The First Rule
The Social Worker sent Dawn to her father, leaving Buffy at loose ends until she gets a call from an old friend; someone needs her help, not as the Slayer but as Buffy. Now, she'll use her previous knowledge and skill, combined with Slayer reflexes, to help a childhood friend.Disclaimer:
Joss Whedon owns BtVS/AtS. The Fast and The Furious is a Rob Cohen Film produced by Universal Pictures.Pairings:
Buffy never slept with Spike; this takes place roughly after the musical and Giles' leaving. Xander left Anya at the alter. Tara doesn't die, so no Dark Willow and no First. Faith arrived in Sunnydale to try to make amends with Buffy, after helping Wesley catch and subdue Angelus. No Connor. Cordelia got pregnant by the Beast. She's in a coma, which is why Angel took over W&H. He hoped that he could find a way to wake her.
Buffy moved from her dresser, to the closet, then to the suitcase on the bed. Four people stood in the doorway watching her, three wore stunned expressions, but the fourth understood the Slayer's actions and agreed that she was doing the right thing.
Finally, the silence was too much and Willow asked, "Buffy, I don't understand. Who called? Why do you have to go? What about the Hellmouth and us? I thought everything was getting better."
"It was an old friend from LA. They wouldn't have called if it wasn't serious. As for the Hellmouth, Faith is here, and I think that it's time she got a chance to be the Slayer without me around. She has turned her life around and deserves a new start. Willow, I have to go. I'm sorry you can't understand that, but I can't stay here anymore. It's just too painful. It isn't getting better. I'm not getting better. I know you thought you were doing the right thing, but I wake up every night fighting to get out of my coffin, or dream of Mom, heaven, Dawn, and the peace I knew before. It is just too much; the walls are closing in on me. If I stay, I'll do something stupid, or end up dead again." Buffy looked at her best friend, pleading with her to understand.
Willow sobbed, brokenhearted at the thought of losing her best friend. Tara stepped forward to wrap her arms around her. She looked at Buffy, nodding her head in understanding of Buffy's decision to leave.
"How long will you be gone, Buff?" Xander understood what it was like to be in a situation you don't think you can get out of, and then see an escape route. He regretted hurting Anya, but he would have made them both miserable if he went through with the wedding.
"I don't know Xander; my friend didn't give me any particulars on the problem. I'm hoping that getting away from here and focusing on someone else's problems will help me get some perspective. Hopefully, I'll know what I need to do when I get a chance to clear my head." Buffy continued to pack while they talked.
"B, you aren't leaving because of me are you?" The dark-haired Slayer watched the person she admired most in the world.
Buffy stopped to look at her sister Slayer. "I hate to burst your bubble, Faith, but you don't have that much power. I don't mean that in a hateful way, it's just that if I felt I could stay, your presence wouldn't tip the scale one way or another. Too much has happened over a short period of time from my Mom, Dawn, and Giles, just all of it."
Faith felt torn between disappointment that Buffy was leaving and excitement that she would be the only Slayer on the Hellmouth. She wanted a chance to make things right with Buffy, but the idea that she would get a chance to do what she was meant to do was mind-boggling.
"Do you need me to drive you to the bus station?" Xander offered, giving her his best goofy grin.
"No, I called a cab." No sooner had the words left her lips did they hear a horn honking from the front of the house. Buffy closed and locked the cases, then turned to look at her two closest friends. "This will be good for you, too. You'll see. Faith, take care of them for me." She hugged everyone, even Faith, and then headed down the stairs with Xander following close behind with a suitcase in his hand.
"Be careful, Buffy, and call us if you need us."
"I will, I promise. Take care, Xander, and you did the right thing. Sometimes knowing what's right for you and doing something about it is harder than just going along with what everyone expects." Buffy closed the cab door then looked at the driver. "Do you know where the old Crawford Mansion is?" The cabby nodded at her. "Just drop me off there."
When Social Services forced her dad finally to take responsibility for Dawn, he snapped out of the fog he was living under all those years. He took care of Joyce's and Buffy's debts, and then gave Buffy a lump sum settlement for the back child support that he owed for the past four years, not only for her, but for Dawn as well. She bought herself a few things, but only one real extravagance; it was almost as if it called out to her. Now, she saw that it was a whisper from her past letting her know that she was more than a Slayer, much more. ~*~
The taxicab drove away while Buffy set her suitcases on the ground. She pushed open the large garage door, flipping on a light to gaze inside with a gleam in her eye. Why Angel still paid the utilities for a place he never intended to return to, she would never understand. She was happy about it, for once. He was the last person she wanted to think about at this point in her life. He made himself perfectly clear when they met. Angel refused to return with her to Sunnydale, even though she begged him to - that she didn't think she could survive coming back without his help to adjust. Angel told her the same things that caused him to leave still kept them apart, and that he had responsibilities in LA, people that depended on him. Buffy rubbed her cheek, as if she could feel a physical slap rather than the mental one that he had delivered to her already fragile psyche. She returned to Sunnydale, only to have Giles walk away from her as well. Buffy shook herself from her dark thoughts to look at her new toy.
There it was a brand new Ford GT-40 with a 5.4L DOHC mod V8 engine with 500 lbs/ft of torque and a powerful Eaton 2.3L Lysholm Supercharger with a built-in intercooler. The exterior was solid black with a red strip down the middle and red leather interior, but that was where it stopped being a normal GT-40. A euphoric smile broke out on her face, the first real one since coming back from heaven. Her hand caressed the car lovingly while she popped the hood to inspect the gleaming handmade aluminum engine. Every night after patrol, Buffy stopped by the mansion to work on the car. She put the fine-tuning on the special features that she ordered, installing them herself. Her friends would have been surprised to see their friend working with power tools or even close to a car this powerful. It was obvious to anyone who saw her that she knew what she was doing. After making sure that everything was exactly the way she wanted it, Buffy carefully closed the hood.
She grabbed her cases, loading them in the backseat before sliding behind the wheel. Once she was on the road, she thought about her friend, Mia Toretto. They had met when they were only five years old. Mia's mom was their housekeeper. Mrs. Toretto brought Mia to work with her one day and the girls became inseparable after that. Joyce allowed Buffy to go home with Mia to spend the night, even though Hank threw a fit. It wasn't until Buffy got caught racing that both parents put a kibosh on the friendship. It was Mr. Toretto, who taught Buffy to drive and work on cars. He said you had to know how a car works before you can know how to make a car work.
The Summers moved further into LA and hired a new housekeeper. Buffy still kept in touch with Mia, but after becoming the Slayer, the divorce, and the subsequent move to Sunnydale, it became less frequent, although it had never stopped completely. When Mia called asking Buffy for help, that Dom needed her, Buffy knew it was serious. She knew they wanted her because she was Buffy, not because she was the Slayer. It was an odd feeling to think of herself outside the realm of the Slayer, but Buffy was determined to do whatever she could to help her friends.
The GT-40 shot down the highway like a rocket. It handled like a dream, responding to the slightest touch of foot or finger. Buffy's quick reflexes and an uncanny ability to read the road and other drivers made her a great driver. She grinned when her Slayer-sight saw a police car in the distance and slowed. There were some definite perks to the Slayer package that she didn't mind after all. Buffy passed the officer with a smile on her face.
She remembered her last trip to LA when she came to confront Angel about sneaking into Sunnydale. After they agreed not to be in each other's lives anymore, Buffy went to see Mia. They drove to the DMV, and Buffy returned to Sunnydale the proud owner of a driver's license. Joyce refused to allow her to get her license, thinking it would keep Buffy from racing. What Joyce didn't understand was that Buffy didn't need a license to race. She grinned when she remembered the last race she won. It was after Angel left. Buffy was feeling lonely and reckless. She won three thousand dollars, which she hid inside Mr. Gordo.
Buffy sped down the highway back towards the town where she grew up and to her best friend. Willow and Xander meant a lot to her, but they weren't the same as Mia. Mia was like her other half; they always knew they could count on each other no matter what, no questions asked. She remembered when she told Mia about being the Slayer. Her childhood friend just smiled, hugged her, and told her to remember the first rule of driving - don't die. Buffy shook her head, she didn't do very well with that rule with regards to her slaying, but she planned on changing that.