Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Summary: Dawn held the universe in the palm of her hand, and she was going to shape it to her liking.
Warnings: major character deaths
Spoilers: The Gift
Disclaimer: All hail Joss, who owns everything mentioned.
Title, Author and URL of original story: Absolute Power – Krissy (firstgold)
The first thing she did was stop.
STOP IT. Stop everything. Make it stop.
Stop the falling, stop the bleeding (everywhere, all over), stop the crying you big baby, just stop it you’re in charge now.
She couldn’t stop her sister though. Couldn’t stop her from running, from jumping, from leaving like she swore she wouldn’t do. Couldn’t stop her falling through the vortex or whatever it was, and the Summers was sucked right out of big sister before the ground and Dawn caught her.
It was ok, though. It wasn’t her fault. Buffy had never been good at heights.
And Dawn could fix it, this time.
Last time, things went wrong with Mom and zombies and Spike and those stupid eggs, but this time would be better. This time it will work.
She doesn’t even have to do the spell this time. She can just fix it.
As soon as she figures out how to get Spike’s shattered skull back together, and make Tara stop screaming. Willow is lying on her back with wide open eyes, and Xander kneels beside Anya, who can’t talk with that much blood in her mouth.
She can fix it. She can.
She’s the Key. And Glory (No, Ben. Ben, who is dead because Giles killed him when Buffy couldn’t.) showed her how to open the lock.
Just turn the key, and open the door, and fix everything.
It was easy. It will be easy.
She messed up last time. That was all. She was still learning. This time will be different.
Everyone would live, except for Ben, because he has to die for Glory to die. Or maybe Glory could die and leave Ben alone in his own body, without a red dress as a warning.
Giggling isn’t good at a time like this, even though Ben looks amazing in three inch heels.
But Glory shrieks in anger and throws Ben under the crane herself, crippling him, but not her, which shouldn’t work but does somehow.
Buffy dies on the steps trying to get to the top.
Try again. And stop screaming, damn it. She already fell and you can’t catch her.
Don’t look down.
Don’t look down this time. Maybe if Spike dies before he makes it to the top of the tower..
No, no, she tried that one.
Doc had laughed and sliced her cheeks open, leaving blood running down her face, and a knife in the belly hurt so much worse than she had ever considered, and Buffy was running towards her and his eyes had shifted to the side and she screamed.
That had hurt, and Buffy had still fallen, and her mother was standing at the base of the tower with a vacant look on her face and Tara had died.
No, no, not Tara. Xander, that time. Xander, with one arm ripped from his body like a butterfly wing, except for the blood and the quiet choked gasp that came with it as Glory reached for one leg.
Try again. Stop crying and fix it.
Maybe if Willow could see what would happen, she could stop it.
But Willow just stopped, looking upward and raised one hand in farewell to Dawn.
No, no, she wasn’t saying goodbye, she was trying to aim through determined eyes, and god, she had thought that Willow was her friend.
Willow died and Tara spun laughing into the street and Xander and Anya froze. Spike looked up, and she could see that he knew, he knew what she had done, what she was doing, but Buffy was already running for the steps of the tower, and where Buffy goes, Spike followed.
She tried not to giggle again, because it hadn’t mattered, didn’t matter that time either anyway, because Spike tried to stop Buffy, tries to tell her what little sister was doing, had done, and she had to turn the key again as Buffy pushed him away and off and down in rejection, and it wouldn’t work without Spike.
She had tried that already. She thinks. She thought.
Something about Spike was necessary, although she didn’t know why. It wouldn’t work without Buffy either, but she knew that. That’s why she had to fix it.
She was dizzy this time, and she tried to slow her steps as they dragged her to the top. Maybe if she could just slow it down. Slow everything down. Just to give herself time to think.
Buffy falls in slow motion and Giles falls after her, hands out and pleading; No, no. Please, no!
Buffy was dead before she hit the ground, but Giles wasn’t, but it didn’t matter, because he fell, he jumped, headfirst after his slayer, and that was ok, because he didn’t have a place without Buffy, but who would write in his journals now?
Glory lives and Ben dies, and Anya is gone somewhere and Xander is choking from where he is being crushed by a pile of rubble.
And Tara laughs with the other crazy people, and Willow’s eyes have gone black.
Do it again.
It doesn’t matter that your voice is gone from screaming, that you think you’re still bleeding and bleeding or that Buffy pushed you this time, instead of jumping herself, because you can still fix it!
It doesn’t matter that it goes wrong and has gone wrong and is going wrong right now, because it doesn’t matter. You’re the Key, damn it!
And your mother is looking at you with pity in her eyes, or what might be pity if there was anything behind the blank faced nothing that shuffled towards her, muttering about pumpkin bellies and making shhh shhh sounds through a gaping mouth.
Buffy is crying when she kills their mother, and she doesn’t, didn’t untie her baby sister before turning around and closing her eyes and falling backwards like Dawn would fall onto her bed after doing her homework.
You can fix this.