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Be Real Again

Title: Be Real Again
Rating: PG
Words: ~1900
Characters: Buffy, vamp!Willow, vamp!Xander
Summary: Buffy was delusional for seven years before regaining coherence, but there's still too many unanswered questions. Transition between Buffy season 7 and season 8.
A/N: I've been working on this for three days! My brain hurts now. I hope it makes as much sense out of the nonsense as I hoped it would.

Yeah, Buffy. What are we going to do now?

Everything was so bright. And white. And clean. No not clean, sterile, as though all traces of living or previous activity had been stripped from the room. Buffy Summers frowned up at the generic ceiling and tried to sit up. That’s when she discovered she was, in fact, tied down to the hospital bed.

“Hey!” she yelled. “Cut it out! This isn’t funny!” Where had they gone? One minute she was standing at the crater that used to be Sunnydale surrounded by those she loved and the next she was in some hospital. Her shouts had clearly drawn some attention because a minute after that a blur of doctors and nurses had filled the room, murmuring words about a miracle, and a minute after that Buffy was sitting up, rubbing her sore wrists and staring into the doorway where Joyce and Hank Summers stood with tears streaking their faces.

Joyce was the first to run forward and scoop her daughter up into a nearly bone crushing hug, kissing her head and rocking her, telling her how much she loved her little girl, and burst into a fresh round of tears when Buffy told her she loved her too and spoke her first truly coherent words in seven years. Hank, on the other hand was definitely more concerned with what had happened. His daughter had been completely trapped in her delusions for seven years- how does one make a sudden recovery from a condition that severe?

“Perhaps,” the doctor offered, “whatever was keeping your daughter tied to her fictional world simply… played out. She wasn’t needed there anymore and she could break through.”

Buffy looked up at the doctor frowning. Dawn… Willow… Xander… Giles… Faith… Spike… Angel? None of them were real. Not a one of them. It hurt her brain too much so she simply settled into Joyce’s embrace and smiled. At least she had this.


Home. Funny thing really. She hadn’t been there in seven years and so many things had changed. New curtains, new furniture, new floor tiles, new dog. But her room hadn’t changed at all. In fact it was clear that her mother had taken great care to keep it exactly in the condition in which Buffy had left it when the first sent her to the hospital. When things were okay. When she simply thought she saw vampires, before no treatments were helping, before she slipped into a crazy delusion they were sure she’d never get free from. The only difference between this room and the last time Buffy had seen it, was the fact that it was actually clean.

Sitting down heavily on the bed, she smiled fondly at the small stuffed pig. She picked it up and held it to her chest closing her eyes.

Spending some quality time with Mr. Gordo?

She opened her eyes and thrust the pig aside. Standing up from her bed she began to rub her arms. Everything. So real, so vivid, she had felt it. Just as she had felt the slayer dreams when she was… in there. In her head. But she supposed that was all it was, just living in her head. Just thoughts that didn’t make any sense.

She had been a sick girl. A very sick girl. They told her that when she got there. She was sick, but they could make her better. That person who’d turned to dust? That wasn’t real that was just her mind. She was sick. She was sick. She was sick. And she began to believe them. And then it came, the dream- the delusion, Sunnydale.

But it had been so real… so clear… No. It was nothing.


Friends. Vapid, ditzy, brain dead friends. The ones who had said they were so sad when Buffy got ill, that they had no one to talk to or to go shopping with without her. Seven years and they were exactly the same as she’d left them, without a single thought in their head while hers had been near to bursting.

After she’d been home for about two weeks, they came over to visit. Same old, same old. Boys, hair, clothes, hair, boys. Though they talked to her exactly as they used to she saw it, that little glint in their eyes wondering if their ringleader was still a few french-fries short of a happy meal.

Buffy found herself longing to talk to Cordelia… but Cordy wasn’t real. Just a figment of her imagination, a figment she’d be very glad to talk to right now. Part of her just wanted to envision the teen queen sitting among them, talking,- but she couldn’t. She couldn’t have any ties to her crazy world or she might just get sucked back there again. Not now, not when life was just starting to be life again.

The girls were going to have a movie night. They settled on Stay. They didn’t know what it was about but the guy was supposed to be hot. What was better than eye-candy? Her friends had said. That’s all that they wanted out of life.

The hot guy meant nothing to Buffy, in fact the whole movie didn’t mean anything to her. It was just too weird and she was sure her friends were following it as well as a goldfish could. Even by the end it still hadn’t made much sense to her... the guy was imagining a world, a life, based around the people who were around him while he was dying?

She sighed as her friends waved and left the house, leaving Buffy alone for another night afraid to fall asleep, afraid the dreams would come to her again. Afraid they would suck her back in. Maybe afraid wasn’t the best word, she wanted to be sucked back in. But if that was what she wanted, she must still be crazy.

She wasn’t crazy! Not anymore! She couldn’t be. The doctors had let her go. It was time to prove to herself once and for all that this was all delusions, hallucinations, and other assorted craziness. There was no such thing as vampires or hellmouths and there certainly was no such person as Willow or Xander or Giles and there was absolutely 100% no way there was any place called Sunnydale!

Quietly, she slipped downstairs into Hank’s office and turned on the computer. Google search- Sunnydale. She closed her eyes waiting for it- your search has returned no results. That’s what it had to say. It just HAD to. When she opened her eyes, her heart sank. Sunnydale Funeral Home. Sunnydale Hospital. Sunnydale High School. Hesitantly, she navigated over to the Greyhound Bus Lines site. She had to go there, just once, to prove that it was some ginormous coincidence.


The bus pulled into the station at Sunnydale shortly before sundown. She didn’t know why she’d come here, let alone come here without any idea of where she was going, what she was doing. Oh well, if it got late she could stay at the Sunnydale Motor Inn… if such a place existed in this Sunnydale.

The blonde left the bus station, looking at the suspiciously empty road. Swallowing hard, her feet led her on their own. She didn’t think, just moved. The streets, every last one of them she knew by heart. All of them had been in her dream. No it wasn’t a dream, it was a delusion. It wasn’t real. This was just some big coincidence.

The sky was dim, grey, dismal and the streets were lined with discarded rubbish. In an alleyway, Buffy spotted a discarded chair. She studied it for a moment before breaking off a leg and sliding it into her purse. She was crazy, she was sure of it, but for some reason she felt safer having it as she turned onto Main Street.

Exact. Everything was exactly the same. The Sun Cinema, the Magic Box, the hardware store, the Espresso Pump. All deserted, but all there, bathed in the red of the setting sun as though the movie set her insanity was filmed on was simply displayed for her to walk around in. How? How could some place only in her truly unstable mind actually be real?

She broke the yellow caution tape which blocked the entrance to the coffee shop and lowered herself onto a stool. This was too much, her brain was beginning to ache and throb as though it were about it implode upon itself at any given moment.  This was Sunnydale. Her Sunnydale.

She wasn’t sure how long she’d sat there, tears welling up and threatening to spill, but it must have been a while because the only light source was a single unbroken streetlight illuminating two figures- one clearly male, the other female. Swallowing hard Buffy pushed herself to her feet and began to move.

Steady paced, she made her way towards the pair, ignoring the malicious chuckle hanging in the air that seemed to have come out of nowhere. Her footfalls stopped at the exact moment that she could make out the details of the pale faces in the dim light.

“Willow? Xander?” she breathed.

The leather-clad redhead began to circle the blonde with a hand on her waist. “Well you know us, but who are you?”

There it was, the familiar growl, the change of the face she told couldn’t possibly be. “She’s dinner.” Xander snarled.

Instinct took over. Buffy whipped out the stake from her purse and drove it into the friend she might have had’s heart. “Actually,” she said, watching the stunned face before it exploded into a shower of dust before her. She turned to the female. “I’m Buffy. The Vampire Slayer.” She said.

Willow growled and seized the blonde by the throat in an unrelenting grasp. “I heard about you. They kept you locked up in that mental hospital in L.A… and we got to rule the Hellmouth.” She gave a vicious smile, “Congratulations.”

As the vampire leaned in for the kill, Buffy struck. She could see the cruel grin in the air long after the vampire had gone. A gust of wind took the ashes of those she could have known and carried it down the street into the endless blackness.

So this was Sunnydale. The town the Slayer in her dreamt she’d saved. As tears spilled onto the pavement she let the stake clatter to the ground. Seven years gone that she could’ve done something, but now she was stuck in the reality of her uselessness. Burned into her memory forever were the images of what should’ve been, and a pang of desire for it to be real again.

She heard her salvation, the sound of tires screeching around a corner. A van, headlights washing out the darkness sped down the road. And all she could hope for as she threw herself in front of it, giving reality a defying glare, was that the driver wouldn’t have time to brake.

Coma. The driver of the van, one Daniel Osbourne, along with the other occupants of the van Rupert Giles and Larry Blaisdell, had gotten the woman to the nearest hospital out of town as fast as they could. Her ID was found in her bag and her parents were notified. Coma. They doubted she would ever wake up.

“Cinnamon Buns!” Buffy sat upright in bed, glancing at all who surrounded her. “Or uh… I just had the weirdest- Will!!” Buffy bolted out of bed and threw her arms around her best friend clutching her close. With another arm she pulled Xander into the hug. Tears fell down her cheeks as she settled back into her reality.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
Not the first time I've read a concept like this, but...very clever. Good times. Well...not for Buffy.

However, in the third-from-last paragraph I think you mean "brake".
Aug. 7th, 2007 10:53 am (UTC)
Yes I did. Thank you for that.
Aug. 7th, 2007 02:10 pm (UTC)
I liked this very much
Aug. 7th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )