Chapter Two - The Long Walk
TITLE: Chapter Two - The Long Walk
DISCLAIMER: Buffy is the property of Joss Whedon while all Dark Hunters belong to Sherrilyn Kenyon
TIME LINE: Set two days after last chapter.
SUMMARY: The strangers arrival in Sunnydale brings surprises for everyone.
NOTES: Thanks to everyone for reading and reviewing.
Ash took a sip of the beer in his hands. He had played along when the server flirted, being careful not to take it too far. He was used to the attention now but it still did not get any easier.
He stopped himself before he went to his dark place. There was something more important going on right now. Glorificus was close to opening the gates to her world and she didn’t give a shit that she would bring the world down around her. It was never supposed to have happened. To make it a hundred times worse, those asses had put The Key in the same town. The same key that was never meant to be found.
So now, he was Sunnydale bound, once again risking everything, trying to fix something that had nothing to do with him. The Goddess should never have been put in this dimension to begin with but rather than fight her, she was banished here to be everyone else’s problem.
The air around him changed and a quick glance out the window confirmed that his companion was outside.
He stood up, picked his backpack up from the seat next to him and stepped outside to join the newcomer.
“Wolf.” He nodded when he met him.
“Got your message,” Vane nodded. “I‘m thinking it must be serious since your asking for my help.” He bit back a smirk as a biker tripped on the pavement rather than pass by him.
Ash nodded. “We better get going though, I‘ll explain on the way.” He started walking into the alley.
“Is it just us?” Vane kept in step.
“Talon and Sunshine are meeting us there and if needed Kyrian and Julian have offered their services,” he replied, “And Zarek’s on standby.”
“That bad huh?”
“You don’t know the half of it wolf.”
Sunnydale 24 hours later
Willow looked up as the bell signaled the door opening and she saw Tara and Buffy entering the shop looking cozy. If it had been any other woman with her girlfriend, she would be instantly jealous but this gave her a warm feeling.
“How was it?” she looked at both their faces and noticed that they weren’t giving everything away.
Buffy had, had to take a test to find out whether or not she could rejoin the college and even with everyone’s help, she wasn’t sure it would be enough after all that had happened in the last few months.
“We have a scholar in our midst.” Tara held the paper up, breaking into a grin.
“You passed, that’s great.” Willow was genuinely happy for her friend she deserved some luck.
“Yep,” Buffy put her key back in the bag then sat down at the table, dropping her bag as she did. “Woo hoo to me especially now Spike has to buy me the TV.”
“Poor Spike.” Willow mock winced.
“Poor Spike nothing,” Buffy smirked.“ He was the one stupid = enough to offer it.”
“Well it worked, you should be very proud.” Giles came over ignoring her. He took the results from Tara and smiled in the way that only a proud parent could accomplish.
“I am…don’t get me wrong…” Buffy hesitated.
“You have but face.” Tara frowned.
“It still means nothing though really… sure I can graduate college but what then. She who likes to kill is still in prison, so I’m stuck here until she’s released or…” she stopped without ending the sentence.
“Have you gave genuine though to what you would like to do?” Giles took a seat beside her, not mentioning Faith’s name. Whenever the brunette slayer was mentioned, Buffy tended to go postal.
She shrugged. “Not really. I always wanted to be a shopper but my sense of style went out the window when I started having meetings with the un-dead.”
“I don’t understand?”
“What’s the point of buying expensive things when they always get blood on them.” Anya finished for her.
“No,” Giles took off his glasses and shook his head. “What is a shopper?”
“A personal shopper…someone who’s paid to pick out clothes for people. No doubt Cordy had one before her dad started playing maths with their taxes.”
“Dear god, you really can be paid to do anything these days.”
Someone knocked on the door and Giles went over to answer it. As a rule vampires didn’t show manners before they came into a building but you could never be too careful. “Who is it?”
“Me.” Spike’s voice was heard.
He opened the door to let the vampire pass then relocked it now that everyone was inside.
“Well what?” Buffy played dumb at his question.
“Slayer either tell me what happened or I’ll start telling you some of my poetry.”
“Tell him…now!” Anya all but yelled.
With a grin, she passed him the paper.
“Told you, you could do it kitten,” he grinned as he read it over. “So when do you want the TV?”
“I’m still getting it?”
“You can get whatever you want…apart from a go in my car!” he stopped her before she even opened her mouth.
“Why not?” she grumbled. “It’s old anyway.
“Correction…it’s a classic. It’s meant to look that way for a reason and I’m not letting Balls Up Buffy near it.”
“She’s not that bad.” Willow felt the need to stick up for her friend even though she expected her nose to start growing at any second.
“Not bad…Red the last time I let her drive, you were writing your will, believe me I’d rather hear soul boy sing again than let Blondie go near my baby!”
Buffy was interrupted by Spike’s cell ringing. He gave her a smirk before answering.
“Do we really need him here?” she glared at his back.
“I think we’re stuck with him Buff,” Willow patted her arm. “Besides I think Dawnie and your mom would have something to say if anything happened to him.”
“God, yeah the president and secretary of the fan club!” she pouted. “You know they both ignore me when he’s over. Too interested in one of his stories about the war or something.”
“If it hadn’t been for his stories about the war or something, you would never have passed the test.” Giles reminded her.
“I know.” Buffy watched him pace.
“I’d kinda miss him if he was gone.” Tara added.
“Plus he’s hot!” Anya added her opinion.
“Yeah in the same way as Freddy Krueger,” Buffy grimaced. “Spike and hot is not the kinda things you wanna hear in the same sentence.”
“He is kinda studly, if you like that thing.” Willow looked him up and down.
“Studly would be the guy we saw earlier.” Buffy grinned at Tara remembering the hottie from outside the espresso pump.
“He was nice.” She nodded.
With a sigh, Giles got up and moved over to the counter. Listening to the girls he saw as daughters sizing up men was something that was on the bottom of the list he wanted to see.
“So who was he?” Anya asked after he was gone.
Buffy shrugged. “Never saw him before but what I’d give to see him again.”
“So your over Riley phase is here?”
“My over Riley phase was here when he was,” she admitted to the redhead. “I was so over him, I should have rented a balloon to fly past just to tell him that.”
“With you wearing a white scarf and drinking a glass of champagne.” Tara laughed.
“Yes he was boring,” Anya stated. “If you had wanted the opposite of Angel you should have dated Xander…but you can’t have him.” She back tracked.
“Maybe I’ll become a nun,” Buffy pondered ignoring her. “I do look good in black, but on the other hand I could end up looking like a penguin!”
“What about Mr Mysterious?” Anya brought the subject back.
“That’s about it,” she shrugged. “He was hot and mysterious which probably means he’s a demon.”
“Who’s a demon?” Spike came back over.
“No one!” they all said at once.
“That was your mum. She said she tried to call you but couldn’t get through.” He ignored them, used to this by now.
“Needs charged.” She picked her bag up and stood.
“How long are they staying with your Aunt for?” Tara looked up at them.
“As far as I know, a week but it depends. When the two of them get together it’s like watching The View on acid.”
She gave a nod then after saying goodbye, they both set out on patrol.
At the cemetery, there was still no sign of Whistler and everyone was starting to get impatient. Even Ash kept looking around.
Ash was just about to speak when the demon in question appeared. “Sorry I kept you.” He nodded. “Ash, it’s been a while.”
“A hundred years or so, but who’s counting.”
“Does this mean we can get started T-Rex.” Talon uttered. The weird feeling that he had as soon as he arrived in this hellhole was getting worse by the second. It was something he hadn’t felt in a long time, and being honest, he did not like it.
“Just a few more minutes,” Whistler smirked. “I promise it’ll be worth the wait.”
“I very much doubt that.” Vane growled.
Ignoring him, Whistler nodded at the clearing and moved so they could see a couple approach. To the untrained eye, they were nothing more than a couple taking a short cut through the cemetery. But to the group watching, they could sense the power coming from them. Vane noticed she was one of the blonde's he saw outside the coffee shop earlier.
“Is that her?” Ash didn’t take his eyes off her. He had to admit that she was everything that the balance demon had claimed that she was. He had felt her strength earlier and now believed what had been mentioned about her.
“One and the same.” He replied.
Three men stalked towards the couple. He was about to give away their presence but Whistler shook his head.
They exchanged words, then out of nowhere the girl leaped into the air, flipping over the demons before catching the nearest with a kick to the back as she landed, sending him to the ground.
The next five minutes were a blur as they exchanged numerous combinations of punches and roundhouses with them. It was like poetry in motion watching the pair of them fight in sync, there wasn’t a step out of place. The brawl ended when they brought out what appeared to be wooden sticks and embedded them into their chests.
“That…was…” Sunshine whistled as they turned for an explanation.
“That my friend is the whirlwind known as Buffy Summers…true perfection.”
“That who I think it is?” Spike put the stake back in his pocket.
Buffy nodded. “That’s him. Fancy a bit of torture?”
He made a show of contemplating it then smiled at her. “Always kitten!”
She linked arms with him and they made their way over. She didn’t have a clue who the others were. Strike that. One of them was the hottie she saw outside the coffee shop with Tara earlier and he was even hotter close up.
As soon as they got to the group, she grabbed Whistler by the collar, missing the look between Vane and Ash. “How about,” she dangled him. “You tell me why it’s I spy on Buffy night or I use your tongue as a belt?”
“White flag,” he choked out. “I’m here to help.”
“Funny ‘cause last time you said that, she ended up sending Angelus to hell.” Spike uttered as he took a cigarette out of his coat.
“Let him go sweetheart.” Ash tried to dissolve the situation but he realized as soon as he said it, that he’d said the wrong thing.
She slowly turned to him. “How about you stop being a condescending butt hole,” she glared. “Call me sweetheart again and you‘ll be spitting out teeth for days.”
“No your right, it’s my fault.” She let Whistler go and circled Ash, “I shouldn’t have expected you to hear me over all that leather.”
She turned to Spike. “Now we know what the noise was earlier, it was a million cows screaming for help.” she turned back to Ash. “The word enough is in the dictionary for a reason!”
“Watch your tongue girl.” Vane growled changing his eyes just enough to warn her.
“Very scary!” she deadpanned realizing what he actually was. “I’d give it at least a six for effort but I have to say it could do some work. Now, maybe you should be a good doggy or I’ll put a paper over you nose, I want something I’ll throw you a snausage.”
“And she’s supposed to help us?” Sunshine shook her head. “You sure she’s not evil?”
“You haven‘t seen evil, believe me.” Buffy glared at the other woman who was about to reply but the guy beside her, held her back.
“Slayer!” Spike wanted her attention.
She glanced over and noticed he had a unlit cigarette in his mouth. With a sigh, she went into her pocket and got out the spare lighter that she always kept when she was with the vampire. She had seen him once without any cancer sticks and it wasn’t pretty so now she always kept a supply of both on her.
“She‘s a slayer?” Vane did a double take.
“Yeah, I’m a slayer, you’re a slayer, everyone’s a slayer.” Buffy was starting to get bored of the conversation. The fight had ended quicker than she thought. She still had some energy to burn off and was seriously hoping that Whistler or one of his buddies would say something.
“She isn’t that kind of slayer.” Ash turned to him.
Ignoring him, Buffy turned back to Whistler. “So you gonna explain why you are here…or is this a new version of Gladiators that I didn‘t get the e-mail for…Don’t tell me…they’ve run out of ideas. They’ve had the normal show, Celebrities, now it’s Slayers and Demons.”
Whistler just gave her a look telling the strangers he was used to it from her. “As I was saying, Buffy is a slayer, just not the kind you think. She’s a vampire slayer.”
“As in real vampires…like Dracula, as in I want to suck your blood?” Sunshine’s eyes widened.
“Yeah,” she replied. “ Big freaky vampire with his thrall. Believe everything you read about him.”
Spike’s answer was to snort.
Talon surprised both himself and Buffy by sniffing her. There was something strangely familiar about her scent…very familiar. “She’s kick ass strong but human,” he seemed satisfied. “Nice hair by the way.”
“Thanks I guess,” her face screwed up. “Your not a hyena are you?”
“No sweetheart, I’m not.” He laughed.
Everyone mentally took a step back but to their surprise she said nothing.
“So she’s human, then tell me how she did a Xena then?” Vane wasn’t convinced. “And she might be human, but he isn’t.” He nodded at Spike.
“He’s a vampire!” she sounded as if she was talking to a child. “And the reason I did a Xena as you call it is because I’m a slayer. I do have faster reflexes and I am a lot stronger than a normal person but I’m still human.”
“And faster healing.” Whistler added then wished he hadn’t when she glared at him.
“And just for the record,” she turned to Vane. “I could so kick Xena’s ass!”
“We are so going to get on.” Sunshine laughed.
“I do my best,” she shrugged. “I have a rep to protect, can’t have anyone thinking I’ve lost my touch.”
“You still haven’t explained why your all here?” Spike didn’t even bat an eyelid, obviously used to this behaviour.
“We can help you stop Glorificus.” Ash looked over at her.
“What…” the rest of the sentence was interrupted when a vampire, shot out from the bushes, sending her into Ash and flinging them both to the ground.
Not even dropping his cigarette, Spike took the stake out of his pocket and sent it hurling through the air. It met it’s mark and seconds later the vamp burst into a cloud of dust.
“You okay?” he held out a hand but she couldn’t move as Ash was wrapped around her.
She turned to him. “You wanna..” She motioned for him to move and the way she was leaning she could see over his glasses, suddenly realizing why he wore them.
With a nod, he moved so she could stand, and she copied Spike’s earlier action with her own hand. When they were both standing she continued. “You were saying about Glory?”
“We can help you stop her.” He acted as if nothing had happened.
Buffy looked to Spike who nodded his agreement the turned back to him. “Okay then.”
He nodded suddenly uncomfortable. She was giving him a weird look. It was something he couldn’t describe and it un-nerved him. And for the first time he actually wanted to take a step back.
“So what’s first?” she turned to the others.
“There’s something you need to know Slayer.” Whistler paled.
“Go on?” she gave nothing away but knew what was coming next.
“You know that she’s searching for the Key?” Ash took over.
“That’s the thing that opens the dimensions right?”
“Exactly,” he nodded. “The problem is…the Key’s in Sunnydale too.”
NOTES: Just to say there is a reason for everyone acting unlike themselves. I showed the story to some others and everyone said the actions were something the characters wouldn’t do. Well, it is intentional and will be explained later on.