I totally forgot to put this in the first chapter. My apologies. I’m not going to be doing the whole “Oh-Castle-you-look-strangely-familiar” Caleb thing. I just personally think that it’s been a little bit overdone so I’m just going to skip it. For the sake of this, they looked nothing alike. Kay? Kay. :)
Episode Two: “Lessons”
“You are truly awful at hand-to-hand combat.”
Castle picked himself up off the training mat that was currently taking up the middle of Buffy’s spacious living room, and leaned against the couch. He was sweaty and breathing heavily, something he normally would’ve associated with a good time being had, but this, this was kind of verging on Hell.
Buffy sat down next to him. They had been at this for over four hours and she had barely broken a sweat.
“No excuses. Just get better.”
“Are you this tough with your other trainees? Or are you just that attracted to me?”
“Well, I will say that you are excelling in one thing. They usually hate me by now. Two weeks and four days might be a new record.”
“You’re too pretty to hate.” Castle smiled.
Buffy rolled her eyes, at both of his comments, and stood up. “Ready to go again?”
“Mmm I think my bones have had all the abuse they can take today. Besides, Alexis will be home soon. I want to get home before her. She doesn’t need to see her father all broken and bruised.”
“You wouldn’t be all broken and bruised if you practiced like I told you to. Wanna go out tonight?”
“Like on a date?”
“Keep your pants on, it’s not a date. I’ll pick you up at seven.”
“You’re picking me up? Wow, you really are a twenty-first century woman.”
“I can actually break the rest of those ribs for you, if you’d like.”
Castle stood up slowly and walked towards the door.
“See you at seven.”
Buffy raised her hand to knock on Castle’s door later that night, but stopped mid-way when she heard the not-so-muffled (thanks, super slayer hearing)
noises of an argument. One was undeniably Castle and the other was a woman’s voice. It sounded older so probably his mother.
They seemed to arguing about….what else? Her. She thought she heard the word “crazy” tossed around a few times, all willy nilly, but really, what else was she expecting? She’d been through this dozens upon dozens of times before when she would have to explain to a Potential’s parents or guardian why their daughter was being taken away to Scotland.
She knocked on the door twice. The voices stopped. The door swung open to reveal Castle wearing a smile that didn’t quite match his mood. Also, wearing a suit that was just a bit too fancy for where she was taking him.
He glanced down at her outfit (a fitted, black “I♥LDN t-shirt, jeans and an older pair of boots)
with a raised eyebrow.
“I have a feeling I should’ve mentioned dress codes.” Buffy said, awkwardly.
“Well, don’t let her just stand out there in the hallway, dear. Invite her in.”
“Oh, right. Buffy, please come in. I’d like you to meet my mother, Martha. And that’s my daughter, Alexis.”
Buffy walked in gave a slight wave. She was having the feeling like she might have an anxiety attack at any moment.
“Hi, I’m Buffy.” she mumbled. It may have come out a bit like a question.
They stood silently in Castle’s open living area, very awkwardly. Buffy didn’t know what to say and she was guessing that neither did they. After another few minutes of the awkwardness, she figured she might as well jump in.
“Okay, so I know that Cas-, um, Rick has told you about shadowing me in my, um…profession and I’m sure that you probably think that I’m insane or delusional or something but I’m not. My lineage as a Slayer goes a very long way back. I could probably get the books to prove it, if needed.”
“Vampires really exist?” Alexis asked, curiously.
Alexis was a beautiful girl. She had light skin and the most gorgeous, absolutely to die for ginger hair.
Buffy nodded. “The first beings to walk this Earth weren’t human. They were…demon in origin. They fed off of each other, making more and more of their kind. That is, until mankind evolved. The last true demon fed off of a human, creating a hybrid in its place. Before you knew it, they were evolving at the same rate as mankind was. And that’s when the Slayer was born.”
“And this ‘Slayer’…it’s you?” Martha asked, skeptically.
“Well, not the very first Slayer, no. That was tens of thousands of years ago. I’m only 28.” Buffy’s little age joke seemed to bomb quite rapidly so she just carried on. “The Slayer is one girl, in all the world. A chosen one. To defeat the forces of darkness and stop the swell of their numbers. Or something like that. Giles is always SO much better at this part than I am.”
Castle didn’t need any super human powers to see how flustered Buffy was getting trying to explain her life to his mother, so he intervened. For everybody’s sake.
“Mother, I think that’s enough for one evening. I’m just going to change real quick and then we can go.”
After the longest five minutes of Buffy’s life, they were outside of Castle’s apartment on the way to their destination for the evening. Soon, Buffy directed Castle into a cemetery.
“A graveyard. Our date tonight is in a graveyard.”
“It’s not a date, Castle.”
“If you say so, Summers.”
Buffy rolled her eyes and continued on. “Slayers spend more time in cemeteries than anywhere else. Except perhaps sewers. Slayers tend to log lots of sewer time for some reason. I can assure you that it’s a smell that isn’t easily removed.”
She directed Castle to sit while she continued talking. He leaned against a family stone while Buffy leaned on an older stone across from him. She pulled an extra stake out of the back of her jeans and tossed to him.
“So what now?”
“What? We just sit here and wait for a vampire to go screaming by?”
“Something like that.” Buffy smirked. What she was failing to tell him was that he was leaning against the vamp prospect’s family stone.
“I’m sorry about my mother.” Castle said, apologetically.
Buffy shrugged. “Don’t be. She was just doing her job. Trying to protect you from crazy old me.”
“You’re really 28?”
“…Yeah. Why? How old did you think I was? And I’d warn you to be real careful right about now.”
“Close. I figured 25 or 26.”
Buffy smiled. “You’re safe…for now.”
“So, tell me more about your family. Please tell me you have a mother as crazy as mine”
Buffy folded her arms together and looked down, suddenly interested in her feet.
“My mother died eight years ago.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I…I didn’t—“
Buffy looked up at Castle. She could see the remorse running across his face.
“It’s okay. You didn’t know. It wasn’t…evil. Well, I mean, it wasn’t vampires or demons or anything. She had a tumor. In her brain. They operated but an aneurysm formed. There was nothing they could do to stop it. I have a younger sister, Dawn. She’s in Scotland now. Working with the Council. My father….well, neither Dawn or I have seen him in, gee, what is it now? I want to say ten or eleven years. Giles is more of a father to both of us than our birth father is.”
Something Castle could sympathize with. “Well, if it makes you feel better, I don’t know who my father is. At all.”
Buffy smiled. “Again, is it wrong if it does make me feel kind of better? What about Alexis’ mom?”
“She’s an actress. She lives out in Los Angeles now. When we got divorced, I ended up with custody of Alexis because she was traveling around so much for a show she was doing. The judge didn’t think that would be much of a stable environment for Alexis. I’m so lucky to have gotten her and lucky enough that she wants to stay.”
“Alexis is a very lucky girl to have a father that loves and cares for her so much.”
“That’s what fathers are supposed to do, isn’t it?”
“Not all, apparently. You know, after Mom died, I spent four days trying to get a hold of him. Four. Days. He never called back. Never returned any of my messages. I…I’m not even sure if he knows that Mom is dead.”
Castle could feel his heart breaking as Buffy told him of her estranged father. He could see the pain it caused her, written all over her face.
They sat in silence for another few moments. Suddenly, Buffy heard the familiar sounds of the casket breaking underground. She tried to not think of when she had to do it herself and got prepared to enjoy the show that was about to begin. She let a tiny smile slip when she saw a white hand emerge from the fresh dirt.
“What?” Castle asked, intrigued by her sudden smile.
“Oh….nothing. Nothing at all.” As Buffy answered, the vamp was now half out of the grave. It was a woman, middle aged…late forties probably.
Vamp lady reached out and grabbed at Castle’s ankle. She pulled him down and he yelled, in shock. Buffy watched as he managed to wriggle out of her grip, but he lost the stake she had given him in the process.
Vamp lady was fully out of the ground now and on the hunt for her first blood—Castle. She lunged at him again, knocking him back down. He was just barely managing to keep her fangs away from his neck.
“Buffy! Help!” he yelled.
Buffy just sat back, smiled and continued on watching. Possibly wishing she had some popcorn.
After another few minutes of struggling, Castle managed to push the vamp off of him. She stumbled back and fell over a low headstone. Castle grabbed the stake from where it had fallen, ran over and staked the vamp.
“Um, she didn’t go poof. Why didn’t she go poof?”
Buffy rolled her eyes and tossed him Mr. Pointy. “You might want to aim for the heart this time, Sherlock.”
He thrust the stake down, this time at her heart and she burst into dust.
He leaned back against the same family stone, sweaty and breathless.
“Okay, that….that was AWESOME.”
Buffy walked over and joined him, grabbing both stakes from the ground on her way.
“I realized this morning that you weren’t going to be any good at training if you didn’t realize what you were training for. Honestly, when I didn’t come rushing in to help, what made you fight her off?”
“Honestly? I didn’t want to die.”
“And that, my dear protégé, is called instinct. Fight or flight. The adrenaline rush. That is what a Slayer feels almost constantly. To us, slaying is a need, not a want. Well, sometimes it’s both. But mostly a need. We have to slay. ‘Cause if we go too long without it, it builds up. Almost to the point of discomfort.”
Castle raised his eyebrow suggestively. “Say, like when a person doesn’t have sex for a very long time?”
“….Really? You had to go for that analogy? Of course you did.”
“I just call ‘em like I see ‘em.”
“You know, I’m feeling the need to slay.”
“I’m sorry, did you say ‘lay’ or ‘slay’?”
“You should probably go home now. Before I decide to SLAY you.”
Castle whispered into Buffy’s ear. “Ooh, so violent. Kind of a turn on.”
With that, he left the cemetery. Buffy let out an exasperated sigh. “I really need to go kill something.”
(Two nights later)
Castle knocked on Buffy’s door. It was just a little after seven. He was early and wasn’t expecting Buffy to be ready, but when she pulled open her door, his jaw dropped.
She had told him to dress nice tonight because they were going out for a different sort of field work. He dressed in a trendy suit and that was that. Buffy, on the other hand, had pulled out all the stops.
She was wearing a very short, very fitted black dress. It was one shouldered. The sleeve that was there was long and detailed with lace. Her short hair was pinned up with the DIY curls. The best part, he automatically decided, were her very high, candy apple red stilettos. They made her legs look a mile long.
“Helloooo. Earth to Castle. My eyes are up here, buddy.”
Castle swallowed the lump in his throat and looked up. “I’m afraid to ask where you’re hiding Mr. Pointy.”
Buffy laughed and shut the door behind her. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”
They arrived at the trendy night club in about thirty minutes. Buffy did have to say that Castle’s fame had some plus points. She wasn’t sure she would’ve been able to pull off getting into the club without him. Actually, she knew she couldn’t. She tried the night before and got turned away at the door. Pretty much laughed away, actually.
“Would you like an ice water?” Castle asked her, mockingly, over the loud music. She slapped him on the shoulder and told him to concentrate.
“Ow.” was all he muttered.
“I’m here for a reason. The other night, after you left, I went patrolling and this vamp got away from me. He dropped a book of matches and they were from this club.”
A look of understanding passed across Castle’s face. “So, how do you plan on finding him?”
“You have your ‘fight or flight’ instincts and a Slayer has hers.” Buffy said, ignoring his comment.
“I mean I can sense vampires. From like, a mile away. It’s an instinct thing. Just shut up and pretend to dance with me while I search around.”
“Pretend to dance? How does one pretend to dance?”
Buffy glared and Castle closed his mouth. “Would you care for a pretend dance?”
They mingled their way into the crowd. Buffy felt several little pulls but nothing useful. Till she saw him. The vamp in question was standing at the bar, mingling with a pretty bartender.
“Castle, I found him. Over there.”
Castle turned his head to look and as he did, the vamp turned at the same time. He saw Buffy and booked it out through the side.
“Really? He’s going to make me run in these shoes?”
Buffy flew off after him, with Castle in tow.
The side door he went out of lead into an alley, naturally. Castle arrived, huffing and puffing behind her.
“Wow, he…he’s fast.”
Buffy shushed him and moved down the alley, slowly. Suddenly, she was on the ground with said vamp jumping off from a fire escape, landing on top of her. They fought and struggled for a few minutes till Buffy got herself righted and kicked him off. He landed hard into a wall and slid down to the ground.
Buffy smashed a wood crate and grabbed a fragment of it. She grabbed the vamp by the throat and slammed him back into the wall.
He started laughing, naturally, as that’s what evil beings tend to do when they are seconds from death.
“Slayer bitch, you have no idea. What’s to come.”
“Yes, please. Be cryptic. Because that’s ALL I need right now in my life. Cryptic messages. Sarcasm, by the way. In case you couldn’t tell.”
“You won’t be making jokes when she comes.”
“Oh just shut up already.” And with that, he was dust.
“What did he mean ‘when she comes’?”
Buffy shrugged. “Who knows. I’ll deal with whatever it is as it happens. Oh, son of a bitch. He ripped my dress.”
Castle looked down and sure enough, there was a diagonal cut, partially exposing Buffy’s skin. What wasn’t already exposed by the dress, that is. There was some dried blood on her stomach.
“You’re bleeding and you’re worried about your dress?”
“An already healed cut versus a five hundred dollar dress, ruined. Yeah, I’m more worried about the dress.”
About thirty minutes later, they were standing in front of Buffy’s door.
“Not that I mind, but can I ask why all of a sudden you changed your twenty-first century womanly ways and made me
come pick you
“I heard you and your mother arguing about me the other night. I didn’t want to cause anymore family rifts.”
Castle slumped back a little. “How did you hear?”
“Before I knocked. Extra sensory hearing. Slayer thing.”
“I’m sorry you had to hear that but at least you heard me defending your honor. You did hear that part, right?”
Buffy smiled. “Yes, I did. But that’s my point. You shouldn’t be defending my honor. Well, not to your mother. Like I told you before, it’s going to take some time for them to believe, if they ever do. You can’t force it.”
Castled nodded his head in agreement. “Okay, you win.”
Buffy turned to go in, but Castle stopped her. “One more question, if I may.”
Buffy nodded and Castle continued on.
“What, per se, was the lesson tonight?”
Buffy smiled. “Okay, there was no lesson. I tried to get into that club last night and they wouldn’t let me in. I figured they wouldn’t turn away someone famous and his plus one.”
“I feel so used. I kind of like it.”