Disclaimer: This story is intended for entertainment purposes only and provides absolutely no financial compensation. Recognizable characters from belong to their prospective owners/writers. Some lines from the show are used either as is or altered to fit the story. Songs used are not mine.
In plain speak: I don’t own anything, just my imagination.
Massive thanks to MusesInspiration
for the beta.
A/N: Many many apologies for the lack of updates on this story. When my flash drive developed Alzheimer’s and ate my progress, I lost momentum and it took a long time to rebuild and get going on this again. I have regained my muse for the story and I promise it won’t be another almost year for the next chapter.THANK YOU
to the loverly ones that nominated this story for the COA.
DA timeline info gleaned from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Angel_(TV_series) and with permission http://alec494.egoism.jp/history/MH.htm ** The most detailed resource for an Alec centered timeline. And watching the episodes again of course. ;DPreviously: Alec felt her fingers thread through his hair and a quiet moan escaped as she scratched his scalp.
A pointed cough sounded from the doorway and they broke apart; their breathing elevated.
Everyone in the control room watched a TV reporter interviewing Normal as the Jam Pony owner swept at the hopelessly dirty sidewalk that ran in front and Max could tell he was trying to be nonchalant.
The reporter shoved the microphone in his face and asked, “Tell us about your captors. What are these creatures like? Is it true you delivered a transgenic baby?”
Normal nodded and cracked a faint smile. “Yes, I did indeed. And a beautiful, bouncing baby girl she is.”
“So you're saying they're not all monsters, then?”
Normal frowned. “Monsters? No. No more than you and me.” He turned waved at a messenger. “Hey! Let's go, there, Sparky. Not a country club. Bip bip bip! Move!”
Watching from TC, his former employees laughed; glad to see that Jam Pony wouldn’t suffer for what had transpired there.
A loud noise shot across the warehouse and to Max, it was similar to the sound of a tree snapping in half. It was a raw sound and everyone in the tech area nearby scrambled for weapons. Max was first on the scene and what she saw was one of the most incredible things she’d ever experienced.
A woman stood inside the only clear space on the concrete. She wore normal clothing, but it was the only thing normal about her. And that was sayin’ something considering the group of people currently occupying TC. The floor around her looked spotless as if someone had steam cleaned the floor from her spot out, making a circle of sterile concrete. Max knew for a fact that no one had even looked at that end of the building much less cleaned it.
Several weapons cocked and the woman looked up in surprise. Green eyes framed by long white hair that moved as if brushed by a breeze had everyone’s attention. Her hands flew up and shouts of surprise had Max scanning the room. All firearms were now pointed up despite their owners’ attempts to correct their aim. A figure burst through the crowd and Max watched Gem’s man approach the woman. She’d seen him around TC a few weeks before and after the Jam Pony incident, but only knew his name was Daniel.
Since the newcomer hadn’t actually offered violence and Daniel acted like he knew her, Max approached them. Hey, she could learn how to be less with the violence.
Max felt the weight of the woman’s gaze on her and something clicked into place. A memory of a picture in Buffy’s apartment came to mind and Max quirked her brow. “So I guess you’re the witchy friend Buffy told me about. Impressive entrance, but not the best idea to startle a bunch of gun happy Transgenics.”
Daniel smiled and gestured between Max and the woman. “Max, Willow.”
Max held out her hand. “Good to meet you. Hey you think you could let everyone have their weapons back?” She turned and eyed the group. “No one’s going to shoot you… right?”
There was some half-hearted grumbling, but everyone agreed.
Willow smiled and released everyone, shaking hands with Max as she looked around the room. Her gaze stopped on Daniel. “Thanks for those coordinates. I would have overshot for sure. I need to use the bathroom and then we’ll need…”
Willow stopped mid-sentence as she became aware of Max’s stare. “What?” She turned to Daniel. “Am I babbling again? Sorry, it’s the magic rush. Not as bad as caffeine but almost. So where’s Buffy? I need to check this Alec guy out to make sure he’s not something posing as Ben. Oh! And the baby! Oh goddess, I must see that baby of yours! You know we need to do a Blessing.”
Max looked at Daniel. “She always like this?”
He grinned. “No. Sometimes she’s worse.” He turned to Willow. “Buffy first?”
“Yes. Have you seen her yet?”
“Nah. Been busy with Gem and Eve. Besides, there’s some pretty strong Stay Away vibes coming from that room.”
Max shot Willow a curious look. “Wait, you’re not worried about Buffy? I mean, yeah, she told me a few stories, but there was an awful lotta blood and she was cold. Wicked creepy seein’ Alec all snuggled up to her.”
The redhead smiled. “I understand. It’s a lot to accept without seeing it for yourself.” Willow punched Daniel on the shoulder. “You’re a dad! How cool is that? Does she have red hair?”
“Kinda strawberry tinted brown. Not much yet though. Rolled over last night.”
Willow’s eyes widened. “Uh Oz, she’s only a day old…”
“Werewolf transgenic hybrid.”
A pointed cough sounded from the doorway and the two broke apart; their breathing elevated.
From his awkward perch on the side of the cot, Alec looked up into a pair of laughing green eyes and murmured to Buffy, “Ah, Buffy, do you know this woman?” His pulse raced wildly as he watched the woman’s hair morph from blinding white to blood red. The hair and eyes gave him a clue and Buffy’s squeal of; “Willow!” sealed the deal.
He helped Buffy up and she rushed over to her friend, wrapping Willow in a hug and whirling her around as they laughed. Several people stood in the doorway; Max, Mole and a short red haired man that Alec had a vague recollection of but hadn’t been introduced to, so, no name. Mole and Max were visibly shocked and the man was watching with a small smile. Buffy stopped when Willow protested the need to breathe and she caught sight of the doorway. “Oz!” She rushed up to him and hugged him and Alec saw red.
He was on his feet and moving before he realized it. Alec clashed gazes with this ‘Oz’ character and he watched the man calmly, but firmly put Buffy to the side as the distance between them closed. Alec was observing all of this in a detached manner, as if something had taken over his body; something primal. Buffy looked between them with a confused expression and Oz waved Willow away as he pulled the collar of his shirt, exposing his left shoulder and the raw looking bite mark that broke the pale freckled skin.
The sight of that mark brought Alec up short and the haze he’d been under dissipated within seconds.
Alec shook his head, suddenly dizzy and Willow flapped her hands with excitement.
“Oh Buffy! I’m so happy for you!”
Alec glanced between Buffy and Willow; pretty sure he looked as confused as Buffy did. Willow took a deep breath and Buffy held up her hand.
“Short version, Wills, if you don’t mind?”
“You two are Mated.”
Max stepped forward with a scowl. “Hold on there Witchy woman. He might be a pain in my ass, but Alec isn’t an animal just because he’s got hybridized DNA.”
Oz placed a gentle restraining hand on Max’s arm. “It’s not like that Max.”
Willow’s eyes widened and she shook her head. “Oh no! It’s a mystical kind of thing. Like the werewolf thing.” At Max’s blank look she asked, “You know Oz is a werewolf right?”
Oz quirked his eyebrow. “Um, Wills… We hadn’t got to the whole reveal thing yet.”
“Oh! Um, oops? Sorry Oz. Okay so,” She gestured to Oz, “is a werewolf. Wolves mate for life, which can lead to bad things if a werewolf mates with someone that doesn’t return the claiming.” She sent Oz an apologetic smile.
Max nodded. “So Oz isn’t a Transgenic? That explains a few things I wondered about.” Her brows scrunched and she tilted her head. “How do you know so much about all this?”
“Well, Oz was my first boyfriend.”
“What? How does that work? Because you’re a bit older than they are.”
Willow rolled her eyes and shot Buffy a look. “I thought you told her everything.” Buffy shrugged and the redhead continued, “I’ll explain the Mrs. Robinson thing that this isn’t in a minute. Moving on... we grew up in Sunnydale, so very much with the weirdness of everyday life. He’d been infected with lycanthropy just before we started dating. So, it got kinda serious between us and then some things happened and he left and I moved on. We were in the preliminary stages of a mating.” She touched his shoulder. “I’m so very glad you found Gem.”
Oz smiled and nodded slightly, stuffing his hands in his pockets as he rocked back on his heels.
Max shrugged. “Okay, I’m down with the wolf thing, sounds pretty cool if you keep it together during the full moon. But Alec ain’t wolf; he’s a freakin’ Tom with that huge load of cat DNA. Doesn’t much make for a long term thing either.”
Alec scowled. “Hey!” He might have deserved that in the past, but he’d been faithful to Buffy from the moment she’d arrived in Seattle.
Willow sent him a sympathetic look and answered Max. “Well, you’re not completely wrong there. But, where in wolf societies, the male is dominant; the female is dominant in feline. You know, the king lion sits around on his behind while the females run around, hunting and protecting.”
Alec grumbled, “I’m feeling a distinct lack of gender appreciation.”
Willow patted his arm and turned back to Buffy whose face held a mixture of disbelief and guilt. “Oh! Don’t feel guilty, Buffy. After meeting Alec, I so understand why your Slayer-side never accepted Ben as a mate.”
Buffy frowned. “I don’t understand.”
“He wasn’t strong enough. You know that. It doesn’t mean that you didn’t love him it means that deep down, you knew he wasn’t your Mate.”
The door clicked shut and the three of them looked up to see that they’d been left alone. Alec moved closer to her side and Buffy shook off the effects of this new revelation. He pulled her into a hug and she quirked her brow at him. “You plan on going after my other male type friends?”
“Are they like wolf boy?”
“Nope. Xander’s my fully human bestest male friend and Wesley is a high level wizard type friend.” She looked over at Willow. “On or off?”
Willow shook her head. “Still off. I think it’s permanently off this time. With everything that’s happened, you and I haven’t had time to catch up, but the short version is: Fred and Illyria finally completed their symbiosis and he just couldn’t stay away. And that’s okay, really. We were never a forever thing.”
Buffy pulled out of Alec’s embrace and hugged her friend tight. “You do remember me mentioning a certain new friend? Pretty, smart mouth, dark eyes…?”
Alec rolled his eyes and kissed Buffy before leaving. He knew that those two would be yapping for a while and so he decided to hunt down a working shower and think about all that had happened in the last thirty-six hours. He and Buffy had so many things to talk about, but he was content to let her have some time with Willow. He turned the corner and jerked to a stop to avoid running into Oz. The shorter man was leaning against the wall and when Alec looked into his calm gaze, the Transgenic understood that the Wolf had been waiting for him.
Alec scratched his head, embarrassed by his previous behavior. He’d never acted that way about a girl, but if what Willow had babbled about was true, then he and Buffy would have to come to an understanding. He really didn’t feel like explaining something so personal and private because he’d tried to rip some guy’s throat out for giving Buffy attention.
“It’ll ease up a bit after a while.”
“The insane jealousy around other males and the over protectiveness. Though I would suggest you get over the protectiveness as soon as possible. Cuz, ya know… it’s Buffy.”
“Gotcha. So... how long do you think those two’ll be in there?”
“You’ve got time to take a far from warm shower and eat. After that, beer?”
After their gab session, which hadn’t lasted as long as Oz had predicted, because, eww, dried blood everywhere? Willow and Buffy parted ways, Buffy for a shower and Willow to make her acquaintance with Oz’s new family. Gem had been wary of Willow at first, but then Eve had cooed and blown bubbles at the witch so she agreed to a blessing.
Oz and Alec left the women to plan and had their beer as well as splitting up the area to let everyone know what was happening.
When Alec found Oz again, the redhead was in a quiet area of the main warehouse, plucking at the strings of an acoustic guitar. He settled close by, the music soothing an ache he’d been ignoring. He usually went for loud and obnoxious, except his own piano playing and was surprised to find himself enjoying the mellow tune. And for just a little while, he could forget about the siege, the filth of their new home and the nightmares he knew were coming in the aftermath of Buffy’s brutal death – however temporary it might have been.
It was past sundown when Buffy found him and she led him to their assigned quarters. Alec’s body and mind felt drugged and if he’d been with anyone else, he’d have been concerned. But Buffy only smiled at his drowsy attempts at seduction, undressing them just to their underwear before pushing him down on the cot, somehow fitting them both onto the narrow surface.
He managed to sleep a few hours before the nightmare hit. Alec suspected that he was dreaming, but he couldn’t wake himself up and he had to watch Buffy’s silent body drain of color as the blood pooled under her head. No matter how much pressure he applied to the wound, the blood just poured out, covering everything. A pair of dark shiny shoes stepped into view and Alec looked up into the sneering face of his enemy.
He opened his mouth to rage at the man, but no sound came out and Ames White began to laugh. It had a sibilant hiss to it and Alec jerked back in shock as the man’s dark eyes morphed into a muddy yellow, his pupils elongating and taking on the slitted appearance of a reptile’s. Hands grabbed him from behind and secured him embarrassingly quickly and then all Alec could do was watch as White’s whole body morphed into a giant snake. His gaping maw headed toward Buffy’s unprotected body and Alec finally screamed. He raged, pulling against his unmovable restraints hard enough that he probably would have hurt himself if this hadn’t been a dream.
It was a dream right? He should be able to wake up if it was a dream. But he couldn’t and White was literally swallowing Buffy whole and he couldn’t break free and he screamed…
Warm, soft hands stroked his face and a murmur turned his attention from the macabre scene, breaking him free of the nightmare and allowing him to surface into consciousness. Alec surged up from the black, wrenching free from terror’s grip and opened his eyes. His gaze locked onto Buffy’s concerned face as it hovered over his. Heart pounding wildly, Alec scanned the room and breathed a little easier when he recognized it as the one they’d fallen asleep in. A soft sound managed to be heard over the pounding of his heart and he focused back on Buffy.
“It was just a nightmare, Alec. Shhhh. We’re okay. All tucked in safe, if not comfy.” She ended with a giggle. That’s when he became aware of her lithe body sprawled over his. That was their favorite position if they fell asleep on the couch together. His nightmare dissipated quickly and he met her halfway as she leaned down for a kiss. The meeting was soft and exploratory, almost as if it was their first kiss and Alec wrapped his arms around her with relief. She was whole and alive and right where he needed her to be. To Alec, their time apart had felt like ages, despite knowing the reality was that it had only been about forty-eight hours.
Deft fingers began to pull up on his t-shirt and Alec started to mirror her actions with her shirt, but a niggle of something had started to grow and refused to be ignored. He broke free from her mouth and captured her hands to get her full attention. A frown formed between her brows and Alec steeled himself to resist the pout that he knew was fast approaching. She met his determined gaze and wilted a little.
“We’re really gonna do this right now?”
Alec nodded, not trusting his voice at the moment and he could tell she was thinking about pulling out the big guns; but she sighed and then propped herself up on his chest to look him in the eye.
“You want the whole story, or just the highlights?”
He barked out a laugh and then bit his lip to avoid a full out guffaw. She grinned down at him with the mischievous expression he’d come to expect, but it slid off her face quickly. Her hand reached up to thread through the hair at his temple and he resisted leaning into her touch, it would just distract them both. “Please forgive me Alec. I ran out of time. I meant to tell you my whole story, but then I had that vision and we were at Jam Pony and…” She pulled in a shuddery breath. “I told you about being the Slayer.” He nodded and she continued, “I was Called as the Slayer when I was fifteen.”
She looked down into his open face and braced herself for the rejection. “Alec, I was fifteen in 1996.” She could practically see the number calculating in his head.
“Um… wouldn’t that make you like forty now?” He gave her a once over, making sure to get a good peek down her shirt first before grinning. “Lookin’ pretty good for forty, Sweetcheeks.”
Buffy snorted and then pinched him, ignoring his ‘ow’. “Slayers didn’t have a very long life expectancy. A year, maybe two or three after being called was it. Getting past eighteen had been a miracle, kind of…” She continued her life’s story, hesitating at certain points, laughing at others and crying in between. Alec responded as expected at the news of her many deaths and subsequent regenerations.
“So… let me make sure I understand this correctly. You can’t die a permanent death and the same source of this is what activated all of the Slayers at once back in ‘03. Because of some kind of magical glitch, where there were thousands of Slayers before, now no new ones are being called and in a few years you will be the only one, like forever?”
“Yep, that sums it up quite nicely.”
Alec was silent for so long that her stomach started to ache with the suspicion that he was trying to come up with a way to let her down. Buffy shifted, beginning to move off of him and was forced to stop when his arms tightened.
“Hold on there, Princess, where you goin’?”
Buffy looked back down into his serious face and gaped in shock when he suddenly broke out into a wide grin. “This means you’ll still be able to keep up with me when you’re fifty right?”
“I’ll show you who can’t keep up!”
The cot survived their vigorous activity… barely. When they were sated and once again sleepy, Buffy made a mental note to have Willow port in a bed for them. Sex on a military cot was okay as a novelty, but it would really suck if they had no other alternative.Day Two of Siege
Willow scooped water from the bowl and held it aloft, droplets raining down on the small table as she spoke in a clear voice.
“Pure is the water. The water that replenishes nature, giving it new life. A new beginning.” She gestured to Gem and Oz. “These two lives became one and together created a new life. Three together in one life, in a new beginning.” She snapped her fingers and a small flame appeared and she lit the candle on the table. “Pure is the fire. The fire that warms our hearts; cleanses our spirits and heats our passion.” Willow pulled out a small pouch and drew out a small handful of untainted earth, scattering it in a loose swirling design on the covered hay-bale. “Pure is the earth. The earth that nurtures the abundance of nature; provides the path for our journey and rest at the end.” A quick gesture and a light breeze began blowing; taking away the normally less than clean smell that hung in the air. “Pure is the air. The air that gives us breath; cools the sweat from our brow and brings the song of the land to our ear.”
“In the sight of The Powers above and in the presence of the elements, we welcome this new life and Name her Eve.” Oz handed Willow the cooing baby and she briefly struggled with the strong child as she wriggled. Turning Eve in her arms to face the group, Willow smiled and continued,
“We are delighted to welcome you to this life and to our community. Under the loving guidance of your parents, family and friends, may you develop a kind heart in all that you do. May you realize the principle aspects of the path -- the determination to be free, loving, and compassionate; and the wisdom in realizing reality and the value of life. May you quickly attain enlightenment and be a benefit to all living beings.”
Willow’s gaze quickly found Buffy’s and she smiled wide at the sight of Alec embracing her from behind, his hands spread over the Slayer’s stomach in an unconscious gesture of protectiveness. Shouldn’t be long before another trip to Seattle for a Blessing would be necessary.
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