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Title: Glorified Sea Monkey
Author: Twinkledru J.
Rating: PG-13 for swearing
Disclaimer: Whedon, Smith, et al., not I.
Summary: Buffy talks to God. Sort of.
Notes: This is a bit of a Dogma crossover. 'Cos I've got a bit of an Alan Rickman obsession happening, and this just seemed right.

She was alone, as per usual.

Well, not technically alone, 'cos Dawn and Tara were downstairs watching "Run Lola Run", but she'd gotten the feeling that *they* wanted to be alone and wanted her tacit approval, which was okay with her, after all, Dawn was starting to get interested in magic and it'd probably be a good thing to have a good witch teaching her, even if those weren't the kinds of spells the two of them were interested in right now --

She should have thrown Willow out.

It'd be better to have Tara living here anyway, she gets on better with Tara and so does Dawn (*especially* Dawn) and she trusts Tara more than she does Willow, now.

But she couldn't do that to her best friend, could she? After all, she'd known Willow for six years now. Stick together and all that. Besides, she owed it to Willow. Willow had brought her back from the grave.

Yeah, she definitely should've thrown Willow out.

She hears the door open downstairs and Willow's nervous hello, probably recieved with a cold nod from Dawn and a sad glance from Tara, just as it was every other time Willow came in while they were together. A moment later, the back door slams closed -- Dawn and Tara going outside to hang out together. She really shouldn't let Dawn out after dark, but Tara will take care of her.

It'd be nice if someone would take care of Buffy. Like they did.

She remembers them, a little. Every day she wakes up and the memories have faded a little more. After all, you're never supposed to return to remember them and her puny little human mind has a tough time concieving of what her soul recalls. But she remembers heaven just a little.

And she remembers that they've been watching her and probably still are.

"Why'd you let her take me?" she asks the silent spirits she knows are in here. "Why'd you let her do it?"

Nothing. Not that she really expected anything.

"Fine, fuck you too," she says, tired. "Good night."

"Oh, come on, you have to cut us a little slack," says an impatient male voice from behind her. Not entirely used to people popping into her bedroom and startling her late at night, she does the reflexive Slayer thing -- yanks out a stake, backflips, and lands with the stake just a hair's width away from the guy's heart.

"For Christ's sake!" he snaps, yanking the stake away from her and tossing it to the ground. "You people...if it's not a fire extinguisher ruining my famous entrance it's fucking wood through the heart! You ever hear of

*religious awe*?"

Buffy frowns at him for a second. "You -- I know you...don't I?"

The guy, a sallow-complected, dark-haired British man a little taller than Buffy, rolls his eyes. "Well, at least you're a little more interesting to talk to than others. Yes. You do."

And she does, she knows. From a dream, perhaps, or something... it's hard to think of, but she knows him.

"I do know you," she repeats. "But -- "

"But your little glorified sea-monkey brain can't handle the memories, is the problem," he prompts her. "Let me help you out. Stand back."

Buffy takes a step back as she hears a rustling noise, and watches as out of the guy's back come --


(and it's starting to itch at her brain now *where* has she seen him?)

And he reaches out, with a tolerant -- if gently superior, he's getting off just a little on the superiority here -- smiles, and cups her cheek, and in a flash, it all comes back to her.

"The Voice," she says, forgetting how she remembers it exactly, but knowing that she does remember it.

"Good girl," he tells her, more gently now.

"I miss Mom," she whispers.

"Your mother?"

"Both of them."

He smiles at this. "She misses you too, you know."

"Which one?"

"Both of them."

She stares at him for a minute, not needing to ask the question because his ancient eyes tell her that he can see it in her young young young *too* young ones, and he doesn't need to answer it because there is no answer he could give that could make it ever hurt less than it does right now and every single minute, second, heartbeat since she was ripped away.

Buffy's going to cry, she can feel it in her throat and knows her bottom lip must be creeping out just the tiniest bit, and for once she doesn't curse herself for it.

Gently, he reaches out for her and holds her as she begins to cry, and he smells like heavy rain and light heather and a little bit of peppermint as she really sobs for the first time back. She can feel his feathers brushing her back as he wraps his wings around her, and she wishes that she could just stay like this forever.

"Shhh," he whispers finally, when it's arbitrary because she's stopped crying now anyway and is just breathing in the lingering smell of heaven.

"Stay here," she breathes, her eyes still closed and she's closer to home than she has been in what feels like months. "Please."

Buffy feels him smile, but he doesn't say anything, just holds her a little longer.

At the sound of a male voice in Buffy's room, Willow opened the door cautiously, one hand preparing a fireball spell just in case.

She stopped at the sight in there. Some guy with wings was holding Buffy gently, and Buffy looked --

Buffy looked happy --

for the first time since she'd been back Buffy looked happy.

Buffy didn't look up when Willow came in, but the guy did. "Get out," he said coldly, contempt in his voice. "I think you've done enough."

She got out.

Buffy woke up the next morning lying on top of her covers, and found that he hadn't left. He was seated on the edge of the bed, back to her, wings unfurled.

"You feeling better?" he asked only a moment after she woke.

"Marginally," she replies sleepily.

He turns, smiles that more public, superior smirk, leans down and kisses her gently on the forehead. "You'll be all right," he assures her. "I'll try to check up on you every now and then."

"Kay," she murmurs, already starting to fall back asleep.

Her room still smells like rain when he vanishes again, and she reflects that this makes twice now that she's woken up next to Angels, grimaces at her own bad pun, and is finally asleep.

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