’d been this way over Spike.
“I’m going to patrol. Are there any cemeteries around?”
“Yeah. A few. There’s one around the block. You should be able to find it pretty easily. Do you want me to come?”
“Thanks but I’m fine. I just need to keep my mind off a couple of things.” Buffy gathered a few weapons and went out.
“I almost feel sorry for the vamps," Dawn commented. "They’re gonna get their asses kicked.”
* * *
Buffy strolled the streets, looking for the cemeteries dusting a few vamps. “Well, well. If it isn’t the Slayer.” Buffy turned to find Whistler behind her.
“What are you doing here?”
“Trying to set things right. I’ve been kind of busy with all of the mess you’re little witch friend caused.”
“Leave Willow out of this.”
“Look, I came here to tell you that you weren’t meant to come back. See, you can’t be killed. Unless you’re mortally wounded, you can’t die. If you hadn’t have come back, the First wouldn’t have reared its ugly head and all of your little pals would’ve been fine. The vampire especially. He would’ve taken care of your little sis and would’ve gotten his soul back anyway.”
Buffy stared at him. “Do you want to be killed?”
“Hey. I’m just saying what should have happened. You’ve caused some major damage over the last few years. You were supposed to go to a different dimension.”
“Like a world without shrimp?”
“Nah, totally different from this world. Somehow, you’re desire to save your sister backfired and you didn’t go anywhere. Just up there.” He pointed to the clouded skies of LA.
“Heaven? So you know about that?”
“Know about it? Of course I knew about it. I’ve been following you ever since Angel showed up. I was the one who got him on his whole redemption routine. Now, I’ve been sent here to put everything back to the way it was supposed to be. I can take you to where you were supposed to go.”
“That’s it. You getting staked.” Buffy moved forward but Whistler shook his head.
“It wasn’t a question,” he whispered sadly and thunder blossomed out of nowhere and a portal opened.
“Whistler, please. I can’t do it again.”
“Sorry Buffy.” The portal swirled and Buffy felt herself being tugged upwards.
“Please, Whistler, please! Dawn. The potentials. You can’t do this!”
“I’m not. The Powers are. They’ll take care of Dawn and the Watchers will care for the potentials. They’re in good hands and now it’s your time to leave. Just like it was supposed to be.”
“Tell them I love them and I’ll never forget them.” With that, Buffy let go, not only to the pole she was hanging onto, but everything. Her friends, family, everything that had kept her from ending her life when she had awoken. Her mind was blank as she was knocked unconscious and sucked out this life.
* * *
Everyone was gathered at the Council of Elrond, discussing the matter of the Ring, as out of the clear, blue skies lightning flashed and a dark portal deposited a girl in the middle of the gathering.
Everyone sat silent and the first one to come out the reverie, a blonde elf, rushed to her and turned her over. She was unconscious and she wasn’t in anyway harmed.
Her clothes were like that of the day she should have come. She wore a white shirt and beige pants and her clothes were unfamiliar to the people of this world. “Lord Elrond, who is she?”
“I do not know. Take her inside so that she may recuperate and send for Arwen.” Legolas lifted her easily into his arms and carried her out of the gathering. He stared down at her. She was strange indeed.
She looked like an Elf as her ears were pointy but she had the bearing of a human. By the time he got to the room, Arwen was already waiting. She wordlessly walked in and motioned for him to lay her down on the bed.
“Would you please return to the Council? I will make sure she gets rest.” Legolas nodded and turned but he heard the girl’s breathing quicken and as he turned she started to thrash as if fighting an invisible enemy.
“Whistler, please. I can’t do it again.” Tears started streaming down her cheeks as her fighting became desperate. “Please, Whistler, please! Dawn. The potentials. You can’t do this!” A blood-curdling scream escaped her lips and she fell silent. The tears were still there and Legolas had a strange urge to brush them away.
“Legolas, she needs rest. Go.” He nodded and left.
* * *
Buffy opened her eyes and immediately closed them. The sunlight was so bright. Her head was killing her and she could barely think. She opened one eye and then seeing that the light was bearable, opened the other.
The room in which she was in was beautiful. The peace radiating from there was unlike anything she had seen before . . . except in a place she could never again reach. She sought through her brain to try and remember what had happened the night before.
She remembered going out to patrol and then meeting Whistler. She remembered what he had told her and the tears that had not come that night flooded down her cheeks. She had left them, again.
“Oh God. Dawn.” Dawn was her only concern but for some reason she couldn’t blame Whistler for what he had done. She forgave him and that was unusual for her.
A voice sounded nearby in a foreign language yet she understood it. “Lady? You are awake?” She nodded.
“As awake as I . . . can . . . be . . .” Her breath caught in her throat as she looked at the person who had spoken. His hair was like a blonde waterfall, falling to half way down his back and his blue eyes could only be compared to the ensouled vampire that had only recently died trying to save her and his ears were more pointed then most peoples.
“Is something wrong?” His eyes showed concern and he came deeper into the room.
“No, nothing is wrong. It’s just, you’re ears are pointy.”
“Well, I am an Elf.”
“Where am I?”
“You are in the palace of Lord Elrond of Rivendell. You came through a portal to this realm and even Gandalf is unsure of how it happened.”
“He is a wizard.” Buffy brightened considerably.
“If he is a wizard, then maybe he can get me home.”
“How did you come to be here, Lady . . .?”
“Oh. I’m Buffy. Buffy Summers.”
“Lady Buffy, I am Legolas of the Woodland Realm in Mirkwood. How did you come to be here?”
“I was talking to this guy and he told me that when I came back that I shouldn’t have. I should have gone somewhere else and it was time for me to go there. I guess that’s here.”
“You come from a different world?”
“And this man that you speak of, he is the man who sent you here?” She nodded. “Well, Lady Buffy, I shall send for Arwen and let you rest.”
“How long have I been asleep?”
“The better part of three days.”
“Well, if I’ve been asleep for three days then I don’t really need rest.”
“Rest and sleep are not the same thing.” He slipped soundlessly out of the room and left Buffy alone once more but not for long. A few minutes later a woman with rich brown hair and bright blue eyes swept gracefully in.
“Hello, Lady Buffy. I am Arwen.”
“A bath is currently being drawn for you if you are interested.”
“I’d love one. Do you have shampoo?”
Arwen looked perplexed. “Only soap. What is shampoo?”
“Never mind. Anything to get me clean.”
* * *
Buffy felt like a new woman after that bath. She hadn’t really thought about hygiene while she was brooding about Spike and she had gone patrolling straight afterwards.
When she had been bathing, Buffy had realized the she had grown a few inches, which was impossible since she had only been unconscious for three days. Buffy had scrubbed until she was slightly pink and she had soaked until she was pruny and the water had started to get cold.
Buffy had come back to her room to find a cream velvet and lace dress and Buffy was stunned at its beauty. “Whoa.”
“Do you need help putting it on?” Arwen said from the doorway.
“If you don’t mind.”
* * *
Legolas was growing impatient. If the Council didn’t start soon, he may just leave. Lord Elrond had yet to arrive and he had noticed that there was an extra seat at the edge of the semi-circle.
He noticed a powerful presence coming near and he turned towards the stairs and his breath caught in his throat. The power wasn’t coming from the Elf Lord but rather the young woman in his company. Lord Elrond escorted Buffy towards the Council area and Legolas hadn’t noticed how beautiful she was until now.
The cream dress hugged her figure without flaunting and the lace sleeves reached almost to the floor. The velvet skirt swayed as she walked and the lace covering it trailed slightly behind. The top half was velvet as well but was also adorned with lace. Two braids fell to each side of her face in Elvish style.
It seemed that the rest of the men were caught up with her as well as no one noticed Lord Elrond sit and begin the meeting. All they heard was “Frodo, bring forth the Ring.”
Several heads snapped towards the halfling as he approached the pedestal and placed the One Ring upon it. Everyone but Buffy stared in awe. She had not been told what the meeting was about but was told that she would find out soon enough.
As soon as it had been placed out of Frodo’s hand, Buffy’s spider-senses were tingly and making her Slayer instincts go off the chart. “That thing is pure evil!” Everyone was surprised by her vehement response.
“What would you know about evil? You are just a woman.” A man with sandy hair sneered at her and Buffy’s eyes flashed. Once again Legolas felt the power rolling off her in waves and feared for the man.
“I know more about evil than you could even imagine. I know what evil is and that thing is full of it. It must be destroyed!”
“That’s what this meeting is about, Lady Buffy. We seek to destroy the Ring so that it will never fall into the hands of the Dark Lord.”
Buffy settled down but her instincts told her that they were not acting fast enough. If that thing wasn’t destroyed, it would be another apocalypse and Buffy thought she had finished with those.
As Buffy thought, a fight was breaking out between the men about who should destroy the Ring. The Dwarves were protesting about seeing it in the hands of Elves and the sandy haired man was trying to convince someone that they should take it to his kingdom. The Hobbit from before cried, “I will take it!” Buffy noticed an elderly man look sadly at the halfling but no else heard.
He repeated it again to no avail. Buffy had just about had it with these guys. “Hey! If you’re done squabbling about your petty little problems, Frodo has something to say!” Everyone silenced their complaints and turned towards him.
“I will take the Ring to Mordor but I do not know the way.”
“I shall guide you.” Gandalf put his hand on Frodo’s shoulder.
A dark haired man with dark eyes strode forth and knelt before Frodo. “You have my sword.”
“And my bow.” Legolas stepped forward.
Not about to let Elves get their hands on the Ring, a Dwarf stepped forward. “And my axe.” The sandy haired man stepped forward as well.
“Gondor will see this through.” Buffy stared at the man uneasily and figure darted through the people.
“Frodo won’t be going anywhere without me!”
“Or us!” Two more Hobbits came running past Elrond to stand by Frodo’s side.
“Nine companions. You shall be the-“
“Hey! I’m going with them. They could use a little extra help.” Everyone stared at Buffy as if she was insane as she joined the others.
“But you are but a mere woman! You would not last five seconds against an Orc!” The sandy haired man raised another doubt.
“Mere woman? Mere woman!” Buffy’s anger flared and she pushed down the desire to punch him. “I do not care what you say. I will either go with your blessing or without. No one is stopping me from going with them.” When no one moved Buffy nodded. “Now, if that’s all, I wish to retire.” She turned on her heel and walked briskly from the gathering of men.
* * *
Arwen was amused as Buffy told her of what had happened earlier that day at the meeting. “He said I was a mere woman! How could I not be angry? No one is a mere woman. Not even if they do what ever they’re told and are meek little housewives. There is always part of you saying ‘Throw off the men and live alone and free!’ Unfortunately, men try as hard as they can to dull that instinct.”
“Not all men.” Arwen reassured her.
“No not all men. The others leave you.” Buffy thought of all of the men that had left her. Angel, Parker, Riley, Spike . . . Oh, how she missed Spike.
“You sound like you know from experience.”
“I do. Every man I’ve ever loved has left me. The first one thought it would be best if we were not together. The second was an arrogant prick. The third thought I didn’t love him and the fourth, the fourth died so that me and my friends would live.”
“The fourth sounds noble.”
“Sounds it, yeah.” Buffy suddenly felt depressed. “If you don’t mind, Arwen, I’d like to get to sleep if we are leaving at dawn.”
“Alright Buffy. I’ll see you in the morning.” Arwen walked gracefully from the room and Buffy was left alone with her thoughts as she tried to sleep. All she could see was her friends and family being slaughtered by the Turuk-Han.
When she finally did sleep, she was plagued with the First one by one convincing the potentials to commit suicide like Chloe. That was not all, though. A huge eye, wreathed in fire was drawing closer and closer and no matter how hard she tried, she could not turn her gaze.
She was shaken awake by strong hands and she immediately sought comfort with the body that the hands belonged to. She didn’t look just embraced and wept. “Lady Buffy.” She froze. It was Legolas.
She pulled away. “I’m OK. It just had a nightmare.”
“Lady, you were screaming.” She winced.
“Look, I’ve been through some rough times lately and nightmares is my body’s way of trying to deal with them.”
“Would you tell me about them?” Buffy was, for some reason stunned at the sincerity in his voice. When she looked up at him, his eyes were concerned.
“No, not really. I lost someone very dear to me during those times and I’m not really up to talking about it.” She tried to get up but the hand on her arm stilled her movement.
“I am always free if you wish to discuss it.”
“Thank you, Legolas but when I talk, I tend to faze out and when I faze out, I tend to fall asleep and I don’t think I want to fall asleep.” He nodded and then stood and exited the room without so much as a backward glance.
Buffy found pants and a tunic waiting for her and she was grateful they did not try to force her to wear a dress. When she was ready, she went outside to find Arwen waiting for her. “I was told to lead you to where they are gathering.”
Buffy smiled her thanks and followed her. She saw Frodo, the other three hobbits, Gandalf, Legolas and Gimli but she did not see Aragorn or Boromir. Legolas as talking with Gimli and the four hobbits look tired. Gandalf smoking his pipe and Buffy just sat down and realized that she had no weapons.
“Lady Buffy.” Buffy turned to find Lord Elrond. He held out his hands and Buffy’s eyes widened. “I give you these for the journey, seeing as you don’t have any weapons of your own.”
Buffy took up the sword eagerly and drew it. It was long and straight with Elvish ruins engraved on it. Then she then gave it a practice swing away from anyone and found it much to her liking. She sheathed it and looked at the daggers.
They were slightly curved at the end and Buffy felt as if she had trained with these daggers all of her life. “And this is a gift from my daughter, Arwen.” He took a bow from a waiting elf beside him along with a quiver.
“Whoa. A bow. I haven’t used one of these in ages. Is there something I can shoot?” The Lord pointed to a practice yard nearby and Buffy took up her stance. She let loose and arrow and it was just outside the target. “Cool.” She turned the Lord Elrond and bowed. “Thank you for these gifts, my Lord. I accept them with great honour.”
She had no idea where that had come from but she was glad by the appreciation on the Lord’s face. Legolas had been watching her. “You know how to use a bow, Lady?”
“OK, if we’re going to be traveling together, my name is Buffy. I’m no lady so just call me Buffy.”
“OK, Buffy. You know how to use a bow?”
“All Elves are master bowmen.”
“Really? Cool. I’ll practice with you sometime but right now I want to get on the road! Where are Aragorn and Boromir?”
“Right here. We were watching you shoot.” Buffy whipped around and glared at Aragorn.
“You shouldn’t have been able to do that. So are we walking or what?”
“We are walking.” Buffy jumped and turned when she heard Legolas’s voice right behind her.
“Don’t do that! If I had been holding a weapon you probably would have been seriously hurt.” The reminded something of what Whistler said. ‘See, you can’t be killed. Unless you’re mortally wounded, you can’t die.’ She gasped and grabbed for her ears: they were pointy. “I’m an Elf?!”
Everyone stared at her. “Of course you are. What did you think you were?”
“I was human. You know the guy I told you about?” He nodded. “He told me that since I came back, I was no longer mortal, basically. And that would explain a lot of freaky things that have happened since then.” Like Spike being able to hurt me.
“Well, we thought that you were an Elf naturally so we didn’t question you.” Buffy nodded, understanding but this was a shock to her as well as dismay. If she survived this, she would go on fighting evil forever.
“Can we go now? I’m kind of getting anxious.” So the Fellowship moved out and Buffy waved a farewell to Arwen who returned it warmly but then kept her gaze to Aragorn. Buffy sighed and followed him out of Rivendell’s gates.