Clean - Kennedy

Bare feet against cold tile. Kennedy crosses her arms over her bare chest and shivers, water droplets running down her forehead and into her eyes. She looks up and into the mirror. Her face has a long cut down the left side. It went down her temple, stopped at her eye, then continued down her cheek. There is a bruise bisected with a small cut on her jaw. She les her arms drop and tilts her head, studying the rest of her reflection. Bruises mar the skin at her throat and her collarbone is probably fractured. She blinks more rainwater out of her eyes. Rainwater tinted red. Her blood, Amanda's blood, Buffy's blood. She runs a hand through her hair, wincing as pain shoots through her midsection. Broken ribs.

She turns on the water in the bath tub until it's scalding hot, then turns on the shower. She holds her breath and steps under the spray, but she gasps at the heat anyway. The water runs off red, and dirt goes down the drain, off her arms and feet. Her ribs are throbbing and she feels like she's about to faint under the pressure and heat of the water. The soap is hard to hold onto but she gets some of it onto a washcloth and scrubs away at the dirt. The blood that's caking under her nails, on her skin, in her hair. Kennedy tries to scrub away their faces.

Amanda with her thin face and wide, innocent eyes, crumpled at the base of some headstone in some sick parody of mourning, her hair tangled and covered with dirt and blood. Eve with her pretty face so mangled, so covered in blood and bruises she's hardly recognizable. Buffy, so still...still alive, her eyes are open, she's trying to say something and Dawn is kneeling by her. And Chloe...hanging, swinging, maybe she had the right idea...

She scrubs until it hurts, then stands, leaning against the wall of the shower for support. She takes in air in gasps and gulps, her own tears hotter than the shower spray as he body shakes with sobs and her ribs are jarred over and over.

Kennedy gets her breathing under some sort of control and turns off the water. She forces herself to step out of the shower before she can slide down the wall and into a ball in the tub. She dries off slowly, her skin tender from the water and the scrubbing. She wraps her ribs in gauze she finds in the cabinet--Slayer's house, of course it's well stocked--and changes into her clothes. She can hear the rain still falling outside, having started as Buffy's body fell from some invisible grip. The end of one generation, the beginning of another. Kennedy's generation, apparently. She opens the door, hits the lights, and heads downstairs.

And welcomes herself to her brand new life.