Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Note: this takes place in the comic-verse, so there are spoilers.
“...Dawn, I’m so sorry that I wasn’t around when you were sick,” Buffy was busy telling her younger sister to the bemusement of Xander Harris, for one. “Illyria and her new droogs had whisked me away right in the middle of a battle, and that was just wrong, to put it simply.”
“Yes, Buffy, I believe you,” Dawn replied in an understanding tone of voice. “Besides, you did manage to get the best of the siphon demon or whatever, and that caused enough magical back-lash to fix me – well, fix my Key-ness, so it’s okay.”
“Remind me, why are we here?” Xander muttered to Faith, sotto voce, as the sisters continued to gain an advantage over each other, acting rather obliviously to their surroundings.
“Well, you’re here ‘cause your boinking Dawn. Or not,” Faith hastily added, seeing Xander grimace. “I’m here because you’re currently crashing at my pad. Remind me, why haven’t you evicted Andrew yet?”
“Because he called upon the power of a political refuge, and this sort of thing appeases Buffy’s inner hero, this is what she does,” Xander continued to grimace. “Mind you, we love her for this, but on such an occasion that is annoying. And Andrew is even more annoying. And the Buffy-clone that he had made is downright irritating, and we haven’t caught it yet, which is even more irritating-“
“What clone? I remember once that there was some vampire that tried to beat Buffy by alchemy and cloning, until Spike showed up and messed with her lab,” Faith said mildly. (Well, mildly for her, anyways.)
“Yes, I remember that too,” Xander sighed. “I miss Spike and honestly hope that he returns from his magical space tour that he’s currently on, but that incident...yeesh. The other vampire blew-up and melted, and that is just wrong.”
There was a pause as Faith just stared beyond Xander, and the latter became aware of the others behind him. “What’s just wrong?” Buffy asked with a genuine curiosity.
“Me scoring in three different ways on three different tests of Kennedy’s,” Faith confessed, “and a vampire blowing-up and melting at the same time. That is what is just wrong.”
There was a pause as Buffy and Dawn thought this over. “Not sure about the first, positive about the latter,” Buffy confessed. “Did Xander tell you about such an incident in our past, because that is what has happened to one of them, and she was quite tough, too.” She paused and added. “‘Tough’ as in ‘strong’, mind you...”
“Buffy? You okay?” Dawn suddenly spoke-up. “You’ve sounded a bit woozy back then.”
“No, no, I’m fine,” Buffy said quickly. “Anyways-“
“Are you a daughter of Sineya?” a sudden, barking question caused everyone to fall silent. And then, out of the darkness, appeared about half a score of warrior women, dressed in crude armor, but brandishing some rather effective-looking swords. Most of the women wore helmet-like hats made out of heads of wolves or wild dogs, save for their leader, who had a tiger’s-head helmet instead. It was she who had asked the question, and she was looking at Dawn.
“No,” Dawn said flatly, being quite aware that the term ‘daughter of Sineya’ was an archaic synonym for ‘vampire slayer’ and not being a vampire slayer rankled in Dawn’s craw rather badly still. “I’m not.”
“Sure you are, see?” the warrior woman replied equally flatly as she pulled-out an ebony stick carved into a pitchfork shape at the end and jabbed it in Dawn’s direction.
Nothing happened. The warrior woman jabbed it again – still nothing.
“...Okay,” Dawn said carefully, “what was supposed to happen?”
Her interlocutrix gave the Key a look. “Nothing that matters to you,” she said bitterly. “Guess you are telling the truth. Come on, girls,” and the warrior women vanished back into darkness as quickly as they have appeared from it.
The remaining Scoobies (except for Faith, who just looked exasperated) stared at each other in some honest confusion.
“What was that all about?” Dawn asked Xander and Buffy, when the giant owl arrived.
Some clarification is probably needed at this moment. Buffy took her sister and the others out here not just to re-bond with them, but also for some minimal monster slaying, in this case of a giant, supposedly man-sized, owl. For a while, though, it appeared that the giant owl would fail to appear, even if it did exist, but now it had come.
“Hoo! Hoo!” it cried, snapping its hooked beak in front of Xander and his last remaining eye. “Who dares to intrude into the realm of U-hoo-mis-you?!”
“Faith! Weapon!” Xander squealed and Faith threw him her axe. Unfortunately, it was a rather massive, double-sided, long-shafted weapon designed for a slayer rather than an average human, and Xander, when he grabbed it, lost his balance and his swing produced only a glancing blow upon the giant bird. This still produced a large burst of feathers everywhere, and by the time everyone could see once more, Uhoomisyou was gone for good, flying away into the trees.
The warrior women, however, were back. “Say, if you’re not daughter of Sineya, why are you here with weapons? Are you trying to trick us?” their tiger-helmeted spokesperson asked once again.
Xander, who had lost his balance after swinging at his flying opponent and fallen onto his face (missing the axe, fortunately), spat out a mouthful of feathers and got back onto his feet (without picking up the axe lest he failed and lost the last dignity he had left). “Do I look like anyone’s daughter?” he practically shouted into the warrior-woman’s face. “Faith, Buffy, anyone, tell them that I-“
“Hey, I think that the owl is coming back!” Dawn yelled, pointing to the moonlit late evening sky. She was wrong. It was not a giant owl, but rather Kennedy Vasquez (another Vampire Slayer) and her date, as she (Kennedy) told Dawn so.
“Sorry, Kennedy,” Dawn said without sounding very sorry at all (there had been another mini-feud between Kennedy and Buffy recently). “What’s up? Why are you here?”
“Looking for Faith... it’s a long story,” Kennedy shook her head. “How’s the owl hunting going?”
“Lousy,” Faith shook her head. “I can think of several better ways of wasting my time, like taking your online tests, for example. And then we got those folk, appearing constantly in our ways like bad pennies, seeking out vampire slayers for no good reason...”
“That’s slander!” the tiger-helmeted leader yelled. “We’re amazons, warrior women! As magic has faded in this dimension we became accidentally trapped here, and are seeking assistance from the Vampire Slayer in regards to lodging and other accommodations-“
“Oh. Here,” Kennedy said flatly, as she pulled out a business card. “Here’s the phone number, fax number, and address of the local charter of the Watchers’ Council. You’ll be given lodging there, no problem.”
“Really? Thank you!” the amazons’ leader replied almost gratefully and left – this time for good, hopefully.
Faith, meanwhile, turned to Kennedy. “So,” she carefully began, but the younger Slayer interrupted her.
“Faith! Tell your friend that one date means just one date, not two or three!”
“Sophie,” Faith gave a look to the person behind Kennedy.
“What?” came the rather insolent reply. “We were having fun!”
“Fine, let’s try this the other way,” Faith sighed. “You two, come with me. B, you can handle that oversized chicken even with Xander and Dawn, because I am leaving you my axe. Have a good night!” and she left, followed by Kennedy and Sophie.
Buffy was left looking at Dawn and Xander who were looking back at her. “Buffy,” Xander exhaled after finally lifting the axe and almost getting a hernia in the process. “The giant owl probably won’t be returning tonight, so let’s call it a night and go and call Andrew to see how he’s getting on, OK?”
“Fine,” Buffy nodded and they also left the park.
Unnoticed by them, about half a dozen of giant owls sat silently in the trees, looking down at them with glowing eyes...