Disclaimer: I own nothing subject to copyright and very little of anything else. Joss Whedon owns Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and Mutant Enemy has to fit in there somewhere. Teen Wolf (2011) was developed for MTV by Jeff Davis.
A/N1: adherence to canon is probably totally accidental.
A/N2: sorry this chapter may feel a bit like filler (and it sort of is) but I think that both Buffy and Derek have been severely screwed around by people in the past and trust wouldn't come easy, so they have to work at it and build the relationship, and part of that is getting to know each other better. And I mean that in a 'let's trust each other not to kill each other' way when I use the word relationship.
Buffy moved out into the drive as Lindsey’s truck pulled up, aware as she was doing so that a few of the wolves including the Alpha and Oz were coming out of the front door – Stiles made to stand up behind her and then sat down abruptly, probably realising that he’d pushed his ankle too far for one night. She grinned at Lindsey as he climbed out of the vehicle and then felt her grin go wider as a dark-haired leather clad figure jumped out of the other side and made her way to Buffy.
“Damn B – I turn my back for a few minutes and you end up in the middle of a fire fight, and you say Dawn is the trouble magnet in the family!”
Buffy laughed and hugged Faith hard, slayer strength was never a problem with Faith at least. She knew it had only been a week or so since they’d caught up but she was far past the point where she ever took seeing her family for granted, “Oh yeah ‘cause the whole zombie hunt thing was a walk in the park? Lindsey are you picking up strange women on your travels?” Buffy grinned at the ex-evil lawyer. She’d actually gotten fond of the former bad guy, partly because he smart and funny and gave both of her exes a hard time on a regular basis, but mostly because once he and Faith had settled into a relationship and then, surprising everyone, marriage, they’d been so happy together it almost shone off them. If for no other reason than her adopted sister’s happiness she would have put up with him, but the fact that she’d ended up liking him was a major bonus.
“Just the one these days, otherwise my wife would kill me.” Lindsey came over to hug Buffy as well.
After introductions, Lindsey and she moved over to check on their magic user with Oz and Faith. Lindsey and Oz got in to a technical discussion on moving Glinda, Buffy shook her head slightly, she really had to catch up more with Oz - at the moment he and Lindsey were having a conversation that seemed to include physics AND magic, something about the transport device employing pocket dimensions and suspended animation – it wasn’t like she hadn’t known Oz was super smart, probably in the same league as Willow, just way more laid back about it and with different priorities.
She and Faith drifted back to the stairs where Stiles was still sitting and Derek was looming near the stairs, she wondered briefly if he’d had to practise that or it had come naturally. Ostensibly he seemed to be listening in on Oz and Lindsey’s conversation but Buffy was familiar enough with predators to know that his attention was also tracking her and Faith and they came close to one of his Pack members. She had to admit that she admired his protectiveness toward his Pack – she was the same way with her family and the mini’s, even if she knew they could mostly look out for themselves. She also thought if he was to see slayers and the Council as more than hunters that it would probably help if he came to know them as individuals, she didn’t think it would hurt anyway.
“So Faith, Stiles here was wondering if we wore spandex uniforms…” She felt both Stiles and Derek’s attention centre on them, even if Stiles was the only one who was obvious about it.
She listened as Faith gave a low chuckle, the one that normally made Xander cringe even after all these years and brought that look to Lindsey’s eyes that she preferred not to dwell on too much – there were certain areas of her sister’s life that she preferred not to know about.
“Ah...” Stiles, a blush starting to colour his cheeks already stammered a little, “… that was at the end of a list of questions and normally people don’t listen to me the whole way through…”
“Nah, don’t worry ‘bout it,” Faith gave his shoulder a friendly punch, which she must have been pulling because he didn’t even yelp. “I’ve actually learned to speak a little geek these days, thanks to one of my watchers Andrew. You want the 411 on slayers, right? B, you given him the basic ‘into every generation speech’ already right?”
Buffy nodded, noting Stiles was still blushing but she figured that may have been Faith’s proximity now rather than any embarrassment caused by his earlier questions. She also noted that Derek, while maintaining his alertness was relaxing slightly as Faith talked, even smiling a little at Stiles’ predicament.
“Okay, well B normally does pretty well with the ‘one girl’ speech on account of her having so much practice ‘cause she’s older than the rest of us…”
“Hey!” Buffy managed a little indignation; she wasn’t that much older than Faith, although Faith as usual was doing a pretty good job of ignoring her.
“B was the very last of the Chosen ‘one girl in all the world generation’ slayers. Then, ‘cause she never did anything the way the old Council wanted – she died, getting another Slayer Chosen and then she came back and so then there were two.”
Buffy noted that both Stiles and Derek had stiffened at the mention of Buffy’s death and return, but it was Stiles who asked the question “When you say ‘came back’…?”
“I went up against an old Master vampire, there was a whole prophecy thing, and he won but didn’t drain me entirely,” Buffy unconsciously touched the mark on her neck, it had actually faded almost to nothing since Sunnydale fell but she was always aware of the mark where three master vampires had fed from her, “he left me to drown. My friend Xander found me and brought me back with CPR.” Buffy thought it was interesting that both men relaxed at that – she really had to find out more about the Pack’s back story.
Stiles had already moved on “So you were the next um Chosen?”
“Nah, first there was Kendra. She lived, what B, maybe a year or so?” Faith’s voice gentled a little, asking Buffy the question.
Buffy nodded, she appreciated Faith’s manner. Faith knew she would always feel a little guilty about not preventing Kendra’s death.
Faith continued, “Which was pretty much the normal life span of most slayers. When Kendra died I was Chosen. I’d been living with my Watcher in Boston for a year or so, and she was training me as a Potential in case I was the next Chosen - the old Council had been a little late finding me as well. They used to locate Potential slayers using magic and grab them, raising them, training them, in case they were Chosen. But they’d missed me until I hit puberty and they never found out about B until she was actually the Slayer. Neither of us were exactly what they would have considered to be good Slayer material, well by old Council standards."
"So anyway, one morning I woke up super-powered… able to sense vampires and demons, a whole lot stronger and faster, the occasional weird dream, better healing, wicked good with weapons, basically just your normal hot chick with superpowers… “Faith’s voice was a little subdued for her.
Buffy knew that Faith still missed her first watcher, the first person who’d ever seemed to care about her and provide her with stability, and who had died at the hands of a master vampire before Faith had escaped to Sunnydale.
“So anyway, for a while, B and I were the Chosen Two, although I was always a little surprised that the old Council didn’t off me to get slayers who suited them more… A while ago we went up against a big bad that was doing their best to defeat the old Council by blowing it up, wiping out slayers by killing off all the potentials and their families that they could find, and trying to unleash uber-vamps on the world. To smack ‘em down we ended up empowering most of those potentials who’d survived and closed the hellmouth that was sitting under Sunnydale. And now you’ve got Lake Sunnydale, a load of mini-me slayers who were called but not Chosen, a new Council…but still no spandex.” Faith finished with a laugh and slapped Stiles on the shoulder, almost unseating him from the stairs.
Buffy was kind of grateful to Faith for glossing over the details of her second death and the details of the plan to empower the Potentials – both were things she preferred not to discuss on a day-to-day basis.
Derek surprised Buffy then by being the one to ask a question; he’d been seemingly content letting Stiles interact most directly with them before this, but he seemed a little disturbed by some of Faith’s story. “So most slayers were teenage girls who could expect to live a year or so? And as well the Council would kill them if they wanted to? Is the new system better than the old?”
Faith snorted, “Now, we don’t treat the slayers like disposable weapons, they’re not stolen from their families and brainwashed, no one fights alone and there are enough slayers so that if they don’t want to fight they don’t actually have to. They do have to train so we can be sure that they can both control and protect themselves because all slayers are stronger than normal humans and kinda demon magnets. In the last four or so years we’ve only lost one slayer. I mean it woulda been better if no one had died but… Although we also haven’t faced an apocalypse of the same level we used to face on a fairly regular basis.”
“Huh,” Buffy said surprised, “I didn’t know if anyone else had noticed that...”
“Hell yeah, even the zombies were a bit of a fizzer…”
“Okay,” Stiles said “I used to think my life was weird but you guys have a scale for apocalypses and consider zombies a fizzer and really all I have is wall to wall werewolves…”
After Lindsey and Oz had loaded the vessel, and she didn’t really want to consider how they could fit an adult into something the size of a suitcase, into the car, she was pulled to one side by Faith while Lindsey and Oz spoke to Stiles and Derek about magic.
“B, I wanted to talk to you about New Orleans…”
“The fizzing zombies?” Buffy was a little concerned. Faith was always reluctant to admit that killing and fighting was a problem so for her to bring up something she’d normally consider to be over and done with was a worry.
“Yeah, I haven’t debriefed back with the Council yet but New Orleans was weird, and weird for zombies weird, not just normal weird. We pretty much had to dismember and burn to get the zombies to stop, anything less and the bits kept moving, headshots didn’t work, so you know, strange and gross."
"It took us a few days to track down what the source was… and as we were closing in on it – well I got within a couple of feet of the damn thing and it turned to … sand maybe? right in damn front of me. And as it dissolved all of the zombies did the same thing – it was like being at the beach, except really didn’t feel like a drink with a little umbrella in it."
"And then the guy we’d figured out was using the ‘thing’ – we were chasing him, like seconds behind him, followed him through a doorway and he went from running from us to laid out flat on the floor like he was down for a nap, except he was dead and cold like he'd been dead for a little while… damn, he didn’t have a mark on him! But his face, he looked scared… I mean it’s not like I’m not happy the whole thing resolved itself, but I prefer to know what the hell is happening...”
Buffy, chewing her lip through Faith’s story, “Magic maybe… could we track it through…”
“Nah,” Faith was already shaking her head, “Got one of the local coven members to check the site, and the body, over after it was done – he said he could feel something, but it felt like trying to grab a hold of mist. Although he did say he couldn’t feel anything especially evil. It’s just freaky weird.”
Buffy had a ‘someone’s walking over my grave’ shiver – which when she thought about it wasn’t a metaphor she was altogether comfortable with “Okay, so I guess we’re headed for a tonne of research then? I agree with you, even if someone’s cleaned up for us I prefer to know what the heck’s going on too… huh, Xander’s gonna want a gross of doughnuts for this research session.”
“What about this situation? Do you need help on the apocalypse-front?”
Buffy shrugged, “Not at the moment, depending on what info Lindsey can get out of Glinda, that might change but at the moment we’re still trying to figure out exactly what’s going on. But you’re number one on my speed dial if anything hits the fan.”
“I thought Glinda was the good one B…”
“Nah, she knew the answer right at the beginning and insisted on playing mind games, I don’t think that makes her good – anyway the outfit was way too sparkly and over the top, just for the fashion crime she goes on the naughty list.”
Faith laughed, B had changed a lot since they’d first met, but it was good to see that her sister still had her priorities.
As Lindsey and Faith drove away, Stiles made to stand, “My dad is going to kill me if he figures out I’m not at home safe in bed so… ah crud!”
Buffy moved to prop Stiles up as he almost tilted over, his ankle obviously giving out on him, and noticed his pained grimace.
“You can leave the jeep here, I’ll drive you home,” Derek directed in his ‘don’t-argue-with-your-alpha’, even as Stiles’ mouth opened to object to leaving his jeep anywhere.
Oz hmmed quietly “We’re heading back to town anyway, why don’t we give him a lift home? I can pick him up in the morning so he can get his jeep…”
Buffy was surprised, not at the offer but at Derek’s calm nod of thanks. It looked like Oz at least was making a little ground. Well that was all to the good… even friend-of-a-friend was a better place to be than the previous not-quite-open-enemies-at-the-moment that the Council and the wolves had started out as.
“Hey,” Stiles “Don’t I get a say in this?”
“Nope.” Three voices spoke simultaneously, leaving Stiles to mumble quietly to himself about bossy alpha types while Buffy helped him to their car.