The Girl You Want Me To Be
CHAPTER SIXTEEN – The Girl You Want Me To Be
Magic Box – Outside, Next Morning
As Buffy and Jack arrived at the Magic Box, she felt a surge of nervousness. Last night at Revello Drive had been nice. She spent a few hours catching up with the Scoobies. Luckily, she’d been able to turn the conversation away from herself, for the most, part with the promise to discuss it today at the Magic Box.
Now, she was going to have to go inside and tell them she wasn’t planning on moving back to Sunnydale. She’d decided not to bring Bronwyn, so the child was going to the zoo with Daniel, Sam and Teal’c. It was a toss up as to who was more excited the little girl or the adults who were to accompany her. Bronwyn had SG-1 wrapped around her very small finger.
Jack looked down at Buffy noticing the apprehension in her eyes. He stopped her just outside the store and turned her to face him. “It’s going to be okay. Dawn and I will both be in there. If it gets to be to much all you have to do is say the word and we’re out of there.”
Buffy smiled shakily up at him. “Thanks. I’m not sure if I would be able to do this if you two weren’t going to be here. I’ve got to warn you, I expect there will be yelling. I think Tara at least will be okay with my decision and Anya probably won’t care one way or the other. But the rest – I don’t know.”
Jack placed his hand on her cheek and gently stroked it with his thumb. “I’ll be right beside you. We’d better go inside it looks like the natives are getting restless.”
Inside the Magic Box the Scoobies, Dawn, Spike, Angel and Cordelia waited for Buffy and Jack to enter.
Xander looked out the window to see Jack stroking Buffy’s face. “What are they doing?”
Anya looked at her husband in exasperation, “Xander he obviously likes Buffy. I could tell last night by the way they were looking at each other. I don’t know if they’re giving each other orgasms but if not they soon will be.”
At this Giles choked and spit out the tea he just swallowed onto Dawn.
“Hey, be careful! You think after all the years you’ve spent around her you’d be used to her orgasm talk. I know I am.” Dawn said indignantly.
The bell above the door jingled as Jack and Buffy walked into the shop.
Buffy turned to Dawn with a perplexed look on her face. “Why are you all wet?”
Anya answered for her, “Oh, Giles spit his tea on her when I was speculating whether you and Jack were giving each other orgasms.”
Buffy blushed and Jack’s jaw dropped at her blunt statement.
“Anya please. I’ve told you not to say the O word in public. It embarrasses people,” Xander whined.
“What you mean is it embarrasses you, Xander Harris. I swear all of you are such prudes.” Anya responded crossing her arms and glaring at her husband.
Giles cleared his throat, “Be that as it may we aren’t here to discuss your…umm…well we’re not here to discuss it. Buffy, why don’t you and Jack have a seat. Last night you seemed loathe to discuss where you were. Perhaps today you might be a little more forthcoming.”
Buffy took a seat next to Dawn, with Jack on her other side flanking herself with her two supporters. Jack took her hand in his and gently squeezed it.
Buffy and SG-1 had discussed at length the story she was to tell, she just hoped the Scoobies believed it. The truth wasn’t an option because it was classified.
Buffy began to speak hoping she was using a believable tone. “Jack and his team work for a government program. Sam is a scientist and one of the experiments she was working on dealt with the creation of wormholes. From what I understand the government is trying to find a way to transport large objects over long distances instantaneously. Her experiments worked but in a different way than she imagined. Instead of opening a doorway to another spot on earth she opened a doorway to another dimension. The only doorway they’ve been able to open was to the dimension where I was trapped.”
Gilles removed his glasses and began to rub the lenses with his handkerchief. “Amazing. We’ve spent five years trying to find you through mystical means and a government scientist of all people…amazing.”
Jack glanced around the room, and was pleased to see that everyone appeared astounded at Buffy’s story; but not disbelieving.
Willow was practically bursting with questions, “Why didn’t Sam come with you I’d love to know more about how she created the portal.”
Jack quickly responded, “I’m sorry we can’t really talk about the method or technology it’s classified. The program is most likely going to be discontinued because it didn’t achieve its mission parameters.”
Giles nodded his head apparently satisfied with the answer but Willow had a disappointed look on her face.
“Buffy by your manner of dress in the video Dawn showed us it seems that the dimension you were in wasn’t very technologically advanced.”
“No, it wasn’t Giles. From what Daniel told me it is the equivalent of late 17th or early 18th century Europe. So no showers, shopping malls or shoe stores. But I was happy.”
At this statement Tara smiled, “I’m so glad Buffy. We’re worried so much that you’d been trapped in some sort of hell dimension.”
Buffy laughed at this, “Well, it wasn’t exactly heaven the first two years. But it got better.”
At this Dawn spoke up, “You said in your letter that you led a rebellion. Who were you rebelling against?”
This part of the story was easier for Buffy to tell. She and Jack had decided that the truth would be fine. They’d just say the Goa’uld and Jaffa were demons rather than aliens.
“Demons. When I first arrived the dimension was being controlled by a demon who forced everyone to work as slaves. At the end of the first year we were able to steal enough weapons to attack them and after another six months we’d killed them all. It seems that no matter the dimension I was still the slayer.”
“Well, that seems pretty cut and dried if I do say so, Buffy,” Giles said.
“You know me Giles. See demon. Slay demon. It just took a while to persuade people to help me. There were to many for me to take on alone and initially we had no weapons. It took almost seven months to steal enough to arm and train all of the adults able to fight. We had to work in extreme secrecy. The demon lord didn’t hesitate to kill people who merely displeased him we knew that if we were caught before we were ready we’d be killed.”
Giles stood up and walked over and knelt in front of Buffy, “I’m so proud of you dear girl. Ending up in an alien environment and still putting others before yourself. You show all of the best qualities of the Chosen One.”
At this Buffy smiled, “They called me the Chosen One on Ravenna to. They didn’t know my story but apparently they had a legend of a savior who would free them from the demons called the Chosen One. Because I led them against the demons they gave me the name.”
Giles stood up and walked back to his chair. “Well, we have plenty of time to discuss the details of this dimension, Ravenna, you say. I know you’ve been staying in a hotel while your here and your house is a bit crowded with Willow, Tara and myself living there. Well, we’ve discussed this and I’ll be looking for an apartment so that you and Bronwyn can move back into your house.”
At this Buffy swallowed the lump that had suddenly taken residence in her throat and felt Jack squeeze her hand.
“Giles, you don’t need to move out.”
“Well, of course I do dear girl it’s your home. I can’t expect you to have been gone five years and look for a new place to stay.”
Quietly Buffy said, “I’m not staying in Sunnydale.”
The reactions of the people in the room ranged from shock to understanding.
Xander squeaked out, “What do you mean you’re not staying?”
Giles, “That’s not acceptable, Buffy. Your place is in Sunnydale. You are the slayer.”
Cordelia said nothing but seemed to have a satisfied look on her face knowing that Buffy would not return to Sunnydale. The farther away she is from Angel the happier Cordelia would be.
“Giles, I haven’t been the slayer for five years. Faith is the slayer. If a slayer is needed in Sunnydale then she should be here. My duty to the hell mouth ended when I jumped off Glory’s tower. I have other responsibilities now.”
“Buffy, you should have discussed this with me before making such a rash decision,” Giles replied angrily.
“I think you’re confusing me with a child. I am an adult. I have a daughter of my own and I have to make decisions that are best for her. Raising her on the hell mouth is not in her best interests.”
At this Xander protested, “I don’t know why it isn’t good enough for her. Anya and I are raising our children here.”
At this an angry look crossed Anya’s face, “Well who’s decision was that! Not mine! I wanted to leave and take the girls somewhere else, but you refused. I think Buffy is making a very wise choice.” Anya then turned to Buffy, “Don’t listen to Giles and Xander. You’re doing the right thing.”
Buffy was surprised. She hadn’t expected Anya to care where she ended up. “Thank you, Anya. Your support means a lot to me.” She then turned back to the group. “I hope you realize I wasn’t asking permission. The only person besides Bronwyn who has any input in where I end up, is Dawn. She and I have discussed it and she is fine with me not returning to Sunnydale. Unlike some of you, she understands why I don’t want to come back. Why I can’t come back.”
Willow looked at Buffy sitting there with a determined look on her face. More than anything she wanted Buffy to come home, but she also understood why she couldn’t. She knew if she didn’t support her, she’d lose her as a friend.
“Yes, Willow,” Buffy replied nervously. More than anything she wanted Willow to support her decision.
“I want you to do whatever you need to do to make you happy. I’d love for you to come back; but I understand why you’re not. You have to put Bronwyn’s best interests first.”
Tara smiled at her partner and then at Buffy. “Me too, Buffy. Do what makes you happy.”
Xander couldn't believe what he was hearing. First his wife and now Willow and Tara. “Are you three crazy. We’ve given up five years of our life to keeping the hell mouth safe and she just gets to walk away. It’s her destiny. She’s supposed to be here.”
Spike sat quietly through the entire conversation. He wasn’t sure if the explanation Buffy gave of her rescue was entirely the truth. But she was home and it didn’t really matter to him why. Unlike the whelp and watcher he hadn’t been surprised when she’d said she wasn’t coming back to the hell mouth. She had the bit to think about now and if he wasn’t mistaken she would be relocating wherever Jack was. He still loved her, but five years without her had put it in perspective. When you loved someone you wanted them to be happy and he would make sure she had what made her happy.
“That’s enough! Whelp! Watcher! You heard the slayer. This isn’t open for discussion.”
“No one asked you bleached boy! And besides I thought you more than anyone would want her back here so you could resume your creepy obsession with her.”
Spike growled, “Whelp, sit down and shut up.”
“Or you’ll what – hit me. Oh, I forgot you can’t, you’ve got the chip in your head.”
Jack hadn’t been this angry in a long time. It hadn’t surprised him that the Xander and Giles were the two most adamant about having Buffy in Sunnydale. He’d seen the way they’d treated her last night – as if she was something to be controlled rather than a grown woman who was a warrior, leader and mother.
“He might not be able to hit you, but I can boy. Sit down and don’t speak again unless Buffy specifically addresses you,” Jack growled out.
Angel finally spoke, “Buffy, while I don’t agree with Xander or Giles’ tone of voice, you know they are right. You’re the slayer and yes so is Faith but she’s needed in L.A. – you’re needed here. You can’t just abandon your duty to the hell mouth.”
Buffy fumed at the condescending tone in Angel’s voice. He still though he knew what was best for her and that he had the right to make her decisions.
“Angel, your opinion isn’t wanted or needed. You gave up the right to have any say in my life the day you broke up with me, in a sewer, for my own good. I seem to recall you wanted me to find a normal guy who could take me in the sun and give me children. Well, I did that but not for you, I did it for myself. But, if I hadn’t jumped through that portal I probably would have gotten a nice early grave for my trouble. In fact when I jumped that’s exactly what I thought was going to happen.”
Buffy’s voice broke and she was forced to stop speaking for a moment to regain her composure.
“The girl you want me to be is dead. She died on that tower. I don’t need to ask anyone’s permission when I make decisions about my life. All of you need to accept that if you want me in your life in any capacity. If you can’t then it will be as if I never returned. It’s your choice.”
Buffy stood and turned to Jack. “Let’s go. We can join everyone at the zoo. I need to see my baby.”
Jack placed his arm around Buffy’s waist and began to lead her out the door. When they reached it Buffy turned back one last time. “Willow, Tara, Dawn, Spike, Anya, I’d like you guys to join us for dinner tonight. Say around seven. We can meet at the hotel. As for the rest of you – you need to think about what you want. If you want to be in my life then you accept that I’m not coming back to Sunnydale or you forget I exist. It’s your choice.”
Buffy and Jack exit the shop and began to walk toward the hotel. From behind them they hear the door to the Magic Box open.
“B! Wait a minute.”
Buffy turned back to see Faith coming toward them, “Yes, Faith.”
Faith stood in front of Buffy and Jack nervously. “B, I just wanted you to know – I understand. Do what you need to do. I’ll support you.”
“When I first came to Sunnydale you tried to be my friend but…well, we know how that turned out. I just want to try to make amends for what I did to you.”
Buffy smiled softly at Faith, “Thanks. You’re welcome to join us for dinner tonight.”
“Sorry B, I can’t. Got to get back to L.A. Can’t let the vamps and demons think I’ve gone on vacation. But keep in touch.”
“Of course,” Buffy said and pulled the dark haired slayer into a hug before she and Jack turned to leave.