Not My Zombies
Buffy was at the end of her patrol session. The night had been quiet. Two vampires and some weird ghost-ghoul thing that took one look at her and flew back into the ground in a panic. She hadn’t even had time to blink before it was gone.
With a sigh, she decided to walk back to the council, taking a detour through one more cemetery. Her mind wandered as she walked through. It was getting colder and she would need to buy heavier coats. She was not winter prepared.
She was ripped away from her daydreams when she tripped over something. Buffy looked down at the objects, thinking it was a root, but she could clearly make out a shoe. The problem was that the shoe was attached to a foot that cut off before the knee.
“What the hell?” she asked loudly. A loud groan answered from behind her. Buffy spun around and her eyes widened.
Zombies. More zombies.
She looked around quickly for Theo, thinking making he was practicing or doing something
to raise more zombies, but he was nowhere in sight. So she had to fight. The good news was there weren’t many. The bad news was she only had a stake with her. Buffy looked at the zombies, wondering if she could kick their heads off. She was wearing the shoes for it.
When Rona and Lydia walked through, Buffy shouted to get their attention. Rona had a short sword and Buffy gestured for it, catching it in the air. “Lydia, get Theo!” she snapped. “Find him and tell him to get his ass out here now!”
Theo was running he didn’t think he’d ever run so fast in his entire life. She objected to Lydia screeching at him to get his ass down to the cemetery Buffy was in, but he’d deal with that later.
When he actually got there, he stopped. He just skidded to a stop. There were bodies everywhere, moving, groaning. A hand clamped down on his shoulder and Theo turned with a glare. The zombie that had grabbed him made a shrieking noise and backed away.
Then is was as if things inside of him just took over. Theo could feel the energy flowing through him. His mind was screaming at the bodies to put themselves back in the earth, to rest., to not hunger to life. In the distance, he caught a glimpse of a white figure right before it walked behind a tree.
Most of the zombies started to fall, crawling and sliding into upturned graves. Buffy swatted the stubborn ones away and looked around for Theo. He was right in the center. She took a deep breath and narrowed her gaze at him, anger boiling. Since her stake was lost somewhere in a body part and she handed the sword back to Rona, Buffy leaned down and picked up a stray body part and clenched it in her hand. Before she got to Theo, she noticed it was a hand. Excellent.
When Buffy reached him, she hauled back and hit him in the chest with the limb. He oofed but she didn’t stop, making the hand slap him on the arms.
“What the hell were you thinking?!” she snapped.
Theo felt a surge of angry energy go through him when she did that. He snattched the hand out of hers with one of his own then grabbed her arm with his free one.
“Getting these bodies to settle back down,” he said through his teeth.
His eyes had taken on a bit of a glow due to the necromancy still working its magic to get the bodies to rest again.
“And why did you bring them up in the first place?” she argued, pulling her arm from his grasp.
“I didn’t,” he snapped.
One of the last stragglers grabbed his ankle. Theo glared down at it. It made a terrified sound and curled away before going utterly still.
Buffy made a face at the weird behavior and ignored the zombies. “Last I checked, zombies were your area. If you didn’t pull them from the ground then who did?”
“I don’t-” he cut himself off with a shout.
Theo went to his knees. He almost couldn’t breathe. Something was messing with his ability. Theo started shouting again as many of the bodies sprung back to life. Whoever was doing this was fighting him, and they were way stronger than he was in their gifts.
Buffy went to her knees following Theo, trying to find out what was wrong when she was batted away with more force than a zombie should have. She hit the ground with a grunt and rolled away when a foot came down where her head had been.
“Theo!” she shouted. “What is going on? Why are they so damn strong?!”
“Because whoever is controlling them is that strong,” he shouted in a panic.
They needed to get out of here. Now. He pushed himself, his energy, out. It started burning his hands like the night Willow had tried to force him out. The zombies were wavering, but not stopping.
Buffy jumped back into the fight, but with no weapons, the zombies were not going down easily. Rona needed her sword so Buffy depended on her strength to put them down.
“How the hell do I get them to stop?”
“Sever the brain!” Xander shouted, throwing her a sword.
He’d heard Rona was out here, so he’d come with weapons and quickly. What did not please him was that Alice had just run past him with a short sword in one hand and a knife in the other.
“I’ll watch out for her,” Shannon said as she ran past him.
Slayers poured out, armed with swords and axes, and they started making a dent in the number of zombies in the cemetery. When the number was down, she made her way over to Theo. “What’s wrong?” she asked, swiping at the head of a stray zombie. They were mostly keeping their distance, but she still was making sure none got close.
He was shaking. She was going to have to carry him back to the house, and wasn’t that going to be embarrassing. Theo had absolutely no energy left. He’d used it all to try to stop what was happening to no avail. The only reason it was stopping was because whoever else was out here with them had decided they’d had enough fun for tonight.
“Don’t know.” He could hardly speak. “Someone else. Very strong. Very.”
Buffy bit her lip and looked around. “I don’t see anyone. If we put them down, will they stay down?” She decapitated two more zombies ambling towards them.
“Yes,” Theo said. “Whomever it was has gone. I don’t feel the presence. I’d help, but... I’m tapped. The other, that person.... I’m not stronger than them, Buffy. By no means am I. I need more practice.”
Her fingers itched. “Stay here and yell if one comes toward you.” With that, she darted off and did her best to avoid the grabbing hands and start chopping off heads. It took longer than normal because she kept watching Theo and the girls, but after a while, the dead bodies were completely dead and on the ground, not moving.
She was exhausted, not having prepared for a full-on assault when she was on patrol. There were scratches and bruises all over her. Still trying to catch her breath, she walked over to Theo and crouched next to him.
“Are you okay?”
“I’ve been better,” Theo said. “I shouldn’t have... I’m not going to be able to heal anyone.”
“Then why did you go on a zombie making spree?” Xander asked.
“Gods dammit, I didn’t!” Theo shouted.
Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at him.
“We can check the scroll that Giles had. It’ll prove he didn’t,” Buffy said, sitting down next to Theo with a sigh. For the first time, she was glad that the scroll still existed. “But Theo was putting them down in the ground. They were almost all the way there before they surged up and were more powerful than before. Someone else controlled them.”
“I’m gonna file that under not good,” Xander said. “Zombies? Not my favorite. Don’t have good memories there.”
“We need to get indoors,” Theo said, struggling to sit up and get to his feet.
Buffy stood and looped his arm over her shoulders and wrapped her arm around his waist, still taking most of his weight. “Willow and Daisy can do the healing. You need to rest and we need to find out who the hell controlled these zombies so that I can introduce them to my sword.”
“I do not like this plan,” Theo whispered so only Buffy could hear him. “They’re strong, Buffy. Very strong.”
He was instantly worried for her. He knew she was tough and had beaten the odds time and time again, but this person, this other necromancer, was serious.
“I’ve gone up against strong before. Hiding behind zombies? If I can get through those, I can get to him. Once I do, sword meets head.” Buffy started walking slowly toward the council house. “I’m not scared of a necromancer.”
“Maybe you should be,” Theo said. “Because I got the feeling this person could have squashed all of us like bugs but just chose not to.”
Buffy scanned the treeline by the cemetery. “Bring it on,” she muttered.