Buffy was finished. She had done everything, given everything. It would have to be enough. Her sister would live, the world would survive and she would finally be done. Done fighting, done trying. Done winning and failing and being in pain, emotional as much as physical. Her life was the only thing she had left to give. With it she would finally be free.
It only took a moment. She felt the energy of the hell portal short circuit her nerves and then she couldn't feel anything anymore. She wasn't exactly dead. Not yet. As she fell out the other side of the portal she saw the ground grow closer. She remembered thinking how odd it was that something so normal would be her end. Not closing the portal itself but the jump. There was no pain at her impact. She hit the pavement which marked the end of her several story fall and felt nothing. Her every nerve had been damaged irreparably by the unnatural shock. It was a small blessing. With that everything was over. She was finally over. Her family and friends would be okay now, safe.
She was overtaken by the feeling that the people she knew and loved were alright. She had never felt so calm. It felt like she was waking from a dream. The warm comfortable feeling of having slept until the perfect point in her sleep cycle. She opened her eyes gently.
'Welcome! Everything is fine.'
She glanced from side to side. In her line of work nothing was ever fine. Someone saying so was a total jinx. But the place just looked like a waiting room, and it was staying that way. Other than the bright green print on the wall, everything seemed normal, even kind of nice.
"Buffy Summers?" She turned and there was a kind looking white haired man with dark glasses poking out of a roomy looking office.
"We're ready for you now. Come in. Come, come." He herded her in with his hands and she decided there was no harm in going with him. There wasn't anything else to do and he seemed trustworthy enough.
"Well by we I mean me but you understand. Humanity has that way of putting meaning in people's words that doesn't actually fit the meaning of the words."
That was more than a bizarre sentence. "You're a pretty strange guy you know that?"
That was far from the only strange thing. She felt weird. All her nerves were awake again, and hyperactive in being so. They were tingling like the pins and needles that come when you sit cross-legged for too long.
They sat down at the chairs of his desk and she so didn't expect heaven to start with an office either. "Welcome," He gestured around himself. "to the good place."
"And that would be what exactly?"
"Oh right! Of course. I shouldn't start there, you have no idea what I'm talking about." He shuffled around as if looking for something and straightening his suit at the same time. "Where should I start? Yes!" He looked Buffy in the eye, leaning himself over the desk.
"This might alarm you, but you, Buffy Summers are dead."
They sat there for a while while she just took it all in. "I just need to know one thing." She finally said, breaking the silence. "Are my friends okay? Is my sister okay?"
"They are just fine. You saved them Buffy. You're a real hero."
The tour of heaven happened after that. Well of 'The Good Place' It was totally heaven to her. For one thing, there were so many places to shop.
"Frozen yogurt!" She shouted and ran forward like an excited five year old. He caught up to her when she stopped outside the doorstep. "Oh man you know just the way into a Southern Cali girl's heart."
They talked for some time. She asked questions, he answered. He showed her the sites and she followed him with wide eyes.
"Soulmates are a real thing? OMG! I am crazy excited to meet my hunk off a man." Then she suddenly stopped walking. It took Michael a couple more steps to realize and he had to turn around to look back at her. She looked dejected. "After all this time." She said quietly. "Does this mean it was never Angel?" Her eyes were large and questioning. Glistening with the threat of tears.
"No." He responded in a matter of fact tone. "Though I must say your star crossed lovers ordeal was a real tear jerker. Had I not known about your true soulmate I would have really been routing for you."
She looked up at him with a small smile. "Really wasn't that fun from my end."
"I can't imagine so. You two actually have something of a fan club up here." He turned his body to the side and lifted one hand to his mouth with the other in his pocket. "What was the power's neutral fellow's name again?"
Buffy looked at him blankly, not sure what he was talking about until she recalled what she had been considering the worst day of her life for a long time. The night she had to kill Angel.
"Whistler!" Michael snapped his fingers and he pointed at her. She jumped slightly in surprise at his enthusiasm.
"But in answer to your earlier question. No. Your real soulmate was actually a bit of a trick to get here. Luckily Jeremy Berimy was on our side."
She had absolutely no idea who or what that was but she was far too curious about this soulmate of hers to ask about some guy named Jeremy.
They turned the corner and there was... Spike? he was sitting in a garden, one leg crossed over the other and nose in a book. He was dressed, really weirdly, in slacks and a crisp button up that was actually buttoned up, but it was still Spike. Also, were those glasses? Still, even with the weird clothes and without the bleached hair she wouldn't be able to not recognize him. She turned her whole body to glare at Michael.
"He's NOT my soulmate."
"I assure you there are no errors in our system." She was flustered and he could tell. "This, however, is not the man" the stern look from the short blonde made him reconsider his wording. " vampire you know. This," he gestured to the man who was now standing at attention, having noticed them. "is his human counterpart."
Thinking of it that way she looked at Spike again, not Spike, pre Spike, pre William the Bloody. He had stood while the two were talking and was looking at them expectantly. Loose brown curls hung over his face and thin wire frame glasses. He held himself in a way that looked uncomfortable it was so proper. Nothing like the aloof way Spike always was. Still, he looked at her like her Spike. So much so. He looked at her in a way that asked for nothing and everything of her at the same time. Like his entire existence was dependent on what she would say next. It was entrancing, she couldn't look away.
"Buffy, if I may cordially introduce you to your soulmate, William Pratt."
The Spike doppelganger closed the distance between them and reached out for her hand. He surprised her when he didn't go for a shake. Instead he took her limp hand in his and raised it to his mouth. He left a chaste kiss on its back and then looked up into her eyes. "A pleasure." Those eyes were so very blue, she could lose herself staring, and what was she talking about? This was Spike's face! "I have been waiting to meet you for so long. I daresay your beauty alone was worth every lonely moment."
He was staring at her, looking deep into her for something and all she could do was fidget. "Uh, likewise." That was carp and she knew it but god her knees were being all jelly from the old timey romancing and she couldn't think of anything to say.