Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer depicted within this fan fiction. No warnings. This is just a spur of the moment ‘What If …’ scenario. Set just post the end of BtVS. Enjoy. Chalk and Cheese
The cracks in the earth didn’t really make a pattern – or at least they didn’t if you only glanced at the scene without really looking. It wasn’t immediately discernable. You had to be patient and still before you saw it.
In its own way, the destruction was beautiful. Not just because of what the destruction represented (the saving of the world and all) but just because it was destruction. Chaos contained and compacted into a tiny locale, never to be release because of all the conflicting forces keeping it together.
A sinkhole, they called it. That was hardly the right world. True, the Hellmouth wasn’t coming back, but not because the main portal was swallowed up by the earth. It was a metaphysical representation of a rip in space-time. You can’t ‘swallow it up’ by physical means. You can’t bury it, build over it, flood it, blow it up; you need to do something bigger.
That’s what this was: bigger. They trapped it, without even knowing they did it. Pure luck. It’s how they got through most of their lives and it payed off when it mattered most. It always did, they were the good guys after all.
Still, funny things happened when you mixed luck and chaos.
She’d been sitting there for days, staring at the former site of the Sunnydale Hellmouth, etching the lightning cracks in the hard dry earth into her mind. Her body was filthy, her clothing torn and bloodstained. If you stared at her long enough she’d start to fade into the landscape. Like a god, she looked down from her higher perch, perhaps the guardian for forces no mortal could understand.
Perhaps just a lost girl in shock.
The changing hours had no effect on her, the cold of night washing over her sun-burned skin and seeping into her pores like ice before giving way to the inferno of day. Her body took notice, she did not: her eyes not moving from the maw before her. Never blinking, barely breathing. No water, no food. Perhaps she wished for death. Perhaps the very sight of the former hell sustained her. Perhaps she was
just a statue.
There were no humans for miles, all too afraid of the former town to come back even when the worst was over. The animals had left before even the humans, but they were slowly returning, recognising the danger had passed. But the last of the humans to leave would never return, even when others would come to investigate – perhaps to rebuild the town next to the strange phenomenon – the bright yellow bus of injured would never return to the site of their triumph, pain and misery. Humans always did fear their pasts, running incessantly from what would always catch up to them. It was foolish to ignore things just because they hurt you.
It was one of the first things she had to learn as a human.
Days had passed this way before something changed. The birds were starting to sing again in the remnants of the forest the ‘sinkhole’ barely touched. The sound had soothed her, reminding her that not all creatures were as foolish as humans. But the change in the air told her that creatures other than birds were also nothing like humans.
No matter what skin they wore.
For the first time since climbing to her heavenly perch to study the scene below, she turned her head and stared at her visitor. She was a little surprised that anyone was brave enough to climb up here and face what she was facing. But then she looked upon the visage before her and understood.
“Guess I’m a little late for the party.” It was probably only that she hadn’t heard more than the twittering of sparrows over the past days that she could hear the awe and sorrow in his voice.
She opened her mouth and only the harshest of whispers emerged. “You didn’t miss much.”
Without asking for consent, he took a seat beside her and followed her previous line of vision to the unnatural blight on the landscape.
“It still feels kinda evil,” he commented.
“The energy from the implosion has to go somewhere,” she said, her voice slowly adjusting to being used again. “Unfortunately, because it imploded
, the energy can’t really escape and do anything, so it’s just stuck.”
“But the Hellmouth’s closed.”
“Yeah … it’s like a bubble, or a cloud.” She squinted and tilted her head. “Or a really fat rabbit with its intestines hanging out and splattered all over the dirt.”
He just nods at the comment and continues to gaze, as she did, at the scene. “It’s kinda pretty, in a dark creepy sort of way.”
“I was just thinking that. So not a rabbit then.”
“No rabbits here.”
There was no wind or rain to distract them. The weather hadn’t been the same since the event, so the two were acutely aware of the other wile still maintaining a level of comfort they hadn’t felt in a while.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t there.”
She glanced back over in surprise. “Why would you be? You probably would have died. I think I did.”
He frowned at the comment and poked her arm, just in case. She smiled at the action, the first real expression she’d worn since she’d been there. He looked almost sheepish. Again, she was surprised she could tell. She must have been desperate for company or something.
“I think the world needs a holiday,” she said.
His lips quirked. “I agree. It must be hard to keep turning like that.”
“Good then. I declare the world on holiday from now on. No apocalypses, no Armageddon, no unstoppable evils, no dying. Just a quiet peaceful sleep and pinna coladas. And tiny umbrellas.”
“And mangoes, no holiday without mangoes is ever complete.”
“Really? I’d think pineapple was more festive.”
“I like mangoes better.”
“Fine, you can have your mangoes and I’ll keep the pineapple to myself.”
“Where do you think the world would go on holiday anyway?”
“Hm, not sure. The world’s got a lot of places to choose from.”
“Do you think if we ask nice enough it’ll let us come too?”
“Why don’t we go anyway?” He stood up and held out a hand to her. “The world’s got a lot on its mind – even on holiday – so we’ve got to make our own decisions.”
She stared at his hand, biting her lip. “You got any suggestions?”
She reached out to take his hand, but thought of something. “No dancing bears or Muppets,” she demanded with a glare.
“Cross my heart,” he swore.
She took his hand and let him help her stand. They stood overlooking the darkness that was the former Hellmouth as she regained the feeling in her limbs.
“No evil monsters either, okay?” she whispered into his shoulder.
“I’ll try to control my impulses.”
“Thanks. I’m kinda sick of evil right now.”
They turned away from the pulsing chaos to his chariot of light and their ticket to freedom.
“Zebra stripes are so five years ago.”