: Standard. Joss, ME, et al own everything Buffy, David Weber owns everything Honor, I'm taking them out for a drive and making nothing from it.A/N
: Thanks to JoeB for the inspiration for this. This story is ever so lightly AU on the Buffy side because it changes the last minutes of "Chosen." Similarly for the Honorverse, there's an insert right near the end of "Mission of Honor."Just outside the newly developing Sunnydale Crater, 2003 CE
"Robin!" Faith yelled over the sound of the bus, the other Slayers, and millions of tons of rock falling in on itself. "You've got to stop the bus! Buffy's on the roof!" But even as the deeply wounded principal moved his foot to the brake, a dark, irregular spot appeared in front of the bus, growing quickly to engulf it, and shrinking after the bus passed through it into a...
"Warehouse?" Willow murmured. She then heard a scratching on the roof and a thump on the ground as the bus stopped, and hurried out to see if Buffy was all right. When she got out, Buffy was standing up and brushing herself off, grumbling about her pants. Willow ran up to her and hugged her. "Buffy! You made it!" she said as she wrapped her arms around her best friend. "I was so worried!"
"It's okay, Wills, I'm fine," Buffy said, holding Willow's face in her hands before hugging her back. "But, what I really want to know is what was that portal, and why we're in this warehouse. For that matter, where
is this warehouse?"
"Well, why you're in a warehouse is because of me," a voice said from the darkness. Then the speaker stepped out under the light.
Buffy stood, arms akimbo, and said, "Angel, weren't you supposed to be in LA setting up a second front?" She did a double-take. "and what are those clothes that you're wearing?" By the rest of the group had gotten out of the bus and was looking at Angel, who instead of his normal leather jacket covering a gray shirt, was wearing what appeared to be a black long-sleeved tee shirt.
"Well, fashions change, especially over two thousand years." At the shocked looks on everyone's faces, Angel grimaced. "Nice way to ease you into it slowly. Sorry. Anyway, would you all come over to the office? We've got food, medics, and bunking waiting."
"Ohmigod! Robin!" Faith yelled as she dashed into the bus and emerged with Robin in her arms, just in front of Vi, who had Rona. Angel pointed the way, and they rushed towards an open door, while the rest followed at a more sedate pace. He led them into a very large conference room, with seating for everyone from the bus, waited for everyone to sit down, and began.
"Just after Buffy defeated Caleb, she asked me to set up a second front, in case the first Evil managed to break through. I had just gotten back to LA, when Whistler appeared to me, told me that you weren't coming back any time soon, and gave me a list of things to do while I waited for you to come back, the first being to buy this land. You see, you really didn't move anywhere in space - we're still right next to Lake Sunnydale. But, as I told you, you're over two thousand years into the future." He seemed about to continue when another voice broke in.
"And that's the least of the changes, Slayer." A small man in a rumpled suit and a bowler hat said from the door where he had just appeared.
"Whistler," Buffy growled, standing up with her fists clenched just as Faith and Vi came in.
"Who's he?" Faith asked.
"Balance demon and pain in my ass," Buffy said as the other two Slayers sat down. Turning back to him, she said, "And what new fun time do the powers have set up for me, I mean for us, now? Why couldn't they leave us alone?"
"Now, Slayer, it's not like that..." the balance demon backed up.
"Well, then, what's it like? Talk, or I might decide I want a Whistler rug on my floor."
"Well," Whistler began, "when it looked like youse were going to defeat the First, he came to the Powers and told them that if you remained, especially with all the new Slayers, the Balance still wasn't going to be restored. So the Powers decided to push you forward in time to a point where you wouldn't have an appreciable effect on the Balance. You were going to be allowed to live your life out without destiny getting involved. But the First cheated."
Faith looked around, and finally said, "Okay, I'll bite." She gasped, "Oh, my! An evil creature cheating? I'm shocked, shocked!" She grinned at the rest of them, then turned her gaze on Whistler, all levity gone from her face. "So what did super-ghost do, and why didn't you fix it?"
Whistler shuffled uncomfortably. "Well, he went out to a guy named Detweiler, and convinced him that he should try and set up humanity his way, Detweiler being a genetic researcher. As to why they didn't fix it, it wasn't supernatural and we pay attention to that free will thing. Despite someone whispering in his ear, he was human, and had the right to make his own decisions, and to tell his descendants to do the same." He looked at everyone at the table. "It's approaching a cusp point where this guy's descendants are concerned, if they aren't stopped, they'll-"
"Take over the world?" Buffy said, with her eyebrow raised.
"I wish that their ambitions were that small." Whistler replied. "They'll take over all of human explored space and exterminate everyone who isn't a member of one of their bloodlines. It would make Hitler's pogroms look like sandpit brawls." He saw Willow wincing. "The thing is, the Powers can't do much about this. Or rather, what they can do, they've done. About two hundred years after the First, all of the Slayers and almost all of the demons," he gave a look at Angel, "got together in a battle that resulted in about 100 percent casualties on both sides. And a couple hundred years after that, the portals to the demon realms were permanently closed by what appeared to be the last Slayer. At that point, The Powers ceased to exist, their reason for being had gone. But they sent me, to let you know what was going on, and to let you know what was happening. Uh, they also did what they could to make sure that there was a place here for you to not crash into, and that Broody would be here, and that you'd be able to access the accounts they set up for you just after you vanished with a hundred dollars in them for each of you, as our thanks."
"A hundred dollars!" Buffy stood up and shouted. "A hundred dollars! You can spend a hundred dollars in a day, easily! What lamebrain dropped a hundred dollars in our accounts and thought it would show anything but-" She was interrupted by her best friend.
"Buffy! That was over two thousand years ago!" She turned to Whistler and narrowed her eyes. "I believe I'm still a witch, and a pretty powerful one, too. What percentage rate did you get?"
Whistler looked uncomfortable. "Well, with all the trials and tribulations, and taxes, the percentage rate was only 1% until about 50 years ago, when Angel had them invested into bonds with 5% compound interest."
Willow nodded. "And the current value?" From her face, Buffy looked like she was going to shoot the Powers. Willow was pretty sure that Buffy only thought that there was a thousand or so dollars for everyone.
Whistler nodded to Angel. "The packets that Broody's handing out to youse gives each of you access to the pile made from your own hundred dollar investment, which would be $390 billion." He saw their jaws drop. "Each."