Disclaimer: These are not my characters and this is not my world.

A/N: Written for the Halloween 2016 challenge at Fag Ends for the prompt "The Thrill of the Hunt." Read the Spuffy version there if you're interested.


The cemetery grass kicks up under the heels of Buffy's boots. A headstone rises in her path and she vaults it. The stone is rough and uneven but her hands are calloused and her mind is focused.

The vampire is big, fast, and freshly-risen. He charges through the graveyard, dodging between the headstones and statues, sliding on churned-up dirt.

Buffy caught him on his way out, looking hungry and confused, dirt clinging to his rumpled, dark suit. He'd looked at her, startled, then met her eyes and bolted.

Her blood is pumping. Her breathes are sharp and warm summer air fills her lungs at each rhythmic inhale. There's a pull in her legs and shoulders and a hum in her skin as she gives chase through the night.

Ahead of them, Buffy spots the cemetery walls and the vampire must spot them a moment later, because he pulls up short and spins to attack.

Buffy ducks, tucks her scythe in against her stomach, and rolls beneath the vampire's outstretched arm. On the other side, she springs upwards and throws a punch even as she rises to her feet.

Her fist catches him in the side of the jaw and he stumbles back, snarling and shaking his head with his fangs bared. He catches himself on the side of a headstone and straightens. His hands close around the headstone and, with a little grunt of exertion, he wrenches it from the ground and hurls it at her.

She sidesteps. Her feet move quickly and she raises one arm to guard her face. The headstone hits the ground and shatters beside her. Shards and rocks and rubble go flying, but Buffy is only grazed. She shakes this off and lunges.

The vampire makes a grab for the scythe, catches her swing with two hands and hangs on as she shoves him backwards.

Buffy slams the scythe into his pelvis. He keeps the blade from making contact with his grip, but this fumbles on impact and Buffy yanks sideways, wrenching her weapon out of the vampire's grasp. She kicks and knocks him back again.

The vamp squares his shoulders and she can see his hands readying to claw at her or grab the scythe again.

She raises the scythe, the sharpened wooden end pointed toward her opponent, and the world whittles down to the feel of her palm against the leather grip, the coils of her muscles, and the heated peace that only slaying can bring. The sense of rightness, the sense of doing just exactly what it was that she was built for.

She smiles.

She strikes.

The vampire whirls into dust at her feet.

Buffy brushes the hair from her face and moves on.

It's what she does.