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Autonomous

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Summary: There have been unforeseen consequences following the Council's decision to implement the Cruciamentum for Buffy.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Buffy-CenteredGreywizardFR1821,9773369,89626 Aug 1122 Aug 12No

Chapter Two

Author's Note 1: This is entry #22 for the 2012 August Fic-A-Day Challenge.

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Sunnydale High School
Sunnydale Library

January 23, 1999


"Giles, there *has* to be something you can do," Buffy whined, her lovely features distorted into a frown as she crisscrossed the open space of the library floor, her arms waving animatedly as she spoke. "There's gotta be something in one of your books that can tell you how to fix this and give me my Slayer powers back!"

"I'm sorry, Buffy," Giles replied as he looked up from his perusal of am ancient Abbyssian tome, "but your, uh, your situation appears to quite unique and unprecedented, at least insofar as any of the Watcher chronicles I've examined thus far are concerned.

"As best I have been able to determine, there haven’t been any other recorded instances where, uhm, two Slayers have coexisted," he informed the petite blonde. “At least, not as far as the Watchers Council have been cognizant...”

Anything further Giles might have said was interrupted by the library doors bursting open, as though they had been hit by a truck. A frowning Faith entered and, a moment later, a clearly equally displeased Xander Harris, who was helping support a staggering Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, did likewise.

"Who the hell do I complain to at Tweed Central about this freakin' asshole they've saddled me with, Jeeves?" the current only active Slayer in the world demanded angrily as Xander half-dropped, half-tossed the mini-Watcher into one of the chairs lined around the table.

"Er, what, uhm, seems to be the, err, the problem with Wesley, Faith?" Giles asked with a frown as he glanced over at his replacement, who was slumped, limply, half on the chair and half on the table normally used for research.

"Gee, where do I start? Lessee, me and the X-Man and this jag-off were patrolling over at Mount Carmel Cemetery, when we caught sight of a bunch of leeches coming out of one of the mausoleums. And the moment we see them, Princess Grace here lets out a screech you coulda heard halfway across town," the dark-haired Slayer half-snarled in disgust, as she gestured at her barely-conscious Watcher.

"So, of course, alla the bloodsuckers heard him, and once they turned around and saw us, they right away charged us," Faith continued in an annoyed tone, "and Wuss-ley here tripped and almost dropped his sword as we were moving to get our backs against one of the other mausoleums, so the vamps couldn't flank us.

"Anyway, during the fight, genius here got his clock cleaned, and X the Axeman had to guard him to keep him alive, instead of being able to watch my back the way we planned," Faith finished her recounting of their patrol.

"I take it none of you were hurt, aside from Wesley's, ah, 'getting clocked' as you put it, correct, Faith?" Giles inquired as he moved over to begin checking his fellow Watcher.

He hadn't seen any urgent need to do so prior to getting Faith's report, given the way the pair had arrived and their general attitude towards their companion, but there was also no need to delay any longer. While the younger man might be a bit of a prat, Wesley did have an extraordinarily acute mind and a wide range of knowledge regarding arcane lore that Giles did not – knowledge that would most likely prove to be important in ensuring the survival of all of the children (and regardless of what the adolescents under their care might think, that was how he regarded all of them) at some upcoming point in time.

“We’re fine,” Xander said shortly, glancing at Wesley only for a moment.

"Very well, then, 'Princess Grace,'" the older Watcher smirked as he shifted Wesley to a more upright position in his chair, "why don't you present me with your version of tonight's patrol, so that I might start composing a report that won't get you sent to a research position somewhere along the Bering Straits?"

***

Sunnydale High School
Sunnydale Library

January 25, 1999


"Look, Buff, I hope you don't mind my suggesting it – but I'm thinking that maybe you should, uh, kinda back off on the whole Slaying thing a bit," Xander quietly suggested as he offered the tiny blonde an ice bag, following the Scooby Gang's usual post-patrol return to the library.

"At least, for a little while," Xander qualified his statement as he sat down in the unpadded chair next to her. "Y’know, until you figure out how to compensate for not bring a Slayer, anymore."

Ignoring the narrow-eyed glare his comment elicited from the former Slayer, Harris proceeded to elaborate on his prior statement.

"It's not, you know, like I'm telling you that you should just give up and walk away from the fight or anything," he noted as he cleaned off whatever sort of demonic fluids were coating his axe, an expression of extreme disgust on his face as he did so. "'Cause, you know I'd never do something like that.

"But, you see, your main problem is that you're still trying to fight like you're a Slayer, and you're, well, not," he went on, taking care not to look at the petite blonde as he spoke.

"Gee, thanks for pointing that out, Xand," Buffy interrupted, the sarcasm in her voice clearly evident to anyone who might have been present. "I guess I must have missed that, somehow."

"There's no need to get all pissy at me, Buffy," Harris replied, apparently unruffled by the blonde's less than completely pleasant response. "I’m not tryin’ to insult you.

"But, like it or not, you're not a Slayer anymore," Xander told Buffy bluntly, looking her straight in the eye this time as he spoke, "and the sooner you admit that that you're just a mere mortal like all the rest of us, the less likely you’ll be to end up dead or crippled or something."

"I already know that, Xander!" Buffy immediately snapped at him. "Don't you think that I know that?!"

"Honestly? No, I don't think that you do, Buff," Xander shook his head. “Not deep down where it matters, anyway.

"Because, from what I've seen over the past week, you seem to think that you're somehow gonna get your Slayer powers back, and then everything is gonna go back to the way it was," he calmly stated, holding the blonde’s angry gaze and not flinching at the fury there that he could see his words had generated.

"And before you say that’s a complete crock or whatever, think about this: If you *really* believed that your Slayer powers are gone for good, would you have tried to stop that vamp earlier this evening by standing in his path and trying to punch him out, the way you used to be able to do?" the Scooby Gang founder said.

"Sure, habit is one thing – but you made a conscious decision to do what you did earlier this evening, Buff. If you really thought you weren't still the Slayer, you wouldn't have ended up on your ass, knocked unconscious, and have that black eye you're sporting now," Xander pointed out, making Buffy blush a deep red from embarrassment and angrily turn her face away from him.

"Oh, and one another thing. If you really *did* believe that you're not a Slayer anymore," he went on, "then by this point, you would have asked me and Willow how it is we've managed to survive the past two years patrolling with you, without ending up looking like we’ve gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson."

The ugly look Buffy gave him was almost scorching enough to melt glass. And the slamming of the library's double doors in her wake was the only answer Harris received, before he exhaled softly and turned his attention back to cleaning his axe.

Looks like ‘Be careful what you wished for’ could really come back to bite you in the ass.

***

The End?

You have reached the end of "Autonomous" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 22 Aug 12.

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