All bets are off ...
Acknowledgements: Thank you for the reviews from kittenpoker, bradsan, SariLane, spk, bsams
Faith just sauntered to the front of the gathering pack of baby slayers, “Damn girl they look even hotter in the daylight.”
Buffy had a salacious grin enjoying the fact that she was shocking more than a few of them, “No they definitely were hotter last night.”
The whispers ran like wildfire through the room. The slayers couldn’t decide whether what they thought was true - was true. It was unconventional but then again when you were the Queen Slayer and had been fighting monsters for nearly ten years you could be a little eccentric. And really when you could come back from the dead twice - who say no to you?
Giles looked at her dangerous companions, “Urm we need to talk - in private.”
Buffy shook her head, having a blast, “Nope, these are friends and besides I’m not here to make nice ... yet.”
Xander sighed, “So what are you here for?”
Buffy cocked her head to the side, “My Job. You see slaying is a chosen profession Xan and one you can’t take away.”
Willow got a little bit of challenge in her eyes, “I can. I have the power.”
Buffy showing how much she has grown didn't remind her about the little near end-of-the-world fiasco. You see good friends don’t do that. Instead, Buffy showing that little bit of infamous steel, “You can try, but you made me the Omega Slayer. I lose power then so do all the baby slayers.”
Dom laughed, “So you hold all the cards.”
Buffy grinned, and Giles felt a pang of sadness as he had not seen that carefree smile in a long time, not since she’d been high school. “Yep, it’s good to be queen.”
Kennedy had had enough and hated the way none of them were willing to speak up. Honestly she hated Buffy Summers, she was so precious. Why did she get all the power? It should be her - she would be able to handle the power and not run away. She stormed through the crowd.
Buffy knowing full well what her problem was shared a grin with Faith. She added innocent, “Was it something I said?”
Faith shrugged, “Some people can’t handle being a princess. Now you should bring your boy-toys and we can catch up on what I’ve found.”
Faith and Buffy left the atrium, arm in arm being trailed by Dom and Brian who had enjoyed that little tête-à-tête. They would help Buffy in any way they could and they sensed that this ‘family’ were good at trying to cut her down to size. They hadn’t needed to say anything; just stand there and offer their silent support.
Faith looked them over, “You sure that there isn’t a third one of you.”
Brian chuckled, “Well there is always Leon although you might eat him for breakfast.”
Faith grinned, “Oh but he wouldn’t complain.”
Dom shook his head, both fearing and eagerly anticipating Faith meeting Vince and Mia. “I’m sure he wouldn’t. So you’re like B.”
Faith was glad that Buffy had told them the truth, she deserved respect and happiness. “Yeah we’re the chosen two. Can you handle us?”
Dom shook his head, “No it takes me and Brian for B, but I have a whole team.”
Faith liked these guys more and more. “Well after last night B asked me to check into some names and King Geek worked his magic.”
Buffy grinned, “Well I will find a nice action figure for him. What you got?”
Faith threw the printout onto Dom’s lap. “Short Version - Daddy Tran is a low level demon who climbed the ladder rapidly. He uses those around him to keep power by being a ruthless son of a bitch. Humanoid enough to pass and his son is chief enforcer. Daddy dearest is torn between keeping his son and killing him before the son does him in.”
The LAPD were going to need something or they would go for Dom out of spite. “Did you find anything about them breaking human laws?” He wondered how it was his life that he could say such statements with a straight face.
Faith was enjoying this; it was nice to be the one holding the cards. “You’re in luck soldier boy.”
Brian pouted, “I’m a cop and clearly not a good one.”
Buffy snickered, “They met Graham - I sent him back with a gift for Riley.”
“What?” Faith asked curiously.
Dom remembered the strange gift and look, “It was toothpaste.”
Brian shrugged, “Some gift.”
Faith clapped her hands in glee, “Oh boys if Buffy hadn’t claimed you I could kiss you.”
Buffy snickered, “Yeah we agreed no more kissing each other’s boyfriends.”
Faith agreed, “Yeah it’s for the best. So when you want to go after Tran give me a call.”
Buffy smirked and was pulled to her feet by Brian they had some cops to go and visit after lunch. Brian needed to drop evidence off and Buffy was going to make Bilkins miserable. It was the little things in life that made life worth living. She stood up giving her slayer sister a hug, “Oh I wouldn’t let you miss the party.”
Faith sighed wishing she could just head out straight after Buffy. Buffy must have sensed this, “If they get too clingy or annoy you. Find me I have somewhere you can stay.”
She really did, as she wasn’t leaving Dom and Brian in Echo Park anytime soon which meant that Faith could crash at her apartment.
Buffy walked back through the atrium where the Scooby’s were still gossiping, Buffy rolled her eyes. And decided to answer a few questions, “No I’ve not abandoned my duty Xan ask Faith ... No Willow I’m not lying you should see how quick I heal from injuries now.”
Willow flinched, “... but what about Dawn?”
Buffy wondered how she had the nerve but figured that a question deserves a fair answer, “She needs to decide whether I am the guardian she wants. If not then the legal changes need to be made. I love her and want her happy. She didn’t want me to stay so I didn’t.”
Dom and Brian noticed that all of the ‘Scooby’s’; they could tell that Buffy had forgotten to fill them on a few details.
Xander reverted to type, “You can’t blame us. It was the First.”
Buffy smiled serenely which should have made them realise that this was a trap. “I don’t blame you for not wanting me to lead. I’m a big girl ... I made mistakes but owned them and wanted to fix them. How many of you can say the same?”
Giles could tell that reconciliation would not be occurring anytime soon. However he had seen something that he’d missed in his own selfishness - Buffy had grown into a self-assured confident woman. “Will you stay safe?”
Buffy laughed darkly, “No such thing. Yet what I will say G-man is you’ve been authorised for Council funds.”
Willow didn’t like that, “What about us?”
Buffy did not look impressed, “I saw what happened the last time you tried to run a small household.”
Giles actually smirked at that; yes Buffy was doing much better and he wouldn’t force her back. It would be wrong besides she’d given enough. He would be sad if she never slayed again but felt that Buffy deserved her own happy ending. “Don’t be a stranger.”
“I won’t, and I haven’t abandoned Dawn I just need to deal with a situation first so that she is safe.”
She hadn’t gone into detail as he didn’t need to know. “Bye Giles.”
She said nothing else but once outside she accepted gratefully a hug off both her boys. “Thank you.” She said softly.
Brian lifted her chin up, “Nothing to be sorry for, besides I get to watch you play with Bilkins this afternoon.
Dom snickered because from what Brian had told him he kind of wished he could see it. “Yeah you didn’t need us. We just stood there.”
Buffy couldn’t help but wonder when the penny would drop, her life was looking pretty damn good right about now. “Come on let’s go back home.”
She didn’t notice what she said but the guys sure did, and they couldn’t stop looking smug because of it. Dom drove them back to Echo Park just in time for them to see Lance shove Jesse up the wall.
Buffy saw red and the best bit - Lance was a demon. All bets were off...