Bonding over violence
“So why are we in Washington again? I thought the Chap Stick thing was in Colorado.” There was a chorus of groans followed by a loud smack and a painful yelp.
“Damnit X, if you ask one more stupid question I am gonna throw your sorry ass right out the door without stopping first. Faith snapped her eyes flashing dangerously.
“Jeez sorry didn’t know you weren’t a morning person. I’ll just shut up.”
“Thank God!!!” Giles let out a sigh of relief ignoring the scathing glare that Xander shot at the back if his head for the remark.
They had been travelling for hours first by chartered plane provided by Adam then by a rented van and that many hormonal teenagers, not to mention the two slayers were severely trying on his nerves. Buffy may not have been a teenager but as far as he was concerned she could whine with the best of them. He thankfully was in the front seat with Adam Pierce his slayers’ fellow immortal. Adam it seemed was a professional at tuning out what he didn’t want to hear. He had said it came from spending centuries with Buffy that remark got him a half hearted smack from the girl in question who then went back to her conversation with Faith about their weapons of choice. Willow and Oz were cuddling in the far corner of the van while Xander and Cordy bickered for the whole trip, at least till Xander started the “Are we there yet” game.
And here they were. “For that last time we’re going to Washington to pick up some reinforcements. We’re breaking into a secret military facility we need all the help we can get.” Buffy explained less then patiently.
“You never said who the reinforcements were by the way.” Giles was curious and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn more about the slayer he thought he knew so well.
Buffy turned to look at the back of Adams head since he was the one driving, apparently Buffy’s legendary skills behind the wheel went back further then they had imagined. “Well Adam, who’s around these days?”
Adam cocked his head to one side as he manoeuvred around the traffic. “Well Duncan and Ritchie definitely, Joe might be a good plan and Amanda was supposed to be popping in soon but you never know with her. Last I heard she was after doing a job in the Museum in Cairo so we’ll have to wait and see.”
Buffy tilted her head thoughtfully, “Amanda I know and the Highlander by reputation but I don’t know the others.
“I trust them within reason, and you know how often that happens. Wait how do you know Amanda?” Adam asked frowning in confusion at Buffy in the rear-view mirror.
Buffy shot him a saucy grin and poked her tongue out at him before answering. “French Revolution I think. Not really a safe place for immortals, they were way too into the head chopping, so we hooked up and got the hell out of dodge. Taught her some tricks and sent her on her way. She’s a good kid I’m glad she’s still around and no doubt still the life if the party.”
Adam sniggered. “That’s one way of putting it alright.”
“Hey what about Anyanka, she’s always up for a little fun.” Buffy asked idly.
Adam gulped and gripped the steering wheel a little more tightly and looked at Buffy in the rear-view with disbelief. “You’re kidding right? Please tell me your kidding, she hates me.”
Buffy just laughed evilly. “You have a dick Meth, of course she hates you. I, on the other hand, am one of her favourite people.”
“Another immortal?” Xander asked in spite of himself.
“Not really, she is a couple of centuries old but she’s not one of us. She’s a vengeance demon for scorned women.” Buffy looked around but all she got were blank faces. “You know some bastard breaks a woman’s heart Anya comes along and grants them a wish. Why do you think Shakespeare said hell hath nu fury, yadda yadda yadda? He broke some girl’s heart and hello instant impotence. Anya got him good.
“How about we keep her as a back up plan?” Adam asked in desperation.
“So how old are you exactly?” Cordy asked intrigued in spite of herself, changing the subject.
Buffy grimaced as the rest of the Scoobies perked up in interest. “Older then dirt. I stopped counting.
“Wow you’ve seen like everything, hey how come you nearly failed history last year then?” Willow asked having accepted that her best friend was now immortal she moved on to another vital issue her grades.
Buffy rolled her eyes playfully at the red head. “(A) I was playing the role of a ditzy cheerleader and (B) half the stuff they throw at you is wrong anyway so why bother.” Buffy shrugged.
“Forget about school come on Buff dish on the juicy stuff did you know any famous people.” Xander asked excitedly
Adam snorted. “Meet anyone famous? You can’t open a history book without reading about one of her lives. You know darling you weren’t very circumspect now that I think of it.” Adam added thoughtfully raising an eyebrow when he caught Buffy sticking her tongue at him in the rear view mirror. “Mature much?”
Buffy rolled her eyes at the jab. “Yeah cos you were so low key yourself.
Adam shrugged grinning. “Well my dear I may have had my fifteen minutes in the limelight, but it’s nothing compared to you and Jack or should I say Helen…” Adam trailed off smugly as the predicted shocked yells went through the van and
“You couldn’t keep your trap shut could ya?” Buffy groaned.
“Seriously you were Helen of Troy, the Helen of Troy that had two countries fighting over her for years?” Cordy asked vaguely impressed while everyone else eyeing the two immortals waiting for the answer.
Faith on the other hand was thinking back on Buffy’s conversation with Angel when she first woke up.
“So that’s what you meant when you were on about that whistler guy being mad at ya?” Faith asked slyly holding back a snigger as realization dawned on the others face at the same time that panic stole over Buffy’s. The expression dear in headlights was never more apt.
“Oh my God it wasn’t even my fault. It was more about their dumbass egos then it was about me.” Buffy dropped her head into her hands in mock despair.
“Who else were you?” Faith asked but then regretted it as Buffy’s eyes darkened with shadows and memories came crashing back.
Everyone fell silent as tension fell over the van
“Adam are we there yet?” Buffy asked tightly; this time it wasn’t even vaguely funny
“Coincidentally enough yes.” Adam said with quietly as he pulled into the empty parking lot of a darkened bar and shut off the engine.
Buffy got out of the car first and stood a little away.
Adam broke the silence that fell as they all watched the small blonde wrap her arms protectively around her middle facing away from the car and into the dark. “She lived a lot of lives over a long time, we all have, and not all of them were easy, it’s the same with all immortals. The one thing that’s never changed is that when she loves, she loves hard and with everything she’s got. It’s one of the things I love about her but it inevitably leads to her having her heart broken again and again and again because there is nothing she wouldn’t do to protect those she loves and back then…well things were different. ”
Adam got out and they watched uneasily as he touched the small of her back reassuringly and kissed her temple making her look up at him with a smile. It was an innocent gesture that spoke of a friendship that was bone deep and they all wondered yet again if they’d ever really know Buffy at all.
Buffy it seemed had shaken off the tethers of the past since she turned with an impish grin and yelled. “Come on guy’s get your rears in gear I’m not getting any younger here.”
“Uh you guy’s I think its closed.” Willow gestured to the darkened building that seemed to be as deserted as the car park as the others got out of the car and joined the two immortals.
“Nah just closed to the general public it’s like four in the morning after all.” Adam replied as Buffy smiled a little at Faith to show there were no hard feelings as the other slayer gave her a look of silent apology before she headed towards the door with Adam in tow leaving the others to follow after.
They caught up as Adam was unlocking the door and allowing Buffy to go in first. They had felt the quickening indicating that they weren’t the only immortals around but all the lights were off. Suddenly a dagger was flying through the air straight at Buffy’s head…only to be caught a hairs breath away from her eye.
Now she was pissed. “Duncan Angus McCloud of the Clan McCloud get you’re no good low down dirty rotten useless Scottish ass out here right this instant before I come back there and get you.” Ok she was really pissed, it was a long journey.
“You know me it seems but I still dinna know who you are.” The tall Scotsman appeared from behind the bar sword still in hand followed by a younger man with red curly hair also with a sword and a grizzled older man with a limp.
“Adam, who are these people?” The tall Scots man glared at the strangers who had dared to invade his territory.
Buffy rolled her eyes at the theatrics. “Your right Adam total Boy Scout, Connor would be so pleased.”
“Ye know my kinsman.” Duncan lowered the sword marginally.
“Put the sword down McCloud and Joe can I get a beer if it’s not too much trouble. It’s been a rather trying few days.” Adam requested. Buffy and Methos lowered themselves into some nearby chairs followed by the Scoobies who were warily watching the sword wielding possible psycho.
“Right just so everyone knows everyone else Joe the Watcher, Giles the Watcher, Mac the immortal, Ritchie the immortal, Adam the immortal, Buffy the slayer/immortal, Faith the slayer, Willow the witch/hacker, Oz the werewolf, Cordelia the cheerleader/helper and Xander the comic relief/helper. Everyone caught up? Good.” Adam took a deep draught of his beer and sat back with a sigh of relief.
“Your immortal when did you die you look younger then me.” Ritchie asked in sympathy. The whole immortality thing was hard at first but at least he had Mac and Joe to help him.
The blonde smiled enigmatically at him. “That child is the wonder of make-up and I’m a lot older then I look.”
“And how old is that exactly, no offence but I haven’t heard of any new immortals rising lately and I know there are no Watchers named Giles.” Joe asked suspiciously
“Humph a lady never reveals her age.” Buffy retorted primly while the Scoobies hid a grin at her antics thankful they weren’t the only ones in the dark now.
“Since when have you ever been a lady sweetheart?” Adam asked garnering himself a look of mock outrage from Buffy.
“Fine spoil my fun how old am I anyway I’ve lost count.” Buffy asked Adam who just shrugged.
“Not a clue I stopped counting after 5000 so about that give or take a century or two I guess.
Buffy cocked her head to one side calculating in her head before nodding decisively. “Yup that sounds about right.
And once more dumbfounded silence descended.
An hour later everyone was caught up and digesting the latest onslaught of information. Seeing how immortals had been around long enough to become acquainted with the Supernatural side of things it didn’t take quite as long this time round
“So let me get this straight…you want us to help you break into a top secret military facility to find another immortal who was supposedly guarding some kinda transport ring thing that takes you to other worlds. Once there your gonna kick the crap outta this guy while we watch. Then we’re gonna do what exactly?” Ritchie asked after summarising the problem.
Buffy gave him a helpless look and ran her hand through her hair in frustration. “I don’t know but they’ve been at this for a while so it’s pretty much guaranteed that the Goa’uld have come in contact with them. I’m guessing that they’ve stirred up a hornets nest and are in over their heads. Look I know this is so not your problem so you’re free to just say no and walk away no hard feelings.”
“Now we never said that lass course we’re gonna help. Duncan subtly elbowed Ritchie in the gut when he muttered something about “we are?” under his breath. “What I would like to know is why Methos declined to mention any of this before now. I thought we were friends Old Man.”
“We are but Buffy’s more then a friend she’s family and I would’ve done whatever it took to protect her and Jack. The Council had only heard vague stories about my life but they kept looking, no-one knows anything about Jack and Buffy and we’d like to keep it that way. As far as we know the two Watchers Councils know nothing about each other and that’s how it should be.
“Always looking out for number one eh Adam?” Mac smirked at the sheepish grin on his friends face. “One thing though your good with a sword Adam don’t get me wrong but your still out of practise are you sure your ready for something like this?”
Now it was Adam’s turn to smirk. “I have a trick or two up my sleeve that you don’t know about so don’t worry about me Highlander.”
Buffy burst out laughing at the sincere concern in Duncan’s tone. “Oh please don’t tell me you fell for his mild mannered Clark Kent routine. There are two things that Methos is more skilled at then the sword and acting is one of them.”
“What’s the other?” Xander asked when Buffy settled back in her seat.
Instead of answering Buffy just turned and let her eyes rake appreciatively over Adam’s frame with a knowing smirk to match the one on Adam’s face.
Pretty much everyone barring the two staring immortals and Faith blushed bright red as the answer to that particular question became more then apparent. Giles, much to her delight resorted to polishing his glasses and muttering something that sounded suspiciously like, ‘oh dear lord.
“Forget I asked.” Xander mumbled taking a deep drink from the glass in front of him.
Duncan turned to glare accusingly at Methos breaking the embarrassed silence that fell. “You were holding back?”
“If it makes you feel better you’re better then anyone I’ve faced in a long time.
Buffy shot him a grateful look. “You’re a good man Duncan McClou…” She cut herself off to stare at the door along with Methos, Duncan and Ritchie while everyone else bar Joe looked around in confusion and jumped when the door burst open leaving a grinning brunette in the doorway.
“Now who said something about a little breaking and entering?”
Buffy and Methos grinned widely as Amanda sauntered over and pulled them both in for a hug.
Methos stood and drained his pint in one swallow. “Come on then time’s a wasting you can catch we’ll catch you up in the car.”
“Aliens huh well I guess it was inevitable I mean we’ve come across everything else.” The immortals grinned at the typically Amanda response.
They had pulled into a car park outside the city limits trying to come up with some kind of plan of action.
“So do we go in loud and proud or sneaky and subtle?”
“I’m all for loud an’ proud, always fun to make a good entrance.” Faith responded earning a look or appreciation from Amanda.
“Girl after my own heart then”
“I had a horrible feeling that you two would get on like a house on fire.” Buffy groaned then brightened. “But on the other hand you have an excellent point and I know just how to pull it off. Giles did you bring those amulets I found a few days ago.”
“Yes but why exactly?” He was a little unsure of where Buffy was going with this.
“Simple Jack will know there are other immortals in town so he’ll be on his guard but if we can tweak these shielding amulets to mask our presence we can decide where we want to meet him. Adam and I will stay out of sight till you guys find him and then we pounce and I beat the shit out of him.” Buffy smiled happily deciding all the short-term problems had been taken care of.
Xander was eyeing her carefully. “Buff remind me to never ever get on your bad side.”
All he got in response was a feral grin which oddly enough didn’t make him feel much better.
It had taken a week and a half but finally they tracked down Colonel Jack O Neil to his house.
Buffy, Methos and Amanda were wearing shielding amulets tweaked a little to mask their presence while Duncan and Ritchie stayed far enough away to not be detected. It wasn’t perfect cover but it was enough to throw Jack off for long enough. Willow, Xander, their respective others as well as Giles and Joe were with Duncan and Ritchie. The two watchers knee deep in comparing notes and complaining about their charges once they found out about their respective callings. Faith was in the backseat of their rental talking quietly with Methos. Buffy wasn’t sure which of them she should be more worried about she had seen the definite interest in both their eyes. More power to em as far as she was concerned as long as she was far enough away not to hear. She had a funny feeling that Faith was a screamer and Methos was more then capable of inducing screams…as she herself could attest to. But right now there was another immortal she was more interested in making scream.
“Right so everyone ready?” When she got the various grunts of assent she got out of the car and made her way to the front door the others trailing behind. She looked at Jacks latest dwelling taking in the details before backing up and kicking the door in.
“Honey I’m home!!!”
Jack was enjoying his down time. Carter and Danny were forcibly removed from the mountain sot they too could enjoy their down time, whether they wanted to or not. Teal’c he wasn’t so worried about so now since his team were taken care of he could take a load off and enjoy a cool beer and his Family Guy marathon. It wasn’t the Simpson’s but he was more then willing to broaden his cultural horizons.
He had been looking forward to this all week while he was sequestered up at the base. He just couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching him. It wasn’t strong enough to be another immortal, not even the new-borns (so to speak) were that weak but whenever he looked there was no-one there. And he had a lot of practise in knowing when he was being followed.
He has just settling into Stuie’s latest diabolical plan when he heard his door crash in. One hand reached for his gun while the other drew his sword, before he registered the voice announcing its presence.
“Honey I’m home!!!”
Jack paled eyes frantically looking for an escape route even knowing it was too late. He was a dead man and not in the temporary way either. He heard the click and the next thing he new was the familiar pain of a bullet ripping through his flesh. He slid to the floor.
“Man that felt good.” Her voice cut through the haze and as his consciousness slid into black one thought flittered through his mind. ‘Yep she was pissed.
Jack groaned and registered the hard floor beneath him. And in one annoyingly painful flash remembered everything and wished he was still unconscious.
“Jack long time no talk, how’ve ya been?” Buffy stalked into the living room from the kitchen ignoring and sat on the sofa, Methos and two other women, one of which was immortal, following her Methos was grinning at his confusion and terror. ‘Stupid Bastard!’ Was what immediately sprang to mind.
“Beth,” Jack sat up slowly, it wasn’t as if he stood a chance if she decided to attack…again. “What brings you to Colorado, last I heard you were doing a stint on the Mouth?”
Buffy sat back making herself more at home and crossed her legs looking up at Jack. He looked good she noted absently. “The mouth’s been closed courtesy of yours truly and my sister slayer Faith here,” Buffy nodded towards Faith, “and a few others you’ll be meeting later. I’m here because I had a visit from a mutual friend. Care to guess who that was lover?” She kept her tone light and he was more then willing to delay the inevitable hurt by playing along.
“Mutual friend, well it’s obviously not Methos since he’s here too, so I’m going with Merlin.”
“Nope he’s living with some monks in Tibet trying to find himself, try again.” Buffy challenged.
“Ok not Merle, what about Elvis?”
“Wrong again, he’s still trying to loose all that weight down in Mexico as far as I know.” Buffy replied examining her nails. “It was Whis and he had some very interesting news for me care to guess as to what.” Buffy looked up from her nails pining Jack in his seat with her glare.
“Uh evil is taking a vacation so now you’re out of a job?” Jack asked getting desperate now as the women started sniggering and Methos started glowering.
Buffy sprang up from the chair and punched Jack in the jaw…hard. “HOW COULD YOU HAVE BEEN SO STUPID? YOU LET THEM GET TO THE CHAPPA’ AI WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? WERE YOU EVEN THINKING?”
“Well you were busy and I didn’t want to get in your way?”
Buffy frowned in consternation “Huh what the hell are you talking about?”
“Angel, vampire with a soul, tends to brood a lot, ringing any bells for ya sweetheart.” Jack asked sarcastically
“Oh no you are not laying the guilt trip on me to get out of trouble Mister.” Buffy announced pointing a finger at him accusingly. “The military Jack the military. “And not only that but you’ve jeopardized all of us, you. What were you going to do if they found you out? You really are a…” Buffy let out a strangled noise of pure anger
“Boob?” Adam volunteered helpfully
Jack shrugged helplessly and Buffy threw her hands up helplessly and stalked over to the corner to sulk and glare. “Methos you talk to him because I will not be responsible for my actions if I get my hands around his scrawny neck.” She hissed.
Methos got out of his seat and smoothed down his shirt and stood over Jack, who out of self preservation hadn’t gotten off the floor. Methos looked down calmly as Jack carefully got to his feet then punched him so he ended back on the floor.
“What the hell Methos?” Jack yelled
“Hey you think this guy’s got any popcorn lying round?” Faith asked Amanda not taking her eyes from the show.
“No popcorn but Jack has some chips, dip and beer very thoughtfully laid out for us.” Amanda said noticing the refreshments that had gone unnoticed on the coffee table.
“Score!” Faith happily reached for the cold beverage and settled back to continue enjoying the bloodbath with Amanda providing subtitles when necessary.
“You’re asking me what the hell; you’re the one who let the fucking US military get their hands on the gateway to heaven. You know how hard we fought, what we sacrificed to exile those bastards from this planet the last time, you were there? How could you risk having that happen again?” Methos was yelling louder then Buffy had been by the end of his rant. Apparently there wasn’t a word strong enough in the English language because Methos let off a steam words in some unknown language that only Jack and Buffy seemed to recognise judging by the malicious glee on Buffy’s face and the abject terror on Jacks.
“Why Jack, just tell us why you would betray our trust like that?” Jack mentally cursed at the hurt he could hear in the voice of the only woman he had let himself love completely knowing that if he looked up her eyes would be shining with unshed tears. He could face any form of torture known to man but her tears never failed to do him in. Jack got to his feet despite the fact that she’d probably land him back there in about two minutes flat and carefully approached her finally looking her in the eye.
“I’m sorry Beth I thought I was doing the right thing. I swear I never meant to betray you. You know I’d never hurt you or Meth deliberately. I relieved Meth at the appointed time as usual and everything was fine for the first Boris found me…”
“Damn did you take his head?” Methos interjected a worried look crossing his face.
Jack gave him a look and a shrug before turning back to Buffy. She was the one he needed to convince. Other then the obvious reason of she held his heart they had always followed her lead so Methos wouldn’t forgive him until she did. “Of course but he led me away from the Gates resting place before I caught up with him. By the time I got back the it had been unearthed. I was about to activate the failsafe but the night before I was going to I was sent a vision.”
He had everyone’s attention after that, even Faith who was perhaps the most clueless knew that this changed things.
“The gist of it showed the Goa’uld coming by ship not the gate and us being left defenceless. I saw you being taken again and I knew I couldn’t let that happen. So I allowed them to take the gate and put myself into position when they figured out how to actually use it. I thought I could maybe make a few friends so we wouldn’t be totally alone if the vision came to pass.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes and glared at him in exacerbation but didn’t pull away. “Damnit Jack why are you among the very few people I can’t stay mad at?”
“My devastatingly handsome looks, my sparkling personality, my razor sharp wit, could be anything so take your pick.” Jack quipped with a lopsided grin.
Buffy rolled her eyes and smacked him up side the head. “Dumbass, I’m still pissed off about you not telling us though. You made a decision that affects us all without a word.” She said seriously, the hurt still shimmering in her eyes.
Jack’s eyes dimmed, “I know and I’m sorry. What about you old man do you forgive me?” Jack asked turning to look at Methos who was looking at them with a serious expression.
Methos shrugged. “Like the lady said you’re a dumbass, but your our dumbass. However we still need to remedy the situation. We were alerted to the situation for a reason so it is safe to assume that the shit is about to hit the fan sooner rather then later.”
Jack closed his eyes and groaned when he realised the headache that was about to come his way.
“What now?” Methos asked eyeing him suspiciously.
“I just realised how screwed I am once everyone finds out about this. Hammond’s going to kill me.” Jack dropped his head into his hands while Buffy patted his arm soothingly.
“It’ll be ok honey at least you’ll wake up after a while.”
All that resulted in was a louder groan.
“Oh, Oh I vote for a break in!!!” Amanda yelled waving an arm in the air in fake excitement.
“Oh for the love of God your over 1000 year old not 100 start acting like it for pity sake.” Methos snapped irritably
“Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the planets salvation.” Faith announced with a grin popping a chip in her mouth.
“We are so very much screwed.”
An: I can't for the life of me remember when Anya made her appearence but work with me and pretend it hasn't happened yet. Let me know what you think so far, next chapter, actual plot!!!