Title: Marching On
Author: Celyia (ladycelyia@aol.com)
Spoilers: Season 5 after "The Body"
Rating: PG
Content: Angst
Disclaimer: They are Joss's! All Joss's!
Note: I wrote this baby in a rush. Its just a little thought I had.
Feedback: Please! :-) I know this is a bit different and I'm ultra curious as to your take on it!



Marching On

She sat quietly, the fingers of starlight caressing the soft planes of her cheek. The night seemed to swallow her petite figure in its overbearing embrace, oblivious to the pretty hazel eyes, reddened, which stare dully ahead.

The screaming meant nothing to her. Within mere hours, it had gone from a terrifying adrenalin rush to just another one of the background noises whispering in the din of night. The screaming meant nothing anymore and that little truth confused the hell out of her. This just wasn't what she expected.

Nothing was.

Buffy looked down at the body of her first victim, her nose wrinkling as the coppery aroma of blood filled her senses. Her body, still and hard as the porcelain cherub perched over their heads, moved only once as she repositioned the bald head of the elderly man so he could sleep comfortably in her lap. But the terror frozen on his face mildly irritated her, for it seemed that even in his eternal slumber, he could feel more than she ever could.

At this point, she would have welcomed even a monstrous joy at the kill as much as she would have welcomed dismay, but neither emotion came. For now, it seemed her heart was as dead as her body.

Almost reverently, she kissed the security guard's pallid, waxy forehead and gently, very gently, pushed him off her lap.

She had murdered tonight and she didn't care. She could hear the screaming in the distance, but that affected her no more than the blood on her hands and lips. The human race, although she held no true hostility for them, meant nothing to her anymore. She had given her life to try to save theirs but now when the ashes had fallen, she wondered why she had bothered.

They were all doomed anyway. It's not like *they* cared what happened, so why had she? Why die for a people who seemed to think nothing of blowing each other away for religion or politics or twenty fucking bucks? Why die for a people doomed by a greed which filled whitening skies with poisonous fumes they all would end up breathing? Why die for them when they seemed to be so set on death anyway?

With a frown, she gazed down at the corpse and his unseeing eyes.

Funny thing was that her eyes were dead too, but now they seemed to see so much more than they ever could. But even that seemed worthless now she couldn't feel.

The screams seem to sing to her now, the passionate melody rising and falling with the human's panicked breaths.

She could probably ask Willow for her soul back, but the idea was repellent and wouldn't guarantee that she'd get her feelings back either.

Willow.

For the first time since she had arisen from the damp, itchy grass, Buffy Summers smiled.

Sweet Willow with her goofy smiles and big, doe eyes and the almost magical ability to see the good in everyone, even a godforsaken vampire.

Or Xander. Xander and his unique perspective which never failed to lift her spirits when she needed it most.

Giles and his endearingly uptight ways and well of love he tried so hard to hide from her.

Dawn. The child who wasn't her sister but who had somehow become a part of her when she hadn't been looking. Dawn. Who was now completely alone in the world now that her mother and sister had passed within a month of each other.

Buffy frowned as she considered the thought. Her very own father had left them alone, not even caring enough to find out that Joyce had died. But one day, he would come back here... probably to steal back the child he had never known. And when he did, Buffy would be waiting.

She giggled at the thought. If she did it right, she could scare the hell out of him first. Maybe if he brought back the slut with him, she could lay his lover's broken body right at his feet. Watch his face as he screams, as he realises that he's next. And that his very own daughter is the one who will steal his life from him.

Purring contentedly, she rose to her feet, only to pause to wonder why she had fought against this destiny for so long.

She could do so much more now. Feelings? Oh, hell, she still had feelings because now they were hitting her harder now more than ever. Passion. She had been a fool to think that she wouldn't feel this, that passion would be dead. It was better now, almost as if the impurities and doubts had died with her soul.

God.

The realisation was so beautiful, so heartbreaking that she began to weep. She'd do anything for her sister, for her friends. Even now. Especially now. She *loved* them and vowed nothing would ever hurt them again. Nothing.

The screams echoed in her head, the plantive cacophany impossible to ignore. With a slight smile curving her lips, she looked long and hard in that direction.

With a fluid movement, she picked up the stake from where her human-self had dropped it just hours before. With the grace of a panther, she started stalking towards the source of the noise.

She still didn't care and she suspected she never would. But this... this was for them. Because they would want her to march on, to continue her duties. Because every vampire she staked now ensured that it would be one less menace for them to deal with tomorrow. She'd keep them safe and if it meant murdering every last vampire on the face of the earth, she'd do it.

Buffy Summers had died for them... and tonight? tonight she'd kill for them, too.