Disclaimer: Joss, Owns em’. I’m just playing. No money being made.
A/N: Yet another plot Bunny attacked. A bit of prequel to my in progress Buffy/Firefly fic, “I Choose You”.
Set a little more than three years post Chosen. A new Scoobie joins the gang. He has a history with Faith but in a good way.
Unbeta'd so all mistakes are my own
The New Guy
Eddie blinked slowly. His gaze shifted slowly between Buffy, Giles and the redhead, Willow.
After a few seconds he spoke, “Someone in this room needs some serious psychological help... And it just might be me...”
Willow quirked a slight grin and glanced at Buffy. Giles cleaned his glasses.
“What we have just told you is the absolute truth,” the older man stated.
“Vampires, Demons and Magic?” Eddie asked incredulously.
“Yep,” Buffy replied.
“And all these girls... they fight all this... stuff.”
“Once they are properly trained, “ Willow added.
“I was wrong. You guys need the straight jackets.”
“Perhaps a practical demonstration?” Giles asked.
“What... you happen to have a Vampire just hanging around?”
“In a manner of speaking,” Giles said with a slight smile as he replaced his glasses.
Buffy picked up the phone on the desk, “Harmony? Can you have Molly come in here with the visual aids. And come yourself. We need to do a show and tell.” The blond hung up the phone and smiled, “One dog and pony show. Coming up.”
Eddie slumped back in the chair. Wondering why he simply didn't get up and walk out the door. But somehow he wanted to see what they had to show him.
A moment later there was a knock at the door and Harmony, the ditzy looking receptionist came in. Followed by a young girl that looked no older than twelve or thirteen. The girl had a piece of inch and a half diameter steel rebar in her hands. The kind used for reinforcing concrete in things like bridge abutments. The chunk of steel was about three feet long.
“Mr. Mullen,” Giles began, “Please take the bar from Molly and try to bend it.”
Eddie snorted once but decided to humor the Englishman, “Whatever...”
He took the steel bar and inspected it closely. No cuts or other damage could be seen. Eddie took the bar in his arms and tried to bend it. It didn't budge. In fact, it weighed about forty or fifty pounds. Approximately half the wight of the young girl who had been carrying it. “Won't budge,” Eddie said after several tries.
Giles nodded, “Harmony?”
The receptionist sighed, “Do I have too?”
“Please?” Buffy asked.
With a very valley girl like eye roll and sigh, the blonde's face suddenly changed. Her forehead took on a raised appearance and her eyes turned yellow. At the forefront were the fangs now protruding from her lips.
“Holy Shit!” Eddie exclaimed as he scrambled back in his chair. His eyes widened in amazement as with some effort, the blonde slowly bent the bar into a 'U' shape.
After bending the bar, Harmony handed it back to the former paramedic who sat speechless, “I went to high school with Buffy. Vampires attacked graduation. I got turned into a Vampire,” she said with a shrug.
“Son of a...” Eddie breathed before remembering the child in the room.
“May I, Mr. Mullen?” The girl, Molly asked.
Nodding, Eddie handed the bar back to the girl. His jaw nearly hit the floor when the barely ninety pound girl easily bent the bar straight again. She even pulled the ends slightly to get the last kink out of the middle.
“How...” Eddie trailed off.
“Molly is a Slayer,” Buffy stated, “One of the strongest in her age group, I might ad.”
“Is that all, Ms. Summers?” the girl asked.
“It is. Thank you, Molly,” Buffy smiled, “Leave the bar here.” The girl nodded once and set the chunk of steel on the desk with a thump before leaving.
“Anything else, Buffy?” Harmony asked. Her face now back to it's normal human appearance.
“All set. Thanks Harmony,” The other blonde replied. Harmony nodded and left the office.
“I...” Eddie began.
“There's more,” Willow added before moving her hands slightly and whispering, “Leviso”
In front of Eddie's still wide eyes, the forty pound hunk of steel floated into the air over the desk. Wiggling her fingers once, Willow smiled as the three foot long bar tied itself into a pretzel and then untied itself.
“I'm a Witch,” Willow declared.
“Ooookay....,” Eddie replied.
Buffy grinned, “So. Mr. Mullen. Or may I call you Eddie?”
“Eddie's fine,” the five foot eleven, two hundred pound former firefighter squeaked in a very un-masculine tone of voice.
Buffy continued to smile, “So, Eddie. You want the job?”
Eddie was still in a state of shock. Giles and Buffy had gone into the history of the Slayers. Right up through the Battle of Sunnydale, as they called it. Giles had informed him that his daughter Amy had been a potential Slayer. And that was why she had been murdered by the Bringers. It hadn't been some faceless serial killer who had taken his little girl from him. Eddie realized. But minions of the First Evil. While not a comfort. he was somewhat glad that those that had killed Amy had been destroyed in the battle.
Another reason for Eddies shock was also finding out his wild child younger cousin was a Slayer. The last Slayer called via the original method.
Buffy had also gone into some detail about Faith's fall from grace. Including Buffy nearly killing Faith and her recovery.
Eddie's mind was still a whirl of information and emotions as he walked into the main lobby of the school. His fingers absently playing with his new ID badge.
“You look like you could use a drink,” Xander said as he leaned against the door frame of his office.
“You ain't kidding,” Eddie replied, “But I don't really drink anymore.”
“Me too,” Xander smiled, “Except for the occasional beer.”
Eddie looked up at the one eyed man, “I'm not an alcoholic. I was close...”
“After Sunnydale and loosing Anya. I crawled into a bottle for a while. Know where you're coming from.”
Eddie nodded in comprehension, “How long have you been dealing with this shi... stuff?”
Xander smirked, “Since I was fifteen.”
“Son of a bitch,” Eddie muttered.
“You get used to it... sort of. Not like it used to be. Willow, Me and Giles helping Buffy. Now the girls go out in groups. With one of the Sunnydale Slayers or even Buffy or Faith. Teamwork and tactics. That's how we do it now.”
Xander gestured for Eddie to follow him into his office. After taking a seat, Xander leaned back in his own chair and steepled his fingers, “I had Willow do some checking on you...”
“Besides being probably the most powerful magic user on the planet. Willow's also one of the world's top five hackers.”
Eddie growled under his breath slightly but nodded, “What did you find out?”
“B average student in high school. Member of the Civil Air Patrol,” Xander began, “Played football and golf... interesting combination that is... lettered in both. Earned your private pilot's license through the C.A.P. In high school. Went to the New Hampshire Technical College at Laconia. Associates degree in Fire Science. Applied for the Boston Fire Department, Nashua NH, Providence RI and Portland ME fire departments. Hired in South Portland upon a recommendation from the Portland Chief.”
Xander smiled wider at the slightly slack jawed expression on Eddie's face before continuing, “Met and married Sara Baxter. A nursing student at the University of Maine after a six month whirlwind relationship. Your daughter, Amy was born five months later...” Xander smirked at the last.
Eddie shrugged, “Took me that long to convince her to marry me...”
Xander nodded, “Decorated for bravery by the fire department twice. Once by the Maine State Police. First in your Paramedic class. Trained with the Maine State Police's SWAT team as a tactical medic. Qualified expert in pistol and rifle. Certified by the state as a Fire and Paramedic instructor. Passed your civil service exam for Lieutenant... and then your daughter was killed.”
“Yep,” Eddie nodded his face neutral. But Xander could see pain in his eyes..
“I miss anything?” Xander asked.
“You got the highlights,” Eddie replied. His voice flat.
“How's your language skills?”
“I speak a little French. Spanish in high school. Picked up the French because lots of folks from Quebec like to vacation in Maine. Needed to learn a few phrases to deal with them if they ended up sick or hurt.”
Xander nodded, “Now... the job Giles offered you as facilities manager is paying you fifty grand a year plus bennies. I'd like to offer you some additional responsibilities. And the pay to go with it.. Interested?”
“Doing what?” Eddie asked.
Xander sighed, “The girls are going to get hurt. Already are but nothing serious so far... thank god. But, make no mistake. This is a very dangerous business. Before Buffy, the average lifespan of a slayer was a little over a year from calling to being killed. Most of that was the old Council's fault. Watchers should have been the Slayers backup. Not just the finger pulling the trigger on the weapon. Because that's what they thought Slayers were. Just a weapon.”
Eddie nodded, “Bastards... if Amy had ended up being used like that...”
“Preaching to the choir, Eddie,” Xander smiled, “We changed things. So now we're writing a whole new rulebook. Once we get everything all set up. We 'll have teams. Team leader, Magic support. Whether a Slayer trained in Magic or a witch or warlock. Weapons support and a medic. That's where you come in.”
“You want me to train them... the team medics,” Eddie stated.
“Eventually,” Xander replied, “but in the meantime, we will want you to accompany the teams we send out.”
Eddie nodded, “There are some legal issues. I'm not a certified Paramedic in Ohio.”
“We can fix that part. Remember, Willow? She can fix that in about five minutes. Paper and computer trail.”
Eddie smiled slightly. He did miss the rush of working a fire or treating a seriously injured patient.
“Also, you're an outsider,” Xander said, “Might help us think outside of the box.”
“I can do that...”
After further orientation, Eddie climbed back into his car and drove home. Stopping by the auto parts store he worked at, to gave his two weeks notice.
Eddie's boss. A twenty five year old kid who didn't know a spark plug from a brake pad but had been to business school. Fired Eddie on the spot instead of accepting his two notice.
With a nod, Eddie said thanks and walked out the door with a smile on his face. This meant that he could start his new job all that much sooner. The former firefighter headed for his apartment to pack. He held a month to month lease and it was only a week until the next month's rent was due.
All of Eddie's worldly possessions would fit in his heavily modified and lovingly maintained 2000 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
Maybe with the princely salary the Slayers Council International was paying him. He had learned that the SCI was the parent organization for the school. And had replaced the old Watchers Council. Eddie figured that he could probably swing the payments for another Harley. Eddie had been forced to sell his Sportster to pay off his divorce lawyer... the bastard.
He also needed new tools. Eddie had also sold off most of his mechanics tools to pay off his leech of a lawyer too. Not to mention. His ex-wife had gotten his lawn maintenance business in the divorce,
It was late Thursday afternoon. By the end of the weekend. Eddie would be all moved into the small apartment over the school's garage/workshop.
But for now, Eddie had to get ready to go out to dinner with his long lost cousin and her boyfriend.
At six. Eddie drove back to the school. Instead of having to use the intercom. He simply swiped his new ID badge in the reader and the gate began to open.
With a smile, He drove up the road and pulled into a parking spot near the front doors.
Eddie had changed from his interview clothing into something a little less formal. Jeans, a light blue button front shirt and his leather jacket. All topped off by a Boston Red Sox ball cap. It was still early spring in Cleveland and the temperatures were predicted to be in the forties overnight.
Eddie looked up at the Calender/Summers school. The sun was just setting and the lights were on in the third and forth floor dorm rooms. Along with a few of the upper floors and of course the main floor. A few curious faces appeared at the windows.
Eddie tossed a few of the girls visible a small wave and a few waved back.
“Hey, Cuz!” Faith called out as she came down the front steps. Robin at her heels.
Faith was in black jeans, matching high heeled, calf high boots and a tight maroon turtleneck sweater. A leather jacket similar to Eddie's was tossed over one shoulder.
Robin had dressed down from his suit to khaki dockers and a shirt similar to Eddie's. He wore a longer black leather coat.
Eddie pulled his cousin into a hug, “Hey, Faith.”
“You ready for the best Italian food you've had since the last time you were in the north end?” Faith asked as she broke the hug.
“Yep,” Eddie replied, We taking your car or...”
“Our van,” Robin replied. Pointing at the Toyota minivan Eddie had parked next to.
“Can't see you as a minivan driving soccer mom, there Faith,” Eddie teased.
“Van's Robin's,” Faith replied with a smirk.
“Hey... It's good for school grocery runs and moving the boys around.” Robin replied with a slight smile.
“I'm still getting a convertible,” Faith said as she lightly punched her boyfriend on the arm.
“Help...” Robin trailed off with a pleading look at Eddie.
“Don't look at me. Car gene comes from the our granddad,” Eddie grinned, “But I was thinking about getting another Harley now that I can afford one again.”
Robin slid behind the wheel while Faith slipped into the passenger seat. Eddie took a seat in the back. Noticing the matching safety seats temporarily strapped into the third row.
“A bike?” Faith grinned.
“Please.. don't give her ideas,” Robin pleaded.
The dinner was excellent. Faith and Robin had talked about what they had gone through between Sunnydale and setting up the school in Cleveland. Eddie marveled at his cousin.
Faith had been a wild girl growing up. He didn't know the full story but he had known that his Aunt. Faith's mother had been a drug addict and prostitute. No one knew who Faith's father really was.
Eddie also hadn't known about the physical and sexual abuse Faith had endured before being taken in by her Watcher. Until she told him over desert. Those revelations nearly set off the former firefighter's temper. Faith simply said it was all in the past and she was over it. Eddie wasn't too sure.
Faith explained that after her Watcher had been killed. She had run to Sunnydale. And the other Slayer, Buffy.
“Why didn't you call?” Eddie asked. Staring at the girl... no. Young woman and mother who sat across the table from him.
“You'd be dead, Eddie. You, Sara and Amy... Kakistos would have killed you all. I couldn't risk that after he... killed Diana.”
Eddie stared down at his Gelatto, “It was that bad?”
“Not meant to be, Cuz,” Faith replied, “but for good or bad... mostly bad. I'm a better person. I've got a hunky guy who loves me. Two beautiful sons and more family than I can handle on most days.
Eddie looked at her sharply as she mentioned family. Faith held up her hand and smiled, “You've always been family. Me and Buffy still get on each others nerves once in a while. Problem with being the two 'Alpha' Slayers.”
“It's a lot to take in,” Eddie admitted.
“You haven't run away screaming yet,” Robin noted.
Eddie smirked, “Not that I didn't want to. Damn near pissed myself when Harmony did that... thing with her face...”
“Her 'Game Face,'” Faith grinned, “She hates doing that now. Willow's been trying to figure out how to give Harmony's soul back.”
“Surprising since Harmony apparently bullied Willow from early childhood,” Robin added.
“I'm not sure it's all sunk in yet,” Eddie began, “But I do miss being able to help. That was the satisfaction I got when I was on the fire department. I like... helping people.”
“And you'll still be able too, in a round about way,” Faith replied, “But make no bones about it. Vamps and other assorted uglies will kill you quick.. Leave the slaying to the Slayers.”
Robin cleared his throat, “And Robin, Xander, Dawn and Willow...” Faith added.
“Gotcha,” Eddie agreed.
Robin paid for the meal and the trio left the restaurant. As they walked down the street, the conversation started back up.
“Where is this... Hellmouth?” Eddie asked.
“We lucked out on that,” Faith replied, “In Sunnyhell. It was in the basement of the high school. In Cleveland, it's under the fountain and statue on the mall downtown. The statue was blessed when it was erected so it keeps most of the uglies away.”
“But it still draws Vampires and Demons to town,” Robin added.
“Still trying to get my mind around all this...” Eddie trailed off as Faith suddenly came to a stop.
“Vamps,” she said quietly.
“Where?” Robin asked.
Two gunshots echoed down the alley to their left, “That way.” Faith replied before sprinting from sight down the ally almost too fast to see.
Robin slipped two stakes out of his coat and handed one to Eddie, “You know your anatomy. In the heart. But only if you have too,” the man said before running after Faith.
“Shit...” Eddie muttered before tentatively following.
Lieutenant Lillian Locklear was an eighteen year veteran of the Cleveland Division of Police. She had grown up in the Cleveland Heights section of the city. In her years on the job, she had seen some strange things. Particularly since she had assumed command of the Downtown District, Robbery/Homicide Bureau.
But nothing in her career had prepared her for the sight of two vampires in full game face stalking towards her and her husband. Lillian drew her gun.
“Cleveland Police! Stay where you are!”
“Ohhh, food's a cop,” a tall, blond haired male vampire sneered.
“She's yours, Baby,” the female of the pair smiled. Showing her fangs, “Hubby looks tasty.”
“Lily?” a well built older man said as his wife slowly pushed him behind her.
“Run when I tell you to, Bobby,” Lillian whispered.
“No way in hell,” he replied also in a whisper.
“Running won't help, sweet thing,” the female vampire cooed.
Suddenly the male vampire lunged forward and Lilian fired twice. The gunshots echoing in the narrow alleyway. She and her Husband, Robert had been taking a shortcut back to their car. They had been out to dinner for their twelfth anniversary.
“Ow!” said the male as he stopped his lunge, “You know how much that hurts?”
Before Lillian could even blink at the vampire's comment, he lunged again. Batting Robert into the corner while grabbing Lillian by the throat.
Still holding her gun, Lillian pushed the muzzle into the thing's belly and pulled the trigger again. The vampire's face twisted in pain but he didn't let go of his prey.
“Just for that, I think I'll turn you,” he snarled
“Lily!” Robert cried out as he struggled to his feet. Just as he regained his footing, the female vampire grabbed him by the front of his blazer and sneered, “You're mine...”
The female Vampire's words died on her lips as a pointed piece of wood penetrated her chest. She looked down in shock for a moment before her body exploded into dust.
“Josie?” the male Vamp asked as he turned from where he was about to sink his fangs into Lillian's neck.
The Vamp's eyes widened in surprise. There was a rapidly dissipating cloud of dust in the air and a brunette haired woman standing there holding a stake.
“Slayer!” he snarled before tossing Lillian away like a rag doll. The detective landed in a heap, knocked unconscious.
The Vampire moved almost too fast to see in the darkness. He launched himself at the Brunette, only to be knocked back by a kick to his chest. The brick wall where the vampire hit actually gave way a little bit.
With another inhuman snarl, the Vampire leaped at the woman. Only to pause midair as the stake found his heart. With a look of shock on his face. He collapsed into dust.
Wide eyed, Robert Locklear ran to his wife where she lay unconscious, Suddenly, there was another man next to him, wearing a Red Sox ball cap, “Let me take a look at her,” the man began, “I'm a Paramedic.”
“And I'm a Doctor and she's my wife!” Robert snarled.
The man held up his hands, “Easy Doc,” he said in a relaxed tone of voice, “We can work together here.”
The Doctor nodded, “Okay.”
“I'll stabilize her c-spine while you do the primary. I'm Eddie by the way.”
Robert nodded, “Robert Locklear.”
“Nice to meet you, Robert,” Eddie said as the doctor began to examine his wife.
“Eddie... we gotta go,” Faith hissed.
“I'm not going anywhere until she's been checked out,” Eddie glared at his cousin.
Sirens could be heard in the distance. Drawn no doubt by the gunshots.
“Ed... we really need to leave,” Robin reiterated.
“You guys go,” Eddie said, “I'll stay until the bus gets here.”
“Bus?” Robert and Robin asked at the same time.
“Ambulance,” Eddie clarified.
Faith glared at her cousin then came to a decision, “Robin, get the van. I'll stay here with Eddie.”
“Go. Can't have the Deputy Headmaster at the center of an investigation.”
Reluctantly, Robin nodded, “If you say so.”
“I'll be home soon. Love you.”
Robin blew Faith a kiss before running down the alley. The sirens were getting closer.
“I think she'll be okay,” Robert whispered with relief.
“Probably just concussed,” Eddie added, “She's a cop?”
Robert nodded, “Lieutenant in the Robbery/Homicide Bureau.”
Eddie looked at his cousin, “You're clear, right?”
Faith grinned, “Presidential pardon... no worries, Cuz.”
Eddie shook his head, “You gotta tell me how that happened...”
“Later,” Faith replied.
“What the hell were those... things?” Robert asked.
“Vampires,” Faith replied simply.
“Pull the other one,” the Doctor scoffed.
“It's true, Doc,” Eddie replied, “I just found out this morning and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.”
A squeal of tires at the entrance of the alley drew everyone's attention, “Police! No one move!”
Robert took the lead, “Officer down. I need an Ambulance!”
“Doc Locklear? That you?” called out a voice.
“Lilly's hurt, Karl!” Robert stated.
“Fuck!” the police Sargent swore before keying his portable radio, “This is 305. I need EMS and a supervisor. Alley back of Ciao Bella off Euclid. Officer down. It's Lieutenant Locklear.”
The Sargent turned his attention to the woman and man in the alley, “Who are you?”
“Eddie Mullen,” replied the man.
“I'm his cousin, Faith,” The woman added, “We heard shots and came running...”
The Sargent looked sceptically at her, “In this neighborhood?”
“It's nicer than Southie. Right Eddie?”
“Got that right,” Eddie agreed.
“Bob... What the hell happened?”
Eddie and Faith shared a quick glance before the older man spoke, “Muggers... Two of them. Lily drew her weapon. They weren't scared off and they attacked. Lilly fired. I don't think she hit them but they did run off. Lily was knocked down and hit her head.”
“Do I look like I was born yesterday, Bob?” The Sargent asked, “Lily was my partner for five years. She doesn't miss.”
“You're not gonna believe me, Karl.” Robert sighed. The sounds of more sirens could be heard in the distance.
Instead of the shocked dismissal of that statement. The cop just swore, “Fuck...”
“You don't look too surprised,” Faith commented.
“Cleveland has a Hellmouth... Shit like this happens.”
“You know about the Hellmouth?” Faith asked. More than a little shocked herself.
Karl looked closely at the young woman. The way she held herself. Like a predator. He smiled, “You a Slayer?”
“Uhhhh,” Faith stammered.
“Had me an Aunt who was one,” Karl smiled as he continued, “Peri Boher. Her watcher told us what was what with things that go bump in the night...”
Before Faith could reply, More officers arrived followed by a Cleveland EMS ambulance crew.
The Medics approached Eddie and Robert. The two men giving a quick description of Lily's injuries. Quickly, she was moved to a backboard and then to the ambulance.
The police Sargent turned to Faith and Eddie, “Why don't you ride with me to the hospital. We can get all the paperwork done there along with the appropriate cover story,” he finished with a slight smile. Out of earshot of his fellow officers.
Faith nodded, “Sounds like a plan.” She pulled out her cell phone. Hitting speed dial one, “Robin? We're going to University Hospital. First cop on the scene knows about Slayers. Meet us there... I love you too... bye.”
Karl looked at Eddie, “Who did she call?”
“Boyfriend,” Eddie replied.
“Oh... thought it was her Watcher for a minute.”
Faith snapped her phone shut, “Lets get going. Dawnie will only watch the boys so long.”