Disclaimer: Btvs characters are owned by J. Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Damon Lathe and ‘Blackcollar’ are owned by Timothy Zahn and Baen publishing. I own nothing but ideas caused by sleep deprivation and overdosing on caffeine and nicotine.
The three friends watched as the plane taxied towards the apron. With a scream of jet engines the airliner raced down the runway before lifting off on the first leg of its flight to Jamaica.
“I’m going to miss her.” Willow said quietly as the plane carrying Kendra back home to Jamaica shrank to a dot in the sky.
As they walked towards the exit Xander veered off in the direction of a hot dog stand, muttering something about missing breakfast. Buffy was tempted to get one herself but decided to wait till she got back to school before grabbing a snack.
“So how’s Angel?” Willow asked.
“He says he’ll recover but he’s staying in bed for the next few days.” Buffy said.
Willow gave her a knowing look. “And I bet your just loving playing nurse to him.”
Despite herself Buffy felt her cheeks grow warm as a mental image of Angel in his bed with only a thin sheet covering his modesty while she was dressed as a ‘Naughty Nurse’ came to her.
“How’s Oz?” She asked, hoping to distract her friend.
Willow’s eye’s brightened at the mention of the senior. “He’s good. He told me the doctors said that it was only a flesh wound so it won’t affect his guitar playing.” She looked around to make sure no one was in ear shot. “And he was all flirty with me too. Imagine someone wanted to flirt with me!” She exclaimed in near disbelief.
Buffy had to grin as Willow babbled about how cute, funny, smart, oh, and cute Oz was.
“So are you going to see him again?” Buffy asked, happy that her friend had found someone, even if it wasn’t Xander.
Willow suddenly found the floor tiles very interesting. “Well, he hasn’t asked me on a date or anything but he did say that his band would be playing at The Bronze this week.”
Buffy nodded. She was sure that a certain blue haired Bass player might find his way over to wherever a certain red haired hacker was sitting every time the band took a break. Of course it would just be coincidence and nothing more.
“C’mon, let’s grab Xander and get back to school before Snyder realises that we’re gone.”
Kendra felt her stomach rise then fall as the plane levelled off, the seatbelt light above her went out and Kendra allowed herself to relax slightly. Travelling inside the plane itself was far better than in the wheel well but she was still uncomfortable with the thought of flying through the air.
A stewardess offered her a drink which she shyly accepted. Taking a sip she smiled as the bubbles tickled her mouth and tongue. Relaxing back in her seat she thought about what she had learned in her short stay on the Hellmouth.
Not only was her predecessor still alive but she had friends who not only knew that she was a Slayer but actively helped her in her sacred duties. Included amongst her friends was a vampire who Buffy said was her boyfriend. Kendra shook her head, yes she understood that Angel was not Angelus. Mr Giles had informed her that thanks to a Gypsy curse the vampire now had a soul and was trying to redeem himself for all the horrors that he had done. But still he was a vampire and she wasn’t sure why she had decided to lock him in that cage instead of staking him when she had the chance. It was something to consider when she got back home.
Pulling out a notebook and a pen she began to write. Mr Zabuto would insist on a full debriefing when she returned home and she had to be sure that she didn’t leave anything out, as her Watcher always said, it might be the slightest detail that could mean the difference between victory and death.
Sunnydale High School
Xander left Willow and Buffy and headed to his locker. With Kendra on her way home it looked like the Hellmouth was quiet for a while.
He suppressed a groan as he reached for his text books. Last night during the fight Officer Shoots-a-lot had managed to wing him. Thanks to his Flexarmour there was no permanent damage but it still hurt like a bitch and he now had a bruise on his ribs bigger than his hand.
At the start of the fight in the church he had been able to taunt the ‘Bug Dude’ into chasing him into another room instead of attacking Buffy and Kendra. He had lured the assassin into the room where Cordy had been waiting with some glue and an Economy sized can of Raid. Between the insecticide and stomping boots ‘Norman’ was soon nothing more than disgusting paste.
Leaving Cordy to finish stomping on the bugs, something that she seemed to enjoy way more than what Xander was comfortable with, he’d rushed out to help with the main fight. There he had seen Buffy and Kendra laying the smack down on the vampires in the church with Giles and Willow supporting them with crossbows. He winced as he saw Buffy literally drive a vampire into the floor as she fought her way towards where Angel was suspended with Drusilla but Spike seemed to be doing his best to make sure she didn’t make it in time.
Then he saw her on the other side of the building, the Terakan assassin who’d tried to shoot Buffy at the school. She’d obviously been knocked down at the start of the fight but now she was back on her feet with a gun in her hand and taking aim at Buffy.
Without hesitation Xander’s fingers dipped into the pouch on his belt for one of the shuriken that he’d made in metal shop. With a practiced, whip like flick of his wrist he hurled the throwing star at the assassin while at the same time sprinting towards the faux cop. His aim was good as the shuriken embedded itself into the gunwoman’s wrist, causing her fingers to spasm and drop the gun.
Then he was on her, his nunchaku a blur as he did his damndest to try and crush the assassin’s skull with the hardwood batons. Unfortunately she was fast as well and managed to pull a second gun just in time. She got off one shot before Xander was too close and he grunted when the bullet caromed off his hidden armour and the muzzle flash scorched his shirt. The impact was enough to spin him around and he used the impetus to stab the assassin with a knife before whacking her in the head with his flail.
It wasn’t a good strike. The assassin had been moving when she was hit so instead of cracking her skull the nunchaku baton had broken her jaw. Xander had been about to press the attack when he heard Willow shouting that the church was on fire and they needed to get out of there.
Xander sifted through the books he kept in his locker and frowned as he remembered the previous night. Everyone made it out of the church in one piece which was good but there was no guarantee that Spike and Drusilla had been dealt with despite Buffy saying that she had seen the church organ collapse on the vampire just before the fire started.
He had a feeling that they hadn’t seen the last of the undead version of ‘Sid and Nancy’.
Closing the door to his locker and was surprised to see Cordelia standing there.
“Cordelia, to what do I owe the pleasure?” He asked.
Cordelia Chase just glared at Xander before grabbing him by the arm. “We need to talk.” She snapped as she dragged him into an empty classroom.
Xander felt himself swallow nervously, he had a feeling that whatever Cordy wanted to talk about wasn’t the pair of shoes that had been ruined last night.
Angel woke up, it was quiet in his apartment but not dark, Buffy had left several lamps on when she left. Sitting up in his bed he stifled a groan as the pain from last night came back to him. If Buffy and her friends had not stopped the ritual when they did he would be nothing more than a pile of dust while Drusilla would now be one of the most powerful vampires on the planet.
Forcing himself to his feet he staggered to his bathroom and within minutes was luxuriating under the jet of hot water from his shower. If he had to say what he liked most about the twentieth century it would be almost unlimited hot water on demand. A close second would be the microwave oven, which reminded him that he was hungry.
Shower finished and now dressed in clean clothes he made his way into the kitchen. Inside his fridge he found a plastic container of pig’s blood with a note on it.
‘Get some rest and I’ll see you this evening. Love Buffy’
An unaccustomed smile flitted over his face as he read the note before placing the container in the microwave. As he waited for his meal to warm he thought about the events of the last few days.
Being kidnapped by Spike and his minions had not been fun and Drusilla had taken great delight in torturing her sire for a day and a night. And Drusilla had used everything that she had learnt from watching Angelus and Darla play when they were ‘The Scourge of Europe’. He looked down at his chest and the now fading burn marks from where Dru had dripped holy water on him. It would take a few weeks and a lot of blood before the scars were completely gone.
A high pitched ping told them that the blood was ready and he quickly poured the now warm blood into a cup. Cradling the cup of blood he considered what else had happened. The most surprising had been the appearance of a second Slayer, Kendra.
It was hard to believe that there was now ‘Two’ Chosen Ones in the world. He wondered how it had happened, maybe he could talk to Giles for an explanation. Thinking back to the fight he’d had with Kendra he knew he was lucky to be alive.
The new Slayer was good, very good. Maybe not as strong or as fast as Buffy but the difference between them was miniscule. Where Kendra exceeded Buffy was in her fighting skills. Kendra was obviously better trained than Buffy, during the fight in Willy’s Kendra had come very close to defeating him.
Angel looked into his cup of blood and sighed. He knew why Kendra hadn’t taken the opportunity to end a master vampire when she had the chance. It was the same reason that Buffy hadn’t successfully staked him when she thought that he had attacked her mother Joyce last year. He had enthralled them both.
It wasn’t a complete enthrallment, making the Slayers his mindless drones was never his plan. Angel just wanted to make sure that the Slayers would hesitate when they faced him, just long enough for him to explain why he was not like other vampires and that he had a soul and that he was striving to redeem himself for what his demon had done in the past.
So far it seemed to be working but Angel knew that if the truth ever came out he’d better off staking himself than trying to explain what he had done. He doubted that Giles or Buffy would believe his explanation on just why he’d used his hypnotic powers not only on Buffy and now Kendra but on all her friends.
But he knew that what he had done was for the greater good. The Powers that Be had plans for him and he knew they didn’t include becoming a pile of ash thanks to a stake in the hands of an overenthusiastic Slayer.
“Perhaps I should tell them what I’ve done.” He murmured to himself. Even before the thought had entered his head he could hear the mocking sneer of Angelus in his mind.
“Great idea there laddie. I’m sure that everyone will be understanding and supportive. Especially when they decide to nail you to a west facing wall at sunrise just to show you how much they enjoy being your bitches!”
“Shut up Demon!” He snapped putting down the cup. All of a sudden he found that he no longer had an appetite, instead he sat in his apartment and brooded.
Drusilla looked down at the unmoving body of Spike. Her childe was sorely wounded, even worse than she had been after the mob had finished with her in Prague.
“Don’t worry my love.” She murmured as she ran her fingers through his hair. “You took care of me so now I’ll take care of you.” She paused for a moment.
“But we can’t stay here for too long my precious. Already the Jesting Warrior is becoming. The Stars have told me that soon he will start to train his Valkylries. First one then others. We must not be here when he leads them into battle.”
Author’s note: I decided to edit this chapter after I re-read Ghostwriters excellent story ‘Home and Heart’ (Hint, I would like to see that story finished one day) where in one scene Buffy accuses Angel of putting a spell on her. It got me thinking. What if Angel had hypnotised Buffy when he first met her? Just to ensure that she didn’t stake him out of hand when she realised that he was a vampire? It would explain why Buffy and the other Scoobies tended to give Angel’s family a bit of slack in their encounters over the years.