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Buffy and the Slayer

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Buffy and the Slayer

Chapter 1

The Stranger

 

They were big. And they were strong. Like over-sized football players. And they were mean. It was all Buffy could do to keep away from their immense ham hock-like fists. As soon as she knocked one away, the other was there. Spinning kicks and roundhouse punches only stunned them momentarily.

Then an opening! A quick stake to the heart and one was dust. But the other had her. As soon as she turned around he was there, his enormous arms encircled her. He picked her up, squeezing her as a python would crush its helpless prey. His fetid mouth was near hers, the smell of rotted blood assaulted her nose. As the breath was forced from her, she felt her ribs begin to crack.

In desperation Buffy tried a head butt against the bridge of his nose. He only laughed at her feeble attempt, his foul breath gagging her. As she turned her head to escape the smell, through blurring eyes, she saw him again -- a stranger in a dark trench coat; watching.

She'd seen him a half dozen times before, watching her as she dusted vampires and offed demons. At first she thought he was another vampire, waiting his turn. But after each slaying he disappeared into the night.

She vaguely saw him move out of her sight behind this mammoth vampire. Then she heard a shot ring out, and almost before it registered, she was falling to the ground amidst a cloud of dust. And as before, she watched the stranger vanish into the darkness.

 

As the gang sat around the table listening to Buffy's story, concern and curiosity alternating on their faces.

"You have no idea who he is?" Xander asked.

"I've never seen him before. Of course I haven't gotten a good look at his face, but I didn't even recognize his shape."

"What about the shot you heard? Could he have been using silver bullets?" Willow wanted to know.

"No. If he had, the bullet would have gone through the vamp and into me. There's no way it would have missed."

"Then what else?" Dawn asked.

For a moment no one said anything. Then Anya speculated, "Wooden bullets?"

"I don't know. It seems like even a wooden bullet would have gone through him as well. I don't know, I JUST don't know."

More silence.

"Xander," Buffy suddenly said, "I need you to do something for me."

"Sure, just name it."

"Tonight I need you to be 'Stealthy Guy.' I want you to follow me around and keep an eye out for this guy. Don't worry about trying to help me with the Slaying, just watch for him. And if you see him, wait until he leaves, then follow him. I want to know where he goes."

"Not a prob. I'll be your back up, so far back you won't even know I'm there."

The night was a slow one for slaying, for a change. Buffy walked the usual haunts - cemeteries, parks, alleys. Only two slayings in almost six hours of patrolling. A welcome relief on the one hand, but frustrating because the mysterious stranger hadn't shown himself.

Xander wasn't much of a "Stealthy Guy" since Buffy knew his every position and move without even trying, but if the stranger was concentrating on her maybe he wouldn't spot "Not-So-Stealthy Guy."

Just before dawn Buffy and Xander parted ways but agreed to meet that evening. Maybe they'd have more luck tonight.

 

Until a little after twelve, again, there wasn't much action. Then Buffy came across a trio of vamps feasting on some poor, stupid midnight jogger. Although it was too late to save the man, Buffy went after the vampires. Since they had just fed, they were strong and full of bravado. They gave Buffy almost all she could handle. As soon as her kicks and punches knocked them away, they were back again, ready for more. As Xander watched the action, he followed Buffy's motions with his own, punching the air with lefts and rights. One was staked, and Xander cheered the dying grunt with "Oh Yeah!"

"She's quite a fighter." Someone said beside him.

"She's the best!" Xander answered, still engrossed with the battle.

"Not going to help her?" the Voice asked.

"Like she really needs it!" Xander boasted. Then he realized there was someone next to him, and they were having a conversation.

Just as Buffy staked the second one, Xander stammered, "You - YOU! What - where ...?"

Taking out a pistol, the Stranger said, "I think I'd like to meet her."

Before Xander could react, the Stranger pointed and fired at the two combatants, and the vampire turned to dust.

Walking toward the waiting Buffy he repeated, "Yes, I think it's time we got to know each other."

"So, you kill vamps with a gun." Buffy said.

"Certainly. Why go through all the in-fighting when it's so much easier to dust them off from a distance?"

"Silver bullets?" She asked.

"Oh no. Silver's much too expensive to waste like that. I used wooden ones." And releasing the clip from the 9 mm pistol, he extracted one from it.

As Buffy examined it, she saw a hole bored in the end of the bullet.

"Hollow point." She stated simply.

"Yes. That way, should it hit a rib, it shatters. It only takes one splinter to kill."

"Okay, so who are you?"

"I don't think names are very important, but if you insist, I guess you can call me ... Angel. Oh, not a good name? Then how about ... Riley? Don't like that one either, huh? Well, I suppose you could call me Parker, or Spike."

Buffy grabbed the Stranger by the lapel of his coat and gave it a little jerk toward herself.

"Look," she said menacingly, "I don't know who you think you are, but you little jokes aren't the least bit funny. Now either you give me a name, or ...."

"Or what? You'll beat me up? Someone who's saved your life, at least once? That's not being very appreciative."

With a disgusted shove, Buffy let go of the lapel. "Come on, Xander, we've got better things to do than to play stupid word games."

As she turned to leave, the Stranger said, "Okay. You want a name? You can call me THE SLAYER."

Before Buffy could answer, the stranger melted away into the darkness.

"Did he say he was a Slayer?" Xander asked.

"He said it." Buffy replied. "But that doesn't make it so."