I Will Love You In Death
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The park was the last place Buffy had expected to find this much trouble. She was completely surrounded and several more vampires stood ready to jump in at any time. Pure instinct begged her to run but she was after all, the Slayer and these were Dru's men. She'd be damned if she'd let Dru have the satisfaction. So she fought. Her hands were bloody, her clothes were torn and she had been poked, cut and jabbed all over her body with knives, swords, and a various assortment of other sharp pointy things. She was in trouble..and she knew it.
Her bag lay on the ground about fifteen feet from her. Fifteen short feet and about four vampires were all that separated her from freedom. If she could just get her bag she'd be home free. She had water balloons in there full of Holy Water. Buffy dove for it and landed on her stomach just inches from it. She grabbed it just as a solid looking vampire embedded a chinese flying star between her shoulder blades. Buffy screamed, trying to reach around and grab it but unable to reach that far. The vampires, sensing her disability, closed around her..each delivering a kick..a punch..or another stab to her frail body.
Buffy rolled to her side, curling into a fetal position. All she had left was prayer and a hope that these vampires would suddenly be struck with a wave of compassion that included dialing 911.
"That's enough." a female voice called. "Move aside."
The vampires seperated and Buffy glanced through her blood and sweat covered eyelids to see Drusilla standing over her. "Please...."
Drusilla clapped her hand and jumped from on side of Buffy to the other several times before speaking, "Please, she says. Please what?"
"Please help me." Buffy was weak. She was weak and degraded, begging this monster to help her. "I can't die like this."
"Yes you can, pet. And you will. And I'm going to watch and then run home to tell Miss Edith all about it."
With the toe of her shoe she poked Buffy directly in one of the many stab wounds. When Buffy didn't cry out loud enough to suit her, she rammed her entire high heel into another wound. Buffy rolled and knocked Drusilla off her feet. The vampires were on her again before she could stand. The attack continued until Buffy faded into a peaceful oblivion.
"Buffy should have been here by now." Angel paced in front of the big oak table in the llibrary, presently loaded with books and a very sleepy Xander.
"She'll be here." Willow smiled up at Angel. "She had to patrol..."
"Plus she was going for Pizza. Larry is working tonight so I can imagine they are slow as hell. He likes to take his time and make the pizzas perfect....." Xander's voice trailed off and he glanced around the room. "Not that I know ANYTHING about Larry."
Giles was loaded with a new shipment of books when he came in the back door. "Yes, you're all here..where's Buffy?"
Angel was about to voice his concern again when a loud noise came from the hallway outside the library. Angel motioned for everyone to be still and slowly opened the door, careful to draw his stake. Willow stood up and walked to stand next to Giles. She reached out slowly and took his hand, she could feel something was wrong and her fear almost made her oblivious to Angel's scream of anguish. Almost.
"Oh my god." Giles whispered. He took a few steps toward the door but went weak in the knees when Angel burst in carrying a limp, blood soaked girl.
"Who is it?" Xander had a hand over his mouth.
The girl was so dirty and bruised it was hard to tell who she was. Angel would know her anywhere. "It's Buffy." he cried, gently lying her on the table.
Giles rushed to her side and felt for a pulse, "It's weak, but she is alive. Willow, call 911."
As Willow rushed for the phone, Giles took off his jacket, cradling her head and placing it under her. Buffy opened one swollen eye, the other was apparently missing. "Giles.." she croaked. "I'm sorry."
"Sorry?" Giles leaned close to her, kneeling down. "Don't be sorry, Buffy."
"I lost." she said in a weak voice. "Dru..."
Angel was kneeling on the other side. "Drusilla did this?"
Buffy nodded slowly. "I ...I tried."
"Sshhh." Angel brushed her hair away from her face. He cringed as clumps of it fell into his hand.
"Giles..." she whispered. "You were always more than a Watcher, you were...my best friend and I love you."
Giles took her hand in his and kissed it gently. "You are like a child to me, Buffy. And I love you."
"Xander, Willow...." Buffy choked on the words. Xander, who was crying, stood beside Angel, and Willow, back from the phone stood beside Giles. Buffy continued, "I thought I would die surrounded by those vampires but I won't. I'm going to die right here surrounded by the things I loved the most."
"Buffy, don't say goodbye!" Willow shouted. "Just don't say that!!!"
"Tell my mother..I..I..tried to be a good daughter." Buffy cried out as pain swept through her. The pain turned into a muffled sob. "Angel, I never stopped loving you. I loved you in life and I will love you in death."
Angel stroked her cheek as silent tears flowed down his cheeks. "I love you too, baby. I loved you since the moment I looked at you. You're gonna be alright."
"I am going to miss you all." Buffy choked on the sobs that racked through her frame. He whole body shook making the pain so vivid that she cried out. "I don't want to die."
Whoever she was talking too didn't hear her. With her eyes fixed on Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer drew her last breath.
"NOOOOOOOOO!" Angel screamed and pulled her into his arms. They fell together to the floor and he rocked her slowly back and forth. "Don't you leave me! Buffy, please. PLEASE GOD NO!"
Xander ran to Willow, who fainted in his arms. Giles removed his glasses and gave a long sigh before he collapsed over the table where Buffy had just lain, screaming at the fate that broke his Slayer.
Oz, who had quietly watched it all, could hear the sirens even above the anquished sobs. He walked slowly to where Angel sat holding Buffy. "Angel, why don't you let me have her? The ambulance is coming and...."
"Don't you touch her!" Angel said. "She's just sleeping. She's tired! She has to sleep."
Giles stood up and dried his eyes with his handkerchief. He squatted beside Angel and gently kissed Buffy's forehead. "Let me take her, Angel."
Angel met Giles's gaze and their eyes locked in mutual pain, and love for the Slayer. "You hold her until they take her." Angel kissed her softly on the lips and put her in Giles's outstretched arms. He watched as Giles stood and walked slowly to the stairs, sitting with her like a small injured child.
Angel stood up. "She will not die in vain." He grabbed Giles's bag of weapons and ran into the night.
Willow was coming around. Xander helped her stand and she ran to where Giles sat, dropping to her knees. "Oh. Buffy..."
The hacker, the Zeppo and the Watcher huddled together silently. The four musketeers just like it had been when Buffy first arrived. Each of them was clinging to a memory. Xander, remembering when he saved her life and wanting so much to do it again, Willow, remembering Buffy's fear of dying with the master and hoping for once, despite being Jewish, that Buffy was indeed in Heaven, and Giles, leaning his head on Buffy's tangled hair and remembering how many nights he prayed he'd never be doing what he was now. Oz stood alone, softly sobbing, watching the world as they knew it, end right before their eyes.
Daylight came as it had always done. No matter how dark the night or great the evil, daylight came. Angel stood in Buffy's room. The downstairs was loaded with people and he closed his eyes as he heard Joyce began to sob again. He walked slowly around the room, gazing at this and that. Gently touching perfume bottles and stuffed animals, pausing to lift her pillow and breathe her scent.
He picked up a picture of her and cradled it to his chest, sobbing anew. He had done what he set out to do. Drusilla lay dead in an abandoned warehouse. He had made her watch as he murdered Spike and then he killed her slowly and painfully. As his tears fell across Buffy's face in the photo, he realized that he had gained nothing. She was still gone.The sun was completely up now. Buffy would have called it a "scorcher". Still holding her photo, Angel stepped out onto the roof and raised his hands toward the sky.
The people who had gathered in the front yard, all claimed they saw and man on fire dissapear into a cloud of dust on top of the Summer's house. Willow, Xander and Giles never questioned who it may have been.
As I sit writing my last entry as Watcher Rupert Giles, I am happy to say that the paranormal activity did not cease with Buffy's passing. Willow, Xander and I took a trip back to the cemetary tonight with Angel's ashes. We had gathered them off the roof of Buffy's house and buried them deeply into the soil piled atop Buffy's pink coffin. We sat for a while, crying, laughing, and wishing to every God we could name that Buffy was still there to add her candor. It was as we started to leave that the air chilled and two bright lights lifted from the ground. The lights hovered for a moment, a few feet away from each other and then both took on human form. The form of Buffy and Angel. Both spirits seemed disoriented and out of sorts. Neither of them seemed aware that we stood watching. It was several moments before they saw one another...but when they did...it was like the air was sucked from my body and I could feel their love. The slowly came together. Both of them smiling and dressed in white. None of the lesions that Buffy had suffered were evident and when they met..the light was so bright it was blinding. It disappeared as quickly as it had come. For once, Xander was totally speechless.
I know that right now another Slayer and another Watcher are training, fighting, learning. I think I can safely assume that there will never be a Slayer of Buffy's calibur. There will never be another fair haired, rosy cheeked waif of a girl so full of life and energy. Would that there ever was a match found..I should hope that she finds me and pulls me from retirement.
I say goodbye to my Slayer, my friend, my child, now in peace. She has found her love, in dying and there will be no chains that keep them apart as there was in life. I am certain one day I shall find her again. I long for that day.
And I will love her in death.
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