All right, so it's back. Changed, but back. And I still don't own BTVS or LOTR, as much as I'd like to be able to claim them. They are the works of other creative geniuses. And I'm not entirely certain that's a word. Anyway... here ya go.

Prelude

She reached out towards the weapon before her—an ax-like blade attached to a long handle, the Scythe was beautifully elegant in a deadly way. The blade shimmered, the silver and red casting back the faint light as the blackened edge of the blade swallowed it. The shaft was of a silver metal, wrapped partially in thick leather for a better grip, and tipped with a wicked wooden stake.

The moment her hand closed around the shaft and the weapon easily came free of the stone, she just knew. It was hers—hers in a way that no other weapon had been, an extension of the self of the Slayer. This—this was something that perfectly complimented her own mission, long ago forged with indestructable magics to kill the Demons, even to the Old Ones themselves, when in the right hands.

And hers were the right hands.

"Hey, Kid."

The all-too-familiar voice caused her to spin, raising the deadly weapon defensively even though she knew it wouldn't be needed.

"Whistler," she all but spat in return. She didn't need this—not now. Not after… everything.

"Look, Kid…"

xxxx

Buffy wanted to deny it, but she knew in her heart it was true. All of it.

The First was here because of her.

And this time, there would be no going back.

"For what it's worth, Kid… I'm sorry."