*Somewhere between Realities.*
A grey plain stretched away under a grey sky towards grey mountains in a grey distance. There in the middle of this featureless plain stood twelve grey robed figures in a loose circle. One spoke.
“It is decided then?”
The others nodded their heads in silent agreement.
“All operations in Reality 7480622 are to end forthwith, and will not be recommenced in the foreseeable future. Our attempts to sow discord in the ranks of the Slayers and their helpers has been singularly unsuccessful, due in no small way to the interference of various of the old gods. There has even been leakage of their influence into Reality 4001!”
The others in the group muttered and shook their heads in anguish.
“It’s been rumoured that the Buffy of 4001 is trying to work towards redemption and is attempting to make peace with her former enemies.”
There were gasps of despair from several in the circle. The lead entity huffed and muttered for a moment before continuing.
“All assets already in place in 7480622 will be left there, but I recommend that the reality is quarantined and no further operations carried out there…ever! We have lost that reality for good I think. We will never be able to put things back as they were.”
“What about the followers of the religions we have started in that reality?” Asked a figure.
“Leave them,” The first ordered, “They will continue to cause trouble for years to come, however, reason will eventually prevail and they will fade into superstition, as will the old gods…it will be a modicum of revenge for us. All those lives wasted on empty devotion!”
“Now on to other business, I believe there is a report on Reality 450218 which will make better listening…”
*The restaurant at the End of the Universe.*
Athena looked over to where the Fates giggled like teenagers as they worked on something at their table. She sighed and turned back to Morrigan, Nemain and Badb who sat across the table from her. She eyed their glasses of beer with a little despair; she would never civilise them!
“So what do you intend to do?” She asked sipping from her glass of wine.
“Well,” Replied Morrigan, “I thought I’d stay on as Mrs Huntley and run that school I set up. Badb you said you’d like to stay on as Miss Bush too didn’t you?” The younger Goddess nodded her head.
“There’s so many girls that need our help.” Explained Badb.
“What about you Nemain?” Asked Athena with a smile, “You going to be a school ma’am too?”
“No,” Replied Nemain wistfully, “Too many bars left to visit, too many fights to start. Too much aggression that needs to be channelled, but I’ll be around if you need me.” She smiled, “What will you do?”
“I thought I’d spend what little time we have left trying to make people’s lives a little better.” Said Athena sadly, “I mean it’s hard enough fighting evil if you’re worried that your lover is cheating on you. In cases like that I’ll give Aphrodite a swift kick and get her to do her job properly!”
“We only have a few tens of years left sisters,” Said Morrigan, “We must make up for all the years we turned our backs on humanity…just because they turned their backs on us didn’t mean we should have forsaken them. As Athena says ‘We must try harder, we must live up to their standards.”
Just then the three Fates skipped giggling over to the older Goddesses table.
“…finished!” They said.
“Go on then,” Ordered Athena, “What have you done?”
“STOP THAT!” Cried Athena sharply, “I know you only do that three in one talk thing to annoy me! Now one of you explain…you Clotho talk!”
Clotho looked at her sisters and cleared her throat.
“You said we should not send the Alice Slayer back to her own Reality. So we have altered all the Life Strips of her friends so they believe that she lived her early life in their Reality. This wasn’t too difficult as they mostly believed it anyway, we just removed any doubts they may have had…or will have.”
“We also altered some of the past patterns of their lives so that any discord that might have been growing between The Slayer and her friends will be forgotten as if they were bad dreams.” The Fates looked very pleased with themselves.
“So what’s with all the giggling?” Asked Badb.
“This!” Clotho held up two Life Strips sown together with their patterns slowly merging until they became one strip.
“Ah! The Two Young Lovers.” Smiled Nemain as she wiped away a small tear.
“Yes we had Aphrodite help us with this,” Explained the Fate, “They will live happily ever after and their sons will be the first male Slayers born in twenty-three hundred years!”
As the Fates and Goddesses exchanged complements on what a good job they had all done, Nemain looked over to where a short blonde waitress carried a tray of drinks over to a group of Valkyries and their Chosen ones.
Another Slayer wasted, she thought, another life cut short before she could fore-fill her destiny, another reason to carry on fighting.
*Cleveland, Reality 7480622.*
Buffy sat by herself in a Cleveland coffee shop and watched the crowds as they passed by in the Mall outside. She was alone again; she had thought she would have got used to it by now, but she would always miss her friends, even Kennedy! Willow was in Seattle with Kennedy, Faith and Xander were down in New Orleans most of the time, and good old Giles was back in London trying to make peace with that Mrs Fitzsimons woman. Buffy sighed and looked into her coffee cup; she was just toying with the idea of getting a refill and a Danish, when a handsome young man in an expensive business suit sat down across the table from her.
“Hi,” He said with a smile, “I saw you all alone over here an’ I wondered if I might buy you a cup of coffee?”
Buffy smiled her acceptance at the young man; he really was very handsome, almost like a Greek god.
“Oh by the way,” Said the man holding out his hand to her, “I’m Hermes, and you are…?”
The nights were the worst.
Alice sat next to Tina on the garden bench as they looked back towards the house, and watched the building contractors make repairs. After the excitement of dealing with Granny and Tweety, life had slowly gone back to its usual round of school, slaying and shopping and soon it would be warm enough to have the first barbecue of the season.
Tammy had had to pick-up road-kill on the highway for a couple of weeks after the PD had charged her with ‘Lewd Behaviour’ for running naked through Seattle Center Amusement Park. Miss Kennedy had picked up a couple of speeding tickets after their high-speed dash to the Space Needle.
But, nobody seemed to question why anyone would want to hurl a six-foot tall bright yellow stone stature of a Rarie bird from off the top of the Space Needle. Or indeed the broken window on the observation platform or how a wheelbarrow got up there in the first place.
The near destruction of their street had been explained away by putting it down to a tornado or an Earthquake or both! It depended on who you spoke to. Miss Willow had muttered darkly about what she called the ‘Sunnydale Syndrome’; or how people did not believe the evidence of their eyes.
Quite honestly as far as Tina and Alice, and the other Slayers were concerned. If it meant that people did not interfere with their slaying, more power to the Sunnydale Syndrome! Anyway Miss Willow did not have much time to dwell on the vagaries of the human psyche. Her scream, when Miss Kennedy told her she was pregnant, could be heard down the street even over the sound of all the rebuilding.
No one knew how it had happened…well they knew ‘how’ it had happened. But, not interesting things like; who did it, where, why and when. The girls were quite sure that it would all come out in the end, and with both Miss Willow and Miss Kennedy working on it the truth would come out…one day. Probably kicking and screaming and covered in blood!
Xander and Faith had arrived shortly after Granny was killed (by looters the local police said). Xander was overseeing the rebuilding of the YSWA and Faith was…well Faith was just being Faith. They had performed an interesting training exercise the night before. The Seattle Slayers (excluding Kennedy) had had to try and track down and capture Faith. They had failed which had really annoyed Miss Kennedy. Now they were all doing extra training…with Faith.
The instant the Rarie bird died Sylvester had turned back into a normal cat. A very large and bright cat but still just a cat. He lorded it over the house with seven willing slaves pandering to his every whim. The only one to see through his game was Tara but she would fall under his spell soon enough.
But the nights were the worst.
What with Willow and Kennedy at one end of the corridor and Xander and Faith at the other, the girls were going ‘round with permanent bags under their eyes. Such was life.
“You wanna start doing the sex thing?” Asked Alice.
“WHAT!” Squeaked Tina in surprise.
“Only if you want to,” Added Alice nonchalantly, “I don’t want to pressure you into anything.”
“But...but I…we, I mean…” Said Tina was taken by surprise.
“Okay,” She reasoned aloud, “The necking sessions are becoming a little ‘heated’, so the full blown Lesbian sex thing is bound to happen sooner or later…and isn’t it illegal at our age in America. You Yanks had some funny laws about sex, mind-you I’m not sure if it’s actually legal in Britain…I think it’s consenting adults back home…it’s probably legal in Holland…everything’s legal in Holland…” Tina shook her head to clear the babble from her mind.
“Oh come on Teen!” Exclaimed Alice grabbing hold of her soon to be lover’s arm, “With all the screaming and groaning that goes on ‘round here at night, who’s gonna notice if we join in?”
“True.” Replied Tina nodding her head, “But let’s not rush into anything hmm?”
“Hey it’s not like either of us will get pregnant.” Alice pointed out.
“Not so sure of that,” Replied Tina glancing meaningfully at the house, “I mean Miss Willow and Miss Kennedy seem to have managed it.”
“Yeah,” Agreed Alice, “We’ll need to take precautions.”
“All over condoms?” Suggested Tina.
“Latex!” Giggled Alice, “Kinky!”
Willow and Kennedy were sitting on one of the sofas in the family room watching the two girls at the bottom of the garden.
“Don’t they make a lovely couple?” Asked Willow.
“’Bout time,” Replied Kennedy stroking Sylvester behind his ears, “They’ve been pussy footing around each other for weeks now.”
The two women sat in silence for a moment.
“Willow,” Began Kennedy, “Why don’t you invite Buffy to stay for a while. I know you miss her an’ y’know what with Faith and Xander being here you could ask Mr Giles as well. It would be like a Scooby meeting…a sort of reunion.”
“Where would we put them all?” Asked Willow already planning the reunion party.
“We’ll find space. Even if we have to put Buffy in the basement!” Joked Kennedy, she looked at her watch, “You know we’ve got an hour or so until everybody gets home. Tina and Alice can keep an eye on Tara…we could, y’know go up stairs for a while…only if you want to mind.”
Willow leaned over and kissed Kennedy’s welcoming lips.
“Oh I want.” She said and led the way up to their bedroom.
THE END…for now.
The Last Two Male Slayers born before modern times.
Marcus Valerius Corvus 370 BCE to 270 BCE.
Roman Hero and farmer. He was voted Consul six times and Dictator once. As a tribune he killed a Gaulish giant in single combat. He fought in many battles defeating Rome’s enemies. Introduced the law of appeal.
Titus Manlius Imperious Torquatus circa 347BCE.
Roman Consul and Soldier. Seemed to have a hotline to the Roman god Jupiter (Greatest and Best). Crushed the Latin League (among others).