Standard disclaimer: BTVS was created by Joss Whedon. X-men and Spider-man were created by Stan Lee and pals. This is a piece of fanfiction that is not written for any form of monetary gain, only amusement.
UC Sunnydale a few days after the last chapter....
“I really can't believe we're doing this.” Buffy said as she sat down on the blanket that Kaine had provided.
“To be honest, this was your mother's idea.” Kaine said as he opened the picnic basket.
“Well it's a good one.” Buffy said. “It's a nice sunny day in Sunnydale and I'm enjoying a picnic with my boyfriend.”
“Do you know any Billy Idol impersonators?” Kaine asked as he closed the basket without taking any food out.
“Just one.” Buffy sighed. “Wait... it's daytime.” She said before sitting up. “Where?”
“He's on your six.” Kaine told her as he helped her stand. “Duck when I tell you.”
Buffy nodded and a few moments later she ducked at his signal.
Moments later Spike and Kaine were engaged in a fistfight that seemed to be straight out of a Jackie Chan film. Every time Spike tried to hit Kaine, he was just out of reach. This continued on for over a minute before Spike started smoking.
Realizing the protection he'd had against the sun was gone, Spike ran away faster than Buffy thought possible.
“What happened?” Buffy asked Kaine as the students in the quad quickly went back to their own lives.
“I robbed him.” Kaine grinned as he turned to her, still on one knee. “Xander and I have gotten really good at pickpocketing mid-fight.” He said before handing her a ring.
“Isn't this kind of sudden?” Buffy asked him as she felt her heart practically explode out of her chest.
“Oh. No, not that.” Kaine said. “I think this is what was keeping that guy out in the sun.”
“Oh.” Buffy said as she started to calm down. “I guess we need to run this by Giles.”
“After lunch.” Kaine suggested.
“Right.” Buffy said before putting the ring in her pocket. She didn't like dark stones anyways.
“Okay you're hired.” The Site Manager said as he lost to Faith in an arm wrestling contest.
“Sweet.” Faith smirked. “When's lunch?”
The Site Manager laughed. “Right now. You'll fit right in once you wear some sturdier clothes.”
“Denim on denim it is.” Faith agreed. “I've been a little ill, but I'll get stronger pretty soon.”
The manager looked at Xander who shrugged. “Not a problem.” The manager said. “Starting pay is seven an hour and ten after two weeks for grunt work. We can train you up on the next job.”
“Sounds good.” Faith grinned before turning to Xander. “So that's one thing. We gonna tell B and the others I'm back in action?”
“Nope.” Xander told her. “Not until it stops being so awkward around the apartment.”
“What happened?” the Manager asked.
“Caught Kaine and a friend of mine having sex on my bed.” Xander told him. “He's paying for my new sheets.”
“Ouch.” The Manager grinned. “All right. Lunch hour has another twenty minutes. I'll let Xander introduce you to the rest of the crew when it's over.”
Faith nodded. “Sounds fair.”
“I'm taking a bath.” Faith said as the sweaty trio entered the apartment.
Kaine and Xander shared a look before nodding at each other.
“That's fine.” Kaine said. “I'll start dinner.”
“Try not to take too long. We both want a shower before patrol tonight.” Xander told Faith.
“I'll do what I can but I really want a soak.” Faith told him.
“Fair enough.” Xander shrugged. “Just don't fall asleep in the tub.”
“What am I twelve?” Faith asked.
“Recently Comatose.” Xander reminded her.
“Oh. That.” Faith nodded. “Maybe a shower.”
“I'll get you a clean towel.” Xander said before heading to where he kept his clean linens.
“Thanks X. Say, are there any other apartments available on this floor?” Faith asked.
“I'll ask the apartment manager tomorrow.” Xander promised.
“So Xander caught you guys going at it at their apartment?” Willow asked Buffy after hearing a little about her night with Kaine.
“We also broke Xander's bed.” Buffy blushed.
“Wow.” Willow said in awe. “So what was the story with him and a ring today at lunch?”
“Who told you?” Buffy almost shrieked.
“It was the news of the Quad.” Willow shrugged. “How some vengeful ex came in and Kaine took care of him. Kaine can fight?”
“He's like a ninja somethimes." Buffy said brushing off the topic. "Ugh... Spike? Really?” Buffy asked. “You know I have better taste than that right?”
“I dunno.” Willow shrugged. “Considering your dating history... Angel didn't even have a pulse.”
“Oh, I am so glad you're not my roommate.” Buffy glared. “Still Spike in daytime. That was big wiggins. Giles said it was some magic ring thing. Kaine got lucky in lifting it. I thought about giving it to Angel but it's way too risky.”
“So what did you do?” Willow asked.
“I smashed it with a brick.” Buffy shrugged. “Seemed like the thing to do.”
“Anything happen?” Willow wondered.
“There was a little ripply thing.” Buffy said. “Still. Anything else interesting happening on campus?”
“Well there is an astronomy club.” Willow said. “Oz is interested, but they only meet on full and new moons. He can't go half the time.”
“Huh.” Buffy said. “Nothing says 'free meal' in Sunnydale then a bunch of people gathered outside in the dark.”
“Looking up.” Willow added. “Seems really dumb. Think we should check it out?”
“Nah. I have a feeling it's a setup of some sort.” Buffy said. "I'm sure those army guys are behind it."
Elsewhere on campus...
“Like shooting fish in a barrel.” Forrest said to Riley as they secured another HST.
“I suppose.” Riley shrugged. Once they had made sure it was secure for transport, they handed off to the retrieval team. They had to continue their patrol around the 'stargazers'. “Who's idea was this?”
“I think it came from that Essex guy.” Forrest said.
“Heads up.” Graham called. “Two more coming our way.”
“Too easy.” Forrest said after they had bagged these two HSTs as well.
“Yeah.” Riley said as he looked at his upgraded rifle. “Way too easy.” The research department was burning through the hostiles at a much faster rate then before. While their protocols had changed and they were actually having fewer injuries and casualties on their missions... it was off somehow.
He just couldn't help feeling the dread building up within him. Something was coming. Something he couldn't protect his men from.
Another part of Sunnydale...
“So when are we telling B about me?” Faith asked as she and Xander patrolled the south side of town.
“You're still worried about that? How about as soon as anyone actually realizes you're missing? I swear it's out of sight out of mind with everyone these days.” Xander said as the duo patrolled the cemetery. “I know Buffy is all wrapped up in her new relationship with Kaine and Giles has taken to not leaving his apartment too often but still.”
“You worried about the Council at all?” Faith asked Xander.
“Nope.” Xander said with a shake of his head. “If they come after you.. well I'm pretty sure I can convince a few friends to give them bad dreams.” He grinned.
“That connection of yours to spiders is something else X.” Faith sighed. “Think the original can do that?”
“Dunno. Don't think he's tried too much. He's too busy fighting crime and whatnot. Unless you're in school for it, New York is way too busy to get philosophical.” Xander said. “I didn't spend much time there where I wasn't either working or comatose in a tube.”
“You have worse luck than I do.” Faith told him.
“Yup.” Xander agreed. “I fully admit that things can and will go sideways when I get involved. Still it proves to be pretty interesting.”
“You sure you didn't get infected with an aspect of a Chaos Demon?” Faith asked.
“Nah. Pretty sure I'm just descended from a couple of trickster gods. No real power, just all the trouble.” Xander smirked. “That or my family line is cursed by Murphy.”
“I'd believe either one of those.” Faith grinned. “So what's up with the wrestling mask you gave me?”
“Well, they work. It will conceal your identity while letting you see.” Xander told her as they came across a demon looting a crypt.
After a brief fight, the two were back on their way, both were weighed down by Mr T. levels of gold jewelry.
“You know... this is fun.” Faith said.
“I try.” Xander shrugged. “Let's call it a night pretty soon. We've got work in the morning.”
“We just ripped off a lot of gold. Why are we working?” Faith asked.
“Because it looks good to be honest tax payers. Even if we have side income.” Xander shrugged, causing the gold chains he was wearing to make a fair amount of noise. “Besides, steady paychecks are just that. Steady. The rest is just rainy day money.”
“You never had a lot growing up did you?” Faith asked.
“Nope. I like making money. I also like saving as much as possible when I can. Even with what we make at work and sharing rent, Kaine and I barely cover our food bills. I don't know how the original Spider-Guy makes it in New York.”
“Probably stripping.” Faith shrugged.
New York City, earlier that day....
“I can't believe they're doing this.” Mary Jane muttered to herself as she sat at a table near the back of the... establishment.
“Introducing a crowd favorite... The Parker Brothers!” The cheesy DJ said to the screaming crowd of ladies.
Mary Jane blinked. “When did She-Hulk get here?” asked aloud as she saw the Emerald skinned woman waving a stack of singles at the gyrating duo on stage.
“I invited her.” Felicia Hardy told her as she sat down next to the redheaded model. “She doesn't realize who they are, obviously.”
“I told you about this in confidence.” Mary Jane hissed.
“You also told me you were having problems walking and making it to jobs on time.” Felicia grinned. “Combined with what those two eat and what rent costs in this city... This was bound to happen.”
“Fair point. After Peter got spliced with the same healing factor Ben has... it's been kinda rough.” Mary Jane agreed. “I'm not agreeing to anything crazy but I could use a break.”
“Gotcha.” Felicia grinned. “So why were they dressed like the Monopoly guy?”
“Parker Brothers.” Mary Jane shrugged. “We play board games on really rainy days.”
“Oh.” Felicia said. “Whatever.”
“Nah. That's probably not what they do.” Xander said with a shake of his head.
“Isn't that how you got the money to fix your car?” Faith grinned.
“Fair enough.” Xander sighed. “Okay. Waffles then sex?”
“Sex then Waffles.” Faith countered. “And bacon.”
“Deal.” Xander grinned.
Elsewhere in Sunnydale...
Kaine sighed in contentment as he tossed another log onto the fire. He just wanted some quiet time and the beach seemed like the place to get it.
Aside from the occasional vampire on his nighttime stroll, it had been a fun night. A night that let him decompress.
His original had a gargoyle or two to vent his problems to.
Kaine just liked the quiet.
It was something that only existed in rare moments in New York, so he greatly appreciated this.
“You sodding bastard. I am going to kill you!” Spike screamed as he finally tracked down the man who'd humiliated him earlier that day.
Kaine quietly picked up the cool end of the stick he'd been poking the fire with and shoved it into Spike's heart without directly looking at the vampire.
Kaine only turned to look at the pile of dust when he realized he didn't rob it again first.
“Damn.” Kaine muttered before shrugging and turning back to the fire. He'd do better the next time someone swore vengeance upon him.
He had a feeling that it would happen again sooner or later.