Bright Eyes

Summary: When Buffy dies, strangers' eulogies enlighten the Scoobies as to how far her influence has spread.

Warning: I don't know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.

Timeline: post-season 5; after 'The Gift'. Some AU-ness in Buffy's past, mostly in her summer after killing Angel.

Challenge: b-day prezzie for AerynSpeedleCaine who wanted a fic using this song: youtube .com/watch?v=mh7S2aIHF7c. Turned out to be much longer than I expected.

A/N: I couldn't find the name of the make out spot from 'Phases', so I used the old standby 'Lookout Point'. These chapters will be short, but I wanted each person/group to be separate.

Thanks to my beta: zigpal.

Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission. 'Bright Eyes' song written by Mike Batt and sung by Art Garfunkel.

Chapter 1: Giles' Eulogy

Buffy's memorial service

The weekend after her death…

It took almost a week to schedule the memorial service for Buffy Summers: friend, sister, protector of the innocent. Originally, Giles had considered trying to keep her death secret, since the only other Slayer alive was currently in prison. Telling the supernatural world that Buffy was dead would be like putting up a neon sign over Sunnydale that said the all-you-can-eat buffet was open.

That plan was halted before they could even get Buffy's still-warm body home. The cops were called to the tower on a public disturbance call and saw the dead blonde in Giles and Spike's arms. So she was officially declared dead, a cursory autopsy was performed – which stated the obvious cause of death was massive internal damage due to a fall from a great height – and her body was sent to the morgue.

Dawn insisted on only two things: a specific song to be played at the beginning and end of her sister's memorial service, and for Buffy to be cremated. She needed to remove the temptation of bringing her sister back like she tried with her mom just months before. Giles silently applauded the teen for the idea; his Slayer was at peace now and deserved to stay there.

Angel's group had been notified by Willow and Tara the night following Buffy's death. Nobody could get ahold of Hank; his office finally admitted that he had disappeared awhile back and hadn't been heard from since.

Even though they didn't think it would make a difference in attendance, the Scoobies posted a public notice of the memorial service. Without a body, there was no reason to have a visitiation. Dawn was in shock from basically been all alone in the world now, family-wise, and they didn't want to force her to listen to the well-meaning, but painful, murmurs of sympathy of strangers.

So it stunned them when they showed up at Lookout Point and found over a hundred people waiting for the memorial service to begin. The Scoobies only planned for them and the Fang Gang to be there, so they didn't have chairs or a sound system set up. Fortunately, somebody else thought of those things and more. They even had a small tent set up for those individuals who didn't want to be seen or risk the sun. That meant they knew Buffy was friends with non-humans…something that concerned the core group a little.

When the crowd saw them, it was if somebody muted a TV set: absolute silence – apart from the sounds of nature around the area. Because the Sunnydale crew was still too broken up, Wes took charge, setting up the boombox with Dawn's song near a microphone at the front of the gathering.

Is it a kind of a dream
Floating out on the tide
Following the river of death downstream
Oh is it a dream?

There's a fog along the horizon
A strange glow in the sky
And nobody seems to know where it goes
And what does it mean?
Oh, is it a dream?


Bright eyes, burning like fire
Bright eyes, how can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly,
Suddenly burn so pale?
Bright eyes

As the last chorus faded away, Giles stood to deliver his eulogy; one he had to alter because it wasn't just people who knew that Buffy was the Slayer.

"I first met Buffy Summers about 4 ½ years ago, on her first day at Sunnydale High. She bounced into the library where I worked, looking for her textbooks. Over time, we grew to be friends. We had our good times together and our bad times. Times when we hurt each other, and times when we helped each other heal."

He stopped to clear his throat from the growing lump forming there, desperately blinking back his tears.

"I hadn't listened to this song until today. I only knew that it was a family song from Buffy and Dawn's childhood. However, I find that the lyrics seem especially appropriate. Most of my heart and mind cannot believe that she is truly gone. At the same time, it feels like somebody has dimmed the sun. The world feels darker and colder without her shining smile."

Then he broke down crying, unable to continue and mortified at his show of emotion. Wes rushed to his side and invited anyone else who'd like to say a few words to come up and speak.

A/N: Next…a surprise speaker.