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Los Angeles: Year One

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Xander did magic?". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Buffy and her group have gone to LA. What awaits them off of the Hellmouth? Buffy/Kate *Temporarily On hold*

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Charmed > Buffy-Centered > Pairing: OtherNommaFR18314,3892519,79720 Feb 0928 Feb 09No

City of... Buffy?

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not even my home. I rent. This computer is only half mine. BTVS belongs to Joss, Charmed belongs to Bunge.



Chapter 1: City of… Buffy?

“Los Angeles. You see it at night and it shines. Like, really, really shiny. A beacon. People are drawn to it, among other things. They come for all sorts of reasons. My reason? No surprise there. It started with a guy."

Buffy was in a bar, apparently very drunk. She and Willow were shooting pool with a couple of guys.

“He was a really, really pretty guy. No he, he was a hottie guy. He, he had - I mean - his hair was... You know? …You kind of remind me of him.” She pointed to one guy. “Because, because… you know… the hair. I mean… the hair.”

The guy just smiled. “Sure thing.” He nodded to his friend, who walked over to the bar, and paid for their drinks.

The first guy turned to Buffy and Willow. “Okay, girls, let’s go. Let’s go find some real fun.”

They led the girls into an alley. Buffy latched onto the nearest guy. “You guys really know the doorman? I mean you can get us into the Lido?”

The guy smirked. “I don’t want to go clubbing anymore. I want to party, right here.” He grabbed her.

Buffy sighed. “Ah, well. This was fun while it lasted. Will, you ready?

“Yep. All set, Buff.”

“Good.”

The two guys chuckle. “I don’t know what you two are yammering about,” The guy with Buffy said, “But you aren’t ready for anything.” He slipped into game face.

Buffy straightened up from her drunken gait. “You don’t think so?” She smirked. “I think I’m at least semi- prepared.” She vamped out and, having no stake handy, tore his head off.

Willow, taking advantage of her vampire’s shock, immediately whipped out a stake and dusted him.

“Well, that was boring.” Buffy commented dryly. “Of course, there aren’t many graveyards around here. Makes patrol tricky.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it, Buff.” Willow smiled at her friend. “Anyway, you want to head back home? We’ve got some Ben & Jerry’s just calling our names.”

“Oooo, chocolate chip?”

“Of course.”

“Count me in!” The blonde Slayer grinned, flashing her fangs.

“You know, it’s really creepy when you do that.”

***

Buffy, Oz, And Willow’s Apartment

Oz greeted Buffy and Willow as they walked in.

“Hey guys. Patrol go well?” He asked.

“Well enough.” Willow answered, kissing him hello.

“Cool. Vamps?”

“Two. Dumbasses.” Buffy smirked.

“Aren’t they all?” The werewolf gave a half-smile.

“They are indeed. Okay, I’m heading down for a shower. Willow, get the ice-cream ready.”

“Will do!” The redhead responded cheerily.

As the elevator hit the basement floor, Buffy was instantly aware of another presence. She did nothing at first, simply acting as if nothing was wrong. When she passed into the kitchen area, she reached to the side, grabbing the other presence, and slamming him onto the table. “Who are you?” She sniffed the air. “More to the point, what are you? You don’t smell human.”

“Now that’s a bit rude.” An Irish voice answered. The speaker smiled. “I’m very much human.” His appearance changed, skin turning green and blue spikes popping out all over. He smirked. “On my mother’s side.” He shifted back. “And to answer your other question, my name’s Doyle.”

“Alright then. Why are you here?”

“I’ve been sent by the Powers. I’m to tell ya who to save, and all.”

Raising an eyebrow, Buffy let him up. “Really? Am I to understand that some people are more important than others?”

Doyle winced. “It’s not like that. It’s just that some have the potential to do great good in the world, and sometimes they need savin’.”

Buffy nodded. “I get that. Okay. How do you get the information?”

“I get visions. Which is to say great splitting migraines that come with pictures. A name, a face, things like that.”

Buffy snorted. “Sounds unhelpfully vague.”

“Not as much as you might think. Like the one I had today.” He handed Buffy a piece of paper.

She opened it. ‘Tina, Coffee Spot.’ “Tina?”

“Nice lookin’ girl. Needs help.”

“With what, exactly?”

Doyle shrugged. “No idea. That’s your job.” At her glare, he continued. “You’re supposed to get involved. Connect, you know? High School’s over, girl. Time for the grown up talk.”

Rolling her eyes, Buffy headed back upstairs. “You’d better learn some manners by the time I get back.”

***

The Coffee Spot

Buffy walked into the small coffee shop, taking everything in. By the scents, there were a total of 15 people in the building. Two were behind the counter, and there was one waitress. The rest, counting herself, were customers.

Buffy ordered an espresso, and sat at a table. She had no idea who Tina was, so she’d have to listen for her. She was quickly rewarded.

“Tina, I’ve got to do it by seniority. Everybody wants to work extra hours.” The man behind the counter spoke to the waitress.

“I know.” Tina responded. “It’s just… I just need... Well, I’m good for Saturday night. If people want to go out, I’ll double shift or whatever.”

“Well, you’re on the list, okay?”

“Thanks.”

Tina walked past Buffy’s table. “Excuse me-” Buffy tried to catch her, but she rushed by.

She tried again as Tina walked by her again. “Excuse me, how late are you open?”

“Are you talking to …?” Tina turned around, knocking a full coffee cup off the table she was standing next to. Buffy caught it quickly.

“Wow.” Tina smiled. “Good reflexes.”

Buffy smiled, and set the cup back down.

“Well, thanks, these come out of my paycheck.”

“No problem…” She made a show of glancing at Tina’s nametag. “Tina.” She stood up to look the other woman in the eye. “So, you look kinda down. Something wrong?”

“You been watching me, or something?”

“No, you just sort of give off a vibe. Seriously, are you… happy?”

Tina snorted. “Do you have three hours?”

Buffy just shrugged. “I’m not busy. Bored, but not busy.”

Tina looked at her for a moment, sizing her up. Finally, she said, “There’s a party later, if you want to go. I could use someone to show up and leave with.”

“And a ride?” Buffy guessed. At Tina’s blush, she laughed. “No problem. I have a car. Should I change, or something?”

Tina shook her head. “No, you’re fine. Just wait here, I get off at ten.”

***

The Party

“So, where are you from?” Buffy asked.

“Missoula, Montana.” Buffy nodded as some of Angel’s memories came to the surface. She smiled slightly. “You’ve been there?” Tina asked.

“During the Depression.” Buffy answered without thinking. “Er, my depression. Pretty country, though.”

Tina smiled. “Yeah. Lots of land, and lots of nothing else. Keep a lookout for my friend Margo. She’ll have a video camera. She owes me a security deposit.”

“You mean her?” Buffy pointed.

“Yes! Thank you. I’ll just be a minute.” Tina went after her friend.

Buffy wandered around for a few minutes, until she heard a familiar voice. “You know, they asked me to come back and read for a third time! I’m an actress. I don’t put up with things like that!”

Buffy rolled her eyes. “Cordelia.”

The brunette turned around. “Oh, hey Buffy. What are you doing here?”

“Came with a friend. It’s possible she needs help. You?”

“Oh, I’m trying to get into acting. I need something to do besides patrol.”

“Where do you patrol?” Buffy asked. “I haven’t seen you.”

“Beverly Hills, mostly. It’s a bit out of my way, but the vampires there are loaded. They’re paying my bills, currently.”

Buffy nodded. “Smart. Wish- er, no I don’t wish. Anything but a wish.” She cleared her throat. “Anyway, it’d be nice if the vamps I dust carried any kind of cash.”

Cordy winced sympathetically. “Sucks, huh? Wi- Er, it’d be nice if I could help, but as much as I’m making, I’m just getting by. My apartment is rent controlled, though, so that’s nice. Hey, I think there’s an empty one next to me, if you need a place.”

Buffy shook her head. “Nah. I’ve got a place with Willow and Oz. It’s in this office building, and there’s an apartment in the basement. Oz pays for it with what he makes from the Dingoes’ gigs.” She smiled. “He calls it his contribution, even though he handles patrols every other night.”

“How’d you get him to do that?”

“He volunteered. He said he didn’t want Willow in danger.”

Cordy nodded. “Sounds like Oz. He’s like a stoic version of Xander sometimes.” She looked over her shoulder, becoming excited. “Oh! There’s the director of that commercial I almost got. I’ll talk to you later, Buffy!” With that, she ran away.

Buffy laughed. Same old Cordelia, sacred calling or no.

Her head whipped around as one of the scents in the room changed. It was Tina. She was afraid. She spotted the other girl across the room, talking to some sleazeball. She started listening to the conversation.

“Russell just wants to talk to you.” He put his hand on her arm.

“Get off me!” Tina cried.

In a flash, Buffy was holding the sleaze up by his neck. “I don’t think the lady’s interested.”

Tina’s jaw hit the floor. “Where did you come from? And how are you holding him up like that?”

Buffy looked her in the eye. “Explanations after, okay? I’d rather do this in a calmer setting.” Tina nodded, and Buffy went back to Sleaze. “Who are you?”

“F-fuck you.” He choked out.

Buffy raised an eyebrow, feeling her demon stir. This was not a smart man. “I’ll repeat the question once. Who are you?”

“Fuck you, bitch.”

Well, obviously he had no survival instinct. With her free hand, Buffy grabbed one of his fingers, and broke it in three places. “Now. Who are you?”

“I-I’m called Stacy.” He got out through the tears.

“Good. Now, who do you work for?”

“No way in he- AGHH!” She broke another finger.

“Who do you work for?”

“R-Russell Winters.”

Buffy wore a predatory grin. She shattered a third finger. “Who do you work for?”

“You.”

“Good.” She put him down. “Don’t expect much by way of payment. Now, how many men do you have here?”

“Three. They’re waiting in the parking garage. They’ll jump you while I take her to Winters.”

Buffy nodded. “Good. Let’s do that.”

The two of them looked at her like she’d just declared that up was down.

She smirked. “Trust me. This is the best way to get to the guy.”

“Why would you want to?!” Tina exclaimed.

“Well, he’s harassing you. And I’m willing to bet you’re not the only one.” She looked at Stacy, who nodded. “Right. So, we should take care of it.”

Stacy spoke up. “Uh… There’s something you should know. Mr. Winters isn’t exactly… human.”

Buffy smirked. “That’s fine. Neither am I.”

Tina gave her a wide-eyed look.

She sighed. “Okay. I’m going to show you something. It’s uber creepy, and really hideous, but it’s an explanation, alright?” At Tina’s nod, Buffy slipped into game face.

Tina, amazingly enough, didn’t scream. She reached out, and tapped Buffy’s ridges. “Whoa. So, what are you?”

“A vampire, among other things.”

“Wow. Okay. Uh, let’s go then.”

***

Russell Winters’ Mansion

Russell smiled as Tina walked inside. “Tina! It’s good to see you. I’m glad you’re alright.”

Tina stiffened at his approach. “Alright, you have me here. What do you want?”

His face became a mask of innocence. “I just want to help.”

“What, like you got Stacy to help me here? There’s another word for what he did. Man-handling. Assault. Both of those seem like good choices.”

Russell sighed. “Stacy is… over-eager.”

Tina snorted. “You can say that again. He got into a fight with this blonde. She broke three of his fingers. I don’t think she was even trying. And her face… it was the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen.”

Russell smiled, ever so slightly. “Well,” His face morphed into that of a vampire. “You’re young.”

“And there it is!” A mocking voice called out.

Russell looked around. He hadn’t sensed anyone else in the room… “Who’s there?”

“I mean, seriously.” The voice continued as if he hadn’t spoken. “Can’t you bad guys come up with something original? I know you’re old, but that’s no excuse. It just means you should know what not to do!”

“Who’s there?” He repeated, more forcefully this time.

“And so demanding.” The voice let out a chilling laugh. “You’d think, after so long, they’d learn a little patience. But noooooo. Gotta have it now, now, now!”

“WHO’S THERE?!”

There was a sigh. “Fine, fine.” From the ceiling, a small blonde figure dropped into existence. “I’m Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.” She smirked at him.

“A Slayer?” Russell chuckled. “Well, I’m impressed. Not many can sneak into my home like that.”

“I’m impressed too. Most vamps would have been trying to kill me by now.”

He shrugged. “I’m not like most vampires. Once I reached Master level, I started seeing the way things work. And now, look at me: I pay my taxes, I keep my name out of the paper, and I don’t make waves. And in return, I can do anything I want!”

Buffy’s eye twitched. This guy was starting to piss her off. Her demon was begging to be let out. And, honestly, Buffy was willing to let it. “You think you’re all powerful because you pay your taxes? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Oz was right. Vamps are dumbasses.” She slipped into game face. “Now, a Slayer Vampire, she has a certain amount of reality built into her.”

Russell’s eyes widened. Some idiot had turned a Slayer?! It was common knowledge that you just didn’t do that! “Uh… Buffy, I’m sure we can come to an understanding.”

“Shut up.”

His mouth snapped shut. Not out of choice, he just did it.

Buffy smirked. “Looks like Chase wasn’t the only one with power over vamps. Now, sit down.” He sat. “Tell me, who handles your finances?”

“Wolfram & Hart. They handle everything.”

“The law firm?” He nodded. “Everything, huh? Okay. Who’s your lawyer?”

“Lindsay McDonald.”

“He works all hours?” She asked. He nodded. “Good. Call him. Tell him you want to transfer everything in your name to me.”

“What?!”

“You heard me!” She roared. Literally, it sounded a bit like a lion. “Now do it!” She shook herself internally. Where had that come from? The answer came instantly: This scum had no right, nor place, to deny her.

Shaking like a leaf, Russell picked up the phone, and did as he was ordered to do. “Yes. I need to speak to Mr. McDonald. … Hello, Lindsay. I need to enact a transfer. … Everything. Everything that’s legally, or illegally, in my name. Yes, that’s what I said. Don’t argue with me, just do it. The name?” He looked up at Buffy.

“Elizabeth Anne Summers.”

“Elizabeth Anne Summers. Yes. No, Lindsay, I expect this done tonight. Good. Call me when it’s done.” Russell hung up.

Buffy grinned, unconsciously running her tongue over her fangs. It was a habit she’d developed recently. “There now. That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

He ignored the question. “Are you going to kill me now?”

Buffy shook her head. “Nah.” He relaxed. “I still need you to answer the phone when Mr. McDonald calls back.”

Russell let out a gasp of fear. This Slayer was nothing like he expected. She acted like a vampire, but only to him. Tina hadn’t seemed afraid of her at all. Who had been so stupid as to turn this woman?

Buffy could smell his fear. Now she knew what all the vampires had been going on about. It was a little heady. It made her want to tear his throat out right there. Bad Buffy! There’s time for that later. You need him right now. With a sigh, she turned to Tina. “So, where are you going after this?”

“Back home.” Tina declared. “I’ve had enough of this city to last me ten lifetimes.”

Buffy chuckled. “I know that feeling. After three years in Sunnydale, I was more than happy to get out of there.”

“Sunnydale? Sounds like a nice place.” Tina shrugged.

“Oh, it is. Except for the fact that it houses the mouth of hell, which attracts every demon from here to the Yukon.”

“Ah. Never mind.”

Buffy laughed, and the phone rang. Russell picked it up. “Yes? Excellent. It’s all taken care of? Good. Thank you, Lindsay. No, I don’t expect I’ll make it. I have something important going on here. Call back in… say an hour. Good-bye.” He hung up, and turned back to Buffy. “I’m guessing there’s nothing I can say to convince you not to kill me?”

“Nothing I can think of.” The Slayer replied. “Although, you did just give me everything you own. What do you think, Tina? Should I show mercy? Keep in mind he was going to eat you, and you’re probably not the first one.”

Tina just shook her head.

“Didn’t think so.” In a flash, she was straddling the other vampire. “See, I take offense when a vampire kills a human being. I can survive without doing that, so why don’t the rest of you?” She shrugged. “It’s just pointless.” She buried her face in his neck. There was a crunching noise. He gasped, and after a few seconds, he ceased to exist.

Buffy straightened up, turning around to sit properly in the chair. Her face resumed it’s normal guise. “Well, that was educational.”

“That was really gross.” Tina grimaced.

Buffy laughed. “If I wasn’t so full, I’d agree with you. Seriously, that was a satisfying meal.”

“So… Vampires can survive by feeding on each other?”

“Well, I can. Typical vamps, not so much. Animal blood will do it, though.”

“What makes you different?” Tina asked as she sat down.

“I was a Slayer before I was turned. I’m not sure why, but Slayers react differently. I kept my soul, I’m stronger than any vampire I’ve ever met, crosses, holy water, and sunlight don’t do anything to me. And I’m basically indestructible.”

“Wow.”

“You’re telling me.”

***

An hour later, the phone rang again. Tina had drifted off to sleep, and Buffy picked it up quickly, not wanting her new friend to be disturbed. “Hello?”

*This is Lindsay McDonald. I’m calling for Russell Winters.*

“Oh, right. The lawyer. I’d almost forgotten about you. Well, I’m sorry to say, Russell won’t be coming to the phone.”

*Ms. Summers, I take it?*

“Give the boy a gold star.”

*What right did you have to kill my client?*

“Who said anything about rights? I just did it. Although, if you want to get technical, I am a vampire Slayer. It’s kinda what I do.”

*I see.* There was a pause. *Will you be retaining Wolfram & Hart as your legal counsel?*

Buffy’s smirk was evident in her voice. “You know, I saw Russell’s memories of you. I know the kind of services you offer your clients. I have to say, it’s impressive. But… It’s also a bit evil.”

*That’s quite the slanderous remark, Ms. Summers.*

“Probably, but I don’t really care. It’s the truth.”

*Truth is relative.*

“No, it’s really not. Not real truth. Personal truth can be manipulated. That’s how lawyers do their jobs. But real truth is just that. Real. It’s reality. No matter how hard you try, reality doesn’t change.”

*Obviously, you’ve never met a Vengeance Demon.*

“Not lately, no. But, I meant on a larger scale. Universal reality. Universal truth. You can’t play with those, no matter how much you want to, Mr. McDonald. Now, I have to get my hour of sleep. I’m sure we’ll be hearing from each other again. Good night.”

***

Next Day

After seeing Tina off to Missouri (On her own private jet!), Buffy went back to the apartment. Willow and Oz were still asleep, it seemed, but Buffy heard two voices speaking before she went through the door. Doyle and Cordelia.

“So, you’re a Slayer, huh? Nice gig. Got all that extra strength, and everythin’.”

Buffy didn’t have to see her to know Cordy was rolling her eyes. “Yeah, it’s just great. Every foul thing I can imagine coming after me, no social life to speak of, and I almost die every night.”

“Yeah, well…”

Smiling, Buffy decided to take pity on the Irishman. “Hey, guys. What’re you doing here? Specifically you, Doyle. Did you have another vision, or something?”

“No, actually. I just never left. That Oz fella gave me a beer, and here I still am.”

“Oh.” She shrugged. “Okay. How about you, Cordy?”

“Well, I was thinking…” The former cheerleader grinned. “What if you charged people?”

“Huh?”

“For saving them. Not all of them, but the ones that can afford it.”

“And I take it you’d be part of this?”

Cordy smiled sheepishly.

Buffy laughed. “Don’t worry about it. I just took out the biggest payday ever. Russell Winters.”

“The investment guy?” Cordy asked, confused.

“Yeah. He was a vampire.”

“Wow.”

“I know.”

“But, how is that a huge payday? Everything he has is all tied up in… legal stuff.”

Buffy smirked. “Not anymore. I had him transfer it to my name.”

Cordy’s eyes widened. “Really?”

“Yep. You’re looking at the richest vampire in LA. Probably California.”

“Oh.” She looked slightly disappointed. “That’s fine, then.”

“You want a job?”

“Huh?” Cordy looked up.

“Do you want a job? I can give you room and board at my palacial mansion in exchange for the services you render the community.”

Cordelia let out an unnaturally loud squeal, and actually hugged the blonde. Once she realized what she was doing, she pulled back quickly. “Ahem. Um, yeah. That sounds nice.”

Buffy just laughed. “Glad to hear it. Here’s the address.” Buffy handed her a piece of paper. “The butler guy was told to expect you, so if you give him the address of your apartment, he’ll make sure all your stiff gets moved.”

Cordy nodded, a grin breaking out over her features. “I’m going to live in a mansion again!”

“Yes you are. Try not to drool over everything.” Buffy smirked at the other Slayer.

“Ha. Ha.” Cordy pouted. “Hey, what about Willow and Oz?”

“Oh, there’s plenty of room.”

“What about me?” Doyle asked hopefully.

Both Slayers gave him a death glare.

“I was just askin’. No need for the stink eye.”

“Aw, look Cordy, he can pout. It’s so cute.”

“Isn’t it though? Maybe you should let him move in. He’d make a perfect pet.”

“Nah. I doubt he’s housebroken.”

“Good point. It takes a lot of time and patience to paper train.”

The two of them continued batting it back and forth. Doyle, oddly, wasn’t offended. He’d been called much worse in his time, and he was… fairly sure they didn’t mean it.

Eventually, Willow and Oz came up from the basement. “Hey, Buff!” The redhead smiled at her friend. “What’s going on? Did you help that girl Doyle mentioned?”

Buffy nodded. “Yep. Sent her home, and everything.” She smirked. “And… I found us a new place to stay.”

“What’s wrong with this place?” Oz asked.

“Oh, nothing. But… Trust me. Once you see this other place, you’ll fall in love with it.” Buffy grinned.

***

Wolfram & Hart.

Lindsay walked into the interoffice meeting, none of his nerves evident on his face.

“So, Lindsay.” Holland Manners smiled at the younger lawyer. “You’ve called us all here. What seems to be the problem?”

“Sir. Last night, one of my clients, a Mr. Russell Winters, ordered me to transfer everything, down to the last stitch of his clothes, to the name of one Elizabeth Anne Summers.”

Everyone around the table took a sharp intake of breath. Everyone knew that name. She was the first Slayer to be revived after passing the Slayer line on.

“From what I can tell, once that was done, she killed Mr. Winters. She now commands his entire estate, and has fired us.”

“Why didn’t we know about her?” Manners asked. “Don’t we have some way of detecting a Slayer once she hits town? As far as we know, the only Slayer here is…” He glanced down at the report in front of him. “Cordelia Chase.”

“Normally sir, that would be the case.” Using the remote in his hands, Lindsay closed the blinds, and activated a projector. A picture of Buffy in game face appeared on the wall. “Apparently, she was sired about a year ago.”

Most of the lawyers present were silent. A few cursed under their breath, but most were too shocked.

“As everyone here is aware, when a Slayer is turned, they become unstoppable. Well, except in one rare instance.”

Manners spoke up. “You mean Cha’iso. We know she was killed. How was it done?”

“Someone summoned Divine Light, and survived.”

Once again, silence reigned.

“That’s impossible.” Lilah Morgan whispered.

“Impossible or not, it happened. We don’t know who did it, but we’re fairly sure it was a close associate of Miss Summers. For that reason, I believe we should tread very lightly here.”

“Sound advice, Lindsay.” Manners said quietly. “I want everyone on this. I don’t care what they’re doing, this is now the top priority for the entire LA branch. I’m going to talk to the Senior Partners.”

Everyone looked at him in shock, mixed with a bit of awe.

“Sir.” Lindsay cautioned. “Is that absolutely necessary?”

“I think so, Mr. McDonald. This group has been messing with powers that we can’t touch.”

Buffy’s words came back to Lindsay. Universal reality. Universal truth. You can’t play with those, no matter how much you want to. “She was right.” He whispered. “How did she know?”

Around him, the meeting was dispersing. He was still staring off into space when Manners put a hand on his shoulder. “Yes sir?”

“Lindsay, I want you to head this up.”

“Me, sir?”

“Yes. You discovered the problem, and I need to know that I can trust you to deal with it.”

“Of course you-”

Manners cut him off. “Don’t tell me. Show me. Deal with it. Either get her to come to our way of thinking, or get her out of town.”

Lindsay nodded. “Yes sir.”

Immediately, Lindsay headed for his office. This wasn’t going to be easy.

***

Buffy’s Mansion

“Wow.” Willow said, for what had to be the fiftieth time.

“I know. Blows your mind, doesn’t it?” Buffy grinned at her friend.

“Wow.”

“Okay, Wills? You’re starting to scare me.”

“What?” Willow blinked. “Oh, sorry Buffy.”

Buffy’s grin just grew. “Don’t worry about it, Wills. Just try not to freak out when you see the speed of the internet connection.”

“I’ll do my best.” The redhead promised.

Just then, the phone rang. Buffy picked it up. “Hello?”

*Hey, Slayer.*

“Xander! Hey. Good, they transferred the phone number. What can I do for you?”

*I was hoping to talk to Wills, actually. Is she there?*

“Oh, yeah. Hey, Willow! Xander’s on the phone.”

Buffy handed the handset over. “Xander? Hi! What? No, no demons yet. Although, Buffy killed a vampire named Russell Winters, and she’s rich now. Yeah.” She laughed. “Make sure she pays. … Sure, I can do that. What’s the name? Maggie Walsh? Okay, give me a minute.” Willow moved over to the computer in the study. “Okay… Yeah, I’ve got some stuff here. Whoa, she sounds like an ideal hunter. Yeah, I’ll print it out and fax it over to you. Just give me the number. Uh huh. Okay, I got it. Good luck.” She hung up.

“Anything they need help with?” Buffy asked.

“Doesn’t sound like it. I’m sure Faith can handle whatever it is.”

Buffy nodded. “Cool. Oh, hey, did you know that Russell owned a cell phone company?”

“Really?”

“Yep. We’ve all got free service for life.” Buffy grinned. “He may have been an evil, soulless demon, but he knew what he was doing. He owned a little bit of everything.”

“Wow.”

“Don’t start that again.” Buffy’s grin turned teasing.

Willow laughed, and sighed happily. “So, how well off are you?”

“More than Xander.”

“Oh, really?!” Willow’s grin widened. “That’s amazing! I mean, he’s worth 100 million, and you can practically live off of that for life and if you’re worth more we could retire right now and never have to worry about anything ever again-”

“Willow. Breathe.”

The redhead took a deep breath.

“Better.”



AN: Okay. In the immortal words of Shang Tsung, 'It has begun!' Now, I only have one problem... I can't decide who to pair Buffy with! Through a long elimination process, I've come down to two finalists: Charles Gunn, and Kate Lockley. Feedback would be appreciated!
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