Story: The Coming Storm (all chapters)

Authors: BillGopher

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Chapter 1

Title: Prologue: Secrets

The Coming Storm

By Iceflame55 and Bill Gopher

Disclaimers - Joss and Mutant Enemy owns Buffy and Co & Robert Tabert and RenPics own Xena and Co. I'm just borrowing them for a little while .

Spoilers - Faith never turned evil and worked for the Mayor. After he was defeated Faith left for LA with Angel. Other than that everything else is Canon up to (The Freshman), Season 4.

Feedback - Most definitely we want! Comments, thoughts, questions, criticisms, etc,. All are accepted and you can reach us at




Beneath Lowell House

“Agent Finn to the Director’s Office, Agent Finn to the Director’s Office” the speaker intoned. Turning around Riley walked back down the gray-walled corridors of the Initiative’s underground facility. A few minutes later Riley stopped outside a brown door with the small black letters that read “DIRECTOR”. Knocking on the door he heard a woman’s voice from inside… “Enter.”

Opening the door Riley stepped into the small, cramped room that was the Director’s office. The gray walls were devoid of any personal adornment or pictures and her steel desk held only an ink blotter, several pens and official papers. Behind the desk sat the Director of Operations for the North West Sector, Dr. Maggie Walsh. A harsh and severe looking woman in her late 40’s, her grey-blonde hair was pulled back into a bun accenting the severe personality that was the Director and the person. Dr. Walsh ruled the Initiative with an iron-fist.

“Agent Finn reporting as ordered ma’am.” Riley spoke as he stood at attention and waited for her to acknowledge him.

After several minutes, Walsh looked up at him. Her gray eyes pinned him as she spoke, “Agent Finn, it has come to my attention that you have made an acquaintance from my Psych 101 class… a Miss Buffy Summers, correct?”

“Uh, Yes ma’am. We met outside of class and things have sort of moved forward from there. May I ask why?”

“It has come to my attention since reviewing the reports on individuals in this town, Miss Summers and her friends may be involved with the HST’s in some fashion. I need you to investigate this and find out what you can. Especially any information regarding The Slayer.”

Walsh stood up and looked at the young agent in front of her. “This is of paramount importance. You are to use “any” means necessary to get this information covertly. I do not care if you have to sleep with any or all of them! Just get me that information! Do you understand me Agent Finn?”

“Yes Ma’am!” Riley saluted the Director.

“Dismissed then.”


Summers’ Residence

Buffy opened her eyes to see a large chessboard in front of her and sitting across playing Black was Riley. What's he doing in my dream? She wondered. When she looked at the chess set, something about some of the chess pieces caught her eye; looking closer she gasped. The Scoobs were the chess pieces, or at least some of them!

“Are you going to start Buffy?” came Riley's voice startling her out of her thoughts.

“Uh yes,” she replied and moved the Pawn that looked like Anya, in front of the Queen's Knight or is it Anya I’m moving? And if so what kind of game are we playing? “Pawn to b3.”

“Interesting move, doesn't allow you many options though. Keeps you blocked in.” Riley responded as moved his Pawn to d5.

Buffy looked up at Riley and saw he was wearing fatigues like the commando's she had seen on Halloween. “Who are you? Pawn to d4.”

“Knight to f6. For who you are, you don’t pay much attention to what’s going on around you Buffy. Life is like a chess match; attack, defend, move, lose, gain.”

Buffy frowned as she moved her Pawn to e3.

“Bishop to g4 – Check!” Looking up at her. “See Buff, you gotta pay attention or you lose. And right now, you’re gonna lose.” Riley continued with a smile.

“Knight to f3. Not today and not to you.” Buffy replied.

“Bishop takes Knight.”

“Pawn takes Bishop”

“Knight to h5. See that’s part of your problem Buff, you keep your friends too close and you’re not willing to sacrifice them if you have to…”

“Rook to g1. No, I’m not willing to throw lives away, especially those of my friends Riley.”

“Sooner or later you’re going to have to. Knight to a6.”

“Bishop to b5 – Check. It’s not about sacrificing people to win.”

“Yes it is Buff. Everyone’s expendable, Queen to d7, if that’s what it takes to win.”

The game continued for several more moves until Buffy saw she had Riley’s King cornered. Tipping the King over Riley surrendered.

Buffy heard the low treble of a woman’s voice behind her, “Very good Slayer!” Resisting the urge to turn around she felt pleased at the compliment.

The dream shifted and she found herself sitting at a small table across from Faith, a chess set sat on the table. Buffy reached down and pushed her Pawn to d4. “Faith, what are you doing here?”

Faith’s hand paused for a second before picking up a Pawn and moving it to d5. “Not really sure B. This is your dream, not mine. Playing chess ain’t my idea of ‘fun’.” A wicked grin lit up Faith’s face.

Buffy moved another Pawn, this time to e3. “So are you at home or in someone else’s bed?” she asked with a trace of bitterness she couldn’t hide.

An eyebrow went up on Faith’s face, “That never bothered you before B, why now all of a sudden?” and she moved out the Queen’s Knight to f6.

“I don’t know Faith, it just does…I don’t like the fact that someone’s hands are touching you,” [Don’t you mean you don’t like the idea that someone else is touching her, caressing her, tasting her and it’s not you?] Her little Slayer voice nagged at her. Buffy started fidgeting in her seat as images of Faith lying naked below her crept into her mind. She could hear the dark Slayer’s soft whimpers; feel Faith's sweat slicked skin against hers…

Shaking her head she tried to clear her thoughts of Faith [ENOUGH!!!!] She yelled mentally, and the images stopped. Looking down at the chessboard Buffy discovered her King had been maneuvered into a corner. “Damn.” Buffy muttered as she tipped her King over surrendering the game.

“You still haven’t answered my question B, why’s it bothering you? We’re not lovers now and we weren’t before.”

“Dammit Faith!! Leave me alone!!” She yelled angrily. “I-I never….”

“You never what B? Thought about it or realized you wanted me?” Faith waited until she saw Buffy about to speak, “No B, don’t try giving me an answer, cause you won’t be honest with yourself, so how are you gonna be honest with me?” Faith walked over behind Buffy and put her hands on her shoulders.

“Besides, you’re not ready to answer that question and I’m willing to wait.” Faith leaned in close and whispered softly into her ear. “But we’re meant to be together, we always have and we always will…” With that Faith was gone…

Everything changed and Buffy found herself standing on the side as she watched a chess match between Riley and a part-demon, part-cyborg, part-human “thing”. The match started quickly and ended almost as fast with Riley being pushed back into Check constantly. Finally his King surrounded Riley surrendered, but instead of losing the game, Riley walked over next to the “thing”.

Watching she saw it put its arm around Riley’s shoulders, “Welcome home Brother!!” Disgusted, she turned away, but not before hearing the thing say, “When all is mine, you will be at my right hand; all that you desire shall be laid at your feet.”

The arena darkened and when the lights came on the Slayer saw she had a new opponent. A woman with long, jet black hair dressed in some sort of leather armor with a brass dragon design on it.

“Don’t I fight him?” Buffy asked the woman as she motioned towards the demon/cyborg thing.

Shaking her head the woman replied, “No, it is not time and you are not prepared.”

“Who are you then? The female version of Gary Kasparov?”

The woman smiled broadly and laughed out loud. Turning the woman seemed to look at someone standing next to her, but as far as Buffy could see she was standing there alone.

“Her wit is sharp as yours Little One…yes, yes I know…Very well…” Looking forward again towards her, “Your Trials are about to begin Elizabeth Summers. Prepare yourself well…” With a wave of her hand the chessboard disappeared. “These battles will be but to prepare you, for what lies ahead.”

“HOLD!!” came a voice that seemed to shiver the air. “Chosen!! It is my right to see my opponent once before the Trials begin, I invoke that right, now!”

A large shadowed figure appeared in a bright flash across from where the woman stood, “So you will face me?” The figure asked, as it seemed to size her up. “Your bloodline has thinned after all these millennia Chosen.” Came the deep voice.

“EX-Chosen!! We’ve already had this discussion…” the woman seemed ready to say something more when she stopped herself, as if she had said too much.

“Very well. We will meet again Buffy Summers…”

As the dream ended, and Buffy slipped into a more restful slumber, a pack of wolves loped past a sign that proclaimed “Welcome to Sunnydale!”…

End Prologue

Chapter 2

Title: Opening Moves

The Coming Storm
Book One of the Storms Series

By Bill Gopher and Iceflame55

Disclaimers - Joss, Mutant Enemy, Rob Tapert and RenPics own pretty much everything. I'm just borrowing them.

Spoilers - Not really. Canon up to Season 4 except for Faith not turning evil.

Feedback - Most definitely yes! Thoughts, questions, suggestions and criticisms are welcome at



Chapter One:
Opening Moves

Buffy hurried thru the Quad on her way back to her dorm room at Fischer Hall when from behind she heard Riley’s voice.

“Hey Buffy! Hold up a sec!”

Sighing loudly, Buffy stoped and waited. Moments later Riley appeared next to her slightly out of breath. “Hey, Buffy we haven’t spoken in over a week, since that…” he stops as a student passes by. “…Well since you know. The clock tower.”

Frowning Buffy says curtly, “Fine.” and walked over to a bench they passed off the Quad. Sitting down Buffy looked over at Riley but kept her distance. “Fine, what do you want to talk about Riley? Could it be that ‘oh by the way Buffy I work for a secret, government, paramilitary organization’ or something else?” Buffy said sarcastically.

“Hey, it’s not like you weren’t keeping secrets either Buffy.” Riley replied, annoyed.

“Yeah, but I keep what I do a secret to protect my family and friends. And what’s with the Hostile this and HST that?? They’re demons Riley, not soldiers or animals.” Buffy said sharply.

“There’s no such thing Buffy. They’re animals, period! Some are smarter than others, but still animals…” Riley said defending the Initiative.

“And what about someone innocent who gets bitten and turns furry 3 nights a month?”

“Look Buffy I know about Daniel Osbourne aka Oz, Willow’s old boyfriend…WE could have helped if you had trusted me Buffy. We’ve got doctors who can treat mental illnesses like this ‘lycanthrope’ stuff.”

Buffy looked at Riley in surprise, “Its not an illness Riley…”

“It’s just a symptom of a larger mental issue…I’ve seen patients ‘change’, but that’s just part of the psychosis. Besides it was probably best for her anyway. This way he can’t hurt her, now or later…”

As Buffy was about to reply she saw Graham and Forest wander over, both are laughing loudly but stop several feet away.

“Hey,” Forrest whispered, “isn’t that the dyke’s roomie talkin to Riley?”

Rage flooded thru Buffy as her Slayer hearing let her overhear what Forrest said. Calmly she walked over to Forrest and Graham and stopped just in front of Forrest. “How are your balls feeling?” Buffy asked sweetly.


As the look of confusion ran over Forrest's face Buffy let loose a front snap kick into his stomach doubling him over. As Forrest held his stomach, the wind knocked out of him, Buffy stepped in and grabbed the back of his head slamming it down on her knee which was going up. She found the sudden crunch as his nose broke and gushed blood everywhere to be highly satisfying, as she released him she blocked a weak punch and snapped his wrist. "YOU BITCH!! You broke my arm!!!" Forrest yelled hysterically.

Everything seemed to slow down for Buffy as she heard the ground crunch behind her and dropped down to her knee as Graham’s kick swept over her head. Her fist snapped out as Graham’s leg was extended and Buffy hit him in the crotch. Graham fell with a whimper.

Buffy stood up and looked down at Forrest, “You never answered me.” And kicked Forrest twice between the legs, leaning down next to him she whispered so that only he could hear her. “If you EVER say Willow’s name again and I hear about it…I’ll make you wish you were dead. If you see her you will walk in the other direction…do we understand each other?” Without waiting for an answer, “Good.” Buffy smiled and stood up walking back towards the bench where Riley stood with an angry look.

“What the hell did you do that for Buffy??” Riley yelled at her.

“Cause he deserved it. That’s why.” Buffy replied absently as she looked at her nails. “Damn, chipped another one.”

Angry at what she did and her apparent dismissal of him, Riley grabbed Buffy’s arm to spin her around to face him.

“Don’t ever try and manhandle me that way Riley!”

Riley suddenly realized as he lay on the ground looking up at Buffy, that he had never seen her move, but here he was on the ground. “What are you?? Are you a demon?” Riley reached back for the cell phone clipped onto to the back of his belt.

Buffy was faster and pulled the phone off his belt and crushed it in front of him before dropping it. “I’m Buffy and no I’m not a demon Riley.” Leaning closer she whispered, “I’m the Slayer.”

She looked down at the speechless Riley, her disgust evident, “Do yourself a big favor Riley, and leave me and my friends alone. Better yet, pack up your little group and go back where you came from before you get yourselves hurt.”

With that parting shot, Buffy turned and headed for her room at a fast walk. Watching her leave, Riley picked himself off the ground with a thoughtful look on his face [So she’s the Slayer that Prof. Walsh was looking for. I’d better report this at once.]

Forrest’s pained moan brought Riley back to reality. With Graham’s aid, they helped their wounded friend to his feet and headed slowly to the infirmary.

As the wounded trio left the area, a tall brunette stepped from the alcove from where she had witnessed the confrontation. She glanced at them before turning her gaze after the departed Slayer with a slight smile on her face [So that is the Slayer I’ve heard so much about. You look so small and helpless, until you move. It’s then your true nature shows itself, as you move like what you are, a predator born.]

The brunette shook her head a bit; as she thought about the skill the Slayer had shown during her scuffle with the three commandos even as she headed back to her lair. [There is no doubt she is formidable. They never stood a chance against her; I doubt even now they realize she was holding back even when she took them out. I think I had better learn how good she really is before I challenge her. It wouldn’t do to underestimate her as so many of her previous opponents have, and get myself beheaded.]


Professor Walsh read Agent Finn’s report, a tremor of excitement running up and down her spine. [So Ms. Summers is the Slayer!]

A small smile twisted the corner of her mouth as Walsh picked up the folder that held all the intelligence the Initiative had on Buffy Summers as well as her friends and family, a smile that vanishes at the knock at her door. “Come” Walsh said coldly.

Riley Finn opened the door and moved forward until he’s in front of Walsh’s desk, “Agent Finn reporting, Ma’am”.

“Have a seat, Agent Finn”, and he gingerly sat down in the chair she indicated.

As Riley Finn took a seat, Walsh continued to examine the information in the file on Buffy Summers. When she was done reading, she put the folder down and looked at Finn.

“You realize that you’ve complicated matters for me and you failed your assignment Agent Finn.” Walsh stated. “I’m having you temporarily relieved of command of Alpha Squad. You are to be their spotter and as well as any recon. Graham will be taking charge of the unit from now.”

Riley blanched as he realized how badly he’d screwed up, “Will this be permanent ma’am?”

“While you are doing your new duties for Alpha Squad you are to get me a schedule of activities and associates of each of Miss Summers’ friends. I want to know when they brush their teeth and what kind of toothpaste they use! Do you understand?”

Riley nodded. “Yes Ma’am.”

“Dismissed then. Report to Agent Graham for any other duty assignments he may have for you.”

After Agent Finn closed the door, Walsh opened the file on her desk and started reading the evaluation report again.

“Hostile 225 has responded remarkably well to his initial programming after the first weeks of disobedience. His reflexes, intuition, and versatility all will allow us several options for this HST as well as treatment and training future HST’s with the same mental illness.
“It is my belief that Hostile 225 with considerably more training will prove to be a valuable asset for the OMEGA program as well Project 3-1-4.
“Finally, due to the successful chip implantation as well as the programming Hostile 225 with the correct training, as determined by the Director, will be able to function as an independent yet utterly loyal asset within 3 weeks of completed training.”

Walsh smiled as she closed the folder. [Excellent, with a successful testing of the OMEGA program, Project 3-1-4, and acquiring the primary subject for Project Hunter I’ll be in a much better position. But first we need to test the Slayer to see if she will be pliable for our uses or if we’ll use her as breeding stock.]

Reaching down Walsh hit the intercom button, “O’Donnell, have Agent Graham and Agent Collins report to my office immediately!” [It’s best if I do not underestimate her abilities, I’ll send 2 squads out for her and order R & D prepare a decoy to have it seem she’s run away. Something according to her file she’s done before.]

Leaning back in her chair Walsh smiled…

End Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Title: First Engagements

[Author's notes: A/N - Buffy gets a hint of who her enemies are...

[ ] - thoughts]

Chapter Two:
First Engagements

Buffy stalked through Restfield Cemetery, Mr. Pointy in her hand and a hint of rage in her eyes. Even though the confrontation between her and Riley’s friends had been early that morning, her anger hadn’t diminished in the slightest, as the first four vampires she’d staked tonight had found out the instant she had spotted them.

To make matters worse, she had the feeling she hadn’t heard the last from Riley or his friends, especially since she had caught a glimpse at least twice of someone tailing her. She had considered taking them out but decided it wasn’t worth the effort, considering she would have to carry their worthless carcasses to safety, since they were human. [That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t LOVE to break them into little tiny pieces, it just means I have to wait until they happen to be in a safer location, and in daylight where a vamp can’t make a free lunch out of them.]

Buffy stiffened as her Slayer sense picked up something and Buffy took off at a dead run towards the crypt she sensed the vampires were in. As she reached the door Buffy heard a young girl scream. Snarling, the Slayer hit the stone door at a dead run and hard enough that the vamp guarding it was crushed between the door and the crypt wall before exploding into a dust cloud.

The lead vamp looked up just in time to see her face as Mr. Pointy slammed into his heart. The girl he had been about to bite hit the floor amid a shower of her attacker’s dusty remains, and scrambled for the door as fast as she could move. The vamps that tried to stop the girl’s escape were destroyed the instant they tried. Those vamps too stupid to see beyond the Slayer’s small form attacked en masse, while a couple of the smarter ones took one look at the way she was fighting and ran for their unlives.

Five minutes later the Slayer stood amidst the dust of the vamps that dared to stand and fight, looking around to verify there were no more vampires left to stake. [Another nest bites the dust! I think I’ll cut patrol short tonight; I’ve already staked as many vamps in the last two hours I normally stake in four or five days. I think I’ll go home for a change of clothes, and then it’s Bronze time!]

As Buffy reached the door of the crypt though, the hair on the back of her neck stiffened and stood upright as she got the feeling she’s no longer alone. [Hmmm, looks like I get to add a few demons to my stake count tonight.]

Sprinting up the last five steps Buffy dove through the crypt door at knee level. As she rolled to her feet, Buffy blocked a strike aimed at her head, and then flattened her attacker with a punch. [What the…] Buffy thought as she stopped her finishing attack in mid-strike, staring in shock as she realized her target was one of the commandos. Ducking out of sheer instinct as two of the commandos opened fire with their taser rifles, the bolts of electricity shooting just over her head and as the commando leader calls into his communications unit, “Target engaged, repeat target engaged!”

Buffy saw one of the soldiers come charging at her out of the darkness trying to get close enough so that he can’t miss. Just as he stops to take aim, the Slayer knocked him on his butt with a sweep kick and followed up with an uppercut to his chin that flipped him backwards, head over heels. From behind her Buffy heard something and rolled desperately to her left as another commando tried clubbing her in the head with his rifle, the blow slamming into her right shoulder and numbing it. Buffy stopped her roll by some bushes and slowly came to her feet. As she was standing up Buffy heard the rustle of the bushes as the commando tries to free his weapon. Buffy’s right hand snapped out catching the commando by his shoulder. As all four of the remaining commandos bring their weapons up, Buffy hauls the commando she grabbed up and out of the bushes, and directly between her and the remaining commandos just in time to intercept the incoming fire from his teammates.
As his friends open fire, Buffy released her hold an instant before the incoming fire struck him. The soldier convulsed as enough electricity to flatten a raging elephant coursed through his body. He dropped where he stood, even as his teammates try desperately to correct their aim.

Graham cursed savagely as he watched the Slayer come blurring out of the night, taking down her third target in a flying tackle [Goddammit, where the FUCK is Beta Squad!!!]

As if in answer to his thoughts, his communications unit transmits, “Code Red, emergency assistance required!! We’re under attack by unknown Hostiles!! Anyone who hears this, please respo… ! The voice of the commando that’s calling for help cuts off with a hideous gurgle.

Graham snarled in rage as he hears the cry for help cut off; a snarl that changes to a groan as Buffy throws her fourth victim into him, hard enough to knock them both into a heap on the ground. As he rolls his unconscious teammate off of him, Graham looked up in time to see the Slayer vanish into the trees, taser fire nipping uselessly at her heels.

One glance at his team causes Graham to curse savagely and reach for his comm. unit “HQ, this is Alpha One. The Slayer has escaped us. We’re down to two combat effectives, with four disabled.”

“Copy, Alpha One. Assistance is en route to both you and Beta Squad. Just sit tight, over and out.”

“Understood, over and out.”

As Graham starts to put his comm. unit back on his belt, a pale hand snaps out from the darkness behind him, catching his wrist and his shoulder in a bone-crushing grip. Graham howls as the bones in his wrist break like rotten twigs, and his nerveless hand drops the comm. unit to the ground. The hand that crushed his wrist savagely yanks him around, until he’s face to face with his attacker. Graham tries to jerk his taser rifle into line one-handed, only to have the six-foot tall creature tear it from his grasp and hurl it into the night, before backhanding him into the side of crypt.

He staggered and would have fell, but his attacker caught him easily with one pale white hand and slammed him back against the crypt. From there he watched as more bone-white apparitions came out of the night, surrounding him and his team.

When she was certain none of the Mortals present could escape, the one holding Graham turned her glowing red eyes towards one of her companions and asked, “You see what I meant about her Gabrielle? Even though she was a little tired, outnumbered, outgunned six to one, and surrounded to boot she still defeated them all with little more than a few bruises to show for it.”

“She does fight well, doesn’t she?” the blonde replied with a slight smile “Are we eating out tonight or in?” She asked.

Turning her attention back to the Mortal she'd been holding, “In, too stringy.”

A small smile appeared on the blondes' face, “You sure Xena?” She asked. “She does remind me of you when she fights,” not really caring one way or the other, knowing that Xena would always return to her, no matter what she did with others.

“W-wait!! You don't want to do this. If you kill me, they'll come down you like a ton of bricks!" Graham said his voice shaking. He moved his good hand, slowly reaching towards his back where he had a hand tazer. [5 more seconds bitch and your HST ass is mine. Nothing walks away from 50,000 volts! ] Graham heard the earpiece for his radio crackle as well as several voices from the rescue squad as they scouted for his team as well as Beta Squad.

Graham felt his hand wrap around the tazer and started to bring it around slowly to shock the HST holding him, when the creature absently grabs his wrist long before he could bring it to bear. “Sharra,” Xena ordered the ex-assassin, “We have guests, go ‘entertain’ them while we finish up here.”

Sharra bowed deeply, “Yes Mistress,” and brought her fist up to her chest in a salute before backing away. Moving over toward the other 3, “Come, the Mistress has given us our task this night.” Faster than the human eye could follow all 4 bone-white figures disappeared into the shadows.

Several moments later Graham heard Blue Squad's voices over the Comm. Net. “There's something moving in the woods,” “What was tha-“, “Hit it!! Hit It!! Fire now!!!!” There were more yells and screams before the communications went dead.

As Xena moved to bite the frightened soldier’s neck, Gabrielle stopped her, a thoughtful look on her face, “You know, we could actually use him as something other than dinner...”

The tall warrior turned towards the blonde. Raising a dark eyebrow, she replied “Oh? You thinking of sending him back to his buddies as a surprise?”

“Yep!” the blonde smiled mischievously.

“Well soldier boy, you just got upgraded from dinner to Judas.” The brunette baccae smiled evilly, her long, curved fangs showing now. Quickly she pushed his head to the side and sank her fangs into his throat and started drinking, ignoring his strangled cry as she fed.

“What now? You want to drop him near his buddies so they don't get suspicious?”

Xena just smiled as she looked over at her mate, “That's the plan. Hopefully soldier boy here will give them some grief.”

Gabrielle smiled and walked over to her lover, lifting her lips to her mate’s blood-soaked mouth and licking the blood off as Xena kissed her deeply. “Is she really worth it Xe? You've stayed away from them for over 2000 years…”

“Yeah and look what that's got them too!” She retorted, unable to keep the anger out of her voice.

“We made that deal with the Council to protect them, not…” Gabrielle answered softly as she ran her hand in small circles on her love’s back.

At that moment, Sharra re-appeared in the field, “It is done, we made certain they were well ‘entertained’.” Xena nodded in approval and slashed open Graham’s neck where he had been bitten. “Quickly, take this one and dump him by the others...”

Even as Sharra dropped the body by those of his fallen teammates, the other Baccae followed their leader into the night. After dropping the corpse Sharra followed her fellows from the battlefield back to the lair.

Chapter 4

Title: The Storm Gathers

[Author's notes:

My bad, I accidentally skipped ch 4. So to everyone who went "huh??" when reading this, my apologies. this chapter was supposed to come after "One Foe Falters, Another Rises".

[  ] - thoughts


Chapter Four:
The Storm Gathers

Buffy walked up to Giles' door and knocked on it. The sun had just risen a few short hours ago...but sleep had evaded her last night. So instead of waiting Buffy had had gotten dressed. She pulled on a pair of brown, leather pants and a halter-top that left her midriff exposed. Grabbing a light jacket she had headed down to Giles' house, a feeling of nagging worry keeping her distracted... he door opened to reveal her slightly rumpled Watcher.

“Morning Giles!” Buffy said cheerfully as she stepped inside his townhouse.

A frown crossed his face, “Buffy, why are you here at...” Giles pulled a watch out of a pocket on his robe “at 7am in the morning?”

Turning around she replied, “I’m just here to get started. You're always saying there no time like the present!” 

“Buffy,” Giles started as he took a closer look at the young woman he thought of as his own daughter. Behind the cheerful facade Giles could see the dark circles under her eyes and the worry lines “try again. And this time tell me the truth...I can see you're not all tea and scones this morning as you might have me believe...” 

Her shoulders slumped as she realized she couldn't fool Giles, “I'm worried Giles, this isn't like them...or at least I don't think so,” Buffy sat down on the couch. “And something else is wrong, I don't know what but I have the feeling that things are going to get worse and I don't know what to do.” 

“Worrying yourself like this will not help either Buffy.” Giles said, a mild yet reproachful tone in his voice. 

“Lie down and rest for a few little while. I'll call the others and have them over here, ‘then’ we can work out what it is that happened and whatever else we might be facing.” Sitting down next to Buffy Giles put his arm around her and pulled her into a hug. “We've faced evil before and we'll do so again.”

Buffy let herself yawn as Giles stood up, a wave of exhaustion rolled over her as the last 36 hours and last night caught up with her. I'll just rest a minute, that's all... Lying down she snagged one of the little pillows on the couch and put it under her head as she stretched out. 

“Yeah, just…a...minute,” Buffy mumbled. Dimly she was aware of Giles putting a light blanket over her as sleep finally caught up with her.

Giles looked down at Buffy [No one should have seen the evil she has. The only thing she should be worrying about is who to take out next Friday, not who will be alive. I pray she finds some happiness in this world...she deserves that much. 

Shaking off his dark thoughts Giles moved toward the kitchen and the phone, he had things to do and people to call. 


In LA Faith woke with a scream from the nightmarish dream. She sat and shivered in reaction, as she slowly realized it was only a dream. 

[No, not just a dream], Faith realized with growing fear, [Slayer Dream]. 

She came out of bed like she had been shot from a cannon, practically sprinting across the room to her weapon's chest. She jerked it open, and with frantic haste began piling weapons into the duffle bag next to the chest. 

After she zips the bag closed, she stops just long enough to yank on her shoes and snatch up her black leather duster before she bolts out the door of her apartment and down the stairs. 

As Faith came out of the first floor doors to the apartment complex, a six and a half foot tall biker drinking with his buddies in the parking lot looked up and slurred out, “Well lookie here boys, we got ourselves a little lady wanting to join the party!”  

Faith looked over at the large biker that has stood up and is heading her way. [Fuck! I have no TIME to deal with a drunken, amorous biker and his posse.] “Sorry boys, I'm running late already, I got to get to a friend in a hurry.” 

The bikers face turns red “You've got some ‘Friends’ right here! Now why don't you have a seat,” as he pats the spot next to where he had been sitting for emphasis. “And I can show you just much better a time you'll have right here!” 

As his buddies laugh at their leaders ‘Suggestion’, Faith's eyes harden. “I won't say it again boozer, stay the fuck outta my way. I've got no time to bullshit with you.” 

His friends avidly watch him roar in anger at her challenge, then charge the tall but slight girl, expecting to see him flatten her. Instead they watch as she easily ducks his fists and then brings her knee up with unbelievable force into his groin. His buddies all cringe in sympathy as they see Scar drop to his knees, bellowing his agony and clutching his injured manhood as he jackknifes forward, he runs right into an uppercut that sends him sprawling on his back. 

As his friends watch in shocked silence, Faith considers her adversary speculatively [hmmm I need a ride, and he's got one. ] 

Decision made, she fishes the keys to his bike out of his front vest pocket, then turns to guy's friends. “HEY! Which of those hogs is his?” 

As one they all point to a large black, and obviously powerful Harley Davidson “Thanks!” 

As if she'd rode one all her life, she climbed aboard, started it up, roaring off as the other bikers watched. “You think we should have stopped her?” asked one of the younger bikers. 

The only response the others gave was to look at him like he was insane.

And all the while, on the way to Sunnydale Faith thought Just let me get there in time.


ADAM accessed the files on The Slayer and Buffy Summers and started sifting thru what was known. The file on the Slayer was rather brief and if it could be said ADAM doubted it was entirely accurate as to her full capabilities. He frowned, though it could only be said that ADAM's face moved only minutely from its normal impassive appearance. ADAM reviewed the information that was backed up by some sort of data and discarded everything else. Enhanced strength and speed; possibly enhanced healing which would indicate either a mutation at the genetic level or a careful manipulation of DNA. “Interesting, but nonetheless hardly useful information Mother. Let us see what is in the file of Buffy Summers.”

[Born on September 13, 1982 Elizabeth Ann Summers aka Buffy Summers, to Hank and Joyce Summers…useless. Bypass non-essential personal information; expand search parameters to include odd behavior and occurrences…
1997 - LAPD reported finding her out in cemeteries on several occasions. A final entry indicates she was considered a primary suspect in the arson case of her school gym burning down…20 students went missing from the prom after being attacked by a gang of PCP users…
1998 - Summers moved to Sunnydale, CA. Police reports and school records for the next 3 years indicate she was found at or near the scene of multiple odd occurrences, most likely demons.

By all records this Slayer is headstrong and rash. Such behavior indicates a weak mind and one not prone to looking for the subtle or hidden clues. This also makes her a potential threat. Her threat level is low due to her simple mind, but unlike Mother I will not allow her to interfere with my plans. Since she acts rashly, that is a weakness that can be exploited. However her DNA may be of use, I will have her corpse returned back to the laboratory for further analysis.]


Setting his search parameters ADAM quickly found what he was looking for. “The Omega Project…” ADAM murmured. Getting up he walked down to the secured laboratory of OMEGA. Walking in ADAM moved to the door he wanted, a titanium door 10" thick. There was a small window to allow a view of the creature inside and written on the door, “HOSTILE 225”. ADAM smiled as the creature within raised its head to stare at ADAM with unblinking eyes, “Yes, this shall remove the Slayer from my way….” 


Buffy frowned as she thought about the meeting this morning. Not much got solved other than they’ll all stay more alert. But then not much they ‘can’ do I guess.
She turned towards the rear exit of the Rosefield Cemetery, Damn this has been a bust tonight, I haven’t seen a vamp anywhere, it’s almost like they’d all gone elsewhere.
Buffy’s Slayer sense went haywire right as something slammed into her back throwing her forward and slamming her into a tree. Bouncing up off the ground Buffy landed in a crouch looking around she saw a creature that seemed to be a mix of demon, machine and human standing about 10 feet away.  It was easily six and a half feet tall and just as wide.
“What the hell are you?? A bad example of mix and match parts?” Buffy quipped but her right side was throbbing, she was pretty sure she had cracked a rib.
“Ahh! Humor…yes? An unusual concept among many that humans have developed.”
Buffy charged the creature and ducked under the arm that swung at her. Her leg swept out to knock the thing on the ground, but when her leg hit the creature it felt like she had just hit steel. Dodging to her left Buffy avoided the fist that punched down where her head was a moment ago. Buffy came up and launched a series of kicks knocking the creature back, stepping in close she switched attacks and landed blow after blow to the things head, only to see her attack did nothing. A skewer popped out of the creature’s right arm and Buffy barely sidestepped it, she felt the blade rip her shirt and jacket open and cut her stomach. Jumping up Buffy kicked out with both feet on the creature’s chest and used the momentum to push her backwards and away from it.
Landing on her feet she moved into a crouch, breathing heavily. What the hell is this thing??? Nothing I do even makes a dent on it! I have to get clear of this thing, find out how to kill it.
“Slayer, is that the best you are capable of?? I wonder why Mother was so concerned about you. It will be of no consequence shortly.”
Buffy watched as the creature started to walk towards her and suddenly stopped. “Interesting. Let us see what this variable will do to the equation.” Just as the creature finished talking she heard a soft “thump” sound and a small object landed near her and started spewing gray smoke obscuring her vision.
“GO! GO! GO!” came voices from the smoke.
Oh shit!! Not now!! Buffy moved to her right as a tazer beam slashed out of the smoke and struck where she had just been standing.
A commando rose out of the smoke just off to her left, Buffy dove towards him, tackling him. Two quick blows to his head knocked him out. As she slowly got to her feet, she could see dim shapes moving thru the smoke.
Buffy was quickly surrounded by 4 of the commandoes, folding her arms casually, “You really don’t want to do this guys. Why don’t you just go home? Shooo!” Buffy made shooing gestures with her hands.
The leader spoke to one of the ones behind her, “Hans, cuff her. We’ll take her back to the backup HQ for questioning.”
The commando to her left started to walk towards her and pulled out a pair of metal handcuffs. Buffy watched as he tossed them towards the one standing behind her. As the cuffs reached the high point in their arc, NOW!!!! Buffy said in her mind as everything around her began to slow down.
Her left arm shot up inside the arm of the commando facing her with the pistol, shoving it away, her right hand snapped out, her knuckles slamming into the commando’s throat hard enough make breathing difficult. While the her first victim dropped his weapon and went to his knees holding his injured throat, she grabbed him by his shoulders and threw him at the one, ‘Hans’, who was behind her.
Running for the trees Buffy zigzag’s to avoid the taser fire from the last 2 commandos’. Glancing over her shoulder Buffy saw one of them right behind, chasing her. As she neared a set of trees Buffy leapt up towards the tree and as she touched it she pushed off and used the momentum to carry her over the charging commando. As she landed she pulled out one of her stakes and threw it at the commando’s head, hitting him hard enough with the blunt end to knock him cold.
Before she could react Buffy screamed as the electrical charges of two taser blasts hit her in the back. She collapsed to her knees as the two standing commandos fired a second volley. Rolling over out of the way she tried to avoid being hit, but to no avail as the taser blasts continued to overload her body. Struggling to her feet Buffy staggered several steps and collapsed behind a tree, her body twitching from the electrical blasts. No! I have…to…get…aw…a…y… were her last thoughts as she passed out.
Gabrielle had watched the Slayer deal with the sudden attack by the commando’s, Hmmm; she’s doing quite well. I’ll just stay back then and just make sure she gets away.
The grey mist clouded her sight for several seconds and she lost sight of the Slayer, until she heard her screaming. Rushing out of her hiding place Gabrielle moved quickly through the trees to where she heard the scream. Damn! Something’s gone wrong!!
Her night vision finally adapted to the mist and Gabrielle saw 2 humans standing by a third that was lying on the ground. Abandoning any thought of stealth she smiled savagely as she felt her claws slide out. Roaring she leapt from above at the closest human. Gabrielle’s claws raked the commando from his shoulder to his stomach and bounded back into the trees before he had even seen his attacker. She left him to scream his last few seconds of life away, as he tried to put his intestines back inside.
The other commando whirled at the sound of his teammate’s scream, and gagged at the sight of his partner’s injuries. He leaped backward to put his back against a tree, so as to protect his back while he radioed in for back up.
The second human was reaching for something at his belt as she dropped on him from above, breaking both his arms. Her fangs sank into his neck and Gabrielle drained him dry. Finished with him she let his body drop to the ground before she walks over to the Slayer to check on her injuries.
Other than those rifle blasts, she seems fine. I guess we’ll have to interfere sooner than expected, Xena won’t be too thrilled with that but there’s nothing that can be done about it. Lifting the Slayer into her arms she moved quickly thru Sunnydale to the Slayer’s home.
After taking a quick look to see if anyone had spotted her then realizing there was no one to see her, Gabrielle sped forward to lay the Slayer down on the porch near the front door. Just as she reached the shadows across the street, Gabrielle stopped as she heard a motorcycle roar down the street to stop in the Slayers driveway. With a shock, Gabrielle recognized the brunette that was getting off as the second Slayer [what is she doing here? I better stick around a minute, as Xena will want as much information as we can get.]
Unaware that she was being watched, Faith walked quickly towards the front door hoping that Buffy was back from patrol when she saw the limp form lying in front of the door. Dropping her duffle bag and leaping forward, the fear she had been feeling since she woke up from the dream squeezing her heart like a fist made of ice. When Faith turned the body onto its back her heart almost stopped when she saw it was Buffy, her fear that she had been too late threatening to choke her [Oh god no!!! I’m too late!]
But as she watched, Faith realized that the blonde Slayer was still breathing, if too shallowly for her liking, “Always knew you were one tough cookie, B.” Faith quickly opened the front door, then picked up the fallen Slayer and carried her inside, kicking the door shut when she was inside.
               Across the street, Gabrielle smiled [So she cares more for the other Slayer than she shows. Good, very good.] As she disappeared into the night heading for the lair, Gabrielle thinks about the two Slayers [There is no destiny that fate can throw at someone, that cannot be borne, as long as you keep the ones you love close at your side.]
            End Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Title: One Foe Falters, Another Rises

[Author's notes: Standard - I don't own the characters, Mutant Enemy and RenPics do.

[ ] - thoughts]

Chapter 3:
One Foe Falters, Another Rises

Buffy ran into the dorm and headed straight for their room. Thirty seconds later found her inside the empty room. Looking around Buffy saw no sign that Willow had been here recently. She's probably with Tara. I'll call Giles first then and head over there.

Dialing Giles’ house, the phone rang for almost a minute before a sleepy voice answered, “Hullo? Yes? Giles residence.”

“Giles we got problems, big ones.”

Giles felt himself wake up instantly as the tone of Buffy's voice penetrated the fatigue caused from being awakened by sudden noise, “Are you okay Buffy?”

She replied, “Yeah, but those commando’s came after me tonight, they were after me for some reason. We gotta get together and meet early about this…”

Rubbing the bridge of his nose Giles considered the reasons for the attack, none of which were pleasant, “Yes, yes. I'll call Xander and let him know.”

“And I'll tell Willow and Tara when I see them.”

“Isn't she there?” Giles asked concerned.

“No she's not, I figured she's with Tara.”

“Ahem, ah yes. Perhaps you should drop by just in case though.”

Nodding her head in agreement the Slayer responded, “Good idea. I'll do that as soon as I hang up.”

“I'll see you in the morning then. Be careful Buffy, we don't know what they are up to or why.”

Even though he couldn’t see her face, Giles could hear the smile in her voice, “I'll be careful. Night.”


In the Initiative morgue, the coroner walked up to the sheet shrouded form on the slab and pulled the sheet off the body. Turning on the headset and recorder, “The time is 8:33am, Dec. 15. We are performing a full autopsy on a male, approximately 18 - 25 years of age in good physical health. There are various bruises and contusions across the upper torso...the right arm shows disfiguration and coloration indicates a dislocation at the shoulder and a broken wrist. There is a long 15cm cut thru the jugular. Initial cause of death is blood loss.”

She turned towards the tray set next to the slab, containing various sizes of knives and scalpels; while she was reaching for one of the larger scalpels, the body on the slab twitched, then began to move, “We will begin by starting with the standard “Y” incision in the chest....”

The doctor felt something grab her by the back of her neck and yank with brutal strength, pulling her backwards and down...As she drew a breath to scream she felt razor sharp teeth tear into her neck and then, she felt nothing at all.

The creature that was once Graham howled as it drained the last drops of blood from its meal, before throwing the body aside in a loud clash, as the body smashed into the glass medicine cabinet.

Rolling off the slab from which it had risen, it headed towards the door. The creature fumbled with the handle for several seconds before succeeding in opening the door. Peering out the door, it saw a long hallway and the head of a human peeking out of the door across the hall.

With a loud snarl it leapt across the hall with inhuman speed, hitting the door hard enough to knock the scientist peering from behind it unconscious.

The revenant looked at the large body on one of the many tables in the room curiously, before tearing into the meal lying on the floor. He had barely started draining his victim dry when a piercing alarm split the air. Rearing away from the bloody corpse at its feet, the beast clapped its hands to its ears, howling in pain from the penetrating sound, until the sound of pounding footsteps warned it that it had been discovered.

“In there!!! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!!!!!”

The Initiative’s First Response Team appeared in the doorway just as the single-minded creature turned back towards its downed prey. Sensing competition for its meal the revenant bared its three and a half inch fangs, roaring in challenge.

“Oh my god, it's Graham!!! Just fry it!!!” Five high-powered taser rifles lashed out and hit the creature that had once been Graham. Screaming and howling it fell on the large body lying on the table. The commandos continued to pump more fire into the revenant’s body until it moved no more and smoke rose from the body, the stink of burnt flesh filling the air.

The leader of the team designated two of his team members to flank the twitching revenant with a glance and a nod of his head. Once they were in position, another one moved up to Graham while pulling a coil of extremely strong but thin cord from his belt, and proceeded to quickly and efficiently tie up their one time companion. Once he was finished, the team picked him up, and carried him to one of the containment cells below.

Professor Walsh waited until they were well on their way to containment before she stepped into room 314, and looked down at her assistant. Looking up from her examination of the corpse, she said to the guards that had remained with her, “Take the HST’s victims and isolate them in a containment cell for 48 hours. Given that the creature rose only hours after death, that should be long enough to tell whether or not they will rise as well.”

The soldiers saluted in unison, “Yes, Ma’am!”

Once they had picked up the corpse and were out the door, she closed the door behind them, and then goes to the sheet shrouded form lying on the table. She pulls the scorched sheet away and proceeds to examine the massive form laid upon the table, checking for any damage that would need to be repaired.

“That was a little too close for comfort, wasn’t it Adam?” she said softly in an affectionate and slightly creepy voice. “At least it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. No harm done to you at all, and no one knows about what you are. The soldier of a new age; an age where mankind will no longer need fear the darkness, as the darkness will have been tamed to our hand.” A new age of Man that will be possible only because of my work.

Walsh turns away from the figure on the table to pick up first a surgical tray that had been knocked over, and then the various surgical instruments that were supposed to be lying on the tray.

She had just picked up a small but powerful bone saw and put it back on the tray, when she arched her back in pain as something slammed into her back and through her chest with tremendous power. Numb with shock, she looked down at the bony spike jutting from her chest, then over her shoulder at her attacker.

She whispered hoarsely, “Adam?”

As she slid off of the spike and into the darkness of death, she heard Adam say, “Mommy.”

Adam looks down at the woman he just skewered, and then examines the room from top to bottom, searching for information of any variety. Within minutes he scans and memorizes the few paper documents and charts in the room, before moving to the computer terminal on the desk.

He reaches up to the metal plate covering part of his face, and disconnects part of it. Next he takes a small cable from the desk and hooks one end of it to the cable port that was underneath the plate, and plugs the other end of the cable into the terminal; then he begins downloading information from the Initiative Mainframe at an incredible rate, starting with Maggie Walsh’s private files detailing Project 314, OMEGA Program, and Operation Hunter.
ADAM plugged cable from his head to the computer's network card and logged himself into the base's computer network. The computer prompted him for his Username *MWalsh* and Password *Osiris*. Several seconds passed and then the screen suddenly flashed “WELCOME DIRECTOR WALSH!”

Swiftly ADAM swooped into the Initiative's main computer and using his mother's access codes ADAM cut everyone out of the base's network except himself. Now, while they are confused as to what is happening I will ensure that they can do nothing. With that thought ADAM initiated the lockdown procedure.

Alarms began wailing and lights flashing as the base computers began to seal all access doors exiting the complex. The lone elevator out had just reached the top floor outside when it suddenly came to a violent stop. The scientists inside frantically tried pressing the ‘CALL’ buttons for help when the base computer cut the cable to the elevator and it plunged back down into the earth; ½ a mile straight down.

With the last of the doors locked down, ADAM cut off the circuit for main power to the facility. For several seconds the base was plunged into darkness before the emergency lights came on bathing the rooms and hallways in red light. Soldiers ran thru the hallways trying to organize themselves with their units and the scientists and other civilians scattered thru the base looked around in fear…

… As ADAM sent an overload to the circuit controlling the doors that kept the demons locked away, the door to every cell with a demon in it…opened.

For the first time in their lives, the different demons worked together, for now they all had just one goal…to kill every human for what they had done.

Whether the scientists and soldiers ran or hid or prayed or fought, in the end it didn't matter… their vaunted superiority over the ‘animals’ gone, along with most of their weapons…the humans never had a chance. When it was over, the Initiative was no more, destroyed by the teeth and claws of those they had regarded as no more than vermin.

And while the humans fought for their lives, ADAM watched and listened and learned…

Chapter 6

Title: Caught in the Crossfire

Chapter Five:
Caught in the Crossfire

Joyce was startled out of her sleep by the door slamming below. [Hmmm? Buffy? What's going on?] Joyce thought; her mind still slightly muddled by sleep.

Getting out of bed Joyce pulled on her robe and walked out of the bedroom and down the hallway. “Buffy is that you?” Joyce called out and as she reached the stairs she saw the lights on downstairs in the living room. As she headed towards the living room Joyce saw a young woman with her back to her kneeling by the couch. “Excuse me!!! What do you think you’re…?”
The words froze in Joyce's throat as she saw Buffy lying on the couch bleeding and unconscious.

Faith ignored the footsteps she heard from the stairs, worrying more about Buffy's broken ribs and whatever it was that knocked her out.
“Mrs. S, call Giles and tell him to get over here!”

Faith took out a small knife and cut the remains of Buffy's burnt and cut shirt off to give her better access to her ribs. Opening her bag, Faith pulled out bandages for the cut and to wrap Buffy's ribs. When Faith didn't hear Mrs. S moving, she stood up and whirled around, “Mrs. S! Joyce!!!” Faith yelled, trying to get Joyce's attention, “Joyce, look at me. Go and call Giles now, tell him to get his friggin' tweedy butt over her now cause Buffy's hurt, k?”
Faith saw Joyce nod and move towards the phone, satisfied she went back to tending to the injuries she could see.


Giles heard the phone ringing and finally reached over to answer it. “Yes??” Giles asked sleepily.

“Giles, it's Joyce.” Giles eyes popped open. “It's Buffy, she's hurt and Faith is here and she said…”

Giles interrupted Joyce's frightened babble. “Joyce, calm down. Buffy will be fine and I'll be there in 5 minutes. Ok?”

Joyce's quiet voice answered, “Ok.”

Ten minutes later Giles walked into the Summers' home and saw Buffy lying on the couch and Faith tending to her. Joyce ran over to Giles and he held her as Joyce clung to him.

“Joyce dear, it'll be okay. Let me go take a look at Buffy.” Giles cupped Joyce's cheek, “Buffy will be fine Joyce; she's the Slayer.” Giles walked over and saw the wrap on Buffy's ribs and the bandage on her stomach, “Was that all Faith?” he asked.

Looking up Faith masked her concern quickly; “Yeah, the cut and her ribs were it except for those burn marks on her clothes and body. Any ideas what she run into G-man?”

Giles kneeled down and checked Buffy's eyes, noting their slow reaction to the light and her ragged pulse. “Damn!” Giles whispered. “She seems to be suffering from shock. Those are electrical burns on her…most likely she was ambushed by the Initiative…again!”

“Again?” Both Faith and Joyce asked at the same time.

Sighing, “Yes, again. Buffy ran into some problems last night with the Initiative. It seems they've changed their minds about her and tried taking her in.” Giles took off his glasses and started cleaning them.

Anger raced thru Faith, “Why the FUCK didn't you send backup with Buffy then? Christ G-Man!!! You knew they were after her and you didn't do anything??” Faith yelled as she started to pace back and forth.

Joyce kept silent, no less angry than Faith, but she'd have a few 'words' with Giles privately.

“There was nothing we could do. The rest knew about the attack and we felt they would back off before trying again.” Giles replied patiently.

“Well look at what you thought now!!” Faith started to yell again. “Buffy's…”

“And yelling at me won't do anything Faith!” Giles replied angrily. Fear for his Slayer and his own anger at the attack overriding his British reserve.

“All we can do for now is watch her and let her Slayer healing fix the damage from the tazer rifles. We'll keep a watch on her in shifts. I'll…”

“No!” Faith replied quickly cutting Giles off. “I'll watch her Giles,” and Faith stalked off over to Buffy and sat down on the floor next to the couch.

Joyce raised one eyebrow, “Good. Then we can talk…won't we ‘Rupert’.” With that Joyce walked upstairs for the bedroom leaving Giles alone.

[Bloody lovely] Giles thought as he headed up the stairs expecting a few choice words from Joyce. As he turned Giles missed seeing Faith tenderly trace her fingers over Buffy's face or the fear on Faith's features as she looked down at Buffy.


Gabrielle stopped as she saw the sun break over the horizon and shaded her eyes with her hand.

Quietly she glided into their lair, a house that was no longer needed by its owners and soundlessly walked up the stairs towards her lovers bedroom. As she stood in the doorway Gabrielle saw Xena sleeping soundly on the bed. Moving as quietly as a gentle breeze, Gabrielle slowly crept towards the brunette lying so still, [this time I'll surprise her!!] Gabrielle thought.
Just as she started to lean over her lover, Gabrielle squeaked in surprise as she felt her love’s hands tickle her. Before she could blink Gabrielle found herself held flat on her back looking up into Xena’s laughing blue eyes as she straddled the blonde bard, before the warrior captured her lips in a gentle kiss. Frowning Gabrielle looked up at her mate “You know Xe, I STILL can’t figure out how you do that to me after all these centuries!”

Xena's face quirked into a grin “I have many talents.” She proudly announced as she stroked the blonde’s hair; Gabrielle purred at the caress [I’m one of the luckiest beings on the planet.]

The warrior asked, “How'd everything go tonight, any problems?”

Gabrielle's face went serious; “It went well until The Slayer ran into that reject from a Frankenstein movie. She went all out on that thing and she didn’t even put one dent in it. She’s even stronger and faster than you were when you were Mortal, and that thing just shrugged it all off.”

The warrior frowned, “Maybe I was wrong then about her...”

The bard shook her head, “You weren’t wrong. She just can’t do it all by herself, she’s going to need her friends if she's going to defeat it. I’ve Seen it, if she tries to face the monster alone, she’ll die. Only if she has her friends help her can she win.”

“So what happened then? Was the Slayer hurt?”

“It got in a few blows before those soldiers showed up again, out for her blood. Mix and match disappeared, and those rifles the commandos were using hurt her, but only after she took out three of them. I took out the other two soldiers and dropped her off at her house, but that's now what was interesting Xe...”

“Oh?” Xena asked as one eyebrow went up.

“There other Slayer was there; dark hair, tall...very cute.” [I wonder what she'd look like...] “Hmmm, did you say something?” Gabrielle asked when she saw her lover staring at her waiting for an answer.

“I asked if the other ‘cute’ Slayer saw you?”

“Oh, no. I made sure of that. But she does seem to be attracted to your Slayer, though.”

Xena thought about what Gabrielle said, “That is news. Was the Slayer ok though?”

“Yes, maybe a broken rib, and a cut. She should heal in a day or so I'd think.”

“Good, good…” Xena then looked thoughtfully at the bard beneath her, “So how do you know that from just seeing this other Slayer once that she likes my Slayer?” When Gabrielle didn't respond, “Ahh yes, your vaunted “love match” ability again?” Xe teased Gabrielle.

“Ha! Ha! Ha! You know I'm always right about these things. We bards have that talent you know.” Gabrielle answered haughtily, before sticking her tongue out at Xena, who laughed at her lover’s face, before becoming serious again.

“But will she accept the ‘gift’ when it's time Gabrielle? That's what worries me, if she doesn't...” Xena’s question trailed off as Gabrielle reached up and put her forefinger on the warrior’s lips, hushing her. “All will happen as it is meant to or not, Xe.”

“And you're...”

“Yes. You don’t have to ask love, just let the things run their course,” Gabrielle replied as she kissed Xena hungrily, rendering any more conversation unnecessary for some time.


Back in the Initiative Complex, ADAM reviewed what he had seen last night, to wring as much intelligence from it as he could.


ADAM activated his radar as the smoke obscured his normal vision.

Moving back he placed some distance between himself and the incoming commando squad.

Interesting odds, radar shows there are 6 of them, all closing in on the Slayer. Let's see what she does.

ADAM watched as the Slayer took out 3 of the commandos quite efficiently, but the other 2 are still combat effective.

Suddenly the sixth entity on ADAM’s radar launched itself, not at the Slayer, but at the two surviving commandos, destroying them with a terrible speed and efficiency. ADAM watched as the creature picked up the fallen Slayer and disappeared into the night.


Initiative Complex
2 Hours Later….

ADAM spoke softly to himself, “Targeting the Slayer directly would not distract her. However if one of her ‘friends’ were killed, projections show a 92% probability of success at eliminating the Slayer.”

ADAM turned back to the console as he downloaded the information and picture into Hostile 225's target files. When he was done, he opened the enormous steel door to allow the beast within to begin its hunt. As it walked out of the complex ADAM’s lips twitched in a pitiful attempt to smile.

“Very good then. Very shortly the Slayer will no longer be concerned about what I might be doing, as Hunter 001 will have given her good reason to focus on her family and friends. By the time she finds a way to deal with him, it will be much too late to stop me.”


That night, Joyce stepped out of the food court and headed towards the exit. Her steps quickly brought her to her car, which was parked close to the mall’s entrance.

As she fished them out of her purse, her keys slipped from her hand. As she bent down to grab them, Joyce felt burning agony as something tore her back open. Screaming in pain, she dropped flat to the ground, in an instinctive attempt to escape whatever was attacking her.

She scrambled under the car next to her and she saw two large furry feet standing next to her car. She nearly screamed again as she watched the creature pick up her car and throw it across the parking lot, crushing several cars.

She froze as still as a mouse watching a snake, [oh my god oh my god oh my god] were Joyce’s only thoughts as she watched the beast start towards her hiding place.

Then Joyce heard screeching tires and police sirens coming closer. Closing her eyes, she heard something snarl and gunshots as an off duty cop pulled out his service revolver and opened fire.

She closed her eyes hearing the screams of the police trying to stop the rampaging horror, shooting it at point blank range as it charged into their midst and began tearing them apart.

She jumped as a hand touched her shoulder; when she looked up she saw a young woman kneeling on the ground beside the car she was under, looking at her.

“Let’s get you out of here before tall, dark, and furry gets back.” the young blonde said to her.

The woman moved her hand and held it in front of Joyce; hesitantly she put her hand in the blondes as she heard even more gunfire and screams.

The blonde stood only about 5' tall, but Joyce felt safe with her near.

“O-o-okay, now what?” Joyce asked as the wounds on her back began to burn.

The blonde smiled at her disarmingly, “Now we get you to the hospital. Now hold on to me and stay low. Okay?”

“Okay,” Joyce answered nervously. Looking at the blonde, Joyce suddenly realized who the blonde was when she heard a loud snarl and before she thought about it, she looked around catching a glimpse of her attacker for the first and last time, as the enraged beast hurled itself at her, it’s bloody jaws and claws reaching for her.

[It looks like a werewolf…] was her last thought before she fainted.

Gabrielle tossed Mrs. Summer’s limp form at the Bacchae that had accompanied her, an instant before she hurled her smaller frame at the snarling monster trying to tear The Slayer’s mother to bloody ribbons. An instant before she hit the beast, she shifted to her true form. After a short but savage exchange of blows, she sent her larger foe flying, putting it through the windshield of a truck.

“Nuh uh-uh!” Gabrielle said as she waved her finger at it. “Naughty puppy. We don't eat MY friends for dinner.”

“Sharra, get the woman to a hospital, before she bleeds to death. I’ll take care of fang-boy here.” Gabrielle said over her shoulder as she watched the enraged creature literally dismantle the vehicle in its efforts to get free. Sharra nodded reluctant acceptance of her Elder’s orders, before moving at her best speed to carry out her task.

Once free, instead of continuing the battle, it began to sniff the air. [Oh, no you don’t] the blonde Bacchae thought as she charged the monster [No snacking on Joyce on MY watch!]

As soon as it spotted her move, it snarled and leaped, eager to dispatch the pale creature that dared come between it and its prey. And the battle began in earnest.

Gabrielle found herself forced to fight a hit and run battle, as her foe seemed invulnerable to all but the most powerful blows, while having strength enough to make any mistake she made fatal.

As the creature tripped her Gabrielle pulled her legs up and in front of the creature launching it into the air and slamming into a fuel truck. The creature stood up and roared its anger and pain before picking up a pickup truck and throwing it at her.

Gabrielle jumped and flew to her left, easily dodging the car and letting it crash behind her.

As she landed, she looked up in time to see the next blow coming, but not soon enough to avoid it. The strike blasted the breath from her lungs, as the power behind the strike sent her flying for at least thirty feet.

She rolled to one side, even as it’s clawed foot slammed down on the pavement she'd landed on, hard enough to crack it [Damn, it's quick!]

She slashed at it, continuing her hit and run tactics, trying to wear it down. But nothing she did seemed to really slow it [Damn thing acts like it doesn't care whether it lives or not, just as long as it can kill its target!]

As Gabrielle dodged one of its swipes, her foot hit a spot of the beast's blood, causing her to slip. As she caught herself, she felt rather than saw the next blow coming.

Unable to move fast enough to avoid the strike, the blow sends her through the outer wall of the Sunnydale Mall, half burying her in bricks. As she starts to claw her way out of the debris, she looks up just in time to see the werewolf throw a medium-sized van at her. [This one is going to hurt when it hits.]

For a long moment, the beast stands ready, waiting for the pale creature to rise and attack again. When it doesn't return, it howls in triumph before renewing the hunt for its primary objective.

Continued in Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Title: Sleeping Visions, Living Nightmares

[Author's notes: Now some fun starts! [evil grin]

[ ] - thoughts]

Chapter Six:
Sleeping Visions, Living Nightmares

Buffy’s Dreamscape

Buffy found herself standing in a long, dark and dank corridor. There is no light behind her and in front of her she can only see very dimly. [Well it's not like I've a huge amount of choices here. So forward it is then.] With a shrug of her shoulders she starts waking forward. Gradually the light ahead grows brighter, until she reaches the end of the corridor and she finds herself standing outside of a crypt.

The sky was gray and dismal and Buffy feels a light drizzle coming down. As she walks forward she sees a group of people standing together and heads over towards them. As she reaches them she blinks in surprise, as the people were gone and she was standing alone in a graveyard. There were 5 new graves in front of her; a chill swept thru her that had nothing to do with the cold weather.

Looking at the first grave Buffy read the headstone:

Anya Smythe
Born - unknown. Died - Dec 31, 2001

Buffy moved to the second and third headstones, which were next to each other:

Willow Rosenberg
Born - Sept 21, 1983 Died - Dec 30, 2001
Wicca and Loving Partner of Tara Maclay

Tara Maclay
Born - August 15, 1983 Died - Dec. 30, 2001
Fellow Wicca and Loving Partner of Willow Rosenberg

Tears pour down her face as she falls to her knees and wraps her arms around herself in a hug. [Oh my god no!!!!! How did I fail you and Tara?]? Buffy brought her tears under control and stood up sniffling. [Is this what will happen?]

“Of course it is Slayer, or rather, what will be” came a soft contralto voice from behind. Slowly the surroundings changed and Buffy was standing in a desert. She could see scrub bushes and cacti around her and hills of sand.

Turning around Buffy saw the tall, dark-haired woman from her dream before. “Who are you? Why are you here?”

The woman replied, “To show you what will be if you turn from the path Destiny has set before you.”

Anger burned thru Buffy, “What do you mean? Talk English Damnit!!” Buffy yells.

The woman's hand shot out and slaps Buffy, the blow knocking her back a step and splitting her lip. Spitting out some blood, Buffy wipes her chin with the back of her hand. “Fine then, let's dance!”

Buffy launches a series of kick and punch combinations at the woman who calmly blocked all of Buffy's attacks, but makes no attempt to attack her.

Finally Buffy stopped attacking her, “What is it that you want? Who are you?”

The woman smiles for the first time, “Finally. I'm not here to hurt or attack you Slayer. I'm here to warn you. What you saw before and the emptiness you see now are but one path that depends on the things you will do. There will come a time when someone asks you a question. When that time comes you must give the right answer, or what you see now will in fact become what will be what comes to pass.”

Buffy frowns in confusion at the woman's words.

“All things in life have a price Slayer, the question you must answer is are you willing to pay that price no matter what…Are you willing to sacrifice everything to protect your friends and family Elizabeth Summers?” Raising a hand to forestall the Slayer from speaking. “No, don't answer that now. But carefully consider what you ‘will’ say, when you meet the one who I appear to be. Choose wisely the answer you give her, for your answer will save or damn all you care for…”

Slowly the desert darkened and the woman fades from her sight…


The next sound Buffy heard was Willow's voice calling her name, “Buffy? Can you hear me?” Opening her eyes she saw Willow looking down at her with a worried look on her face. As she tried to move she experienced a searing pain in her left side, even as the rest of her body felt like it had been used for drum practice. “Ughh! What's up Willow?” Buffy asked as she cracked a tired smile.

Looking around Buffy saw Tara and Giles were also in the hospital room. “Hey, how did I end up in the hospital, Will? Last thing I remember I was fighting some more commandos.”

The door opened up and in walked Faith, “Faith? What's going on?” Buffy asked.

“I found you at your door looking like shit B.” Faith walked over and started to reach over towards Buffy's face. Catching herself she pulled her hand back as if she'd been bitten.

“How did I get there? When I passed out I was in the Rosefield Cemetery, and that’s halfway across town from home!”

“Don’t know how you got there then B, but you was on the front porch when I found you. I thought I was gonna have a heart attack when I seen it was you, at least until I saw you were still breathing.”

Buffy had just opened her mouth to ask Faith why she had come, when Xander practically broke the door down getting in.

“Giles…Buffy's mom…hospital.” He managed to get out as he tried desperately to catch his breath.

Buffy shot up out of the bed, ignoring the pain in her side and was over by Xander in a heartbeat, “Xand, what are you talking about?” Buffy said urgently, the icy claws of fear closing around her heart.

Xander took a deep drink of water from the cup Willow had hurriedly handed him, “Buff, your mom got attacked by something at the Mall. Cops tried to stop it, and they got slaughtered…”

“What was it Xander? Did you see it?”

He shook his head tiredly, “No, but from what I heard it looked like a werewolf, like from the movies. Not anything like Oz though.”

Buffy quickly stalked on over to the closet and started pulling out her ruined clothes, her mind already on where to start looking for the creature that dared attack her mom.

Faith saw B pulling out her bloody clothes and started pulling them on as Xander was ushered out of the room by Giles.

“B, you can’t just go half-cocked after this thing…”

Buffy replied as she pulled on her pants, “Yes I can! I'll grab some clothes at home…Look Faith I'm not going to go after whatever this thing was by myself, I promise. But I need you to stay here in case that thing comes after anyone else.” While she was tying her shoelaces, she looked over at the witches.

“Willow, can you and Tara cast a spell to make Mom disappear? If that thing has a way of tracking her I want to block it so that she's invisible.”

“Well there's nothing specific that can do that…” Willow started.

Tara put her hand on Willow’s arm, “We might be able to make Mrs. Summers aura disappear. I read about it in that book I found last week…”

“Okay, good. You two do that and I'll go get some clothes from home. Faith keep an eye on everyone till I get back.” With that settled, Buffy walked out of the hospital room and out the building.

Faith turned to Willow and Tara the minute she knew Buffy was outside the building. “Red, if that thing is like a werewolf, it might track her by scent.”

Willow replied as she began setting up the spell, “That’s right, so what’s your point?”

“Well, if it can’t track her here because you’re blocking it from finding her here, what happens if it follows the trail back to where she HAD been?”

Willow’s face turned white as she realized what the dark Slayer was getting at, “It’ll follow her trail all the way back home!”

“Which is where B’s going!” Faith turned and ran out the door, and down the crowded corridor like all the demons of Hell were snapping at her heels.

Ignoring the elevator, she tore her way down the stairs, taking the steps down four at a time; determined to reach the blonde Slayer before the beast could. [Not going to lose you B, if I have to kill myself to do it, you’re gonna be around to dance on that bastard’s grave!]


Xena ran as fast as possible toward the Sunnydale Mall, she peripherally noted Sharra was just behind her. [Damn her and her stubborn streak! She should have just gotten out of there as soon as the Slayer's Mom was safe. But nooooo! Not Gabrielle!!!] Xena thought angrily. Although she was less angry then frightened for her lover and the thought of losing her spurred her on even faster.

Slowing down, the warrior saw a multitude of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances in the parking lot, which was now cordoned off. Looking to her right, she asked the assassin, “Sharra, where did you see Gabrielle and her opponent last?”

Sharra pointed to a collapsed section of the Mall where a van was buried under a section of the building that had collapsed.

Xena ran past the EMT's, the firemen seeing nothing but a brief blur. Grabbing the van, the warrior pulled on it and slowly started pulling it back, while Sharra grabbed the larger pieces of masonry and steel and threw them to the side. With one great pull Xena ripped the van out and threw it.

“Gabrielle! Gabrielle!! Can you hear me?!?”

Some of the metal and bricks shifted and the warriors moved there grabbing rubble and throwing it aside. They had the rubble cleared out in short order. Moving a final large I-beam she found the bard lying underneath. “Gabrielle!” Xena called out as she fell to her knees next to her love.

As she was running her hands carefully over Gabrielle she suddenly saw her take a large breath and start breathing.

Gabrielle's eyes shot open as she painfully sat up, and was pulled into a tight hug in Xena's arms. “I missed you too Xe,” Gabrielle croaked. “Is her mom safe?”

Sharra knelt next to the Elder, “Yes Mistress, she was taken into the hospital and treated.”

The bard replied with faint smile, “Good.”

“What did this Gabrielle?” Xena asked

“I’m not sure. It looked like a really big werewolf with a forest-sized chip on its shoulder.”

Xena frowned, “Yes, but we've fought werewolves before Gabrielle…”

“Yeah, but they were nothing like this thing. I went after this one with everything I had, and barely scratched the bastard. Not to mention it was very particular in its prey.”

The blue-eyed warrior frowned, “How so?”

Gabrielle said grimly, “because it went past a dozen others a lot closer to it to get to her. It wasn’t after food, it was out for her blood, and hers only.”

“Let’s get you back home so you can rest,” Xena started.

“No! You have to go after this thing before it- ”

Xena gently stood up with the bard in her arms, “Oh I plan on it; but first we need to get you back to the lair so you can rest, and I’ll need some things I left back at the house.”

Gabrielle leaned back into her mate’s arms and closed her eyes as her love carried her home…


Buffy heard the soft footsteps of someone following her. Changing her pace from a walk to a quick trot Buffy pulled ahead and jumped up into some trees. Quietly she waited for the person or thing following her to appear and walk beneath her.

Faith watched as Buffy turned the corner and followed after her. [Damnit B!! You aren't even paying attention to anything!!]

As she hurried after Buffy, Faith passed under several trees when a heavy weight slammed into her back and knocked her down pinning her to the sidewalk on her stomach.

The dark Slayer exclaimed, “What the…” at the same time Buffy demanded, “Who are…”

When the blonde Slayer realized who she had under her she exploded, “Faith, what hell are you doing here?”

As her attacker got up she replied, “I'm watching your ass,” [and a nice ass it is too!!]

Buffy huffed before starting to walk again, “What I need is for you to guard my mom Faith!!”

Faith reached over and grabbed Buffy's arm, “What you need to do Buffy is concentrate on what's going on!! Your mom is safe, Will and Tara are casting a spell to keep the WEREWOLF from finding her, but you're not thinking.”

“Yes I am Faith,” Buffy answered as she unlocked the back door to the house and walked inside.

“It's a werewolf Buffy, they track by scent and where do you think its gonna go if it can't find your mom?? It's gonna go where the scent is fresh, damnit!!!”

As she walked out of the kitchen Buffy grabbed the cordless phone and dialed Sunnydale Regional Hospital. “Yes, Operator can you page Willow Rosenberg please? Actually I'm her sister Buffy. Yes that's Buffy Rosenberg Operator!” Buffy answered trying to keep the anger out of her voice.

Faith walked in just in time to hear the last part of the conversation; looking at the petite blonde with one eyebrow raised she mouthed to Buffy, “There something you want to tell me B?” and tried not to giggle as the Slayer on the phone gave her the finger.

“Willow… hey!!” Buffy started to say as Faith moved past her into the short hallway that leads to the living room.

Faith felt her Slayer sense go haywire as she brushed past Buffy. Looking around the living room Faith didn't see anything out of place. [Probably just my imagination I guess.] Faith thought as she dismissed the feeling

Buffy walked past Faith talking on the phone and stopped suddenly, just short of the staircase as the door exploded showering them with a storm of splinters and pieces of wood that had once been a door made out of solid oak.

The two Slayers stopped and stared in startled shock at the massive creature standing in the doorway …

Continued in Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Title: Slayer vs. Hunter

[Author's notes:

Well this chapter's got some action for those of you who are getting al little bit impatient for *something* to happen <g>.

[  ] - thoughts


Chapter Seven:
Slayer vs. Hunter

For a long moment it seemed as if the world stood still, as the Chosen Two stared at the eight-foot tall plus werewolf that glared back at them, standing in the ruins of what had been a solid oak door. Buffy still held the phone and could hear Willow frantically yelling what was happening; Buffy could hear the panic in her best friend’s voice as she got no answer. Faith stood between Buffy and the staircase, glaring back at the monster that had tried to kill the woman she had come to regard as a mother, the steel determination to kill her foe or die in the attempt readily apparent. For several moments nothing happened and then all hell broke loose…


Buffy was just starting to move as the beast hurled itself straight at her, moving in a blur of frenzied motion. But as fast as it moved Faith was faster, catching it mid-lunge with a powerful kick under its chin that snapped its head back before it covered more than half the distance to its intended prey.


As it turned to face its first attacker, Buffy tore into it with a furious combination of kicks and punches that actually drove it backwards. But blinded by her rage at the earlier actions of the creature before her, Buffy failed to react in time to avoid the backhand blow that sent her flying across the room, to land in a heap by the dangling phone.


The werewolf started towards the dazed Slayer, only to have Faith come boring in from the side with a silver dagger she pulled from her belt. The dark Slayer didn’t try for a deathblow, realizing instinctively that it would likely live long enough to shred her to bloody ribbons even if she managed a killing strike.


Seeing her coming at the last moment, it spun to meet her charge, its clawed hands snapping out in an attempt to catch her shoulders. She tumbled forward under the swing of its razor-sharp claws, as she rolled past it she slashed her weapon across its thigh.


Howling its fury the werewolf turned and slashed down, missing Faith by an inch as she rolled to her feet just out of reach. Hearing movement from where Buffy was, it turned around just in time for the telephone table to smash directly into its face. Staggering back a step from the power behind the blow, it grabbed at the table and pulling it out of the Slayers hands before it hit the ground. As Faith lunged at its side, the werewolf catches her in mid-strike, using the small table like a baseball bat. The force behind the blow sent the dark Slayer flying across the living room and through the kitchen doorway.


As the werewolf threw the ruined table down, Buffy hurled herself at it. Catching the creature by surprise, the force of her tackle sent them onto the coffee table, which shattered under their combined weight.   


Faith staggered back to her feet and ran back into the living room just in time to see the werewolf throw Buffy away from itself, one of the legs from the destroyed coffee table protruding from its stomach, where the blonde Slayer had stabbed it.


As the monstrous juggernaut plucked the impromptu stake from its stomach with a savage jerk, Faith slammed her dagger home in its back in a near perfect heart strike, only to have her arm go numb as her dagger strike something harder than bone, [What the FU…]


With an enraged howl, the werewolf spun around so fast Faith felt her hold slip and leave the dagger in its’ back. Off balance, Faith could see the next blow coming but not in time to avoid it. [Shit!] was Faith’s thought as she saw the claws spring out of the werewolf’s hand.


As Buffy struggled to her feet, blood streaming from the claw marks on her arms and upper body, she looked up in time as the werewolf’s powerful strike hit Faith in the stomach with its claws. 


“FAITH!” Buffy yells even as her heart seems to stop as she watches the creature jerk the hand in the dark Slayer and sending her flying through the living room window and onto the front lawn amid a shower of broken grass.


The Slayer snarled, all pain forgotten as cold rage takes its place. Hearing her, the werewolf turned in time to meet her charge.


The battle escalated into a scene of pure savagery, with both the Slayer and her enemy matching each other snarl for snarl, blow for blow. Even without a weapon capable of hurting it, Buffy held her own by sheer speed and inhuman ferocity. But the Werewolf withstood the worst she could throw at it, clawing its way forward by sheer demonic fury, driven to destroy its designated target no matter what the cost to itself.


The Slayer snarled her fury, watching the creature daring to face her. 


The werewolf watched her warily, hatred and grudging respect in its gaze. Its prey was at least as dangerous as the other pale one, maybe more. But it didn’t matter to the monster. All it cared about was destroying its target. With a howl it redoubled its already furious attack.




Xena arrived at the home of the Slayer in time to see a young woman fly out the front window and land in a boneless heap.


Bending down Xena turned the dark haired woman onto her back and saw a pool of blood by her stomach. Ripping the cloth away Xena grimaced as she saw the severe nature of the wound to the woman's stomach. Pulling her jacket off Xena bunched it up and pushed it into the wound to try and staunch the bleeding. [Not much more I can do for her right now. She'll either live or die by her own will.]


She looked just over the windowsill to determine the situation and froze in surprise at what she saw. Xena watched as both combatants moved with such speed that to the Mortal eye would be nothing more than a blur.


The warrior was astonished at the sheer ferocity of the Slayer’s assault, forcing the massive beast she was fighting to give ground. [By the gods, she’s good. Better than I was at that age for certain.]

She watched the Slayer stagger and drop to one knee as the werewolf slashed her leg open. As the warrior tensed, ready to intervene when she saw the Slayer snatch up a short African spear that had fallen from the wall, and as the creature leaped at her with a howl she lunged forward, burying the spear deep into its stomach.

As it’s howl of triumph turned into a scream of pain, Xena watched the Slayer grab a large, broken piece of timber and try to press her attack by stabbing the werewolf with it. The beast slapped the timber out of the Slayer's hands and leapt forward its claws extended and saliva dripping from its fangs. Xena winced with involuntary sympathy for the werewolf as she watched the Slayer fall down just beneath the claws and kick straight up, slamming the monster into the ceiling with astonishing power. [In all these centuries, I’ve never seen a Slayer THIS strong.]

As the beast came crashing to the floor on its stomach in a shower of plaster and wood, Xena watched Buffy leap on the werewolf's back and rip the silver dagger out of its back. Blood flying everywhere, roaring in pain the creature threw itself backwards into a wall to get rid of her hard enough to shake the house, as Buffy buried the dagger to its hilt deep in its side.


As the werewolf threw itself backwards into a different wall, Xe watched as the Slayer pulled the dagger free and try to slit the monster’s throat. [Go for the jugular Slayer...]


As if it knew the blow was coming, the werewolf bent sharply forward, taking a minor slash to its face but causing the Slayer to drop the dagger and slide forwards off its back. As Buffy lost her grip and fell off, one hand shot out and she gouged out its right eye. 

Her hand splattered with the blood from the beast’s destroyed eye, Xena saw the werewolf catch Buffy by her left arm. With a roar of pain and hatred the creature hurled the Slayer through the wall Xena was next to and out into the front yard.


As she watched the Slayer try to stand up and meet the creature jumping through the hole the Slayer had made going out, Xena silently stood up with an evil grin, [I’ve seen enough. Gabrielle needs a new coat, and I think she’d like one made of wolf-skin.]




Buffy struggled to her knees and spit out a mouthful of blood into the grass. A loud crash and roar announced the werewolf's entrance [or is it exit?] Buffy thought sluggishly. A glance to her left showed Faith lying unconscious in the grass, with that Buffy fought to stand up. A jabbing pain in her side stood out from the rest of the pain she felt at that moment. [I'm not giving up to...this...thing!]

Buffy watched as the monster stalked towards her slowly. Using all her will Buffy pushed the pain aside into that small place she had created years ago. “Come on, Furball! Come and get it!!”


Buffy watched as the werewolf charged her and she had that sudden odd moment where everything seemed to slow and pause. Ducking under the monster’s claws Buffy rolled past and her foot snapped out at the werewolf's knee. There was a sharp 'SNAP' as she heard the bone crunch and the beast fell but not before it reached out and slapped her with its fist throwing her back 10 feet.

Coughing Buffy spit up blood onto her shirt as she sat up unable to move. She felt her body going numb from shock. [What does it take to kill this thing???]


Buffy watched the werewolf crouch, preparing to spring.


Its wounds were irrelevant for the prey was down at last. One more strike and it could feed. With a howl of triumph and hunger it lunged for the kill.


Buffy watched the werewolf's claw swing towards her head, and closed her eyes, unable to watch [I'm sorry Faith, mom. I've failed you, just like I knew I'd fail someday...Forgive me!] There was a sudden scream of pain from the creature. Opening her eyes, Buffy saw a tall dark-haired woman fighting the furious monster. [What the…?]

Buffy watched in shock as the woman easily dodged the werewolf's attacks and shattered its one arm.

[One arm? Huh?] Buffy looked and saw the werewolf's right arm lying in the street, severed at the elbow.


The creature swung desperately at the woman with its shattered arm, trying to kill what dared get in between it and its rightful prey.


 Buffy watched the woman leap over its head, landing behind it with the ease of an acrobat. Before it could react Buffy saw the woman grab the werewolf's head and snap it's neck like dry kindling. As she stepped back, the werewolf collapsed at her feet. As it fought to rise and continue the fight, she whipped the sword she held high, before plunging it into the crippled monster’s back. Gleaming silver flashed as it slashed down; so powerful was the blow that it tore its way through muscle and bone, and punched thru the armour protecting its chest. A second push and the sword severed the creature’s heart stopping it forever.

Buffy watched as the warrior pulled her sword free, and then started walking towards her. As she looked up and saw the tall woman’s blue eyes, Buffy had the nagging feeling she had seen her before. Coughing weakly, she barely felt the strength to spit the blood out of her mouth, managing only to drool it onto her shirt. [And I 'liked' this shirt too!] Looking up as she fell to the side Buffy saw the woman kneel down next to her. She could 'see' the woman was saying something, but all she could hear was a loud ringing in her ears. It was then she realized why the woman was looked so familiar [Hey, she’s the one from my dream....] it was her last thought as she passed out.


End Chapter Seven

Chapter 9

Title: Chapter 9: Bitter Revelations

[Author's notes: None now. Anything you want to know go back to Chapter 1. If there are any warnings we'll let you know :)]

Chapter 9: Bitter Revelations

Chapter 9

Bitter Revelations

Giles' Townhouse

3 Days Later…

Giles looked at the gathered group of children in his living room. [No, not children. Not anymore. They're all adults now, but even still today will be hard for them once they learn about Oz...]

“I’m sure you’re wondering why I've called a meeting while Buffy and Faith are still in the hospital. We’ve found some information that has not been nor will it be released to the Police or the public beyond those in this group. As some of you know, the creature that attacked Faith and Buffy was found dead at the house. What you may not know is that the creature was in fact, Oz.” Giles raised his hands to calm Willow’s outcry for answers.

ut that thing that attacked Buffy and Faith didn’t look anything like Oz when he turned into a werewolf! And...and it’s weeks till the next full moon!! No! That was not Oz, you’re wrong Giles!” Willow said angrily.

Xander turned to face his friend and spoke up, “Will, I saw the body at the house. It was Oz. Something must have happened to him...”

“Something did happen to him Xander, the question is what though. Our only clue are two tattoos on his left arm; one was the Greek symbol for OMEGA and the other looked like a serial number,”

Willow leapt up, anger darkening her features, her green eyes flashing. “What are you saying Giles?!? That he was experimented on??? That we has some sort of freakin’ LAB EXPERIMENT??!!??” Willow yelled as tears fell down her face.

Tara had come up behind Willow and now put her arms around her waist and pulled her close, holding her.

The front door burst inwards and a smoking figure burst into the room coughing as it threw the smoldering blanket off of it and onto the floor where smoke continued to rise from it. The blanket gone, the figure was revealed. “That’s actually right Red,” said a voice with a British accent. “He was a lab experiment, just like I was.” Spike answered.

Giles walked over and looked closely at the tattoo for several seconds. “It does appear to be similar, however you only have one. Why would Oz have a second tattoo?”

Spike pulled out a cigarette and lit it, “From what I heard while I was there, he may have been put into one of their special programs. Don’t know much about them though. Just glad to be out of there!!” Spike took a long drag on his cigarette and let the smoke out slowly.

Rage flooded Willow as she heard what Spike was telling them, “I’ll kill them. No, I won’t kill them, I’ll let Buffy do that! I’ll just torture them to death.” Willow murmured.

“Before you go and hunt them down Little Tree, you might want to see this...” Spike said as he pulled out a wallet and tossed it to Willow. “You see Buffy’s little boy-toy, Riley, was one of them. The Initiative boys club and all that.”

Willow opened the wallet and found a military ID as well as a blank, white keycard with a magnetic strip. Pulling both out Willow slid them into her pants pocket. Seeing nothing else of interest except for a folded piece of paper Willow pocketed it and tossed the wallet on the ground.

Taking another long drag on his cigarette Spike finished it. Looking around he didn’t see any ashtrays and put the cigarette out on the bottom of his shoe, pocketing the stub. “Well there’s also this Red; a) Riley called in for help and b) you've got other problems, like that their little Frankenstein monster got away and is the one that sent something to kill Buffy.”

“What are you talking about Spike?” Giles asked. “What Frankenstein monster? Are you saying the Initiative didn’t send Oz after Joyce and Buffy to kill them?”

Spike raised his hands up, “Hey old chap. I’m not saying they didn’t want the Slayer. Just that they didn’t send that “thing” after her. Besides, a bodies got to eat you know and fresh kittens aren’t cheap!!”

Ripper grabbed Spike and slammed him into the wall several times, stunning the bleach-blond vampire. “Now is not the time to be playing games with me Spike! Tell me what you know or I will turn you into a dusty memory right now!”

“HEY!! Ease off the clothing guv’ner. Okay fine! Just relax your tweedy self already!” Spike replied more worried than he'd let on. “All I know is that something happened and their little monster get set loose. Riley wanted to have something called an F.A.E dropped on us, but he got refused.”

“A WHAT!!!" Xander exclaimed. "Are you sure about that Spike? He said F.A.E.??”

“Yeah I'm sure. I can spell you know, I even went to college. Unlike some people in this room.”

Joyce looked over at Xander's worried face and spoke up for the first time, “Xander why are you so upset by that fae thing?”

“Mrs. S., a F.A.E isn’t anything you kid about. The F.A.E stands for Fuel Air Explosion and it’s basically equal to a nuclear bomb only minus the radiation. If they dropped one on Sunnydale they wouldn't even find your ashes to bury.”

Faces turned white at Xander's explanation of what it was Riley tried doing.

“Ahem yes.” Giles cleared his throat.

Walking over towards the front door Willow headed out of the living room. “Giles I have to go. I'm gonna see what I can dig up on Riley and his little tin-soldiers, I'll let you know what I found out.” Willow opened the door and headed out, Tara was only a few seconds behind her.

With Willow’s departure each of the Scoobs made their way out until only Giles and Joyce remained.

“Joyce, don't worry. We'll stop them before they can do anything to hurt Buffy.”

Joyce leaned into Giles and held him briefly, “I know, but I can’t help worrying about my little girl Rupert. How many times has she been in the hospital over some injury or another?"

“Too many, but Buffy's almost the oldest Slayer ever Joyce. She’ll get through this with our help.”

“But someday she won't though, sometime she'll wind up dead in the end.”

Giles held Joyce in his arms and stayed silent. There wasn’t anything he could say to her, because Joyce was right and someday, probably soon Buffy would be dead and there was nothing he could do.


Sunnydale Regional Hospital

Later that afternoon…

Buffy sat in the wheel chair as Anya rolled her down the hallway towards the main entrance for the hospital. “So tell me again why you’re driving me home and not Mom.”

“Simple, your mom is tied up with her Gallery exhibit and Giles is looking at becoming un-unemployed so I volunteered.” Anya answered simply.

Buffy snorted as they crossed the exit to the hospital and stopped in front of a new 2001 blue Toyota Camry.

“Time to exit Buffy. Get in the car.”

10 minutes later Buffy found herself alive and back at the 2-bedroom apartment Anya lived in with Xander.

After she saw Buffy was stretched out on the couch comfortably, Anya sat down on the far end of the couch near Buffy's feet. “So, I’m sure you've had time to think about what I told you. So do you have any questions you want to ask me?" Anya said with a serious look on her face.

“Yeah I do. Tell me about this Xena person. Why haven’t I heard of her before, she’s not in any of the books or Slayer diaries I've read.”

“She’s not the type to get talked about much. People who do, well lets just say they don't live long, fruitful lives. Hell, D’Hoffryn doesn’t even know much about her. But I do know a little.”

“Okay, so give then. What is she then?”

“Xena’s a Bacchae and as far as I know she’s been alive for over 2,000 years. She’s a very private person, as you can see. No demon would ever cross her or her mate's path unintentionally or not.”

Buffy’s face scrunched up, “What’s a bacchae?” Buffy asked.

“Oh that’s right you wouldn’t have heard of them. They’re actually a lot like vampires except for 1 major difference. A vampire loses its’ soul when the human is turned, a Bacchae doesn’t. There are a few other differences like they can shapeshift, they like sunrises and standard vamp stuff like crosses, garlic and holy water if you use them they get to make toothpicks, get bad breath and quench their thirst for water when they’re thirsty.”


Anya rolled her eyes melodramatically, “Bacchae don’t have problems with Crosses, Garlic or Holy Water Buffy. Those things bother them about as much a they would your average human, which is to say not.”

“oh...OH!!!!!” Buffy exclaimed as what Anya said finally sank in.

“Then how do you kill them then?”

“You don’t! Look Buffy, what I’m telling you now isn’t so that you can get yourself killed trying to go up against Xena or her mate Gab! You wouldn’t last 2 seconds against her. I’m trying to tell you that Bacchae aren’t like vampires. About the only thing they have in common is both need blood, but that’s where the similarities stop.”

“Okay then, what’s with this little disc thingy she left for me?”

“That’s her personal token. She’s been known to give it out only rarely and only if she’s warning you she’s on a blood debt for you or that she wants to talk to you. And the latter has only happened once before, with the Slayer I told you about in London in 1666.”

“So what am I supposed to do with this thing then? It's not like it came with an instruction manual.”

“What have I been telling you Buffy?” Anya shook her in an annoyed gesture. Pulling out a pin she grabbed Buffy’s hand, pricked it and squeezed it to make the blood well up. Then Anya took Buffy’s hand and rubbed the blood onto the Chakram. As she did so the token absorbed the blood and started to glow softly.

“Wow! Okay so what now?” Buffy asked.

“It’s a Key Buffy. Now that its activated it’ll lead you to her so you can talk.”

Buffy dragged her eyes away from the token and looked up at Anya. “I want you to tell me exactly why I couldn’t tell Giles about this and don’t tell me you don't know.”

Throwing her hands up, “I DON’T know. I doubt anyone except Xena and the Council know. I just know what happened what happened to that one Slayer who she did try to talk to...”

“Come on Anya, you have to have heard something. I can’t just walk in there blind...”

“You’re not going in blind Buffy, she’s not going to kill you. She had her chance to do that 3 days ago and instead she left this because she wanted to talk. It wasn’t Xena that killed the Slayer, it was the Council, that I do know. But if she’s going to kill you, she’ll give you fair warning first unless you go after her.”

“So are you going to go see her tonight?”

Buffy thought about her options for a minute, “I might as well hear what she has to say. It’s not like it can hurt, besides I think I’ll ask her what it is she hates about the Council. The old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

Later That Night…

Buffy moved out thru the window of the Giles' guest bedroom and onto a tree branch, hopping down she landed quietly and started walking. Pulling out the token she watched it start to glow brightly when she moved closer and dim when she headed away. [Hmmm, interesting little thing.] Reaching the outskirts of Sunnydale Buffy saw a small house down the road, pointing the token at it she watched it glow brightly. [Well I guess that's my destination.]

As she passed a small grove of trees, Buffy saw a short, slim blonde woman sitting down under one of the trees. Stopping short Buffy walked over towards her. “Hi. Do you live out here?”

The woman opened her eyes and Buffy saw she had friendly, sea-green eyes. “Yes I do. But I was actually waiting for you to arrive Buffy.”

Buffy stepped back as she heard the woman utter her name and felt herself tense.

Raising her hands, “Hey it’s okay. I'm not here to hurt you or anything. My name's Gabrielle,” she stuck her hand out towards the young Slayer.

Buffy looked at the woman and her hand for several seconds and then put her hand out to shake “Gabrielle’s” but instead Gabrielle’s hand clasped her forearm firmly and then released her.

“Come on. I’ll walk you over to the house. Xena’s just finishing dinner.”

Gabrielle felt Buffy hesitate, “Chicken, she’s having blackened chicken for dinner. What did you think I meant?”

Seeing the look of discomfort on Buffy's face Gabrielle tried to smother her laugh that just bubbled out of her.

“Oh good Gods!” Gabrielle chuckled. “Sometimes I forget, sorry.”

Buffy started walking again next to Gabrielle, the closer she got to the house the faster her heart beat. She couldn't figure out if she wanted to run or hit something she felt so nervous suddenly.

Gabrielle noticed the ashen look on the Slayer's face and mentally slapped herself forgetting to lower her Protection Wards. Quickly she drew a symbol in the air, which glowed briefly and disappeared and she felt the Wards power fade.

Buffy took a deep breath as she felt the urge to run fade away.

“Sorry about that. I forgot to lower my Protection Wards and since they're designed to keep people away, that's why you started to feel panicky.”

“Uhh, wow! Are you a Wicca then? 'Cause I know Will would love to talk to you about those.”

“No I’m not a...Wicca you called her? No. But I’m sure we’d still have quite a lot in common to talk about.”

Just then Buffy saw a tall dark-haired woman with piercing blue eyes walk out of the house. She was dressed in black jeans and a cotton, burgundy short- sleeved shirt.

Buffy felt the waves of power wash over her from this woman. “Well I'm betting you're Xena, right?” Buffy quipped.

Smiling, “Buffy, welcome. I’m glad you came. Why don’t we sit down and we can talk. I’m fairly certain you have a few questions for me.” Buffy watched as Xena walked over to three chairs that were setup off to the left and sat down gesturing her to the other chair. Buffy hesitated and saw Gabrielle walk past her and sit down in the chair next to Xena, Gabrielle’s arm now draped over Xena’s shoulders.”

[Well I'm here. In for a penny, in for a pound as Giles would say.] With that Buffy walked over and sat down in the chair across from Xena.

“Okay, so why would you want to help me, wouldn’t it be to your benefit if I’m dead?”

A dark look flew across Xena’s features and disappeared back into her friendly face. “No I’d actually prefer if you didn’t die.”

“Yeah, but you haven't told me why,” Buffy asked again.

“No I haven’t.” Xena stated slightly stiffly.

Buffy watched as Gabrielle began to gently rub circles on Xena’s back. “But I’m told your help comes at a price.”

Xena’s eyebrow raised slightly, “Yes.” she answered. “You obviously know something about me though. That’s good.” Xena said with smile.

Buffy frowned, “But you’re not going to tell me what the price is are you?” She stated more than asked.

“No. But the price for my help will be yours and yours alone to pay. No one else may suddenly step in. If you want my help, you will pay whatever the price is. No one else.”

“So my friends won’t be hurt by my paying this “price”? And I’m not killing anyone or being sacrificed?”

Xena leaned back and laughed, smiling broadly, “No. You won’t be sacrificed or killing anyone. And your friends will not be involved in any way with this. They will be safe. You have my word on that.” Xena finished with a serious look.

"Okay. But I’m not saying yes or no. I need time to think about it."

"That's fine. Whenever you are ready to tell me what you decide come see me. My token will lead you back here."

"I do need to know something though, did you kill the Slayer in London?"

Xena’s features turned dark and Buffy suddenly felt fear at the look on Xena's face. “No, I didn’t kill Sierra. But the bastards who did paid for what they did.” Xena’s voice was low and dark.

“Who told you about Sierra?” Xena asked suspiciously. “Was it your Watcher?” Xena asked scornfully.

“Uh no.” Buffy replied uneasily at Xena's sudden change, now Buffy felt a darkness rolling off of Xena that scared her. “Giles doesn't know, no-one does. A friend told me about her or what she knew at least.”

Shifting her position in the chair, Buffy knew she could respond if Xena turned violent *and* she'd have her answer about her as well. Buffy thought wryly. “So who did kill her then and why? And why does the Council hate you so much?”

Xena bounced to her feet in a blur of motion, “Why don't you ask your precious *Watcher* who killed and raped Sierra!!! Oh I got the bastards that did that to her, just not their masters!!”

Buffy felt the fury pouring off of Xena in palpable waves and felt herself pale, but her mind was too shocked to react. Finally Buffy rocketed to her feet, standing only inches from Xena, "But...that's insane!!! Even for the Council!!" Buffy yelled back

Buffy saw Gabrielle place her hand on Xena's back and the tension seemed to lower suddenly as Xena turned and started to walk away. Stopping after walking a few steps, Xena turned sideways, facing Buffy. Her eyes were narrowed, showing only slits of cobalt blue. "Is it?" Xena bit off before turning around and disappearing into the darkness.

“Is it really? What about the Cruciamentum Buffy, was that sane to have you locked up with a vampire? Gabrielle asked her.

Buffy shook her head, "No, it's not." Shifting her attention to Gabrielle, "But to do that..."

“It’s not the first or last time they’ll murder one of their own when they feel threatened Buffy.”

"But why blame Xena, they could have just said she died fighting vamps!”

"I don't have an answer that will really give you what you want right now. Right now you have a lot to think about." Gabrielle stood up and Buffy followed her as she started walking.

"Go home and think about what we've said. If you really, truly trust this Watcher of yours then talk to them. But I beg you to be careful if you do, if you are wrong...." Gabrielle let the rest hang.

"Alright. Is she gonna be okay? She's in a nasty funk right now."

"Yeah," Gabrielle smiled gently. "She just needs to work off her anger and she'll be good."

"How's Joyce doing?" Gabrielle asked.

"Uhmm, she's fine." Buffy answered, confused by this weird change the conversation had taken.

"Good. Tell her I'll call her later this week. I've missed her."

Buffy’s eyebrows shot up, "Huh?? I thought you weren't serious about knowing Mom."

"Oh no, I've known Joyce since her college days. That's where we met." Gabrielle smiled.

Gabrielle continued walking with Buffy, "Xe told me about your fight with that Werewolf."

"I just did what I had to, besides Xena killed it."

Gabrielle touched Buffy's shoulder, "Killing is never easy, not even after 2,000 years of living."

"But what you did to protect her was more though." Buffy frowned with a confused look on her face.

"Her?" Buffy asked.

"Faith, the woman you love of course!"

"Oh no," Buffy put her hands up, "Faith and I aren't like that..."

Gabrielle just smiled. "I used to say that exact same thing about me and Xena. Don't let something like gender stop you from seeing what's right in front of you Buffy." Gabrielle stopped walking, "You're about 10 minutes from home from here. And just think about what we've both told you."

End Chapter 9

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