Slayer, Executioner, Friends?
I claim no rights to either Buffy or The Executioner. Those reside in whomever currently owns them.
Buffy thought to herself as she dusted another vampire, 'I think I'm in trouble here.' All of her friends had come down with a flu that had been making the rounds of Sunnydale and were unhappily at home puking and coughing. She had jumped into a vampire meal fest with two victims and five vampires. The victims had gotten away, luckily, but a vamp had broken one of the bones in her lower left leg. While she was still a formidable fighter, the remaining three vermin had been joined by five others.
The Slayer had maneuvered her back against a crypt and was holding the original three back as the new arrivals slowly made their way in her direction. The battle had gone down in an area of the cemetery adjoining the road that was very well lit. 'No doubt the Mayor wanted to be able to spy on something here.' She thought sourly.
As she felt her strength waning, one of the vampladies got overconfident and she rammed her stake deep into her heart, too deep. It lodged in her spine just enough to yank it out of her hand when she dusted. Weaponless, she knew she was going to have to resort to heart-pulling to even have a ghost of a chance.
Out of the corner of her eye, however, she caught a flash that only to a slayer would precede the rolling thunder of what sounded like a bomb going off. She could see the head and shoulders of a man with his arms and the biggest silver handgun she had ever seen resting on a compact car, one hundred and fifty yards away. She felt the hot spattering and overpowering copper taste and smell of spilled blood from the neck arteries of the vamp closest to her as its head came completely off and then dusted. Four more closely spaced booms, and four of the late entries in the "Eat Buffy" crew disappeared.
With her last bit of strength, the crippled woman grabbed the last, distracted enemy close to her and twisted its head completely off. As she passed out, she heard one last boom, faintly.
As the Slayer stirred a tiny bit, she heard a deep, gravelly voice say, "You're safe"
She opened her eyes to see the ceiling of one of the crappy motels in Sunnydale in broad daylight. She smelled coffee and bacon and her stomach growled so loudly that she felt a bit embarrassed. When she tried to swing her feet out to get out of the bed, she noticed that she was nude and sponge bath clean, except for an expertly tied splint on her leg. She frantically grabbed for the sheet and was successful in pulling it up and tying it to cover herself. A low short chuckle came from the direction the voice had come from. It had a bit of humor in it as it said, "Don't worry, you are the age my grandkids would be, if I had any. I've seen a few girls…and stripped them in my time. Had to make sure you didn't have any hidden wounds."
Her emerald eyes took in the room as she croaked out, "OK then gramps, who the hell are ya?"
"My name's Mack," the tall, silver haired, man said, his piercing ice blue eyes flashing at her out of a suntanned face with many lines of age and hard living.
"That tells me shit." she grumbled.
He grinned at her and said, "What about you? By the way, I did set that bone in your leg, but it just doesn't look right for the following morning."
She coughed, "'m a fast healer."
"And a go-to-hell fighter that I don't think I've ever seen the equal of…and I've seen quite a few." He got up and moved over to her, bringing her a cup of coffee and a plate with bacon and eggs on it. He dragged a small table over to put in front of her and put the plate down. "Eat up, it'll help the knittin'."
Dead silence ensued as he sat back down to finish his breakfast, and she wolfed down the four eggs and pound of bacon.
"You a doctor or something?" she asked.
And for a moment he looked as ancient as she felt, some times. "No, but I've patched up more friends than I can count, and done the same for myself."
Surprised, the little blonde said, "Me too."
"If I tell you about me, will you tell me about you?" He asked. "It's going to take a couple of days at least before you'll be able to get around on that, even as quickly as you are healing."
She was silent as she looked at someone the age of the grandfather she had never known, both of hers dying young. "I need to call my friends and tell them I am ok. The only reason they weren't with me is that there's a damn flu running around."
He tossed her a cell phone that she caught effortlessly, and she quickly called her house, calming the worries of Willow, Tara, Xander, Dawn and Anya. They told her they would relay the information to Giles. She thanked him and tossed the phone back, which he snagged easily out of the air.
The old man dug into a plastic clothing bag and came up with an elegant black, thick terrycloth robe, tearing off the new tags. He brought it over to her and held it up, closing his eyes. Pushing the table with the empty plate on it away, the slayer hobbled to her feet and put the robe on, sitting down in one of the plush chairs in the room, instead of the bed.
While he waited for her to say anything, he shoved all the detritus from his breakfast into the trash, cleaning the table with a damp cloth. He then pulled out the enormous hand weapon she had seen the night before from a backpack and proceeded to take it completely apart, cleaning and oiling it in a professional, speedy, manner. Once it was done, he put it back in the pack and drew a dark smaller automatic pistol from a shoulder rig that she hadn't even noticed. He then did the same cleaning ritual in total silence.
"I've never really liked guns." She said. "But I have to admit that without them, I'da been dead. I…I need to thank you very much as well. I've never been quite that overwhelmed before."
"They are just the tools of my trade. Even retired, I have enemies but most of them are dead after all this time. There's really no good or evil in a weapon, it is what use it is put to."
The woman who was possibly the ultimate weapon considered this for a bit, thinking of how Faith and her…had done both, good and evil. "I guess I see what you mean."
He turned to face her. "My name is Mack Bolan. You may be too young to recognize that name."
She looked puzzled, then shocked, for a minute and then said…"But you're dead, thirty years now."
He looked surprised. "I would have never thought that someone your age…."
"Unless you have a best male friend that considers you to be his personal hero. You had thirty or thereabouts vendettas against the Mob, until your RV blew up with you in it."
"And then went to work secretly fighting terrorism and the other cannibals that seemed to abound. Got badly injured, made a full recovery, but wanted to marry the nurse. Frankly, I was getting too damned old back then. She died last month….cancer."
Buffy said sadly, "My mom, aneurysm."
"Sorry," he said gruffly, just a hint of tears in his eyes, but nothing more.
"You know," she said, "I've got what seems to be an overwhelming enemy, and I have allies. What I need may be some advice?"
"Sometimes someone unconnected can be helpful in strategic planning." He said, straightening into a bit more of a military bearing.
Buffy thought to herself, 'no one has asked for his help for a long time'.
"What is the situation?" he asked.
"Have you ever heard of the Vampire Slayer?"
"I thought about that when those things seemed to disintegrate, the wife liked vampire movies. After that first kill with Big Thunder, I just kept putting them into the throat."
Buffy looked embarrassed and said: "The spiel goes: Into each generation a Slayer is born, one girl in all the world, a Chosen One, one born with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires...to stop the spread of their evil…"
"And you are?"
"The Chosen one." She said.
When he looked at her, all her emotions seemed to be in play, pride, sadness, fear, and a deep confidence that seemed to be at odds with the young woman she was. "So you have to be the Leader?"
"No, usually Giles, my watcher, knows what we need to do. But the organization he works for doesn't have any info on this bitch that's fighting us now." For the next couple of hours, Buffy described the current situation, sometimes having to translate from Californian to East Coast English.
Bolan ordered lunch for them when Buffy's stomach threatened to drown out their conversation. When the pizza and Pepsi arrived, he politely declined and dug a beer out of a cooler and snagged the "Meat Lover's special". The slayer quickly began munching on her pepperoni and onion, quietly burping contentedly between sips of her soft drink. When she offered to pay for her portion, The executioner grinned in a wolfish way and said, "Don't worry, Don Castiglione's got this one."
At her mystified look, he added, "I always used to make the enemy pay for their downfall. Something you might think about. Some of these old vamps that are living amongst society prob'ly have a bunch of money."
She nodded and asked, "What else do you think we should do?"
He looked at her sadly, "This isn't easy advice, and it wasn't easy when I learned it either. Do you want to hear it?"
She quickly cleaned up the table, only slightly limping now, obviously thinking about what he had asked. When she was done. "I need to know, Dawnie's depending on me."
He said, "It's pretty simple. You have to let your team help you. They've made their choice, and you shouldn't unmake it for them, even if it kills them, even if you have the power. In the end, however, sometimes, only sometimes, you have to go it alone…and do the thing that only you can or should do." He could tell that his counsel had hit her deeply. They both sat silently as she thought about it. While she sat pensively, he pulled a journal from his pack and began writing in it.
After an hour of silence, she asked, "Where are you going from here?"
"I can't tell you, but I'll leave you a couple of e-mail addresses…I'd like to hear how your war turns out."
He jotted a couple of addresses down on a piece of the receipt from the pizza and handed them to her. When a knock at the door surprised them both, that huge silver automatic appeared as if by magic in his hand. Buffy moved to the door as he pointed the weapon at the ceiling and then gestured for her to open the door and get out of the way.
When the door opened, the old man's rock steady hand had the .44 AutoMag aimed directly at Giles' throat. Buffy said quickly…"He's my watcher!"
Bolan said, "He will be when he walks in the room without an invitation."
Giles calmly walked in, noting idly that the weapon remained aimed at the open door, though not at him. Once the door was shut, the automatic was laid back on the table. He continued to walk to the man seated at the table and offered his hand. "Rupert Giles…I'd like to thank you for helping my…step-daughter."
Mack stood, shook his hand and said, "It was an honor to help her, sir."
The Executioner turned to the slayer and said, "Buffy, don't lose those addresses, and you continue to Live Large…I've got to be on the move." With that, he put his large hand on her shoulder, squeezed it, gathered his stuff into the one backpack he had, and walked to the large RV that was parked in the small lot. Punching the keys on a keypad, and inserting a card, the RV rumbled to life before he even opened the door. Then he was gone.
In six months, as the security protocol decreed, the two addresses he had given her cycled to the new addresses. There had never been any e-mail, other than spam.