S J Smith
Shatter
Fandom:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating:  PG-13
Warnings:  For Season 5 Finale
Summary:  Buffy, as she jumps from the tower.
Disclaimer:  I am not now, nor have I ever been, Joss Whedon.
Lyrics:
I am raining down in pieces,
I am scattering like light. 
Small Blue Thing by Suzanne Vega

* * *

I can't let it happen.

I can't let Dawn die. 

I've already lost too much:  Dad, Mom, Faith, Riley, Angel. 

My life.

I lost that back when Merrick told me I was a Slayer.  I didn't get it at first but from that point on, my life wasn't just mine any more, no matter how much I fought to try to keep it as my own.  My life belonged to the world, even though Merrick and Giles never came right out and said it.  It wasn't written anywhere and it was kind of overwhelming when I finally figured it out. 

I never told anyone how that felt, to know that I had a responsibility to the world. 

Kind of makes cutting class all those times seem like petty stuff, huh? 

I wonder if Faith ever got that.  I know Kendra did.  She probably would've been a better Slayer than me, if she'd lived.  It's what had been drummed into her head almost every day of her life, from what she told me.  Kendra knew it.  She tried to tell me but I blew her off.  Drusilla killed her before she really had a chance to be the girl I knew she could have been. 

I can't let Dawn die that way.  I can make sure that she has that chance, the one that Kendra didn't get.          

It's not like I'm scared of dying, really.  I should've died from the Master drowning me.  Or that vampire who stabbed me in the stomach.  Or even from Angel biting me.     

But I didn't.  I kept going, can't be stopped, that's me, the Energizer Buffy.

Well, I'm sick of it.  Sick and tired.  So damn tired.  And I can't let Dawn die for me.  For anyone.  She doesn't need to make that kind of sacrifice. 

She isn't the Slayer, damn it.  That's my job, to take on the bad guys and die so the rest of the world can go on.  So Xander and Anya have a shot at a life and Willow and Tara can be together.  Spike, too.  He promised me he'd take care of her.  And Dawn will have all of them to look out for her, won't she?  She'll understand that it has to be me.

Angel would've known.  He probably would've offered to jump for me.  Maybe he would've fought me to keep me from doing this.  But he's not here and it's my decision.

I'm glad Mom isn't here right now, even though I wish I could see her one more time, tell her why I'm doing this.  I think she'd know anyway, despite Dawn not really being my sister.  She'd get it.  She'd hate me leaving but she'd get it.  And she'd be able to explain it to everyone else. 

Even Riley, if he ever came back from the jungle.  I wonder if he's even thought about me since he left?  I've thought about him.  There's so many things I wish I could've said to him but those chances are all gone, if they ever really existed in the first place. 

Maybe Giles can be happy again.  He'll understand it, too, one day.  He knows I can't let my little sister die in my place.  He knows it, he just didn't want to think it.  So he'll take care of Dawnie, just like the others, because she's a part of me. 

But not the Slayer part because that part's going bye-bye when I jump.  I know it's going to hurt.  I know there's going to be a lot of pain.  But I can take it.  I have to, for Dawn.  Because she gets to live if I do this.

Dawn, there's so much I want to say to you....

"Live.  For me."

And I spin and run, run like my life depends on it because, in a way it does. 

It's my life.

It's my death. 

It's my choice.

And I'm not letting anyone take it from me again.

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