New Places 2
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The next two weeks were actually fun for Buffy. She’d patrol ever other night or so, but so far she had only found two demons, neither a threat to their neighbors, in fact one of them fed on happy vibes, so went out of it’s way to make sure everyone in its immediate vicinity was enjoying life to the fullest. The vampire population was even better, in two weeks she had staked exactly one vampire, two blocks from the bus station it had arrived at. She followed the local papers looking for barbeque fork accidents, or animals attacks, but there was zip nada, so most of her patrols turned out to be nothing but midnight strolls. The only weird thing she had come across was a couple of times when she was strolling through downtown and she had picked up that same weird feeling coming from Cheyenne Mountain. She was trying to figure out someway of subtly asking her father if he might know what was causing it, but without reveling her slayerness she saw no way of doing it. The other out of the ordinary thing was when her neighbor, Janet Fraiser, had come ripping out of her house, once while Buffy was trying to sneak out, and twice while she was trying to sneak in. Buffy never figured that Deep Space Radar Telemetry could be so dangerous. Although, thinking about it, one of the times that Janet had gone charging had been one of the times she had felt that weird feeling. So, maybe her dad wasn’t the person to ask. She was also still having those dreams with the big metal ring, though now there were deserts and guys with helmets that looked like animal head helmets thrown in too. She’d done some crude drawings and scanned and sent them to Willow to see if the Sunnydale crowd could make heads or tails of it, but so far nothing.
The fun ended though on the night she heard, “Pardon me Miss Summers, I am your new Watcher,” in a tweedy English voice.
Turning around she found not just a tweedy Englishman, but a nerdy tweedy Englishman, complete with spectacles.
“I am Wesley Wyndam-Price,” the nerd said. “I commend you on keeping up patrolling. We will restart your training immediately.”
“You must have missed the memo, but I quit after I put down the Master.”
“Most amusing Ms Summers,” he said as he approached her. “I realize that with your father in the picture we are going to have to be somewhat circumspect, but I don’t foresee any difficulty. We will begin training tomorrow afternoon at four o’clock. That should present no difficulties, even after you start school again. The training facility I have acquired is three blocks from your new school.”
Buffy could only stare at the watcher, “What part of ‘I QUIT’ are you missing?”
“You are the Slayer my dear, you can not quit,” Wesley replied, with all the authority of a thousands of year old organization could muster, behind him. He did everything but click his heels together as he delivered it.
Buffy snarled in return, “Oh no? Watch me! Merrik died, my Mom died, I died, Angel died, Giles died. I’ve done my bit. Find some other patsy!”
“Now see here,” Wesley said as he reached forward to grab he arm.
Buffy stepped back and growled, “Touch me and I’ll rip your arm off and beat you to death with it.”
Wesley stepped back; they hadn’t really covered this situation in Watcher’s Training. In fact training seemed to indicate that Slayers pretty much did what their watchers told them to.
“I’m done. Go back to England and tell the Council I’ve had it. Find someone else’s life to ruin.” She then disappeared into the night.
Buffy stayed in for the following 4 nights, but, finally the Slayer drove her out to patrol. While the previous patrols had been pleasant, this one had her on edge, she kept expecting Wesley to pop out of some bush to try and talk her back into the fold, going on and on about duty. But he was a no show.
The only strange thing that did happen was a tall guy with graying hair wandering past her, seemingly lost. She’d originally been tempted to ask him if he needed any help, but as she came up behind him she realized that he wasn’t human. He didn’t feel like any demon she had ever felt, and he didn’t feel evil, but he sure wasn’t human. Dropping back she followed him to a house on the other side of town. The woman who answered the door seemed to know the guy because after a brief hesitation she allowed him in. Buffy closed in and found an open window she could listen in on. It didn’t take long for Buffy to overhear that they were a divorced couple and that they had lost their son. Feeling guilty she went back to a totally uneventful patrol.
Hank Summers pulled into his driveway, he saw to his surprise that Janet Frasier’s SUV was parked in her driveway, usually she pulled in at six or seven at night. Looking closer he realized that Janet was still in the vehicle, her head down over her steering wheel. Worried he hurried over, his hand on his cell phone.
Coming closer he noticed her shoulders were shaking. Well at least she’s conscious”, h
e thought. He lightly tapped on the window. Janet’s head popped up, as she looked around wildly, tears leaking down her cheeks.
“Are you okay?” Hank asked with concern in his voice.
Janet rolled down the window of the vehicle and said, “Sorry to worry you, Hank. I lost a friend at work today, and when I pulled into the driveway it hit that I wasn’t going to see him again.”
Hank remembered a colleague at work; he had been more than a coworker, but less than a friend. As they had left work they had been talking about the playoff game that was going to be on that night, they’d made a five dollar bet. Hank had lost, so he’d gone to the guy’s cubicle the next morning to pay up. He’d found the office manager cleaning out his desk, she’d explained that ten minutes after that bet had been made; a drunk driver had run a red light, Hank’s coworker had been killed instantly. Hank had taken the five dollar bill back to his desk and stared at it. He still had it, he kept in the back of a drawer, he thought one of these days he’d figure out what to do with it. “I’m sorry, Janet,” he said lamely.
“Thanks Hank. I should get in, I have to go back into work tonight.”
Hank reached in and patted her on the shoulder then turned and went toward his own house. As he was jogging up onto the porch he stopped and thought, There had been no medical emergencies at the mountain today. His window looked out onto the parking lot in front of the entrance to the main part of the base. How did some one die and he miss the response? He had been at his desk all day.
Musing this he went in to start dinner.
The next day Hank pulled in at the same time Janet did, she had the biggest smile on her face.
“Good news?” Hank asked.
Janet beamed, “It turns out the friend that I thought was dead, wasn’t. They found him and he is fine.”
Hank smiled back, “I’m glad for you and your friend.”
Janet thanked him and headed into her house.
Hank stopped again, She said her friend had died at work. But, she just said he had been found alive; there were no emergency vehicles around the Mountain, so how was he rescued?
Hank knew when he started working for NORAD there would be things that he would get a hint of, but never have explained to him. He just didn’t think it would be this frustrating.
Buffy came down the stairs to hear her dad on the phone, he was in his suit so she knew he was about to head off to work, with school still being a week away Buffy was enjoying her last few days of relative freedom. As she crossed the living room heading for the kitchen she heard her dad say, “So I don’t have to come in today? You’re sure. Okay, if you need me to cover something, or if there is anything I can do outside the quarantine zone let me know. Okay, goodbye,” and he hung up the phone.
“Trouble at work?” Buffy asked.
Hank shrugged, “Not really, they’re having some kind of unannounced preparedness drill, simulating that there was some kind of attack and trapping the people that are in right now. People who aren’t, get a couple of paid days off. So, daughter mine, what would you like to do? I mean it is the last week before you start back to school.”
Buffy considered, “First, we need to hit the store, then we can hit the mall. I still need a couple of outfits; it’s going to get colder here than it did back in LA.”
Hank sighed, he sometimes wondered where she got the shopping genes from. Joyce had enjoyed clothes shopping, but nothing like his daughter did. After the shopping, hopefully she would be willing to go up to the Garden of the Gods, they still hadn’t managed to get there, and he wanted to check it out.
They pulled into the Save-Alot a half an hour later. Hank sent Buffy after the dry goods, while he would take care of the meat and vegetables. As Buffy was pushing her cart down the aisle she accidentally ran into the back of another shopper as she was searching for the brand of spaghetti that her dad insisted they use. “Sorry. I waa…” Buffy stopped because the person she ran into the back of was Wesley Wyndam-Price.
“Are you stalking me?” Buffy hissed in a low voice.
Wesley actually looked affronted, “Stalking you? If I had never run into you again it would be too soon.”
Buffy was taken aback, “Wow, I wouldn’t of thought that Watchers gave up that easy.”
Wesley leaned in and said in low heated voice, “If I was still affiliated with the Watchers Council, I might not have. But when I reported my conversation with you they fired me.”
Buffy actually took a step back, not because she was scared of the Englishman, but rather in surprise that the Council would do something like that to one of their own.
“Yes, not only fired me, but exiled me too. I managed to get a job at the local campus of the University of Colorado. If you go there, please, avoid my class.”
Wesley turned and started pushing his cart down the row. Buffy watched him go, almost feeling sorry for the figure as he walked stiffly away. Not sorry enough to go back under the Council’s control though. Spotting her dad’s spaghetti she grabbed a couple of boxes and not wanting to run into Wesley again, she turned her cart around and headed off to find her dad. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Hank opened the door and found Janet Fraiser outside, “Hi Hank, is Buffy at home? I have something I have to ask her.”
“Sure,” Hank said as he stepped out of the way to let Janet in. Hank found it stupid, but Buffy insisted that he get out of the habit of verbally inviting someone into the house. With all she had been through, he figured he would humor her on this one, no matter how stupid it was.
“Buffy?” He called upstairs, “Janet wants to ask you something.”
Buffy frowned, she couldn’t think of anything the Air Force doctor would have to talk to her about, unless maybe she had spotted her sneaking out at night. So she saved the email she had been writing to Willow, telling her about her run in with Wesley at the supermarket, and headed downstairs. Sunnydale had been exciting for a bit. The Anointed One and the Masters old followers had been running around, and they had come up with a way to try to bring him back. They had kidnapped Willow, Cordelia and Ms. Calendar and were going to sacrifice them. Fortunately, the Slayer that had been called when she died had been dispatched to Sunnydale and managed to rescue everyone, though the Anointed One had gotten away. Willow had told Buffy that there was now a battle of wills going on between Ms. Calendar and Samuel Zabatu, the new Slayer’s Watcher, over getting Kendra, the Slayer, registered with the school. So far Ms. Calendar was winning because she’d pointed out that the Hellmouth was located in the school’s library and there was an opening for a librarian, which Sam could fill and it would allow him to keep an eye on Kendra. Willow had pointed out it would also allow the techno pagan to begin to acquaint the Slayer with life outside of the trenches.
Buffy, while feeling guilty about not being there to rescue her friends, was kind of leaning toward the Watchers position that civilians should not be involved in the fight, but knew Xander and Willow enough to know they would not stay out, so she had just finished writing that she wished Ms. Calendar luck in her arguments. She logged off and went downstairs.
She found Janet and her dad talking in the kitchen as her dad was making a pot of coffee. She’d seen her dad watching Janet when she was outside doing stuff a couple of times, and she wasn’t sure how she felt about. Her dad and mom had been divorced for almost a year when she had been killed, so it wasn’t like he shouldn’t be on the market, but Buffy still found herself feeling more than a little disloyal to her mom that she was somewhat happy that Dad was considering someone else. Plus, Janet was kind of cool and Buffy didn’t think she would mind having her as a step-mom.
“Hey, Janet, what’s up?”
“Hello Buffy,” Janet replied.
“I’ve adopted a little girl, her name is Cassandra,” Janet began.
Hank smiled and said, “Congratulations, Janet. But, I don’t remember you saying anything about looking to adopt.”
“Well, no, it was kind of sudden. She’s Canadian, her parents were here visiting on military business. They needed to be out in the field a lot and Cassie sort of got adopted by the base.” Janet turned a little sad. “They were both killed in a helicopter accident and Cassie had no family left back in Canada, so when I offered to adopt, the Canadian Authorities were willing to push the papers through rather than take her back and put her in the Foster System until the paper work was done.”
“Well again, congratulations, that was great of you,” Hank said, with Buffy nodding in the background.
“Thank you, but when you meet Cassie you’ll see there was really nothing else I could do, I wasn’t going to let her get lost in the system.
“This brings me to what I came here for. Buffy you must be aware of how often I get called into work at odd hours.”
Buffy nodded, “I’ve seen you head out late in a hurry a couple of times through my bedroom window.” No need to add that she was often out that late herself.
“That happens all too many times,” Janet agreed, “now that I’m going to be looking after Cassie, I was wondering, if I get called in at night, would you be willing to look after Cassie sometimes? Or, if I get called in late and am not able to get away, could you make sure Cassie is up and gets out to school? I mean I’ll pay you for your time and all, and I’ll make some other arrangements so it’s not just you, but would be willing to help?”
Buffy thought fast, she liked Janet, and she loved to help her, but she was out most nights herself, on the other hand, her dad had gotten her a cell phone so even if she was out, she could have Janet call the cell phone and pretend she’s in bed, so, “Sure, I’d be happy too.”
A/N: Things will start going AU for Stargate next chapter.