A/N: I would like you to know that even though it looks
like I'm a lazy bum, I have actually been posting like crazy, just not crossovers and not here. So I'm sorry that I forgot about this story completely, but i totally have an excuse. :)
Still, thank you all for your kind words and patience. Cheers.
In which Buffy needs a gun and gets a second chance.
“I need a gun.”
Clay looked up from where he was going over some files at the kitchen table of their latest safe house. He was supposed to be writing a report on their last mission, but since there had been demons involved, he had to be very, very careful with the details.
In other words: He needed to bullshit like a pro, and for that, he was going through the files again, smoking and drinking and more than a little annoyed. Why couldn’t Mom do this shit? She was the one that killed the fuckers, she could write up the reports.
He shoved away the files and studied her standing in the doorway, hands clenched at her side. He frowned. “You hate guns,” he pointed out.
She nodded. “Exactly. They won’t be able to connect it to me when I shoot my sister’s boyfriend with it. So gimme a gun.”
Thing was, she sounded dead serious. Snake raised a hand from the sofa. “Hold on. I thought your sister was with one of your best friends?!”
She nodded again, hands clenching and unclenching rhythmically by her hips. “He is. I trusted him with her. Ad he knocked her up. That fucking irresponsible asshole knocked up my baby sister!”
Pooch, sitting next to Snake, dared to chuckle a bit at her overreaction and got a death glare for his efforts. “She is only twenty-one!
Then she rounded on Clay again and held out one hand expectantly. He bit back a chuckle of his own and shook his head gravely. “I’m not giving you a gun. And you’re not going to kill your buddy for knocking up your sister. That kid is gonna need its dad.”
Her eyes narrowed as he denied her request, then widened as he went on. She gaped. “Oh my God, that kid is going to have Xander for a father!”
She sounded utterly horrified, and this time, everyone within earshot laughed. Right up until she said. “I’ll kill him. I’ll kill him and find her someone else to raise the kid with. Giles maybe? I didn’t know Giles as a kid, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t pull half the shit Xander pulled, even with the dark magic and the demon worshipping and stuff. That was just a phase. And he’s, like, old. They wouldn’t have sex. Ever.” She nodded to herself, a bit crazy. “I’ll kill Xander and hook up Dawn with Giles, who will hopefully lock her away in a tower somewhere and never let her out again and then…”
O-kay. Someone was seriously losing the plot here. Clay put down his cigar and made his way over to his liaison, carefully and slowly. Startling a stressed out slayer was a bad idea any day and doubly right now. When she didn’t kill him with her ninja skills, he put his hands on her shoulders and shook her a bit until she stopped ranting and looked up at him. “You will not kill anyone. You will not lock up your sister. You will not ruin this kid’s life before it’s even born. Now, deep breath, calm down and stop being so fucking nuts. That’s an order.”
Yeah. That snapped her out of it, like he’d known it would. Mom was nothing if not allergic to the word ‘order’. She visibly deflated and took a deep breath. Clay, who had no real plan of action apart from stopping her from flying back to the States and causing a bloodbath, waited her out.
Roque entered the room while they two of them stood there, but he simply nodded the man towards the others, telling him wordlessly to stay out of the way. After a minute or five, Summers looked up at him, blinking big, green eyes in his face.
“My baby sister is going to have a baby,” she said, like it was news.
When she started slumping against him, he whirled her around and managed to deposit her in his abandoned chair just in time for her to just sort of… drop. Shock, he guessed, as he watched her stare unseeingly at the file he’d left open on the table. He didn’t know all that much about her past, but he knew she’d raised her sister, knew some of the shit they’d gone through. And he knew that she had never, ever expected to have anything resembling a normal life. She’d told him once, that the average life expectancy of slayers was less than two years after they were called. Since most of them were called between fourteen and sixteen, that little fact had pissed him off to no end.
Clay had seen child soldiers in his day and, to his shame, he’d killed more than one. It had always felt like mercy more than murder. Children shouldn’t be anywhere near war, much less fighting it and looking at Summers now, shell shocked by the news that her sister was going to have a child, that she
was going to be something as mundane as an aunt
For a long while the four men watched their sole female team member, waiting for her to blow up again, but it didn’t happen. Instead, after a long time, she raised her head, looked straight at Clay and said, “I need to go home.”
The colonel, having expected that, nodded. “Alright. We’re done here, so you can just take a few weeks and…”
“No,” she cut him off. “I need to go home, Clay. Really home. I can’t… I was never there for Dawn. Not ever. There was always something more important and I have to… now that I have the chance to make it up to her, I need to take it. I need to be there for my sister. I’ll move back stateside and take the job Ri’s offered me.”
The men, one and all, looked like someone had taken their favorite gun from them. “What?” Pooch asked, “You just… up and…” he trailed off, shrugged. “I get that, I guess. Family and that shit.”
Mom nodded and stood, brushing her hands down her shirt. “I’ve gotta do this,” she informed them and then turned to Clay. “Can you get things rolling on your end? I’ll make some calls.”
And with that she was gone. Literally.
It took less than a week to get her out of the unit and back to the States. Her contract had always had a special clause that allowed her to pull out for ‘more important situations’ and with Finn calling the Brass and telling them that one of those had popped up, she was gone. Done. Finished.
She’d always be a Loser, but suddenly she wasn’t part of the team anymore.
It all went so fast there wasn’t even time to give her a goodbye hangover. She just packed her things and caught the next flight out. Pooch hugged her, Miller grunted at her and Snake clung to her like a limpet.
“Who’s gonna watch my ass now?” he asked and she patted him on the shoulder, a bit teary-eyed and promised to ‘do what they’d talked about’. Clay knew then, that he’d lose another man within a couple of months. He was glad, because Snake, for all that he was a good man, wasn’t cut out for this life. He belonged behind the lines, out of direct line of fire and Mom could pull the strings to either get him a safer job with Para, or with her Council. Still, losing a man to reassignment sometimes wasn’t better than losing them to a hand grenade. Not when you were a selfish bastard.
Roque and Mom… were Roque and Mom. They stared at each other for a long minute and then grinned briefly before Roque simply spun on his heel and walked away like he didn’t give a shit when Clay was sure he was going to be hell to live with for months
And then he suddenly found himself at the receiving end of Summers’ hug and squeezed her back a bit tighter than he perhaps meant to. She was a woman, though, so that was okay. “I’ll keep an eye on you guys,” she informed him. “Don’t think I won’t.”
He smiled as he released her. “Counting on it. Don’t go to soft while you’re living the life. And tell your sister congrats on the brat from us.”
She grimaced a smile, still not entirely on board with her baby sister having a kid, but getting there. Then she snapped a crooked salute at him, the first she’d ever given him.
He laughed and kept on laughing until she’d disappeared past the checkpoint.
Just like that.
He tried to be happy for her second chance, but it felt false. So instead he rounded up the men and told them to get their shit together by sunrise. There was an extraction waiting for them in Afghanistan and terrorists didn’t wait.