Big Brother's Watching
Buffy is brought back but things aren't the same. She isn't sure what to do but having lost everything knows she needs a job. Surprisingly, one comes knocking at her door.Disclaimer:
BtVS/AtS belong to Joss Whedon. XXX based on the 2002 movie and is the property of Original Film and Revolution Studios. Pairings:
Buffy/Xander Cage (X)Author's Notes:
Buffy Season 6 didn't happened, except for Buffy's return, and then everything takes a hard right turn. AtS – no Connor, no Beast, and no higher beings. Cordy became half-demon to handle the visions, and after Buffy's death, she started dating Angel.Special Notes:
Will refer to Xander Cage as X in the story in an attempt to limit the reader's confusion.
This story is not necessarily Scooby or Cordelia friendly. Please read at your own risk.
Buffy was so happy, as she looked out over the beautiful blue sky. Her mom sat beside her on the front porch and her cousin, Celia, had her head in Buffy's lap. Her fingers ran through Celia's long beautiful hair.
"Mommy, do you think she's all right?"
Joyce kissed Buffy's head. "Yes, baby when you've been here longer, you'll learn how to watch over the ones we left behind. I checked on her this morning; she's happy and safe. Your father finally came for her; she's living with him in Spain. Dawnie was sad to leave everyone, but happy to be with Hank and to get away from that horrible place. I'm just glad my girls are safe now."
She hugged Buffy to her. They sat in silence just enjoying the peace and joy of being together. Buffy suddenly jerked up with a scream of pain and clutched her chest.
"Buffy, baby what is it?" Joyce's voice trembled.
"I don't know; it feels like I'm being torn apart. Mom, mommy, help me please."
Buffy's arm reached for Joyce, little Celia grabbed a hand. Joyce wrapped her arms around both girls as she held on tightly.
A black vortex opened behind Buffy. She screamed as it sucked her inside; the last sight she saw was her mother and Celia's faces. Screams tore from her throat as she sped faster and faster into the pitch-black darkness. Her eyes closed when she hit something solid.
Inside a coffin, on a small hill, Buffy's body started to recompose. Her eyes flew open and when her lungs fully formed, she pulled air into them once again and screamed. She reaized she was inside a coffin. Someone tore her from heaven, and didn't even dig her up. She shoved a fist through the lid and started to dig toward the surfaceWho would do this? Are they waiting for me when I get out of here?
A single hand shot up from the grave, soon followed by a small body. It wiggled its way from its confinement like a snake to finally flop on the ground, free from its tomb. Pulling up to her hands and knees, Buffy tried to look around but only saw blurred images. Her hand went up to wipe away the dirt but she stopped in time, realizing it would only make it worse. Buffy shook her head as if that would somehow make this nightmare fade. Taking in a deep breath of clean air, she took a tentative step forward. Her legs trembled slightly then remembered what to do.
Putting her hands out and making sure nothing blocked her way, Buffy started walking toward her house. Not a single sound was heard, in the still night. It seemed as if everything was frozen in time. She finally made it to her front door as her knees started to tremble. Clutching the knob, she turned it at the exact moment she heard voices.
"I don't understand why it didn't work. We did everything right, I know we did. Do you think the Urn of Osiris was fake?" Willow's voice carried from the kitchen.
"It was not fake. I'll have you know I got it off E-Bay from a very respectable V'Rosh demon. They're excellent tradesmen known for their merchandise's authenticity."
Buffy heard the outrage in Anya's voice at Willow's comment.
"I'm sorry, course it was real. Otherwise, I wouldn't have you know with the snakes, crawling and me with the spitting. But, what went wrong? It was supposed to bring Buffy back, and then Dawn and Giles would come back too. Everything would return to the way it was before Buffy died. That's all I wanted, to have everything like it was."
Buffy heard Willow sniffle and anger flooded her body.
"Uh, Willow I thought we were doing this because Buffy was in some Hell dimension," Xander asked in confusion.
"Oh, it was, of course it was. I just meant once we rescued Buffy, everyone else would come back too."
Buffy had heard enough, she forced her tired legs to move into the kitchen where she clearly saw Willow, Tara, Xander and Anya gathered around the kitchen bar.
"You bitch," Buffy growled.
"Buffy," Willow gasped, "you're alive. It worked."
The redhead started to run toward her friend but stopped when she finally processed Buffy's words.
"Buffy, what do you mean? We rescued you. You were in a hell dimension, the portal...Glory."
Willow paled when she saw the anger and hatred in her best friend's eyes. Why isn't she thanking me? I mean the other's helped, but I was the one with the snake spitting.
"I can't believe you, any of you. I thought you knew me, really knew. You were supposed to be my friends."
Buffy took a deep breath; her body trembled. Her rage was the only thing keeping her upright at the moment.
Tara finally noticed Buffy's hands. "Oh Buffy, I'm so sorry. Please, sit down let me look at your hands."
Tara stepped forward to touch her but Buffy stepped back. She leaned against the wall for support. Buffy was having a hard time expressing her anger without getting violent. She wasn't sure she would stop if she started in on them the way she wanted to.
"Don't touch me; you're just as bad if not worse, Tara. After what Glory did to you, how could you let her do this? How could you help her? You, none of you, even tried to find out where I really was, or if I even needed rescuing."
"Buffy, calm down, we were only trying to help," Xander said, trying to play the peacekeeper as always.
"I won't calm down, damn you, damn you to hell. Get out, get out of my house." Her chin went out and her eyes became hard as ice.
"But, we, Tara and I live here now," Willow stammered, unsure what to do or say to her best friend.
"Not anymore you don't. Get what you need and come back for the rest but get out before I forget I once loved you."
Willow sobbed and ran upstairs. Xander turned on Buffy with a glare. "You had no right to talk to her like that. She was only trying to help. Willow loves you and she missed you. She, we, thought you were in Hell."
"Xander, I was a Slayer who died saving the world and my sister. Ask yourself where you think I would end up. Huh Xander, you know everything, always know what's right and wrong for everything and everyone. Where do YOU THINK I WAS?" She screamed at him, and her hands fisted at her side.
Xander paled as he sat down hard on the floor, when his leg didn't seem to hole him. His head shook from side to side as if he could wipe the answer from his mind. "No, it can't be. Willow was sure. What about the portal and Glory? Buffy, we couldn't have taken you from Heaven. Could we?"
"That's the question of the hour isn't it, Xander. How could you? Didn't you bury my body? I mean it wasn't as if it disappeared into the portal. So, ask yourself this, what's left when the body's gone."
They gasped as one single unit and a huge sob came from behind Buffy. She didn't bother to turn; she already knew Willow was behind her.
"Now, I believe it's time for you to leave my house. Don't come back; you aren't welcome. Willow, you and Tara can call, and I'll leave the house so you come for your things."
Anya jerked on Xander's sleeve. "I guess this isn't the best time to tell her the bank's about to take the house for all the missed payments? Aren't you proud of me, Xander? I didn't say anything out loud."
She beamed at he fiancée then frowned when he only looked over at Buffy with concern clearly written on his face. Xander knew Buffy had heard every word Anya said. She glared at Xander then turned to Willow.
"So, you live here now, huh? That must mean you paid the bills right. You know mortgage, utilities, all that stuff." Buffy turned to the redheaded witch who clung to her lover.
"Um, well, uh, you see, it was kinda like," Willow stumbled over her tongue not knowing how to explain.
Her parents had found out about her relationship with Tara. They continued to pay her tuition but refused to give her money for rent, and Tara only received single-person housing with her scholarship. Her parents figured once Willow grew tired of the hardship she'd forget about being 'gay.'
"I don't care anymore, don't bother with an explanation," Buffy sighed, as she slid down the wall to sit on the floor. Willow took a step forward but stopped when she caught the look in Buffy's eyes. "Just leave all of you, leave my house and leave me alone."
"Buffy, please we can work this out. I know we can."
Buffy turned to look at her, and Willow had no other choice but to admit defeat. Her shoulders sagged and Tara put an arm around her as they walked out the door. Xander and Anya held hands when they walked past he slowed down but, Anya pulled him from the house.
Buffy lay down on the cold floor and for the first time since her return tears pricked her eyes. "Mommy," she whispered.
Half an hour later, she hauled herself up the stairs and into the shower. As the hot steamy water pounded her body, she closed her eyes trying to recapture her last moments of peace and joy with her mom and Celia. Turning off the shower, Buffy stumbled into bed and a very troubled sleep.
After receiving an urgent phone call, a man watched and re-watched the tape from live feed in a small California town called Sunnydale. He opened a thick folder he already knew by heart, yet continued to reread. Finally making his decision, he placed a call. While he waited, he wondered if this was a good idea.
From what he read, she wasn't one to play by the rules, and didn't do well with authority figures. She was a wild card. The temptation of all that untapped potential he saw in her, not to mention the benefits if he could convince her to train others. He had to at least try, and he already knew her situation. Luckily, he hadn't pulled the surveillance. No, he needed just one more piece of information then he could figure out the best way to approach, Buffy Anne Summers. Somehow, he thought the usual methods could end with someone getting badly hurt or killed, namely him.
Several hours later, a knock sounded at the door. "Come in."
"You requested to see me, sir?" A young man in army fatigues with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes stepped into the office.
"Yes, come in Sgt. Finn. Sit down; I need to ask you some questions regarding your time with the Initiative in Sunnydale."
Riley paled under his tan as he sat down. "Sir, if you don't mind my asking how do you know about that? I thought all records destroyed at the sight."
"Well Sgt. Finn, it seems some shredders are slower than others. I need to ask you about Miss Summers. I believe you two were involved prior to your current marriage. What type person is she?"
He sat back in his chair waiting for the young man to answer.
Riley squirmed in his seat; he didn't want to talk about Buffy or his time in Sunnydale. "She's an exceptional person sir, very dedicated," Riley hedged.
"You don't have to worry, Sgt. Finn. We aren't looking to do experiments on her. I want to offer her a job here; definitely as an agent and hopefully as a trainer. Miss Summers could do a lot for her country."
"But she died, sir, over four month's ago."
"Sgt. Finn, surely you remember where she lived. Does anything really stay dead there? It appears; her friends did a spell and brought her back tonight."
"What! But how could you know that? The Initiative no longer functions in Sunnydale."
"All the equipment wasn't removed. We kept an eye on things, just in case. I have to admit, I'm intrigued with your friend."
The man, behind the desk, looked at Riley with eyes so dark they appeared black. They seemed to look right into his mind. Riley started talking without meaning to, whether it was his training or the man. He ended up telling Gibbons almost everything he knew about Buffy. Almost, he left out what he knew about Dawn and her history with Angel. He wouldn't or couldn't bring himself to talk about Buffy's two greatest loves. It wasn't much but he felt he had protected her somewhat.
"Thank you, Sgt. Finn. You have only confirmed what I had already concluded. You're dismissed soldier."
Riley stood giving a smart salute as he walked out of the office he sighed heavily. "Good luck, Buffy."
Inside the office, the man once again began to plan his strategy. Looking at him from a distance, you saw a middle-aged black man with heavy scarring on one side of his. He wore his hair cropped short but softly curled. On a closer look, you saw a proud man who wore his scars as his badge of honor. His black eyes were sharp, intelligent and wise; an air of leadership hung about him like a cloak.
His name was Augustus Gibbons and he ran an antiterrorist group for the top branches of the government. His authority was far-reaching and almost boundless. He was allowed to use any means necessary for national security matters, as long as nothing traced back to headquarters and eventually the president. Augustus arranged have a helicopter available in five hours. Walking to what looked like a closet; he stepped into a small bedroom to lie down before leaving for Sunnydale.