There it was again.
The familiar burn in her chest, the hot, sharp sting of penetration. . . She remembered it.
The first time had been a bullet, the second, a sword. Now, it was a spear.
No one remembers being Mostly Killed fondly. Except for maybe Faith. For some reason, she looked back on the fight that nearly killed her -- and subsequent coma -- with a weird sentimentality and romanticism that made Buffy uncomfortable. Faith had taken it as a learning opportunity.
Buffy recalled some pretty traumatic French lessons, but at least her learning curve hadn’t been quite so steep that it required a gaping gut wound to right itself. Despite that, Faith got her, understood Buffy now on so many levels. . . It was nothing the new Slayers-in-Training could grasp: the loneliness, the deep, yawning chasm that stood between them and destruction, the compulsion to go out and kill things.
As sunset drew close, every mundane and exceptional day, the two of them could feel It wake up. Like a vampire rising at nightfall, It itched under their skin, spoiling for a fight, hungry for violence and the rush of victory, of conquering an enemy, of being really alive.
Yeah, Faith got her. But Buffy didn’t get that. It might just be a Faith thing.
The SITs didn’t feel It: even with all the teamwork and encouragement and quasi-therapy that taught them what they felt was natural and allowed and not wrong -- exactly what Buffy and Faith had lacked in their own training -- the girls didn’t have the same hunger for the fight.
Maybe they would grow into it.
Maybe they’d made it all too easy for them.
Maybe not. None of them seemed to have the fire that kept her and Faith alive. Well. . .
Who even brings a spear to a battle anymore anyways? Medieval, much?
She fell, knees scraping on the broken asphalt that surrounded L.A. The spear twisted under her. To an outside observer it must have looked like she had impaled herself on her own sword, like the samurai used to.
Seppuku, her brain provided helpfully.
It didn’t seem like she was going to make it this time.
She had tried to so hard, sacrificed so much. Now she just hoped she was going to the place that all good souls go to rest.
Maybe this time I can stay gone.
The dragon that had incinerated Spike wheeled about overhead, inspecting the battlefield for survivors, flaming sporadically as it passed. The chorus of screams and the screech of steel on steel was starting to fade as the seconds crawled by.
There had been so many emotions that had crossed over his expressive face when they had seen each other for the first time since his immolation in the Hellmouth. It had been so Spike: love, gratitude, sadness, regret, and that last one, fear. Fear, for him, for her. . . For all of them.
Then he was gone.
Dragon fire had bathed the street, turning it into a glowing orange inferno. All that had been left was the puddle of melted steel next to where he’d been standing, formerly his axe. They had to wait for hours to investigate the molten street, smelted bitumen bubbled up around scorched and crumbling pavement. The dragon had long disappeared into the gaping wound between their reality and the one the Senior Partners had opened. It had been absent most of the day.
Now the dragon was back, wreaking havoc on everything: buildings, cars, people. Demons on both sides fled in terror: it didn’t seem to be distinguishing friend from foe.
Her girls would think of some way to stop it though. They would be fine, and she could be happy again.
Somehow cold and darkness was seeping into her bones, leaching her consciousness. There was a sudden blazing shockwave of heat that rolled over her and then she was blessedly free.