Don't own Buffy, Ghost Rider or any other universes in this fic.
Low and behold another piece of the backburner series has life breathed into it.
Beta work done by Morgomir
Buffy sighed as she leaned against the porch railing. Her life was currently falling apart at the seams, and there wasn't a whole lot that she could do about it. The lesser problems were things like Riley leaving, the bigger problems though were the dangers that her mom was facing because of this tumor of hers, and of course the insane and deadly fashion victim Glory. Despite everything that she had seen and done as the Vampire Slayer, she was scared for her mom right now. There was no vampire or demon for her to hit on until it gave up and gave her mom's life back, and to make things all better this time around. In this case she had to let nature take its course, and trust her mother's life to the various doctors to do their jobs.
The small blonde looked up as thunder crashed overhead. Hearing a sound, she turned and followed it. There walking up the street toward her house was an old looking man in a suit a cane of some kind clicking against the sidewalk with each step he took. As he walked by, the streetlights either flickered or blew up as he came near them, and he walked coolly as if it was something that happened all the time. Knowing the various people of Sunnydale, that was actually possible.
The Slayer walked down the steps to meet with the intruder before he caused any problems. She idly wondered if she was dealing with a human magic user, or if she was dealing with a demon of some type. "I help you with something?" The blonde asked, while glaring at the figure in front of her. “Cause I gotta tell you, that tonight is so not the night you want to mess around with me." She warned him, as she took a ready position should he decide to do anything she would be ready. Right now, a fight was something that she was looking forward to.
"Perhaps my dear, or perhaps I can help you." The figure returned cryptically, tipping his bowler hat at the Slayer as he came to a stop in front of her. He then leaned onto his cane like a vulture in a tree and looked her up and down with interest studying her intently.
"Uh huh," the Slayer replied skeptically. “So, what’s the real deal with you?”
The figure ignored the question as he continued to study her like he was waiting for something. "I must admit, I thought you would be more impressive from the way all of the various beings that I've met talk about you." He finally confessed, he shrugged at this though without any real concern. "Perhaps it’s while you're fighting though that the stories about you are more understandable." He mused more to himself than to her.
"Maybe." The blonde agreed, not about to let him get to her about what was or was not being said about her by the various demons in Sunnydale. It was obvious to her that he wasn’t really looking for Buffy Summers, he wanted the Slayer. Beings that were looking for the Slayer only wanted one thing though. Things that were wet and icky. “You could always walk away." She offered to him hopefully. “If not, then you’ll likely find out just what I am in a very painful way." She warned the old man.
"Perhaps you'll hear me out though before you try and attack me Miss Summers." The figure countered, taking a step back and was now out of range of her fists and feet.
"Depends." The Slayer returned.
"On?" The figure questioned curiously.
"On whether I have a name to call you by." The blonde shot back at him.
The figure nodded in understanding at the request. He seemed to think for a moment on the question before answering. "Scratch, you can call me Scratch." He declared.
"Gotchya," the blonde agreed, holding her tongue on the fact that this guy at least had a semi normal sounding name. Considering some of the names that she had heard over the years form demons, it was nice to have someone with a pronounceable sounding name. "So, did you want something or not? Cause if not then I'm going to go on back in or knock your teeth out depends what I'm feeling like." She told Scratch.
Scratch chuckled at the reply. "Well Miss Summers, if you can contain yourself until you hear me out first?" He requested, giving her a hopeful look.
"Sure just get on with it already." The Slayer ordered, getting impatient with the guy's beating around the bush like he was.
"Very well," Scratch agreed, as he began to slowly walk around the blonde Slayer. "As you no doubt can tell I have certain powers." He started.
Buffy snorted at this. "Yeah, kind of got the memo on that. What with the lightning and the blowing up of all the street lights." The Slayer noted, gesturing to the streetlights from the direction that he had come from.
"Yes I suppose that was a bit melodramatic, but I doubt you would have approved of me just appearing in your yard without any warning." Scratch explained to her casually.
"Can you get to the point already?" Buffy snapped, growing tired of the way the demon was trying to talk her down.
Scratch nodded. "I happen to be a Deal Maker."
"Deal maker?" Buffy echoed hesitantly, not sure she completely understood what it was that this had to do with her.
"Yes, and I am more than willing to make a deal with you." Scratch told her with a smile.
"Geeze I'm honored," Was the sarcastic reply he got. "I don't think I'm interested in a Demonic traveling salesman though. So go before I change my mind to slay you." The Slayer told him and began to turn away.
"Really? So you're not even interested in what I could do for your mother?" Scratch asked, watching the Slayer carefully as he said this.
Buffy froze in mid turn at this. "What?" She growled, as she slowly turned back around to face this being in front of her.
"You heard me," Scratch told her, smiling that he now had the girl's complete attention. "A deal with me, and I can make sure that your mother comes out of that hospital just fine Slayer." He assured her with his slick smile.
"What's your price?" Buffy asked with narrowed eyes, but a trace of hope in her voice as well. This demon might have the answers that she needed. It wouldn’t be the first time that she had made a deal with evil to get what she needed done. The number of times that she had worked with Spike was proof of that.
"I seem to have caught your attention Miss Summers." Scratch mocked at her as he continued to stare at her.
"Stop messing with me and tell me your price is." The Slayer ordered coldly. The slight banter gone from her voice as she regarded the being before her.
"Very well Miss Summers." Scratch conceded, as he slowly drew out a contract from his jacket. "Sign this and I guarantee you that your mother won't die while at the hospital." He told her.
"And what do you get out of it?" The Slayer questioned, as she eyed the tempting contract Scratch held casually in his hands.
"Your soul of course," Scratch told her. "Of course once you perform certain services for me I will be more than willing to return it to you. Of course I'm not going to give you a lot time on this either. It's a onetime deal Slayer, so are you interested in saving your mommy dearest so that she can continue to make her chocolate pancakes, watch old movies with you, and be there for you and your little sister?“ he questioned her with a devious smile.
Buffy nodded as she eyed the paper hungrily, the temptation there was so great. In the back of her mind she could hear Giles warning her against such things. This was her mom though, and she would do whatever she had to too keep her alive. "On one condition." She told him.
"And what would that be?" Scratch wondered.
"You can't call on me as long as I'm within three hundred miles of Sunnydale." She demanded. “I can’t take the chance that you’ll do something.
Scratch smiled at her. "I think I can agree with that clause." He told her. He held the contract up in the air and fire began burning across the paper adding in the new clause to the contract. "There we are. I assume that you want to check it again now?" He asked, and offered her the contract. The Slayer nodded and took the contract hissing as it cut her finger and a few drops of blood landed on the paper. "That's perfect." Scratch informed her as he quickly took the paper back. "In the morning when the time comes, I will help the doctors and guide their hands. That tumor will be nothing for them tomorrow." He assured her.
“It better." The Slayer told him as she watched him disappear.
Buffy leaned against a headstone in one of her favorite graveyards. Her mom was dead, and there was nothing that she could do to change the fact that it had happened. How had things gotten to be like this? The girl wondered, hadn't she made a deal to stop this exact thing from happening? So how come her mom was dead from the damn tumor that the doctors and demon had all sworn it wouldn't kill her mom? As if summoned by her thoughts the clicking sound of a cane was heard. The Slayer sat up and saw the demon standing on a memorial just as cool as can be, and smirking at her. Not even aware of what it was that she was doing, the blonde leaped to her feet and threw a dagger at Scratch and his 'oh so self satisfied smirk'. Not even waiting to see the results of the damage that the blade would cause she charged forward, wound her fist back and swung. The blonde glared as her hand was caught in a vice like grip.
"Now, now," Scratch scolded still smiling as his old withered hand effortlessly held the quivering hand of the Slayer. "None of that Buffy," he informed her, as if he was telling a child no for the first time. "After all, it seems like a waste of time for you to be using your energy against me." He told her.
"You monster!" Buffy spat back at him angrily, her eyes watering up as she glared at the demon. "We had a deal. You said that she would be safe."
"And she was," Scratch told her with a sincerity that didn't reach his eyes. "As long as she was at the hospital she didn't die just as the contract stated. It's not my fault that the doctors missed a piece that they thought was non lethal to her." The demon then backhanded her with his cane and sent her flying into a headstone. "Don't try that again Miss Summers, unless you wish to anger me." He warned her.
The Slayer climbed to her feet and got herself balanced on the balls of her feet. "I'll kill you." She growled. "Why did you let her die?"
Scratch shrugged without concern over the dead woman. "She would have gotten in the way, tried to do something that would have made you doing your job hard. Those friends of yours are going to be a trick, but I'll worry about that at some other time instead of dealing with them now. Make sure they never find out, and I won't have to deal with them." He warned her. "And don't bother trying to get any of your other friends' help with the contract either. I was the one that taught Wolfram and Hart how to make deals. Trust me there is no way you’re getting out of your contract until you pay up."
"We'll see," Buffy spat, wondering if he had meant Angel couldn't help her. She knew her ex couldn't help with this though, he fought the lawyers he didn't work for them.
"When the time is right I will summon you." Scratch informed her, his hand playing with a strand of hair that had fallen to the side of her face and the Slayer just glared and tried not to flinch at the touch.
"Not if I stay in the safe zone." Buffy spat, as she remembered the safe area that she had created.
Scratch smirked at her at this. "True, but I'm a patient person, and while Rome may not have been built in a day. A large part of it was destroyed." With that final word he just seemed to disappear leaving the rattled Slayer to wonder what would come next.
Buffy smiled as she heard that she was now no longer bound by her duty as the Chosen One anymore. Her life would no longer have its path mapped out by some higher beings. She was finally free from her duties. She wanted to scream in joy, or play, or shop. She was finally free.
The blonde laughed along with her friends as they looked at all of the various car models. They were all looking for cars to buy to help in transporting the various slayers that they would find. Buffy fell into the shadows of the store and found an old motorcycle sitting just out of notice. It wasn't fancy, but was a simple bike and for what she had to do she knew it would serve her best. It had been the night that they had defeated the First. Buffy remembered the visit from Scratch who had destroyed her hopes of freedom with a reminder of her contract with him.
Since then she had been a little lost, but was slowly building a plan. She had to get away from her friends before they became hurt by something that Scratch did. She had read up on the Demon Lord that held her soul, and knew that he was a power that she could not fight. It was as pointless as trying to go one on one with the Mayor in his Ascended form. She would have to find a different way to fight the Demon Lord, but it needed to wait, and it would have to be on her own.
She beckoned the dealer over and paid for the bike separately telling the man that she would be back later for it but for now keep the bike in storage and she would return for it in a few days. She had waited three days before she had packed a bag of clothes, mainly leather and jeans of various types and headed for the door. She walked out and slowly closed the door, her hand lingered for a moment on the door before she turned away.
"Going somewhere B?" Faith asked from where she was sitting on top of the remains of the school bus that had dragged them to this small town.
Buffy looked at her sister slayer. "Protect them Faith, it really is your job now." She told her fellow Chosen One sadly.
"And where are you going?" Faith questioned, as she took a long drag from her cigarette. "I thought you guys had made up and were all about the togetherness thing again?” She questioned her Sister Slayer.
"Away." The blonde replied, as she gave a sad look at the door. "It's the only way that I can protect them." She explained, as she began making her way towards the street. She would walk to the dealer who had agreed for an extra 300 dollars to remain open for a couple of hours so that she could retrieve her bike.
"Can't change your mind can I?" Faith asked hopefully as she watched the blonde walk away. She really didn’t want to be the one in charge, and without B there the responsibility would be hers. Last time that happened a lot of girls had died, and this time the blonde wouldn’t be in the background to come save her ass from her stupidity.
"Not this time Faith. This time I really have to go." The blonde told the other girl.
The brunette nodded then reached for something by her side. "You'll need this then your majesty." She explained, and tossed something at the blonde who caught the Scythe as it landed in her hands. "Now get going before one of the babies gets it in their head to go patrolling." Faith told her with a sad grin.
Buffy nodded her thanks and disappeared into the night.
Buffy groaned as she twirled her scythe around. Life was different for her these days. It had been nearly two months since she had been forced to leave for the safety of all of the others. Since she had left the others, she had stayed on the move. She couldn't risk Willow or Dawn doing a locator spell and finding her even with all of the protective charms against it that she had found. She ducked the blow of a vampire and staked him with the wooden end of her weapon. She turned to look down at her bike where the symbol of the Vampire Slayer had been painted on her black motorcycle with blood red paint. Pleased that her bike was alright the Slayer prepared to mount when she heard clapping. She turned and looked toward the source of the clapping.
"Very good. You'll be one of my most powerful riders ever," Scratch complimented as he appeared out of the shadows.
"Time to pay up?" The Slayer questioned.
"That it is." Scratch agreed, glad to see that this Rider knew better than to try and run. It was a benefit of taking a Rider that was already a part of the supernatural world. It also saved him time when they tried to wiggle out of the deal. "I admit there were times I wondered if our deal was going to be completed." He admitted to her. "Even I was hard pressed to keep your body preserved while you spent all that time buried. The fact that because you made yourself a willing sacrifice for the world also added in some problems as well. There are the occasional loopholes that help you get out of deals sometimes with the right work."
"Well I’d say sorry for making you worry and have all that extra work, but we both know that I would be lying." Buffy returned to him, as she eyed him distrustfully.
"True all too true." The Demon Lord agreed with a nod. "D'Hoffryn warned me that you and yours could be somewhat troublesome at times though. Of course, I never would have believed him had he told me just how troublesome. Still your witch friend raised you from the dead, and since I had kept your body ready for you there were no problems when you came back up. It saved a lot of time I would have had to spend healing you otherwise. It’s also why the First wasn’t overly concerned about killing you, as it knew I wanted you and would use my power to ensure that you survived even when others didn’t." He taunted her.
“Yet another thing to thank you for one of these days." She informed him. Buffy nodded and placed her helmet on as she accepted what was about to happen to her. "Time to ride." She noted softly and sadly right before she felt the agonizing changes begin. Her helmet erupted in flames and the visor covered a face that seemed to be on fire. Her entire body erupted into fire and changed as the power of Scratch entered into her. The Slayer essence and the demon power dueled for a few moments each seeking dominance. The power of the Ghost Rider far outstripped that of the Slayer though, as it overcame the small demon essence. Her body took on the usual skeletal appearance that Ghost Riders had. Her clothes shifted slightly though into the hide of the demon essence of the Slayer. A scabbard appeared on her back where the now flaming scythe slid in. And her bike became a dangerous monstrosity covered demonic symbols.
"Impressive." Scratch admitted, as he looked her fiery leather clad body over appreciatively. "Your experience with your other demonic entity allows you a bit of control on your form. It shall be a pleasure watching you do your work. I would call you my Ghost Rider except that’s not what you are. No you’re not a Ghost Rider you’re a Slayer Rider." He told the former Slayer with a dark smirk. "And now for your mission."