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. All characters and storylines from Buffy and Supernatural belong to their original creators, not me.
SEE THE REST OF THE CHAPTERS HERE.
My body reacted to his question faster than my mind. Without first closing the door, I threw it open, tearing the chain from its base and busting apart the frame. His shotgun was taken from him and dropped to the ground beside me before he could counter my motions. I clutched hold of him arm and yanked him into the room, knocking him harshly to the ground. He tried to say something to me, but I was quick, sitting on his chest and holding the muzzle of the gun against his left temple.
“Who are you?” I practically spat. “And don’t lie. I’m not in the mood for it.”
“Would you ease up on that thing?” he asked with a trembling finger pointing at the gun.
He didn’t appear very frightened, but he knew he was at a disadvantage. I ignored his request completely.
He sighed and carefully reached into the side pocket of his dark jeans, pulling out a thick leather wallet. I swiped it from him and flipped it open to see an Illinois driver’s license.
“Kerry King?” I asked, looking at him aggravated. “You couldn’t come up with something better?”
“That’s funny coming from someone named Buffy.”
I snapped the wallet shut and tossed it aside.
“That’s my real name, mind you. And how in the hell do you know who I am?”
“Because we’ve been tracking you.”
For a brief instant, I was preoccupied, wondering if there was someone following behind him. My mind filled with the image of the taller one, the one that I had held a gun to only hours earlier. I shouldn’t have been so stupid. He took advantage of my sidetracked mind and knocked the gun from my hand before his right fist slammed into my chin. I nearly blocked the blow, but wasn’t quick enough. Before I knew it, I was sitting with my back against the bed, starring down the barrel of my own weapon.
“Now, you have to understand that I am not here to hurt you,” he said, not moving the gun.
“You’ve got a real funny way of showing that,” I said, nodding at the handheld piece of machinery capable of killing me.
I wanted to get it out of his hand, but couldn’t see any feasible action at that point. My body was throbbing from fatigue and if he took a chance and shot me, I wouldn’t get far. There were many things I was capable of, but dodging bullets wasn’t one of them. So I pulled my knees to my chin and watched him carefully. Unexpectedly, his features relaxed and he appeared genuinely concerned.
“Are you all right?” he asked, reaching out to touch my chin.
I pushed him away.
“I’m stronger than you. But you probably already know that. So talk. What do you want? And how do you know my name?”
I hadn’t noticed until then that he had set the gun down. It was sitting on the run down once cream-colored carpet beside the TV. Part of my mind was screaming at me to grab it, but I chose to ignore it. He had set it aside for a reason and I didn’t think he was going to go back for it anytime soon.
“Last year, about this time, my brother and I were in Vancouver.”
I flinched slightly, as the mere sound of the city’s name brought the horrible memories back to me as if I was still there.
“We came upon a house where several people had been murdered. Not just murdered either; eviscerated. We were too late to help them, but when we got there, a girl was left. That girl was dropped off at the emergency room by us because we simply didn’t have the opportunity to call the police without looking like a couple of killers.”
“Why are you being so hypothetical about this? You obviously already know about me. I want to know how.”
“Your sister – she told us.”
I felt as if I had been kicked in the stomach.
I didn’t even recall forming the word, if I could have called it a real word. It just seemed to slip from my being, a fragment of hope lost long ago. Something wasn’t right. My entire being changed with that one syllable. The moment I said it however, I saw a look in his eyes that told me nothing had really changed. He lowered his head then, unable to look me in the face.
“We thought everyone had died, but she somehow had managed to pull through. Don’t ask me how. It was probably just dumb luck.”
“Dawn’s…,” the words were caught and I couldn’t force them out. “Dawn’s…alive?”
He looked up then and sadly shook his head.
“No, not anymore.”
Large unstoppable tears flowed out of me, coursing down my cheeks faster than I could wipe them away. It seemed cruel really, to feel that I had lost her a second time. I wanted to stop crying, but I couldn’t. Abrasively, I ran the sleeves of my pajamas over my face, trying to dry it. I could see my face reflected in the mirror across the room. It was reddened and stained from tears. Such vulnerability was so unattractive.
“What do you mean?” I stammered through a closed throat.
Not knowing him at all, I normally would have found it difficult to read his expressions, but the look on his face was one of sheer empathy. He didn’t want to tell me anymore, even though he knew he had to.
“JUST TELL ME!”
He recoiled at my strident tone, but wisely continued.
“A few days later, we went back to the hospital to see if we could talk to you to see if you knew what had happened. But the doctor led us to your sister since you had…mysteriously disappeared…”
“What the hell were you doing going to see either of us? And who are you people?” I demanded, suddenly feeling very violated. I still didn’t know who he was and it seemed all he was bringing me were reasons to question him.
“What do you want me to answer first?”
I settled down a bit, knowing how irrational and harsh I must have sounded. He nodded faintly and carried on.
“When we saw her, we weren’t even sure if she was going to be able to speak. To be honest, I don’t know how she was still alive. The doctors weren’t too sure either, other than she hadn’t lost enough blood to die. But they told us it would only be a matter of time before she would succumb to her injuries.”
In an effort to persuade my mind from imaging her suffering like that – alone, no less – I bit down hard enough on my lip to draw blood. The pain gave my mind something else to center on.
“When we saw her, she gave us this.”
He reached over to where I had thrown his wallet, dug through it for a moment, and then pulled out what looked to be a folded napkin. Leaning over, he handed it to me carefully. I waited to take it, wondering what it could possibly be, and then snatched it almost greedily. Unfolding it, I saw a message written in scrawled pen.
It was Dawn’s handwriting, or at least some sickly looking desperate form of it. I tried not to think of what had made it so difficult for her to write out something so simply. It told me two things though. First, the person sitting before me was here to help me. Second, whoever he was, Dawn had felt him trustworthy. That had to be worth something. I folded the napkin up and stuffed it into my bag.
“So tell me, Kerry King, what’s your real name?”