Actions

Work Header

Echoes

Chapter Text

Echoes

By: PhoenixJustice

Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and other things that are not me. I only own this story and make no profit from this.

Warning: Rated M for future sexual content, language, violence, underage, mentions of time travel, reincarnation (sort of-she's still Buffy), etc.

Pairing: Spike/Buffy Summers (main). Other pairings to be determined.

Setting: pre-s1 with spoilers up to season 10 of BTVS, season 5 of AtS (plus the Angel and Faith series and other side comic canon series).

Summary: Some days it felt as though all of that had just been a fanciful, if sometimes violent, dream. But then she becomes Slayer in truth once more, wanting if only just once more to see him again.

A/N: This is definitely something unique, I think, and probably a bit polarizing, for the content, but it's something I've had in mind for a little while now, wondering what would happen if the very situation were to occur. Even if it doesn't seem like your cup of tea, at least have a look and see if any of it catches your fancy! :) I hope you enjoy!

Thoughts are in italics.

Memories/dreams/flashbacks are in bold.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

The First Echo - The Vampire Slayer

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I hate them sometimes. Only sometimes, but in those times I hate them. If only things could just be simple . Or, in the very least, if things could just happen all at once...that'd make things much easier.

Wouldn't it?

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

She had known from the very beginning of her life that she was different.

She knew things that those of her age couldn't even begin to comprehend.

She had been born into this life with the knowledge of Before.

Before, when she had also been known as Buffy Summers. When she had, not so willingly, started as the Vampire Slayer at fifteen. When she had earned friends, enemies. Had loved, lost, had died (repeatedly) and had never let it keep her down, not for good. Right up until the end, when things had been...well, she didn't like to dwell on those things. Only rarely did those dreams invade the regular ones. The rest reminded her of her past. The things from before. She may not be in that time any longer, she may not be the Slayer yet but she was certainly Buffy Summers, daughter of Hank and Joyce Summers, sister to a girl, Dawn, who had yet to exist in her world.

She was also thirteen.

And late for school.

Crap.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

"You were lucky that Mr. Creighton is such a softy!" a girl with a noticeable valley accent says next to her. She glances over. Nicole Bobbitson, known as Nicki to those in her circle (or vicinity of her circle, as Buffy was. They were passable friends, but were not close. In the past, Buffy had been a bit closer with her, as she herself had been of a similar mind to Nicki until she discovered her Calling.) "Anyone else would have given you detention for sure!"

"I know." she says, biting on her lip. She was usually pretty prompt to school. Despite all her ranting against school in her past, she had still overall liked it (other than the numerous attempts on her life, of course.) And this time she wanted to give future teachers and (and most of all) future principals less to give her grief over. She had only been late because she had tossed and turned all night, flooded with those dreams once more, and had finally went into a restless sleep late in the morning, causing her to be late. "Thanks for the tip."

While Nicki wasn't the smartest tool in the shed, preferring to spend daddy's money rather than focus on her studies, she was by no means stupid either. Still, the more subtle of sarcasm, as Buffy was using now, tended to go right over her head.

"Welcome. So, are you going to the Tripp twins' party tonight?"

The Tripp twins were a bit notorious in the school for both having an obscene amount of money and parents whom were so often away that they tended to get away with whatever they wanted (so their parents didn't have to feel bad about themselves for leaving them alone with the nanny so much.) She also didn't care for them one bit; she never liked the elder twin, Russell, as he had always had his eyes on her, even in her previous life.

"I wish I could!" she says, affecting a sigh. "My mom is being a total drag and making me stay home for 'family time'."

"Bummer! Hopefully you can talk her into it next time. Oh well. See you later!" And with that, Nicki is gone, leaving Buffy to sigh inwardly. Her mother was actually not asking for family time at all. In fact, she wasn't even at home; she had left early in the morning (the only reason she didn't get in trouble for getting up as late as she had) and would be gone for the weekend on an art trip, for her business. Not that she hadn't left without a bit of fuss though; the previous night she had been worrying about leaving her behind until Buffy's dad, also leaving on a trip but leaving that day instead of the next day, managed to talk her down.

'She'll be fine, Joyce! She's thirteen, not three. I think it's time we gave her a bit more responsibility. And she can call Mr. Neibens if she needs anything.' Mr. Neibens was their immediate neighbor who was nice and had always been a helping hand to them in the past, when babysitters or the like fell through.

'I don't know...'

'Come on, mom! I promise . I'll call him first thing if I need anything. And I'll double and triple check to lock all the doors. Okay?'

Joyce sighs.

'Fine. But do not stay out late. And no parties. Got it, young lady?'

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

She lays her book bag down on the kitchen table and starts rummaging for a snack. She wasn't very hungry, though her parents had made sure to leave enough money for a pizza and for a few things she could grab at the store if she wanted to. It was the first time she had been left alone with them both out on business, so she wanted to enjoy the time to herself while she could. It wasn't that she minded people; she liked people as much as the next person, liked hanging out with people and enjoying herself. But sometimes, when the memories were hitting too strong, or were lingering extra long, as they were now, she enjoyed the solitude so she could try and sift through all the emotions, the memories.

It was almost like echoes. Reminders of what once was, what had been, what was no longer. She could easily picture, as she looks at the refrigerator, the crayon etchings created by a young Buffy and even younger Dawn, could remember when she first scraped her knee riding a bicycle for the first time, remember the more recent first time she rode a bicycle for the first time as a child...and falling in almost, but not quite, the same place as the time before. Luckily it didn't happen all the time, the echoes, not enough to throw her for a real loop. Most of the time it was in dreams, so she could deal with them much easier.

She grabs an apple and closes the fridge, heading into the living room and sitting, idly eating her apple while watching some mindless television. It was a good breather, of sorts, to let her try and relax, something she could watch without having to really focus on it.

She was thirteen now, having turned it in January. If things continued as they were, then she should be on course to become the Slayer in another two years. If they were going the way they did last time. She had no assurance in this life that she would even become the Slayer again. But she had made the promise to herself that no matter if she did or did not, she would not stand idly by, knowing the true dangers of the world, and not try and do something about it.

"Definitely a change from last time." she muses aloud. Last time when she started having violent dreams about Slayers, she had rebelled against her Calling. Though, looking back, she knew part of that had been stemming from her treatment at the hands of her parents when she tried to tell them the first time around.

Going to that asylum... She shivers. She couldn't exactly remember what it was like, but she certainly remembered the impression of it. It had been something she had thought about for a long time now. Her constant need of wanting a 'normal life'. It wasn't just from wanting to be normal, but that she never go to a place like that again. No, better to wait until she was in a less vulnerable place before talking about something like that. Besides that, she didn't want it to go down like when her mother found out about her being the Slayer in truth in Sunnydale.

"Huh. Guess just call me Dr. Phil."

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

She wraps her coat around herself tightly. Although it was in the middle of February and not that cold, considering the area she lived in, it was still cold enough to warrant a coat. The sun was just starting to set as she makes her way down the familiar streets to the nearest corner store. She felt restless, on edge, for some reason and she didn't like the way it made her feel.

She supposed growing up was sort of like it too, if she thought about it. She didn't feel exactly her age now, but she certainly didn't feel like she was the age she had once been either. It was a weird sort of in-between, with her feeling so many times her own immaturity, mixed with the woman who had once been. Her own memories that came and went did not change her wanting to hang out with friends or do things.

She rubs at her covered arms, more from the weird feelings than the weather itself. She continues to walk, thoughts still occupied until she notices feet ahead of her and looks up. A man of about twenty five to thirty was heading her way. She holds back a shiver. It was generally a very safe neighborhood, but it was getting late and she couldn't help feeling a bit paranoid. He probably was just heading home or to a friend's or something like that.

She keeps her eyes focused ahead of her as she starts to walk past him.

"A little late for a young girl like you to be out, isn't it?"

She freezes in place and glances behind her. The man hadn't gone far and was staring right at her now. At closer inspection, warning flags were blaring at her. His hair was brown and straggly and it looked as though he hadn't-by the smell alone-that he hadn't bathed in a few days. His clothes were rumpled and mismatched.

"I'm fine. I'm just heading home up ahead," she lies, pointing at an apartment complex somewhat near them. "My mom's waiting for me at the door. You know how it is. Mom's worry...too much..." she trails off.

He grins a grin filled with chipped and darkly yellowed teeth. He was like the ultimate cliched look of someone who just screamed 'bad person! bad! stay away! get away!'

When he doesn't say anything further, she turns and starts walking again. The store she was heading to was now closer than her house. She'd just stay in there for awhile and she had enough that she could probably get a cab home, if need be. For a wonderful few minutes everything is quiet, but soon enough she hears the faint tapping of shoes behind her.

The man was following her.

Vampires, she had been getting ready for. For demons, even. Ghosts and other supernatural things. But people? Maybe it was due to her past of fighting the Supernatural, but dealing with humans was always the worst-and scariest-thing to her. She does her best to ignore the growing dread in her, while doing her best to listen closely to his footsteps; that'd give her a good idea of where he was versus where she was. He wasn't all too close yet and the thought that he was dragging things out for his own pleasure was making her sick.

There were about two more small streets she had to get through to get to her destination. It'd be shorter if she cut down one of the side alleys coming up ahead, but that just spelled disaster to her in giant neon lights. Her pace quickens a bit. She wasn't outright running yet, but she felt close to doing so. The man was tall but running might be the only thing she had. His bulk, from what she had seen, made her pause.

She had taken a few karate and judo lessons when she was about ten but the place she was learning from closes not long after she starts and her father "refuse to waste more money on another place that's just going to close after they get my money." Her mother tries to get him to see reason, at first, but apparently he had managed to talk her into seeing it his way as she hadn't gotten any more lessons after that. She still remembered the lessons, but there was no way a small thirteen year old like her would be able to toss a man like that.

She had memories of some fights from being the Slayer, but many of those would be absolutely no help as she didn't have the strength to accomplish any of them. Yet another time she felt helpless from her age. She felt it keenly now; felt helpless, small. Maybe if she remembered everything; but she didn't. She knew things, knew who people were, remembered some events or saw them in dreams, but there were still some blanks that had yet to be filled.

Even so, she doubted they'd be too much help. The closest thing she remembered was her Cruciamentum but, unless he suddenly changed his face and sprouted fangs, this man wasn't a vampire. And even if he was, she had no holy water handy and curses the fact. She had been trying to get some, but trying to explain to your parents-who knew you weren't religious and who weren't exactly religious themselves-that you needed to go to church (and to get some holy water from a priest at that) wasn't exactly easy.

"Come on, wait, and I'll help you get home."

She pauses briefly, glancing behind her again. Was he closer now? It was hard to tell. He had a large stride, being as tall and big as he was, so it was hard to gauge it.

"Oh! Thank you, but I'm okay. My mom'd flip if she saw me walking with someone."

"I insist."

"That's okay. I-"

"Or I can slit your slutty little body from naval to neck? How about that?"

Her blood runs cold. His tone was so detached and so...wrong. Screw it. She doesn't glance back again as she starts full out running now. She hears him exclaim somewhere behind him and hopes that was enough to give her a head start away from the psycho creep.

Her stomach keeps churning, making her feel sick again, but she pushes it away. She couldn't lose it now. Not with a maniac chasing after her. His footsteps get louder and louder and fear bursts from her now and she lets out a large scream, turning quickly, trying to lose him. He was too close, much too close, and her mind was in severe fight or flight mode. Enemy! Enemy! her mind was crying out, something she knew but could only dimly recognize, with her fear making her unable to think straight.

She screams again as she feels him grab her and it's only then that she notices that she had done what she had been determined not to and had run into an alleyway. She turns, only barely registering the tears down her face. Not like this. Things hadn't... she had planned too much, had done all she could, she couldn't die here! Fight or flight kicks in again but this time it tells her differently. She grabs onto one of his meaty wrists and tries to pull him off of her.

"I'm gonna enjoy this." the man purrs, grinning maniacally. "Been a long time since I could enjoy a live one like you."

"Let-me-go!"

She registers a flash of silver before screaming again, blazing hot white pain shooting through her and feels something bombarding her and vaguely makes out a shape in front of her. But that wasn't the man... She hears another distant scream and her eyes pop open. She looks down.

She could see the bones breaking in his arm.

Because of her.

She gasps and pulls back.

He lets out another scream of agony, falling to the ground and clutching his arm.

"My arm, my arm!" he moans. "You fucking bitch! What did you do to my arm?!"

He lunges for her and instinct kicks in and she smacks him hard across the face. He instantly crumples to the ground again, this time unconscious. She stands there for a long moment, shaking. She barely gives the man another glance. Instead she lifts her hands and looks at them in astonishment.

She was the Slayer.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

She manages to hold it back while she runs to the nearest open building to phone the police, manages to hold it back as she runs her way back home-not wanting to deal with the police, but more than that, not being in the right mindset to do so-manages to hold it until she gets the door to her house open, before running into the nearest bathroom and loses everything she had eaten that day.

She moans pitifully, holding loosely onto the toilet. She lays like that for a moment, head resting on the lid of the seat before grimacing at the smell, getting up and flushing the mess away. She heads to the sink and starts to wash her face and hands, looking up to see her youthful face look haunted, scared, yet...full of purpose, all the same.

It still didn't feel quite real. She stumbles her way back out and into the living room, before pausing. Her brows furrow for a moment before clearing. She makes her way to the back of the house and heads into what was obviously a workout room. Her father spent some of his workout time here and some at a gym he had a membership at. She looks around before finally spying what she was looking for. He had many dumbells. He rarely used them, preferring to use elliptical machines instead, so he wouldn't miss one of them.

She picks one up and stares down at it. She could remember not so long ago when she tried to pick up the same one and had strained against its weight. Now it felt like a feather in her hand. She swallows hard.

And bends it in two.

It falls to the floor with a clang as she falls to her knees, covering her face with her hands.

"In every generation, a Slayer is born." she mumbles against her hands.

She had expected to be the Slayer, had prepared as much as she could, but knew she was looking at an extra two years of prep time.

She just hadn't expected to be the Slayer now.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

"What happened?" she wonders aloud. After a splash of cold water on her face and something soothing to drink, she had managed to calm down significantly from what she had. "What happened to India?"

India Cohen was the previous Slayer before her, something she knew from the Watcher Diaries. She really only knew the girl's name, as Giles had been reluctant to give her details of the girl who had been before her-died before her, but from what she gathered, India had been a competent Slayer. Maybe she wasn't the Slayer before Buffy anymore? If Buffy became Slayer now, maybe that meant that someone else had been Slayer before her this time?

She was the Slayer, that much was obvious, but she was also alone. She gives a humorless laugh. Slayers were meant to be alone. Or at least that's what the Watcher's Council thought. Speaking of...she was Watcherless. Merrick, poor Merrick, had eventually found her the first time around, but even for the Watcher's, finding a Slayer wasn't an exact science. She had no way of knowing if they knew what had transpired, that she was now the Slayer; they could be looking in a million different directions.

They had many Potential Slayers that they tried to keep track of, to see if they'd be the next Slayer called, but the Watcher's Council, despite it's power and authority (if some of it only being in their own mind), just did not have enough manpower to keep track of all potential Slayers. That's what had happened previously. She had been one of the ones overlooked and had come into her power, with little understanding (until Merrick had arrived) of just what she was and what the world truly was.

She felt both ready for this, had prepared for it, and also felt terrified. Despite her willingness to do so, she could still feel things slipping out of her control and that scared her most of all. She could not be a puppet to anyone, certainly not to the Watcher's Council. She had eventually broken free of them, but had still let them toy long enough with her. And with her being the age she was, it made it all the more important that she not let them try and dictate things for her.

She had no way of knowing the exact numbers for Slayers, but from what she did know, could remember as best she could, very few Slayers got called as young as she had just did.

It these sorts of thoughts that keep her occupied as her feet move up the stairs, heading into her room. She stares blankly at her closet for a moment, before opening it and pulling out some clothes. She starts to slowly change, shivering slightly.

"Who had India's Watcher been?" she mumbles aloud as she pulls a shirt on. She couldn't remember and slightly cursed the things still eluding her. The small details about the Watcher Diaries might come in handy for her, as well as some of Giles' other teachings. Especially now, what with the situation being what it was.

She finishes dressing, eyes moving around her room as she starts to pull her hair into a ponytail. Her eyes skim over the posters of actors and musicians she likes, passes over the stuffed animals her father had given her, lying on her bright and colorful bed (Mr Gordo was still her favorite), passes over the scattered clothing, her diary-something she treasured so greatly in this time-she had locked, lying on top of her desk. Her eyes close for a moment, feeling something like sadness wash over her before pushing it aside.

She looks into her full length mirror at herself. She felt like a child playing dress up, with her blue jeans, her striped sweater, her hair tied up, her green eyes still wide in shock. Even if it felt familiar, it still felt new.

"Vampires of the world...beware..." she trails off.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I hope you enjoyed this!

Let me know what you thought!

-PhoenixJustice