They Keep CallingFandom:
BtVS/The Dark Knight RisesCharacter(s):
Buffy Summers, OC Slayer, John BlakeRating:
"Me. I'm going with you." "What the heck for?" "You need me."Length:
Only the words are mine, and that’s probably up for philosophical debate. Title from Lost Souls as performed by Nine Inch Nails.§§§
Head tilted to one side, Buffy frowned down at the mini-slayer standing in front of her, a duffel slung over one shoulder and a pack roll stuffed under her other arm. “Um, hi…Sarah, right?”
“Yes, ma’am.” Her short red-brown hair was plastered against her head from the humidity, the fringe almost concealing both of her dark, canted eyes.
“Not with the ‘ma’am’, thank you. Anyway, uh, what’re you doing here? John’s kinda got a flight to catch, soon’s the car gets here.”
Sarah nodded. “I know. I want to go with him.” Using her chin, she pointed at John standing over his own duffel and pack roll on the far side of the circular drive, too far away to hear them.
Buffy turned to glance at John, inadvertently catching his eye. He too gestured with his chin—at Sarah. Buffy shook her head.
She turned back to the mini-slayer. “If he has lain a hand on you, I swear—“
Sarah quickly raised her hands, dropping the pack roll in the process. “No! No, nothing like that! We hardly talk outside of training.”
“But you want to go with him.”
The girl nodded.
She nodded again.
Buffy gave her a quick once over again, noting the girl’s warm complexion. “You’re not Tibetan, are you?”
“Thai by heritage, Nevadan by birth.”
“Oh. Okay. Um, and so you want to go with Captain Crab-face why?”
“I don’t know, I just…want to?"
Buffy gently helped the girl out of her duffel, letting it drop to the hot driveway as she placed her hands on her shoulders. “Sweetie, I know John’s cute. I’ve been watching him sweat out t-shirts for almost a year so I understand why you’re crushing him, but following him to Tibet isn’t the way to get a guy’s attention. If it didn’t work for Felicity—“
“—and she got a whole TV show out of it, then it’s not going to work for you. Trust me on this. I’m not only the oldest Slayer, I’m also the one with the worst guy-track record.”
“Yeah, I know.”
Buffy scowled, then remembered that the conversation wasn’t about her love life, but Sarah’s. “Sweetie, look, you’re a slayer...he’s a vigilante. These are two non-mixy things. Trust me. Been there, done that, got the axe to prove it.”
“So do you understand why you can’t go now?”
“No, not really?”
Buffy’s hands dropped as she slumped. “I was crappy at trying to talk Dawn out of bad relationships, too.”
“I’m not interested in a relationship with John. Not like that.”
“Huh? You’re not? Then why do you want to go to Tibet with him.”“I don’t know.”
Sarah threw her hands up. “I wish I did. I just know…I just know that I’m supposed to go with him. I have to go with him,” she said softly, looking in John’s direction.
Buffy turned, too. She knew he couldn’t hear them, but he was still watching them intently. "Batman works alone, Sarah." She turned to the mini-slayer. "You know that, right?"
"That’s what they said about slayers, too. And then you went and got friends and made a team and now you’re the oldest slayer ever. You’re a living legend."
"Yeah, well..." Buffy wasn’t sure whether to be chagrined to have her life used against her, or embarrassed that the mini-slayers had been paying attention.
"He needs me."
"But he may not want you, Sweetie. He doesn’t fight the powers of darkness. Or, okay, yeah he does, but his enemies are strictly human and strictly human falls outside of our..." She made two wide circles with her hands. "Outside that. We don’t fight monstrous people, we fight monsters. If you go with him you can’t help him."
"But I think I can."
Buffy frowned. "How?""Could you ladies wrap this up? I’ve got a flight to catch, and you’re coming right back!"
"Hold your horse, Detective Crabby!" Buffy never took her eyes off Sarah. "How?" she asked again.
Sarah shifted. "Um, well, I am his gymnastics coach. And I’m better with computers than he is. Which? The girls in Gotham said his cave is full of computers, even if they’re all dead. And I...I kinda don’t go out on patrol or missions anyway," she added with a shrug. "So it actually wouldn’t be much of a change."
"You don’t go out?"
"Not usually. It just...works out that way."
The car taking them to the airport swung around the circular drive, stopping in front of John. "Ladies--!"
Buffy’s head snapped around. "Chill, Blake!" She turned to Sarah, feeling more urgent. "When did you know? Are you sure about this?"
Sarah nodded. "Pretty sure. And I’ve known for a while. Not that first day when I picked up his call, but some time before we left Scotland."
Buffy’s hands were on Sarah’s shoulders again. "Okay."
Squealing, the girl wrapped her arms around Buffy’s waist. "Thank you thank you thank you!"
"Yeah, well..." Buffy pealed the mini-slayer from her waist. "This doesn’t explain why you need to go to Tibet
with him. Why not just meet Officer Crab-man in Gotham when he goes back there? He isn’t going to need protection when he’s with Oz. And Oz is the-- Hey, what’s with the blushing when I mention Oz?"
"You are totally fangirling Oz, aren’t you."
"Well I’m always hanging around the senior team hearing all these stories about Sunnydale and college and all the early slay-days, and Oz is in a lot of them... And he sounds pretty cool."
Buffy ignored the nearly indecipherable And kinda cute
that came after. She dropped her head back, praying to someone for strength. Doing this once with Dawn had been bad enough. "Okay, look...I’m giving you permission to try out for the part of John’s sidekick, but in the end it's his decision. He’s not part of the slayer family, although he’s welcome to come to family reunions if he’ll bring the steak-sauce. Basically? I have no influence. If he says no, then it’s no, and we’ll see about getting you in the field and away from the boring old people with their boring old stories. With that in mind, you have the trip to Tibet--"
Sarah squealed again.
"—to convince him to take you on. Keep in mind, we have no idea how long he’s gonna be there. Once he gets on that plane, he’s out of slayer hands. If Oz declares him fit for service when he steps foot on the tarmac, then that’s it. If John’s gotta stay for another 10 months—please, God, no—then he’s staying for another 10 months. In that time, you’ve gotta convince him to keep you. You’re eighteen, right?"
Watching Sarah nod her head off—"Over!"—Buffy could only wonder if she’d made a good decision. She took a deep breath. "C’mon, before the Detective pitches a hissy."
She grabbed Sarah’s duffel. Delighted, Sarah picked up her pack roll and threw it over her shoulder. She all but skipped to the car. John took the roll from her and put it next to his things in the trunk. He took the duffel from Buffy, grunting under the weight without comment.
Until he climbed into the towncar after them. He met Buffy’s eyes over Sarah’s head as the mini-slayer leaned forward to give their driver directions in accented, but decent, Czech. "So you’re coming with me? I thought you were going back to Scotland."
Buffy nodded. "I am."
"So what’s with the extra luggage? Did I not pack enough?"
"She’s going with you."
Sarah turned around. "Me. I’m going with you."
"What the heck for?"
"You need me."