By Hawklan and Razial
Xander sat silently in the computer room of Sunnydale High and was deep in thought about what happened the last day in Sunnydale. Angel was dead and Angelus free. He had to admit that he never liked Angel, which mostly had to do with the fact, that he hated all vampires since he had to stake the animated corpse of his friend Jesse and now? He was in deep shit in his opinion.
He was intelligent enough to know that he had no chance at all to deal with Angelus, at least not alone, but the chance of getting help here in SunnyD was next to nil. Why? Ohh that's easy to answer. The high and might Buffy ‘It is everyone's fault and not mine' Summers wanted her precious Angel back, without a care that several innocents died in the time being. In theory he could understand her, losing someone you love is hard, but damn she was the Slayer and had a duty to fulfill and what does she do? Nothing at all, the only thing she did was complaining about how unfair her life was and so on, a shame that all of Angelus victims couldn't complain about that anymore, because they were all dead. .
The last thing that brought him to this point was that Buffy let Angelus go just after they killed the Judge and then she and the rest of the gang had the gall to blame Jenny for all the mess. Those things were the reason why he was sitting here staring at the monitor of one of the computer, he read the mail he had just written again to see if he forgot any of the facts of what happened in Sunnydale since he knew Buffy. The mail itself was several pages long and ended with the words.
"I sincerely hope Mr. Travers that you find a way to help with this situation, because I fear many more people will die while Miss Summers dreams of getting Angel back and Mr. Giles continues to let her do what she wants.
With kind regards,
The only thing he now had to do was to press the send button, but he still wasn't sure if he should do it or not and so he sat there quietly for nearly 30 minutes, he just decided to get something to drink and then he would decide if he would sent it or not. He got up and left the room to get something to drink out of the mess hall.
Shortly after he left the room, the door opened again and Jenny Calendar entered her class room, she just had a private ‘talk' with her ex-boyfriend Rupert and tears were silently running down her face. She sat down at her desk and got a tissue out of her bag and used it to clean her face again and then she started to pack a few things together, because she decided to leave and report to her uncle that she had failed and that he should sent a team to deal with Angelus.
After she stuffed all her private things into a box she noticed that a PC was still running in the last row. Curious she went over to the table and see why the computer was still running. She looked at the screen and saw an open email waiting to being sent. She quickly read the mail and the grinned like a satisfied cat.
She took the mouse and then pressed the sent button. While getting her box of things she thought about Alex and about what he wrote to the current head of the council. She really could picture hell breaking lose in England after Travers read that mail. She also found it quite awesome that Alex decided to write all that, looks like she had underestimated that young man quite a bit, but she should have known better after he stood up to the gang in defense for her. Smiling she left the school and drove to her apartment.
After quite a while Xander returned to the computer room, it really was getting late now but he just wanted to save the mail he wrote and then sleep a night over it to see if he would sent it or not. After her reached the PC he saw the message ‘Mail sent' on the screen. "Upps... it looks like I somehow got on the send button while standing up. Seems to be out of my hands now what will happen now," he thought to himself. He quickly logged out of his yahoo account and then powered the PC down. He then looked at his watch and quickly hurried home.
Meanwhile in England
Quentin Travers sat stunned at his desk. He simply couldn't believe what he just read there. He sat still for ten minutes and then read the email he got again and he still couldn't believe it. "MARY," he shouted and moments later a young woman entered the room. "Yes, Mr. Travers, how can I help you?" Mary asked looking curiously at her boss, because he never heard such a tone from him.
"Ahh Mary, please excuse my tone. I just read something really astonishing and unbelievable. Could you please call all senior council members for an emergency meeting in one hour? Thank you," Quentin said while he poured himself a glass of whiskey and then took a sip from it.
"Anything else, Sir?" Mary asked.
"No Mary, that would be all for now," Quentin replied.
One hour later in the main council chamber
Quentin Travers waited until the last senior member of the council had taken his place. "Normally I would greet you all with a ‘Good evening my colleagues,' but sadly this evening is anything but good. A bit more than an hour ago I received an email out of Sunnydale, where the former Slayer Mrs. Summers is still posted and where she was doing her sacred duty... sadly it looks like our beliefs in this regard were false." Here Quentin made a pause and took a sip from a glass of water.
Before he could start again Council Member Wyndam-Price stood up and asked, "In which regard Quentin? What did Rupert report?"
Quentin looked at his colleague for a moment before he replied, "As it seems he reported only heavily censored reports in which he left many important things out. If you all would please turn to your notebooks and would read the mail I just forwarded you, you will see and then we have to decide what actions we will take." Quentin sat down on his chair and waited for the members to read the big mail.
Consequences Chapter 2
Note: For chapter two I try something new for me, this chapter will be written by Razial and me together, he took the Sunnydale part and I the other one and as always it would be nice of you to point out errors we missed so that we can fix them.
Note 2: Fair warning, the Council in this story isn't the same we know from canon.
Xander woke up, feeling slightly sick and with a killer headache. He had gotten drunk last night, alongside his dad. After coming home and spending an hour thinking over what he had done the night before, he had suddenly been overcome with uncertainty and with fear of what Buffy and the others would do, once they learned of his actions. There was also a slight doubt that the Council would lift a finger to aid them, considering what Giles had allowed to go down. In response to that hard thinking and the growing doubts, he had gotten hammered, whilst his mother had just looked on sadly, he doubted it was worth it.
He quickly got dressed and ate some breakfast, apologizing to his mother for his actions the night before. He really did not want to end up like his father, if he could help it.
His mother had managed to drag herself out of the bottle two years ago and was very wary of him being near any alcohol. Finally finished and headed to the school he wondered what in hell awaited him there.
As he walked he thought back to the night before and tried to remember if he had accidentally pushed the button to send the email. Nothing came back to him about that, so he was confused. On entering the school he was stopped by Jenny Calendar, aka Janna Kalderash, something he was only allowed to call her in private. She gave him a smile and indicated he should follow her, which he duly did.
Having stood up for the gypsy woman against Buffy and the others he had formed a close friendship with her, entering her classroom brought back all of his confusion about the night before.
“So, what can I do for you?” he inquired, as he sat down, whilst watching as Janna sat on her desk, her skirt riding up a little showing more of her leg.
Jenny watched Alex carefully, as he tried not to watch her legs. She loved teasing the young man, although a small part of her wanted to push the boundaries quite a bit. Since breaking up with Rupert she had gotten close to Alexander, as he was the only member of the Scooby gang who was not angry with her. She had to admit she was attracted to him, but her being a teacher, kept her from pursuing him so far.
I wanted to talk to you Alex before school actually stared,” she finally responded. “I was here last night at the same time as you and I saw the email you prepared. I will admit I was surprised by what you had written and yet very pleased,” she told him with a smile.
Xander quickly put the pieces together just from that confession and he suddenly realized he had not sent the email last night. “You sent it,” he stated, jumping to his feet and then he began pacing in front of her desk.
“Yes I did. It needed to be done, before Angelus kills anyone else,” Jenny admitted, without any fanfare.
A small argument broke out, as Xander released all of his fears from last night, as well as his uncertainty.
Jenny countered everything he said. She understood exactly why Xander was reacting like this and took no real offense, until he refused to calm down, there her own temper came into play and she began to push him backwards, poking him in the chest as she ordered him to shut up and listen.
“How many people are you willing to get killed before an action is taken to stop Angelus?” She demanded to know. “He has access to most of the others houses. He knows where you live Alex, so do you really think he couldn’t talk his way inside to kill your parents?” she pushed. “This has to end and for it to end someone has to step up and make a choice and you have done that last night, with a little help from me,” she told him heatedly, locking eyes with him.
Xander was kinda mesmerized by the heated gaze Janna sent him, as he thought over what she had said, before a sick feeling came over him as the truth of her words hit him like a truck.
Angelus was no normal vamp, he was smart and viscous and he could get into Buffy and Willow’s houses easily. Joyce had no idea about what truly went on in Sunnydale, a fact that sent a chill down his spine. Janna was right, someone had to step up and do something to stop that bastard before more blood was shed.
He took a deep breath before responding. “Ok, you made your point Janna,” he sat back down and rubbed his neck. “You realize once this gets out, Buffy and the others will be gunning for us?” he pointed out.
“I don’t give a rat’s ass what Buffy or even Rupert does in response,” Janna countered angrily. “Not anymore Alex, my clan is already up in arms about my failure to contain Angelus with the curse, even though they understand I did not know what would break it. I need to bring him down if I ever will have a chance off going home,” she explained, sitting back on her desk.
Xander was surprised by this news and he could tell by Janna’s eyes and body language that she has been truthful, as well as see that it bothered her that she could not go home, until Angelus was dust. He leaned back in his chair and just stared at the wall, whilst Janna watched him, wondering just how things would play out.
Angelus hated mornings, as it was like a prison he could never escape, almost what it felt like being chained inside his weakling souled self. He wanted to be out there hunting and killing. For now all he could do was plan and think on how to continue torturing Buffy, which quickly became obvious. Buffy’s most trusted and reliant friend was Willow. The red head backed her up on everything. So if he took her out and made it a very painful death it should bring Buffy so damn close to a break down just like what he had done to Dru all that time ago. He smiled just imagining what Buffy would do in response.
It also had the added benefit to hurt all of the so called Scooby Gang especially the one he hated most, Xander Harris. He smiled, which turned into an evil smirk and he began to laugh before walking away to set things in motion.
Travers listened as the members of the council continued to talk and argue over what he had revealed to them, annoyed at their inability to accept that one of their own had ignored such a threat. Granted some of his fellow council members were actually on side and agreed with him in taking immediate action.
If he was honest with himself he was also shocked at Rupert’s actions of late, his reports had mentioned nothing along the lines of a romance between Buffy Summers and the souled vampire Angel. The very idea made him sick. How any Slayer could betray her calling to such an extent, how any human would want to be anywhere near a vampire in such a way, was a riddle to him.
Finally after every member had read the report from Sunnydale the whole room went deadly silent, the members looked at each other and then at Travers. One of the members asked, “Is this report trust worthy, Travers?”
“It is to detailed not to be and after I read that file I contacted one of our contacts we use from time to time, even if he wouldn’t know about all things in the file, he could confirm a lot of what Mr. Harris has written and with that conformation we now have two sources that confirm that Mr. Giles’ reports left a lot of important facts out. Now I hope you all agree that we can’t let that stand so, for humanities sake, and that we have to deal with this situation immediately?”
He waited a moment until every member has nodded in silent agreement.
“Ok then my fellow Watchers. We have several points to vote on then.
First subject: Buffy Summers.
1. Detain her for a trial.
2. Remove her from the picture ASAP.
3. Use the permanent version of the drug we use for the Cruciamentum.
4. Let everything go as it is now.
“Please vote now,” Quentin said to his fellow Watchers as he himself choose the third option.
After a few moments he got the result of the vote on his screen after his fellow senior member had voted.
With a sad tone in his voice he said, “So it is decided, One Vote for Option One, four votes for option two, two votes for option three and none for the last one.
Second subject: Rupert Giles
1. Recall him to explain himself, further actions to be done then.
2. Just fire him.
3. Retire him
4. Let everything go as it is now.
Here Quentin got the results even faster than before, he looked for a moment at his fellow watchers and then gave the results. “The majority has decided on option one on this subject,” he said to his relief.
Third subject: Angelus/Angel
1. Remove him permanently
2. Contact the gypsies to curse him again.
He wasn’t really surprised after he got the votes for this one, so he just said, “Option one: 5 Votes, Option two: 2 votes.
Last subject: Alexander Harris
1. Remove him from the picture.
2. Offer him to become a free agent, plus training.
3. Let him be and see what happens.
4. Hire him after testing him.
For him this was an easy vote and so he choose Option 2, but here the votes took the longest, because several of the members talked about those first until they decided. Five minutes later the last vote was in.
He looked at his fellow Watchers again and then gave the results, “This time my friends, it looks as if we have to vote again, without option 3 this time, because we couldn’t get a majority on any of the other points,” he told them and voted for the second again himself.
Again a short discussion broke out before the results came in. “This time we have a majority with 4 votes on option 2, 2 on option 1 and one on option 4. So the council has decided what our actions will be.
1. For betraying her calling Miss Summers will be retired.
2. Watcher Rupert Giles will be detained and brought back to the Council.
3. Angelus will be dealt with permanently, as the Slayer should have done.
4. Mr. Harris will be contact and offered the chance to become a free agent of the Council. We will offer our support with training, information, and missions.”
After that Quentin sat down again, took a sip from a glass of whisky and let the results sink in for a moment.
Sometimes he wished for himself a nice retirement, where he could sit in the sun and watch his grandkids, but sadly that would never happen, because he didn’t even had kids and never would have any, however long his long, long life would still be. That was his curse and that of his brothers for their part in condemning young girls to a short and violent life all those centuries ago. How was that saying? ‘The road to hell is plastered with good intentions.’
He still remembered the day of their foolishness and the day where the ‘Voice’ came down and put her curse onto them, but that was a long time ago and currently he was the last of the Shadowmen.
After that short trip into his past he stood up again, looked at his fellow watchers and then spoke to one of them. “Mr. Meyers, you are responsible for our Retrial Teams, what is there status and when can we use them?”
Mr. Meyers stood up himself and replied, “Sadly we only have rookie team one and two on base, all other teams are on deployment, but I have an old trustworthy friend, who is in the known about the supernatural. After he left France a couple of years ago he founded a small, but effective company in the Caribbean. He could handle the first two points on the agenda, but I currently have no Idea who we would send for the last two.”
Quentin nodded and then asked, “Which company would that be? You know we have to uphold several agreements we cannot break.”
Mr. Meyers answered, “Of course Mr. Travers that is why I pointed him out. His company M4H wouldn’t break any of those agreements.”
Quentin looked at Mr. Meyers and then nodded. “OK, I have heard of them and you may contact them ASAP. Point four I will handle myself, and will fly out to Sunnydale in the morning, so we also have someone on site to change our plans if necessary. Any ideas for point 3?”
The room was quiet for a minute or two and then Mr. Wyndam-Price stood up. “Mr. Travers, I know we haven’t used him for a while, but we could offer that contract to our free agent Whistler in New York. He and his boy should be able to handle Angelus.”
Quentin thought about that for a moment and then replied, “OK contact him and offer him the contract. If no one has to add anything more I will close the session now to prepare my trip.”
He looked around and waited if someone else would say anything and then he said, “Session closed. Thank you my friends.”
With that all Watchers stood up and quickly left the room.
(Sunnydale High School)
Xander spent the day avoiding Buffy and the others, as much as possible, not that they seemed to notice, as usual Buffy was moaning and crying about Angel, whilst Willow and Oz tried to console her and Giles just refused to do a thing.
This once again reminded him why he had done what he had done and why Janna had actually sent the message. He just wondered what the council would do with the information he gave them.
By the end of the day he was tired and annoyed and was waiting in the hallway for Janna. He was annoyed as he had witnessed a small argument between Buffy and Cordelia.
Cordy was worried and rightly so about Angelus and Buffy’s refusal to kill him. Buffy had responded in her typical fashion as of late, ranting about Angel as if he was still around. It had ended with Cordelia actually slapping the blond before storming off. He had almost burst out laughing at the sight.
Finally Janna arrived and they left the school together, basically ignored by everyone else, including Buffy who stormed off to the library with Willow trying to calm her down.
He got into Janna’s car and just sat there thinking, as Janna brought them back to her house. They needed to continue their discussion from this morning and try and work out some plan in case the council refused to help. He took a good look around her living room, as she went and changed into something more comfortable, as that thought passed his mind, he had to do everything he could not to imagine Janna naked.
Jenny changed into a loose skirt and blouse, before heading back down, noting Xander had his eyes closed and was leaning against the wall of her living room. It did not take a genius to guess what he was thinking about. She smiled and shook her head, pleased that someone found her so attractive before going to make them something to drink.
(AN: Until the end of the voting the story could have gone anywhere, to let me surprise myself I used a D4 to decide on the votes.)
Consequences Chapter 3
Angelus smirked, as finally the night began and that meant he could once more stalk his prey, but first he had a few plans to execute. First he would track down and kill Willow and then he would pay a visit to the Harris household. He doubted he would actually be lucky enough to find Xander there, but he had plans for his parents.
Oh the pain and suffering he was going to unleash tonight was going to be sweet, he quickly began rounding up his followers, ignoring Spike and Drusilla who were off to the side talking. He still found the crippling injuries Spike had suffered months back amusing and it kept the idiot out of most of his plans, looking out of the window he noted darkness had finally fallen and he led his people out into Sunnydale.
Buffy sat with Willow and Oz drinking slowly, as a band played on stage, all of them were feeling the strain from Angelus being on the loose, however they still refused to take action.
Buffy would not act, instead she wanted to find someway of saving Angel, whilst Willow and Oz refused to act because it would hurt their friend.
They were all angered by Jenny Calendar's perceived betrayal, as they saw her as the cause for Angel's loss. They believed, that if had she come forward with the truth of who she was and why she was in Sunnydale, Angel could have been saved.
It didn't matter, that she had said she did not know how the curse was broken, as if it was like they believed her. They needed someone to be at fault and they refused to blame Buffy's own actions.
Buffy sighed, missing her lover and wishing she was back in the arms of her Angel, before he had lost his soul. Finally having had enough she got up and said her goodbyes, before heading home. She made sure to keep an eye out, but her mind was not on slayer business, it was replaying her argument with Cordelia this morning. She was incensed and a little embarrassed that Cordelia had slapped her in front of so many people. She would have to do something to regain some ground.
Back in the Bronze Willow and Oz decided to call it a night as well, because without Buffy they had nothing to do, they quickly finished their drinks and headed out. The ride to Willow's house went by silently and they didn't see anything Hellmouthy, as Willow called it, finally they reached their destination and having shared a goodnight kiss she got out and headed for her door.
Oz quickly took off looking forward to the next day. He loved having Willow as a girlfriend and one who wasn't afraid of him being a werewolf.
Willow watched Oz's van vanish around the corner and then she headed for her door, noting her parents were once again absent on a trip somewhere. This caused her to sigh, before suddenly she was grabbed from behind and a hand went around her mouth.
"Hello Willow, I missed you," the sound of Angelus' voice sent terror right to through her soul and she began to shake.
Angelus chuckled at how easy it had been to get a hold of the red head. Clearly they were not taking his release as serious as they should be. That annoyed him big time, as he was not one to be taken lightly, hell even the watcher is being stupid in that regard. The only two people to seem to be aware of just how deadly he could be, was Xander and the Kalderash woman and that was amusing as they were the least threat to him.
"Take her back to the mansion and hold her, do not dare let her or for anyone to go near her until I get back," he ordered a couple of his minions, who quickly nodded and grabbed the red head from him.
"Where to now?" one of the remaining minions asked wanting, to feed on the red head, but he was not willing to risk Angelus' wrath.
"We're going to pay our respects to the Harris household," Angelus sneered in reply, noting the look of blood lust in minion's eyes, but also the fear.
Fear is what he loved the most and seeing it on all of his minion's faces was addictive to him. He smirked before moving on, followed by the others who glared at his back, but refused to challenge him.
Jenny smiled as Xander continued to talk whilst doing his best to ignore looking at her exposed legs. Her skirt was just above knee length so quite a bit was showing. Their discussion had been quite interesting, but now they were once again talking about what the Council might do and what they would do if nothing happened. Xander was a whole lot more accepting of how things were going now.
She had stopped him from leaving, considering it was now quite late and dark, meaning the vampires would be out, including Angelus. She was half tempted to suggest that he even sleep beside her in her bed, but she was not confident she could resist coming onto him. She might have a growing attachment to him, but she was not willing to try anything like that just yet. Still the images her mind projected were interesting.
Xander himself was trying not to get distracted by Jenny, who was just sitting casually on her sofa in a short skirt and blouse. She looked damn sexy and it was hard to keep his eyes up. He wondered for a brief moment how the others were doing, before shaking his head and getting back on topic and he settled back onto the sofa. In the end he decided that maybe losing Buffy and the others would not be so bad, with the exception of Willow. She had been his friend since they were little and after the loss of Jessie all the more important. Their disagreement over Angelus would soon pass and things would go back to normal.
"I think we'd should both turn in," Jenny's voice broke his inner thoughts and he nodded in agreement. "I'll get you a spare blanket and pillow," she added, getting up and unable to resist the temptation stretched, allowing her blouse to ride up showing, her mid rift.
Xander's eyes widened in surprise at the move and quickly lost himself in a small fantasy, before shaking his head and cursing. He quickly noted Jenny's smile before she turned and walked off. He sighed and leaned back even further into the sofa, she was purposely teasing him and that was fun, but also hard, as he had to remind himself not to do anything.
Jenny returned and gave him the blanket and pillow, before ensuring her house was locked up before heading to her own room. After changing and getting into bed she wondered just how far her restraint would last. Teasing Xander was a double edge sword at best, and sometimes holding back was the last thing she wanted to do. Finally beginning to tire she closed her eyes and fell into a wonderful dream of the future, downstairs Xander remained awake for sometime before sleep finally claimed him as well.
Angelus smirked at how gullible humans tended to be, as the drunken idiot who happened to be Xander's father invited them in, not even bothering to notice his wives worried look, this was so simple. He quickly shot forward and grabbed the man and sank his fangs into his neck, easily ignoring his struggle, within a minute he had drained him dry and allowed his body to fall to the ground with a thud. He quickly approached Xander's mother who was frozen in terror. He grabbed her and turned her around, enjoying her fear before he sank his fangs into her neck as well.
Jessica Harris closed her eyes and prayed this would be over soon. She knew exactly what this fanged horror was and the likely outcome and she hoped with all her heart her son would free her from the torment soon, when a bloody wrist was thrust into her mouth she tried to resist, but she was weak from blood loss and soon all fight left her. As her last moments came she prayed to god one last time before falling to the floor dead. Angelus smirked as his plans came to a head.
Soon Xander's mother would rise again and be a very useful ally against the boy. He could imagine what the boy would do in return, especially who he would blame for this. He laughed, before reaching down and smearing his hand in the blood that had coated the body of Xander's father, before writing a message ensuring the boy would know who had killed his father and mother. He knew this would twist the knife in deeper, especially when he realized his mother's body was missing. He laughed as he picked up the body of Xander's mother and left, followed by his minion's.
A few hours before, somewhere in the Caribbean Sea
Leon did what he has done the last two days. He relaxed on the small beach and was enjoying sun. The last contract he had done wasn't easy and he wasn't getting any younger, so he enjoyed the short moment of peace he had, but knowing his luck that would end soon.
Looking up to their house he saw Mathilda, the young girl who was something like a daughter to him, coming down with a smile on her face he knew promised work for him again.
Since they left their former home a couple of years ago and settled here on this small island they did good. He still had no clue how he came out of that cellar alive, but he stopped asking that a while ago and enjoyed the gift he got. Mathilda has grown into a beautiful looking woman which enjoyed her life here and on the other islands, which were easily reachable with their boats.
After Mathilda chewed him out the first time he gave a boy, who was interested in her, the ‘shovel talk' he gave up on that. Granted he shouldn't have replaced the shovel with a shotgun in his talk, but at the moment the face of the boy was funny and wow could he run, but ouch Mathilda was furious and after that he gave up on those talks, because he knew Mathilda could look out for herself.
Finally she reached him and he didn't even try to pretend being asleep, she knew him to well for that. "Don't tell me your strange machine has thrown out more work for me? Damn Mat, I just got home and I'm supposed to be retired," he said with a small smile to this daughter.
The network his daughter had built was awesome and they now earned a lot of money even without him doing any contracts himself and so he only choose those who he was interested in and the rest were given to other mercenaries, which were registered in their network. So they earned 5% of every contract they gave to one of their fellow ‘friends', without doing much more than a bit of work by Mathilda on her computer and that income wasn't to bad and has grown in the last years and so he knew that, when he wouldn't come back from a contract someday, Mathilda would be financial secure.
Mathilda sighed a bit before she spoke to her father, "Leon, you know I love you like a father, but sometimes you cry like a little baby, which isn't getting his will, but as you want, then I won't tell you, that you got an email from you old friend Mr. Meyers."
As she said that, she turned around and started to go up to the house and was counting with an evil smile. ‘1...2...'
"MAT," she heard even before she reached 3. Grinning she said, "Yes, papa?"
"Spill it, what does the old English bastard want?" Leon yelled after her.
"Ohh nothing important, just a favor he wanted to ask from you," she said while she reached the house and vanished inside.
Leon jumped up and yelled, "YOU LITTLE MINX." Then he ran up to the house also and after he reached it, he stormed in and nearly crashed into his daughter, which held a glass of orange juice out for him.
"Something wrong papa, why are you in such a hurry?" she asked with an innocent smile.
He took the glass, gulped the juice down and then said, "I swear you are going to kill me sometime."
Mathilda shook her head. "No, I don't think someone can pay me that much," she replied smiling and then she pointed at one of the running PC's in the adjoined room. "There you can read the mail. I already called one of our contacts in L.A. and ordered your normal gear plus a few extras to be ready for you when you reach Sunnydale."
Leon just shook his head and thought that she did know him to well. Smiling he sat down at the PC and read the mail he got from one of his old friends, while reading, his smile was lost and made way to a grim face. He quickly replied with a small ‘Accepted' then he stood up looked at his daughter and nodded. "Is the boat ready?" he asked her.
"Yes, we can leave right now. All we need, Joe put into the boat and the rest you will get at Sunnydale Airport."
"We?" he asked.
"Of course we, papa, while you do what you have to do in Sunnydale I am going shopping for a bit in L.A." she replied with a grin.
"Lucky me, that I have to work." Leon said. "OK, let's get the boat and head to the airport we have a bit of traveling to do."
Quickly they left their island for the next airport.
Nearly the same time in New York
After a long night Blade finally drove back into the garage, where Whistler and he currently lived. He parked his car and got out of it. He was dead tired, bored and just wanted a few hours of sleep or meditation. This night and the whole last week was a waste of time. He was out every night the last seven day and for what? Nothing, it seemed like every damn vampire has fled New York.
While being in his thoughts he missed that Whistler was still awake and waved for his attention.
After being ignored by Blade for a while Whistler yelled, "Hey boy, are you sleep walking? Come over here I have to talk with you."
Pulled out of his thought Blade looked at Whistler in surprise and then went over to the man he saw as a father. "What?" he asked.
Whistler looked at the now grown man, he had found years ago on the streets of NY, and then asked, "Nothing again?"
Blade just nodded and so Whistler continued. "So, what do you think about a small trip to California then? Could help us against the boredom, also."
Blade looked at Whistler for a moment and then asked, "Why?"
Whistler grinned and then said, "You remember the Council? We worked for them from time to time?"
Blade just nodded again.
"They offered us a contract in Sunnydale," Whistler said.
Blade looked at him and asked, "The Hellmouth? Interesting. What do they want?"
Whistler nodded. "Angelus one of the members from the Scourge of Europe is there and we shall take him out for them."
"Weapons?" Blade asked.
"We get them in LA and then drive to Sunnydale."
"OK," Blade said, put his ebony sword into a special bag and continued, "Ready."
Whistler laughed and said, "OK our flight goes in 2 hours, you can catch a few Zzzz's on the plane."
A few hours later they landed in LA, rented a car, got their weapons from a contact and then drove silently on to Sunnydale.
After a long flight Travers finally landed at Sunnydale airport, there he was awaited by one of their American contacts, who reached Sunnydale a long time before him and already had a car and all other things Quentin may need at the ready.
"Greetings Mr. Travers, I hope you are well?" the blond man greeted him.
"Indeed, Mr. Peck, thank you for being available on such a short notice."
"No Problem, Sir. My friends and I currently had no other contract and so it wasn't a bother," Mr. Peck answered.
"Could you bring me to a nice nearby café and then stay in the background and keep an eye on the surroundings?" Quentin asked Mr. Peck.
Mr. Peck nodded. "Of course, Sir."
Ten minutes later in the library
Giles sat in his small office and was reading a small black book, as suddenly his phone rang. Absently he picked up the phone. "Sunnydale High Library, Mr. Giles speaking, how can I help you?"
"Meet me in 20 minutes in the café ‘LaMorte' and don't delay."
As Giles heard that voice his face lost all color. "Yes, Sir. I'll be right there."
He let his book fall on to the table grabbed his keys and left the library quite agitated.
4. Chapter 4
AN: Here is Ch 4 of our nice cooperative writing. We hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy the writing and this one is also a bit longer than our normal works.
Giles hurried over the teacher's parking space to his old Citroën, granted it wasn't the faster car, but he liked this old classic. He quickly sat down behind the steering wheel, started the motor and drove into the direction of the café LaMorte, even if he never eat there before he knew where it was and he had to hurry to reach it in the 20 minutes Travers gave him. ‘Damn why is he in Sunnydale and what does he want' Giles thought while he drove as quickly as he could.
Finally he reached the parking lot of the café with not a minute to spare. He nearly jumped out of his car and hurried into the café. He looked around the café, but could not see Mr. Travers, so he addressed the young waitress. "Excuse me Miss, but I should meet a Mr. Travers here. Did he leave a message for a Mr. Giles?"
"No Mr. Giles, no message but Mr. Travers awaits you in our separate room we have for small meetings. If you would follow me please, Mr. Giles?" The young woman replied to Giles.
The woman let Giles to a door at the end of the café, knocked at it and then opened the door. "Mr. Travers? Mr. Giles is here for you, Sir."
"Thank you Sarah, please send him in," came as an answer from the room.
The woman looked at Giles. "Mr. Giles?" and pointed at the door. After the quite nervous looking Giles entered the room, she closed the door.
As Giles entered the room he saw that it had quite luxurious interior and at the table in the room sat Mr. Travers enjoying a breakfast. "Mr. Travers, I am surprised to see you here in Sunnydale. You wanted to see me, Sir?"
Quentin looked at the nervous looking watcher before him and then answered, "Indeed Rupert. Sit down."
Understanding the invitation as the order it was Giles quickly sat down and then waited for Mr. Travers to continue.
After 10 minutes, which felt for Giles like an eternity, Quentin looked up from his finished breakfast and said, "Ahh that was good, you should try it sometimes."
After Giles just nodded, being to nervous to reply, Quentin continued. "I am disappointed in you Rupert."
Giles waited for a few moments to see if Mr. Travers would add something to that comment, but after he didn't he said, "Why Mr. Travers?"
Quentin looked at Giles for a moment and then replied, "Please Rupert, don't insult me or yourself. You know exactly why."
Giles gulped before he nodded and said, "Angelus and my Slayer?"
"Exactly," Quentin replied.
Giles lost even more of the color in his face, before he asked, "And what happens now?"
Quentin looked at Giles again for a few moment, which made Giles even more nervous, and then said, "You now Rupert, I always liked and loved you like a son, that and because you are my godson is why I helped you after your stint as Ripper and that why I am here know. The senior council has decided to recall you to England for standing trial for failing your duties and sending in falsified reports."
Giles now had a look of total defeat on his face. "I should have known better, shouldn't I? What else did they decide?"
"Yes, you should have and what else the council has decided I wouldn't normally tell a recalled Watcher, but you are my godson and so I will tell you everything and give you an option. The Council has decided to ‘retire' your Slayer and Angelus will be terminated. For both decisions the Council decided to hire independent free agents, which could already be here or arrive shortly," Quentin told Giles.
Giles was still for a moment, to shocked to say anything, after a minute he gathered his thoughts and then said, "Thank you for telling me all this, Uncle. You said something about giving me an option?"
Quentin smiled to himself about Giles slip in calling him Uncle, before he nodded and then said, "Yes Rupert. I am giving you a last chance to help your Slayer. Go find her, reign her in and let her kill Angelus before our teams act and hurry I don't think there is much time left."
Giles nodded jumped up, hurried to the door and yelled, "Thank you Uncle Quentin." Before he left the room and hurried quickly back to the library.
Still inside the room
Quentin looked at a dark corner of the room, from which Mr. Peck just stepped out. "So Mr. Peck, even if I would have done it anyway to help my godson I hope it is enough to appease the moral codex of your team and that of Colonel Smith?"
Mr. Peck, who was also known under his nickname Face, nodded before he replied, "We still don't like it to much, but you gave Mr. Giles a chance to save Miss Summers from her fate and the A-Team will help you with your Plan B if he fails do reign her in. A rogue Slayer who can't follow orders is to dangerous to be let running around."
"Exactly Mr. Peck, now let us leave this fine cafe to keep an eye on things on things, you can inform the rest of your team from the car."
"Don't worry Mr. Travers they are already informed," he said while pointing on one of the buttons on his shirt. "We may have grown older, but we are still the A-Team."
Both men left the café smiling.
Xander moaned as he awoke the next day, smiling a little as the left over remnant of his dreams left him and he opened his eyes. He had not fallen asleep easy last night thanks to Jenny's teasing, but finally he had dosed off. The dreams he'd had though were a combination of fantasy and wishful thinking. He rubbed his eyes and slowly sat up before looking around and noting Jenny was already up and in the kitchen, dressed in a red blouse and a long skirt.
He took a moment to admire her form before getting up and yawning, before joining her where she handed him a hot cup of coffee. He smiled in thanks and sat down at the table. She soon joined him and drank her own coffee, whilst trying not to stare too much at her guest. Her dreams last night had been somewhat wild. She had woken in the middle of the night from a very pleasant fantasy and been solely temped to go downstairs and seduce Xander for real. She had managed to stop herself, but the temptation was getting worse. She felt like a teenager again, almost, granted she was only twenty three so she was young enough that the age difference was not that wide.
Unaware of his companions thoughts Xander quickly finished his coffee and got up to wash the cup out, as he finished cleaning it he suddenly remembered what he had planned to do today, before he went to school.
A month ago he had read an announcement that Henry Fitzroy, one his all time favorite comic artists would be signing autographs for his new comic from early morning to eight, strange hours he mused, but he guessed being a big time artist kept him busy. He had been planning on heading there early to meet the man and get his autograph. He looked at the clock and noted it was only coming up to seven. Looking out the nearby window he noted the sun was starting to rise, but it was still mostly dark outside.
"I can't bother you for a lift, can I Jenny?" he inquired, turning to face his friend, only to almost jump when he found her a mere foot away from him.
Jenny smiled at his reaction, once again giving into the temptation to tease and flirt with her friend. She would have to make a choice soon she thought, as she put her own cup away. If she kept up like this she might find herself giving in at the worst possible moment and that was not something she needed. She sighed, wishing Xander was her own age then this would not be so damn hard.
"Where do you need to go?" she inquired with a raised eyebrow, wondering what he could possibly need to do at this early hour.
"Well I need to get home for a change of clothes, considering I slept in mine last night," Xander responded with a small laugh. "But first I was hoping to visit the comic shop," he added.
"Why would you need to go there so early?" Jenny asked confused, as she noted Xander was getting nervous.
"One of my all time favorite comic artists is going to be signing autographs till eight and I've been planning to go since I read about it last month," Xander replied, understanding the confusion he saw on her face.
Jenny could not help but smile at that, as for all the darkness and evil he had faced since meeting Buffy Summers and learning the truth of the world, her friend was still able to have a normal life and enjoy normal human interests.
She couldn't fault him and found his enthusiasm to be amusing, so she nodded as she did not have to be at work until seven thirty for the regular meetings Snider the troll loved to hold.
She sighed as that meant she would have to deal with Giles, something that was beginning to get to her. She had once thought he was a decent intelligent person and she had begun to develop feelings for him, but all of that had been ruined with the breaking of Angelus' curse and the revelation of who she really was. Since then she had grown to be disgusted at Giles actions of late, his refusal to force Buffy into action been the most prominent. Any feelings she once had for the man had been torn away, replaced with bitter resentment.
Their meetings since then had been tense and argumentative and she had grown tired of them. The only reason she was still in Sunnydale was first her loyalty to Xander, her friend and if she truly wanted it her soon to be lover. Second and no less important was her thirst for redemption in the eyes of her clan by either finding a solution to the problem of Angelus herself or by helping in his destruction.
She longed to return home, but that was impossible until Angelus had either been caged again or destroyed one way or another, which actually hurt. Being exiled from her clan was painful in a way she could not truly describe, but she hoped to find the answer soon, then she could go home and if she had any real sway over Xander she would take him with her.
Pushing those thoughts away, she came back to the question that she had been asked. "Ok, I'll drop you off at the comic shop," she answered, getting a relieved smile in return. "Come on," she said, as she walked into her living room and grabbed her bag and car keys.
Xander followed and had to do everything he could to keep his eyes on Jenny's back instead of her ass. He found himself thinking Giles was a complete idiot to throw away such a beautiful insightful woman, just to please Buffy. He had once thought she was a hero, who always did the right thing, but he soon saw just how flawed she was and now people were dying, because of those flaws.
He knew he was not perfect, hell he made many mistakes daily, but never would he endanger someone's life for anything like the way Buffy did. He might not have staked Jessie the night of the harvest, it was more of an accident, but he believed with all his heart that he would have, had his hand been forced. Cordelia's life had rested in his hands and he doubted he would have let Jessie have her. He closed his eyes as he remembered his lost friend, before shaking those thoughts off and then he got into the car.
Willow screamed as Angelus worked the spike into the open wound in her thigh, it had been a very long night and she had almost screamed herself raw. Angelus and Drusilla had been working her over for hours on end. She had no hope left that Buffy would somehow find her, not now. She had watched in horrid dread as Angelus had dumped the corpse of Xander's mother in front of her, she had stared at the corpse in horror feeling the pain Xander would feel when she found out what Angelus had done to his mother.
Xander wouldn't give a damn about his father, as the man was an abusive asshole, who had even once tried to hit her. It had been the last time she had gone inside Xander's house.
Four hours later, the vampire that was once Jessica Harris had awoken. Willow had almost been bitten by her, before she has been pulled back and allowed to drain Aura Elling who must have been found at the Bronze. a The few moments she watched the blond airhead scream, as Jessica fed were like a nightmare, when the blond had dropped to the ground dead, Willow had felt like crying.
She had a broken right hand and her left foot was also broken. Angelus had then grabbed a hammer and broken each of her toes on her right foot and even if she could get loose it was impossible for her to go anywhere.
She was going to die, of that she was sure now. She guessed she should thank god that she had not been raped. The wounds Angelus had inflicted on her thighs and back hurt a lot and she could barely stay awake, one thing she knew deep in her heart was she had been wrong to support Buffy. Had she been wise and listened to what Xander and Miss Calendar had said, she would not be in this nightmare. She had ignored the danger because she got swept up in the star cross romance of Buffy's relationship with Angel, as well the tight friendship she shared with her.
"Easy mate," Spike's voice broke through her troubled thoughts. "You're going to kill her, if you keep on like that," he added, while lighting a smoke. "I thought the idea was to make it last?" he inquired.
"Shut it Spike," Angelus snarled. "I don't need your advice on how to torture someone," he added with a sneer at the blond wheel bound vampire.
Xander watched Jenny drive off towards the school, before turning to the comic shop and noting the cue was thankfully small and quickly joined it, granted he was not surprised it was so small, as he had long thought most people were aware of what actually hunted in this town at night, but just pretended not to. Soon he was inside and took a quick look around and noted that not one ray of natural sunlight could enter the room, he found that a bit strange, but wasn't strange in Sunnydale? After that he focused on Fitzroy. He was tall with brown hair and brown eyes.
However something bugged Xander about the man as he glanced up to look how many people were left. Something in the eyes that sent a chill right down his spine. Combined with the fact the autograph signing was so early when it was basically still dark made him worry before shaking that idea off.
Finally it was his turn and he exchanged a few words before getting his autograph and then turned to leave again. He stopped at the door and looked back to find Henry watching him with a questioning look, he just shrugged and quickly left the store.
He moved quickly towards his parent's house dreading going in, but knowing he needed a change of clothes. His mind moved back towards Jenny and how comfortable he now was with her. It was almost like his closer friendship with Cordelia, granted the teasing and flirting was much more intense, but it was similar. Had someone told him he would get so close to such stunning women a year before and he would have laughed in their face. Now he had feelings for Jenny that was clear to him, but he also felt something for Cordelia. He was just not convinced pursuing Cordy would be a good idea. She was still too worried about appearances and status.
He came to a complete stop and almost fell over as he accidentally walked right into someone, shaking his head he looked up to find a tall man wearing a long coat and a multi colored scarf, as well as a hat. For a minute he wondered who the hell dresses like that anymore, noticing the interested look on the man's face as well as his wide smile.
"I'm sorry about that," he said- "I had a lot going on in my head and I wasn't paying attention," he added with shrug, hoping the man would accept that.
"That's okay Alexander," the man said, shocking him with the use of his name. "Would you like a Jelly baby?" The man asked, offering him a packet of sweets.
Xander was at first weary, but not seeing a real threat he took one of the Jelly babies and quickly ate it, offering a nod of thanks, as he finished off the sweet a blond haired woman, wearing a similar outfit like the man only that her coat was pink, walked up to them and whispered something in the man's ear, who then looked worried before nodding his head.
"Take heart young Alexander that the dark is usually at its worst before the dawn," the man told him with an understanding smile. "Don't ignore those who love you in your darkest hour," he warned, before the woman pulled on the man's arm and shot him a look.
Xander was unsure what to make of the man or his words, although they caused him to feel a cold chill in his soul that he could not shake off. He hoped it was just his imagination at work but he doubted it.
"It was wonderful to see you again Alexander, but we really must be going now," the man said with another smile, before turning and leaving with his hand behind the woman's back as if guiding her along. The woman glanced back for a minute and gave him a small sympathetic smile before they vanished behind the corner. He stood there for a few moments, wondering what the hell had just happened. Finally he shook himself out of his daze and moved on.
Finally reaching his street he began to relax before he slowed down, as to his horror he saw multiple cop cars and an ambulance outside his house. He felt his heart beat wildly, as he took off at a run and ran right into the house, bypassing the cops. What he found inside was one of his worst nightmares come true. His father's body lay on the floor and looked like it had been drained of all of its blood.
He felt sick as he looked around almost wildly searching for his mother, before his eyes came to rest on the bloody message on the wall, everything seemed to go silent as he stared at it before someone's hand came down on his shoulder. He looked up and recognized the detective Stein, who had responded to many calls from the neighbors when his father's drunken antics were out of control. The man gave him a sad smile.
"I'm sorry Alexander, but it looks like it was a very bad end for Tony," Stein told him.
He knew exactly who this kid was. He had visited this place many times to arrest Tony for drunken and abusive behavior. The courts just would not keep the man inside. He also knew who this kid was hooked up with, having seen them on patrol at night. He could admire their courage, but he sometimes wondered if they truly believed they could stop the menace which plagued this town. He may be corrupt to a point, being a part of the police force in this town, with the Mayor they had made it a necessary evil if you wanted to survive.
Even given that he was not about to abandon all of his duties especially in the current situation, the kid before him had a bad life and now it had just gotten worse. He truly felt sorry for him, but he still had to ask a few questions.
"Where is my mother?" Xander demanded to know, as he pushed himself to his feet and stared at Stein.
"We didn't find her body Alex, it's possible she escaped whoever did this," Stein responded, although he knew in his heart that Jessica Harris was just as dead as her husband.
"I know who did this," Xander's voice turned cold, as the anger and hatred for Angelus intensified to levels he had never believed possible. "It was gangs on PCP," he added with sarcasm, noting the lack of surprise on Stein's face.
This increased his long held suspicion that the cops within Sunnydale knew exactly what was going on at night, which is why they never seemed to be around at that time. He closed his eyes and ran a hand through his hair.
"Alex I have to ask where you were last night," Stein inquired deciding to get this over with.
"I was having lessons with Miss Calendar, I've been falling behind in class and she offered to tutor me," Xander answered, without really thinking about it.
"However we lost track of time and considering the danger of going out at night I stayed there on the couch," he explained.
Stein did not see any signs of falsehood from the young man as he wrote down the answers. He guessed Alexander had been lucky last night not to be at home or he to would have laid out here.
"I'll take you to the school, so I can get Miss Calendar's statement," Stein responded. "Come on, there is nothing for you to do here," he added with a supportive shake on Xander's arm.
Xander guessed he should be lucky it was Stein who was in charge of this and not one of the hard ass cops he usually saw around town. He followed the detective to his car and got in. He was hoping Jenny would just go with it.
Willow swayed as blood loss began to affect her, but she forced herself to keep her eyes open. She found herself cursing ever meeting Buffy Summers. She would not be here had it not been for her friendship with the blond slayer. No, that was not the truth. Her own stupidity in letting her guard down had led her here. She should have immediately gone into her house, instead of watching Oz drive off. On the thought of Oz she felt pain at the knowledge that she would never see her boyfriend again.
Noticing the vampire that had once been Xander's mother walk past, she felt her own hatred of Angelus stir, as the full horrifying truth finally hit her.
Angelus was going to kill them all and not just them, their parents and friends as well, he was a true monster. She noted he was coming back towards her and so she summoned the last of her strength, if she was going to die it would be with some dignity.
"You are going to regret what you've done," she spat, as the vampire neared her. "You will not survive what follows," she added.
"Oh, do you think your precious Buffy will save the day?" Angelus sneered in reply, actually surprised the red head could still summon the will to fight him, even if it was only in words.
"No, not Buffy," Willow responded weakly. "I'm talking about Xander, your bitch of a sire killed Jessie and now you've taken his mother and me," she explained with a smile. "He will hunt you, no matter where you run and hide, he will, if not kill you, then to be there for your end and a painful end it will be," she spat, noticing how angry she had made Angelus.
Spike who was watching from behind Angelus couldn't help but admire the spirit of the red head. She knew she was going to die and she had chosen to go on her own terms, as best she could. He maybe a monster and a viscous one at that, but he could still admire the human spirit. He had seen many brave humans stand and fight, where most would have fled in terror at the first sign of trouble. Now he was seeing one more human make a stand against the true horror of the world, and as it was the vampire he hated most that was getting the red heads spite and so he enjoyed it all the more.
"You think that pathetic weakling Harris will dare to come near me?" Angelus demanded, incensed by the idea.
"You know he will. He has dared to fight your despised kind with no special powers or skills and survived," Willow stated, trying to ignore the pain her body was in. "He forced Angel to go into the masters' cave, remember. It was him who came up with the plan to stop the judge," Willow reminded Angelus with a smile, as Angelus temper was driven upwards. "He hates you more than anything in this world and he will have his revenge for what you did to his mother and me, you will burn in hell," she shouted.
Unable to take anymore of the red head's taunts Angelus' hands shot out and grabbed Willow's head and with a simple sharp twist broke her neck with ease.
He watched as the light faded quickly from her eyes, bringing a smile to his face before turning away from the body.
"Leave the body, I got plans for it," Angelus commanded, before walking away, planning his next moves.
(Sunnydale High School)
Jenny came out of the meeting wishing something bad would happen to the troll who happened to be the principal of the school; he really got on her nerves and drove her to want to unleash her magic on him and maybe turn him into a toad, luckily Giles was there so at least she was sparred of him.
Walking into her classroom she froze, as she noted Xander already inside alongside someone else.
"Miss Calendar? I am Detective Stein," Stein introduced himself and showed his ID. "I need you to confirm that Alex here was at your house last night having stayed for lessons to catch up in class," he explained.
It did not take Jenny more than a minute to realize something horrible had gone wrong and Xander could be in deep trouble, if she was not careful with how she replied.
"That is correct detective. I have been tutoring Alex for a few weeks now," she finally responded. "Last night however we over ran and noticing how dark it already was, I insisted that he stayed on the couch. I did not want him to risk walking home," she explained.
Stein nodded in understanding and wrote down her answers, which basically matched the story Xander had given him.
"Ok, Miss Calendar would you be able to take Xander in for a few days? Sadly his father is dead and his mother is missing and presumed dead," Stein finally said, shocking Jenny with what was actually going on.
"My god," Jenny whispered, as she finally caught Xander's eyes and saw the raw hatred running in his eyes, which told her everything she needed to know. "Of course, he is welcome to stay at my house," she added.
Angelus had struck again and this time he had taken something from Xander that was important to him. She knew Xander did not care for his father, considering what an abusive ass he had been, but his mother was a very different matter. She closed her eyes and gave a silent prayer that Xander's mother had not suffered, but knowing the vampire in question she highly doubted it.
Stein nodded and gave Xander one last clap of sympathy on his shoulder, than he turned and left.
Xander stood silently until Jenny engulfed him in a hug and he broke down crying. Jenny quickly released him for a few moments, so that she could lock the door before taking him back into her arms and trying to calm him down.
Finally after ten minutes Xander calmed down a bit and as she pulled back. Looking at him once again, she saw the anger and hatred that mirrored her own in his eyes. He quickly rubbed his eyes clear or tears and stood and headed for the door.
Jenny knew exactly where he was going and quickly followed, noting how quickly people got out of his way. Cordelia soon noted the disturbance and finally noting the look on her friends face turned and headed for the library herself. She entered a few seconds behind Xander and Miss Calendar and noted that Buffy, Oz and Giles were standing tens inside, but of Willow there was no sign yet.
"I hope you are damn happy now, bitch" Xander's voice was cold and hard as steel as he spoke, causing Cordelia to shiver as she had never heard him speak with such hatred.
She knew he had been having trouble with Buffy and the others since Angelus had begun to run amok, but she had never expected it to turn into outright hostility. She began to worry about what had happened, Xander was prone to many things but this kind of hatred was not one of them and it chilled her to see him in such a mood.
"Xander I don't have time for you to moan about me doing something about Angel," Buffy responded, not even paying her friend a glance as she paced up and down from what Giles had just told her.
Xander did not replied in words. He strode forward and actually struck Buffy, catching her completely off guard. She fell to the floor in shock as Giles and Oz pulled him back as he glared at her.
"My parents are dead because of you," Xander shouted in rage. "And before you try and say it wasn't him I know for a fact it was that bastard, as he left me a message written in my father's blood on the damn wall," he continued shouting, shocking everyone in the library.
Giles paled as this could not have come at a worse time, his meeting with Travers was still ringing in his ears. Oh lord what the hell was he going to do and he realized that now all hope for saving Buffy was probably lost.
Oz just stepped back in shock, as he realized how justified Xander's anger was. Jenny came up behind Xander and pulled him back into a hug. Cordelia could barely believe her ears, as Xander raged and she learned why he was like this, unable to stop herself she joined Miss Calendar in trying to calm Xander down.
"They're dead because you refused to do your duty. I hate you," Xander spat, as he looked around the library, before he noted someone was missing. "And where is Willow?" he asked in a cold calm tone.
"She wasn't at her house when I called," Oz responded, very worried by his girlfriend's absence. "And I have not seen her in school yet either," he added.
Xander's knees gave out and he fell to the floor, bringing Jenny and Cordelia with him, as he realized the truth. "He got her," he spat. "She's dead, you damn bitch, look at what you've done because of you sickly feeling about a rotten corpse," he screamed, before getting back up and storming out of the library quickly followed by Cordelia.
Jenny remained behind, as she looked at the shell shocked slayer and her watcher. "I hope in the end it was worth it Buffy, because now you are going to pay the price for your mistakes," she stated with cold eyes. "And your mistake Rupert will be the end of you as well, I am sure of it," she added, before she turned around and also left the library, intending to find Xander before he did anything stupid.
Oz began to panic as Xander's words penetrated deep into his mind. Could it be possible Angelus had captured Willow? He closed his eyes and prayed it was not so, if she was his prisoner there was little hope that she could be rescued.
Giles collapsed into his chair and tried to think of anything he could do now to save himself and his charge, still having the talk with his Uncle in the head, but he feared time had run out now.
Buffy however refused to believe Willow was gone. She didn't believe Xander, that it was Angel who had killed his parents either, he just wouldn't do that and said to Giles, "Giles, I think Xander got it all wrong."
Giles looked at her for a second, than looked at her again in an ever growing disbelieve, suddenly his eyes turned cold, calmly he stood up, looked at her again and said in a calm tone," Buffy? I fear that the blond color thing you used on your hair has destroyed every brain cell in your head. Love is a good thing mostly, but what you are currently doing in its name is just unbelievable. I can't understand what has happened to me that I ever supported that at all and I guess you already forgot what I just told you before Xander arrived?"
Seeing the lack of understanding on her face he continued in a now more defeated sounding voice, "As I told you the Council knows exactly what has happened here in Sunnydale and your last chance is to do your duty and dust Angelus."
Buffy looked at stupid as if he had lost his mind, "But Giles I can't kill Angel. I love him."
At first Giles wanted to say something more, but then he just shook his head and left the library also. Outside he took his mobile and dialed a number. "Yes hello? I would like to order a one-way ticket to London," he listened for a moment and then said. "Thank you I will we there on time."
A half hour before the meeting in the library, LA
Leon and Mathilda landed in LA where they quickly gathered the things Leon would need and after storing it all in the rented car and then they enjoyed a breakfast in a café near the ocean, after they finished Leon stood up looked at his daughter and said, "Enjoy your shopping trip here and say hello to your friend Rianne Murtaugh, I know you want to meet her. Just be careful of her dad and his crazy partner."
Mathilda smiled and nodded at Leon. "Yes dad, I will and you look out that you don't get drained in that damned town."
Leon gave her a small kiss on the cheek and then went to his car. After driving for a while he finally reached Sunnydale. He quickly checked in at a motel, after he left the first one behind which looked kinda shady.
Just as he wanted to go out on a small recon his mobile beeped with an e-mail received, he quickly read it and then smiled sadly, because he still had hoped that he wouldn't have to retire the slayer here, but seeing what a rogue slayer once did in New York a few years ago, he agreed with his client, so he armed himself and went out for his recon.
Additional Disclaimer: The A-Team was created by Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo and belongs to whoever currently owns the rights.
(Sunnydale High School)
Xander stalked into the middle of the high school and looked around at the rambling mass of students. Some of them watched him wearily and some just glared at him. He felt Cordelia and Jenny come up behind him, but he ignored them for the moment, as he took a deep breath. It had only been ten minutes since he had left the library and he still felt the rage boiling within him. A small part of him could not help but to feel that he had always known it would come to this.
It was all over he thought, the group was dead and he would never again submit himself to Buffy's control. His mother was dead, no worse than that, according to the message Angelus left, she had been turned, just like Jessie. He felt his anger and hate increase, then his mind shifted to Willow. Was he right? Was his last childhood friend dead?
It was so hard to think, to move, to do anything, but collapse and weep for his losses, but something inside him, something primal and dark would not allow it. He thirsted for revenge. He had once sworn to Buffy that if any harm came to Willow he would kill her, but he didn't have to do anything about her now as it was in the hands of the Council and Willow would not want him to bloody his hands in such a way.
Suddenly a sound of shattering glass could be heard from just ahead. He ran, pushed on by whatever it was inside him. He was followed by nearly ever student in the school, including Oz. Who must have followed them out of the library as they came close to the front entrance. There, lying face up, on the shattered glass was Willow.
Her bloody corpse showed what kind of torture she had gone through, before she had died. He looked into her lifeless eyes and wished with all his might that he could see her smiling face one last time, before he knelt down and slowly closed them forever. He felt another shift behind him, as someone barged in and he looked up, just to see Snyder looking at him.
"What the hell have you done now, Harris?" Snyder growled, knowing already that the boy did not harm his best friend, but seeing it as a way of finally getting rid of him.
He didn't even see the sudden move as Xander came back to his feet and punched him right in the face, breaking his noise with a wet sounding pop. He looked up in shock and fear as Harris stared down at him, his eyes wild with rage.
"Don't ever talk to me again you worthless worm," Xander growled, before he looked around the faces of the rest of the school, noting the pale disbelieving look on Oz's face and the tears in Jenny and even Cordelia's eyes. He also noted Giles at the far back, looking almost traumatized by everything. Finally it got too much and he let out a primal scream of rage and hate that burned almost everything else away.
Jenny watched in horror as Xander began to fall into the darkness of his rage, after seeing the tortured bloody body of Willow so callously thrown through the school window. She didn't know how Angelus had managed to get it done, but it had the effect he wanted, she was sure. She quickly moved forward and uncaring of the school watching, she pulled Xander into a hug, followed soon after by Cordelia. She had been watching with just as much worry as Jenny.
Oz began to back away from the sight of his dead girlfriend more and more, as his own rage built up. It felt warped to him, something was very wrong he thought. He turned and ran, heading for the nearby toilet. In the darkest recess of his mind he still could not grasp that Willow was truly gone.
Outside, moving away from the school, at a fast pace, in his car was Willy the bartender. He had almost pissed himself when Angelus had stalked into his bar, using the tunnels to get there and then demanded from him to throw the body of Rosenberg into the school.
He had seen what a refusal would get him, a very painful death, so he had complied. Luckily for him, Sunnydale held no danger to people like him, as the cops were corrupt and knew to stay away from him and others like him. He just hoped this act would not bring the Slayer or some else of her group to his bar, looking for information.
Angelus leaned against the wall grinning, as he pictured the looks on the Scooby Gang's faces, as they stared down at the body of Willow. He had been half tempted to turn her, but he did not think that would have been a good idea. Most likely the red head would then go on and turn Xander and then he would have a real threat on his hands.
He knew enough about the process and vampires in general to know that a vampire Xander would forever try and kill him. That was not something he wanted to deal with and at least this way he inflicted even more pain and suffering on Xander, as well as the rest of the group.
He decided when night fell that he would go on the hunt and he bet his unlife that he would find Xander out there, looking for him. His grin turned into a wide smirk, as he made more plans. Across the room unnoticed by Angelus was the vampire that had been Jessica Harris once. She noted the demented look on her sire's face and quickly deduced what he was thinking about. Her host's memories showed her what her son would do, after suffering such losses and she wondered if she could use him to remove her sire. She was one demon who did not like serving anyone.
(Sunnydale High School)
Xander allowed Jenny and Cordelia to calm him down for a small while, but he was already planning a hunt for Angelus, starting tonight. He had made it personal and he did not care if he died. He would ensure that the bastard was dusted.
He swore on to Willow and his mother that somehow he would make sure that the vampire did not survive for long. He also knew he would have to deal with the vampire that had been his mother and that hurt. Pulling away from Jenny and Cordelia he again looked at the mass of students, who were watching quietly. Some he noted were crying or looked upset, while others looked indifferent.
He looked at the clock on the wall and noted that it was just after midday now. A couple more hours and he would begin his hunt. He turned and began to head out of the school and was quickly followed by Jenny. Cordelia watched her friend go, knowing there was nothing she could do to help him at the moment. She turned and headed back into the school, noting the pale form of Giles at the back. Looking around she noted that Oz was missing and she wondered where he was.
Deciding to check on him she went searching until she came to the toilets. She heard what could be the sounds of things breaking and knew she did not dare go in. She would have to wait until he had calmed down.
Snyder finally picked himself up and looked around the student body, before coming to a decision, which frankly galled him. "Everyone go home. School is canceled for the rest of the day," he ordered, before stalking away.
He headed for his office intending to call the police and an ambulance to pick up the body. He also intended to rid himself of Harris no matter what it took. The school quickly cleared of people who did not want to run the risk of the principal changing his mind.
Giles remained for a while, staring at the body of what had once been such a promising young girl. He shuddered at what he had allowed to happen, by refusing to force Buffy to act he was just as responsible for Willow's death as was his slayer and that went also for the other deaths Angelus had caused.
(Sunnydale, an hour later)
Leon drove around Sunnydale for a bit, to get a feeling of his surroundings and the feeling he got was kinda creepy for different reasons.
One of these, he told himself was that he had never seen so many cemeteries in a small town like this and the second would be that the whole town breathed out a very strange feeling he couldn't really pinpoint.
While driving around to familiarize himself with the location, he thought a bit about the current job. Normally he would have rejected it instantly. Yes, he was a hired killer, he couldn't deny that, but he always worked after the credo ‘No children, no women'. The ‘No children' part was still there and he would never break it, but sadly the ‘no women' part he had to break ones or twice now. He didn't like it, but not every human monster was male, some of them were females.
The two times he had broken that part of his credo he checked all the facts about his target, even more thoroughly than he does normally.
One woman was deep into the ‘Human traffic' business, the political correct name for slavery, and her main business was in selling pleasure- and sex slaves who were seldom older than 16 and the other one was a woman who had murdered 15 children in her sons school because the coach of her son had thrown him out of the school's football team for the reason of drug abuse. Then she fled without being caught and one of the parents of the death children had hired him to find and kill her.
Those two jobs he taken himself and other jobs like that were given to a few sub-contractors of M4H and now he took his third job to retire a woman.
A rogue slayer who had dismissed her duty several times and because of that a lot of innocent people had already died.
He still didn't like it, but it needed to be done.
After he drove around for a while longer he pulled into the public parking space. He looked around for a bit and if his information was correct his targets would probably be in the school's library. Because he felt quite uneasy in this town he decided to finish the job as soon as possible. He strolled around the school, surprised to find it empty. That was strange because normally school was over yet.
Finally he saw a janitor who was cleaning something on the ground which looked like blood. "Excuse me Mister. I'm looking for a Mr. Giles?"
Without even looking up from the floor he was cleaning, which had smashed glass and what looked like blood on it, the janitor pointed down a corridor where the sign over the door declared that the room behind it was the library.
"Thank you," Leon said and went into the pointed out direction.
Meanwhile outside of Principal Snyder's office
Ahh how he hated that troll of a principal, he never met such a disgusting person before and he had no clue how a man who hated children that much, could even be allowed to run a school. He went to Snyder to inform him that he had to fly to England for several days, because of a family emergency and the troll started a rant about Buffy and her misbegotten friends and how their behavior was now starting to corrupt his teachers and so on. After listening to the rant for 5 minutes Giles had enough and he wished he had broken Snyder's nose. He turned around and walked into the direction of his office to get a few things, as he approached the door to the library, he saw the back of a man in a long trench coat, which just had entered the room and he could hear a voice ask, "Miss Summers?"
Fear filled Giles suddenly, even if he was annoyed with Buffy at the moment he still felt for her, as he started running he heard the telltale signs of several "Plop..plop" sounding sounds in a quick repeating manner.
In the library
Buffy was still in the library, even after hearing Snyder telling all pupils to go home over the loud speakers, she sat at the table where they always researched and was crying her eyes out.
Xander hated her and Willow...? Willow was dead...
She damned herself... it took Willow's dead to realize her error in letting Angelus live, because she still hoped to get her Angel back. How could she have been so stupid?
Now it was to late... Willow was dead and Xander? Suddenly she realized something... oh my god... Xander will go out and try to kill Angelus for murdering Willow.
She had to do something or Xander would be dead soon and again because of her blindness. She couldn't let that happen.
She quickly got up and just as she wanted to go to the weapons locker she heard the door to the library open and the voice of a man asked. "Miss Summers?"
As she turned around and nodded at the man she heard some plopping noises and suddenly the world went dark for her.
(Sunnydale, night fall)
Hours had passed since the dark events of the day. Xander looked through his window, intent on killing Angelus if he could. He had come home to get some of the weapons he had stashed here and luckily the cops had all left by the time he had had gotten here. He was ignoring Jenny's almost desperate pleas for him to stay inside the house. He wanted revenge and he was intent on getting it, finally he turned and headed out.
Jenny watched him go, feeling fear engulf her before she grabbed a few things and headed after Xander, intent on making sure that he survived what he was recklessly doing. She could understand why he was doing this. Hell in his shoes she would do the same, but she just wished he would listen to her.
They moved silently through the graveyards, coming only across a few vampires. None of which knew where Angelus was, so they were quickly dusted. Jenny got nervous as she noted Xander was not really paying attention. He was consumed by his need for revenge and that was bad. A sudden snap of a twig caused them both to turn around to find Angelus standing behind them, wearing a cocky grin. By his side were two of his minions and the vampire that had once been Jessica Harris.
Xander's glared at Angelus before his eyes moved to take in his mother's corpse and his glare intensified. He tightened his grip on his stake and waited. Beside him Jenny began to summon her magic hoping they would get out of this alive.
"Hello Xander, so nice to see you," Angelus taunted. "Did you like my present this morning?" he asked, knowing it was only a matter of time before the boy lost it completely. "Oh let me introduce you to my latest follower Jessica, although I think you already know each other, right?" he continued.
Xander screamed and rushed forward intent on killing the bastard, but he was quickly intercepted and knocked backwards being cut deep into his shoulder and side.
Jenny quickly moved to cover him and managed to flay one of the vampires with a flame spell, but she was quickly knocked to her knees. As she moved to get back up, she received a knee to the face from Angelus, which was quickly followed up by a right hook to her jaw which sent her wheeling.
Xander moved to get back up, only to be clawed right in his already injured side. He cried out in pain and he began to suspect with anger that he had led Jenny and himself to their deaths in his blind rage. He watched, as Jenny received even more wounds to her arm, shoulder and chest, before suddenly something dropped between the now unconscious woman and the oncoming Angelus.
He watched as a blade swept up, almost catching Angelus who quickly backed up and then flung the remaining minion at the new comer. Who again swept his sword across the air, cutting the vamp's head off and dusting it easily.
(On a tree's a few moments earlier)
Blade shook his head as he watched what he assumed to be two hunters move trough the graveyard he was in. He quickly noted whilst the woman was nervous and unsure the boy was over run with anger and hate. Clearly something more had happened in Sunnydale between the time he and Whistler had been called and the time they got here.
He needed information and these two might just have it. He paused as he sensed a few newcomers and watched as four vampires showed up and began to taunt the hunters.
What happened next did not surprise him. The boy recklessly threw himself at the vampire's obvious leader, not getting even close. As the two hunters became overwhelmed and injured, he decided to make his presence known.
He dropped between the woman and the vampire, only missing taking its head off by a few inches. As he stood up, he almost rolled his eyes as the leader threw his minion at him. He quickly removed its head with his sword, but as he suspected by the time he looked back the leader and the other vampires were gone. Growling a little he pulled his phone and called Whistler to meet him at the entrance of the graveyard with the car.
He looked over the injured hunters and wondered why they had come out tonight so ill prepared. Hearing the roar of his car he quickly picked up the woman first and took her to Whistler, before he went back to the boy and doing the same, laying him next to the woman. As he got in the car he noted Whistler's questioning glance.
"They are hunters," he explained. "They might have information we can use to track and locate Angelus," he added, unaware that the vampire leader he had missed was his target.
"Not bad kid," Whistler nodded in agreement, as they had come here almost straight away without any research, intending to use the local hunters to find their pray. He put the car into gear and took off, heading for the local hospital.
(Sunnydale High School, a few hours earlier)
Cordelia waited tensely for Oz to finally come out, but so far he had failed to appear and she was beginning to get worried. Finally deciding to take a chance she pushed the door open and went to take a step inside, only to be roughly flung away as the door came off its hinges as something hit it hard.
She looked in and opened her eyes wide as she noted Oz had somehow transformed, even though it was not a full moon. Just before she could scream or even think of running the thought came to her that maybe Willow's death had caused this.
She had little time to try anything as Oz charged her and ripped right into her.
Cordelia closed her eyes and cursed Buffy Summers for getting her involved in all of this, before darkness closed in on her and she died as the werewolf Oz clawed through her stomach, before he ran out into the night.
Nick was tired. He landed a few hours ago in LA and then drove quickly to Sunnydale. He was hired by a client to observe Mr. and Mrs. Chase, because his client believed that his business partners were stealing from him.
This was his first case after Amanda and he went different ways. He had returned to the states and opened a new detective agency under his new name of Nick Meyers. Shortly after he had opened his office in Chicago, he got this case which now had led him to this small town in California.
As he drove by the local High School he suddenly felt the quickening of a newly awoken Immortal.
Cursing be mumbled, "Damn, I don't need complications like that right now and I won't let me involve in that again."
Proving himself wrong he turned his car around and drove into the parking lot of the school.
Additional Disclaimer: All things Highlander and or Highlander: The Raven belongs to Panzer/Davis.
Sunnydale High, library
As Leon entered the library he looked around and saw a blond young woman stand up from a table in the center of the room. She looked like her target, but to be sure he asked, “Miss Summers?”
The moment she nodded, he pulled the trigger of his gun three times. He watched as the first bullet hit her in the stomach, the second in the heart and the third in the head. Just as he turned around the door were threw open and hit him in the side. He stumbled a few steps back and saw his second target storm into the room.
Giles stormed into the library, just a moment after he had heard the sound of a silenced gun. He stopped abruptly as he saw his Slayer, his Buffy, collapsed to the ground. In a flash he remembered how he left and suddenly he felt a rage coming over him as he saw the Council’s goon. All thinking left him and he stormed at the man, wanting to rip him apart.
Leon watched his target and as he then stormed at him he quickly raised his gun and pulled the trigger two times again. As he saw his target crash down to the floor he quickly pulled his second gun and shot at his target again.
After that he put both guns away, picked up his second target and left trough the back-door of the library. He stowed his target deep into the shadows were he wasn’t easily seen. Then he quickly went to the parking lot and got his rental car and parked it at the back entrance of the library. He picked his target up again and stowed him in the trunk of the car.
He sat down in his car again and then drove in the direction of LA. After he left the town borders he pulled out his mobile. “Mathilda? I hope you have finished your shopping trip. I am done and we will leave for England as soon as I am back in LA. Please make sure the plane is ready.”
In the library shortly before Leon entered it.
Travers stood in the background and was hidden by the shadows and a bit of magic. He watched as Buffy realized what she had done and then it seemed like she had come to a decision, just as she stood up Leon entered the library and after Buffy had answered his question he didn’t wait for a second and shoot at her.
Travers concentrated for a moment and then released a bit of magic.
Suddenly it looked like time stood still. Quickly Travers released a second bit of magic and in the shadows beside him appeared a doorway. After a few moments Mr. Peck stepped through it and was followed by an older man and a big Afro-American, who carried something over his shoulder which looked exactly like Buffy Summers.
Travers nodded in their direction and said, “Good day Colonel Smith and to you Sergeant Baracus. Please hurry, the spell won’t hold for long.”
The man identified as Col. Smith replied, “Of course Sir. All will go as planned.” He nodded and only said to his friend, “B.A.?”
B.A. also nodded and hurried to where Buffy Summers stood. He quickly grabbed her and then positioned the thing, which looked exactly like her, in the same manner as she stood before. “Done Hannibal,” he said as he threw Buffy over his shoulder and came back to them.
Hannibal looked at Travers and said, “OK we are done here Mr. Travers. We will proceed as planned and will wait for you in LA.”
“OK, Mr. Smith. I will meet you there as soon as all things are done here. Thank you again for your help Colonel. Without your nice plan I wouldn’t have been able to save Miss Summers. Please prepare everything like we agreed on.”
“We will,” Hannibal replied. Then he looked at Face and B.A. and said. “Go, time is running out.”
After the three left the library together with their package, Travers stepped back into the shadows and then released the spell. He then watched what happened and winced as Rupert was shot in both legs before Leon switched to a tranquilizer gun.
He made sure with his magic that nobody saw Leon leave with Rupert and then he left the library also to see to the other loose ends in the town. Before he left the school grounds he pulled his mobile and send sent a message to his fellow council members. ‘Miss Summers is retired. You can await Rupert soon and order Mr. Zabuto to move to Sunnydale to take over guarding it.’
Somewhere in Africa, Kenya
After a long and hard night Mr. Zabuto and Kendra finally reached the small village where they currently stayed again. While Kendra went off to refresh herself and get some sleep, Mr. Zabuto cleaned the weapons they used and then put them away, then he opened his laptop to write his report of the night. After he finished it he pulled out his small satellite dish to send his report to the Council and was surprised to have received new orders in the time being.
He quickly read the mail and then stood up and hurried to Kendra. Without knocking he stormed into her room and was surprised to see a half naked Kendra, who was currently washing her upper body.
Blushing he turned around and stuttered. “Sorry Kendra… I just wanted to tell you that you need to pack. We leave the village in an hour to reach the next airport. We are ordered to Sunnydale to take over guarding the Hellmouth.”
Kendra smiled a bit about her blushing Watcher as she listened to him. “Take over? Why, what has happened to Miss Summers there?”
With a sad tone in his voice he answered, “She died in her line of duty and now we have to take over there.”
Kendra nodded to herself and then answered, “I’ll be ready in 20 minutes Mr. Zabuto.”
Sunnydale near dusk
Snyder left his office to finally go home, he hated days like this. Because that Willow bitch had the indecency to lie around dead in his school he had a long phone call with the Major. Now he was tired and only wanted to go home.
Deep in thought he didn’t watch where he went and so he suddenly lost his footing and fell down hard. After he carefully sad up again he felt a strange wetness at his hand, looking at his hand he saw a strange red fluid drop down from it.
He nearly fainted at that moment, but then realized that his hand did hurt, so it wasn’t his blood. He looked around and saw a body lying on the ground just a few inches from him. He had time enough to think ‘No, not again’ and then he fainted and his head hit the ground hard.
10 minutes later
Nick left his car and hurried in the direction from where he felt the new Immortal awake. He ran into the school building and then he saw a young woman just getting up from the floor. She had both hands pressed against her head and was crying out in pain.
He quickly hurried over to the woman took he arms and then spoke to her, “Miss, look at me and the headache will be gone.”
The young woman looked up and he was astonished about the beautiful face of the woman.
In surprise she said, “You are right, it’s gone.” She looked at him for a moment and then fired of several questions, “What was that, who are you, what happened, why am I not dead, where is Oz?”
Nick took a moment to roll all those through his head before he answered, “Miss we don’t have much time so I’ll answer you with quick answers and then we have to leave. I’ll explain more later. The headache you felt was because you felt another Immortal near you and the first time is the worst. As soon as you spot the other Immortal the pain will be gone. I’m Nick Wolfe, Ahh I meant Nick Meyers I am a P.I. and like you an Immortal. That’s why you are not death, you are an Immortal. We should leave now, because the guy lying there has probably seen you dead and if that isn’t Oz I have no clue about him.”
Still a bit confused Cordelia let herself be let out of the school and into a car. After the man drove for a bit she said, “I have seen a lot of crazy things here on the Hellmouth, but I have never heard about those Immortals. So explain please what happened.”
Nick looked at her for a moment before he looked at the street again and then he began. “Hellmouth? What’s that? Ahh you can tell me later. Immortals are like normal Humans. We grow up and die of old age like everyone else, except if we die a violent death. This somehow triggers our immortality, no one really knows why and were we come from, because we are always foundlings.” He continued for quite a while. He explained the game and everything else while a shocked Cordelia listened to him. After he finished there was a long silence in the car.
After a while Cordelia asked, “And what happens now?”
Travers’ hotel room
With all the things happening here in Sunnydale Travers decided to stay around until Zabuto and his Slayer arrive, he also wanted to keep an eye on the Angelus situation and so he took his mobile and dialed the number Col. Smith gave him. “Col. Smith, I hope all is well with Miss Summers? Sadly events take a bit longer here in Sunnydale and so my arrival will take a bit longer.” He listed to something Hannibal said and then replied, “No, that won’t be a problem my magic will sustain her and keep her asleep until I wake her up. I will see you as soon as possible and I will keep in touch. Goodbye Col. Smith.”
Xander awoke and winced in pain, as he tried to move. As he looked down he noted that he was bandaged around the side and shoulder and he also felt his left leg was covered. The fight the night before came back to him and he groaned at the stupidity of his own actions. He had rushed out without consideration that his reckless thirst for revenge would make him slip up, worse he had led Jenny into being injured and badly at that as well. He should have known better. He was not up to taking out Angelus, unless he was very lucky or prepared for him.
Looking around he noted Jenny on another bed across from him. She was still unconscious and bandaged even more than he was. That made him feel sick. How could he have been so stupid? He asked himself.
A cough from the side made him look to find an older man with white hair and a beard looking at him, he stood alongside a very tall black man with a nice trench coat and he wore shades. He remembered the black man as he had fuzzy images of him saving him and Jenny.
“Nice to see you awake kid,” Whistler said, as he stood and moved over to the bed. “You took a beating last night and almost died,” he added before being cut off.
“I know, I remember,” Xander said more angry at himself than at the guy for basically pointing out the obvious. “Question is, who are you? I remember your friend saving us, so I’m guessing you know what the truth is?” he asked.
Whistler grinned, pleased to see the kid was on the ball, even if he had got careless last night. “My name’s Whistler and that’s Blade. We’re fellow hunters and we’re here to kill Angelus,” he explained. “What we need from you is information on what Angelus looks like and where he is?” he added.
“I don’t have to tell you what he looks like. Blade met him last night,” Xander responded tired. “He was leading the attack and of course he ran once someone who was a threat came at him, but that was him,” he explained at Blade’s rather put out look.
The fact he had the target in his sights, but had allowed it to escape pissed him off. He would get another chance, he was sure of that. “Why did you go out with so little preparation?” he asked.
“Angelus killed my parents, turned my mother and then murdered my best friend before having her body flung through the high school window, all in the space of two days,” Xander said in a dead voice. “It was too much I was out of control, overcome by my anger, hatred and thirst for revenge. I ignored Jenny’s pleas to stay inside and I got us almost killed,” he spat with a little self loathing surfacing.
Blade exchanged a look with Whistler at this information, as it explained a lot about this vampire in question, as well as it answered why the local hunters seemed to be so stupid last night, loosing so much so quickly had clearly pushed the kid over the edge and he had tried to avenge his losses, but had failed. Had it not been for Blade’s quick actions, he and his friend would both be dead.
“Sorry to hear that kid,” Whistler said, noting the look the kid got in his eyes which clearly stated he did not want pity. He wanted revenge, not that he blamed him as he had done the same damn thing when a vampire had wiped out his own family. “So what is the situation here and are you the only hunters?” he asked moving onto business.
“I guess you could say Jenny and I are the only active hunters, as Buffy the Slayer and the others refuse the act. You see Angelus was cursed with a soul 100 years ago by Jenny’s clan,” Xander explained. “He came to Sunnydale to supposedly help Buffy and instead seduced her. She fell in love with the bastard and in the end broke the curse that held the soul in place, thus releasing Angelus again,” he added, not bothering to go into detail. “Since then he’s gone on the warpath, killing everyone he comes into contact with. He had almost won as well, when he and his childes unleashed the Judge, a supposedly unbeatable demon. However we did defeat it with a little modern weaponry and Buffy had Angelus dead to rights,” he continued.
“If she had him what happened?” Blade asked, not liking what he was been told one bit.
“She let him go, refused to kill him and since then has refused to take action at all to stop him. I can understand that she loved Angel, even if it made me sick, but Angel is gone and she can’t see that,” Xander replied. “The only thing she is interested in is bringing Angel back if at all possible, because of her inaction Willow is dead and so are my parents. Worse my mother is now a fucking vampire and it is her fault,” he spat, as his anger spiked again. “How can she call herself a Slayer when she refuses to do anything?” he asked no one in particular.
Blade shook his head in disgust, not understanding how a Slayer could refuse to do her duty, let alone have an actual relationship with the enemy soul or not. Having souls did little in his opinion, as the vampires he and Whistler usually dealt with had tons of human helpers, their familiars and in his opinion they were just as evil as the vampires they served. The demonic vampires were even worse than the vamps he was used to killing, as they were like a plague, forever feeding and turning hundreds of people nightly. A Slayer who refused to do her duty to stop this plague was no Slayer at all.
Whistler was of the same mind as his charge, but he was also thinking that the Council must already know about this or else they would not have given him and Blade the contract to deal with Angelus, clearly the situation here was worse than he had assumed.
“I don’t suppose you know where this vampire is?” he inquired, as he watched the kid check on his friend who remained unconscious.
“No, we never found out where they moved to, after the confrontation with the judge,” Xander answered. “If you’re going after him I want in. If I can’t dust the bastard, I at least want to be there to see him die and I need to deal with the thing that used to be my mother,” he requested.
Whistler wasn’t too sure about this, but he didn’t feel that he had the right to deny the kid his request, but first he could do with some training. Something told him this mission would not be easy and they would have time to at least get this kid on the right track.
He glanced at Blade who shrugged, not really minding one way or the other, whilst he preferred to work alone when hunting, this place was the Hellmouth which meant a far greater number of vampires and demons, hence having help would be useful. Plus having trained hunters around the world kept the odds at least balanced, by training the kid they ensured that he might just save a lot of lives and kill a lot of blood suckers in the future.
“Ok kid, but first you’ll train with us and believe me, it will not be easy, but it will keep you alive,” Whistler finally stated.
Xander nodded after only a few seconds, willing to take whatever he could get. He sighed and relaxed a little. “Once I’m out of here I’ll take you to the library and see if Giles left the books he has on Angelus out. You’ll need to know what you are up against,” he told them, to which the two hunters nodded.
Angelus stalked his mansion, unable to believe the luck of Harris and that gypsy bitch. They should both be dead, but no, someone had to save them and he knew for a fact, that it had not been Buffy. She did not dare face him and even if she had she would not harm him for as long as she believed there was a chance she could have her souled lover back. He had to know who this new hunter was and quickly.
Jessica watched her sire with amusement, as he angrily worked himself up. His plans had been disrupted and she had seen first hand just how expendable his followers were, as he sacrificed Jake to save his own hide last night. This was information that was useful and she intended not to end up as another of his sacrifices, no matter what it took. She turned and walked away again, wondering if she could use her son and his new allies to rid her of Angelus.
Spike watched from his chair, as Angelus continued to work himself up into a rage. The news of a new competent hunter in Sunnydale was big news. The question was which hunter was it? There were a lot of vampire hunters, both independent and part of organizations. So it could be anyone of them, including Jack Crow, Blade, Anita Blake or half a dozen others. He lit a smoke and settled back as he decided they would have to be careful, until they knew exactly which hunter was here and he decided to gather some information discreetly.
They waited until Jenny woke up. After introducing Whistler and Blade, they released themselves from the hospital and while getting directions from Xander, Whistler drove them to the library.
They reached it after 30 minutes and stopped in the parking lot. They were surprised to find the front doors taped shut with police band. Xander looked at Jenny in surprise. “The school is still closed after...after what happened to Wil…Willow?”
Jenny looked sadly at her young friend, put a hand on his shoulders and said, “Looks so Xander, but somehow that surprises me. Normally the Sunnydale Syndrome would have pushed it already away after nearly a day.”
Xander just nodded, thought a moment and then said to his three companions, “We should go to the back entrance of the library. If Giles is there maybe he can bring some light into this.”
“Sounds like a plan, boy. Show us the way,” Whistler said to Xander.
Xander nodded and went around the school to the library. To their astonishment they found that the back door was taped shut also.
“Damn, what the fuck happened here,” Jenny blurred out.
“Let’s find out,” Blade said, as he removed the tape.
Together they entered the library and as they reached the center of the room Xander and Jenny stood still in surprise and Blade and Whistler in curiosity. What they saw was the typical look of a crime scene. On the floor they found the silhouette of a human body made out of the usual tape used for those things as well as several numbers on places where blood stains were seen.
Blade knelt at those near the silhouette and sniffed at them, “Human female, around 17 years old.” Then he went to those near the entrance door of the library and sniffed again. “Human male, around 35 to 40 years old.”
Xander looked at Jenny for a few moments, with all colors lost in his face, and then he said, “Looks like the Council got rid of Buffy, damn I never wanted it to happen like that.”
He sat down on one of the chairs with tears in his eyes and the thought of ‘What have I done?’ in his mind.
Jenny stood behind him and pulled him into a hug to console him.
“Angelus has to die,” Xander mumbled quietly.
Blade and Whistler gave them some space and used the time to look for the needed books. After they got everything they needed, Whistler said, “Time to kiddo, before someone see us here.”
Xander looked at him for a moment, nodded and then got up again. Without a word he went to the compartment where Giles had all the weapons, but found it empty. Looks like the police confiscate every single one. He shrugged, not really surprised and then went to Giles’ office. There he opened a secret compartment which Giles’ had showed him once. He took everything out of it and only was surprised that he also found two Magnums and a big envelope with around 50k of cash in it.
After he left the office again he looked at Jenny and their two new friends.
“Let’s go. We have a lot to do and while you look through the books, I need to talk to Ms. Summers.
Oz awoke covered in blood and he felt a pain like no other ever before. He rolled into a ball as memories assaulted him again and again. His Willow was gone. She was dead, killed by Angelus and somehow yesterday he had transformed and clearly killed someone. He could still feel the beast within him howling to get out.
He at least noted that he was safe from being discovered, as he was in a ditch within the park that was covered by lots of bushes.
He could stay here and if he was lucky, leave later on, if the beast did not break loose again. Clearly he was no longer chained to the same rules, as he had been before. His anger and pain had somehow fueled the change. He closed his eyes and wondered just which unfortunate person he had encountered and killed last night?
(Sunnydale, Summers residence)
For nearly thirty minutes now Xander stood before the house of the Summers family and he still tried to find the courage to face Joyce. After a few more minutes he took a deep breath and went to the front door and then knocked.
Nothing occurred on his knocking and so after he waited for a minute or two he rang the doorbell. At first nothing happened as well, but then after a few moments he could hear something coming to the door and a second later the door was opened by a tear streaked Joyce. "Xander?" she asked in a broken tone of voice.
Xander just nodded and then he was quickly engulfed in a hug by a crying Joyce, who constantly repeated the same thing, "My baby is dead, dead..."
Gulping again at seeing the pain Joyce was in he decided that he couldn't tell her the whole truth, at least not yet. He directed the crying Joyce slowly to the couch and after both sat down Xander told her the story of a girl who was called against her will to fight against a world most people don't even believe in.
At first pure disbelief was seen on Joyce face, but the way how Xander told her the story she finally started to believe him.
In a few hours Xander told her about all the adventures they had with her daughter and he just modified a few things, so that Joyce could think of her daughter as a hero. In his mind he thought, ‘A fallen hero yes, but still a hero. Even with all the faults she had she still was a hero, after all nobody is perfect.'
He then finished with the last part. "Buffy died because her boyfriend Angel turned into a soulless vampire and because she just couldn't accept that and still hoped to get her boyfriend back she was blinded by all the dangers around her and that got her killed."
With tears in her eyes Joyce asked, "So this Angel killed her?"
Xander shook his head and replied, "I'm not exactly sure who killed her, but he is the reason she, Willow, my parents and Cordellia died and we will get him and then he will pay. Joyce if you ever see him, don't let him in or get near him. He is dangerous and wouldn't wait a second to kill you."
Shocked Joyce looked at Xander and then said, "Your parents died?"
"Yes, they were killed by Angel, just like Willow," Xander answered with a quiet voice.
"But...but I saw you mother yesterday, as I drove home from the police station. She entered a small store," Joyce said.
"Then it is as I feared, Angelus has really turned her. If you see her again Joyce, keep away from her. She is a vampire now as well," Xander said.
Both hugged for a while lost in the pain of their losses and then were interrupted by the ringing tone of Xander's mobile.
After it ringed a few times, Xander finally fished it out of his jacket and seeing an unknown number he answered with, "Yes?" and then he listened.
"Yes Kendra, I know you couldn't reach the others and it is good that you are here now. Wait at the airport café after you are through customs and I will come and get you. Give me 40 minutes and I will be there."
He turned again to Joyce. "Miss Summers I really think it would be better if you would leave Sunnydale for a few days. Maybe drive to LA that would give me one thing less to worry about."
"But...I want to..." Joyce started but was interrupted by Xander.
"I know Miss Summers, but there isn't really much you could do and you would be in constant danger, especially in this house. Angelus can enter it any time he wants."
Joyce nodded deep in thought. "Ok, maybe it is time to visit my brother a bit earlier this year."
"Thank you Miss Summers," Xander said and then he quickly drove to the airport with the car Jenny had lent him.
Leon finally reached the gate of the airport, which would bring him to the private jet the council had placed here for him to bring his second target to England.
After the guard quickly checked that he had the right to be here, he waved him through the gate.
He nodded his thanks to the guard and then drove to the hangar where Mathilda hopefully had already prepared the jet.
As he drove into the hangar he saw the jet and at hearing his car Mathilda came out of it and waved to him. He stopped the car near the plane and then got out of it.
"All went well I guess?" His daughter asked.
Leon just nodded.
"And the package?" she asked her next question.
"Trunk," Leon simply replied.
Rolling her eyes Mathilda said, "Ok get it out and bring it into the plane. There I can check it out and after you have secured it we can leave for England."
Leon just nodded, opened the trunk and took the sleeping body of Giles out of it. With a grunt he quickly brought him into the jet.
"Ahh what a mess Leon, couldn't you have taken the package a bit cleaner and less hurt?" Mathilda asked her adoptive father.
"No," he just replied.
"Hmm... looks like we have to work on your communications skills again," she said while she fixed Giles up for the trip.
After she finished she went into the cockpit and took the pilot seat and then directed the plane onto the runway. "Tower? This is flight Zulu-Alpa-00X ready for takeoff, destination Heathrow Airport," she said into the radio.
"Flight Zulu-Alpa-00X, this is the tower your runway is clear for takeoff. Have a nice flight."
With that she powered up the engines and soon they were up in the air on the way to London.
(Sunnydale, the next morning)
Quentin finished his cup of coffee while he waited for his guest. A few minutes later his guest was directed by a waiter into the same back room he already used for the talk with his nephew. His guest nodded in his direction and then Quentin said, "Sam, it is good to see you again, please sit down."
After Sam sat down he continued, "I guess Mr. Harris had informed you and Kendra about all what happened here in Sunnydale?"
Sam nodded and replied, "He did and I must say Kendra and I were quite shocked. I guess the senior council had decided to retire Slayer Summers after her reluctance to deal with Angelus?"
Quentin just nodded.
"OK what happened to Mr. Giles?" Sam Zabuto asked.
"He is on his way to stand trial for his failing," Quentin said in a sad tone. "Sadly his fate is not in my hands any longer."
Sam nodded knowing that Quentin wasn't happy that he couldn't do much to help his nephew out of this mess and the said, "So I'm surprised that you, as the head of the council, are here."
Quentin looked at his old friend for a long while and then said, "I had to make sure that Slayer Summers retirement went without any problems and to give you a few unofficial orders, I really would like for you to follow."
Sam raised his right eyebrow questionably and said, "I hope you are sure about Summers and what suggestions do you have?"
"First off, the official ones, after the Angelus problem is dealt with you and Kendra are ordered to take over guarding the Hellmouth. Here are the keys and the address to a house I acquired for you and Kendra to use. I already enrolled her in school and you will start as Giles replacement as the librarian next Monday."
"Ok, that are the official ones, what else do you have to ‘suggest'?" Sam asked.
"We have to change how our Slayers work, if we let out all what happened now the support team for Miss Summers was a good idea, sadly it went wrong because Giles didn't do his duty and let Miss Summers do to much she shouldn't have. So my unofficial orders for you are. Built a support team for Kendra, as well as upgrade her arsenal to more modern weapons. With the last part Blade's weapon smith Mr. Whistler can help you for now, but you should hire your own weapon smith for the support team."
Sam stared in surprise at his old friend and then said, "Are you sure? That all will cost a lot of money and I don't think the council will approve all that, even as head of the council you will have to get that through the senior council."
Quentin nodded in agreement. "Yes and that is why this part was unofficial." He shoves an envelope over to his friend, "Here you will find a credit card for your use to built the team, with it you can cover the cost of that. I also added a few contacts for you which might help you with that. Currently I am using a good team for a special project I have in LA, but after that is finished I will try to hire them to help you out in the beginning and to train you and Kendra in the use of modern weapons and tactics."
Still a bit shocked Sam simply said, "Thank you."
Quentin nodded stood up and said, "Ok Sam I wish you well and good luck. I now have to go to LA to finish the small project and then leave for England to see over Giles' trial.
He then quickly left the room, went into a dark alley. He mumbled a few words and suddenly a black hole opened in front of him and he stepped through it.
(Sunnydale factory west side, two days later)
Xander ran around the course, Whistler had set up for him, as hard as he could. He ignored the lingering pain from his wounded leg. The elder hunter had stated clearly, that this would help him recover quicker.
Jenny was off to the side on a computer, still very much out of action. Her wounds had been much worse than his had been and would take a bit longer to heal.
Blade was at the table going through the books Giles had on Angelus again trying to get an idea on how Angelus worked and what kind of actions he might take in the future.
His agreement with the two experienced hunters ensured he would not be walking into a trap ever again or at least he hoped so. He still had nightmares where Blade never showed up and Jenny died because he allowed his own rage to override his common sense.
He was still also dealing with the news Cordelia was dead and her body was missing. Snyder had made an announcement that he had seen her body. It added another loss to his already troubled soul. Buffy's body was found, with several gunshot wounds, in the library and Giles vanished, a second track of blood suggested that he was shot also and then taken out of the library. He assumed the council had struck and even if he hated Buffy in the end he still was shocked by the events.
Kendra and her watcher Sam Zabuto had arrived the day before and taken up residence on the Hellmouth. They had been surprised and horrified to learn what had caused the Council to move them in the first place. It seemed the Council had decided not to inform them off Buffy's actions. He had felt no such compulsion and so had told them straight out the situation. Kendra had been very upset, but quickly became determined to deal with the threat of Angelus. However she had been convinced to work with Blade and Whistler in that regard by Mr. Zabuto.
Glancing at Jenny again, as he ran another circuit made him remember his first meeting with Blade and Whistler again. The meeting had been tense, but he guessed it could have been a lot worse. At least now he was on a path that may at least help him put his past to rest and avenge Willow and his Mother. The investigation into Cordelia's death was ongoing, but so far it looked like Oz had killed her in his wolf form. If that was confirmed and when they finally tracked him down he would aid Blade in removing the threat permanently.
Oz leaned against the wall trying to stem the storm inside him, but as before he failed. Each time he tried to regain the control he had he failed, each time the scene where Willow's tortured corpse was flung through the window of the school kept playing in his mind like a damn film.
He knew Xander and what whoever was left of their group was searching for him. He now knew that he had killed Cordelia in his rage fuelled transformation and for that, in their eyes there would be no forgiveness. He believed it would be best if he stayed low, until he could work out a way of either regaining control or planning something that could help him tame it for at time.
Spike watched as Angelus killed another of their lackeys in his rage. He had been like this since they learned the news that Buffy Summers and her watcher were dead by means they, as yet, did not know. Angelus was beyond rage that he had been denied the chance to kill the slayer and so far the new one that had taken her place had not come out alone, as Blade was always with her.
The news that it was Blade who had come to Sunnydale had finally been verified the day before and it was not good news to any of them. Blade was a relentless hunter and would never leave, whilst his pray still lived. A suggestion by one of their more idiotic lackeys had led to his rather violent death. Still they needed to come up with a plan to deal with the hunter soon.
Jessica also watched all of this from the shadows, annoyed that so far she had not seen an opportunity to rid herself of her sire and his fellow scourge members. Although if she was honest she was beginning to think maybe Drusilla could be more useful to her alive, but only if she could get her to focus on anything other than the deaths of her sire and lover.
She was still trying to work out a plan to do that, she finally turned and left wondering what her son was doing. She had expected him to track her down no matter what had happened before, but so far she had seen nothing of him. She knew he was not dead or broken so he would come. It was possible he was working with Blade and the new slayer so that may keep him from making any more reckless moves.
(Jenny's house, nighttime)
Xander relaxed feeling sore all over, especially his lower back and injured leg, but he knew in the end all the training he was doing with Blade and Whistler would do him a world of good. Right now Blade was on the hunt with Kendra, as neither he nor Jenny were up to helping right now and Whistler was busy working on some new weapons. Kendra's watcher Mr. Zabuto sometimes went with them and sometimes he stayed at the library researching Angelus, Spike and Drusilla.
Jenny was upstairs and changed into some other clothes right now, so he had made them both a little something to eat and a nice hot drink. They had fallen into an easy pattern living together since Stein had asked Jenny to take him in. So far the teasing flirting nature of their growing relationship had vanished, but he hoped it would come back in time. He closed his eyes and relaxed.
Upstairs Jenny finished her shower, wincing form the injuries she was still recovering from, each time she replayed that night she shivered in despair, at how close she and Xander had come to being killed. Their actions had been foolish in light of what happened. She should have done whatever it had taken to keep Xander from going after Angelus in such a blind rage. Luckily help had arrived in the form of Blade and his mentor Whistler, combined with the arriving of Kendra and her watcher Sam Zabuto it would be enough to take down the scourge forever, she hoped.
She changed into a loose black t-shirt and a pair of leggings, before she headed back down again, thankful to see a meal and a drink awaiting her. She was very used to Xander living here now and so just headed for her place on the sofa and began eating. She noted he had already finished his meal and was just relaxing with his eyes closed, but she was certain he was aware she had come down.
"How are you doing?" his question a few seconds later confirmed this.
"It's slow going, but I am getting better and before you say it, I know you did not mean for this to happen Xander, but it did and now we have to work through it," she responded. "We both made mistakes, but we lived to learn from them and so we will not make them again," she added.
"I will never rush into anything again, I swear," Xander replied, finally he opened his eyes and locked his gaze on hers.
She smiled sadly and reached out and trailed her hand down his face. "I know Xander, once we are both recovered we will join Blade and Kendra in the hunt and then we will bring Angelus and his followers down and avenge all of his victims," she told him before pulling away. She hesitated before asking her next question.
"How are you feeling about Buffy and Rupert's deaths, combined with Cordelia's?" she wondered and noticed the slight wince he made at this.
"No matter what had gone down between us all, at the end I would not have wished that on her, but in the final analysis she brought it down on her own head," Xander finally answered after a brief silence. "We tried to warn her multiple times, Giles even finally came around after Travers finally showed up and she still refused to act. She was lost in her dream world of somehow recovering Angel," he explained. "No in the end, whilst her death hurts a lot, all I can think is maybe with her gone and Kendra here maybe no one else will have to pay for her arrogance and stupidity," he finished. "As for Giles again the same as with Buffy, the only thing that finally woke him up to his error was Travers threat and we don't know for sure that he is dead," he went on, running a hand through his hair. "Cordelia's death however is just as painful for me as Willow's was, but I am more in control now. If we find out it was Oz who killed her, he will be put down if he can no longer control himself," he finished.
"A werewolf is deeply connected to his emotions and his mate and in Oz's more primal thoughts I believe he saw Willow as his mate. Her death must had sent him into a primal frenzy and somehow brought on the transformation prematurely," Jenny suggested. "Cordelia clearly stayed at the school to see if Oz was okay after Willow's body was thrown through the window. She probably had no idea what hit her," she added.
Xander didn't reply and just finished his drink and Jenny soon followed suit, before she moved into his arms and began to fall asleep. She had ended up doing this the night before and it had felt great so she was going to do it again. Xander didn't seem to mind and quickly flung the blanket she kept on the top of the sofa over them, before settling down, hopefully tomorrow would be a better day they both thought before falling asleep.
Blade and Kendra worked well together having both gotten used to the other's modes of operation when on a hunt, they had found ways of combining their skills and enhanced abilities together to make themselves a more deadly threat. So far they had killed at least thirty to thirty five vampires and an assortment of demons over the three days they had been teaming up.
However much to their anger and frustration they had not come across Angelus, Spike or Drusilla and neither had they found any of their lackeys who could tell them where their hideout was. It was a real annoyance that Buffy and her group had never found the hideout after chasing them out of the old church they had been using as a base the last time Kendra had been in town.
They continued to press on removing any vampires or demons they encountered without any difficulty, so far none of the larger demons had come near them, so patrols had not really tested them. They were both hoping this would change soon, as both wanted a real challenge.
Enraged Angelus grabbed one of his minions and with a swift movement he ripped its head off. "Where the hell is he?" he yelled.
Another minion replied from a safe distance, "He took the car an hour ago and said, he had to get something in LA for you."
"THAT DAMN COWARD," Angelus yelled loudly and with a quick movement plunged a stake into the minion who told him this, so much for the safe distance.
(Sunnydale, city border)
Whistling Spike speed over the city border and sighed in relief after he was on the road to LA. He liked a good fight, but he wasn't crazy and in no hurry to die. After Angelus heard about Buffy's death he became more and more unstable. With that and Blade in town the survival rate wasn't to Spikes liking and so he decided it was time for a road trip.
He whistled a bit more and then enjoyed the radio, which he just made much louder and so he finally couldn't hear the banging from the trunk any longer.
(Somewhere in LA)
A black looking portal appeared out of nowhere and a moment later Travers stepped out of it, just to find himself looking into the muzzles of three AK-47s. "Col. Smith, could you please lower your weapons?"
"Mr. Travers, you should be more careful. Normally when something unexpected, like a doorway appearing out of nowhere, happens we shoot first and ask questions later," Hannibal answered.
"Lucky me you waited this time then," Travers answered and then asked, "How is your guest doing Col. Smith?"
"Still playing ‘Sleeping Beauty' just as you said she would. Are you going to wake her up now?"
Travers replied, "Yes, it is time to wake her or else her body would take permanently damage. Could you organize something to eat and drink for her? She will need it."
Hannibal looked at his blond friend and said, "Face?"
"Of course Hannibal, I'll be back in a moment," Face replied. He quickly put his AK-47, which he had still pointed in Travers direction, away and hurried out of the room.
"If you would follow me Mr. Travers, then I would bring you to our guest," Hannibal said and as he saw Travers nod, he went to another door, opened it and then went through it. They followed a small corridor and then entered a small room where their guest lay still sleeping. "Here she is Mr. Travers."
"Thank you Colonel. Waking her up safely will take some time," Travers said and then began to draw a circle around the bed Buffy lay on. "While I prepare the needed things, I have another offer for you Colonel."
Hannibal narrowed his eyes for a moment and then asked, "What?"
While Travers continued to prepare the wakeup ritual he continued, "Buffy's successor and her watcher have reached the Hellmouth. I would like to ask, if you would take over the training of Kendra and her support team, until Mr. Sabuto has hired some people who can take over that part."
"I thought we should handle Miss Summers first?" Hannibal said.
"Yes, that was my initial plan, but Kendra could use your training more and for Miss Summers I will find some other means, depending on her decision on what to do."
"I will think about it and talk to Face and BA, but first wake Miss Summers up. Then we will see."
Travers nodded and put the finishing touches on what he did. Carefully he rechecked if everything was in order and then he started to chant.
After half an hour he stopped and while Hannibal watched, nothing seemed to happen, but then suddenly the body of Miss Summers started to move slowly.
The case which had led him to Sunnydale originally was practical solved. After Cordy had learned that she was adopted and because those people were never really close to her she told him everything he needed to know for his client.
They had talked a bit more about Immortals and what it meant for them and their lives and then they decided to leave Sunnydale behind and met with one of Nick's friends. She would be ideal to help Cordelia to learn sword fighting and everything else, after all his friend had lived for a long while and Nick himself was an Immortal himself only for a short time.
After a relative short drive they reached LA. They checked into a small Motel, where Nick quickly used his Notebook to buy two flight tickets online for the next morning. He then started to show and explain Cordy the basics of sword handling.
After an hour full of complains and curses, Nick called it a stop for today. He just didn't have the nerves to train a bitchy young woman and so he liked his idea to dump her on Amanda more and more. After he sent her to get a shower and he took one himself, both went quickly to sleep.
On the next morning they took a nice breakfast and then left for the airport to catch their flight.
Jenny awoke early the next morning warm and comfy in Xander's arms, she felt quite relaxed which was a change of pace from what she had been feeling lately with Angelus' release. She looked up and saw that Xander was still very much asleep. She smiled as she trailed a finger down his face before getting up as slowly and carefully as she could, so that she did not wake him up.
She quickly went and had a nice long hot shower and then changed into a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt before she headed back down to make some breakfast for them both. She ignored the pain she still felt from the injuries she had sustained and concentrated on going about her normal routine. As she went to enter the kitchen she noted Xander was just waking up and looked somewhat still half asleep, she waved good morning before continuing into the kitchen.
Xander watched her go for a few moments, before he headed up for his own shower and he wondered what they would do today, as there was no school for the next week.
Snyder had made them all aware that he was shutting the school down in respect of Willow, Buffy, Cordelia and Giles' deaths. He knew the troll was probably just trying to make himself look sympathetic, when in reality he didn't give a rats ass about them, Snyder had hated them all.
He took a deep breath as he fought off the memories of Willow and Cordelia and leaned his head against the shower wall. It was so hard to believe they were gone for good. After all they had survived since getting involved in Buffy's world, it just seemed so hard to believe they had fallen because of Buffy's lack of action, instead of just fighting one of the monsters or enemies they normally fought against. Had Buffy killed Angelus when she had the chance, none of this would have happened. He sighed before he collapsed to his knees, as the memories came back full force.
How would his life be? Now, that he had lost his best and longest friend since he could remember and then right after that he had lost another, who whilst their friendship was new he had still known her since they were young. The last pieces of his childhood were gone and for that he hated Angelus all the more.
‘God damn bastard,' he thought as he began to loose control of his emotions, as the memories continued to haunt him.
Downstairs Jenny was just finishing up making breakfast, when she noted Xander had not come downstairs yet and so went to check on him. She was only mildly surprised to find him trying to fight off a breakdown in the shower. She ignored his naked state and concentrated on helping him regain his control, it was a long time coming as so far he had bottled up his emotions and feelings concerning the loss of his friends.
It was bound to eventually catch up to him and it was best she helped him work through it, so it would not plague him when they finally joined Blade and the others on the hunt. She managed to get him back to his feet and told him to dry himself and get changed and meet her downstairs.
Xander was only vaguely aware of Jenny's presence, but he did as she told him to do. He quickly dried himself and then changed into some clothes he had brought with him when his parents had been killed. At that thought he almost stumbled as he tried to block out the pain of thinking of his mother. She was dead and running around as a damn vampire. His hatred increased again, but this time he refused to allow it to control him, he pushed it aside before he headed down.
Jenny just made him eat his breakfast before they relaxed in the living room and she started to try and help him through his pain and memories. She knew it would not be easy, but the sooner they started the better it would be in the long run.
Angelus was beyond pissed off, as he realized that not only was Spike gone, but that he had taken Drusilla with him as well, which meant it was just him now. Oh he would make that blond fool pay when he caught up with him, he promised he would make Spike's end last a long time, but first he had to finish off Xander, Calendar and Oz and ensure the so called Scooby Gang was all dead. This would be one of his crowning achievements and the only blight on it was that he had not been able to kill Buffy himself. He decided to turn his attention to taking out Kendra and her damn watcher as compensation. In the end one slayer was as good as another was.
He was unaware that he was being watched by Jessica, who was still trying to come up with a plan on how to get rid of her sire, at least Spike and Drusilla were out of the picture already and would no longer be a problem for her. If she could ensure that Angelus confronted Alexander and his friends on his own. Then he would most likely be killed, especially pitted against Blade. She had been spending some of her time reading the information on current hunters and even the legends surrounding them. She was taking it all on board and was making long term plans.
She was also thinking of turning Alexander and his lady friend, she would need vampires she could trust and who better than her own son and his friend? She was sure if she could turn them both, they would help build up an infrastructure so they could take over the town. She finally turned and left and decided to begin scouting out the minions already here to see if any of them were useful to her.
(Sunnydale factory west side)
Blade finished the current training he was doing and then joined Whistler who was continuing to read up on Angelus and the other members of the Scourge, facing off against three infamous vampires was going to be a real test and one he was sure he would enjoy. He would end them all one at a time, ensuring no more innocent people would loose their lives to them. He just hoped the slayer he was now working with was truly up to scratch and able to back him up.
He also knew when they were ready the left over members of the previous slayer would also be joining them once they were trained up. He mostly hated teaming up with others and preferred to work alone, but for now he would have to preserve. He looked over Whistler's shoulder and noted he was looking over a list of current confirmed kills by the three vampires. They sure got around he noted.
"We're going to have to make sure we take these pricks out and soon," Whistler finally spoke up. "They've killed way to many people over the years. They should have been dealt with a long time ago," he added with a shake of his head.
"Yeah well the council has never been that good at taking action, the slayers are mostly drones and easily killed," Blade replied, as he moved to where his sword was laid out. "You know that and I know that, which is why Travers probably called us in on this," he added, as he ran his fingers over the blade.
"Yeah I know Blade," Whistler agreed. "Well at least we know what these suckers are capable off and we also know their strengths and weaknesses, so I'd say we have the advantage," he continued as he got up and headed to his work bench. "Now all we have to do is locate them and take them out," he finished.
"We're working on it, but there are a lot of places they could be," Blade responded. "But we'll find them, we always do," he added with a grim smile.
Jenny ran her hand through Xander's hair, as he rested from the very emotional conversation they had just had. As she had suspected Xander had been holding onto a lot of anger, hate and sadness. She should have done this when his mother was turned, instead of letting him run off to try and kill Angelus. Maybe it would not be so bad now, if she had been thinking more clearly before. Once she had helped him get through most of what had happened maybe then he would be more clear headed, that was what they needed right now. They could not afford to make a serious mistake again, she was sure if they did it would be the end of them.
Buffy slowly opened her eyes and felt a pain in the head and everything around her was so loud as if a band of dwarfs was playing their new Death Metal song. She moaned in pain and thought. ‘What happened and where am I?' The she remembered, a guy had entered the library asked for her name and then started shooting at her. After that her mind was blank. "Damn, am I dead?" she asked and was shocked as she heard a voice reply, "Yes you are."
She sucked in a deep breath in shock, which didn't help her headache at all and asked, "What?"
"Buffy Anne Summers is dead, kind off," the voice from before answered.
Buffy pulled herself up a bit and groaned in pain again and then looked around. She saw two older men and a big mountain of black muscles and more gold than she had seen in her whole life. "Kind off?" she asked confused, while suddenly he stomach started to protest loudly.
The big mountain came to her and holds a bottle of water to her and in a soft voice he said, "Here drink that, you will need it and Face will be here with something to eat soon."
She nodded in thank and took a few slow sips from the bottle and then repeated her question. "Kind off? What does that mean?"
One of the older men replied, "It means Miss, that Buffy Anne Summers was executed two days ago on the order of the Watchers council, because she didn't follow her duty and was indirectly responsible for every death Angelus caused."
"But... but I don't feel dead... I feel pain and hunger but not dead," she mumbled in shock.
"Because you aren't Miss. Buffy Anne Summers is dead, you on the other hand are still alive," the man answered her.
Buffy looked at the man confused, "But I'm Buffy Anne Summers and by the way are you British? You sound like Giles does."
"Yes, I am. I'm Quentin Travers and no you are not Miss Summers. At least not anymore," Travers replied.
"Travers? You are the head of the council and what do you mean I'm not Miss Summers anymore?" Buffy asked even more confused now.
"Yes I'm head of the Council and as I said before Miss Summers was retired for her failings, so you are not Miss Summers any longer, because Miss Summers is dead and you are not," Travers said.
Buffy took another sip out of the water bottler and looked at Travers even more confused. "So why am I then still alive?"
Before Travers could answer that, the door to the room opened and she could smell the heavenly smell of burgers and pizza, as soon as that smell reached her, her stomach made sure that everyone knew where her priorities should lie for the moment.
She eyed the food bag with the eyes of a hungry predator and she jumped up to storm at the man with the food.
Sadly that turned out to be not the best of ideas, because suddenly she felt kinda weak and would have fall to the ground, if the big mountain hadn't caught her quickly.
"Uhh..damn. What is that, why do I feel so strange?" she asked.
"We come to that later, eat something first," Travers said.
The mountain helped her to the table where the blond, very jummy looking, guy was placing the food on. She nodded in thanks to the big guy and said, "Thank you. Do you have a name? I can't call you ‘the mountain' all the time in my head."
‘The mountain' laughed a deep belly laugh and replied, "You can call me BA, Miss."
"BA?" She asked curios, but was distracted by the burger right in front of her eyes and without waiting for an answer from BA she gulped the first burger down quicker than Xander could eat a Twinkie. Then she ate the next one more slowly and for the moment had enough and so she turned to Travers again and asked, "So why do I feel so strange and what happens now?"
"You feel a bit strange for the moment, because your body has to adjust to not having the power of a slayer any longer and to what happens next? We will see," Travers told her.
"WHAT?" Buffy screamed. "Why don't I have the slayer powers anymore?"
Travers looked at her at the moment and the replied, "Even if I disagreed with the retirement plan for you the council had voted for, you proved yourself unworthy of the powers given to you and so I bound your power while waking you up again."
"Bound my powers, but wh...," she slapped her self and continued, "Ok that would be a stupid question, you already told me why, but what happens now with the Hellmouth and oh my god...mum...," she cried out. "My mum...she ..she...," Buffy could only mumble and started to cry.
BA looked at the poor girl and quickly took her into his arms and offered her his shoulder, which she accepted without a second thought and then she started to cry even more as she started to remember that her friend Willow was dead and that her mother now thought that she was dead as well.
After she had cried for a while, she dried her tears and mumbled a quiet "Thank you," to BA.
She looked at Travers with a lot of questions in her eyes.
Travers looked at her for a moment and then said, "To answer your question about the Hellmouth. It will be secure. Your replacement has already arrived with her watcher and is currently filled in by your last remaining friend Xander."
"Xander and friend...," she huffed and then looked at Travers. "What do you mean...last remaining? What with Giles, Cordelia and Oz?"
With sad eyes Travers looked at the young woman and then answered, "Mr. Giles is currently brought to England to stand trial for his transgressions as your watcher and let me say, it doesn't look good for him and Miss Chase....? She was slaughtered by your friend Oz, after his wolf took control over him, out of grief over the death of his mate."
Buffy looked in horror at Travers and stumbled again. After BA had steadied her she looked with tears in her eyes at Travers. "And..., and my mom?" she asked in a quiet and fearful voice.
"She is well and your friend Xander has convinced her to leave Sunnydale, after he told her what happens in the town and why you died."
"HE DID WHAT?" she yelled.
"Uhh as I said he convinced her to leave the town and he told her that you died in your line of duty as a hero."
"He... he lied to her? Why?" She asked in a quiet tone.
"To not hurt her even more I would guess," Travers answered. "Your mother has already contacted an old friend of hers in New York and he agreed to help her out and she will leave Sunnydale tomorrow morning with the first flight."
"To New York? Good she will be safe there, but ...but what will happen to me now?" Buffy said.
Travers looked at Buffy quietly for quite a while and the said, "That will be up to you. As I told you before your life as Buffy Summers is over and now I will give you a choice you didn't have the first time when you were called."
"A choice?" Buffy asked.
"Yes, a choice. My friends here would never have helped me, if I hadn't told them about it. So I now offer you two options you can choose from. First you can choose to live a normal life somewhere and do all the things normal humans do or ..." here he paused for a moment and as he had guessed she asked, "Or?"
"Or you can choose to prove yourself in the fight against the darkness and eventually earn your powers as a slayer back," he said.
Note: A thank you from Razial and Hawklan to Inachis for looking this chapter over and making it a lot better.
(Sunnydale, an old factory on the west side)
Xander ran the training course as fast as he could, feeling far more in control of himself after his breakdown and heart to heart with Jenny. He had put a lot of his anger and hatred aside and was now focused on doing what he could to help to put Angelus and his followers down. He would have his revenge, but he would not allow it to take over his life. Whistler had also taken him aside and shared with him his own tale of losing his family to a vampire, which explained his own hatred of them.
Jenny watched as Xander continued his training far more easily than he had been doing in the last couple of days. She was pleased to see he had listened to her and put aside his anger and rage. He was finally back in control of himself, and that boded well for the future. She turned back to her own training, having decided she needed to increase her magical knowledge and power. Her own injuries were also finally beginning to heal properly. They would join Kendra and Blade on the hunt in a day or two and hopefully bring Angelus down.
"Ok kid, time for weapons training," Whistler's voice broke her out of her thoughts and she watched as Xander moved to join Whistler at the shooting range.
Whistler had begun to train Xander in the many weapons he and Blade used in their crusade and Blade was training him in sword use. She herself had also taken some of the firearms lessons, even if she was uncomfortable with it. She knew it might come in handy in the future. However, she refused to try the sword training. She would continue to rely on her magic as her primary weapon.
Kendra was also having trouble learning to use more modern weapons as she and her watcher Sam Zabuto had been ordered to do by Travers. The Slayer was currently off to the side, doing martial arts training with her watcher. They were all getting better and more used to working together, although she knew Blade preferred to work alone.
"You know the basics kid, now I am going to teach you how to strip, clean and rebuild your weapons," Whistler instructed. "You've done well so far in learning how to use firearms, mostly thanks to those soldier memories you told us about," he continued. "You've had little use for them though and they've grown stale, so you need a good refresher course," he went on as he took up one of the Heckler & Koch USP Match pistols they used and began to explain how to strip, clean and rebuild it.
Xander listened intently and strangely enough, found himself easily following what Whistler was saying. It would seem that Whistler was right and the soldier memories were still inside him, but needed to be used more frequently if he wanted them to be easily accessible. Once Whistler was finished, Xander took up one of the pistols and did the same thing Whistler had done. It took him a bit more time, but he still completed the task without a hitch.
"Good kid," Whistler said with a small smile. "Now let's see about improving your aim," he added and headed for the shooting range they had set up.
"No problem," Xander responded and quickly followed him, exchanging a small look with Jenny as they passed her.
Oz groaned as he woke up, still fighting with everything he had to do to stay in control. It took all of his concentration to keep the wolf chained. It was a constant struggle for him to remain in his human form, as he felt that the wolf came more and more to the forefront of his mind. It seemed that it had been fully unleashed since Willow's death and he had little control over it. He was a danger to everyone and yet he could not force himself to leave Sunnydale just yet. He should be seeking a cure or some way of caging the wolf, but he wasn't.
He wanted to rip Angelus to pieces and thus he stayed in the hopes that he would encounter the vampire some night soon. He knew it was dangerous and could cost people their lives if they ran across his path, but all that mattered to him was avenging Willow's death. He knew Xander was still hunting Angelus with whatever was left of the group. He was staying out of their way for now, but in time he knew they would face off. Xander would show him no mercy for Cordelia's death, he was certain of that fact. It would be an encounter that would leave one of them dead. Again, this made him feel very little. The wolf was winning and soon he knew he wouldn't care about anything but revenge and food. He would become exactly the kind of beast he had always feared since learning he was a werewolf. He was doomed one way or the other.
Cordelia sat silently, just as she had the last couple of days since arriving in New York. She had already met her new teacher Amanda and while they had a tense first meeting, which seemed to get worse even when Nick had shown himself, they now got on well enough. She had already begun her sword training and other lessons she would need as an immortal. At night however, she found herself drawn to sit near one of the windows and remember all she had left behind in Sunnydale.
The worst of it was that she had allowed Xander to believe she was dead and considering he had already lost Willow and his mother, that was just wrong. But Nick had insisted that she leave her previous life behind with no exceptions. She could barely imagine how Xander was coping with so many deaths in so short a time. She had found through a contact of Nick's that Buffy and Giles were dead as well. The entire gang had been wiped out and Oz, while still alive, would not be for much longer if Xander knew it was him who had ‘killed' her. He was all alone, except for Jenny Calendar and she hoped that her former teacher would be enough to keep Xander from getting himself killed, while trying to avenge them all. She let out a sigh as she realized she would probably never see him again.
Nor would she see her parents or supposed friends anymore. There would be no more parties and boy hunts, just as if that was all that mattered. Now she would have to be on guard all the time in case she ran into another Immortal, especially if they turned out to be a headhunter. She would have to be prepared to leave her life behind at the drop of a hat, just in case she died a public death. The thought depressed her greatly. Finally getting up she turned and headed for the shower. She had to go to sleep as she would be up early again. Amanda loved waking her as early as possible. At least when they had some time to relax, she could talk fashion, boys and other such things with her.
Jessica sat listening as Angelus again worked himself into a rage. A rage that had lasted for a few days now, ever since he had learned Buffy Summers was dead. His actions had weakened his standing with his followers and thus allowed her to begin to form some alliances with a few of them. She wasn't stupid enough to attempt anything just yet though, as Angelus was still stronger than her and had more followers.
It would not be long before those that remained would abandon him, if Angelus continued to kill any random vampire within his rage. She would just have to be patient and wait for that moment. She then turned her thoughts to her son and wondered why he had not been sighted for the last couple of days. He had vanished just after the news of Buffy Summers had become known. She guessed his new allies were keeping him from doing anything reckless, like hunting Angelus and herself down, which was annoying as she wished to turn him and his lady friend to aid her.
"Get ready to go out tonight," Angelus spat, as he suddenly appeared, his face a mask of anger. "I want you to find that bitch that replaced Buffy and kill her and her watcher if you can," he ordered. "If you can't, don't bother to come back or I'll dust you myself," he warned her. "At least then I can send your ashes to Xander with my regards," he stated with a sick smile on his face.
"If you wish to provoke him further Angelus, then do so," Jessica responded, refusing to be intimidated by the threat. "I'm sure he will then use measures that do not require him to get close to you, like he did with the Judge," she continued, smiling a little at the frown that appeared on Angelus's face at that reminder. "I will find and kill the Slayer," she promised, before turning and leaving him behind.
Angelus growled as he watched her walk off, wanting nothing more than to rip her head off, but he knew he needed her, for now at least. He had already dusted too many of his followers in his anger at learning he had been robbed of the honor of killing Buffy. If he was honest with himself, he had hoped to turn her. Making her a vampire would have been the greatest revenge he could have had on her. It would have been even more of a revenge on his pathetic souled self as well.
Once he had killed Xander and the Gypsy bitch, he would dispose of Jessica as well. He turned and headed back to his room, wondering where Spike had run of to. He had already thought about contacting the Order of Taraka to hunt the coward down and either dust him or bring him back here so that he can do it himself. Choices. He decided to call them in the end and have them locate Spike and bring him back in chains. Dru, he was sure, would come back to him on her own accord, but if not, she too was to be brought back in chains.
(Jenny's house, nighttime)
Xander relaxed on the sofa after a nice meal and ignored the lingering aches and pains from the days of training. Jenny soon joined him, curling up into his side as she had taken to doing as of late. Slowly their relationship was growing and while he was worried about what kind of trouble she might get into should anyone get wind about them, Jenny had assured him it no longer mattered. As far as anyone knew, Jenny and Xander had vanished as they had not gone back to school since they had sustained their injuries. She was sure most people thought them dead, as so many others had been labeled after vanishing in this town.
In their minds hunting down Angelus and his followers was more important than school. Whistler had agreed and helped them set up some online learning instead. Jenny continued to help Xander learn how to properly use a computer and Whistler and Blade also helped with math and language lessons. Anything in their minds that could help Xander in the future was taught to him. She could see the foresight of this. They were training Xander so that some time in the future he could be a decent hunter, who would save many lives down the line. Anything that aided in that goal was worth teaching to their more experienced hunters' minds. First however they were going to track down Oz as a test of how far they had come.
They knew the young werewolf was still in Sunnydale and hiding somewhere. Xander had speculated he was gunning for Angelus, just like they were. They had all agreed it was the most likely scenario. The problem was that Oz was no longer in control of his wolf self and thus anytime he went out, he could end up killing someone. He had to be stopped before anyone else died like Cordelia had. They planned to start on this mission tomorrow.
"Do you think it will be hard to track Oz?" she inquired, leaning against him and listening to his heartbeat. "It depends how much of his mind there's left," Xander responded. "If the wolf has total control, then it should be easy to find him, we just follow the bodies," he added with a grimace at how easily he was able to say that. "If he still has some control left, then he will know we will come after him and thus will keep out of sight," he finished.
"I hope Cordelia didn't suffer," Jenny whispered, still saddened by the girl's death. "She didn't deserve that," she added.
"I know, she tried to help and got burned," Xander told her with a sad smile. "A part of me feels responsible because before we got close, she wouldn't have bothered. We were friends at the end and had things gone differently, we could have been more," he stated.
"A lot of things could have gone different Xander, just don't dwell on it," Jenny said, noting the sadness in his eyes before leaning up and kissing him for the first time.
It was a short kiss, but one full of promises. She broke it off and gave him a small smile before saying goodnight and heading for her room. Xander watched her go and was a little surprised that she had done that. He guessed she wanted to boost his spirits. Grabbing his blanket and pillow, he lay down on the sofa and wondered how the next day would go. Would they find Oz or would he elude them?
Buffy was quiet for a while and to get a bit more time to think, she picked a piece of the pizza and nibbled at it. "A normal life?" she mumbled. "I wouldn't even know what that is anymore. Even it bit me in the ass." She then took another piece to nibble on and was quiet again for a while. While the other four waited on her, they ate something as well.
"I really would like to keep helping and I think I have quite a few things to atone for. What would I have to do to help?" Buffy finally asked after a while.
While Travers finished the piece of pizza in his hand, he watched Buffy for a moment and then replied, "First of, because you don't have your Slayer powers any longer, we need to see what knowledge of Martial Arts you've retained and then retrain you in them and some other skills that will be useful. Be sure, that won't be an easy task."
Buffy looked at him for a moment and then nodded. "Ok, who will evaluate my skills and train me?"
"I planned that those fine gentleman here would do the job, at least partly, but I need them on the Hellmouth and so I asked an old friend of mine off in Seacouver. He's a master in several Martial Arts and other skills, has been for quite a while now, and he would be best suited to train you," Travers replied.
"Seacouver? Never heard of it, where is it?" Buffy asked.
"A small town over in Washington, if I remember correctly," Face said and Quentin just nodded.
"And you're sure I can't return to Sunnydale?" Buffy tried once more.
Travers shook his head and said in a sad tone, "No, sadly not. If you would return there, the rest of the council would hear about it quite soon and I won't be able to save you again. The first time wasn't easy to pull off and it wouldn't work a second time. So that option is closed to you."
Buffy shrugged and replied, "I had to try at least. So, what's next?"
"First sleep awhile. Face will escort you to the airport and then to Seacouver to bring you to my friend and then he will return to rejoin the rest of his friends in Sunnydale. Sadly I'll have to return to England now, to see what I can do for Rupert. Don't disappoint me again Miss." With those words he stood up and after he had a quick conversation with Smith, which Buffy couldn't hear, he mumbled something and a portal opened before him. After he quickly stepped through, the portal it closed again.
(LaGuardia Airport, New York City)
Joyce looked around tiredly until she saw the Starbucks emblem further down the hall. The flight wasn't too long, but with all that had happened in the last few days, she was dead tired. So she hurried quickly to the store where she ordered herself a big coffee and an extra espresso as well as a small piece of strawberry cake. She winced at the high price for a moment, but then shrugged and sat down on one of the free tables.
She took her time to relax a bit and once she was finished, she picked up the one suitcase she took with her, knowing the rest of her things would be delivered soon. Outside of the building she had luck and she found an empty cab. After the driver put her case in the trunk of his taxi, she told him, "71 Hudson Street, please."
After a quick drive through the city, quick at least for New York, the taxi arrived at their destination and once Joyce had paid the cabby and got her suitcase, she looked up and sighed as she read the sign: ‘Nash Antiques'. She hadn't seen Russell in over eighteen years and she wondered how he had fared all this years. She took a deep breath and then entered the store.
(Watchers HQ, London, England)
Giles groaned as he came back to his senses and wondered what had happened. He opened his eyes and looked around to see where he was. He lay on a small, but comfortable bed in a, to him, unknown room. He quickly got up and groaned again. His head hurt like hell. He looked around a bit more, but found nothing in the room which would have told him where he was and so he went to the door, just to find it locked. He knocked at it and then waited. Just a few moments later he heard a voice through the door. "Yes?"
"Where the hell am I and who are you?" Giles yelled.
"Stay calm Mr. Giles. I am Watcher Rodriguez and you are in our London Headquarters, awaiting your trial," the voice replied.
Giles sighed, a trial? At least that was better than being ‘retired' directly. "When will the trial be?" and as his stomach rumbled a bit he continued, "and I could use something to eat."
"The trial will be as soon as Mr. Travers returns and I will bring you something," Rodriguez replied.
With that Giles sat down on one of the chairs to await his fate.
List of Characters:
Amanda - Mentor to Cordy
Chase, Cordelia - Killed by Oz in Werewolf form. Revived as an Immortal
Harris, Jessica - killed and turned by Angelus
Harris, Tony - killed by Angelus
Kendra - Took over to guard the Hellmouth
Leon - hired by the council to retire Buffy and bring Giles back for trial.
Mathilda, Leon's ‘daughter'
Osborn, Daniel "OZ"
Peck, Templeton "Face"
Rosenberg, Willow - Killed by Angelus
Smith, John (Hannibal)
Spike aka William the Bloody
Stein - Detective
Summers, Buffy - supposedly assassinated by Leon
Summers, Joyce - left Sunnydale after Buffy's ‘death'
Travers, Quentin - Head of the Council with his own agenda
Whistler - Blade's friend and mentor, not the Balance Demon
Wolfe, Nick - Found Cordy and brought her to Amanda
Zabuto, Sam - Took over to guard the Hellmouth
Finally after an uneventful flight from LA, Buffy and Face reached a small establishment called ‘Joe's Bar'. There they were to meet the so called ‘friend' of Travers, who was going to take care of Buffy for the next while.
Looking over the building Buffy took a deep breath and then entered quickly. Since it was still quite early, the bar was mostly empty except for a barkeeper behind the counter and an older man on a small stage who was practicing on his guitar.
While the barkeeper looked up as the two entered and then quickly said, "We're still closed, come back later," Face stood still and looked at the older man on the stage. "Joe? Joe Dawson?" he asked, surprised.
At hearing his name Joe stopped playing and looked up and at the two newcomers. "If it isn't Templeton Peck! I haven't seen you since Nam and you still look good," he said and then put down his guitar, took his cane and walked over to them. "What are you doing here Face?" he asked, curious.
"I'm here because of this young woman. We're here to meet a friend of my current employer, who's going to take her in for a while," Face replied.
"Interesting and I'm sorry Miss. I'm Joe Dawson, proud owner of this fine establishment," Joe introduced himself and held his hand out to Buffy.
"I'm Bu...ahmm Elisabeth Winter," Buffy said, quickly correcting herself.
"So, when are you meeting this friend you were talking about Face?" Joe asked.
"Travers told me we would meet Mr. McLeod here around 3 PM," Face answered.
Joe looked at Face, surprised, and then back at the young woman. ‘Was she a young immortal or why should Travers want her to meet Mac?' he quickly thought and then said, "Seems like you'll have to wait a bit longer than that. Mac is still in Paris and won't be back until the day after tomorrow."
"Damn," Face cursed. "I've got to get back to LA. Can Miss Winter stay with you until he arrives?"
Joe nodded and then said, "Yes, that shouldn't be a problem. Mac is a friend of mine and I have a spare room. I just have to ask you to keep out of the bar after its open, Miss Winter, since I guess you aren't 21 yet, are you?"
Buffy shook her head and replied, "No, I'm not and thank you for the offer of the room."
"No problem," Joe answered and then turned to the barkeeper. "Henry, would you give Miss Winter here the key to my guest room and then show her where it is?"
Henry just nodded and then asked Buffy to follow him.
After they were both gone Joe turned to Face. "It's really good to see you Face. Care to tell me your secret to how you are still looking so young?" he asked him, quite curious because as far as he knew, no member of the so called A-Team was an Immortal.
Oz did his best to hold onto whatever was left of his human mind, but it was getting harder and harder to think. The beast was gaining more and more control over his actions. Soon he would be nothing more than a wild animal and maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing. At least then he wouldn't have to live with the pain of Willow's death or the guilt of having killed Cordelia. Maybe being free from his emotions and mind would finally free him of that baggage and allow him to focus on killing Angelus. So finally he gave in to the beast and allowed it to win. When the moon fell tonight, he would hunt and he would feed and grow stronger and then he would find Angelus.
(Nash Antiquities, New York City)
As Joyce entered the shop a small bell over the door rang and the voice of a woman came from the back. "One second please, I'll be with you in a moment," the voice said.
Joyce smiled at hearing the voice of the woman. It was quite older than the last time she had heard it, but it sounded like the voice of Rachel Ellenstein. She still remembered fondly the kind woman who was something like family to Russell. As she looked around and enjoyed the antiquities standing around, she called back, "Take your time Rachel. I'll enjoy the view in the meantime."
She heard a ‘crash' from the back room and a quiet "Damn" and then an older woman around 55 or so came into the front of the store. As she saw Joyce, she stood still for a second in surprise. "Joyce?" she asked and then quickly came over to her and pulled Joyce into a hug. "This is a surprise," she said.
Joyce enjoyed the hug for a moment and then she couldn't help herself. She broke out into tears again.
Rachel kindly wiped the tears of Joyce's face and pulled her to a nearby couch. "What happened, my dear?" she asked the younger woman.
Joyce took a few moments to calm herself down again and then told Rachel a slightly edited version of Buffy's death. After she had told her tale she quickly got into the comforting embrace the shocked Rachel offered her.
After Joyce had spent several minutes crying in Rachel's arms, they both heard the tell tale sign of the doorbell.
As Joyce looked up she heard a surprised male voice asking, "Joyce?" and as she saw the man she was quite shocked herself. Her first glance went to the skylight through which a lot of sunlight still fell. "Russell? What? How? Don't tell me you're a day walking vampire and that's why you are still look like you did eighteen years ago."
(Sunnydale, an old factory on the west side)
Xander watched as night began to fall before he moved to the table and began to prepare his weapons for the hunt. Jenny was already doing the same while Blade, who was already prepared, watched them. His expression was as bland as usual and yet Xander felt the experienced hunter was eager to start the hunt. Whistler was sharpening some swords for Kendra who waited beside her watcher. The five of them would hopefully have more luck in locating Angelus than Blade and Kendra had had by themselves. After all, Xander knew Angelus wanted to kill him and Jenny more than anything, so they made good bait.
"Ok Kid, here are your swords," Whistler finally said as he finished. "They're sharp as hell and should take a vamps head off easily," he explained as he handed them over and watched as Kendra took their measure before smiling and placing them into scabbards tied to her back. "I'll be listening in by radio, if you get into real trouble let me know and I'll come in as backup," he told them.
"This shouldn't need your help old man," Blade replied with a slight shake of his head. "We can handle this," he stated before he turned and headed for the exit while Whistler smirked, knowing his charge meant no disrespect and in his own way wanted to keep him safe. He was the closest thing to family Blade had and while he never showed his emotions, Whistler knew how his charge felt about him through such small gestures.
"Good luck," Whistler called after them before he headed back to work on his latest invention for Blade.
Jessica didn't even bother to wait for Angelus to order her to leave. She gathered a group of followers numbering at least 15. Her main target was of course the Slayer, as Angelus had ordered. If she didn't kill the Slayer, she knew Angelus would carry out his threat to kill her. So she would do as she had been told. However, her secondary target was of course her son. She wanted him by her side and thus she hoped to capture him and turn him and his female friend as well. She smirked as she imagined it. Once she had them on her side she could rebel against he sire and destroy him.
Angelus watched them go from the back, hoping they would at least be able to take out the new Slayer. Something told him she would be far more trouble than Buffy had ever been. It still rankled that he had lost the opportunity at revenge on the blond haired bitch and so he decided he needed to kill something and called four of his followers to follow him. He would find some blond haired girl who reminded him of Buffy and torture and feast on her before killing her, and he decided he knew exactly who to go for.
Oz howled as the beast tore through him and whatever was left of his human mind faded away. The change was over quickly and he let out another howl which brought the manager to his door. The man began to bang on it and demand entrance. Oz tore through the door and smashed into the man who began to scream as he took note of what had landed on him, but Oz quickly bit into the man's throat, stopping him. With a powerful yank, Oz ripped his throat out, causing blood to cover his snout. It pooled on the floor as Oz feasted on his kill. A woman rushed out and went to scream, but another wolf brought by Oz's howls quickly smashed into her and began to tear into her. Once both wolves were done feeding, they began to circle one another, growling once or twice at each other before the second wolf turned and began to run off, pausing only to make sure Oz followed, which he did.
(One of Sunnydale's Graveyards)
Xander felt slightly nervous as he followed Blade. He was having flashbacks to his crazed attempt at killing Angelus a few nights before. Jenny's presence beside him at least calmed him somewhat. Kendra and Zabuto brought up the rear of their group. Blade suddenly paused and brought out his sword. Kendra did the same as her senses went on alert. Xander pulled one of his new guns and turned to the side, while Jenny did the same on the other side.
"Surrender Alexander," his mother's voice came out of the darkness. "Surrender yourself to me and I will spare your friends," she offered.
"You are not my mother. She is dead and all you are is a demon who is controlling her corpse," Xander growled out in hatred and almost took a step forward. Blade's sword quickly blocked his path and he managed to quickly regain his control.
"I see you've learned more control," Jessica hissed, annoyed that her ploy of baiting her son had failed. "I guess we do things the hard way then," she stated before giving the signal to attack to the rest of her group.
Blade and Kendra dropped into a combat stance at the same time as vampires appeared all around them. Zabuto joined Xander and Jenny in the middle, pulling his own weapons. Each of them knew it wasn't going to be an easy fight. The vampires waited only a second before charging at them.
Angelus stalked the upper balcony and looked down, searching for his target. A few seconds later he finally located Harmony and her friends. His followers let out growls of appreciation at the beauties below. He had to admit they were stunning and he could admit it was a shame Cordelia Chase had been killed by the werewolf. Having her as a slave would have been fun. Still, her so called Cordettes would do.
"Remember, the blond is mine and mine alone," Angelus growled at his followers. "Anyone of you so much as touches her and you die painfully," he warned with a glare at each. "We take all five, make sure none of them escapes," he added as he moved away and headed downstairs.
The vampires worked their way through the crowds easily. Even with the sudden increase in deaths the Bronze was packed. Angel reached the girls first and quickly brought his arm over Harmony's shoulders, drawing her attention. Harmony was at first going to scold whoever had dared touch her, but the minute she laid eyes on the man behind her, all thoughts of that fled her mind. He was stunning and her mouth watered, the smile he shot her made her tremble.
"Hello beautiful," Angelus said and smiled as his followers finally arrived and drew the attention of the other Cordettes.
(Cave near Sunnydale)
Oz couldn't believe how many werewolves were in this cave. He had always thought he was the only one, but now he knew there was a whole pack here and that gave him an idea. The slim bit left of his human mind grew a bit stronger again, as he planned how he could use this pack to hunt and kill Angelus and each of his followers. He moved forward and issued a challenge to the current pack leader. A rather large werewolf stepped forward in acceptance. They circled each other before slamming into each other, their claws ripped into each other's bodies while they tried to find a way to sink their fangs into the others neck.
Oz was the first to back away, but he quickly attacked again, catching his target off guard as it attempted to circle him. His claws sank into the side while he finally managed to sink his fangs into the neck of the other wolf and clamp down hard. The werewolf howled in pain and tried to shrug him off, but Oz hung on and bit harder. He used the claws on his hind legs to rip open wounds on the legs of the other wolf, which brought it down and allowed him better access to its neck. He sank his fangs back in and this time ripped into its tendons and veins. Blood coated the other wolf's fur as it collapsed to the ground and Oz finished it quickly. Clearly his target had to have been old. There could be no other reason he could have won against a more experienced werewolf this easily.
(Watchers HQ, London, England)
Giles got the meal he asked for and now was waiting on what would happen next. He really wished the ball would start rolling because sitting around in his cell and waiting had one profound effect on him. He was bored out of his mind and so he listened up as he heard a voice in front of his door.
"Marcus, I'm here to relieve you," he heard one of the voices say and the young man who stood guard before his door replied. "Good, I really could use a coffee. Any word on when this poor smuck here is to have his trial?"
Giles listened up at that because that would interest him as well. "As soon as Travers is back from the States, I heard. Wyndam-Price tried to go through the trial before he was back, but luckily for the guy here, the Senior Council voted him down. They're all waiting on Travers now. So, how is your ‘guest' doing?"
"Bored out of his mind like me, I would guess," Marcus replied.
"Bored huh? Wanna hear a stupid joke my brother told me this morning? I just can't get it out of my mind since then. Damn, brothers are a pest sometimes," the newcomer said.
"Let's hear it before I go grab a coffee," Marcus said.
"But don't blame me for it. It's all Fred's fault. It goes like this.
"The slayer is standing on a small hill and sings ‘21 tralala 21 tralala' for quite a while. A vampire who saw this quickly joined the young girl on the hill and as he reached her, he asked her why she was singing 21 tralala all the time. At that moment the slayer, without wincing, plunged a stake through the vampire's heart. As he was dusted, she started to sing 22 tralala 22 tralala."
Giles shook his head in amusement and had to agree with Marcus as he said, "Damn, that was really a bad one. I really need a coffee now. See you later." Just as he was nearly away, Giles and the new guard in front of his door heard a "22 tralala" and a loud "arrrrghhhhhh!"
"You know that joke was evil young man, your friend will be really pissed at you in a few hours," Giles said with laughter in his voice.
"You're telling me that? I could kill my brother right now for telling it to me," the guard said. "I'm Bill by the way."
"Rupert Giles," Giles replied. "So, any news on when the trial will be?"
"As I said to Marcus here, as soon as Travers is officially back from the states," Bill said.
"Officially?" Giles said in surprise and the young man just nodded and made a sign to be silent about that topic. "Btw, your Uncle wishes you to have this," Bill said and gave Rupert a small paper tissue.
Giles looked curiously at the young man and raised an eyebrow in question.
"Your uncle said that if needed you should ask for your brother, but not before then," Bill said.
Giles nodded and sat down on the small uncomfortable stool in his cell, pondering the meaning of all this.
(Nash Antiquities, New York City)
Russell looked at Joyce with surprise and asked "Daywalking Vampire?"
Joyce, who was still sitting besides Rachel on the couch, nodded. "Yes, that would explain why you don't seem to have aged since I last saw you."
Russell, or better Connor, as his real name was, thought this over for moment. "So you know about vampires and the supernatural?" And as Joyce nodded he continued, "That will make things easier and to assure you, no I'm not a daywalking vampire."
Joyce looked at him curiously and only said, "So?"
Russell took a deep breath and said, "That's a long story."
Rachel smiled and said, "He's Connor McLeod, he was born in the Highlands of Scotland over 600 years ago and he cannot die."
Joyce and Russell blinked at the same time and then Russell said, "Ok, maybe not that long."
"You're over 600 years old? Damn and you don't look a day over 30," Joyce said, a bit shocked, but not to surprised after all she had heard in the last couple of days.
"Ok now that this is out in the open, what has brought you to New York, Joyce?" Connor asked.
Joyce took a deep breath and this time, knowing that both knew about the Supernatural, told the unedited story, or at least the one she knew.
After she had finished her tale Connor looked at her, speechless. He shook his head and then said, "Your daughter?" he took a deep breath and then continued. "That isn't possible.....You couldn't have had a daughter. No Immortal or pre-Immortal can have children," he babbled out without realizing what he had just let out, but the loud "WHAT????" from Joyce brought him right back to what he just said.
New characters this chapter:
Ellenstein, Rachel - Secretary to Russell Nash (aka Connor McLeod and his adopted daughter)
Nash, Russell - Alias of the Immortal Connor McLeod
Dawson, Joe - Head of the North West Watchers, Immortal Department.
Henry - Barkeeper in Joe's Bar.
Winter, Elisabeth - New alias of Buffy
McLeod, Connor - Immortal Scotsman
Bill and Marcus - Two guards in front of Giles cell