In the bunker of the Men of Letters in Lebanon, Kansas, as usual, Sam was going through some lore and Dean was laughing off, while watching TV before Sam started to read some things on the Internet as he picked his laptop.
"Dean, check this out." Sam said.
Dean got up from his couch and approached Sam. "What is it?"
"Six strange deaths in past two weeks. Some happened in the uglier parts of the town, so didn't get much of the media's attention but one of them was a respected lawyer, another one a suburban soccer mom, pretty much the only thing they have in common is the cause of death." Sam read.
"Which is…" Dean trailed off.
"Ritualistic killings, creepy symbols, but there's pretty much all and these killings don't have much of a pattern, asides from the M.O. One week two dead guys, another just one, and the coroner's office uses some really old-school filing system, it's gonna take a while for me to hack in." Sam said.
"Screw that, we're hitting the road. Where is it anyway?" Dean asked.
"Sunnydale, California." Sam said.
Dean frowned. "Sunnydale… isn't that like a vampire nest or something?"
Sam nodded. "And it's supposedly protected by…"
"…the Slayer, the chosen one, who wields the strength and skill to stand against the forces of darkness, yada-yada-yada, seriously, Sammy, you might as well become a prophet like Chuck or Kevin." Dean waved his hand and rolled his eyes as he walked off.
"Shouldn't we let the Slayer handle this?" Sam asked.
"What, you got a hotline on her? Besides, been looking forward to get my ass out there and kill something again." Dean said, loading up his gun as he went into the garage and entered the Impala.
In Sunnydale, in Magic Box shop, Anya was reading the newspapers and frowned upon reading the headline about the murders as she took a closer look at some books as she compared the symbols and frowned.
"Is everything OK?" Tara asked as she approached.
"You know about this?" Anya asked, showing Tara the news article.
"Sixth body has been found, strange symbols carved…" Tara read.
"Do you think it could be something Buffy should know about?" Anya pointed out.
"This is the third place we've checked." Dean said over the phone as he examined an abandoned steel mill with his flashlight.
"Well, all the victims had steel residue on them, so I think that the factories might be worth checking out." Sam said.
Dean turned around, when a blonde woman in black jacket knocked the phone off his hand. Dean pulled out a gun but the woman was faster and stronger than she seemed to be. They briefly exchanged blows but the woman grabbed Dean by his wrist and twisted it as she got behind him.
"God, for a scrawny little girl, you pack a punch, blondie." Dean grunted.
"Who are you? What are you doing here?" The woman demanded before she pulled out the FBI badge from Dean's jacket. "Agent Hamill. Funny, I didn't think the feds would be interested in mysterious murders."
"And I didn't think that a Slayer would try to play Sherlock Holmes." Dean quipped and Buffy froze before pulling away as Dean turned around to meet Buffy's brown eyes and looked at her blonde hair. "So, you're the Chosen One or something? I expected more."
In the Magic Box, Dean and Sam later introduced themselves to the Scooby Gang.
"So, you investigate and possibly hunt supernatural beings to protect innocent people around the United States, like the Initiative?" Willow summed up.
Dean actually looked offended. "Hell, no, those governmental di—"
"Hey! Language." Buffy gestured to Dawn and Dean had the decency to look a little abashed.
"I'm not six anymore, Buffy." Dawn crossed her arms, offended.
"It's not about that, it's about the fact that we're a decent company." Buffy pointed out.
"Look, I'm sorry about Dean's…" Sam cleared his throat. "…gruff attitude." Dean shot him a glare and rolled his eyes as Sam ignored him, while Willow, Tara and Xander looked amused. "But I think we all want the same thing here, which is trying to put an end to those murders. Do you have anything that would help?"
"Well, we don't have much yet but…" Tara showed them a file. "A… friend of ours…" She said the word loosely. "…broke into the police station and 'borrowed' some files."
"What friend?" Dean asked, him and Sam a bit warily eying Tara but keeping their faces mostly neutral.
"Sorry, does it unnerve you that there are good witches? I mean, I know you hunters don't meet them often." Willow said.
"Not as strange as meeting more good vampires or good vengeance demons." Dean said. "You're seriously telling me that William the Bloody is a good guy now?"
Both him and Sam shivered from seeing Spike.
"I'm right here and my hearing is still bloody good." Spike said, while in the corner and crossing his arms, contemplating.
"It's an ancient language. I haven't seen anything like this in ages." Anya noted.
"So you know what it is?" Xander asked.
"I know what it's not, which is not that helpful. I mean, Northern tribes used to use these symbols in a ritual but I can't really tell what kind it was but..." Anya went towards some books in the backroom and went out with an old book with a layer of dust on its cover as she brushed it off and coughed out. "I should clean that up back there later."
"Can I take a look?" Willow asked.
"It's an old language, none of you would be able to read it." Anya said as she opened the book and frowned deeper with each page she flipped through as she looked at the crime scene photos and compared them too.
"What is it?" Dawn asked.
"I sincerely hope it's not who I think it is." Anya said grimly and paled as she stopped as she compared one of the symbols on the book with one at the crime scene photos. "Oh, drat. I think we may be out of our depth, guys."
"Why?" Sam asked.
"It's an ancient god of mischief. A very dangerous being." Anya said.
Dean and Sam immediately caught on. "Hold on, you mean…"
"The Loki?" Buffy, Dawn, Xander, Willow and Tara asked in unison.
"Back up a second, that's impossible, Loki's dead." Sam protested.
"How do you know that?" Dawn asked.
"Because he got iced eons ago." Dean snapped.
"That may not be actually true."
The Scooby Gang winced as suddenly, into the room teleported a brown-haired man in a beige trench coat.
"Cass, what are you doing here?" Sam asked.
"Excuse me, who the hell is the guy that just teleported here?" Buffy demanded, eying Castiel warily.
"Castiel. Angel of the Lord." Sam said.
"Bloody Hell, you're telling me they're real?" Spike said, looking at Castiel in disbelief.
"As real as everything else you have faced, and you are lucky that you are the Slayer's ally, William the Bloody, otherwise I would've already smitten you." Castiel said, looking at Spike in disgust.
"Hey, no smiting." Buffy intervened. "Back to the topic, Mr. Angel, what do you know about Loki?"
"If he's here, the entire Sunnydale is in danger." Castiel said.
"If we're dealing with the God of Mischief himself, why all these ritualistic killings? Some kind of a sacrifice?" Willow wondered.
Castiel nodded. "It's likely he isn't at full strength and we need to find him before he becomes too powerful for us to stop him."
"We've handled worse." Buffy shrugged.
"It's not that I don't believe you and the Winchesters can pull off the impossible, it's just that Loki shouldn't be underestimated. A being like him cannot be reasoned with. He doesn't kill for ideological reasons, spite or any rational reasons, but because it's fun and when he gets bored…"
"…he wrecks everything around him until he sees the whole world in flames. Doesn't he remind us of someone?" Buffy quipped and the Scoobies shivered, while Spike snorted in disgust as they remembered Angelus for example before she turned to Castiel again. "You sound like you've encountered him before."
"Not face-to-face, as you humans might say, but I was in the army that has fought Loki on multiple occasions but he's beaten us on most occasions." Castiel said.
"Is it possible for angels to lose?" Xander wondered.
"I've often asked myself that question, but you don't see any Hittites or Mayans, do you?" Castiel said sarcastically.
"That was Loki?" Tara demanded, actually impressed.
"I think we may actually be out of our depth." Spike said.
"We can handle him." Buffy said.
"There is a spell that may help find him. We're gonna need some ingredients." Willow said.
"I can get them." Xander said.
"I'll come with you." Sam offered.
"You hang around with quite a curious bunch." Dean noted as they entered another abandoned steel factory.
"So, you and your brother have always lived like this? Hunting?" Buffy asked as they walked down the park.
"It's all we've ever known. We've tried to quit before, settle down, get a normal life but it never worked out for us. Sam went to college but his girlfriend was murdered by a demon. I settled down with an ex-girlfriend of mine and her son, but the hunting life isn't something you can just walk away from, so I left, since I would've just put them in danger." Dean said.
"I get that." Buffy said. "There was someone I used to care about. Another vampire."
"What, you're not gonna quote 'Dracula' for me, are you?" Dean muttered.
"What? No!" Buffy said, completely abashed by the idea and not wanting to remember one of her old foes.
Dean stopped as he stared at Buffy in disbelief. "Hold on? Dracula is real?"
"And quite a convincing charming SOB. I beat him." Buffy said.
"You killed him?" Dean asked, impressed.
"More like sent him packing. Tried to stake him, he turned into mist and reformed, so I staked him again, so he bailed and skipped town." Buffy said.
"Huh. Dracula scared by a scrawny blondie." Dean said, amused as he looked at Buffy sadly but got ahold of himself.
"What?" Buffy asked, noticing the look in his eyes. "I know that look. I remind you of someone, do I?"
"Look, it doesn't matter, let's just focus on getting rid of that goddamned—"
Suddenly, they both froze as in front of them appeared a man, who bore a face familiar to Dean. He had a moustache and long hair and had a beige jacket with squares and his face was the same but the expression was nothing alike from Gabriel's.
"Loki." Dean choked out.
"I see that pretentious archangel stole my visage as well. He's what had kept me asleep after he vanquished me but with his death, I was able to consolidate more power as I manipulated the people of Sunnydale after the portal opened and entered this mortal realm and whisper into their ears to perform rituals, so that I could get enough power to regain my form." Loki smirked.
"Glory's portal." Buffy realized.
"I've been having a lot of fun in Sunnydale. But I can't let any Slayer or hunter get in my way." Loki said as he was about to snap his fingers.
Willow read an incantation, while Tara and Sam dropped some powder into a bowl and lightning blasted from the sky into the bowl.
…and suddenly, a blast of lightning from the sky sent Loki to the ground as Dean and Buffy were freed and in Buffy's hand appeared a hammer.
"Is that…" Dean's eyes widened.
"No!" Loki's eyes widened in horror.
"Guess so." Buffy quipped.
Loki tried to use his magic but Buffy sent a bolt of lightning, sending Loki crashing to a nearby tree before Buffy neared him.
"It ends here." Buffy attempted to slam the hammer at Loki but it went through him, smashing the tree as it fell down, burning with lightning.
Loki suddenly appeared behind Buffy, the one in front of her turning out to be an illusion as he was about to use a spell.
"Buffy!" Dean exclaimed as he grabbed Loki from behind but Loki freed himself from Dean's grip as they exchanged blows.
Loki then used telekinesis and sent Dean flying back. "Foolish mortal. I am an almighty deity and I will not be bull—"
Buffy slammed the hammer at Loki's head from behind as an explosion of lightning followed and at the spot where Loki had been a moment ago, was left nothing but scorched ground and ashes.
"So much for being an almighty deity." Buffy shrugged.
"So I guess that settles it." Dean said as he was packing up back in his motel room.
"That's how it is? You just show up, we kill the bad guy, then we part ways here?" Buffy asked, a little hurt.
Dean sighed as he looked at Buffy contemplatively. "Look, Buffy, it's nothing against you. You're a great girl and frankly, I like you but commitments aren't really my thing. I've tried it before and it never ended well. People like me don't get a happy ending. I already know what's waiting for me at the end of my road. Edge of the blade or a barrel of a gun."
"Yeah. I guess you're right." Buffy sighed, again feeling hurt that someone who seemed like a good person in her life, was about to leave her. "You actually remind me of someone I used to know, too."
"Who?" Dean asked.
"Someone I really cared about… but… I guess it was never meant to be. If I stay with him, one day, it's going to destroy us and we just know we're better off staying away from each other but… there are days, when it just isn't easy to walk away and move on, you know?" Buffy said, trying to keep her tone even.
Dean considered, when he was about to close his briefcase as he smirked at Buffy. "I guess we could save the goodbye for tomorrow."
Buffy unbuttoned Dean's shirt, while he lifted her top as they laid down on bed, dropping their clothes on the floor.
When Buffy woke up in the bed in the morning, she turned her head but noticed that Dean had already left but not before he left a bracelet for her as she recognized it as one of the protective charms. Perhaps a memento for her as she smiled. She knew it wouldn't work out with a hunter but at least she had a good friend to remember.
"You're in a good mood today." Sam noted as he and Dean were driving away in their Impala.
"So do you, you spent the whole night chitchatting with a former demon turned librarian and Mr. Beady Eyes." Dean countered.
"Of all the places, Sunnydale might be one of the craziest, right?" Sam pointed out. "It's good we're leaving that place behind."
"I don't know, Sammy, I think there are things worth coming back to." Dean said.
"Maybe. Buffy and that Scooby Gang of her seems like a nice bunch." Sam shrugged as Dean smiled.