What’s My Line, part VII
A/N: Disclaimer, author’s notes, etc., are at the beginning of chapter 1; spoilers are through “What’s My Line”.
Without even thinking about it, he grabbed the not-a-chakram out of his backpack and threw it in his best frisbee throw.
Everything moved in slow motion. Cop Redhead pulled out her gun and aimed it at Buffy’s face.
Buffy reacted so fast she was almost a blur. She dove to the side, knocking the table over as she went.
The steel ring caught Cop Redhead right on the side of the head and rebounded off toward the far corner of the room.
Cop Redhead didn’t go down, even though green goo squirted out of the long cut along the side of her head. Her head went up and she spotted the threat.
Xander suddenly realized that Cop Redhead’s first bullets weren’t going to go into Buffy. They were going to go into him
“Harris, what do y-”
“DOWN!” Xander screamed as he dove to the side.
Two bullets seared through the air where his head was about a millisecond before. One of them maybe even took some of his hair with it.
Xander had a fraction of a second to enjoy the look of sheer terror on Snyder’s face as a Xander-sized wall smashed him into the floor.
He didn’t see the rest of the crashing and shooting, but he did get to see the screaming and panicking, and two of the Cordettes even stepped on him as they ran for safety. Ouch.
He got up to his feet and realized that he had a really angry, bleeding, squashed Principal Snyder underneath him. Through a nose gushing blood, Snyder bellowed, “HAWWIS!”
And then Miss Calendar was there, helping Snyder to his feet and saying, “Xander, that was incredibly brave of you, saving Principal Snyder’s life like that.” She gave him a wink, so he knew she didn’t believe it for a second.
And Buffy was there too, saying, “Wow Xander, that was like movie stuntman heroic! You dove in front of a guy getting shot at and saved his life!”
And suddenly everyone around them just assumed that was really what happened. “What? Xander Harris saved somebody?”
“He saved the principal
? Is he mental?”
“What a dork!”
Xander looked at Snyder, who didn’t look so good what with the blood oozing from the growing lump on the back of his head, or the blood gushing from his maybe-broken nose, or the blood pouring from his split lip, or any of that stuff. He tried to look shocked, and he said, “Gosh, Principal Snyder. I guess you flunked that cop too many times, and she flipped out when she saw you. I guess we’re lucky she didn’t shoot everybody in the whole school while she tried to get to you.”
Miss Calendar took Snyder by the arm and led him off toward the school nurse’s office.
Xander looked over at Buffy who mouthed, “Ran. Kendra went after her.”
Xander figured Redhead Cop wasn’t anywhere close to human, but she had a huge dent in her head and she had a Slayer chasing her, so Xander was figuring there was a pretty good chance that Assassin Numero Tres was going to be down for the count pretty quick.
Oh crud. He needed to go find his steel disk and wipe demon blood off it and get it hidden somewhere like Giles’ office before Snyder had him arrested for Assaulting A Creepy Principal and maybe even Attempted Murder Of A Demon Pretending To Be A Cop.
And he was going to have to admit that he’d been practicing with a definitely-not-a-chakram for weeks now, and he hadn’t told anyone. He could just guess how that was going to go.
Xander looked around the library. He had a bruised knee, and a high-heel-shaped bruise on his back from where one of Cordy’s sheep had used him as a springboard. Buffy had a couple bruises too, but she was going to heal up five or ten times faster than he would. Maybe twenty times faster.
Man, would it be great if he could get that stupid pressure-point healing trick to work for him. And not accidentally do something like make his leg fall off.
Miss Calendar was explaining to Giles how Xander had ‘saved’ Snyder. Xander had expected Giles would be his usual ‘follow the rules’ self, but the look on Giles’ face was way more Ripper than Rupert. Buffy was flat-out laughing at the highpoints, and Cordelia was grinning savagely. Willow was caught between amusement and her usual respect for authority, so she kept switching back and forth between grins and scowls.
Finally, Giles cleared his throat and said, “Xander, while I appreciate what you did, and frankly I would not have minded if you had done it more assiduously, I do think it is going to cause problems. Principal Snyder holds grudges, and takes great pleasure in meting out vengeance. In my personal opinion, he is still taking some kind of revenge on all the people who bullied him when he was in junior high and high school. So we will need to watch your back just as carefully as we watch out for Buffy.”
“Great,” Xander muttered.
Miss Calendar said, “We managed to spike his guns when he wanted to call the police and have you arrested for felony assault, but he’s not going to let this drop. Even if I think we have fooled him into thinking you might really have saved his life. So there’s an official report to the police department, and you’re down in it as risking your life to save a school official. But it’s not over. The next thing he’s probably going to do is call your parents.”
Xander laughed out loud. “My
parents? Does he have any idea who my parents are?”
Willow frowned, “I can’t see your mom or dad doing anything if Snyder calls them and says you slammed him into the floor.”
Xander said, “Are you kidding? Mom hauled my dad to a meeting with Snyder one time, and dad had to be dragged out of the room before he beat Snyder to a pulp. Dad would probably buy me a couple cases of Ding-dongs if Snyder calls up and says I bodyslammed him into a hardwood floor. Heck, dad would ask if I could get pictures.”
Miss Calendar said, “Well, if you’re not worried about that, then you should worry about what Snyder will do around here. Expect lots of detentions, and as many suspensions as it takes before he can legally expel you.”
Willow sadly said, “But you’re doing better in classes, so it’s not fair! And… Well, I guess I can help you get a GED if that happens.”
“Thanks Will, but I think I’ll drive off that bridge when I come to it.” It wasn’t like he needed a high school diploma to go work in the auto body shop with Uncle Rory, or go get a job working construction. He’d just end up losing Willow sooner.
Willow held up the steel disk. She was holding it with a rubber glove on her hand, because there was sickly-green demon blood on about a quarter of the outer edge. She said, “I want to know about you throwing a chakram!”
He groaned inwardly. “It’s not a chakram! Look at it. It’s nothing but a milled steel disk. Xena killed two vamps with a real chakram Halloween night, and nearly got Spike too. So it’s something we ought to be using. I just can’t get it to work. I mean, Xena could throw the thing and make it cut what she wanted to cut, and bounce where she wanted it to bounce, which I guess meant it was magical. I can’t do that. I can’t even hit what I wanna hit.”
Buffy said, “You hit what I wanted to hit, so I’d say you’re doing pretty good.”
He frowned, “I was lucky. I miss a lot of the time, and I can only get it to bounce back to me about once in a couple hundred tries. And what would happen if I threw a real chakram in a real fight with vamps, and it got knocked down? Instant long-range weaponry for vampires. Not of the good. And I can’t catch it most of the time when I do get it to bounce back right. So that’s extra badness. Having a razor-sharp steel weapon flying at you? Also not of the good. You have to catch it on the inner edge every time. So… it’s just a disk. It’s not a chakram.”
“Right… Xena,” Buffy teased.
Cordy complained, “Great. When he comes to school in that leather minidress, I don’t know him.”
“Cordelia!” Willow snapped.
Xander looked at Cordy and said, “Wow, you’re really working hard at getting into the Ally Hall of Fame, aren’t you?”
“Who would want to be an ally for you losers?” Cordelia sniped.
Willow said, “I wanna know what kind of demon has blood like this, and why you thought it was a good idea to hit someone you thought was a person
in the head with a steel disk, and why you thought it was a good idea to do stuff that might make you more Xena-y when I want you to get Xena out
of your head!”
Giles took the disk from her and examined the blood. He looked in one of his old books and said, “It does not appear to be the blood of one of the types of demons who are known to have shapeshifting powers, so we may be looking at a person passing as human who is at least half-demon.”
Buffy said, “She was definitely faster than a human, and stronger too.”
Willow asked, “And how did Xander know Officer Evil was… umm… evil?”
Xander shrugged. “I didn’t get it until…” He looked around the room and sighed. “Well, it was Xena. I just had this totally not-Xander thought that nobody reads off a list starting with ‘S’ for Summers, they start with ‘A’. And then, as soon as Buffy ID’ed herself, Petra Gunn there just stopped calling off names and put the clipboard down, which made no sense either. And that was when I realized she wasn’t wearing a Sunnydale PD shirt either. What more can an assassin do than come up with a reason to bring heavy firepower into the school and get Buffy to ID herself and step forward?”
Buffy said, “Nice brainwork, Xander. Officer Shootsalot just about filled me full of bullet holes as it was, and if I had ducked the other way, she probably would’ve shot everyone standing behind me. Now we just have to find out what Kendra learned when she caught her.”
Kendra limped out of the stacks and froze when she saw two unidentified intruders in the library.
“Ooh, good timing,” Xander smiled. “Just like in a movie.”
Giles saw where Kendra was looking and said, “Kendra, this is Miss Calendar. She’s a teacher here and a techno-pagan, so she knows what is really going on. And this is Cordelia Chase, who has been rescued by Buffy so many times that she now knows far too much about the supernatural.”
Kendra asked, “Does everyone in town know our secret?”
Buffy muttered, “Sometimes it sure feels like it.”
Giles said, “No, only the people in the room know Buffy’s secret, and Miss Calendar and Cordelia are unaware of… your job for the Watcher’s Council.”
Kendra looked at Buffy and said, “I am bery sorry but I did not kill her. When I first caught up to her, she pulled a second gun out of a tiny holster on her ankle, and delayed me enough to get away again. I den pursued her and when I caught her she pulled out several knives. She has bery good aim.” She held up one knife that was covered in blood from the tip to about four inches along the blade.
That was when Xander noticed that Kendra’s left pants leg had a bloody gash down near the shin.
Cordy looked at Kendra’s pants and said, “Oh. My. God.” Just when Xander thought Queen C might be sympathetic to someone else, she added, “Who dresses you? Goodwill Industries?”
Kendra looked at her in confusion. “I do not know who dey are.”
Buffy zipped over to Kendra. “Never mind her. Do you need a bandage? Stitches?”
Kendra said, “No, I have taken care of it meself. I always carry a needle and thread for suturing, and a small roll of gauze for bandaging.”
“Eww!” shrieked Cordelia as she realized what Kendra was implying.
Buffy frowned, “No, you go to a hospital and get it looked at, so it doesn’t get infected or anything.”
Kendra looked confused again. “Why would I do dat? I am supposed to remain covert.”
Cordy glared at Giles, “What? Doesn’t your Council know about plastic surgeons?” She looked at Kendra and reached into her purse. She pressed a small tube of orange goo into Kendra’s hand. “At least put some Vitamin E on that so it won’t scar.”
Buffy started to explain, and then gave up. She looked at Kendra and said, “Just take her word for it. This is the kind of stuff she knows.”
“And style,” Cordelia pointed out. “Because both of you need makeovers, although Buffy’s not quite so awful as you. I mean, did you shop for those clothes, or did you roll a vampire for ‘em?”
Kendra said, “Why would I ‘roll’ a vampire? When I clear out a nest, I can pick some clothes out of what dey leave.”
Cordelia cringed at the thought.
Buffy muttered, “Boy, and I thought I was bad at being Secret Identity Girl.” She patted Kendra on the shoulder and said, “Don’t worry. She’s like that to everybody.”
Kendra asked, “Is it because of de Hellmouth?”
Buffy grinned and said, “No, it’s… just because.”
Giles pulled out another thick book and said, “And now that we are all assembled-”
“Like the Avengers!” Xander chipped in.
“-I have some very bad news. I… I have made more progress in determining the remaining keys to Drusilla’s cure. Du Lac’s ritual is a dark rite to the demon Eligor, a-and it requires the… umm… presence of her sire, and it must take place in a consecrated church on the night of the new moon, and if the ritual is completed, the granted boon to the vampire will unleash something dark and deadly in the surrounding community, possibly even Eligor himself.”
Xander knew all of that was of the bad. Especially when the ‘surrounding community’ was them
Willow said, “The new moon’s tonight.”
And Xander knew who Drusilla’s sire was. Who didn’t? Giles knew, and Willow knew, and Buffy had to know by now. Oh yeah, major guilt look on the Buffster’s face.
Willow said, “So the assassins were to keep Buffy from stopping the ritual?”
“Most likely,” said Giles. “And so it is imperative that we locate Angel as soon as possible, and keep him out of the hands of Spike and Drusilla.”
“If he’s not already in their hands,” Xander pointed out. Buffy glared at him, so he said, “Hey, we haven’t seen him since Kendra pounded on him, and we all know Willy’s about as trustworthy as a really untrustworthy guy. Without trust.”
Buffy scowled and asked Giles, “Is this thingy gonna kill Angel?”
Giles nodded tensely. “Yes, I believe it will.”
Buffy firmly said, “Then we need to find that church, and we need to stop the ritual, and we need to find out if Willy lied to us! You can attack me, or send assassins after me, but nobody messes with my boyfriend!”
Kendra said, “Den maybe we need to go talk to dis Willy again. And make him talk.”
Buffy said, “Good plan, rookie. You can hit him first.”
Willow watched as the two Slayers ran out of the library. She grinned, “And we can do the research!”
Cordelia said, “You so need a real life.”