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Unnatural Progression

Prompt:  Killerwatt
Words:324
Setting: Post-series, into the future
Rating:  G
Title:  Unnatural Progression



Drizzlydaze's "Endings" set me to thinking.  What would a Slayer's natural lifespan be if she were never killed? 


Unnatural Progression

.

          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.

.
FIN

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
slaymesoftly
Oct. 25th, 2012 11:52 am (UTC)
OMG - Another heartbreaker. *sniffles*
Faith is in attendance, and they eye each other. She is (selfishly) glad that she is not alone.

So very likely to be what happens to them. Wonderful idea.
red_satin_doll
Oct. 25th, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
Wow.

I've read fics that say/suggest that Buffy will live an unnaturally long time but only one other (it was a lovely one, too) that suggested the opposite. Which is something I've never thought about but yes it makes sense.


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…”


My favorite part, spare, gorgeous and heartbreaking, and that dialogue is SO Giles, to the last.

And of course there would be lots of guilt, condemning all those other girls in the world to early deaths - and so the life of a Slayer would be short and brutal after all. Yes, Buffy would feel very guilty about it.
spuffy_luvr
Oct. 25th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
I love quotage. Makes me feel all quotable!

I always give her an extended life in my longer fics, and I am going to keep on doing it! (Take that, logic!)

Thank you.
red_satin_doll
Oct. 25th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
I always give her an extended life in my longer fics, and I am going to keep on doing it!

Hurrah!

I enjoy pieces like this that are very well-written but of course in the end, I enjoy my Buffy best strong (and sharp and bitchy and tender and all that stuff.)

Very nice nods to Faith and Spike, btw - I can totally see him being very tender and careful with her.
spuffy_luvr
Oct. 25th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
WAH! I know. In my fics I always give her a slower aging process, but I got to thinking about it... and both scientifically and mystically it really should be the opposite. Of course I'm going to pretend I never came to this conclusion! Thank you.
gillo
Oct. 25th, 2012 02:31 pm (UTC)
Heartbreaking. Plausible concept, but my fingers are in my ears and I can't hear it.
spuffy_luvr
Oct. 25th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
I'm right with you on not hearing it! I'm going to keep on writing Buffy with an extended lifespan in my own fics, I don't care what ever-so-logical conclusions I have come to!

Thank you.
zanthinegirl
Oct. 25th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
Ouch. That's a twist I haven't seen done, and it makes a ton of sense.

But ouch.
spuffy_luvr
Oct. 25th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
Very ouch. I'm going to pretend I never thought of it, no matter how much sense it makes. She will always live longer for me!

Thank you.
shapinglight
Oct. 25th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, that was terribly sad.

Very well done.
spuffy_luvr
Oct. 25th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
*sniffle* I know. It was going to be my last prompt, but I think I need to end on a more humorous note. Thank you.
rebcake
Oct. 25th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is fantastic. It makes all kinds of sense, emotionally, magically, karmically. I love that Spike just doesn't even go there 'til he has to.

The Council never knew…

Like hell. Here's a fic that says otherwise:

The Bitter Truth by jAkL
http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-8350/jAkL+Bitter+Truth.htm
spuffy_luvr
Oct. 26th, 2012 02:16 am (UTC)
Ooh, something new to read, yay! When I started thinking about her lifespan, it did make sense scientifically and magically... and yeah, karmically too. But I don't wanna believe!

Thank you.
spuffy_luvr
Oct. 28th, 2012 08:43 am (UTC)
Whoa, I just read the Bitter Truth. Chilling.
annapurna_2
Oct. 27th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
So beautiful and so heartbreaking. When I realized where it was going, I went "Duh!" because that outcome had never occurred to me. But it really makes a tragic kind of sense.

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.


Right. Through. The. Heart. ::sniffle::
spuffy_luvr
Oct. 28th, 2012 06:28 am (UTC)
It struck me as so logical when I thought about it, but I kinda wish I never had... Thanks.
seapealsh
Oct. 28th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
That is not a farfetched idea, but it is a painful one to read. Well-written.
spuffy_luvr
Oct. 28th, 2012 06:29 am (UTC)
Painful indeed. Thanks.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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