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The Great Wolpertinger Hunt

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This story is No. 7 in the series "Holiday Shorts". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: When an inter-dimensional invader attacks Sunnydale during the St. Patrick's Day festivities, Buffy and Giles must work together to save the drunken townsfolk. But will the victory be worth the cost?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Games > Fantasy > WarcraftbrokenmimirFR1312,862051,08517 Mar 1317 Mar 13Yes
Disclaimer
I don't own anything. Buffy is not owned by me. Nor is anything part of Warcraft. It is owned by rich, talented people. I'm a nobody. Please don't sue me.


The Great Wolpertinger Hunt,
or
How Giles Contributed to the Delinquency of His Slayer


Buffy was just finishing up her patrol for the evening when she heard a scream from a nearby alley. She took off running, but she could tell from the sounds that she was going to be too late to save whoever the victim was. She was right, as their cries cut off just as she skidded around the last corner.

Laying on the ground was a dead college student, his body covered in small wounds. Looking around carefully, she was disappointed to see no trace of whatever had attacked the man. Taking a deep breath, she slowly closed her eyes, trying to do the sensing thing that Giles had kept harping about. Biting her lip as she concentrated, she opened her eyes as she came to the conclusion that she felt something. She wouldn't swear that it wasn't the snack she'd eaten before patrol disagreeing with her, though.

Examining the dead man, the first thing that she noticed was the conspicuous lack of blood. Normally she would suspect vampires, but if it was then they were very strange vampires. The bite marks were tiny and resembled the time she had been bitten by her cousin's pet rabbit when she was little, except obviously much deeper.

Without anything else to find, Buffy had no choice but to head home and tell Giles about what had happened in the morning. Whatever had killed him, it probably wasn't a vampire, a witch, or a bug lady, and she didn't know what else might be hanging out in Sunnydale. Once again she wished that her mom had had moved them somewhere way less wiggy.


* * *


The next morning, Buffy strolled casually into the library. Despite having to come in early so that she could tell Giles what she had seen, she had still remembered to wear green. She grinned evilly as she saw that her Watcher had forgotten.

He let out a very satisfying yelp when she pinched his side, making him drop the thick tome that he had been reading onto the table. He glared at her as he began to furiously polish his glasses. “What was that for!”

She grinned innocently up at him. “St. Patrick's Day! Duh. You're not wearing any green.”

“What?” he asked, befuddled.

“You're not wearing any green, so that means we get to make with the pinchage,” Buffy said.

He stared at her blankly.

“St. Patrick's day,” Buffy said. “Don't you celebrate it in the Land of Tweed?”

“Certainly not by- by pinching,” he grumbled. “Is there a reason that you came in here this morning, other than to harass me?”

“Yeah,” Buffy said. “Can vampires turn rabbits? Or squirrels?”

He sighed deeply before picking up his book again. “Of course not. Why would you even ask such a thing?”

“Well, there was this body last night,” Buffy explained. “I heard a scream, but when I checked it out whatever did it was long gone, and the victim was all chewed up and no blood. Little tiny bites, like a swarm of vamp rabbits got their feed on.”

“I- rabbits do not, um, swarm,” he started.

“Sure they can!” Buffy objected. “They breed so fast, they make big ol' swarms.”

“A group of rabbits is called a colony,” Giles lectured. “And I already told you, rabbits cannot become vampires!”

Willow and Xander came in just in time to hear his last statement, and Xander quickly commented. “Whoa! Vampire rabbits? How rascally.”

“Not the bunnies!” Willow objected. “They're too cute to vamp!”

“There are no such things as vampire rabbits,” Giles said repressively.

“Tell that to Mr. Dead-College-Guy,” Buffy countered. “'Cause he's gotta be feelin' pretty embarrassed about being killed by something that doesn't exist.”

“Actually, color me crazy, but I think he'd feel pretty embarrassed about the whole death by bunny thing, anyway,” Xander observed.

“It wasn't rabbits,” Giles said again. “Whatever did it certainly left a distinctive... Ow!”

“Sorry, Giles,” Willow said with a shy grin. “No green.”


* * *


Giles chased them out of the library after that, and the next time Buffy had a chance to go see him was after school. When the trio strolled back into the library they were disappointed to see the Watcher had acquired a green ribbon from somewhere. He was also looking very worried as he flipped through several books.

“Hey Giles!” Buffy said. “What's the what?”

“I believe I've found the cause of the, um, the death,” Giles said as he looked up at them.

“Cool,” Xander said. “What do we need? Let's gear up and go bunny hunting!”

“No!” Willow objected. “I don't think I can hurt a bunny.”

“Even a vamp bunny?” Xander asked.

“Well...” Willow said thoughtfully.

“I dunno, a vamp bunny could be pretty cute,” Buffy said. “And that would have to be really hard to stake. I mean, its not easy to get a person vamp 'til you get the hang of where the heart is...”

“It isn't a rabbit,” Giles said. “And you aren't coming.”

“What!” Xander said. “Why not?”

“This is going to be too dangerous for, well, civilians,” Giles said delicately. “Actually, I wish I could spare Buffy from this mission, but she's the only one capable of it.”

“You mean I have to go alone?” Buffy asked.

“No, I shall accompany you,” Giles said.

“Hey, how come you can go but we can't?” Xander asked.

“Because I am a trained Watcher,” he explained.

“Besides that,” Xander huffed. “It's not like last week I was taken captive by a praying mantis lady or anything. That wasn't dangerous at all.”

“This is a completely different sort of situation,” Giles explained. “Buffy can't afford any distractions tonight.”

“This sounds bad,” Buffy said. “Does it sound bad to you?”

“Very bad,” Willow gulped.

“Don't worry,” Giles said. “No Slayer has ever been killed by this breed of demon. That doesn't mean that you can be incautious, however.”

“Right, no slacking, certain death, yadda yadda yadda,” Buffy said. “When do we go?”

“Meet me at my apartment when you would normally start patrol,” Giles answered. “We'll need to pick up certain supplies that I can't keep in the school for this.”


* * *


That evening a nervous Buffy arrived at her watcher's apartment. She still didn't know what she was going to be facing that night, but she was certain that it wasn't going to be good. Giles had been acting far too nervous for things to be simple.

When she entered she walked over to the table where several short swords had been laid out. Picking one up, she swung it around, getting a feel for the weapon. It was light and quick, and when she tested the edge she was satisfied that it was sharp. Before she could do anything else (not that she had planned to snoop around her Watcher's apartment or anything) Giles entered.

“What's the what?” Buffy asked as she set the blade down.

Giles cleared his throat nervously rummaging around in his kitchen as he greeted her. “Hello. Just a few, um, moments... here it is!”

Buffy looked at what Giles had pulled from one of his cabinets. It was a large bottle of whisky. “Um, Giles? Is it that bad that you've gotta drink?”

“No, of course not,” he said. “You are going to be drinking.”

“Cool!” Buffy said. “Wait, why am I going to be drinking? I'm a minor. I'm not 'sposed to drink. 'S the law.”

“Yes, well,” Giles fumbled as he began to clean his glasses.

Buffy started at him suspiciously. “Why are you trying to get me drunk? 'Cause that doesn't sound like you. Not that I know you too well... this is starting to sound like something from an after school special.”

“I assure you, this is not about some form of- of impropriety,” Giles began.

“Actually, I think just giving me that is a felony,” Buffy mused.

Giles rolled his eyes. “Yes, well, it's probably some form of crime for me to give you deadly weapons as well, yet here we are.”

“Alright,” Buffy said after a moment. “Why am I 'sposed to be drunk?”

“The creatures that attacked seem to have been a pack of feral wolpertingers,” Giles said.

“That's... wow,” Buffy said. “That's a mouthful.”

“Yes, well, wolpertingers are a species of demon that feed on the alcohol in the blood of its victims,” Giles lectured. “In order to attract them, you must consume large quantities of alcohol. Especially as tonight is St. Patrick's Day, and the majority of the town will be imbibing to excess.”

“Then why don't you drink?” Buffy said. “How am I gonna slay if I'm that drunk?”

“That leads to the unfortunate second aspect of the creatures,” Giles said with a sigh. “They can only be seen by those who are completely intoxicated.”

“So I have to get really drunk and then fight a pack of feral winnie pooh tiggers?” Buffy asked.

“Yes,” Giles agreed. “I will go along in an attempt to keep you under control. As you have never consumed alcohol before, it is difficult to predict how you may react.”

Buffy ignored her opportunity to confess to past party behavior, although even at Hemery she hadn't ever drunk more than a small amount of alcohol in an evening. “Alright, could be worse. A night of drinking and slaying. What could go wrong?”


* * *


The rest of the evening would be something that Buffy would never be able to properly recall. In order to see the wolpertingers, she was required to have a dangerous blood alcohol level, which meant that she downed the entire bottle of whisky (which burned her throat and eyes with every drink) before they even left the apartment. By the time they reached downtown she was barely able to walk, but despite that Giles insisted she drink more before they started the hunt.

Wolpertingers were silly looking creatures. While all of Buffy's recollections of them were extremely blurry, she did remember that they looked similar to oversized rabbits, but with nasty claws, teeth, and oversized antlers. If they hadn't been trying to suck out her blood, she probably would have found them cute.

In order for her to slay them all, she had to travel from place to place, attacking them wherever they gathered the thickest. Which was mostly at bars and parties, as they were attracted by the scent of alcohol. In order for her to ensure that they would go after her instead of the innocent (if inebriated) bystanders, Buffy had to continue drinking more and more whisky at every opportunity. The worst part was that, whenever she threw up, she had to immediately drink even more to make up for it.

The first three hours the next morning were spent in absolute misery. The only reason why she was still alive was her Slayer strength liver, but even that couldn't prevent a Hellmouth sized hangover. If a vampire had come upon her during those first few hours, she would have gratefully offered her neck, just to end the torment.

It wasn't until a day later that she was finally well enough to attend school, her utter misery convincing her mother that she had a particularly virulent strain of stomach flu. Buffy was just glad that her mother hadn't noticed the stench of alcohol which had clung to her. She would never complain about her mother's obliviousness again.

The first sign that something was wrong came as she entered the library. Willow and Xander were both pouring over a newspaper worriedly while Giles was nowhere in sight. “Hey guys! What's with the kicked puppy looks?”

“Hey! You okay?” Xander asked. “You don't usually miss school.”

“Did something happen while you were out Slaying with Giles?” Willow asked solicitously.

“Just felt a bit rough yesterday,” Buffy deflected. “Long night slaying.”

“Well, you missed slaying the real monster,” Willow said.

“Huh?”

“Some kind of demon tore apart half of downtown two nights ago,” Xander explained. “They said it'll take weeks to fix it all. No one who says months is called crazy.”

“What kind of demon?” Buffy asked, immediately going into Slayer mode. She wracked her brain, trying to pull up as many of the fuzzy memories of that night as she could, although she didn't remember seeing anything like that.

“Well, the reports are vague,” Willow hedged. “But it was bad! It destroyed the shoe store downtown! Broke in the window and tried on some high heeled boots, then went on a rampage...”

“Guess they didn't fit,” Xander opined.

“...tore the building to pieces,” Willow continued. “I mean, they're gonna have to replace the walls. And the ceiling. And the carpet. And all of the shoes.”

“No... the shoe store!” Buffy said, horrified. She thought hard, but could only recall the faintest, blurriest images of a ruined shoe store.

“That wasn't the end of it either!” Willow said. “The demon then went from store to store on a rampage. The whole shopping district is in ruins!”

“Including the comic book store,” Xander moaned. “The demon lit it on fire. Just... how could someone burn down the comic book store?”

“And the library,” Willow agreed. “They set it on fire, too, then tried to put it out. Maybe there was some book it realized it wanted? Anyway, it put out the fire, but it did it by busting a water main. So the library flooded. And since it doesn't have flood insurance, its gonna have to close down. It would have been better off burning!”

Some alarm in the back of Buffy's mind began ringing as she listened to the accounts of destruction. She definitely remembered fire. And water, too.

“Was anyone... hurt?” Buffy asked.

“No, no casualties,” Willow said. “But the property damage alone...”

“Yeah, someone destroyed all of the statues of the mayor,” Xander said. “Which, mostly funny, but still. Ooh! The demon also raided a liquor store.”

“Really?”

“Yeah,” Willow explained. “Apparently, it broke in and drank a bunch of alcohol. Then stole even more. A crate of expensive Scotch. Then it went and vomited in the town fountain. Like, four times. That was before it burned down the library.”

“Wow,” Buffy said. “Wiggy. Any idea what this demon looks like?”

“No,” Willow said. “It destroyed the cameras, and all of the witnesses were too drunk to give good testimony. Apparently it was small though, and it had a servant. Some bigger guy following it around, giving it alcohol. They said it was kinda young looking though, and pretty humanish, 'cause the city is looking for the guy for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. You don't even want to know how many charges they want to bring against it!”

Buffy suddenly froze as a terrible sense of foreboding swept over her. “Wow. Now that I'm feeling better from the stomach bug, flu, thingie... I'll get right on that. Maybe Giles has some ideas?”

“Probably,” Willow agreed. “He seemed really upset when he saw the papers. He's in the office.”

“Right,” Buffy said, heading back as her stomach began doing flips. She had hoped that it had settled down after her hangover ended, but apparently it had become fond of rebelling.

She found him sitting at his desk, reading the paper despondently. “Hey, Watcher-mine.”

“Buffy!” Giles said. “How are you feeling?”

“Not dying anymore,” she said. “Curious though. I don't really remember much. Or almost anything.”

He looked relieved. “Good. You dealt with the wolpertingers very well. No one died that night.”

“Good, good,” Buffy said awkwardly. “Nothing else... happened?”

“Nothing to, um, concern yourself with,” he said delicately.

“Wills and Xander were looking at the paper...”

“Yes, well, I don't think that that shall be a problem at this, um, time. Whatever it was shouldn't happen again.”

“Right,” Buffy said. “No worries. Whatever did that... won't happen again.”

“Yes,” Giles agreed.

They shifted awkwardly for a second, before Buffy turned to leave. When she did she saw an empty crate in the corner that looked suspiciously like it once held expensive scotch. She ignored it.

They never spoke of it again.

Author's Notes
That was an idea that came to me from some weird part of my brain. I'm not sure that British people don't do the pinching thing on St. Patrick's day, but my 10 minutes of research indicated that they didn't, and I thought it would be funnier if Giles didn't know what she was doing, anyway.

This obviously took place early in the first season. Wolpertingers are a 'real' mythical creature, although the version I used was based on the creatures from World of Warcraft. During Brewfest (which is in October) invisible wolpertingers appear which can only be seen if you are completely drunk. They aren't dangerous, but I needed a reason for a Slayer to go after them, and I thought having them be blood drinking would be funny.

The End

You have reached the end of "The Great Wolpertinger Hunt". This story is complete.

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