This is a BtVS story, for once not a crossover, a sequel to a Season 1 episode. It's set some time in early season seven, before the Potentials start to arrive in Sunnydale. There will probably be spoilers for earlier seasons. Work in progress.

All characters are the intellectual property of their respective creators, film companies, etc.; this story may not be sold or distributed on a profit-making basis.

I'm British, so's my spelling. Live with it.


By Marcus L. Rowland


So I'm in heaven, or limbo, or whatever the hell you want to call it, and I realise something.

It's boring.

Boring in a good way, I guess, everything's nice and loving and peaceful and all the rest of that stuff, but kinda... bland, I guess you'd call it. Most of the guys and girls from my generation are long gone, evolved into higher beings or reincarnated or whatever, I'm left with the retards and people young enough to be my grandkids. All good, all wonderful people, don't get me wrong, but not exactly my types, and they act like wanting a cigar or a slug of decent liquor is kinda... evil, I guess.

So, to cut a long story short, I guess the Powers That Be realised I wasn't quite as ecstatic as I should have been. So they decided to make me an offer I couldn't refuse. They send me back to Earth for a while, I run a few errands, I go back and maybe I'll get to ascend or whatever a little faster. It sounded too good to be true.

Next time I look at the small print.

* * * * *

So where the hell am I?

Lying on my back. In the dark. In some sort of box. Coffin? No, the wood feels way too rough. Just some sort of box, maybe a packing crate. I feel kind of odd. Alive, but not alive in a human sort of way. Am I breathing? Nope. Do I have a heartbeat? Nope again. This can't be good. Somehow I know I've already been screwed.

I put my hands up to push against the lid, and realise that I'm feeling really stiff. As stiff as any stiff that ever rose from the grave, and then some. Not pleasant, but unfortunately not entirely unfamiliar. The cheap bastards haven't even given me a new body!

Okay, so nothing to be gained by crying over spilled booze, not that I can cry anyway. Even like this I'm strong, and it doesn't take long to punch my way through the wood at the end of the box. It's rotting, and I suppose I'm lucky that it didn't collapse or fill with bugs. Maybe the Powers were protecting my body, they're tricky that way and might have realised I'd be needing it.

Needless to say the box is buried. The earth is dry, fortunately, and doesn't feel like it's packed too badly, so it only takes me a couple of hours to dig myself out. I come up on a little patch of lawn at the back of a house. If they were bothered by gophers, wait until they get a look at the mess I've just made.

I have a feeling that I won't have to look far for the dame I'm after, and I'm right. There's an old packing crate on the back porch, half-full of logs, and a torn label on it reads "Joyce Summers, 1630 Rovello Drive". Must be the Slayer's mom. Hope she hasn't got a heart condition.

As the sun starts to rise I get a piece of wood and rap on the door, then decide I'd better play it cool until I'm with the Slayer. So I sit down and wait.

Three or four minutes later a kid in furry slippers opens the door, looking around kind of nervous. I notice she takes care not to step out until she's sure nobody is lurking there. She's young, about the same age as the Slayer the last time I saw her, and she's cute, really cute. Limber... Nubile... It's all I can do not to give her a wolf whistle.

She notices me, eventually, and reaches down to pick me up. Holds me up, in a kind of interesting position. She takes a look at me, and I get a good look at her cleavage. Hubba hubba.

Behind her I hear the Slayer say "What is it, Dawn?"

She turns and says "Look, Buffy, someone's left an old ventriloquist's dummy on the back porch."

My cue to turn my head, wriggle my eyebrows and say "Hiya toots. It's me, Sid. I'm back."

Of course the kid drops me on my head. Good thing it's made of wood.

To Be Continued