I've been feeling a bit uninspired lately writing-wise, and have lots of unfinished things sitting on my hard drive. But over on RPGnet someone suggested the prompt "how does your favourite genre hero die?", and it got me to write these three short ficlets.
Do I need to warn for character death? Didn't think so... #1 and #3 are rated 12, #2 is rated 15 because of the swearing. 456 words in total.
How the Heroes Die
It had been forty years or more since Buffy held the Scythe, but her fingers closed about it now as if it were part of her. Her eyes shone with their old fire, and for a moment the friends and family gathered around her bed half-expected her to leap up, rejuvenated and young again. But she just smiled faintly, and breathed a soft 'Thank you'. Then fixed her gaze on the earnest young woman who had passed her the weapon, and gestured for her to take it back. "It's yours now. Please do your best." Then she lay her head back and closed her eyes again. A grin played across her lips, and those who were closer heard her mutter "Third time lucky." They were still trying to work out what she meant when they realised she'd stopped breathing.
"You get the fuck out of here. Now!"
"They'll come after us! You saw what they did to--"
"I'll hold them back. Move it!"
They didn't need more telling. Faith watched them go, hefted her battleaxe and turned to face the oncoming army.
There were a hell of a lot more of them than she'd expected. Bigger, too. For a moment following after the others didn't seem such a bad plan after all. She could probably run faster than them too, and what was that old joke about not having to outrun a lion as long as you could outrun the other victims? But she couldn't do it. Not anymore. Time to see if she could be a hero instead.
She smiled a wild smile and threw herself headlong into the demon horde.
Willow forced a brave smile as tears flowed heedless from her eyes, reaching out her finger to trace the outline of Kennedy's cheek, brush a stray wisp of grey hair from her eyes.
"I did it, sweetie. I kept my promise."
She looked around the room they'd shared for so many years. Nothing to keep her here now. All the arrangements were done long since. She'd said her goodbyes. Taking a deep breath, she set her face into her firmest expression of resolve. Began chanting the words, and the room filled with brilliant white light, dazzling her, reflecting highlights off her hair. Then she added the three syllables she'd never spoken before, and the world twisted and wrapped around her and split asunder, welcoming her into itself, and there was ecstasy and sorrow and beauty and pain and the promise of knowing, and she felt herself growing into it, and...
Back in the quiet, empty bedroom, the light faded.