: I'm sorry about the slight delay, you see I really meant to post this chapter yesterday, but... Well, you know what, I'll save the whole story for the end of the chapter, that way those who aren't interested can more easily skip it.Consequences IV - Blast From the Past
Buffy felt herself tense as Captain Jack Sparrow stepped out of the portal and into full view. There were others, but at the moment Buffy only had eyes for Jack. All her hate rose back to the surface with a strength that surprised her. She'd really thought she'd got past this, but apparently she hadn't.
She stalked toward him, he tensed, but didn't seem afraid. Buffy pulled back her fist and knocked him on his ass.
"Hey!" Jack yelped, then after a moment looked up. "Okay, I probably deserved that."
Buffy grinned, and was pleased when Jack paled ever so slightly.
"I had no idea you'd still be so worked up about our time together," Jack said with a leer, which really didn't help Buffy to get her anger under control.
"No," Buffy replied coldly. "You just thought enough time had passed that I'd have forgotten all about your little plan to set us on a voyage of the damned for one hundred years."
Spike and Xander looked like they also wanted to have a go at good old Captain Jack, which made Buffy happy. Maybe she'd let them have a turn when she was finished.
Jack shrugged. "That too. But everything turned out all right for you, didn't it?"
Buffy frowned. In a way he was right, but that didn't take away from what he'd done, or what he'd tried to do.
young William would never accept you into service. He's a good man."
Buffy heard someone gasp, and when she looked she realized it was William. He'd come out of the portal behind Jack and Elizabeth, there were several others standing beside and behind them. Buffy was pleased to see that some of them enjoyed seeing her rough up Jack, including Barbossa who was smirking.
"I knew he wouldn't accept you into service, I knew he'd take you lot somewhere safe."
"Did you now?" Xander asked, at the same time Buffy replied.
"Did you really?" Buffy asked.
The trouble was, the anger had started to fade, and she was almost ready to let this go. Jack was a liar and an ass, but she suspected that just this once he might be telling the truth.
"Near as I can tell," Spike replied, and he didn't sound happy. "He's telling the truth."
"He does that from time to time," Elizabeth said dryly.
Buffy looked over, and couldn't help but smile. "Your Highness," Buffy said, and pulled off what she felt was a damn good curtsy.
Buffy almost laughed at the looks of surprise from Jean-Claude's people.
"I told you," Jack said to Elizabeth. "I tell the truth far more than I get credit for."
Buffy chuckled before she could stop herself, but she really shouldn't encourage him.
"So, not to be rude, but why are you guys here?" Xander asked sharply.
Elizabeth smiled, but it was strained. "We have a problem, and the Brethren Court must come together again."
"That doesn't really explain why you're here," Xander said.
Buffy sighed. Xander was wrong, it explained exactly why they were here. They were here for her. Buffy felt herself stand up straighter.
Capitaine Chevalle had given her his piece of eight as he'd died in her arms. That was why his first officer had tried to make her Capitaine. She had turned down that position, but she hadn't been able to bring herself to give away the very last thing Chevalle gave her, which just happened to be a somewhat magical silver coin.
The story was that the original pieces of eight had been junk, and those pieces had been burned the last time the Court came together. He'd been rather close lipped about why they'd been burned, but Buffy suspected it was something more than just the fact the pieces had been junk.
After the burning, they'd decided to use nine silver coins. Those coins were enchanted, how Buffy didn't know, but Buffy had felt something when Chevalle had shoved the coin into her hand. At the time, she'd thought the coin merely held protective spells, now she knew she'd been wrong.
"Ah, but it does, mate," Jack replied shooting Buffy a smug look. "Apparently, as he lay dying in her arms, tragic scene, I'm told," Jack said, and only smirked when Buffy glared.
"Capitaine Chevalle gave Lady
Buffy a silver coin. His piece of eight."
Buffy frowned. Why did they call it that? It was just stupid, there were nine coins, and they had never, as far as Buffy knew, been one piece of anything, yet they were still called eight pieces of nine.
"But I refused," Buffy said, though she knew it was useless. "And I left."
Jack laughed, and Buffy felt her anger start to make a comeback.
"You may have not taken his place on the ship," Elizabeth said softly. "But you still have the coin, if you didn't we wouldn't be here."
Buffy sighed, and could tell without looking that Spike and Xander were looking at her in shock. She'd only told them that in the short time they'd been together she had come to think of Chevalle as a father, she hadn't told them anything else, and knew she had some explaining to do.
"Is that how you managed to find us?" Spike asked, and Buffy was glad that he'd decided to wait until later before giving her the third degree.
Elizabeth nodded. "As long as Buffy is a member of the Court, the Court will always be able to find her."
"Neat trick, that," Spike said.
"So," Buffy said. "This is the Court? Meeting here?"
Elizabeth shook her head. "No, though some of the nine are with me, Jack and Barbossa. No, we have come forward in time to bring you back for the meeting."
Buffy looked around, and suddenly realized that all those who'd come from the past were looking grim. Whatever had brought them here was not good, and Buffy knew that she was going to help them, if she could. She might not care much for Jack, but she really did like Elizabeth, and Barbossa wasn't so bad. At least Buffy told herself that any one who didn't love Jack couldn't be all bad.
"Someone," Elizabeth spoke again. "Has somehow brought the Company back even more powerful and dangerous than they were before."
"You mean someone gathered the remaining forces?" Spike asked, and Buffy could tell he wasn't impressed.
Elizabeth shook her head. "No, I mean someone brought the Company back. All those who died in the final
battle, and before. All the sunken ships. All have returned from the grave to continue the war."
"How?" Xander asked.
"That we do not know," Elizabeth replied. "What we do know is that they are back, and while they can be killed they will not remain dead."
"And since most on our side are mortal," Jack said, and there was something in his voice, but Buffy couldn't figure out what. "They are, I believe as you say, handing us our asses."
"They are devastating our forces," Barbossa said after giving Jack a dirty look. "And unless something changes we will be completely wiped out."
"Speak for yourself," Jack whispered, and Buffy wasn't sure anyone else heard him.
"And you think I can help how?" Buffy asked.
"You deal with demons," Jack said, and Buffy turned to glare. Apparently, Jack also still had some issues over their time together.
"Alas he is right," Elizabeth said. "Though I do not believe the Company have returned as demons. They seem to be some sort of undead."
"Vampires?" Xander asked.
Elizabeth shook her head. "More like zombies, I believe."
"Fire," Anita spoke up suddenly. "If they are zombies then fire will kill them."
"Then they aren't zombies," William Turner said. "We've tried everything, and they simply get up and come after us again."
Buffy frowned. From what she knew William Turner could only be on land one day every ten years, and Buffy suspected he was using his day to come and get her. This time her anger did come back, but wasn't directed at Jack, instead she directed her anger at the Company itself, or whoever had brought them back. Elizabeth and William should be off enjoying their one day in a decade together, instead because someone couldn't leave the dead well enough alone they were forced to use that day to gather their forces for battle.
"Damn," Buffy said. Buffy had all ready known she was going to help them, but now she was starting to feel a tingle of excitement. This could be a challenge, one that she hadn't had since Sunnydale. Buffy felt herself smile.
Spike sighed, and Buffy couldn't stop herself from grinning.
"When do we leave?" Xander asked, and his voice was strained. Buffy knew Xander, and knew he wanted to help, but maybe it was because Xander didn't love challenges, at least not as much as she did.
"We don't have to rush," Buffy spoke up, and Elizabeth smiled, which seemed to shock Spike and Xander.
"I mean we have time, right? With the magic we could go back at the exact moment you left."
"I believe so," Elizabeth replied, and for a moment she looked happier than Buffy had ever seen. After a moment, some of the happiness faded.
"But he only has a few hours left."
Understanding flashed in Spike's eyes, which puzzled Buffy, but everyone else, including Xander, and except for the pirates, were looking confused.
"Then you will
have those few hours," Buffy said forcefully. "Besides that will give us a bit of time to prepare."
Elizabeth nodded, and Buffy could see that both she and William were extremely thankful.
Jack suddenly looked sour, which just made Buffy's day. At least until he started muttering about romance and how it clouded judgment.
Buffy cut him off by knocking him on his ass again, and suddenly all was well in her world again.
"You will be quiet now," she said, then turned to Jean-Claude. "Do you have a place where Elizabeth and Will can be alone for a few hours?"
Jean-Claude nodded, and motioned for Elizabeth and William to follow him. For some reason, he looked very happy. After a moment, Buffy shrugged. Maybe he just liked seeing young lovers together.
As they walked away, Buffy turned to explain to the natives that she, Spike, and Xander would be returning to the past. Someone asked about Elizabeth and William, but Buffy chose to ignore them since their story wasn't hers to tell. She would tell Spike and Xander later, but otherwise if Elizabeth and William wanted it known they could tell the story.~ * ~ * ~
After Buffy finished speaking, Xander looked around, and realized he wanted to go with them. He needed to get away from this reality for awhile. While Asher had stopped ignoring him in favor of Anita, Xander still wasn't happy, because it was clear that Asher still had some feelings for the annoying bitch.
Xander almost growled. He might be willing to play second fiddle in certain situations, but this wasn't one of them.
"I'm coming," Xander announced, and could tell he'd shocked just about everyone. He was almost annoyed when he saw understanding flash through Buffy's eyes.
He felt Asher move to stand beside him. Xander almost smiled, since he was effectively going off to war maybe he'd get some of that awesome sex that only the vampires of this reality seemed able to pull off before leaving.
"If Xander is going, then so am I," Asher announced, and now Xander was the one who was shocked.
Xander allowed himself to growl as he caught the smug expression on Buffy's face. His growl didn't phase her in the slightest.
When he realized Asher was looking at him, Xander forced his eyes from Buffy to Asher. Xander realized that Asher understood what Xander was feeling better than Xander had given him credit for. For a moment, Xander allowed himself to be annoyed that he'd been so transparent.
Asher pulled him close, and whispered. "I will not lie to you, mon foncé
. There is a part of me that will always care for Anita, but you
are the one I love."
Xander was very glad that there was no one close enough with supernatural hearing to have heard Asher's whisper. The situation was embarrassing enough without having his emotions on display for everyone. It was bad enough that Asher and Buffy could read him so well. Though he had to admit that the fact Asher could read him so well was as much as his fault as anyone.
Possibly Buffy could read him so well because she knew his human self, Xander wasn't sure how he felt about that. He knew he couldn't kill her, or he could but she'd just come back, and she'd still know him well. He didn't have to like it, but he had to let it go.
However, even outside of that Xander realized he was still annoyed. He was glad Asher had spoken to him, and that annoyed him. He didn't like the fact that he'd needed to hear Asher say the words.
"Jean-Claude, on the other hand," Asher said, and this time his voice was playful. "Is likely to return to being her, how do you say? Hen-pecked little vampire."
Xander couldn't help himself, he laughed.
"So," Xander said when he finally stopped laughing. "Lets get ready to go kill some shit."
Xander was still upset over the thought of losing Jean-Claude to Anita, but all ready his mind was trying to come up with a plan to keep Jean-Claude with them. Not because he wanted Jean-Claude for himself, not anymore, because he would never allow himself to forget how easily the other vampire tossed him aside, despite the fact that he hadn't exactly been tossed aside yet. Still Asher cared deeply about Jean-Claude, so Xander would do his best to make sure Jean-Claude stayed with them. ~ * ~ * ~
: The reason for the delay was that Wednesday night during storms, or just after the last storm that night, my air conditioner died. Not a good time for it to happen, but I admit it could have happened at a much worse time. First, it waited until after dark, and yet despite that it did reach eighty degrees in here by mid-night, but at least it didn't get any higher until daybreak Thursday, and thankfully Thursday turned out to be a cloudy day. But I do not handle hot very well, so while I did get some sleep Wednesday night (slept a bit better than I expected, actually) I didn't sleep long, and by Thursday afternoon I was starting to feel like a baking chicken.
The repairman (bless his heart) did show up around ten thirty Thursday, and I was happy, because I thought maybe it was just a small problem due to the fact that the power had kept blinking on and off Wednesday, which couldn't have been good for it, but I know now didn't cause the problem - might have made it break
faster than it otherwise would have, but if it hadn't happened then it was still gonna happen at some point no matter what. The problem was that the motor had burned out (and looking back, I realize it had been going bad for some time, probably started sometime last year actually), so despite the fact that he got here early(ish) he couldn't fix it right then. He had to go get a new motor and come back. Thankfully, he went out and found one, I'm not sure I've ever been so glad to see a truck pulling in my driveway, because by the time he come back the sun was starting to come out, and despite the clouds the temp had all ready reached 85 in the house - by the time he got it running the temp inside was 86.
(Good news is that in two hours it was back to 80, and four hours later it was back sweet blessed cool otherwise known as 74.)
So, yes it was fixed early enough that I could have probably got the chapter edited and posted, but I decided that because of the stress and lack of sleep I would wait until today.