We need to talk
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Summary: Buffy hesitates.
AN – Thoughts \\I am thinking.//
AN – Mental communication *Who are you?*
*We need to talk.* she stated, surprisingly sounding a lot more in control than his last visit.
The first thing she said caught him a bit off guard.
*The dead boy in my locker?*
After a few seconds pause while he made the connection to what she was referring to he responded, *Vampire victim.*
*Did he rise?*
*No. He was just drained for his blood. Not to be turned.*
*The freaks at the Bronze that Buffy fought?*
*More vampires trying to do a blood ritual to free their leader, The Master, from a magical cage somewhere underneath Sunnydale.*
*The problems during Cheerleader tryouts?*
*A witch trying to recapture her glory days by switching bodies with her daughter and eliminating those who made the squad until she got on. We foiled her plan and switched them back before she got vanquished battling Buffy.*
Xander winced at that question since the reason he hadn’t participated in the attack was what resulted in his being in the current situation.
Still he responded, *Kyle and the others got caught up in a Primal Possession ritual by the Zookeeper that basically turned them into human hyenas. They did some bad things under the influence of the possession and died before it could be reversed. Though considering what they did do, it might have been a good thing that they wouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of knowing what they did, even if it wasn’t their fault.*
\\Cause even knowing it’s not your fault, doesn’t take the guilt away,// he mused to himself.
*If you’re the conduit for the Slayer Powers and Slayers are girls, why do you appear to be a boy?*
Again he took a bit before answering, *It’s because I am the spirit of a male who died. The Powers That Be decided to use my spirit to empower the Potential Slayer, that would be you, to help disguise the fact that the full time Slayer was off somewhere else doing another job for the Powers.*
*That doesn’t explain why you’re the conduit.*
*While it wasn’t exactly explained to me either, I did help a Slayer when I was alive, so I’m guessing that granted me some affinity to the Slayer Power.*
*And they didn’t have someone female who helped out a Slayer??????* she shouted.
*I said it was only a guess,* taking a step back from her and putting his hands up in a ‘hold on now don’t shoot the messenger’ gesture. “Look, this guy working for the Powers shows up after I died and offers me this gig to help the current Slayer fulfill some vague destiny away from the Hellmouth while still providing protection against any bad guys opening it and bringing Hell on Earth. Before I died some bad stuff happened between me and the Slayer I helped. Their offer provided me with a chance to make up for what happened.*
*Well considering how well you didn’t control my body the first time, I am not that confident that you’ll do much good at keeping me alive.*
*I’ve actually been doing a lot of thinking about that since I left you with Giles,* he said. *I think that when we merge in the future, that we both concentrate on letting you be in charge. The first time you were understandably upset and I just naturally took the lead. Considering that I was able to allow you to have control of your legs in order to get us to the Library and Giles tells me that letting you be in charge from the moment we merge should work. That way I’m only there to give you the Slayer Boost, cause I agree that I don’t want you to feel like a puppet to be used and discarded should I be in charge and make a mistake. This is going to be a rough enough deal for you without adding to it.*
*By the way, despite what you may think about my being male, I intend to honor your privacy as much as possible when not merged with you in training or Slaying. So unless you specifically tell me to, I do not intend to hover around you all the time, even if I will try to stay close by if you need me.*
*Like I would know any different whether you were or weren’t hovering,* she said a bit disgruntled.
*I give you my word and you’ll know as soon as we merge that I’m telling the truth,* he replied. *In fact we should practice merging now to see if you really can take full control. Just be careful handling things until you’re sure you can control how much strength you use. I’ve heard horror stories about crushed door knobs and destroyed alarm clocks.*
Aura’s avatar looked thoughtful for a bit then said, *OK. Just a quick test, then you go. It’s been a stressful day and I really need some sleep.*
With that she walked over to him and pulled him into a hug.
He was a bit surprised by her action but concentrated on giving her control.
At first nothing appeared to be happening, other than he could feel her breasts pressing into his lower chest, causing a minor distraction to his concentration but luckily did not seem to produce what would be a normal physical reaction to someone of his gender and age. Then he felt himself seem to sink into her avatar’s body just as hers had melted into his earlier.
He felt a moment of disorientation as things went black before he found himself in a manifestation of the Enterprise-D bridge. All bridge stations, save one were ‘manned’ by other Aura avatars and dressed in the mini-skirt uniform from the first STTNG episode instead of the later jumpsuit version that the female crew wore.
The Avatar seated in Riker’s chair said, *If you will take your seat, we’ll get started with the test.*
The main view screen seemed to show whatever view Aura herself was seeing.
A little confused because the empty seat was the Captain’s, he still did as requested. Once he was seated, the Avatar that spoke before, began issuing orders that involved balance, agility, reaction time, strength, and even throwing accuracy.
It was about a third of the way through the testing that he realized that this was his own mind’s representation of what was going on with Aura. She wasn’t really issuing commands but thinking about what she was going to do and this provided a means for him to know what she knew and see what she saw. Him being the Captain would allow her to run her body as she saw fit just like a real ship’s crew would do without direct supervision from the Captain, but most likely he would still be able to take control if he desired.
He opted not to test that theory out until after he talked to her about it. Keeping her alive would entail trusting each other and there were too many secrets he couldn’t divulge as it was. There were also details, like the miniskirts the Avatars were wearing, that should probably be kept confidential as well.
He also needed to find out from her what sort of environment manifested for her when he’d been in control. He hoped she hadn’t been left in the dark like he’d been concerned about during the transition. If she didn’t have something, he’d have to find a way to help her create one so she would have someplace comfortable to be while he ‘drove’, which he hoped wouldn’t be required too often, if ever again. Though he was also certain that Murphy would see to it that he would.
Shortly the few things she could do in her room without causing major noise or damage were accomplished and he felt himself being pulled through the darkness again to reappear next to the main Aura Avatar. He knew from his observation point that some things she’d done scared her and others only mildly shocked her. Still, in all, she was somewhat calm.
*I will stop by the Library to see Mr. Giles before homeroom to let him know that my training can start after school. I should not need you until then. From our shared thoughts I know to only refer to you as the Slayer Essence with him and Angel. I understand that this is for my safety and at the moment they do not need to know. The fact that Angel is a vampire, even with a soul, is another reason not to let him know about you. I hope it won’t be too awkward working with him since from your thoughts he is to be more active in helping me than he was with Buffy.*
\\Tell me about it,// thought Xander. \\When Whistler first told me about him being a vampire, I nearly shit a brick. The guy’d been hanging out with us for weeks giving out cryptic nonsense warnings and we never even once clued into the fact he was one of the undead community. I’d’ve thought Buffy would have noticed even if she was getting a bit enamored with him. According to Whistler, at least when she did find out, she distanced herself from him. Though why she didn’t just stake him I’ll never fully understand.//
He was brought out of his own thoughts when she said, *You can go now. We’ll get together at training.*
With that he once again found himself hovering above Aura. He slipped through the window as she turned out the light and got under the covers.
Once outside he pondered what to do until Aura’s training session with Giles the following afternoon.
That thought actually told him what he was going to do at that moment at least. He was going to Giles’ place and look in on him and Willow.
He knew Willow was there from Aura’s shared memories. He knew it was because Willow’s parents were out of town and was grateful to Giles for ensuring Willow wasn’t alone during this time. He knew the proper Englishman was probably very uncomfortable having a teenage girl living with him and how it might look to outsiders despite the circumstances.
Xander was fairly certain that Giles was extremely grateful that Buffy had lived with her mother and had not been foisted upon him as might have happened had she been Council raised. Of course had Buffy been Council raised, she wouldn’t have been the Buffy he knew or the one that Giles complained about but had some fatherly affection for.
\\I wonder if Giles knows how the Powers convinced Buffy to go along with this crazy scheme?// he mused as he flew towards Giles’ apartment. \\She wasn’t all that enthused with being Chosen, except when she was walloping on some fledge and then it seemed as though she didn’t want to be anything else. Therefore, it had to be something really big and important to go along with faking her death and all the grief it would cause her mother and Willow.//