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With A Little Help From My Friends

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Summary: Once the Scoobies decided they need some additional help, Xander offers to call some people he knows and see if they're willing to help.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Sci-Fi > Author: Jim BaenGreywizardFR1523,3412527,84224 Aug 123 Dec 12No

Chapter Two

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author’s Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author’s Note 3: This is story #3 in my own personal Christmas Fic-A-Day Challenge.

~/~/~

1630 Revello Drive
The back yard

An instant after the preceding chapter's conclusion


"What the HELL was he thinking?!!"

Buffy's question drifted back to the other stunned and bewildered members of the Scooby Gang simultaneously with the sound of the door to the backyard slamming against the wall.

As everyone blinked and stared at the massive, towering warrior who'd just appeared out of thin air in the Summers backyard, they could also see the petite blonde Slayer rushing forward at literally superhuman speed towards the new arrival, her favorite sword in her hand and poised for an attack.

"Xander! Get away from that thing!" everyone could hear the Slayer shouting, as she charged forward towards the hulking figure.

Faith was already in motion, following her mystical sibling with her own sword in hand, so she had an excellent view of what happened next.

Buffy was moving as fast as she'd ever seen the other woman move – possibly even faster than she herself could match, the younger Slayer reluctantly admitted to herself as she trailed after the blonde Chosen One – so it took her only a couple of seconds to reach the giant who'd invaded her yard.

Xander had barely had time to glance over his shoulder and see the young woman heading his way before he was jumping up to block her path, a loud shout of "Buffy, NO!" issuing from his lips as he did so.

Easily sidestepping her friend's effort to hinder her attack, Buffy almost casually shoved Xander aside as she swung her sword down at the huge, armored man who was making her Slayer sense scream wildly with shocked disbelief, only for her blade to stop as abruptly as if she'd slammed it against a granite wall.

The blonde's forward momentum had stopped just as abruptly, too, and Buffy suddenly found herself unable to move a single muscle – unable to even blink!

"So, Alexander," Buffy could hear a deep, powerful voice saying, as she stood there, frozen in mid-attack and poised like a marble statue frozen forever in a single moment of action, "I'm supposing that this is the young woman you were regaling us with tales of, back in Hurgrum, once things settled down a bit last year, eh?

"I believe you referred to her, back then, as the – Buffinator, was it not?" The quiet amusement in the giant's voice was quite obvious to anyone who might be listening – which was everyone currently standing or sitting in either the yard or the Summers' kitchen.

"Yes, My Lord," Xander's voice was quite courteous and respectful as he answered the giant's question.

"This is Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer. Whom I might have mentioned, once or twice, after that little incident with the Sotōii was resolved," the young man said courteously, although he also seemed to be almost sighing with a combination of annoyance and frustration on his face.

Exactly who or what the annoyance and frustration might be directed at wasn't completely evident to Buffy as she futilely struggled to move, but judging by Xander's tone of voice and rather restrained body language, it seemed that at least some of it was aimed at the *huge* guy the one-eyed Scooby was now standing beside.

Although, the currently immobile Slayer also had the quite definite, and uncomfortable, impression that a good deal of it was also focused on *her*.

"And since you've so capably demonstrated that no one can successfully attack you, would you please release my friend, so that we can all hopefully discuss things in a civilized manner, My Lord?" the young man in question then asked, just as politely as he had previously.

There still seemed to be more than a bit of annoyance in his voice, Dawn thought to herself as she and the rest of the Scoobies hurried out into the backyard to join the others already out there, but she didn't think that even Xander would talk like that to a being as powerful as this one seemed to be.

{ Of course, this *is* Xander Harris we're talking about, } the younger Summers sibling immediately reminded herself. { The guy who thinks nothing whatsoever about snarking at things that could rip his arms or legs off and beat him to death with them. Quite literally, in most cases. }

The sight of Faith biting her lower lip, as though deep in thought, before very reluctantly slipping her sword back into the scabbard she was still holding in her left hand, as though offering some minor gesture of trust to the towering newcomer who'd just provided a rather impressive demonstration of his power, did absolutely nothing to reassure the younger Summers woman. Neither did the worried frown she saw on Willow's face as she evaluated the newcomer.

"Because it's kinda difficult to hold a discussion with people when they can't talk to you because they've been frozen in place and can't move a muscle," Dawn heard Xander add, with what seemed to be more than just a trace of snark in his voice this time.

"Well, you're right about that, lad," the giant agreed with a bit of a smile, and Dawn smirked to herself as she saw her sister abruptly stumbling forward from her previously frozen position, to be caught by Xander.

Her sword had vanished from her hand, the blonde Chosen One suddenly realized. And as she glanced around, trying to locate it as she pushed herself away from Xander's arms, Buffy saw that the blade was now hanging at her left hip, in a leather scabbard held there by a well-tooled, and rather nice-looking, leather belt she hadn't been wearing an instant previously.

"Buffy, relax, okay? There's no need for any Slaying, right now," the elder Chosen One heard Xander saying to her, and she looked up from her reflexive assessment of the new scabbard she was wearing to glare at him.

"Just who the hell is that, Xander?" Buffy demanded angrily, gesturing towards the towering figure who'd just negated her attack so effortlessly, while wisely not making any effort to redraw her weapon.

"And what the hell is he doing here in my backyard?"

"If you'll just calm down for a minute, Buffy, I'll be glad to introduce you," the one-eyed Scooby answered calmly enough, although the blonde could also detect what sounded like a mix of aggravation and annoyance in his voice.

Giving him a nod – whether it was of agreement or compliance, Buffy wasn't quite sure, herself – she took a half-step back and waited as patiently as she could, noticing that the rest of the Scoobies and the remaining Potentials had all moved closer, forming a semi-circle around the three of them.

Buffy also noted that while Anya was present among the people gathered around, she was keeping to the rear of the group and clearly trying to make herself as innocuous and inconspicuous as possible.

Spike, equally sensibly, had chosen to remain inside the Summers residence, where he'd be able to hear any conversations almost as easily from that vantage point as any point closer, while not risking self-immolation.

In any case, everyone present was watching with varying expressions of concern, worry, puzzlement or just plain confusion as they waited for Xander to proceed with his promised introductions.

"Tomanak Orfro, I would like to introduce to you, Buffy Summers, Dawn Summers, Rupert Giles, Willow Rosenberg, Faith Lehane and Anya Jenkins – also collectively known as the Scooby Gang," Xander announced in a clear, formal tone, speaking to the massive, armored figure waiting serenely to one side of him and gesturing in turn towards each of the people he'd just named.

"Buffy, Dawn, Giles, Willow, Faith, Anya, may I present to you, My Lord, Tomanak Orfro, Captain General of the Gods of Light of Norfressa," Harris then continued in the same formal tone of voice, looking each of his friends in the eye as he completed the introductions.

"My Lord's other titles also include 'Scale Balancer,' 'the Sword of Light,' 'Lord of Battle,' and 'Judge of Princes,'" the founding Scooby added a fraction of a moment later, but the former carpenter was interrupted before he could say anything further.

"Here now, Alexander," the massive giant said with what definitely sounded like a chuckle as he broke into the injured carpenter's introduction. "There's no need to be putting on any airs, now.

"I'm sure your friends here will be thinking I'm some jackanapes who's more than full of himself, if you go on with any more of that blathering that those self-important idiots at the city temples are so thrilled to hear themselves spouting," Tomanak declared with an amused smile as he gazed down at the much smaller human standing next to him with seemed to be a bit of affection, in addition to the amusement.

"And as I'm fair sure in my thinking that it's been well nigh on a year since you last made a formal appeal to me, lad, I'm more than just middling curious as to what exactly it is that you've run up against, which prompted you to call on me," the being whom Xander had just introduced as 'Lord of Battle' then added, focusing his attention on the human before him and giving him a now somewhat narrow-eyed, possibly disapproving, not-quite-a-glare.

"My Lord, I've seen indications over the past several weeks which lead me to think that Truth Bender is trying to extend his dominion into this worldline," Xander replied, looking up with his single eye into that of the being he had repeatedly referred to 'My Lord,' while not flinching from that gaze in the least. "It’s not an attempted assassination like last time; this feels more like a land grab."

"WHAT?! Phrobus Orfro is here?! In *this* world?!" Tomanak barked, his question almost a snarl, as he took in Harris' words, the supposed deity's clearly displeased reaction making both Slayers present reflexively begin reaching for their swords as they tensed for action.

Buffy, Faith and everyone else present, though, remained silent and still as they listened attentively to the conversation going on, in front of them, curious to hear whatever it was the pair might have to discuss.

"I don't believe that he has actually manifested personally, My Lord," Xander said as he shook his head in response to Tomanak's question, as a frown twisted his lips. "But I do think he might have sent the Lady of the Damned here, to allow her an opportunity to claim more souls for her armies."

"Eh? What makes you think that Krahana is here, lad?" Scale Balancer immediately asked, now focusing his full attention on Harris as he folded his arms across his massive chest, a thunderous-looking frown creasing his face as he spoke.

"Buffy here has seen a number of Turok-Han vampires, a species long believed to be extinct in this world, hunting in town here over the past several weeks, My Lord," Xander answered his liege's query. "And we've also had any number of encounters with Bringers – who we believe might be either be humans who have sold their souls to some more powerful being in return for physical enhancement, or resuscitated corpses of fallen acolytes – over the past several weeks.

"Then, add in that we've each also been confronted by a manifestation of people we were supposed to believe was the soul of someone who is – was – important to us before they died," Harris added somewhat reluctantly, a moment later, an angry grimace on his face as he spoke. "And while Phrobus is more than capable of doing all of these things, the majority of these activities usually fall within Krahana's domains of power."

"Indeed, Alexander, you're correct about that; they certainly do fall more within Krahana's purview than his," Tomanak agreed after the barest moment's consideration.

"So, lad, I'll ask you, again – just what is it you're thinking of doing, now that you've finally called on me for assistance?" the Judge of Princes asked, looking down at someone he clearly considered one of his disciples, an intent expression of mixed curiosity and interest filling his face.

"Well, My Lord, I was thinking that I might possibly be giving Vaijon a call and inquiring as to the chance that any of the Order's lads might be interested in dropping by and offering us a bit of help in dealing with the vermin around here," Xander suggested with a hint of a glacial smile, his expression disturbingly suggestive of a grinning wolf.

Tomanak's immediate, loud, answering laughter immediately made their audience – even the Potentials Giles had brought along with him to Sunnydale for Buffy to protect, who had no true idea of the scope of the stakes involved in this entire situation – exchange uneasy glances among themselves, while wondering just exactly how much damage their friend's proposed solution might end up wreaking on an unsuspecting Sunnydale.

And, just how much of the town might possibly remain, once the solution was finished.

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The End?

You have reached the end of "With A Little Help From My Friends" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 3 Dec 12.

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