CHOOSER OF THE SLAIN.
By Dave Turner.
Disclaimer: I do not own ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ nor do I own Norse Mythology! I write this for fun not profit.
Crossover: BtVS and Norse Mythology.
Spelling and Grammar: Written in glorious English, English. Slang is American where I’ve known the correct terms. Spelling is English.
Timeline: Set several years after the end of BtVS S7.
Warnings: Character death.
Summery: This really is the end.
Chooser of the Slain.
A wish for fallen comrades.
“Take them away to some place where this never happened. Somewhere where they can be little again.”
(From the film ‘Red Dawn’.)
Buffy’s body lay propped up against the tree; blood still oozed lazily from the gapping wound in her stomach. She looked down at herself and said, “Darn!” It seemed like the right thing to say given the circumstances. She thought back to the fight with the gang of demons, and she remembered a bright flash followed by a bang, then flying through the air ‘till she hit the tree, then nothing.
“I suppose I’m dead!” She said to herself, wondering idly if Willow could bring her back, and did she really want to come back…again?
It was at this point she noticed the sparkling blue cord that still connected her to her now vacant body. It coiled and writhed in the air like a snake, she gave it an experimental tug, it held firm.
“Great!” She said to herself, “Chained to my rotting corpse for the rest of eternity! I don’t remember this from the last couple of times I’ve died!”
She turned to survey the graveyard where her ‘last’ battle had taken place. Where were the Scoobies? Where had that helicopter come from? Helicopter!?!? It hadn’t been there a second ago! A large black helicopter stood about fifty yards away; it’s rotors turning slowly, as it’s engine ran down.
“Ooch! That must have hurt!” A voice came from behind her.
Startled Buffy turned to see an attractive young woman in a crisp black military uniform; her blonde hair tucked up under a black beret.
“Close range shotgun blast to the stomach! Nasty!” Announced the woman matter-of-factly, “Hi I’m Fraya, I’m a Valkyre, you know ‘Chooser of the Slain’ an’ all that!”
Buffy looked the woman up and down; she noticed the flying horse motif repeated on the woman’s buttons and badges, the very fair skin and the very blonde hair.
“Aren’t you supposed to go ‘round on a winged horse, and have a helmet with horns an’
such, maybe singing Wagner!” Asked Buffy.
“Not anymore,” replied Fraya, “You have to move with the times. So, you’re Buffy the Vampire Slayer! It’s an honour to ‘Choose’ you at last! You’ve slipped through the net a couple o’ times there!”
“Yep that’s me, I’m tricky like that.” Replied Buffy with a sad smile, “Or maybe I should be ex-Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this Slayer is no more, an’ all?”
“Oh don’t be so down about it, you’ve had a really good run!” Fraya consulted a clipboard that had appeared in her hand.
“You lasted longer than any other Slayer before you. That’s quite an achievement, you’ve really made a difference. I don’t think you really realise how much of a difference…anyway it’s time to go!” Declared the Valkyre, a wicked looking knife appearing in her hand as the clipboard vanished.
“What if I don’t want to go?” Asked Buffy stepping away from Fraya, “What if I want to wait for my friends to turn up…they will y’know?” Buffy said rather too desperately for her own liking.
She had been wondering where the Scoobies were, then she remembered. She had got the low-down on this gang of hellspawn and gone after them by herself, her friends didn’t know where she was or even if she was in any trouble. It’d be hours before they realised that anything was wrong. Willow would track her down, but it was already too late.
“Oh!” Said Buffy.
“Yes,” Replied Fraya, “You rushed off by yourself and got yourself killed. You should have waited for your friends. Y’know they’re the ones who’ve been keeping you alive all these years?”
“Yeah you’re right,” Sighed Buffy, “ Always been too impulsive, always out for the quick kill! Darn!” She kicked at the ground. Then Buffy had a thought; what if this was all a trick?
“How do I know you’re really a Valkyre?” She blurted out. “How do I know you’re not some demon who’s trying to trick me into dying…?” Even as she said it she knew it wasn’t so.
“Okay yes!” said Fraya; “I could be a demon trying to trick you into dying. I could even be a hallucination caused by lack of oxygen to your brain, but I’m not! Think about it,” continued Fraya almost sadly, “ What difference does it make? There’re so many Slayers in the world now what difference would one more make, even you Buffy? If you’d lived eventually what would have happened? You would grow older and slower and eventually some pip-squeak little vampire or demon would have killed you. Y’know like in those westerns where the old retired gunfighter is gunned down by some young punk? You’d have to always have a bodyguard; you’d become a burden on your friends and the new Slayers. And how would you ever have a life…children? You die now, and you’re a hero for all time, Slayers though the ages will look back at you and say ‘I want to be like Buffy, greatest of all the Slayers!’ Wouldn’t that be better? Anyway you have no choice in the matter. It’s time to go Buffy!”
With that Fraya lent forward and cut the cord with her knife. Suddenly Buffy felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted from her shoulders.
Buffy looked around the graveyard; it would have been nice to see her friends one more time, say goodbye. They would be sad and weep for her, but they’d get over it and carry on. In their eyes she would always be young and strong, she’d never grow old to them. Buffy somehow knew she’d see them again. With a last wistful look at her body she turned and followed Fraya to the helicopter.
Buffy sat in the back of the helicopter next to Fraya as the engines started up and the machine took off. It flew silently through the clouds.
“Exactly were are we going?” Asked Buffy.
“Well, good point, glad you asked!” Replied Fraya brightly, “I thought you wouldn’t want to do the whole ‘Fight all day, party all night’ thing!”
“ Never did have the whole alcohol thing down right!”
“Yeah, that time with the Bad Beer! Myself I could never see what could be ‘bad’ about beer? Different cultures I suppose!”
“Anyway, you haven’t answered my question.” Persisted Buffy.
“Let’s just say that I’ve arranged something special for you!” The Valkyre smiled warmly at the dead girl beside her. “It’s a surprise!”
“Do you come for everyone?” Asked Buffy.
“No, just the Heroes who die in battle.” Replied Fraya; “ Other people come for other people…if you see what I mean?”
“So, there’s a ‘Chooser of…” Buffy searched her mind for an example, “Librarians’ for instance? They get taken to a place where people always put the books back where they found them, and always return them on time? Giles would like that.”
“I suppose there must be, I’ve never really thought much about it.” The Valkyre shifted in her seat, “Nearly there.” She said.
“Fraya, what’s a Hero?”
“The best definition I’ve heard is: Someone who tries, even if they know they’ll fail; and failure means they’ll die. There’s not too many real heroes anymore, it means I get more time off than I used to!”
“You tried, Buffy, you failed, you did your best. We’re here now.”
Deep down Buffy had always known she’d fail in the end.
“Do you recognise this place?” Asked Fraya. They stood in the middle of a light and airy living room, sunlight streamed in through the windows. There were a child’s toys on the floor.
“Yes, it’s where we lived when I was a little girl. Is it real?”
“It’s as real as you want it to be Buffy.” Fraya walked across the room and looked out the window. There was the sound of a car pulling up outside. “There’s someone here to see you Buffy, why don’t you open the door?”
Buffy the Vampire Slayer walked to the door and opened it, she stepped out on to the veranda;
“Mom? Mom! Mommy!” and six-year Buffy Summers ran to greet her mother.