Disclaimer: The characters and world are not my property.
A/N: A fill for Classics_Lover who prompted on Comment_Fic, "Character A is taken and replaced (with idk a robot or a hologram or a pod person?)and Character B instantly knows that not!A is not actually A because the smell is wrong."
Buffy is sitting on the sofa, a bandage tied tightly around her neck. Her hands are in her lap, and she faces straight ahead, staring at the back of Willow's laptop.
She smells of plastic and burn metal. Silicon and synthetic hair.
Buffy is in the shed out back. Willow told Angel this on the drive back to Sunnydale. She is in the shed in the back, her body broken and her soul gone, waiting for Xander to produce the coffin so they can bury her. Willow told him about that too.
She didn't tell him this.
Dawn shuffles down the stairs and immediately buries her face in his coat, pressing her nose against his chest without looking once toward the living room.
He raises his arm, rests his hand on her shoulder. He can't believe how tall she is.
"I hate it," Dawn says. "Willow's gonna make it patrol. Like nothing happened."
Angel hates it too. Deep in his gut, got-to-get-away hates it. But he can't look away. It's Buffy.
"Make sure they put some perfume on it."