Patroling the Streets of New York
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the characters in the story. None.
Authors Notes: I know, I know. It’s been a long time since I last posted. But, I had writers block and though I knew where I wanted the story to go, the story did not want to get written. But, because I have now worked through the writers block, chapters should be coming more frequently now. I hope.
Patrolling the Streets of New York
The doors to the warehouse were flung open, spilling the last rays of daylight into the murky darkness of the building. The doors slammed against the walls, the noise echoing throughout the warehouse. Buffy stormed in through the open doors, going directly towards the middle area where all the equipment was set up.
As the doors were flung open, Karen jumped out of her seat, her heart racing. She took a few deep breaths as she saw a flash of the tell tale blonde hair. She sighed slightly, shaking her head as she realized it was only the blonde Slayer. She turned away from her and went back to work, checking her calculations carefully. Blade, on the other hand, did not even move a muscle at the noise. He continued wiping off his polished sword. He did not even acknowledge Buffy’s presence, even as she stalked over to the chair he sat at and crossed her arms across her chest.
“Sunscreen,” she almost snarled. Blade looked up coolly, surprised at the amount of anger coming off of her. He slowly set the sword down on the table next to him and stood up, nodding slightly.
“Yeah,” he said, “sunscreen. Frost finally found a way to get out during the day.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about it?” she demanded, her anger in full swing.
Blade shrugged and answered quickly before turning his back on her and walking away. “You didn’t ask.”
Buffy stared at his retreating back, completely speechless, as he walked away from her. For a moment, she did not know how to react. No one had ever been this way around her before. He was different from anyone she had ever met. She couldn’t just demand answers from him and expect a full answer – she couldn’t expect him to tell her everything he knew. He didn’t work like that. Swallowing some of her pride, Buffy followed him quickly.
She followed him into his room and shut the door behind her. He turned around and looked at her, raising one of his eyebrows in expectation. Buffy sighed.
“I need help,” she said, gritting her teeth together. “Frost and all the vampires here are different than the ones I’m used to. I need to know about them. I need to know everything there is to know about them so I can fight them without having to worry about any surprises. Can you help me?”
The words seem to echo in the room and it took all of Buffy’s strength not to walk out right there, forgetting any of that took place. She had never been one to admit she needed help – help was always there. She never had to ask for it. In fact, she never would ask for it. But no matter what she did or how she acted, help would always be there. Now, times were different. He didn’t have to help her.
Blade was silent for a moment as he let the words sink in, his opinion about her rising as she admitted her need for help. He sat down on a chair, nodding a gruff yes.
“Unlike some of the older vampires, those who were born vampires instead of those who were bitten to become one, Frost is not happy with the alliances that have been worked out with the humans. He thinks that vampires should rule, not be forced to hide in the night. Frost is dangerous, much more so than the older vampires want to believe.”
“Yes, thanks for the history class, but that information won’t help me kill the vamps,” Buffy said impatiently. “I need to know about their strength, speed, how to kill them – stuff like that.”
Blade nodded, rolling his eyes at her. “I’m getting to that. You’ve already fought them so you know how strong they are – and I’ve already told you the best ways to dust them. Silver stake to the heart, decapitation, fire – those work well. But it’s not the fighting that makes these vampires different. These vampires associate and make partnerships with humans. They have humans working for them. And, with Frost in charge, the vampires are changing. They aren’t content with human partnerships anymore. They want to be in control. And with Frost in charge, they very well could. He’s dangerous. Watch out for him.”
Buffy stared at him momentarily, watching the vague emotions play on his face. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t tell what he was thinking, what he was feeling. Of course, she had never tried to read people before – for her, it had always been kill, crush, destroy. Now, things were different. Times were different. She had to learn new skills in order to survive.
“So, basically, the vamps are changing the rules on us,” she said, starting to pace. “They’re making things more difficult.”
He nodded at her, watching her as she paced back and forth, a habit she had long ago picked up from Spike. Suddenly she stopped. She turned to him, a small smile crossing her face. “Well, if they want to change the rules on us, what’s to stop us from doing the same? We can’t let the vampires control what we do. We have to be more aggressive, more forceful. Show them that we won’t let them get away with anything.”
“And how do you suggest doing that?” Blade asked, raising an eyebrow at her. “You can’t go bullying them around.”
“Patrolling more,” she said casually, waving off his comments with a flick of her wrist. “Possibly finding people or demons to spy on them. Use everything we can to our advantage.”
“Good idea, blondie, but how are we going to put it in action? How are we going to find people who are willing to spy on vampires?”
Buffy turned to him, a slow, secretive smile crossing her face. “Don’t worry about that. I know people who could do it. But until we can contact them, we should double up on the number of patrols we do. Go out more, bring more weapons with us, try to find more vamps. Show them that we’re not backing down.”
A rare grin crossed Blade’s face as he studied her. “You’ve got guts, girl. And I’m beginning to like the way that you think.”
A slight understanding passed through the two as they stood there and studied each other. The moment, though, was broken up by a soft knock on the door. Buffy stepped aside as Blade walked forward and opened it. Karen stood on the other side, holding a bag out in front of her.
“This is the first batch of the new serum,” she explained, handing it to Blade. He took it from her, holding it carefully as if he was afraid he was going to break it. “It’s not completely perfect yet, but it should work for now.”
He nodded at her, gratitude on his face. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” she answered back, turning around to leave. But before she could get far, Buffy stepped forward and placed a hand on her shoulder.
Karen stopped at the word and turned around, her attention completely on Buffy. Buffy was unnerved for a moment by the sudden attention but quickly pushed the feeling aside. “What does the new serum do?”
“It keeps his bloodlust at bay,” Karen explained matter of fact. “Because of the serum, he won’t have to feed on humans in order to stay sane because of lack of blood. Unfortunately, it isn’t perfected yet. He will slowly build up an immunity to this serum. Hopefully, with the next batch, I’ll be able to figure out how to fix that.”
Buffy nodded at the rush of information given to her, almost going into the typical “smile and nod” routine she used whenever someone told her information that she didn’t quite understand.
“Oh,” was the only thing Buffy could manage to say. “I see. Thanks.”
Karen nodded and once again turned around, this time not being interrupted as she walked back to her work station. Buffy watched her retreating back for a minute, still processing the information. She was interrupted by the sound of Blade clearing his throat. She spun around quickly, her eyes meeting his immediately.
“We should go out and patrol, as you call it,” Blade said crispy. “If you want to show the vampires that they can’t fuck around, we’d better get out as soon as possible.”
Buffy nodded as she strolled over to one side of the warehouse, picking up a variety of weapons. Silver stakes were hidden well in the black leather jacket she wore – Spike’s old leather jacket. A finely sharpened dagger was hidden in the sleeve of the jacket. As she walked past the rows of weapons, an old wooden stake caught her eye. She froze in front of it for a moment, her hand hesitating above it. She had placed it there when she had first entered the warehouse, knowing that it would not do any good against the breed of vampires she was facing. Yet, she couldn’t bring herself to throw it away.
Even with the wear and tear it had seen over the last couple years, Buffy still recognized it. A small, sad smile crossed her face as she picked it up momentarily. Mr. Pointy. Kendra’s stake. Her sister slayer’s treasured weapon. Buffy had lost count of the number of vampires she had taken out with the stake. Now, it was a reminder of days past.
I wonder how Faith is doing, Buffy thought to herself as she rolled the stake across her hand. I hope Celeste is working out well for –
Buffy gasped and put a hand to her forehead, the stake falling to the ground in a clatter. She doubled over, her eyes squeezing shut as images came flowing to her, filling her mind so quickly that she felt as if her body was overloading.
Faith stood in the shell of a ruined home, blood dripping from a split lip. Cuts covered her body, every part of her ripped clothing covered in blood. Her blood. She swayed slightly on her feet but she did not fall. She instead crouched into a defensive position, glaring at the creature across from her.
Her hands were tensed tightly into fists, blood streaming from them. Bruised and bloody knuckles showed the abuse they had received, yet Faith paid no heed to it. She glanced grimly to her right, her face hardening as she saw the still body of her watcher. She glanced back at the creature and suddenly, a wave of fire came at her. She screamed once as her body was consumed with the fire and then –
The images left as suddenly as they had come. Buffy shook her head, straightening her body as she gasped for breath. She reached down to pick up the fallen stake but stopped halfway there. She looked at it uncertainly for a moment before standing back up, leaving it on the ground.
“Are you coming or what?” Blade’s voice echoed through the warehouse. Buffy turned around sharply, hurrying over to where he was standing, staring at her impatiently. “They aren’t going to wait around for you to come.”
She rolled her eyes at him. “I’ve played with vampire for years. Even though the ones I’m fighting now are different from the ones I’m used to doesn’t meant that I’ve forgotten everything I’ve learned. Vamps think with their teeth – they don’t like to wait around.”
Blade nodded skeptically at her before abruptly walking out the door of the warehouse. She followed him, biting back any remark that had come to her mind. She followed him closely, using her slayer-sense to find any vampires in the area. A rush of adrenaline filled her as her body prepared for the coming fights. Her steps became almost giddy, as if a breath of fresh air had filled her.
“So, where we going?” she asked, walking quickly to keep up with his pace. He didn’t even glance at her as he answered.
“To the places that they like to hang out. They always seem to be in the same area. Fuckin’ idiots never learn.”
“Well, ya know what they say: Vampires aren’t the brightest.” Blade stopped suddenly, turning around to glare at her momentarily. She just shrugged at him, looking at him innocently. “Ok, so nobody really says that because most people don’t know about vampires. But if they did, that’s what they would say.”
“Uh-huh,” he nodded slowly, shaking his head at her, wondering how she could manage to have such abrupt mood changes. He turned away from her and continued walking, freezing only a few seconds later. He slid into an alley way, his black clothing giving him the ability to blend in with the shadows. Buffy followed him without hesitation, blending in with the shadows with ease.
Two men passed by the alley, having rounded the corner Buffy and Blade had almost reached. They talked loudly, giving no thought to the dangers of the night. Buffy frowned as she stared at them, her slayer sense telling her they were humans. But they were too fearless to be normal humans. There was something off about them…
As their voices faded in the distance, Blade looked around the edge of the alley carefully. He watched their retreating backs carefully, only leaving the alley when they disappeared from site. Buffy followed him out.
“Who were they?” she asked quietly. “They weren’t vampires, but there was still something off about them.”
Blade looked at the darkness where they had been in disgust. “They’re not vampires, though they’re no better. They’re humans – they’ve sold out to the vampires because they think that the human race doesn’t have a fuckin’ chance against them.”
“So the men that were attacking you,” Buffy asked slowly, “they were humans?”
At Blade’s nod, Buffy felt cold, as if she were leaning against a block of ice. I’ve killed humans. Even if they were working with the vampires, I still killed them. I’ve killed.
Blade glanced at Buffy, surprised by the sudden vulnerability that settled on her features. “What’s wrong kid?”
Buffy shook her head, the vulnerability gone from her features. She opened her mouth to speak when suddenly, she felt vampires nearby. Too nearby, in fact. She spun around just in time to get knocked in the gut by a kick. She fell to the ground, rolling to absorb the impact. She stood up again, ignoring the pain in her aching gut.
“Looks like someone wants to play,” she said as she ducked an oncoming punch from the same vampire that had kicked her. “Trust a vampire not to play fair.”
With lightning speed she grabbed the shoulder of the vampire that had just tried to punch her and elbowed him in the face while at the same time, kneeing him in the abdomen. As he stumbled back, Buffy pulled the knife out from her jacket sleeve and with a quick flick of her wrist, beheaded him. She did not even have time to watch his body dissolve in dust as two more vampires quickly replaced the one that had first attacked her.
As the vampires jumped at her, Buffy spared a quick glance over to Blade. He was holding his own and then some against three vampires – his body worked like a well oiled machine, staking vampires left and right. She turned back to her own battle, jumping into the air and spinning into a tornado kick. The kick knocked both of the vampires to the ground. As Buffy went to behead them, the knife was kicked out of her hand. It went spinning in a flash of silver, hitting the side of a building.
A punch to her face sent her world spinning for a moment, giving her attacker enough time to kick her in the ribs. Instinctively she rolled back, spinning her legs in large arches in the air, knocking back the vampires that lunged for her. She got back onto her feet, brushing away the feelings of dizziness.
“Alright, that’s enough playing,” she said, pulling a stake out from her jacket. “I’m done being nice.”
“Time’s up, Slayer,” one of the vampires hissed as he lunged at her. “Time to die.”
“Been there,” she said nonchalantly, punching him in the face. “Done that. Didn’t like it.”
She staked him quickly, arm up immediately to block the wild hook punch that the next vampire flung at her. She responded with a harsh round kick to his knee, kicking with more force than usual. He screamed as his kneecap shattered beneath him, sending him spiraling to the ground.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said with fake innocence. “Did that hurt?”
Without waiting for an answer, she staked him. The third vampire lunged at her but with a vampire thrust of the stake, he too was dust. Buffy wiped the dust off of her clothes and started over to where Blade was fighting against a group of vampires. Clapping from behind her caused her to freeze in her tracks.
Buffy turned around slowly, body tensed for an attack. Confusion passed over her face as she looked into the dark alley, not seeing anyone there. She felt something, but she could not see anything.
A movement from behind her caused her to spin around in a defensive stance. But her body froze as she glanced at the person standing just a few feet in front of her. Her defensive stance dropped and she stood in an open stance, opening herself up to any attack that would come.
But nothing came at the moment. Buffy could only stand there, the blood draining from her face as she stared at the person – the woman – walking towards her. Her hands trembled slightly as her body stayed frozen to the spot.
“What’s wrong Buffy?” the woman asked, her voice caressing every word she said. “If I wasn’t mistaken, I’d think that you were upset to see me.”
Buffy opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. The woman chuckled and took a step closer, her black hair ruffled slightly by the wind.
“Don’t strain yourself by thinking,” the woman said. “Don’t want to hurt that pretty little head of yours. Just go on and fight the little vampires. That’s all you were ever good for anyway. Poor, slow Buffy. Couldn’t think when she needed too. Could only fight her way out while she tried to help her friends. Too bad it didn’t work.”
“Willow,” Buffy whispered, searching the face before her. It was Willow alright, but not the same as she had last seen her. It was the Willow of years ago, the Willow that took justice into her own hands – the Willow that tried to destroy the world. Buffy searched the eyes of her former best friend, trying to find some sign that it was the same girl she remembered. She found none. “How?…..why?...”
“Shhhh,” Willow whispered, walking forward and putting her finger over Buffy’s lips. “Don’t talk. It’ll ruin the moment.”
Buffy frowned at her words. “What moment?”
A chill overtook Buffy as Willow smiled, an evil, cold smile. “The moment when I finally get to tell you how much you ruined everything. How much you ruined my life, Xander’s life, Giles’ life, Dawn’s life…hell, even Spike’s life. Almost making the wrong decisions, almost thinking about yourself. Never caring how anyone else felt. And, not being able to save us. Your job was to protect people – and you couldn’t even protect those who were closest to you, could you?”
Buffy stood there, trying to brace herself against the words that were thrown at her. For a moment, she allowed herself to believe Willow’s words. Sometimes she had been selfish, sometimes she had made the wrong decisions. But she had done everything she could to save them.
“I did everything I could to save all of you,” Buffy rasped, forcing back tears. “But I can’t stop the decisions other people make. I couldn’t stop the car form hitting us, or the heart attack that killed Giles. I don’t even know if I could have saved Spike, either.”
“You abandoned us,” Willow said coldly. “You left us to die.”
“You were already dead,” Buffy whispered, her voice tight. “You were already dead.”
Willow did not say a word; she merely backed up a step. Buffy looked at her in surprise for a moment. But before she could say anything, four figures walked up behind Willow. Any blood that was left in Buffy’s face seeped out completely, leaving her face bone white. Xander, Giles, Dawn, and Spike walked forward. But they, just like Willow, were different. They were more menacing, their features darker. Their eyes were coal black as they stared sharply at Buffy, all of them watching her coldly.
Buffy backed away from the people in front of her, jumping in surprise as her back hit the wall. The five walked forward, slow, chilling grins covering their faces. She searched their eyes for any compassion, any signs of their former selves. Just like with Willow, there was nothing there but coldness.
“You tried, Buffy,” Xander called. “But your best just wasn’t good enough.”
“I always knew that you would end up failing, sooner or later. Disgraceful,” Giles said, shaking his head at her. Buffy felt tears welling up in her eyes as she heard the words of her former Watcher.
Dawn stepped forward, putting a hand on Buffy’s cheek, almost as if she were caressing her face lovingly. Buffy stared into the eyes of her sister, her own eyes pleading for some kind of care to be there.
Dawn leaned close to Buffy’s ear, her breath warm on Buffy’s neck. “I wish I could say that it’s been fun, big sis. But I can’t. Now, its time for you to die. For the last time.”
The hand that had been caressing Buffy’s face so lovingly stiffened. Buffy gasped in pain as Dawn ferociously dug her nails into Buffy’s skin and clawed her across the face. Blood dripped from the nail marks as Dawn stepped back from her sister, smirking at the pain written on Buffy’s face.
Buffy wiped blood out of her vision as she looked up, this time finding Spike in front of her. Her blood turned to ice as she saw him holding a railroad spike, her mind screaming to her, reminding her how he got his name. “It’s been a ride, luv. Now its time to take my third slayer.”
As he brought the spike above her head, Buffy closed her eyes, waiting for the inevitable. Suddenly, Buffy felt her entire body stiffen as energy flowed through it. She let a small gasp of surprise and her eyes flew open. Her eyes, typically hazel in color, had turned coal black, matching the eyes of the people in front of her. She felt almost separated from her body as her hands rose in front of her, green energy twitching from them. She felt her mouth open, but it was as if she had no control it.
Spike’s eyes widened in surprise as her hair took on a slightly reddish tint. He backed up a step as he felt the sudden emergence of power from Buffy. She spoke a single word, yet the tone and sound of her voice was different. It was almost as if the word was coming from someone else.
As suddenly as the power had appeared, it was gone. Buffy shook her head, her eyes and hair returning to their normal color. She looked at the five before her – five vampires stood there. The images of her friends were gone. Only the vampires were left. For a moment, the vampires glanced at each other in confusion, realizing that somehow, their cover had been taken.
With a wild yell, Buffy lunged at them, fury overtaking her. How dare they? How dare they take on the image of my friends?
With those words in mind she punched the vampire in front with such force that he went flinging back into the other four. In a whirl of punches and kicks she knocked each of the vampires down, the world almost blurring as she moved. She kneed a vampire in the groin, kicking it in the face as it bent forward in pain. As the vampire fell on its back, she quickly staked him through the heart.
She moved onto the next one, punching it in the face and blocking every punch that the vampire threw back at her. An opening appeared and she staked the vampire quickly, moving on once again.
Barely glanced to her right she threw a stake forward, grinning as she heard the scream of the vampire that had just climbed back to its feet. The stake clattered to the ground as the vampire turned to dust. The two remaining vampires glanced at each other for a moment before they started to run.
“I don’t think so,” she called as she ran after them, using her speed to vault over them. The vampires stopped in their tracks, staring at the seething vampire slayer. “I get to decide when this game is over.”
With those words, she dusted the vampires. She stared at the falling dust for a moment before turning to where Blade had been fighting earlier. She frowned slightly when she noticed he was gone from the spot. In fact, he wasn’t anywhere in site. Suddenly, a hand on her shoulder caused her to stiffen. She grabbed the hand, spun around –
And found herself face to face with Blade. She sighed in exasperation, dropping his hand. “Don’t do that! Didn’t your parents ever teach you that it’s dangerous to sneak up on a vampire slayer?”
“I missed that lesson,” he said, watching her carefully. “What was that back there? I could see you fighting, yet I couldn’t get in to help. And what the hell happened to them? I swear they changed…”
“Magic,” Buffy spat out. “Frost has taken it up a level. He’s got a full-fledged magic user with him now. But it takes more than a few tricks to beat me.”
Buffy spun around, not even waiting for Blade to answer. He hesitated a moment but because of the speed she was walking at, he only had time to hurry to catch up with her. He watched her carefully as she walked, for he knew there was something she wasn’t telling her. But something inside of him told him not to ask. Told him it was not time yet to ask. So the two continued walking through the streets of New York, nerves on edge as they patrolled.