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The True Cost of Love

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Buffy 2.0". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: This is the sequel to “A Darker World”. Just as Buffy finds some balance in New Orleans, shit hits the fan and it all ends up right in her face. Nudity, rape and torture. No pairing.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Numb3rs > Buffy - CenteredWhippingDawnFR181855,6632467,8885 Dec 134 Apr 14Yes

A New Beginning

Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Numb3rs. Had I owned Numb3rs, I would have kept Sabrina Lloyd in the series at all costs. Just to be sure, I do not own anything from Sin City either. And Jessica Alba would have danced topless, had I been the director. Or at least I would have hired a body double, like in “Sleeping Dictionary”.

Crossover: Numb3rs, the TV series.

Timeline: 1996, from the end of June to the middle of August.

Words: Eighteen chapters of 2500 words on the average.

Warnings: The rating is FR18: nudity and violence. Two chapters will be identified as FR21: nudity, rape and torture. But there is still no pairing in sight. Again, if Hank Summers happens to be your favorite character in the BuffyVerse, know that he is revealed to be an even bigger bastard than we thought.

Summary of Part I:
Joyce Summers died giving birth to Buffy. Her father got mad at her for being alive and exploited her, drugged her, even pimped her until the moment she was called as the Slayer. She then killed in self defense several boys including the grandson of a mafia don in cahoots with her father for drug deals. Buffy ran away, hunted by the corrupt police and the mafia. Using forged IDs, she got to Chicago where she became a vigilante nicknamed Batgirl. There Buffy met her watcher, who brought her to New Orleans, reputed to be the location of a Hellmouth.

Summary of this part: This is the sequel to “A Darker World”. Just as Buffy finds some balance in New Orleans, shit hits the fan and it all ends up right in her face.



New Orleans, June 28, 1996

Buffy, under the assumed name of Bobbie Jo Simpson, had just arrived to New Orleans the day before. She had moved all of her watcher’s possessions to the spacious fifth floor condominium – the top floor, no less – the Council believed to be an absolute necessity for all Watchers, doing so on her back and through the stairs, since the elevator was damaged and would not be repaired until the following week. After not even being offered a glass of water for her hard work, she had had to look alone for a place to live. Walking for hours into the rain, she had finally opted for a fleabag of a motel, the “Regal Inn”, where she could rent a room (with toilet!) for “only” $60 a day, payable one week in advance. For that price she even had the privilege of being able to use a 12” black and white TV with an integrated rabbit antenna. Basic cable was available for a supplement of $10 a day, payable one week in advance. There was also a small dresser. Finally, there was a bed, and the bugs living in it came free of charge. The dust, cockroaches, etc, also came free of charge.

Buffy spent the night cleaning the room and the toilet, at her own expense, and slaying anything with more than two legs. As the sun rose, she sat on the bed and appraised her financial situation. She had $400 left, more or less, after paying one week of shelter, no cable, and buying cleaning supplies. Hopefully she would be able to feed herself for about $100 a week in the small diners around the motel. That would mean no place to live after the first week, but almost three weeks of homeless life, food included. Clearly she shouldn’t expect any help from her watcher, for she had more important problems than the welfare of her charge, like deciding between fuchsia and taupe for her drapes. Oh well, at least she was helping her with her legal problems.

Soooo... this girl needed a job. She couldn’t be too choosy about it. She had to take the first decent job offered to her, hoping she would earn at the very least $520 a week after taxes – since she wouldn’t take the cable option. That was about $2,250 a month, after taxes, strictly for food and shelter.

Buffy went to a diner, ordering toasts and coffee. It wouldn’t be enough, but until she was earning a living, and considering that slaying was volunteer work, she had to make sure she wouldn’t spend too much. Granted, even only $3 was a bit steep for two toasts, jam and a coffee light enough that she could see the bottom of the cup when it was still full. But she couldn’t afford more right now, so it would have to do, and maybe lunch could be a bit more satisfying.

Of course, as she left the diner, the rain started again. Why not? Why would the sun shine over her? Nobody ever answered her prayers after all. Her mother had forsaken her, her father had abused her, and her back still ached from, among other heavy things, those two humongous chests carried five floors up on her back, which probably contained the whole Library of Congress, building and furniture included.

It was almost 6 PM when she arrived to what seemed to be the thousandth place she was visiting. It was a huge horse stable called Follyfoot. The foreman didn’t seem very interested but decided to put her to the trial. He was surprised to see her carry the two huge buckets of water like they were empty, and when she giggled as Caesar (the horse) was burying his huge muzzle in her chest and she caressed it, he offered her a job. She would work as a farm girl, feeding and cleaning the horses and cleaning the stables, five days a week, ten hours a day, 4 AM to 2 PM, for five dollars an hour. That meant $250 before taxes, much less after. Not enough. She would need another job, but it was better than nothing, and it was the kind of physical work she was perfectly able to perform. Besides, she liked horses and apparently, horses liked her too.

Fortunately, she didn’t have to go very far...

===

The place was called “The Lewd Stallion”. Not very classy of course, and not exactly hiring employees, but if Buffy was ready to work as a contractor, they had room for her. Lots of room apparently, since she was offered the 8 PM to 2 AM shift, from Tuesday to Sunday. That meant her day would consist of dancing and waitressing six hours, taking a two hour break to patrol, and working at the farm ten hours. She would eat at work at the farm, so she would have to bring her lunch or buy stuff at the canteen. Since no fridge was included in the rent, it meant peanut butter sandwiches if she selected the lunch bringing option. The canteen option, on the other hand, would raise her weekly food bill to more than $150, for the canteen sold its stuff at much higher prices than diners. So her breakeven monthly income would now have to stand at almost $2500 after taxes if she wanted any kind of balance in her diet.

Buffy had hoped she would not have to dance half naked again, but she had no choice. So she took the second job at “The Lewd Stallion”. For that she received no salary at all (apparently not hiring her as an employee brought some kind of tax benefit to the bar owner, unless he simply cheated the IRS of course), but her tips were 75% hers. She knew that she could earn good tips. But she would have to find a new costume, because using her Batgirl routine in New Orleans might put her in danger if some smart cop came out of his advanced studies (first grade arithmetic) and added two and two with a scientific calculator. Fortunately, she had purchased that strange comic book in Chicago, and it had given her an idea for the time she would have to develop a new routine. It would be perfect for a place as classy as the Lewd Stallion, and so close to another place like Follyfoot.

The only problem with that second job was that the clientele would be expecting her to perform naked lap dances, and the customer would be allowed to touch. The joint looked classier by the minute. But Buffy received $50 and more a pop for those, and could sometimes be invited to a bachelor party for $200 to $300. Maybe half of that after savings and taxes, which she intended to pay faithfully, if only to be left alone by the government. She definitely needed money to live in New Orleans without any help from her watcher or the council, and she needed no more trouble with any branch of the law. To better organize her time and business, since she was now a business woman slash farm hand slash vampire slayer, she found a Staples and bought herself a Day-Timer.

===

After a cheap dinner – greasy poutine and coffee – Buffy returned to her motel room and started working on her stage outfit. She would make only one slight change to it: instead of the lasso, she would use a bullwhip on stage. Not only would it make her routine a bit more erotic, it might serve as a protection against the no doubt supremely unsophisticated clientèle of the Lewd Stallion.

For the rest, she could recycle parts of her Black Batgirl outfit. She could make chaps with her pants, which were already cut at the crotch and ass. Adding tassels and a belt buckle would make the illusion perfect. After all, the pictures in “That Yellow Bastard” were not that precise. She also had the boots already. She could buy a short bullwhip at Follyfoot’s store for cheap, especially with her employee discount.

What would really cost money would be the rest: black leather arm cuffs, with tassels; black hat, gun belt and guns. She could buy toy guns, but they would have to look real. The hat, maybe she could find it at Follyfoot, maybe she would have to look elsewhere. She had the whole week-end to think about that.

Ouch. No she didn’t. From 6 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays and Sundays, she was supposed to train with her watcher, and there was no break to be expected. Damn!

Oh well. No way she was going to train this week-end. Girl had to eat. So she would take this week-end off and use it getting ready to earn a living. In less than seventy-two hours she would get on stage, topless and bare-assed, to start a new page of her stripper career, and serve at the tables in the very same (lack of) outfit between shows. 75% of the tips, she kept repeating herself, just to have my bare tits, pussy and ass fondled by guys. But the more she did think about it, the less she liked it. Unfortunately, she liked even less the idea of skipping a meal or sleeping in the sewers. So she went to sleep, setting her travel alarm clock at 1 AM. Tonight she would patrol in New Orleans for the first time.

===

Los Angeles, June 30, 1996
Wolfram & Hart's Los Angeles Branch Headquarters


“Now let’s talk about the girl”, the little blonde female said suavely. “I believe finding and securing her was your responsibility, Rocky?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“I believe you promised us months ago now to bring her to us, naked and hogtied in a steel cage, Rocky. We let you use our resources to find her, we promised you to make her life the kind of hell that would satisfy your lust for revenge. She killed your son, Rocky. Have you forgotten that? Or do you think that we forgot what you and your family owe us?” The tone had become more and more threatening as the blonde finished her sentence.

“No ma’am.”

“I think you do. Maybe it’s time to reset the balance between you and us. That is why three of our operatives have... let’s say given a lift to your daughter Maria when she left school. Your thirteen years old daughter Maria is in our hands now, Rocky. And just as you promised us the girl in the thirty days that followed our deal, I promise you the skin of your daughter in thirty days, slowly, painfully torn off of her body by whips and blades and maybe a spade. Do you recognize this?”

The female threw a top and a bra in front of Rocky. He instantly recognized the clothes Maria was wearing when she had left that morning. There was some blood on it.

“What have you done to her?” he screamed.

“Nothing yet”, the male at the other end of the table said. “But you know my patience has limits, Rocky. Maybe I won’t be able to wait thirty days. I just might go spend some time with her, introduce her to a brand new kind of cuddling, pain and horror...”

Rocky turned white as a ghost – assuming of course all ghosts were white, which is not so – as the female talked again.

“Tsk, tsk, Rocky. It took you much less time to get rid of your old man, with our help and blessing of course, and become the don of your little organization. That day you were really useful to us. But since that time, you take and you take and you take, but you do not give back! I’ll try to keep my boy away from Maria, Rocky, but you have to bring us that girl, that Buffy Summers, naked and hogtied, just as you said, and, most importantly – alive! I’m not saying you can’t play for a while with her, but she has to be alive and in one piece, ready to suffer a lot more! Is that clear? Thirty days, Rocky, or your daughter takes her place.”

Rocky opened the mouth to protest, but the male knew he was going to, so he snapped: “Are you deaf, boy? Or maybe you need your balls to be a bit tighter? So I’ll make it three weeks! In three weeks your daughter ends up in the oven, and your balls may be next! Now GO!”

===

After Rocky and the others had left, the two characters looked at each other.

“Maybe we should have kept the old man”, the male said. “He was stupid, but at least he understood that he had better keep his word.”

“This one will, my boy. He will. He loves his daughter even more than he loved that Marco moron. Stupid boy! He could have fucked any girl he wanted, and he had to try to bully a newly called slayer! And that slayer among all others!”

“Not very bright, but then who is expecting any intelligence from those degenerates?”

“No one in here of course. Still, the rogue slayer has escaped us until now. Even in Chicago, where they could have secured her so easily...”

“And now the FBI is after her too. If they capture her before we do, it will be impossible to use the prophecy to our advantage, and the senior partners won’t be too happy about that.”

“Let me deal with the senior partners, my love”, the blonde said with a smile. “You know they don’t like you enough to let you address them directly. Let’s just make sure that Rocky is no longer our only source of information on the slayer.”

“Not him! He can’t be trusted!” the male growled.

“But you know he’s the best.”

“No he’s not.”

“For that kind of hunt and unless you want to do it yourself, he is.”
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