While preparations are being made to join Vampire Council, a blast from the past catches Buffy, Xander, and Spike off-guard. Buffy quickly realizes this is a problem she can't solve without Anita's help. But will Anita continue to help when she learns what's been going on behind her back? Disclaimer:
Once More With Feeling - I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, I don't own Anita Blake Vampire Hunter
, nor do I own Pirates of the Caribbean
. I'm not even remotely associated with anyone who does either.Note:
Sorry about the delay on this - first real life got in the way a bit. Then when I finally got the rough draft of chapter one finished, I realized it was a bit short, so I decided to see if I could come up with a way to expand it a little bit. Of course, that isn't the only reason this was delayed so long, I started yet another fanfic while I was trying to work out a problem with this one. Anyway, I am really sorry about the delay in getting this going, but at least it is here now, and I hope you guys enjoy!Consequences IV - Blast From the Past
Buffy grinned, instead of heading back to their room with Xander and Spike, Buffy had decided to double back and see if she could catch Asher. The meeting had broken up shortly after Anita left, and hopefully she would be able to catch Asher alone.
She'd turned a corner, and saw that Asher was actually walking toward her. Her grin was because he was alone.
"Hey," she said as they faced each other.
"You should be flattered, you know," Buffy whispered. "She wasn't trying to hurt you..."
"I know," Asher said, and Buffy thought she heard regret in his voice.
"But you didn't at the time?"
Asher shook his head. "Now I find myself wondering just how much is really..."
"Because she just doesn't understand," Buffy finished for him. "I'm starting to wonder that myself."
Asher smiled. "She can be very irritating, and I do realize that not all of it is because she doesn't understand. But I am beginning to suspect she would be much less annoying if people
made more of an effort to explain things to her."
Buffy grinned. "Only one way to find out."
"So," Buffy said. "Are you staying here or going to France with us?"
Asher seemed to sigh. "I do not wish to return to France, but the council wants Xander where they can keep an eye on him."
It took a moment for Buffy to realize he was speaking of the vampire Xander, and not her Xander. She'd almost forgotten that it was only her little gang that called the vampire Xander Vander.
"You overheard that, huh?"
Asher smiled. "Oui
"You know," Buffy said thoughtfully. "Vander can probably hold his own with or against them better than you."
"Of that I am certain," Asher said, then turned and walked away.
Buffy frowned. She was sure his statement meant more than it seemed on the surface, but damned if she could figure out the deeper meaning.
As she walked back to her room she allowed her thoughts free reign. Jean-Claude and the vampires in St. Louis really did seem like humans with fangs when compared to the vampires of her reality. But from reading between the lines, she was starting to believe that her vampires would fit in among the Council better than this realities own.
She suspected the Queen would be delighted with Angelus' excess, not to mention Vander's pure need for destruction.
Buffy almost smiled. It still seemed strange that Vander was Xander and yet he wasn't. While Xander was certainly capable of violence Buffy knew he could never take things to the excess that Vander did. She also knew that without Asher and Jean-Claude holding him back he would be well on his way to enslaving the humans of this reality.
For a moment, Buffy wondered what would happen with Spike. After all, Spike was second to only Angelus in terms of violence and destruction.
Buffy stopped walking. It was strange, and Buffy wondered how it was that she was only just realizing this, Spike actually seemed more like Jean-Claude and Asher these days than he did Vander and Angelus. The chip had started the changes, Buffy knew that, and even though the chip was gone, Buffy was starting to wonder if there was some lasting effect that had left Spike somewhat different than before.
Buffy shook herself, and started walking again. Spike might seem tamer, but she knew that Spike was still Spike, and she couldn't help but wonder if he would return to form now that there were other vampires around.
Buffy sighed. "And why doesn't that thought bother me?"
She'd thought merging with the First Slayer would make her more likely to hunt and kill vampires. At first she'd been a bit worried that she might kill Spike because of the joining, but instead she was feeling more and more numb about things. Perhaps the First Slayer hadn't merged with her at all.
Buffy paused. Something had happened that night, but maybe what she thought happened wasn't what had happened. After all, if they had merged shouldn't she feel stronger? Instead she almost felt like her mind was slowly fading away.
The First Slayer had been all about the hunting and the killing, which left Buffy to wonder what exactly had happened when the First Slayer had stepped into her. Because she knew she hadn't felt right since that moment.
Buffy froze. Actually, it had started long before that, back in the past when Buffy had killed her first human. In that moment something (everything) had changed, but instead of getting better, Buffy realized things seemed to be getting worse. Had the First Slayer actually done something to speed up the process?
Buffy laughed. At first she'd hoped that the encounter with the First Slayer would straighten her out, instead the opposite seemed to be happening.
As she opened the door and entered her room, she realized she needed answers. The problem was that she wasn't likely to find them here because this reality was devoid of Slayers which meant there would be no Slayer lore here to help her find out what was going wrong.
"Slayer," Spike said. He was laying across the bed in a very suggestive pose, and for once Buffy didn't feel a remote tingle in response. That was wrong on so many levels, because so far no matter what, Spike could always get a response out of her.
"Buffy," heavy concern in his tone.
Then she almost jumped out of her skin when she felt Spike wrap his arms around her. Somehow though that actually made her feel better, more normal.
Buffy opened her mouth to say fine, but instead everything she'd just been thinking rushed out.
Spike was looking confused by the time she finished.
"You really aren't bothered at the thought that Angelus and Spike might go all rampage-y?" Xander asked, and Buffy noted that the television was now off.
Buffy shook her head. "I'm really not. I mean I'm concerned that they might hurt us..."
"Never," Spike said, and actually kissed her forehead. "Though I guess I can't speak for Peaches."
Buffy felt herself smile.
"I think you're right," Xander said. "We need to be in a reality where we can figure this out."
Buffy frowned, because he sounded more scared than he should have.
"What?" She asked turning toward him, and Spike turned with her. Xander was almost as pale as Vander in that moment.
"I don't care either," Xander replied shocking both Buffy and Spike. "And you know me Buff, I'm all about vampires bad, very bad, and yet..."
Buffy reached out and pulled Xander to them.
"Relax," she whispered as she laid her head against his chest.
"But Angel and killing," Xander replied. "That should scare the hell out of me, even without his very scary me obsession."
Buffy felt Spike move, and realized that his arms were now wrapped around both of them, and Buffy could feel herself relaxing.
"She's right, Whelp," Spike said softly yet firmly. "We'll figure this out."
Of course, Buffy suspected that he was only saying this to calm them both down, because something told her that he wasn't exactly upset about this development. Any other time she might have called him on it, but at the moment it was more important that they get Xander calmed down.~ * ~ * ~
Xander sighed, and then frowned. Since becoming a vampire, Xander had always tried to distance himself from all things human, including breathing and all those other purely human functions that vampires didn't need to do but could if they wanted. Xander hadn't wanted to do anything that reminded him or anyone else that he used to be human. But lately he found himself acting more and more human.
Of course, this was all Jean-Claude's fault. Here they were locked away in Jean-Claude's bedroom with no Anita anywhere near the Circus, and yet Jean-Claude was more interested in sharing his shinny new observations of Anita with Asher. Xander was not pleased.
It was moments like this where more than ever he missed his own reality. Why should a vampire - any vampire - give a flying fuck what any human thought or felt, unless it was fear and pain?
At the moment, had she been around, Xander knew he would have killed Anita despite the fact that it could kill Jean-Claude as well. At the moment, he wanted to hurt Jean-Claude. Maybe not kill him, but hurt him.
Xander almost laughed. Shame the bitch can't be around when you want her to be.It might not be so bad
, Xander thought, if it was only Jean-Claude.
But Asher was looking very interested in Jean-Claude's Anita observations. Xander had thought that he'd completely replaced Anita at least as far as Asher was concerned. Clearly he was wrong, and that didn't set well.
So maybe she wouldn't be as big a bitch if things were actually explained to her, but who cared?
Xander almost sighed again. He knew the answer to that, he just didn't like it.
Still Anita was a bitch plain and simple, and Xander had thought that Asher and Jean-Claude had finally caught on to that little fact. Now it was clear that they hadn't, because they couldn't stop going on and on and on about Anita.
Xander started to rise, but stopped his movement a second later when he realized Angelus was off spying on the Vampire Council.
It was interesting that Xander could find Angelus to be a worthy companion. Sure, he'd heard all the stories about Angel from the old days, but there was a part of Xander that had never really believed the stories. The puppy had been so useless and easily beaten that it was hard to imagine that Angelus had ever been a proper vampire. But to his surprise Angelus did live up to the stories.
More to the point, Xander was starting to think Angelus would be a better companion than Jean-Claude or even Asher. Of course, none of them were Willow or the Master, but at least Angelus was one of his own kind. Well, Spike was too, but Spike seemed to be more into fucking these days than fighting. Not that Xander would turn down a good fuck himself.
Xander glanced over, and almost snorted in disgust. Asher and Jean-Claude still had their heads together. For a moment, Xander thought about pulling out his penis and getting himself off. He discarded that idea because it would feel as though he were begging for their attention. Xander didn't beg for attention, sometimes he demanded it, but he never begged for it, or at least he hadn't since becoming a vampire.
Xander shook his head. He should have went with Angelus, at least then he would have seen some action of some kind. Or maybe not, because the older vampire was more worried about how the Council vampires would behave. His worry wasn't entirely unfounded, Xander conceded, because if the Council was full of vampires like Asher and Jean-Claude fun in France would be even harder to come by than it was in St. Louis since those vampires were stronger and more powerful than Asher and Jean-Claude. At least here they could sneak off and make their own fun.
Of course, if even half of the tales he'd heard about the Council were correct Xander suspected they would fit in much better with the Council than they did here in St. Louis. So, Xander believed Angeles' worry was unfounded, but he could understand it.
Finally, Asher looked up, and Xander felt a little better as a guilty look flickered across his face. He felt even better when Asher moved toward him totally ignoring Jean-Claude. Perhaps his night was finally starting to look up.~ * ~ * ~
The next night, Buffy woke to find herself feeling better. She still wasn't bothered at the thought of Angelus or Spike killing a few humans, but waking with two sets of arms around her left her not caring about the lack of being bothered. She knew later she'd be bothered again, but for right now she felt at peace with everything.
Later after both Xander and Spike woke, Buffy found herself all dressed up with nowhere to go. For once there wasn't a meeting or anywhere else they needed to be. Buffy decided to savor the lack of anything happening, it had happened before, but it hadn't happened often. So, after a round of love-making, the three of them decided to head out and explore the Circus in all its glory.
They finally stepped out of the building into the cool night air. Buffy knew it was getting close to mid-night, which probably explained why there were people wondering around all over the place. Buffy was still amazed that vampires and humans in this world could interact like this without there being more bloodshed.
Buffy paused when she heard the sound of children laughing. She turned and watched as two children teased each other. She'd known that people brought their families to the Circus, but she still found it hard to believe. It was one thing for adults to behave foolishly, but to expose their children to such a threat just freaked Buffy out on levels she hardly knew existed.
The vampires in this reality might seem like humans with fangs next to the vampires of her own reality, but Buffy knew that they were at heart still vampires.Speak of the devil
, Buffy thought as she caught sight of Jean-Claude, Anita, Vander, and Asher coming toward them.
However, before she could even wave, let alone call out a greeting, something rippled between them. Buffy felt Spike and Xander tense, which was interesting since she was currently touching neither of them.
Then it seemed as though the air itself rippled, and then it seemed as though something ripped the air apart.
A moment later, Buffy realized the rip was getting wider, seconds later Buffy could no longer see the natives coming toward them. However, she could see several shadows coming toward her from inside the rip itself.
Buffy felt herself fall into fighting stance. The shadows appeared to be human sized, but Buffy knew better than anyone that just because something looked human didn't mean it was human.~ * ~ * ~