Time For The End
AN: Yyyyyyyep. My impatience got the better of me again. There'll be a bit of time skipping in this chapter. I'd have stretched it out more, but I ran out of material. Anyway, here it is.
Chapter 13: Time For The End
The Mayor’s Mansion, Night
Richard was knelt inside a pentagram. His chants fill the room. “Potestatem matris ostrae in tenebris invoco. Maledictum filium tuum abomni periculo custodias nunc et in saecula!”
Seemingly finished, he stood. “I don't understand why Allan would miss this. He's
usually so punctual.”
“Sorry I’m late, sir.” Allen rushed into the room. “There’s a new demon that just hit town. I was gathering information.”
Trick looked at Richard. He didn’t appear any different. “Did it work?”
The Mayor tossed him a sword. “Let’s find out.”
Trick looked at the sword, then at Richard. With a shrug, he ran at the other man, and cleaved Richard’s head in two. No blood could be seen. As he and the Deputy Mayor watched, the two halves melted back together. “Huh. Guess it did.”
Richard grinned. “This officially commences the Hundred Days. Nothing can harm me until the Ascension.” He laughed. “Gosh, I'm feeling chipper! Who's for a root beer?”
The Magic Box
Xander and Tara both shuddered. Something dark had just happened, and they didn’t like the feeling. Joining hands, they went into the ether together.
The spell, whatever it was, had a very powerful signature. Tracking it was a simple chore. When they finally found the source, Xander cursed. It was the Mayor! His shield, the very thing that had kept him hidden, was gone. Not just gone, he was practically announcing his presence!
“This officially commences the Hundred Days. Nothing can harm me until the Ascension.”
Xander and Tara both gasped. This was bad. Both of them rushed back to their bodies. Xander shook his head. “He’s going faster than we expected. If what he says is true, he’s ascending in February
Tara took a deep breath. “We need to tell the others. Now.”
Xander nodded, and ran to the phone. He called Ripper first.
“Ripper. It’s Xander.”
*Xander? What the- It’s 2 in the bloody morning!*
“I know, but something important just happened. I’m calling a Scooby meeting.”
There was a sigh on the other end. *Fine. I’ll be over in a few minutes.*
“You’re the best, Rip.” Xander hung up, and called the others, including the Coven.
Half an hour later, everyone was in the Magic Box.
“Alright.” Xander clapped his hands. “We have a problem. Tonight, the Mayor did something. We don’t know how, but apparently, for the next 100 days, he’s invincible.”
“Invincible how?” Buffy asked.
“As in ‘nothing can harm me, I’m freaking Superman’ invincible.”
Ripper let out a sigh. “Bloody fantastic. Now what do we do?”
“We’ll have to wait until the Ascension.” Tara answered. “He said, ‘Nothing can harm me until the Ascension.’ That means that, once he is
Ascended, he can be harmed.”
“Oh, and just let the fact that he’ll probably be unstoppable fall to the wayside!” The Englishman retorted.
Xander smirked. “Don’t worry, Ripper. We already did.” Ripper glared at him, so he continued. “Think about it. We’ve got two unbeatable Slayers, one regular Slayer… You. I don’t know what you can do, but I’m willing to bet it’s pretty good.”
Ripper sighed. “I’m about as strong as a Slayer. The process that made me a familiar gives me the strength that my… Mistress, I suppose, had when she was human.”
Xander nodded, grinning. “See? That makes it two
regular Slayers, and a coven of witches. I think we can handle this.”
Ripper scoffed. “What, are you going to torture him
Xander knew Ripper was trying to get a rise out of him, but he didn’t allow it. “If need be.” He sighed as something else occurred to him. “I’m guessing from your
reaction that Buffy isn’t all that pleased with things.”
Ripper blinked. He had almost forgotten. He and Buffy would have identical viewpoints. He turned to The Slayer expectantly.
She shifted uncomfortably. “Well… I have to admit, it sounds like we’re screwed.”
“To hell with that!” Faith cried. Everyone looked at her. “Like X said, we’re badasses! We can take this Ascension thing with one hand behind our backs!”
She walked over to stand in front of Buffy. “Think about it, B. This guy’s invincible, right? Well, so are we! Ain’t a thing that can hurt us, except for X, and he’s on our
side. How’s this moron gonna beat us?”
Cordy spoke up as well. “I hate to admit it, but she’s right. You two are basically the strongest things on the planet, as far as we know. Anything he can become won’t stop you.”
Buffy and Ripper both brightened visibly.
Xander nodded. “Now that that’s cleared up, Ripper, can I assume you checked out how much we made from the Watcher’s loot?”
“Oh, yes. You’d better believe I did.” Ripper grinned like a madman. “All totaled, it’s worth in excess of 100 million dollars.”
Everyone stared at him.
“What? It’s not my fault they stockpiled so much.”
Faith was the first to regain the power of speech. “We’re rich. Guys, we’re FUCKIN’ RICH!”
Buffy raised her hand to silence Faith. “Hold on. This isn’t a group thing. You, Tara, and Xander are responsible for getting all of that.”
Xander looked at her in surprise. “But, Buffy, you know I wouldn’t cut the rest of you out.”
Buffy shook her head. “Look, considering Willow can’t keep a secret,” Willow squeaked indignantly, “I know you have to know I’m leaving for LA after graduation. She and Oz are coming with me. I know Cordy plans on going out there as well.”
Xander laughed. “Actually, Buff, Willow did keep the secret. Most of it, anyway. I knew she and Oz were leaving, but she didn’t mention you or Cordelia.”
Buffy blinked, and sighed. “Dammit.” She shook her head. “Anyway, my point is, you guys are gonna need it. Protecting the Hellmouth is going to be expensive. You’ll have bills to pay, and while I’m sure the shop does fairly well, emergencies crop up. This is our first line of defense against Hell. The literal Hell. You’ll need it more than we do.”
Xander was about to argue, but Tara put her hand on his arm. “Xander. Don’t argue with her. She’s at least as stubborn as you are.”
He sighed. “Fine… But if you need anything, anything
you call us.”
Buffy nodded, smiling.
Ripper cleared his throat. “And, just when were you planning on telling me that you’re leaving?”
Buffy had the decency to look sheepish. “When I got in my car? That sounded good.”
Ripper glared at her. “Need I remind you that I am, not only your Watcher, but now your Familiar? Everything you do has an effect on me.”
“I know. And that’s why I don’t want you around me. I don’t want to affect you any more than necessary, so we have to split up.”
This mollified the Watcher slightly, but he still looked upset. He did, however, let the matter drop.
“And now that that’s settled…” Xander eyed the two of them. “Back to why we’re here. For the next four months and ten days., we can’t touch the honorable Mayor Wilkins. Which means, we have to wait for his Ascension.”
“What if we just blew him up?” Asked Cordelia.
Xander chuckled a bit at the suggestion. “From the feeling of the magic, I’d say it wouldn’t matter. He’d regenerate. Although, blowing him up afterward might do it.”
Faith shook her head. “Nah. We did that at Watchers’ HQ. Repeat performances are tacky.”
Xander shrugged. “Well, you have a point. Although, that limits our options some.” He was about to say something else, but he yawned. With a sigh, he said, “Look, we’ve got three months and change to figure this out. Let’s get some sleep, and continue this tomorrow.”
With a communal nod, everyone went home.
One Month Later, The Library
Ripper opened the box that had just been delivered to him. It contained a copy of the Books of Ascension. Finally, they had some decent information.
He tore through them in a matter of hours, compiling all the important details into succinct notes. He’d learned that the ‘cliff notes version’ worked just as well here as with a book report for his charges. Wesley, who Ripper was training to take his place, assisted him.
“Say, Ripper. If I’m reading this correctly, He’s going to ascend into this…” He showed the other Watcher a picture, which unfolded into an extra large page. Twice.
Now, Giles would have whipped his glasses off for a good cleaning and uttered an ‘Oh, dear lord.’ or two. Ripper, on the other hand, went completely pale and uttered a different choice of words. “Oh, shit.”
He ran for the phone, calling everyone in. Buffy and Willow were easy to reach, but his first attempt to reach Xander failed. When he dialed again, he was answered by an obviously angry voice.
“Ripper, I swear to Ra, if the world isn’t ending, I’m going to rip your head off.”
Ripper fought the urge to laugh. Not long ago, Faith had given in to the connection she had with Xander and Tara, and moved in with them. From the sound of it, he’d interrupted something. “So sorry. As it happens, the world may indeed be coming to an end. The Books of Ascension arrived. Wesley and I have gone through them, and we have the necessary information compiled.”
Xander sighed. “Fine… We’ll be there in… One hour… Two? Three?” Ripper could just imagine the two women shaking their heads. “Ah… Better make that five hours, Rip.”
Ripper rolled his eyes. “Xander, besides the fact that you’ll probably be killed by exhaustion before then, this is
“I agree. And we have three months left. Don’t worry. Everything’ll be fine.” Ripper was about to argue, but a quick “Gottagobye!” cut him off.
Ripper sighed as he heard the phone click. “Bloody teenagers.” He went back to the table, and sat down. “Ah, well. Let them enjoy it. No telling how much longer they have.”
Two Weeks Later
Xander was sitting in the cafeteria, eating whatever the school board decided was food this month, when Faith sat next to him.
“Faith! Hey. What are you doing here?”
She smiled at him. “Well, I was doin’ the laundry, cause, ya know, my week for it, and guess what I found?” She held up the engagement ring. He gulped loudly. “Now, as cool as it would be for this to be for me…” She looked at him expectantly.
He sighed. “I bought it before Kakistos. I was going to ask Tara after everything with the Mayor was dealt with.” He shrugged. “Not much chance of it happening now.”
“Why not?” She asked.
“Well, there’s you, and… well, that’s basically it. It wouldn’t be fair for us to be married, and leave you out.”
She waved him off. “Don’t worry about me, boy toy. As far as I’m concerned, you guys are the big two. I’m just glad to be here.”
Xander shook his head. “No. There’s no ‘big two.’ There’s three. We might not have come together under ideal circumstances, but no one, or two, of us is more important than the group. Understand?”
Faith laughed. “We ain’t exactly a traditional couple.”
“No.” Xander agreed. “We’re a traditional triad.”
He nodded. “That’s what this is called. Three equal members. A triad.”
“Huh. Okay. A triad. I can work with that.”
Xander smiled at her. “It’s a bit more complicated, and from what I’ve read jealousy is a major issue most of the time, but… Most people don’t have Earth Magic binding them together.”
The two of them looked up to see Tara coming to join them. “Hey, Tare.” Xander kissed her in greeting.
“Hey. Talking about the whole triad thing, right?” They nodded. Tara smiled. “He told me about it last night.” She told Faith. “Once I got over the fact that he did research all on his own, I was quite interested.”
“Hey! I research!”
“Only when you have to.” His girlfriends said, with perfect synchronicity.
He sighed. “I’m doomed.”
One Week Later
Xander wondered exactly how he had gotten conned into working the counter at the Magic Box today. He vaguely recalled that Amy and Tara wanted to go to the mall, and then Faith had walked in wearing her new leather pants… Oh, yeah. That’s how.
Business was surprisingly good today. Despite the fact that he no longer needed to worry about money, Xander had decided to keep the shop open. Having a steady source of magic supplies was handy, after all. And with his business license, his supplier gave him everything in bulk.
As he was signing off on the latest shipment, a crate full of the Urns of Osiris, Xander was surprised to see Oz come into the shop. “Hey, man. What can I do for you?”
“I want to learn.”
Xander blinked. “Learn what?”
“Uh… Okay. Can I ask why?”
“So I can protect Willow.”
Xander nodded, then frowned. “I don’t think I can teach you enough in two months for you to be any good in time for the battle.”
“No. I meant in general.”
“Ah.” Xander nodded again, smiling this time. “Okay. First thing, were you born in Sunnydale?” The werewolf nodded. “Cool. That means you’ve got a decent power-base.” Oz raised an eyebrow. “Oh, yeah. Anyone born here gets a huge magic boost from the Hellmouth.” At the werewolf’s nod, Xander pulled out the usual starter kit. “Here you go, $20.00.” Oz paid, nodded his thanks, and left. Xander laughed. “That guy can say more with a nod than I can with a dictionary.”
One Month Later
As it turned out, Xander had been wrong. Oz had a natural aptitude for magic. He quickly caught up to the proficiency the Coven had developed, and was quickly leaving them behind.
Xander, of course, checked his friend’s aura regularly, but found nothing wrong. Oz, it seemed, was a prodigy.
Willow practically begged Xander to allow her to study as well, but Buffy took him aside and told him not to, under any
circumstances. While he didn’t know the reason behind her warning, he recognized the tone. She was afraid for Willow, so he agreed.
The biggest surprise, however, came when he went downstairs one night after closing up. Tara, coming out of nowhere, launched herself at him, kissing him senseless. This in itself wasn’t too
unusual. It was what she said next that surprised him. “I’m pregnant.”
He spent the next full minute in shocked silence.
“Xander. Are you okay?”
He nodded silently, his mouth hanging open slightly.
Worry crossed her face. “Are… Are you… upset?”
That snapped him out of it. “What? No! Oh, Ra, no. It’s just… Wow.” He summoned a chair from across the room, and sat down. “Are you okay? I mean, with all this?”
She nodded, sitting on the bed. “Yes. Not exactly how I wanted to go about it, but I’m okay.” She smiled. “I mean, we’re rich, so we can provide for a baby. I love you, and I don’t see us splitting up…” He nodded his agreement. “Right. So, what other problems can there be?” She asked.
“You mean aside from the fact that one or both of us might die within a month?”
“Yeah, besides that.”
He shot her a withering look. “Tara, I’m serious.”
“So am I.” She reached out, and pulled him onto the bed next to her. “Look, it’s happened. Would you rather I got an abortion?”
He shook his head vehemently. “No!”
“Good. Because that wasn’t happening anyway.” She put his hand on her stomach. “Here. This is you and me. And I suspect Faith as well.” At his questioning glance, she smiled. “Life connection, remember? Some things bleed through.”
He nodded. “Right.” He smiled. “I think the shock is wearing off.”
“What makes you say that?” She grinned at him.
“Because I just realized how amazing this is. I don’t think I did before.”
She laughed softly, and kissed him. “It takes a minute, doesn’t it?”
He nodded. “You do realize you’re going to have to be ‘fray adjacent’ when the Mayor ascends, right?”
He nodded. “That’s where Willow is supposed to be when Buffy’s slaying. Staying safe, and all that.”
She nodded. “Sounds good to me.”
“Really? No argument?”
“Could I win? Besides, you’d get Faith to tie me up, or something.”
He smirked. “Didn’t we do that last week?”
She swatted his shoulder. “Don’t push your luck, Witch Boy.”
Two Days Before The Ascension, The Library
“Now, you’re sure about this, right?” Buffy looked pointedly at Ripper. “He has to be near the Hellmouth?”
Ripper nodded. “Without the Solar Eclipse, he has to be at least on the school grounds. Honestly, I’m not sure how he managed to find a power source that would allow him to push his plans up this much.”
“Not important, Ripper.” Xander pointed out. “He did it. That’s what matters. All we need to do now, is figure out how to fix it. I mean, there are only so many ways to kill a 60ft snake.” Suddenly, his eyes widened. “Oh. Wait. We don’t have to kill him.” He grinned wickedly. “We just have to make sure he can’t hurt anyone.”
One Day Before The Ascension, The Magic Box
Jonathon looked at Xander like he was insane. “There’s no way that’ll work!”
Xander merely shrugged. “Well, if not, there’s always plan B.”
“And that is?”
“Oh.” Jonathon nodded. “Okay. I still think this is insane, but if you have a solid back up plan…”
“Wouldn’t it be easier to do this before
he Ascends?” Tucker asked.
“Probably.” Xander agreed. “But I already tried. Snuck over to his mansion last night. It seems his protection includes the less obvious choices.”
“Um… What if it doesn’t work like you think it will? Like, if he’s still gigantic?”
Xander shrugged. “Then plan B still applies.” He looked at Amy. “Any more thoughts?”
She smirked at him. “Just one. I wish I’d thought of it first.”
He laughed. “Maybe in another world.” He paused, then said. “Excuse me. I have some people I need to talk to.”
Half An Hour Later, Wishverse
Xander appeared in the Library. As he’d expected, Willow and Buffy were in a liplock. He cleared his throat loudly, and they sprang apart.
“Xander!” Willow jumped up, smiling. “What brings you to this corner of the multi-verse?”
“Came to see you guys, obviously.” He smiled back. “We found out what our Mayor is planning. He’s going to Ascend, which basically means he’s going to become a Demon.”
Buffy shrugged. “Big deal. I fight demons all the time.”
“No, Buff. Not like that. When I say Demon, it’s capitalized. We’re talking a 60 foot long demon snake.”
The two of them looked at him as if he’d grown a second head.
“I’m not kidding. But, you have a chance to stop him. He had an… unusual opportunity in our world, so he’s accelerating his plans. Here, he hasn’t been able to. If I’m right, he hasn’t started his 100 days of invulnerability yet.” He pulled out a piece of paper, and handed it to Willow. “Go to his office. Say you want to investigate working in public service, or something. The guy’s a huge corn dog, so it’ll work. Cast the spell on him, and all your problems will be solved.” He smirked. “Well, for this
Both girls hugged him suddenly, thanking him profusely.
“Whoa, hey. It’s no big.”
Buffy pulled back. “You’re wrong, Xander. This is the first break we’ve gotten in three years. It’s big.”
He smiled at her. “Well, you could always call me. The other one, I mean. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind helping.”
Willow sighed. “We did… He said he would help if he could, but that he had a life in San Francisco.”
“What?” Xander looked at her in shock.
She nodded. “Yeah. He said that he was happy there, and that he couldn’t come back.”
Xander snarled. This was unacceptable. No way was this other guy him! Or… no way was he this other guy… ~AGH! Not the point!~
Buffy looked at him sadly. “Calm down, Xander. There isn’t anything you can do about it.”
Xander blinked at this, then laughed darkly. “Oh, really?” With that, he vanished.
San Francisco, Halliwell Manor
Xander appeared in the entrance hall of the manor. He cast about for any magical signatures, finding only two. One was Tara. The other was… similar to his own, but different. He stormed toward them, finding them in the kitchen. Not wasting words, he grabbed his double from behind, and threw him onto the island. “Harris! We’re going to have words, you and I!”
The other Xander looked up into the eyes of his attacker, and was shocked to see a mirror of himself. “What the hell? Are you… are you me?!”
Xander- No, not Xander. He’d become the man who killed Quentin Travers again. Devil looked down at the witch in front of him in disgust. “No. If I was you, my friends would all be dead!”
Harris gulped audibly. The look Devil was giving him sent cold shivers down his spine. “Wh-what do you mean?”
Devil opened his mouth to answer, but stopped when he felt the build up of magic. He turned his head, seeing the other Tara about to cast a spell. He waved his hand at her. “Quiesco!” She fell asleep instantly.
Devil turned back to his intended victim, a smirk on his face. “She’s not very talented. My Tara would have had me on the ground a long time ago.”
“So… You are
me? But, like, a different version, then?”
Devil rolled his eyes. “It’ll do for an explanation. But that’s not really why I’m here now, is it?” A wicked grin graced his features. “I’m here to solve a problem.” Casting a quick enhancement spell, Devil threw Harris toward the living room. The weaker man went straight through the wall.
Harris coughed. “How… how does this sole one of my problems?!”
Devil raised an eyebrow. “Who said it was your
Two Hours Later, SHS Library
Xander reappeared, much to the relief of Buffy and Willow. “How’d things go?” The redhead asked.
He smirked. “He’ll be along in about a week, maybe two. The bruises need to heal. Not to mention the bones…”
Both girls’ eyes shot wide open at that statement.
He laughed. “Don’t worry. Nothing life threatening. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an apocalypse tomorrow.” He almost left, but paused. “Oh, by the way, I highly
recommend wiping out the Watchers’ Council and robbing them. Best hundred million I ever made.” With that, he left in a shimmer of light.
Ascension Day, T-Minus Three Hours
“Coven. This is Xander. Come in. Over.”
The replies came in over Xander’s Walkie Talkie.
“Amy. I hear you.”
“Read, Ames. It’s ‘I read you.’ And you forgot to say over. Over.”
She sighed. “Whatever, Xander. Over.”
He laughed. “Everyone else? Over.”
“Jonathon. You’re coming in loud and clear. Over.”
“Tucker. I read and
“Andrew. I read you. Over.”
“Good.” Xander checked his map of the school. “Is everyone in position? Amy, you should be at the north west corner of the school. Jonathon, north east. Tucker, south west, and Andrew, south east. Over.”
“We’re all good, Xander. Where will you be again? Over.”
“I’ll be at the north end, Amy. Over.”
T-Minus Two Hours.
Ripper sat in the now unused computer room. They’d mostly dropped the class after last year. They hadn’t found a replacement teacher, and Snyder was unwilling to let Willow teach in the long-term.
Wesley came in. “Mr. Giles. Oh, I’m sorry. Ripper.
I’m still getting used to that. When am I supposed to pull the fire alarm?”
Ripper sighed. “In about 50 minutes, Wesley.”
“Right. Thank you.” There was a pregnant pause. “Who was she?”
Ripper looked up. “Excuse me?”
“You’re sitting there completely wrapped in a memory. The only things that can do that are a woman, or a trauma. Judging from your expression, I’m going with a woman.”
Ripper chuckled slightly. “Her name was Jenny Calendar. She…” He waved his hand around the room. “taught here.” He took a deep breath. “Angelus killed her, halfway through last year.”
Wesley winced. “I’m sorry.”
Ripper waved him off. “Don’t be. It’s good to talk about her now and then. Keeps the memories fresh, you know.”
Wesley nodded. “I understand. I’ll leave you to your… remembering.”
Ascension Day, T-Minus Ten Minutes
An assembly had been called for all students. They were gathered outside, in the quad. Usually, only graduation that was held here, but the Mayor had requested it.
Richard smiled down at the students. He had an entire speech prepared, and he hoped the ten minutes left to him would be enough. Unfortunately, he never found out. The fire alarm began ringing, and the students, long trained by fire drills, filed out in a surprisingly orderly fashion.
Richard frowned. “Well, darn. Now what?”
“Well, you could just ascend, already. I mean, becoming a demon is one thing. Doing an entire speech beforehand? That’s just evil.”
Richard turned to face whoever was speaking to him. “Ah. The Slayer. Are you here to kill me?”
Buffy shook her head. “Nah. Don’t need to, from what I hear. A friend of mine has something all set up for you. Now, come on. I wanna see this snake thing in all it’s glory.”
Richard chuckled, shaking his head. “Ah, the youth today. So impatient.” He glanced at his watch. “Well, I suppose with a little extra energy, I could do that. Mr. Trick!”
The vampire appeared off to the side, in a shadowed area. “Yeah, boss?”
“Are you wearing that lapel pin I gave you?”
Trick seemed a bit taken aback by the question. “Uh… Yeah.”
“Excellent!” With a large grin, Richard rolled back his sleeve, revealing the bracelet he had attuned to the Box of Aevum. He twisted it, and it connected to Trick. In seconds, the vampire turned to dust.
Richard, meanwhile, turned back to Buffy. “Are you ready?”
She shrugged. “Ready as I’m going to be.”
Richard didn’t hear her reply. He was a bit preoccupied by the sound of his insides liquefying. He grew. And grew. And then, just for good measure, he grew some more. His skin changed from the pale color it was to a sickening green. His limbs… melted
into the rest of his body. His clothes simply ceased to exist. When the process was complete, Richard Wilkins I, II, and III had become the one thing he’d been dreaming of for over a century. He was Olvikan.
“Still think you’re ready, Slayer?” His voice boomed out.
She shrugged. “Nope. But then, I don’t have to be.” She whipped out a radio. “Xander! Now!”
Five voices came out over the speaker, all chanting the same words: “Opulens Ra, antequam vos quin immunda res rei reptum!”
At first, nothing happened. But then, a speck of light started swirling around the Demon. Then another. And another. Soon, there were hundreds of them. And they were having the most interesting effect on Olvikan. He was shrinking. And four limbs were poking out of his body. Brown hair began to appear. Within a minute, where a mighty Demon had stood, there was…
Buffy walked over, and picked the former Mayor up buy his tail. “Well, that was anti-climactic. Come on, your honor. Xander already bought a cage for you.”
The rest of the year was quiet, for the most part. Xander and Tara both passed with impressive scores. UC Sunnydale was in their future now. Buffy, Oz, and Willow all got accepted to UCLA.
Wesley decided that, even though the Council no longer existed, he was going to continue to support his Slayer. Cordelia, when informed, simply shrugged, and said “Hey, if he wants to keep getting shot, who am I to say anything?”
Ripper decided to return to England. Xander had revealed a few Swiss bank accounts to him that Travers had kept secret from the rest of the Council. It wasn’t as valuable as the amassed gold, but there was enough for the Ex-Watcher to live on comfortably.
During graduation, a particularly rowdy student named Jack O’Toole and a band of his friends snuck into the basement, and planted a bomb. They had only expected to cause a little damage, but they had put it next to a gas main. The school didn’t make it, although all of the students had knocked off early for some strange reason.
When it came time for Buffy to leave, Joyce, who had been trying for months to talk her daughter into staying, hugged Buffy good-bye.
“I hope you know what you’re doing.”
“You and me both, Mom.” She smiled. “Don’t worry. I’m not afraid. I’ve got Willow, Oz, and Cordy with me. Not to mention Wes. We’ll be fine, okay?”
Joyce nodded. “Good. Oh, by the way.” She handed Buffy a slip of paper. “This is my new address.”
Buffy blinked. “What?”
“I’m moving to New York. I got a job at an art gallery there.”
Buffy arched an eyebrow. “Just gonna go and not tell anyone, huh?”
Joyce smiled back at her daughter. “Tit for tat.”
The Slayer laughed, and hugged her mother. “I’m happy for you. Be careful.”
“You too. And call me.
With another laugh, Buffy nodded, and loaded everything into her car.
As she was about to leave, Xander appeared next to the car door. “Didn’t think I’d let you leave without a proper good-bye, did you?” He smiled at her.
“Oh, heaven forbid.” She smiled back.
His tone became serious. “Listen, Buff. I don’t know why you’re so worried about Willow learning magic, but I think you should let her try. Oz knows what he’s doing, and he’ll be a good teacher for her. Just think about it, okay?”
After a moment, she nodded. “I promise. Besides, if she’s away from the Hellmouth, it’ll probably be easier for her.”
Xander nodded. “There you go.” He gave the Slayer a side-ways hug, and kissed her cheek. “Good luck.”
Without another word, the two warriors for the light parted ways. They knew they’d see each other again, when they needed it.
AN: There'll most likely be a sequel, or two, if anyone's interested. There's a few more stories to tell next season, and then of course, there's Buffy and LA... See ya next time, I hope!
AN 2: For the record, this is the first story I've ever managed to finish. Yay me!