Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy The Vampire Slayer or any of its characters. I only borrow them for my own perverse entertainment.

No Safety in Hiding

Buffy came awake choking on phantom blood.

She'd had nightmares before, sure, but never anything that real. That gruesome. And certainly not herself being killed by a horror movie reject monster.

Her clock said it was just after midnight, but Buffy was not paying it or anything else any attention. She was simply struggling to relearn how to breathe and trying to find a way to get disentangled from her sheets.

Jerking sharply in both barely suppressed panic and not so suppressed irritation, Buffy then froze as she heard the loud and very distinct sound of cloth ripping. She looked down in horror at the torn sheets in her hands, beginning to panic in earnest.

In her dream, she'd been extremely fast and strong, inhumanly so. But she was human. Normal. There was no way this could be happening to her.

Buffy clinched her eyes tightly shut, gripping her pillow to her chest, squeezing for all she was worth. Another sharp ripping sound and Buffy was coated in feathers.

The sobs she'd been holding in, out of sheer determination and stubbornness, tore free from her throat. Panic and distress warred in her mind as she raged internally.

She was normal. The average Valley girl with unhappy, self-absorbed, drink- and argument-happy, avoidy parents. She could not have this happening to her!

If the strength was real, then the dream was real. She would not die at the hands of some great big ugly monster. She was normal.

Normal!

Four hours later, Buffy woke without the aid of her alarm clock (be it electrical or maternal). She swallowed harshly as she observed the mess of her room, but felt steel determination well up in her.

She was normal.

By the time she was brushing her teeth, Buffy's mind had begun to wander back towards the implications. She wasn't crazy. She knew that. But crazy things seemed to be happening to her. Almost supernatural-

Damnit! She was normal!

A crack echoed quietly in the bathroom. Buffy stared at the remains of her toothbrush in disbelief. Even more panic inducing, were the small cuts that were already closing, as if by magic.

No! Buffy thought angrily. I'm normal! No magic. No monsters. And certainly. No. Super. Powers.

The feeling she was now beginning to associate with strange happenings began to well up in her with her rage and panic.

Buffy mentally stomped on it.

She would be normal. No matter what she had to do.

At cheerleading practice Buffy found herself breezing through the new routines with an ease she'd never felt before. Learning and remembering new choreographed dances and cheers had always been relatively easy, but this was like breathing. No effort.

The end of the two hour practice had Buffy hurrying to the showers to hide the fact that she didn't need one even after what she used to call an intense workout.

She squashed down the power she felt rising with her distress. She could not afford to be seen doing something freak-worthy.

Buffy froze with the thought before stomping a mental foot and screeching silently. I AM NORMAL!

If there was one thing she'd learned growing up with parents that only seemed to care when others were looking, repressing made you happier. Because if you don't think on it, you don't worry about it.

And if that didn't work. Fake it.

Hide behind a mask.

She already did that anyways. What was one more thing to hide?

That night Buffy huddled in bed hugging herself. She fought the power. Fought against the urge to climb out her window and hunt.

To find the evil in the world and destroy it.

To kill.

Buffy hugged herself and chanted her mantra –

I'm normal.

– And felt crazier by the second.

It continued that way for another 8 days before he came.

Destiny? Ha! Right. She had a destiny. To fight vampires.

Hear the sarcasm.

Buffy ignored the memory of the dream that started all this.

Vampires didn't exist. He was nuts. Completely loony.

And there! He'd just proved her right. He threw a knife at her. A knife!

But… She'd. Caught. It.

No thought. No effort. Just snatched the knife, that had been flying towards her pretty face, right out of the air.

Buffy swallowed thickly. It was one thing to have these freaky powers she'd been ignoring for the past week.

It was quite another to have someone call you on it. And have a reason for why.

She agreed to meet him at the graveyard. If he was just a crazy old man that had gotten lucky in his guess, she'd have her pepper spray and her not-so-imagined super powers.

She wasn't normal.

She was 15 years old. Blonde, bubbly, top of the social ladder cheerleader. And he said she was supposed to quit school and die before she was 18. Buffy had laughed in his face.

There was no way she was going to be this Slayer.

She didn't want to die.

People died.

When she didn't patrol.

When she did patrol.

It was a fact. A constant. Nothing to change it.

That's why she fought it. Why she would do one half-hearted sweep, ignoring the primal urge to huntfightkill the same way she ignored and squashed the power every time it tried to rise up in her.

She was fifteen years old. She didn't want to die, and being the Slayer meant certain death.

So she wouldn't be it.

She'd kill the vampires she saw, and ignore the rest.

Leave them alone, and they'd leave her alone.

Win, win.

They came after her.

Didn't matter that she was fifteen years old. That she didn't want the power. That she'd been ignoring the power, only learning everything Merrick had been teaching her so he wouldn't nag.

Didn't matter to them.

They came after her and killed people.

People she knew.

Care about.

Loved.

The kiddy gloves came off.

She gave into the power.

Let it whisper to her.

Let it teach her.

She was the Slayer and no monster was safe.

They died. In droves.

No place was safe. No where to hide.

The Slayer hunted.

A/N: This could be canon, could be AU. Hell it could be the prologue to any number of stories. For now though, it's just 'as is'.