Title: The Web of Our Life
Author: Gaeriel Mallory (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: Buffy and all related characters are the property of Josh Whedon and Mutant Enemy. X-men, Spider-man, and related characters are the property of Marvel Comics.
Summary: The Scoobies head off to New York for a vacation and trouble naturally finds them.
Continuity: Buffy - Everything up to Joyce's death. After that, it's AU. X-men - A weird blending of various elements from the first movie and the comics. Based mainly on the movie, however. The only real noticable change from the movies is that Jean and Scott are married. Spider-man - The cartoon, just because I know that better than the comics.
Note: Sequel to The Summers of Our Discontent. I recommend that you read that first or you many not understand this story.
"The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together." --Shakespeare, Twelfth-Night, IV, iii, 83
* * * * * * * * * *
Buffy was woken up by a knock on the door. She stumbled out of the bed and opened the door. Professor Xavier grinned up at her. "You caused quite a stir last night. The concierge called me and asked that my guests be more presentable when they enter the hotel."
The Slayer leaned against the doorframe. "Yeah, well, let's see how well he looks after walking into a trap and fighting for you life in the sewers." She yawned and stretched. "What's with the early morning wake-up knock?"
"I wanted to know if you would be joining us at today or not. I understand if you want to rest, however."
Buffy ran a hand through her tousled hair. "Hey, today's the last day we're going to be in New York City. Might as well make the most of it." She mentally ran through the itinerary. "And I want to be able to tell people that I actually saw a show on Broadway."
Xavier smiled. "Well then, I'll see you at breakfast."
* * *
Buffy walked into her room, humming one of the songs from Phantom of the Opera. She smiled at the group that met her. "I guess the use of a door is lost on you people."
Black Cat waved hello. "Morbius is resting at the moment but we wanted to come here and say goodbye to you."
"We're leaving tonight. Heading back to Europe to clean out a nest in Romania."
Buffy grinned. "Word of advice. Watch out for gypsies." She hugged Cat and was about to hug Blade as well if he had not stopped her with a gesture. She stepped back and regarded the half-vampire. "Right. I guess you aren't the hugging kind."
Blade looked at the Slayer and held out a hand. "I wish you the best of luck," he told her. "It was an honor to fight by your side."
Buffy blinked in surprise. With a bit of hesitation, she grasped his hand. "You too."
Dawn entered the room to find her sister standing by the window, waving. "What are you doing?" she asked.
"Oh, just saying goodbye to some friends." Buffy turned towards Dawn. "You all packed?" she asked. "We leave first thing tomorrow."
Dawn rolled her eyes. "Yes, mother." A pillow hit her in the face and she glared at Buffy. "Hey!"
When Scott found the two of them later, he walked right into the middle of the pillow fight and the two sisters immediately ganged up on their cousin.
* * *
Buffy lugged her suitcase to the bus and set it down with the others. Jean walked up to her and tapped her on the shoulder. "There's something I think you'd be interested in over there?" Jean pointed towards a nearby alleyway.
Buffy looked at the older woman in confusion.
"Trust me on this." Jean walked away with a wink.
Buffy shrugged and walked into the alleyway. "Thought you could leave without saying goodbye, did you?" Spider-man asked her.
She grinned at the wallcrawler. "Nah. I knew you'd find me somehow."
"Sorry I wasn't more help with everything. But it looks like you did okay on your own."
Buffy smiled. "Yeah. We did all right." She walked over to Spider-man and hugged him. "You take care, okay?"
"You too." He shot a webline to the top of the adjacent building. "Hey, if you're ever in town again, look me up."
"You got it. We superheroes gotta stick together. And if you ever find yourself in a little town called Sunnydale in California..."
Spider-man laughed and waved. "Sure."
Buffy watched as he swung off before walking back to the bus.
* * *
Los Angeles, California
Anya was chattering nonstop as they collected their baggage. Buffy walked up to Willow. "Hey," she said.
The witch looked up and smiled. "Hey, Buffy."
Buffy flung an arm around Willow's shoulders. "You okay? I noticed that you're not being your usual babbly self."
Willow shrugged. "I'm just, I dunno."
"It wasn't your fault. You know that so stop beating yourself up over it."
Willow looked at her friend. "But I can't stop thinking that it is. I mean, I should have realized that someone was using me to spy on my friends."
"Hey. Stop that." Buffy grabbed her suitcase as it passed by on the conveyor. "All of us have done things that we knew were stupid. And we've all moved past that. This time, it wasn't anybody's fault except for that creepy snake thing."
"But I almost got everybody killed."
"So?" Buffy shrugged. "Remember how I acted after I got back from LA? I was total bitch and you guys nearly got sacrificed. But hey, we all survived. And that's the case here." She turned towards Willow and looked her in the eye. "We're all still here. That's all that matters."
Willow grinned at her friend and hugged her. "Thanks, Buffy. I needed that little pep talk."
"Hey, anytime." Buffy grinned. "So, let's go home and see how much Spike trashed the house."
The two laughed as they rejoined the others.