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Ancient Bronze Gateways

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Summary: PI Garrett and his friend Morley Dotes go through a mystical gateway in pursuit of a sorcerer and a Bronze medallion, and end up in Sunnydale.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > FantasyMediancatFR1515,29011386716 Jun 0716 Jun 07No
Author's Note: An old crossover I started and abandoned; is anyone interested in seeing me continue it?

This is set sometime post Deadly Quicksilver Lies in Garrett terms. In Buffyverse terms, early season six, before OMWF.

Disclaimer: Garrett, Morley Dotes, Puddle, the Palms and The Dead Man were created by Glen Cook. All Buffy characters were created by Joss Whedon. Silvius Dray and Fralley are mine.

X X X X X

I really hadn’t expected the trouble this time, I swear.

Some people – mostly those that know me – would disagree with that.
Name’s Garrett: I’m a private detective with an unfortunate habit of

finding myself in the middle of crisis situations. I’ve been in the

middle of wars of the gods, tracked down body-switching serial killers,

and gone into nests of vampires in total darkness.



Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: I’m an idiot. Not many people in

TunFaire who’d disagree with you, usually including me. But this time,

the case I was on was an easy one: Find a stolen bronze medallion. Minor

magical powers. Apparently stolen by a gang of ogres led by a low-rent

human sorcerer, but unfortunately for them they couldn’t leave the city

right now; the lords on the Hill had ordered a complete census of the

town, the gods only knew why (and they weren’t telling.) The only people

allowed in or out were approved patrols; others would be arrested or

shot, depending on the mood of the soldier that found them.



The sorcerer himself was a would-be hellraiser named Silvius Dray. He

couldn’t have too much talent or he’d have been up on the Hill or trying

to track down Glory Mooncalled to wherever the rebel had gotten

himself, but he wasn't a complete incompetent.



So it was a matter of patience and legwork. Right before the trouble I

was chatting things up with my ally and friend Morley Dotes at his

restaurant/watering hole, The Palms. It was kind of in a transition phase

between the dive bar it used to be and the class joint he was trying to make

it into. I wished him luck. Strictly vegetarian, my pal Morley;

right now he was trying to get me interested in eating some kind of

mushroom dish. Doesn’t sound too bad, you say; but then, you haven’t

seen the mushrooms. Or met Morley’s cooks.



Anyway, for once I was playing the assignment smart: We had people

tracking this gang of ogres round the clock. I took a couple of shifts

but I wasn’t doing it solo. Morley knew a lot of guys who’d do

surveillance on the cheap, given the circumstances in the city, and I

wasn’t above taking advantage of it. Mostly, these guys were too afraid

of what Morley’d do to them if they tried to stiff me. Morley’s only

five and a half feet tall and skinny as they come, but he’s deadlier

than a platoon of sabertooths.



So, like I said, we weren’t expecting trouble. And of course, that’s

when trouble always decides to put in an appearance. Silvius Dray barged

through the front door, followed by his herd of ogres. Most of the

customers immediately sprinted for the exits; most of the servers made

for the kitchen.



Morley doesn’t truck with trouble. His bartender, Puddle, who has a

whole armory of heavy weaponry underneath his bar, immediately ducked

down and came up with some kind of crossbow it would have broken my arm

to try to pull back. As Dray stormed up to our table, me and Morley

stood up. The sorcerer hadn’t actually ordered violence yet, but I had

the sneaking suspicion it was moments away.



“I underthtand,” Dray said – yes, he talked jutht tho – “that you are

the foul villainth who have been rethponthible for all thothe people

thtalking me.” Around his neck, he wore the medallion we’d been

searching for, on a gold chain – but I wasn’t going to go grabbing for

it with all those ogres standing nearby. Mrs. Garrett’s only surviving

son was no fool.



“Yeth, Thilviuth,” I thaid – um, said – “That’th uth.”



“You mutht be Garrett,” he said, sneering as best he could. “I’ve heard

about you and your thmart mouth. Maybe I should have my friendth here

remove it from your body.”



“Then you’ve also heard about me,” Morley said with deadly cool. “And

how I don’t like people coming into my restaurant and causing trouble.

Much less threatening my friends.”



Dray nodded, completely unruffled. “Indeed I have, Mr. Doteth. Fralley!”



Fralley? What the hell was a Fralley? Before I had the chance to ask

Morley, something eight feet tall, with skin the color of a sunburned

pig and horns like a ram, came waltzing into the place, faster than

anything eight feet tall had a right to. In a much-too-eager voice –

high-pitched like you wouldn’t believe -- he said, “Yes, Mr. Dray?”



“That’th Morley Doteth, Fralley,” Dray said. “The boyth and I are going

to have a nice talk with Mr. Garrett, here. If he interfereth –“

Fralley nodded eagerly.



Morley didn’t seem impressed. Me, I was plenty worried, with six ogres

and whatever the hell Fralley was facing off against me, Morley, and

Puddle’s crossbow. But then one of the ogres put a hand on my shoulder.



Not smart. Morley broke the hand before the ogre had time to blink. I

whipped out my headknocker and hit Dray one upside the head before he

had the chance to give any more orders, then took a couple of steps back

to let Morley break another ogre’s knees. Also to give Puddle a clean

shot, which he took almost immediately, catching an ogre in the shoulder

and knocking him ass over appetite.



I didn’t hesitate; I ran in and beaned him on the head as hard as I

could, twice, then clobbered the one who’d been kneecapped, for good

measure. Another of the ogres ran past me and dove over the bar at

Puddle before he could reload. Puddle, no fool himself, dodged and ran

into the kitchen, with the ogre hot on his heels.



By this point Fralley and Morley were going at it one-on-one, which left

me (unfortunately) with three ogres to deal with solo, one of which was

in a bad mood because of a broken hand. Ogres weren’t subtle or

especially fast, but they didn’t need to be; they had brute strength and

ugly going for them. A whole lot of ugly in the case of this trio; if

their strength matched their ugly I was going to end up something of a

smear on the Palms’ floor.



We were just getting ready to mix it up when Fralley suddenly noticed

his erstwhile boss was stretched out cold. He caught Morley across the

jaw and knocked him across the room, then ran over to rip the medallion

from Dray’s neck and began chanting something in a language I’d never

heard before. The ogres suddenly backed away from me, confused. I got

the impression that this was not going according to plan.



Abruptly, a doorway opened up in the middle of the room. Fralley was

about to run through it when Morley shook off the effects of the last

blow he’d gotten and came over and resumed hostilities. In the same

high-pitched voice he’d used earlier, Fralley said, “I don’t have time

for this,” and ignoring the effects of Morley’s flashing blades, picked

him up. And rare is the opponent who’s able to so much as lay a hand on

Morley Dotes, much less toss him around. This made me swear to never get in a

one-on-one fight with Fralley.



At this juncture three things happened: Dray woke up in a foul mood;

Puddle came out of the kitchen; and Fralley began to toss Morley back to

the other side of the room.



Then three MORE things happened, all while me and the ogres stood

around stupidly. Dray yelled at Fralley, distracting him; Puddle loaded

his giant-sized crossbow and fired, catching Fralley in the thigh; and

Fralley tossed Morley anyway –



But through the portal, not into the wall. Fralley swore and jumped

through himself. Dray looked at the three ogres and yelled, “Follow him,

you foolth!” Two of the ogres, figuring maybe a leap through a giant

shimmering doorway might not be the brightest of ideas, instead ran out

the front of the restaurant. The third, the one with the broken hand,

jumped through. Dray followed him.



I couldn’t leave Morley like that, and not knowing how long the portal

would stay open, couldn’t hesitate. “Puddle –“



“I’ll make sure someone tells da Dead Man,” Puddle said, uncommonly solemn. “Right after I

throw out da trash.” He kicked one of the ogres lying on the floor.



“Good enough.” I gripped my headknocker and leapt through the portal.



X X X X X



I don’t know what I expected on the other side: heaven, hell, some godforsaken

cave in the middle of the Cantard. So when I wound up in the middle of some

kind of club it shouldn’t have surprised me.



But it did.



Almost immediately after I stepped through, the gate shriveled up behind me. I

looked around and took stock of the situation.



And it was sheer chaos. Silvius Dray and his ogre pal were nowhere to be seen,

but Morley was still slugging it out with Fralley, with the help of some young

human woman, blonde and very slobberworthy under other circumstances.



I was on the second floor of the place; the fighting was below me. It didn’t

look like Fralley had bothered taking the stairs down. Being somewhat more

fragile myself, I did, brushing by a pair of young women running by on the way

up, muttering incantations as they came. Wizards apparently, then, though from

their odd dress I doubted they were part and parcel of the local constabulary.



As I came down the stairs I noticed the lighting was not by torch or gaslight,

but by some kind of glowing tubes. And on the stage were musical instruments

with long cords of some sort attached. Wherever I was, I doubted strongly I was

anywhere near TunFaire.



Some things hadn’t changed; except for the combatants, there were only a few

people standing around. I whipped out my headknocker to see if I could help

Morley and the unknown woman, only to be blocked by a dark-haired guy. “Whoa,

club-boy. Hold on a second. Five things came barreling out of that gate up

there and only one of ‘em’s been anything but trouble.” He pointed to a couple

of people moaning in pain nearby; either the fight with Fralley had encompassed

the whole place or Dray and his ogre pal hadn’t been neat on their way out. “So

who the hell are you?”



I could have just clocked the guy and moved on but decided to startle him with

the truth. “Garrett. Private detective . . . and not from around here,

apparently. I’m pals with the skinny guy over there.” I pointed to Morley.



The fight was about even. The short woman was about as fast as Morley, but

Fralley equalled the two of them in speed and was a good deal stronger. I

noticed that Fralley no longer had the medallion, either.



“Alright then. For the moment let’s let your pal and Buffy take care of big,

pink and ugly, and let’s you and me as normal guys –“ he looked at me like he

remembered he hadn’t actually gotten me established as normal, and that’s me,

Garrett, normal as they come, so I nodded – “Let’s get the rest of these people

out of here. I’m Xander, by the way.”



The injured were in good enough shape to walk outside with help, though one of

them had an arm twisted in ways the gods never meant arms to twist. They’d be a

long time recuperating unless they knew some quality healers –



A blond man came running up. “Lost ‘em,” he said in an odd accent. “They had

too much of a head start. Who’s this bloke?”



“This is Garrett, Spike,” Xander said. “Comes from the same place our other

four pals did.”



He eyed me a little warily. “Right.” He didn’t offer to shake my hand, which

broke my heart not at all. “Now I got to go see a demon.” He sprinted inside;

as I passed through the doorway I noticed a big sign proclaiming this place as

“The Bronze.” Which figured. I didn’t like this talk of demons either, though

Fralley didn’t act like any demon I’d ever heard of.



A half second after we entered Xander and I got some impromptu ducking

practice, as Spike came flying towards us and slammed into the wall. To my

amazement he shook it off, but right as the three of us were about to charge

into battle, battle came charging towards us. Fralley backhanded Xander, who

crumpled like a piece of paper, and made like to do the same for me, but I’d

wisely thrown myself to the floor. I aimed a blow at his knee with my

headknocker, which Fralley pretended didn’t bother him.



Spike was a sight more angry and determined, though; he flattened himself

against the wall and then jumped onto Fralley's back. I stepped back to let

Buffy and Morley pass by, then got Xander to his feet and followed, ready to

join the fight.



Only there wasn’t one. An eight-foot tall blur was sprinting down the street,

and a heavily entangled Buffy, Morley and Spike were dusting themselves off on

the alley pavement. I went running after him – how easy could be for an

eight-foot-tall pink guy to lose himself in a crowd – but by the time I rounded

the corner, he was gone. Damn, he WAS fast.



Still, he shouldn’t be that hard to track down, unless he simply kept running.

Which I doubted. He’d wanted that medallion for something.



I made my back to the alley and found we’d been joined by the two women wizards

who’d shouldered their way past me earlier. One was a redhead, one blonde, both

worthy of extra-long looks under other circumstances – everyone knows I’m a

sucker for redheads – but the way they looked at and touched each other told me

I’d be wasting my effort.



Introductions were quickly made all around; the blonde was Tara and the redhead

was Willow. “So, how did you all get involved with our three new friends out

there?” Buffy asked. The smile on her face seemed very forced, but no one else

seemed to notice.



I gave a quick explanation of the circumstances – interrupted occasionally by

some snide comments from Morley about how every time I asked him for a favor it

turned out to be a major chore; that I forbore reminding him of the time he had

me and my pal Saucerhead lugging a vampire through the Tunfaire streets without

bothering to tell him surely gets me a place in any heaven I care to name – and

got a quick explanation back of exactly where the hell we were.



That turned out to be a city called Sunnydale, in some completely alternate

dimension. Fralley, it turned out, WAS what passed for a demon around here. I

was startled to find out that Spike was a vampire; back where I come from,

vampires do good deeds by accident only, and they’re a damn sight uglier. Buffy

was a Slayer of vampires, demons, and other assorted nasties, Willow and Tara

were magicians, and Xander was just their pal who helped them, which made him

either a hell of a guy or a damn fool.



Of course, I fit the same mold. When we made the introductions I left out

Morley’s semi-former career as a paid assassin and bonebreaker, implying that

he had once been in more or less my same line of work.



Then we trotted along, back to their headquarters, presumably to get a war

council going. Morley and I hung back a bit.



“So why are we tagging along, Garrett?” Morley asked. “All we need is that

medallion and –“



“If that were it, Morley,” I said, “We wouldn’t have had that encounter with

Dray. Fralley knew what to do with the thing, but Dray didn’t. Unless you

remember exactly what Fralley said to open the doorway here?”



Morley accepted the point, with ill grace. “Well, maybe there’ll be other

things worth looking around for.” He was pointedly staring at the women’s

backsides as he said it.



“I hate to disillusion you,” I said, “But Buffy doesn’t seem like she’s

interested –“



“The best type to try to conquer,” Morley said –



“And the other two are already involved with each other.”



Morley grunted; he’d missed that. “Seems like a waste of choice womanhood.”



“I’ll agree with you there.”



On such trivial, and yet vitally important, topics we passed the rest of the

journey.



X X X X X



Headquarters, such as it was, consisted of a store called “The Magic

Box.” On the inside was every two-bit fake item of magic any huckster’s

ever tried to pawn off on some sucker. Crystal balls, tarot cards . . .



“So what?” I asked as soon as we got inside. “You dump this stuff off to

keep the cash flow up?”



“Cash flow’s good!” said an improbably perky woman behind the counter.

“But some of it’s real. We wouldn’t sell the dangerous stuff – unless we

really made a lot of money on it. Who are you?” Then she noticed the

assorted bumps and bruises, especially those on Xander. I gathered they

were an item. “And what happened this time?” She glared at Willow. “You

told me this was just supposed to be a fun night out. You didn’t say

anything about injuries. Oh, poor baby . . .” She led Xander towards the

back of the store as Morley and I exchanged blinks.



“That greedy force of nature,” Buffy said, “was Anya. You guys talk

among yourselves for a minute; I need to make a phone call.”



Then she wandered off to the back of the store. “Phone call?” I asked

Willow.



“Telephone. It’s a device we use to speak to each other at great

distances.”



Thank the gods those things hadn’t come to TunFaire. I’d never get a

moment’s peace. Yeah, they’d be useful for emergencies, but what do you

want to bet it’d be used 1% of the time for emergencies and 99% for

shooting the breeze?



And those cars – I already don’t get along with horses. Those things

looked like they’d hit me just for the sheer joy of it, and then back up

and do it again.



Morley, meanwhile, not sharing my distrust of all this engineering, was

busily asking Willow and Tara about every odd-looking device within

sight, from the lights on the ceiling to the metal cylinder attached to

the wall, no doubt with an eye towards getting the TunFaire monopoly

established. I wished him luck; this world’s magic seemed to have run in

an entirely different direction from ours, and I doubted even the Dead

Man could puzzle out how to build one of these things on notice this

short.



That left me to shoot the breeze with Spike. He didn’t seem interested

in small talk. What he mostly seemed was pissed. He’d had a clear shot

at Fralley, and the big pink guy had tossed him aside without even

breaking stride. I basically let him work his mad out.



Buffy popped in the room while I was pretending to be engrossed in

Willow’s explanation of the miracles of wristwatches. Spike straightened

when he saw her; yeah, he had it bad, alright. My world, only thing a

vampire looked at like that was blood. He said, “So, we gonna track this

Fralley down and feed him his intestines?”



“I’m in for that,” Morley said. I wasn’t surprised; Morley didn’t like

losing. Of course, to him it was an unfamiliar sensation.; Morley ran

into people who could beat him in a fair fight about as often as pigs

took off for the moon.



“Probably at some point,” Buffy said, trying to be businesslike and

almost succeeding. “But right now we’re holding off for Giles to get

here.”



“So who’s getting Dawn-sitting duty?”



“Xander and Anya,” Buffy said ruefully. “She’s still kind of hacked off

at Willow for getting Xander slammed into a wall and is absolutely

insisting on his sitting this one out for a while.” As they spoke, the

couple said their goodbyes and walked out the front door.



“And Dawn and Giles would be?” I asked. There were too many people here.

Yeah, I’m used to the casts of characters in my cases being enough to

fill up a medium-sized restaurant, but at least they have the good grace

to not pop in all at once.



“Giles would be my Watcher,” Buffy said. “That’s kind of like a mentor.

Dawn’s my little sister. So someone has to go keep an eye on her while

the rest of us make with the demonslaying.”



Whatever answer I was going to make was interrupted by the sound of

something smashing into the ceiling. I turned around, expecting Fralley

to be roaring through the store, and instead saw Morley pinned there,

arms flailing, with a plaintive look on his face.



From the looks on Willow and Tara’s faces I’d guessed Morley hadn’t

taken my evaluation of their relationship at face value. Normally he

gets out of these things by either being charming or, occasionally,

simply backing away; he’d never dealt with a woman who could toss him

around the way the Dead Man could.



“Garrett? A little help here, please?” And Willow had rather alertly

frozen him to the ceiling where he couldn’t reach anything that might

serve as a weapon. Smart woman; I’d once seen Morley take down a pair of

trained assassins from ten feet with a pair of letter openers.



“For what? Seems you got yourself into this one on your own.” When he

gave me a dirty look, I said, “Consider this my payback for the Goddamn

Parrot.” At Buffy’s quizzical expression, I said, “Don’t ask.”



“Wasn’t planning to. Will?”



Tara said, “Yeah, I think he has the point by now . . . “



“Alright,” Willow said petulantly, and – and I’m sure you saw this one

coming – let him crash to the floor. As Morley dusted himself off, he

refused to say anything, though the look he shot my way promised

painful revenge. I had visions of TWO Goddamn Parrots. Or an endless

supply of eggplant making its way to my front door, where Dean would

make noises about not letting it go to waste, and I’d wind up choking

down some vegetable the gods surely had no hand in, or going hungry.



Spike’s mood had abruptly gone from peeved to vastly amused. “Way to go,

Red,” he said. “Don’t take crap from anyone.”



“No way, no how,” the young wizard said, giving Tara a high-five.



Morley simply said tersely, “Message received and understood.”



“Better had.”



“Now that we’ve established what’s what and who’s not available for

touchy-feely,” Spike said, “Could we get back to the business of finding

Fralley and his two pals?”



“That’s not going to be as big a problem as we thought,” Tara said,

pointing to the door.



Silvius Dray and the ogre stood there.



And they didn’t look happy



X X X X X



Buffy, Spike and Morley tensed for action within less than a second, though

honestly unless Dray was a lot stronger than he looked I didn’t think we were going to

have any trouble.



“Garrett. There you are.” He seemed more annoyed than anything else, as though

he actually wasn't five seconds away from having the tar beat out of him.



“Here I am,” I said. “And, boy, are you stupid.”



“Relax, Garrett,” Dray said. “I’m not here to fight.”



Spike said, “Tell that to the trail of broken arms you left as you hightailed

out of the Bronze.” Then he looked at the ogre. “Nice moves, though.”



Then Dray turned to the ogre and said, “Smedli, you idiot! I told you things

were different here.”



To my amazement, Smedli didn’t try to pound Dray into the floor.



Wait a second . . . something was wrong here. “What the hell happened to your

lisp?”



Silvius sighed. “It was an affectation, Garrett. Wizards in your world are

drafted to do dangerous, stupid things unless they’re almost complete incompetents.”



“You fooled everyone,” Morley said. “Not an insult; Garrett’s a hell of an

observer and he had you pegged as barely knowing one end of a wand from another.” Smedli,

meanwhile, stood around and tried to pretend he didn’t want to pick his nose.



“I lived it 24 hours a day,” Dray said. “I had to, to do my job.”



Willow held up a hand. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold it. What’s this, ‘in your world’

stuff? You don’t come from this TunFaire place?”



“No. I’m from here. I went to TunFaire’s dimension ten years ago to track down

the medallion.” Tara went up a nearby ladder and came down carrying a couple of

books. She and Willow went over to a table and sat down.



Buffy raised her eyebrows. “Must have been a pretty powerful item to take ten

years of your life looking for it.” Spike walked up to Smedli and led him into the back

room.



“VERY powerful,” Dray said. “It magnifies a witch’s power twentyfold, and makes

them incapable of making a mistake when casting a spell. It doesn’t work nearly so

well in the TunFaire dimension; that’s one of the reasons why it got stuck there thirty

years ago.”



“Really?” Willow sounded VERY interested, now, in finding this medallion.



This brought a sharp rebuke from her partner. “Willow –“ Tara said.



Willow sighed. “Yeah, I know. But think about the good it could do –“



“None.” Dray spoke as though he knew damn well what he was talking about.

“That’s the OTHER reason it got stuck there. Power corrupts. The bronze medallion would

cause the Pope to start trying to take over the world within a couple of months, if the Pope knew

how to use magic. I haven’t cast a spell in two weeks; I wouldn’t dare.That’s why I

rung in the ogres.” I didn’t know from Popes, but I got the idea: the medallion was not

something you’d give to anyone with power. “I brought it back because we finally

figured out how to destroy the thing without blowing up half of Los Angeles.”



“So where’d it go?” Buffy asked. “I mean, the demon didn’t have it, and if you

don’t have it –“



Dray’s head jerked upwards like he was being manipulated by a sadistic

puppeteer. “You mean none of you recovered it either?”



“No,” Buffy said, and a half second later everyone echoed her. I eyed Morley, on

the off chance he’d decided to smuggle it back to TunFaire and sell it, but he shook

his head. I hadn’t really expected otherwise; his restaurant was doing well enough

that he wouldn’t need to pawn off a medallion.



Dray went into a swearing routine that had me gaping in awe. The man knew how to

express pissed, I had to give him that. When he brought himself under control,

he said, “Well, then, we have to find it. Either it got knocked off in the middle

you all fighting with Fralley, or someone else heisted the thing.”



The door opened behind Dray, and in walked a middle-aged man with glasses. The

guy took a look at Dray, then at the rest of us, and said, “I assume longer explanations

are in order?”



We all moved around the table, though Dray and Morley were too keyed up to

actually sit down. After the guy – the Giles Buffy had ‘called' earlier – he asked, “Any luck

finding the demon in question?”



Willow said, “Tara and I really didn’t get that good a look; we were busy

looking at the gateway. But we think . . . “ she flipped through the book. “We think this

is him.”



Morley, Buffy and I got a quick glimpse of a black-and-white drawing that looked

a lot like Fralley, in a book that looked like it hadn’t been opened since I was

knee-high to a dwarf. “Yeah, that’s him,” I said. “Big, pink, and ugly.”



“Fralley is a Thierrian,” Giles said, reading the book. “Strong, fast, extremely

intelligent, almost impossible to kill unless you get a direct thrust to the

heart. But Thierrians have almost no magical talent, so even here the medallion will be of

no use to him. They are legendary, however, for hiring themselves out as, well,

‘finders.’ Thierrians love to have both their brains and their brawn challenged in an

assignment.”



“So how’d he open up the gateway?” Buffy asked. “I mean, if he has no talent –“



Dray sighed. “That’s my fault. I prepared a contingency spell that I could use

if I ever got some time to myself. Fralley watched me cast it, and asked me what I

was doing. Like an idiot, I told him.”



He might have been smart, magically talented, and dedicated, but Dray had as

much common sense as a blood-starved vampire. “So he was playing both sides,” I said.

“Dray, you got fooled. Several times over.”



To his credit, Dray hid his annoyance very quickly.



“Yes,” Giles said, “But unfortunately, he’s now in his element, especially if no one

knows exactly where the medallion is. He can use his brains to find the medallion and

his brawn to beat anyone up who comes after it.”



“Sounds like fun,” Spike said, emerging from the back with a few bruises, Smedli

trailing after him. “Smedli here was just giving me a few pointers in how ogres

beat the hell out of people. So now can we go FIND this mook Fralley? I mean, counting

all of us we have enough raw power here to take down the Hulk.”



“Indeed,” Giles said. “It seems to me we have a couple of tasks at hand: Finding

Fralley, and finding the medallion. Not to mention figuring out a way to get Mr.

Dotes and Mr. Garrett here back to their home dimension.”



“I guess that leaves us here doing the research?” Tara asked.



Nodding his head, Giles said, “Yes. It’s also probably a good idea to keep

Willow as far from the medallion as possible – no offense.”



“Offense taken,” Willow said primly. “But I’ll save my bloody revenge for later.”



Giles shot her a disturbed look, but didn’t say anything else. “I’m going to stay here

as well.”



“I’m for trying to track down Fralley,” Spike said, surprising no one. Morley

enthusiastically agreed with him.



“Good, then; you two do that. Mr. Dray –“ Without a further word, Morley and Spike

slipped out the front door, quietly. If I hadn’t been looking I wouldn’t have known

they’d left.



“I should look for the medallion. And Smedli should probably go with me.”



“Yah,” Smedli said, the first thing he’d said since I’d first laid eyes on him; I’d

begun to suspect he was mute. “Don’t want to run into Fralley again. Also don’t want to

stay near the elf.” Right, Morley’d broken his hand. If we got through this Morley might

actually have to spend thirty seconds or so disposing of the ogre.



“So that leaves the four of us looking for the medallion?” Buffy asked. “We can

do that. Um, Smedli, you don’t exactly blend in around here; you mind sticking to

the shadows?”



Again, Smedli nodded enthusiastically. Ten to one he was regretting his

flash-of-anger decision to charge through the doorway.



And that’s how me, a vampire slayer, a semi-competent wizard and an oddly

pensive ogre came to find ourselves heading back towards the Bronze.



Of course it wasn’t going to be that easy. It never was.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Ancient Bronze Gateways" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 16 Jun 07.

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