Title: Living at a Pace That Kills: Chapter Seven
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 stomach turned a bit when I heard him say that. It put bad images in my mind and made the occurrence at the club seem that much more vivid.
“It eats people?” Dean asked, sounding as disgusted as me.
“Some believe that the hungry ghosts can eat dead bodies because they are one of the few things they are capable of eating. Much like people, once it grows hungry again, it needs to get more corpses. Hence, the killings.”
“All of them?”
My head snapped in Dean’s direction. His question had come as a surprise due to my highest extent of knowledge in the current situation consisted merely of the nightclub massacre.
“What do you mean, ‘all of them’? Which other ones were killed?”
Both of them looked at her then, their expressions a mix of horror and what I thought was probably concern.
“Buffy, this thing has been killing all over the continent. The last time we caught sight of it was at your house last year.”
Dean’s words had a particularly strange effect on me. The idea that the thing that had killed everyone I loved had finally found me had crossed my mind, but it had been brushed aside by my stubbornness.
“From what I have been able to gather,” Sam said, choosing to try to avoid the growing trepidation in the room, “it’s most likely that the same demon has been accountable for all the deaths.”
“Does that include my family?” I asked, staring purposely at the stained carpet.
He probably nodded because when I heard him tell me yes, it was somewhat delayed. I was still focused on the ground, so I didn’t see him.
“You shouldn’t have left.”
The solace of being alone was quickly shattered the moment Dean pulled up a stool next to mine. He was alone, something I hadn’t expected. Apart from when he had found me in my room, he and Sam had been practically joined at the hip. I refused to look at him, worried I may break if I see any empathy in his expression.
“I don’t think I can do this.”
I wondered how many times in my life I had said that. I know I had thought it millions of times, sometimes over the easiest of task, but it never felt more true than it did sitting at that bar. Before, when I had saved the world countless times, I had someone standing behind me. Whether I knew it or not, my there was always someone willing to let me fall back on them. Facing the thing that killed them all would be something unthinkable. I worried I may crumble beneath it.
“Look,” he said with some compassion in his voice, “I know where you’re coming from. But you can’t let it beat you down. You have to fight it.”
“You don’t have any idea where I am coming from,” I growled, turning to glare in his direction before slamming my drink and hopping from the stool.
I could hear his footsteps chasing after me as I stomped through the tiny bar and out the back door. Such an exit demanded avoidance, but he was on my heels. We were halfway down the dank shadowy alley before he seized my wrist. The action was the wrong thing to use on me, as I reacted without even thinking about it. He was flipped over and laid out on his back in front of me much sooner than I had expected. It was clear he was in pain, which I did feel bad about.
“Shit…” I muttered, helping pull him to a sitting position against the fence.
He was soaked, covered in whatever mix of rain and car oil had been in the large puddle he had landed in.
“I’m….God, I’m sorry. You can’t do that though!”
I tried to contain the lecturing tone, but it came through regardless.
“Apparently…” he winced.
“I am sorry. I’m just not one you can just grab. This is the result.”
“I bet you make a great date.”
I smiled, although I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not.
“Did I break anything?”
He moved around a bit and I grimaced upon hearing a sound I knew wasn’t natural coming from his side. I had busted one of his ribs, if not many.
“Nothing that won’t heal.”
As carefully as I could, I slid my arm around him and helped him stand.
“I’m going to look pretty pathetic having a little blond girl hold me up…” he mumbled, probably trying to avoid the pain.
“We’ll just tell everyone you’re drunk,” I joked.
“I’d laugh, but I’m sure it would kill if I did.”
“Where’s your car?”
He pointed down the alley. We stumbled to the end of it and then to a close parking lot. I saw that oversized Chevrolet sitting in the back of it and was grateful I didn’t have to drag him around anymore. The faster he got off his feet, the better he would feel.
“Give me your keys,” I insisted the moment we reached the car.
“Oh, no. No fucking way.”
“So, you’re just going to walk all the way back to the motel? I can do that, but I highly doubt you’re in the mood for it.”
He groaned and almost immediately flinched in pain.
“Fine. They’re in my jacket pocket.”
I set him against the side of the car and realized I would have to hold him up with the weight of my body to get the keys. Otherwise he would fall to the ground. As I pressed myself against him and dug into the jacket, I practically felt him grin.
“Don’t get any ideas.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t dream of it.”
“I’m sure,” I said, finally finding the keys and opening the passenger door.
As vigilant as possible, I set him on the passenger seat. When I came around to the driver’s side and was sitting before the steering wheel, I looked to my side. His look was incredibly leery.
“Would you please calm down? It’s not good for you to be so worried right now. It’ll be fine.”
“Just be careful, okay?”
I couldn’t believe him.
“You’re sitting over there because I broke you in half and you’re worried about a ton of steel?”
“She’s not just a ton of steel!”
He just stared at me with wide eyes. It was the face of a little boy. The face told me I couldn’t possibly understand the relationship between the man and his car. It was so much more than I could know. I would have laughed had we been in a better circumstance. Trying to ease his anxiety and perhaps a bit of pain, I turned on the radio when I started the engine.
“What do you want to hear?”
“Anything from back there.”
I turned to the backseat to see a pile of cassettes.
“Wow. Welcome to the eighties…”
“Shut it, Blondie. Just put some music on.”
Not wanting to add to his aggravation, I grabbed a random cassette. Tossing it in the player, I recognized the song.
“I know this one,” I recalled after pulling onto the street and into traffic, “it’s Eric Clapton, right?”
“Well, yes,” he said in what I distinguished to be a pained voice, “but, this is the Derek and the Dominos version.”
“What the hell is Derek and the Dominos?”
“Yeah,” he groaned, “that’s what I thought…”
I was about to ask him what he meant but heard a rustling sound.
“What is…what are you doing?!”
When I turned to look, I saw him trying to climb into the backseat.
“There’s a first aid kit in the back.”
“You’re going to need a hell of a lot more than that if you don’t stop moving around!”
I threw the car into park on the shoulder of the road and pushed him back to the passenger seat, pinning him down.
“Just drive the fucking car. I’ve done this before!”
“You don’t need to do it now. You’re not alone. So either sit still and wait until we get back to the motel or I’ll knock you unconscious!”
It was easy to see that it was making him crazy to have me tell him what to do. The internal struggle of his mind was nearly visible to the human eye. Finally, he just agreed and slumped against the seat, starring out the window into the night.
Knowing that he wouldn’t go against what I had said, I started up the car and pulled back onto the road. Soon, we were outside of the city and things darkened. I was still listening to the same long Derek and the Dominos song.
“Isn’t this song about his wife?”
The question wasn’t to break the ice – I was genuinely curious. I had heard it once before, but had never confirmed it and since it was the only thing I could hear, it was bugging me.
“It was about George Harrison’s wife,” he said, his voice pouty.
He refused to look at me, even when I tried to initiate a conversation.
There was another long silence between us. The song became more longing through the piano solo.
“Eric Clapton couldn’t have her because she was married. So he wrote this song about her.”
“Did he ever get her?”
I smiled, feeling happy for the first time that night.
Title: You Give Me Hope
Cast: Buffy and Dean
Words: Between the Trees
Info: THE FIRST LIGHT PIECE EVER!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, you NEVER see anything with a white background from me. Really. This piece started out very dark with a black blackground and WAY darker tones. However, I decided I wanted it to be a more hopeful piece (despite the painful images). I mean, we all know these two are capable of hoping up from their seats and kicking some ass later on, so...