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Keepers of the Gate

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Summary: Answer to hakuchihirolover's Three Warriors Challenge. Five thousand years ago they made a pact to never let anything like this happen again. Now the pact is broken and the past is coming back to haunt them. BTVS/Highlander/Stargate.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Buffy-Centered
Stargate > Buffy-Centered > Theme: Action
cherriesFR15314,85374913,9959 Sep 0624 Feb 07No

Chapter One

This is an answer the the Three Warriors Challenge, as for my disclaimor thing, if you recognise it i don't own it amd I don't claim to own it.
"speach"
'thoughts'

*Methos's phone conversations*

I really hope everyone enjoys this and let me know what you think, should i continue, not continue etc.

Also big shout out to my very good friend and beta Sharon for putting up with me. Trust me when i say it wasn't easy : )
Challenge
Ø Jack, Buffy and Methos were all Goa’uld hosts during Ra’s occupation of Earth.
Ø Buffy is still the slayer.
Ø As they were all immortal, they could survive the removal of their symbioties.
Ø Buffy and Jack are both at least as old as Methos, although one of them could have been taken as host at the beginning of Ra’s occupation.
Ø Buffy being famed as a particularly evil/brutal/psychotic goa’uld.
Ø Buffy and Methos find out about the Stargate being operational again and go to Cheyenne Mountain.

Must Haves:
Ø At least four 4000-word chapters
Ø Set in season 3 Buffy and any time before Season 8 SG1
Ø Carter complaining about not knowing where the immortals hide their swords
Ø Giles and Daniel polishing their glasses at the same time.
Ø Buffy and Jack swearing in a ancient/alien dialect
Ø Buffy’s immortality being revealed when she dies in front of the other Scooby’s.
Ø One of Jack’s past lives being somebody famous.
Ø Joe and Giles talking about being watchers.
Ø Jack and Buffy having a past relationship, you decision as to whether it is going on.
Ø Angel being the only Scooby to know about Buffy immortality. a

Include at least three of the following:
Ø Tealc’ and Buffy sparring
Ø Buffy having slept with Ra
Ø Willow hacking into the SGC
Ø Anise passing out when she sees Buffy
Ø Multi-colored jell-o
Ø General Hammond banging his head against his desk.
Ø Methos and Buffy yelling at Jack for letting the Stargate operational
Ø Daniel having an allergy attack the first Jack tries to tell SG-1 that he’s immortal.
Ø Someone swearing in five different languages.
Ø Giles saying “Oh dear” in every chapter.
Ø References to Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings
Ø Xander asking for Thor’s autograph.
Ø Buffy reading a book in Sumerian.









Buffy jumped into the air twisting her body into a back flip as she swung her sword in a wide arc, severing the head of the 7ft demon in front of her with long practiced ease before landing on bended knee behind the now headless demon. The demon’s body stood there, wobbling for a few seconds before landing on the ground with a thud, the head rolling away, coming to rest a few feet from the body.

She rose out of the crouch and swung round, sword ready as the sound of clapping shattered the nights quiet. Buffy grinned at her sister slayer before cleaning her blade off of the grass and sheathing it.

“Damn B, gotta say I’m impressed, that’s one sweet move, Giles teach ya?” Faith leaned back against a nearby tombstone arms crossed as she watched Buffy poke through the deceased demon’s pockets for anything interesting.

Buffy threw Faith a mock glare before resuming her search. “Faye I’m insulted, you don’t think I can come up with my own moves?”

“Never said that B you had some pretty righteous moves at the Bronze last week, got the little boys all hot and sweaty as I recall.” Faith reminded her hands held up in surrender while a wicked grin lit up her face

Buffy snorted pocketing a wallet and a few amulets as she turned away from the now bubbling carcass and headed back the Faith. “Please, like that’s in anyway difficult. Men think primarily with their nether regions anyway, it’s been that way since the dawn of time and I don’t see it changing in the not too distant future.” Buffy hid the smile that threatened to break through as she realized just how true that was. “Come on, we bronzing it or not, this night is a total bust and Mr. headless demon over there is treating us.”

Faith motioned for Buffy to do ahead with a smirk, “Lead the way sistah slayer. Didn’t think you bought into the whole want, take have, philosophy though. You finally coming over to the dark side?”

Buffy shrugged and linked her arm with Faith and they exited the graveyard. “No but we fought and I won so everything he has is mine, says so in the rules. Sides it’s not like he’s gonna be needing his stuff anymore.”

Faith looked at Buffy curiously, “And what rules might they be, cos I know I never got that memo and I sure as hell would’ve remembered that one.”

“Slaying for Dummies, riveting reading you should try it.” Buffy quipped without missing a beat and held her breath as Faith gave her a weird look before breaking eye contact.

Faith just shook her head. “You really are a dark horse B, aren’t ya?”

You have no idea Faith, no idea” Buffy replied smiling enigmatically and led the way out of the graveyard leaving behind an all but obliterated corpse.

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The next day Buffy and Faith slowly made their way to the library for the morning report to Giles and by extension Wesley. Cursing their enhanced senses as all around them students who hadn’t been drinking for most of the night laughed and slammed locker doors shut…loudly.

They pushed their way through the library doors and slumped down into the nearest chairs whimpering slightly.

“Your late, I trust there is a reasonable excuse for your lapse.” Wesley inquired as he stood over the two slayers glaring disapprovingly as he sipped his tea.”

Faith groaned loudly and rested her head gently on the table. “Ya know I’m thinking I should maybe reconsider this whole bad guy gig, at least they get to sleep in once in a while.”

“Can you wait till the room stops spinning, ‘cos I think I’ll come with!!?” Buffy groaned.

“That was not funny Faith especially considering your actions recently.”

Buffy shot Wesley a death glare when she felt Faith tense up beside her. They had nearly lost Faith last week when she killed the deputy mayor. It was only because Buffy and Angel had cornered her and made her confront what she’d done that Faith realized that it wasn’t the end and she had stayed on track. Wesley making her feel guilty for her slip didn’t help matters. They stopped the mayor before he did the whole invincible I-want-to-be-a-giant-snake-demon thing and killed him, even managed to close the mouth permanently as an added bonus, end of story, no harm no foul and no reason for people to keep bringing it up.

“Who said it was meant to be funny cos I sure as hell wasn’t joking. Hey Faith ya think we’d get good you rates being a double act and all?” Buffy asked Faith, while glaring at Wesley and felt a certain amount of satisfaction when he unable to hold her gaze.

Faith raised her head and shot Buffy a weak grin replying. ”Definitely, the Chosen two, we’d be unstoppable.”

“You know I think Angel knows someone who could represent us. Gotta make sure ya have good management in this day and age.” Buffy added thoughtfully going back to ignoring the wanna be watcher.

“If you two have quite finished,” Wesley interrupted stiffly, “can we get back to last nights patrol?”

“Saw demon, killed demon the end.” Faith replied dismissively lowering her head back down on to the table.

“You met with a demon? What kind? Are you both all right?” Giles frowned worriedly as he came out from his office and caught the tail end of the conversation.

“We’re fine G-man. B got with the slicing and dicing and then there was nothing but demon guts, as for what kind. Not sure but it kinda looked like those orc dudes only uglier.” Faith answered before getting up to fix some coffee in a vain attempt to cure her hangover.

“Ugh Faye can ya leave out the demon guts till after the hangover passes, pretty please? I swear that’s the last time I challenge a Fratar’è demon to a drinking match with shots.”

“You two were drinking and with a demon, just what on earth do you think you were doing? It’s your job to kill these creatures, not socialize with them.” Buffy winced as Wesley’s tone rose in pitch.

“Buffy as much as I am loathed to agree, that was very irresponsible of the both of you, whether you were on patrol or not.” Giles added somewhat disappointed.

Buffy rolled her eyes in exasperation, “Relax Giles, it was after the patrol, a kind of post slay, job well done celebratory drink. And Wesley, Herbert, is the ‘creatures’ name not to mention he’s a vegetarian and a pacifist to boot, hardly a major player for the forces of evil. He cries at Bambi for cryin’ out loud!” She slowly got up from her chair and gathered her things. “Well I gotta get to class. I have a history test next period, wouldn’t wanna miss it or anything. Oh before I forget Giles the demon guy from last night had these on him.” Buffy dropped the two amulets she had taken last night into Giles’s hand as she headed out. “We still on for the film fest tonight Faye?” The last part for Faith’s as she tried to delay the inevitable boredom to come

Faith waved Buffy on. “I’m there B, enjoy history.” She taunted with a smirk kicking back in her seat as she blissfully inhaled the rich aroma of her coffee.

Buffy grumbled under her breath and walked out leaving the three another behind, if they had heard what she was saying Giles and Wesley would have fainted in shock. Buffy grumbling was one thing; Buffy grumbling in fluent Chinese was another.

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The day past like most others, she deliberately got some of the answers in her history test wrong so there wouldn’t be any eyebrows but still leaving her with a comfortable pass, all the while mentally grouching, in fluent Russian this time, about the many inaccuracies she was forced to swallow as fact. Stupid educational system.

She ate lunch with the Xander, Willow, Oz and Cordy, making the appropriate responses when required, bitching with Cordy and silently laughed at the whole situation.

She trained with Wesley more to shut him up then anything else, patrolled with Faith and Willow before they all went back to her house for excess amounts of Johnny Depp and junk food.

It was all in all a perfect day in the life of the Sunnydale Slayer, so why did she feel a shiver of apprehension run down her spine. Something was coming, there was change on the wind it wasn’t of the good variety either and there was nothing she could do but sit tight and wait, wishing in vain that the others could be with her.

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Three days later the shoe, in all its tacky seventies platform glory dropped. Buffy waltzed into the library in a really good mood. Slaying had been quiet tonight. Angel was getting back to his usual broody self after his temporary bout of evilness. She passed her history exam by a decent margin. So all in all, everything was good in the land of Buffy…until she walked into the library after her patrol Monday night to report back to Giles like the good little slayer she was, when her spidey sense went haywire and a familiar face appeared in front of her.

“Whistler?” She slowed to a stop and stared at the chaos demon in front of her frowning in confusion. She didn’t even acknowledge the others sitting at the table, or their shouts of surprise at the fact that a strange demon just appeared in their midst, all she saw was the silent apology in an old friend’s eyes and she knew this wasn’t going to end well. The question was for whom?

“I’ve come seeking the Gates Guardian.”

Buffy stiffened and narrowed her eyes at Whistler, everyone else in the room forgotten when she heard the formal address. “Aw Fuck Whis you know I’m not on duty for at least another century and a half, so why come to me? Go bug Jack it’s his problem not mine.” She crossed her arms and glared defiantly at the demon a warning blatantly obvious in her voice.

Whistler shifted uncomfortably and shot the scoobies, who were unashamedly eavesdropping a nervous look before continuing on in what sounded to everyone else like Egyptian.. “The Chaapa Ai has been activated.”

Everyone watched as the color drained from Buffy’s face, she shook her head in denial, and even took a few steps back as if distancing herself from the truth. “WHAT!!! HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN?” Buffy continued her rant but unfortunately for the others it was in some language that not even Giles recognized. Whistler however did so they could only watch, bewildered, as Buffy started pacing around the room yelling incomprehensibly at the top of her lungs.

By the time Buffy finished her rant and came to a halt in front of the now very pale balance demon, Whistler was shaking in his snake skin boots.

“How Long?”

Whistler shuffled his feet a bit and mumbled something under his breath.

“What was that?” Buffy folded her arms and gave him a death glare.

“Uh it was dug up in an archeological dig in 1928, and moved to the States.” Whistler held his breath and prayed like never before. There was a moment of absolute silence and then he found himself flying through the air and crashing into a bookcase against the back wall of the library taking half its contents with him as he slid to the floor.

Buffy stalked over to where he lay groaning. She pulled him up by the front of his shirt and slammed him back into the bookcase.

“Why pray tell am I only hearing about this now?” Her voice was saccharine sweet and dripped poison. Buffy had one hell of a temper, all fiery and explosive it was, truth be told one of the things he liked about her but that was when her temper ran hot, when she turned calm and cold, well hell itself would tremble in the face of her wrath. She never scared him more then when she stayed calm.

Whistler gulped and drew a shaky breath. “The Powers don’t do direct interference, you know, free will and all, plus they thought they could bring the lost children of the tau‘ri back into the fold and expand their influence at the same time, so they stayed out of it till now. The other Guardian kept watch and where possible subtly directed those involved seeing as how there was nothing else they could really do at that point. When it was brought stateside he followed.”

Buffy rolled her eyes and paused as the words sank in. She dropped Whistler in shock. “Bullshit Whistler they have no problem sticking their fingers in when they want and now Jack’s involved which means we’re involved too.” She stepped away and closed her eyes, massaging her temples while taking deep soothing breaths trying to delay the rising knot of panic in her stomach, this was all kinds of bad. “Right let me get this straight, not only has the gate been uncovered, it’s been activated and Jack’s helping the people who have it to use it and the ‘all knowing’ Powers that Fucking Well Be don’t have a problem with this and didn’t even have the courtesy to inform the other Guardians of the change in the situation. Now obviously since the gate’s active and Jack has a nasty little habit of attracting trouble like no-ones business the Gua’uld are involved in this little scenario so earth is up shit creek without a paddle and you want us to bail it out.” Buffy groaned as a very unpleasant though occurred to her. She looked down at Whistler who was still on the floor rubbing his throat, half afraid to get up yet. “Does Me...Adam know?” She only just remembered his alias in time. No point in letting all the skeletons out of the closet at once, Giles might not survive the accompanying heart attack. Buffy shook herself out of her mental babble and focused back on the squirming demon in front of her.

Whistler grimaced and shook his head, Buffy sighed in acceptance. “Gee thanks for leaving the easy jobs for me, not only do I have to fix whatever’s happened with the Chappa Ai but I’m the one who gets to tell Adam as well, what the hell did I ever do to you this lifetime.”

“That you didn’t deserve.” She added quickly seeing as how he was about to open his mouth. Whistler grimaced and swallow whatever he was about to say.

She turned to the others with an indescribable expression of sadness in her eyes. “I’m sorry, it’s been a blast, most fun I’ve had in forever but it looks like vacation time is over.” She turned back to Whistler, ready. “I formally request that the Powers take me from the slayer line and get this fucking well over with, as I will it so mote it be!!!” She closed her eyes and dropped her head as she spoke the formal words of the incantation that would change everything…again.

Whistler’s eyes flared brightly, he raised his hand and pointed it at Buffy. When he spoke it sounded like several voices speaking at once. “As you will it so mote it be!!!”

The last thing she remembered was whistler saying sorry before she was swept away by the familiar exquisite agony of the quickening.

To the others it looked like blue lightening suddenly shot out of Whistler’s hand engulfing Buffy and lifting her into the air. Wind whipped her hair and clothes as the power of the quickening closed in around her and blue lightening danced over her body. Her mouth opened in a silent scream if agony and then it was gone. Buffy’s body fell to the ground unmoving.

Just like that Buffy Summers the Vampire Slayer was dead…again.

Whistler looked on sadly as Buffy’s inner circle rushed forward to surround her body. Some crying, some shouting their angry denials, all devastated. They really had no idea, he shook his head in wonder, the girl should be given an Oscar. He looked up and found Giles staring at him murder in his eyes.

“What have you done? Why, hasn’t she done enough, sacrificed enough?”

Whistler snapped at the accusation in the Watchers voice. “That girl has sacrificed more then you could ever comprehend. Don’t let the shell blind you to the soul within, with that girl nothing is ever as it seems.” With that last cryptic piece of advice Whistler vanished. It actually went a lot better then he thought it would no broken bones a vast improvement on last time but he did not plan on being in the same galaxy as her when she woke up..
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They sat in Giles’s office unable to look at the body laid out in the library because everyone knows, seeing is believing and they weren’t ready for that, they weren’t ready for reality to intrude yet. So they sat, each silent in their individual grief tears running down numb faces. Unfortunately reality wasn’t willing to wait for them to be ready and the library doors swung open and Angel walked in.

He looked at the body lying on the table and sighed, she looked like she was sleeping except for the fact that she had no heart beat that is. She was not going to like what was waiting for her when she woke up.

Twenty Minutes Later

Blue lightning flared up out of nowhere once more and Buffy arched as the force of it flowed through her, then in the blink of an eye it was over.

“UGH that hurt like a bitch!!! I’m gonna kill Whistler he enjoyed that way too much.”

Angel chuckled and got up to make her coffee, self preservation was a useful trait – a Buffy before coffee was a homicidal Buffy especially when she had just been killed. And vampire or not he had learned that lesson through painful experience.

They had been quiet but Faith was still a slayer and came rushing out cavalry in tow, sometimes heightened senses were a bitch. Buffy pasted a bright and obviously fake smile on her face. “Hey guys what’s the what?” Her smile became slightly more genuine when Angel came over carrying a mug of coffee and handed it over. “Ah coffee the sweet, sweet nectar of the Gods. How do I love thee let me count the ways.”

They watched her warily as she accepted the steaming mug from Angel who went to lean against the wall behind her hopefully out of the firing line. “Whistler killed me in front of them and left me to deal with the fallout didn’t he?” Buffy glanced down and took in the state of her burnt and bloody clothes and her already overtaxed temper exploded. “Oh forcryinoutloud!!! Every fucking time I die I’m wearing something I love and the fucking thing gets ruined. I’m gonna kill the mother fucking son of a whore. Adam got me this top, that piece of shit demon better run, I’m gonna rip his arms off shove one up his ass and the other down his throat so he can twiddle his thumbs in his stomach!!!”

Angel laughed at the put out tone in her voice. “I wasn’t here for that but I’m guessing yes he left you to deal with the fallout. He must still be pissed about Troy.”

“You cause one measly war and your tarred for all eternity, now I ask ya, where’s the justice.” Buffy grumbled effortlessly ignoring the dropped jaws in front of her.

She gulped down her coffee and hopped off the table heading for the phone behind Giles’s desk brushing right passed her stunned Watcher, and dialled a familiar number.

#Hi Joyce it’s me, I need you to do me a favour…#

There was a pause while Buffy listened to the response but what came next just fed into their already stunned state and they were only hearing half the conversation.

#Yeah I got killed again in front of everyone no less and I was wearing my favourite sweater as well…no the blue one with the v neck. Wait how did you know…what tone…I do not have a tone.#

Buffy twirled the phone cord around her finger as grinning as she listened to her mom’s reply

#Yeah, yeah, yeah laugh it up Joy…listen can you go up to the attic and get down my old chest I have to take a trip tomorrow or soon as Adam gets here…of course he’s gonna come see you before we go#

Buffy rolled her eyes at something none of the others could hear.

#Just the past coming to bite us in the ass again, you’re ok to keep an eye on things here for a while, right?#

uffy grinned at whatever her mom had saidand let out a little laugh.

#Thanks princess…no they’re still in shock, the yelling will probably start soon though…Did I raise you to be this sadistic…well aren’t you just a ray of sunshine, see ya later, bye#

Buffy hung up the phone and dialled again, sipping her coffee till the person on the other end picked up. She didn’t pay any attention to the others who were obviously trying to listen in on the conversation, if only to get some answers for all this.

#Hi William it’s yours truly, yeah the games up for this decade.#

#How do you think, I died and didn’t stay dead… right the reason for my call, see I’m in a teensy bit of trouble…no for once it’s not my fault…oh get over it already Venice was a lifetime or ten ago, let it go already sides I came back for you and you only got a little charred, so stop being such a drama queen.#

#Well see if I ever come back to save to sorry British ass again. Bring Dru back to my place tomorrow, or actually go now you can help Joyce and stay there for the day…Alright ta ta love#

Buffy hung up the phone but stubbornly refused to face her friends as she ran over plan after plan in her head compiling lists as she went.

“Buffy I want some answers!” She turned at the irate tone in her watchers voice and calmly faced the firing squad. She got through the Spanish Inquisition; she could get through this…right?

“Well Giles ask me a question and I’ll see what I can do.” Buffy replied reasonably.

“What the hell happened tonight? How are you still alive? Why did you speak to your mother like that? How do you know how to speak Ancient Egyptian? Who is this William person and Adam for that matter? WHAT IS GOING ON?”

Buffy waited while Giles finished his rant, which was spectacular in its own right but she had faced off with the best of them and left them in a quivering heap. She took a deep breath suddenly wishing she was somewhere else. Jamaica was nice this time of year.

“Well I died Giles that’s what happened, but I thought that would’ve been kinda obvious what with the lack of a heart beat at the time. I didn’t stay dead because I’m immortal. I…”

“You’re immortal, like evil undead vampire immortal.” Xander cut across her explanation abruptly and raised the crossbow at his side to aim it at her.

Buffy rolled her eyes in exasperation, “Put it away Xander, the only one you’ll end up hurting is yourself and there’s been enough blood spilled tonight.” Indicating her blood stained top

Faith stepped up beside Xander and raised her sword resolutely. “He might but I won’t and I’m not letting you walk outta here in my sister’s body.”

“Aw Faye that’s sweet, in a weird twisted yet unnecessary kinda way seeing as I’m alive and all.” Buffy explained smiling, oddly enough touched by the sentiment. “If I was a vampire you’d sense it and hello I wasn’t bitten.”

Faith still didn’t lower her sword. “That doesn’t mean you’re not something else.”

Buffy looked at her seriously for a moment before answering seriously. “No it doesn’t but I guess your just gonna have to decide whether or not you trust me. Come on Faye, whatever else I am, I’m still a slayer and that means we’re family. Put the sword down, you’d know if I was evil.” She stayed calm after all it wasn’t like they could actually kill her, well permanently anyway.

“Ok so Buffy’s immortal but not evil, I can deal its all good. How long has this been going on for?” Buffy smiled at Willows nervous babble, it was really very endearing.

“A long, long time Wills.”

“Right” Willow sat down hard on the chair next to Oz’s cage

“Is it odd that I only find this little revelation a little weird?” Xander asked in disbelief one hand slightly raised.

“Look guys I’d really love to stay and explain everything but there’s no time I have to go. If you come over tomorrow night I’ll try to explain a little better.”

She turned her back on Faith and her weapon and walked out of the library with Angel following, never once looking back.

“What do we do now G-man?” Xander and Willow looked fearfully after who they hoped was still their best friend

For once Giles didn’t comment on the nickname his eyes still on the empty doorway his slayer had left through. There was something he had read about immortals but had dismissed as another name for vampires.

“Willow turn on that infernal machine, everyone else get books on Egyptian supernatural activity.”

Everyone fell gratefully back to a somewhat familiar routine not even Faith complained.

Willow booted up the computer. “So what are we looking for?”

“Any information pertaining to something called the Chappa Ai.” Giles informed them, remembering the phrase which had been thrown about during the course of her conversation with Whistler.

“What’s that?” Faith sat down with her book which was somewhat leaner then the others glad to have something to do about this latest crisis even if it meant she couldn’t pummel anything…yet.

“That’s what we’re trying to find out.”

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Buffy paused outside and whipped out her cell phone and dialed a familiar number. Her foot tapped impatiently on the floor as she waited for someone to pick up.

*Hello* Buffy sighed just hearing his voice did wonders for her nerves. The soft British accent was really soothing.

#It’s me, we have a big problem# Buffy didn't even bother with pleasantries and just cut to the chase.

She heard his sigh of annoyance and smiled fondly listening to his less then subtle dig at her lack of phone manners, some things never changed and praise to whoever was listening for that.

*Why hello Methos, how have you been since the summer. I’ve been good Beth and you, the Hellmouth not too boring I hope…* She could almost taste the exasperation in his voice, he was so easy to wind up unfortunately now was most definitely not the time so she cut him off before he could really pick up steam.

#You done yet cos that big problem I mentioned, its still here.# Buffy grumbled her tone was less then polite but he picked up on the thread of anxiety thrumming beneath the surface.

*Fine seeing as how I have no hope of teaching you even the rudiments of civilized behavior lets move on to the reason for your call, although now that I think of it I only ever see or hear from you when something’s wrong why is that?* She recognized what he was doing, after all she was Queen of avoidance. He knew he wasn’t going to like this but she couldn’t help that.

#Methos#

*Sorry…you were saying* He sounded a little sheepish.

#It’s the Chaapa Ai.#

The pause before his response seemed weighted the a thousand unwanted memories and she knew he didn’t want to ask just as he knew she didn’t want to answer because as soon as the words were spoken there was no going back.

*What about it?*

Buffy closed her eyes and she felt the tears welling up behind her eyelids. #It’s active#

*I’ll be there tomorrow.* There was a click and she found herself listening to the dial tone.

And it was done.

“You gonna be ok?” Angel’s voice was caring and she leaned into his strong arms taking the comfort that was offered.

“I don’t know but I have a feeling it’ll get a hell of a lot worse before it gets better. We don’t even know what Jack has gotten involved with yet, but knowing him like I do; I’m not exactly overflowing with optimism.” Buffy sighed already exhausted at the thought of all the possible scenarios that lay ahead.

“How are you dealing with that, you two aren’t exactly without baggage?” Angel asked carefully

Angel felt Buffy stiffen in his arms before pulling away and looking up at him with hardened eyes.

“I’ll do what needs to be done, just like I always have.” In that moment Angel saw a glimpse of the warrior queen that lay hidden beneath and he spared a prayer to the God that no longer listened to him for anyone who got in her way.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Back in the library Willow set in motion a chain of events that would affect them all with the push of a button. She leaned forward excitedly scanning the screen in front of her.

“Hello information mother load. Giles quick, I got something.”

Giles came over and read the screen over her shoulder a tight knot of dread formed in the pit of his stomach as the words on the screen began to sink in and make terrifying sense. He sat down hard into the chair next to Willow and absently began cleaning his glasses.

“Oh dear lord!!!”
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