Chapter 1 - Meeting the Order of Aurelius
Chapter 1 - Meeting the Order of Aurelius
California, Sunnydale, streets
Buffy was not having a good day. First, finding out she had a new watcher who identified her demon as a powerful warlock who she had a slim to no chance of defeating, and then finding out vamps already hit the school she went to for snacks. She reported the dead guy to Giles like a good little slayer and she even stayed in the library after school to do some training. That was another sign she was determined as she hated being criticized on the flaws in her form. She didn’t let Giles know she was glad he saw them. He would help her become a better fighter and slayer that way and she needed it. After training she informed him she was going to do a patrol later, after some Bronze time. He had allowed her only when she pointed out that vamps were likely to make an appearance at the Bronze for tasty teenage snacks.
Buffy felt the slight vampire vibe on her radar and sighed inwardly. She moved herself towards a dark allay and supported herself on a beam over between two buildings over her head. No long later the vampire passed under her and she flipped down knocking him forwards rolling until he landed on his back with her foot pressed to his neck. She was about to grab her stake when the vampire asked “Is there a problem ma’am?”
“Yeah there is a problem. You’re snacking on people. But I guess you don’t care about that.” Buffy produced her stake.
“Wait, I don’t do that anymore.” The vampire told her.
“Yeah right, like I’m going to fall for that. I may be a blonde, but I’m not stupid.” Buffy told him and moved to stake him.
“I have a soul.” The vampire blurted out and Buffy paused just before her stake touched his chest.
“That’s a new one.” Buffy told him.
“It’s the truth.” The vampire told her.
“Uh-huh, well prove it. Tell me how you got it.” Buffy told him.
“I was cursed with it by gypsies after I killed their favorite clan daughter.”
“Gypsies?” Buffy asked and then added, “Just how old are you?”
“240.” the vampire supplied nervously.
Buffy took her foot off his neck. “Alright, I’ll give you the benefit of a doubt since I know vamps that old would never come up with that instead of fighting back.” She told him then added, “But I’ll have my watcher check you out. Now you obviously know who I am. Why were you looking for me?”
“I’m supposed to help you. Even as limber as you are, you’ll need help if you’re staying at the Mouth of Hell.” The vampire told her.
Buffy studied him for a few seconds only now noticing how handsome the man…vampire was. “I’m Buffy.” She said holding her free hand out, while the other continued to clutch the stake.
“Angel.” The vampire replied grasping her hand in his and stared in her eyes. Buffy looked up from their clasped hands to his eyes to find him looking at her. She felt heat rise through her cheeks and quickly let go, thankful for the darkness that meant he was unable to see her blush.
Quickly gathering herself she quickly jumped into business. “So since you’re here to help me, do you know a demon called Vail?”
“Vail? I don’t think so. Why?” Angel asked her.
“He kidnapped someone in Colorado. Are you sure you’ve never heard of him, he’s supposed to be some kind off very powerful and old warlock demon.” Buffy told him.
“Colorado? No, I haven’t heard of him before now.” He replied.
“You think that batlike vamp that is supposed to be here somewhere might know him?” Buffy asked.
“Master Nest?” Angel asked “You don’t want to go near him if you desire your life.” He told her sincerely.
“Hey, I killed one master vamp, what’s another one?”
“The Master is more powerful than Lothos. For one he doesn’t need music to hypnotize his victims.” Angel told her.
“You know him?” Buffy asked.
“He’s my grandsire.” Angel told her with a grimace.
“Well be glad you haven’t inherited his looks.” Buffy quipped at which Angel gave her a half smile. “So you know where he is then?” Buffy asked him.
“Underground, trapped. He might be freed if the Harvest succeeds.” Angel told her.
“The Harvest?” Buffy asked.
“A ritual, your watcher will be able to tell you more about it. You should be wary of Luke, he’s strong.” Angel told her.
“Luke?” Buffy asked.
“The Master’s right hand. Not very bright but he makes up for that in strength.” Angel told her, and then he tossed her something which she caught. It was a small jewelry box which Buffy opened and in a flash remembered the cross inside from her dream. She picked it up and raised her eyes to thank him only to find said vampire was gone.
California, Sunnydale, the Bronze
From the Bronze, Buffy had called Giles to fill him in. Then she joined Cordelia for a little dancing. She stopped when she sensed several vampires entering the Bronze.
“I’ve got to go, see you tomorrow, Cor.” She told Cordelia and walked off.
Buffy shamelessly flirted with a vampire whose outfit was from a few decades ago. It wasn’t long before the vampire invited her for some fun at his place. Buffy agreed and the vampire led her away.
California, Sunnydale, cemetery
“You know this cemetery is kinda creepy,” Buffy told the vampire named Thomas in her best dumb, California blond, valley girl act.
Thomas smiled at her, “It’s not far now, but you know what would be really cool? We should check the inside of one of these out.”
Buffy looked at him and smirked, “I’ll give you a clear view up close about it.” And with that she suddenly pulled away from the vampire and kicked him hard through the doors of the crypt. She casually walked in after him. “How is the floor treating you?” she asked the vampire now in vamp face and growling at her.
“You’re dead girlie.” Thomas told her.
“You know that line is so unoriginal, but then again just looking at your outfit it is clear that you don’t get out much.” She paused letting her words sink in “Seriously, live in the now, you look like DeBarge.”
As if on cue, a boy suddenly half stumbled half fell through the broken door. Buffy caught him and helped him sit against the wall of the crypt. “The girl gave me a hickey.” The boy said as he held his hand against his bleeding neck. Buffy recognized him now from before at the Bronze. It was Cordy’s stalker, Jesse.
“Stay here Jesse. This won’t take long.” Buffy told him and waited for his nod before she turned around to see Vampire Thomas being scolded by a blond haired female vampire.
Buffy took in her surroundings and smirked as she stepped closer to the two vamps, “You vamps really picked the wrong town to come to, Mouth of Hell or not.”
The female vamp glanced over at her, “Well at least you managed to bring an offering for the master, but really Thomas. You should know by now that size matters and the little girl won’t satisfy the Master for long.”
The next moment, the spot he had been standing in was now a cloud of dust. “I really don’t like being ignored.” Buffy told the vampire in a warning tone.
The female vampire glared at the girl “He was young and stupid.” She said and attacked.
Buffy easily parried her blows. “You really should know your place on the food chain.” Buffy responded.
The female growled in her vamp face, “Do not insult me girl. I am Darla, child of the Master for over 400 years, sire of Angelus-”
Buffy cut her off, “Blah, blah, blah. You really don’t have anything interesting to tell me, have you?” Not waiting for an answer, Buffy avoided a punch, and then threw one herself that caused Darla to sail against the wall and slump against it.
Buffy watched with satisfaction as the vampire before her showed fear in her eyes for the first time. “Now, tell me, since you’re so old and supposedly knowledgeable. Where is the demon warlock called Vail!?”
“Who are you?” Darla asked.
Buffy suddenly picked up a vampire coming up behind her and turned slightly and flipped forwards away from the spot. She turned around in fighter stance, to watch a big bulky male vampire come out of the shadows and towards the female vamp.
“Let me guess, you’re her lover.” Buffy told him.
The big guy ignored her and helped Darla up, only to keep a firm grip on her arm. “You’re supposed to be bringing an offering for the Master, not dabble with this child.”
“I brought the boy but Thomas brought her before she killed him. Luke, she’s strong.” Darla told him. Luke let her go and glanced at the girl in question.
Buffy glanced at Jesse and said “Catch.” Jesse managed to catch whatever she threw at him and when he opened his hand he saw it was a necklace with a cross attached. “It’ll repel the vampires.” And with that, Buffy charged the vampire who Angel had warned her of: Luke.
The big bulky vampire called Luke staggered backwards and said, “You’re strong.” He hit Buffy hard and then grinned, “I’m stronger.”
Buffy clenched her teeth through the pain and looked up angrily at the vampire, “Wanna test that?” Buffy asked and lunged at him again. Using a combo of punches and a roundhouse kick Luke staggered backwards against the wall. Buffy pulled her stake out and threw it at Luke who made to grasp it out of the air but Buffy reached out with her magic and focused on her stake. It flew over his grasping hand and into his throat.
Buffy turned back to see Jesse trying to hold Darla off but Darla had managed to separate the cross and Jesse. Like most older vamps, a cross would not stop her for long. Buffy glanced around and spotted the cross and once again she reached out with her magical energy and grasped the cross with it. She glanced at Darla and flung the cross with her energy at the vampire.
Jesse thought for sure he was dead but he suddenly heard the blond crazy woman, who the other crazy blond told him was a vampire, scream. Jesse looked up and saw smoke come from the woman’s face. He glanced at Buffy ,who was smirking only to lose her smirk and unexpectedly turn and catch a… was that a wooden stake? It was. It was bloodied, but it was a wooden stake. He turned his eyes towards the big guy who had thrown it at her to see a hole in his throat. His face was deformed like the other ‘vampire’. Jesse quickly picked up the cross on the ground that Darla had thrown off and held it up close to her face as she too had been distracted first by the cross then by Luke and the mysterious blond.
Darla shrieked and jumped back “Screw this; I’ll get the master a new offering.” With that Darla ran out of the crypt and into the night.
Buffy made a face at the bloodied stake in her hand and looked at Luke saying, “You know when you borrow something you really shouldn’t return it all bloody.” Smirking at the angry expression on Luke’s face she held her free hand to her mouth in a shocked expression, “Oh sorry, I guess that was my fault. Oh well.” She said shrugging it off then looked at him with an innocent expression, “Don’t suppose if I asked you nicely you’d clean all that blood off for me, would you?”
An angry growl was her response and Buffy lost her expression as she focused completely on the fight.
“Hey Luke!” Someone shouted and Luke turned to see the other offering for the Master yell for him, “Catch.” The offering told him and he did. He then howled in pain as smoke rose from his palm. He quickly dropped the offending holy object but it was too late. He had been distracted enough for Buffy to plunge her bloodied stake into his heart.
Buffy smirked at his stunned expression. “Guess the Master will be displeased huh?” she asked he looked at her as she shrugged “I can live with that.” He heard her say just before his body turned into dust.
Buffy watched him turn into dust with satisfaction. She bent down and picked up the cross and put it around her neck. She then turned to Jesse and walked over to him “You ok?” she asked.
Jesse replied by passing out.
“Great! I so need a cell phone to call Giles so he can drag unconscious people towards the hospital.” Buffy complained as she began the task to drag Jesse out of the crypt. She then figured she should drag him to the library since she didn’t know where the hospital in town was, yet anyways.
Colorado, Colorado Springs, Jack’s house
General West had just left. He had been worried about Jack and told the man he was getting some counseling, whether he wanted to or not. He had then left the stunned Colonel behind.
Jack looked at a picture from his son and daughter. In the picture Buffy was giving Charlie a new video game for his birthday which got his son extremely excited…7 months earlier
“Thanks Buffy.” Charlie said hugging his sister.
Buffy smiled and hugged her brother back briefly before saying “You’re welcome squirt.”
“Why don’t you go test out your new game Charlie.” Jack suggested and looked at his daughter smiling.
“Thanks dad.” Charlie said and dashed off.
Buffy watched him go with saddening eyes, “You ok Buffy?” Jack asked her.
Buffy looked at him, “Peachy.” She replied and then forced a smile.
“Really?” Jack asked skeptically, raising an eyebrow.
The 15 year old Buffy looked at Jack and suddenly felt very aware of Sara also being in the room. Buffy had tried when she was younger to get the woman to like her, but gave up when she was 11, she simply acted nice around the woman instead.
“Really, I’m gonna go see how Charlie is doing on his new game.” With those words, she was quickly out of the room.
Jack glanced at his wife and said, “I’ll be right back.”
Buffy had settled for watching Charlie play his game from the doorpost of his room. It was only when she heard someone come up the stairs and turned towards it that she saw it was Jack.
Seeing his serious face, Buffy rolled her eyes and walked over to him on top of the staircase she asked, “What’s up?”
Jack looked at her, “Shouldn’t I be asking you that? And don’t tell me you’re fine ‘cause I know you better than that.”
Buffy sighed, knowing it was pointless to deny it. She might be able to fool her dad, Hank, but somehow Jack usually knew when she was holding something back. Maybe it was because when she was here she rarely acted like a dumb blond. While Hank liked her California dumb blond act, Jack liked the smart smartass she really was, which led her to acting like herself when around Jack and not Hank. A part of her was disturbed that she was closer to Jack than the man that raised her, but another part told that part it was only logical since Jack was her biological father. Still, guilt was there that she got along more with Jack then she did Hank, so she acted more like Hank wanted her to act when she was home so he’d be happy and she could feel less guilty.
“Fine, I miss this when I go home. I am tired of mom and Hank fighting all the time and I feel guilty of not missing home so much.” Buffy told him, and then looked away towards Charlie’s room, “I’m even angry at Hank for not wanting more from me that what I’m giving him. And I feel guilty cause of it.” Buffy stopped and looked towards him with a scared and pleading expression on her face, “Please don’t say anything about this to him. I don’t want him to leave mom and me because I’m having confusing feelings about him.”
Jack had seen the difference in the way Buffy acted when he and Charlie had gone to L.A. to celebrate Buffy’s birthdays. “Hey, you should know by now that that I never tell your parents something you don’t want me to tell them, kid. Well unless it’s important. But I haven’t told your mother about teaching you to fight, have I?” Jack told her.
Buffy’s eyes lit up, she loved learning how to fight, especially since Jack often praised her on how quick she caught on to it all. Jack had even told her one time that she had a lot of potential, which in turn caused her to have a dream that night about cute military guys running around calling her ma’am. She had been confused but pleased until the saw herself in a military outfit. Even the thought much later, as she reflected back upon the image off her short blond hair barely reaching her shoulders, had left her very scared for her hair.
Jack grinned at the light that lit up in his daughter eyes at the mention of teaching her how to fight. He was truly surprised at how quickly Buffy seemed to pick moves up, and although he had been against teaching her how to fight in the beginning, he had given in when she kept coming up with arguments or situations where she could be attacked back in L.A. when he wasn’t around. “You up for a round?” He asked her.
“You know I’m always up for a round, the question is if you can keep up with me, old man.” Buffy quipped and then quickly ran past him down the stairs, laughing as Jack followed her.
Jack sighed looking away from the picture. Maybe General West had a point in getting him some help. Maybe. He really didn’t feel like going out and doing what he’d been ordered to do, but decided to give it a chance.
California, Sunnydale, Giles’s car
Buffy had instead of dragging Jesse all the way towards the library of the High school, come up with a better idea. Call Giles from a pay phone she spotted on her way. She had slain two more vamps on her little trek from the crypt towards the pay phone, but was glad to finally get a hold of her new watcher.
Once Giles had been given the cliff note’s version of what happened, he had come to pick them up…Buffy had been less then pleased to see his car, a beat up old Citroen. But had swallowed her complaints because of her worry over the unconscious male she had set up against the pay phone.
During the drive towards the hospital, Buffy had filled Giles in over everything that happened, from Angel to Luke, to Darla and to Jesse.
“So that’s the situation. Something called ‘The Harvest’ is happening soon according to our supposed ally, Angel. Sunnydale is located on the Mouth of Hell, there is an ancient Master vampire trapped underground. I fought a blond haired vampire called Darla who claimed to be over 400 years old and the sire of Angelus and childe of said Master vamp. Then there was this big strong guy called Luke who I slayed with a little help from Jesse. Jesse and I were supposed to be offering for said Master. Oh and there was the vamp called Thomas but Darla said he wasn’t that old when I dusted him.” Buffy summarized for Giles.
“Uhm, yes. You did well tonight Buffy.” Giles told her.
Buffy pouted, “Giles, care. I risked my life tonight and my back still hurts from when that big guy, Luke, knocked me against the wall.”
Giles looked at his charge and once again it hit him that his charge, the Slayer, was not just someone who killed vampires, but also a 16 year old girl.
“I’m sorry Buffy. You did good tonight, I’m just preoccupied on what you’ve told me.” He told her and saw her face. “You’re teasing me aren’t you?” he then asked.
Buffy smirked, “Yes, but I still appreciate it.”
Any further conversation was cut off because they were at the hospital. The cover story had been that Giles had found the boy on the side of the road conscious, but with a bleeding neck. The boy had then passed out to which Giles responded by driving him to the hospital. Buffy had been let out early on purpose because it would take suspicion off her with future dealings with the hospital to which they both agreed would probably come again.
California, Sunnydale, Sunnydale High, Library
Giles had dropped Buffy off at home and then headed back to the library. He then began researching anything about ‘The Harvest’, ‘Angel/Angelus’, ‘Master Nest’, ‘Darla’ and ‘Mouth of Hell’.
California, Sunnydale, Summers house, Buffy’s room
Buffy woke up at 2:47 am. She sighed; first she had her usual nightmare of the day Charlie got kidnapped, then another fun slayer dream. It looked a lot like the one the night before. Unable to get back to sleep, Buffy wrote down what she could remember to give to Giles tomorrow, or should she say later today. Turning on a small light, Buffy then decided to throw herself into her magical studies. About 2 hours later, Buffy yawned and went back to bed.
California, Sunnydale, Underground, Old buried church
“She killed Luke.” He stated and looked at his favorite Childe, Darla.
“The girl was strong Master. It is possible she may be a-” Darla was cut off by the Master.
“A slayer,” The Master spat. “In all the time I was trapped here, there is a slayer here now.” He said and growled. “And she killed Luke.”
“I have heard the current slayer killed Lothos.” Darla informed him.
“That idiot. He always was fond of Slayers. Still for her to be able to kill Lothos and Luke... She is a threat to the Harvest.” The Master mused.
“Who will take Luke’s place as the Vessel?” Darla asked him.
The Master looked at her, “You of course. There is no other childe of mine here. And I cannot trust such a task to a fledgling.”
“I would be honored Master…there is something else you should know about. I have sensed my Angelus in town.” Darla told him.
“Angelus, he would have been my right hand…if he’s in town would he not be helping the slayer? Such a great demon wasted under a soul, such a waste.” The Master told her.
“I believe I can turn him back to our side, Master.” Darla told him. “I have found out since then that the soul my Angelus is burdened with will leave once it experiences a moment of perfect happiness.”
“Who told you this?” The Master asked surprised.
“Wolfram & Hart.” Darla told him.
“How much influence have they gained in the years I’ve been asleep?” The Master asked her.
“They’re established themselves worldwide. They have offices in cities like Los Angeles, Rome, Paris, Berlin, Moscow.” Darla told him.
“They are planning something…it will not matter. Once I am free, Hell will come to Earth with me.” The Master decided.
“Master there is one more thing you should know, I have forgotten about it before but the slayer asked me about a demon warlock called Vail.” Darla informed him.
“Vail? Last I heard he was with Wolfram & Hart. Once I am free we must pay them a visit.” The Master told her.
“Of course Master.” Darla told him.
“For now we should prepare for the Harvest. And you too should prepare yourself to please Angelus so he can return to the fold. I trust you won’t fail pleasing him?” Master Nest asked her.
“Of course not Master, I did do that professionally once.” Darla reminded him.
“And it was how you contracted syphilis and would have died, if not for me.” The Master replied.