Family, Chapter One
POWER RANGERS :- Demon Wars
Buffy was in a bad mood, the day had stated badly and it didn't look like it was going to get any better. She got of the bus only a few steps behind Dawn. Glaring a hole in her back the whole way, she was not letting her little sister out of her sight again.
"I'll go on ahead." Dawn's roommate said and almost ran off. The plan was to head to a coffee shop in town for breakfast. Buffy didn't mind Cassandra. She seemed like a good girl, even if she didn't stop Dawnie from making a stupid mistake.
Buffy had tried to calm down, she gave her sister enough time to get changed and raided her room. There were a few old books Giles could probably understand, some college textbooks and a couple of DVD's of that show Spike had gotten her hooked on. That was it, no weapons or magic items, it was so normal Buffy wasn't sure if Dawn was really just good at hiding or if she had put it all behind her.
The bus drive into town had been awful, there had been a lot of that not talking, still talking thing best friends did with their eyes. They didn't need to talk, they could guess what the other was going to say from a frown or a smile. There was something they didn't want her to know, that just made her all the more curious and more angry.
With Cassandra gone Buffy could finally hash it out with her little sister, but she got there first. "What are you doing here Buffy?"
sister doesn't write, doesn't call for more than three months. What am I supposed to do?"
Dawnie at least had the good grace to look guilty. "Well, I've been busy."
"College work? I kept up college and slaying at the same time. You can't even pick up a phone?"
"You were doing, like, two classes a week and you didn't call home all that often. I've got four and a social life." Dawn said pointedly. "And I didn't start until late, I've been trying to catch up all year."
"A social life, is that what you're calling it now." Buffy asked archly.
"Dawnie, you were out all night. What am I supposed to think, you were studying? Pull the other one."
Dawn rolled her eyes and sighed. "Alright, I wasn't studying. Happy now?"
Buffy resisted the urge to grab had sister and pull her up short "No, I'm not! I thought you were smarter than this Dawn."
"Smarter than what?"
"What happened? They tell you it's alright to take a chance, that you were both consenting adults and then he flashed a smile and invited you round for coffee."
Dawn actually laughed in her face. "You were the one that fell for that. I've been seeing Marcus for months now, alright."
"No it's not alright! You've been sleeping with him for month's and you never said!"
"Whoa, whoa there." Dawn held her hands up in surrender. "No one said anything about, about doing that for months! I've known him for months alright, last night… last night was..."
"Alright enough," Buffy interrupted, all sorts of horrible ideas coming to her. "I don't want to know! No wait I do, I want to know why you didn't tell me."
"Because I knew you'd act like this." She sighed. "Look,you didn't tell mom about Angel, you waited months to tell her about Riley and I don't think you'd ever have told her about Spike."
"I would have, if I had to." Buffy felt herself blush
"And what about the Immortal, you didn't even tell me you'd broke up."
"Well if you'd answered the phone once in a…" Buffy stopped and glared at her. "How do you know we broke up?"
"Oh please, I gave you what four months? Was I right?" Buffy didn't answer, just felt embarrassed. "I told you," Dawn continued. "He wasn't right for you. Too, I don't know, ambiguous?"
Dawn was right, had been all along. The Immortal was never going to be the right guy. That didn't mean this kid was the right person for Dawn. "Tell me about him."
"No, Marty whatever."
Dawn rolled her eyes. "Marcus. Fine. He's taking history as a major, that's where we met, he want's to be a teacher like his mother and he likes Python, Blackadder and the Goodies."
"So he's a nerd, that's great and all but what do you know about him?" Buffy asked intently.
"He collects, or wants to when he can afford them, swords."
"Like I said nerd, but what do you know about him?"
"What do you want, a life story?" Dawn shook her head then suddenly looked at her. "Oh thank the Goddess."
Buffy knew that tone and was on guard the second after her sister. "What?"
"Demons." Dawn said. In the blink of an eye she was in a classic fighting stance, one arms cocked up and the other low. Leading with her shoulder. It sort of looked like she was going to go boxing.
Buffy didn't need to spin around to see who they were. Another bunch of them ran out of one side of the road, waving weapons that looked like they had been taken straight from Lord of the Rings. All pointy black metal and rust. The demons looked familiar too. They were just like the demons that Ken had in that torture dimension of his all those years ago. Skin rotting off, yellow bones and badly stitched leather jerkins. "They've got friends." Buffy warned her, "You better get out of here."
"You're not going anywhere." A voice rumbled, it sounded like it was gargling glass. This time Buffy turned, face to face with what looked like their boss. It was huge, built like a tank and about twice as ugly. With a jutting out jaw and a pair of horns that swept back behind its head. It had dark blue skin and bulky body armour. At least Buffy hoped it was bulky. It also carried a massive sword, as long as the Slayer was tall and almost as wide.
"Tretrax." Dawn said in a voice that dripped with hate.
"You know this thing?"
"He's torn up the town a few times." She said evasively, but a second voice broke in from behind them
"And he's not the only one!" Buffy was no where near ready for this. The new guy was another giant, this one looked like a great blue winged monkey in gold armour. This was every colour of bad, out numbered and unarmed. Buffy didn't know how they found out she was here but it was trouble.
Dawn had dropped her guard was fingering her watch nervously. "Run Dawn." Buffy ordered her sister. "I'll hold them off."
"Good plan, I'll take the fifty thousand on the right." Dawn did run, right at the horned tree-whatever and his dozen or more minions.
Buffy didn't know what her sister was quoting, only that somewhere along the way she she'd gone crazy. Buffy was about to jump in to help when she saw Dawn was holding her own. Ducking a wild swing from the lead demon Dawnie rolled past it and flying tackled the next one along. throwing both of them to the ground. Rolling back to her feet the girl didn't stop, somehow she'd gotten the second demon's sword and was now showing off.
Dawn had been good with a sword before she left, she seemed even better now. Slicing, blocking and deflecting like a master. She didn't have the sense not to sleep with some nerd that was looking for another notch in the bed post, but she still knew how to fight.
Buffy didn't have time to worry about that as three demons came after her. They were big, thick and smelt bad. The lead one had what looked like a pick-axe, if it was made from a broken icicle tied to a random branch. Catching it Buffy kicked the demon solidly in the crotch and ripped the weapon from it's hands. Ramming the butt into the side of it's head dropped the demon to the ground. The next one came quickly, it's crude sword swinging high.
Blocking with her pick-axe's shaft Buffy felt the blow all the way down her arms and rattle her teeth. The demon tugged, at first she thought it was trying to disarm her, but she quickly realised the sword was stuck.
She was still stronger than them and pulled back, the sword stuck fast and she threw her shoulder into the unarmed demon. Smashing teeth and jaw. As it stumbled back the Slayer gave it an elbow, punishing that mouth even more.
That just left the other guy, from this wave at least. He too was carrying a sword that looked more like someone had flattened a iron bar, cold, with a rock, but he held back. Not that she could do anything the pick was useless with the added couple of feet of steel stuck in it's shaft.
It didn't look like much but what the demon in front of her had was her best shot. Before she could do something though the first demon she took down, still alive, had her by the ankle. The next thing she knew Buffy was lying on her back, stars in her eyes. The other demon standing over her, sword in hand about to bring it down.
Buffy had faced death before, heck she'd died twice already, but she was still scared of it. Then a flash of yellow got in the way, stopping the sword mid way down. All too quickly another hand came around and beheaded the demon. It was the Yellow Power Ranger, using a pair of long handled daggers.
If Buffy had her Slayer Scythe she could have done just as well. Maybe better, but Faith had told her she wouldn't need it. As the Yellow Power Ranger dived into the middle of the demons a black and gold axe came down. Killing the demon that had Buffy pinned.
A white glove came from above and pulled Buffy to her feet like she weighed nothing. This time it was the Black Power Ranger and Buffy had to admit, while it wasn't a scythe, her Axe was pretty cool. One of the demons got past the Yellow Ranger and charged at them. Almost negligently the Black one took a step forward and kicked it square in the chest. The demon literally took off backwards, when finally hit the third floor of a distant building it splattered like an overripe mellon.
"Good kick." Buffy complimented her. While the Yellow one had a little mini skirt the black only had tights. Still both of them looked as if they painted their costumes on. She wasn't a stranger to doing weird things for fashion, but since when was bright spandex fashionable?
"You should see me play baseball." The Black one answered, hefting their axe.
The demons backed off, and Buffy took a moment to look for her sister. Dawn came jogging up, flanked by the Blue and Red Rangers. "I'm glad you guys made it." she said.
"Wouldn't have missed it." One of them joked backed.
The Black Power Ranger pointed behind the pack of demons. "Goldar! Where'd they find you?"
"In your worst nightmares fake Ranger!" The gold plated monkey shouted. "But now is not the time." With that he flapped his wings and took off. The other one,that Dawn had called tree something, threw some sort of energy ball that quickly flattened as it grew. All too quickly it was big enough for the Demon to jump through.
A'Zores gestured and the crystal ball floated back down. "He broke the rules." One of Theodore said sagely. The other looked at himself and nodded. "Then they are disqualified. Shall we kill them?"
"Not yet." A'Zores disagreed. "You see their tactics, they strike at the Green Ranger with surprise, when she is alone."
"Alone?" The demon pirate asked with a raised eyebrow.
A'Zores waved his point off. "The woman? What danger could she be."
"Buffy." The Rogue said, savagely. "She's a Slayer, like me."
"Really? The Rangers are looking for exotic allies aren't they." A'Zores thought about it for a moment. "You've fought her before I take it?"
She nodded. "A few times. She's good, but she always lets her emotions get the better of her." It was one of the few times he'd seen his lover serious. "She's mine." The Rogue finished. A note of finality in her voice.
A'Zores knew better than to argue, so did the others. "You mentioned tactics?" Theodore reminded him.
"Yes, they're only interested in the Green one. As long as they keep her busy the others are fair game." The look of flat contempt on Theodore's face was priceless. "I did not brake the rules, just suggesting we take advantage."
"You truly are the most underhanded, despicable creature I have ever met." Theodore accused bluntly.
A'Zores bristled at that. "That I might be, but I will use every last one of those traits to their full if it means I win. And I will not. Back. Down."
There was a moment where A'Zores thought Theodore was going to attack him. After a long heartbeat it passed
"I'll remember this off you, mark my words." It was a threat, that much was certain. "However you are right." "Now is perhaps the best time, while they are distracted." "And it will be I that takes he prize."
If he won A'Zores knew he would be his head next. Theodore knew that and both knew each other saw it was how it would be. The Rogue would follow the victor, even if A'Zores felt she'd enjoy herself a lot more at his side than his rivals. That left Sormeghe the wild card, but he'd deal with the pirate when and if it was necessary. "Then I wish you the best of luck." A'Zores said honestly.
Buffy was not in a good mood. The day had started badly and it was only getting worse. After almost absently saving their lives the Power Rangers had vanished leaving the Slayer and her sister alone in the street.
Dawn had said something about getting going themselves and rushed off. Buffy kept up with her easily. They quickly made their way to the Coffee Shop they were heading to in the first place.
Inside was just the person Buffy wanted a word with. "Faith!"
"Bee, how's it going?" Faith was at a table, with a three others. One was Cassandra, there was also a boy and a girl. All four of them had mugs of what Buffy guessed was hot chocolate.
"You know, how is it always." She said through clenched teeth. "Can I have a word, over there. In private."
The dark haired slayer had a apron on, an honest to god apron. Buffy knew that Faith was trying to lead a life but it was almost jarring that the convicted and escaped criminal had a job and she didn't. "Sure, but I'm on shift." Faith said, pushing an empty tray to the boy. "Keep an eye open will you?"
The kid had flopping sandy brown hair that threatened to get in his eye and a bright red shirt. He stopped the tray easily and stood up, pulling an apron out from under his chair. "Sure Faith."
There was something familiar about him, but Buffy couldn't place it. It didn't matter though, she was more worried about Faith. After pulling her to one side Buffy grabbed her by the apron and picked Faith up. "You told me, you promised that they weren't demons! We were just attacked by a whole damn army!" It was all Buffy could do not to screech at her.
Strangely Faith just blinked, calmly. "No. I told you this whole thing wasn't any of our business. It's not."
Faith finally broke the grip Buffy had. She did it almost absently, like it took no force at all. "Yep, as you pointed out an army, thousands of them. There's just no way we could take on that many."
"We did it before." Buffy pointed out.
"Yeah, and almost lost. Spike had to get toasted and we needed a sparkly magic neckless to close the Hellmouth. We won on a technicality Bee, these guys can pop up anywhere and are armed to the teeth."
Some part of Buffy knew Faith was making sense, but she was too angry to care. "They're demons. You said it was safe, that it was all just the news trying to scare people and that it wasn't that bad."
Faith winced. "Alright, so I might have exaggerated that, but the news is always trying to make it sound worse than it really is."
"Giant demons stomping around? And don't try to deny it, I've seen the footprints. You let my little sister stay here?"
"Now hold on, what Dawn does is her own choice. Besides the collage is way out of the way."
"My little sister…"
"Is grown up." Faith told her. "Sorry Bee, but she is. She can make her own decisions. including who she sleeps with."
Buffy gave Faith a black look, but didn't say anything.
"Now do you want a drink." Faith asked, sighing.
It was time to take charge. "No, I've got some calls to make. I might have been out of the loop on this, but now I'm here we're going to do it right." Buffy spun on her heel and headed back to the table
"Bee hold up." Faith tried to stop her but Buffy stepped out of reach.
"Alright, guys listen up, its time you got out of here. Finals should be finishing soon so pack up Dawn."
"What." Her sister jumped to her feet.
Buffy gave her a look that would have vampires running to the hills. "You heard me, all of you. Pack up and find somewhere to go. This is all too dangerous." Dawn met her, glare for glare.
Then one of her friends jumped in; "And let me guess, you're going to deal with it." She was a red head, in a yellow dress with a white stripe down the middle. Totally unfashionable, but considering the rainbow of colours at the table that was hardly her biggest problem.
Each of them wore bright primary colours, it was like looking at a frozen kaleidoscope.
"Buffy, this is Sari. Sari, Dawn's sister Buffy." Cassanda introduced them quickly. "And we all know about the Slayer stuff. Dawn and Faith told us."
Buffy caught the growl at the back of her throat and turned the death glare on each of them. They didn't flinch. "Did they now?" she hissed. "Then you know I know what I'm talking about. I was hoping Dawn had the sense to tell me the truth, to get out of danger. Looks like I was wrong."
"You're not wrong Buffy." Dawn said defiantly. "I do know how dangerous this is, we all do."
"Then why didn't you tell me?" Buffy almost shouted
"Because I knew this is how you'd react. All my life I've been neck deep in this stuff." She waved her hand at her friends. "We all have, did you really think my friends would have had normal lives?" The way she rolled her eyes at the word normal told Buffy so much.
Cassandra smiled. "Like Dawn said once, we're all freaks. We've all seen stuff even you won't believe and we've all agreed, we're not running." They were all determined. Buffy blinked, feeling like an outsider.
Her, Willow and Xander had always been this little group, there was a sort of three against the rest of the world thing. This was the first time Buffy had ever been on the outside of that sort of bond. These were Dawn's friends and in the last year they'd been closer than family.
Looking back at her little sister Buffy set her face. "Fine, stay here. I'm going to make some calls, I'll talk to you later."
"Dawn," Cassandra reached out and stopped her. Buffy didn't hear what she said, already heading for the door.
Going outside she reached into her pocket for her phone when a shadow fell behind her. Spinning, half on instinct, the Slayer lashed out with a foot. Before it connected an arm lashed out and caught her ankle. It was the horned demon and his gold armoured friend. The demon let go of her leg, throwing her to the floor.
Shaking the stars from her head Buffy felt a ton weight land on her chest. The demon was strong. Glory strong. She tried to push the clawed foot off, but couldn't get the leverage.
The last thing she saw was another foot swinging towards her head
End Chapter One