Word Count: 350, a triple drabble and a half.
Spoilers: End of Season 5, beginning of Season 6.
Summary: Buffy sacrificed herself willingly, but her friends wouldn’t let her rest in peace.
Content Notes: Canon character death and resurrection.
Written For: Challenge 279: Amnesty at fan_flashworks, using Challenge 38: The Other Side.
Disclaimer: I don’t own BtVS, or the characters; they belong to the great Joss Whedon.
Buffy made her sacrifice willingly, giving her life so that the young girl she’d grown to love as her sister could have the life she deserved. It was the right thing to do. Her own death wouldn’t be the end of the fight against vampires and demons. One Slayer died, another was called, and Buffy’s replacement, her successor, was already in the world from her previous death. First there’d been Kendra, then there’d been Faith, and when Faith fell there would be another… The forces of darkness could never hope to win.
She wasn’t afraid of dying; in some ways she’d been preparing for her death since the first time she’d faced a vampire. Slayers lived short, intense lives and died young; she’d already cheated death so many times, but it was always bound to catch up to her. That was okay; she was ready.
What she wasn’t prepared for was what came after she crossed to the other side. If she’d expected anything, it was that she’d cease to exist; her duty done her life would simply end and that would be it, no more Buffy Summers, but instead…
She’d found peace, and warmth, and contentment, a sense that her work was over and she could rest, surrounded by those who loved her. That was her reward and she’d been happy, drifting in what must surely have been heaven, no pain, no fear, and no regrets.
It should have been her eternity, but it hadn’t lasted. Her well-meaning friends, believing they were saving her from Hell, had dragged her back to this harsh, too-bright world full of sharp edges, disorienting physical sensations, and raw emotions.
It’s too much for her to bear, and yet there’s no escape; she’s trapped in life as she never was in death, constrained by her body, tortured by her senses. She feels brittle, as if she might shatter at the lightest touch.
She doesn’t belong in this place; it’s not her home, not anymore. She already served her time, but there’s no way for her to regain what she’s lost.
Being alive is torture.