Please don't look for a deeper meaning in this. I don't in the least mean to be disrespectful and I'm certainly not looking at any character as a Christ figure. Feedback very welcome!
“You died. You died to save us.”
“Whatever. Xander brought me back, didn’t he?”
“Sure, Buff, but I think what Will’s all wowed about is that you were ready to do that.”
“Yeah, well. Sacred destiny, yadda yadda. It’s all starting to make some sense. And hey, Giles was gonna take my place, and he doesn’t even have the ‘Chosen’ excuse.”
“One doesn’t need to be Chosen to have a destiny, Buffy. Fate may be written in prophecy, but it was your own acceptance that led you to fulfill it.”
“Deep, G-Man! You make us all want to accept fate!”
Back in town they’re thinking I abandoned them, I know. They’re right. I left them without a Slayer, and it’s not going to be easy for them.
I can have these thoughts without cringing because it’s been a year full of betrayal from every side. I’ve taken my fair share and I fought my last battle on my own. But more than that, I can accept what I’ve done to them because it hardly even compares to my other sins.
He made me think I was forsaken. I was. And he is. Forsaken by everyone, but me most of all.
With him gone, she’s been crying a lot, though always where nobody can see. It makes slaying harder, not because she’s lost the passion for it but because she’s always dehydrated and can’t always make herself care enough to drink more water.
With her gone, he’s been avoiding social interaction. Everything that any human says or does now is a reminder of her, the way she looks, the way she lives. Worst, the way she tastes. It’s a heavy cross to bear, knowing he has taken blood from the one he loves. It’s heavier to want to do it again.
So it seemed Willow had found love with another woman, and her distance from the others was a simple fear of rejection. Well, that was understandable.
And Xander, of course he had his insecurities, trying to find his place while all of his peers were furthering their education (and knew exactly why he wasn’t there with them). Also understandable.
Buffy had her new flame, decent chap, all the better for helping her get over Angel, but a Slayer without the Council behind her…still frightening in spite of it all.
Giles himself? Perfectly fine. Unemployed, lonesome, and...oh, what are we doing?
Somewhere amid Dawn’s broken recitation of Buffy’s last words, Willow found a place outside of her own grief to realize exactly who was telling her this. All of them had just lost a friend. Dawn had lost a sister, and the only person who could even begin to take the place of the mother she had lost already. How was she going to make it through this?
“And she said,” sobbed Dawn, “she said, we have to take care of each other...”
Tara was the one who hugged her then, pulling Willow into the same embrace. “Dawn, sweetie. We will.”
“Do you still remember Heaven?” Dawn asked one day while they were relaxing after a shared workout. “I mean, if you don’t mind talking about it...”
“I don’t. Mind, I mean. I do remember, a little. But it doesn’t hurt anymore.”
“Ever want to go back?”
Buffy closed her eyes and smiled. “Damn straight. Later. You understand me? I’m staying here, doing what I do, and taking what’s coming to me at the end. And so are you.”
“Right.” Dawn returned the smile. “So you’re going to show me the world, and then show me the afterworld?”
“Yes I am.”
Welcome to Sunnydale, our moderately-sized, balmy-weathered, southern California crater. Population 0. Not a single Starbucks in sight. Not much of anything else either.
Maybe if you went digging down there, you’d find some treasure. Maybe, somewhere in that hole, there are pieces of old homes, headstones bearing beloved names, priceless books, medieval weapons. Maybe there’s a witchy Pez dispenser and a motorcycle and a cash register and a tearstained diary and a claddagh ring.
There are definitely memories, and heartbreak, and years of evil.
Maybe we’ll come back one day to see—but not today. We won. It is finished.