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Treasure Finders

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Scooby Road Trip Odyssey". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: As virtually anyone with an ounce of sense would expect, Buffy and Xander's road trip encounters a few bumps on the highway. If you'd call something analogous to Mount Kilimanjaro a bump, that is.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Multiple PairingsGreywizardFR1812,5000122,91113 Dec 1213 Dec 12No
Disclaimer: They all belong to Crack-Head Joss and ME, Iron Crown Enterprises, Inc. and a good many other people who are not me. Deal with it. I have.

Category: Multi-crossover, with the major crossovers showing up in later chapters.

Time Frame: Follows my earlier story, 'Escape From Sunnydale,' and takes place after Season Three's 'Graduation, Part II.'

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: Nope, none at all. If you ask nicely, though, I might reconsider.

Feedback: Of course! As Tenhawk says, it's the coin of the realm.

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

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; As noted, this story follows my earlier 'Escape From Sunnydale,' and is story #2 in my 'Scooby Road Trip Odyssey' series.

Author's Note 4: Any descriptions of various locales mentioned in this story should not be taken as matching on anywhere near a one-to-one basis with the real world sites.

Author’s Note 5: This is story #13 in my own personal Christmas Fic-A-Day Challenge.

~/~/~

Lorelei's 'Budda-BOOM!' Club
On the outskirts of Reno, NV

July 9, 1999


"Not to say I told you so, Buffy," Xander Harris puffed as he yanked open the driver's door of his dark green Ford Explorer and practically dove inside, "but I distinctly remember telling you that those guys were probably gonna be trouble, and that you shoulda let Clarice have that table!"

"Well, it's not *my* fault that you added that dash of quinine to that idiot's drink, Xander!" Buffy Summers snapped back in an annoyed tone as she duplicated her friend's actions on the passenger side of the SUV they were using as they made their trek across continental North America.

"Hey, I didn't know that adding that was gonna make the guy explode when he drank it! Most demon-y type people only explode after you stab them with whatever their particular kryptonite-y vulnerability is!" Harris protested. "Quinine usually just makes them sleepy."

He quickly started the ignition and slammed the transmission into 'Drive' as he floored the accelerator, spraying the angry crowd of demons approaching the rear of the vehicle with a spray of gravel as the rear wheels spun wildly for a moment before finally catching traction and rocketing them out of the parking lot.

"I thought the worst it would do was make him sick, and he'd barf all over himself, or crap himself, or do something like that," the Scooby Gang founder went on, explaining his motivation as both demon fighters gave a long sigh of relief as they watched the rowdy mob recede in the distance.

"Besides, I figured it I'd better do something about the situation before you ripped his arm off and started beating him and all of his minions to death with it," Xander added as he glanced over at his best friend with a concerned expression on his face.

"I saw that look you had on your face when you brought their drink order over, and I figured he must've already gotten *way* out of line when you were taking their orders," he explained.

"I know Clarice told us that that Adam Cartwright bozo was a full-blooded Granoch demon, but I'm *sure* there's gotta be some octopus in his family, somewhere, what with the way he had his hands all over me when I was taking care of his table," Buffy declared with a mixture of justified outrage and indignation. "And I don't care how big a crime lord he thought he was, there's absolutely no way in the Hellmouth I was gonna let that sleaze-ball get away with something like that!"

"Hey, I've got no problems with that, Buffmeister," Xander nodded his head in agreement as he focused his attention on the poorly-lit roadway ahead of them. "I'm just thinking it's a shame we didn't get a chance to grab our paychecks on the way out.

"I mean, it's not like we're broke or anything, 'cause we do have most of our road trip money we brought with us," he noted. "But I'm thinking we left a pretty good bit of change behind us as far as our share of the tip money is concerned, 'cause those convention guys that showed up after dinner were dropping ginormous tips for everything! I heard one guy saying he'd hit really big in the Pechoolo Casino, earlier, and he was sharing the wealth with everyone to balance his karma."

"Well-l-l-l, as far as far as money's concerned, Xand, I don't think we really have to worry too much," Buffy said in response to his concerns, making Xander immediately glance over at her and catch the broad, pleased smile on her face.

"'Cause when that sleaze bag Cartwright blew up, I grabbed something out of the air that was flying towards my head, and it turned out to be his money clip," the Slayer announced with a bit of glee as she waved a thick pile of bills she'd produced from a small pocket secreted on her rather scanty hostess uniform – an outfit which would undoubtedly have given both her mother and Giles apoplectic fits for its brevity.

Not that Xander's bartender outfit was all that better, mind you. After all, none of the casinos and bars in Reno were noted for either the modesty or restraint of the attire they had their employees wear. And while Buffy's outfit most closely resembled a bikini which barely covered all of her 'assets,' along with a French Maid's apron, Xander's uniform consisted of little more than a white collar and bowtie around his neck, a pair of white shirt cuffs around his wrists, and skintight (commando only) black leather trousers.

"Really? How much money are we talking about, Buffster?" Xander asked, a wide smile to match hers appearing on his face as the petite blonde beauty began counting the wad of bills in her hand.

The wide-eyed, high-pitched squeal of joy made him wince momentarily, but his pained expression was quickly replaced with one of delight as Buffy began bouncing happily in her seat, ignoring the restraint of her seat belt, and practically shouted, "We made ninety-seven hundred dollars tonight, Xand!"

"I guess that means we can stay in something better than the usual flea-bag hotels we've been frequenting, huh, Buff?" he grinned.

"You betcha it does, Xand!" Buffy agreed enthusiastically. "Stop at the first Hilton or Sheraton we find, okay? 'Cause I'm in the mood for a nice, long soak in a big, luxurious, pool-sized tub, after getting groped by that sleaze-bag!"

"Uh, I think the management of whatever hotel we choose probably wouldn't appreciate the company that looks like they're following us, if and when they show up, too, Buff," Xander announced doubtfully, as he gave a second worried glance into the rear-view mirror, at the small group of headlights that had just reappeared, only a few minutes after he'd turned into the northbound entrance for Route 395, and began heading back towards their home state of California.

"Not that I don’t appreciate your waitressing outfit or anything, Buffy, but I'm thinking maybe you wanna climb in the backseat and get changed to something more Slayer-ish than what you've got on, right now," he suggested as he pressed the accelerator further towards the floorboard.

"'Cause I'm thinking these guys who're following us probably aren't planning on thanking us for blowing up their boss."

~/~/~

Lassen Volcanic National Park
California


"Damn, these bozos just won't give up!" Xander exclaimed in an extremely annoyed tone, as he noted the headlights which had been following them since they'd departed Reno in such a rush, quickly slow down and then carefully negotiate the turn onto the back road they'd chosen in an effort to elude their pursuers.

He was beginning to think that they group after them had some sort of tracking spell tied to them, since he was certain that they'd been far enough ahead of whoever it was following them that they hadn't seen them turn off onto Highway 44 and head towards the park.

Ignoring the signs indicating the road to the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, since they didn't want to chance any innocent bystanders being around, if and when they finally confronted the hunters after them, Xander turned the SUV deeper into the more remote park areas.

"Buff, you think you can handle driving on these mountain roads?" he asked the intently vigilant Slayer as he headed in the direction of the Devils Kitchen region. "I'd like to get changed into something that feels a little less stripper-ish, and a lot more Slayer-ly."

The blonde Slayer was currently situated in the back seat of the SUV, and she hadn't shifted her eyes away from watching out the rear windshield for any sign of the demons following them since she'd finished changing into more casual clothes. Her favorite sword lay across her lap, and she was almost radiating an aura of mixed stillness and quietly restrained violence. A wide grin was plastered on her face and was coloring her voice, though she still didn't look away from her self-assigned task as she replied, "Aww, Xand, that's not necessary. I think you look just fine the way you are."

"I appreciate you liking me in skintight leather, Buff," Xander nodded his head in acknowledgment of his friend's compliment. "Really, I do. And I thought you looked great in your waitress outfit, too, but I don't see you planning on wearing it when we deal with these idiots chasing us."

Even as Buffy opened her mouth to make another comment, Xander added, "In fact, I thought you looked so good in your uniform, I had Jamie take a couple pictures of you while you were working, with that digital camera he had.

"And I asked him send copies of them to my email account," he noted casually. "In fact, I can even send you copies of them, once we get home, and I can get access to my email. You know, so that you can show other people where we were working.

"I'll bet that Willow would be really interested in seeing them," he noted in a very casual voice.

"And maybe some other people would be, too."

The blonde's mouth snapped shut abruptly upon hearing that final comment, and the narrow-eyed look she sent his way would have made Angelus or the Master think twice before saying anything further.

Instead of her intended comment, Buffy merely said, "I think you better get changed real quick, Xand, 'cause I don't think I'm gonna be able to keep as much distance between us and them on these roads up here. Some of these things aren't a whole lot better than deer trails.

"And yeah, I'd definitely like to get copies of those pictures you mentioned," she agreed as she climbed back into the front seat, and squirmed into position so that they could exchange positions without stopping.

"*All* of the copies," she added, in a definitive voice.

She ignored completely the mischievous grin Xander was wearing as he agreed, "Sure thing, Buff. No problem," as he slipped past her into the back seat.

The fact that the Senior Slayer kept glancing in the rear view mirror as her friend changed out of his leather pants and into a pair of jeans and a tee shirt was solely because she needed to keep tabs on the pair of cars following.

Well, that was her story, and she was sticking with it.

***

It was probably less than twenty minutes later when they arrived at the Devils Kitchen Trail area and found it deserted.

Apparently, because the section of road leading away from the far side of the site was closed for repairs.

After they'd pulled off into the parking area, the pair had quickly agreed that their being able to slip past their pursuers and back down the road was extremely doubtful, especially if the hunters were using magic to track them, as was beginning to seem more likely. They also agreed on a fifty-fifty split on any loot.

The two demon fighters quickly made their way a short distance along the main trail before cutting off to one side of the pathway and locating what seemed to be a perfect spot for an ambush.

As they waited with the patience of experienced predators for who- or what-ever was tracking them to arrive, the silence of the night was unexpectedly shattered as a kaleidoscope of eye-searing colors reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis suddenly began forming around what looked to be a rupture in the sky above them, while their ears were assaulted by a cacophony of noise sounding much like an avalanche was falling atop them.

Two brilliant flares of bluish-white light flashed above them, and Xander and Buffy both gasped in surprise saw what they thought were planes hurtle out of the luminescent display dancing overhead, the mystifying phenomena which produced them then disappearing from sight a scant instant later.

The initial, more massive craft had been followed by a much smaller one, and numerous beams of light seemed to dart back and forth between the two vessels before they quickly broke apart, the larger ship quickly rocketing up towards the scattered cloud layer above, while the smaller one hurtled towards the ground.

Actually, it was heading towards a spot not all that distant from the pair of demon hunters, and both Scoobies didn't waste any time at all in diving behind the largest rock closest to them, in a bid for cover.

The ground shook from the impact of the plane, and their ears throbbed momentarily from the din of the crash, but after several moments passed with no further indications of possible peril, the two Scoobies cautiously crept out from behind the boulder sheltering them.

An uncertain glance quickly passed between the two demon-hunters as though each was questioning the other about possible future actions, and then they each shrugged and began heading towards the crash site.

"You think maybe those things were some sort of experimental Air Force planes, Xander?" Buffy asked hopefully as they carefully made their way through the underbrush.

"That sounds like as good an explanation as anything I can think of, Buffy," Harris agreed as he led the way towards the place they believed they'd seen the plane go down.

Stepping around the broken trunks of several formerly massive red firs, Xander stopped short in his tracks at the sight before, causing Buffy to bump into him.

Two dozen yards away lay a broken, somewhat manta-ray-shaped hulk of metal that looked like no aircraft Xander had ever seen credited to any military force on the planet.

It did, however, bear a very vague, very general resemblance to an aircraft he'd seen depicted innumerable times during his childhood, and he felt his mouth grow dry as thoughts of the possible identity of the owners of this particular craft rushed through his mind.

"What is it, Xander?" Buffy asked him, seeing the expression of possible recognition on his face. "Do you know what that thing is?"

"Buffy," Xander Harris replied, as he swallowed nervously and stared at the vessel before them.

"I think, maybe, we're about to meet the X-Men."

~/~/~

Author's postscript: Kudos to anyone who recognizes either of the references in the story. Identify who or what they are, and I'll gladly make you a red shirt in an upcoming chapter or story. ;-)

~/~/~

The End?

You have reached the end of "Treasure Finders" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 13 Dec 12.

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