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Summary: Alexis Castle has been Called and who better than Det. Beckett to escort her to Cleveland for Slayer Camp?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > CastleonlyonechairleftFR712,0874222,73812 Mar 1112 Mar 11Yes
Disclaimer: I don’t own BTVS or Castle, and I’m gaining nothing but this but enjoyment…

A/N: Crossover complete in one part. The plot bunny attacked and I was powerless to defend myself…

The new Council’s American Headquarters was Cleveland, Ohio- one of the least sexy cities any of the Slayers had ever come across. Of course, the European HQ was in northern Scotland and as far from civilization as you could get and still have electricity, so the Cleveland regulars weren’t complaining much.

In the US HQ, the council room was full for once- three senior Slayers, three senior Watchers and one field team, reporting in. Buffy, Faith and Kennedy rarely shared space these days, not since Sunnydale, and Giles, Willow and Dawn were just as odd to find together. The field team- Xander, Molly and Maria, were sitting opposite the other six, all appearing abashed.

Theirs was the third team to return from New York with zilch- and no-one was happy about it.

“I’m telling you guys what we were told- the Demons in New York are on their best behaviour. Anyone found hurting a human- or even other non-nasty demons- is hunted and killed and they’re all keeping things squeaky clean.” Xander snorted. “They’re even paying taxes and have social security numbers. It’s… messed up.” Even Giles looked bemused.

“Did anyone give any indication of when this began?” The elder Watcher was cleaning his glasses, again.

Xander shook his head.

“Vague rumours that might place it at around the time of the Sunnydale explosion, but some have it going back further than that so...” His voice trailed off and he just shrugged. His Slayers exchanged amused grins.

This had been happening for more than four years? And no-one had noticed? The Council had been busy, certainly, after Sunnydale but the largest Demon population on the continental USA was in New York. Giles supposed that if there was no trouble, it was easy for everyone to overlook the city.

“You think there could be a Master Vamp there, keeping things under the radar?” Kennedy sounded almost eager at the prospect.

“No way- these guys would narc a Vamp. They were… like, grateful or something. It was way weird.” Maria was just barely eighteen, but she was one of the best of the newly activated Slayers, hands down. She lived and breathed the Hunt with a dedication that would have impressed any of the Old Council diehards.

“Damn. I’d hoped you guys would get an answer.” Buffy shook her head slowly, frustrated. “But we have a couple of Minis coming in from New York this weekend for the summer camp, right? Maybe one of them will know something?” A slim hope, but always a possibility. And that was it- problem shelved until new information came to light. Xander wasn’t holding much hope for that.

Alexis Castle stepped out of the car carefully, nervous. She’d been worrying about this Camp for months; she hadn’t told her dad the truth of it- he was in the Hamptons working on his book and as far as he was concerned, she was spending her summer on-campus at Princeton.

She wasn’t- she hadn’t even applied. The Princeton cover had been Kate’s idea. Kate, who had looked at her oddly the morning after she’d become… whatever she was. A Slayer, they said. She was sixteen- old, apparently, for one of the new Slayers; they were normally Called now at fourteen or fifteen. Alexis was just as happy that hadn’t happened- her dad couldn’t have coped with that. Kate slammed the driver’s door closed and met her gaze over the roof of the car.

“You ready?” The girl shook her head; no, she wasn’t. But she’d have to be; she was here, already.

Kate had agreed to bring her down- taking two weeks off to drive her down and hang around until she was settled. With Kate at her shoulder, the panic in her stomach settled, easing a notch or two. The cop had been such a support- she’d wanted Alexis to tell her father, but she’d accepted when Alexis didn’t want to and she’d started training her- something Alexis was grateful for, now. She also knew why, of course.

Kate Beckett had been a potential Slayer, once, when she was Alexis’s age. Apparently, smart money amongst the Watchers had been on Kate to be Called but she’d passed her eighteenth birthday without a power boost and moved on with her life afterward without looking back.

They got the facility tour from another chatterbox redhead named Vi and stowed Alexis’s stuff in one of the dorms. No-one asked who Kate was, assuming she was the girl’s mother, despite her obvious youth. Alexis didn’t correct them, either, playing it up and calling Kate ‘Mom’ where they could hear, just to see the annoyed glare on the detective’s face. Kate would have been… fourteen, if that, when Alexis was born and the girl knew she’d pay for it later, somehow.

“There’s a class starting now in the training room, if you want in? Your Mom can watch; see what’s going on here?” Alexis nodded, excited to see where she’d fit in on the training scale. Kate watched her nodding; grinning at the glee she could see on the girl’s face. Vi, too, looked amused.

The newbie changed quickly, exchanging jeans and a shirt for a tee and sweats and they made it to the gym just as a petite brunette was starting the warm-ups. Alexis slipped into the formation beside Vi, grinning widely.

It was pretty clear, pretty quickly, that she was more than ready for the class. She slipped into the katas with ease and was thrilled when Vi asked to partner her for sparring, throwing herself into the mock-fight with the same enthusiasm she tried everything with.

The started small, Vi testing her reflexes- Alexis kept it simple, like she’d been taught, focused on defending, learning the older girl’s moves, her combos, her weaknesses and waiting for the fight to pick up it’s pace; letting Vi tire herself out. She defended; Vi attacked; she defended.

And then, when Vi smiled a little, indulgent of the new girl, Alexis loosed her own attack, blistering pace paired with an elbow and knee combination that left Vi on the ground, dazed and disarmed.

Alexis sought Kate’s gaze and the elder woman smiled and winked.

Camp- any camp- was about proving yourself. Alexis may not have been the strongest or the best, most practiced, fighter but she’d be damned if she didn’t let everyone know that she wasn’t a fresh-faced newbie, either. She could fight; she could dance like the other girls. Just because she was old when she was called didn’t make her any less a Slayer.

Vi stayed on the ground for a moment, gazing at her with new respect. Around them, the other sparring partners continued to circle but the brunette that led the warm-ups was watching the new girl, alongside another woman; a blonde.

Alexis just grinned and offered the other girl her hand, heaving her to her feet.

“That’s all you’ve got, Vi? I thought they’d be teaching you better than that, here.” And she let her gaze wander to the two women, knowing they’d hear her. Vi laughed and resumed her fighting stance.

“Oh, the gloves are off now, kid.”

And they danced; a deadly combination of skill and grace, mixed with killing blows and devastating kicks. Or it would have been, had any of the punches landed or the kicks connected. Alexis knew her strengths and her speed was all that kept her from being creamed- Vi was more experienced, stronger and had more to lose. Alexis was only fighting for a draw- hell, she’d take a loss happily as long as she was sure she’d given it her best.

And she held the elder Slayer off for fifteen, unrelenting, minutes, dodging and weaving every attack and snaking blows when she could- nothing powerful enough to even daze the other girl, but enough that everyone knew she could hit her.

In the end, Vi’s experience did win the day- she used Alexis’s own speed against her with a feint and counter-feint move that ended with Alexis on her back on the mat, gasping for breath.

It could have ended there. It would have ended there if Vi had been a regular girl and not another Slayer. But Vi was a Slayer; she was competitive and she’d been bested in front of her peers and worse- her mentors. She was out for blood and Alexis hadn’t noticed the change; she had never seen the Slayer take over a girl.

She didn’t see the blow coming until it was too late for her to react; she couldn’t even get her hands up to protect her head from the kick- aimed directly at her face where she lay gasping from the last attack.

Alexis shouldn’t have worried. The blow was intercepted by a familiar brunette, blocking the move casually with her own body.

“I don’t think so, kid. You beat her fair- now back off.” Kate; her knight in gleaming leather, staring at the younger woman with what Alexis thought of as her ‘scary interrogation face’. And whatever Vi saw there made her back off; embarrassed.

Kate dismissed her, turning her back on the Slayer and hauling Alexis to her feet.

“Good show, Lex. You’ve been practicing.” And she grinned, pride shining through the lingering adrenaline. Kate had moved fast, getting in the way of Vi’s kick in a way that only a seasoned detective could anticipate foolish moves and imminent attacks. Around them, the other girls had come to a halt, bemused and amused in turns.

The two elder women wove their way through the stationary girls, twin looks of astonishment on their faces.

“Kid, you okay?” Alexis glanced over, unsure if it was her that was being addressed. The brunette was staring at her expectantly, so she nodded.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” And Vi muttered a quiet apology but everyone heard her. Her gaze was on the floor and she looked… ashamed.

“How are you still standing? I heard that blow connect; you should have broken bones, at least.” The blonde leveled her stare at Kate, sounding suspicious and untrusting. Kate met Alexis’s glance and they shared a small smile.

“You mean you’ve never seen a woman take a hit before?” Kate very obviously glanced around, indicating all the Slayers in residence. The blonde blushed.

“You’re not a Slayer and it takes a Slayer to take a hit like that and stay standing.” She sounded completely certain; absolutely sure of herself.

Kate, several inches taller than the blonde and well used to be subjected to intimidation tactics from people who thought they were tougher than her, just grinned.

“Well, you’re wrong somehow- either I am a Slayer or I know how to take a hit from one.” And she actually winked. Right at the fuming woman Alexis knew was Buffy Summers, Slayer extraordinaire and longest-surviving Slayer since the crusades. She was a veritable hero, according to the gossip Alexis had picked up in the months since she’d been Called herself.

“Well you aren’t a Slayer- I’d feel it; I’d know if you were, but you sure as hell can’t be human if you can move that fast and take hits like that.” It was an accusation and Kate recognized it as one. With a long-suffering sigh, she turned to face the short blonde and let her own slayer loose.

Every single girl in the room took a step backward, including the two senior Slayers.

“You think you know everything, kid?” Kate’s voice was pitched low, her stare intent. “I don’t need your little school to teach me and I sure as hell don’t need to be a Slayer to be strong. I’ve survived without it for a long time and I’d be just fine if the power went away again.” Her lip curled in a sneer, “Can you say the same?”

And as quickly as her Slayer side had appeared, it receded and around her, the girls all drew breath at the sudden release of tension. Kate kept her stare on the blonde until the other woman glanced away, rattled. She glanced once at Alexis before walking away; returning casually to her seat as if nothing had happened.

Truthfully, in the lifetime experience of Kate Beckett, NYPD homicide detective and un-official sheriff of New York's demon scene... this kinda rated as nothing.

A/N: And… end scene. Because I *love* Stana Katic and think that the character of Beckett on Castle rocks.

The End

You have reached the end of "Strength". This story is complete.

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