The smell was what woke Buffy first. Everything hurt and she meant everything. Every muscle was strained, there were cuts all over her body, and it took her a while to even open her eyes and when she finally did she really wished she hadn't. Her eyes felt like they had been glued shut, and so help her everything, and she meant everything, ached.
Her cream colored sweater was covered in dirt, and her brown pants had rips down the sides and on the knees. The only things really intact were her favorite boots. Thank the lord.
She catalogued her injuries, realizing they were already healing surprisingly well for just occurring and being induced by a huge ball of pure energy. Maybe her healing capabilities were higher here, wherever here was, or something. Then she wondered where here was as well as how long she had been lying there in what looked like a stable close to what, she saw as she dragged herself to the doorway, was a mansion. And damn was that a mansion.
It was the largest house she had ever seen, reminding her of the houses she had seen in pictures and the ones that her Halloween 17th century noblewoman persona actually had seen. Then she realized something else as her calm observant mood began to head towards panic.
This was her house!! Or at least her Halloween alter ego's house. What the hell was going on here?! She was supposed to be finished for Pete's sake! "Death is your gift" and all that rot right? Damn PTB! They probably manipulated her costume choice and had this all planned from the beginning. Buffy was fuming and then she remembered that maybe she could get some fucking answers for once. Even as she thought it she realized that she had just cursed in French. French! She had always sucked at French.
"Whistler!!! Get your ass down here right now!!" She shouted," I mean it! I'm supposed to have earned my reward and my rest. Damn it, Whistler! Now!"
She turned around quickly dropping into a fighting stance as a popping noise was heard. As soon as she saw who it was, she grabbed by the neck and held him against the wall.
"What is going on here Whistler? I was supposed to be done. Haven't I done enough?"
At this point, Buffy was close to tears. She had jumped to save the world and her sister, and now she was stuck in some place that she had only ever seen in her dreams and fake memories with no idea whether or not she would see her friends again.
"If you would kindly put me down Kid... I can explain." Whistler wheezed, trying unsuccessfully to pull Buffy's hands from his throat. Buffy released him, letting him fall to the ground as she turned away to hide her tears.
Whistler straightened his hat and dusted off his jacket and said in a surprisingly gentle tone, "Shhh... Slayer. I know it hurts but this all happened for a reason.."
"Oh yeah, and what's that?" Buffy interrupted, snarky tone and the fire in her eyes back in place.
That's my girl, Whistler thought.
"This is a reward. The Powers are giving you a fresh start so to speak. This is your home dimension, Kid. You were born here as Julianna Elizabeth Summers to a noble family. Here, in case you were wondering, is France during the reign of the Sun King. The Powers looked into the future and realized they would need you in the other dimension. They created a magical copy of you that looks exactly like how you do now. The copy just died in a horse riding accident, which leaves you free to take your rightful place. Time moves differently here by the way, much differently. Half a year here is about the equivalent of a day in old Sunnyhell. Your friends will be okay there, so you can stop worrying about them. Actually, don't worry at all. Now that's all I can tell you Kid, but this is a new life, a new destiny free life so to speak. So enjoy it..." He looked up at Buffy who had started pacing while he talked and disappeared mumbling the end to his earlier statement to himself, finishing in a whisper. "...While it lasts."
"What?! Whistler! Why would the Powers do that to me? Manipulative bastards! Great, I was cursing in French again. Are you sure that's all you can tell me?" Buffy looked up from her stomping only to find Whistler gone as she realized the whole conversation had been in French, and that she was now fluent in both English and French as well as Russian and Norwegian for some extremely odd reason.
All right, she thought to herself, think logically. I should go up to the house and figure out this new life I'm stuck with. The weird thing is I'm still me, but I have all of the copy me's memories. Not only that but it feels like I lived it. This is so wigging me out. I mean I could barely handle robot me, but clone me? That is most definitely wiggins and babble fest worthy. I wonder if she liked cheese.
Buffy stretched her arms above her head as she fully left the stable, thinking on all that she had learned. She needed to either find a way home, which she doubted was possible, or find a way to thrive in the world she had been placed in, her home world. How weird was that, she had been born here in this very mansion in 17th century France. As in the 17th century! Buffy was still having a hard time getting that through her head, she had been taken from her real family and forced into a destiny she hadn't even wanted in the first place. The thing was she had accepted that part of herself and to now be given the option to live without it, she wasn't sure she could.
She blinked. What was she thinking?
She didn't have to be the Slayer anymore in this dimension, she realized even as she watched her cuts and bruises become flawless skin right before her eyes.
She was finally free of everything.
It was one of the best feelings she had ever experienced. Sure, she would miss her friends and Dawn especially, but she they could take care of each other and surprisingly she trusted Spike to look after Dawn. The Hellmouth wasn't really her domain anymore. It had technically been Faith's since her first death.
She also knew after finally forgiving Angel for the whole Faith fiasco, and receiving letters with Faith's profuse apologies that her sister slayer was on the road to redemption. Angel could get her out of jail and Faith could take over the Hellmouth. The last obstacle would be getting the Scoobies to accept her and let Faith carve out her own place in the world. Buffy fervently wished her luck. Faith was truly her sister in all but blood.
Buffy couldn't help thinking that this place really was better than the Hellmouth or anywhere else she had ever seen in the other dimension. Rolling green hills, softly waving grasses, and beautiful flowers covered everything. Buffy looked in wonder at how clear the sky was. There were so many stars. She could even see some of Versailles in the far distance. She couldn't stop the smile from reaching her lips as she practically skipped towards the manor. She could finally make her decisions and she was finally free. She felt as though she was finally where she was meant to be, home at last.
AN: This story will cover some of what is going on in Sunnydale. Not a lot though. Just looking at the difference in time between dimensions, we will spending a lot more time with Buffy. I know this part moved a little fast but I like to get the basic information out of the way in the beginning. I now have three running stories going though it seems I have a little fascination with putting Buffy in the Anita Blake universe. She just fits well there and all those gorgeous men, especially Asher... Can anyone say yum?
For the rest of the story, Buffy will be used interchangeably with Julianna and Anna. This has to do with the fact that she wanted to make a fresh start in her new life. I just wanted to make sure no one gets confused. Also, for this chapter as well as the coming ones they are all speaking French even if I wrote it in English. I don't speak French. Lo siento.:)