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.
Inviting two men to stay in my motel room wasn’t the best idea in the world. I didn’t care how good looking they were, they were still guys. After only a day, the place was a wreck. I felt like I was the third wheel of the odd couple.
“We need another room,” I muttered, not caring much if either of them heard me or not.
The tall one that I had come to know as Sam looked up, making a slight acknowledgment of my statement. Not answer, he looked back to his books. I thought Giles had books. The two of them had a fair share of them, ones that I’m sure Giles would have loved. Much like the rest of the research I had done in life, I knew only a small percentage of what I was doing. Apparently, Sam was good at research, like a very tall muscular Willow. He had her geeky nature about him, I felt. It was much more hidden, but it was still there.
The brothers were as trustworthy as they could be, a pair I felt safe with. I didn’t worry that they meant me any harm. Although Dean knew little about what a Slayer was, Sam had confessed to knowing some but had been rather unsure as to what was real or not. I hadn’t seen the point in divulging every last detail of the part of my life that had destroyed the rest of it. They knew I killed demons and was able to take care of myself. Anymore I would tell them as it came up.
Such secrecy came with its own opposition however. If I wasn’t going to tell them what they wanted to hear, they sure as hell weren’t about to tell me how or why they were hunters. Quid pro quo, I guess. Much like my own past, I figured it would come up eventually. That would be an interested day.
The boredom building up in that room could have split the walls. I was certain that they were simply staring at the pages of the books rather than reading them. That was my course of action and we had been at it for what felt like ten hours. Scratch that – Sam was most likely still reading. Dean and I were so lucky in that respect. One of us was responsible in the literary aspect. A groan from the small kitchen area confirmed my belief.
“Have you guys found anything? Please? Even if you haven’t, just humor me.”
I felt a tendency to agree with Dean. Anything would have satisfied me at that point. If Sam were to tell us that the book said the little girl from “The Exorcist” was to blame for everything, I would have been ecstatic just for the chance to go after something solid.
“Hungry ghosts…” Sam mumbled.
It was as if he was concerned about the reaction he would get from us. I almost told him to speak up, but kept my mouth shut.
“What the hell is a hungry ghost?”
“It’s kind of complicated. There are these things called hungry ghosts. You’d hear more about them if we were on the other side of the world, I guess.”
He had no idea what his little brother was talking about. The look on his face tried to cover it, but I could see straight through it. It was the tone in his voice. I had used that tone many times.
“Hungry ghosts are more talked about in religions popular within Asian and Middle Eastern civilizations. A large majority of people on this side of the world associate spirits and ghosts with the Christian meaning of one. This isn't the same.”
Dean’s eyes were still blank, void of understanding. Sam looked to me, hoping that maybe the newest member of their little melting pot of freaks would be able to fill in some blanks so he wouldn’t have to. That wasn’t my area of expertise. I could just see Willow and Giles screaming things at me to tell them. The fact that I wasn’t saying anything would make them itch with frustration. He sighed.
“Hungry ghosts are not necessarily a problem. Have you ever been to an Asian cemetery? Sometimes you’ll see that people have left food at the graves.”
“That’s what that orange in Seattle was for?”
Sam rolled his eyes and I stifled a laugh.
“Yeah, Dean. That’s why I told you that taking it would be a bad idea.”
He tried to hide what little embarrassment he had, he moved on.
“So why would this be a hungry ghost? I would call disemboweling people a pretty big problem.”
I cringed, recalling in horror the night bodies had been strewn across my house. Dean said nothing, seeing the look on my face, but feeling the moment to either apologize or take it back had passed. His brother did the same, going back to his laptop. I stared blindly at what looked like a very expensive monitor in an attempt to harden my emotions. For the time being, it worked.
“Ghosts aren’t always hungry for what we consider proper substance. To ‘feed’, one could need whatever they need in their afterlife. That depends on what they did in life.”
“Which would be…?”
“From what I have found, hungry ghosts are broken into three basic categories. There are with those who had no wealth in life, those with a just a bit, and those who had a lot of wealth. It all revolves around greed, to make it easy.”
That much I understood, but I still didn’t get how that caused my family to end up in pieces along with what was becoming a very large death toll. As I watched Sam’s laptop flip through pages at rapid speed, I was reminded of my red-haired friend. I had packed up Willow’s Mac with my belongings, but it was still hidden amongst several books. Although I could manage a computer, I was nowhere on the level of either of them.
“So, why can’t they just eat?” I asked, knowing how stupid it sounded.
“It really depends. They pretty much can’t eat. That’s why they can get so pissed. For example, the ghosts with the wealth can be broken down. There are ones with fiery mouths. They can’t eat because anything that passes into their mouths turns to flames.”
Dean and I grimaced simultaneously.
“Oh, it gets better. There are other ones who have such small throats that nothing can get through them. But my personal favorite? There are ones that have such passed such a state of decomposition that it is virtually impossible for them to intake anything.”
“You’re making this shit up,” Dean said, a hopeful edge to his voice.
“Nope,” he said, shaking his head, “and even better, the greedier they were in life, the worse off they are in death. So basically, we’re just dealing with one really angry ghost. One that likes to feast on corpses.”