Chapter Six: Help Wanted
Disclaimer: Xander, Buffy, and anyone or anything else that pertains to BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon. Dracula belongs to the estate of Bram Stoker, or Francis Ford Coppola, or someone I think.
Larry Talbot, the Frankenstein Monster, and some others may belong to Universal Pictures.
OCs belong to me, and as always I remain…the man behind the curtain.
Chapter Six: Help Wanted
As the couple walked up onto the dilapidated railroad platform Xander turned to Buffy and took both of her hands in his. He looked lovingly into her eyes, then to her shock he got down on one knee.
“Buff, I know this seems awful quick, but we’ve known one another since our sophomore year, and I don’t want to wait any longer to start the future. You know everything there is to know about me, and I know almost everything there is to know about you. I first fell in love with you the first time you sat down with Jesse, Willow, and I in front of Sunnydale High. All through High school I thought it was just a crush. Anya was special to me, but I think that one of the reasons I left her at the altar was because I knew deep down that I loved someone else. I have practiced this little speech over and over in my mind since the fall of Sunnydale, but here goes: Buffy Anne Summers I love you with all of my heart, and always will. I want you to be my wife. If you say no, I’ll understand, and I will still always be your friend and you…”
Buffy cut him off with a kiss; tears were running down her face. “Of course I’ll marry you, you idiot! I told you I loved you! When I heard you were coming to Rome, I counted the days. I’ve been thinking about you for the last year. When I saw you I couldn’t keep my hands off you! I LOVE YOU!”
Xander rose and hugged her to him lifting her into a passionate kiss, then without letting go of her he took the gold coin from his pocket, “home” he said.
A portal opened before them, the edges were silver, and through it they could see Buffy’s Roman apartment. Xander took just a second to swing Buffy up into his arms, and then carrying her stepped through the portal.
Once in the apartment the first thing they did was make love, twice. They had stripped off their fifties style clothing that Mina’s people had provided and exchanged it for more a conventional, and may I add comfortable, tropical style suited to a Roman summer. Buffy made three quick phone calls. The first was to Giles.
“Giles, this is Buffy. Yes, I know that you’re in the middle of some delicate negotiations. Yes, I know that time is of the essence. Look ‘Daddy Giles’…yes that’s what I said…this IS important! Xander asked me to marry him…yes that’s what I said marry him! I said YES! When”? Well we haven’t set a date yet, but when we do I want you to walk me down the aisle” Buffy paused for a long while, “Um…Giles, Xander and I have to go someplace to help out another group who do the same thing the Council does for a while, maybe a long while. We may not be back for sometime. No, we don’t want to take any of the baby slayers with us, they’re needed here. Actually we will be in a parallel dimension. Yes, you heard me right. No, stop that…you can’t forbid it. I’m retired remember, you’re the one who retired me after Sunnydale. No, I haven’t contacted Dawn. Nope not Willow either. No, they’re not invited to go with us. Please let them know both pieces of news for me, but not for at least forty-eight hours, please…thank you. I’m not really up to either the tears, or recriminations just now...Giles! George Ramsgate can handle Africa for a while, he’s more than competent, you know that! I’ll contact you when We get back. We love you, Giles. Goodbye…Dad,” hanging up the phone she turned to Xander. “Oh God, I’m glad that’s over,” she sighed, her eyes glistening with tears.
She composed herself, and dialed the second number; this one was in San Diego, California.
“Angel Investigations, Connor Angel speaking, may I help you?” came the answer.
“Connor, Buffy here. I have a case that’s right up your alley, trouble is it’s in a different dimension,” Buffy said into the phone.
“It’s not a Hell dimension is it?’ Connor asked, warily.
“No, no nothing like that Connor, it’s a dimension almost like ours, but not quite, well not almost, but close enough, can I count on your help?” Buffy tried to sound pitiful.
“The pitiful act won’t work on me Buffy,” Angel’s son said smiling, “Oh, hell, business sucks right now, so why not. That, plus the only case I do have has been co-opted by NCIS Coranado. Some fool sailor got his head lopped off. I know that it was a demon did it, but they won’t believe that, so…” Angel the Younger said.
“Book a ticket to Rome and put it on this account number…” she gave him the council unlimited card number, “the name on the card is mine. Call me with the flight times, and flight number when you get them, Timing is important.”
“I’ll get there as quick as I can Buffy. See ya’ then!” he said and hung up.
“Next!” she said dialing the phone.
“Yeah, Jake here, talk to me baby,” said the smooth voice on the other end.
“Jake honey, Buffy Summers…Look sweetie, I need to get in touch with Oz,” Buffy said slipping into showbiz agent speak.
“No, no, no sweet-thing, Oz is booked up solid for the next two years, world tour and all that.” The agent temporized. “Wait a sec, babes…what…what…no, it’s just some bimbo…what…you and that damned super-hearing of yours! Ok…here…” Jake sounded very dejected
“Buffy…Oz, what’s going on?” came the voice she knew.
She told him pretty much the same thing she told Connor. Oz never interrupted her.
“I’ll use my jet,” he said. “See you tomorrow about noon. Bye”
“Bye, Oz.” Buffy said as she smiled at Xander.
“My turn,” Xander said, “I just thought of a couple people.”
The number Xander dialed was a cell phone number with a California area code.
“Hello, Johnny? Xander here, no Harris, not Cage. Remember what you said last year in Cairo? Yeah, look I really need your…well…HIS kind of help…Yeah; I’m in Rome, with Buffy. Remember I told you about her. Yeah, that’s the one!...You will! Great! Call me when you land, K?...yup see you then.”
“Who was that?” Buffy asked.
“What?” said Xander, “and ruin the surprise! Anyway you’ve got to see it to believe it.” And he would say no more about it.
The next number he called was in Washington, D.C.
“NCIS how may I help you?” came the voice on the other end of the line.
“Ms. Abby Sciuto, please,” Xander said using his best professional voice.
“Whom shall I say is calling?” asked the voice.
“Tell her it’s her cousin Xander. She’ll know who it is.” He said.
Buffy looked surprised, “I didn’t know you had any cousins,” she said.
“Abs is like a fourth cousin, but she was an almost sister to me most summers until I was 12. We kept in touch by mail ever since. You’ll love her. She’s a forensic scientist for NCIS!” Xander was obviously proud of her.
Xander explained to Abby what was going on.
“An alternate reality, vampire good guys? Cool! How can I help, Xander?” she asked.
“We’re going to have to track these things down, probably using evidence found at the crime scenes, and the best way I know how to do that is call on an expert.” Xander said.
“Abby, what’s going on?” came a commanding voice in the background.
“Xander I’m putting you on speaker phone.” Abby said, “You can speak freely, Gibbs knows everything about the things you take care of already.”
Xander explained again.
“Will Abby be in any danger?” asked Gibbs.
“Some, but I don’t think it would more than she’d be in there in D. C. working a tough case.” Xander said, then he added, “sir, she’s the only blood family I have left, I will protect her with my life”
“Hear this! Abby is not going to do this alone, young man! You want her, I go too.” growled Gibbs, “I have a year and a half leave on the books, our case load is nonexistent, McGee is on his damned book tour, and Tony is on a special handling case in San Diego! There’s only Ziva here with…” he was saying.
“And Ziva’s coming too!” came an Israeli accented female voice.
“Abigail, Gibbs! How in the devil are you going to get proper forensic evidence without a certified forensic pathologist with you?” This voice had a distinct British accent.
"Is everybody in your lab Abby?" asked Xander incredulously.
"Ducky's in Autopsy but I was talking to him on the vid-phone when you called." Abby smirked.
“You’re in Rome?” said Gibbs, “I ‘ll let the Director know we’re taking an indefinite leave of absence. It will piss him off, but I will cite some special circumstances, that he and I know about, there’ll be no trouble. It will take a day or two to get temporary replacements for Abby, and Ducky, and for Ziva to get the ok from her people. So forty-eight hours, seventy-two at the most. Give us the address and we’ll meet you there. Abby will call when we land.” The man had definitely taken charge.
The couple went out for dinner at a nice intimate little restaurant, and some very important shopping.
When they got back to the apartment Buffy was sporting a very nice diamond engagement ring. Just as Xander unlocked the door, Buffy immediately went on the alert.
Standing next to the couch was someone neither of them ever thought or hoped they’d see again.
“Whistler! I’m going to rip out your heart and use it as a paperweight” yelled Buffy
“Wait, wait, calmly, calmly…I come bearing good news and a gift!” the Balance Demon said holding up an open hand.
“What news, what gift?” Xander demanded angrily.
“The news is: that even though Buffy remains The Slayer, powers intact and all, she no longer bears the slayer destiny. Basically, she’s free! The Powers will no longer interfere in her life. This is probably the last time you’ll ever see me!” he said quickly.
Buffy stood dumbstruck for a moment, then she whooped and jumped into Xander’s arms.
“No strings?” she asked suspiciously.
“None,” Whistler said raising his right hand, “I swear.”
“And the gift?” said Xander doubly suspicious.
“A person eager to help you in that other reality. She has her soul back, and she’s on the side of the angels now, oh and she’s had her marbles mostly restored?” the PTB’s messenger said backing up a bit, and speaking very quickly.
“Your not talking about Buffy now, are you?” Xander growled.
“The Powers, felt she could be useful in the otherworld with you guys?” Whistler said.
“Your not talking about…” Xander said?
Whistler disppeared quickly.
“Hello Kitten” came a silky Cockney accented voice from the bedroom door, “The stars said I’d be useful, and here I am, and I don’t even need Miss Edith anymore!”
Author’s Note: Happy Thanksgiving to y’all! I’ll see you when I get back from a visit with my boys up in Atlanta. BTW I am not going to even tray to approximate the various accents of the characters in this story. They are too many, and varied. It would probably make the story unreadable and the spelling unbearable. Thanks in advance for understanding