Price We Pay
(See Chapter one for main spoilers and disclaimer. Thank you for the reviews, input, and feedback. Author Notes at end of chapter as usual.)
Xander sighed; it had been an excruciatingly long night. Exhausted he and Anya began walking away from Giles old apartment. Although the Watcher had left less than 24 hours ago, he’d allowed Willow and Tara to take up the lease on his Sunnydale home. Now they were attempting to settle in with a newly resurrected Buffy.
Once things had calmed down from the Hellion’s ride through the town, they were able to find Buffy standing outside her old house. Sadly, it had not escaped the demon horde. Buffy blankly stared at the smoldering frame of the place she once knew as home. Spike was standing in front of her trying to get her to respond. Tara noticed the state of Buffy’s hands; she reached for one of them cautiously. When Buffy pulled back, Willow asked how she had gotten the injuries. They all looked shocked when Spike spoke up, “She dug out of her grave, you stupid gits.” The bleach blond vampire left immediately after.
No one had mentioned Joyce, Dawn, or Giles to the slayer yet, and she hadn’t asked. They tried to make small talk as they led Buffy back to Giles’ place, but the fact that they had left her in the coffin, under mounds of dirt weighed heavily on each of their hearts.
Just as Anya and Xander passed the fountain in the courtyard, Xander noticed a movement in the shadows. “What are you doing out here?” He called to Spike; “I hope you're not going to start your little obsession now that she's around again.”
“I've figured it out,” Spike spat out angrily, “You didn’t want me in on this because Willow knew there was a chance that she'd come back wrong. So wrong that you'd have ... that she would have to get rid of what came back. And I wouldn't let her. If any part of that was Buffy, I wouldn't let her. And that's why she shut me out.”
”What are you talking about? Willow wouldn't do that,” Xander defended.
Rolling his eyes, Spike replied sarcastically, “Oh. Is that right? That's the thing about magic. There's always consequences.” Spike strode away in anger, but half-turned with one parting word, “Always!”
* * *
Saturday afternoon found the girls walking through the shops in downtown Colorado Springs. ”This is hopeless!” Dawn grumbled.
“Come on Dawn, we got to find something,” Cassandra urged her friend. “Remember to keep the main goal in mind.”
“And that would be?”
“The eternal bonds of sisterhood!” The blond said proudly holding up her hand and pointing at the sky in a dramatic gesture.
Dawn took a deep breath to steady herself. “Sisterhood, right,” she agreed nodding at Cassie before they fell into a small fit of giggles.
Grabbing Dawns arm, Cassie started to drag her soon to be sister along, “Oh, there’s another jewelry store!”
As they approached the store, Dawn grew unusually quiet. Hastily, she moved over to the left side of the entrance. A tall display case of earrings allowed for partial cover from the door. Following her, Cassie became confused, since the engagement rings were displayed along the opposite wall. As the blond began to protest, Dawn held up her finger in a ‘shushing’ motion, “I think we’re being tailed.”
The two girls carefully peaked around the display just as a guy, slightly older than they, walked into the jewelers. A menacing glare entered Cassie’s eyes, “Ooh, that stupid creep. What’s he doing here?” she grumbled. Before Dawn could ask about the guy, Cassie stepped out of their hiding place.
The kid saw Cassie and cast her a cocky smile, “Cassandra!”
“What do you want, Jon?” Cassie asked condescendingly.
“I can’t just say hello to an old friend?” Jon mentioned, sounding hurt.
Dawn stepped up next to Cassie, mimicking Cassie’s defiant stance in a position of backup.
Jon’s gaze went instantly to the young brunette. He gave her a smile loaded with charm. For a moment Dawn felt as if she’d been thrown back into Sunnydale. A shiver ran down her spine at the familiarity Jon emanated, and the shiver wasn’t of the good kind.
Cassie smirked triumphantly before informing the young man, “She’s ‘General’ O’Neill’s daughter.”
Jon’s ego suddenly deflated in the face of his confusion, “Huh?”
Linking her arm through Dawn’s, Cassie began to drag the brunette over to the engagement rings. “Later, Jon,” She called back over her shoulder, trying not to laugh. Although Cassie knew ‘Jon’ was actually Jack’s clone, it still made her uneasy with the casual and familiarity he had around her. Anything to catch him off balance was, in her book, a good thing.
The only response was another “Huh?” Jon stood for a moment scratching his head before leaving the jewelry store. He decided, as he walked away, that he should call his older counter part and check in more often. His older self was going to pay a hefty price for not telling him about the promotion… And since when did they ever have a daughter?
(A/N: [this is a big note, sorry, but some things need to be said here.] Once again, the lines from the Buffy universe are from Episode 101 Season 6, Bargaining Part 1, transcribed courtesy of http://www.buffyworld.com/buffy/season6/transcripts/101_tran.shtml, and owned by Whedon/Mutant Enemy, Episode written by Marti Noxon and David Fury.
I would like to thank malaskor and Rachel for letting loose Jack’s mini-me into my story. LOL I was originally only planning on just a side mention of him at one point, now he ended up in a guest role with a cameo or two.
There have been so many guesses as to what everyone thinks will happen, please remember nothing is permanent in Fan Fiction, especially fan fics dealing with science fiction and supernatural fantasy shows. However, things will get more angsty and dramatic in the story before they get better, including some hard decisions ahead for the characters. I am trying to keep them in character and have them respond/act realistically to the given situations. Please try to understand this, I don’t mind suggestions and feedback or guess’s about what’s going to happen. But you have been warned about the angst, and foreshadowing does not always mean the outcome is what you think it will be, or set in stone. I may just be leading you on with false hints and coincidences; it’s my job as an author. *evil laughter*)