Change My World
by Prophecy Girl
Disclaimer: All copyrighted characters, situations, etc. are the property
of their rightful owners. Buffy the vampire slayer belongs to Joss Whedon,
Twentieth Century Fox.
Summary: Two girls at the end of the world.
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Is it really nighttime if the sky isn't dark? Eight
o'clock on a summer evening and the sun is just beginning to sink beyond
the horizon, bathing the streets and parks of Sunnydale in a haunting red
light that bears an uncanny resemblance to blood. Thoughts of crimson fluid
flooding the small town, overflowing and hurrying through backyards, splashing
against doors and beating at windows, fill the minds of even the most innocent
residents of the little Hell-town.
Innocence twirls on the dance floor, swathed in pastel pink and lavender,
with a crown of thorns and flowing white skirt. Christ has risen again in
the form of the pale ghost waving her arms at her sides as her feet and
dress brush lightly over the wooden floorboards. Her eyes are closed in
pleasure, the music flows through her lithe body instead of blood.
If she cuts herself, maybe brightly colored chords will pour out of the
wound and the whole world will hear her song. In this world, she thinks,
even innocence is corrupt. The streets flow with blood-real blood, not her
arpeggios and trebles. Those were just for her.
A faint smile plays over the ruby red lips that resemble corruption as she
pictures the waves of blood rushing down the identical streets of every
suburban neighborhood. Bushes and bicycles swept away with it, and her watching
it from a rowboat, floating on the river of death. On top of the world and
all it's saints and sinners. She watches the girl in the flowing gown swaying
to the music, and knows how they got here.
A tongue flicks out over crimson lips as she takes her rightful place behind
the other girl, wrapping an arm around her waist and rocking lightly with
her. Innocuously, the blonde leaned against her and sighed, a warm little
puff of air. Faith takes the same consolation in that one breath that her
lighter, smaller counterpart takes in the Fiona Apple song they sway to.
"Nothing's gonna change my world.. Nothing's gonna change my world.."
"Nothing.." a soft voice whispers in Faith's ear.
Hours later, Faith packs a bag.
"Why do we have to go?" Buffy asks.
Faith glares at her and puts piles of leather bottoms and spandex tops in
her bag. "You've had the dreams, too. You know what's going to happen.
We have to go."
"I don't want to," Buffy says softly, her voice childish. This
is her home.
Faith turns the news on. People shout outside of an official building. "Then
if you walk contrary to me, and will not hearken to me, I will bring more
plagues upon you, sevenfold as many as your sins. And I will let loose the
wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy
your cattle, and make you few in number, so that your ways shall become
desolate," a self-proclaimed prophet quotes the Bible.
"Even they know what's going to happen, what's already happening. It's
everywhere. We have to go," she says again. "Now."
Where can you go when the world is ending, Buffy wonders to herself. Mars,
maybe we can go to Mars. It's far away from the rivers of blood. No one
ever thought war would be fought on U.S. soil. Buffy remembers being five
years old, Grandpa Summers talking about the stars and the stripes and what
they stood for. Once upon a time, they had meaning. They were a medal to
be worn proudly. I'm an American citizen. United we were, divided we are,
you can run but you can't go far, sung in a child's voice, echoing through
her ears. No, those aren't the words we learned standing under the flag
speaking with all the pride a six year old could muster. Back then, there
was hope, there was a future.
"I'm an American citizen," she whispers, tears coming to her eyes.
Faith reaches out to her. In her eyes, Buffy sees pools of blood. "You
want this," she says accusingly. "I'm an American citizen! It
"Can't it?" Faith asks coldly, pulling away from Buffy once again.
The land of the free and the home of the brave, with liberty and justice
for all, forever and ever, amen. What a joke. From the redwood forest to
the Gulf Stream waters, this land was made for you and me. A child's voice
singing for purple mountains majesty, above the fruited plain. America,
"God shed his grace on thee.. And crown thy good.." Buffy lightly
fingered the branches wrapping around her head. It used to be a vine of
roses, now it was a crown of thorns. Why didn't Faith have one? She was
a martyr for the fallen country as much as Buffy was. She watched Faith
pack the rest of their belongings into a second duffel bag, unaware of her
"Where will we go?"
"The docks." Faith takes her hand and leads her away from their
lives, unaware of the battle at the docks. Sunnydale, just your average
little town, with its own army. Vampires and humans fighting alongside each
other, working for the same cause. But it's too late. The water is red,
saturated with spilled blood, and the faces of the last crusaders still
bob along the surface. How can you fight the evil that you are? And if you
can't, where will you go? The entire United States was soaked in blood and
From sea to shining sea.
Faith didn't know much about politics or how they worked, but she knew a
thing or two about wrong and right, and no matter what her fantasies about
the streets being paved with the blood of her neighbors, what was happening
now was scarier than any little girl's dream. She felt very tiny when looking
out over the sea. Here it was friendly crystal clear water, and the sky
was blue and cloudless.
"Why did they do it?" Buffy asked from the corner. She'd refused
to move once they'd left the ruins that were their home.
Faith shrugged and shook her head. "I don't know."
"You've killed people," she said without a hint of accusation.
Faith was hurt, anyway. "I fucked up. The guy.. He was an accident.
The others.. There were reasons. Now there are no reasons."
Since when was being human a reason for anything?
"Tell me a story," Buffy whispered, reaching out to be held. Faith
sat down and took the smaller girl into her arms, rocking her.
"Once upon a time.."
"Not that one. Tell me about what happened. It's a fairy tale, right?"
Faith took Buffy's tiny hand into hers and traced her thumb over it, choosing
wisely to ignore the question. She began to speak.
"A few years ago, the USA decided to end the ethnic cleansings in the
Middle East with a military action. Lots of men and women headed across
the ocean in planes and ships. But they never made it where they were going.
Japan had been planning for years to get back at the USA for the bombings
in World War II, and this was their opportunity to 'come in through the
back door' just like they said." Buffy shivered. "Lots of people
thought that the US government planned this, as a way to strike up war again
to boost the economy. Since a big part of our military went down over the
ocean, and our borders weren't secure, Japan invaded and began the first-ever
war on US soil, not counting the Civil War."
"I don't want to hear anymore," Buffy said quietly. "I don't
like the ending."
Faith pulled the blonde against her tightly. She tried to remember when
it began affecting them. Japan invaded on the West Coast, but in the north.
It really started when Xander was called to fight, she guessed. His birthday
on the television just like in the 60's. July 30th. She shivered and, seeing
that Buffy had fallen asleep, she pulled a piece of crumpled notebook paper
out of her pocket as well as a pen.
This is my manifesto. Buffy needs to know the truth one day, and I fully
intend to die before she does. She doesn't remember anything. I told her
there was a war. The first of many lies. The truth is even worse. We failed.
"Where are we going?" Buffy asked. "Heaven? Hell? The moon?"
Faith lay on her back, closed eyes staring towards the sky. "Everywhere.
Anywhere. Where do you want to go?"
"Mars. Am I dying?"
Faith rolled away from her. "Everyone's dying."
"But is everyone dying like me? I feel funny."
Faith shook her head. "No one's dying like you and me are dying."
"Are we sick?"
"You could say that."
Buffy was quiet. She wanted to ask Faith so much. Why didn't she know? "Soon?"
"Are we going to die soon?"
So that was it, then. "We should do something special."
"Like what?" Faith sneered. "Go out for dinner? We could
have a romantic evening and celebrate our deaths. How's that?"
"Let's jump." Faith stared at her. "We'll jump. We won't
wait to die sick. We'll jump. Together. The way it should be."
A cherub's face streaked with tears, teeth chewing on swollen lips, begging
for a way out. Faith had denied her the truth, could she deny her release
Faith moved, forcing her lips against Buffy's. A rough hand ran up her side,
cupping the other girl's breast..
And then both of them were naked and moving against each other, by the dawn's
early light. Hands and mouths found soft flesh and hard nipples, nails scratching
trails down spines, legs entwined. It was searingly hot and they were drenched
with perspiration and arousal. Clutching at each other, thrusting and moaning,
their faces flushed. Fingers nestled in tiny crevices, tongues meeting one
Where did the ship take them? Somewhere beautiful, where the cerulean ocean
wasn't stained with blood. Maybe this world wasn't ending. Was it the same
world? It didn't look like it. But they were still sick. They would jump,
Buffy decided. Faith slept next to her with a brooding look of anguish on
her face. She lightly ran her hand over Faith's hip, and heard a crinkle
when she reached the brunette's pocket. Curious, she reached in and pulled
out a few folded up pieces of paper.
She woke up today. I don't know whether to be happy or disappointed. If
she never woke up, it would be easier. I'd never have to tell her. But she
doesn't remember. Any of it. She'll start asking soon, and I can't tell
her the truth. She wouldn't be able to go on living if I did. I have to
lie to her to protect her. Maybe one day I'll tell her the truth. For now,
I'll come up with something.
Buffy furrowed her brow and looked at the next piece.
This is my manifesto. She needs to know the truth one day, and I fully intend
to die before she does. She doesn't remember anything. I told her there
was a war. The first of many lies. The truth is even worse. We failed. She
"Faith. Faith! FAITH!" Buffy cried out, horrified.
Faith shot up. "What? What happened?"
Buffy remembered her dance, swaying innocently, Faith's arms around her.
The feel of Faith's lips against hers, the taste of her still fresh on Buffy's
tongue. She put her fist on the ground behind her.
"I had a nightmare. I'm sorry. Go back to sleep."
Faith eyed her for a moment, kissed her forehead, and lay back down. Buffy
waited until she heard her snoring a little, and pulled the papers out again.
I hate lying to her. I feel sick, like something crawled inside my stomach
and died. Maybe it's me. I'm dying. We're all dying now anyway, so it doesn't
matter. Nothing matters except the last days we have left. The days I'm
lying to her.
"Tell me the truth, Faith.." she whispered, shuffling the papers
If you're reading this.. I'm dead. And I'm sorry that you won't be able
to yell at me, but that's the breaks.I lied to you. About everything. There
was no war. Not the one I told you about, anyway. Don't read any further
if you don't want to know the truth. Which I don't think you want to, but
I figured I at least owed you the option.
Buffy paused there. Did she want to know?
It started with Riley, after he went back to the Initiative. We found out,
through him, about the plague. A new disease of some sort, conjured up by
another branch of the government. Literally conjured. You can't be suprised
that the government has connections. Special connections. Think Wolfram
& Hart. It was a plan to keep the population down-too many babies being
born, too many people living to be too old. Not enough food and housing
for everyone. So they come up with this new disease (not, by the way, the
first time. Remember AIDS? Mad Cow Disease? Shit, as far back as smallpox?)
and plan release it in certain areas of the US, China, and Russia. If it
works, then they planned to spread out even more.
We knew about it. We knew about the demons they summoned forth to spread
the virus. And we couldn't stop them. Not us, not the Scoobies, not the
Watcher's Council, not even the other demons and vampires. I'm not going
to bore you with the details of the battle, but.. They're dead. They're
all dead. Except us. We realized we couldn't fight them, and you took us
into hiding. You said we'd wait for our moment, but one of the demons found
Buffy sobbed silently, her tiny body shaking with each breath she took.
She didn't want to read any more.
Where were they? They were on a cliff. Buffy looked at Faith, stark naked,
knees drawn to her chest, and eating an apple. They were the last ones left
from their world. Others would die soon. Buffy dreamed the rest, she knew
what would happen. The army of demons the government had summoned were not
well-known for keeping their part of deals, and they would run rampant and
kill everyone in sight with plagues and physical attacks, as they were already
doing. And no one would stop them. No one *could* stop them. This was the
How many were left in the United States? 25% of the original population,
the newspaper said. That was the paper from last week, that Faith had tossed
in the duffel bag by accident. Buffy slipped out of her t-shirt, settling
her nude body against Faith's. She knew the truth. The papers were in the
pocket of Faith's pants. Faith stood and sat on the edge of the cliff. She
dropped the remainder of the apple, watching it fall hundreds, maybe thousands
of feet down, until it hit the rocks the ocean splashed up on and shattered
into a million pieces.
"Long way down," she said, staring stoicly out at the water.
"Always has been," Buffy answered softly.
"Since the beginning. Are we going?"
"Yeah. I guess we are."
Faith reached out and took Buffy's hand, gazing into the other girl's eyes.
"Don't look down."
"Never look back." Buffy coughed and doubled over then, spitting
out blood. When she could breathe again, she turned back to Faith. "It's
time." They clasped each others hands tightly, and turned their faces
towards the sun. "I love you, Faith."
Faith didn't answer. She didn't need to. The letter she wrote to Buffy was
clutched tightly in the blonde's other fist, and Faith knew. She was never
She didn't need to tell Buffy. Buffy knew. They closed their eyes and bent
their knees. The sun was warm on their heads, their hands were molded together.
And they jumped.