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Echoes of the Fallen

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This story is No. 1 in the series "The Fallen May Rise". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: YAHF- Xander lost a bet with with Willow, where he had to dress up as a Jewish character for Halloween. Well, he stuck to the bet, and now, he must overcome the memories of a man who wanted only to protect his people, no matter the cost.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > X-Men > Xander-Centered(Recent Donor)ChilordFR181492,971194516220,3702 Jul 094 Dec 09Yes
CoA Winner CoA Winner CoA Winner CoA Winner CoA Winner

The Hurricane and the Whirlpool

Echoes of the Fallen

Chapter 11: The Hurricane and the Whirlpool

Disclaimer: These aren't my characters, only my interpretation. Magneto belongs to Marvel, Buffy characters belong to Joss Whedon and the various studios/networks.

Author’s notes: Been working on a private bit of fanfiction that I’m not sure I’m ever gonna publish. Now back to work on Echoes and BS

-o-o-o-

“This… is quite disturbing.” Giles murmured slightly as he glanced over the paper before looking up and meeting the eyes of a curious Xander. “A large number of city employees seem to have been… well, beaten bloody then driven insane, and the Mayor’s no where to be found.”

“Huh.” Xander frowned slightly as he shifted a bit in his seat, leaning forward as his elbows rested lightly on the tabletop. “What’re you thinking?”

“I’m thinking… that I’m a ruddy fool.” Giles growled as he suddenly shook his head and threw his paper down. “I should have been looking into the Mayor the first year I was here.”

“You think the Mayor’s responsible for this?” Xander arched a brow slightly before frowning. “I mean… if he was a Big Bad, why stay silent for so long then do something this… public?”

“I think that the Mayor managed to make himself a very powerful, confidant enemy.” Giles responded as he lightly pinched the bridge of his nose. “We’ve had to deal with the El Eliminati, which means Balthazar, only, they were after that monk for heavens knows why.”

“Well, he should be waking up soon, so hopefully we’ll get some answers.” Xander responded evenly before pausing a moment as he reluctantly amended. “As long as Faith and Cordelia haven’t traumatized him too much.”

“Who would Faith and Cordy be traumatizing?” An inquisitive voice piped up as Dawn Summers popped her around the office door. “And why was I not invited?”

“Hey, we don’t want to drive the guy completely insane, Dawnster.” Xander shot back with a slight smirk as he leaned back in his chair. “Plus, we kinda need answers, so no mind breakage today.”

“Awww, you never let me have any fun.” Dawn pouted slightly as she crossed her arms about her chest. “Aren’t a sister’s boyfriends supposed to try and win over her family?”

“As long as they haven’t already won them over?” Xander shot back with a slight smirk. “It depends on how much of a brat the little sister is.”

“Hey! No fair!” The girl glared slightly at Xander, growling just a bit.

“Yeah, she totally resembled that one.” A familiar voice called out from behind Dawn’s shoulder as Buffy strode up, before glaring mildly at her slightly taller, little sister. “She’s already rude enough to grow taller than her big sis.”

“Can I help it if I’m just better than you?” Dawn shot back, smiling sweetly at her sister as she watched her lean down and kiss Xander lightly on the cheek.

“Since you’re totally not,” Buffy countered immediately with an annoyed glare, “It’s a moot point.”

“Mmm I like the small packaging.” Xander mentioned with a casual grin on his lips. “Makes it easier to manhandle her when she’s willing.”

“Ewwww… I so totally don’t need to know that!” Dawn practically squealed as she scrunched up her face. “Ugh, I should tell Mom!”

“Tell her what?” Xander responded before Buffy could retort. “That I like picking your sister up when she’s tired and exhausted, and carrying her where she needs to go? I think she’d find it sweet.”

“That’s so totally not what you meant before and you know it!” Dawn said accusingly.

“Must you talk about this in front of me?” Giles cleared his throat meaningfully as he gave the group a slight look. “Or, do you simply wish to force me to incriminate you all?”

“Hey!” Buffy pouted softly as she crossed her arms about her chest. “Aren’t Watchers supposed to take the side of their Slayers?”

“Considering how the Council wishes things to be done?” Giles responded with a pointed look over his glasses. “I think you should be glad I’m no longer your Watcher.”

“Grrr… Curse you and your logic!” Buffy grumbled slightly before flopping down across Xander’s lap.

“Oof, I say!” Xander grumbled even as he lightly wrapped an arm about the girl’s waist. “So, um… We have any idea what we need to be investigating?”

“I do.” Cordelia’s annoyed voice spoke up as she strutted into the room, her eyes flicking towards Dawn for a moment before settling down against Giles’ desk. “So, Giles, what do you know about Hell Gods?”

“Good Lord!”

-o-o-o-

“Well, this has certainly put me into quite the pickle.” Richard Wilkins sighed slightly before he patted the cheek of the absolutely terrified girl tied down to the stone alter in front of him. “I mean, here I am, on the eve of my Ascension practically, and what happens? A crazed Hell God shows up, looking for her way home and planning to ruin all my plans.”

As the girl whimpered softly into the thick strip of leather stuffed into her mouth, the Mayor lightly brushed a bit of her hair away from her cheek. “Sorry about this uncomfortable little situation my dear. I’d like nothing better to untie you and sit you down for tea and cookies, I really would.”

Sighing softly he reached up and hefted a knife of jagged black obsidian. “Sadly though, because of all this extra trouble, sacrifices must be made.” He paused a moment, lightly testing the blade against his thumb before nodding in satisfaction. “And really, it is for the greater good. You wouldn’t want your family and friends to end up with this entire reality torn asunder and tossed into whichever hell dimension happened to absorb it, now would you?”

The girl responded only with a pleading whimper as she looked up, begging him with her eyes as he lightly patted her cheek. “Of course you wouldn’t.” Pausing a moment, the main smiled again, a distant fondness in his expression. “You know, you remind me of my daughter…”

-o-o-o-

“I told you not to underestimate him.” Balthazar growled slightly in his pool, even as he watched the Hell God pacing back and forth across the warehouse in front of him.

“Yeah, yeah.” Glory waved her hand almost negligently in the demon’s direction. “The little cockroach scurried away. But he’s running out of places to hide. And how was I to know he had a damned bolt button? Who the hell uses those things anymore?”

“He is a survivor, a sneaky, manipulative, conniving little roach, but a powerful and resourceful one.” Balthazar responded evenly as he shifted in his pool growling in slight irritation.

“Well, if he keeps hiding much longer, he’s really just going to annoy me.” Glory shot back with a shake of her head before she smoothed out the wrinkles of her dress. “So, where’s my monk?”

“They found him, but the Slayers interfered.” Balthazar responded simply as he shook his head just slightly. “However…”

“You found him… and lost him?” Annoyance blossomed in Glory’s dark eyes as she glared, at the man “Seriously, do I have to do EVERYTHING myself?!”

“However.” The demon continued, moistened flesh glistening slightly as he gave the woman a slight glare. “My minions did hear the monk imply that the Key had been sent to the Slayers in some manner, one that they wouldn’t be aware of.”

“Well, that’s not COMPLETELY useless.” Glory admitted with a frown, before pursing her lips. “Ugh, just keep looking for him, those Slayers can’t keep him hidden forever.”

“And what’re you going to do?” Balthazar countered watching the woman suspiciously. “Those Slayers have my amulet!”

“And when they’re dead, it’ll be easy for you to pick it up again when the dust settles, now won’t it?” Glory waved her hand dismissively with a smirk. “Just make sure you make em scream plenty. As for what I’m going to do? I’m going to go down to that pathetic little demon bar in down, and do what any girl in a hot dress would do…” She smirked, viciously back at the thing as she lightly tossed her hair over her shoulder. “I’m going to find a bunch of strong, nasty demons, beat the shit out of them, then put them to work helping me deal with that little insect.”

“What any girl in a hot dress would do?” Balthazar offered curiously as he watched the Hell God carefully.

“If they’re really a pissed off Hell God.” Glory added casually as she tossed one of El Eliminati out of her way.

“Ah, of course.” Balthazar agreed, before glaring at his minions. “Well?! What’re you waiting for!?”

And with that, the vampires scattered, even as one of them moved back to their master and began to once more ladle the water over the glistening, flabby flesh.

-o-o-o-

“So, why the rush to get the brat out of here?” Buffy asked curiously as she looked towards a still annoyingly serious looking Cordelia. “And please don’t tell me that you went and knocked over a bank with Faith.”

“Ha-ha.” Cordelia responded with a sour grimace as she checked the door to make sure that Dawn wasn’t listening in. “All right. There’s a Hell God in town, called The Beast, and Glorificus. She’s apparently hunting for a dimensional key that a bunch of monks were guarding, that she wants to use to go home.”

“And, this is a bad thing?” Buffy asked curiously as she glanced from Cordelia to her ex-Watcher. “One less big bad in the world trying to destroy it?”

“It’s complicated by two things…One, what they did with the Key, and two…” Cordelia paused a moment before grumbling slightly. “Apparently the way this key works, when she opens up the dimensions… it opens up ALL of them… And we can kiss this one good bye in the process.”

“Ok, yeah, that is of the bad.” Xander offered up and shook his head. “So, what’d they do with the key?”

“They took a little of one Slayer, mixed it with a little of another Slayer, and then sent it to us as a bouncing teenaged girl.” Cordelia dead panned slightly before gesturing out the door. “Congratulations, Buffy, you and Faith are the proud mothers of your sister.”

“… What?” Buffy stared in absolute shock at Cordelia as she almost slipped off Xander’s lap in surprise.

“Apparently, she didn’t even exist until a few weeks ago.” Cordelia responded as she leaned back, sighing slightly as she shook her head. “These monks did this major mojo and altered our memories, school records, histories… the works. I mean, scary level creepy.”

“If they could do something that powerful, why couldn’t they just get rid of this Glory person?” Xander asked curiously as he held onto the absolutely shocked Buffy in his arms. “I mean, rewriting reality takes some MAJOR power.” He paused a moment, before frowning again. “And it’s… disquieting to know they managed to manipulate my memories.”

“Quite.” Giles agreed as he spoke up, shaking his head as he lightly pinched the bridge of his nose for a moment. “So, when you say that Buffy and Faith are Dawn’s…”

“Biologically, she’s more daughter than sister.” Cordelia filled in as she sighed slightly and shrugged just a bit. “At least, that’s how the crazy monk boy described it. Seriously, that guy needs to get out more, the way he was drooling all over Faith and me? Ugh.”

“We feel for you, Cordy.” Buffy shot back lamely, before she quickly continued. “But… again, my sister is my daughter?”

“Genetically speaking.”

“Think, clone.” Xander supplied easily.

“Ah, evil clone, that I can totally see.” Buffy nodded her head quickly as she sent a glare out the door and huffed slightly. “Only something evil could be that annoying.”

“Uh, I don’t think that she’s of the evil, Buff.” Xander noted with a bemused little smirk on his lips. “More of the simply annoying little sisterliness.”

“But, you just said…!”

“Clone.” The boy responded with a sage nod of his head. “Well, semi clone. One part blonde, one part brunette…” He paused a moment, glancing down at Buffy before shuddering involuntarily. “Oh man, do I pity any guy she ends up with.”

“Hey!” Buffy protested.

“He’s got a point.” Cordelia noted with a grin. “A combination you and Faith?”

“The world shudders at the possibilities.” Giles confirmed with a slight smile on his lips.

“So, what do we tell the Dawnster?” Xander offered up, curiously as he looked at the others. “Or your mom, Buff, or the others…”

“Well, the less people know the better.” Giles admitted quietly as he frowned just a bit. “The more people who know…”

“The more chances there are for the information to spread.” Xander agreed before glancing at Cordelia. “Which means that you have to keep your mouth shut, your Majesty.”

“Bite me, Dweeb boy.” The brunette shot back with a mild glare.

“If there’s anyone who will be receiving of the Xan biting, it will be me, thank you.” Buffy spoke up primly before glaring mildly at the door. “And it’s rude to eavesdrop on people’s conversations, Dawn.”

A started squeak could be heard behind the door before the soft sound of a teenaged girl’s rear hitting the ground in shock could be heard. When the rest of the group sighed then looked at the blonde, she merely shrugged as she responded. “Slayer, remember?”

Quickly slipping out of Xander’s lap, Buffy stalked over to the door, reached out, grabbing hold of Dawn’s ankle and dragged the girl back into the office. Needless to say, Dawn was less than thrilled with this treatment. As the girl glared slightly up at the Slayer, Buffy merely rolled her eyes in amusement as she shut the door.
“So, how much did you overhear?” Buffy asked, her arms crossed in a deceptively calm manner while she leaned back against the door, effectively trapping Dawn in the office with them.

“Gee, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The girl snapped back as she glared up at Buffy before she could resist adding a spiteful little barb. “Mommy dearest.”

Groaning softly, Buffy buried her face against her palm, before looking up, glaring accusingly at Cordelia. “This is your fault.”

“Bah, not my fault she’s a little delinquent, it’s in her blood.” Cordelia shot back with a slight smirk on her lips.

“Hey!” The words came simultaneously from both Buffy and Dawn’s lips, before Buffy huffed slightly and glared at the cheerleader. “You better be talking about Faith.”

“Huh… that’s right.” Dawn suddenly brightened. “I get half my genetics from Faith! That means I have a chance of getting boobs!”

“… Brat.” Buffy growled slightly, before huffing just a bit as she pushed her arms a bit more uncomfortably over her chest.

“Don’t be that way, Buff.” Xander threw out, grinning at his girlfriend. “I quite like your boobs.”

“Ewwww… I don’t need to hear this!” Dawn put her hands over her ears and pushed her eyes roughly shut. “I’m not listening to you!”

“Then, you should be more careful about what kind of subjects you bring up, now shouldn’t you?” Xander shot back with a smirk even as Buffy blushed brightly and glared mildly back at him. “Otherwise, well, you never know how people will respond.”

“You’re a jerk, Xander.” Buffy growled out slightly before grinning slightly. “And if I ever catch you talking about my… you know what’s like that again…”

“You won’t let me play with them?” Xander responded with an innocent smile on his lips as he then immediate ducked his head to the glare Buffy sent his way. “Sorry, it was just too good to pass up.”

“You’re doing that just to sicken me, aren’t you.” Dawn was pointing her finger directly at Xander, her glare almost matching Buffy’s in its potency.

“That and to make Buffy blush.” Xander responded in a completely reasonable tone as he leaned back in his chair and looked over towards Giles. “So, Giles, what’s the trust’s quarterly looking like?”

As the girls stared as the boy so completely and suddenly shifted the conversation to a different topic, they suddenly found themselves out of the loop at the two men discussed business. Twitching slightly, Buffy turned towards Cordelia. “He did that on purpose, didn’t he.”

“He’s Xander.” The brunette shot back with a chuckle. “Of course he did, he wants you two to talk, and apparently expects me to either join in the business talk or is letting me have the fun of making the occasional snarky comment.”

“Are you sure you’re up to that challenge, Cordy?” Buffy arched a brow as she studied her friend. “Xander has set up high levels of snarking expectation.”

“It’s so nice to be appreciated.” Xander’s voice shot in, even as his eyes never left Giles, letting the girls know he was still following their conversation even as he never skipped a beat with the librarian.

“… Am I the only one that finds it creepy how easily he does that?” Dawn asked curiously, before she blinked slightly as she stared at where Cordelia was holding a very familiar looking wallet. “HEY! That’s mine!”

“Then, you should be more careful about where you leave it.” Cordelia responded mildly with a slight shrug of her shoulders as she continued to browse through the contents. “Oh, and you get used to it.”

“I had it in my pocket.” Dawn growled back as she glared slightly at the girl.

“See? My point exactly.” Cordelia countered as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Hmmm… interesting, interesting.” The brunette paused a moment before frowning in displeasure. “Oh, now this will NOT due at all!” And with that the girl plucked a piece of paper from the wallet before tossing the billfold back to the girl.

“Hey! Give that back!” Dawn growled slightly as she glared back at girl who casually held the piece of paper out of reach.

“Buffy, did you know your sister has seniors giving her their number?” Cordelia responded as she tsked lightly and shook her head. “Pig headed, dumb, horny jock seniors to be precise.”

“Cordy, you could have just said jock seniors and the rest of your description would have gone unsaid.” Buffy noted with amusement.

“But…” Cordelia began to protest a moment, before Xander interrupted her.

“What you fail to take into account, Buff, is how much Cordelia loves to listen to the sound of her own voice.”

“Aren't you supposed to be leaving the snarking to me?” Cordelia growled slightly as she glared at the back of the teenage boy's head.

“You haven't filled your quota.” Xander shot back simultaneously with Buffy, before the pair blinked at one another, and laughed together.

“Have I mentioned, lately, how creepy those two can be?” Dawn offered up as she glanced from Buffy to Xander.

“No, but I don't think that bears drawing attention to.” Cordelia snapped back, while waving the piece of paper about. “Not like this little love note from one of the Neanderthal seniors on the football team.”

Now that brought Buffy's attention fully and firmly back onto Dawn, who immediately blushed in response. “Love note...? Dawn you're too young to be...”

“Angel.” Dawn shot back with a look of smug superiority on her face as she crossed her arms about her chest and lift her chin as if daring Buffy to try and talk her way around that.

“Angelus.” This time, it was Buffy, Xander, Cordelia and Giles who answered her simultaneously, causing her shoulders to slump as she looked around her with bewildered eyes.

“Wha- tha... Do you guys have some super secret synchronization meetings when I'm not around?!” Dawn stared at them, twitching slightly.

“As I was saying.” Buffy coughed into her hand meaningfully. “You're too young to be dating seniors. And you should already KNOW how dating an older guy is a bad idea.”

“Especially the ones with only sex on their brains.” Cordelia added, shuddering slightly. “And this lech? He just wants you to get into your panties.”

“But...” Dawn's eyes widened as she tried to protest the deny what the older girl was trying to tell her.

“Dawn, sweety, the reason he's trying to hit on you, is because all the girls in the grades above you have already had him try his tricks out on them. Freshmen girls don't know about him and his reputation.” Cordelia paused before shuddering slightly in revulsion. “And believe me, unlike SOME reputations, his IS deserved.”

“Hey, he never hit on me!” Buffy pouted slightly as she crossed her arms about her chest.

“Buffy, you almost hospitalized several football players on multiple occasions.” Cordelia deadpanned as she shook his head. “Even this guy isn't THAT dumb.”

As Buffy did her best, 'I'm just a cute, innocent, helpless blonde girl' look, Cordelia shook her head slightly and rolled her eyes. “So, where were we before we got side tracked on the discussion of whether or not Dawn is going to get boobs or not? Honestly, they're not all they're cracked up to be.”

“Says the girl built like a playboy playmate.” Dawn countered with a stuck out tongue.

“Yeah, there the Faith shows through.” Cordelia chuckled slightly as she rolled her eyes a bit, before she casually posed. “And you better damned well remember it!” She paused a moment before grumbling slightly. “But it's still a pain in the ass. Do you know how hard it is to get guys to talk to my face?! Not to mention the back problems and the bras I have to get.”

“Hmph.” Dawn glared daggers at the girl across from her even as she glanced down at her own, rather lack of visible chest. “So completely and utterly not fair.”

“So?” Cordelia arched a brow back at the girl as she glared down at her, eyes narrowed. “You want to talk about fair right atop the Hellmouth? You want to talk about fair with Buffy, Xander, and Giles here?” Her eyes narrowing even further as she glared down at the girl, Cordelia almost growled out her words. “This is Sunnydale, fair doesn't live here, but we make do anyway, because if we don't, who will?”

Dawn took an involuntary step back, before swallowing loudly as she stared at Cordelia with wide eyes. “But...” It was then that realization hit her as she dropped her head down in a slight look of shame. “You weren't talking about the boobs, were you?”

“Nope, I'm not.” Cordelia made a slight little show of applause as she paused a moment before throwing a slightly vicious grin at Buffy. “Thus, showing you don't share your sister's brains.”

“What with the hey now!” Buffy glared back at a smugly smirking cheerleader as she crossed her arms about her chest. “I am not THAT dumb, thank you!”

“And if she was, we'd still love her all the same.” Xander spoke up as he grinned slightly towards them. “We'd just speak in shorter, simpler sentences and keep a spritz bottle on hand for when she does something wrong.”

“What Xander is trying to say, besides that he apparently doesn't want to spend time making out with his hot, intelligent and beautiful Slayer girlfriend...” Buffy started as she glared meaningfully at her boyfriend.

“What, I'm dating Faith now?”

“AHEM, what he's TRYING to say is that we still love you all the same, even if you're a quasi evil clone of Faith and me.” Buffy was glaring daggers at Xander before turning her piercing gaze onto Dawn. “But if you EVER call me Mother again, I will give you to Cordelia for a make over, and make you pay for it.”

“Eeep!” Dawn's eyes widened fearfully as she stared at her sister before glancing at Cordelia.

“Oh, relax, I wouldn't make you pay for it.” Cordelia waved her hand dismissively before lightly tapping her lower lip. “Three quarters, tops.”

“EEEEEEP!” Dawn shrunk down, staring in wide eyed shock. “But... but... that would cost more than my entire college fund!”

“Then you be a good little evil sister.” Buffy responded with a resolute nod of her head.

“Xander... you wouldn't let them do that to me, would you?” Dawn turned wide, glistening eyes onto the dark haired boy... who chuckled in response, his eyes twinkling in amusement.

“That doesn't work on me, Dawnie.” The words fell past his lips as he chuckled softly and threw her a grin. “And I've already used up my Xander poking fun at his girlfriend limit for today, so I'll have to say, yes, I would let them do that to you, and shame on you for even implying I would ever do anything my beautiful, intelligent girlfriend wouldn't approve of.”

“He's entirely too devious for his own good.” Buffy noted with a slight frown of her lips.

“Entirely.” Cordelia agreed with a slight smirk of her own. “But, he's your devious little boyfriend.”

“Little?” Buffy quickly chorused with an outraged Xander, as she grinned in amusement.

“See, see how she mocks me so?!” Xander stood, hands clasped atop his chest as he mock swooned in front of them. “I stand in defense before my lady's honor, and alas, she but notches her own arrow to strike true onto my breast! And, I falter, slain by her cruel betrayal!”

As Xander collapsed onto the ground, Giles tilted his head forward, looking at the boy over his glasses before snorting slightly. “Insufferable ham.”

“I protest with a very hearty, Hey!” Xander shot out, even as he chuckled softly and rose back to his feet.

“Hmm, he got back up.” Buffy noted for a moment before sighing slightly as she glanced towards Cordelia. “Alas, a Slayer's work is never done.”

“Oh, wanna play it that way huh?” Xander rolled up his sleeves before glancing over at Dawn. “So, we good on the whole mystic mad science thing? Because, seriously, I've already been through one Summers existential crisis, I'd rather avert a second one if possible.”

“Gee, lemme think, I just find out I'm apparently not real, that I'm some kind of Key that a Hell God wants to use to destroy our entire reality, and that I'm basically, genetically, Buffy and Faith's kid.” The girl glared slightly at the boy as she crossed her arms about his chest. “How the hell could I be good?”

“You're sister to a Slayer, two if you wanna get technical about it, because, seriously? That's a kinda MILF that's disturbing on so many levels.” Xander shuddered visibly at the thought. “You've got a group of friends that includes a guy that used to be called Ripper, and is now a stuffy British librarian we're slowly coaxing out of his shell, an ex-spoilt rich girl, a werewolf, Willow, and the guy with the memories of a comic book villain stuck in his head.”

“Yeah... ugh.” Dawn made a face herself at some of the images the boy called forth. “So, you're saying...”

“Suck it up, life dealt you a shitty hand, welcome to the club.” Cordelia offered with an amused smirk on her lips. “You wanna whine about it some? Fine, we'll listen, but try to wallow in it, and we'll kick your ass.”

“Actually, we'll probably have Faith do the ass kicking.” Buffy noted with an amused grin on her lips. “She's missed out on getting to be the big sister dealing with the annoying little sister.”

“Oh, joy.” Dawn responded her voice absolutely dripping with sarcasm as she glared back at her sister. “Thank you soooo much.”

“You’re welcome!” Buffy chirped back at the girl as she grinned happily. “Unless of course you’d rather I just do the ass kicking now?”

“Bitch.” Dawn muttered slightly under her breath and crossed her arms about her chest as she glared defiantly back at her sister.

“Congratulations, you just volunteered for your first official Scooby act!” Buffy grinned, down right evilly at Dawn as she crossed her arms about her chest. “Research! With Cordy and Giles chaperoning!”

“And what, pray tell will you be doing?” Giles arched a brow back at the Slayer as he lightly polished his glasses.

“She’s going to be tossed over my shoulder and be carried out.” Xander clarified as he crossed his own arms about his chest. “Something that I would have done already, but everyone’s gotta be so damned dramatic.”

“Like you’re one to talk.” Cordelia shot back with a smirk.

“Ah, but you see, when I do it, I do it with style!” Xander corrected with a slight smirk on his lips. “I even have the accent to prove it.”

“It is better than the atrocious one he uses regularly.” Giles admitted with a slight amused grin. “Well then, come along Miss Summers. There’s a stack of books with your name on them.”

“…Joy.” Dawn responded with a sarcastic grumble, but made no move to approach Giles.

“Unless of course, you’d prefer I speak to your mother about what you called your sister, and allow her to allot your punishment?” Giles asked with an innocent smile on his lips.

For a moment, Dawn almost allowed herself to debate which would be worse, before with a reluctant sigh, she hung her head in defeat and nodded to the man. “Fine.”

“Delightful.” Giles nodded his head and smiled as he patted the girl on the shoulder then lead her out of the office.

“Well, now that we’ve got that taken care of…” Xander drawled out as he reached down, and picked up the petite Slayer, tossing her lightly onto his shoulder. “I’m off to have my wicked way with my prize.”

“Little does he suspect, it is I who will be having my wicked way with him.” Buffy responded as she sent a wink towards Cordelia even as she allowed herself to be hauled off.

“Ugh, they’re too sappy.” Cordelia grumbled slightly as she watched her friends slip out of the office, leaving her alone for the moment. “But, damned if I don’t wish I was in her place.”

-o-o-o-

“Now, to be perfectly honest, I’m not expecting too much from you.” The Mayor was smiling thinly at the spike covered brutes standing in front of him as he shook his head. “After all, this is Glorificus we’re dealing with.”

“We are familiar with the Beast.” Their leader intone, a hard, guttural hiss of words pulsing pats its maw. “And in its weakened state, enough of us can match it.”

“Positive thinking! I like that!” Wilkins nodded in approval as he casually wiped his hands clean. “Now, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t want to call you boys in.”

“As long as our price is paid, we care little for your wants, only the task you wish us to achieve.”

“Ah, demons these days, where’s the wit and banter? Why, when I was first starting out…”

“Human…” The warning growl reverberated through the room, before the Mayor flashed them a cold, hard smile.

“A temporary condition, I assure you.” The mayor responded in a cold thin smile as he lightly tossed aside his wipe. “Payment upon the completion of my Ascension.”

“Very well, human.” The title was stressed and cold as the creature spoke glaring down at the man. “You have never failed to uphold your bargains, save when your benefactor was slain before payment could be rendered.”

“Really, a shame that.” Wilkins sighed at the mentioning of that deal. “I rather liked Lurconis, straight forward that one. You did right by him, he did right by you.”

Turning his head, the Mayor studied the remains of what had once been a girl before shaking his head just a bit. “Well, one does what one must when things are down to the wire.” Turning his head, the Mayor studied the creatures for a moment, before continuing. “Right now, I was supposed to be working on knocking that pesky soul out of Angelus to have him deal with the Slayer, while I enjoyed my nice, easy 100 days of invincibility. A pity that Glorificus just had to go stick her nose into my business.”

When the creatures made no response, Wilkins smiled thinly to them. “Oh well, I’ll let you boys get to doing what it is you do. Though, based on a few reports I got before the amiable Mr. Trick passed, it’s most likely she’s getting help from Balthazar.”

“We will take that…. Under advisement.” The creature responded simply before nodding to the man, and barking off what sounded like a guttural screech before they turned and practically marched out of the cave.

“Well, happy hunting then!” And with that, the smile fell away from Wilkins’ face as he sighed slightly and back over towards the remains of the girl. “I really am sorry my dear, but sacrifices must be made. Like I said… you remind me of my daughter.”

“Hmm… that reminds me, I need to get back to those cookies I have in the oven.” And with that, the Mayor let out a cheerful little whistle as he strolled deeper into the cave, ignoring the girl’s remains still lain out across the altar.

-o-o-o-

“All right, anyone else wanna object?” Glory smiled back across Willy’s bar as she shoved the heel of her shoe through the chest of the Polgara demon, ignoring the wet, gurgling screams it let loose as its broken body shuddered towards death. “Because, you know what? Beating some losers into a bloody pulp is kinda therapeutic.”

She paused a moment, before glancing down at the slashed segment of her dress before frowning just a bit. “Of course, then they have to go do something like ruin my dress… And I rather liked this one too…” Almost pouting she pulled her heel from the chest of the polgara then calmly kicked the demon’s head off its shoulders, sending it flying across the room and splattering against the wall. “That just leaves me in need of even more therapy, ya know?”

“I think you made your point.” Willy noted fearfully as he cringed lightly behind the bar. “Don’t you think so, boys?”

As a wave of affirmative murmurs rippled across the bar as the demons shifted slightly, fearfully in their seats while Glory strode over to the bar and arched a brow at the man, who rapidly put together a cocktail and set it quickly down on the bar in front of her. Arching a brow, the Hell God almost daintily lifted the drink and took a testing sip before nodding in approval.

“Well now, aren’t you the smart little insect.” Glory almost purred her words before chuckling softly. “I might not kill you after all.”

“Hey, I learned a while back, beautiful lady comes in, and beats the crap out of or just plain kills one of the nastier demons in the bar? You give them what they want.” He shifted slightly, nervously as he watched the woman. “I’ve survived 3 Slayers in as many years, I really prefer to stay that way.”

“Hmph, Slayer’s have nothing on me.” Glory responded as she narrowed her eyes at the man, even as she took another sip from her cocktail.

“I don’t give them complimentary drinks while I’m cowering.” Willy responded quickly as he winced from the look. “And I’m smart enough to not even try to play dumb with you.”

“Good boy.” Glory responded as she sipped idly at the drink again, before looking out around the bar. “Now, you see, I’m in town looking for a little something of mine that got stolen.”

As the protests immediately started to ripple across the room, the woman simply held up her hand and glared. “Ah ah ah! I already know who stole it, and I’m already tracking it down.” She paused a moment, another casual sip taken. “But, that leaves me with one problem. You see, there’s pesky little insect out there, a cockroach really, that thinks he can forget his place and become one of the things that squishes his kind under their bootheel.”

Again, another sip as she settled back against the bar. “Now, normally I wouldn’t care less. He can pull off his little Ascension, and I’d just shrug, an insect turning into a snake doesn’t really mean all that much to a God.” Her frown returned then, her lips pursed together as she let a hiss of breath escape her mouth. “But, then this pesky little roach goes and pisses me off, by running and hiding when I’m about to step on him.”

“And since I made a deal to help find what was stolen from me, I need to have this little insect stepped on.”

Looking around the bar, she set her drink down and stood up once more. “Congratulations, you’ve all just been enlisted to help me make sure that happens.” She paused a moment before she lightly pursed her lips and arched a brow as she glanced around. “Unless, of course, you have some objections, mm?”

At the sea of shaken heads, the woman grinned, viciously as she stretched out. “I didn’t think you would.”

-o-o-o-

Author’s Notes:

One more down as things start to heat up. As we head towards the finale, skirmishes begin to spill into the night life, and the Scoobies are forced to take notice. The question becomes, just what how will they handle the schemer’s fight against the juggernaut.
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