Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Palladium, Rifts, Wormwood, Phase World, or any TV Show. I am making no money off of this work.
Reviews: Yes please. No flames, but constructive criticism is a MUST. Also if you have some major or minor plot-bunny concerning our favorite goofball White Knight in Rifts Earth feel free to let me know.
The Story will progress upon Xander's return to Sunnydale with occasional flashbacks of both his adventures and the Scooby Gang's Summer.
Sunnydale High School Library, Saturday August 29th 1998, 1:17 AM
The week before school starts for the year is a bustling time inside the schoolhouse at least. While students dread the return of classes and assignments, the custodial staff dreads the end of their summertime respite. That is no truer than in Sunnydale. Despite the efforts of the Scooby Gang to clean their own messes, there is always extra cleaning and repair work that needs to be done. So when Jarret Phelps, Head Custodian, notices that the lights in the Library are on and he hears the familiar voices of Mr. Giles and Buffy Summers he decides to put away the floor buffer and head home. Tomorrow was likely to be a very long day.
Buffy is sitting back in her usual spot her feet up on the table. She'd been asleep when Giles had called so dressed as quickly as she could in the dark and headed right to the library. The fact that she was dressed literally to kill was a complete accident, she had been half awake when she grabbed her red thong and low-rise jeans and been only slight more awake when she had forced on the baby t-shirt. To say she looked good was an understatement. Angel and her mom keep throwing her looks, which she blithely ignored.s
"What's the sitch, G-man?" Buffy asks with a slight smile on her face. Today is her turn to use the dreaded nickname Xander had stuck to Giles. "A girl needs her beauty sleep."
Giles, immaculate in his normal tweeds, the Scoobies are beginning to wonder if he owns any other types of clothes at all, the only real sign that he was at all flustered was that he was polishing his glasses. It's a nervous habit he had picked up and that the Scoobies had given him cause to exercise all too frequently. Looking to Buffy he frowns until she removes her feet from the table.
"I do wish you would use proper English, Buffy. And please refrain form using that awful nickname." He adds when he saw Buffy waiting for the classic response. Truth is Giles would legally change his name to G-man if it would bring back the originator of the moniker. "The situation is possibly dire, Buffy. I summoned you all because the Bagh Dach charm has been activated."
Willow actually paled at the mention of the spell and stiffened in her seat. Oz sensing her worry seemed to stiffen as well, but unlike Willow's panicked face he was relatively calm. The pair of them had started dressing much like each other in that cute way couples do. Willow was finally daring enough to wear a knee length jean skirt and long sleeved shirt. Oz dressed in jeans sported a similar long sleeved Tee.
"Are you sure, Giles? That spell is very sensitive. I mean there is not any sort of planetary alignment here to help a caster with the ritual needed." Willow voice creeps a bit. She had helped Giles cast the charm weeks ago and there was a lot of pings that just turned out negative.
"I'm afraid the Charm is correct this time Willow. I have cast several divinations and they all agree, someone is going to open the Hellmouth tonight at some point." Giles sighed as he put his glasses back on his face. "I do not know how long we have, so we should arm ourselves and prepare spells now."
Angel's already moving to the cage and to the weapons locker. He is quite surprised to find that Joyce there beside him. In moments the Summers matriarch has Crossbows for herself, Cordelia and Dawn. Angel hands Buffy a pair of Kukri she has been practicing with and takes a Scottish claymore for himself. As he steps aside Oz grabs a battle axe and hands Giles the bastard Sword. As they evacuated the cages Willow takes long enough to grab both herself and Amy a pair of Roman Gladiuses. Everyone knew the score, Buffy and Angel are the main line, Giles and Oz protect Willow and Amy while they cast and Dawn, Cordelia and Joyce play sniper.
"So what's the deal with the Bagged Duck Charm, Giles?" Buffy asks as the seconds pass. She never would tell everyone that she purposely mispronounces such things just for fun. "Sounds like Chinese take out."
Giles pinches the bridge of his nose in consternation. Meanwhile the others were chuckling softly, even Joyce who hasn't laughed much the last few months.
"It's Bagh Dach, Buffy. It's actually a spell of ancient Greek origins. Casting it on a Hellmouth or other such dimensional weak spot allows advanced warning of any potential Dimensional Rifts." Giles explains as he finally got a hold of his composure.
"So why was Willow concerned that this might be a false alarm?" This time it is Cordelia. "I mean Dimensional Rift does not sound good and if that is all this spell detects…"
"Because, Cordelia, I am certain Mr. Giles probably cast this spell with the highest sensitivity in mind. Hellmouths and Leyline Nexuses have occasional micro-rifts some are literally microscopic and other barely bigger than a housefly. I am also certain that Mr. Giles cast a set of divinations that would tell him how large a Rift we should expect." Joyce adds in. Everyone except Giles turns to look at her in complete shock. "When Buffy told me she was the Slayer I demanded that Mr. Giles allow me to read materials on her calling. I found it fascinating and oddly helpful in my job too." She added with a knowing grin.
"I have even more respect for you now Mrs Summers." Angel adds which got him a grin from the elder Summers lady. "Not many parents would be so accepting and understanding."
"Hey, quit sucking up to your Ex-Girlfriends mom." Cordelia snaps. "Especially since you've yet to meet my parents." The ex cheerleaders rebuke actually cowed the master vampire.
Buffy actually chuckles out loud. She never would have guessed that when she broke it off with Angel that Cordelia would actually snatch him up. When she found out why she kinda thought it was sweet. Apparently the master Vampire took up Xander's place in the Prom Queen's heart by making sure she knew she still had people who really cared for her. Which is the truth, since Xander's disappearance the Scoobies had become extremely close knit. Hell, Cordelia now hangs out with Willow and takes the young Wicca shopping on occasion. Oz and Giles often jam and are teaching Buffy how to play Xander's guitar. Angel opened a small showing of his work at Joyce's Gallery. Every Friday night there is a movie marathon after Patrol with Amy making Brownies for everyone.
"So not to be the impatient one here, but is the Rift ever going to open." Of course twelve year old Dawn would be the one to be impatient. If she wasn't such a crackshot with a crossbow she would be forbidden from helping. "I mean I was having a really good dream about a Speedo…."
She never gets to finish her thought as in the stacks a blue white rip in reality forms. At first it is a slit of energy almost too bright to look at, suddenly it seems to open revealing what appears to be a crumbling city. For the briefest moment there is eerie silence only for the Library to be filled with the sounds of warfare. Through the tear the Scoobies see a sight as horrifying as D-Day on Normandy Beach. A trio of glittering eleven feet tall armored suits with massive shoulder cannons are standing in a last defense line against what look to be hundreds of soldiers clad in black skeletal armor. Three cracks of thunder later the Scoobies are momentarily deafened and the windows of Library explode outward from the sound. They are literally shocked into inactivity by what they saw before them. Unfortunately this is bad news as a gigantic no-neck demon steps through the gate. At least it looks like a demon. It has similar skeletal designs to the army in black, but on each shoulder was a strange cannon like protrusion.
Not waiting to see what the supposed demon wants Angel launches himself on the beast. His vampiric speed makes him faster than any human has a right to be and his slams the claymore into the demons forehead. If it had been flesh or even ordinary steel the weapon would likely have split the enemy in two. However the blade simply shatters on contact not even scratching the surface. With a contemptuous swat of the Mauler's massive hand Angel is sent flying into the far wall where he falls to the floor in a seemingly boneless lump. Buffy snarls and almost leaps to the attack but is stopped when several other figures come through the gate. The lead pair look like knights of old, but their weapons appear to be straight out of sci-fi and two dozen others stream through and past the demon. One man doesn't make it far and is physically crushed by the Mauler's left fist. The spray of blood and gore paint the war machine in arterial red.
"Stop her and the rest of them, they'll be slaughtered. Scott help handle the Mauler." The knight in bone white armor booms out. His voice would be familiar to the Scoobies if their ears weren't still ringing from the Boom Guns. "Coalition Scum you will not harm my friends ever again." The Knight screams as he threw aside his rifle and from each hand springs a blinding blue energy sword.
The crowd surges forward, over-running Buffy, Giles and Oz and sweeping them farther way from the Mauler and pair of Knights. Buffy tries to resist and if it was just one person she probably could escape, but several strong men are holding her, Giles and Oz. When she sees they were just humans she stops struggling and but isn't at all happy about it. Looking frantically for Giles and Oz to help her she sees the werewolf and Watcher are similarly restrained.
"Let me go, I can help them. I know how to fight." She cries out, not even able to hear herself. The people holding her just shake their heads.
"Hey, Deadboy, eat particle beam." The Knight in dark armor says as he raises a strange looking pistol. A beam of golden energy lances out and strikes the Mauler dead on in the face plate leaving a smoking ruin.
"Booyah headshot. I knew you dating that gunslinger would pay off for you." The other Knight quips as he goes to offensive. His twin blades rip massive tears in the Mauler power armor. The man in the suit keeps trying to get a bead, but his plasma cannons prove to be deficient at tracking the man.
"So why did you grouse the whole time we were dating?" The Dark Knight shoots back as his guns bore two new holes in the machines armor..
"Because she was hot and I saw her first." The White Knight delivers the age old argument flawlessly even as he parries a wicked jab from the Mauler.
The Scoobies watched in amazement as the pair of knights tear into what is now obviously a war machine. Behind them the Rift is closing slowly as if it had unleashed what it was supposed to. The Mauler was losing, badly. Every time it acted the Knight in bone white armor easily countered, at one pint slicing of it's left arm off with an energy blade. The Knight in black armor seemed content stand back and keep firing with pistols. The Gold beams vaporizing and melting armor with every hit. Finally the Mauler got in a lucky shot and knocked the White Knight clear across the library and then turned to face the Dark Knight.
"Self Destruct Sequence engaged. Minimum safe distance 30 meters." A mechanical female voice from the Mauler armor declared followed by an evil sounding laugh.
"Bad mistake Deadboy." The Dark knight quips before pulling out a strange sawed off shotgun from behind his neck. A massive sonic boom later and the Mauler is knocked through the Dimensional Rift before it closed. "Fuck, that hurts." The Knight curses as he holds the sawed off in his other hand as he shakes his right like he'd really banged it hard. "Lesson for me. Never, ever try to used a sawed off to duplicate a Boom Gun."
"Well, it worked. Of course all our ideas seem to work." The white Knight chuckles. "Well except for the replicator thing. But I still say if it tastes good who cares if it looks like gray oatmeal." It's obvious he wasn't badly hurt as he rises to his feet but his armor looks dented from where the Mauler struck him. Taking off his helmet the White Knight reveals and all too familiar face to the Scoobies. "God it is great to be home, again." This last line being the first the Scoobies hear as the ringing in their ears finally stops.
"XANDER?" The entire group of Scoobies cry out in surprise.
"You were right, all of the conscious ones called it." The Black Knight chuckles in a very familiar voice. Then the man removes his hem revealing his features.
"XANDER?" Again the group is in unison. Poor Willows eyes roll up in her head and she faints dead away.
"I guess we have some explaining to do, huh?" The Xander in white asks the rhetorical question.