Don’t own Sanctuary or BTVS characters used here they belong to Syfy and Joss
Helen Magnus sighed as she leaned back into her chair. She had been searching all summer for any bit of the trail of one Buffy Summers. Technically she was doing one of her side projects of reading up on potential Sanctuary members. Will Zimmerman, and Clara Griffon were both coming along nicely, and would be ready for them to approach in a few years. Not everyone was as suited to Sanctuary work as Ashley and Henry were. The girl had disappeared so completely that it was hard to even believe that the girl had done it. Buffy Summers had stopped a dimensional portal from opening up and swallowing the world. It had been the latest move of the demonic nocturnes better known as Angelus or Angel. The combined duties of being a Sanctuary operative and the Slayer had obviously been more than the blonde was capable of handling. The fact that Buffy had her very own psychotic murderer out after her hadn’t helped matters either. Angel’s transformation to a monster had been as sudden and surprising as John’s own change into the being known as Jack the Ripper.
Helen wished she had been able to help the girl with the problems that she was dealing with. The only thing was that she had been unaware that the problems in Sunnydale had deteriorated to the point that they had. She owed the girl her support after everything that she had gone through. The girl had saved the world at great personal cost to herself. She wasn’t so sure that if the same thing had happened with John that she would have been able t make the same choice. At least not when she was 17 she couldn’t have made the hard choice. Despite all of the memories and experiences that Buffy had, she was still only 17 years old. If it was the matter of protecting Ashley, she was fairly sure that she would do it but otherwise she was unsure if she would be able to perform in the same manner. Buffy had though, Buffy had done what she herself was unsure if she could ever do.
The world owed her a debt of gratitude, and it had repaid her for her efforts by shunning her. The problems that the girl had suffered could be dealt with, but first she had to find Buffy and make sure that she was alright. The only problem though, was that she had disappeared so thoroughly that neither her efforts nor those of the Watcher were able to track the girl down. The girl was using some combination of her own street smarts, and those of Helen that the girl had and was simply gone. The combined efforts of using her knowledge of hiding the abnormal and the supernatural ways hid the girl completely. Unfortunately, the combined methods made her virtually untraceable even for her to find. Until Buffy was ready to talk to her there was nothing that she could d but wait for the girl to make her move. She only hoped Buffy would give her a chance to correct some of her mistakes.
For now though, the search continued. In a way, she knew Buffy’s options better than Rupert Giles did. Those options had her capable of speaking any number of languages and slipping off to any country in the world and disappearing into it as easily as any native could. The possibilities were troubling for her right now. Still she had to find her, and if that meant that she had to spend ten years searching, she would do it.
The woman was startled when she heard the giant doorbells from the main doors were ringing. Curious, the woman rose from her seat and wondered whom it was. There were very few people that had a way past the electrical shield that she had set up. Curious she walked into the hallway and opened the doors to allow whoever it was waiting for her. She opened the door and was surprised. There standing in the rain was none other than the girl she had been spending so much time searching for. “Buffy.” Helen breathed out in disbelief, as she pulled the girl into the giant manor and engulfed the girl into a giant hug. “You’re alive.” She said with a relieved grin.
“Yeah,” Buffy said hesitantly. “I just thought that you deserved to know that I was alive after I checked out like I did.” She explained to the older woman.
“You did what you had to.” Helen returned to her. “I don’t have to remind you of what I was like after John disappeared on me.” She told the girl. “Now come on in.” She said ushering the girl in.
Buffy smiled as she strode through the entryway. Despite the fact that she had never been here in her life, she new nearly every inch of the place as her eyes scanned over it. The young woman in her own way felt as if she had come back home. She wondered if there was anything in Sunnydale that would make her feel that way. “So, you want to show me anything neat or cool that you've found since Halloween.” Buffy suggested to her with a grin.
“Right of course.” Helen returned. The pair then walked through the various containment units holding all sorts of creatures. A nervous and hesitant Buffy slowly but surely told Helen the entire story as they walked through the habitats. Instead of the incomplete story, she was now told everything. Everything that Buffy knew she explained to Helen. She told Helen about the Judge, Angelus, Spike, Drusilla, Jenny, the Curse, Giles, Kendra, Acathla, closing the portal, her mom, the police, hiding, Lily, and her latest battle and conquest with the demonic reverend Ken. The girl didn’t leave anything out, and just let the story to fall from her lips.
Helen merely nodded and listened as the girl explained how she had slowly been worn down by events in Sunnydale. In a way it made her feel all the worse as she had been unaware that Buffy had been forced to go through all of that without any help. No one should have to go through all that and never on their own. The girl beside her had though, and all Helen could do was to offer a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen now that it was all over.
Finally Buffy finished, and there was nothing else that she could bring herself to tell her. Buffy smiled fondly as she watched Bigfoot from a distance as he cared for one of the abnormals. “Did you ever tell him?” She questioned.
Helen shook her head. "It was your secret. If anyone was going to explain how you know all that you do to anybody it should be you.”
“Right,” Buffy nodded her head.
“So, what shall you do now?” Helen quizzed curious as to what her friend would do now. "Will you be returning to Sunnydale, or do you need more time? Whatever you want to do know that I’ll support your choice.” She assured the girl.
Buffy smiled sadly at her in return. “I would love to do nothing more than to disappear and to never go back to Sunny-Hell. However I can’t do that anymore than you could walk away from the Sanctuary.”
Helen nodded her understanding to the girl. “Then there is something that I need to show you. Think of it as a reason to keep on fighting.” The woman led her companion through a few various rooms until they were both in the main lab. There sitting at a table and working diligently was a head of blonde head.” Is that reason enough to continue?” She questioned curiously turning to look at the other girl curiously.
“Ashley,” Buffy whispered out as she watched the girl in disbelief. “I know that I’m not her mother, but I still have all of the memories. I mean, I remember giving birth and everything.”
“Yes, the two edged part of the blade that comes from having my memories.” Helen said sympathetically, as she observed the young woman watch her daughter. “You aren’t her mother, but I think that you would make a great aunt to her.” Helen offered the blonde.
Buffy smiled in relief at Helen and went to meet with her unofficial niece. She was around 11 years old right now as she recalled. Buffy walked up to the young girl and sat beside her. “Who are you?” Ashley asked her suspiciously.
“I’m Buffy,” the other blonde returned offering her hand to the girl.
“I’m Ashley,” the young girl returned to the Slayer.
Buffy smiled at her. “It’s great to meet you. I hope that we can be friends.” The pair then began to talk about various things as they passed the time. Ashley it seemed was showing a fascination with weapons that was almost like a slayer’s. The little girl was showing a proficiency with and knowledge of weapons that few had. Helen contributed as well, and one could easily almost imagine that they were a family of some sort. Tonight Buffy would try and forget what was waiting for her back in Sunnydale and hope that she wouldn’t lose her courage to leave tomorrow. It would be so easy to forget it all and just stay here and work with Helen here. The temptation was there, but she had her duty and hopefully her friends and mom back there.
They talked way into the night while Big Foot kept Henry busy doing other things so that they could have their family time together. As they prepared to call it a night Buffy went and found the Big Foot. “Thanks for not asking any questions.” She told the hairy figure, and gave him a light hug before scampering off. She would have to leave, if for no other reason than this was Helen’s life not hers. As Buffy prepared to leave a shy Ashley gave her a hug before running off. Buffy smiled at the girl as she took her bag.
“Remember, you always have a place here if you need it.” Helen reminded her.
“Thanks,” Buffy said, “I need to live my life as well though. “
Helen nodded her head in acceptance as she watched the girl slip out the door and into the streets of LA and seem to disappear. The Slayer had to return home and fight the creatures that would threaten life. They might beat her down but she would always come back. She was going to be the shining knight for those that needed her to be there. She was going to do her duty as the Slayer as best as she could.