As the vampire faded into dust, Buffy sat down hard. She was in a large pipe at a construction site, and she had a rip in her tights, and she really mostly couldn't believe what she had just done. She was slaying vampires. She was staying out on a school night and breaking curfew and killing the undead! This was wrong on so many levels, and she couldn't even find words to explain it even in her own mind. Buffy sighed and dropped her head into her hands.
Was this really what the rest of her life was going to be? Battling for survival each night? Constantly being forced to kill things that belonged in her worst nightmares, and not at arms' length? Alone, unable to tell anyone for fear of losing them?
She tilted her head back and it thunked into the corrugated metal of the pipe. Slowly, tears began to slide down her cheeks, making tracks in the dust there. She had been chosen, chosen for this. Chosen by some spectral all-knowing beings who had decided that she should be the one to bear this burden. Buffy wanted to find one of those guardians and demand to know why they had chosen her. Who could ever make this decision? Who could place this fate on the shoulders of a young girl?
Tonight she had met one of her creators, and now she was about to make the same choices as them. She was about to condemn dozens, maybe hundreds of girls to the same fate as her. As Faith. She was about to become the kind of person that she had spent years rebelling against and despising. And as she remembered the girl all those years ago who had cried in the dark, she felt sad for her.
But Buffy had to make a choice.