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Chemistry of a Car Crash

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Come Around Soon". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: To an outside observer, the scene might have appeared comical: the tall, impassive-faced Native American caught in a staring contest with the petite blonde, but to Buffy, it was a far more serious matter. Written for the 2011 August Fic-a-Day.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Vampire/Supernatural > Mercedes Thompson SerieskerrykhatFR1311,344082,0243 Aug 113 Aug 11Yes
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Patricia Briggs owns "The Mercedes Thompson Series" and related characters; I own nothing.
Author's Notes: Title comes from song of the same name by Shiny Toy Guns. Written for akat because she requested some Buffy/Charles way back when. :)

~*~*~
“What are you?” the man before her growled, his dark eyes becoming paler. Buffy stood her ground, unwilling to let the taller man intimidate her. To an outside observer, the scene might have appeared comical: the tall, impassive-faced Native American caught in a staring contest with the petite blonde, but to Buffy, it was a far more serious matter.

“A girl, although I think that would be obvious” she answered, her tone biting. She was going a little stir-crazy at home when she heard about possible werewolf attacks in a town about forty minutes out of Sunnydale. She was doing recon when she ran into tall, dark, terse, and handsome. He was subtly setting off her spidey-sense, and he was giving her an evaluative look that she found to be more than a little disconcerting. He had tried to warn her off when he had first run into her, going so far as to grab her arm to lead her forcibly away. That had been the wrong move. Buffy had used more strength than she might’ve normally to yank her arm out of his grasp, leading to their current standoff.

“What else are you?” he asked, putting an emphasis on the word “else”, as if he didn’t believe her. Although, given that if he said he was just a guy she wouldn’t exactly believe him, she guessed that was fair.

“What’s it to you?” she asked, not willing to give up her identity as the Slayer that easily. She may suck with the whole secret identity thing, but that was on her own turf. Here, on unfamiliar ground, there was no way. With Willow in England and Anya off doing her vengeance demon thing, that left her, Dawn, and Xander to make sure the Hellmouth stayed quiet. She didn’t even want to think about Spike or where he could be. Pleasant memories, not so much.

"This isn't a game," he told her in a low voice. "Go home."

Before Buffy could respond, the werewolf that she had come here to track chose to attack. Buffy, who really didn't have the best supernatural detecting skills, only had the sound of rustling foliage giving her enough warning to react. Tackling the man, they landed on the pavement with a collective grunt as the rogue werewolf soared over them, the man twisting in a way that managed to absorb most of the impact.

Shit, Buffy swore silently, pushing herself off the ground to her knees. She thought she had a few more hours until the werewolf changed. She'd left her tranq gun in her SUV, which was less than twenty feet away. Just her luck.

Gritting her teeth, Buffy stood up as the werewolf turned around and started running towards them again. There was a blur in the corner of her eyes as the man moved passed her and tackled the were to the ground.

“Go!” he yelled. Buffy hesitated for a moment before watching him throw the rogue werewolf off of him. That decided it. He was strong enough to take care of himself for a few minutes. Sprinting towards her car, she thanked the goddess that she hadn’t locked the door. Yanking it open, she grabbed the tranq gun where it was sitting on the passenger seat and ran as fast as she could back to the fight, not even bothering to shut the door.

She stopped short, her eyes widening as she looked the area she had just left.

“What happened?” she demanded, taking in the scene before her. The man was standing there, the dead body of the werewolf at his feet. It was already starting to shift back into human form. Even from where she was standing, it was obvious that the man had snapped the were’s neck. She didn’t know why the sight shocked her. It wasn’t like she wasn’t willing to kill the werewolf if it came to that. It just was last on a long list of alternatives, the primary one being the tranq gun she was holding.

“It’s none of your concern,” he answered.

Buffy narrowed her eyes and studied him closely. This was starting to feel like when Cain had shown up in Sunnydale to hunt Oz. Except, that analogy didn’t seem totally right for some reason. She’d think about it later.

His eyes were completely changed to amber and there was a shift in his body language, something she instinctively recognized. He was a predator, a top one.

“Who are you?” he repeated his question from earlier, but in a quieter, deadlier tone. There was a power to his voice. Even though Buffy wasn’t of magically inclined sort, she could feel it trying to make her answer. She tightened her lips and refused to look away. It might’ve been a dumb move, but she wasn’t about to show any potential signs of weakness, especially not to this man who she knew nothing about.

His face remained smooth, although Buffy was almost sure she detected a hint of surprise. She could be wrong, though. She wasn’t the best at reading people. Buffy couldn’t help but get the impression that he was studying her, trying to find some chink in her armor that he could exploit.

“You were expecting the werewolf,” the man finally said, startling her although she tried not to show it. His eyes darted towards the gun before going back to her face. Again, she felt that pressure to answer him.

“No, I was waiting for my Prince Charming to come and take me away,” Buffy replied, her voice dripping sarcasm. She could feel a dull ache starting to form behind her eyes, probably because of whatever mojo this guy was using. “Can you tone down whatever it is that you’re doing?” she asked. “Please?” she added when he didn’t respond.

“Answer my question.”

“Which one? The one about who am I or the implied one about expecting the werewolf?”

“Both.”

Buffy chewed the inside of her cheek, thinking. This guy wasn’t a Cain, she decided. He definitely wasn’t giving off that type of vibe. Given how he was responding, her next guess would be part fae, but even that didn’t feel right. There was only one possible conclusion that made any sort of sense in her head. And, if she was right, she didn’t need another angry werewolf trying to kill her today.

“I’m from Sunnydale,” she finally answered, deciding it would be better to partially answer him than continue antagonizing him. “Draw your own conclusions.”

“How do I know you’re not a threat?” he asked, taking a step closer to her.

“You don’t,” she admitted, resisting the urge to take a step back and continued to meet his gaze. “But then, I could say the same about you.”

His face didn’t change, although Buffy could feel the pressure dropping down. It was still there, but it wasn’t trying to overwhelm her any more.

“I’ll take care of the body,” he said, turning back towards the dead were. Buffy stared at him, slightly confused by the sudden change in topics.

“Oh-kay,” she answered slowly, not quite sure what to make of this development.

He turned to look over his shoulder and gave her a humorless smile. “Next time, stay out of were business,” he warned her. “You might not be so lucky.”

“If I had a dollar for every time somebody said that to me, I’d actually be moderately wealthy,” Buffy retorted. Not waiting to test her luck, she turned around and walked back to the car. She tossed the tranq gun in the back before climbing in. One last look at the scene showed that the man had paused and was still watching her. Mentally sighing, she started the car and started the drive back to Sunnyhell. Maybe she would run into some vamps along the way. She needed to vent some frustration.

The End

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