Seeing White

A Buffyverse fanfic by Sisiutil


Joss and ME own the characters, I'm just playing with them. This story isn't all that original--it's inspired by an idea Joss Whedon said he had but was unable to accomplish. Thought I'd take a whack at it. I'm just crazy that way.


Part 1: Summoned

"So, who's up for more vid action?"

Willow and Buffy both made a sound that was somewhere in between a groan and a sigh in response to Xander's suggestion. They'd been watching videos in Buffy's apartment in Rome for the past five hours. The three friends were half-way through a month-long visit. They hadn't seen each other in nearly a year, but Xander had just returned from touring Africa, and Willow had come back from Brazil. Buffy had been overjoyed to see her friends and show them around her new city. But the Italian spring weather had turned inclement, and they'd fallen back on old, favorite pastimes.

"Oh, come on!" Xander chided them as he rose from the couch and walked over the DVD player. "Three movies is nothing! When we were in our prime, we could do this for days!"

"What can I say," Willow said. "I'm no longer in my prime. I'm strictly into divisible numbers now."

"Could you save the math humor for your really geeky chums?" Buffy teased her best friend.

"None geekier than those present," Willow shot back. "And I know some knock-knock jokes based on Foucault's theorems that'll make ya bust a gut."

"Xander. Movie. Hurry!" Buffy pleaded with mock desperation, earning a giggle from Willow.

"Comin' right up! Y'know, I hear the director's commentary for Bad Boys II is extraordinarily insightful and provocative, so I think we're all in for a real treat," Xander said as he popped a DVD into the player's open drawer. "Besides, what else would three winners like us be doing in the most romantic city in the world on a Saturday night?" he added with just a hint of bitterness in his voice.

Buffy laughed softly, with a touch of Xander's cynicism infecting her laughter. Xander has a point, she thought as she glanced at her two oldest and closest friends. Xander hadn't dated anyone since Anya's death; Buffy suspected her loss had hurt him far more deeply than he let on. He'd turn his eye-patch side towards Buffy if the subject of Anya ever came up, making it that much harder for her to read his expression. Willow, for her part, had come back from Brazil with the sad news that she and Kennedy had broken up. "Too much tension," Willow had said succinctly, "too soon after..." and her voice had trailed off, as it always did if the subject of Tara got anywhere near being broached. As for Buffy herself, she had grown tired of the Immortal and had parted ways with him; it wasn't easy being around someone who was so goddamned perfect all the time. And Angel and Spike? Too painful to even contemplate, let alone discuss.

So here they were, the three of them, having parted company with all their lovers one way or another, mostly tragically. "We're all doomed," Buffy had joked about their romantic aspirations all those years ago in high school. They'd laughed then. Just before they'd gotten really depressed. And here they were still, the three of them, clinging together like the shipwrecked survivors of the good ship Romance, tossed in their tiny lifeboat on a merciless sea of heartbreak...

"Hey," Willow said softly to Buffy.

"What?" the vampire slayer responded.

"You've got that look," her friend said. "You know, the one that means you're thinking of really depressing and overwrought metaphors for the current state of your love life."

"I am not!" Buffy objected and shifted her slender body uncomfortably on the couch.

"You are too!" Xander chided her as he sat down beside her. "And don't go there, because I'd much rather listen to Michael Bay pretending this piece of crap he foisted on an unsuspecting world is Citizen Kane than sit here playing who-had-the-biggest-heartbreak with you two champs."

"Well you started..." Buffy started to retort.

But she was cut off when suddenly as a bright white light erupted in the living room, accompanied by a clap of mystical thunder. A powerful gust of wind blasted them in the face and threw popcorn kernels, napkins, and other debris around the room. The three friends raised their arms instinctively as the light swirled and expanded, growing in height and width in front of them. Gradually, a glowing white figure could be discerned in the roiling, rumbling vortex of light.

"Who's that?!" Xander shouted above the roaring din. "Gandalf the White?!"

"Not the way our luck runs!" Buffy shouted back.

"BUFFY ANNE SUMMERS."

The voice that emerged from the vortex was decidedly feminine, but low and majestic, like that of a really formidable high school English teacher. It echoed within the small room.

"Never a good thing when they use all your names," Buffy muttered ruefully as she clung to the couch and squinted into the light and wind.

"VAMPIRE SLAYER," the voice continued. "YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE. I AM THE EMISSARY. YOU HAVE BEEN SUMMONED."

They could just make out the figure now, though it was surrounded by a nearly-blinding bright light. Definitely female, slender, with white hair, though the face appeared pale and ageless, with piercing blue eyes. The entity was dressed in a long, loose, pure white gown.

"Summoned?!" Buffy shouted back as she pushed herself up off the couch--not an easy task in the face of the howling wind the vortex had created. She stood unsteadily and glanced at Willow, but the red-headed witch only shrugged and shook her head. "Summoned for what? Jury duty in hell? 'Cause I'm sure I can come up with a reason..."

"DO NOT MENTION THAT NAME IN OUR PRESENCE." The female commanded. She held out one hand towards Buffy. "YOU WILL COME," she said. It definitely wasn't a request.

"Hey, no offense," Buffy said dubiously, "but I'm not the evil-fighting gal in the room who swings..."

Before she could finish, the female figure stepped forward and with amazing speed that even the vampire slayer could not match, grabbed Buffy's wrist. In the blink of an eye, Buffy vanished, as did the female entity and the vortex that had brought her. The wind died, and in a heartbeat, as one, Xander and Willow both sprang up from the couch. But they could only stare, dumbfounded, at the alarmingly empty spot on the floor where Buffy had been standing only moments before.

A moment later, the door to the apartment opened and Dawn walked into the living room, dressed in a red V-neck t-shirt, black leather jacket, and blue jeans. She glanced nonchalantly at her sister's two best friends.

"Hey guys," she said. "Another thrilling Saturday night in the Summers home, I see." Dawn was on her way to the kitchen when something struck her as odd. She stopped and looked around. "Hey, where's Buffy?" she asked Willow and Xander. The duo were standing stock still and staring, as if hypnotized, at a spot on the floor. "What," Dawn asked, a mocking smile appearing on her youthful features, "did she get sucked into some dimensional portal or something? Again?" She laughed derisively at her own remark.

Xander and Willow slowly looked up from the floor, their mouths agape, and stared at Dawn, neither of them certain what to tell her. For her part, the teenager gathered from their expressions that what she had just facetiously described was, in fact, what had indeed happened. The smile disappeared from Dawn's face. She stared at Willow and Xander for a moment, then sighed in exasperation and rolled her eyes.

"She is such a drama queen," Dawn declared as she crossed her arms.

To be continued...