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Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Heroes

by Benji The Vampire Confuser

There's not a lot of time for introspection these days. A surprising amount of day to day slaying is just hanging out by yourself in a graveyard. Nothing but you and your thoughts till the Vamps wake up. Plenty of time for soul searching then. But these days I almost always have one of the more experienced, or a few of the less experienced girls with me. Now we have conversations.

Heck I can't remember the last time I went on patrol by myself. Plenty of time for it now of course.

Sometimes I wonder if I kind of knew. When I was a kid, long before I'd ever heard of Slayers, or Demons, or even Vampires. I wonder if I sort of knew even then what I was supposed to be. When I wanted to be a fire fighter. Or a policewoman. Or a rescue dog. I was three give me a break.

I used to play Wonder Woman with my cousin. Before the freaky Freddy looking demon killed her. Even back then there was a part of me that wanted to be a hero. To be a super hero even.

Somewhere along the line I lost sight of what a hero really was.

By the time Merrick came by and told me that I really was destined to be a hero, I'd grown out of that. I'd been conditioned by life, the media, and my friends. Conditioned into being a typical popular girl. A cheerleader with no more ambition than to marry a hollywood hearthrob.

Then I started fighting Vampires. And the whole thing just kept snowballing from there. And Anya was right. I really did start to think I was better than everyone else. I started to believe my own press. Even that little intervention didn't bring me back down to earth. All of a sudden I had an army at my back and I wasn't just a super hero anymore, but I was the leader of a bunch of super heroes. Legends in the making.

I thought we were above the law. And I really did start to think I was invincible. Well not completely. I'd always known there was the possibility of some monster out there that could take me out.

Monsters. There, in a way was the lesson I had to learn. The lesson I learned yesterday.

Ow, damnit, stupid doctors orders. Stupid doctor's orders that make sense. Stupid leg. God if this is torture for me it must have been hell for Faith. Someone as free spirited as her confined to a bed for that long. I don't know how she didn't go insane again. Maybe they're right. Maybe that's the source of a Slayer's strength. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. And hopefully wiser.

We get so caught up in fighting monsters, stopping apocalypses and supernatural disasters...that we forget, I forgot that there are ordinary threats out there. Every day bad guys. Some of whom make the demons I've faced, even the nastiest ones seem like the pillars of society. I keep forgetting that aside from the times I did die, the closest I got was from a gun. A single bullet can do the job no amount of magic could. I hope to God no demon just decides to snipe me from a rooftop.

I forgot all about the natural disasters. In California they teach you what to do in an Earthquake. In those self defense classes ordinary people take they teach you how to ward off muggers, or rapists. As Slayers we're taught how to fight Vampires and Demons. No one ever told me what to do in a Tornado. And it never occurred to me to learn.

A rookie Slayer is dead and I should have been. As strong as I am, I can't move a ton of concrete. I can't lift a building that collapses on top of you. I can't blow out a fire from a busted gas line. Every part of me is hurting. If I wasn't a Slayer I would have been crushed. As it is I still have massive internal injuries. I have two broken legs and bruised ribs.

Why am I alive? My destiny? No. Another few hours and I'd have been dead by fire, or dehydration, or suffocation or smoke inhalation or something.

I fight monsters. But I don't save people. I'm not a hero.

As soon I get better I'm going to visit my hero. The woman who saved my life, and the lives of I don't know how many others. The woman who might not ever wake up. The woman who has more courage in her little finger than I've got in my entire battered body.

I do what I do because it's my destiny. Because I have super powers. She made a choice to risk her fragile life for people she's never met. And she does it with no powers. And she nearly died getting me out.

That's what a hero is. This is a hard lesson. I hope I've learned it well.