Title: So We Meet Again

Author: Jade Hunter

Disclaimer: None of the characters or properties of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed belong to me.

A.N.: This is the answer to #98 at the FFA, Buffy/Christopher Perry Halliwell. I loved him, and was totally pissed when they killed him. Ah, well, better that than a paradox, right? Except, isn't it a paradox already? ::scratches head:: Time travel...tricky thing. Anyway, this is more of a one-sided hero worship more than an actual relationship, and also a little more gushing than I usually like, but, as I said, hero worship. That almost always equals gushing.


"So...you're from the future."


"What's it like?"

Chris snuck a glance at her. It had been pure chance that he'd bumped into her, but a chance he was happy to have. She didn't know him, of course, not like she used to...would have...whatever, but he still knew her, still remembered her.

But they weren't the same, really. The Buffy he remembered had been over twenty years older than him - this one was around the same age as him. The Buffy he remembered had still been beautiful, he recalled that clearly enough, but she had been weary, and her mouth had constantly been set in a grim line - this one was dazzling and smiling, almost as if she had no cares in the world.

Of course, he knew that wasn't true, but...

It suddenly occurred to him that she was waiting for an answer. The image of her lifeless body, carried into the safehouse by devastated Slayers flashed briefly through his mind. The memory of the heavy air of grief that had almost overwhelmed them all only four years ago now threatened to suffocate him, and Chris gripped his snow cone tightly.

"Not nice," he said, with a finality that warned her not to pursue it.

She poked her own snow cone, "That sucks."

"Yeah," he said. Understatement.

"How did you know me?"

Taking a mouthful of the slush to avoid answering the question for just a second long, Chris wondered if she could handle the truth. That his brother Wyatt had declared himself lord and master, and that she and her entire legion of Slayers and Watchers had come forth when the purging had begun. That they had turned the tide, created the Resistance, saved so many lives, and that she had been the symbol of eternal hope, the possibility that even overwhelming odds weren't impossible to conquer.

Until she had died.

After that, people had seemed to give up, one by one. It had been a shock to them all, that their hero was, in reality, quite mortal - probably one of Wyatt's most heaviest blows to the Resistance.

"We fought evil together," Chris answered tensely. No, he shouldn't burden her. If all went well, it wouldn't even happen that way. "Once or twice."

Years that he would never forget. He had been so young, but so adamant against his brother, and when some had protested against his involvement, Buffy and her group had all accepted his claims that he was not a spy.

"Cool," she said.

To hide his emotions, Chris took another pile of snow cone into his mouth, where the ice crystals fused pleasantly with the artificial flavoring and melted on his tongue.

"My mom used to say that was piss-water."

He choked, "What?"

Snuck another glance, from the corner of his eyes, like he would be blinded if he looked at her full on. And maybe he would be. To her last day, she had been a Champion of light; though she had often struggled with personal problems, including dark times, she had always come out on top, always come out stronger. Chris had not been the only youth in the Resistance that had hero worshiped her, and he was sure they had all gone through a massive crushing phase. With time, the romantic designs had changed into a more manageable kind of affection, but it was love all the same, and a part of them would always love her.

A part of him would always love her.

She looked amused, and gestured to her snow cone, "The flavoring they pour on the snow cone to color it. When I was little, I used to always want one, every time we saw a vendor. She tried to dissuade me by telling me it was colored piss-water."

"Oh." He didn't know how to handle the sudden change in topic.

That didn't seem to have lessened her love for snow cones, though, and they both sat there, side by side, snow cones in hand. When the treat was gone, Buffy stood, brushing her pants, and waited expectantly for him to do the same.

Chris thought vaguely that he should probably check up on the sisters, but Buffy interrupted the ruminations by saying, "I want to go ice skating."

He blinked. "O-kay?"

"Do you know how to ice skate?"

He shook his head. There hadn't been time for frivolous things like that, after...

She shrugged, like it was no big deal, "Well, I'll teach you."

"Okay," Chris said.

She smiled, took his hand in hers. It was winter, and indulging in the snow cones had freezed up both their hands. It was a moment of cold hand meeting cold hand, and there was that deceptive feeling of heat before the realization that it was, in fact, the opposite feeling, set in.

Confidently, she pulled him in a (to him) random direction, and Chris followed, completely trusting the tiny blonde who still blazed in all her glory.