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An intense feeling. That's how it started and spiraled into a relationship. And a kiss, then we were in an apartment. Buffy moved towards the figure in the window, and suddenly she grabbed at him and went right through him.
"It's a tra..." was what escaped from my mouth before an intense pain shot through my heart. Thoughts flashed through my head and the main one was I don't want to die.
And suddenly, I sat up, the cold sweat beading off my forehead. I looked over to see Lestat, "What are you doing in here?" I asked.
"I have nowhere else to be." Lestat said, "I do not feed."
I nodded, "That's a good thing." I said a little weirded out.
I stood in my room, hanging clothes in my closet. Since my little dream/prophecy, I had decided that Buffy needed my help. Why else would I see that? Of course there were protests, especially from Kelly, who'd just come back. I told her that I wouldn't stay long and that Doug really needed her. She agreed and I had decided that only she and Doug should know beforehand. My dream scared me. I know that whoever that slayer was, wasn't me, but it rattled me. I stopped packing when I heard footsteps and then Graham stood at my door.
"Where you going?" Graham asked.
"I'd tell you but you already know." I said, turning to him, "It's just for a few days. I'm not even taking a bag."
"Maybe someone should go with you." Graham said, "I could request..."
"No." I said.
"No?" Graham asked.
"This is a me thing." I said, "I miss the gang."
"Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, and Xander Harris?" Graham asked.
"You Army Guys are uniform all the way down to the talk, aren't you?" I said, "Besides, there's plenty here to do, what with the Master rising, Charity terrorizing the town, and new demons coming in all the time."
"I'm going to miss you." Graham said, "Are you, umm, going to miss me?"
I paused, and then smiled, "I don't know, I could always try and seduce Xander..." I chuckled.
"I was just joking." I said, "Besides, Xander's not into me...I don't think."
Graham just stared.
"I'm going to miss you." I said, finally.
"I can't believe she's gone." Willow said, "Poor Xander."
"Yeah," Buffy said, "First Anya, now Renee."
"That's gotta be...I mean..." Willow stammered, "Has he..."
"Nope." Buffy said, "He's held up in his room."
"Lucky him." I said, walking up with Rowena.
"Hey, it's Austin." Willow said standing and hugging me.
Buffy did the same, "Oh my God! Can you warn us next time?" She smiled, "Dawn's going to jump up and down when she...mind if we tell her first?"
"Sorry for the dropping by." I said, "I was in the neighborhood."
"What's really going on?" Buffy asked.
"A Slayer." I said, "I saw her die."
"Which one?" Willow asked.
"The one, she was at the computer the last time, Renee, I think." I said, "I had a dream...I was her."
"And you saw her die?" Buffy asked.
"I lived it." I confessed, "And you were there. And Willow and Xander and all the Slayers."
"It's already happened." Buffy said.
"Oh." I said.
Doug stood at Austin's door, wishing Austin was there. Austin had become his...best friend, which he already was, but they had gotten closer. Doug turned to leave and saw Kelly walking up. Doug was nervous, which he had never been with Kelly, but he was now. What could he say?
"Hi." Kelly said.
"Hi." Doug said, "He's gone."
"He told me." Kelly said, "And I was kind of miffed, but I'm better now."
"Yeah, with you being undead and stuff." Doug said nervously.
"I wasn't dead...I was never dead." Kelly said, "I only let Austin go away because I decided that we need to spend some time together."
"We do?" Doug asked.
"Come on, I can feel the Starbucks calling me." Kelly said, grabbing Doug and dragging him away.
"Wow." I said, walking into the dank, depressing room that was Xander's, "I miss the angst."
"Angst is for teenagers." Xander said.
"Then why the big..." I stopped, "I'm sorry that she died."
"It's what Slayer do, haven't you heard?" Xander joked.
"Xander." I said, my heart breaking for him.
Xander looked away, "Don't." he said.
"So," I said, wiping my eyes, "Connor's..." I thought about it and decided to keep my suspicion of the real L.A. being in Hell to myself, "...gone."
"It's a little different." Xander said, "Mine's dead, yours is..."
"In Hell." I said.
Xander looked at me sympathetically, "I'm sorry." He said, "I didn't know he died."
"He didn't." I said, "It's complicated, but ends with him being alive, I hope, and in a Hell dimension."
"Again?" Xander asked, "So, you want help from us to get him out?"
"I've tried." I said, "It's not something we can do. Angel and his squad need to deal with this like I dealt with..."
"I heard about the Hell Goddess, congrats." Xander said.
"I hurt twenty four hours a day." I said, "I couldn't imagine living without him and now I have to."
"He'll probably come back." Xander said.
"He's gone." I said, "I can take it, he's gone and I didn't know how to take it."
"How do you deal with it?" Xander asked.
"I'm the Slayer, repression is what I do." I said quickly.
"So, I'm supposed to repress this all? Okay, done." Xander said, standing.
"Nope." I said, "See, you're mortal guy. You get the option of dealing, actually dealing with it. Renee's gone."
"You shut up!" Xander shouted.
"And Anya and Connor and Tara," My voice broke, "And no matter what we do, they're not coming back. Xander, Connor isn't going to be the same, Hell, I'm not going to be the same."
"I'm sorry." Xander said.
"I came back because I miss home." I said, "In some way, Buffy and you guys are my home. I haven't told you something, sit down." I said, sitting on the chair opposite his bed.
Xander sat on the bed, "What is it?" he asked.
"I had a dream." I confessed, "It was a Slayer dream and...Xander, her last thought was that she didn't want to leave you."
Xander thought for a minute, then realization hit him, "What?" he asked.
"I felt it." I said, "Her thoughts...her...love..." I stood and walked to the door.
"Tell me the truth...am I a dead girl magnet?" Xander asked.
"We're the good guys, Xand, we just don't ever get the happy ending." I said, leaving the room.
"Yeah, it was like a bonding thing." Doug chuckled, "You know Austin, and he's not the brightest."
"So, how you holding up?" Kelly asked.
"Well, I got that little spell going for you and Lestat, as much as I want to stake him..."
"I meant, you know, since Gemma died." Kelly said.
Doug looked away, "I have my bad days and my not so bad days." He said.
"Well, cheer up; your better days are back." Kelly smiled.
I walked back into what I assumed was Buffy's room. She sat in a chair, looking out at the sky.
"It's A Beautiful Sunset, isn't it?" I asked, calling her attention.
"Speaking of, you might want to be on guard, there's this guy..."
"Twilight, I met him." I said, standing next to her, "Cryptic."
There was a rumble that shook us.
"Dawn knows I'm here." I smiled.
"You met Twilight?" Buffy asked.
"Yeah." I said quickly.
"When I met him, he kicked my ass." Buffy said.
"That's similar to my story. We leveled a crypt." I said.
"He threw a church at me." Buffy said.
"Charming, isn't he?" I said, looking out the window.
"Not really," Buffy said, "You know my little chop thing I used on Caleb?"
"Yeah." I said.
"He knew it and blocked it." Buffy said, "He knows me."
"He's a douche." I said quickly.
"You kiss your mother with that mouth?" Buffy asked.
"My mother, and father, are trying to kill me." I said, "It's my family portrait."
"You mean grandparents?" Buffy asked.
"No." I said, "They're dead. They helped me."
"So, wait, you're parents are alive?" Buffy asked.
"And trying to kill me." I nodded, "I haven't seen them yet, but I'd dying to give them a hug."
"I bet." Buffy said, "Well, we just stopped some vampires in Tokyo."
"Oh yeah, I didn't even ask. I heard about it, and was kind of there." I said, "Get splainy."
Doug and Kelly walked down the street, enjoying their cappuccinos as the night fell. They'd been together the whole afternoon and things were great. Doug had avoided the subject of Gemma as best he could, but Kelly seemed more intuitive than he had expected.
"You've been avoiding something all day." Kelly said.
"Saber kitty?" Doug asked.
"Gemma." Kelly said quickly.
"Kelly..." Doug said.
"Listen, I know when I was sleep, you and Austin did the bonding thing, but I'm here too." Kelly said.
"She died, Kels, not much else to say." Doug said, "We couldn't save her and she died."
"And you lived." Kelly said, "I know how it feels."
"No, you don't." Doug snapped, "You don't know how anything feels. The one person I said I'd take care of and I can't anymore because she's gone."
"You can cry, you know." Kelly said, "Lord knows I did. The shock of just being here is...overwhelming."
Doug stared at her with an odd fascination, "You do understand." He said quickly.
"I didn't come through it as untouched as everybody thinks." Kelly said, "Oooh, cemetery!"
"Yup, you're pretty changed." Doug chuckled as they headed into the cemetery.
"You're kidding!" Dawn said, which was more like a roar.
"Nope, so now Lestat and Graham are pretty much at each other's throat." I explained.
"And Kelly's alright?" Dawn asked, picking me up in his hand.
I looked up at her, "Yeah." I smirked.
Dawn shook a little.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
"Just, just a little thing. A pain that isn't related to
me." Dawn said, "I can't wait until I come back to California."
"Yeah, how is the de-giantizing going?" I asked.
"It's not." Dawn said, "We've been busy."
"I heard you kicked some Amy ass, and then the giant robot...how was that?" I asked.
"Cool and oddly satisfying." Dawn said excitedly, "I miss being with you guys."
"We miss you." I said.
"So, have you heard from Connor?" Dawn asked.
I was quiet, "Yes, he's doing great...in California." I lied.
"I'm glad." Dawn smiled, "How's college?"
"Good." I said, "I'm doing pretty well, philosophy's a drag."
"Are you sure you're good?" Dawn asked.
"The world's going to Hell, Dawnie, I think I'm as good as it gets." I said, hugging her thumb. Just then, my cell phone rang, "Hold on." I said as she put me down, "Hello?"
"How's Scotland?" Kelly asked.
"Great." I said, "How's Vengeance."
"Demonic." Doug said.
"He's just being a smart-ass." Kelly chuckled nervously.
"You two sure you're okay?" I asked.
"We're great." Kelly said, "Have a good time, we'll talk more when you get back. Tell everyone we said hi!"
I hung up the phone, "They said hi." I smiled.
"Oh hi...well, they can't exactly hear me, so just tell `em when you get back." Dawn smiled.
"So, Dawn, how are you going to fix your problem?" I asked.
"I don't really know." Dawn said, "What about you?"
"Jury's still out." I smiled softly.
Kelly hung up her phone as she and Doug turned the corner of the cemetery; they stopped as they came upon Mal and Graham fighting a group of vampires.
"Hey!" Kelly shouted.
All four vampires turned to them.
"Kelly, what'd you do?" Doug asked.
"Make with the magic!" Kelly suggested.
Mal and Graham took the time to stake two vamps, but the other ones jumped into action, running towards Kelly and Doug!
"Sun spell!" Kelly said.
"God of light..." Doug said, but before he could say anything else, the vampire jumped on him!
Kelly used the vampire's momentum and flipped him with a monkey flip!
"...Work thy will," Doug gasped. Suddenly, there was a twinge and the vampire dusted. Doug looked around, wiping dust from his face and watched as Kelly ducked an attack and flipped the vamp again.
"Do it!" Doug shouted to Graham, who had a crossbow aimed in their direction.
"I can't get a good shot!" Graham shouted back.
He finally got a good shot and took it, but the vampire turned and caught it, "Tch, tch, tch," Charity's voice came through the vampire, "You guys are falling off your game."
"Charity?" Doug asked.
"Hi, gang," Charity said, "Where's my bestest friend?"
"How..." Doug asked.
"The Master's dead and I'm calling the shots." Charity smirked, "It's getting down to the wire, kids."
"The Master's dead?" Mal asked.
Charity raised the crossbow bolt to her chest and impaled the vampire, causing her to dust!
"Uh oh." Doug said, "Anybody else need a new diaper?"
Willow hovered just outside the window of the castle, making spells go all willy nilly. I walked to the balcony and watched.
"Nice." I said.
Willow turned, "Yeah, it's pretty." She said.
"What does it mean?" I asked, "I mean, the spells, are they really spells or just a lightshow?"
"Magic is never just a light show." Willow said, "But you would know that if..."
"...If I was more into the craft." I said.
"Well, yeah." Willow said, hovering in front of me, "Your whole family was into magic, just because you're a slayer doesn't mean..."
"Will...all my family walked on the dark side." I said softly, "Hell, they vacationed there."
"Doesn't make it hereditary." Willow said.
"Doesn't it?" I asked, "Willow, I watched you deal with it. I still watch Doug deal with it. I just can't afford to make a mistake, not now."
"Austin." Willow said.
"Willow, the master is back." I said.
Willow's eyes widened, "The Master? The one with the...and the..."
"Yeah, and he has powers this time." I said, "You can't tell Buffy or Xander or even Dawn."
"We need to help you, you can't..."
"Will, you guys have your own things going on here." I said, "I've met Twilight and besides knowing he's vague, that's all we know. You are better suited here."
Willow landed, "Are you okay?" she asked.
"I just needed to get back to my roots." I said, "But that's the problem with roots, once they're gone, you have to stand on your own."
"You're not alone." Willow said.
"Funny, that's what everyone keeps saying." I said, "I'm not scared. It's the first time I actually know what I'm facing."
"Yeah, not a lot of that going on nowadays." Willow smiled, "Maybe there's a spell, a little one that..."
I shook my head, "Protect Buffy and this place and yourself. I want to have a home to come back to." I said.
Lestat sat in the crypt. He'd been there since Austin had left. It didn't feel right living in Austin's basement when he wasn't there. Besides the weirdness, there was also Mal. Mal wasn't exactly a good friend, so it would be awkward considering Mal tried to kill him. Lestat lay on a coffin, desperately missing the days when he'd rocked out on stage, but now that Austin was in the picture, it paled in comparison.
Aww, you miss him.
Lestat sat up, "Who's there." He asked.
Come on, you mean to tell me you don't know who I am?
"No." Lestat said, "Who are you?"
"What?" Lestat asked.
Lestat wondered what was happening.
You know what you need to do.
Lestat wondered what was coming next and what he wanted himself to do, if, in fact, it was himself speaking.
Kill the girl.
- - - - - - - - - -
Thank you for reading.