Author's Notes: My muse is working overtime on this one. I've told her no vacation untill she get's it finished, the little flake has a habit of bailing on me but I think I've got her under control now.
I didn't expect this to be back from Beta untill tomorrow, but here it is. And since I'm not one for dragging out updates, I'm posting it now. Enjoy.
Oh and if anyone would like to beta the rest of this story for me please let me know by email, my last very wonderful beta isn't doing Buffy stories anymore and sending a chapter out without being read over by a second party first feels a lot like walking out of the house without your pants on. You just know you've forgotten something important.
Anyway, hope ya'll like this one. Can't promise the rest will be out as fast, but I'm working on it.
Reviews make the muse whisper in my ear faster.
Italics indicate thoughts.Green. That was the most prominent memory. A sea of green surrounding him, holding him down. How water could keep him in place he never knew but it did, and he was forced to remain still as the people gathered. Some in white coats, others in casual dress, some with weapons. They gathered and they watched, a select few barking orders to unseen servants. He tried to move, he always tried to move but as the tale unfolded the same as it always did he was unable to do anything but lie there. The second part was the least clear, it was filled with faded thoughts and the smell of burning flesh. He could feel something slicing him open from collar bone to torso and he tried to scream, tried to make them see that he was awake. And then he heard them, the faint whispering so close, the little voices that cataloged his every heart beat and his every breath. They had to know, and they were going to pay for it.
Logan shot up in bed, the sheets wrapped around him in a tangled mess, his claws instinctively lashing out and digging into the mattress. It was the same dream, the same one every night yet the details were often different, little things that sometimes changed or appeared which weren’t there before. It was a memory, a piece of one at least. He could still feel the pain in his chest as he struggled to gain control, to breath again without shaking.
The claws retracted, leaving a tattered mattress in it’s wake. He’d have to apologize for that. Someday. Logan ran a hand through his hair, heading for the bathroom and splashing cool water on his face. He’d be leaving soon, he’d stay just long enough to get a bad night’s rest and then he’d be gone before the others woke up. They meant well, he could tell that much about them. They gave off this overwhelming vibe of ‘helpfulness’ and he didn’t doubt for a second that that was ‘what they did’ as Buffy had put it the night before.
But this was his battle, and he’d be damned if he’d let them get hurt fighting it with him. He wasn’t too worried about her, she’d be able to hold her own, but the others, the tagalongs wouldn’t stand a chance. No, he had to leave. Even if they did know something about this Initiave he had a feeling that they were on level ground in that area. They were still searching, much like he was.
He dressed quickly before heading out the door and down the steps.
“You’re leaving aren’t you?”
He stopped short, sucking in deep, annoyed breath.
“I thought you were going to bed?”
“I was in bed, you woke me up with all your screaming.”
He glared at the younger girl who he assumed was Buffy’s sister. “Sorry to inconvenience you.”
“She won’t be happy. She’ll think your being as ass and then run off to find you. Buffy has this thing about protecting people. She can’t help herself.”
“Well, you can tell her I don’t need protecting. I’ll be fine. Se ya around, little one.”
She watched him leave, sighing in frustration, knowing that she should tell Buffy but not caring enough to actually do it.
“We have to assume that he’s deadly. The Slayer is with him, she cannot be underestimated. Our intelligence reports that he recently left her residence.”
A question came from the group in front of her. “Is this retrieval or kill on sight?”
“This is strictly sedate and capture, do not kill the subject. You do have permission to kill anyone who gets in the way of retrieval. I want him here. Today. Don’t disappointment me.”
The soldiers dispersed, collecting weapons and tranquilizers for their new mission. The woman left behind set off to prepare a room for their soon to arrive guest.
“claws, big ones…a spaceship...no a lab, full of metal all over the walls, everywhere. Cement…Sunnydale.”
Cordelia clutched her head, gasping at the pain that still shot through her skull like a million pin pricks jabbing her at once. She sagged against the round sofa, accepting an ice pack and extra strength pain killers from Wesley.
“Why would the powers be sending images from Sunnydale? It’s not like we can just hop a jet and fly on down there, although we probably could by now if we’d started charging more for our services. I’m just sayin’.”
“Perhaps a message meant for Buffy? Surely they realize the distance dilemma.”
“Oh that’s just dandy, now I’m a human answering machine for the Scooby Gang too. Is there a union I can lodge a complaint with, cause I have to say, I‘m not too thrilled with the idea of double the pain.”
Wesley sent her a sympathetic glance. “We can’t jump to conclusions, it’s possible this is just a one time incident. Did you get a time frame?”
She nodded, ice pack still pressed to her forehead. “I can’t be sure but it felt like it’d be happening soon. As in, I wouldn’t be ruling out tonight, soon. Hello, a little more notice would be nice!”
She yelled her last few words toward the ceiling, rolling her eyes and then wincing at the shot of pain it caused.
“Right then, let’s just hope we’re in time.”
Buffy finished her conversation, placing the phone back in it’s cradle. The others were gathered around her, Xander less than interested, Willow concerned, Giles cleaning his glasses, and Dawn annoyed. Buffy shot a cold look toward her sister.
“That was Wesley, Cordy had a vision, said he was in a lab, next to cement, which could only mean that they’re somewhere near the Initiative.”
Willow spoke up. “Or in the old base? Maybe they didn’t fill it all in like we thought, it’s possible there were extra rooms we didn’t know about.”
“Wait, Claw Boy got himself caught, after being extremely stupid and going after them alone and now we have to drag him out before they start adding more extra parts? Is anyone else seeing something wrong with this picture? HE TRIED TO KILL US. Well, okay, not after he was more coherent, but still, the knives…and screaming in the middle of the night, and did I mention the knives? There‘s some unstableness going on there people.”
Buffy stared at Xander as he finished his rant, rubbing a finger against her temple. “You done?”
He nodded. “Yep. That’ll about do it.”
"We have to assume that he’s already been caught, Dawn said he left about five hours ago. Giles, we’re gonna need a locating spell, Will I need you to search the files again for any useful info on the blueprints, hopefully we can get a lock on him then we’ll wait till nightfall to head out. I’ll need Spike as back up.”
They all set about completing their tasks, Giles tossing Xander and Buffy each a book, Willow on the computer, Dawn striking a familiar uninterested pose against the doorframe. The house fell silent save for the flipping of pages and tapping of keys, a group of friends intent on saving a stranger whom tried to kill them, and was currently held in a base full of soldiers that could also easily kill them. Just another day at the Summers house.