Disclaimer: Buffy and Co is owned by Joss Whedon all rights remain with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy. Stargate SG1 is owned buy MGM Television, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Film Corp, Sony Pictures Television Jason Bourne was created by Robert Ludlum. James Bond is owned by United Artists Pictures
A/N: Sorry for the delay in posting, real life got in the way.
Royston Mansion - The North of England
Buffy and Natalia appeared in Nat's bedroom. With them both arriving directly on the bed, Nat immediately got off the bed and checked Buffy's vitals and was relieved to see that her condition hadn't worsened during transport. She then started rummaging through one of the chest of drawers in the room and started pulling out small brown bottles with wax stoppers. After she had enough she headed back to the bed. Cracking the seal on one she put it straight to Buffy's lips and gently started to pour the contents into her mouth. Having emptied the bottle she laid her girl's head down and in a quiet moment started to pray for Buffy's revival. And she prayed that the blood-bond would work.
Natalia sat their cursing herself for speed-training Buffy, if she hadn't then Buffy would have been fine. Nat was aroused from her self flagellation by the sound of coughing coming from Buffy and the words "What is that damn awful taste!" Nat's eyes flew open in relief and wonder.
Buffy groaned and said "On second thoughts what was the number of that truck..." Opening her eyes she found that she had a hard time focusing. It was then that she felt someone was holding her hand and said "Nat, is that you..I can't seem to be able to see at the moment?" her mind starting to panic.
Natalia said "It's ok Buffy, just give it a minute, you are going to be fine."
Buffy heard the sound of relief in her girlfriends voice that had seemed to have gone from normal speaking voice to that of an incoming Jet in volume. She closed her eye's again. she whispered "Nat what is going on and why do I feel weird?"
Nat squeezed Buffy's hand in reassurance. "Your body is undergoing changes my love, it will settle down shortly and I will explain everything, ok."
Buffy tenderly nodded, she didn't want to aggravate the now growing headache that had just started behind her eyes. She laid there for a minute and then the headache started to ease off and she started to feel slightly better. Buffy decided to try and see if she could see again, opening eyes she found that she could now see. But everything looked a little different or at least it seemed that way to her. Looking over to Natalia she saw the girl's beautiful face and the huge smile that was plastered all over it and she had to smile. "What are you smiling about missy?" Internally she winced at channeling Willow.
Natalia's smile broadened. "You. I thought I'd lost you there for a minute...I really didn't like that feeling." Then Nat leaned to the side and seemed to grab something. She held it up to Buffy's face.
Buffy looked at the round silvery thing, once she'd focused her eyes on it, it was a mirror. Looking at her own reflection she winced and said "erk..I have bed hair." After a moment examining her reflection she handed the mirror back to Natalia and relaxed back into the bed with a sigh." She then asked again "What's going on and how did I get to be lying on a bed?"
Nat smiled and said "Well the skill transfer kinda went wrong and you nearly died and I had to blood-bond you, I'm so sorry about doing it this way, I had wanted to talk to you about it first and explain everything, I tried healing first but that didn't work so i...kinda panicked, it was an option I knew I had but....it was the last resort kinda thing, I really didn't think I'd need to use it."
Buffy tenderly nodded, not wanting to aggravate the now receding headache."Ok we'll get back to the Blood-bondy thing in a minute, not to sound shallow and stupid but why do I have this gawd awful taste in my mouth?"
Natalia tried to keep the smile of relief off of her face but was failing miserably said "That would be the combination of blood and healing potion."
Buffy looked a little puzzled when she said "There are healing potions now? Nobody said there were healing potions." she then back tracked in her mind then asked "Why is...was there blood in my mouth? did I bite my lip or something, cos that would so totally suck..." Taking a deep breath and then said "Forget I just said that....Ok, why do I have blood in my mouth?"
Squirming a little, while she tried to figure a way of telling Buffy what she had done but without lying in any shape or form. She then decided that she could not misdirect Buffy, The blonde meant the world to Natalia so she just said. "When one of my kind finds the person they want to spend eternity with, we can transform that person into one of our kind. Or at least that's how it's supposed to be. Anyway in order to save your life I had to turn you into a 'Royston'. Which is why you are feeling a little sick, you should not have woken up so soon. Normally you would have slept through it and woken up one of us. By sleeping, I mean sleeping, not dead or in a coma or any other such nonsense. You woke up mid transformation."
Buffy looked totally gobsmacked "I'm what now?"
Nat had an uncertain and nervous grin on her face when she said "Welcome to the club." she didn't know what else to say, in all her years of experience she hadn't been through anything like this before.
Buffy didn't know how to react to what she'd been told, she totally believed Nat when she said that she had done it to save her life. But she really didn't know what to do with the information she had been given. Her natural inclination would be to yell at Natalia and demand that it had to be fixed. And the only reasons she didn't was that the brunette had done it to save her life and that fact a part from feeling shitty she didn't feel any different than she had before. She asked in a very measured tone "Am I a demon now?"
That question hurt Nat deep down inside briefly until she remembered she had to look at the situation from Buffy's point of view. "No, you are not a demon. We are just another form of life that originated and evolved here on Earth. Buffy there are other non-demon and immortal races out there that are from Earth. Didn't your watcher tell you any of this? Oh wait of course he didn't, Giles isn't allowed to tell you."
Buffy looked at Natalia "I'm sorry I did not intend to hurt you. Buffy reached over and squeezed Nat's hand. No, I didn't know there was anything other than humans, slayers, demons and werewolves. Though I'm not surprised that the council wouldn't allow Giles to say anything. They tried to kill me on my eighteenth birthday."
Natalia's eyes flashed up to look into Buffy's with anger and hatred in them.
Buffy quickly said "whoaa..down girl. I'm alive and breathing so no going all revengey on me ok?" So in order to distract her girlfriend away from thoughts of gruesome death and disfigurement, she said "Tell me about being a Royston."
Nat nodded and started to tell her about her race "Well, we're not so much different from humanity...Yes we have abilities but we sleep, eat, love, get hurt, make mistakes oh boy do we make mistakes. Ok, we are immortal, we can't die from old age, we normally don't get sick, immune to poisons and immune to radiation. We can be killed, taking our heads off tends to ruin our day just like everybody else. We can regenerate rather quickly so it's hard to kill us but not impossible as I said, a rocket launcher will definitely bugger us up if we're not quick to get out of the way.
Over the last few thousand years we've had our fair share of candidates for the Darwin Awards. So as much as I'd like to tell you that we're more intelligent than everyone else I can't." Taking a deep breath she continued "We have children but the breeding cycle in females is once every thousand years. The males in our race can breed at anytime, and are compatible with human women. I think my uncle has a legion of kids out there with the amount he puts it around. I mean really, he could at least....sorry, personal rant ended."
Buffy couldn't help but smile at Nat's words "You know, I still think you have that temper of yours." she said with a grin. "So basically your telling me your a race of super-dooper slayers? Anyway tell me about this blood bond thingy."
Nodding, Nat started to explain "Blood bond is the other way we can expand our race. But before I explain that there's something you need to know first. When we choose a partner and we make love we have an almost irresistible urge to share our blood, it's kind of a way to strengthen the link between us but on a deeper level, we become of one blood. Are you with me so far?"
Buffy nodded " I think so, you become extremely close to your lover."
Nodding she said "Exactly, Well when we blood bond with humans our DNA rewrites the DNA of the Human making them part of the race. We don't know why it does that only it does. Anyway a bond is formed between lovers. It's kind of a survival trait I guess. This is what applies to you, before we made love I was going to explain all this to you so you had the chance to say whether you wanted to or not. But when you were dying because of the transfer and I couldn't heal you I used the only way I had that I could think of to save your life...i gave you my blood. which turned you into a Royston. I did not have time to take any of yours, I only had enough time to give you the anti-toxin. Which means I didn't get any of your DNA. So a true bond was never created."
The blonde nodded again and asked "How did you do this?"
"Ok, I'll show you but please don't panic because it really wouldn't be good, your body is still changing, ok?" and with that Natalia let her canine teeth slowly extend to their fullest length."
Buffy's eyebrows shot up and she tilted her head and said "You know, they kinda suit you. As fangs go they are the nicest I have seen."
Nat's face crinkled in confusion and a little shock. "They don't scare you or worry you?"
"Naa, I kinda like them...I dated a vampire and his weren't anywhere near as elegant. So naa, they don't bother me."
Natalia was floored, this wasn't the response she was expecting. and all she could say was "Oh."
Buffy then said "do I have some?"
Natalia nodded "Yes, I'll teach you how to extend them, but mostly the tend to come out with intense emotion, until you gain control. Anyway. Do you hate me?"
Buffy blinked and then a look of irritation flashed into her eyes "Listen here...I do not hate you. I love you. You saved my life in the best way you knew how. I could have easily have said no to you transferring the skills and nearly did. You warned me it could have been dangerous but I...me...Chose to say yes. If you hadn't saved me we wouldn't be having this conversation."
The brunette put her hands up and said "Ok...ok."
The slayer squirmed a little on the bed and undid her jeans with a sigh. Looking down to her waist she pulled up her T-shirt and looked at her stomach, she now had visible muscles. She then sat up slowly and started to examine other parts of her body and discovered that her stomach wasn't the only places that had expanded. Looking over to Natalia she said. "erm...i have gained more muscle...is that supposed to happen?"
Natalia nodded "Yeah the change is converting tissue into muscle mass. Wait right here, don't move. I'll be right back with some food." and with that she headed out of the door fast.
Buffy thought 'Stupid Blood bond, now I'm gonna have to get a whole new wardrobe...ooh shopping!'. and then it occurred to her what she had just thought. Got to ask Nat if it can be reversed, and seriously think about if I want to keep the changes or not. Reaching over to where her girlfriend had placed the mirror she picked it up and looked at her face, she still looked like herself, that hadn't changed. Well not entirely true she looked more like she had before becoming the slayer and all those horrible late nights with the lack of sleep. Another stray thought entered her mind, she no longer had the short life expectancy that she'd had when she was the slayer. Was she the slayer still, another thing to ask Natalia and what was taking that girl so long with the food.
Buffy replaced the mirror as the smell of garlic came too her and moments later Natalia walked in with a huge plate full of sausages wrapped under plastic. and in the other hand a large bottle of Coke. She smiled at the sight.
The brunette handed the plate and the bottle over to Buffy and then handed her a knife and fork. "Eat."
Taking the wrap off she then stabbed a sausage with her fork and started to munch on it with a sigh and between mouthfuls said "These are so good." She ate for a while and after taking a swig of the drink she said "Can the blood bond be reversed? Not that I want to right now because I need to think about it before and it has just occurred to me that you still haven't told me how we got here and where here actually is..come on fess up."
"Yes, in theory the blood-bond can be reversed, It hasn't been done before. As for here, this is my home and your in my bed." She said with a grin. "As to how, I teleported us her, didn't have much choice as I saw it, I had to get you to a safe place and to the best medical treatment that was available. Had your life not been in such danger and at my own hands, for which I am so sorry, I would not have used the magic that was required." She chuckled ruefully and then continued. "I don't normally carry the ability to do it and the only reason I did was that I knew I was travelling to the hellmouth. Not knowing what I was going to find, research only tells you so much, I decided better safe than sorry...rather glad I did now." The brunette smiled as she watched Buffy shovel the sausages into her mouth.
"What?" Buffy asked between mouthfuls.
"It's just good to see you eat. At one point I didn't think you'd be alive to eat." responded Nat
Buffy rolled her eyes "Get over it already, I told you that it had been my decision." Though she was secretly happy that Nat loved her so much. But at this point the girl had to accept that it had been her decision to go through with it. Buffy suspected that like her Nat took on responsibilities that really weren't hers to take on.
Natalia put her hands up in surrender "Ok ok. I get the message."
"Good!" said Buffy before she bit into another sausage. Buffy then put the plate on the bedside table and started to squirm before saying "These Jeans are really starting to get uncomfortable, Am I allowed to stand up and take them off?"
Shaking her head Nat said "Lie back and I'll give you a hand." She then grabbed a folded up blanket from the foot of the bed and got up from where she'd been sitting close to Buffy's feet. Unfolding the blanket she placed it over Buffy's legs and up to her waist. Then reaching under the blanket and started to ease Buffy's jeans and underwear down her legs until they came off.
Buffy just smiled at Natalia's consideration of her emotional comfort. "Thank you." and then she gently pulled Natalia in for a quick kiss before the Brunette had a chance to sit back down. With a sigh of relief she laid back with her head and shoulders resting against the wall. "So how long am I stuck on this bed?"
Natalia shrugged "I don't know, I'm guessing when your scent settles down, at the moment it's all over the place. We're just gonna have to let it run it's course. And I can't attempt to change you back until it has."
Buffy nodded "so I guess all we can do is talk and you can't join me under this blanket?" It was just then that Buffy realised what she had just said and went bright red at being so forward.
Natalia realised that the Royston hormones had started to develop and next would be the pheromones and she really wasn't looking forward to that because once Buffy started producing them it would take all her control not to react to them. She didn't make a comment that would have added to Buffy's embarrassment. she just reached over and grabbed the now half empty plate of sausages and handed them back to the blonde with an "Eat."
Buffy chomped down on a sausage as she considered sitting across from her. Shaking off the desire to strip her clothes off and take her right here and now. She squashed those thoughts down hard and tried to think of something useful to say and ended up with. "You call yourself a Royston as if it's both your name and your race, why?"
Nat didn't answer right away but seemed to think it over before saying "Royston is our last name, but we simply do not know the name of our race. It's only been in the last twenty years that we found out we weren't related to the Human race but predate it by millions of years. We met this being who calls himself Mick, that we now know what we know, or rather what we don't know...confusing to say the least. Anyway apparently our ancestors in their ultimate wisdom cast magic over us, by us I mean the rest of our people so we would only remember one life at a time and have no knowledge of our abilities." Taking a breath to gather her thoughts she then continued "The only reason I can think of for doing such a stupid thing was so that we could blend in with humanity. I think that spell is the reason our people have died out. Leaving just my family. Buffy, I remember walking the streets of ancient Memphis, which was ironically kinda like Washington is these days. It was where the administration for ancient Egypt was conducted, It was beautiful, colour was everywhere, blues, reds, gold." Natalia seemed to go into herself. "There was this middle aged couple and the wife asked her hubby if she looked fat in what must have been a new kilt and tunic, anyway he made the mistake of saying 'pigging out at your sister's makes you look fat'. I'm sure her screech could be heard for miles. I didn't stick my nose in." With a sigh she continued on again. "I have so many different memories, from different time periods. But I also remember growing up here. Most of the time I try not to think about the past, it just gets confusing."
Buffy really didn't know what to say, she could see the genuine effect it had on Natalia and the underlying pain that was showing in her eyes as she talked about the past.
Natalia then said "Did you know that Mesolithic and neolithic used to have their medical records tattooed on their body, the art of acupuncture was being used in the late stone age along time before the Chinese discovered it? The stone age wasn't as primitive as is commonly believed, they even had a form of mass production, children and women made tiny beads and jewelry for barter." Nat then shook herself and said "Sorry, I was waffling." Her eyes once again focusing on Buffy. "How are you feeling?"
Buffy just stared at the brunette for a moment. "Feeling a little better, the food and the Coke really helped. Starting to feel more human again."
Smiling Nat got up and gently pressed her lips against Buffy's forehead before kissing the top of her head. "Well you don't have a temperature, so that's a good sign. Sitting back down she said "When your body has settled down we'll go and get you some clothes to wear."
They both sat in silence for a while. Buffy not knowing what to say and Natalia trying for the thousandth time to put her memories into some sort of context but eventually giving up and pushed them to the back of her mind. Natalia got to her feet from sitting on the side of the bed and lent over Buffy, she smiled and then kissed her tenderly on the lips. Buffy immediately responded and wanted more but Nat pulled away and said "Get some sleep Buff, I'm gonna go and do some chores, ok."
Buffy nodded and in a very quite voice said "I love you."
Natalia smiled and responded "I love you too." and with that she headed out the door.
Buffy sat there for awhile thinking about the really strange turn of events in her life and wondered if she would have done anything different. She came to the conclusion that there was nothing else she would have done. And this brought her back to thinking about the blood bond. And in her heart of hearts she really didn't want it gone. She still felt like herself, she didn't feel strange in anyway, maybe a little tired but she had been up for quite a while. inching down the bed a bit she rested her head on the feather pillow and closed her eyes. Within seconds she was sound asleep.
A couple of hours later.
Buffy awoke from a really weird dream that in no way was slayer related, It had large fluffy bunnies in it, talking about the weather and if it would stay dry enough so they could wallpaper the trees around their burrow. She shook her head to clear the rather silly images out of her head. She looked for where she had put the bottle of Coke. Lifting it to her she opened it and downed half of what was left. apparently Nat had been in while she was sleeping and had taken the empty plate away. Looking around the room she paid it far more attention. It was tastefully decorated in subtle shades of white and light green, there were a few pictures on the walls, mostly of landscapes and village scenes but there was one picture that stood out from the rest. It was a painting of a nude woman that had been very tastefully done, it had a subtlety that you rarely saw in nude art and it so fit Natalia. In fact the whole room fit her lover. But one thing she did notice was a complete and utter lack of soft toys, there wasn't anything that suggested a childhood in any shape or form. it was then she noticed the display of Japanese weaponry. A Katana, a Wakizashi and a Tanto. All three of them were black. From what she could see they were of the highest quality possible. She then noticed the emblem above the set. A wooden plaque just over a foot in diameter that had been carved into Oak leaves and in the centre was silver wire that had been worked into the head of a Unicorn that was encased within a silver circle, that was only marginally thicker than the head. All in all it was incredibly beautiful. It was then Buffy noticed the candle holders on either side of the Japanese weaponry. Just in front was a small shallow copper bowl that seemed to contain a few very small dried flowers. It was all placed on a small set of drawers that looked very old and lovingly taken care of. Buffy realised that this was something that had to be very special to her lover. Finding it hard to take her eyes off of what could be described as a kind of alter. It occurred to her that Natalia had a deeply spiritual side that she hadn't seen and she doubted that Natalia ever let be seen.
Buffy mused over what she had found and then realised that Natalia could have taken her to another room but instead had brought her to her own sanctuary. It was then that her bladder chose that moment to make it's self known. Buffy slowly started to move her legs over to the side of the bed when it occurred to her that she was naked from the waist down except for the blanket Natalia had placed there to protect her modesty. That thought brought a smile to her lips but right now she needed the bathroom and she slowly got to her feet, at first holding the blanket in place until it it mostly fell to the floor except the part she was holding in her hand. Thinking about it for a second, she then placed it back on the bed and headed to the door. Opening it she looked around the hallway and saw that there was luckily a bathroom right across the hall from Natalia's room and she quickly headed in that direction.
Buffy stepped out of the shower, which she decided she needed, a smelly Buffy was not good to be around. Wrapping herself in a huge white fluffy towel, she looked at her top that she'd left lying on the bathroom floor and wrinkled her nose at the thought of putting it back on. And even if it was clean it was now a little too tight, she had noticed that she had put on quite a bit of mass and her chest had expanded a at the very least a cup size, so putting it back on would definitely leave nothing to the imagination. She'd really have to go shopping soon.
After drying her hair she took a really good look at her self in the bathroom mirror. She looked amazing she had to admit to herself and briefly wondered why nature hadn't been this kind to her but then dismissed the thought out of her head. Going over everything critically in her mind she still felt like her old self, only she felt better, not psychologically better but physically better in a way she couldn't find the words for but she did most definitely feel better than she had. Taking a deep breath she decided that she'd had enough of lying on the bed and would go and find Natalia. Thinking of the other girl she suddenly found she could feel more or less where the girl was. She could feel Natalia. It wasn't anything like her slayer sense it was just a feeling of knowing.
Heading out the door and into the hall she headed in the direction of where Nat should be. It was as she was walking that she started to realise that the house she was in was huge. It was a mansion, the kind you often saw the rich and shameless buying but the place didn't have a tacky feel to it. It felt both old and modern at the same time. As she walked she looked at the old paintings that adorned the walls, they showed an old family that had been both rich and powerful for a very long time. Buffy almost gulped, what had she gotten her self into. This was so far removed from how she grew up in California that it was almost alien to her. And that's when she saw something that she could get her head around. Weapons, ancient weapons, kinda like the ones Giles had kept in the cage back at the library, this brought a smile to her face. She could almost hear him 'Oh my lording at her for wandering around a large mansion in nothing more than a fluffy bath towel. She started to giggle at the very concept.
It was at the sound of her own giggling that she realised that she really was herself and not some weird creation. Buffy smiled and for the first time since she had arrived that she was at peace with herself. She was still Buffy the vampire slayer and she was in love with another girl. Not that was much of a surprise, she remembered the first time she had seen Cordelia on her very first day and how hot she looked, it wasn't until the girl had insulted the redhead at the drinking fountain that all thoughts of Cordy as being hot had left her mind. No being in love with Natalia felt good, cloud walking good. But where was the girl, she could still feel her in the general direction she was headed. It was then she spotted a staircase just ahead and she quickened her pace only to find herself there a lot quicker than she anticipated. 'Whoa girl, slow it down' she thought to herself as she headed down the stairs, the last thing she needed was to go arse over tea kettle. She immediately wondered where that had come from, it sounded way too Giles like. Shaking her head she continued down the stairs and then she a heard a series of swear words that would have made a marine blush, she chuckled at Natalia's words.