Author: TombCrank the Crafty

Summary: Buffy's dead and our favorite Grim Reaper's there to greet her. (Again.) A "20 Minutes with Buffy" Challenge Response.

Disclaimer: I own neither Buffy nor Botan. I wish I did, but I don't.

Distribution: Twisting the Hellmouth.


Started at 5:04.

"We've been expecting you, Buffy." A blue-haired girl came to stand next to the Slayer.

Buffy smiled thinly, her eyes not leaving the sight of her broken and beaten body. "I assume that this time is for good, Botan. I'm not sure I could handle a fourth chance at life. Three deaths and two resurrections is just fine, thanks."

"Yes, well, congratulations. You're now the current record-holder for the most deaths." Botan fiddled with her oar. "Yusuke's going to throw a fit when he hears he's lost his title. That damn boy's proud of his two deaths. And now he's going to be an idiot and try for three."

"I wasn't aware that there was someone else out there like me," Buffy started, finally turning to the Grim Reaper.

"Oh, you'd be surprised. There's a nasty old wizard in England who just won't end existence and a few Immortals running around (they wreak havoc on the system, let me tell you), and, of course, the Scooby Gang. I'm constantly amazed that you lot have survived as long as you have."

Buffy nodded and turned back to her body, the look on her face introspective. "… I always knew I'd go out with a fight." She stated matter-of-factly. "Dying in my sleep at the advanced age of a hundred with scores of grandkids nearby really isn't the fate of a Slayer. We, as a whole, lead nasty, brutishly short lives. Yet I've been the longest-lived slayer for so long that I almost thought I broke the curse. And then this," she concluded with a sigh. "I mean, really, I loved that blouse! I told people I wanted to be buried in that shirt. And now I've gone and gotten blood and demon guts on it and believe me, that does not come out." Buffy scowled, before brightening. "At least I'll get to wear it in Heaven." She smoothed her blue shirt, which was free of blood and dirt.

Botan smiled. "That's the spirit. All too often people are so nasty and whiny when they die that my job is such a pain. But you, Buffy, are quite possibly the nicest pick-up I've had in decades."

"See? Multiple deaths do have their pluses." Buffy noted with a smile.

"I'll have to pass that on to my supervisors."

"What, like God?"

Botan shifted. "Sort of."

"Hey, does this mean that I finally get to see the rest of the afterlife? Last time was kind of boring; all I did was play poker with a bunch of ogres in an office building. I think I'm entitled to see the halos and my Mom now."

"Yes, and Koemna loved that his entire workforce was obsessed in trying to beat you at that dratted game." Botan muttered underneath her breath, rolling her eyes. "Oh, yes, you will finally move on to the afterlife. I can't tell you where you'll end up," here she caught Buffy's eye and they laughed. "As if there was any doubt. By the way, your mother is ecstatic to learn that you're joining her, as are a few others."

"Cool." Buffy nodded happily. "Let's get this show on the road, Grim." Buffy smiled as Botan let her oar float in mid-air, before jumping on behind the bubbly guide to the afterlife.

As the oar rocketed off to Reikai, Buffy let out an exuberant whoop, followed by joyous laughter. "I'm finally dead!"

Finished at 5:24.


Author's Notes: I have to admit it amuses me to think that Buffy hung out with the Reikai office staff during her stint in the afterlife. Buffy and Botan would get along well, I think. And she would really bug Koemna, not to mention most of the Tantei. I might explore this angle later on. Hmm…

-TombCrank the Crafty