Getting Things Going
Title: The Warrior Returns, Part 16
Sequel To: The Way of the Warrior, By Starway Man/Theo
Disclaimer: None of the BTVS/ATS characters are mine, and no money is being made. Sequel produced with the permission of Starway Man/Theo. Further, the “7 Days” characters are not mine.
January 15th, 1999
Xander and Dawn had just picked up Alan Francis Doyle from the bus station, and the first face-to-face encounter had gone well. As he knew he’d eventually be linking up with Angel, and Lorne had agreed to partner up as far as the Bronze and Willy’s were concerned, everybody was happy.
“So, a fine car ya have here, Xander,” Doyle considered from the back seat of the Bel-Air. I’m hopin’ the lodgings are as grand.”
“They aren’t bad,” the young man replied. “A lot of room to move around in before we head down to get set up in the Hyperion.”
“Not lookin’ forward to fightin’ such a nasty demon, but with so many of us, it should be good. Think you’ll be able to save the lass trapped there all these years?”
“It depends on if she’s able to be healed,” Dawn responded. “What little research we have shows no one’s ever been known to be under the thrall this long. Think any of your friends in LA might be able to find out something?”
“Probably not,” the half-demon thought. “Least not without those lawyers ya told me about beatin’ us to the place.”
The three rode in quiet for a few minutes, Doyle noting they were heading away from the town center, “In a suburb of a village?”
“Sorta, we’re actually in an abandoned mansion we’ve managed to paperwork as ours,” Xander replied. “It gives us enough privacy and respectability from the location to keep most folks from getting too nosy.”
“So, you mentioned somethin’ about MIB types maybe bein’ around?”
“If you can avoid them, it’d be of the good. And since you just moved here today it shouldn’t be too hard to blow ‘em off.”
Doyle was quite impressed with the lodgings as they pulled into the driveway.
“And you even get your own room and bathroom,” Dawn smiled. “And a set of house rules on the bedroom door.”
“Yup. Like no smoking, don’t get drunk and bother everybody else, no bringing demons home without clearing it with two other residents, no cats,” she frowned at Xander at the last one. He shrugged as he parked.
“Hey, Prima eats cats,” he smiled faux-sympathetically. “So Doyle, you probably might want to skip pets unless you want them eaten.”
“And that isn’t allowed either,” Dawn sighed with mild exasperation. “’Cause that’s just….ew!”
As the three approached the doors with the new guy’s stuff, Doyle smiled and turned to Xander.
“You ARE hunters of vampires and evil beasties, right?”
“Don’t worry,” Dawn replied instead of Xander. “We’re not Amway distributors looking to convert you. That’s the next town over.”
Once inside the door, Faith and Angel came up and greeted the new arrival. Faith then took aside her fellow time-travelers as Angel and his Seer got to know one another.
“Guys? Frank contacted us,” she told them. They both looked surprised. “I did a remote connection to the computer in the place next to Gunn’s crib and sent an email to his personal account? The one he wrote on the back of his card?”
“Well, I got a response. Turns out he’ll be getting back to his ‘real job’ soon, cleaning up things years of paperwork until then. He also says the folks with him the last time don’t believe him about their not being ‘us’ there.”
“He said it like that?”
“Not exactly, but that’s the drift. But he’s like caught up on it all, and has some time.”
“He wants to come here?”
“Didn’t say it, but it might be a hint.”
Dawn shook her head in disbelief. “They’ll be following him right here if he does.”
“Hmm,” Faith thought aloud. “But what if we timed it so they showed up when those Hellmouth Openers show up? Might buy us soe slack.”
Xander didn’t seem to favor either side, “Risky. But having the Redo guys in case we screw something up down the road would be handy. On the other hand, the Initiative might just take it over and we’ll be answering to ADAM in three years.”
“What if we arrange for Walsh and her guys to show up.”
“Let the Hellmouth eat ‘em?” Xander said, but then seem to reconsider. “I, I’ve …”
“Started losing your willingness to disappear the human monsters, Xan?” Faith responded quietly. He nodded and the girls each placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. “Me too. Something about that whole comin’ back here just …made me not care as much since we had to do those things. Now…”
“Yeah, I know. Maybe it was the Primal Thing? Or just the combination of weird energies?”
Dawn nodded with agreement to his words.
“How’s the Pack thing going?”
“Good,” he admitted. “Though I think my body is finally settling down.”
“In what way?” Faith asked, carefully looking him over. “You look better and stronger than ever.”
“Yeah, and my healing is like Slayer level too. But I think my speed is actually going back to slow fledging minion vamp, my strength seems about that same level. I don’t have quite the boosts, but for two weeks now I think I’ve leveled off.”
“Xander? Why didn’t you say something?” Dawn asked with annoyance. “We could have helped monitor the sitch and help if needed.”
“Wasn’t sure, but now I am. And the range of thought-talking is only line of sight, now. Or next room.”
“Still good, then. Just not crazy good,” Faith sighed with relief. “I liked you before, when you were normal, X. But knowin’ you can take a hit or two even harder than before makes me able to not worry, ya know?”
“Harder than a troll with a hammer that only you and Buffy could lift and not Billy Vamp,” he gently reminded them. “But I know what you’re saying. I think I’m where we can figure out what we all can do. I’ll probably be able to cover your sixes so you can clear out our objectives.”
“Soldier talk coming back?”
“Hey, the memories are her to stay, it seems. And they’re from a different me, but me.”
“Good. Me and Dawn like the tight Ts on you,” she smile. “Anyway, Frank did email back.”
“Okay,” Dawn accepted. “Let’s think about it after we deal with the Watchers.”
“I guess,” both conceded. Dawn shook her head.
“You know how we were talking about maybe use necromancy to raise some folks?” She noted the discomfort they were keeping in as she continued. “I think it’ll only work if we have what’s left of the people. We’ll actually have to get a hold of that Hainsley guy for…”
“Jesse and others?”
“Yeah, Xan,” she admitted to her maybe-soon boyfriend. “I’ll keep looking through the books, though. Unfortunately, it’ll take a lot of Necro of Earth magical power.”
“Really…Giles tested me the other day…says I still seem to have a lot of mojo left in me. Thinks that because I ‘rewrote myself’ that I still have Willow’s power up still around.”
“How much?” Faith asked. “Enough to?”
“I don’t know, but it’s a lot. Maybe if we do one big spell with it? He didn’t know if once we start using it, if we’ll be able to stop it flooding out.”
Faith grew quiet, “Is it, is it enough to maybe do something about the Hellmouth?”
“You mean, when it closes, see if we can give it a little more of a slam shut?”
“Something like that.”
“I know, research it with Giles and Red?”
“What can I say? Faith rubs me the right way.”
“I so don’t need to hear that right now.”
“Hmm, good point.”
“I hope so.”
“Gah…” the young man choked as he blushed and fled the room.
Faith smiled, “Nice…”
“I’m learning from the best.”
Xander shook his head, “I really am back at High School.”