Title: One Good Turn
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: All copyrights remain firmly in the hands of their copyright holders. I own nothing except the poor excuse for a plot.
Distribution: The normal places.
Summary: Post Season 7. Kennedy and Willow are over – amicably. The remaining Scoobies are out looking for more newly activated Slayers, and find themselves caught in the middle of something else entirely.
Willow heard the shout, the frantic urgency of it driving straight to her heart, one second before the first shot rang out. She gasped, dropping to her knees as fear washed over her in those first moments of shocked outrage. She was in an alley off to one side of the main street, Xander and Buffy were right next to her. And gun shots were firing off everywhere, though she heard no sirens. Not the police, then. Petty thugs? Gang members with grudges? She shivered, glancing towards her friends.
“You two alright?” She murmured softly.
“Yeah, fine,” Xander whispered back. “Buff?”
Willow saw the look in the blonde’s eyes and sighed. “You’ll get hurt if you go out there.”
“And other people are getting hurt right now,” the Slayer argued. “Innocent people. People that don’t have Slayer speed or Slayer healing.”
“Right. Fine.” She shook her head. “Let’s go, then.”
“Wait, Wills –“
“Don’t, Buff. All for one and one for all, right?”
The blonde frowned.
“I’ll be okay – now either we doing this or we’re not.”
The sound of the gunshots were getting to her, despite her best efforts for them not to. With every blaring blast she was closer to being –there-, the day that Tara died. She could almost see it, feel it. The spray of blood. She wanted it to stop. Right now. Before she lost the tenuous hold she kept on her self-control and put things to a quick end. These were just thugs. No need to make with the magic.
But the second she stepped cautiously out of the alleyway she saw something quite different. Not ordinary thugs. Far from it. The body that lay on the street, only a few feet from her, proved that. A werewolf, silver leaking from the bullet holes in its chest. She shivered. It was the type of thing they had hoped to avoid while they were in the city. Even now she could see the combatants. Some still shooting, others locked together.
“Giles warned us –“
“I know, Xan,” Buffy snapped, her tone softening. Don’t get involved, he’d said. Let them kill each other. This wasn’t the Slayers’ concern. But it was, Willow knew, watching as innocent bystanders still crouched in doorways, behind mailboxes, anything they could find. It was all of their concern. “But I can’t just let them shoot up the city, can I?”
The answer was no, and Willow knew it. “Which side are we on?”
“Our own,” the blonde grinned. “Same as always.”
“Right, stop them all,” Willow shook her head. She raised her arms, summoning from within herself the power she would need. It bubbled over her, spilling out into the streets. No innocents would die tonight, that was her will. And her will would be done. The power washed over the fighters, overloading their otherworldly senses. It had the effect she wanted, the gunshots tapered off. There were screams, yelling.
And then quiet.
“Good job, Wills.”
”Yeah. . .good. . . Shit!”
Willow met Buffy’s eyes, frowning. “What’s –“
It was adrenaline and the magic she worked that had held her to that point. They had kept the pain from reaching even the smallest portion of her brain.
She didn’t realize she’d been shot until Buffy grabbed hold of her arm. And then she felt it. Lancing, searing pain. Burning. This is what Tara had felt. This is what Warren had felt in spades. This burning pain going through her.
“Help!” Buffy shouted. “Sit, Wills. Sit. I’ll call someone. Xan. . .my purse. . .where’s my purse? Someone – call an ambulance please?!?”
Willow could hear the desperate cries echoing in the near empty streets as she slowly, with Buffy’s aid, sat down on the curb. It was bleeding. A lot. That couldn’t be good.
“I’m a doctor.”
She looked up a little too quickly, her eyes clouding with dizziness from the effort.
“Please, let him look at her. I’ve called for help.”
The conversation was going on over her head, Willow realized. She felt cool hands on her stomach, pulling her shirt up gently. Cool hands touching her back.
“No exit wound, its still in there,” the stranger sighed. Brown hair and dark eyes. Almost handsome, she smiled to herself. Buffy would scold her later for passing out in the cute doctor’s arms –
But that’s just what she did.
“I’m fine, really.”
“You got shot, Wills.”
“And I lived,” the red head argued with her best friends. “See – good as new.”
“Except for that those little stitches right there,” Buffy pointed in the general vicinity, unable to see the exact spot because of the hospital gown her friend was wearing. “And that hole that they patched up, of course.”
“I’m alive,” Willow repeated firmly.
“Yes, you are.”
She recognized the voice, even if the face was a little harder. Willow smiled, ignoring the hostile looks her friends were giving to the newcomer. “Hey, my mystery doctor.”
“It’s just Michael,” he offered, giving Buffy and Xander a look. “I’m not going to hurt her, you know.”
Willow frowned, looking over her shoulder at her friends, and then back at Michael. “What’s going on?”
“They don’t care for his kind,” a new voice offered, stepping out of the hall and into the doorway. Pale, with eyes that made you feel like you were drowning. Willow knew what –she- was, at least.
“Vampire,” she whispered.
“Correct. Though, Selene would be my name and I do prefer that it be used above just ‘vampire’,” she smiled tightly, turning her attention to Buffy and Xander. “And if either I or Michael wished to harm your friend, do you not think we would have already done so? Why bother helping her? Why put ourselves in harm’s way by getting that close to the Slayer?”
Buffy frowned, shrugging. “Giles says you’re different from the others. But my spidey sense still says ‘evil alert’.”
“But he’s not a vampire,” Willow frowned, tilting her head towards Michael.
“No, he’s something else,” Xander cut in. “A bluish-blackish something else with a medical license. Odd – even in good ole Sunnyhell we didn’t have any of those.”
Willow turned from Xander back to Michael, questions in her eyes.
“I’m half and half,” Michael whispered. “Half-vampire, Half-lycan.”
“Ah. . .oh!” Willow gasped. “That’s not possible.”
“Yet there undead wolfy boy stands,” Xander snarked, rolling his eyes.
“Can I talk to him – alone?” Willow snapped, giving her friends a glare. “Not like I’m defenseless girl, you know.”
“Buff. He saved my life. Can I just talk to him for a minute?”
“Fine. But she comes with us.”
“’She’,” Selene smirked. “Goes where she wishes. Which, luckily for you, will be the hallway.” She turned to Michael. “We have to leave soon. This isn’t safe.”
He nodded, and the trio filed slowly from the room, shutting the door behind them.
“Thank you,” Willow began simply, giving him a smile. “Not sure what you did or if it helped. But you were there, and you tried. I can remember that much. So – just ignore my friends. We’re a little biased.”
“You don’t seem too biased yourself,” he smiled, sitting in the chair next to the bed.
“Well, yeah. Dated a werewolf, you know. And Buffy, who’s being all ‘kill the vamps’ out there – she dated one. So don’t let her get to you. Suspicion keeps us alive.”
“I know what you mean,” he nodded, eyes sad. “I’m sorry you got caught in that yesterday.”
“Was it your fault? Giles says this whole war thing’s been going on for centuries.”
Michael grimaced. “The vampire-lycan war has, yes. But that wasn’t about the war. That was about me. The vampires and lycans aren’t too thrilled to have someone like me running around.”
“Because you’re all hybrid-like?” Comprehension dawned on her. “They were trying to kill you. . .But Selene –“
“Is a good friend who decided I was worth putting her neck on the line for.”
“Ah. They want to kill you just because of what you are?”
“Tell me about it.”
Willow bit her lower lip, thinking through her words carefully. “I owe you one, you know. Want some help with your little private war?”
“I can’t ask –“
“You’re not,” she shook her head. “And, besides, this can’t go on like this forever. Innocent people will die . . or get hurt.” She gestured at herself. “I stepped out of hiding knowing what I was getting into, but other people don’t. And they don’t deserve to die.”
“I know.” Michael hung his head. “I took a vow to save lives – and now I’m the cause for all this death.”
“Then its settled,” she smiled, reaching out to grab his hand. “I’ll be sticking around to lend a hand. . .once they let me out of here, that is.”
“This is dangerous.”
“So’s everything else I do,” Willow grinned, liking him more and more by the minute. “But that’s never stopped me.”
She wasn’t sure what help she could be, other than another set of eyes and some firepower. . .but she’d give him all she could. He probably hadn’t saved her life. But he’d helped. Despite Buffy and Xander being hostile – he’d still helped.
And she would help him now.
It sounded like something worth fighting for. The life of an innocent, whether half-vamp and half-lycan, was still the life of an innocent.