The Rider Emerges
*****I DON’T OWN BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER OR GHOST RIDER. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER IS OWNED BY JOSS WHEDON AND MUTANT ENEMY. GHOST RIDER IS OWNED BY MARVEL COMICS.*********
Author’s Notes: I know I may be accelerating events so forgive me.
The Rider Emerges
Xander had never been more angry than he’d been in his life. Kendra lay on the floor dead. He wasn’t even sure about Willow or Cordelia. Giles was gone. He began to scream as fire licked away at his flesh. Finally, he seemed to fade away as the Spirit of Vengeance took over. The Rider felt ridiculous wearing the Hawaiian shirt but right now it didn’t matter. Right now, he felt a soul in his location that was requiring a bit of a staring contest. He walked out of the library as the man walked in. A bit trollish, he was scared to death when he saw the Rider.
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU?!” He asked and yelled.
“Your soul has been stained with the blood of the innocent. Feel their pain!” The Rider exclaimed before Snyder began to scream.
Floyd had been sired in the early sixties at a bar. Being the only “survivor” seemed to have had its advantages as bar fights seemed to now always go his way. At least they did until that demon walked in. The reason he used demon was the fact that the thing was a flaming skeleton wearing a Hawaiian shirt that for the unlife of him, he couldn’t figure out why the shirt didn’t burst into flames at any time. Pyro demon seemed to stare at him.
“Nice jacket.” The demon said.
Floyd remembered that he was wearing a black leather biker jacket and he quickly peeled the jacket off and laid it on a table and backed away from it. Maybe if he gave the thing the jacket, he wouldn’t be dusted. He even had the keys to his bike in the jacket. Hopefully, that would be enough for it not to kill him.
“Okay, big guy.” Floyd said backing away from the jacket. “You can have my jacket. Hell, I’ll let you have my bike. It’s the black Harley.”
“Thanks.” The demon said before hurling a fireball at Floyd which dusted him.
The Rider put the jacket over the Hawaiian shirt. For some reason, the Rider wanted to keep the shirt on. He walked out of the bar and found the Harley. The touch of the Rider hellfired the motorcycle and the Rider rode off into the night.
Angelus stared at Acathla wondering how long it was going to take Drusilla to get the information out of the Watcher. Torturing the information out of the Watcher by making him think he was talking to that gypsy bitch was a work of genius. The vampire knew it wouldn’t take long for the man to crack. He heard a few blasts, eerily familiar to what he heard on Halloween, and turned to see something that he never thought he’d see again.
“Harris, please tell me that isn’t you.” Angelus said curiously.
“Back to Hell, Deadboy.” The Rider said pointing at Angelus.
“It’s you.” Angelus snarled before quickly ducking as The Rider began to fire away missing the vampire barely.
“Damn!” The Rider exclaimed. “I really gotta learn to aim this thing.”
Angelus stood up finally recalling everything that happened to him on Halloween night. That damned night that Ethan Rayne had cast a spell on his costumes in his shop that transformed his unlucky customers into their costumes. Angelus remembered his first encounter with the Ghost Rider and got back to his feet.
“I remember Halloween, Harris.” Angelus said almost laughing. “You can’t touch me. Willow made you agree to some kind of hellfire contract that said so.”
“I remember Halloween as well.” The Rider said bringing the double barreled sawed off shotgun to bear. “I also remember the wording of the contract. ‘For as long as Angel has his soul, the Rider shall not attempt to do him any harm.’”
“I lost my soul.” Angelus said remembering the exact wording of the contract.
“Exactly.” The Rider said before firing and missing again. “Damn it!”
Angelus managed to get away and the Rider scanned the mansion looking for the resonance of a soul. He found it and made his way to the room that he was in to see a man he respected like a father being tortured by Drusilla. The female vampire seemed surprised at his appearance.
“My kitten’s on fire.” She pouted.
“This is for Kendra.” The Rider said before firing the shotgun at her chest.
The blast hit the vampire dead center and the woman hit the wall hard. Confusion could be seen in the Rider’s body language. Drusilla seemed to be unconscious against the wall.
“That shouldn’t have happened.” He stated.
“You’re right.” A voice with a Bronx-accent said from behind him. The Rider turned to see a man dressed like a 1970s pimp standing there. “It shouldn’t have happened.”
The Rider reverted back to Xander who was still a bit confused. “Who are you?” He asked.
“Forgive me.” The demon said. “Name’s Whistler. I’m what is known as a balance demon.”
“Why isn’t she dust in the wind?” Xander asked. “Proverbially speaking.”
“Transform back to the Rider and scan the room.” Whistler told him.
Xander transformed into the Rider and began to scan the room again. He saw that Whistler didn’t have a soul and Giles had his. The Rider turned to gaze at Drusilla. The way this sense seemed to work was that souls seemed to have a color to them. Giles seemed to be kind of dingy, probably from his past use of dark magic. Drusilla not only scanned to have a soul but it was pure white which meant that the soul was innocent. The Rider walked over to her and transformed back into Xander. Xander bent down and checked her neck.
“Why does she have a pulse?” He asked the demon.
“We’re not sure on that one.” Whistler told him.
“We?” Xander asked.
“I’m an agent of the PTB or the Powers That Be.” Whistler informed him. “We were actually hoping that you would know what happened.”
“Nope.” Xander said.
“Well, that bites.” Whistler replied. “I managed to find out a bit of information for you if you’re interested. Information about why the Spirit Of Vengeance is still with you and who is responsible.”
“What’s the catch?” Xander asked.
“You need to take her with you.” Whistler told him. “I know it is asking a lot of you but she’ll be the biggest help for you for when you lose track of where you’re going.”
“What about Angelus?” Xander asked. “He has to be taken care of.”
“Don’t worry.” Whistler said. “Willow will try to perform the ensoulment curse to give Angel back his soul. When you leave tomorrow, tell Buffy that Willow is going to try the curse again. DON’T lie to her or ‘conveniently forget’ to tell her.”
Giles woke up to the smell of sizzling bacon. Ever since Halloween when Xander’s costume had somehow put Ethan and the boy’s parents into comas, Giles had been letting his student whom he almost could call a son stay with him. The librarian could hear him talking to a girl whose voice seemed very familiar. He knew Willow was in the hospital and Buffy was probably still on the lamb as it was called so he knew it wasn’t them.
“So Dru, how would like your eggs?” Xander asked.
“I think scrambled.” Drusilla answered.
Giles’ eyes grew as wide as saucers as he heard the name. He knew Xander couldn’t be that stupid as to invite the vampire Drusilla, once known as one quarter of the Scourge of Europe, inside to have breakfast. The Watcher grabbed a bottle of holy water he kept stashed in his bedroom and a stake and ran into his kitchen. He saw Xander flipping the bacon on the stove and Drusilla at the table drinking what looked like tea. Giles splashed the holy water in her face and while she seemed off guard, he reared back with the stake.
“So, is this a new ritual when humans wake up in the morning?” She asked clearly more confused than in any sort of pain.
“Good Lord, since when are vampires not effected by holy water?” He asked confused.
“Giles, remember Halloween?” Xander asked him still cooking.
Giles sat down in a chair making sure to stay away from Drusilla but also making sure that he didn’t lose sight of her. He rubbed his temples.
“I definitely remember that demon biker you turned into putting Ethan into a coma.” Giles answered him. “But as I understood it, it disappeared when the spell was ended.”
Drusilla began to chuckle slightly. “Kitten’s inner demons won’t ever go away.” She said.
Xander gave her a glare. “What Dru is trying to say is that the Rider has returned and that was how I rescued you and somehow turned her into a human.” He informed Giles.
Giles was bewildered. “How is any of this possible?” He asked.
“Hell if I know, G-Man.” Xander answered. “That’s what I asked the balance demon that shown up.”
“He looked that part up before starting breakfast.” Drusilla said taking a sip of her tea.
“What did the demon say?” Giles asked partially ignoring his former tormenter.
“That I had to go to LA with Drusilla and find the one who was responsible for making me the man I am today.” Xander told him. “Also, go to the hospital with the ensoulment curse and that Soul Orb thing and give them to Willow. She’ll want to do the curse again. Please don’t tell anyone about the Rider. I don’t want to come back to Sunnydale and have my friends think I’m some sort of freakish demon. Plus, I’m sure I’ll be able to control the Rider by the time I get back.”
Giles picked up a pair of strange stones on the table. “What are these?” He asked.
“Dru, could you tell him?” Xander asked the newly-reborn human as he was beating the eggs with a whisk. “If my concentration slips, I’ll have a mess to clean up.”
“Not a problem, Kitten.” She said. “Xander made them using his Rider abilities. You keep one here and send the other to the Watcher of the Slayer that was called after I...”
Drusilla began to weep almost uncontrollably. Despite himself, Giles quickly went over to the girl and pulled her close to try to comfort her. None of this was making sense to him but he didn’t want to see the girl cry despite what she did to him as a vampire. Xander had set down the bowl and put a hand on her shoulder.
“It’s okay.” She said wiping the tears from her eyes. “I know I shouldn’t feel guilty about what I did but I can’t help but feel bad. The things I’ve done are unforgivable.”
“Dru, you’re not the same person you were when you were a vampire.” Xander said to her.
Tears streaked from her eyes. “I know I have a soul now but how can you forgive me as easily as you are when you never seemed to like Angel.” She said to him.
“There’s a difference here, Dru.” Xander said to her. “When Angel was human, he was already a bastard. You, on the other hand, were a kind and gentle person whom he tortured and drove insane. If this was a court of law, you would’ve been found not guilty.”
After making preparations, Xander and Drusilla found themselves outside the mansion. He went and told Buffy what he was suppose to tell her and was about to get back onto the motorcycle when the former vampire blocked his path.
“Is there something you want to tell me Dru?” He asked.
“I want vengeance for what Angelus did to me.” Drusilla said to him. Her face was filled with fury. “You’re the only one who can get me my vengeance.”
“But Buffy is going to...” Xander replied before he was interrupted.
“Do you honestly think that a necrophiliac like her will be able to do what is necessary?” She asked.
Xander shook his head. Before he became the Rider, he would have had to leave this in the bleached blonde’s hands but now he had the power to do something about it. He grabbed the chains and his shotgun and looked up at the sky. A fierce storm seemed to sprout up blanketing them in darkness.
“Obviously, someone else seems to agree with you.” Xander said turning towards the entrance.
He saw a rather attractive woman walking towards them. It wasn’t Buffy but the Rider flared up as he recognized what she was. He pointed at her.
“Demon.” He said.
“Listen, I don’t care who you think you are but I’m Anyanka and vengeance is my domain not yours.” She said to him.
The Rider grabbed his chains and whipped them around the demon’s neck. He yanked her off of her feet and dragged her towards him. She tried to struggle in vain but his strength was too great. Almost instinctively, he yanked the amulet from around her neck and melted it in a blaze of hellfire. Suddenly, a feeling of being powerless swept over her.
“A more fitting form of vengeance.” He said to her. “Don’t you think?”
She ran away as he made his way into the mansion. He soon saw Angelus knock out Buffy and move as though the master vampire was about to suck her blood. The Rider fired off a warning shot.
“I wouldn’t if I were you, Deadboy.” The Rider warned him.
Angelus dropped Buffy to the ground and began to laugh. The Rider could see Acathla’s mouth open up and the portal begin to form.
“It’s too late, Rider.” Angelus said. “My boy, Acathla, is already opening up his portal to send this entire world straight into hell.”
“Not if I send you there first, Deadboy.” The Rider said before punching the master vampire right in the face.
Angelus was staggered by the blow but recovered quickly and delivered a punch to the Rider’s flaming skull. He backpedaled rather quickly as the vampire tried to put out the small flames that appeared on his hand.
“Com’n Harris, fight fair.” Angelus said almost pleading.
The Rider began to beat into the master vampire with a profound fury. With each blow, he yelled the name of one of Angelus’ recent victims. Battered, broken, and beaten, Angelus fell to his knees helpless as the Rider’s chains wrapped around his throat.
“And this is for Jenny!” The Rider exclaimed as he saw a greenish flash appear in the vampire’s eyes. He could see the soul return to the vampire and mentally, he cursed.
“What the hell?” Angel asked seemingly confused. “Xander, is that you?”
The Rider removed his chains from around the vampire’s throat as he realized the agreement that Willow had gotten the hunter into was back in place. He reverted back to his more human form.
“Angel, shut up because we don’t have a lot of time.” Xander said hoping that by using the vampire’s real name that he might make the vampire realize how grave the situation was. “You lost your soul and used Acathla to open a portal to suck the entire planet into a hell dimension. There’s only one way to close it.”
Somehow despite his injuries, Angel got back to his feet and grabbed one of the two swords that were on the ground. The vampire walked over to the edge of the still opening portal and looked over at Xander.
“Tell her I’m sorry.” He said before stabbing himself through the abdomen and falling through the portal.
The portal closed and Xander saw Buffy begin to stir. Xander left the mansion and walked over to Drusilla. He nodded and sat down on the motorcycle with the former vampire sitting behind him. The storm was over as he turned on the motorcycle and sped off down the road.