No Chains To Bind Me
BtVS and AtS belong to Joss WhedonPairings:
Arcs over with Angel, with lots of changes from the original storyline. Lilah told Wesley where to find Angel after forcing the information out of Justine. Very fast paced story with everything happening in a few days. Story ideas sent to me by DDarien
She landed in a desert with a loud 'thud.' Buffy stood up and brushed the sand off her jeans, looking around to try to figure out where this 'portal' had taken her. Three men dressed in colorful robes, carrying intricately carved staffs suddenly appeared as if by magic. They spoke the same language as Dawn did when she read from the book, but strangely enough. Somehow, Buffy when they spoke understood them.
"You have come, daughter of Sineya, we have been waiting. Come there's much to do." The leader motioned with his staff toward a cave.
"Hold on James Earl Jones, exactly who are you. And, what do you mean you've been waiting and what's in that cave?"
Buffy's chin came up as she stared straight into his eye.
He responded, while the other two just watched and waited.
"I have power. What I need's info about how to the First Evil."
"Strength is Power. Knowledge is Power. Foresight is Power. Power comes in many forms. To kill a thing you must understand a thing. You must become, to become what you were meant to be - the last Guardian of the Hellmouth."
"Huh? Oh, I get it. What happens if I only want to the info, without the nifty add-ons?"
This time it was the Shadowmen's turn to look at her in confusion. Understanding dawned when their tribe elder finally descrambled her words.
"Let me show you what the future holds for you, young one. You can decide your future after that." He gently touched her temple, which caused a gasp to escape Buffy's lips.
Buffy saw thousands of Turok-Hans clearly in her mind's eye as the crowded an underground cave as they waited for their release. She shook her head in the hopes it would clear away the images. Buffy squared her shoulders, before she walked past the Shadowmen and into the cave.
"Well, what're you waiting for Earth, Wind and Fire? I've got some major ass to kick. Not to mention, I haven't eaten today."
They followed her, pointing to the circle marked on the cave floor. Buffy moved over to stand at its center.
When a Shadowman started to chain her, she protested, "Oh no you don't, look I agreed to this but not to chains. I've learned that you have to accept the Slayer side and allow it to have its way. If I don't accept this freely, then I'll end up like cave girl Slayer. No thanks. Now, make with the mojo," she ordered, standing back and breathing slowly.
The Shadowmen started to hum, which turned into a low murmur then a chant. Their staffs beat in time with the rhythm their words created. The floor vibrated under their feet. A shadow grew from their staffs where it met the stone. Three separate shadows moved towards one another, meeting, when they hit, light flared chasing away any darkness except that which continued to grow.
Buffy watched it take on a ghost-like form that looked around the cave as if it wasn't sure where it was or why. Then, everything went black and silent. A warm wind rushed toward her as she tried not to brace herself. She closed her eyes and relaxed, trying to use meditation techniques. Her eyes flew open, as did her mouth, she felt as if her skin was on fire. Her blood was boiling her alive, forcing her to throw her head back as a scream tore from her lips.
Light poured from her mouth and eyes, the whole cave shook knocking the Shadowmen to their knees. Their faces showed fear intermixed with awe. Here in this place of in-between and waiting, they watched many Slayers die, stray from their path or deny their destiny. Never had they seen one such as the one before them, this Buffy Summers. She persevered through adversity, pulled herself back from the brink of utter despair even fought her way out of hell itself. Now, they weren't sure what they helped to create and would have to send back to her time. They only hoped that her world was ready for what they were about to receive.
Buffy's breathe came in hard gaps as the pain retreated. In fact, she felt the same way she did after the Master killed her - powerful. She felt rejuvenated, and in control for the first time. The power running through her body had extra strength, which was plentiful, it the power to understand the enemy, to be one-step ahead of them. Buffy felt able to reach into the First's mind and read its every thought. Her senses had heightened to ultra-sensitive level, so much so that she could tell the Shadowmen weren't good or bad, but were that muddy gray of in-between. She was ready to go back and finish this once and for all. A wry smile crossed her lips when she thought about what was in store for everyone in Sunnydale, not just the First. She walked up to the head Shadowman and looked him over.
"Thank you for your help. You should really pick a side; standing in the middle does neither side any good. Now, beam me home, Scotty."
Buffy tried to sound chipper but it took a lot out of her. Her increased senses screamed at her to destroy the part of these men cast in shadow.
They looked at her in shock; they were the Shadowmen, powerful shaman. The ones who created the First Slayer. Now, here before them stood a Slayer telling them they needed to decide where they stood in the battle of good and evil. Each bowed their head to her, and then touched their staffs together re-opening the portal.
"Use your power wisely, daughter of Sineya. Remember, power also corrupts."
Buffy nodded. It was a lesson she had witnessed firsthand with Faith, and then Willow. She didn't think she was likely to forget it any time soon.
Willow frantically tried to re-open the portal, but before she could finish setting up the necessary spell. The portal opened of its own accord, and out stepped Buffy. She could almost taste the difference in her best friend. Goosebumps broke out on her skin and she couldn't keep from stepping backward. Kennedy wrapped an arm around her in comfort. Willow shrugged it off unable to handle the contact. Her senses had gone into overload.
The entire room watched Buffy in silence unsure what to do or say. Spike, ever the vampire with something to get off his chest other than a stake, spoke first.
"Slayer, it's good to have you back. What happened? You were only gone for a few minutes?"
He sniffed the air; she smelled different. Buffy's underlying scent filled the air, yet something had changed. There was something else, something more.
Buffy couldn't control the growl that rumbled from deep in her throat. She stood still with her fists clinched; fighting the urge to destroy the vampire, regardless that he had a soul.
"Spike, step away from me. I can't explain it, but you're going to have to let me get used to you again."
He looked at her with hurt in his azure blue eyes, before doing as she asked.
"What did you learn? Did you find a way to fight the First?" Giles stayed seated not attempting to approach his Slayer. She was different and he wasn't sure what it meant, yet.
Dawn had no such misgivings as she moved forward catching Buffy's attention. The new uber-Slayer looked at her 'sister', and for the first time saw the green energy that the monk's had used to create her. Buffy wondered if this was what Tara had seen while under Glory's power.
"Are you all right? Willow was about to try to open the portal. What was it like there?"
Buffy turned to look at the redheaded witch. She saw the darkness that still ate at her soul. There was another person in the room that had darkness within them. Her head swung around to stare at - Anya.
"I'm going to have to ask some of you to stay somewhere that's - else. The emergency kit was a success. The side effects will take some getting used to though. Spike, you, Anya and Willow will need to find some place to bunk down. Hopefully, I'll adjust to having you guys around. To give you the short version, the Shadowmen gave me a tune-up and you're setting off my radar."
Willow, Xander and even Giles were shocked. Buffy was kicking people out of her house; whatever happened to her, she wasn't the same Slayer.
"If Willow goes then I go too," Kennedy threatened.
"That's fine Kennedy; pack 'em up and move 'em out." Without another word, Buffy left the room.
The SiTs looked at one another not knowing what to do; Kennedy was one of them, even if they didn't like her very much. Buffy hadn't spent much time with them and at least Kennedy was a known pain in the butt.
Willow, Xander, Anya, Kennedy and Spike left the house without a word to anyone. Dawn tried to get them to stay but Willow just shook her head. Robin left wondering what changes using his mother's emergency kit had created.
Buffy came back down when she felt the others leave. She looked at the SiTs, recognizing the one who went to school with Dawn. "Amanda, I want you to tell me something about the person next to you."
Amanda felt like someone just put a bright spotlight on her. "Uh, well, this is Vi and she likes Snoop Dog and Cheese Doodles."
Buffy smiled. "Interesting combination. Now, Vi, you do the same for the person next to you."
"Why're we doing this? This ain't summer camp."
"You'll do it because I asked you to. Kennedy liked to bark orders to try to prove that she was better than you. Well, kiddos, I am better than you are and more powerful than you can even grasp. If I say do something, you do it. No questions, no whining, that's of course if you want to stay alive. Now, do it!" She never raised her voice, but her words and the way she said them left no doubt about their truth.
"Buffy, that's uncalled. These girls have gone through a lot," Giles interjected.
"Enough Giles, a general leads and that's what I'm doing. You chose the army, not me. You can't argue now that they're only little girls. Make up your mind, are you here to help or not? If so, then back off and let me do what I need to, and right now that's getting to know these girls better."
Vi answered for the girl next to her and they continued around the room, one after another, telling some little bit of information. What they didn't realize was that they had bonded as a team. They were their own support system.
"Thank you, now there are a few things you need to know about me. I 'have' to work to keep this house and put food on the table for my sister and me. I'm not rich and it takes every penny that I have to make ends meet. After I work all day, I come home to the chaos that you've created in my home. I wash clothes and pick up for hours only to patrol until I can barely stand. The rules have changed and you have to pitch in and help around here. If you don't pull your weight then you can take your chances out there with the Bringers. Now, if you want to learn how to protect yourself, I can help you. If you would rather help Dawn and Giles with research that is fine too. I'll still expect you to train; Dawn does just not as intensively. Remember, the number one rule of slaying is - Don't Die."
The girls found themselves smiling at one another with a sense of relief and safety. They were floundering with only one Watcher, an over-the-top drill sergeant and no real authority figure to give them boundaries.
"You won't all become Slayers. In fact, only one will be called when Faith, the other Slayer, dies. What I can do is try to make sure that most of you get out of this alive. Go and get some sleep and we'll start training tomorrow."
Choruses of goodnight Buffy rang through the house as feet stomped up and down stairs. The house finally settled down and Buffy turned to Giles. A heavy silence hung between them.
"Buffy, I don't know what to say. You took a big risk with what you did."
He pinched the bridge of his nose, fighting the headache that pounded there.
"I did what needed doing just like always. The difference is that now I don't need anyone to tell me how to fight - anything. That's what they gave me, Giles. Power but it comes at a cost. I get to see inside evil's head up close and personal; now, I only have to worry about falling over the edge. Goodnight, Giles."
Buffy kissed his cheek then walked up the stairs to her own, surprisingly empty bedroom.
"Good lord, what have we done?"