Back on the Hellmouth/Another Slayer
Title: Rogue’s Hunter
Chapter: Back on the Hellmouth/Another Slayer
Author: Knife Hand
Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated
Spoilers: First three series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the X-Men movie.
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything.
Summary: Graduation went badly and now Xander, after discovering he is a mutant, is looking for a place to fit in. He ends up in Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters but he can never fully escape his past.
AN: Thanx to everyone who reviewed.
“_” denotes speech, ‘_’ denotes thought, ‘_’ denotes telepathic communication and *_* denotes radio conversations.
AN2: Sorry this took so long. Had University stuff that kinda swamped me.
Joyce and Dawn Summers listened to the tail in amazement. They could see the change in Xander from the boy who helped and joked with Buffy and the man before them, who had seen more than anyone should.
“Wow. You’re the Hunter? The Vamps are shit scared of you.” Dawn said, with awe in her voice.
“Dawn. Watch your language.” Joyce warned her daughter.
“Sorry. Vampires.” Dawn said cheekily.
Xander smiled at Dawn, remembering her pestering Buffy in a similar way. This thought lead to other less pleasant thoughts, mostly of Buffy death.
“I assume you’re here because she’s dead. When does the next on arrive?” Dawn asked.
“About now. How did you know?” Marie asked.
“Kathleen was in my grade. She did not show for school today. We kinda knew each other.” Dawn replied slightly sadly. “We both figured that she would not have too long, so we made the most of the time we had. She had already accepted her death and so had I.”
A single tear slipped down Dawn’s cheek at the thought of her fallen friend.
“I hope they bury her on ‘The Hill’” Dawn said slowly.
“‘The Hill?’” Marie asked.
“That’s what everyone calls it. Officially it is Memorial Hill, but those who really know about the town call it ‘The Hill of Fallen Heroes’. It’s where you buried them, Xander. Now everyone who dies fighting the Hellmouth rests there.” Joyce said slowly. “There is a memorial service there once a year.”
“Thank you, Joyce. I know you helped with that and I know she would have wanted it that way.” Xander replied.
They sat chatting in the lounge room until the sun set, at which time Xander and Marie excused themselves and went out looking for the new Slayer. They slowly made their way through the streets of Sunnydale until the eventually made it to ‘The Hill’. Xander stood looking at the grave markers, his eyes hardening.
“I’ll make sure you join them.” Rogue whispered.
“No. I don’t belong there. Not anymore.” Hunter replied. “I belong with you.”
A few minutes later the couple started to leave ‘The Hill’ when Hunter suddenly spun around and caught the arm of a young girl about to shove a Stake into Rogue’s back.
“So, you’re the new Slayer. Interesting, but if you don’t want to join you sister Slayers up on that hill, you will never attack her again.” Hunter said first indicating to ‘The Hill’ and then to Rogue. “I do not appreciate being attacked after I was asked to come here, now take me to Miss Sawyer or, failing that, your own Watcher.”
The young Slayer looked shocked at this mini speech coming from Hunter. She was only fifteen, younger that Dawn, with a small frame, emerald eyes and flaming red hair. All in all she reminded Xander of a mixture of Buffy and Willow.
“Ok. First of all, who the hell are you, what on earth are you doing here and how the hell do you know I’m the Slayer?” she asked.
“This is Rogue and I’m Hunter. We are here because I was invited be Miss Madelyn Sawyer, a Watcher, on the behalf of her charge, and your predecessor, Kathleen the Vampire Slayer. I know you are the Slayer for several reasons, firstly because you tried to shove a stake through Rogue’s heart, and you would have missed by the way, you need to aim more to the left. Secondly, and more importantly, I have had the sad pleasure of personally knowing several Slayers in my lifetime and you learn to tell. Now are you going to take me to a Watcher or am I going to have to hurt you?”
~Twenty Minutes Later – The Library of Sunnydale High School~
Madelyn Sawyer looked up from the book she was reading and looked across at, effectively, her replacement, Malcolm Johnson. She knew that she really should be packing for her return to England, but she decided that she would not go, for Kathleen. She would stay to protect the town her charge had grown to love, and to see if her faith in this mysterious Hunter was founded or unfounded. Both Madelyn and Malcolm looked up as the swing doors to the library opened and three people entered, the Slayer, and two strangers, one a man and the other a woman, both dressed completely in black.
“Elizabeth! Who are they and what are they doing here?” Malcolm screamed at his charge, not seeing the stake pushed into the Slayer’s back.
“Wow. They rebuilt this place exactly the same and you guys’ still use the library for meetings. You Watchers really love to live right on top of the Hellmouth, don’t you?” the man said, before looking at the Slayer. “Elizabeth? Wow, they love Slayers called that, of course the last one went by Buffy.”
“Who are you and what are you talking about?” Madelyn asked.
“Which topic? The lack of imagination of the builders school, the fact that you are sitting about three feet from the Hellmouth or the similarity of Slayer names?” Hunter replied with a smirk. “As for who I am, Madelyn Sawyer, let’s just say your Slayer was right.”
“Oh my.” Madelyn replied.
“Watchers. So very British.” Hunter commented to Rogue.
“Who the hell are they?” Malcolm demanded.
“He’s the Hunter.” Madelyn commented.
“Nonsense. The Hunter does not exist.” Malcolm replied.
“I assure you he does.” Came a voice from the doorway.
In the doorway stood two male vampires, their demon visage hidden at the moment. One was a bleached blond with a leather duster and the other was tall, lean and muscled, his long brown hair in a ponytail and a long scar down his face that disappeared under his shirt.
“You requested our presence under a parley, Hunter? Is that not the massage you left at Willie’s?” the tall one asked.
“Yes.” Hunter simply responded. “Gabriel, Spike. As you probably know, in the next few weeks a demon will attempt to open the Hellmouth. You two control most of the vampires in Sunnydale. Here’s the deal. Lay low, no hunting and no helping the demon until this is over. In return I will not hunt you or your men for the same period. Is this acceptable?”
The two vampires stood there for a second, Gabriel stroking his scar.
“Why should we help you?” Spike asked.
“The same reason you stoped Acathla. What was it? Manchester United, dog racing and Happy Meals with legs? As for Gabriel, he knows the reason.” Hunter supplied.
“That is acceptable.” Gabriel said, stepping forward and shaking Hunter’s hand.
“Thank you, Gabriel. Spread the word, Sunnydale and the Slayer are under Hunter’s protection.”
“It shall be done.” Gabriel replied, bowed and left, taking Spike with him.
“Um? Who were they?” Malcolm asked.
“The two local vampire masters. The blond, Spike helped stop an apocalypse once, the other, Gabriel, owes me big because I spared him when I gave him that scar. They’ll make sure we have no general vampire problems until the apocalypse. Back to the introductions. This is my partner, Rogue. So, you must be Elizabeth’s watcher. Got a name or should I just call you little Wesley?” Hunter said.
“Malcolm. Malcolm Johnson.”
“Ok. Now sit down, shut up and let the grownups deal with the latest apocalypse. Madelyn, what do we know so far? Give me a rundown and then I’ll see how much training Elizabeth here needs to get up to standard, and how much work it is going to take to undo those years with the council.”
~Three Hours Later~
Hunter and Elizabeth sat down at the table, having just finished a sparing match, Rogue sat on the stairs diverting her attention between the Watcher Diary, Buffy’s, and Hunter’s conversation with the current Slayer. Madelyn, as she was also the librarian, was researching in her office, while Malcolm, who had officially been shunned by the group had gone home two hours ago.
“Your technique is good Liz, but you need more that that to be a good Slayer.” Hunter was saying.
Liz like the nickname Hunter had chosen for her, after years of being called Elizabeth by Watchers. She also preferred Madelyn as a Watcher to Malcolm, who was boring and always yelled.
“Like what?” Liz asked.
“Like imagination, improvisation. They help in a fight, so you don’t become predictable. Strength of character is also important. If you can be controlled then you can be controlled in battle by your enemy. I’m not saying trust no one. There is more, but for now I want you to answer a simple question. Why do you fight?” Hunter said.
“Um. I don’t know. Because I’m told to I guess.” Liz replied.
“That’s what I thought. Let me ask you another. Who was the greatest Slayer?”
“Easy. Buffy Summers.” Liz responded.
“I don’t know. Because she survived so long?” Liz replied.
“No. Think about what you know about her. Read the Watcher Diaries about her if you want. When you think you know the answer, come back and talk to me. Ok?” Hunter said.
“Alright.” Liz replied
“Don’t worry about patrol. I’m sorry that you first experience as a Slayer has to be an Apocalypse. They’re always rough. Rogue, you ready to go?” Hunter asked.
“Coming.” Rogue said, laying down the book and joining Hunter on his way out.
Once they were out of the School and alone, Xander laughed.
“What’s so funny?” Maire asked.
“The way you were sitting on the steps reading like that. Wherever the Gang was researching an Apocalypse at least one of us usually sat like that. They were good times, we would even argue over the proper pluralisation of Apocalypse. We decided it was either apocalypses or apocali.” Xander said as they headed back to the Summers’ house. When they arrived they were met by Joyce, who showed them to the spare bedroom, where they spent the night in each other’s arms.
~ A Week Later ~
Xander and Marie sat talking in a small coffee shop on Main Street. Mostly it was idle talk, and some stuff about their upcoming wedding. They were having a pleasant evening when Xander decided to surprise Marie. Xander passed Marie a small jewellery box which she opened to reveal an elaborately engraved bracelet. One side of the bracelet, the outer side when worn, had the letters H & R engraved on it, surrounded by a series of images indicating the X-Men. There was claws for Wolverine, a visor for Cyclops, a wheelchair for the Professor, a syringe for Dr. Jean Grey, a lightning bolt for Storm, a representation of ice for Bobby, a small fireball for John, fireworks for Jubilee, a dark coloured cat for Kitty (AKA Shadowcat) and finally, directly above the engraved letters, a pair of hands, fingers intertwined to symbolise themselves. The other side, the internal side, had the letters X & M and was bordered by intertwining apple and apricot blossoms. Marie absolutely loved the present.
“What is this for?” she asked after looking at it.
“Just because.” Xander said shrugging and giving her his lopsided grin.
Just after Marie put the bracelet on, Xander started looking around sniffing, his eyes settling on a man walking down the other side of the street.
“What is it?” Rogue asked, scanning the area for danger.
“Mystique.” Hunter responded.