All Aboard the Short Bus
A Buffy/Roswell/SG-1 Crossover
Setting: Roswell: after season 3 , Buffy: During Season 7 after "Help", SG-1: after season 7
Summary: The FBI special unit have caught up with the Roswell gang. Knowing their options are limited they investigate a rumor of a town where anything strange is simply overlooked by the authorities.
Chapter 1 - All Aboard The Short Bus
Disclaimer: I own neither Buffy, nor Roswell, nor SG-1. The characters and worlds of these are the property of their respective owners. I have created only the plot.
"Are you sure, Michael?" Max glanced to Liz, who gave him a look. It was her 'listen to Michael, he's actually making sense' look.
"I'm as sure as I can be, Maxwell. I overheard a guy talking - he wasn't exactly handing out travel brochures," Michael shot back.
"And you want us to up and run off chasing some rumor?" His eyes narrowed, Max wasn't exactly impressed. Michael always ran off half-cocked. For once he wished that he would at least think before he told everybody his plans.
It was Isabel who came to Michael's defense. "Yes, Max. Like we're soo tied down to this motel." Her eyes flicked toward the now-red VW bus parked outside. "Where else have we got to go? It could be worth taking the trip just on the off chance that Michael's right."
Max looked, as he usually did, to Liz. She nodded. "Isabel's right."
Michael looked offended. "Why is Isabel right? Why can't it be that Michael's right?"
Maria took his hand and squeezed. "Don't take it personally, space-boy. I just made Liz promise not to contribute to your ego."
Michael resumed his angered, silent brooding. "So, we're going to California?" Maria asked, sounding excited.
"Fine," Max said. Liz took his hand as he continued. "It looks like I'm outvoted. We just have to make sure that we avoid Roswell on the way back west."
They had all packed the next morning, and began their long, meandering drive north from West Virginia to Ohio, then west to Seattle. Their bus turned another color in each state they drove through, with Liz making sure that they never had exactly the same color twice. When they made the turn south to California, it was plain white, with some rust spots 'round the fenders.
Everybody was very tired when they pulled into Sunnydale, California. Isabel had fallen asleep on Kyle's lap, and Max and Liz had dozed off together hours ago. Maria was having trouble opening her eyes, but Michael somehow managed to stay wide-eyed and alert in the driver's seat. It was well after midnight, and the town was deserted.
Michael was obviously not happy. "Does this town have anything but graveyards?" He pulled over by the side of the road and looked at the map he'd folded out. He really wished that Nasedo had lived long enough to teach him that whole 'scanning' thing where he could just store a copy of it in his brain. "Where the hell is that motel?" He paused as he heard a ringing sound, like metal hitting metal. His eyes narrowed and he looked around for the source of the sound. It was coming from the graveyard right next to him.
He opened the door to the van and walked over toward it. He was really curious. He burned a hole in the fence and walked through, and was taken aback by what he saw.
A short blonde girl was fighting a group of men. She was holding a sword, and so were one or two of the men. He noticed a dark-haired boy sitting on a tombstone nearby. He was saying something, but Michael was too far away to hear him.
The dark-haired boy must have been the leader of the attackers, or he'd be doing something other than just sitting there drinking a... was that a Snapple? Score! Michael could beat the bad guy, rescue the girl, AND get a Snapple. It might be a good night after all.
Xander was waiting for Buffy to kill this group of vamps. It seemed to be taking her a long while, apparently some of them were better than the fledges that one would normally find in a group this big. Xander had counted six of them. Buffy could handle six, he was sure. He laid out the box of donuts on the tombstone he was sitting on, and produced two Snapples from his paper bag and popped one open. He took a swig. "You know, Buff, I've got donuts right here, you might want to hurry up so we can snack out before we do the next cemetery."
Buffy nodded. "Sorry, Xander. It's been hard to get a good workout lately, I was just letting them work me up to a sweat." She flashed a grin. "But for donuts? Consider them dust."
Xander started to reply when he saw another person coming toward the group, from behind Buffy. Xander put down his Snapple and picked up his axe. "I'm sorry, buddy, but you weren't invited to dance."
The shadowed figure raised a hand, and Xander did his best Greg Louganis, which unfortunately for him, meant hitting his head on a tombstone as he flew through the air and fell to the ground, unconscious.
Buffy shouted, "Xander!" She quickly and efficiently dusted all the surrounding vamps, beheading one, staking the next, ducking under a clumsy punch from an obvious fledgling, and alternately beheading or staking the rest. As they fell to dust, she turned on the new figure, a long-haired guy in dark clothes.
"What kind of demon are you?" she asked.
Michael stood there, stunned. He'd taken the guy out no problem, but he just saw that little blonde chick kill six guys by turning them into dust. In about three seconds. Had they been Skins? Max had to know about this. Anybody that could kill six Skins that easily was dangerous. Strike that, Dangerous. Michael, for once, did the only sensible thing. He turned around, and ran. As soon as he made it back to the van, he drove off as fast as he could, bringing everybody awake with a screech of burning rubber. "Max! Wake up! We've got a problem!
Two hours later, the Roswell gang sat in their seedy motel room. Isabel had gone to work immediately cleaning, declaring the rat-trap unfit for human or alien dwelling. After a half-hour under Isabelle's watchful and somewhat obsessive-compulsive eye, the place practically sparkled. Max and Michael were still debating what they'd seen and Liz and Maria had gone out to get some supplies at the nearest convenience store.
"You know, Max, if there are Skins here, this town could be another Copper Summit. It could explain a lot of the weird stuff that goes on here." Isabel interjected now that her attention was back on them.
"The thought had crossed my mind, Maxwell," Michael added.
"I don't think so," Max said. "First of all, if there were other Skins on earth, Nicholas wouldn't have called it a 'death sentence' when we destroyed their other husks. He was their leader. Surely he would simply have taken a husk from one of the other Skin cells, if such things existed."
"OK, good point." Kyle piped in. "So then maybe these Skins came later?"
"Or maybe they're not Skins at all," Max said flatly.
"What do you mean?" Isabel asked.
Max looked at Michael. "Michael, you said that they turned to dust when they were stabbed and cut." Michael nodded, and Max continued. "But Skins were practically indestructible unless you hit their plugs. Being stabbed, unless they were stabbed REALLY HARD in the plug, wouldn't do much of anything to them."
Isabel's eyes widened and she looked a little scared. Michael's eyes had the opposite reaction. "So if they're not Skins, what are they? What else turns to dust when you kill them?"
Max shook his head. "I don't know. But I'm guessing we'd better find out."
Isabel looked worried. Kyle looked upset. Max looked determined. Michael defaulted to angry. "Then first thing tomorrow we need to find that girl. She seemed to know what was going to happen when she killed them."
Liz and Maria pulled into the Gas'n'Go. "OK, Maria. You get on supplies, I'll gas up the bus." Maria nodded, and headed off into the store, while Liz went around to the gas cap and took it off. She placed a hand over the card reader, and concentrated. Green sparks leapt off her hand and into the machine. A moment later, it flashed, "Make your selection." Pushing the Premium button, she grabbed the hose and began to fill it up. She saw Maria walking around inside the little store. As soon as she finished pumping the gas, she bounced into the store herself.
"Hey Liz, check it out, they sell little sharpened crosses in here. I thought they were pencils at first, but they don't even have any lead in them, they're just wood!"
The clerk eyed them suspiciously. Liz rolled her eyes. "Supplies, Maria!" She looked down at Maria's hands and found two Snapples, a bag of chips, three bags of marshmallows and three little bottles of Tabasco sauce. "Well, that does Max, Michael and Isabel... what about the rest of us?"
Maria looked chagrined. "Well, I've only got two hands, Can you grab me one of those things?" she said, pointing to one of the cross necklaces. Liz smiled. "Sure."
As they walked out, arms loaded with snacks and drinks, a shadowy figure watched them with yellow eyes from around the corner, and started walking toward them.
Maria slid the door to the bus closed on their treasure trove of snack foods. Liz had already emptied her load and gone around to the other side to get in the bus. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, Maria was grabbed, and two sharp teeth sank into her neck, her assailant's yellow eyes flashing with the fresh blood now flowing into his mouth. Maria screamed. Liz ran around the bus and saw what was happening. Instantly her hand flew out, and green sparks crackled along it. The vampire was thrown a good ten yards and landed flat on the ground. A moment later he got up and ran, but Liz had already gone to Maria, and seen all the blood coming from her best friend's neck. Max would need to heal it. Liz tied her jacket as tight as she could around the wound and under Maria's other arm, then moved her as gently as possible into the bus. She wasted no time getting back to the motel.
She fished her key out and opened the door. "Max! Maria needs your help!"
Max got up, sensing Liz's fear of wasting time. Walking toward the door, he asked, "What's wrong?" The others all got up to follow.
"We were at the Gas'N'Go, and this guy just jumped out of nowhere and attacked Maria.. He, I don't know, he bit her neck."
"Bit her neck? What kind of sick freaks are we dealing' with here?" Michael demanded. The thought of anything bad happening to Maria had really set him bristling.
"I don't know, but Max, she needs your help!"
Max looked into Liz's eyes and nodded. Without another word he placed one hand on Maria's abdomen and one on her wound. A soft white light appeared under his hand, and sweat appeared on his forehead. A few moments later, she woke with a start and a look like she'd just been dumped into an ice water bath. "What happened?" Maria asked.
Liz explained what had happened at the Gas'n'Go. "So if Max brought me back, does that mean I'm... one of you, now?"
"Yeah, you're an alien now," Michael put in, "so now you can quit calling me space-boy."
"I don't call you space-boy because you're an alien, Michael. I call you space-boy because that's where you left your brain," Maria explained. "The fact that you're an alien is just coincidence."
"As cute as your little lovers' tiffs are," Isabel interjected, "don't we have some important questions to answer?"
"Yeah, like who bites people in the neck?" Michael asked. "This isn't some Bram Stoker movie, Maxwell, this is real life."
Max hushed them all. "Well the only lead we have on it so far is this blonde girl. Liz, can you?"
Liz nodded, and reached out a hand to Michael. She'd gotten better at this over the months. For a few moments she stared off into space, and then took a step back as she steadied herself against the moment of disorientation that followed her flashes. "What did you see?" Max asked.
"I saw a girl, brunette, maybe fifteen or sixteen, really pretty. And a blonde girl, shorter, also pretty. A little older. They felt connected in some way. And there was something... different... about both of them."
"It's settled, then. They could be like us... and might have some answers." Max said. "We'll start looking for her in the morning."
The room was dark except for a single cone-shaped light shining down on the plain gray table. A man sat studying the 8x10 glossy surveillance photos. They were too far behind. The Special Unit was falling apart, and losing funding. They had to get some new information and generate some new interest from the higher-ups, and soon. The man glanced up at another who just entered the room's small cone of light.
"What is it, Mr. Franco?" Agent Barnes asked.
"We've received information which puts the subjects in Seattle, sir." Franco informed him.
"Seattle?" He looked over at the sign for West Virginia Highway 2, and sighed. "Are you sure? It's a long way to go. How did they get there when they were just here?"
"We don't know, sir. But a group matching their description was spotted at a gas station a few miles outside Seattle, and it's the only lead we've had in months."
Barnes sighed. "We're getting closer, I think. We'll find them, Franco."
"Yes sir," Franco dutifully replied.
"We'll find them. These creatures can't run forever."
Dawn sat in school, waiting for the bell to ring. Math was boring, as usual. She almost wished her teacher would go back to singing the lessons like when Sweet was around. Still, at least it was just about over... 3. 2. 1. Dawn grabbed her bag and practically ran to the door. She liked sitting outside under a tree with her lunch. She opened the bag and pulled her sandwich out. Xander had gotten good at making sandwiches. Peanut butter and strawberry preserves with marshmallow fluff on wheat bread. Just the right amounts, and with the jam in the middle, so the bread hadn't gotten soggy. The crusts were trimmed off, and it was cut neatly from corner-to-corner. Xander was becoming a regular mister mom.
Dawn knew he was just trying to keep busy so he didn't have to think about Anya. He had taken on more and more responsibility, and was now putting in a full day's work, being Mr. Mom to the Summers household, and even patrolling with Buffy at night. Dawn worried that it was too much for him, but he needed it... for now.
Looking out over the schoolyard, she spotted a really hot guy just outside the fence, talking to a pretty girl with long dark hair. The girl was pointing at something. Dawn did a double-take. The girl was pointing at HER. The guy was looking at her really intensely. Buffy would be out in a minute to join her for lunch, she should probably mention it.
And she did, when Buffy plopped down next to her a minute later. "Buffy, I don't mean to alarm you, but that girl over there's pointing me out to some guy, outside the school fence. Is somebody looking for me again? I hope he's not another wayward Hellgod. Last time we got chased all over a-an you died, and I can't deal with that again!" she whined. All that in one breath. Jeez, she could give Willow a run for her money sometimes.
"Well, if somebody's going to be looking for you, at least it's somebody hot." Buffy said, squinting. "In fact, he looks familiar...." Buffy trailed off. "Ford?" She exclaimed. "It can't be."
"Buffy, the girl's gone."
Buffy looked again and sure enough, the guy was there, still drilling through them with his eyes, but the girl was gone. They looked around, and the girl stepped out from behind the tree. "Hi," she said shyly. She sat down without asking, facing both Dawn and Buffy, and pushed her hair out of her face behind her ear. "I'm Liz, and... I think we need to talk."