Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Buffy woke up this morning and instinctively knew that this day was not going to be any good, and not just because it was Tuesday: her Slayer senses told her it was entirely wrong.
“Hey, B, you’re awake?” Faith opened the door and looked inside. “Some sort of glassy mirror people have kidnapped Dawn when she was taking a bath just now, and there’s a dimensional rift of some sort in the suburbs. You have a preference, or do you just want to flip a coin?”
“I’m not in the mood for the usual Dawn-nappers histrionics, not after Khaya-Bash anyways, so I’ll take the rift. Good luck with rescuing Dawn!” Buffy said flatly as she began to dress for the day – it was going to be a bad one, that was for certain.* * *
“Remind me, why have you come with us?” Andraste crossly asked Buffy, as the Vampire Slayer followed W&H enforcing (for the lack of a better word) party through the backwaters of Cleveland’s suburbia. “Don’t you have a pack of ravenous ghouls to take care of, or something?”
“No,” Buffy shook her head, “all ghouled-out, sorry.” She paused and added, figuring that honesty usually was the best policy and all. “Besides, Giles told me few days earlier to keep an eye on you and your new client anyways, so I might as well tag along and see what’ll happen.”
The aforementioned client of W&H shifted her (its?) head and looked at Buffy askance. “You can get stuck on the wrong side of a dimensional rift, from what I understand.”
“...” Buffy kept quiet. Ever since Khaya-Bash’s failed kidnapping attempt of Dawn, things have quieted down, somewhat: nothing that was apocalypse-worthy at any rate. Sure, there had been that Bacchantes incident in the theatre, but barring that – the usual: vampires, zombies, ghouls, and the occasional demon or whatever else.
And then people started to disappear once more, and not just anywhere, but also in the old hunting grounds of a man-eating Fay Gamaun, which made it more worrisome than even the usual would. Buffy (who just had an argument with Dawn and did not particularly want to rescue her from mirror people this Tuesday) agreed to check this place out instead; there, she ran into Andraste’s team, and things began to progress...not very smoothly: the threat of Buffy being left on the wrong side of a dimensional rift was just the icing on the cake, so to speak.
And yet...Buffy felt almost incapable of staying silent: the steadily growing heat made her nervous and restless, and when Buffy felt like that, she talked:
“So, did the neighbourhood change or what?” she asked, stating the obvious – the copious amounts of vegetation that grew here when Gamaun was present, now was dead or dying in the heat.
“Yes,” Andraste said flatly. “The Fay influence is gone, and the plane of elemental fire is breathing in-“
“There,” suddenly spoke the elohim. “There it is.”
Instinctively, everybody looked. Sure enough, there, simmering in the sun was a rift in the dimensions, looking like, well, a rift in the dimensions. Standing next to it was something shaped like a stone, but with flames flickering through it.
“What is that?” Buffy asked, even as the rock sprouted tendrils or tentacles and began to whip at them, while glaring malevolently from a single, but large, eye.
“An extradimensional creature, Slayer!” Andraste snapped. “Never seen one of those?”
Even as she yelled, the creature’s flickering tendrils created a wall of fire between it and its’ assailants. Since by now much of the vegetation was tinder-dry, it quickly caught on fire – and the fire began to spread. “One that could do this?” Buffy snapped back. “No!” She turned and faced the elohim. “Can I borrow your axe, please?”
“Hm?” W&H’s client looked thoughtfully at the axe, then at the Vampire Slayer. “It’s been a while since I saw one of your kind in action. Here! Try not to lose it, though.”
“Okay, I’ll try, thanks!” Buffy said brightly as she grabbed the axe and flung it at their opponent through the wall of flames. Even though the axe struck handle first, the force of Buffy’s blow was enough for the rock-like monstrosity to topple back through the rift, even as the axe dropped onto the pavement.
“Now!” Andraste yelled out, and the elohim said something. What exactly, Buffy did not understand, since it was not even remotely human, but it made the rift snap shut, sucking in all of the (supposedly) extradimensional fire as well.
It also transformed most of the humans present into tortoises, but in the euphoria, nobody noticed – at first.
“...Oops,” was all that the elohim said as she picked up her axe and looked at it, checking the damage. “Unavoidable side effects, I’m afraid. Your employee clause #18 subsection 37 covers that, I believe.”
“It’s going to be a bit more complex than you think,” Andraste complained, as the now cold-blooded Vampire Slayer glared at her balefully with beady eyes. “The clause doesn’t cover Vampire Slayers caught in crossfire, for example.”
“But she’s still going to be returned to normal,” came the reply, and not as a question.
And Buffy was. After several hours of embarrassing rituals, she was returned to normal, and given a financial sum as consolation money as well. She would not have taken it, but it was thrust upon her all the same.
...And then she returned home and learned that Dawn-as-in-the-Key’s “biological” mother was behind the latest kidnapping and promptly went to bed. Some things just could not be done until the day was over.