Chapter 5: A New Pack
Chapter 5: A New Pack
Warning: I don’t know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. NCIS characters belong to Donald Bellisario, Don McGill and CBS Paramount Television. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Challenge: #4472 ‘Bunny is my what?’
A/N: Thanks to my betas for their help... zigpal and CindyB
***A/N2: Just a warning…I’m deliberately leaving any conversations about the last two seasons of BtVS vague because I don’t know how much I want to stick the canon of them.
Staying the same: Buffy was brought back; Sunnydale was destroyed in the fight with the First; the Potentials were activated; Buffy, Giles and Xander survived.
Changed: Dawn disappeared when the portal closed; Faith returned to prison until she can be released legally (although that isn’t necessarily non-canon to the show itself).
Unsure: Who else may or may not have survived; any minor or major changes to canon – like, for instance, Xander did marry Anya. Or no Spuffy. Or Giles stayed…I just don’t know yet.***Posted In Honor of the 10th recommendation and 16000th hit on TtH!
Dingoes’ Dance Den
“Lot’s happened, huh?” Oz said in his usual understated way. Inside his head was another story though. It was racing with everything Buffy had filled him in on since he left. Could things have turned out differently had he just stayed? Despite his problems with Tara?
In his own recollections of his time away, he learned it wasn’t wholly just about Willow and Tara being together that made him leave. But Willow had been his first lover after becoming infected and on some level, his wolf claimed her as his mate. Then Veruca showed up and challenged the claim with her own wolf.
So he went away, desperate to learn more about his dual nature that he had
to come to terms with. When he came back, it was with the desire to re-join his pack…the Scoobies. And when Tara had replaced him, it wasn’t just as Willow’s lover – though that hurt a lot as well. But harder still was that she had assumed his spot in the pack and that’s
what drove him away the second time.
Now that his Alpha was here…and alone, he started to hope that he could be part of a pack once more. More importantly, it would be with the one person who could understand his duality – because she had her own
to deal with.
He didn’t care how many girls there were now that used the title ‘Slayer’, Buffy would always, always
Slayer! Faith couldn’t even unseat her in that respect and she was a Slayer of the natural progression, not of the magically-forced way.
Buffy’s easy acceptance and genuine happiness at seeing him made him believe that she would
take him back. Both him and his wolf felt a sense of contentment in her presence that bordered on the painful in its intensity.
She must have sensed something because she captured his gaze and held it for a few minutes before bringing her forehead to his in an effort to indicate her ownership of him. ‘I am pack again,’
he thought with a relaxed sigh.
Buffy wasn’t entirely sure what all was running through Oz’s mind, but she felt the loneliness and sense of being lost pouring out of her friend. Earlier, it had surprised her how much she had missed him when she saw him this afternoon. He had been Willow’s boyfriend, but it kinda felt like he belonged to her in some way as well.
Since she didn’t have this feeling of ownership with the others – besides Giles – she figured it had to do with his wolfy-ness. That’s why it hurt her personally
when he left. Sure, she hurt for Willow’s sake too, but it was mostly for herself. In some ways it was worse than losing Angel. Maybe Oz could explain it; she’d ask him later.
Buffy watched as the fear and indecision battled in Oz’s eyes. He needed something…and he needed it from her. Suddenly it all became clear to her. He did
belong to her! He had been part of her pack and that’s why it hurt when he left. And she was just as sure that he felt the same pain from their separation. So she did the only thing she could think of: she claimed her ownership of him as was her right as his Alpha.
The pleasure that showed on his face from her actions caused her to smile. But in true Oz-fashion, it only manifested as a slight upturn at the corners of his mouth. It became too much for her and she broke out laughing. That loosened him enough that he gave her an actual smile…for a whole two seconds.
Abruptly, they both tensed up. Buffy quickly scanned the room until she found the cause of their unease. A couple vamps who just came in were turning right around to follow their meal out: a Goth chick that was leaving with a couple friends.
“Be right back,” she informed Oz.
Oz offered, “Need help?”
Buffy shrugged unconcerned, “Only if I’m not back in 5.”
Oz nodded and watched her leave. Then he made his way to the door behind her. He wouldn’t interfere, but he sure as hell wouldn’t leave her alone either.
The Goth chick’s friends must have already left since it was just her and the two vamps in the alleyway. They were doing the usual ‘menacing of the victim’ routine.
Buffy just shook her head at the utter stupidity of some vampires. If they had just fed off her, they’d be done by now and safely on their way. Instead, they just had
to play with their ‘food’ in an attempt to make her more and more frightened.
The strange thing was, she didn’t appear as scared as most people would be in her place. Ohh
, she must be one of those who believe vampires are just misunderstood or something – like Ford and his band of idiots.
She looked closer at the girl; that didn’t seem to be it either. She was scared, but she was equally curious about them. Like they were bugs she wanted to study under a microscope. That was almost just as bad of a possibility to Buffy. She bit back a laugh; the girl was actually asking them if they knew how their teeth grew at will!
Oh well, better make with the save-age first, then she could lecture the girl about how dangerous the situation was. Buffy grabbed the shoulder of the one bloodsucker leaning in for a bite and tossed him into the side of the dumpster 15 feet away.
As the other one snarled and moved to attack her, she let the stake slide down from where she had hidden it in her sleeve earlier. He only got two steps closer before the piece of sharpened wood imbedded itself in his chest, causing a shower of dust to fly up around them.
Then the first vamp had regained his bearings and his eyes widened in fear when he recognized her. “Slayer! You’re not supposed to be here! You’re in Rome with the Immortal!”
Buffy rolled her eyes in annoyance. “Oh please! Like I’d really stoop to dating a player like him? It’s not even the parade of women in his life that is bothersome…much. It’s the fact that he’d screw anything
Before the vamp could make his escape, she pulled another stake out and rammed it into his heart and just as quickly pulled it back out. After all, this was ‘Mr. Pointy’. She couldn’t let him turn to dust like he was a regular
“That was wicked cool!” the Goth chick exclaimed, bending over what was left of the vampires and studying the dust. “Does that always happen when you stake vampires?”
The Slayer glared at her. “This isn’t a game! It too dangerous to become fascinated in vampires. You might not be lucky enough next time that someone will come by that can help you.”
She shrugged off the lecture lecture before going back to look at the ashes. “Oh, I get that
. It’s just that I’ve never seen a real vampire before; just people who pretend to be. I wonder if any of them
know that they’re real?” she wondered out loud.
“So you don’t
want to worship them or study them?” Buffy asked doubtfully.
Goth chick scoffed, “Worship
? As if! Who’d want to worship something that drinks blood? That is right, isn’t it? They do
drink blood?” Buffy just nodded.
Then she got a thoughtful look on her face as she considered the rest of the question. “As for studying them? I don’t know, maybe…if it weren’t so incredibly problematic. I think you’d have to be extra careful not to get too interested in them. I mean, I could see some arrogant or crazy person being deluded into thinking that they could create their own little killing force if they could find a way to control them.”
Buffy muttered under her breath, “Where were you four years ago?”
“But could I maybe ask you a few questions? And maybe take some of their remains to study? Do they always collapse into such evenly structured ashes? ” she asked hopefully. The girl reminded Buffy of a young Willow…who’d had a couple espressos or something. She was practically vibrating.
The blonde protector hesitated, then decided that if Goth chick wasn’t going to deny what happened, it would be best if she knew enough to hopefully keep herself out of trouble in the future. “I’ll answer some
questions – as long as you head home right afterward and don’t try to repeat tonight!” Buffy warned.
“No problem. I just live a few blocks away,” she answered with a wave of her hand in the general direction. Then she reached in her coat and took out a piece of paper to scoop up some of the remains to look at later
“Okay. Just let me tell my friend I’ll be right back and I walk you home. We’ll talk on the way,” she said as she made her way to the mouth of the alley. She spoke as she approached the corner, “Hear that, Oz? I’m gonna walk Goth chick here home, but I’ll be back in a few.”
Oz nodded, “That’s fine. I gotta get back to work anyway.”
The questions began immediately after they left the alley. “So that one vampire called you ‘Slayer’. I’m guessing that it’s not your real name, but more like your superhero
name, right?” She noticed Buffy’s look of alarm. “Oh, don’t worry, I won’t ask what your secret identity is. Although…shouldn’t you be wearing a disguise or something? I mean, Superman might have been great at the hero stuff, but his idea of a disguise really sucked.”
Buffy chuckled at the girl; she really had the art of the Willow-babble down. She felt a small pang at the memories that threatened to surface and forced them away. “To be honest, you’re kind of rare. Most people chose to rationalize away what they see. The old favorites are gangs on PCP, barbecue fork accidents or a trick of the light.”
“Seriously? That’s the best they can come up with? That’s not even all that imaginative!” she replied derisively.
“They can’t deal with the reality of it and so instead convincing themselves that they’re crazy, they latch onto the easiest explanations offered. Speaking of which, you might want to keep this to yourself…Unless you want your friends and family to lock you up ‘…for your own good’,” the Slayer warned.
The raven-haired beauty shot her a look of compassion. “I guess you’re speaking from personal experience? Doesn’t matter anyway; half of my friends probably already
think I believe in vampires because of my unusual tastes. But back to my questions. What will work against vampires? In case I need to know.”
Buffy stopped to stare at her. “You won’t be making a habit of tonight, will you?”
She shook her head vehemently, “Course not! Despite my ‘dark girl’ look, I very much love life and don’t want it to end anytime soon. Look, think of it like learning self defense; you don’t want to use it, but you do
want to know it – just in case. ”
That explanation made a lot of sense. “Okay, here’s Vampires 101: most vamps will just suck you dry as a meal. But every once in a while, they’ll want to sire someone. That is the process of turning a person into a vampire. How that happens is they drain you almost to death but before you can die, they feed you some of their
blood. Then in about 24 to 72 hours, the newborn vampire – or fledgling – will rise and the cycle of death and destruction will continue on.”
“Now they will look and sound like the person they were before they died, they’ll even have the same memories. But remember this if nothing else: it is not them! Their soul is gone and all that’s left is the demon that killed them. So if, god forbid, this happens to someone you care about, don’t hesitate to stake them,” Buffy stated as adamantly as she could.
Goth girl nodded her understanding. “Is that the only way to get rid of them?” she questioned, mentally categorizing everything she was learning. Maybe she could learn something from the ashes that could make killing – was that the right word for it? – the vampires easier.
“Sunlight, decapitation, fire…those are the most effective – besides staking with a piece of wood into the heart. But once I did manage to kill one by tricking it into drinking holy water. Crosses will hurt most of them long enough for you to escape. Never saw garlic do anything other than making things smelly. Bullets will only hurt them and therefore piss them off royally.”
“Are there ways of telling someone is a vampire? …Before it’s too late, that is?” she inquired, not wanting to accidentally put herself in danger.
The Slayer smiled at the good questions this girl was asking. “They don’t have a reflection or pulse. They’re cold to the touch. They don’t need to breathe but can mimic it. Sometimes they forget to update their choice in clothes from the time they were turned – but that isn’t foolproof,” she added as an afterthought.
She took a moment to think of one last question, “Do you have any other advice for me?”
“If you have to go out at night, be very careful and pay attention to your surroundings. Most importantly though, never
issue a direct verbal invitation to anyone to get into your house. Just step out of their way or invite them indirectly. Like, ‘Couch is over there, guys.’
Get it?” When the girl said yes, Buffy watched her go into her place and made her way back to the club.
A/N: Next…Fighting and secrets abound at NCIS.