Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Anita BlakeRating:
graphic depictions of violenceDisclaimer:
I have no rights to or within the Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Anita Blake franchises, copyrights, characters or trademarks. This is for fun, not profit.Summary:
Inspired by Xander, Buffy takes a road trip of her own. Along the way, she rides on trains, hitchhikes, picks up the odd job, and makes new friends... whether she wants them or not.Additional Notes:
This fic fills xgirl2222's prompt for Wishlist 2012 which I interpreted to mean a Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Anita Blake crossover with a parting, a meeting, and Asher, Jean-Claude, and Buffy. Also fills the "unrequited pining" square on my Hurt/Comfort Bingo card and the "Headache" square on my Cotton Candy Bingo card. Also answers Challenge #6910 (Play by the Rules) and Challenge #4842 (Vampires' Superiority Complex) on the Twisting the Hellmouth Website and partially answers the TTH100_2 Challenge. 001. Beginning
As with all things in Sunnydale, it began innocently enough. When Xander announced his decision to go on a road trip, an odd sort of longing took root in Buffy’s heart. It took her three nights of fruitless patrolling to figure it out.
“Mom?” Buffy asked over dinner. “I think I’d like to take a road trip. Y’know, get out and see the world while I’m still – while I’m still young.”
Panic flashed over her mother’s soft, expressive features before her mother schooled her expression. Her tone very careful, she said, “Buffy, I don’t know if now’s the right time for that sort of thing.”
“If not now, then when?” Buffy said as she quickly marshaled her arguments. With each point that she made, she very emphatically lifted a finger. “Apocalypse season is over so things have been really dead around here – sadly, no pun intended. It’s summer. I’ve got no summer assignments this year. And I’m alive and whole. There’s no better time.”
Her mother pursed her lips. “But the expense–”
“I have some money saved,” Buffy said eagerly, remembering her father’s graduation gift and the wad of cash stuffed under her mattress, a remnant from her time as Anne in L.A.
Her mother flinched, the color draining out of her complexion. Buffy refused to feel guilty. I am what I am. And I’m the Slayer with everything that comes with it.
After a long, tense moment, her mother slowly nodded. She suddenly looked five years older.
“Where would you go?”
“New York City!” Buffy said eagerly, snatching Xander’s original destination out of the recesses of her mind.
“How would you get there?”
“By bus!” Buffy blurted. Truthfully, before that moment at the table, she just knew that she wanted to leave and see somewhere, anywhere, before her destiny caught up with her. “Or by train! Then I won’t have to drive!”
“And we’d all be very grateful for that,” her mother said with a faint smile. She hesitated and then asked, “You’ll call?”
“And you’ll be careful?”
“And you really want to do this?”
“Really and definitely.”
“Then I suppose I can buy your tickets there and back, as a graduation gift,” her mother sighed.
Buffy yelped then lunged at her mother for a hug. “Thank you!”
"Try to remember how much I love you," Buffy's mother murmured, her hug as tight as any human could hug someone else without actually trying to squash that other person’s organs. "And how much I’ll miss you."
Giles was not nearly so understanding of Buffy’s sudden desire to travel.
“You simply cannot leave Sunnydale,” Giles said, while cleaning his glasses furiously. “Your destiny is here.”
“And I want to see some of the world before my destiny leaves me permanently stuck six feet under here,” Buffy said, holding her huge black duffle bag so that it dangled over one shoulder. “It’ll only be for a few weeks.”
Oz nodded, seemingly content with that logic. Willow, who was standing within the circle of his arms, nodded encouragingly. Giles, who had blanched at the reference to her short expiration date, drew himself up. Rather stiffly, he said, “Nevertheless I must insist that you stay in town and available, in case anything important comes up.”
“B-But we’ve just finished Apocalypse season, right Buffy?” Willow interjected quickly. “So it’s probably pretty boring right now.”
“Deadly dull. I haven’t seen anything worthwhile since just before graduation,” Buffy said, shooting Willow a grateful look. “I haven’t even staked anything since graduation.”
“And if anything turns up, we’ll handle it,” Oz added bracingly.
“I’m going to call home every night,” Buffy added. “So I’ll only be a phone call away.”
“And travel time,” Giles said, frowning.
“Well, yes. Sadly, flying wasn’t in the Slayer package.” Buffy grimaced. “That’d be hell on the secret identity thing.”
“But very, very cool,” Willow threw in, her eyes lighting up. “And useful! You could’ve given us rides to school.”
“When do you leave?” Oz asked, eying Buffy’s duffle.
Buffy startled then glanced at her wristwatch. “In an hour!”
“What?” demanded her Watcher even as Willow hurried forward for hugs and well wishes. “Buffy, you cannot be so rash –”
Giles yelped when Buffy’s gave him a quick, hard hug. In his ear, she murmured, “I’ll see you when I get back, Giles.”
“Don’t worry about him,” Willow whispered as she hustled Buffy and Oz toward the door. Behind them, Giles was sputtering something about Buffy being completely unprepared for the world outside of Sunnydale. “We’ll get him un-ruffled. You know Giles. He’s just a worrywart. Have fun! Stay safe!”
“You too!” Buffy blurted as Willow hugged her again and then shoved Buffy and Oz out the door. A moment later, Buffy found herself on Giles’ doorstep, staring at his closed door. Oz touched her shoulder with just his fingertips, drawing Buffy's attention to himself.
“Want a ride?”
“To the train station?”
Buffy grinned. “If I’d known you were going to say that, I would’ve tried to talk you into coming with me.”
“Live and learn.”