Title: Mountain Laurel and Lilacs

Author: mistymidnight

Rating: PG as of now

Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't even own the idea for this fic. Joss Whedon mentioned that it was a possible plot line for season seven. He also owns the characters (that lucky duck!)

Spoilers/Timeline: Duh…season seven? (I'm probably gonna make it an alternate season, so expect it to go off canon.) Pre-Potentials. Look, Ma! A Potential-free season seven!

Summary: If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?

Author's Note: First off, for those of you who are wondering, this story has nothing to do with mountain laurels and lilacs. However, all she be explained. (Ooh! Mysterious!)

Second—I'm taking a break from "Nonsense" and "Willow Rosenberg, Child Psychologist" to take on a new project. Yes, there a zillion other things I should be doing right now: updating my site, writing my episodes for Virtual Slayer, making video promos for said episodes…but I'm doing this. You should all feel very lucky.

Also, I'm taking time off from my busy rehearsal schedule for Our Town. We open December 3. This means I have a crazy rehearsal schedule. I barely sped any time chilling out any more. So if you're impatiently waiting for me to update a fic, I'm sorry. If it's any consolation, I'm impatiently waiting for an opportunity to update.

Prologue

It had just been another routine slaying. Big demon, a couple vampires, the norm.

So how come Buffy Summers was suddenly stuck with all this responsibility?

"Most people wouldn't complain," Dawn had pointed out. "A life-altering wish? Only you could find something wrong with that."

Buffy had glared at her sister, but now she was sitting upstairs in her room, staring at the wall, thinking.

If only I had given more thought to all those stupid 'If I Could Change One Thing About My Life' essays from high school.

The possibilities were endless. She could make Angel's soul permenant. She could bring her mother back. She could bring Tara back. In fact, she had a whole laundry list of people she could bring back: Jenny Calendar, Kendra, and what seemed like hundreds of others. And then there was the stereotypical "if I had three wishes" stuff: a million dollar, a house in Malibu, a pony farm, fame, fortune, the whole nine yards.

Could she wish away her Slayer-dom?

I'm not even sure I'd want to, she thought desolately, stroking Mr. Gordo's pink piggy fur as she absently danced him on the bedspread. I am the Slayer. It'd be like wishing myself away.

Maybe I don't even want this wish. We all know how wishes can go bad. But there's just so much I can do. I could solve all Xander and Anya's problems just by saying a few words. I could bring back Cassie. I couldn't save her then, but I could save her now. I could go back to Heaven. I could…I don't know.

"It's overwhelming," she said to Mr. Gordo, whose stuffed piggy eyes shined with stuffed piggy sympathy. "You don't know what it's like."

"I guess not," said a voice from the doorway. Buffy looked up and saw Willow leaning against the doorframe. "The possibilities…"

"Yeah." Buffy motioned for Willow to come in and pushed over so Willow could sit next to her on the bed. The redhead closed the door softly and plopped down on the bed next to her best friend.

"What would you wish for?" Buffy asked.

"Oh, no, don't go there." Willow smiled a smile tinged with sadness. "This is your wish, Miss Finally-Gets-Rewarded-For-Saving-The-World. I can't influence your decision."

"Why not?"

"'Cause it wouldn't be right."

"So?"

Willow smiled again. "Buffy, this is your choice. If some higher power wanted me to decide your life-altering wish or whatever, they would have just given it directly to me."

"I guess." Buffy absently danced Mr. Gordo across her knees. "It's just…it's so confusing. I'm afraid I'll make a decision and regret it." She glanced at Willow. "Do you think wishes come with free trial periods?"

"Doubt it. But I'm sure you'll choose right," Willow said. "I'm sure."


The following day was surprisingly uneventful. Saturday. Dawn slept in, Willow went grocery shopping, Xander went to work, and Buffy sat in front of the television watching cartoons, bleary eyed from staying up all night thinking. She needed to do something mindless, and cartoons were the answer. Nothing serious ever really happened in cartoons. People didn't die. Well, good people didn't die.

By noon or so, Buffy had fallen asleep on the couch. She didn't see Dawn come downstairs and turn the television off, didn't see her clean up the half-eaten bowl of Rice Krispies. In fact, Buffy slept straight through the day, not waking up until evening. And by then, she knew what she was going to do.


Dun-dun-DUN! What is Buffy going to do?

I hardly think this is my best work, but I liked the idea and had to get it out of my system. Review, please! Love it, hate it, let me know.

mistymidnight