Water under the bridge? Not likely!
Set after season seven in the buffy-verse and during the calm before Yuna's pilgrimmage.
Standard disclaimer applies, I own nothing.
At the start, there had been calm. They appeared out of nowhere, among the ruins in the middle of the sea. There was a moment of peaceful confusion, at least until wits were gathered and recognition set in.
“Spike, grab him, quick”
“You bastard, she died, where the hell were you?”
“Deadboy, I'm gonna shove my boot so far up your....”
“Let go of me you maniac....”
“Oi, 'Arris watch where your swingin' that nearly got me...”
“I'm going to enjoy this you bleached bastard”
“Tch, such attitudes, you need to be taught your manners”
Upon seeing the Immortal, Angel and Spike decided payback was in order, especially considering that the Immortals bodyguards were absent. They were, however, held up by the fact that Riley quickly attacked Spike and Xander made a beeline for Angel, anger burning in his eye. Off to the side Rupert Giles studied the Hank Summers for a moment before grabbing the front of his shirt and bringing his head forward in a head-butt.
By himself, confused and scared, Parker Abrams watched the chaos descend, a can of whipped cream dropping from his fingers.
As Giles and Hank continued to fight, one in anger, the other in self-preservation, a fight in which the former librarian clearly dominated, the remaining five were doing their best to emulate the concept of cats in a sack. The Immortal was doing his best to fend off Angel and Spike, who by mutual agreement, had decided it didn't matter which of them beat the Immortal bloody, as long as it was done and done well. Angel and Spikes problems started with the fact that Xander and Riley had also reached an agreement with each other. While both men had their preferred target, they were inclined to also take a swing at their friends target if the opportunity presented itself.
It was madness incarnate. Until.
The sky shook with light and sound, the crack of nearby thunder interrupting the various fights and forcing them to take more stock of their surroundings.
“Where are we?”
“What's going on?”
“WILL ONE OF YOU MADMEN PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!!” yelled a very bruised and bloody Hank Summers.
The Immortal took this moment to separate himself from his attackers
“Perhaps we should put our petty grievances aside until we can work out an answer for our situation”
“What's to work out Morty?, You're here, I'm here. That's good enough for me.” Spike said, trying to edge around Riley, towards the Immortal. “ Besides, we're in the middle of nowhere. Kinda doubt that that info is just laying around.”
“It's Buffy, we all know Buffy.” Xander said. Everyone looked at him, then started looking at each other.
“I think Xander may be correct. In the interests of proving it, I think that we should introduce ourselves, for the benefit of those who don't know everyone, and then state how we know Buffy.” Giles said.
“Right then. I'll go first. Names Spike, sometimes called William the Bloody, Buffy and me, we have a thing, she loves me and I love her.”
“You have the dignity due one your station, William. I am known as The Immortal. Buffy Summers and I currently partner each other in the ways of pleasure.”
“That had better not be what it sounds like. My name is Hank Summers and Buffy is my daughter.”
“At least you had the decency to not say you were a father to her. My name is Rupert Giles and I have been a father figure to Buffy as well as her Watcher.”
“My name is Angel, and Buffy and I used to be in a relationship”
“My name is Captain Riley Finn of the United States Army. Buffy and I dated when she was in college.”
“Uh, My name is Parker Abrams, and I also dated Buffy in college. For a little while.”
“What he means is, he sweet talked her for two days until he sleazed his way into Buffy's panties and then he dumped her.”
Everyone who was not the man in question then turned and glared at Parker. Parker himself gave a glare at the man who dropped him into it. Xander merely grinned and waved.
“Hi, I'm Xander Harris and I've been Buffy's friend since she first came to Sunnydale.”
“Ah, excellent. Now we know who everyone is, as well as what we have in common. What we need to work out is where we are and why we're here.” Giles said.
“Well at a guess Watcher, we're in the bleedin' middle of nowhere, as to why where here? Maybe someones going to attack Buffy and needed us out of the way.” Spike opined.
“Possible, but that doesn't explain why Parker and Mr Summers are here. They've never fought at Buffy's side.”
“Hey guys? I don't know if it's important but this water looks a little strange.”
Everyone looked around at Xander, and for the first time, took full stock of their surroundings. As Spike said, they were in the middle of the ocean, but they were not on an island. Not a natural one anyway. They stood on a stone platform, and all around them, half submerged, were ancient, crumbling ruins. In the distance they could see a large temple and despite it still being mostly intact, even it had seen better days.
“Good lord, I wonder where we are? I've never heard of any ruins such as these.”
“With good reason Mr Giles. I do not think we are on Earth anymore. The moon is different and so are the patterns of the stars.” The Immortal said, looking upwards.
Everyone else raised their heads and while most of them couldn't tell if the stars were different or not, it was far easier to see that the moon was. It was almost a pure white, virtually unmarked by the craters that pocked the surface of the moon they all knew so well. It was also at least twice the size of their moon.
“Th-that's impossible. We couldn't possibley be on another planet.” Parker stammered, his face as pale as the moon above.
“Oh please, the impossible happens every second tuesday, get used to it.” Angel said, not taking his eyes off the sky.
“How would we even get here? The last thing I remember doing, was walking along the street.” Hank Summers said, having gone pale himself.
“Magic, doesn't exist. It's all trickery and stage props.”
“Magic does exist. It always has, don't blame us if you've never seen it before.”
“Magic can't exist, if it did, why doesn't everyone know about it.”
Giles sighed and fought the urge to massage his temples. This wasn't the best time to be having this sort of conversation. Fortunately, he thought, grinning inwardly, there was a way to put the argument off for a while.
“Everyone raise your hands if you know about the existence of magic.”
Hank Summers looked around in dismay as everyone save for himself and the Parker kid raised their hands.
“Hmm, It seems that the majority of people do know that magic exists. You two should really pay attention to the world around you.” Giles grinned smugly.
While Hank stood there, just gaping like a landed fish, Xander took the opportunity to speak again.
“Guy's? The water?”
“Oh yes, sorry Xander, I was just distracted for the moment. What is it.” Giles said as he and the rest of the group moved over to the edge of the platform where Xander stood.
“I don't think it's major or anything, but this must be the cleanest water I've ever seen. It's night-time and I can see right down to the bottom perfectly, funny thing is though, the bottom's at least thirty feet down.”
They all looked. It was true, the bottom could be seen clearly, even in the shadow created by the ruin they were standing on. Angel however noticed something else.
“I can say for certain that we're nowhere on Earth.”
“Yeah, Spike and I both have reflections.”
Everyone who knew what the two vampires were, looked again and saw it was true.
“I'll be damned. I've never seen anything like that before.”
“I have.” Angel explained. “I went to another world called Pylea once. I had a reflection there too, and I could also walk in the sun. Well, suns, since Pylea had two.”
“Another world?” Giles murmured, looking down in thought.
“Yeah, but my vampiric form became more demonic in nature and appearance. I very nearly lost control when I shifted into my game-face.”
“I think I might have an idea as to what's happened.” Giles said, interrupting Angel's talk.
“Yes, while researching the current troubles concerning the Slayers, we came across an entry referring to a, well, The Powers That Be, I suppose, that existed on another world. It was possible that they could shed some light on our problems but we had no way of contacting them. Considering our connections with Buffy, I'm assuming Willow came up with something. As to why we're here though, I have no idea.”
“Well, we won't know anything if we stay here. That temple up ahead looks to be the only thing even approaching shelter around here. I think we should head there and set up a temporary camp. We can work out what to do after we're secure.” Riley suggested, being out in the open, in unknown terrain, wasn't sitting well with him.
“Your right Riley, we should be doing something other than gape at the stars.” Giles agreed, turning towards a pathway that seemed to be headed in the direction. At his lead, everyone followed. Hank Summers, after a little thought, hurried to join Giles at the lead.
“Are you sure those two men are right in the head?” he asked Giles, trying not to flinch when Giles turned to him.
“Why do you ask that?”
“They think they're vampires.”
“Well, if anyone should know, it's them.”
“Vampires aren't real. They're bogey men we use to scare our kids.”
Giles repressed a smirk, really, the irony was almost too much.
“Vampires are real and they've been around for a very long time. This isn't anything new.”
“What? And like magic no one knows about them?”
“Oh, for the love of God.” Giles swore and turned around.
“Is anyone here carrying weapons?”
“I have a K-Bar and a stake.” offered Riley
“I've got a couple of stakes” Angel said
“Just got a stake on me, Watcher.” was Spikes reply.
“Three stakes and my trusty whittlin' knife.” answered Xander, patting himself to confirm that they were still there.
Parker just shook his head while the Immortal raised his eyebrow, as if to ask why he would even need one.
“See? People do know, and those that do, always carry a stake.” Giles said, taking his own out from under his jacket to show Hank. “You need to get past the fact that there are things that exist without your knowledge.”
Hank Summers turned the comment around in his head until a thought struck him.
“Buffy talked about vampires being real years ago. I didn't believe her.”
“No, you didn't. Locking her away in a mental institution proves that.”
“What the hell was I supposed to think? She burnt down the school gym and claimed it was so she could kill the vampires she trapped in there. I thought she was crazy, talking about vampires being real and how it was her duty to kill them.”
“Even if you didn't believe her, if you had not locked her up she would have been able to provide proof.”
“She was my little girl, not some supernatural killer. Why is it her duty, why doesn't the government do something about them.”
“The government does. How do you think Buffy and Riley met.”
“Riley is part of a United Nations task-force created specifically to fight the war on horror.”
“Then if the military is fighting these, these things, why does Buffy need to fight?”
“Buffy is what's known as a Vampire Slayer. This means that she is stronger and faster than a vampire, with all the natural abilities needed to offset a vampires powers. One Slayer is equal in power to Rileys entire team and far more effective.”
Giles stopped walking and looked ahead. They had made steady progress towards the temple, but it seemed that there was only one path, such as it was, and that path now came to an end. Ahead, was what had most likely been an archway above the submerged streets. The problem was, it was no longer a whole archway, there was a gaping hole. Giles turned to the others.
“We may have to get a little wet.” he said as he indicated the problem ahead. “That maybe too large a distance for us to jump.”
The others looked, and for the most part agreed. Spike and Angel, who had been talking to each other quietly, didn't.
“Peaches and I can do it.” Spike said, judging the distance. “We might be able to find something on the other side to bridge the gap, driftwood or maybe some broken stonework that's long enough.”
Giles considered, it really wasn't the sort of weather to go swimming in. They didn't know anything about why they were here though, separating may not be a good idea. Or it might not matter. He hated not having enough information. However, Angel or Spike should be able to handle themselves if trouble were to occur. He nodded his assent.
“Right then,” Spike said, clapping his hands together “Time to show you lot how it's done.”
Without further preamble, Spike broke into a run towards archway. Reaching the end, he brought his feet together and bunched his muscles to make the leap.
Which is why he was very surprised when his shoes slipped on the mucky surface of the stone, allowing his momentum to flip him upside down and over the edge, and with a surprised yell...
...Spike fell head first and ass up, into the freezing water below.
He resurfaced moments later, spitting out water and profanity, to be met by the laughs and jeers of the others.
“So that's how it's done? Damn, I've been doing it wrong then.”
“Spike? Has anyone told you you're a very graceful person?”
“Spike, you're a disgrace to vampires everywhere.”
“I'd like to see you do better, you great big poof!” Spike yelled as he swam towards them. Reaching a section where the ruins had collapsed in on themselves, forming a crude set of steps, he pulled himself out of the water.
“Not a problem Spike” Angel said chuckling to himself, before calming and facing the gap. Angel launched himself towards it, taking care to keep an eye on his footing. He reached the end and jumped, clearing the space and landing on the edge on the other side. He turned around, back to the others.
“Now that's how it's done.”
Beneath him the stone snapped from the sudden weight and Angel windmilled his arms as the stone broke away, dropping him into the water.
Spike broke into cackling laughter as he watched Angel resurface and shake the water out of his eyes.
“Bwahahahaha, Oh god, Poof, please tell me you didn't just try to flap your arms and fly.”
Angel said nothing as he swam over to Spike. Just as he was about to climb out, Giles stopped him.
“Don't bother Angel. I doubt you'll find anything to bridge that gap now that it's wider, we're going to have to swim.”
“The only question is, should we swim until we can get back on the path or head straight for the temple? No-one here is really dressed for prolonged swimming.” Riley asked.
“A good point, we should be able to climb out at the temple, while there is no guarantee that we'll be able to get back on the path. I recommend we go for the temple, that way we can go in a straight line.”
“What about sharks?” Parker asked.
“What about them?” Xander answered.
“What if we get attacked?”
“We're on another world Parker. There's probably no sharks on this world.”
“Oh, good.” Parker said in relief.
“There's probably something worse.” Xander said, grinning.
“That's it, I'm not going in, you can't make me.”
Xander just looked towards Riley, who was standing next to Parker at the edge. With a small nod, they reached out and pushed Parker over the edge. Job done, Xander went to the steps and climbed down into the water himself.
“I'm not worried so much about sharks as I am about getting cold salt-water in my socket.”
Minutes later, they were all in the water and swimming for the temple. Parker, indignant from being pushed, wouldn't shut up.
“Do be quiet Parker, if there is anything here, you'll attract it with all the noise your making.” Giles said in exasperation. He'd say it was like being back at Sunnydale High, except he couldn't recall any of the students there whinging like this.
“Besides” The Immortal added “If there's anything here, it'll be in the temple”
“In the temple?” Parker squeaked “Then why are we going there? What if there's a monster or a dragon there?”
“Dragon's alright, I've killed a dragon before.” Angel said.
“Yeah, well, I woulda done it too if you hadn't called dibs”
“But I did call dibs, Spike, live with it.”
“S'not like it's that impressive anyway, Harris has bagged one too, how hard could it be?”
“You've killed a dragon? How?” Riley asked.
“Arbalest with a two thousand pound draw, a thirty pound harpoon and ten pounds of C-4 set with a delayed charge” Xander answered.
“Cool, I didn't know there were any dragons in Sunnydale though.”
“Usually there weren't, this one came through when Glory ripped open all the dimensional walls”
“Oh, well, at least Parkers shut up now” Riley said, pointing ahead at Parker, who was now swimming much faster....and looking fearfully over his shoulder at something.
Everyone else turned and looked behind them. Visible through the freakishly clear water was a large...fish...thing bearing down on them rapidly.
“I knew it would be worse than a shark”
“What are the odds it's dangerous?”
“What are the odds it isn't, look at those teeth!!”
“I wish I had more than a stake right now”
“I wish I didn't have a bloody big coat on, slowing me down”
They all turned and started swimming after Parker, who had by now reached the temple and was pulling himself up onto a ledge. With adrenaline flooding their systems, they reached the temple quickly and pulled themselves up just as the sea-monster reached them. It sat in the water for a moment, before launching itself up with a snap.
Everyone jostled around to avoid it's jaws, as long as they had a bit of room to move it seemed they were partially safe.
“We can't stay here forever, it'll get lucky eventually.” Giles said, jumping to the side to give Xander more room as the monster took another snap at him.
“I'm open to options Giles, I don't think it's gonna leave any time soon.” Xander said as he re-adjusted his footing.
“We need to find a way inside....holy...” Giles said as the fish monster, misjudged a jump, and hit the wall below them by accident, causing part of the wall and ledge to break away and fall. The monster pulled back a little and seemed to consider this new information.
“I didn't like the look it just gave us, did any one else?”
The creature surged forward again, but instead of launching itself, it rammed the wall again, creating several large cracks and making more of the ledge to fall in the water.
“Clever bugger, isn't it?”
“It's gonna have us down right quick if it keeps this up.” Spike said, as it hit the wall again, this time so much of the ledge fell away that everyone was holding on to someone else and they were forced to stand on each others feet. It was clear that the next impact would do the job though, and to say they were worried was an understatement.
“What do we do?”
“Nothing, brace yourselves. It's coming back.
And it did, with one final hit, the last of the ledge and a good portion of the wall fell, and everyone went with it. Fortunately a good number of them hit the creature on the way down and it panicked, jerking quickly and swimming off a little to escape a perceived threat.
They swam on the spot, not quite sure what to do or where to go until Angel broke the surface sputtering.
“There's an opening down there into the temple, too small for it” he said indicating the creature. With that he dove back under the surface.
The others didn't even spare a glance, they just dived and followed, eager to be away from the returning fish-monster. The opening wasn't far down and they all clustered around it, trying to get in at once, their progress hampered by the fact their were too many trying to get through too small a hole. Time seemed to go slow as in ones and twos they pulled themselves inside, ever aware of the approaching sea-monster. All of a sudden there was an impact and all those who had made it inside were thrown forward, through the water, hitting against the walls and limbs tangling up with each other.
Hurriedly, they sorted themselves out and looked around. One source of light came from the entry of the tunnel they found themselves in. Another, dimmer light came from behind them and with air becoming an issue, they headed straight for it. Bursting to the surface, they found themselves in an un-submerged part of the tunnel. Gasping for breathe, they staggered out of the water and collapsed, sitting where they landed, until they had recovered enough to speak.
Spike, sitting next to Angel, reached up and smacked him up the back of the head.
“You know, when you told me about the refections and daywalkin' and what-not, you should have said something about needing to breathe, mate. That was a nasty way to find out for meself.”
“I didn't know myself, Spike. I never went swimming on Pylea.” Angel answered, drawing in air he hadn't needed for two hundred years.
“Wait, you guy's need to breathe?” Riley asked.
The two vampires nodded.
“And you didn't realize it before?”
Angel and Spike shared an embarrassed look, before Giles interrupted, coughing slightly.
“I don't suppose anyones noticed we seem to be missing someone.”
Everyone looked around, counting off faces until they worked it out. Well, everybody bar one.
Xander spoke up. “The overgrown goldfish got him. I should be thankful, the bastard pushed me back out into the open water so he'd have a clearer way in. Didn't help him much though.”
“Hell yeah, He pulled a Jonah, swallowed in one mouthful. That was the weirdest fish I've ever seen, the bottom half of it was just ribs, no skin or muscle or nothing. It looked like he was in a cage.”
“Good riddance to bad rubbish I say” Spike said, brightening at this new information.
“We'll have to be more careful. This world has shown it can be a danger to us if we're not alert. What we need to do now is find somewhere we can shelter and hopefully dry our clothes. Plus I think it would be a good idea to get away from the water's edge.” Riley said.
They all got up and quickly moved away, walking along the tunnel. Hank walked up to Giles again.
“What exactly are we supposed to do if there is something in here with us? The last one didn't really go all that well.”
“I don't believe that's something we have to worry about.” Giles said, his attention focused on something ahead of him.
“Because I believe that I can hear Buffy up ahead in the next room.”