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Choosing - Chosen -2- The Chosen One

Author: JoDi
Title: Chosen -2- The Chosen One
Fandom: BtVS
See contents for disclaimer and links to all chapters
Summary: Activating all the potentials has an unforeseen effect on Buffy and we find out what it really means to be Chosen.

The Chosen One

Buffy awoke to the sound of soft snoring with the dim predawn light washing over her face through a gap in heavy curtains. The room was bare and musty, an old hotel room that could only be Angels.

She took in the contents of the room. Bed, dresser, chair. A second door that she assumed opened into an en-suite. A scuffed carpet on the floor.

The minimum required to make a room bearable. Nothing that came even close to making it seem lived in, homely. This room had never been loved. It was just a place to be. That seemed apt in some way.

Buffy blinked

As she consciously observed her surroundings her instincts had focused on the only other person in the room, and had reacted immediately to the unexpected presence of company. Curled up on the chair, with a blade to her neck, was Faith.

Buffy hadn’t even noticed that she’d moved much less thought about drawing the knife from the sheath on Faiths’ leg but fear drawn of centuries of mistrust had done it for her. For a moment surprised that that it was not a Scooby watching over her, the blade still hadn’t been moved when the sleeping girl awoke.

A steady brown gaze met hers as the knife was lowered

“Sorry, I’m used to waking up alone” as soon as the words left her mouth Buffy frowned. No she wasn’t. She was used to being surrounded by the annoying brat-like potentials. At all times.

That was all it took, a couple of blinks, half a dozen breaths.

From waking to having the memories flood back. She was The Slayer. She was The Chosen One. She still had more wars to fight. Alone.

Buffy wasn’t used to waking up alone but for hundreds of wary lifetimes when sleeping lightly was all that stood between her and a quiet death in the night meant that instinctually she assumed anything near her in the night was a threat. And if that doesn’t tell you something about the average Slayers love life nothing will.

Her new memories had somehow integrated themselves into the ones that belonged to Buffy, but were also vaguely ordered to the extent that she remembered the Persian court, and something about the Incas but had no clue which came before the others.

The more recent memories were more continuous, shared global history making it easier to place which lifetime had come before the other. A bit like dating childhood memories through prominent family events.

She could remember everyone she’d been. But the first memory was the worst, the most prominent.

**She felt the cold metal of shackles around her wrists and saw them attached to the ground as she looked around helplessly at her surroundings trying to find a way to escape. She felt so strange, so weak.

There were three men there, tribal shamans. One bought a box to the centre of the circle marked on the floor and opened it as they continually chanted.

Black smoke emerged from the box in long tentacles. She struggled against her restraints in vain as the black smoke came toward her, entering her body through her nose and ears. As the smoke seeped into every particle of her being a rush of pure power went through her.

She was now strong enough to break her restraints. She left the men behind as she rushed out, blindly running away from her tormentors. Finally slowing her impossible pace when she reached a stream.

This was how she felt when she had been called, when the power of the slayer had first joined with her. Scared. Of her new strength, Senses. Everything was magnified, finally coming into focus. She looked into the water and the face of the first slayer, her face looked back.**

That was who she was, what she was. Where it all started.

She could feel the strength, the enhanced senses, all constantly increasing as she rid herself of the last dregs of sleep. Faith’s heartbeat was a quickly beating drum, resounding through her head. She could hear, word for word, the conversation a family was having over dinner two blocks away. Sebastian had got into Harvard. Good for him. Her ‘spider sense’ told her there were six vamp nests in a 5km radius of here. And that was without stretching her senses.

There was definitely a reason a new slayer didn’t get the full package. She had built up control of her abilities over the years, and without that, she knew she would have been doubled over in pain as the noise, smells, and vivid sights assailed her senses. Meditation was a necessary skill for a slayer. Without it you go insane.

Bringing herself inwards, back to the room, she tried unsuccessfully to return to a form of normality. With such strong forces to contain she could only reduce it to the sort of state she used to keep on a patrol, hyper alert for anything unexpected.

Without noises outside the hotel distracting her she could hear the rest of the gang downstairs and knew she’d have to face them soon. Trying to curb the restlessness this constant state of vigilance was giving her, she focused on Faith and for the first time saw fear in her eyes.

Fear of what Buffy had become.

“I’m going to go downstairs. I don’t want to have to explain this more than once.”

~ ~ ~

With those words Buffy left the room without a backwards glance to check if she was followed. Faith thought back to the rush of power that had built up and flowed out of the other Slayer as she woke and realized she didn’t need to. Buffy no longer needed to look to see if she was coming, if she even cared.

But there was never really a thought of not complying. Even though Buffys’ words had been more of a statement than a demand, telling her what the blonde planned and letting Faith decide her own course. It was more that there was something about the aura around her that drew you in.

Well that and she wanted to know what the fuck was going on. That was the real reason Faith followed her out of the room.

~ ~ ~

When Buffy stepped out onto the top of the stairs descending into the huge lobby every face in the room turned her way. There wasn’t a logical reason for it; she moved without a sound in the off-putting fluid movements that she only adopted when she was hunting; or knew herself to be hunted. Using achingly slow movements that somehow made her travel faster than your head told you she could; hiding in the fact that after each step an observer had to force their eyes from the place they expected her to be to where she had ended up.

There was something though, a feeling that flowed into the room before her and instantly made its occupants aware that someone important had joined them. Many of the watching faces now wore faint smiles, despite the worry that had been filling the hall moments before.

Buffy was here.

Despite her appearance, the blood stained clothes that had been ruined by battle long before she slept in them and fixed the creases in shape. Regardless of the tight almost pained expression on her face as she held back the thing that tried to overwhelm her. She felt safe.

She had a power, a glow that drew you to her. It spoke of strength and protection. In a small way it had always been there. A subtle aura that told the rescued not to be afraid of the small girl that had just destroyed large vampires with super strength. But now it seemed to flow out form her in waves.

The whole hotel was a safe haven. It made you feel at peace, cared for, loved. It felt like home.

Despite the contentment flowing through the hall, a few faces still bore signs of worry. The Scoobies were too desensitized from years of exposure to be put off from the mystery at hand.

Buffy sighed as she looked around her. It was the watcher-raised potentials that would take this the worst. They had been bought up to believe that, if worthy, they would be chosen to protect their world. With their dislike of Buffy obvious in their mutiny, it would be hard to convince them that the blissful power of the slayer that had run through them for a short time did not belong to them.
A few of the potentials still looked at her with resentment but that was nothing to Kennedys’ murderous gaze, that girl who had thrown her whole life into what she may become. Never doubting that one day she would be called.

“What did you do to us?” Kennedy growled, she stepped forward in a movement that would have intimidated most people Buffys’ size; using her larger body to make the older girl feel small in comparison. It was the same sort of gestures she had made on arriving in Sunnydale.

Before she really understood that it had been a long time since mere height had intimidated the blonde. But in her anger Kennedy was reverting to what she knew best, not thinking straight enough to realize that angering Buffy was not the best idea when her whole body was tense and ready. Humming with the urge to fight.

Luckily for the brunette her girlfriend wasn’t so oblivious, glancing warily at Buffy as she pulled the girl back, attempting to calm her. But what stopped Kennedy from vocalizing her thoughts more wasn’t the redheads’ touch; it was the eerily cold smile that appeared on the chosen ones face.

She could feel the slayer assessing her worth as an adversary, and then it was gone and replacing the calculating expression was one of amusement. Kennedy knew herself to have been judged but what riled the most was that mockingly raised eyebrow that told her the verdict.

“What Kennedy meant to ask, was do you know what happened? All the slayers collapsed. And you were all with the glowy. Now they don’t feel anything. They’re still stronger than usual but definitely not slayers. And you were talking in your sleep - in Sumerian!! When did you learn to speak that anyway? We thought it was just gibberish but when you slowed down dawn recognized some words. And Faith said you were still a slayer, oh and the scythe gets all glowy around you. What’s with that. And…”

Willow broke off when Buffys’ eyes met hers. Though her physical appearance wasn’t changed there was something in her eyes that betrayed her, giving away what had happened. Always aged far beyond her years their hazel depths now contained the knowledge and sorrow of millennia.

“I’m not entirely sure what’s going on” Kennedy snorted in disbelief prompting a wave of skepticism amongst the potentials. “I really don’t know… not why your powers have gone. We can try to work out…” All the room could tell that only the Scoobies were contained in that ‘we’ knowing from past experience that the core group would make their decisions then tell the rest what they thought they needed to know.

A chorus of discontented mutterings started up “we deserve to know too.” being the general consensus. She’d barely paid attention to who had survived before, not wanting to look over the girls she had taken into hell and see the missing faces. But she saw that the ones who had survived were almost entirely the girls like Kennedy.

The ones who lived and breathed because they might one day become The Slayer. That had let training become all they did. In a way it was proof positive that the Councils’ methods of isolating potentials turned them into better slayers. At least for the short term.

Kennedy, seemingly their spokesperson told Buffy in a barely controlled rage. “You took our powers away. We WILL know what you’ve done and, when we fix it, I’m gonna show you what a true slayer is.” She failed to realize that it would take far more than some physical enhancements to make Buffy change her previous assessment.

With her boredom of Kennedy’s self perceived importance clearly written on Buffy’s face, she cocked her head at the group “Ok then, stay.” she looked at Kennedy, dark humor evident in her eyes. The rest of the room let out a breath as Buffy failed to attack the stubborn brunette for her outburst, not knowing that the coming explanation would cause the girl far more lasting pain.

I’m going to enjoy this. They want the full version. They can have it and live with it.

And the tale began.

“Most of you probably heard what we found out about the origin of slayers. But for those of you that only know the Councils’ fairytale version, I’ll begin there. As some very stuck up men once wrote ‘First, there was the Earth. Then there came the demons. After demons, there came men. The men found a girl.’ The men took the demons power and forced it into her.

“It made her strong; they created the first slayer.

“They sent her to fight the demons and, when she fell protecting them, her power was passed on to another with a spirit strong enough to house the power; who was called upon by the Shadow Men to fight. And so the slayer line continued through the ages. Watched over by the descendents of the Shadow Men, who eventually became the Watchers Council.”

A few of the potentials seemed interested in this mythology, but most were merely impatient. This was all very well and good but they wanted to know why the thing that had bonded with them and given them power had been so viciously ripped back out.

“I’m sure you’ve all heard of reincarnation. A person is reincarnated when she dies?”

“Can you just get to the point? This isn’t story time.” snapped the most impatient potential.

“Willow can you please get your girlfriend to control herself for five minutes?” Buffy snapped, the constant annoyance of the girl beginning to try at her control. Kennedy’s stare was pure murder, but the comfort of being pulled into Willow’s arms allowed her to control her bitter retorts, Willow nodded at her friend to continue the story.

“Well, the soul of the first slayer was reborn as a baby girl, and in due time, when she was of the correct age, she inevitably became a slayer.

“This continued through time. The slayers essence so to speak going into others as well but invariably granting power to the original. When I collapsed on the edge of the cliff I saw the lives of all these slayers, until it reached the last incarnation of the first slayer. Me.”

The revelation caused not more anger but shocked silence, those that knew Watcher mythology were mostly just shocked that anyone would dare to claim such heritage.

Xander as ever was the one to break the tension “So does that mean I should take the heart thing personally Buf, cause that dream was kinda painfully intense”

Buffy looked apologetically at Xand “I guess we don’t like company in this body. There’s enough of us here already without three more.” she smiled gratefully at Xander for easing dome of the tension. Though most of the potentials didn’t get it, it was the Scoobies that she wanted to understand.

“When I was unconscious I met with the first slayer. She showed me all I have been. I now have the memory of all our incarnations in my head.” she looked up sheepishly at willow “I guess that’s how I know Sumerian.”

“So you’re saying not only do you now have millennia of slaying experience, you also know ancient languages?” asked her mentor and former watcher, furiously cleaning his glasses.

“Well I guess I know all the ones that have been my native tongue, so yeah… oh and all the modern languages of course.” she added as an afterthought.

“Of course” Giles mumbled. Feeling even more redundant. He had already been told that she no longer needed his guidance, but now even his knowledge was becoming obsolete.

“Well that’s pretty much all I know. Though I definitely haven’t lost my slayer powers like the others. More of the opposite really. I feel loads stronger and faster than before.”

The potentials’ interest waned as they realized that Buffy really didn’t have an explanation for the loss of their powers. Starting their own conversations that mostly ignored what they had just been told. That had been about Buffy not them. The Scooby’s however silently mulled it over, each approaching the mystery from their own perspective. Eventually, Willow seemed to reach some sort of conclusion.


“Err, yes Willow feral gem.” Buffy looked up at her Watcher questioningly, who merely shrugged looking just as baffled as his former charge.

“You know, when that demon split Xander in two?” Buffy and Giles nodded, both understanding the reference, but not the relevance to their current problem. “He was meant to be one being, so it was easy to put him back together. What if the… essence… of the slayer is the same.” comprehension flooded over Giles’ features.

“Of course. It’s natural state is to be as one entity, in one slayer at a time. So it was drawn back together. With Buffy’s lineage as the reincarnation of the first slayer. It was naturally drawn to her!” Giles looked around in triumph only to see Willows disgruntled face “Well yeah. I just figured that out” she mumbled.

“But with two Me...s Willow still had to end the spell on us. She had to stop the power forcing me into two. It’s not like Willow decided to end the spell making all the slayers.” Xander leveled a mock suspicious gaze on the witch in question “Unless you’ve been holding out on us Will?” Buffy looked up in comprehension.

“It was me.” she whispered. At her friends unanimous reaction of “huh” she explained “I was hurt, dying I think. Then I was seeing all those lives... and the pain was gone. I think the spell broke because the slayer wanted to save me.” she suddenly thought about what she had been saying “God, I sound so self involved. Everyone looses their powers and it’s all about me.”

“Well yeah B, but we already knew that you thought that so it’s ok.” Faith teased the older slayer. Earning herself a slap that would have seriously injured anyone else. “If you want to find out for sure what’s going on I spoke to Angel while you were out of it, having mystical rendezvous with the first slayer… or yourself… whatever. He suggested we visit the oracles and ask them what’s the what. Seemed to think they could help with lost powers.”

~ ~ ~

And so Buffy came to be standing in a chamber underneath the post office looking at a white stone arc in the wall.

Hmm ‘gateway for lost souls’ well I’m definitely lost.

Willow sprinkled some herbs into an urn “We beseech access to the knowing ones..” she dropped a lit match into the urn and it burst into flames. The arc started glowing and filled with light. She looked at Buffy. “You're up."

She took a step forward, and then looked back at Faith who was holding tightly to an ornate axe ‘borrowed’ from Angel’s armory, unwilling to face anything this strange without a weapon in her hands. “Aren’t you coming?”

Faith had been chosen to represent the potentials when Buffy made it clear that she would be leading this expedition, and Kennedy wasn’t welcome to join. Making her leave the room in a huff, muttering derogatory comments about Buffys ability to lead.

That girl was oddly hypocritical in her views; she had this belief that even the potential to be a slayer gave her some standing above others, but didn’t translate this into respect for those that already were slayers.

They stepped through the gateway into a white marble chamber. The whole room was filled with a bright light but it had no source, as if the stones themselves were shining. In front of them stood two figures, one male, one female, both glittering in the light as well as producing an inner glow all of their own. The whole place was blindingly brilliant.

"Come before us, lower beings." intoned the male figure, a stern expression on his face.

"What have you brought us?" asked the woman when the slayers both stood directly below the dominating figures.

“We were supposed to bring gifts?” Buffy turned to Faith “Did Angel say anything about presents?”

"You call us forth and bring us no offering?"

Faith shrugged and chucked Angels’ axe at the ‘man’.

The woman nodded contentedly, satisfied with what they gave. “A weapon is the gift of a true warrior” Though the man seemed less impressed by the offering.

"Well?" he prompted after a moment of silence, obviously the more impatient of the two beings.

"What's happened to me?" Buffy asked.

“You have found yourself.” He replied simply, leaving it to his partner elaborate.

“Through the ages, The Slayer sought for you. You were the first, and though it’s essence was housed in other shell that were deemed strong enough, it always returned to you. Your Soul and The Slayer had bonded so it felt the loss of you akin to the loss of a true soul mate.

“Into every generation you were reborn, and in each generation the slayer waited in other bodies until it deemed you ready. You are the Chosen One. The soul of The Slayer.”

“So you weren’t jokin bout that shit huh B? But why have the potentials lost their strength?”

“It was unnatural for The Slayer to be split. When The Chosen One was dying The Slayers’ essence overcame the spell and rejoined with her to save her.” He paused and some anger came into his voice as he continued “But all the power had been released to feed so many, in a way that never has been before, and there was no way to trap it once more.” the man looked intently at Buffy “You now have all the power of the slayer.”

Without giving them time to think what this could mean the woman’s voice replaced the mans, flowing with the continuity of one thought, one being. “You will heal in minutes. Stay youthful as those around you wither. Gain strength, even more than that which you now posses. You have an eternity to live. Use it wisely”

As all this information hit her, Buffy sank to her knees. She had known that she’d changed, that for some reason she’d been bought back from the brink of death and made stronger than ever. But this… to still be stuck here away from that place of peace without a hope of an end.

To live forever. That was unbearable.

“But why do I still have my strength?” Faith asked, pressing for the answers they needed despite Buffy’s despondency.

“You were the slayer for a long period of time. It alters you; body and soul when it bonds with you, making you stronger. This is not removed.

“It is why the potentials that became slayers will always be stronger, faster and heal quicker than a normal person. As you were slayer for so long you still have the complete benefits of a slayer”

“Won’t there be… repercussions?” Buffy had somewhat recovered and stood to question the Oracles. She gave Faith a fugitive glance before elaborating “I know The First… it could attack because I wasn’t meant to come back, I was meant to stay…” even now she didn’t like to complete that sentence.

“Will this give more power to Evil?” The woman clarified Buffys point in a voice that sounded uncommonly kind despite its aloofness “No, child.” She smiled sadly at Buffy as the man continued.

“The First bought the Scythe back into play and so cannot use this tip in the balance to its benefit. The debt created by your resurrection has been repaid in full.”

Once again the woman added to what he said, not exactly finishing his sentence; but completing his paragraph “But remember everything we do creates a reaction and an Immortal Slayer will cause many waves…”

The man looked at his companion in anger. “You have already told them too much.” Just as they had seemed so similar moments before now they seemed terribly different. He raised his hand and both slayers flew out of the arc into the Scoobies waiting on the other side for their return.

Continue to Chosen -3- Hard to Drown in the Shallow End

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