‘WHEN YOU GO HOME…’
By Dave Turner.
A Sequel to ‘Dulce et Decorum’ and ‘Shines the Name’, the last story in the trilogy.
Originally inspired by ‘LETTERS’ written by ‘Aussie Mel’
Disclaimer: I do not own BtVS or Stargate SG1. I write these stories for fun not profit.
Crossover: BtVS with Stargate SG 1.
Spelling and Grammar: Written in glorious English, English! Slang is American where I know what the slang is! Spelling is English.
Timeline: For BtVS, well after the end of Season 7. For Star Gate SG 1, anytime after Jack retires.
Warnings: Tear jerker!
Summary: Buffy finally gets some ‘closure’.
THANKS: Once again I’d like to thank everyone who read and reviewed ‘Shines the Name…’ and ‘Dulce et Decorum…’
WHEN YOU GO HOME….
Dedicated to the memory of all those who fell in the cause of Freedom during the D-Day Landings, 6th June 1944.
BUFFY AND WILLOW’S HOUSE, SEVEN YEARS AGO.
Buffy ran down stairs trying to brush the magic sparkles out of her hair, “Very funny Will!” She shouted to her friend.
“I thought so!” Giggled Willow from the kitchen where she is making pancakes for breakfast.
Willow had moved in with Buffy after Kennedy had been killed a couple of years earlier. Buffy missing her sister after she had joined the Air Force had been glad of the company. Now the two women had plans of being the two scary old ladies that kept cats and frightened the neighbourhood kids.
“At least it got you out of bed.” Explained Willow.
The door bell rang.
“Who can that be?” Muttered Buffy as she changed direction and headed for the front door, “I’LL GET IT!” She shouted to Willow.
Buffy opened the front door to a man and a woman in uniforms that looked very similar to the one Dawn wore for special occasions.
“Yes?” Asked Buffy as she studied the two officers at her door, they looked very uncomfortable.
“Ms Summers?” Asked the male officer.
“Yes.” Replied Buffy.
“Ms Buffy Summers?” He asked again.
“Again I say ‘Yes’.” Replied Buffy starting to get annoyed.
“May we come in Ms Summers?” Asked the male officer.
“Why…?” Buffy began to ask, but the female officer cut her off.
“It’s your sister Ms Summers, I’m afraid we have some bad news.”
Buffy led the two officers into the living room where she turned to face them.
“Is she okay?” Asked Buffy, “She’s had an accident right? Is she…But she’s okay? But…It’s serious but…” Buffy’s words came in a breathless rush.
“Ms Summers…” Began the male officer.
“Ms Summers,” Said the female officer formally, “I’m sorry to have to inform you your sister, Dawn Summers, was killed in action a few days ago…I’m sorry.”
Buffy backed away from the two officers until she had backed into the living room wall.
“NononoNO!” She cried tears starting to stream down her face, “It’s not TRUE!” Buffy made a gesture as if she was trying to push something away. “You’re a liar! She’s FINE!” Buffy collapsed onto the floor.
Willow hearing the commotion hurried into room, in an instant she saw the Air Force officers. Her friend crouched on the floor crying. She rushed to Buffy’s side.
“Buffy what’s wrong?” She asked already half suspecting the answer.
“I’m sorry Ms Summers but it’s been confirmed.” Replied the female office.
“Buffy…what’s?” Willow asked again her heart sinking and the tears starting to fill her eyes.
Buffy looked up at her, “Dawn!” She wheezed, “She’s…!” Her body, wracked with sobs, shook in Willow’s arms.
“But she’s…” Gasped Willow, “She can’t be! There must be some mistake…are you sure?”
“I’m sorry.” The woman said simply. She watched the two women locked in each others arms, each looking for the comfort that neither could give; she turned her face away in embarrassment. The male officer spoke up;
“Someone will contact you from the Defence Department; I’ll leave my card if you need to contact the Air Force.” He placed a card on the arm of a chair where it would be seen. “I’m…we’re sorry for your loss…we’ll let ourselves out.”
The two officers turned and walked from the house closing the door behind them.
The smell of burnt pancakes started to fill the house.
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, SEVEN YEARS LATER..
Buffy brushed aside the memories of that day seven years ago; when she had been told of Dawn’s death. She had been killed in a firefight in some god-forsaken part of the world. Buffy still did not know exactly where and how Dawn had died. Every attempt that Willow and herself had made to get to the truth had been blocked. Eventually they had given up.
Buffy stood looking down at Dawn’s headstone she was so lost in her memories of Dawn (even the ones the monks had made still seemed so real) that she did not notice the man come up behind her.
“Oh! I’m sorry I’ll…” He started to turn to go.
“I know you.” Said Buffy to the tall grey haired man, his whole demeanour screamed ‘military’.
“I’m Jack O’Neill,” He said turning back to Buffy, “You must be…” He quickly glanced down at the headstone, “Summers! You must be Lieutenant Summers’ sister, I’m sorry I don’t remember your name…sorry.”
“Buffy.” Replied Buffy, “What brings you here General?”
“Just plain Mister now,” Said Jack, “I retired…finally. I try to come by whenever I can to check up on my people.” He explained.
“Do you have a lot of people here?” Buffy asked.
“Too many,” Replied Jack, “way too many.”
Buffy and Jack stood in silence by Dawn’s grave for several minutes until Buffy said;
“I never found out exactly how she died.”
“Yeah I’m sorry but it’s…”
“I know, it’s ‘classified’” Cut in Buffy.
“I can see you’ve heard that word a lot.” Said Jack.
“Yeah,” Sighed Buffy, “too often. I mean what have they got to hide? Why can’t they just tell me?”
Jack looked down at the short blonde thirty-something woman beside him. He saw the worry lines around her eyes. He had seen eyes like that on many combat veterans. Buffy Summers had obviously seen too much in her life. Jack felt as if he was standing next to a fellow vet, some one who had been involved in something, she was someone who deserved to know the truth. In that moment Jack came to a decision.
“What the hell!” He said out loud before he realised the words were out of his mouth.
“I’m sorry?” Said Buffy.
“Ms Summers,” Jack turned towards Buffy and straightened his shoulders, “I think it’s time to tell you the truth!”
Buffy’s heart jumped at the thought that this old General was going to finally tell her what had happened to Dawn.
“The whole world’s going to know the truth soon,” Jack said more to himself than to Buffy, “You deserve to know before the news gets out.”
“What news?” Asked Buffy.
“Ms Summers, would you care to join me for a beer?” Asked Jack, “I have a story to tell you and it may take awhile.”
A WASHINGTON HOTEL ROOM LATER THAT NIGHT.
“So, Vampires.” Said Jack from his side of the bed.
“Uh-huh,” replied Buffy from her side, “Aliens?” She asked.
“Yeah.” Confirmed Jack simply.
“Have you ever wondered why all these Big Bads are so interested in Earth?” Asked Buffy as she rolled over, supporting her head on her hand.
A couple of beers had led to dinner; dinner had in turn led to Jack’s hotel room. That night both Jack and Buffy discovered worlds they had never guessed existed.
Jack stared up at the ceiling, “Well the SGC have been making a nuisance of itself around the galaxy for quite a few years now.” He explained.
“Same with the Slayers, I suppose…but not, so much, around the galaxy.” Said Buffy as she flopped back on her pillow, “You think the Big Bads just got angry and tried to destroy us?”
“Yeah, why not?” Agreed Jack.
“I hope,” Said Buffy after a pause, “you don’t think I do this sort of thing all the time.”
“What? Go to bed with old Generals?” Asked Jack.
“I think I can safely say I’ve never been to bed with any general before, young or old.” Replied Buffy cheerfully, “It was…”
“Please don’t say ‘comforting’.” Asked Jack.
“It was...” Buffy searched for the right word, “…nice! That’s it, it was ‘nice’.”
“That’s almost as bad as ‘comforting’.” Replied Jack.
“No…” said Buffy, “It was nice not to have to hide anything; not having to worry that you might say something…”
“I know,” Agreed Jack, “Not being able to even tell your wife or husband. I’m surprised any marriages in the SGC survived.”
“Hey Jack,” Buffy interrupted, “Slayer? Lucky to reach eighteen, let alone get a chance to marry your honey.”
“Not anymore though.” Pointed out Jack.
“No…not anymore.” Agreed Buffy, almost sadly.
“I always thought I’d die first Jack,” Buffy said quietly over breakfast; as she and Jack shared a table in the hotel dining room, “Dawn was my ‘legacy’, my ‘hope for the future’.”
Jack sat up and looked into Buffy’s eyes.
“Dawn’s legacy was the lives of her teammates,” he said, “the lives of the people they later went on to save. It was the example she set for others to follow; and it’s your legacy too. Buffy, you brought Dawn up; she learnt her values from you. You set her an example to follow. It’s a big bad galaxy out there; and things are going to have to change. We’re going to need a lot more ‘Dawn’s’; and we’re going to need a lot more ‘Buffy’s’ to teach them right from wrong.”
JACK O’NEILL’S OFFICE, THE PENTAGON, SIX MONTHS LATER.
‘Disclosure’ had gone a lot better than anyone had thought it would. True there had been unrest in parts of the world, in fact there still was. But, there had been nothing like the mass panic that many experts had predicted. Jack did not feel smug about this; it could so easily have gone the other way. The long patient preparation had cushioned the truth; now most people wondered why they had never realised what had been going on before!
Jack glanced at his watch; he would have to leave soon. He would be meeting Buffy, and her friends, Mr Giles, Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris at noon. They would have an early lunch then they would go to the unveiling ceremony. Over the last few months Jack had been heavily involved in the preparation for the unveiling of the SGC Memorial in Washington. Now that job was over he was looking forward to working with Buffy on his next project; disclosure and proper recognition of the work done over the centuries by countless Slayers. After convincing the world that aliens existed, Vampires would be easy!
Buffy and Jack stood together looking up at the memorial in the warm spring sunshine. Almost everyone else had gone on to the reception being held at the White House for the family members of fallen SGC personnel. The monument was a twelve foot high block of rough hewn granite topped by four larger than life bronze figures depicting a typical SG team.
“Thanks Jack.” Said Buffy.
“Hey, least I could do.” Replied Jack, “After all a guys got to keep his girl sweet…an’ roses are just so passé!”
“No Jack it was really good of you.”
“Oh it was nothing really;” Replied Jack modestly, “People owe you favours when you save the world. I just collected on a few.”
Buffy looked up at the female figure, the sculptor had caught Dawn’s likeness perfectly. Buffy read the inscription on the granite block;
‘WHEN YOU GO HOME, TELL THEM OF US AND SAY: 'FOR YOUR TOMORROW WE GAVE OUR TODAY.'*
“No, it’s nice Jack, really nice, thank-you.” Buffy got up on tip-toe and kissed Jack on the cheek. They turned and walked arm in arm towards the White House.
*Inspired by the Battle of Kohima (1944) Memorial in Burma.
Buffy’s words in the opening scene, where she is told of Dawn’s death are based on Dawn’s words used in the episode ‘The Body’ when Buffy tells Dawn about their Mothers death.
PS; Just a thought here…Jack O’Neill for President and Buffy Summers-O’Neill as First Lady? (See Challenge 1501).