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Alternate Histories: Bloody Rage

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Summary: Complete AU, Dark. Third part new, 4th part is old third chapter

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > OtherFallenDruidFR18418,996043,2451 Nov 0412 Dec 04No

Alternate Histories: Bloody Rage

Alternate Histories: Bloody Rage
FallenDruid



A/N: Mild crossover, stole some concepts from other fics (Allyn 'Ayonge-Chan'
'Bloodfist'; CarrotGlace 'Permanent') and amped it.
(by the way, I suck at intros, so the first bit is gonna suck)
Revision 1: Had to take Jonathan out...I found I need a sacrificial character
for chapter 2, and I need Jon for another section. Also, minor grammatical
correction...why didn't anyone tell me I put 'here' instead of 'her?' That's
critical, need-to-know, information. :P

Chapter the first

Alex coasts slowly along the sidewalk outside of Sunnydale High. As
he approaches a mass of students, they slowly split apart, allowing
him to glide past them without a word. His loud hawaiian shirt
contrasts oddly with the serious expression on his face, and his
shades do a good job of hiding his eyes. Something grabs his
attention, and he looks aside, up the wide stairs to the front of the
school. A girl, blonde haired and short. He stares at her, trying to
figure out what it is about her that's drawn his attention, sure she's
cute, but-He crashes into the stair railing, cutting that line of
thought out. "Ow..." He wheezes out.

"The great and mighty Alex Harris taken out by a stair rail? Now I've
seen everything." A low, cracked and gravelly voice calls out.

"Hello, Cordy." he wheezes out. "Nice to see you again."

"I'm sure." She steps up, adroitly avoiding his legs, and offers her
hand. "So that's why you were drooling over the new girl."

"I wasn't drooling!" He exclaims as he grabs Cordy's hand. She hefts
him up easily, even as he continues. "There's something...odd about
her. Dark."

Cordy glances up the stairs uneasily. "Dark like me? Or..."

"No..different. Cleaner somehow...Damn, Cordy, you sure dressed up
nice for the first day." He grins, and checks out her look. A simple
white sundress topped with a scarf and sunhat. He gently fingers one
end of the scarf.

"Knock it off, Alex. It wasn't your fault."

"Yeah...I know. Doesn't mean I'm not sorry, though."

"Come on...you've got to meet with Flutey, and I need to get to class."

"Yeah. See you at lunch?"

"Sure."

***
Scene change: Hallway outside Flutey's office
***

His skateboard tucked under one arm, Alex wandered towards Fluteys
office, only to come up short as the new blonde girl walked out of
Flutey's office. She opens her bag, and starts rummaging through it,
only to get knocked to one side by a football jock's girltoy, lose her
grip on the bag, and spill its contents all over the hallway. The two
walk past, blatantly ignoring the mess that they had caused. A moment
late, Alex eases out of the shadows and approaches the new girl.
Bending down, he begins to help pick her things up. "Can I help you?"
He asks.

"Thanks." She smiles wryly. "Way to make an entrance, huh?"

"I dunno...seen worse. Alex." He holds out his hand.

"Buffy." She reaches out to shake it, only to have him grasp her hand
and pull it to his nose. After a moment, he kisses it, and treleases
her. "Courtly much?" She asks, trying to hide how wigsome this was
making her. The guy was putting out some weird vibes.

"No..." Alex whispered, "Not as such. What...who are you?"

"I..I told you. My name's Buffy." She grabbed her stuff up off the
floor, and then grabbed what the freaky dude had picked up out of his
other hand, and stuffed it all in her bag quickly. "Uhm...thanks..."
She said, standing and backing away.

"You smell of old blood and death..." He whispered. Buffy's enhanced
hearing was the only reason she heard it. Odd patterns began swirling
up on the actual surface of his skin, like mobile tattoos. She broke
and moved away as fast as she could with running. Xander shook
himself, and the patterns faded away like woodsmoke. "Wait!" He
called after her. "You forgot your..." He pauses, and looks at what
he has in his hand. "Stake?" He says, quietly.

***
Scene change: Cut to classroom
***

The teacher, atanding at the front of the class, writes "The Black Death" on
the board and then turns to the class. "It's estimated that about twenty-five
million people died in that one four-year span. But the fun part of the Black
Plague is that it originated in Europe how?" Cordelia is taking notes. So is
Buffy, seated next to her. "As an early form of germ warfare. If you'll look
at the map on page sixty-three you can trace the spread of the disease into
Rome, and then north..."

Buffy quickly looked around the room, ostensibly to find a book she could read
out of, but actually trying to identify whatever it was in here that was
twigging her Slayer side madly. Cordy notices what she's doing, and quickly
scootches over a bit, laying her bok across both desks. "Thanks." Buffy
whipers to Cordelia.

"And this popular plague led to what social changes? Steve?" The bell rings
and the students get up to leave.

"Hi! I'm Cordelia." She offers Buffy her hand.

She accepts it, shaking it twice before releasing. "I'm Buffy."

"If you're looking for a textbook of your very own there's
probably a few in the library."

"Oh, great, thanks." Buffy and Cordy stand. "Where would that be?"

"I'll show you, come on." The two of them start out of the classroom. "So
you're the new girl, huh?"

"Uh, yeah." Buffy says, slightly uncertainly. She still can't find that dark
presence. "Just in from LA."

"LA, huh?" Cordy takes a long, evaluating look at Buffy. "Cheerleader.
Probably went to a school in the expensive part of town." She sighs. "What I
wouldn't give..."

"Uh, yeah, that's...pretty close." Buffy says. "If you don't mind my
asking," she makes a tiny gesture, halfway indicating the scarf covering
Cordy's throat. "...what happened?"

One of Cordy's hands go to her throat, massaging it under the scarf. Her eyes
go dark, and distant with remembered pain. "Car accident." She says abruptly.
"I'm told I'm quite fortunate, really. If I'd been ten minutes later to the
hospital, I'd have died. If I'd been cut another eighth inch further, I
problably would have completely lost my voice."

The two turn down another hallway, heading towards a drinking fountain. Aura
is there. Finishing her drink, Aura turns to the two walking down the hallway.
Her lip curls in a sneer. "Cordy! Nice dress! Good to know you've seen the
softer side of Sears."

"Yeah, well, at least I don't let my mother dress me." Cordy snarks back.

"Hey, new girl. You wanna fit in here, the first rule is: know your losers.
Once you can identify them all by sight..." She trails a hand around Cordy's
shoulders, smiling mockingly at her. "They're a lot easier to avoid." Aura
smirks at Cordy. Buffy takes a step back from the two, her Slayer sense going
haywire at the virtual eruption of demonic energy around her.

"Aura." Cordy says, her teeth clenched. "Leave, before I do something you'll
regret."

"Ah! That's right...your boytoy's back." She leans toward Cordy, and
whispers in her ear. "He lays one finger on me, I'll have him up on charges of
assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder so fast..." She laughs, and
walks away. "See you around, new girl!" She calls over her shoulder, as she
rejoins her group.

Cordy clenches and unclenches her fists as Aura departs. "The library is just
down the hall to the left. Can't miss it." She turns, and stalks away, every
muscle in her neck strained, and her hands still clenched into fists.

"Hey Cordy?" Buffy calls after her.

She turns, and almost snarls back. "What?!"

Buffy recoils almost imperceptibly from the venom in Cordy's tone and the
expression on her face. "I'm feeling pretty good about my downward mobility."
She smiles, somewhat hesitantly, at Cordy, while silently chastising herself
for getting rattled by a high school girl.

Cordy relaxes slightly, and grins at Buffy. "Tonight. The Bronze. Only
decent club in town. Be there." She walks off down another hallway.

***
Scene Change: Library
***

Buffy walks inside the library, and looks around curiously. "Hello?" She calls
out, continuing in. "Is anybody here?" She looks at the book checkout counter
and sees a newspaper. A picture has been circled. The caption above it reads
"Local Boys Still Missing." Giles comes up behind her and taps her on the
shoulder. She spins around, startled. "Ooo! Anybody's here!"

"Can I help you?" The stuffy looking british man wearing tweed asks.

"I was looking for some, well, books. I'm new." She says, with a deprecating
smile.

"Miss Summers?" He asks.

"Good call! Guess I'm the only new kid, huh?"

"I'm Mr. Giles. The librarian. I was told you were coming." He heads around
behind the counter.

"You were told I was coming...?" She whispers to herself, before moving on.
"Great! So, um, I'm gonna need 'Perspectives on 20th Century-"

"I know what you're after!" He pulls out a large old book with the word
"VAMPYR" written in gold leaf on the front cover. Buffy looks up at him with an
uneasy gaze.

"New watcher, huh?" She sighs. "I was wondering when you guys would show up.
Hey, I know!" She smiles brightly. "How 'bout you tell your superiors that
I'm not here, and then you go back to England?"

Giles hesitates. "Uhm..." Polishes his glasses. "I'm afraid that's not
possible. You see, I'm your watcher. I must train you, assist you-"

"And kill me if I muck up?"

Giles drops his glasses. "I say! I would never-"

"Send a wet team after a slayer to kill her because she's 'too willful?'"

"I have a very hard time picturing Merrick-"

"News flash. Merrick's dead."

"Yes, I know. It's terrible loss...Merrick was a good man. Listen, in his
last letter to me, he spoke highly of you. I consider it my great good fortune
to be here to train you, to...to help you in the fight against the darkness-"

"I'm on vacation. Call me in a month." Witht that, Buffy turns, and walks
out of the library.

"I say..." Giles mutters to himself. "No wonder the girl's pissed the
conservatives on the council off." He smirks widely. "This should be fun."

***
Scene change: Girl's locker room
***

"The new kid? She seems kind of weird to me. What kind of
name is Buffy?"

"Hey, Aphrodisia!" A girl waves to her.

"Oh, Hey!"

"Well, the chatter in the caf is that she got kicked out, and that's why her
mom had to get a new job." Aura says, triumphantly.

The girls work the combinations to their gym lockers.

"Neg!"

"Pos! She was starting fights!"

"Neg-ly!"

Aura opens her locker. "Well I heard from Blue, and she said that..." The dead
boy falls out of the locker onto Aura's arm. She screams and lets the body hit
the ground.

***
Scene Change: The Quad
***

Buffy sits, partially concealed by the plants, attempting to study and eat at
the same time. /There's something very odd about this place,/ She thinks. /Not
to mention the Watcher's Council fucks are already here./ Her mind drifts back
to that odd boy she'd met earlier. /My Slayer sense didn't twig at all, but the
guy was major wigsome...what the hell is he? ...Times like this I could use
some real research help. Wonder if Mr. Giles...No. He's a Watcher. Better
tell mom to be more careful-/ She stops in mid thought, as that dark presence
she'd felt earlier, during first period, twigged her senses again. She stands,
and looks around the quad. The only thing she sees is that Cordy girl making a
beeline for Alex, who's sitting not far away. She stands and starts to meander
over that way.

"Alex!" Cordy calls out.

Alex looks up, and stands. "Cordy, what's up?"

"We've got a problem."

"What is it?"

"Dead guy in the girls' locker room."

"Damn."

"Uhm..." Buffy interrupts. "Dead guy?"

Cordy looks at her, and raises an eyebrow. "Yeah, dead." Alex gives Buffy a
courtly bow. "Oh, Buffy, have you met Alex, here?"

"Oh, me and Buffy go waaay back, old friends, very close. Then there's that
period of estrangement where I think we were both growing as people, but now
here we are, like old times, I'm quite moved." Alex says, grinning like a
maniac.

Buffy takes a step back from the weird boy. Cordy smiles. "Don't worry,
Buffy, he's harmless."

"Harmless!? I take offense to that."

Cordy grins and slugs him on the shoulder. "Alright, mostly harmless."

"Much better." He grins at Cordy, and then turns to Buffy. "Oh, hey...back
in the hall..." He produces the stake. "You dropped your stake. The only
thing I can think is that you're building a really small fence..."

"Hah, no, um, a-a-actually it was for self-defense." She snags it out of
Alex's hand. "Everyone has them in L.A. Pepper spray is just so passé." She
smiles nervously and stuffs the stake into her bag. "Uhm..about the dead guy?"

"Oh...uhm..." Cordy glances quickly at Alex. "They're gonna cancel gym to do
an investigation, or something."

"How did he die?" Alex asks.

"Standard issue PCP attack." Cordy says, rolling her eyes.

"Barbecue fork and extreme lack of blood?"

"Yup."

Buffy looks around nervously. "Um, I gotta book. I'll, I'll see you guys
later." She grabs her things and leaves.

"What's her deal?" Cordy asks.

Alex raises an eyebrow. "We are somewhat odd to the unprepared eye."

Cordy looks at him for a long moment, before grudgingly conceding the point.
"Still...I like her. I hope she makes it."

Alex and Cordy's eyes go dark with shared pain and memories. "She will.
We're still here, aren't we? Besides...there's something..odd about her..."

"What?"

"I dunno...but she's a fighter. You can see it in her eyes...in her
movements. And she smells of old blood."

"Blood?" Cordy shivers. "Is...is she safe?"

"And death." Alex slips his shades on. "It's just...strange...that someone
can smell like that and still be...clean underneath."

"You're sure?" Cordy asks.

"No...not entirely. I'll keep an eye on her. Go to class, I'll catch you at
the Bronze after school?"

Cordy smiles. "Yeah, sure. Long night tonight?"

"I think so."

***
Scene change: Library
***

Buffy storms into the library. "Okay, what's the sitch?"

"Sorry?" Giles asks, from the back of the room.

"You heard about the dead guy, right? The dead guy in the locker?"

He steps into the light. "Yes."

Buffy drops her bag on the study table and heads up the stairs. "Cause, it's
the weirdest thing. He's got two little, little holes in his neck, and all his
blood's been drained." She stands directly in front of Giles. "Isn't that
bizarre? Aren't you just going, ooo?"

"I was afraid of this." Giles murmers.

"Well, *I* wasn't! It's my first day! I was afraid that I was gonna be behind
in all my classes, that I wouldn't make any friends, that I would have last
month's hair. I didn't think there'd be vampires on campus. And I don't care."

"Then why are you here?"

"To tell you that... I don't care, which... I don't, and... have now told you,
so... bye." She turns away.

"Is he, w-will he... rise again?"

She turns back. "Who?"

"The boy." Giles says, with strained patience.

"No. He's just dead."

"Can you be sure?"

"To make you a vampire they have to suck your blood. And then you have to suck
their blood. It's like a whole big sucking thing. Mostly they're just gonna
kill you. Why am I still talking to you?" Buffy turns and goes down the
stairs. Giles moves over to the railing.

"You really have no idea what's going on, do you? You think it's coincidence,
your being here? That boy was just the beginning."

"Oh, why can't you people just leave me alone?"

"Because you are the Slayer." He walks down the stairs. "Into each generation
a Slayer is born, one girl in all the world, a Chosen One, one born with the
strength and skill to hunt the vampires..."

"..with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires, to stop the spread of
their evil blah, blah, blah... I've heard it, okay?"

"I really don't understand this attitude. You, you've accepted your duty, you,
you've slain vampires before..."

"Yeah, and I've both been there and done that, and I'm on vacation. Permanent."

"What do you know about this town?" Giles asks, heading into his office.

"It's two hours on the freeway from Neiman Marcus?"

"Dig a bit in the history of this place. You'll find a, a steady stream of
fairly odd occurrences. Now, I believe this whole area is a center of mystical
energy," He steps out of his office, holding four large books. "that things
gravitate towards it that, that, that you might not find elsewhere." He sets
them on the table.

"Like vampires."

He places the books in Buffy's arms as he continues talking. "And zombies,
werewolves, incubi, succubi, everything you've ever dreaded was under your bed,
but told yourself couldn't be by the light of day. They're all real!"

"hat? You, like, sent away for the Time-Life series?"

"h, w-w-w-yes."

"Did you get the free phone?"

"Um, the calendar."

"Cool! But, okay," she hands Giles back the books. "first of all, I'm a
Vampire Slayer. And secondly, I'm on vacation. Hey, I know! Why don't you kill
'em?"

"I-I'm a Watcher, I-I haven't the skill..."

"Oh, come on, stake through the heart, a little sunlight, some axework... It's
like falling off a log."

"A, a Slayer slays, a Watcher..."

"...watches?"

"Yes. No!" He sets the books back down on the table. "He, he trains her, he,
he, he prepares her, assists her in her..."

"Prepares me for what? For getting kicked out of school? For losing all of my
friends? For having to spend all of my time fighting for my life and never
getting to tell anyone because I might endanger them? And then having my
supposed allies try and shoot me in the back? Go ahead! Prepare me." They just
look at each other for a moment. Buffy exhales, turns and leaves the library in
disgust. Giles hesitates for an instant.

"Damn!" He mutters. He runs after Buffy.

Alex walks out from behind the stacks. "Vampires...huh. Almost makes sense."

***
Scene Change: Hallway
***

Giles catches up with Buffy. "It's getting worse!"

"What's getting worse?"

He guides her over to the wall and speaks with her in a low voice. "The influx
of the undead, the... supernatural occurrences, it's been building for years.
There's a reason why you're here and a reason why it's now!"

"Because now is the time my mom moved here?" She snarks. She tries to evade
him, but he puts his arm out to stop her.

"Something's coming, something, something... something is, is gonna happen
here. Soon!"

"Gee, can you vague that up for me?"

"The signs, as far as I can tell, point to a crucial mystical upheaval, very
soon. Days. Possibly less."

"Oh, come on! This is Sunnydale! How bad an evil can there be here?" Buffy
says, exasperated.

***
Scene Change: Underground cave system
***

There are candles everywhere. Vampires bearing torches are gathering. The
largest one, an immense male vampire chants. "The sleeper will wake. The
sleeper will wake. The sleeper will wake. The sleeper will wake, and the world
will bleed. Amen!"

***
Scene Change: Bedroom, 1630 Revello
***

Buffy is examining outfits in the mirror, holding them up one by one. "Hi!
I'm an enormous slut!" She holds up a blue floral print dress. "Hello!
Would you like a copy of 'The Watchtower'?" She lowers the dress. "I used to
be so good at this." Her mother comes into the room.

"Hi, hon." Joyce says.

Buffy returns her dresses to the closet. "Hey!"

"Are you, uh, going out tonight?"

"Yeah, I'm going to a club."

"Oh. Will there be boys there?"

"No, Mom. It's a nun club."

"Well, just be careful."

"I will."

"You know, I think we can make it work here. I've got my positive energy
flowing... I'm gonna get the Gallery on its feet... Oh, uh, we may have found a
space today."

"That's great." Buffy says, not very enthusiastically at all.

"Oh, and that school is a, a very nurturing, safe environment, which is just
what you need."

"Well, actually..."

"Oh, not too nurturing. I know, you're sixteen, I've read all about the
dangers of over-nurturing." Buffy goes to her bed and lays out a couple of
outfits. "It's hard. New town and everything... It is for me, too. I'm trying
to make it work." She takes Buffy's hands in hers. "I'm *going* to make it
work."

"I know."

"Oh, you're a good girl, Buffy," She pats Buffy on the head. "You just fell in
with the wrong crowd. But that is all behind us now."

"Not really." Buffy heads back to her closet with an awkward look on her face.

"Wha...what do you mean?"

"It'll never end, mom." Buffy whispers. "Never...not until..." She swallows.

"Is...is it this place? We can leave, move somewhere else..."

"It's everywhere, mom." Buffy looks at her mother, eyes dark with pain.
"Besides..." She laughs harshly, without humor. "They're already here.
There's no escape. We may as well stay."

Joyce swallows loudly, releasing Buffys hands. She turns her around, and
beguns massaging Buffy's shoulders. "Just...remember. If you need
anything...ask. And...stay alive."

"The only thing I need, mom...is you, safe and alive." Buffy turns to her
weapons chest, and opens it. Reaching inside, she pulls out a gun, a CZ-97B.
She checks the barrel, making sure it's clear, and inserts the magazine.
"Everything else, I can take care of myself." She smiles grimly, sliding the
pistol into a concealed holster in Pike's old leather jacket.

"Be careful, honey."

"I will, mom." Joyce smiles slightly at her, and then heads out of the room.
As the door closes behind her, Buffy continues. "As careful as I can be." She
whispers. Reaching back into her chest, she pulls more items out, hiding them
in various places.

***
Scene change: Exterior sunnydale, evening
***


Walking down a darkened street towards the Bronze, Buffy feels something
approaching her from behind. She pretends to shiver slightly in the cold air,
and then turns the lapel on her jacket down, revealing as much of her neck as
she can. Walking a ways farther, she spots an alley, and meanders into it.
The being behind her, Angel, comes into the alley but doesn't see her. As he
slowly walks along, Buffy watches from above. When he has passed underneath
her, she swings down and kicks him in the back. He is knocked to the ground, and
and Buffy positions herself about 4 feet away, her gun in hand, and trained on
his skull.

"Ah, heh. Is there a problem, ma'am?"

"Yeah, there's a problem. Why are you following me, Vampyre?"

"Don't worry, I don't bite." He stands up. "Truth is, I thought you'd be
taller, or bigger muscles and all that. You're pretty spry, though." He
massages his neck, moving slowly.

"Give me one good reason not to send you off to the firey place?"

"Because I want the sme thing you want."

"Okay. What do I want?"

"To kill them. To kill them all." He starts to step towards her, only to stop
as she firms her grip on her gun.

"Sorry, that's incorrect. But you do get this lovely watch and a year's supply
of Turtle Wax. What I want is to be left alone!"

"Do you really think that's an option anymore? You're standing at the Mouth of
Hell. And it's about to open."

She looks at him with a wide-eyed gaze. He reaches into his jacket, slowly,
and pulls out a small box. "Don't turn your back on this." He opens the box and
shows her the contents. "You've gotta be ready." He tosses it to her.

"What for?"

"For the Harvest."

"Who...what are you?"

"Let's just say... I'm a friend." He starts to walk away.

"Yeah, well, maybe I don't want a friend."

"I didn't say I was yours." He says, almost mockingly.

He leaves. Buffy stares after him for a moment, then looks down at the box. It
contains a silver cross and chain. She half-cocks her gun, and holsters it.
She takes the necklace out and holds it in her hand. "Weird Vamp."

***
Cut to inside the Bronze
***

Buffy stands just inside the door to the Bronze just listening to the music,
and scanning the room for Cordelia. She quickly spots her at the bar, and
moves towards her. "Hey!" /That's odd...that dark energy is back...muted a
bit, though./

"Oh, hi!" Cordy says. "Good to see that you could make it."

Buffy walks around her and sits on the stool next to her. Cordy turns to face
her. "Oh, are you here with someone?"

"No, I'm just here. I thought Alex was gonna show up."

"Oh, are you guys going out?"

Cordy grins wryly. "Not as such. We used to hate each other...but...we've
come to terms with a lot. We're friends, now."

Buffy looks around the crowded room, filled with teens and adults enjoying
themselves. "Crowded place."

"Yeah, it's the only place in town worth going to."

Buffy spots Giles on the upper deck, looking over the crowd.

Cordy follows her gaze. "Isn't that Giles...what's he doing here?"

"'scuse me, Cordy...I...I have to go. People to talk to." Cordy glances from
Giles to Buffy and back. Buffy blushes. "It's not like that..."

"Be careful, Buffy. There's...things in this town that will drag you down and
tear you apart." Unconsciously, she rubs her throat. Buffy turns to leave.
Cordy grabs her arm, and pulls her back around. "There's something about
Giles...he's dangerous, Buffy. Underneath all that tweed...that's not who he
really is." Buffy trys to jerk free from Cordy, but can't even get the taller
girl to budge from her seat. Her gaze pins her down. The Slayer inside of
Buffy senses a threat, and begins to wake. Cordy releases her arm as if she'd
been burnt. Her gaze is now wide and astonished. "...what...what are you?"
Her low voice is lost in the din.

"I..I have to go." Buffy says, backing away. She gets out, and heads for the
stairs to the upper deck, where she pauses to take a moment to breathe deeply,
to push the Slayer back inside of herself. After regaining herself, she heads
up the stairs to confront Giles.

A fe moments pass as she stands beside Giles. "So, you like to party with the
students. Isn't that kinda skanky?"

"Oh, right, this is me having fun. Watching...clown hair prance about is
hardly my idea of a party. I'd much rather be at home with a cup of Bovril and
a good book."

"You need a personality, stat!" Buffy exclaims.

Giles points down to the activity below. "This is a perfect breeding ground
for vampire activity. It's dark, it's crowded... Besides, I knew you were
likely to show up, and I have to make you understand..."

"...that the Harvest is coming. I know, your friend told me."

"What did you say?"

"The Harvest. That mean something to you? 'Cause I'm drawing a blank."

"I'm not sure. Uh... W-who told you this?"

"This...vamp. Dark, gorgeous in an annoying sort of way. Didn't bite. Felt
weird. I figured you two were buds.

"No. The Harvest. Did he say anything else?"

"Something about the Mouth of Hell. I *really* didn't like him!"

Giles moves around Buffy, leans on the railing and looks down at the crowd.
"Look at them, throwing themselves about, completely unaware of the danger that
surrounds them."

Buffy pauses, considering. "I dunno...there's this one girl...she..."

"Or perhaps you're right. Perhaps there is no trouble coming, the signs could
be wrong. It's not as though you've been having the nightmares."

Buffy stays silent, thinking. "I didn't say I'd never slay another vampire.
It's not like I have all these fluffy bunny feelings for them, I'm just not
gonna get way extracurricular with it. You know, if I see one, sure I'll-"

"Will you be ready? There's so much you don't know about them, about your own
powers. A vampire appears to be completely normal until the feed is upon them,
only then do they reveal their true demonic visage."

"You're like a textbook with arms, I know this."

"The point is, a Slayer should be able to see them anyway. Without looking,
without thinking. Can you tell me if there's a vampire in this building?"

"No...there's too much..." Buffy gropes for words. "Interference.
There's...something dark...and hungry almost, hovering over this town...can't
you feel it?"

"Somewhat..yes. I can feel it. But even through this mass and this...din, you
should be able to sense vampires. Well, try! Reach out with your mind." Buffy
looks around. "You have to hone your senses, focus until the energy washes
over you, until you, you feel every particle o-of..."

"There's one."

"W-where?"

"Right there, talking to that girl."

"You don't know..."

"Oh, please! Look at his jacket. He's got the sleeves rolled up, and the
shirt! Deal with that outfit for a moment."

"It's dated?"

"It's carbon dated. Trust me, only someone living underground for ten years
would think that was still the look."

"But you didn't... hone."

Buffy realizes that the girl is Cordelia. "Oh, no."

"Isn't that..."

"Cordelia."

"What's she doing?"

"Seizing the moment!" She starts down to rescue Cordelia.

Cordelia is being led out of the Bronze by the vampire. Giles is at a loss as
to what to do.

***
Scene Change: Bronze, first floor
***

"Damn..." Buffy mutters, as she sprints to the front of the Bronze and looks
around. She goes around the back of the bronze, breaking a leg off of a stack
of chairs and begins to stalk. After a while Aura comes out of the restroom and
surprises her. Buffy reacts, taking Aura by the throat and pushing her up
against a wall. She recognizes Aura immediately and sets her down gently,
guiltily hiding the makeshift stake behind her back. "Aura!"

Aura gasps out, "God! What is your childhood trauma?!" Her entourage appears
in the restroom door behind her.

"Have you guys seen Cordelia? Did she come by here?"

"Why? Do you need to attack her with the stick? Jeez!" Buffy turns and goes.

"Excuse me, I have to call *everyone* I have *ever* met, right now."

Cut to the main floor. Giles catches up with Buffy.

"That *was* quick. Well done! I-I need to go to the library. This Harvest
thing..."

"I didn't find them!"

He grabs Buffy by the arm and turns her to face him. "The vampire is not dead?"

"No, but my social life is on the critical list."

He lets go of her. "So, what do we do?"

"I'll take care of it!"

"I-I-I need to come with you, yes?"

"Don't worry. One vampire I can handle."

She leaves, walking past Red Jacobson talking to Darla. "So, what did you say
your name was?"

"Darla."

"Darla. You know, I haven't seen you around before. Are you from around here?"

"No, but I have family here."

"Have I met them?"

"You probably will."

***
Scene Cut: Exterior Bronze
***

Buffy is looking around outside, trying to figure out where Cordelia is.

"Hey, you're leaving already?" Alex asks, startling Buffy.

"Oh, Xander! Have you seen Cordelia?" She asks, one hand over her racing
heart. /Stupid!/ She chastises herself. /You're getting lax./

"Not tonight, no."

"She left with a guy."

"We're talking about Cordelia, right? Scorin' at the Bronze, work it girl-"

"No, I need to find her. Where would he take her?"

"Why? Oh, hey, I hope he's not a vampire, because then you might have to slay
him."

Buffy is visibly startled, and bursts out. "Was there a... a school bulletin?
Was it i-in the newspaper? Is there anyone in this town who doesn't know I'm
the Slayer?"

"Probably quite a few people don't know."

"Well, whatever, it doesn't matter, just tell me, where would Cordelia go?"

"I wouldn't worry too much about Cordy. She can take care of herself."

"We don't find her and there's gonna be one more dead body in the morning!"

Alex grins wryly at her. "You're right on the money, Buffy...anybody fucks
with her and there will be a body in the morning." He says, under his breath,
too low for even the Slayer's enhanced hearing to pick up.

***
Scene change: Cemetary, by a mausoleum
***

"Oh, okay, this is nice...and weird. Are you sure this is faster?"

They reach the mausoleum.

"Hey! Ever been in one of these?" Thomas asks, grinning widely.

"More than I care to remember." Cordy says, quietly, turning away.

"Come on." He comes up behind her, and pulls her hair back, and scarf down.
"My, my, my...what happened here? With one hand, he traces the mass of scar
tissue covering almost half of her throat. He moves in toward her neck. She
lets out a yelp as he grabs her and pushes her into the mausoleum. She trips,
and falls down inside the mausoleum, hitting a stone sarcophogi.

"That wasn't funny!" She yells, standing. Thomas comes down the steps. She
stnds firm, staring him down. "I think I'm gonna go. Before things get
unpleasant. Have a nice life, Tom."

"Is that what you think?" He asks, mockingly. He comes toward her again. She
skirts by him, but only because he lets her. Darla blocks her way out of the
mausoleum.

"Is this the best you could do?" Darla asks.

"She's fresh!" Thomas yells. "And cute..." as he grins lecherously at Cordy.

"Hardly enough to share."

"Why didn't you bring your own?"

Darla looks at him coldly. "I did."

Red stumbles into the mausoleum, holding his neck. "Hey! Wait up!"

"Oh, my God, Red!" Cordy yells. "Are you all right?"

He is weak from blood loss and collapses. Cordy catches him easily as he
falls, and gently lets him down to the floor. "Y'know, you gave me a hickey."
He grins stupidly. Thomas gives Darla a look.

Darla shrugs. "I got hungry on the way."

"Jon, get outta here!" Cordy says, quietly, eyes fixed on Darla.

"Oh, you're not going anywhere." Darla says, menace in her voice.

"Back off, bitch! You don't want to fuck with me!"

"You're not going anywhere until we've" Darla vamps out. "*fed*!"

Cordy snarls, and braces herself for a fight. "Well, this is nice. I-it's a
little bare, but a dash of paint, a few throw pillows...call it home!" Buffy
says, sauntering down the stairs. She moves behind the coffin to draw the
vampires away from the others.

"Who the hell are you?" Darla asks.

"You mean there's actually someone in this town who doesn't know already?
Whew, that's a relief, I'm telling you! Having a secret identity in this town
is a job of work."

"Cordy, get Red out of here." Alex says tersely.

"Not yet!" Thomas moves to block the exit.

"Okay, first of all, what's with the outfit? Live in the now, okay? You look
like DeBarge!" The vampires close in on Buffy. She turns to Darla. "Now, we
can do this the hard way, or... well, actually there's just the hard way."

"That's fine with me!" the vampiress snarls.

"Are you sure? Now, this in not gonna be pretty. We're talking violence,
strong language, adult content...

Thomas roars behind Buffy. She pulls the gun out from inside her jacket He
attacks from behind, but Buffy neatly shoots his kneecaps out before planting
another bullet between his eyes. He falls to the floor, temporarily out of the
fight. Darla can't believe her eyes. Alex walks up to the downed vamp, and
thrusts a crudely carved stake through his heart. Nothing happens. "Huh." He
says. "One myth down."

"See what happens when you roughhouse?" She casually blows at the curl of
gunsmoke drifting up from the barrel of her gun.

"Ooh...I like her..." Cordy says.

"He was young and stupid!" snarls Darla.

"Alex, go!" Buffy says, as she advances on Darla.

"Don't go far!" Buffy and Darla start to fight. Darla punches high, but Buffy
blocks. Alex signals Cordy to take Red and get out quickly. She nods, and
hefts him easily up on her shoulder. Darla throws a backhand punch, but Buffy
blocks again and follows up with a front snap kick to Darla's stomach. As she
leans forward from the pain, Buffy slams her elbow into Darla's back. Darla
hits the wall, cracking the stone, and falls to the floor, winded.

While Darla was otherwise occupied, Alex casually twists the vamp's head off,
stumbling slightly in surprise as it turns to dust in his hands. "Oooh..." He
drawls. "I think I broke your playtoy Buffy. Guess they just don't make
supernatural evils like they used to."

Buffy looks at Alex oddly for a moment, but then dismisses what she sees as a
trick of the light. "You know, I just wanted to start over. Be like everybody
else. Have some friends, y'know, maybe a dog... But, no, you had to come here,
you couldn't go suck on some other town."

"Who are you?" Darla whimpers.

"Don't you know?"

Luke grabs her by the neck from behind. "I don't care!" He yells. He throws
her across the room. He grabs Darla and lifts her to her feet. "You were
supposed to be bringing an offering for the Master! We're almost at Harvest,
and you dally with these children!"

"We had someone, but then they came. He killed Thomas. Luke, she's strong."

Luke snarls at Darla. "Take the whelp. I'll see if I can handle the little
girl." He approaches Buffy as she starts to get up, still a little dazed.

Darla quickly climbs the steps, looks back once and runs out of the door.
Alex watches her leave with a small smile on his face. Luke attacks Buffy with
a double punch, but she blocks it and delivers a punch to his gut and a hopping
front snap kick to his jaw. He steps back, but isn't fazed. "You're strong." He
lands a solid backhand fist on her. She goes flying. "I'm stronger!"

Alex taps Luke on the shoulder. "Excuse me."

Luke whirls around, roaring. "Wha-"

Alex punches him solidly in the stomach, hurtling him across the room. As
Alex drops back into a ready stance, he waves his hand in the air. Blood
glistens wetly on it, and odd patterns play across his skin like woodsmoke.
"It's not nice to pick on others."

***
Scene change: outside in the cemetery.
***

Cordy is carefully hauling Red, heading as straight as she could to Sunnydale
General Hospital. Two Vampires stop them. She sets him down gently on the
ground. "Just take a minute...don't go anywhere." She gets ready to fight the
two vamps.

They share a look. "Puny human." They laugh and one heads towards her.

Cordy grins darkly at them. "Who says I'm human?"

***
Scene change: Mausoleum.
***

An unearthly howl cuts the air. Luke clambers back to his feet, holding his
stomach. "I don't have time for this."

Buffy backs away up the stairs toward the exit.

"Hey, I had other plans, too, okay?" Buffy says.

Luke picks the heavy lid off of the coffin and throws it at Buffy. Buffy does
a cartwheel onto and over it to avoid it and kicks Luke in the chest with both
feet, knocking him down. Xander blocks the stone lid with his arms, and
growlsslightly. She grabs the stake from the floor and lunges at Luke, but he
is too quick for her, and grabs her by the wrist.

"You think you can stop me? Stop us?" He grabs the stake with his other hand
and breaks it. Then he grabs her by the shirt. "You have no idea what you're
dealing with." He throws Buffy onto the rim of the now open coffin. She rolls
off onto the floor, dazed. Luke gets up and starts toward her, quoting
scripture. "'And like a plague of boils, the race of man covered the Earth.'"

Cut to the library. Giles is paging through an old volume and stops on a
picture of Satan with lightning coming from his hand to a man's.

"'But on the third day of the newest light would come the Harvest. And the
blood of men will flow as wine.'"

Cut to the Master sitting in an intricately carved chair.

"'When the Master will walk among them once more!'"

Cut to Cordy facing two vamps and Darla. One of the vamps is on the ground,
his ribcage crushed like a potato chip bag, and his arms and legs bending in
more directions than they used to. Slowly one of them straightens out with a
sickening cracking noise. Cordy looks rather the worse for wear, bleeding
freely from a busted nose, and favoring one leg.

"'The Earth will belong to the old ones.'"

Cut to Buffy. Luke is in her face.

"'And Hell itself will come to town.'" He grabs Buffy and growls. He lifts her
by the throat and throws her toward the coffin. Buffy flips over in a front
layout and lands in the coffin next to a skeleton, and lets out a quick scream,
but then remains silent, only breathing. She can't see or hear Luke. She slowly
starts to get up. Suddenly Luke jumps up and into the coffin. "Amen!" He says,
smiling widely.

He moves in to bite Buffy.

To Be Continued...
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