Title: Living at a Pace That Kills: Chapter One
Spoilers: None so far
Warnings: Violence and language
Summary: Buffy’s life after the fall of Sunnydale takes a tragic turn, turning her to a hunter.
Disclaimer: The only real major difference in the Buffy story is how things ended up after the last episode of the series. It doesn’t follow the comics.
“Okay, Blondie, I’m cutting you off.”
My attention focused from the drink in front of me to the man standing behind the bar. He was a burly biker type, probably about thirty years my senior. His immensely muscular figure fit the dark environment perfectly. He was more than capable of handling any problems that came his way, which I assumed were rather frequent. Had we been in a typical situation, someone my size would have listened to him. But I was different. I could have cut him down physically quite easily, despite my small stature.
Most likely, I appeared out of place. From what I could see, I was the only woman in the place. It was difficult for me to recall the actual hour, since the bar was pitch black dark, illuminated only bar the several television sets on the walls. The majority of the clientele consisted of bikers, who were constantly bitching about the fact that it was nearly winter, also known as the motorcycle off season. Many of them had tried their hardest to pick me up, but were then put off by my tremendously cold demeanor.
“No, you’re not,” I growled, not amused.
“Don’t mess with me, little girl. You’ve already had far more than you should and I’m not taking responsibility for you ending up in the emergency room. So it’s time you pay up and go home. Sleep it off.”
Leaping from the barstool, I grabbed him by the collar of his faded black t-shirt and pulled him close enough to be able to smell the stale cigarettes on his breath. His eyes bulged out and he tried to pull away, but I refused to let go.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” he choked out.
I could see the vein in his forehead surfacing, making itself incredibly clear. His face was flushed red. I dropped him then and jumped over the bar, grabbed the bottle of tequila, and went back to my barstool. The man climbed back to his feet, stared at me for a brief moment, and then ignored me.
It had been a year. The difference one those three hundred and sixty five empty days made amazed me. I couldn’t say that things had been perfect before that. Being a Slayer came with its own set of problems for a well balanced person. My life was the polar opposite of that. Since the death of my mother, I had helped to take care of my sister, a girl who had been created not through traditional means, rather by monks. Due to my lack of a real life, I hadn’t been able to gain the skills that would have allotted me a career. That was only the beginning.
The only man I had truly loved was not a man at all. He was a vampire, the very thing I was trained to kill. As I had grown, I hadn’t really learned much in the relationship category. One of the hardest things in my life had been my death. Once I thought it was finally over and I was at peace, I was pulled back to Earth. Although I had worked my hardest to deal with it, I still had some difficulties from time to time.
Finally, there came the end of Sunnydale and the end of its Hellmouth. Every potential had been activated, allowing there to be multiple Slayers, rather than just one. We had scattered months after the Hellmouth had been destroyed, moving to several areas of the world to protect people from all the evils one could imagine. I had moved north to Washington, settling in Seattle at first. We later moved to Vancouver when I heard of a larger nest of demons than usual. It was one that would take at least a couple of years to get through.
The nest had been a trap. By the time I realized what was happening, it was too late. Had I known what I currently knew, I never would have brought the people I considered my family with me. It turned out that a gate to Hell had been opened shortly before we arrived, allowing demons to escape into our world, and creating more problems than ever before. All the Potentials had been killed, something that had not been brought to my attention until I was face to face with a black eyed redhead, who was covered in my sister’s blood.
“…I saved you for last. After all, you’re the chosen one, Buffy. No matter how many of those girls you trained and called actual Slayers, you know it was only you.”
I cringed hard, trying not to show how much she was hurting me. I hadn’t felt that kind of pain in years. The thing had me pinned against the wall of the kitchen, making it impossible for me to move. My insides felt on fire.
“They’re all dead, you know? Because of you. You and that little witch friend of yours,” she said, pointing back to Willow’s mangled corpse lying mere feet from us. “You’re the only one left. Again.”
“There’s another…” I said, uttering a weak laugh.
“Oh, you mean the fiery little Bostonian?” she asked with a wide grin.
Whatever small gleam of happiness I must have had in my expression vanished.
“I have to give her credit, she gave a hell of a fight. But much like the rest of them, she’s gone too. She was loyal to you though. I had half of her lower intestine torn out and she still wouldn’t give up your location. Not that it mattered. I’ve found you now.”
The thing had killed everyone around me. Not a single shred of my former life existed any longer. I was alone. In all probability, it would have killed me as well had it not been for them.
“Killing you is a big deal for me. I mean, the witch was one thing. She was a very strong creature, but this is different. Killing a Slayer is a real step up. And more than one…”
The smile contorted into something wicked and vile.
“You piece of shit. You’d better hope I don’t get down from here-“
I felt my insides twist suddenly, something that released a loud bellow from me. Tears coursed down my cheeks, no matter how much I tried to hold them back. I looked past it, to the bodies of my loved ones. They were torn to pieces. I could hardly recognize them anymore. My focus was quickly back on the thing before me as the muscles in my stomach tore apart. My skin was beginning to split. That was when I heard the door break down two rooms away.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t remember exactly what had happened next, at least not clearly. I remembered two men, one very tall and the other one not so much. They looked to be fairly close to my own age. What surprised me is how they handled the thing ripping me to pieces. They had large guns strapped to their backs, but a small one killed the demon with a single bullet. It made no sense to me. I couldn’t imagine who they were or what kind of gun would kill such a thing.
I would never find out. I woke in a hospital days later with my stomach stitched back together. In an effort to avoid any questions, I had left the hospital and the city the same day. Since then, I had been on the run, feeling the sense of evil on my heels. Something was after me, something I had been unable to defeat the first time around. I had to find those men.