Disclaimer: See chapter 1.
Authors note: Sorry for the long delay! Snow storms, the holidays, and this chapter taking longer to write then we thought it out, keep it from getting out ealier. I hope it was worth the wait.
Recap: “Really? It looked to me like you were killing a few vampires,” he says casually. Ford sees her panicked look and smiles, “It’s okay, Buffy! I know that you’re the Vampire Slayer.”
She stares at him for a few seconds before snapping out of her daze. “How on earth did you know that?” End Recap
“Well I was there when you burned down the gym, Buffy. Those guys didn’t look like normal people!” he explains.
She says quickly, “They were gang members on PCP!”
“Buffy, do I look stupid to you?” he says flatly.
She mutters, “It works on the people here.” Louder, she says, “When did you figure it out?”
“About the same time that the ‘gang members’ started exploding into dust when they caught on fire,” he says, crossing his arms. “At first I couldn’t believe it, but gradually accepted that I wasn’t going crazy. I even did some research and that was when I came across vampire slayers. I put two and two together when I saw that and got--”
Buffy answers, “Four?”
“No, that you were the Slayer,” he finishes.
Buffy frowns, “You’re not going to tell anybody, are you?”
Ford smiles, “Who would believe me? Besides, it took me awhile to figure this all out. I wouldn’t want to make your life any harder than it already is.”
“That’s good to know,” Buffy nods. “Shall we continue to the house?”
Ford nods quickly, “We shall!”
Ten Minutes Later:
Buffy looks up at the large house. “So this is where you live?”
“Yep, this is it,” Ford replies. “Sorry that I can’t invite you in, but my dad has to get up early for work.”
Buffy smiles, “Oh, it’s okay. I have to go on patrols anyways.” They wave goodbye to each other and part ways.
Ford calls after her, “Keep safe!”
“That’s my job!” Buffy calls back as she walks away. She passes a tree and glances over using her peripheral vision to see Angel, complete with mask. He nods from the shadow of the oak. She looks back ahead and keeps walking.
Ford waits until she gets out of sight and walks back down the steps of the dark house and strolls away, unaware that he is being watched. He walks to the slums of Sunnydale and knocks on the door of an old bomb shelter. “Ford,” he calls. The door opens and a girl welcomes him in.
Angel looks down from the roof across the street and watches him enter. He drops to the ground and goes over to knock on the door. The door opens and he reveals his twirling sharingan. “May I come in?” he says politely. The girl stands in a daze as he pushes past her. “Thanks,” he says, closing the door behind him.
He climbs down the stairwell cautiously. Once he gets to the bottom of the stairs he looks around at the darkly clothed youths roaming the area. “Oh great, one of these,” he mutters, putting up a henge over his face.
“Oh, you’re here to visit the lonely ones!” a girl exclaims in greeting.
Angel quirks an eyebrow under the henge, “The lonely ones?”
“Yes! Vampires of course! They are poor lonely souls!” she says passionately.
He smiles, “Of course they are.” He thinks bitterly, ‘What a fool.’ Angel excuses himself and moves deeper into the club. He spots Ford talking to two of his friends. Angel strolls to a corner, glancing around to make sure nobody is paying attention, and casts a minor genjutsu to hide his presence. He then cautiously approaches the group.
Ford says, “I’ve been trying to find some vampires to make the deal with, but none seem to be around, thanks to the Slayer. I was told that this place was the hotspot for vampires! Did you have any luck?” One shakes his head while the other nods.
“I found one that says he’ll do it for the Slayer,” the other young man explains.
Ford nods, “I’ve earned her trust. I’ll get her there alone. After that, we’ll live forever!” The three high five each other. Angel frowns and thinks, ‘I need to report this.’ He slips out of the club, nobody being the wiser.
He flips open his cell phone once he gets out of sight and calls the library. “Yes, this is Mister Giles speaking,” the voice says.
Angel says, “Hey, Giles, Ford plans to sell out Buffy tomorrow night to some vampires in order to gain immortality.”
“I’ll let her know,” Giles replies. “Rendezvous with tonight’s patrol and see if they can find out which remaining vampires are left around to make the deal with.”
“Will do. Angel, out,” he responds, closing the cell phone. He stares at it for a few seconds and mutters, “I love these things.” He pockets it and disappears.
Next Morning, Sunnydale Library:
“He what?!” Buffy shouts.
Spike groans and whispers, “Not so loud! I have a hangover!”
“You shouldn’t have been drinking on patrol,” Giles points out.
Spike glares at him, “You try being a vampire for a few hundred years, become human again, than don’t get drunk the first chance you get!”
Giles turns his attention back to Buffy, “Please tone it down, Buffy.”
“I can’t believe he’d do that to me!” she yells, pacing back and forth in front of Giles’ desk. “I thought he liked me, but he’s turning me in to vampires! What is he thinking?”
“Apparently, not much,” Angel says dryly, leaning against the wall with a book in his hand.
She glares at him dangerously, “What are you reading, sweetie?”
He holds up the book to show her what he’s reading.
“The True History of the Ninja of Ancient Japan?” she reads out loud.
Angel smiles under his mask, “It’s very interesting, actually. I’ve always been curious about the differences between the Naruto ninja and the real world ones, plus I had to fill the lack of the Icha series with something.”
Buffy looks at him for a long moment before smiling in agreement, “Good! It’s about time you stopped reading that smut!” She turns back to glare at Giles, “So what are we going to do about that traitor?”
Giles rubs his chin thoughtfully, “Play along and we’ll have your team back you up. Kendra’s team will replace you as the backup team for the night. I’ll leave it up to you and your team as to how the details will be carried out.”
A Few Hours Later Near the Club:
Ford smiles at Buffy, “Don’t worry; I think my friends will really like you.”
“I hope so,” Buffy says with an innocent smile. Ford smirks inwardly at the brilliance of his plan. He holds the door open for her and they walk in. Buffy walks down the stairs into the basement where the club members are. Ford follows her and as soon as he reaches the bottom of the staircase, the thick metal doors slam shut. She glances back at the door and turns her gaze back to her old friend.
Ford smirks, “My friends will be here soon.”
“These aren’t your friends?” Buffy asks, gesturing to the other teenagers there. He shakes his head slowly.
Ford waves towards a chair, “Sit there, Buffy. My friends will arrive soon, and they are anxious to meet you.”
On the Roof:
Warren and Larry exchange grins. “Now we wait,” Warren states.
A Few Minutes Later:
Larry leans forward and looks down at the group of six heading towards the door. Larry and Warren sense their chakra and Larry comments, “These guys must be new in town to be in the open like this and in such numbers. The stories about us must not be getting out.”
“It is hard for stories to get out when we kill every vampire we see and leave no survivors,” Warren points out.
Larry nods, his fingers twitching from lack of chakra strings connected to them, “Good point.” The vampires look around the street and file into the building.
The football player moves to go after them but Warren restrains him with a hand. “Wait a few minutes, than we follow. You know our orders,” Warren says quickly. Larry shrugs off his restraining hand and sits down, staring at his watch.
“Just a few minutes,” Larry murmurs impatiently. After the few minutes are up, Larry drops to the street and sneaks into the building, followed closely by his teammate.
They reach the metal doors and Warren says smugly, “How convenient. They left the locks on the outside.”
Larry frowns, “I was hoping to be able to practice my lock picking skills.” Warren shakes his head and opens the door. They both walk into the room.
A Few Minutes Before Larry and Warren Come In:
The vampires stroll into the room, closing it behind them. “Which one of you is the Slayer?” the vampire boss calls.
Ford points to Buffy, “That’s her.”
Buffy stares at him calmly, “Ford, what are you doing?” The vampires put on their game faces, shocking the people there.
Another vampire remarks, “A weak Slayer and all of these happy meals.” Buffy rises to her feet and snaps out a small fan.
“What are you going to do with that, blow on us?” sneers a vampire.
Buffy smiles and waves the fan in his direction hard while shouting, “Wind Style: Wind Tunnel Jutsu!” She reaches around and slides three wooden sebon needles from the back of her belt. The smart aleck vampire gets launched into the air and rammed into the concrete wall by a concentrated gust of wind. It slices up his chest, shredding the muscles and skin around his heart. A sebon needle made of wood flies from between her fingers, through the air, and into his heart. The vampire explodes into a cloud of fiery ash. Everyone looks back at the Slayer to see her arms crossed in front of her in an X shape with two sebon in one hand, one between the picky and ring finger, and the last between the ring and middle finger, with the fan in the other.
Buffy says calmly, “You know, Ford, I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this.” Ford looks at her in confusion. “I found out about this trap earlier, but I hoped you wouldn’t go through with it.”
Ford says loudly, “How did you find out?”
“I have my ways,” she says coldly.
Larry walks into the room with Warren and says loudly, “Buffy, I can’t believe you started the fun without us! You said you’d wait!”
Buffy rolls her eyes, “It’s not my fault. They started the mess before you arrived.”
Warren glances over the vampires with disgust and inquires, “Can we just kill these weaklings and get it over with?”
“Who are you calling weak, punk?” a vampire shouts. He and his buddy charge at Warren and Larry and bite them on the neck. Warren turns into mud, splashing all over the vampire while Larry stiffens then slowly grins as his arms clamp around him. The skin slowly starts to melt off his face. The vampires spit out the mud and splinters. The one being held by Larry shouts, “How did you do that?”
One of the two bundles on Larry’s back opens and Larry jumps out, chakra strings glowing at his fingertips. The skin falls completely off the first Larry to reveal Ant. It opens up and strings lash out, wrap around the vampire, and pull him in. Blades spin across and ash poofs out the bottom of Ant.
While Larry kills his opponent, Warren appears behind the mud-covered vampire at his right shoulder and holds the Grass Cutter with his left hand to his throat, the other hand resting on the back of his head. Warren states solemnly, “I told you I don’t like dealing with weak ones.” He slices his neck while pushing the head forehead in a single motion, beheading the vampire before it can blink. He quickly steps back to avoid getting covered in dust.
The remaining three vampires stare at the newcomers in shock. One of the vampires slowly turns to the boss and growls, “You said the Slayer always works alone!”
“She always does, other than that Watcher!” the boss insists.
Buffy laughs loudly, sending chills up their spines. She declares smugly, “I am more than a Slayer. I’m a ninja, and we almost always work in teams.” The vampires stare at her dumbly.
“Yes, morons, she said ninja,” Larry says.
Warren snaps, “Enough chit chat. Let’s finish what we came here to do.” A loud series of clicks fill the air. Warren disappears and reappears behind another vampire. It collapses into a pile of dust. Larry draws out Crow from his back and launches it at the remaining two vampires. Crow’s arm joints open up and wooden sebon launch, impaling and dusting another vampire.
Buffy eyes the last one and says, “Wind Style: Wind Sickle Jutsu!” She waves her fan at head level and a blade of wind the shape of a sickle head flies through the air and decapitates the last vampire.
Warren chuckles quietly as a snake-like grin crosses his face and says, “So vampires are tortured souls, eh? Let’s have a reality check, shall we? Demonic Illusion: Hell Viewing Technique!” Leaves swirl around everyone in the room before fading into darkness. Images of their lives as vampires begin. Lives of torturing, killing, and other hideous crimes. Screams fill the room from the genjutsu and from the people viewing them. Several of the people fall over puking. The genjutsu finally ends and Warren states calmly, “Any takers on that kind of eternal life?” The teenagers there rush for the door, leaving the ninja and Ford behind.
Ford stares in shock as his plans crumble around him. “I don’t care what I’d be like as a vampire! At least I’d be alive!” Buffy tilts her head curiously. “I am dying of cancer! I’m going to be a mere shadow of my former self by the time I die.”
Buffy and her teammates exchange glances. The Slayer says hesitantly, “Despite what you tried to do, I understand why you did it. I think I know someone who can help.”
Larry says loudly, “But, Buffy! You can’t be serious! Didn’t you see what he just tried to do?”
Warren glares at him and snaps, “Shut up, Larry. Buffy knows what she’s doing.” He turns his gaze to Ford. “Follow us, and if you try anything to harm my teammates again, I will kill you myself.” Larry goes behind him and pushes him forward roughly.
“Let’s go, tough guy,” Larry grunts. Ford follows the ninja to Buffy’s house without complaint.
Buffy walks into her house and calls, “Mom! We have a patient for you.”
Joyce enters the room and glances at Ford. “Him?”
“Yeah, him. Can you scan him and see what you can do for him?” she asks.
Joyce smirks, “Didn’t he just try to kill you?”
“That’s what I said!” Larry exclaims, only to be konked on the head by Warren.
Buffy says seriously, “He’s dying of cancer.”
Joyce frowns and says, “Oh. Well, come in and sit down in the living room.” Ford stares at her and thinks, “What happened to her body! She never looked like this before!” He follows her instructions. Her hands glow green as she performs a scan of his body for the cancer. He jumps alittle when her hands glow and she says reassuringly, “Don’t worry; I’m not going to hurt you. Yet.” Ford starts sweating a little and glances at Larry and Warren worriedly, Larry’s fingers twitching irritably.
She completes the scan and frowns, “Well, it’s advanced pretty far. I think I can slow its progress for now, and possibly put it into remission. Whether or not I can completely cure it, I just don’t know until I do some studying on this kind of cancer.”
“Thanks,” mumbles Ford.
Joyce starts writing down notes on a notepad and says, “I’ll need all medical information that you have and can get on your cancer.” He nods and gives her what information he knows and where to get more information. She writes it down and smiles pleasantly, “Good. We’ll begin treatment in the morning. Until then, you’re sleeping in the basement, tied to a chair. Nothing personal.”
Ford opens his mouth to protest, when he sees Larry’s fingers twitching more erratically, Crow and Ant twitching in their wrappings. “That’s fine!” he says quickly. Warren and Larry bring him downstairs and tie him up with Buffy right behind them.
After her teammates leave, Buffy looks at him sadly. “Just so you know, I never want to see you again,” Buffy states. “If I see you again in Sunnydale, you won’t walk out alive. No matter your reasons, you betrayed your friends, and that makes you lower than trash. With this longer life, you can live with the shame of what you’ve done. Who knows? Maybe you can find some small way to redeem yourself in your own eyes.” She leaves Ford to his thoughts with a sad frown on her face.
Ford looks down and hears Warren whisper from the shadows, reappearing without him noticing, “Was it worth it, to end up all alone in the end?” The snake ninja disappears into the darkness. Ford bows his head, realizing that for the first time in his life, he is truly alone.