Prologue: Old Friends
Title: From the Past
Summary: After years of retirement, Buffy has long thought herself rid of having to personally deal with apocalyptic stuff. But when an old friend shows up asking for her help in saving ‘his kids’, Buffy finds out that you can’t turn your back on your destiny.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Joss owns all things Buffy. Fox, James Cameron, and Charles H. Eglee owns all things Dark Angel. Just borrowing them for my own amusement.
AN: Nothing really. Everything through both series happened. This story takes place roughly a little less than twenty years after “Chosen” in Buffy. Since then, Buffy has been retired from being an active slayer, though she has helped the new Watchers Council. With Dark Angel, this story takes place roughly a month after the end of “Freak Nation”. And to anyone who might be reading my other stories, I’m still working on them as much as I can. I just got inspired for this story and it forced me to start writing on it. I’ll try and update when I can.
It still amazed him how the world could change because of single moments. One thing can change and suddenly you’re left with a whole new life, a whole new reason for living. You can try to hold onto the things of the past, try to make whatever worked for you before work again, but it’s all in vain. The only thing that accomplishes is self-destruction. That was one the key rules of life he had been sure to teach his kids, adapt or die.
It was a rule he lived by, which was the very reason why he was still alive. He adapted when his world crumbled and he pretended to die. It was what saved his life.
After the break in ‘09 where a twelve of his eight and nine-year-old X5s had escaped and they had been unable to catch them, he thought that maybe he had taught them that lesson a little to well. Eleven years later, sitting in a grungy airport bar watching the latest breaking news on the ‘Standoff at Terminal City’, he knew he had.
Lydecker sighed and gulped down another swig of his Scotch.
The news was playing a clip of the latest protesting and near riots that were taking place outside the closed section of Seattle. At least, he assumed they were new clips, it was hard to distinguish one days photos from the next. The only that ever changed was the clothes that the people were wearing.
The broadcasters then moved onto now well establish and infamous file footage taken the first morning of the so-call siege. A news helicopter had flown over at the exact right time to catch the group of transgenic and transhumans gathered on a rooftop raising a flag, their flag. Whoever took the footage, or the similar picture that had appeared on every magazine he had ever heard of, probably expected the Pulitzer for them.
Though no one seemed to know who this group of people was - in the media at least - Lydecker could name all that they had gotten a clear image of. Well, maybe not the transhumans, but definitely all the transgenic X series models. On the end was X7-601, a young blonde girl. Then there was X6-597, an olive skinned boy. X6-443, a black boy. X5-511. X8-499. X7-624. X5-494. And in the middle of them, of course, was X5-452, Max. His shining girl. His beautiful perfect child.
She was the woman who had changed his life, and the lives of every person on the planet, in a single moment when she pressed a button and opened some cell doors that were never meant to be opened. A moment. She changed everything. She was forcing people to choose; adapt or die.
Lydecker smiled to himself. 452 - Max was so much like another woman he knew. The woman he was going to met as soon as his plane left from New York. The woman he was about to ask for help from...again.
He just hoped she would forgive him someday after he was done explaining everything to her. Oh, he wasn’t stupid enough to believe she would, or that he would walk away from that conversation unscathed, but maybe someday. Someday she would stop hating him. He hoped.
No, she would. After she what he had done, what he had made her apart of, she would forgive him. If she wasn’t married - which he knew she wasn’t - she might even start to love him again. It was a great honor, a great gift, the thing he had done for her. She might not see it that way at first, but he was sure he could bring her around eventually to see that.
“Hey, could I get a Jack and Coke, hold the Jack.”
Lydecker paused mid-drink. He knew that voice. It was older, slightly gruffer, not as goofy, but familiar. Familiar like a high school football game in Iowa, dreading up old memories, some bad, but good for the most part.
His friend, perhaps the only real one that he made all those years ago on that mission, was standing a few feet down the bar. He was leaning between a thin-haired Latin woman in power suit and an old man in jeans. The bartender frowned at him, as if serving someone a Coke was beneath him.
Lydecker smiled. Honestly, he hadn’t expected to see him.
The Latin woman tossed some money onto the bar and left. He took her seat as the bartender handed him the Coke. The bartender then took the money the woman left and busted her half empty Martini. Lydecker was now sitting directly beside him. He wondered how long it would take him to realize who he was.
“Jack and Coke, hold the Jack?” Lydecker said casually, taking another drink. “Kind of takes the fun out of the Coke, doesn’t it?”
He shrugged. “I’ve had enough fun with Jack in my lifetime. I figured I’d hang with just Coke for awhile and see how that works out. The drink, I mean. Not the drug, cause that would be worse than Jack.”
“Haven’t change, I see,” Lydecker said to himself with quite a bit of amusement. He then motioned for the bartender to poor him another drink. One it was filled, he lifted it and turned towards his old friend. “I gave up Jack and his friends for awhile, but then I thought I’d give them one more chance.”
He laughed mirthlessly at Lydecker’s comment. “That’s -.” He paused mid-sentence as he turned and looked at Lydecker.
Squinting his one good eye, he looked at the slightly older man for a long time, as if trying to decided whether he knew his face or not and then from where. It took a few minutes, but he finally figured out who was sitting next to him.
Smiling, Lydecker said, “Hello, Xander.”
Xander blinked once, then twice. “Riley?”