FIGHTING FOR STRANGERS.
A Seattle Slayers story by Dave Turner.
Disclaimer: I do not own BtVS, Tweety, Sylvester or Granny. I write these stories for fun not profit.
Crossover: Multiple crossover BtVS with the Tweety and Sylvester cartoons, plus Celtic and Greek mythology.
Spelling and Grammar: Written in glorious English, English! American idioms are used wherever possible. Spelling and grammar is English.
Timeline: Takes place two or three weeks after the events in ‘Star Trekkin’…’
Words: Quite a lot!
Warnings: None that I can think of, you should know what happens in these stories by now.
Authors note: Personally I think Tweety and Granny are a couple of sick, sadistic bastards! But that’s just my opinion.
Fighting for Strangers.
By Dave Turner.
“What makes you go abroad,
Fighting for strangers.
When you could be safe at home,
Free from all dangers.” (1)
Kennedy stared wide eyed and slack jawed at Dr. Zimmerman, the Seattle Slayers very own Doctor. Her world had just been turned upside-down and her heart was beating like a jack-hammer due to the news he had just given her. Eventually she regained the power of speech.
“How…how long?” She stammered.
“Eight months,” Replied the Doctor as he placed her file on the desk in front of him, “Maybe a little less.” He added.
“Oh Goddess!” Exclaimed Kennedy, “What am I going to do?”
This was not something she could deal with by ramming a stake into it, or by taking its head off with a sword. This was worse, much, much worse.
“Well for a start,” Announced Zimmerman calmly, “I’ll arrange regular check-ups for you; and of course hospitalisation when your time comes.”
“Yes, yes, of course,” Replied Kennedy trying to marshal her thoughts, “How…?”
“Did it happen?” Zimmerman finished for her, “In one of several interesting ways I expect. It’s surprisingly easy for this sort of thing to happen if you’re not prepared you know.”
“Hmm? Yes…of course.” Kennedy looked at her doctor pleadingly, “What am I going to tell Willow?”
“That’s between you and her,” The Doctor explained, “But may I suggest you tell her the truth? After all she’s going to notice in two or three months time.”
“That soon?” Gasped Kennedy.
“I’m afraid so.” Replied Zimmerman.
Willow surveyed the front garden of the YSWA (Young Slayers Wicca Association) in much the same way as a Queen surveys her Kingdom (should that not be Queendom?). She smiled at the idea, Willow Rosenberg, Witch Queen of Seattle! Whatever; she knew what her first proclamation would be; somebody (so not her) needed to cut the front lawn. It was beginning to look less like a lawn and more like a jungle just lately.
She had plans for the front garden; she was intent on making it ‘nice’. The back garden was for training and playing and having barbecues. Apart from the area she had put aside for her very own herb-garden, no more Magic-shop or Supermarket herbs for this Witch, she thought. Vampires, Demons and Apocalypses permitting she planned to have everything in place by the end of summer.
It was at this point that Willow realised just what she had become; she had become ‘Mom’. Not just to Tara, her own daughter, but also to the young Slayers in her care. She was the one who made sure they got off to school in the morning. She sat and helped them with their homework; she was the one they came to for a hug when they needed a shoulder to cry on. It was a major responsibility; she just hoped she would do a better job at it than her own mother had. Willow hoped that she was even half as good at it as poor Joyce Summers had been.
Tara interrupted Willow’s musings as she ran into the garden with Rupert the Bearbot in hot pursuit. Willow smiled as her little girl shot by, why was it that toddler’s always seemed to go everywhere at a dead run? Luckily they seemed to ‘bounce’ with no more than a grazed knee and a few tears if they did hit something.
Rupert, Tara’s playmate and guardian ran after the little red-haired girl resplendent in his new fur. After the fight with the ‘Demon Flying Monkeys’ Rupert had been badly damaged and Willow had had to rebuild the Bearbot almost from scratch.
Now he was faster, stronger, better armed; with more powerful processors and better programming. She had removed the requirement that Rupert shut down when ‘normal’ people were about. Now she just told anyone who asked that she was developing an advanced toy for a large toy company.
Yes, at the moment life was good; they had even found Alice, their youngest Slayer, a new school. After those ‘unfortunate incidents’ at Roger Young Junior High, they had despaired that any school would be willing to take her. Then there was Tammy, a nineteen year old girl who had survived with no help from anyone since ’03. She had suddenly woken up one morning a Slayer and had been fighting for her life ever since.
Yes all was well with the world, as far as you could judge these things if you were in a life or death struggle with Evil. Willow sighed resignedly; yes something was bound to happen to spoil it all.
Granny bowed towards the Great Demon Hasseldorf, who at the moment had taken the guise of a handsome middle-aged man.
“You have done well!” Boomed the Demon, at present they were in the basement of Granny’s old house, “How long do you think it will take to destroy the Witch-That-Is?”
“Well, my lord,” Replied Granny sweetly, “If you want to be sure…I must work at my own speed. If you rush a job like this it can all end badly for everyone except the intended target.” Granny shrugged, “That’s life.” She explained.
“Hmmm,” Replied the Demon, his voice echoing slightly, “If it was up to me you could take as long as you wanted.” The Demon stroked his chin, “But, as you know, I’m subcontracting on this one and my clients want a swift and successful conclusion to this job.” The Demon smirked and let out a short bark of demonic laughter, “It seems my clients have tried to kill or at least subvert the Witch and her Slayers several times…each time the Witch has proved too cunning for them.”
“I will do the best I can, my lord.” Grovelled Granny.
“Yes, see that you do!” Commanded the Demon, “But be careful,” Hasseldorf admonished, “I’ve a feeling that my ‘Employers’ aren’t telling me everything…I think the Witch has some powerful friends. I’d hate for you to die…you’re more useful to me alive than dead.”
“As you wish my lord.” Cringed Granny.
“Right!” Exclaimed the Demon, “I’m off…things to do, souls to torment y’know.”
The Demon disappeared in a cloud of smoke leaving only the smell of sulphur behind him.
“Flash bastard.” Muttered Granny as she climbed to her feet.
In a daze Kennedy walked out of the hospital into the parking lot. She half stumbled, half walked to her car, a black and chrome Mini Cooper with tinted windows. Willow and herself had bought it with the money they had found in a Vampire’s lair (the Vampire having no further need for it). It meant that they did not have to drive the SUV everywhere now.
She unlocked the door and got in. Sitting in the driver’s seat she fumbled with the key trying to fit it into the ignition. As she got more frustrated at not being able to find the ignition, the more she felt her emotions go into turmoil. Within moments she found tears running down her cheeks.
She rested her head against the steering wheel and sobbed uncontrollably for several minutes. Then, taking a deep breath she stopped as suddenly as she had begun. Taking a tissue from her purse she dabbed at her eyes and looked at herself in the rear view mirror. She found she had great big ‘Panda eyes’ from where her make-up had smudged.
“Get a hold of yourself!” She told her reflection, “This is no way for a Slayer to act. Doc Zimmerman warned you there would be mood swings…have to watch that.” She took another deep calming breath, “You can get through this,” she announced as she slid the key easily into the ignition and started the engine, “Go to work, maybe do some research, then tell Will. She’ll know what to do, Willow always knows what to do.”
Putting the car into gear she pulled out of the parking space and headed off to the Library where she worked. ‘Yes’ she thought, ‘Willow always knows what’s best.’
Alice studied herself in the mirror of the restroom and unlike many girls of her age she decided she had to put on weight. She was a victim of her own Slayer metabolism which burnt up calories at an alarming rate. If she fought and trained as a good Slayer should she could hoover up food as fast as she wanted with only minimal weight gain. If she did not fight and train the Vampires and Demons that were drawn to her would kill her…but she would at least be a healthy weight when she died!
She pulled herself up straight and looked at the figure in the mirror and smiled, she had good teeth, no braces for her. However she could do without the short tartan skirt, white socks, blouse, school tie and pigtails. It reminded her far too much of a couple of porn movies she had made not that long ago.
“Oh well.” She signed, “Can’t stay in here all day.”
She knew they were waiting for her outside; they were always waiting for girls like her. The girls who did not fit in, the outcasts, the freaks. She had hoped that this being an all girls’ school that things would be different, but even here they were waiting for the unwary…every school had them (well maybe not all-boys schools)…Cheerleaders!
Miss Willow had told her not to let it worry her; that she was better than they were and it was only for a few years anyway. Miss Kennedy had been more practical. She had explained how being at an all girls school was like living in the jungle, survival of the fittest, and she had to remember that she was the fittest. She had taught Alice a few tricks so that if she did have to fight she would not leave any bruises.
Alice could hear the girls giggling in the corridor outside as they waited for her. No doubt they had thought up some really good joke to play on her when she walked into their little trap. There were only six of them; six schoolgirls, even if they were cheerleaders, did not make up one Vampire and she had killed vamps. She had killed at least one human if the truth was told, but she was trying to put that behind her now. It was not something she was planning on repeating.
Alice put her hand on the door handle and took a deep breath, “Here goes.”
She opened the door and stepped into the corridor, sure enough the cheerleaders came out of hiding and surrounded her; she gave them her best Slayer’s smile.
“Okay?” She asked, “Who wants to be first?”
Willow noticed the delivery truck pull up outside number 1417 around midmorning. Half an hour later as workmen were carrying furniture into the house a Yellow Cab drove up and decanted an old lady onto the sidewalk. 1417 had been empty for the best part of a year, Willow could not remember much about the people who had lived there before, they had not been that friendly she remembered.
The house reminded Willow of a larger version of Buffy’s house in Sunnydale, and she wondered if the old lady was going to be living there alone. It did seem to be a large house for just one person. Willow considered for a moment. Would she really be ‘nosy’ if she just went over and said ‘Hi’?
Not if she took some cookies and welcomed the woman to the neighbourhood.
Willow waited until the truck and the workmen left, and then she put a selection of cookies into an airtight container, she picked up Tara and made her way over to meet her new neighbour.
Willow stood on the shady veranda and rang the doorbell, as she waited for someone to answer she looked around and noticed the old fashioned birdcage hanging from a hook in the ceiling. She walked over to take a closer look. Inside the cage she saw the strangest creature she had ever seen. Well, maybe not ‘the’ strangest, but it was up there in the top ten.
The creature sat on a little swing and swung itself back and forth as it regarded her with almost as much interest as she regarded it. It was covered in bright yellow feathers and stood about ten or twelve inches tall with an enormous head that made up at least fifty percent of its body. There were large comic orange feet, and it looked at her with huge eyes that seemed to be all iris surrounded by white eyeball. It had a tail that appeared to consist of exactly one feather, and its wings looked small and useless, obviously it was some kind of flightless bird.
“What a funny creature.” Willow said to Tara.
“I see you’re admiring Tweety.” Said a voice behind her.
Willow turned to see a little old woman in an old fashioned blue dress with white collar and cuffs. She had white hair drawn back into a bun on the back of her head and a pair of round glasses perched on the end of her nose.
“Oh! Hi,” said Willow turning to face the woman, “I’m Willow Rosenberg, I live up the road at 1415, and this is my daughter Tara.”
“Oh what a pretty little girl,” Said the old woman sweetly, “She looks almost good enough to eat.”
Tara gave the woman one look and then hid her face in her mom’s hair.
“I just thought I’d come and welcome you to the neighbourhood,” Continued Willow not noticing Tara’s reaction, “And to give you these,” She handed over the box, “They’re cookies.” Explained Willow suddenly feeling uncomfortable under the old woman’s gaze.
“Oh thank-you that is kind,” Said the woman taking the box from Willow, “People just call me Granny, don’t ask me why. Somedays I can’t remember my real name either, and this is Tweety, he’s a Rarie bird…very rare you know?”
“Yes I’m sure he is.” Replied Willow her feeling of unease getting stronger by the minute.
“I’d like to ask you in,” Said Granny, “But I’m afraid it’s all a little untidy what with the boxes and everything.”
“NO! No that’s fine,” Said Willow a fixed smile on her face, “I quite understand…moving in an’ all…some other time.”
“Yes dear.” Smiled Granny serenely.
“Well I’ll be on my way then.” Willow backed away from the old woman then turned and started to walk down the garden path, “If there’s anything you need don’t hesitate to ask.” She called over her shoulder as she picked up speed. By the time she had got back to her own garden she was almost running.
Granny watched Willow go.
“Silly girl,” she said to herself, “Fancy telling me her real name like that. If she’s the ‘Witch-That-Is’ she won’t be too difficult to deal with…will she Tweety?”
“No Gwanny.” Replied the ‘bird’.
Granny reached up and unhooked Tweety’s cage, picked up the box of cookies then walked back into her house. She put down the cage on a crate and opened the box; breaking off a small piece of cookie she put it through the bars of the cage. Tweety hopped off his swing and picked up the piece of cookie and ate it.
“Good cookies Gwanny.” He announced after a moment.
Granny picked up a cookie and bit into it.
“Mmmm, yes they are!” She exclaimed, “And absolutely no poison!”
(1) Refrain from the Traditional song ‘Fighting for Strangers’.