Epilogue: Who Wants to Live Forever?
by P.H. Wise
A Buffy crossover fanfic
Epilogue: Who Wants to Live Forever?
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy. I don’t own Angel. I don’t own Highlander. Please don’t sue me. I’m only a poor starving writer. I have no money.
Time passed, as it usually does, and slowly. The sun rose, and the sun set. Old enemies were defeated, and new enemies took their place. Armies rose, and armies fell. Friends died at the hands of sudden violence, and friends died in bed at the end of a long life, surrounded by loved ones. Generations came, and generations went, and the earth endured.
And the Immortals endured.
In the year 2260, night fell upon the Sunnydale memorial cemetery, built within the very same sinkhole into which Sunnydale fell so many years ago, now overgrown with grass, and flowers, and trees. The ocean had risen in recent years, yet Sunnydale remained untouched, for even as the ocean arose, the walls of the Sunnydale canyon rose to match it, every year the same.
Such was the magic of that place.
All those who had died in the collapse and in the days leading up to it were buried here. And in an isolated glade in the Sunnydale forest, over the very site where the Hellmouth itself had once stood, laid the graves of the Champions.
There was now no trace of the evil of the Hellmouth: the entirety of the canyon, but especially the graves of the Champions, had become Holy Ground, redeemed and sanctified by the blood of the righteous dead.
It was within this glade that Buffy stood, with Angel at her side, looking upon the graves of their friends, families, and loved ones. Anya, Connor, Gunn, Wesley, Lorne, Kendra, Kennedy, Andrew, Oz, Riley, Groo, Robin, and Fred. A few newer names rested here as well, some of them the children, the granchildren, and the great-grandchildren of those named before.
And there, in the center of the glade, on a small rise in the terrain, were the graves of Xander, Giles, Joyce, Doyle, and Cordelia. And closest to the edge of the rise was Willow’s grave – the latest addition to the glade, with Tara’s close beside it, reunited at last in the sleep of death.
Those seven graves were the couple’s destination. They stopped before them, bowed their heads, and held their silence for a few moments.
“Well,” said Buffy, “here we are again.” She let out a sad laugh, and Angel put his arm around her.
“We’ve tried, you know. We’ve tried to create the world that everyone was fighting for. Tried to live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it could be. And we did it, too. We changed the world. For the better, even. You guys would love it.”
She paused, and looks at the silent graves. Her eyes began to tear up. “The fight never ends, though. There’s always power, and there’s always corruption. There’s always another apocalypse round the corner. Always another big bad waiting to tear down everything we’ve built. Waiting to tear down the new Watchers, the Slayers, the Immortals, the innocents, and the whole world.”
Angel spoke to the dead, then. “No one ever said hard it would be. How many would have to fight for it. How many would have to die for it. How painful it would be. But there are some things that are worth fighting for - worth dying for. It’s a new world now. It’s not the peace and the harmony that Jasmine wanted to bring us... but it’s peace. For all we said about it not mattering if we made a difference or not... we went and made a difference - showed everyone that the world doesn’t have to be a cesspool of corruption and evil - gave them hope. Gave them a future where they don’t have to be afraid of the dark anymore.”
Buffy nodded. “It’s a new world now. We...” her voice cracked with emotion. “I just wish you could all be here to share it with us.”
Angel embraced her, and Buffy lost herself in his embrace. For a moment.
The dead said nothing.
At length, Buffy reached into the basket she held at her side and placed a single flower on each of the Champions’ Graves, and two each on the graves of Xander, Giles, Willow, Joyce, and Cordelia.
They stood there for several minutes in silence. And then they turned and departed. Angel wrapped his arm around Buffy’s waist, and together they walked back to where their friends were waiting.
Dawn stood on the edge of the grove, with Faith standing on her right, and Duncan MacLeod on her left. Methos stood close at hand, and Amanda, and Spike, and Illyria.
Faith – not a day older than Buffy, and the bitterness gone now from her gaze, replaced now by simple strength. Duncan looked on with the eyes of one who had seen too much. Amanda’s gaze held wisdom. Spike watched the couple approach with a thoughtful look, even as he smoked a cigarette.
As for Dawn, she had grown into a stunningly beautiful woman with a nearly tangible aura of power, and of grace. Hers was the joy of the Redeemed, and in her there was no darkness; but darkness transcended. Illyria stood just behind Dawn, and while she retained the appearance of Illyria, she smiled sadly, and her eyes were full of warmth.
And Methos? Well, who can ever really know what Methos is thinking? With a somehow innocently knowing look, he smiled.
Yet once more, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who’s actually been reading this story. At some point I will be going back and revising it, as well as writing various side stories, but for now, this is the end.
May peace be with you all, and God bless.