: #343 Incorporeal at Tamingthemuse LJ comm Warnings
: Um, mentions of unpleasantness but nothing graphic, suicide, Disclaimer
: I own none of these characters, settings, or fandoms. They are the property of their respective creators and companies. Summary
: The slayer activation spell had changed her. She was no longer just a slayer. A/N
: So, tried something new with this one - in a formatting, progression sort of way. Hope it works and is understandable. :)
It had taken several visits to the icy cavern before she had learned her purpose there. She had to thoroughly search the dimly lit area before she had discovered him buried in the ice. It was torture to not be able to physically interact with her surroundings once she had realized that she could occasionally hear his heartbeat echo throughout the chamber. The poor man was alive under there and she was unable to help him. All she could do was push reassuring thoughts of future help to him. How she knew his rescue was coming, she didn’t know, but she felt the truth of it like she felt the truth of this really happening. However, time after time she returned to the frozen tomb to wait with him.
Buffy had changed since Willow’s activation spell. Oh, not in ways that anyone could tell, but she could. Whether it was because she was already a slayer, the last truly Chosen One, or from her last resurrection; there had been a change to her. She was betting on the ‘molecular sunburn’ from her major resurrection being the cause.
***** The tiny blonde stared in horror as they operated on the man’s chest with no anesthesia. Silent tears rolled down her cheeks as he screamed in both pain and terror as rough hands held him down to allow the ‘doctor’ to work. Not able to stand it, she stepped forward and placed her hands on either side of his head before bending down and placing a soft kiss to his forehead. He needed to know he wasn’t alone, that there was someone there to witness his pain and believed he could survive it. Again, she knew he had a future, one of his own making, and that he would need all the strength and support he could get to survive it. For a moment she swore he looked into her eyes as she bent over him. That in his delirious haze of pain he could see her despite whatever magic was hiding her from his tormentors.
She had subtly probed Faith to see if she had noticed any changes to her own slayer dreams, but either the dark haired slayer was being decidedly tight lipped about it or nothing had changed. And there was no way she was going to mention this to the others, they had enough to deal with as it was.
***** It was him again, the one she had shadowed in the desert for months during his captivity and it warmed her heart to see him back home. The robots in the room moved about seemingly completing activities that she didn’t even try to understand. The man sat wearily on a chair before lifting his shirt to reveal the device embedded in his chest and she frowned at the dark lines radiating out from it on his skin. Buffy could sense that he was sick and the fact that he was fiddling with that device alone told her that he wasn’t sharing the information with anyone. With a sigh she stepped up behind him and wrapped her nonexistent arms around him. She knew he could find a way to fix this, he just couldn’t give up.
At least, that had been her plan in the beginning, but after a while, it had almost become sacred to her. A part of her that she got to keep for herself without someone dissecting and analyzing what it meant. She already figured it out for herself.
***** She knelt next to the big, blonde man sitting dejectedly in a chair in a mirrored room. It was a little freaky to not see her reflection so she did her best to ignore her surroundings. She was still trying to shake off the lingering effects the man’s brother had induced. The magic surrounding her had grown thicker and forcefully shunted her into a corner of the room when he had suddenly appeared and didn’t dissipate until he had disappeared just as suddenly. Buffy gently rested her hand on his in a silent effort of comfort. He just had everything stripped from him - his home, his family, and even whatever that hammer had meant to him. A well of deep sadness emanated from him and her heart broke.
Now, she was more than just a slayer, she was a well-spring of strength, determination, and most importantly, of hope. It was a task set before her that didn’t require her to make decisions, place others in harm’s way, or carry the guilt of those she could not save. She was an unseen presence and yet she knew she was making a difference in these unknown heroes’ lives.
***** Buffy nearly groaned in frustration, it was another frozen landscape, although at least she was on the surface this time. She could see the other man struggle through the snow before finally dropping to his knees. Slowly moving closer, she watched curiously wondering what he needed from her only to take off running as she saw him pull out a gun. There was only one reason to have it out and she never wished so hard that she could be heard. The bark of the gun rolled over her and she skidded to a halt as a large green monster stood in the man’s place. It spit out the bullet with a growl and turned to look her. Anger glowed in the green eyes and under it all a deep pain. She stood her ground as the hulking monster charged her. He grunted in surprise as his huge fist passed smoothly through her. Her eyes were shiny with unshed tears as he bent over to roar in her face. She reached out with one small hand to his cheek and gently rubbed her thumb over his cheekbone and confusion registered in its expression.
At least, she assumed these people were real. It was her only real consolation in having to endure the nightly rituals alone. That it was worth it for both herself, the people she was helping, and the ones they saved in return. For if it wasn’t real, then what was the purpose behind the dreams?
***** It took her a moment to recognize him, and when she did her heart swelled with hope. He had been rescued from the ice, just like she knew he would. However, something was wrong. Day after day she visited him and he was always alone, not really connecting to anyone and pouring over files of people long since dead. She knew he felt just as disoriented from the massive change in time as the loss of his friends. Unable to help, she did her best to brace the multiple punching bags he worked out with in attempt to prolong their lives.
She had to believe. She had to hope. For without it, it meant nothing.