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Other Worlds Than These--a Buffy/Dark Tower crossover

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  • Other Worlds Than These--a Buffy/Dark Tower crossover

    Disclaimer: Roland and his ka-tet belong to Stephen King. Buffy and Dawn belong to Joss Whedon. Go figure.
    Rating: PG
    Setting: Early in Wizard and Glass, after Blaine's wreck but before Roland's tale begins.

    The ground shakes. Roland does not.

    If the Beams break, and the Tower falls--well, there will be nothing that can be done about it from here. Roland does not, and cannot, know for certain what he would do in the moments before the darkness swallows reality, but he knows how it would be best to face that end--calm, stoically calm as the world moves on one last time. Let the others sleep through it if they can. Why wake a man just to die?

    The thinny is all around them tonight, and mayhap could be the shaking's cause. It is, after all, a worn spot in reality itself, ground away by whatever forces are weakening the Tower. Were it to wear through--well, it might open on any world, but most likely on none at all. On todash space--the Big Empty, he suspects Eddie might call it. On the nothing waiting hungrily for all worlds to fall into its mouth.

    Roland supposes the ground might shake for either one. As to what else might happen? Roland supposes he could die. Or live. Beyond that, he cares not a whit.

    When it happens, then, he isn't remotely prepared.

    The shimmer of the thinny flashes upward, a bolt striking up instead of down. And suddenly the Tower is there, rising over him. Roland's mouth opens, ready for some inarticulate cry--this sudden manifestation of his goal, here, now, is too much for him--but no sound emerges.

    It is not the Tower at all. It is only a tower. A sigul? Why not? Roland has never lacked for omens to spot. But the thing above him is a ramshackle contraption of steel and girders

    (Simon says take one giant step)

    with a platform--a plank, really--that extends right over his head. The gap in reality has opened directly between him and the pair of girls standing on the platform. One is thin, brunette, poised on the edge of her teenage years. The other--just a little older--is holding the younger girl close. Sisters, perhaps.

    The younger girl is green.

    Roland squeezes his eyes shut. Opens them again. Nothing has changed. It is not a trick of the miasma he is looking through. The younger girl is the color of the

    (green mist)

    the thinny, the damaged spot in the world, no different from the one he saw eat Jonas and his men in Eyeholt Canyon.

    Somehow she is the cause. The girl is anti-Beam--a walking thinny, tearing the world open around her. She is speaking, but Roland can hear only the thinny's irritating whine.

    Roland's hand is on his gun.

    "It'll kill you," says the other girl. Roland cannot hear the green girl's response. "No," her sister insists.

    He does not hesitate often. He ought not to hesitate now. Roland's gun rises from his holster, the barrel pointing directly at the green girl's head. But he does not fire.

    (Go then,) she says, and Roland understands that this is not what she is saying at all, even though it is. (There are other worlds than these.) Because this is how it ends. This is how it has to end. Ka demands it.

    She knows what she is. She knows she has to die. And if she has the strength to do it herself, Roland can find it in himself to let her. And though this is not the time for tearful goodbyes--the rising thunder prevents him from hearing her sister now, but Roland knows--for a moment he remembers a pyre and a girl screaming his name, and he stays his hand, just for a few seconds

    too long, suddenly he has no shot, no chance; the sister has flung herself from the tower into his way, a useless stupid gesture from a useless foolish girl, and it's all Roland can do not to empty all his barrels into her forehead as she plummets directly toward him, she's killed them all, killed all the worlds, it would be one final act of justice to put an end to her a second early and why not, he pulls the trigger

    what an irony for the universe to end on, that she has gunslinger eyes when

    The rip is gone. His bullet, maybe even the sound of his bullet (he cannot remember hearing a thing), is gone with it, carried through to parts unknown. And his ka-tet are still there, fast asleep, and the world with them--at least as much there as this wreck of a world is still anywhere.

    Only the end has ended. She stopped it.

    Roland does not shake.

    But for a little while...

    ...he very much wishes he could.
    Last edited by Mabus; 22-04-08, 01:25 PM.
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