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Fortress of Solitude in the Sky

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Family Ties". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Buffy and Max have a little talk after Faith drops her bombshell. Written for the 2010 August Fic-a-Day.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Dark Angel > Buffy - CenteredkerrykhatFR71940031,65130 Aug 1030 Aug 10Yes
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; James Cameron owns "Dark Angel" and related characters; I own nothing.


Max sat on top of the Space Needle, trying to sort out what was going through her head. Her mother, at least in terms of her genetics, was alive and in Seattle. That was, of course, if she believed the woman and it didn’t turn out to be some sick trick in White’s part. She wouldn’t put it past that bastard.

Why didn’t she look for me earlier? Max wondered silently. The logical part her reasoned that the woman, Faith, hadn’t known about her, but the more emotional part didn’t give a damn what logic had to say. After she had all but given up looking, the woman waltzes back in and expects everything to be OK? And where the hell did that leave the bombshell Lydecker had dropped on her after Tinga’s death about her having his wife’s eyes?

“Nice Fortress of Solitude you have going on here,” a voice from behind her said. Startled, Max twisted around and found the blond woman who Faith had brought with her standing just outside the windows. “And before you judge me on the geeky reference, I’ve been wrangling a nerd for the last almost twenty years. Unfortunately, that means some of him rubs off.”

“What do you want?” Max demanded, not liking being interrupted while she was sorting things through. That’s why she came all the way up here. It was as good as a “stay away” sign for the most part.

“Well, what I really want is for somebody to resurrect Maggie Walsh so I can beat her up myself, but that’s not going to happen in this lifetime, so I’ll settle talking to you,” the other woman answered, inching towards where Max was sitting.

“Talk about what?” Max asked sharply.

“About your mom,” the woman replied, sitting down.

“What’s there to know?” Max shot back. “She’s the source of my genes, she finally just showed up in my life, and she expects things to be all fine now that we’ve found each other.” She was making that last part up, but Max was more than positive that was the case. Why else would Faith have suddenly appeared in her life?

The woman gave Max an amused and slightly condescending look. “I wish it was that simplistic,” she answered dryly. “Your mother—and I, for that matter—both had our DNA taken from us without our knowledge, and the only reason that we even know about you is some freak accident involving things I can’t talk about. Long story short, though, is that we’ve learned that something in our DNA was the base for what Manticore was doing with the Transgenics.”

“Hold up, you really want me to believe that you and Faith are the reason why the X-5’s were the first working batch of Transgenics?” Max asked incredulously. “What the hell is so special about you?”

“Well, there’s a long list if you really want to get me started,” the woman answered, amusement coloring her voice. “But to save you the telling of the long story, and the general confusion and doubt that will inevitably follow, let’s just go for a walk and I’ll show you. And while we’re out, you can give me the what’s what on that freaky snake cult. Wills and Dawn weren’t able to get much on them, and I want to know who exactly is trying to kill my kids.”

“Your kids?” Max asked, raising her eyebrows. The woman looked at her with a sad, wistful expression on her face.

“The life Faith and I have doesn’t really lend itself to good relation forming habits, or to the caring and raising of children,” she answered quietly. “The girls we train are the closest thing we have to children, and we’d do anything to keep them safe. If the snake cult is targeting you, it’s only a matter of time before they target us. I’d rather take them out first before they go after my girls. And, for some reason, both Faith and I are feeling strangely possessive of you Transgenics.” With that last, dry remark, the woman got to her feet and walked back towards the center room.

Max stared at her for a moment, wondering what exactly was going on. There was more to both women than what met the eye, she was sure of that, but she had no idea what it was, and if they had explained it to Alec, it had been after she had taken off to the Needle.

“You coming or what?” the blond woman called out. “The night isn’t getting any younger.” Max stood up and joined her inside.

“You know, I never got your name,” she told the woman as they made their way down to the ground level.

“It’s Buffy,” she answered. “And before you make any smartass remarks, remember, my daughter named herself Syl, so at least I have the excuse that my mom was the one who gave me this name.” Buffy continued down the stairs as Max paused for a second, letting her last statement sink in.

“You’re Syl’s mom?” she asked, not quite sure she had heard that right.

“As much as Faith is yours,” Buffy answered, a few feet below her on the staircase. “Now get moving. I have a bet to win with that boy of yours. He said I couldn’t get you down in less than twenty minutes.”

“Alec is not my boy!” Max shouted at her retreating figure. She hurried to join her, though. “And how much was that bet?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll split with you. And, please. Tell that to somebody who hasn’t got eyes.”

The End

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