AUTHOR'S NOTE In honor of New Moon being released in theaters yesterday, I figured I'd start posting my new story – I just had to cross Buffy and Twilight.
DISCLAIMER I own nothing from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Twilight.
She was wandering through a graveyard.
It wasn't unusual. After all, there was a reason that she had once described herself as "she who hangs out a lot in cemeteries." But this was not anywhere that she had been before. She frowned. Most cemeteries looked the same to her, but this one was different.
For one thing, it was old and neglected. Most graveyards that she saw were better tended to. A large silent brick building stood crumbling behind the sparse headstones. Her eyes fell on one hidden in the shadows and she walked slowly toward it.
The inscription was hard to read in the failing light, but her eyes had never had any trouble with the dark. "Mary Alice Brandon," it read," 1901 – 1920."
The instant that she saw the name the scenery around her changed. She was in a dense pin forest, near a large outcropping of rocks. A rough cross was deeply embedded in the ground by her feet. Carved into the wood was the name "Emmett McCarty."
Again, she found herself in a new place. A towering stone monument stood before her, topped by a bronze Confederate soldier. One name, Jasper Whitlock, stood out from the sea of names under the heading, "Missing In Action."
She groaned as the landscape changed again. A family mausoleum – now this was more what she was used to. She raised an appraising eyebrow. A very rich family mausoleum.
The door was open, so she walked slowly inside. Something to her right caught her attention. Unable to help herself, she ran her hand over the inscription – "Rosalie Lillian Hale 1915 – 1933."
This time, she was prepared for the spinning, changing locale, but it didn't aggravate her any less. She was in a small, fenced-in family plow. Just like before, she quickly found the grave she was looking for.
It was another woman, Esme Anne Platt Evenson. She was born in 1895, died in 1921. And once again, it all disappeared.
"Enough already," she muttered to herself.
The skyline of Chicago was barely visible over the bright lights of the hospital behind the small cemetery. She had always wondered what happened to patients who died without any family.
There was a whole section of headstones marked 1918. Three of them jumped out at her – Edward, Elizabeth, and Edward Anthony Masen.
The swirling scenery was beginning to make her nauseous. She heard the tolling of Big Ben before she could see where she was. For a minute, she thought she was awake.
Then she saw the vague outline of a church in the mist – somewhere that she was sure she had never seen before. There was a statue, but she couldn't quite see what it was. As she took a step toward it, she felt icy fingers warp around her arm.
Buffy sat up in bed with a sharp gasp. She looked around the room wildly for a minute, trying to figure out where she was. Then she took a deep breath and remembered that she was in a borrowed room in London.
She swung her legs out of bed and walked quietly to the bay window that looked out over the city. The house technically belonged to the Watcher's Council, but now that Giles was in charge, he could allocate the Council's resources as he saw fit.
He still hadn't told them why he had called them all to London. She suspected that Giles was secretly lonely without them. Whatever the reason, it was nice to have Willow, Xander, Dawn, and Faith all with her again.
Dawn, to her delight, had been given her own room. Willow and Xander shared another, leaving Buffy and Faith to share a third.
Once upon a time, that combination would have quickly ended in disaster. Now, the unique status of being the two true Slayers had led to them becoming not only close allies, but real friends.
Faith was sprawled out across her double bed, apparently still asleep. Buffy figured that sitting by the window wouldn't bother the other woman, but a moment later, she heard, "You okay, B?"
She nodded and turned to look at Faith blinking blearily. "Yeah. Bad dream, that's all."
Faith was wide awake now. "Slayer dream?"
Buffy shrugged. "I got chauffeured around to seven different graves. Nothing really out of the ordinary, I guess."
With a wry laugh, Faith said, "How creep is it that dreaming about dead people is normal for us?"
"Yeah, right." Buffy turned back to the window. The sun was just below the horizon, the pre-dawn glow making the fog shimmer pale orange. She narrowed her eyes as something to the south caught her attention. Abruptly, she stood up. "I'll be back in a while."
"You want me to come with?"
Buffy looked at Faith and saw that there was concern there. She smiled, hoping that it was reassuring. "No, it's fine. Just want to take a walk. I'll be back before you get up."
Faith stretched and yawned. "Not likely. My body's all screwed up – it's got no idea what time zone it's in."
"Well I won't be long." Buffy let the door fall closed behind her and smirked when she heard Faith start snoring lightly almost immediately.
London was a quiet city before dawn. There was little vampire activity overall and the early morning calm was peaceful. Buffy turned south, going slowly and enjoying her walk.
The old churchyard was closer to the Council house than she had expected. Here in real life, the steeple was much easier to see, but it was clearly the one from her dream. The statue by the church's west side was also clearer.
Curiosity overtook her and she went for a closer look. The marble figure was of a handsome young man, dressed in the clothes of centuries ago. His eyes were determined and focused as they stared out at a sight long gone. At the base was carved an inscription: "To the Memory of a Beloved Son, Lost in the Name of Goodness and Fighting the Forces of Darkness, Carlisle Cullen 1640-1663."
The epitaph hit a nerve. Buffy peered closer at the details of the sculpture and saw a crucifix around the stone neck. There was also a small vial of liquid in one hand and a wooden stake in the other.
"Lost in the Name of Goodness and Fighting the Forces of Darkness."
This man had been a vampire hunter.