The Stethoscope (Author's Choice of Name) by Mia Vaan +11
Responses: 1
Categories: Episode Rewrite, Season 5, Alternate Reality
Characters: Buffy, Dawn, Ensemble, Riley Finn, Spike

I think I’ve mentioned before that originally, Dawn was supposed to be younger (about twelve, I think) but Joss was impressed with Michelle so cast her in the roll. In those early episodes it was awkwardly evident that Dawn was supposed to be much younger as she doesn’t act her age.

One scene that stands out occurs in “Out of My Mind”.

Joyce is in the hospital and Dawn is sitting with Ben. He’s letting her play with his stethoscope. Now, a kid would play with stuff like this in order to distract themselves, but a fourteen year old? I asked my sister (who’s around the same age) if she would do this and she just glared at me, so I’ll take that as a ‘no’.

Of course, Dawn having the stethoscope led to Buffy discovering that there’s something wrong with Riley’s heart, and this gave me an idea.

Dawn doesn’t play with the stethoscope, and therefore Buffy doesn’t find out about Riley’s health issues. So the next time he goes out on patrol – without Buffy and when she told him not to – he suffers from a heart attack and dies. Buffy finds his body too late to save him.

Graham is the one who tells her what happened, and also that Riley knew about his heart troubles but refused to do anything about it because he wanted to be a “superhero” for Buffy. He wanted to be just as strong as her, if not stronger. While Buffy mourns his death, she gradually realizes that Riley put himself in danger, therefore it’s his own fault he died. He couldn’t accept that Buffy was the strong one in the relationship, almost like he doesn’t accept her as the Slayer. Not to mention that he’s now needlessly putting her through this grief when it could have been avoided.

Buffy realizes that dating a normal guy, even a demon hunter, won’t work out, because she’ll be putting the guy in danger and he’ll want to either help her or prove that he’s just as strong as her. She isn’t a normal girl, and therefore a normal guy isn’t right for her. She remembers Owen and Angel’s words and realizes that Angel only told her to date “normal” because he knew she couldn’t and therefore would always belong to him.

How this eventually leads to a Spuffy relationship is up to the author. Does Spike even realize he’s in love with Buffy without the fight beforehand? 

Summary: A strange, surreal dream stirs feelings between a Slayer and a certain bleach blonde vampire. When Riley's insecurities get the better of him, how will things change between our favorite couple?
Featuring lyrics from Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran's "Everything Has Changed."
Part of October Challenge Month
Thanks to EmilytheSlayer for making this banner.
Beta and Sensitivity Readers: None
Artists: None
Series: Season 5 Interventions
Categories: Season 5, Episode Rewrite, Challenge Response, Claim
Characters: Buffy, Dawn, Joyce, Riley Finn, Spike, Tara
Genres: Dramedy, Fluffy/Comedy, Romance
Warnings: Buffy/Other (Temp)
Challenges: Buffy & Spike Share a Dream (Author's Choice of Name), The Stethoscope (Author's Choice of Name)
Event: 2015 Challenge Month
Completed: Yes Chapters: 8 Table of Contents
Word count: 11,953 Hit Count: 23,772 ePub Downloads: 277
Published: October 01, 2015 Updated: December 28, 2015