Chapter 1: Introductions
Timeline: One year after Season 7; Post-Rent
Buffy made her way through the graveyard that she managed to stumble across. It was her first time in New York and she was still trying to get a feel for everything. Even though she had only been in the city for a few days, she had expected to find some sort of a demonic hotspot by now. All the trouble she read about couldn't be from normal people, could it?
She shook her head at the thought. There had to be something else around here. Sure, a lot of the crime went to muggings and drug abuse, but she'd read about some mysterious neck traumas. A laugh escaped her as she thought about the terminology. When would people be able to see what was right in front of them? 'They're too busy making up more believable explanations.'
She twirled the wooden stake in her hand with ease as she looked at the passing tombstones. After walking by a few more graves, she gave out a sigh. 'Well, this seems on the up and up. Its good to see that some people have decided to stay dead.'
A cold breeze filled the surrounding air, and Buffy pulled her coat a bit tighter. This weather almost made her miss Sunnyhell. Almost.
After the Hellmouth had closed, she found herself moving from place to place often. As much as she complained about never having a normal life, never having a choice, she felt at home fighting the good fight. Even with the new army of slayers, she couldn't just go back to being normal. It didn't feel right.
She knew that from experience. Once Giles mentioned about the Hellmouth in Cleveland, a part of her backed away. It wasn't time to jump into another war; she just finished one. But her break was short lived due to boredom. She found herself in Cleveland in less than a month.
'What a joke that was.' Upon arrival, Buffy knew that place would never be what Sunnydale was. Demon activity was beyond non-existent. Part of her was glad about that. Nobody should have to deal with all the stuff that happened in Sunnydale. The other part of her knew she couldn't stay there long. She'd get bored and move.
And move she did, right into the heart of New York. 'Alphabet city, what a fun place.' Buffy couldn't believe the living conditions in this area, but it was cheap and the best place to look for anything mysterious and unexplainable. Even with the horrible environment, New York was still better than Cleveland. 'That place was about as interesting as Andrew talking about… Well just Andrew talking.'
She was about to give up for the night when she spotted a camera that was lying on the path. "Speaking of Andrew."
Her voice stirred the attention of a man sitting by a nearby grave. 'Obviously the owner of the camera.' She gave him an apologetic look. "I'm sorry, I didn't think anybody would be out here this late."
He gave her a small smile in return. Buffy picked up the camera and handed it to him as she took a seat on the ground. "Maybe you shouldn't leave this in the middle of the path."
"I didn't think anybody would be out here this late."
His grin widened and Buffy took the time to look over the man. He had short blond hair, piercing blue eyes that seemed to be hiding behind thick black glasses, and a small frame. Overall, it gave him a dorky appearance, but it worked for him. She could easily describe him as cute. 'And that goofy smile…'
She shook the thought out of her head, bringing her back to the here and now. "I'm Buffy Summers."
The two sat in silence for a while. "A friend of yours?"
Mark took a moment before he answered, keeping his eyes on the grave. "She was family."
Buffy nodded. She knew what it was like to deal with a loss like this. She wished she didn't, but that's life. A dim light appeared on the ground and Buffy looked up to see the Sun appearing on the horizon. She must have spent more time out tonight than she thought.
Her gaze then went to Mark. She just met him, but a connection had already formed in her mind. Loss could do that; it pulls people together. 'Maybe that's its purpose.'
"Common, let's get some breakfast. My treat." She stood up and offered her hand to Mark. The smile came back on his face.
'I think that smile could grow on me. It actually makes him look quite good. Wait, bad Buffy. You don't even know him.'
'Maybe that will change.'
A/N: I realize the times with Buffy and Rent wouldn't coincide, but hey, give me a break – I just love both stories. I thought it would be nice to have more FanFictions with them together. Just go with me here.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. And I'm broke. If you sue, you wouldn't get anything.