Chapter Ninety One
I woke up the next morning still sitting on the couch and still leaning on Harry's shoulder. My dad and Tom were sitting across from us in the comfy armchairs.
"Oh!" I squeaked, waking up Harry in the process.
"Good morning you two," Tom said with a smile. My dad just took a sip of his tea.
"Uh good morning Sir Adam...Mister Sloane," Harry said as he straightened his glasses.
"Young love," my dad sighed. "Thomas, do you remember being that young?"
"Vaguely, as that's when I got politely requested to join the military..." Tom said with a quirky smile.
"I joined at that age as well. Not requested for me though. More expected actually."
By this time I had gotten my thoughts together, "How's Joyce?"
"Resting comfortably. Young Mister Epps was by earlier to give her a quick physical. That lad is astonishingly clever."
"Yeah Dad, he's saved our skins a few times," I noticed Adam almost visibly preened when he heard me call him 'Dad'. It was kinda cute.
"Well," Tom went on, "he said there were traces of 'nano-goo'? Did I get that right?" I nodded, "In her system but he had figured out a way to scrub her blood. Something like what he used on Harris after the sea-creature drug."
"Has she regained consciousness?" Harry asked.
Adam nodded, "Slightly but she fades out almost immediately, she is very weak at the moment. Traces of the strange pharmaceuticals that she was exposed to."
I stood up and stretched, "What about Buffy? How's she doing?"
"Surprisingly well for someone with five broken ribs, a cracked femur, and a humerus broken in two places. She's sitting with her mother at the moment," Tom said wryly. I winced at the seriousness of her injuries. I had a couple of laser burns and probably a broken finger along with a ton of bruises while Harry had a nasty burn along his side and a serious black-eye. At least Giles hadn't gotten knocked unconscious.
"And Faith?" Harry asked.
"About the same as you two," Adam said after another sip of tea, "plus she climbed the rope with Buffy slung over her shoulder complaining the entire time about 'she was the Slayer and she could climb her own dratted rope'."
I had to laugh at that which kinda hurt. I poked a rib and winced.
"Let me take a look at that my dear," Adam prodded me gently, "Cracked definitely. Thomas would you get the medical kit. I suppose I had better tape this up."
Soon my finger had been splinted, my ribs taped and my burns covered, and I was having a delicious cup of coffee at the dining room table along with Harry, Buffy, and Faith. Tom had gone to get us some breakfast and Adam was up with Joyce again.
"So we won?" Faith asked.
"I think so," Buffy said. I tried Chris's tracker thingy when we got out of the mortuary and right before it went kablooey. No Mortician blinks."
"Best case," Harry said, "is that he was destroyed when the portal exploded. Second best is that he is now trapped in that dimension."
I nodded, "As the mechanical bits were here, that makes sense."
"Worst case is that he got blasted somewhere on Earth out of range of that detector..." Faith said, "And he's comin' after us right now."
"I don't think so," Buffy said, "I really think that he has seriously bigger problems. He's been doing this body-snatching on a ten year schedule. Why? Probably because he has clients or somebody he works for. We...well Harry really, blew the hell out of his warehouse and then destroyed his gateway so he can't get more bodies quickly and he had a deadline obviously."
"Somebody is gonna b'wicked pissed in other words," Faith said as comprehension dawned.
Buffy nodded, "He was originally a human. Getting the kinda power he had doesn't come cheap. He owed people...things...whatever."
"And human loan sharks are bad enough," I finished.
"Exactly. I don't think we have to worry about him for a while," Buffy sounded smug.
Faith shook her head, "This name you got...Th'Scoobies? You really are some seriously meddlin' kids."
"You too Fay!" Buffy said with a grin, "And Harry and the rest of course."
Just then the doorbell rang and I got up to answer it. It was Chris, Daryl, and Cordelia. Daryl had an enormous footlocker on his back.
"Dialysis?" I asked.
"Modified, but yes," Chris said. I stepped aside and let the three come in.
Daryl and Chris immediately headed upstairs.
"Hi Cordelia," Buffy said as she limped into the living room leaning on Faith.
"Damn! You look like hell superwoman."
"I feel like it too," Buffy said with a grin, "You should have seen the other guy though."
"I did," I said, "and Buffy speaks the truth."
"Except for th'part where he tried t'use Buffy as a rock-splitter...th'Mortician was definitely havin' a worse day," Faith added.
Cordelia winced, "Seriously?"
All four of us nodded, "It started when Harry here blew up his warehouse with him in it...or maybe when Faith kneed him in the junk when we first found him..." Buffy began.
Soon we were describing what had happened in our own sections of the battle. Then Tom showed up and started filling in what had happened with the other team as we ate breakfast.
By the time we were all done everybody else had arrived.
"Buffy? Adam?" Daryl's voice rumbled down the stairs, "She's awake."
We stayed waiting for an hour and finally Chris came downstairs carrying a dewar flask.
"Is that it?" I asked, "How much?"
"Almost a liter. I really need to destroy this stuff."
"How's she doing?" Xander asked.
"Good. Surprisingly well for someone who has been in a drug induced coma for a few months. This stuff," he shook the flask, "is probably why. It seems to have even preserved her muscle tone. If it wasn't so damned dangerous..."
"So you're filing it with your Uncle Herb's research?" Cordelia asked.
"A sample. Not all of it. No way in hell," Chris shook his head forcefully. "Hey Daryl, you ready?" he called back upstairs.
"Coming bro," the big guy came down with the footlocker on his back followed by Buffy.
"Not sticking around?" Xander asked.
"Nope," Chris shook the flask again. "This stuff can't wait."
"And I'm their driver," Cordelia sighed. "See you at school," she said as she got up to leave.
Buffy gave all three of them a clumsy one-armed hug, "Thanks all of you."
"No probs Buffy," Daryl growled, "we owe you still." Chris looked embarrassed and Cordelia looked shocked before returning the hug.
"My saintliness is a matter of public record..." she said with a sniff then grinned, "Just don't misplace your mom again. Maybe a collar with a bell?"
Xander and Ampata were the next to leave, then Di who still had to open the gallery. Hermione, Ron, and Kendra went with her to help.
"Adam, Giles, Jenny," Tom said, "I could use a drink. Care to join me?"
The four of us were left sitting in the living room and finally we headed upstairs to Joyce's room.
"Hi guys..." she said softly. "What happened?"
After a long and convoluted explanation with much hugging and periodic sobbing we finished.
"So, the bad guy is gone?" Joyce asked.
Buffy nodded, "For a long time or permanently I hope."
"And all of you got hurt rescuing me?"
"It's not that bad...We're fine...Don't worry about us...Not a problem..."
"Quiet you four. And the others?"
"Some injuries but nothing terribly serious. We got hit the worst," Harry said.
"Good. I wouldn't have wanted anyone's death on my conscious."
"We woulda gone after him anyway Mrs. S." Faith said. "You bein' a prisoner just made it a little more critical."
We all nodded in agreement.
"I'm so proud of all of you."
I felt really warm and fuzzy when I heard that.
"Uh Mom," I saw Buffy do a quick glance at Faith, "Since we're so full of understanding right now..."
I got up and dragged Harry with me. Faith rolled her eyes and I smirked back at her.
"What's up Will?" Harry asked.
"Buffy and Faith have something they have to tell Joyce. Something kinda personal."
"Huh? Oh. Ohhhhhh..."
"Yeah, exactly," I grinned, "I cannot wait to see the look on Xander's face when he finds out."
"Or the one on Ron's..." Harry added before he gave me a big smooch.
A couple of days later Joyce was up and about and talking. Buffy said that she had taken the news very well. Almost like she had known already. I grinned at that. We had spent the previous day cleaning the entire house so it looked less like a military operations center and more like 1630 Revello. We were back in classes and getting ready for finals and I was looking forward to heading back to London. Joyce, Buffy, and Faith were coming with me this time. Diane was going to take over as Kendra's Watcher in Sunnydale while we were gone.
When we returned in the fall we had a full schedule too. Tom Sloane would be coming back. We needed to track down Snyder's minioness, the time portals needed to be dealt with and whatever other horrific things that were going to make a play for the Hellmouth would have to be handled.
I wonder what would my life have been like if my dad hadn't just shown up out of the blue? I mean, would I still be fighting alongside Buffy or would I be in a support role like Chris? What would my talent have been?
I guess I'll never know. Thanks Dad.THE ENDa/n
Oh sweet lord it's done...
This is what triggered this story. A Challenge by Kyr
Why Adam Adamant?
First off it's a cool 60's show that was the very next project Verity did after she finished working on Doctor Who. Adam is a hero through and through and a hell of a role model because he always treated everyone decently and with respect. Just the kind of person Ms. Rosenberg needed.
I originally planned on doing just a short work of the summer before the Junior Year (before Season 2), but as I was writing it I thought to myself, Season 2 has my least favorite episodes in the entire series (Halloween, Passion, Innocence) as well as some of my favorite (What's My Line, Inca Mummy Girl and the rest of the Universal monster eps). Could I rewrite it using this AU and not piss people off? Especially Halloween....
I hate Halloween because of what it has done to crossover fanfic, not the episode per se. How would I restructure it so that it actually make sense in this AU? So the Dru/Buffy merge presented itself.
I knew I was going to kill off Angel from the beginning because Angelus is an annoying big bad. He makes sense if you consider angst to be a primary qualification of good storytelling...I'm not so sure of that. With Angelus and Spike and Dru off the table I needed a new BBEG. Looking through various movies for ideas, I realized nobody had ever used Phantasm in a BtVS fanfic and hey presto...
One thing I found in this is that there was an extreme ripple effect that influenced plotting. Since Angelus is off the table and Spike and Dru are far less hostile over the majority, many subplots of episodes ceased to make sense. That's why Theresa became a were-cougar for example.
Finally there were tons of throwaway bits in the story that are property of people other than me but not hammered enough or central enough to really warrant a full disclaimer with the possible exception of Chris and Daryl's Great Uncle Herbert West, Reanimator who is most definitely PROPERTY of HP LOVECRAFT.
I appreciate all the reviews and thank all of you who bothered to read this crap especially Diane Castle who gifted me with her version of The Trio and who I hope I did not screw up.
Will there be a sequel? Who knows? Season 3 is already going to start off weird if there is one after all. I do have a lot of stuff I need to finish too. So the 8-Ball says 'Maybe?'