And All Was Well
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Buffy, Marvel and all that assiociated with it belongs to its respective owners. This is for not profit or gain, merely amusement.
I would like to thank all those who are tracking this and the read it! :D And to the reviewers, HananeElmokkadem, souldriven, Chan, starshinedown, morgyair, MarcusSLazarus, AllenPitt, Likiglok, and everyone!
And special thanks to the recs, Chan and souldriven.
Warning: This may seemed fast paced, but it’s going to be a fast paced story. So, if you get lost or confused, just asked me and I’ll try to disfuse the confusion.
And All Was Well…(or so they said.)
Lizzie footfalls were clumsy and awkward as she made her way up the highway, a bag over her shoulder. Dirt, blood and sweat caking her body. Tear stains ran down her cheeks, but her face was stoic.How did this all happen? How did this all happen?One Week Earlier
Super soldier. The term had haunted her.
Nightmares of Adam, Walsh, and Riley all chasing her, trying to tear her apart as she desperately tried to find a way out of this terrible maze. She never did make it out of the maze. By the third time, she woke up from the nightmare, Lizzie threw the covers off and glared at her room.
Enough was enough. Standing up, she made her way out of the room without so much as sparing the wheelchair a glance. Her socked feet were quiet against the wooden floor as she slowly made her way down the hallway.
Lizzie paused at the staircase that led up to her parents bedroom as if one false movement would wake them up. With extra care, she slid past. One step, two step, and a few more and she was safely in the living room. Her hazel eyes roamed around in the dark and she tried looking for her father’s computer bag.There!
She mentally crowed in victory. Seizing the bag, she paused for a moment staring at the suitcase beside it. Why is there…I’ll worry about it later. Computer now.
She pulled out the computer and opened it up, despite the sense of foreboding the suitcase had placed in her mind.Maybe it was imagination. Maybe I’m just wanting it to be there…
She typed in the password, doing exactly what she did before. It could be my imagination, it has to be…it just has to…
It wasn’t. All the files, just like before appeared on the screen and Lizzie stomach sunk.
Placing a hand to her mouth, she closed her eyes. She really hoped it had been her imagination. That her father wasn’t involved in something like this, but he was. And Lizzie had to figure out what. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out the portable hard drive she purchased and plugged in into the computer.
Her fingers danced across the keyboard impossibly loud in the silence as she started to transfer the files. She bit her lip, mind racing, What if there was something like ADAM here?
She already knew about some spider guy in New York and a giant green angry guy that needed some serious anger management. It isn’t that much of a stretch…
The loading bar popped up and slowly did its job. What was it about computers, no matter how old or new were pains in the ass?
A door opened and Lizzie’s head jerked up towards the stairway, then light flooded down. Panicked, Lizzie grabbed the laptop and ducked behind the counter. Crap! Crap! What to do? What to do?
Footsteps, lazily made there way down the creaky stairs, and Lizzie glanced at the laptop. It was far from finished copying those files. Biting her lip, she pulled open a cabinet door and balanced the laptop on top of some pans and shut it quietly before making a mad dash around the counter when light flooded over the room. She pressed her back against the wood, looking up at Hank’s reflection in the window adjacent from her.
She needed to find a better place to hide. Tilting her head, she listened to Hank’s footfalls as he moved hurriedly around the room. He spoke to someone, most likely on a cellphone, “I know, Sasha. I’ll be there.”Sasha?
Lizzie thought, Looks like in this universe, Hank is still Hank.
Hank moved towards his office, without giving a glance back because if he had, he would have seen her. Swallowing, she tried to push herself up, but the muscles in her legs spasm causing her to kneel back down. And she bit her lip, trying not to scream. Cursing silently to herself, she once again pushed herself onto the belly, when Hank’s footfalls were getting closer to his office door and he was cursing about something. Lizzie looked around rapidly and saw the door way leading down to the laundry was open.
In a split second decision, she pressed her feet against the kitchen counter and kicked with all her might barely suppressing the scream as a terrible pain went through her lower body.
But it worked. Lizzie had used enough force to see her skidding across the floor, the door slamming open for her and she tumbled down the five steps into a pile of clothes. She reached out and grabbed her legs, tears filling her eyes. The pain, it was like hot acid moving through every nerve in her leg. “Ugh!” She hit the pile of clothes beside her in frustration.
“Hold on,” Hank’s voice reached her. A shadow filled the laundry door and Lizzie nearly groaned,Why the heck is coming down here? Seriously? Are you fricking kidding me? Is this my luck or what?
She pushed herself into the corner before reaching out with shaky hands, pulling as much clothes as she could on top of her and by the time Hank’s footfalls hit the last step, she hoped she was hidden.
The light switched on, and she held her breath.
She could see him, through a hole in the mess of clothes hiding her. He moved about, quietly and warily that made Lizzie’s eyes narrow in suspicious. He moved around, searching for something and he drew closer, and closer to her hiding spot. She tried to not move or flinch back.
“Aha!” Hank said into the phone. “Told you I’d find them.”
He walked past her leaving Lizzie to wonder, Find what? Find what?
As soon as the light switched off, she moved. Anger overriding any amount of pain. The lies, the secrets, she couldn’t take it anymore. She made her way, shakily up the stairs and saw Hank moving about his office. Narrowing her eyes, she started towards him. She needed to confront him, but she bumped into something.
Blinking, she looked down at the suitcase that had earlier been taunting her. And now on the floor beside it that she had knocked off were two pieces of papers. Kneeling down, she picked them up and flipped them over.
Shock, hurt, and numbness came crashing down on her all at once. She blinked her eyes, trying to fight away stubborn tears. She should have expected this. After all, she knew that he wasn’t that different from Buffy’s Hank…but she had still…she had still hoped.
Airplane tickets. Two airplane tickets. Two airplane tickets for Barbados on a flight that would leave tomorrow night at 8:30 pm. She resisted the urge to crush the pieces of paper in her hands. She resisted the urge to go and confront him. Instead, she set them back down and threw a book into his computer bag to trick him. She was keeping his damned computer, it was the least him could do. Then quietly she went back and hid in the laundry door way, too hurt or too afraid of what she might do to confront him now. Let him leave, good riddance.
She was feeling vindictive. And as Hank made his way out of his office saying lovingly into the phone, “See you soon, darling.” Lizzie felt entitled to every bit of her anger. She watched him pick up his suitcase and computer, watched him as he walked through the doornever even pausing to look back, not even bothering to give them a second thought. She gritted her teeth together so hard, looking away and held every ounce of tears in.
She wasn’t going to cry. She had been through this before. But she really wished that it hurt less the second time around.
But it didn’t.
After a hour, she managed to get up and grab the hidden computer. In the safety of her room, she pushed away all the anger and pain and put all her focus into finding what was going on.
The files she could get into, didn’t elaborate much on what hydra was. And the notes on the super soldier appeared to be a formula and chemistry or whatever it was, was not her cup of tea.
The other files she couldn’t get into, plagued her. They were encrypted with codes she couldn’t even begin to understand or had a way of understand them. Which was weird because she found she was very handy with a computer. As dawn rose, she finally gave up and went to bed for a couple of hours.
But while she slept, she still tried thinking of a way to unravel the mystery.
Little did she know by the time she could, it would be too late.
“Breath in, breath out.”
Her hands clenched. That bastard left. He left them. He probably wouldn’t call until he was about to board the plane or perhaps send them a nice post to rub in it.
“Breath in, breath out…good. Good.” The cold metal was removed and Dr. Bowlin turned to Joyce, “Everything seems to be in good shape. Miles away from where it was when we started and Dr. Smith says that she is doing brilliant in psychical therapy…”
Lizzie let the conversation slip to the back of her mind, Could there be another Adam walking around? What does Hank have to do with? And why did he leave us again?!
Her thoughts were cut off when Dr. Bowlin said, “I would like to get a sample of the scar tissue…”
No! It was all Lizzie wanted to scream. Getting scar tissue meant cutting, which meant some type of surgery which meant more time in this…this hell. Too clean, too neat, with doctors and nurses putting on fake smiles saying they’d make you better when they’d rather lock you in a room then deal with you and—Lizzie closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath pushing away the memories of the asylum. She then raised her head glaring at the doctor when Joyce replied unsurely, “If you think it’s for the best?”
“And what if I don’t think it’s for the best?” Lizzie questioned.
“Ms. Summers,” Dr. Bowlin’s tone was the one she heard from Snyder, the ‘I know better than you’ tone, “you died.”Wouldn’t be the first time. “We barely manages to resituate you, then these scars appear. In my entire medical career I have never seen anything like it. For all we know this could be a serious—”
“And until it becomes serious, I have no intention of staying in a hospital longer than I need to,” she informed him. “Mom, can we go?”
Dr. Bowlin looked at Joyce. “Mrs. Summers, I must insist—”
“My daughter has made her decision and that’s that,” Joyce crossed her arms over her chest, in full momma bear mode.
The van drove steadily on the road and Lizzie leaned her head against the window. Joyce glanced over and she opened her mouth then thought better of it.
Lizzie sat up turning to her mother, “What is it mom?”
“You always read people so well,” Joyce murmured and Lizzie shrugged, “Suppose so.” A side affect of being able to ‘see’ connections, or so those damn oracles say. Stupid oracles, didn’t explain anything!
“Now,” Lizzie asked, “what’s on your mind?”
“You’re not even going to offer me a penny?”
“Do you have change? All I have is a nickel.”
Joyce laughed, and Lizzie felt a real smile tugging on her lips. Her mother looked at her before sighing, “It’s just your father and I…it’s a bridge you’re going to have to cross, but we wondering how you felt about schooling. I mean, since you never…never finished.”
Lizzie blinked. That wasn’t what she had expected.
“We can’t enroll you in a public school, but there are online schools or you go get your GED—” Joyce was cut off when Lizzie burst into laughter. She pressed a hand to her mouth to stop them, but it didn’t help.
“I’m sorry,” Lizzie apologized. “I didn’t mean to laugh…it’s just, it’s so random andnormal, it just caught me off guard.” She finally managed to stop her all consuming giggles and informed Joyce, “Mom, I got enrolled in an online school months ago.”
“What?” Joyce was beyond baffled. “How?”
“Dad feels guilty and gives me an allowance,” she said. If only he felt guilty enough to stay.
She really wasn't looking forward to telling mom about Hank.
Joyce glowered at the road. “Of course he does. There’s nothing in the world that can’t be fixed with money to your father.”
“Anyways,” Lizzie stated, drawing her mother from her anger, “I guess he forgot I don’t go out anymore or expects to spend it online or something, but I decided to put it towards finishing my high schooling. And I still had enough left over for a couple pairs of shoes.”
“Oh, thank goodness,” Joyce placed a hand to her heart. “For a second there, I thought the doctors had replaced my daughter with a pod person.” Both of them laughed lightly and Joyce turned the van onto the main strip. “But in all seriousness, I’m very proud of you. You’re getting up and going for things without letting anything, or anyone hold you back.”
Joyce smiled, looking about when something caught her eye. With a mischievous grin, she turned on the turn signal and Lizzie looked at her. “Where are we going?”
“We are going shopping.”
“You know this one will make your ankle slender,” Lizzie held the silver high heel up for Joyce to inspect.Normalcy, it felt good, she thought with a smile.
“Oh, Elizabeth where would I wear it?” Joyce asked, though there was gleam in her eye as she looked over it.
“Anywhere,” Lizzie replied, with a raised eyebrow. “Everywhere, who says you can’t wear a sensible shoe to go grocery shopping?”
Joyce smiled softly, but inch by inch the smile fell off her face. Finally, she stared somberly at the shoes around them before looking at Lizzie. “Elizabeth…” she began. “I…there’s something I have to tell you. You see, you father and I…well, we’ve been having problems for a long, long time now and I…I’ve had an affair…”
“Does this explain why I look so much like the milkman?” Lizzie felt uncomfortable. This was way too close to what she had to tell her mom about where Hank had gone off to and she wrung her hands together, not looking at her mom.
“No, no, you’re Hank’s.”
“Really? Are you sure…that I can’t be someone else’s?” Lizzie kind of pouted.It would help my sanity a great deal, if I wasn’t his.
“I’m sure!” Joyce stated, a little too firmly. She then took in a deep breath and started, “I…that call I got the other day, the one you answered. That’s the man I’m…”
“Mom, I know.” Lizzie stopped her. “I kinda figured it out a while ago.”
“How?” Joyce looked shocked.
“Okay, I know I’m blonde mom,” she said, letting a teasing smile cross her lips, “but give me some credit here.”
Tears gathered in Joyce’s eyes. “I never wanted you to know.”
“Well,” Lizzie shrugged, “don’t be upset. I understand it. I know you and dad have had you’re problems and I know you wouldn’t go…to someone else if something wasn’t seriously wrong. I know that doesn’t make it right, but I understand it. So, you don’t have to worry about it.”
Her mom seemed frozen as Lizzie pretended to look over shoes with interest and finally, Joyce let a touched smile appear on her lips. “So do you think it’ll make my ankle look slender?”
“Absolutely,” Lizzie grinned, looking at her mother. Then her eyes drifted over to the shop behind her mother’s shoulder. It was a computer shop.
“Hey, mom, I need to go get something for my computer, do mind if I…sneak by you?” she gestured to the shop.
“Go ahead,” her mother nodded. “But in ten minutes we’re heading to the food court, so be quick.”
“Okay,” Lizzie put her hands on the wheels and rolled towards the computer shop. She made her way in, ignoring the stares sent her way. She was getting kinda used to it and glanced around. Geez, computers looked a lot different in 2010 than they did in 2001. That timeline difference between her and Buffy’s world had made the adjustment a lot harder for Lizzie.
She was still adjusting truth be told.
“You look a little lost.”
She looked up at the employee and nearly swallowed her tongue. I’m Lizzie, not Buffy! I’m Lizzie, not Buffy! I’m Lizzie, not Buffy!
She repeated the mantra as she stared up at the young man with spiky orange hair and a laid back smile that was all too familiar. He blinked looking at her, “You okay?”
“Yea,” she replied, pushing the shock to the back of her mind, “yes, sorry. You…you look like someone I know.”
“I get that a lot,” he said, with a small easy grin. Probably not in the way that I mean it,
she thought, before holding out her hand. “Lizzie Summers.”
“Daniel Osbourne,” he took her hand, giving it a firm shake. “So, lost?”
“A little,” she started then admitted. “A lot. I don’t know where to begin.”
“What are you looking for?”
“I’m looking for something to break codes, or ciphers on certain files,” Lizzie answered. Those files were still taunting her even now, she pinched the bridge of her nose, and she didn’t like not knowing. Especially something that had Hank freaked out. I should have sucked it up and confronted him.
“Wow,” his eyebrow shot up. “That wasn’t what I expected.”
“I find that doing what is expected is boring and repetitive,” she said, giving a half grin. “Now being unexpected is refreshing.”
“Too true,” he said, running a hand through his hand. He then glanced around the store before shaking his head. “I have to tell you though, you aren’t going to find anything like that here.”
“For one most encryption breakers are more for government use, not so much public,” the Oz look alike informed her, tilting his head. “Except the hackers out there. You might find something online.”
“Oh…” Her shoulders slumped. “Well, thanks.”
Lizzie made to turn away when he said, “Hold on.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a card. He held it out to her, “If you go here, you will probably find someone to help you.”
She took the card looking down at it.TronTalk Café
Jefferson and Boulavard
Los Angeles, CA
“No catchy slogan?” She ran her thumb over the neon blue lettering on the pitch black paper.
“We are working on it.” He shrugged.
“And there is someone there who can help me?”
“Most likely, though it isn’t cheap,” he warned her.
“Money is not an issue,” she shrugged off easily. “Thank you, Oz.”
Heat rushed to her face as she realized her slip up and she said, “You’re last name Osbourne…Oz. Sorry, I…I tend to make up nicknames and don’t think about it before it’s foot in mouth…”
“No,” he said. “Oz, it’s pretty cool. I like it.”
Her head jerked to the entrance where her mother stood there, arms crossed and an amused look going from her to Oz. Lizzie almost slapped a hand to her forehead in frustration. She looked up at Oz, “Thank you for your help.”
“You’re welcome. See ya around.”
Lizzie made her way to her mom, feeling a lump in her throat. Part of her wanted to scream, perhaps it was the nostalgia from Buffy’s memories that made her so weepy and hurt this moment. Trying to shrug it off, she put on a smile, “Hey, mom.”
“Hi.” Joyce grinned. “So…he’s cute.”
“Isn’t he a little young for you?”
“You know what I mean.”
“Yea,” she muttered, “I know.” Strangely enough Oz still feels like a friend, even in this world.
She repeated that last line again to firmly remind her. “Can we go home?”
“You’re not hungry.”
Okay. It was a lie.
Her stomach growled so loud, that her mother had to pull over the car because she was laughing so hard. Lizzie whined, “It’s not funny.” But that only had made Joyce laugh more. Finally after the laughfest, Joyce drove to the store and they got stuff to make homemade pizza.
And that’s where, she discovered where Buffy had been severely culinary deprived that she, Lizzie was…just a bad, if not worse. Okay, she could prepare the food and got it ready. She went to cook it and the oven just hissed and threw sparks at her, so she really didn’t want to test just how good her cooking skills were. It was like tempting fate.
Instead, Joyce put the pizza in the oven. “I swear you could burn water. Perhaps, its safer if I do this by myself.”
With a pout, Lizzie crossed her arm. “Are you implying I’m dangerous?”
“Are you implying that you’re not?”
Lizzie would have laughed if it didn’t drag up a memory that had been weighing on her heavily. FLASHBACK
Lizzie could see connections, the underline to magic itself or some such. The oracle, golden and blue, hadn’t explained it much. All they had really explained that was, Lizzie’s power was unanchored or unchained, just thrashing around wildly and would have eventually got someone’s attention.
It had just been her luck that when her powers were reaching out, that Buffy had just became the slayer, giving something to grab onto. The broken mass of the First Slayer, that was chained onto the marble floor not to far away from where Lizzie and Buffy stood, was the result of Buffy drowning.
The Slayer essence had broke when Buffy awoke alive and a broken piece had made its way through the grapevine to Lizzie. A shiver ran down her spine as the First Slayer hissed and snarled against her binds. She really didn’t want to think about what having that thing inside her mind meant. So she shifted her focus to Buffy, who stood staring at Whistler who was talking to the Oracle he had brought them to.
“You know,” Lizzie began, “this is so weird. I mean…I was you, or thought I was, for some many years. It’s weird that…I’m not going to be that anymore.”
“If it makes you feel better, it’s weird on this side too,” Buffy replied with a shrug. “But who am I—or should I say we—if not able to deal with the weird?”
“True,” Lizzie acknowledge.
“Hey, Slayer,” Whistler said, walking up to them. “It’s time.”
Buffy stood straight, squaring her shoulders then glanced at Lizzie, “I’m not sure what to say to you. I don’t think good-bye is enough.”
“I don’t either,” Lizzie rubbed the back of her head.
“Wait,” Buffy brows furrowed. “I do know what to say. Thank you.”
“Huh?” That threw Lizzie for a loop.
“Thank you,” Buffy repeated firmly. “For being there, even if it wasn’t intentional. In those moments, the hard ones where I thought I was alone, it’s nice to know even now that I really wasn’t. So thank you.”
“…your welcome…” Lizzie whispered, unsure of what else to say. Buffy pulled her counterpart into her arms for brief hug before turning back to Whistler. “Alright, let’s get this over before I decide I need a hat?”
“Okay, okay,” the balance demon held up his hands in surrender before waving his hand a bright light vaguely like a doorway appeared. Buffy looked at it before pouting.
“That’s it?” The Slayer asked. “No loved ones to greet me, no life flashing before my eyes—”
“That happens when you die,” Whistler pointed out, but was ignored.
“—no parade,” Buffy ranted.
“Not even a balloon,” Lizzie added.
“Right! Thank you!” Buffy crossed her arms, eyeing Whistler with a small glare. “Not even a balloon.”
Whistler just shook his head with a small laugh. “That’s all on the other side Slayer. You just have to walk through.”
“Wow, you know, I thought I was ready,” Buffy spoke, her voice quivering ever so slightly. “But now that I’m here, I…am really not sure.”
“If it helps,” Lizzie echoed the slayer’s words from earlier, “neither am I.” She reached out placing her hand on Buffy’s shoulder giving it a squeeze of encouragement. “But you’ll make it through. Always have, always will.”
Then Lizzie let go, taking a step back.
Buffy bit her lip, before taking a step forward. Then another. Soon she found herself just a breath away from the light and she took a breath letting all her friends and families’ faces go through her mind before stepping in. The light wrapped around her like a long lost friend welcoming her home. All her fears, all her doubts washed away and she was left with this peace. A beautiful peace.
Lizzie watched as a true smile crossed Buffy’s face before she faded away into the light. “Good-bye, Buffy.”
It was a deep sadness that filled her. A sense of panic as well. Where did she go from here? She had been or thought she had been Buffy for so long? What did she go now?
“Child.” Lizzie head snapped to the two imposing oracles who stared down at her with impassive looks. “It is time to severe the connection.”
“I thought Whistler was going to severe it.”
“He used the borrowed power to chain up the abomination,” the male oracle stated, coldly.
Abomination? Lizzie blinked before her eyes looked over at the First Slayer, now whimpering. It appeared she had long given up fighting against the binds. Lizzie asked, “What will happen to her?”
“It is none of your concern.”
That was not the right thing to say, for Lizzie back straightened and she glared up at the oracles, “I’ll think you find that if exactly my concern.”
The two oracles glanced at each other; the look they shared spoke volumes. Lizzie felt the hair rise up on her neck as the male oracle confirmed her fears, “The Slayer Essence has healed, there is no need for this shattered piece to come back so it will be disposed of.”
“You…you mean disposed of like killing it?”
“Does the word disposed mean something other?” The male oracle asked blasé about the conversation.
Her eyes locked with the red, insane ones of the broken First Slayer and Lizzie whispered, “No…” Her head shook. “You can’t…she’s your champion, you can’t…” Her hands curled into fists.
“What?” The male oracle blinked.
“I said hell no!” Lizzie snapped glaring at him. “I don’t care how broken or how twisted that she’s become! She is still a champion, and she deserves better than beingdisposed of. Abomination or not.”
“She is no longer meant for our world,” the male oracle began, but the female one held up her hand to silence him.
“But perhaps, she is longed for another,” the female oracle stepped down from her pedestal and stopped a foot away from Lizzie. Lizzie lifted her chin, not letting her intimidation presence scare her down. “Perhaps, there is another way.”
“The connection—” Whistler started.
“Can still be severed,” the male oracle said, tersely. “If you do this then this will be on your head alone.”
The female oracle nodded slightly. “Indeed.” Her piercing eyes seemed burrow their way into Lizzie’s soul. “Do you really care for this creature’s life even after all she has done to you?”
There was no pause. Lizzie instantly knew what to say, “How could I not? She’s been a part of me for so long, how could I not care?”
The female oracle nodded, as if finding what she was looking for. “This will not be easy, nor will it be quick. The path you have chosen is one you cannot stray from, or you may never find your way back…”
“There will be a darkness and men of power all trying to pull you in. Make your world go black, but do not fear, even in the darkest of place…all you need to do is find your light and you will be home.”
The female oracle twisted her wrist and the connection was snapped, and Lizzie arched off her hospital bed with her mother screaming for the nurses and doctors.End of Flashback
“Lizzy, pizzas done,” Joyce pointed to the table.
“Oh, sorry,” Lizzie grinned. “Was lost in space.”
“I noticed,” Joyce teased her.
Lizzie made her way towards the table, but stopped about two feet away from her mom. She watched Joyce move about setting the table and let a smile cross her face. At first when Buffy moved on, she had been terrified, scared of what to do, where she would go?
Smiling, Lizzie grinned up at her mom who turned to face her. This…being here. This is might just be the best place to start…
Glass shattered, and something warm and wet splattered over her face. Blinking, Lizzie rolled back at looked up at her mom’s startled face and then she looked down at her mom’s white blouse.
It was red.
“Sweetie, you…you have something…” Joyce numbly reached out to wipe Lizzie’s face when she slumped to the ground, unmoving.
“Mom?” Lizzie asked, her voice strained as a lump built in her throat. A tear ran down her cheek. “Mom?”
End of Chapter
RRs are appreacited.
Next chapter we will really get to see Lizzie in her world. No more flashbacks! And don’t worry, Hank isn’t getting away that easily and there will be more Oz.
Or at least for now. :D Also you can submit a catchy slogan for TronTech, that will appear on the next chapter’s manip.