The Kick Ass Express
Additional fanart created by some wonderful fans found hereSummary:
Buffy goes to confront her 'soul mate', after Faith tells her about her time in Angelus' mind.Disclaimer:
BtVS/AtS belong to Joss Whedon.Pairings:
Angel/Buffy, Connor/Harmony, Wesley/Faith, Gunn/Fred and other surprise pairingsAuthor's Note:
On AtS, everything up to Orpheus remains the same. The storyline varies after that in the following ways: no Jasmine, the Beast controlled Cordelia, Shaman returned Angel's soul, Faith headed for Sunnydale to help Buffy, Connor and Angel called a truce, and Angel accepted the W&H deal to save Buffy.
This is dark in nature, and not Kennedy or Cordelia friendly.
Angelus bit into her neck and started to drink, when the drugs hit. "You bitch, you drugged me."
He threw Faith's body away from him with his last remaining strength as he fell to the floor unconscious. Wesley stepped from the shadows. He looked down at his former slayer with a proud smile. Connor and Gunn, scrambled down from their hiding place in the rafters to quickly retrieve the large vampire. They carried their 'prize' into the hotel. Wesley followed close behind, holding Faith close against his chest as if she were delicate cargo rather than the indomitable warrior everyone knew her to be.
"Man, how did he get this heavy drinking blood? He sure has packed on the pounds the last few years," Gunn complained as he struggled to maneuver Angelus' large cumbersome body down the basement stairs.
"Don't know, don't care. Why didn't we just dust him there, rather than dragging him back here?" Connor glared daggers at the demon that wore his father's face. He pulled as Gunn pushed at the large imposing body of the man/vampire who seemed to invade his every waking moment.
"English thinks there's still a chance to get Angel back, so shut up and hold up your end."
Wesley had carried Faith upstairs. He gently placed her on Angel's bed. His fingers reached out to brush dark silken tendrils from her face.
"Is she going to be all right?" Fred asked, stepping into the room. Her expressive brown eyes filled with worry for the younger girl.
"I think so, Winifred. She fought bravely and her will to live is strong." Wesley's bright blue eyes wandered over his Slayer's still body. He wondered where her mind had wandered in her Morpheus-laden mind, and whether she would indeed return to them.
Faith fought her way through Angel's dreamverse. She woke and shakily sat up in the bed. Her hands immediately searched her neck, where she found the proof it wasn't all in her head. Placing her feet on the floor, she stood up, and fell to her knees.
"Way to go, some Slayer you are. I bet B wouldn't have passed out. She'd have kicked the Beast's ass with some weird ass plan she pulled from her newest leather pants pocket then went ahead to give Angelus the proper spanking he deserved. Damn, girl! That was some wicked bad drugs, if it has you crawling around talking to yourself. Get your ass up."
She placed her hands flat on the floor ready to push her body up when her fingers brushed against something. It felt cool and smooth to the touch, but sent tingles across her skin. Angel was such a neat freak and to find anything under his bed was, well just odd. She knew the tingles meant magic, which peeked Faith's curiosity even more. Her curiosity got the better of her, so she looked.
"Whoa, it's that putang jar Wes was talking about. What's it doing under the bed? Whoever put it there was smart; no one would think to look under his bed for the stupid thing. I better get up off my ass and take this to Watcherman, so he can get on with the mojo to put Fang's soul back."
Her hands wrapped around the jar. She sat it on the mattress then used the side of the bed to pull herself back to her feet, determined to get downstairs under her own power. Gunn and Connor turned to watch the dark-haired Slayer walk down the stairs.
Fred's breath caught when she saw what Faith held in her hands. "Wesley, come here. Hurry!"
The Englishman stepped from Angel's office and followed Fred's finger. "Faith, where did you find that jar?"
"Underneath the big guy's bed. If you even dare to crack a smile, I'll personally kick your ass," she warned, with her dark eyes blazing. Her tough girl persona was firmly in place, even though she felt as if she might crumple at any moment.
Buffy turned around and there stood Angel. She leapt into his arms. He caught her, kissing her passionately. "Buffy." Only Angel said her name that way.
"Angel, you're here. Why are you here? Oh, I don't care just kiss me again." She grabbed his face to pull his mouth down to her waiting lips. Their lips were just about to touch when Caleb interrupted. "Stay right here, I have to go and kick the evil priest's ass."
She ducked under Caleb's punch and gave him a swift kick to the head. The scythe seemed to hum in her hand. Caleb moved back to hit her again when he felt the steel bite through his skin, and shock crossed his face. It wasn't supposed to happen this way; the First had promised him a place in its reign. The last thing he saw before he died was Buffy's smile.
Before she knew what was happening, Angel was pushing her against the wall. Buffy wrapped her legs around his waist as they devoured each other's mouth. He pulled her shirt apart to cup her breasts. Buffy moaned, her head moved side-to-side when he replaced his hands with his lips. Her fingers slid into his thick hair, remembering the feel.
"No, no more stopping. I want you, Buffy. I need to feel you. My soul's safe. Promise," he whispered huskily, while nibbling at her neck.
His tongue snuck out to tease the raised flesh from his mark. Angel pushed her further up the wall to allow him better access. Buffy's eyes closed as the rapture swept through her body. She felt whole, where all her pieces fit together once more.
"I've missed you so much. I thought we'd never have this again, especially after…"
Angel lifted his head to stare into her passion-glazed eyes. "Buffy, forget about the last time we were together. I lost my way, became a different person. It was a strange time for us. Please, beloved let me show you how much I love you, I've only ever loved you."
He heard the soft hitch in her breathe. Angel stilled in the way only vampires seemed able as he waited for Buffy to decide his fate.
"Yes, Angel, show me. Help me remember when I felt safe and loved."
Buffy happily sighed into his mouth, when Angel kissed her with all the love and tenderness he could shower on her, and helped her remember. Gently stepping away from the wall and setting her on her feet, Angel wrapped his coat around her shoulders.
She picked up the Scythe from where she had dropped it, slipping from her hands forgotten at Angel's first kiss. Angel lifted her into his arms and carried her to his car. They drove to the mansion in companionable silence; simply holding hands lost in thought as they eagerly anticipated being together again.
Angel pulled up to the mansion, jumped out and rushed around to sweep Buffy back into his arms. Walking into the place that held such intense memories for them, the good and the bad, caused them to cling tightly to each other as they crossed the threshold. Angel strode single-mindedly straight through the great room and up the stairs to his former bedroom, where he gently placed Buffy back on her feet. She propped the Scythe next to the door for easy access. They moved in unison toward the bed, removing the dustcover, pulling away the duvet leaving only the decadent black satin sheets.
By some unspoken signal, they moved toward each other meeting at the foot. Their eyes never left each other as if they feared looking away would cause the other to wake from this wonderful dream. Angel leaned down to capture the plump pink lips that had captivated him from the first time he had seen them wrapped around a lollipop on that fated sunny day. Their hands busily started removing their respective clothes. Occasionally stopping to taste and touch each other with a tender kiss or caress as each item disappeared. Angel picked her up, placing her lovingly on the cool sheets. He kissed his way up the soft golden skin, crawling forward with each kiss, until he reached her side, stopping once they were face to face. He leaned on his side so he could look at her. His fingers slowly moved down her body from her collarbone to the back of her knees.
"You're so beautiful, Ioniin. Let me show you what I see when I look at you."
He captured her mouth with his own. Buffy's arms wrapped around his neck as she turned her body toward his. She put her thigh over his and her foot slowly rubbed along his legs while her hips pressed closer to his hard body.
"Why don't we show each other?" Her voice husky with passion.
Angel gave her a tender smile. Look at the beautiful vibrant woman she became, while I was gone. She's no longer the innocent girl I once knew. She's completely comfortable in her own sensuality.
Buffy kissed his neck, nipping the jugular with her blunt teeth. Angel bared his neck to her, a gesture of surrender and submission, groaning deep in his throat at the sensation. This was a fantasy come true for him. She's acting as if she already knows how to please a vampiric lover, briefly wondering how she would know such things, before his eyes nearly crossed when she nipped and scratched him simultaneously. It hit him hard he wasn't the vampire in question and it certainly wasn't something she could have learned in any book. Angel knew he had never shown her that side of him. Their rare times together in intimate situations weren't conducive to him introducing Buffy to the darker side of vampire sex.
His brow furrowed as his darker thoughts started to invade his mind, but got distracted when Buffy bit him harder this time, nearly drawing blood. She tormented and teased his flesh, causing Angel to completely forget his train of thought. Her nails gently scratched down his side. Buffy guided their actions, and Angel found he was happy to follow her lead.
"Buffy!" He moaned not knowing whether he prayed she would continue or stop.
"Shush, Angel, this is my ride. Just lay back and enjoy yourself, baby. Feel how much I want you."
Her husky whisper caused shivers to race down his spine. He took a deep unneeded breath at the effect her words were having on him. Angel fought to control his body, not wanting this to end too soon.
"Buffy, please show me, baby. Show me how much you want me, want us."
No one had ever felt like she did. There was something indefinably, unique about her, and Angel couldn't deny it. His hand moved around to her back, feeling the play of her muscles as she moved. The carnal dance continued until, Angel grabbed her hips with a growl, and took over the mating rhythm. Their breaths came in rapid gasps until they shouted each other's names when their release overtook them. Holding her close, he laid her down on the bed, and gathered her close in his arms as he brushed the hair away from her face.
"I love you, Buffy."
"I love you too. I tried to forget you, forget us, but I couldn't. No matter what I did, it didn't change anything."
"I know, beloved, I know," his deep voice rumbled under her ear. "Why were you out there alone tonight?"
"They kicked me out of my house, Angel," she mumbled, bending her head down so she didn't have to look in his eyes.
His hands smoothed down her back, soothing her and encouraging her to confide in him.
Buffy told him about the potentials, Giles and haltingly - Spike.
"I was confused, Angel, especially, after I met with you. Everything felt wrong here, harsh, too loud, too bright. They expected me to just bounce right back to normal, but I wasn't normal anymore. My skin didn't fit anymore. The people around me wanted the Buffy I was before I died, and I didn't know how to be her anymore because I didn't feel like her. I didn't feel anything anymore. I just wanted to feel something, anything."
His body stiffened at her words then he asked in a strangled voice. "You slept with Spike, willingly? He's evil, Buffy. It doesn't matter whether he's chipped or not," Angel growled, vamping out.
He shoved her off him then jumped from the bed, furious. She slept with him, slept with his childe.
"I came to see you, but also because I have information that could help. I thought you needed me. What a fool I am, you already have a vampire lover - MY CHILDE. So, why did you crawl into bed with me? Old times, or will any vamp do?"
*SMACK* Angel's head rocked to the side. He turned back to stare at Buffy in equal parts shock and anger. She stood glaring at him furious. She had actually slapped him and her eyes held a hardness he had never seen before.
"How dare you? How dare you come here and try to judge me, Angel! What right do you have to get angry with me?! You left and if you don't remember our last meeting, I do! You couldn't even tell I was in heaven, you self-righteous ass. While you scuttled off to LA to charge for your help, I've lived in this Hell, where you left me. My friends ripped me from heaven to bring me back to more bills than anyone my age should even know about. My sister's unhappy because I don't spend more time with her, but when am I supposed to do that between working, cleaning and slaying. She tried to get my attention by stealing stuff, and attracted some Vengeance Demon's attention, which I so didn't need. So, I fucked Spike, so what. You left me, not the other way around. You wanted me to go out and have sex, right? Well guess what I did! Lots of it. Oh, just forget it. Why do I even bother? I love you, Angel, but you're selfish and self-centered. Not everything is about you! You want everything the way you decide it should be."
She marched across the room and started to pull on her clothes. Her movements showed her rage with every pull and jerk.
"This isn't going to work."
"Buffy!" Angel exclaimed, realizing he had stepped over the line, and she intended to walk out on him.
Her hand came up to stop him from saying anything else. "No, if you have information that will help, fine; I'll take it. Maybe when this is over, we can talk, but not right now. I have had just about all the crap I can choke down. Everyone wants to tell me what to do, how to live, how to fight. Well guess what, Buffy's a big girl, she's all grown up. I'm going to do whatever I think's right for this fight and for me. No one had better get in my way, not anymore."
Finishing her tirade, she looked at him in aggravation, "So, what is this information?"
"Buffy, I can help you fight; you don't have to do this alone." His eyes pleaded with her to let him stay.
"Information, Angel!" Her arms crossed over her still bare chest.
On anyone else, it would have looked silly but Angel realized he was talking to a furious Slayer, in all her glory. His shoulders sagged, admitting defeat.
"Fine, W&H offered me a deal for a folder and an amulet. The Beast took out their entire LA division and since we defeated it, they turned over the offices to us. When this is over, promise you'll come to me there. I'm sorry, Buffy; I hate thinking about you with anyone else. But, most especially, Spike, he and I have always been rivals. Promise you'll come to me in LA?" Angel asked her, while she turned her back to him and finished getting dressed.
"If we survive this then I promise to come to LA. But, Angel, you might want to prepare in case we don't," Buffy said softly as she left the room, grabbing the scythe on her way out.
When she got to his car, she looked in the backseat and there on the floor was a folder and a large ugly amulet. She picked them up then headed for the house, her house.
Buffy walked to the door and kicked it open. "Lucy, I'm home," she called out in her best Ricky Ricardo imitation.
"What are you doing here? We kicked you out, voted you off the island," Kennedy replied from the stairs as she and Willow descended them into the living room. Willow gave Buffy a shy smile but said nothing.
"Shut up, Kennedy. When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you." Coming straight from her conversation with Angel, the last thing she needed was another bout with the aggressive Potential.
"You can't talk to me like that, you aren't in charge here anymore," Kennedy shrieked, shoving her chin out and daring Buffy to dispute her words.
"Willow, either shut your little playmate up or I will," Buffy growled as she gave her 'best' friend a look that told Willow she wasn't kidding.
"Kennedy, honey, let's stay calm. Why don't we find out what's going on? Buffy must have some news." Willow placed a calming hand on the younger girl's arm as they continued into the room.
"Wow, Willow, she must be good. You treat her as if she's fine glass or something. Especially, since you chose her over me, your 'best' friend, for the last seven years. You have known her what is it, a month maybe two?"
"That's enough, Buffy." Giles entered from the kitchen. His stern tone and furrowed brow showed Buffy clearly he was still disappointed with her, and felt he had done the right thing with regards to his earlier actions.
"No, it really isn't. But you're right, I didn't come here to tell you I was right and you were wrong, well I did but it'll have to wait. Call everyone down, cause I'm only going to say this once," she ordered her former Watcher, while she defiantly looked him straight in the eyes. Buffy swallowed, trying to reign the Slayer back under control. Her emotions were running high, and she wasn't sure how much more she could take before she shattered. She had planned to come back and talk with everyone after she found the Scythe. Seeing Angel had sidetracked her, their tryst at the mansion had scrambled her emotions even more so then his accusations had sent her tumbling back to reality.
Taking in her stance, expression and tone, Giles understood Buffy was in full Slayer-mode. There was a hard edge about her he'd never seen before. Have we done this to her, have I?
"Very well; Kennedy, Willow gather the others. Buffy has some important information to share."
"But, Mr. Giles," Kennedy spluttered, her face flaming red with indignation.
"I believe 'your' Watcher gave you a direct order, chop-chop." Buffy glared at the hateful, spoiled girl.
Kennedy stomped from the room. Her anger evident in every step. Buffy leaned against the doorframe, not entering the house. She held the scythe firmly across her breast, with the folder and amulet tucked between her and it. She remained silent, until everyone was present and finally quit talking.
"Okay, listen up. Here's how this is going to work. I'm going to give you some information and my plan to defeat the First. Anyone who doesn't want in can find some transportation and get the hell off my Hellmouth. That's right mine. 'I' am the senior and resident Slayer, and no one is going to come here and tell me how to do the job I've done since I was 16. This is what the First had hidden in the vineyard." She held the Scythe up one-handed, while still keeping the folder tight against her side. "It's handy, too. Slices, dices and juliennes preachers, and can dust Ubervamps with a single whack. Guess I'm not soo stupid saying the vineyard was where they were hiding the power after all," she finished her speech with a smirk.
"Buffy!" Xander spluttered. "We never said you were stupid. We just…"
She raised her hand stopping him before he could continue. Buffy didn't want to rehash the horrible scene again, once was enough. Every time she closed her eyes last night it replayed in her mind. "Yes, you and several others got hurt. I'm sorry about that, truly. But, we're fighting to save the freakin' world here, people. It isn't going to be an easy day at the park."
She looked around the room, letting them see the deep sorrow she felt. It slipped away quickly behind the wall she pushed her emotions to, some swore they had imagined it.
Giles stopped cleaning his glasses to exclaim, "Calm down, Buffy."
"I will not calm down. I'm so tired of everyone telling me what to do. This time I'm letting everyone know exactly what I plan on doing. I'm not asking for your input or advice. Anyone who wants to come along and lend some muscle with the fighting is welcome. Right now, I couldn't give a flying fuck."
"Wow, big sister has a potty mouth." Faith grinned at Buffy, liking this new attitude. She had always wondered how long it would take Buffy to finally tell off the Scoobies. Faith thought it was long overdue, and what her sister Slayer needed the most.
Buffy cut a glance at Faith, saying, "Yeah, big sister has lots of things lil sis still doesn't know about. Now, here it is in a nutshell. We can use the Scythe and have Willow temporarily grant Slayer powers to the potentials to help fight the First. Someone more than human wears this lovely doo-hicky to destroy the First. So, I guess that's me." She wrinkled her nose as she held up the gaudy bauble.
"No, Slayer, I'll wear it. Give me a chance to stick it right proper to the evil Bitch for messing with the Big Bad."
Buffy nodded in understanding as she tossed him the mystical necklace. "Spike's in, who wants to sign up for the 'Kick Ass' express?"
"Of course he's in; if you are, he is," Xander announced sarcastically. His former attempt to get her to understand his position forgotten when his underlying distrust of Spike resurfaces. "Probably thinks it'll win him points toward getting back into your bed," he muttered under his breath.
"Jealous-much, Xander?" Buffy's eyebrow rose in question. "Either put up or shut up. My personal life is no longer up for debate or discussion, by anyone, including you. You've each made your own choices and your own mistakes, so, unless your life's perfect then don't go bitching about mine."
"I'll help Buffy." Dawn stepped up to her big sister. Her face bright with enthusiasm as her eyes begged for forgiveness.
"Fine, Dawn. You've always wanted to fight, here's your chance. Who else?" Buffy returned Dawn's tentative smile.
"You know I'm always up for a fight, B." Faith sauntered over, and understanding passed between the two former rivals.
"Well, you can count me and Willow out. I'm not going to let you use her magic or get us killed," Kennedy announced. The jealousy she felt toward the blonde Slayer clearly written across her face.
"Speak for yourself, Kennedy," Willow said, releasing her lover's hand. "I'm in, I'm with you Buffy, and want to apologize for, you know, what happened before. If I could look at the Scythe, I could tell you if the spell will work."
"Sure Willow, but don't leave my sight."
"We're in too," Anya and Andrew chimed.
"Cool," Buffy replied with no further comment. She liked Anya and Andrew wasn't bad once she got to know him.
"Buffy, I'm with you and I think your plan is exceptionally brilliant."
She nodded at her former Watcher. "Us too." The potentials chorused in unison.
"Why does the spell have to be temporary? Why can't Willow activate us permanently?" Kennedy spoke up, seeing an avenue to achieve her lifelong dream.
"Oh, so you want in if you get to become a real Slayer. The reason this whole mess started was caused the world was out of balance. Miss Know-It-All, what do you think would happen with say twenty active Slayers running around?" Buffy saw understanding dawn across Kennedy's face. "That's what I thought. Tell me, do you ever think before you speak?"
The other girls were enjoying watching Buffy knock Kennedy down several pegs. The more experienced potential had bossed them around for far too long.
"Are you in or out? You'll have the Slayer power temporarily, take it or leave it."
"Fine! I'm in since Willow is," Kennedy reluctantly agreed. She knew she could convince Willow to let her keep the power as soon as she got the red-haired witch alone. There wasn't much she couldn't convince her lover to do once she put her mind, or should she say her body to it.
"Good, everyone get some rest. We go in tomorrow morning. It's time to end this once and for all. Willow, what's the verdict."
"I can do the spell tomorrow morning before we leave. Giles, I'll need you, Robin and Andrew to help me." They nodded in agreement.
"Cool, I'll see you in the morning about eight." Buffy put out her hand for the scythe. Willow reluctantly handed it back. The power was addictive; it sent tingles across her skin.
"You're not staying here, Buffy?" Dawn asked, her big blue eyes pleading.
"No, you kicked me out, remember? So that's the way it is." Turning away from her sad look, she asked, "Robin, can you get a bus? Everyone should pack their stuff and load it. We can head for LA if we survive."
"We aren't coming back here? Why?" The questions burst from everyone's lips.
"First, you don't live here, no matter what you think. For another, according to those files there's a good chance nothing will remain. Dawn, pack my things with yours, but right now would you run up and bring me something clean to wear." Dawn nodded then headed upstairs.
"What's going to happen to us? Are you just going to kick us out?" Kennedy challenged, she wasn't sure her parents would allow her to return. No matter what she told the others, her parents weren't thrilled with her lifestyle choices. They kicked her out right after her Watcher came for her, saying her fate and choices were her own. She knew once she became the Slayer, they would welcome her back as the hero she was fated to become.
"In case you haven't noticed, I'm only 22 years old, and already raising one teenager. If I'm not mistaken, Kennedy, your family is still alive and you have your own money. It's up to Giles to decide what to do with the other girls. I imagine he'll try to send the ones who have homes back to them. It isn't mine or your business." Dawn interrupted to hand Buffy the requested clothes. "Thanks Dawn, I'll see you in the morning."
The sisters exchanged smiles, starting down the slow road toward rebuilding their relationship. They knew they had a long way to go and that they may not live past tomorrow, but for tonight it was a good start. Buffy walked out after handing the file to Giles.
"Slayer, wait up," Spike called after her as he ran down the walk.
"What do you need, Spike? I'm tired and want to get some sleep."
"What did Peaches do to you?" He searched her eyes as if he could pull the answers from their emerald depths.
"How do you know about Angel? Were you following me?" The anger associated with her meeting flooded back into her body as it tensed ready to fight.
"Smelled him on you, Slayer. What happened?" Spike's dark blue eyes held a wealth of understanding.
"Just typical Angel crap. He swooped in to help, swept me off my feet with his permanent soul. When I told him about the past year, it didn't fit his picture of me. He said things; I slapped him, told him off, sent him on his merry way then came here. I'm tired of everyone trying to change me, Spike. Why couldn't I fall in love with you? You're the only one who took me as I am, warts and all," she answered forlornly.
"Can't help who you love, pet. Certainly didn't plan on falling for the bloody Slayer, me'self. So, how did you leave it with Peaches?"
"I promised to come and see him in LA if we live past tomorrow. If he ever wants there to be an 'us', he'll have to grow up, which is funny considering his age." Her lips curled up in a half-hearted smile, which he returned.
"You want me to come back with you tonight, luv?" He prayed she would allow him to stay with her, but already knew she wouldn't.
"No, I just want to be alone." Buffy kissed his cheek. "Thanks Spike," she whispered softly before she walked alone into the night.
He watched her go then muttered, "Peaches, you're a bloody fool. I'd kill for even a crumb of what she offered you." Spike went back inside, closing the busted door behind him.