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Shattered Reflection

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Summary: BtVS/LotR — A different take on what would happen if Buffy crossed into Middle-earth. For Buffy, this will be the most important journey that she embarks upon in life after death; the quest to save herself. Characters: Buffy; Legolas and other favourite

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Lord of the Rings > Buffy-Centered > Theme: Post FellowshipKokkiFR15740,86855016,28529 Apr 0524 Oct 05No

Hidden Grief.

Summary: BtVS/LotR — A different take on what would happen if Buffy crossed into Middle-earth. For Buffy, this will be the most important journey that she embarks upon in life after death; the quest to save herself. Characters: Buffy; Legolas and many more favourites.

Disclaimer: I claim no rights to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, all material that uses reference from the series belongs to Joss Whedon and UPN. Everything that is related to The Lord of the Rings belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien and recongnisable aspects from the Trilogy films, belong to Peter Jackson and Newline.

Author's Note: I've read countless crossovers where Buffy is either sent to Middle-earth by the Powers to restore balance the on earth, or because she must save Middle-earth from a new evil. And although most of them were written superbly, I wanted to write something different and deeper, something that delved into the psychological aspect of what is it to be a Slayer and also being brought back from the dead—of the repercussions of war, etc. This is centred around Buffy, but there will be action and adventure in this story, that is also tempered with romance, angst and drama, three of my favourite things to write about! In this story, I will be using both the LotR movie and books for reference, as well as deferring to some Buffy episodes in conjunction.

The story is set after Season Five and is Post-War of the Ring (dates given accordingly). Featured episode in the beginning; The Gift.

Warning: Rated PG-13 — Prominence of angst and violence. Rating may go up in future chapters.





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Shattered Reflection

Chapter One:

Hidden Grief.





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In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.





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Lightning crackled as the air around them began to hum, growing fraught with anticipation.

The tower beneath their feet trembled and groaned with strain, threatening to topple from the jarring shudders of the earth. Beyond her, she could see the portal in the distance... All hell was about to break loose if she didn't do something—think of anything that would save her world.

And then, as she ingrained her sister's tears into her mind, the world around her faded away.

A serene peace descended upon her as she looked lovingly at the most important person in her world; her beloved sister, her life. She was her reason for being, the reason for everything. She couldn't give her up, not now, not ever... That was something she was not prepared to consider.

A string of forgotten words echoed deep within her heart...

"She's not your sister," her mentor's voice rang with pure clarity.

"No. She's not," she heard her reply, "She's more than that. She's me. The monks made her out of me... Dawn is a part of me."

It was all so clear, like the delicate rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds on a new day. A day where the pain had fled, where the suffering of her life had disappeared in a cloak of thought and all that was left—was her.

"Buffy.... No!"

Oh Dawn... Her sister understood—understood what she had to do. Dawn was afraid to let her go, but in the end, she would know that it was for the best.

"Dawnie, I have to," she whispered with a small, sad smile as her hands still clutched at her sisters arms.

"NO!"

Her resolve never faltered, "Listen to me. Please, there's not a lot of time, listen," Dawn refused to look at her. With a last attempt, she gently shook her sister's shoulders and spoke the painful words that caressed her tongue, "Dawn, listen to me. Listen," she waited until her sister found the strength to look into her azure eyes. She paused, before smiling as she spoke, "I love you. I will always love you. But this is the work I have to do. Tell Giles... Tell Giles I figured it out and—and that I'm okay. And give my love to my friends."

A bolt of lightning startled them as a winged creature flew out from portal behind her.

But she continued on, "You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other... You have to be strong," the sad expression upon her delicate features grew pained. "Dawn, the hardest thing in this world—is to live in it. Be brave... Live. For me."

The silver tears upon her sister's cheeks burned her heart. She didn't want it to be this way... But she had no choice.

With a heavy sigh, she caressed the face of her sister before placing a sweet, gentle kiss upon her cheek.

Dawn's sobs tore at her as she slowly turned to run, not daring to look back.

Her arms flew outwards, like the wings of a soaring angel. And she felt so—so free, with the wind stroking a happy hand through her tousled blonde locks.

The feeling of weightlessness took her as she plummeted down into the waiting arms of death.





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Pain.



Searing white, hot pain.



Her spirit hands clawed at the warm light that was being wrenched away from her grasp. But ultimately—she was torn.



Dark.



Nothing but an ebony blanket wrapped around her; stiflingly cold, hard and rough.



No warmth—no warmth!



Oh God.



It was torture! Bitter, cruel, twisted torture.



She wasn't meant to be here; she wasn't meant to be.



Did she do something wrong?... But it hurts—it hurts so much!



As spirit met the physical, understanding dawned upon her. She was trapped—beneath the ground. There was no air.



Unused emotions rippled through her solid form. Despair and dread filled her at the fate that had been unwillingly forced upon her. Soon, instinct began to rein and the fragile clockwork of her brain slowly began to function once more.



There was nothing more to do—but fight her way out.





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Year 3020 of the Third Age, Urui (August).





He ran his hands along the fading, silver bark. An ancient wave of melancholy and sorrow eased into his mind from the paling golden-leafed trees. They knew—knew that they would be left to stand alone, once the music and laughter of the elves vanished from the sweet wind to be carried away forever into the Undying Lands. And they could not bear it—could not bear to be parted from their beloved, trusted friends.



It pained his heart greatly, to hear the silver murmur of their distress—but there was nought he could do... Except perhaps listen to their grieving pleas, found in the rustling of branches and leaves.



"You feel it keenly?" His companion said softly, breaking the stillness that shrouded the woodland glade in which they stood.



A gentle yet pained smile broke the stony mask of his glowing face, "Aye, Haldir. I feel it as though it were my own grief—unbound and flowing without restraint."



"I feel it strongly too," the elf beside him whispered. A grim crease, furrowed his brow as his eyes drank in the forest that surrounded them. "It will be a sad day when the elves of the Golden Wood pass over into the Undying Lands."



"Indeed."



"And what of you, Legolas son of Thranduil? What will be your decision?"



Legolas felt himself sighing at the probing question, "I was one of the Nine; I am bound to this land..."



"—However?" Haldir prompted softly.



With resignation, his eyes brushed the delicately curved leaves, never leaving them for fear of relinquishing the beauty that had been upon cast upon him, "When I feel the pull of the sea and my heart rings from the cry of gulls, I will no longer find the will nor peace to walk this Middle-earth."



A moment of accepting silence passed between the elven, warrior duo.



"How soon do you think that will be?" The March Warden found himself asking, knowing that he was being far too personal, but feeling curious nonetheless.



Legolas gracefully shrugged his shoulders, "When my ties to this land are broken—only then shall I feel the need to depart these shores."



The March Warden blinked, breaking the serene spell that had been cast over himself and his companion. Somewhere, deep within his heart, he knew that Legolas Thranduilion would not be able to return to the youthful elf he had once been. The spoils of war had tainted the once joyful being, as he embarked upon the quest to save their world—a quest that had claimed his laughter and lust for life. He could not imagine the depth of pain his fellow wood-elf had experienced, but the grief was ever present, rolling off of his tense shoulders in precarious waves.



It seemed that the horror of what had happened, had weighed heavily upon the Prince of Mirkwood.



Nothing Haldir could empart from his lips would shatter the sadness and grief that lingered in the rims of the younger elf's, ice-blue eyes. Nothing. And for that, Haldir was also grieved. He had witnessed his share of the war, with Lothlórien having been attacked a number of times... But he could never comprehend the shadow that followed the Crown Prince's countenance... For, if truth be told, he did not wish to comprehend it.



Legolas, on the other hand, knew that his form was being scrutinised by the older elf—but he cared not. Let him think what he would, it was of no concern to him.



He understood that his friends worried for him after the war. Almost a year had passed since the war... Nine months on the morrow, to be exact—yet he still could not shake the memories, the fear that had haunted his reverie in the long star-filled nights. For a time, he had travelled with Gimli, but once he returned to his own realm and saw the passing of many elves, his father grew worried at the lingering sadness in his son.



It was one of the reasons that his father had sent him, with Gimli in tow, to the Golden Wood and into the Lady's counsel. His father could not bear to see the change in his once mischievous son and so, he had let him leave the elven realm of Mirkwood once more... To be healed.



"Come," Haldir gestured back towards the path they had previously traversed—the path that would lead them out of the glade, taking them to the city of Caras Galadhon.





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Relief coursed through her veins as her hand pushed through the damp earth, and touched nothing but air. With renewed strength, she punched through the knitted soil and used her aching arms to drag herself out of the six-foot prison that had been her grave.



Her grave...



The intense reality of the situation swamped her as she tried to stand, only to fall back down, reeling from the deepened shock that assuaged her heart.



She had been so happy...



Tears clouded her vision. She squinted, shutting her eyes as she realised that the bright rays of the sun were burning into her pupils. Everything felt so rough and coarse... The ground beneath her, the touch of the wind upon her cheeks, the skin of her hands as she rubbed her eyes. It was too much—too much! She wanted to return—return to the soft, peaceful beauty that had claimed her. But somewhere, deep within her heart, she knew that she would not be able to.



She sat silently upon the jagged grass that burned through her clothing, and finally looked up at her surroundings.



A gasp fell from her lips as her eyes took in the glorious beauty of the world around her. Enormous trees surrounded her, with barks of fading silver and leaves of sparkling gold. They shimmered in the warm beams of the sun that filtered through the gaps in the branches of the trees. She looked down, her eyes drawn to the vibrant, dew-dropped green grass beneath her and she could not help but reach out to caress the billowing blades. Still coarse, yet appealing in a way she could not fathom.



A spark of joy filled her as she sniffed the air around her; it was sweet, like the taste of honey that she had long forgotten...



Perhaps this was another form of heaven?



But it was still far too different from the place she had been. There she had felt warm—loved and safe, as though she were cradled in the bright light of comforting hands. Whereas here, there were no such feelings of love and indefinite safety—simply a peace that she could not identify, lingering on the fringes of her soul...



There was no denying it; the place was beautiful... But it could never compare to where she had been. The blissful realm where she knew no thought, no passage of time.



And then just as the feelings of peace and contentment left her—she felt lost, alone... And frightened beyond belief. Question upon question lashed through her thoughts; why had she been sent here? Was this some form of punishment? But then, why would she be sent to such a beautiful, pleasing place, if it was her punishment? Nothing was making any sense to her as she sat silently upon the ground in the wondrous forest with a bewildered expression—nothing.



Something niggled at the back of her mind and she rose her gaze to greedily drink in the her surroundings once more—it was as if the trees were speaking to her... Willing to answer her unspoken questions.



Just as she found the strength to stand, a lancing pain shot through the centre of her brain. Unable to stop the scream that tore itself from the deep recess of her throat, she sank to her knees as unwanted images flashed through her mind's eye.



Willow—painted in blood; an innocent dear, killed by her own friend's hand.



The graveyard... Where she had been buried. Her tombstone.



Evil chanting. Dark—so dark...



And then, the pain—the damnable, accursed pain as she was pulled away from the cradling arms that had held her aloft, by an unseen force that held more power, more darkness than anything she had ever felt... As suddenly as the visions had come, the coloured images receded into nothingness, and she was left kneeling on the ground, gasping for breath at the weight of the discovery.



Her friends—her friends had done this.



Betrayal, fury, disbelief ran amuck at the stupidity of her so-called friends. She couldn't understand! They had done this to her—but why? How could they be so cruel as to destroy her single chance of happiness...



A path of tears traversed down her dirt-smudged cheeks and she found herself screaming—screaming to unleash the hidden grief.





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They returned to the path, to the group of elves and Gimli his dwarf friend, who had been waiting patiently for their return. Legolas managed to offer his waiting companions a smile as they resumed their trek through the woods of Lórien.



From behind, he could hear the hushed tones of Haldir's younger brothers, Rúmil and Orophin, speaking jovially with the twins of Elrond; Elrohir and Elladan. The idle chatter of the quartet eased his bruised spirit somewhat, and Legolas found himself enjoying the banter between the two sets of brothers, occassionally turning to add his own jibes at the ridiculous comments that came from Elrohir.



Legolas smiled as he cast a glance downwards to the mute dwarf that walked silently by his side, in quiet contemplation. Haldir led the group from the front with another elf, called Tathar, son of Hírvegil, who remained equally solemn by Haldir's side.



Perhaps things would seem much better once he stepped foot into Caras Galadhon...



As they continued on deeper into the forest, his heart seemed to grow lighter with every step forward.



Until the company of elves and dwarf, heard a sudden scream of such agonising rage and grief, that it tore at the very fibres of his heart. He saw the others wince and he could feel his own organ begin to pump loudly as the adrenaline slowly built up within his veins; sinew of muscles and tendons tensed as the screams, decidedly female, grew louder from the grief and pain that was being inflicted.



As they stood frozen on the path, he watched with astute alertness as Haldir turned his head towards the area from where the screams had arisen.



The March Warden silently motioned for the other seven elves to remain where they were. Without preamble, he veered off the path and ran through the trees, weaving and jumping around fallen branches with a grace that only the Eldar could possess, only to disappear into the midst of the thick tree trunks.



Not one for being left behind, Legolas followed the March Warden, quietening the protests and disapproval that came from Elrond's twin sons. As he ran, following Haldir's tracks, Legolas couldn't help but smile as he heard Gimli's curses at being restrained from following his friend. The dwarf would follow him into death, if he could; such was his loyalty.



As they entered a clearing in the enormous trees, the sight that he and Haldir came upon, shocked them deeply, as to be rendered utterly speechless.





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Haldir had been paralysed as the scream tore through his thoughts. As he ran towards the screams, he couldn't help but dread that someone was being attacked in his woods—his sacred, heavily guarded woods. It was unfathomable. No one could pass through the borders of this land; especially because he was in charge.



To think that someone had made it this far into the Lady's beautiful Golden Wood, made the cold fury within him burn all the more brightly.



The screams had not stopped as he drew nearer to the location, and the fury was once more replaced by concern, worried that a fell creature could be tormenting an innocent victim in the peaceful woods. The thought only fuelled his legs to move faster.



He knew that he was being trailed by the Prince of Mirkwood. Haldir had seen the elf's response to the screams, and so he had not tarried to deal with the Prince for following in his steps. The elven Prince was not prone listening to the orders of others.



Legolas soon caught up with him, and they both entered the clearing together, weapons drawn and ready—only to halt abruptly at the sight before them.





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As she began to scream, she had found a wayward branch lying close by. With only the thought process of a Slayer, she took the branch furiously began to beat the earth with they crumbling wood. For some strange reason, she knew not to take her anger out on the trees around her.



The anger—the absolute fury that she felt, was being assuaged by the moist earth as she pounded the heavy branch against the ground, all the while speaking a silent mantra in her mind; this is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening... Any moment now, she was going to be sent back to where she belonged, where she desired to be—heaven. She continued to repeat this thought in her mind as she released her unkempt grief through silent tears and roars of betrayal.



What her Slayer senses had not detected, were the two ethereal beings standing beyond her, gaping with weapons raised, at her raging form as she tormented the poor soil and grass with her rage.



The concern that Haldir felt had vanished and soon, he was left feeling simply disgusted and offended at the spectacle before him.



"Where did she come from?" Legolas murmured to Haldir in the dulcet tones of their language.



Their presence was ignored, even as he spoke.



Though, soon enough, the woman's screams died away so that she was left to simply beat the earth with the branch in her hands. Her garb was suspicious; nothing Legolas had ever seen before in his travels, and her pale skin led him to believe that she had not stepped foot into the warmth of the sun for many moons.



She was tiny—incredibly tiny for a human female, and almost delicate in stature. Yet the raw power that trembled beneath her skin, was also not lost upon him—though her true strength was still hidden from his knowledge. He watched with interest as her sun-streaked blonde hair shimmered in the broken rays from the sun, quite a contrast to the muddy colour of the Edain that he had chanced upon. She reminded him of a girl-child's play doll; a small, fragile toy that could easily be broken... A toy that was currently tearing up the soiled earth of Haldir's homeland. And from that alone, he could discern that his companion was not amused.



"Wherever she hails from, I cannot help but wonder how she passed through the borders of this land," Haldir replied in their tongue, with an equally soft voice.



It seemed that the March Warden also did not wish to interrupt the spectacle before him; better to let her unleash her anger upon the unmoving earth, rather than them, Legolas mused.



Though, as if his voice had been a catalyst to break through the woman's rage, she whirled around to face them, her eyes wide with surprise and suspicion as she raised the branch in her hands, moving easily into a fighting stance.



As she studied their features with awe, the wooded weapon fell gracefully from her hands, and landed with a loud thud at her feet. The surprise of finding the enraged woman, only heightened for both elves as she promptly fainted to the ground.





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Something pierced through the thick wall of emotions that surrounded Buffy. She whirled around at the noise, holding the abused branch that was in her hands, in front of her for defence.



What her eyes saw, made her freeze.



Two glowing, frighteningly beautiful men, standing before her. Their illuminated beauty made her want to weep, never had she seen anything so—so spectacular. It was hard to deduce the emotions that welled within her as her eyes roved over each of their delicate, but undoubtedly manly features. Somehow, by just being in their presence, it felt as though she were being embraced in the warmth of their glowing skin—so comforting and soothing, that it left her feeling breathless and light-headed.



Both had long blonde hair, but the larger ethereal being's hair was almost of a silvery hue as though it had been spun from the morning dew-drops that rested upon a land of bladed grass. Both also harboured ice-cold, sea blue eyes that seemed to pierce through the stone fortress of her mind; though the shades of blue varied between the two.



The anger, grief and pain she had been feeling, melted away into an invisible abyss, and belatedly, she realised that her weapon, in the form of the branch, had fallen to the ground beneath her feet. This must be another heaven, she reasoned. No two people on earth could ever be that heart-breakingly beautiful. She was so stunned by their appearance, that she missed the wandering thought that they vaguely reminded her of two warrior angels, come to give her salvation...



As she felt her knees buckle beneath her weight and the world around her faded into darkness, one thing was for certain; she was definitely not in Sunnydale.





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Translations:

Edain — "Second-born" or "Men"



Added Notes: I know that Buffy's reaction is different from what it was in the series, but I took some creative licence since she did wake up somewhere other than her grave-site in darkened Sunnydale. However, her resentment towards her friends will still be the same, and the pain of being alive will also remain as it was in the series. I hope you enjoyed this first chapter! I would be most grateful to know what you as readers, thought of my first chapter. Thank-you!
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