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Road Trips Suck

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Summary: Someone is sending people to try and kill Buffy – like that's something new. In any event, her rescuer is someone she never expected to see.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > GeneralGreywizardFR1522,5670195,52123 Aug 111 Dec 11No

Chapter One

Disclaimer: The characters and/or concepts all belong to Joss and ME, Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner (and possibly MGM) or David Chase. Deal with it. I have.

Time Frame: Approximately a year and a half after 'Chosen' for the Scoobies, and some indeterminate time before Season Five for Stargate-related matters. Season Sux Part Trois (also known as Season Eight, the Comic series) does NOT exist in this universe.

Spoilers: Nah, not this time.

Character Bashing: None.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: This one is unbeta'd, as all of these submissions will be.

Author’s Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author’s Note 3: This is story #22 for Challenge 6471: August Fic-A-Day 2011.

~~~

Bada Bing! Strip Club
Lodi, NJ


{ I'd say, things couldn’t get any worse, but I'm not about to tempt Fate or the PTBs to try and prove me wrong, } Buffy Summers thought to herself as she tried to make herself a but more innocuous among the various patrons who were filling the rest of the bar.

{ I've got enough problems as it is. }

After her expulsion from the Reformed Watchers Council seven months earlier, she'd been hard put to find anyone in the know who was even willing to acknowledge her existence, let alone talk to her without first notifying the Council of her location. After all, someone who had been labeled a 'Traitor to Humanity' (due to her disagreeing with policies set by Giles, Dawn and other Board members, and then citing her romantic history with Angel(us), Spike and the Immortal as evidence for their accusations) wasn't a person that most demon hunters and Light-aligned covens were inclined to offer the benefit of the doubt.

So, to have someone contact her surreptitiously and offer to meet her, to discuss 'matters of extreme importance to both the Council and humanity,' had been a significant surprise – one she really couldn't afford to ignore.

And sure, she had taken as many precautions against treachery as she could reasonably manage on her own, but that didn't mean that she really felt safe in any way.

Especially not after what had happened to both Xander and Willow last year.

While no one had yet been able to prove that the incident involving Willow had been anything but an accident, Xander's disappearance was unquestionably the result of some person's or group's plans.

After all, Jantu demons *never* attacked buildings filled with people; they were much more the 'stalk unsuspecting individuals and eat their faces and brains' types. And the DNA analysis of the clearly-chewed-on part of an arm and hand that the FBI had found in that cult compound in Washington state a month after his disappearance had pretty much confirmed the fact that her best friend was dead.

'Cause if he wasn't, then his fate was even worse than she wanted to consider.

In any event, here she was, sipping a tepid beer at a table in one of the darker corners of a strip club while waiting for her mysterious possible future ally to show up and make contact. It had been the suggestion to meet here that had persuaded her that her mysterious contact wasn't associated with the Council, since she couldn't visualize *any* Council member (other than Faith, of course) even considering such an idea.

She'd altered her appearance significantly in the past several months, all through completely normal and mundane methods, so she wasn't overly concerned about someone she might randomly run into recognizing her. After all, anyone looking for Buffy Summers would be expecting to see a stylishly-dressed, athletic young woman, not a frumpy-looking, slightly overweight young mother-to-be, dressed in clothes which would have caused the high-school Cordelia Chase she'd gone to class with, to break out in hives at the mere thought of even touching, let alone wearing, with identification proving her to be one Alexis McNally.

It was simply amazing what sort of identification or makeup and costuming accessories were available if you knew who to ask, and could meet their prices.

She'd started to wonder whether her unknown contact had decide to ditch their meeting when she noticed that several groups of men wearing dark suits – all of them cheap, off-the-rack merchandise, she automatically noted – had begun filtering into the club, and had taken up positions that allowed them to keep the entire place under surveillance. She also noticed that a fair number of the club's patrons had taken notice of the influx of new clientele, and that none of them seemed the least bit pleased about it.

When the owner of the club, a strongly-built, dark-haired man whom Buffy had heard one of the employees call 'Sil,' had approached one of the groups, she'd caught a glimpse of a badge and some official-looking identification the guy had flashed, which had evidently caused 'Sil' to throttle back on his outraged indignation a bit, since he had simply given the guy and his associates an extremely dirty look and then walked away.

Trying to avoid drawing any sort of notice at all from either the place's normal clientele or the maybe-government guys, Buffy refocused her attention on her drink, while also ostentatiously looking at her watch and letting a scowl cross her face.

Shaking her head angrily as she awkwardly got to her feet and hoping to pass as an angry girlfriend who'd been stood up for their date, Buffy began making her way to the exit.

"Excuse me, miss," she heard someone say as she tried to slide by the maybe-government guys' table unnoticed, "but I think you dropped this."

Reluctantly, Buffy turned to see what she might have dropped to draw the guy's attention, only to see all four of the men at the table rise and fan out to the sides to surround her.

As she was trying to decide whether to make some sort of scene, drawing the other customers' notice so as to possibly distract some of the maybe-government guys' attention, or just simply make a break for it, Buffy heard an impossible voice speaking to her in a quiet, but nonetheless carrying, tone.

"Hey, Buffster, how's it going?"

Looking up, the most experienced Slayer in the world was shocked into momentary immobility when she discovered a smiling, two-eyed Alexander Harris smiling at her.
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