Setting: Post-series, into the future
Title: Unnatural Progression
Drizzlydaze's "Endings" set me to thinking. What would a Slayer's natural lifespan be if she were never killed?
It starts with little things.
Wrinkles appear, long before they should. Things sag, just a bit more than she would like. Just a bit more than they do for, say, Willow. She gets taken for Dawn’s mother far too often to ignore.
Spike never says a word, never agrees when she asks him about it. But he holds her hand more tightly.
There is a Council pow-wow. Not about her, about some demon. Faith is in attendance, and they eye each other. She is (selfishly) glad that she is not alone.
From there it progresses more rapidly.
Menopause by twenty-six. Hair thin and white and crinkly soon after. Deep lines in her face, dentures, shaking hands, incontinence. She doubts she will see thirty.
The funny thing? She’s still abnormally strong. And she never gets sick.
The only kind of love they can make is tender now. She has tried to release him, but of course he won’t go. That look in his eye never wavers, and it makes her feel young again. Or at least, her age.
She and Faith go shopping for canes, then walkers, then nurses. The younger girls aren’t far behind.
Nothing helps. Not science, not magic.
She is burning up, burning out, going supernova.
“I am so very sorry, Buffy. This is, apparently, the price your body is paying. For being the Slayer. For having such an enhanced metabolism. The Council never knew…”
How could they have known? She was never supposed to make it past twenty. Of course being stronger, faster, healing quicker would have a price. She has always known she would have a shortened lifespan. She just never imagined it would end like this.
He finally admits to having noticed. “Guess I’ll get to watch that sunrise any day now, eh pet?”
Her voice is a frail whisper.
“Live. For me. Live the life I wanted to have with you.”
He looks away.
But he hears..