I’ll Have an Apocalypse & A Double Armageddon to Go, Part III
Title: I’ll Have an Apocalypse & A Double Armageddon to Go, Part III
Beta by: Theo
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners...it will start off with the Joss/ME characters, and any other characters or real-life folks are clearly not mine. NO money is involved.
Summary: This is an AU Buffy season 3. You have been warned.
Sunnydale, California. Two nights later after the end of the previous part
Giles and Oz were helping Xander clear out the third bedroom of the condo, it being confirmed that Faith would be staying there at Council expense.
Giles had explained to the two male teens the apparent circumstances surrounding the demise of Faith’s Watcher; and since he had Xander’s billing in front of him, had broached the subject and received approval of seventy dollars a day, paid weekly in advance.
“What’s the extra twenty for?” Oz asked Giles, as they finished moving all of the non-bedroom items from the room to where Xander set them up at one end of the living room.
“Well, I-I thought Xander could kick back the money as sort of an allowance for Faith while she’s here,” Giles confessed, receiving from both younger men acceptant nods.
“Should I draw up something formal and present it to you for approval?” Xander asked, “Cover things like damages from evil-fighting at my cost, plus ten percent?”
“Th-that would be an excellent idea, Xander,” Giles said, sitting down and accepting a Thai blend of tea Harry Stamper’s daughter had introduced to Xander over the summer. “Mm, and I dare say I’m quite enjoying this tea. The next time you speak to the young lady, I’d be happy to recompense her for say, a half-kilo?”
“Alright, Giles, no problem,” Xander said with a smirk, as he sat on the couch with his box of keepsakes from his trip; the other males looking ready for a story or two.
Just down the street, Faith was on her way back from scouting out the area—when Buffy came up to her, an unreadable look on her face.
“Hey, B, looks like we’re both late. Where’s Red?”
“What do you know about a one-eyed vamp?” the other Slayer asked, directly and without greeting. “Goes by the name Kisses Toast—uh, I mean, Ka-ki-stos.”
“What the hell do you know about him?” the Boston girl asked, somewhat taken aback as she increased her pace.
“That he's here in Sunnydale, Faith,” Buffy dropped conversationally, and noticed Faith’s concern. “We're not happy to see old friends, are we? What'd he do to you?”
“It's what I did to him, all right?” the brunette sighed, as they approached the condo and a couple of cars passed them.
“And what was that? Faith, you came here for a reason,” Buffy told the other Slayer. “Maybe I can help.”
“You don't know what I've been through, B. I'll take care of this, all right?”
They reached the sidewalk in front of the condo. Buffy would’ve continued pressing, except for two bikers and three others getting out of their cars quickly to head the girls off.
Faith glanced back as a limo pulled up quickly and the window came down, Kakistos smiling at her.
“Faith,” the ancient vampire sneered, as he started to get out from the car.
“Get inside quick, B!” Faith shouted as loud as she could. “Run!”
Inside, Xander had shown Oz and Giles various items, and even the disturbing leather armor he’d had made out of the crocodile; it was very firm and slick. In case he ever actually took up regular patrolling again, he figured it might keep him less damaged.
“Good heavens, Xander, you do seem to have had quite the adventure—as well as the work, I’d say.”
“Yeah, I learned a lot about myself, and surprisingly a lot of last year’s costume helped me get there.”
“What do you mean?” Oz asked, having only heard bits and pieces of all that; as it had been before his time as a Slayerette.
“My Soldier Guy costume was that of Harry Stamper, if you recall, who happens to be my boss…” Xander began, Giles getting it immediately.
“So...a, a summer of being near him and accomplishing the same things, allowed you to recover skills, as it were, rather than learn it all from scratch?”
“Yeah, and I like it,” Xander responded, picking up his flare gun from the box along with the two remaining flares. “I really need a safe place for this…”
“Fireplace, not my first thought,” Oz smiled.
“I guess maybe in two different drawers of my desk over there,” Xander responded, gesturing across the room. “That way, we’ll have it in case we need it.”
“You hear that?” Oz asked, something on the edge of his werewolf-boosted hearing getting his attention.
“What is it? Trouble?” Xander asked. “Giles, move the tray off the coffee table please.”
“Faith and Buffy are out front,” Oz said as Xander kicked up and open the top of his coffee table—to reveal his weapons chest.
Werewolf and Watcher grabbed wooden swords and headed for the door, as Xander loaded the flare gun. Oz yanked the door open, allowing Buffy and Faith to rush in; two large biker types behind them.
Giles quickly swung with the flat of his sword at the possibly-human attacker, winding the man as he passed the threshold; but the second man tackled Giles and rolled them into the residence. Buffy and Faith each moved to the sides, Buffy to help Giles, Oz hitting the first entrant in the head to take him out of the fight.
“Down!” Lex Harris shouted with military overtones, and fired a flare through the door, watching it soar into the midst of the approaching vampires, “Faith, Buffy! Grab Oz and Giles’ swords, and get 'em!”
Oz tossed the sword to Faith, who in the heat of the battle had turned from flight back into the fight, dashing out the door. Buffy following after her, after slamming biker head-first into the floor.
Xander hurried over to the trunk, grabbed another ironwood sword out of it and headed after them, yelling to Oz and Giles to tie up the bikers and clear the doorway.
Faith charged a scorched and burning Kakistos, using her sword as a club, pounding on his head, arms and face as Buffy threw herself at three burning minions, hacking and stabbing.
Another extremely old vampire followed Faith’s enemy toward the building, carefully staying toward the rear and side, assessing the situation rather than moving in. Xander noticed him, and how another vampire, fire put out, moved toward the street and a limo with its door open.
Buffy dusted one of her opponents, as Xander decided to take an insane chance.
“Clear the deck!” he shouted, the girls whirling to the sides as he fired his last flare, which flew off to the left. It hit the frame of the gate to the place, then returned on course and into the car just ahead of the vamp. A bright flash of flame and light toasted the interior and much of the vampire, who dropped and rolled as he hadn’t quite made it into the car yet.
Faith whirled in a 360-degree circle, sword edge at the height of her face, as Kakistos put out much of the fire and turned to face her. Sneering and about to say something, the blade actually managed with Slayer force behind it to break through the hardened exterior of the aged vampire’s neck, but not quite enough to finish him off.
Unfortunately for the good guys an unspotted minion charged in, catching Faith’s attention for only an instant by becoming the next dusted vamp, but it was enough for Kakistos to disappear with the use of his undead speed.
Faith charged the second older, singed and roaring vampire, one she vaguely remembered from her Watcher when Linda had explained that Kakistos was not only an ancient vampire, but an established crime lord throughout the Louisiana bayous.
This minion, known as Aristos—was apparently only just under 600 years old, turned by Kakistos during the fall of Constantinople to the Turks.
Faith charged the vampire, no sound coming from her as she leapt high, trying a crescent kick toward Aristos’ head. He countered it, but was ready as she hurled her ironwood sword, point flame-hardened, into the old vampire’s chest—cracking the forming plate and knocking the vampire down.
Aristos’ surprise at the painful thrust into his chest caused him to let go of the Slayer, who landed like a cat, lunging at her enemy whose back was on the ground. As he began to slowly pull the sword out, Faith threw her entire weight on top of the grip of the sword, enough to force it into the unbeating heart.
Dust with a remnant skeleton ensued, as Ms. LeHane let herself watch Buffy finish the last of the minions.
Ms. Summers stabbed out, whirled in a 180-degree arc, stabbed to the left, then to the right, managing to dust one of the vampires hit and causing the other to wail in pain. The blonde Slayer and her dark-haired sister in Slayage swung at the same time, as they removed the minion’s head, ending the noise as the fight itself came to a close.
“You guys don’t think this’ll have any affect on my homeowner’s insurance premiums, do you?” Xander asked, garnering the expected looks free of sympathy. He turned to Oz, “Can you take the lid off the big urn next to the door, man?”
“Sure,” Oz responded, cocking an eyebrow as Xander walked over to a chiminea (outdoor ceramic stove) and took out the tongs as he approached Faith.
“Here ya go, Faith,” he said handing her the tool and gesturing from Aristos’ skeleton to the urn. “Drop him in there, and it’ll really be over.”
“O-o-kay,” the brunette replied uncertainly, Buffy and Giles curious as they watched her pick up the skeleton first and dropping it in. As soon as the bones entered the urn, the snapping and popping of acid startled the group, Faith pulling back.
“Holy water,” Oz deadpanned. “Disintegrates every last bit of him, I guess.”
“Can’t resurrect what doesn’t exist anymore,” Xander smiled. “Though I’m billing the Council for Father Murphy’s extra trip over, to bless the replacement water.”
“Do remember to get a receipt,” Giles told him archly.
Buffy had flashbacks to her own experiences, ever since she was 15 years old; pursued by Lothos, the loss of Merrick, and sledging the skeleton of the Master. And then she simply walked over to her sister Slayer as the last part, the skull, dropped in and disintegrated.
As Oz took the tongs, Buffy hugged Faith, surprising both girls, as the tension of the last few moments led to Faith and Buffy to cry on each other’s shoulders. Sirens then sounded in the distance, as Xander and Oz dragged the two bikers out to the street, Xander taking their wallets.
“You guys want to run and have a chance of the police not getting to you, before that last vamp does?” Xander asked the bikers. “Or you wanna explain to the cops why you stole and burned this vehicle, then attacked us?”
‘We’re outta here!” the first one said, bleeding from untended wounds as Oz and Giles untied them.
They ran to the other cars and fled, the police arriving a minute later; as did Cordelia, Willow and Joyce with housewarming gifts. Giles went out and explained the odd crash and running off to the police, as the others entered the house.
“So Oz, what happened?” Willow asked her boyfriend. “And why were Buffy and Faith crying?”
“Old vampire followed Faith, she just put his bones in holy water, Buffy’s comforting her.”
“Another Master? Ewww!” Cordelia grimaced, “Hey, is this going to happen once a year now? Oh! I brought a housewarming gift.” She handed it over to Oz, and sat down on the couch next to Joyce. Xander then walked over as the others hovered a moment until Giles returned.
“Thanks for coming, Cor,” the young man told his ex-girlfriend, “It means a lot to me.”
Ms. Chase teared for a moment, then smiled. “Hey, couldn’t let my favorite doofus down, now, could I? Huh?” she kidded, putting her hand on his for a moment, “Look—it’ll hurt for a while, I know. But we *are* still friends, right?” She looked worried, and Xander noticed Willow observing the real Cordelia from nearby.
“You’re my favorite ex-girlfriend, and you’ll always be a best friend, Cor,” Xander smiled sadly, leaning over, and whispered, “Almost ‘Willow-since-kindergarten’ best friend here...”
Anyone else would have thought that was bordering on insensitive, but Cordelia was one of the tiny number who knew just how important that made her in her former boyfriend’s life and heart. And while teary, Cordy beamed him her classic megawatt smile, which quickly brought them back toward happy normality.
“So Giles,” Buffy asked, “What did Sunnydale’s finest have to say?”
“They said that they’d have the vehicle towed tomorrow morning, they just put the fire out. And being Sunnydale’s finest here after dark, as you put it, that was quite simply that.”
“Oh good,” Joyce said, nodding. “The last ting we need is more dealings with the police! So, all this aside—happy housewarming, Xander, Oz and Faith.”
Chicago, Illinois. Two nights later
“Trick, you vile coward,” Kakistos muttered aloud venomously, as his lieutenants all avoided him. “I’ll stomp your skull underneath my feet, when I return to the Hellmouth...”