By Dave Turner.
A Seattle Slayers Story.
Disclaimer: I do not own BtVS; neither do I claim authorship or ownership of ‘Tru Calling’ or ‘Frasier’. Other information at the end of Chapter 8.
Crossover: Based on characters from ‘Tru Calling’ and ‘Frasier’. Loosely based on the Tru Calling episode ‘Valentine’.
Spelling and Grammar: Written in glorious English-English! American idioms are used wherever appropriate. Spelling and grammar is English.
Timeline: Set in early ‘Fall’ 2008, a couple of weeks after the events depicted in ‘The Second Annual Seattle Slayers Camp-Out’.
Words: Eight Chapters at aprox 3000 words per chapter.
Warnings: Some strong language.
Summary; Willow and Kennedy decide to get away from it all for the weekend. Why do they even bother?
Authors Note: A lot of the dialogue for the ‘Tru Calling’ characters was lifted from the script for the episode ‘Valentine’, so I do not claim to have written those parts. I did however write the descriptive passages and the passages that outline the characters thoughts and motives.
Beta-ed by ‘Rachael’, who is a truly wonderful person.
By Dave Turner.
And can you tell me Doctor why I still can’t get to sleep’
And why the night-time’s full of ghosts and why I always weep.
And what this rash that comes and goes can you tell me what it means.
Gods help me, she was only sixteen.
Doctor Niles Crane, noted Seattle Psychoanalyst, stood and watched out of the window as his son, David, ran screaming through the unexpectedly early snow. He was being chased by a little red haired girl and a Bearbot. For a moment Niles was concerned that David would catch a cold or pneumonia from playing out in the cold and wet.
He knew what his wife Daphne would say; she would say that he was being ‘fussy’ and a ‘daft ha’peth’. Whatever a ‘daft ha’peth’ was Niles wasn’t too sure but by the way his wife always said it, it didn’t sound too good. Did he really want David to grow up like his brother and himself? He could hardly complain about his own child when Willow Rosenberg, the lady of the house, let her daughter play in the cold and the wet where she might slip and fall and…
Niles took a deep calming breath, Daphne had a point, and he was being fussy and no doubt a ‘daft ha’peth’. He turned away from the window; the children would be fine. Daphne was out there keeping an eye on them while she quietly questioned Kennedy Rosenberg on how she was feeling; and no doubt there was a heavily armed Slayer lurking somewhere nearby in case something ‘bad’ happened along.
Niles was here today because Willow was having one of her occasional bouts of guilt and depression. She had been having these little ‘episodes’ for some time but had managed to hide them from her friends and her partner. That is until her partner had been raped and made pregnant, and then as the pregnancy had progressed all the little mental problems had started to come to the surface.
When he had agreed to help out with the Seattle Slayers; become one of their ‘Scoobies’ (Niles shuddered at the very name) he had not realised what borderline ‘basket cases’ they all were! They rarely shared their feelings and tended to bottle up worries and fears, he was amazed that no one had had a nervous breakdown (and that included himself). He did his best, plus it would not do for a woman as powerful as Willow Rosenberg to go off the ‘deep end’.
Niles walked back across the room and sat down in a chair facing Willow; today she was agonising over a long dead Slayer.
“You’ve got to remember that it was all very different back then,” Willow poured more tea for the pair of them, “Things weren’t organised as they are now.”
Willow sighed as she remembered the confusion of those first few months after Sunnydale had collapsed.
“We didn’t even have a place to call our own back then, we used to meet up in peoples apartments an’ such. Ken an’ I were in South America trying to get things organised down there, while at the same time trying to work out if we could make our relationship last. Faith and Robin Wood were in charge in Cleveland, as much as anyone one was ‘in charge’ in those days. Giles was in England attempting to get control of the old Council’s assets…Xander was all over the place, and Buffy was on holiday in Italy with Dawn.”
Niles re-ran what Willow had just said; something struck him as odd.
“You mean Buffy Summers; the most experienced Slayer was on holiday when you were all trying to coordinate the setting up of your new organisation?” Niles was obviously shocked.
“Well, Niles,” Willow replied defensively, “You’ve got to remember that she’d had seven years of being the ‘One and Only’…”
“Apart from Faith and Kendra,” Niles pointed out inconveniently.
“Yeah…well…you know.” Willow gave him a wry look.
“Yes I think I do.” Niles agreed darkly.
Willow could see his hand twitching as he itched to make a note on an invisible pad.
“So you were saying about this Demon and why this Susan girl and her friend Kate were sent after it.”
Niles settled back to listen to Willow’s explanation.
“I called Faith yesterday; she says she vaguely remembers what went wrong.” Flicking through the files in her hands Willow began elucidating, “Some powerful demon thought it would be fun to open the Hellmouth, she, Faith that is, needed all her best Slayers to take on the expected demon hordes…but as it happened it didn’t!”
“The Hellmouth didn’t open.”
“Oh.” Niles nodded his head thoughtfully, “But that still doesn’t explain why they had to go after this G’Hak-thing that particular night?”
“It looked like it was going to spawn,” Willow read the notes in a file, “If they hadn’t killed it then in a few months there could have been dozens of the things!”
Niles nodded his head again and reached inside his jacket and took out a small leather bound notebook. Opening the book at a clean page he made a few notes.
“So,” He mused scratching his ear with the end of his pencil, “It would be fair to say; that had Susan and her friend Kate not gone out to fight and kill this thing, dozens if not hundreds of people could have been killed.”
“I’d not thought of it like that.” Willow pondered the idea for a moment.
“So why do you think she thought it necessary to ‘execute’ her wounded friend?” Niles asked bluntly.
For a moment Willow just stared at Niles a little shocked.
“Well,” Willow began hesitantly, “There wasn’t anything else she could have done.” Willow put down the file and gave Nile her full attention, “The G’Har-Rak Demon can inject a very potent poison. It’s one hundred percent lethal and very painful. It feels like acid has been injected into your veins, your internal organs start to rupture and blood spurts’ out of every orifice…”
Niles turned a deathly shade of white for a moment; he wiped at his lips with a hanker-chef and took a sip of tea to settle his stomach. He had blood issues.
“So there was absolutely no way she could have saved her friend?” He asked taking more notes as he spoke.
“None,”Agreed Willow, “There’s no known antidote, and even if there had been a witch or a shaman right there the best they could have done was ease the pain. She was as good as dead the moment the demon injected her.”
“I see,” Niles tapped his pen against his lips as he studied his notes. “So why do you feel guilty about sending a girl out, who you’d never met, to fight this thing?”
“It’s not that Niles, it’s what happened afterwards.”
Niles looked at Willow waiting for her to explain herself.
“You see,” Willow began to wring her hands, “We lost track of her body! It was only later that we discovered she’d just been buried in a local cemetery and forgotten about!” Willow sniffed, “I don’t know how it could have happened…I thought we’d found all the dead Slayers and either sent their bodies home or reburied them in the Slayer Cemetery at the school.” Willow shook her head in sorrow and shame. “She was forgotten about Niles,” Her eyes became glassy with tears, “As far as I can tell no one had left flowers on her grave in years.”
“You have records on whether flowers have been left on graves?” Niles asked astonished.
“Of course!” Willow indignantly raised her head as she dabbed at her eyes with a tissue, “No Slayer dies un-mourned and forgotten now…we’re not the old Council you know?”
“I would never suggest that you were.” Placated Niles quickly, “But I would…”
“I’ve already made arrangements to have her body exhumed and sent home to her family.” Willow announced regaining her dignity. “We’ll give her a proper funeral…it’s the least we can do.”
Niles sighed and hoped that this would help give Willow some closure over a situation she had had no control over and had not even been in the country when it had happened. She had still taken on the weight of the guilt however…who said that the human mind was logical?
“How’s Kennedy,” Niles stood by the window again to watch the children play.
“Oh you know…fine, what with the baby an’ all and the news about her father.” Willow started to tidy papers and files away.
“Her father?” Niles turned to look back at Willow.
“Yeah,” Willow put down the handful of papers she was carrying, “Cancer, you know?”
“No I didn’t.” Niles cast a concerned eye out to where Kennedy sat on the garden wall next to Daphne, “Is it…?”
“Terminal,” Nodded Willow as she picked up the papers again and put them in a drawer. “He might not live long enough to see his grandson born,” Added Willow sadly.
“How’s she taking it?” Niles walked back to his chair and sat down.
“Oh you know,” Willow smiled a lopsided smile, “Just like a Slayer…bottle it up inside heaven forbid that you might talk to someone about it… mustn’t look weak. Never mind that everyone who loves you is hurting too an’ just wants to help. Usual slayer crap!”
Niles made a disapproving noise at the back of his throat, “And what about you Willow Rosenberg? How do you feel?”
Willow sat and fidgeted uncomfortably under the Doctors gaze, she shrugged her shoulders, “Okay I guess.”
Niles looked at her disbelievingly, “The nightmares?”
“Hardly a one,” Willow forced a smile, “Those meditation techniques really helped, and as long as I’ve got Ken next to me I’m okay. I think she frightens the ghosts away.”
“And the flash-backs?”
“Not so good.” Willow admitted sadly, “Luckily it only happens when I let my mind wander; as long as I keep busy I’m okay.”
Niles frowned, “What about the rash?”
Willow rolled up the sleeve of her dress and passed her right hand over the exposed skin, the rash became visible. It was times like this when Niles wondered what his brother Frasier would make of all this magic and the attendant monsters, both real and imaginary.
“I see you’re still using the Glamour to cover it up.” Niles did not really approve of using magic to mask an illness.
“I know it’s all psychosomatic, Niles,” Willow almost whined, “There’s nothing really wrong it’s just my subconscious playing tricks and punishing me for all the bad things I’ve done. I just know that if Ken sees it she’ll worry and I don’t want her to worry…not now…not ever.” Willow lapsed into silence.
“Well if that’s the way you feel?” Asked Niles. Willow nodded her head. “I won’t try to talk you out of it (not just yet) just keep using the cream and…remember Daphne and I are always here for you. For all of you,” Niles smiled warmly at Willow, “Why don’t you and Kennedy try to get away for the weekend?”
Willow looked doubtful.
“Look,” Insisted Niles, “It’ll probably be the last chance you get before the baby arrives.”
“Well Niles if you think it’ll help…” Willow was not sounding at all convinced.
“Yes, go on, try to get as far away from Slaying, witchcraft and responsibility as you can.” Niles smiled encouragingly.
“Okay Niles,” Willow finally gave in, “I’ll see what I can arrange.”
Kennedy looked in terror into Kirk’s leering face, she could not move, she could not even cry out she was totally paralyzed. Kirk squeezed her breasts painfully as he slid himself slowly into her. She wanted to scream and rip his face off and make him stop, it hurt so much; she could feel the tears roll down her cheeks but they only made Kirk laugh and push harder into her. Eventually Kennedy cried out in fear and pain.
“You all right, honey?” Willow glanced at her girlfriend as she drove the SUV along the narrow tree lined country road.
“Huh?” Groaned Kennedy as she slowly realised where she was, “I musta dozed off… bit of a bad dream is all.”
Kennedy remembered; Willow had arranged for a weekend away from the girls so that they could have some time together with no worries about slaying or looking after the young Slayers. Buffy had eagerly agreed to come to Seattle and keep an eye on things and have some more quality time with Tara her ‘niece’.
“You want to stop?” Willow was concerned that Kennedy might be feeling ill, “There’s a village or something up ahead.”
“No I’ll be…” Kennedy put her hand to her head, she felt completely disorientated. “Yes please.”
It would be nice to stop for a moment, move around a little get some fresh air into her lungs maybe stop feeling so sick. She did not normally suffer from motion sickness, but today she felt terrible.
“Be there in a few minutes, sweetie…” Began Willow only to have Kennedy cut her off.
“I’M KENNEDY!” She yelled suddenly losing her temper for no reason, “Stop calling me sweetie and honey I’m not a child!” Willow cowered away from her partner as the Slayer in Kennedy came to the surface in all her belligerent glory, “STOP THE CAR!”
Willow brought the SUV to a rapid but gentle halt; she watched helplessly as Kennedy fumbled for the door catch and stumbled from the vehicle. Kennedy retched and threw up on the side of the road. Willow got out of her side of the SUV and walked cautiously over to where Kennedy stood sobbing and retching, warily she put a hand on Kennedy’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” Sobbed Kennedy turning to face Willow, she held her arms out to her lover.
Willow wrapped her girl in a warm embrace and stroked her hair and back.
“I’m sorry, Willow, I didn’t mean to yell,” Kennedy said between sniffs, “I love you when you call me sweetie an’ such…I just get so…”
“I know, sweetie,” Soothed Willow as her own tears mingled with those of her lover’s, “I know.”
A cold rain started to fall on the couple as they stood at the side of the lonely country road.
“See,” Willow smiled through her tears as she looked into Kennedy’s face, “We’ve made the sky cry too.”
“No that’s rain.” Kennedy tried to smile as she wiped at her eyes.
Willow took out a tissue and helped sponge up Kennedy’s tears. “Whatever.”.
“What’s going on?” Buffy stood well back from the puddle of demon goo on the laundry room floor.
She did not want to get any goo on her pink fluffy slippers; they were too comfortable to be thrown in the trash. Buffy had woken up to the sound of teenage girls screaming and running about down stairs. She had dashed down the stairs dressed only in her night dress and big fluffy slippers, a gift Faith had sent her last Christmas. Buffy had expected to find a full scale battle going on. Instead she found the cute red haired Slayer girl standing over a pool of demon goo.
“It’s Shannon, isn’t it?” Buffy eyed the girl suspiciously; she had had this feeling that the YSWA girls were playing some massive practical joke on her.
“No Ma’am,” Replied the girl looking up at Buffy with big sad eyes, “I’m Sally.”
“You are?” Buffy looked at the girl sceptically, and why did they all call her ‘Ma’am’?
It was better than being called ‘Ms Summers’ all the time, Buffy frowned down at the innocent looking girl in front of her.
“What’s going on?” She repeated hands on hips and tapping her foot on the floor.
“There was a demon…” Sally indicated the goo on the floor.
“I can see that,” Buffy interrupted, “Why was there a demon?”
“I don’t know,” Sally shrugged her shoulders, “I was just getting this load of washing out of the machine,” Sally pointed to the basket of laundry, “And it just sorta appeared.”
“You didn’t try doing some ‘clothes washing spell’ did you?” Buffy looked around for evidence of any magical trinkets, there was none.
“No Ma’am.” Once again Sally flashed her big innocent green eyes in Buffy’s direction, “It was just there and started to say how our whites weren’t as clean as they should be…”
“Whites?” Buffy picked up some of the still damp laundry and looked at it.
“It kept going on and on about how they could be whiter if we used some magical washing powder, so I stabbed it!” Sally beamed at the older slayer.
“You just happened to have a knife…”
“Sword,” corrected Sally.
“…Sword handy and you stabbed it?”
“Yes Ma’am, Miss Kennedy puts swords in all the rooms. All out of Tara’s reach of course.” Sally added rapidly.
‘Oh god’, Buffy thought as she glanced around the room, “Well you better clear this mess up before it eats through the floor or something.”
She turned her back on Sally and headed for the kitchen only to find a heavy weight attached to her right leg. Buffy looked down to see Tara grinning up at her.
“How did you get there?” Buffy bent down and gently tried to disentangle the little girl from her leg.
“She does that a lot.” Sally explained as she got a mop and bucket out of a closet, “It’s a game.” She added helpfully.
“So what do her moms do?” Buffy was having no luck freeing herself from the three year olds grasp.
“Miss Willow does a ‘release’ spell,” Sally started to mop up the demon goo from where it lay, “And Miss Kennedy picks her up and throws her into the air,” Sally wrung out the mop into the bucket and looked up at Buffy’s rather shocked face, “She always catches her.”
Buffy bent once more to take a firm grip on the child.
“Mostly!” Sally added as an after thought.
With a sigh Buffy limped off into the kitchen to make her breakfast; maybe she would call Giles and see if he had any tips on removing a three year old from your leg. Tara looked up at her Auntie Buffy and squealed in delight, this was a great ride much better than either of her Moms.
Sally mopped up the last bits of demon goo and stood back to admire her handy work. A smile came to her lips; maybe they should have mentioned Tara’s magical abilities to Ms Summers. But Miss Willow and Miss Kennedy had not said anything so everyone had assumed that Ms Summers knew. However, it was obvious that Slayer Prime had not noticed Tara teleport into the room…maybe they could all have some fun with this.