“Try me.” The old soldier said, as he activated the weapon.
“What was that? I couldn’t hear you.” The man said, as he cupped his hand over his ear.
“Fine, I don’t own any of the various characters in this story, they belong to Joss and other folks. If you need a list, look into past reviews to figure out the ownership of the various people peoples. Happy?” The Texan growled, as he gave the soldier a death glare.
“Eh, I guess.” The man says, as the two are teleported.
Sunnydale, Slayer Central (Formerly Casa De Summers)
The remaining Scoobies looked guiltily at each other as they contemplated what they had just done. They could pretend that none of it happened, except that the bleached wonder had hit them all where they lived, talking about Buffy the way he had. The tantrum had caused them to remember the past seven years of their lives and all of the things they had done. Both the good and the bad. “Anybody else feel like we’re stupid?” Xander asked, surveying the dark, empty streets of his hometown. “I mean, as much as I hate to admit it, Spike had a point,” the carpenter said as he leaned against the porch railing.
“That may be, but we have made our proverbial bed and now we must lie in it,” Giles pointed out, looking at his two former charges.
“So, you think Buffy’s still in town?” Willow asked.
“Most likely. Though she is probably going to do something extremely rash,” the older man said as Dawn finally came out to join them.
“Is that such a bad thing, though? I mean now that we cut her off, isn’t she even more dangerous right now?”
“How do you figure that, Dawnie?” Willow asked, her red hair reflecting from the lights they had set up.
“Something Buffy told me that Angelus said to her once,” the teen answered evasively. “Besides, this is usually when Buffy pulls off one of her miracles that saves us all, isn’t it?” She looked at Giles hopefully.
The watcher sighed as he adjusted his glasses. “Unfortunately, Dawn, I don’t think Buffy is capable of pulling off that kind of victory anymore. Her mind has become so unbendable that she is likely to die if she continues to push fate.” The watcher hoped he had explained it as best he could. They could not depend on Buffy to save them this time.
“Hey, Giles?” Xander said, stiffening as his eye watched the road.
“You didn’t happen to call the army by any chance did you?” the young man asked nervously as a line of cars began pulling into sight, a troop transport in the lead.
“No, I can’t say that I did,” Giles replied as the four of them slowly climbed to their feet. “Willow?”
“Don’t look at me,” the witch said, holding her hands up in defense.
“It could be that they finally noticed something is going on here,” Dawn offered.
“Or they could be even more agents of the First,” Giles said. “Dawn, get Faith. Xander, weapons.” The two nodded as they headed inside.
A few moments later, Faith and Robin joined them outside with a blushing Dawn. “So what do you think, G?” the dark haired woman asked, catching a sword that Xander tossed her.
“Stand ready,” Giles instructed as the group of vehicles stopped in front of the Summers house. The variety of cars was impressive: there were the military vehicles, but there were also clunkers, a tow truck, a black Impala, and what looked like an orange racecar.
“Well, they definitely get points for sheer number of cars,” Xander joked as people began climbing out of their rides. Giles noticed that the girls watched the racecar drivers haul themselves out with great interest. ‘Ah to live in a world that is not plagued by teenage emotions.’ What looked like fifty or so soldiers climbed out of the troop transports and began searching the area, wary of any kind of traps. The people that climbed out of the other vehicles were as diverse as the vehicles themselves, coming from all walks of life. Some looked like serious people that you didn’t want to mess with, while others walked with a bounce in their step and a twinkle in their eyes. Some wore scruffy clothes that had been worn and patched beyond reason, while others wore clothes that probably cost as much as ten of some of the others outfits. Yes, this was a rather diverse group of people. So what could make such people willingly travel together with a military escort?
“We’re gonna be hard pressed if this turns bad, G,” Faith warned, eyeing the soldiers nervously. The Scoobies’ few crossbows had nothing on those babies and they all knew it. Giles nodded as the Potentials came out to face the unknown forces that were pulling up.
Xander couldn’t help but notice the number of green and blue-eyed people there were. Those particular shades were disturbingly familiar to him. Add to that the number of ladies with blonde hair,and it made him want to run. ‘There is no way I can be seeing what I think I’m seeing,” he thought to himself. The deadly smirk that so many of the people were wearing though, seemed to be the clincher for him. He had seen that deadly smirk that was both playful and grim at the same time. He knew only one person with that kind of grin. Well one and half, since he knew someone who was still in the process of learning it. That grin was the one she wore when she was taking down time between fights, but was expecting trouble anyway. ‘We are so screwed if I’m right,’ Xander thought.
“Oh crap,” Dawn muttered as she stared at three dark haired women. Xander noticed that they had a particularly good version of the smirk down. The one in the lead actually had it down pat.
“Do you know them, Dawn?” Giles asked
“We are so dead,” the girl answered
“And why do you say that?” a familiar voiced asked as a group of soldiers broke off from the rest, led by a familiar blonde man.
“Riley,” Giles greeted in relief at the familiar face.
“Giles,” the man returned, scanning the crowd for a familiar perky blonde, or even the shell of her that had been here during his last visit.
“It’s good to see you, Riley.”
“Hey, G, can you trust him?”
“Yes, Faith, I believe I can,” Giles answered her.
“Good, then you take some of them inside and tell ‘em what’s going down and we can go from there, all right?”
“Very well. Come on inside and I’ll explain what the situation is as of this moment.” Riley frowned as he looked at Faith, but he followed the British man along with the Colonel, Jesse Duke, Prue Halliwell, Connor MacLeod, Jonathan Kent, and Dean Winchester.
Giles led the group into the living room. Xander, Kennedy, and several of the other potentials followed after the watcher. The young girls were all wondering why the man had just opened the house to these strangers. “Where’s Buffy?” Riley asked, while the others looked around the room curiously. “And why is she giving orders?” he asked, pointing his thumb at Faith who was still outside. “I thought you guys didn’t like her.”
“Here we go again,” Kennedy muttered darkly.
“Kennedy, please restrain yourself,” Giles reprimanded. The watcher was worried about how this conversation was going to go. Riley and his troops would be a good addition, though he didn’t know who all of the others were. If they were good fighters, they might actually stand a chance against Caleb next time. Right now though, he needed to figure out how to salvage this situation. Unfortunately, because they had kicked Buffy out, he didn’t think that was going to be easy.
“Giles,” Riley said, his eyes narrowing. “Where is Buffy?”
“She’s, ah, not here at the moment.”
“Then where is she?” O’Neill asked, losing what little patience he had with this guy who was obviously stalling for time.
“More importantly, when is she getting back?” Mr. Kent questioned.
“Never, if she’s smart,” Kennedy replied smugly. “She’s not in charge anymore. Faith is. We kicked her out because she just wanted to use us as her sacrifices.”
“You did what!” Jesse and Prue exclaimed. Reacting on instinct, Prue grabbed the teen with her powers and slammed her into the wall.
“What did you do, Giles?” Riley growled at the older man. Giles watched as Kennedy was effortlessly hung in the air by what he presumed was a mystic of some kind. “Answer me, Giles!”
The yelling snapped the watcher out of his shock and he turned back to the soldier. “Let her go first.” The witch nodded as she dropped the teen on the floor. Giles nodded his thanks, before continuing. “Buffy was no longer thinking clearly. She was becoming quite irrational actually. She actually wanted to return to a well guarded position where we lost several of our girls and Xander lost his eye. We simply could not risk it.”
“Giles, you idiot!” Riley exclaimed, much to the watcher’s surprise. The young man had always been polite to him when he was in Sunnydale. “The soldiers out there came here to help because it seemed like she wouldn’t be able to handle this particular problem with what was here.”
“Yes, well in that case you were correct,” Giles said. “But if you’ll give us a moment, we’ll see where we can work you into this. Then we can…”
“They don’t take orders from you, old chap,” O’Neill interrupted in a fake accent laced with sarcasm. “They take orders from their superior officer, which the moment we crossed the city limits became one Buffy Anne Summers.”
Giles collapsed into his seat in shock. “Good lord, you can’t be serious,” he mumbled. “How did you learn of our situation, might I ask?”
“Buffy sent her family mail, telling them what was going on,” Riley answered, deciding that right now was probably a bad time to mention that Sam Winchester had gotten a vision and that was why he and his older brother were here.
Giles nodded as he processed that bit of information, hoping that he kept his surprise in check as he realized why all of these people were here now. The only thought he could come with at the moment though, was what had his Slayer done this time? What foolish plan had she concocted that she felt she had the right to endanger her blood family? He knew that she was always a bit rash, but he had never thought she would be foolish enough to actually endanger her family. It was for this very reason that he had agreed with the others that she needed to be relieved of command before she got anybody else killed. During a war, one could not take this type of chance that people would come and gum everything up. In part, that was why he had been so eager to allow Robin to take care of Spike. The vampire was only a source of distraction that his former Slayer shouldn’t have right now.
Giles sighed as he looked at the group before him. He wondered idly how he could convince them to go back to their lives, and let him and the others deal with the First as it was meant to be. The older soldier standing by Riley looked to be about his age, though the sure way he wore his weapons made him unquestionably dangerous. The long haired man in the trench coat looked to be slightly older than the Scoobies. Giles wasn’t certain, but he thought he saw the tell tale sign of a sword hidden in his jacket. The next two had the stereotypical look of farmers though one looked like he had been around the block more times than anyone else. There was a sharpness to his clear blue eyes that promised trouble if you messed with him, despite the overalls, long hair, and straw hat that he wore. The other farmer was wearing jeans, a t-shirt with a plaid over shirt, and work boots. One thing both of the farmers had in common, though, was that they each carried a large shotgun cradled in their arms. The last member of the group reminded him of a male cross between Buffy and Faith. He had a cocky air about him and the smirk on his face didn’t help either, but his eyes had the same focus that Buffy’s did. This was a person that didn’t care about rules and procedures unless they helped him. This was a person that just wanted to know how many time he had to hit it, to kill it. But there was a sense of control hidden in the very back of his eyes, as well, which showed his true worth.
“And as we said, soldier boy, she’s out of the picture,” Kennedy returned, taking Giles’ momentary lapse as an excuse to open her mouth once again. “We all agreed on it, so get over it.”
“All of you?” Jesse Duke asked, scowling at Giles. The two older men seemed to be having some kind of battle of wills, and they were about even. One had fought and seen just about everything of the darkness of man, while the other had grown up learning what darkness the underworld had.
“Yeah, you got a problem with that?” the teen said belligerently, oblivious to the looks the two men were giving each other.
“Yeah, I do,” the man told the girl before he stormed out.
Giles groaned. “Kennedy, for god’s sake, would you please be silent. You are making a bad situation worse every time you open your mouth and I’m tempted to let her hang you by your throat again if you can’t be quiet.”
“Butt out while the grownups are talking, kiddo,” Dean interrupted her. He may not be related to this Buffy chick, but common sense told him that you don’t throw the boss out because someone got hurt. He’d buried a few other hunters in his time, but he had never given up and kicked people out of their home because he didn’t like the way they hunt and fought. Shoot them in the butt with a BB, or blast them with a stun gun, yes. But kick them out of their own house? Not even his dad was that cold, or stupid.
“Tell me, Giles, did she have to see the disappointment in your eyes again?” Riley asked as he clenched his fists, glaring at the former watcher and Buffy’s so called friends and family.
The man flinched slightly as that particular past adventure was brought up. “Some Heart you make, Xander!” Riley called back over his shoulder as he stormed out of the room. Kennedy glared angrily at the soldier boy that so casually insulted her girlfriend and the rest of the real fighters. Buffy wasn’t anything special. It was like Anya said; she was just lucky to have gotten chosen. She wasn’t a real hero, just someone who had outlived her usefulness in the fight.
“Well, now that we got that out of the way, we can talk about the situation, or we can get the info from our superior,” Jack said. Giles glared at him before giving them a brief explanation of the situation. “So, the town really is for the most part deserted?”
“Great, it’s going to take forever to find the boss lady as it is.”
“Well, perhaps we could cooperate until…”
“You already said that you can’t work under the boss. If that’s the case, then I don’t think so. Let’s go.” Jack looked at Xander as he got to the door. “Tell me about how bad the wounds are when you know it’s because of you that they got hurt,” he said as he lowered his hat. “It takes a strong person not to fall apart after that.”
Xander winced a bit as he thought of Buffy fighting demonic praying mantises, life sucking mummy princesses, and girls that wanted to sacrifice him to open a seal that would open the portal to hell, all for him. ‘Yep, I’m a jerk.’
Jesse Duke got out to the porch and scanned the crowd of people that were watching the night with a nervous vigilance. His old eyes finally found the person that matched the description he was looking for. “Dawn Nichole Summers!” the old man yelled. The entire crowd froze as the voice growled out at the teen. Everyone turned to watch as the old man glared at the younger Summers girl. The three younger Dukes and their two friends looked sympathetically at their cousin as the angry Duke patriarch zeroed in on the girl.
“Is it just me or is that guy channeling Grams?” Piper asked Phoebe. “You were yelled at more than I was so…”
“It’s not just you,” Phoebe assured her sister as she took an unconscious step away from the porch; a move that was mirrored by the Dukes, since none of them wanted to be on the receiving end of what was to come.
Dawn tried a weak grin as the old man’s eyes seemed to bore into her. She couldn’t help noticing that all of her friends had cleared at least five feet away from her, leaving her directly in the old man’s path. She didn’t know why, but she was actually scared, despite the fact that she had faced vampires and demons with less worry. Fact was the last time she had felt like this was probably when her mother was giving her a death glare. “Yes?” she asked, wondering what the man needed and how he knew who she was. He sure didn’t look military.
The old man continued to glare as he walked over to her. “You want to tell me why you kicked your own kin out of her own house?”
“What?” several people questioned in surprise and shock. The people that had been in Sunnydale swallowed nervously, they didn’t regret what they had done, but a part of them were worried about what the blonde girl would do.
“Yeah, it’s been done already, old man. Now how about you get off of your high horse,” Faith said as she stepped between them. “When you’ve got some Bringers under your belt then you can talk, all right?
“You stay out of this,” Jesse said, waving her off.
Faith glared daggers at the man as he brushed her off. “Maybe you didn’t hear me, yo. I said back off.”
“‘Til I fight some of the Bringers. Well I have news for you, girl, I already have. Now pipe down.”
“Look, we don’t have time for you to play the angry parental. Besides, what’s it to you if they treated B like shit? She told me to protect them, so I’ll have to do my best.”
“I think he has every reason to ask her,” Clark spoke up. “Now why don’t you get out of the way?” he tried reasoning with the woman.
“Look, kid, you’re cute and all, but you don’t get out of my way, I’m gonna move ya,” Faith warned the teen.
Nodding, the Slayer grabbed the boy’s arm and swung him toward the hood of one of the cars. “Now then, we are not discussing this,” the Slayer said.
“Really?” Clark asked, hopping back to his feet. “’Cause I think we are.”
“You’re not very smart,” the young woman said as she faked a left and came in with a right, only to have both of her fists caught in steel, vise like grip she couldn’t get her hands free of. The dark haired Slayer’s eyes widened slightly; she didn’t think anyone but the Beast was this strong.
“And you’re rude,” Clark returned before tossing her into the air, where she hit the hood of one of the army trucks. The potentials raised their weapons in case the dark haired teen tried anything else. “Hey, she started it,” Clark defended. “Besides, this is a private matter.” He then went to sit on the tailgate of his dad’s truck.
Dawn watched the teen and was about to say something when she felt a hand come down on her shoulder. Turning, she saw the old man again. “While they’re doing that, you get yourself inside. This is not a conversation you’re going to want done in front of the others.” Nodding dumbly, Dawn fled inside
“C’mon,” Connor MacLeod said as he and Dean came out of the house followed by a sour looking O’Neill and an irate Prue. “We’ve got someone to find. We need to search this city before something happens to our kin.”
“Kin? As in family?” Willow asked hesitantly as she questioned the man in black with the Scottish accent.
“Aye, lass,” Duncan replied from where he was waiting.
“Ooh boy,” Xander said from the doorway.
“Sammo, get a vision already. It’s time to find this girl. Besides, if she’s the blonde in some of the pictures, then she’s pretty hot.”
Sam sighed as he stared at his brother. “It doesn’t work that way, Dean. I don’t get these crazy visions on some sort of command. And I sure don’t get to choose what they’re about.”
“Well, maybe I could try. I can usually trigger my visions by holding something that belongs to the person.”
“That might work better,” Sam admitted as he turned to the woman. “Thank you, um?”
O’Neill rolled his eyes. “You know what? Time out. It was one thing to keep mum about who we are when we were on the way to see this mysterious girl, but it’s another thing entirely when we need to work together. So I say we introduce ourselves for, and then we can do it again after we find our girl.” The others nodded and quickly introduced themselves.
“Now hopefully I’ll remember everybody’s name,” Jesse joked after they finished.
“You better, ‘cause I’m not interested in wearing a nametag,” Amanda said.
“Well then, I best do my best to remember. But you know how us old people tend to forget these sorts of things,” Jesse said to the woman in a teasing voice.
“Is that a fact?”
“Well at least that’s what the myths are, and if they work for you, why not use them?” the farmer replied, a grin coming over his face, the first one he’d had since coming back outside after talking to Dawn
“Ah, to be that young and naïve again,” Amanda said to Duncan and the younger Highlander snorted.
“All right, now that everybody has an idea of who’s who, the next order of business is…”
“Is leaving,” Faith interrupted. “If you’re going to cause problems, we can’t have you around here. We got us a full out war going on here, and we can’t have you getting in the way. So we want you out of town, now.”
“This ain’t your town, sweetie,” Dean said, smirking at the Slayer. “This town belongs to the Slayer.”
“Yeah, well I’m the Slayer in charge.”
“Only ‘til we find the other one. Then she’s the one with an army under her command.” Dean smirked at the girl. “That scares you, doesn’t it? You got something you wanted and now you have to hold onto it. Of course it could still get worse.”
“What if she saves your worthless butts and then leaves with us?”
“Enough, Winchester,” Riley interjected. He had heard of the famed Winchester family; they were experts in capturing and destroying spirit form demons. No one knew why they did what they did, but there was no arguing that they were good at it. They were also dangerous when pushed. He turned to Faith. “You don’t have any authority over us, only Buffy does.”
Jack nodded to the two blond men as they turned away from the dark haired slayer. “All right now, back to what I was saying. We’ll have our military personnel find suitable housing for all of us to commandeer; something close to the school, but easy to defend. I also want you to keep an eye out for any civilians, especially anyone that matches the physical characteristics of Commander Summers.”
“Yes, sir,” a soldier replied saluting.
“Make sure it’s no higher than two stories,” Riley yelled after him. “I want to be able to get thrown from a window with a chance of surviving the drop.”
“As for you civilians that are going to do this whether I tell you to or not…” Jack gave a knowing grin to the various people that had come to help his niece. It was weird when you thought about how many people had taken the letters seriously. The people at the pentagon were going to have a really bad headache when they found out how many people knew the secrets that they had been hiding in the night.
“That’s the army for ya, claim they’re here to help but really have their own agenda,” one of the girls said.
“When you’ve seen and done as much as some of the rest of us, then you can say something. Until then, keep a lid on it, kid,” O’Neill said gruffly as he turned to his team and the rest of the people. “All right, people, move out!”
Nodding, everyone got back in their rides to search for a good place to base themselves, find survivors that hadn’t gotten out of town yet, and most importantly, for Buffy Summers.
“Yep, we are definitely stupid. Complete with capital letters and dunce hats,” Xander said, picking up the conversation they had been having with each other nearly an hour ago as the cars pulled out.
“Yeah? At least you didn’t get chewed out like you were the shame of the entire family,” Dawn complained as she finally slunk back out of the house. “You’d think he was in charge of this house the way he tore into me,” she muttered.
“Well, this does change things, doesn’t it?” Giles commented as he watched the cars fade into the night. “Willow, I need you to get on that computer of yours and see what you can find out about Buffy and Dawn’s family. That is, if they really are your family?” he asked, turning to Dawn.
The teen shrugged. “I don’t know. I think we were supposed to do a family tree thing for school a few weeks ago, but I never got around to it. Then with the end of the world and everything, I’ve been a bit too busy to turn something like that in. And who would I turn it into anyways? Principle Wood?”
“Not quite as good as Willow-babble, but not bad either,” Xander complimented.
“I’ll get on it,” Willow said, heading inside to the semi-safety of the house.