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"I don't understand...Where did the magic go?" I asked looking around. Everything was still black and white, just like every dream I'd been having lately. The people passing by made no noise, had no particular motion. Where had I gone? Where was all this?
"You will." Doug said, causing me to turn, "It'll all become clearer."
"Doug? Where are you?" I asked.
"Somewhere you cannot follow." Doug said, "I couldn't find you. She destroyed it. Us. Everything."
"Buffy?" I asked.
"She killed it." Doug said, "After birthing a world, she took the magic from ours."
"There's nothing that can be done, it's over now." I said.
"It is." Doug nodded, "What will you do now?"
"What I've been doing the last six months...live." I said.
Buffy is living on Dawn's couch. The slayer-fueled future everyone had come to expect was over and now the leader of that future slept rather aimlessly on her little sister and best friend's couch. The greatest witch in this hemisphere was now a non-magical entity. Xander lives with Dawn and they're domestically happy. Angel...Twilight...Angel...whatever you want to call him, is catatonic and staying with Faith, who'd inherited everything from Gi...Giles, who was now dead. That dumb broad Harmony's fifteen minutes are up and Buffy's no longer Enemy number one. Buffy was a waitress. Once a general of an army and now she's a waitress. Nothing wrong with being a waitress, but Buffy wasn't a waitress. She's a slayer. She's the slayer. Everything was dimmer. The world was literally without magic. Unlike most of the other slayers, I didn't blame Buffy for ending magic. She had to do it. I blame Twilight. And sort of Angel. Mostly Twilight. Kelly and Cale had gotten married also and were now living out their lives in London. Since I wasn't a slayer anymore, there wasn't any need for Cale to be here. Mal had told his whole story when he was arrested and since vampires had been exposed, he was pardoned and given honors. He still demon hunts. Haven't seen him in months. Doug...has been gone. It stands to reason that he became magic while fighting Titan. Not became...it's confusing. He became magic energy and when the Seed was broken, all the magic left this plane. Thus he left. Or that was Willow's interpretation. Six months ago...everything was nearing okay, but that was six months ago.
Buffy once said, "The thing about changing the world is...it's all different.
"You did what you had to Buffy." I said.
"I ruined the world." Buffy said.
"No, you saved it." I frowned, "Who cares what the other slayers and the witches think?" I asked, "I was like half a witch and I'm glad no new gigantic, world-ending forces can pop up."
"Giles is dead."
"A lot of people are dead." I said quickly, "We can't cry about it now."
"I'm going to be staying with Dawn and Xander in San Francisco until I can get back on my feet." Buffy said.
"Will you be slaying?" I asked.
"I'm the only one left." Buffy said, "Will you?"
"I don't think I was ever a slayer because all the other slayers retained their slayer powers and I didn't." I said softly, "All the futures and the pasts that I've seen...I don't think they were mine."
"Maybe Willow could help you figure everything out." Buffy said.
"Maybe." I nodded.
"I'm not sure. I mean...it's been done before. Ala Dawn." Willow said listlessly.
"You don't seem yourself anymore. You seem less." I said.
"The world is less." Willow said, "All the magic's gone."
"is it?" I asked.
"Love, friendship...hate. Magic is still here, it's just not active anymore." I frowned, "I can feel these real memories slipping back into my head, the ones I really made."
"It must be...daunting." Willow frowned.
"I was never anything I believed I was." I frowned, "The world's less, but I refuse to believe that I'm anything less than what I used to be, slayer powers or no."
"But you are." Willow said, "You had magical potential."
"Is it really potential if I never used it?" I asked.
"Duh, that's the definition of potential." Willow said with more joy than she had recently.
"Buffy was here." I said quickly, "And she'll be here again."
"It's over. The fight is over." Willow frowned.
"The fight is never over, Will. It's just changed." I said angrily.
"It is for us." Willow said softly.
"I think it's the beginning of a whole new war." I said.
"He's healing." Connor said quickly.
"He should be ended." I frowned, "After the crimes..."
"This is different." Faith said, "Cut the guy some slack."
"This isn't his first kill-all-slayers, or you know, the general populace rampage." I frowned.
"Twilight had a hold of him." Connor said.
"My ass." I spat, "He let it in and it took his soul. And then he birthed it."
"If we're gonna be technical, so did Buffy." Faith said.
I threw her an angry look.
Faith threw her hands up, "Just sayin!" she said.
"You can't compare what he did and said to what Buffy has done and said." I frowned, "She saved the world and has been continually saving the world since she was like fifteen. Angel saved the world, but he's damned it just as much."
"Speaking as one of the people who's also saved the world, I think we should cut him slack." Faith shrugged.
"Speaking as the last person who saved the world and probably the whole world, he needs to be ended." I frowned, edging out my stake.
"You came here to kill him? To kill my father?" Connor asked.
"It's not that simple." I frowned, "He can't keep being the universe's bitch. That's not a good excuse anymore."
"I'm not letting you kill Angel." Faith frowned.
"Me either." Connor frowned.
"I never asked your permission." I said quickly, "If I have to go through both of you..."
"I don't want to do this." Connor said angrily.
"I really don't see another choice." I said.
"You can leave with your own body parts." Faith said defensively.
I chuckled, "You really think you can take me Faith?"
"I've done it before." I turned, "I'm not a slayer anymore. I'm nothing to any of you."
"Austin..." Connor said softly.
"Don't!" I shouted, turning to them, "You didn't lose someone. You didn't lose anything! I lost everything. And I saved the world and it didn't stop me from losing everything I had."
Connor looked at me sympathetically.
"She was right. All the magic's gone. It's cold and it's hard...er...Forget that you know me, if you ever did." I said, walking away.
I sat at the bar. I'm twenty-one now. Alcohol is no longer for losers. I've drowned my sorrows way more than once. So much more than once. Bits of my memory were blank now. Blank. Some things I began to remember, some things I'm beginning to forget. Some things I wanted to forget but I couldn't.
"We should dance."
A random guy. Might be a nice guy. If he wasn't a vampire. He must be a newbie. Every vampire knows who I am.
"We should dance."
A random guy. Not so random. Not so random at all.
"We went to high school together right?"
Randall Cleve. Used to tease me about being gay. Used to pick on defenseless kids and now he's a vampire. A bully turning evil...who couldn't make that up?
"I think we should step outside." I finally announce.
"Sure. Whatever you want." He says.
I walk with him, knowing that this was a set-up. Not even the first one. Not even the first one today. He's here now and I'm there and we're standing outside, in an alley. We're trying to watch each other, but neither one of us knows how to just center our attention. Not that it would matter, though. He's already dead. In more ways than one.
"Slayer." A lone voice calls out.
No one else knows I'm still a slayer. They all think my power disappeared with the magic. There was debate about me being an actual slayer. The less everyone knew, the better. I'm a slayer. Buffy's the SLAYER. All the other girls are nothing now. That's what they prefer to be called.
"You just bought a whole mess of trouble."
Connor's gone. Oz is in Tibet. Cale and Kelly are gone. Doug is gone. Groo is gone. My point is that I'm the only one left. The only one still here, still with me. I'm alone. I'm alone but I'm not outnumbered.
Their last mistake. Their last unbreath. Four vampires, they should have had more. It was too easy. The first two go easy like the dust they are. One stakes takes both of them with one swift hand movement. The other two vampires see this and throw themselves into combat! A roundhouse later, one vampire down. No big fight. Not after Lestat; This was cake compared to that.
I turned to see something that almost took me off my feet.
"I heard about vampires, but..."
Doug awoke in the battle field. Thousands of people lying around. Most of them girls. Most of them young. He took quick notice of the girls and figured out that he knew nothing. He didn't know who he was or how he got there. He didn't know who he was but he felt the world as it was...duller. It was. He didn't know anything, but he could feel the world now. These poor girls. Everyone was retreating and it was after twilight, getting darker by the second.
"Where am I?"
"Sunnydale." One of the girls said, struggling to walk away.
He was confused. This place meant something to him, but he couldn't for the life of him remember what it mean. He was new, that much he knew. He felt important but very disconnected at the moment.
"I don't remember who I am." Doug said decidedly.
I watched him. He was sitting on my couch now and I watched him. Seeing him here and alive was more than I could understand. It had been six months since he died...or we thought he did. He did! I saw it!
"You look concerned." Doug said, "Last thing I remember is Sunnydale."
"Sunnydale? You weren't..."
"Living there." Doug said, "At first, I couldn't remember, but I remember living there and I woke up there...but it's conflicting."
"It's conflicting? Like..."
"I remember it caving in and...I just remembered that you broke my arm." Doug said, standing.
I stood too, "You...remember me?" I asked.
"No. I don't remember your name. Just...your face. A lot."
I smiled. I couldn't contain the smile.
"Sunnydale is where I woke up. But it's been a crater."
"Makes sense because you were magic and then magic was sucked out of this world and the seed was in Sunnydale...Makes sense." I frowned.
"Magic?" Doug asked, "I'm new to this magic stuff."
"No, you're not." I said, "Do you remember Kelly? Connor? Cale? Dawn?"
"They sound familiar." Doug said, "So, we were friends?"
More. We were more. It hadn't been official but I thought we were...
"So, I have been here before." Doug asked.
"Yes, with our group."
"Group?" Doug asked.
"Kelly, Cale...Lestat." I said.
"What are we?" Doug asked.
"I guess we were...starting...I..."
"We must have been some kind of group. Were we slayers? Were we terrorists?" Doug asked.
"No! You were...you were awesome." I said, "I thought you died."
Titan had messed with our memories. Doug was looking into it before magic died. I didn't know what I was going to do.
"Umm, Austin, right?" Doug asked.
"Were we...was there..."
"We were a good group." I said quickly. I stood and walked to the door.
"I meant us. Me and you...were we..." Doug asked.
I paused at the door and looked over to him.
Recently, Buffy let me in on a secret. She said, "That's the thing about changing the world...you really don't."
- - - - - - - - - -
This might be the last chapter. I mean, if I get enough responses, I'll definitely continue, but this might be the last chapter. Thank you if you're reading this, for even reading. If you like this story, write to me at Femtoka2@yahoo.com.
Thank you for reading.