valyssia: (Buffy Prophecy Girl)
[personal profile] valyssia

Summary: Welcome to the worst day of the rest of your life, Buffy.
Rating: FRT: Contains Some Mature Themes: Parental Supervision Suggested.
Word Count: 800.
Beta: Howard Russell.
Character: Buffy.
Episode #1: Welcome to the Hellmouth.
Disclaimer: Another day, another…they don’t pay me anything at all. I just do this to amuse myself and you. That’s what allows me and mine to slip under the radar while playing with characters created by those more fortunate than us.
Author’s Note: This story begins and ends with quotes from Welcome to the Hellmouth. The odd material in the breakdown was loosely sourced from The Eurithmics song Doubleplusgood.

A Single Step

“Come on. This is Sunnydale. How bad an evil can there be here?” The words ring in my ears as I say them. I sound convincing, incredulous even. I want to believe them, but really I don’t—not any more than he does. Katharine Hepburn, eat your heart out.

I slip past him and march down the emptying hallway. I can’t believe he had the nerve to pin me like that. I still feel his arm in my face blocking my path, the heat of his breath billowing over my skin. I’ve heard that spiel before. The Watchers Council must be like a finishing school where they take arrogant, priggish, prickly boys and turn them into stodgy, haughty, insufferable old men.

Students scuttle into classrooms as I pass. I envy them their boring lives. All they have to worry about is the algebra test on Tuesday, homework, home life, did they make the team, will that special someone notice them, blah, blah, blah…

My life used to be like that. I miss it. Imagine, there was a time when I loved being chosen, being singled out, being seen as something special. Now I just want to be left alone.

Obnoxious. I can’t believe skipped ‘obnoxious.’ Giles is definitely that. Who here isn’t?


I consider my answer. Xander and his tiny fence, Giles and his great big book, Principal Flutie and his clean slate, Jesse and his leering, and then there’s Cordelia.

It’s fair. So, how do I belong here?

That’s crazy. I don’t—

The bell rings. A fresh wave of searing tension tangles with my spine. My pace doubles. I’m not even sure I’m headed the right way. I don’t have my books. I was going to my locker when Commander McBragg waylaid me with handy, helpful tips and tidbits on how to ruin my life; fail school; become a social pariah; suffer repeated, horrible, painful injuries; and eventually—all too quickly—come to a tragic, lonely, sticky, violent end.

And they can’t understand why I wouldn’t want that. I laugh the laugh of someone who’s had enough fun for one day. I wanna go home, wherever that is.

They don’t care. All that matters to them is—

Someone keys the P.A., producing a crackly screech that goes on for somewhere between forever and ten seconds. Clueless which, but we may be looking at punitive damages. When the cacophony ends, a stuffy sounding older woman says, “Students, may I have your attention?”

My head pounds a rhythm with the echo of her voice.

“Attention. Your attention, please.”

I spot a familiar sign and almost pass it by. Hiding in the bathroom, yeah, that’s mature.


I duck inside. The door bangs against its stop.

Atten – ten  – tension.

It almost hits me. I turn out of its path…ten, ten…pirouetting as it slams closed.

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six…

I snap. The first thing I lay eyes on gets it. The towel dispenser cracks. I hit it again. The faceplate breaks in two.

Tension. Attention. Your attention, please.

The part not held by the latch hangs precariously. Slowly, it shifts, tilts and swings.

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four…

The piece finally falls, taking a bunch of paper towels with it. It clangs into the trashcan lid, bounces and clatters to the floor. Paper towels go everywhere.

What a mess.

I should leave. Someone might’ve heard that.

No. I shouldn’t. I can’t. Not like this. I need to cool off.

I go to the sink and turn it on. Water swirls down the drain.

I stare.

My knuckles are skinned. I flex my forearm. Blood drips from my hand, leaving a streak on the shiny white porcelain.

I look up. A smudged, tearstained wreck greets me in the mirror. I’m hopeless. I’m not even sure how I got here. One minute, I was in my therapist’s office; the next, the greatest hits of ‘my worst nightmare’ were looping around in my head. She asked me if there was anything I wished was different. That’s all.

Another blood drop falls. It drizzles down the bowl to be swept away by the water.

All I did was tell her I wished there was someplace where I belonged. Her face turned gross and I woke up. I thought I’d imagined it. Then I opened my eyes. I was in a strange room with boxes all around. I must’ve missed leaving the hospital. I missed a lot. No clue when we moved, but the stuff in the boxes was mine, so…

I was afraid to say anything because—

Well, because anything beats being locked up. Even this.

Mom was calling my name. ‘Don’t wanna be late for your first day.’

I played along. ‘No, wouldn’t want that.’

How do I belong here?

Date: 2011-12-09 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very nice.

Date: 2011-12-09 06:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nice job of combining the two universes. I love how the wish!demon put her into Sunnydale.

Date: 2011-12-09 11:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In which season does Normal Again appear? I'm most familiar up through season 4. I also have owned season 5 for a while and Dad just got me season 6 for Christmas. (We exchange at Thanksgiving because he visits my sister and her kids in December.) While I've seen all the BtVS episodes at least once, I don't like seasons 5 - 7 as much as the earlier seasons and am not as up on them.

All of your points about Southern California are fascinating. Being from the east coast myself, they aren't things that I ever would have thought of.

Sunnydale comes off almost like it is a place that was dreamed up as a Habitrail for the slayer. It’s a place where she belongs. So you're suggesting that, at least in your story, Sunnydale itself was created as a place where Buffy would belong? *huge grin* That's awesome!

Date: 2011-12-10 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oooh, nice banner at the top of your page! I'll be watching season 6 soonish. I'm in the middle of season 2 at the moment, watching for a story I'm working on. That's been fun. I just finished Phases, and had the joy of realizing that we don't know Oz is a werewolf yet and here is were we figure it out. And ditto for Larry being gay.

I thought I didn't like S5 until I watched it from Hush on a while back. Most of those episodes were really good. I think the bad impression I have may be from the earlier episodes of S5: the blonde vamp that takes on Buffy and the roommmate.

Date: 2011-12-10 04:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I cannot bring myself to watch Ted or Reptile Boy. In the latter, I think it's the frat boys totally ragging on Xander; I hate that kind of stuff.

What's My Line: We find out there's a second Slayer, but that's resolved and their friendly at the end; Spike is down but Dru is back, setting up the next season's big bad; Buffy, at least temporarily, resolves here "I want a life" issues. yeah, I could see that as the end of the season.

Sunday and Kathy, yes that's it, which I only know because I'm currently reading a series set in that season. I found both Kathy and Sunday terribly annoying. Wednesday, on the other hand, is totally cool.

Date: 2011-12-10 05:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't stand to watch the humilation. For example, I never liked I Love Lucy or The Flintstones because I couldn't stand watching the characters do stupid things and be humilated by the outcome. Although I'm not big on the bullying either and I've always been a misfit, I'm really good at being invisible so bullies tended to ignore me.

The broader, sweeping arc stories are just plainly better. Yes, which is why I think I'm more of a Babylon 5 fan than a Star Trek fan.

Date: 2011-12-10 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sure, I personally don't like Dr. Who, but there are a couple of episodes that are amazing. I have the entire B5 series on DVD and also watch them every few years. It's been a while since I've done that, but I just learned that the library system the next county over has a lot of entertainment DVDs (i.e. movies) and am currently on the third Harry Potter. Plus Dad just gave me the first season of Warehouse 13 and S6 of BtVS, so I've got a lot to watch at the moment.

Date: 2011-12-09 07:47 am (UTC)
ext_14447: (BTVS: Buffy (sleep alone))
From: [identity profile]

Just wow. Powerful piece of writing.

Date: 2011-12-10 05:31 am (UTC)
rahirah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rahirah
Oooh, I like. My headcanon to account for Joyce not reacting to Buffy's Slayer revelations in the early seasons is that Buffy was only institutionalized in her fake Dawn-insert memories. But this is a nicely creepy alternative!

Date: 2012-02-19 11:50 pm (UTC)
sparrow2000: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sparrow2000
That was unexpected and really well executed. I especially liked the scene in the school bathroom and this line "Atten – ten – tension." really crawled up and down my spine.

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