A bit stressed
A lanky twenty-something stoner with long brownish-blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail stumbled in, followed by a tubby bearded guy wearing a trench coat. “I’m just here to assure everyone that despite the title, they won’t be rockin’ the ganj’, because the author is a Censored
Jay blinked for a minute before yelling “What the Censored
is this Censored
? He’s censorin’ my Censored
language like he’s the Censored
FDA or something.”
“FCC” Bob replied.
“Shut the Censored
up, you talk too damn much. It’s getting so I can’t even hear myself speak in here,” the 80’s escapee muttered, before continuing.
“Anyway, despite the title (and the fact that it would be perfect for a story about us two guys) there won’t be any drugs, not even the really harmless ones like pot. Hell, alcohol is worse for you then pot. This story is about some girlie show called ‘Buffy the Vampire Layer’.”
“Slayer” the chubby bearded guy whispered.
“Tunes later, Silent Bob. Work first. Damn, if it wasn’t for me nothin’ would get done,” the greasy haired man said, before picking up his train of thought once more. “Anyway, despite the fact that Scooby Doo was just one long pot joke and the other… what the hell was the other thing this was crosin’ with?” Reaching into a pocket he extracted a wadded up piece of paper and flattened it on his knee. “Harry Pothead? You’ve gotta be Censored
me. With that title and these two drug joke crossovers they ain’t got no herb? Man, sucks to be them. Well that’s the disclaimer.”
They stood there silently for a moment before Bob elbowed Jay in the side and jerked his chin towards the fourth wall.
“What? Oh, yeah. The author doesn’t own Censored
. We done here? I wanna go check out some NC-17 fics with that Dawn chick. She looked hot.”
Bob reached forward, as if he was going to choke the life out of the departing stoner, then just sighed and shook his head, following him out.0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0
Three teams from the Watcher’s Council watched (ironically enough) as a small army of demons prepared a Denari ritual circle over 50 ft. in diameter in an attempt to summon a true demon. The cost of such a ritual was insanely high and could only be performed at certain times and places, so it wasn't something that the council had a standard operating plan to deal with, as demons usually used the dozen or so easier methods that were commonly known.
Faith had developed a plan on the fly, while the teams were coordinating, and running it past the rest of the group had been met with large grins and a couple of chuckles.
The nine ‘merely human’, but heavily armed, demon hunters gathered in a group and were discussing angles of fire and group tactics, while the three magic users were figuring out the most effective way to disrupt the energies the demons were planning to raise.
Faith was comparing axes with Kennedy when the new slayer, Samantha spoke up “So, have you two been slaying long?”
Kennedy grinned “Since the Sunnydale Awakening.” She never tired of seeing the look of awe in a newbie’s eyes. Bragging rights for the battle against the First had scored her many free drinks and an impressionable gal or twelve.
“So you both became Slayers during the battle against the First?” Samantha asked, figuring the two for old friends from the easy camaraderie they seemed to share.
“Nope.” Faith answered “I was a slay-gal before red worked her Mojo.”
The Younger slayer looked confused for a moment “ But you aren’t the High-Slayer Buffy. She’s supposed to be really short,” Samantha held her hand a little below her right nipple “with blond hair like mine.”
Faith share a laugh with Kennedy before replying “Nah, B’s only an inch or two shorter than you, but the hair is about right, except she has dark brown roots.”
“But if you were a Slayer before the awakening that would make you...” Samantha trailed off, her eyes widening in shock.
Faith winced internally while keeping her face impassive, some people copped an attitude when they discover who she was.
“Then you’re Faith. The only slayer to ever have the strength to pull away from the dark.”
The almost worshipful look Samantha gained threw Faith completely off-balance.
“My watcher told me all about you. He said that you were the only Slayer to ever have turned dark and found the strength to come back from it.” The young Slayer said excitedly.
“What, ever?” Faith asked, shocked at the latest twist in the slayer mythos.
“Yep. He said that Guardian Harris gave a lecture, when he went to get a refresher course on ‘The proper care and feeding of a Slayer.’ There were a few complaints about the title, until they found out who was giving it and actually heard some of what he said. Rufus said it was the strangest mixture of humor and seriousness you ever heard and that when Harris seemed at his most whimsical was the time to take notes, because it’d turn out to be the most important bit. He’d mix it with a joke so you'd be more likely to remember it.”
“And where do I come into it?” Faith asked, curious despite yourself.
“Guardian Harris outlined your situation in Sunnydale and pointed out how the council had failed you. He said that anyone stuck in your shoes would've gone dark. A couple of watchers made some disparaging remarks about you and after tearing them a new one, he told them that no slayer had ever turned back from the dark before. The fact that you did showed exactly how strong you were and how bad your life had to be at that point for you to have turned dark in the first place. He had references and pie charts and everything.”
Faith turned away from her two sisters Slayers, her eyes suspiciously bright.” Boy-toy always did know what’s what. So, how did he end his lecture?”
Samantha shrugged ”He brought out a shovel, but before he could say anything more Buffy the high slayer and Willow the white pulled him off the stage by his ears.”
Kennedy laughed until she fell over as Faith stared at her curiously. “Huh?”
“The shovel speech...” she choked out, before losing it once more.
Samantha just shrugged when Faith gave her a questioning glance, as they waited for an explanation from the giggling slayer.
“What’s the shovel speech?” Faith asked, after Kennedy seemed to have recovered enough to speak once more.
“The shovel speech,” Kennedy began with a grin, “is where Xander shows you a shovel and tells you he will beat you to death with it and then use it to bury your remains, if you hurt one of his girls. I was given the speech after Sunnydale, when it looked like me and Willow were in it for the long haul.”
Faith began to grin. “So, X was about to threaten an auditorium full of Watchers, witches, and demon hunters with a shovel? Yeah, I can see him doing that.”
“So what are the three really like?” Samantha asked, excited to be with two people who had actually fought by the Scoobs’ side.
Faith smirked. “I’ll tell you about them if you tell me what’s up with the titles.”
“Titles?” The blond girl replied confused.
“You know; High Slayer, Guardian, White.” The dark haired slayer explained.
Samantha’s eyes lit up as she realized what Faith wanted to know. “I don’t know who started it, but Buffy’s called the High Slayer, because there was only suppose to be one, but now there’s many and no one wants to give up the title, even though there is a lot of us now. Kinda like the Irish kings. So, just like the Irish kings the one with the most seniority is called the High King. I mean the High Slayer.”
Faith shrugged. “I suppose that works.”
Kennedy spoke up. “Willow the White?”
“Well, she’s a white witch and her hair goes white when she really calls up the power. Plus, it sounds kinda cool, like from The Lord of the Rings.”
Kennedy and Faith both chuckled at that.
“And Guardian Harris?” Faith grinned.
“Well, that’s the easiest one to explain. I’m surprised you don’t know it. Didn’t you see him in all the slayer dreams when you became slayers?” Samantha blushed for a moment.
Faith shrugged. “I got a bunch from a long time ago, but nothing on current events. I didn’t even get far enough to see Woody’s mom.”
Kennedy chimed in. “I didn’t get the whole dream thing because I was in battle when it happened. Those of us at ground zero of the empowerment spell kinda skipped over that part.”
Faith frowned. “What, you got me, Kennedy, and Buffy’s slay-go-round dreams?”
Samantha nodded. “Yep. Not everything, but some of it and when a bunch of us compared notes we saw a lot of Harris throwing himself in harms way to protect slayers. We even got some dreams of things that the slayers weren’t around to see.”
“How did you see things the slayers weren’t around to see?” Kennedy asked.
“Well, from piecing things together we figure we got some dreams from all the Scoobys; Willow, Harris, Buffy, even Giles.” The young slayer answered with a brilliant smile.
“How does that work?” Faith asked.
“Near as we can figure, the others got connected to the slayer spirit somehow. There’s even a bet going on that when the awakening spell was cast there were Scoobs called up to fill their roles. It’s just that no one ever though to look for them yet and it’s not like they’d be all that easy to find. Giles is like the watcher all watchers model themselves on, so if one was called up how could you tell? Willow is just as hard to tell, cause witches fighting the dark, not exactly rare these days. We figure Guardian Harris will be the easiest to find. How many swashbuckling hero types do you know, not counting slayers of course.”
Kennedy and Faith just stared at her for a second, but before they could say anything one of the hunters rushed up.
“Hey, Sam. I know you’re busy going over the game plan with these two hotties of slayer type, but I wanted to remind you that it’s movie night and it’s your turn to spring for pizza.”
“David!” The blond slayer growled out. “Hello? Battle against an army of demons! There’s no guarantee we’re going to live long enough to rent movies!”
David looked over at the army of demons preparing for their ritual. “What, them?”
“Yes, them! Even with Faith’s plan we’ll still be dealing with over a third of them and that’s a bit too many to count on an easy win against.” Samantha finished, clearly agitated.
David just gave her a lopsided grin. “If it were just you, me, and Rachel, I’d lay odds on us going down, but it’s not just us three. We have nine fully equipped hunter types,” He stopped and posed for a second, “three fully trained magic users of the Wiccan variety and thanks to network television everyone knows about the whole power of three thing giving them a noticeable boost. So there you have it.” David teased. “We have nine hunters and three witches for a total of twelve people. If we had any more on our side it would be unfair.”
“Ahem.” Sam growled out, annoyed at being left out of the count.
David pretended to ignore her as he turned to face the valley full of demons. “Twelve to stand against the legions of darkness. Twelve lone souls ready to give their lives to protect their fellow man!” He posed with his hands on his hips. You could practically see his imaginary cape fluttering behind him.
Faith and Kennedy watched with amusement as David pushed Sam’s buttons.
“Ahem!” Sam practically shouted.
“Yes, you wanted something?” David drawled out, looking back at her from over his shoulder.
Samantha stamped her foot cutely. “I believe you are forgetting something.”
David scratched his head, pretending to be confused, before turning and counting aloud the hunters and wiccans one by one. “Nope, twelve, that’s everybody.”
Sam smacked him in the shoulder. “Hello!”
“Ouch,” He cried out dramatically “Slayer strength, slayer strength!” and pretended to be wounded.
“Exactly! Slayer here! In fact, three slayers here.” Samantha told him firmly.
David seemed to consider that for a moment. “Isn’t that a bit overkill? I mean we’re looking at two thirds of them getting vaped, thanks to Ms. Faith’s plan and that’s only going to leave about a hundred left for us to play with. The wicked wiccas are already talking about some spell that should take out half of those left before exhausting them and that’s barely going to leave us six apeice for us gun toting types. If you three join in there’s not going to be much left for us normal guys to play with.”
Kennedy stepped close to Faith and murmured, “Is it just me or does he seem a lot like Xander?”
Faith nodded and murmured back. “Yeah, he’s an X alright, but don’t say anything.”
“Why,” Kennedy asked curiously.
“Because B, Boy-toy, and Red are stressed enough without adding this to it. They still feel bad about activating all the slayers. Hearing that another three groups of people have been called up...” Faith trailed off for a minute before continuing. “I really don’t want to see them snap. Can you imagine what would happen? B’s got the slayer’s scythe, a major artifact according to the watcher guys. Willow is still the strongest mojo flinger anyone has ever heard of and Xander... well he makes me nervous. I hear he cleared a nest over in Cambridge with a bit more enthusiasm then even the slayer on site was comfortable with. He set the place on fire and tossed grenades through the windows while it was burning. One demon managed to make it out the front door covered in flames, so X-man tripped him and rather then put the sorry bastard out of his misery he broke out some marshmallows.”
Kennedy nodded. “Have to admit it was effective. With the exception of some freshly risen vamps who didn’t get the word, the entire demonic population of the town split.”
“What, all of them?” Faith asked.
“Every single one.” Kennedy confirmed grimly. “Kill or be kill is fine with them when dealing with humans, they’re used to it, but having a mere human pissed enough to use you as a campfire substitute to roast snacks on while telling ghost stories seems to upset them.”
“He told ghost stories?”
“Yep, and used the demon’s screams as sound effects for the tale. Apparently the demon was a bit resistant to burning to death so it took him about half an hour to die and all the while Xander was telling everyone about the time ‘Deadboy senior’ were possessed by ghosts. He really seemed to get a kick out of the fact that Angel was possessed by the female ghost.” Kennedy finished with a grin.
“You were there?”
“I was the slayer on scene. He asked for me as backup because he didn’t want Buffy or Willow to see what he was going to do.”
“It sounds a bit harsh, are you sure he hasn’t lost it already?”
“He had good reason for what he did. Remember Janet?” Kennedy said grimly.
“You mean Mighty Mite the Midget Slayer?” Faith asked with some concern.
“That’s her. Well the nest he burned out was where the demons that put her into a coma lived.”
“Whoa, Time out! Mite’s in a coma? When did this happen?”
“Janet had just gotten back from patrolling the local graveyard near her house...”
“I thought she wasn’t suppose to patrol.” Faith interrupted.
“Well, as you’ve said before, Birds gotta fly, Fish gotta swim, and Slayers gotta slay, even if she’s only twelve years old. Anyway, a group of demons jumped her at her front door. She managed to dust five vamps and a Angdrixll, before they dogpiled her. Turns out her twin brother was waiting up for her and heard the commotion. He hit the panic button and poured a canteen of holy water over his head. He either didn’t know what would happen or just didn’t care, cause the next thing he did was dive into the pile and pull her out.”
Faith winced. “Ouch!”
“Ouch is right. The holy water may have burned the hell out of the vamps, but the dead flesh in contact with him burned the hell out of him too. About forty percent of his body needed skin grafts when the docs got their hands on him. He managed to drag her across the threshold before collapsing. Unfortunately they had another Angdrixll with them and he didn’t need an invitation to enter their house, but when he bent down to drag them both outside, Brad buried his teeth in it’s jugular. It managed to bang them around a little, but it bled to death too fast to do much else.”
“Aspect?” David broke in, apparently him and Sam had dropped their argument in favor of listening to Kennedy’s story, as her and Faith’s conversation had gotten a bit loud.
Kennedy winced. One of the things all demon hunters had to guard against was gaining some demonic traits from exposure to the bodily fluids of the things they hunted. Active hunters were protected by spells and amulets, but inactive ones weren’t expected to need them.
“Bad.” She stated softly.
“How bad?” he asked gently.
“Very bad, but worse for him then for her. Her slayer abilities rejected most of the changes leaving her with a rather large pair of white wings. It’s fighting off the contamination that’s kept her in the coma. With the changes settling down she’s expected to wake up at anytime.”
“And him?” David asked, clearly wondering if he really wanted to know the answer.
“He’s already awake. Won’t leave her side either.” Kennedy avoided the question he was really asking.
“And the aspect?” He asked again, not quite willing to let it go.
“Enhanced physical stats on a level with most vamps...” Kennedy trailed off.
“And?” He prodded gently.
“And his skin grew back. He now has red skin, a pair of small horns, and a tail complete with little spade dealy.”
Everyone winced at Kennedy’s description.
“So she comes out of it looking like an angel and he looks like Satan?” David’s laugh had little humor in it.
“Basically.” She replied with a sigh.
“If they were both exposed to the same demon’s blood, why the big difference?” Sam asked.
“It’s just the way things worked out. The males of the species have tails while the females have wings and he got a lot more of the characteristics then her because of all the blood he swallowed while ripping out it’s throat. It could have been worse, he could have gotten the extra eyes and the cricket like legs.”
David nodded. “Good point. How’s he taking things?”
“He doesn’t seem to care about his own changes. He’s still waiting for her to wake up. The shrink assigned to the case said he’s too focused on Janet to get any real response from him. Until Janet wakes it’s like talking to a brick wall.”
David smiled approvingly and tapped Sam on the shoulder. “I think we may have to stop by and give them some training. You know, basic combat and slaying, some demolitions and a couple of amulets to cover up the changes.”
The three slayers opened their mouths to question David about the wisdom of teaching a pair of pre-teens demolition, but were interrupted by the arrival of one of the Wiccans.
“Major problem guys! We have a huge buildup of power just North of the demons. We don’t know what it is, but the magical signature is off the charts!” The brunette witch danced from foot to foot nervously, causing some major jiggling that distracted both David and Kennedy.
A flash of light drew everyone’s attention to the northern side of the small valley and revealed three strangely dressed figures.
A short blond woman dressed in a tiny white Japanese semi-fuku with big blue bows and rainbow trim, twirled a strangely shaped poleax, just missing the two huge balls her hair was woven into on the sides of her head.
To her left was a women with a curtain of waist length red hair falling behind her and a similar outfit with red bows and trim.
Behind them stood a dark haired man with an eyepatch and a domino mask wearing a black tuxedo, liberally decorated with weapons painted a garish red and green cammo pattern.
The blond stepped forward and proclaimed, “I’m the sailor suited warrior of love and justice, Sailor Moon and secluded valleys in the middle of nowhere are for picnics and outdoor sex, not rituals designed to interrupt our playtime. In the name of the moon I’ll punish you!”
The two figures with Moon just stared at her until she elbowed the redhead. “Ahem, Mars the shield.”
The two quickly broke out of their stupor. Mars gestured with her hands and chanted something no one could catch, enclosing the valley in a shimmering dome of light that caused the vampires to moan and collapse, desperately trying to shield themselves from the light it gave off as they began to smolder.
The man in a tuxedo swung a rocket launcher, with the word rose stenciled on the side, into position and grinned. “Take heart Sailor Moon, as long as good has superior fire power, evil shall never claim the Twinkie of victory!”
Everyone just stared as the three began decimating the demons ranks with artillery, fireballs, and a rapidly moving poleax.
“Is that?” Samantha asked.
“Yep.” Came the stunned, but not really surprised response from Faith and Kennedy.
“Cracked?” David questioned.
Faith and Kennedy looked at each other and shrugged, before Faith answered “Maybe a little.”AN: As always reviews encourage me to write more, often on different stories for some strange reason.