Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, nor any of the characters you may recognize in this story. They remain the property of their respective authors. I am not making money off of this, nor do I intend to.
Author's Note: Haha, I have returned! This story will be several stories in one, settling certain ideas and directions I want to go from the view of different characters. If that isn't vague enough...
The past several days had been strange, though not as much as the day which had preceded them. On Halloween, several of the students of Sunnydale High had been transformed by a bit of chaos magic, into whatever character their costume portrayed. Several of the characters, working together, managed to piece enough of what had happened together to figure out what could be done to end the spell.
Some of these students had been left with some rather unique skills and abilities and would use them to combat the evils which permeated the town of Sunnydale without the notice of most of its’ residents. Others had been affected but were, as the human mind is wont to do, steadily rationalizing what they had experienced as a hallucination. Those that choose to blind themselves to the truth were helped by the official explanation of the town’s Mayor, Richard Wilkins III, which had been broadcast on the town’s news channel.
Those who would fight had taken this week to plan just how and what they would be struggling against. One faction, led by Xander Harris and his friends Willow Rosenberg and Jesse McNally, had embraced one other member who joined them in their early morning run. Daniel Osbourne, known simply as ‘Oz’, had been granted many of the mental advantages of the Vulcan Starfleet Officer Spock, including his vast knowledge of sciences and engineering that surpassed that of anyone on Earth. He was using the opportunity afforded by this school holiday to become acquainted with the vast stores of knowledge now stored in his mind, wandering hallways of books, maps, and computer banks as he considered their validity in a world with different physical laws.
Despite the hour, they were not the only young people pounding the pavement. Cordelia Chase, the acknowledged social Queen of Sunnydale High was just starting a run. She would be joined by Amy Madison as she passed the later’s house. The pair had decided to walk a different path than Xander and his compatriots, a fact which they had patiently explained to he and his friends only a day previous. The meeting was cordial, but brief. Cordelia and Amy would be concentrating their efforts in preparing the young women of Sunnydale High to embrace their own power, to shape themselves regardless of the expectations of others.
Initially Xander had objected that their goals were a waste of the gifts they had been given, but he had been brought around by the persuasive arguments the two marshaled in their defense. In the end he had agreed to let the matter rest, provided that the two young women could be relied upon in the event of an emergency.
The two groups passed in silence, conserving their energies by acknowledging each other by a simple nod. Xander felt the light touch of Willow’s telepathic ‘knock’ and answered her even as they climbed the final hill to return to their homes.
*What is it Will?*
It was funny, even in his mind, Willow could still ‘sound’ uncertain. *Did we do the right thing, with Cordelia and Amy?*
He answered. *What could we do? It’s not as though we can force them to fight as we are. Besides, we haven’t even seen a vampire yet. Let them make their own way.*
Jesse’s own thoughts echoed the sentiment. The trio had been staying out late at night in an effort to confront the creatures of the night they [I]knew[/I] were out there, just out of sight. And they still had not happened across any sign of them. It was as though they were being avoided.
Norton Hailey was, in general, a happy man. Running one of the only towing companies based in Sunnydale gave him considerable leeway in to how he ran his business. At 49 he was semi-retired, with two sons and some hired mechanics doing most of the work on the junkyards he owned. He kept his hand in though, though the newer, smaller, metric
engines gave him some trouble, his 6’4” frame and big hands making it difficult to contort himself to fit in the engine compartment.
In the hours before dawn he had pulled three junked and abandoned vehicles, the Mayor’s idea of a clean town and his own idea of getting in some early dawn fishing coinciding gracefully. The Chevy conversion van near the warehouse district would be the last vehicle of the day for him.
He pulled his faded ball cap down and scanned the neighborhood. Sunnydale had few vagrants, though he didn’t rule out teenage shenanigans. The van’s tires were flat, but the grass was worn near its’ sliding door. It rocked as he lowered the winch to hook the vehicle up and a mumbled curse issued from the back out into the still air.
Norton halted the winch, pulling out a wrench from his toolbox. He strode to the sliding door, it’s window covered in foil, and banged on it with authority. Two other voices joined the third, one female. With a sigh he waited a few moments, then hit it again.
“Open up you kids. You’ve had enough time to zip it and pull it on! I want to get this heap up and out of here before dawn.” A pale and scrawny face peered out from a peeled back section of the foil, then the rusty door was opened with a fierce groan.
The greasy-haired youth stepped out, tall and lanky with a cocky grin. Norton hitched himself up, drawing on his size to put the message across to the boy and his friends. The Marine had not let up in maintaining his fitness since leaving the Corp, no creeping gut would mar his form. Still, the boy only smiled.
“Why don’t you go away before you regret it old man. We just want to get some sleep.”
The woman inside the van whined something that he didn’t catch, but the boy had and his smile widened into a grin. Cleanly white teeth gleamed and Norton was struck by a something
at the back of his neck. He hefted the wrench in his hand, the movement catching the boys’ eye.
“I’ll take care of it Trish.” The black eyes glittered and narrowed and Norton stepped back, gaining some space to react to whatever the squatter might do. What happened next was something impossible.
“Xander!,” Willow exclaimed as the trio paced past the CRD warehouse. Without a sound they picked up their pace to an all-out run, as Willow centered on the distress she was sensing only two blocks away.
A teenage boy was holding his head, blood escaping through his hand. Amazingly still conscious, the boy shouted.
“You’re dead, blood bag!” and jumped at the man wielding the bar. The big man barely dodged the attack, the boys’ bloody hands slashing past him. He belted the boy again, crushing one of the hands before the other pushed him away, slamming his over 200 pound frame into the truck two feet away!
Xander’s eyes widened as he suddenly understood-Vampire! With a thought a crimson blast jolted from his eyes, only for their target to be flung out of the way by an unseen force.
The redhead ducked her head sheepishly, moving to check on the human victim as Jesse made his bow ready. He had wondered what instinct had made him grab it as he left the house early, perhaps some ingrained habit from Ollie. Nevertheless, it took only a moment for the bow to be strung, with an arrow ready as the vampire gathered himself off the ground.
“Jesse!” Xander screamed as he blasted the tire jack thrown from inside the van. Ducking spoiled his friends’ aim, forcing him to retarget the now-mobile vampire. The arrow narrowly missed and the archer had no time to fire another, the monster moving into point blank range. With a curse he slammed his bow into the previous wound, dazing the rushing bloodsucker. A screech issued from the van and a stringy haired blond burst forth.
Xander skipped to one side and blasted her with a short beam, throwing her off her leap and sending her tumbling to the ground. A shout from Willow warned them of another circling around the tow truck, attempting to either attack them from behind or flee.
Jesse’s arm whirled about that of his opponent as his leg reached out to cross those of the monster, catching the vampire off-center and careening him away. He hopped to a stop only two steps away, again grinning as his Trish got to her feet, her features distorted into what the three knew to be the true face of a vampire. The other appeared to be a boy of only nine or ten years joined in, their theatrical snarling rising as they extorted each other. Willow, satisfied that the mechanic was out of medical danger, stood as well. A chuckle from the youngest gave her a shiver as his eyes roamed over her neck. “I’ll bet you taste yummy.”
Wordlessly, she floated a steel rim of the tow truck and directed it to float above her hand. The three vampires looked askance, but the young one laughed it off. “Parlor tricks don’t impress, , Samantha.
Though if you can wiggle your nose I’ll kill you quick.” The child vampire chortled at his joke, brandishing his claws at the redhead.
“Good one, Charlie.” Their leader moved to focus on Xander, who he thought to be the leader of his soon-to-be-victims. “Name’s James. Yours’ is Dinner.”
The three friends winced at the poor pun, even as they moved to attack. Jesse had broken two of his arrows to serve as stakes, which Trish hissed at as his hands moved defensively. He couldn’t afford to roll his eyes, but his expression told of his desire to do so, twisting as it did at the behavior the vampires exhibited.
As the female rushed in with blinding speed, the lanky teen moved as well, throwing one arrow into her face, the Holy Water bulb scorching her pale face like acid and blinding her to his whereabouts. Her scream attracted James’ attention and a roar of rage, though to his credit he engaged the closest target without rushing to her aid.
Unthinking, Xander blocked the fierce swipes with his forearms, the unnatural strength leaving bruises as he did. His left foot snapped out, crushing the kneecap of his attacker, who only paused for a moment as he pulled it back into place. His limp was gone in the next few moments and Xander began to seriously consider a new line of work as the flurry of blows continued.
Willow too was having some trouble, Charlie displaying cat-like agility and a sense of play as he dodged the wheel rim like a matador, complete with a flourish of a non-existent cape. Her face began to match the shade of her hair as she ranted.
“Stay still, you little creep!” He sprang at her again, teeth flashing past her arm and with a panicked wave a wall of force battered the boy away. He stumbled into the truck, stopping to catch his breath. He could see that the witch was already having trouble with that, her chest heaving with the effort of supplying air to her lungs.
The young woman shuddered as she noted the direction of his gaze. She took advantage, dumping a full toolbox on his head, though the effort cost her. Norton took advantage of the monster’s dazed state, slamming it in the head with a pry bar from amongst them.
Now sporting a busted lip, Xander winced as sweat stung the open cut. He had managed to keep the vampire from doing any major damage, but at this rate it would be a losing battle. As he gathered himself, he felt as though someone had slapped him in the head. He dropped his hands, James grinning at the teens capitulation.
“Don’t worry. This only hurts for a bit, then you wake up without a care-”
The rest of his condescension was cut off as a crimson beam impacted his chest. The force of the blast was limited, and unfocused. A wild hay-maker compared to the smooth jab or scything cut Scott Summers would have made. But it was effective, blowing the 130 pound fiend off his feet and into the van. James slumped to the ground, unconscious.
Trish screamed, her eyes healed enough to see the crimson blast strike her love and leave him unable to defend himself. Her claws rent Jesse’s sweatshirt and the skin below, though the gashed were shallow. Still he was able to act, her trembling snarl cut short by the arrow through her heart. Jesse quickly withdrew it and tossed it to Xander.
He turned to check on Willow, only to see her douse the undead child in motor oil, with the man they had intended to rescue providing a thrown lighter. She ‘caught’ it telekinetically and flicked it, a sound which Charlie understood to be his death knell. Willow would remember the shocked look on his face for a great while, framed as it was by the bright and consuming flame of his immolation.
She collapsed to her knees and Jesse moved to check her over as Xander finished off the unmoving leader of the pack, the corpse flashing into ash and dust before the astonished, yet clear-headed Norton Hailey.
Blinking and looking from one of his ‘rescuers‘ to the other he asked-“What the hell just happened!?”