Normal At Last

BY : julpups & MMonster
Category: -Buffy the Vampire Slayer > General
Dragon prints: 2486
Disclaimer: We, Snore and MMonster, don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, nor the characters from it. We don't make any money from the writing of this story.

Buffy blinked a few times, waiting for her eyes to adjust to the light.

It was silent now, the horrible noises and screams finally ceased. The Slayer sighed.

From where she was situated - huddled under the stairs, knees drawn up to the chest and arms wrapped around her legs - her nervous eyes roamed over the space until they locked on the still bodies spread out in the basement of her home.

The picture they made tugged at her throat, and it was hard to breathe. Dawn’s demolished body lay sunk down against the wall, her eyes staring at Buffy from a strange angle, unseeing and empty. Her sister’s neck was evidently broken, the head resting on its side upon her right shoulder in a ninety degree angle. Buffy could see the blunt end of a cervical vertebra outlining the bruised skin at the side of Dawn’s neck, indicating her head was basically severed, only attached by skin and ruptured tissue. Both her wrists and forearms were crushed; splinters of bones had pierced the firm flesh and skin and protruded angrily. Buffy remembered Dawn raising her hands before her head, protecting it from the berserk beating.

The fragile thin limbs arranged in such an unnatural way were almost harder to look at than Xander's butchered body. His left arm was missing. Buffy guessed by the shredded strands of flesh and skin adorning the splintered stump of his humerus that it was ripped off by brute force. His face was a mess of grinded meat, disfigured almost beyond recognition. Buffy flinched when she remembered his desperate burbles as the demon punched him over and over again before it proceeded to gnaw at his face with its sharp canine teeth. For so long... until the moans and cries and screams finally stopped. Xander's body lay on its side on the ground right before Dawn, and Buffy thought he might have died first by trying to protect her little sister. Buffy smiled fondly at the dilacerated corpse of one of her best friends.

Tara. Buffy turned her head sideways to look at the blond witch. Her body rested at the feet of the stairs, splayed out and unmoving. She looked fine, normal, if not for the vacant green eyes and the ugly gash garnishing her temple. Tara was the very first to die and Buffy had killed her herself, but she hadn’t meant to. Not really. The demon was supposed to kill her; but ironically or not, Buffy had done it herself when she made the witch trip. Tara had fallen and hit her head. She was dead instantly and something in Buffy snapped. Buffy remembered Willow’s muffled outcry. So distraught. So pitiful. So… convincing.

Buffy’s empty eyes, wide in shock, moved over the entire scenery. She forced herself to look. There it was! Xander’s missing arm. It just lay beside her sister’s corpse. Buffy’s memory flashed.

“Buffy… B-buffiee! Get away from her!” Xander flung himself on the demon’s back and wrapped his arms around the thick neck. It had cornered Dawn against the wall and was about to strike her with its razor-sharp claws.

The demon growled, annoyed at the carpenter’s trifling efforts to delay it from its prey. Reaching back with both its paws, it grabbed Xander’s head and hurled him over its shoulder. Xander crashed onto the floor and remained lying flat on his back, dizzy and wheezing.

“D-dawn… Run!” He rasped at the younger Summer’s girl. “Ru-ooompf”. A slimy foot pressed onto his chest, cutting off his respiration. Snarling, the demon bent down and grabbed Xander’s arm. It yanked and twisted and wrenched. Xander screamed. Dawn screamed too and began hitting the demon. A violent backhand sent her back crashing into the wall where she sank down and lapsed into shock. A wet, sickening, crunching noise signaled the quick amputation of Xander’s limb. It made a wet noise as it hit the ground, carelessly thrown away by the demon...

‘Just a few minutes’ Buffy thought in the tiny place inside her mind that was still capable of coherence.

‘Just a few more minutes and I will be with mommy and daddy.’

Buffy strained her neck, she could almost hear her mother’s voice urging her to be strong, almost feel the touch of her hand caressing her cheek and stroking her hair. A picture of the demon striking at Dawn’s neck until her head popped out of its socket in a loud crack flashed into her mind and the Slayer cowered and whimpered.

“Shhh, honey,” Joyce took her in her arms and began rocking her, calming her. “I know you can do it. You are so strong. You’re almost done. Do it, Buffy. Do it.”

“B-but…I did it.”

“Not yet.”

Buffy turned around again. Why was she still here? The demon was dead too, lying in heap at the center of the basement. The stench of his body invaded her nose, almost unbearable. The bluish blood seeping out from its neck stained the floor. An ax lay close to it, and Buffy wondered who had wielded it. Who had done it? Who had killed the demon?

Buffy narrowed her eyes. Willow's lifeless body was positioned not far away. The witch had been the first one to stop making noises, Buffy remembered. She had probably been the first one to die by the creature she had unleashed to do the deed for her. She had tied her up as best as she could; tight, but not too tight. Buffy had not wanted to hurt her, not truly. Nonetheless, Willow shouldn't have been able to get rid of the ropes without Slayer strength or magic, Buffy made sure of that. And she was just there. Lying on the ground, unmoving, dead like the others. Buffy could see her back covered in blood. Something had cut her, slicing her shirt open. A deep, red gash marred the skin under the fabric, forging a dark red path that started on her shoulder blades and descended down to the small of her back. The blood still poured down and over the sides, pooling on the floor around her and gathering in the hollow of her back. Buffy frowned, as she regarded her best friend’s body with something akin to fascination. Willow's hands were not tied together anymore, somehow.

‘How is she free?’ Buffy thought. Then, it dawned on her. ‘Magic... of course.’

Willow must have found a way to free herself. But how had she managed to kill the demon, since she had been the first to fall prey to it? Buffy approached the redhead's body, slowly and with trepidation. She leaned down and took the ax, inspecting it as if it would provide answers for her.

A twitch was visible in the corner of her eyes. Buffy’s hackles rose and stood straight. What followed was a soft whisper. "B-buffy..." The Slayer jumped away, startled, dropping the ax in her haste. Willow's hand moved, white fingers with bloodied nails contracted and loosed, and now her face was moving too. It turned towards Buffy, looking at her. Willow's green eyes were wet, her gaze unfocused. Her cheek was mired with her own blood from lying on it as it had accumulated under her body. Willow took a shuddering, torturous breath and slumped back flat onto the ground. She was weak, so very weak; but she was alive. Her hand, having rested on the floor besides her face, now shifted towards Buffy’s feet. The Slayer flinched again, and backed away. "Buffy... please". Willow cried, her voice louder, her breaths a bit easier. Buffy looked away, avoiding the pleading eyes of her best friend. That was why she hadn't left, yet. Willow was still alive. Willow had killed the demon. Buffy squinted and pressed her hands on her ears, shaking her head again and again as she paced up and down through the basement.

Willow was here. Her best friend. Buffy loved her. So much. She had helped her, been there for her, listened to her, saved her so many times.

Buffy hated her. Willow had brought her back, to this life, to this Hell. Buffy observed the redhead as she struggled to push up her wounded body to a seating position. Her expression softened.

Buffy loved Willow, she was her best friend. You can tell me everything.  

Buffy hated Willow, for all the suffering she had felt since having been ripped from heaven. Because of her .

But no, she had not meant to. Willow loved Buffy. She had wanted to save Buffy, that is what Willow wanted to do. That is what she did, time and time again. Except for this once. This one time, in which instead of saving Buffy, Willow had condemned her.

Because she was selfish. Willow wanted her to slay again, to be their little safety net. So she would stay in this illusion.

No... Willow was good, and sweet, and warm, and helpful, and trustworthy. Bubbling, so full of life. And partially the reason why she had unleashed the demon to kill them all. Yes, Buffy could never bring herself to kill Dawn, or Xander. She could never kill Willow either. Because Willow wouldn't deserve it, none of them did. And even though she now hated Willow so much that sometimes it was the only thing that still burned in her, Buffy loved her deeply, and she knew that Willow loved her back.

Willow was almost sitting now, and her eyes were clear and focused. Her body was covered in blood, her face stained with it, her hair matted in it, her clothes drenched in it. Red everywhere. She sucked in a raspy breath and looked around, taking in the scenery.

"B-Buffy, oh my… Xander... D-dawn. No…” Willow shook her head, “Buffy, what did you do? What did you do? What did you do? Noooo..." She cried. As she discovered Tara’s body lying lifeless by the stairs she began to scream before pleading at the Slayer. Buffy looked at her. Looked around herself. She opened her mouth to answer, to explain, but nothing came out.

"Be strong, baby", she heard Joyce speaking to her, from that other world, the real world. The world where she was happy. ‘Yes’ Buffy determined and nodded inwardly. She loved Willow. But Willow wasn't real. Therefore, her love wasn’t real either. It wasn't because Willow wasn’t. She couldn't be, because if she was, then Dawn, Xander and Tara would be real too, and that was out of question. It was impossible.

Buffy crept closer and looked down at Willow. Hot tears descended from her eyes down her cheeks, but they went unnoticed. Buffy regarded her best friend lying at her feet; so broken, so small, her chest heaving with the shock of discovering everyone she loved had been executed by her best friend.

Buffy's fist crushed down on Willow's face, hard. So hard Willow's body smacked down back onto the stony floor, a spray of blood exploding from her broken nose. Willow shrieked and wailed but was interrupted when Buffy's other fist did the same, clashing against her forehead. This silenced the witch and she stayed down a few moments, trying to breathe through the pain and blood that now flowed down her throat and out of her nostrils over her mouth. Willow coughed, spluttered and gurgled. Buffy didn’t give her the needed respite, stamping her right foot down on Willow’s chest. Something cracked, probably a rib, and Willow cried out again. “Bu-buffy… S-stop…” She implored, or rather tried to. The young witch couldn’t breathe, so her words were left soundless. She heaved, again and again, trying desperately to suck in some oxygen, but every time she braced herself Buffy pressed down her foot, increasing the pressure.

The Slayer stilled for a moment, and looked down at the redhead. She couldn’t help thinking, contemplating, pondering. Involuntary, gloomy thoughts ran free through her mind, as she observed the young woman she had called her best friend for years; the girl whom she had confided in, hugged, consoled, talked to, been as close as she had ever been to anyone except maybe Angel. Buffy couldn’t help but think, as the witch cried and sobbed; as she tried to crawl away, her injured body writhing... how pathetic she looked. Wasn’t Willow so powerful? Her Big Gun? Without her, Glory would never have been defeated. Without her, Angel would never have gotten his soul back. And ended up in hell with it. A sinister voice reminded her. It was her own voice, Buffy recognized. Without her, Buffy would still be in heaven, she thought bitterly. But here she was, too weak to move, to walk, to defend herself. Choking on her own blood. Writhing and whimpering on the floor like a kicked puppy. Like a bisected worm not knowing in which direction it should slither. Pleading Buffy... pleading her to stop.

Willow finally managed to suck in a few shuddering breaths. Buffy sneered and with a hard kick to her flank, Buffy launched Willow across the basement. Her already wounded back collided the wall with a dull smack before she bounced off and slumped to the floor; where she remained lying, her body twitching and quivering.

The desperate sobs that left her as she tried to breathe through her seizing lungs were the only noise Buffy heard as she strode closer. The Slayer stopped midway and leaned her head to the side. With almost scientific curiosity, she regarded the suffering redhead for a moment. She had not even kicked her hard but it still had been enough to literally knock the breath out of her; to send her skinny, weak body several feet into the air. Willow was a broken doll then. All her magic, all her power, every way in which she had ever held any power over Buffy, may it by being a witch, a hacker, or her friend - it had been nullified.

Buffy was about to strike the next blow, to end it, before Willow looked up at her. Her eyes were huge and wet. So green. Tear tracks split her elfin face. She had her mouth open, still trying to normalize her breathing, but she couldn’t speak yet. She just mouthed something, and with a start Buffy realized it was her name. Willow looked down, pushed her torso up by her elbows, and tried to crawl closer to Buffy. That made the Slayer pause, somehow, she almost wanted to scream at Willow to run. Run, just go away. I’m going to kill you. She thought to herself. Willow managed to crawl a few inches closer and took a deep, wheezing breath. “Bu-buffy…” She rasped; her voice was low and weak but it was a blow to Buffy, and Willow was suddenly her friend again.

“I know it’s hard baby, but you need to do it, you need to be able to come back to us…” Joyce pressed, and Buffy glimpsed at her translucent face. Loving, worried, hopeful. She looked at Willow again, then back at her mother. Her jaw set.

Willow was almost close enough by now that Buffy could kick her again, but she didn’t. She got closer, and crouched in front of the witch. Willow stilled, and looked her in the eyes, afraid, apprehensive, hopeful.

“Buffy, I kno-w that… uh… this looks ba-bad but I can help… Buffy, please, le-let me help you…” Willow stammered. Her already big, beautiful green eyes were widened in shock and her face twisted in pain, but she knew what was happening. She was conscious of it all.

Buffy looked at her, eye to eye. Her right hand rose and headed towards the witch, slowly and seemingly on its own accord... and Willow didn’t flinch. She just kept still, the hope in her expression increasing since it looked like Buffy was about to caress her… or maybe help her up. Instead, Buffy gingerly wrapped her fingers around Willow’s throat and slowly, just slowly pressed down. Now, the green eyes got even wider. Buffy couldn’t help but be amused at the surrealism of the situation. Willow’s thin lips parted in a silent scream, both her hands shot up, grasping at Buffy’s wrist.

Buffy gazed into Willow’s eyes as she squeezed. Unblinking, her lips forming a smirk, her expression harsh. She pressed. First light, then hard... harder . The flow of air was cut, and Willow flailed, her legs thrashed, her spasming tongue emerged from between blue lips. The hands on Buffy’s wrist clamped down. Short neat nails left bloody crescendos as they scratched the soft skin of the Slayer’s wrist and forearm. They doodled bloody lines, chopping and scratching in utter despair. They were feeble attempts at trying to force Buffy to let go. Buffy was unmovable. Willow’s formerly pale face reddened and turned spotted. Petechial bleeding appeared in her eyes, brought on by the ongoing strangulation. Willow’s open, bloodied mouth kept moving, soundlessly forming words again and again. “Buffy”, “Please”, “Stop”, “No”, “Buffy”, “I don’t want to die.”, “Buffy”, “Oh god.”, “Noooo!” They went on and on, nonstop. Buffy warred with herself, as she watched Willow dying; slowly, painfully, ugly, without dignity .

She loosened her grip just enough to allow Willow a short breath, but then tightened it again when she remembered - when she made herself remember - that Willow wasn’t real. She wasn’t. She wasn’t. And if she were, Willow was evil. She had to be. She deserved it, for bringing her back, bringing her into this Hell. That bitch. She deserved it. She deserved to suffer. She deserved to die. Slowly, painfully, horribly.

But she wasn’t, not evil, not ever. Buffy whimpered and her free hand began stroking Willow’s hair as the other continued strangling her. Willow was innocent, she had always been. Buffy had dragged her into this life, into her duty. Buffy never wanted that life for her. She wanted her to be happy. Because she loved her. Oh god, she loved her so much.

The Slayer swung one leg around Willow’s waist. Her bottom sank down, straddling her hips. Bending down, Buffy began whispering soft kisses all over the redhead’s bloody face... the forehead, each eyelid, both her cheeks and temples. She did that for several seconds until she rose her head and stared lovingly into Willow’s red, bulging eyes before sinking down again and kissing the corners of Willow’s gasping mouth. All the while maintaining the pressure on her throat and windpipe. Buffy began to nuzzle Willow’s face. Under the blood, the sour sweat and the tears, the Slayer could smell Willow. She smelled like vanilla, strawberries and comfort.

“Sweetie, it’ll be over soon, I promise. Shhh, you know how much I love you? I’m sorry, so sorry... but it’s the only way. You’ll always be in my heart but it’s the only way… only way… only way… I love you… I love you...“ Buffy babbled imploringly into the dying woman’s ear.

“Buffy!” The blond startled out of her revery and looked up. “Mommy?”

“Buffy, you have to end it. Kill her. Kill her!”

Yes, Joyce was waiting for Buffy, in the other world, in the real world. Willow was almost dead. It was almost done. Buffy’s second hand joined the first and together they continued throttling the young redhead who, meanwhile, had stopped her silent pleadings.

There had been no words, no sound. Suddenly, a green flash erupted between the two girls. Buffy was separated from Willow and thrown across the space, hitting the wall hard enough for her vision to spot. Willow was wheezing, crying, coughing, hands with bloody red nails cradling her sore neck. The skin was colored in varying shades of red, blue, purple and black and Buffy’s fingers were imprinted on it.

Buffy managed to get up, get her bearings. Well, Willow wasn’t so powerless after all. Still an ace in the hole. Willow stared at her, and this time, this time she tried to crawl away.

“Will, you know there’s no other way.”

Willow opened her mouth… maybe to conjure another spell, or to scream, to plead, to reason with her, to do something . Buffy didn’t let her, though.


With Slayer’s velocity, she was there in an instant, towering over Willow. The witch lay on her back, just wheezing through her mouth, her eyes full of panic. An inverted bug floundering its legs . Buffy thought in disdain. She’s not real. If she is powerful, it’s because of me. Buffy let her body drop, one knee landing on her stomach, allowing her complete body weight to press into her. Willow frantically tried to squirm away, push her away, hitting her with her tiny fists, but Buffy just grabbed her shoulders and pinned her down. Her right hand let go and ascended before forming a tight fist, fingers straining and cracking under the tension.

Willow recognized her fate. She shrieked, “Buffieeeeee... AAAAaaah!”

The fist shot down, smashing into Willow’s pixyish face. A crunching crack transformed it into a revolting visage. The witch’s already broken nose was utterly destroyed, the cartilage exposed and partly pressed inwards, amongst the blood and flesh. Buffy didn’t demur and pounced on her again... and again. Willow’s eyes soon closed under the ongoing onslaught and she fell unconscious.

Buffy kept raining down punches with all her might. She was so close. Almost done. Soon, she could leave this world, go into the other one. The one in which she wasn’t the Slayer, but just a normal girl. With parents who loved her, were there for her. A girl who was sick, but who had never died, who had never been brought back, who had never lost so, so much. One more, she told herself. One more punch will be enough. Willow will be dead and Buffy will be free.

She was halfway there, half looking into Joyce’s warm eyes, half looking into Willow’s disfigured face, looking less and less like Willow with each strike. She distantly discerned Joyce’s voice telling her to be strong, as the sickening wet sounds of her fist hitting flesh and bone got louder while it destroyed her best friend’s face beyond recognition.

Willow was long dead by now, but Buffy was still there, so she didn’t stop. Her second fist joined the massacre, both her hands now hammering down on their target with merciless lunges. She didn’t stop until Willow’s skull finally cracked open, centrically bisecting her mangled face like a coconut, the skin and inner workings parting in a ghastly slurp. Brain matter, bone fragments, tissue and blood splattered all around, spraying Buffy’s face and upper torso. Together with knotted strands of red hair, it formed a viscous, red halo around the remains of Willow’s smashed head. Buffy continued letting her fists crash into the stone of the floor behind Willow’s head, even as Joyce’s face started to disappear from her vision, as her voice started to fade away, and the horror of her reality turned more and more stark.

Then, Joyce dissolved, like she was never there. Her voice fell silent. Buffy stopped hitting Willow at last, her body slumping down on top of the almost decapitated body. What remained of Willow’s face and skull was just the chin, lower jaw and the root of the occipital bone attached to the neck. The rest had been smashed to a red, gooey, heterogeneous mush of red hair, bone, brain matter and tissue. Her fists hurt horribly from their hard labor, and they were covered in blood and little pieces of flesh, as was the rest of her. Buffy gagged and vomited on Willow’s still chest as she discovered a green eye, surprisingly intact, hanging on its nerve fiber from her pinkie. As she recovered, running filthy hands through hair and over her face, she looked around the silent basement that was now nothing more than a shamble. In a childlike voice, she called out for her mother.


Eery silence framed by shallow gasps. Muted sirens of an ambulance rang through the brick walls as it passed 1630 Revello Drive. The light that shone through the small basement window began to dim, the sun was setting. Buffy’s head looked around again, from side to side, to the bodies of Tara, Xander and Dawn. She looked down at her best friend who she had just murdered. She looked up at the ceiling, her face a mask of confusion, recognition, realization… of solicitation.



Notes: Hey all. I and MMonster thought it's a good idea to write down our twisted ideas. We are new and non-natives. Comments, reviews, and concrit are very welcome since we like feedback and want to learn. Flames will either be ignored, deleted or reposted. Depends on our mood, the content of the flame and if it moves within the rules of ToS. Cheers.

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