Settings: Season Three. Set during the episode 'Bad Girls' when Wesley comes to Sunnydale.
NOTE: Just for the sake of this fic, Buffy never died in Prophecy Girl. I know that's kinda stretching things, but for the sake of this fic, it hasta be like that. This means that there was no Kendra, and Faith's not around. This in turn means that the Deputy Mayor hasn't been killed. Oh, and just for convenience, Angel's back in his underground apartment and not in the mansion.
(Basically, I'm using the episode because Wesley's arrived in Sunnydale to take over as Watcher. Buffy never died, which means no other Slayer's have been called.)
I think I've got far too many fics in Progress…but this one's nearly finished being written! YAY!
CHAPTER ONE: CAPTURED
Buffy walked into the library, not too sure of what to expect. She had been told that Giles wanted to see her and that he wasn't looking especially happy. Buffy's throat constricted with something she hated to call fear, but ever since she had seen the disappointment on his face after her keeping Angel's return a secret, she had hated her Watcher having any kind of disappointment with her.
Her Watcher. She didn't care what the Council had said. She didn't care that Quentin Travers had come to town and fired him for loving her as a daughter. Giles was her Watcher, and nothing anyone could say would take that away.
She opened the door to the library and found Giles sitting uncharacteristically on the table, his legs dangling in the air. Buffy looked past him to see a younger man in a suit, taking books out of a box.
"Controlled circumstances. Hello Buffy," Giles greeted her.
Buffy made a mental note to find out what Giles had been talking about before she had walked through the door.
"Well…hello," the other man said. He looked young, late twenties. She could tell in an instant that he was British, and immediately she felt dislike for him.
"New Watcher?" she asked Giles.
"New Watcher," he affirmed, not hiding his disdain for the younger man who was to replace him in his rightful role as Watcher.
"Wesley Whndam-Price," he greeted, holding out his hand to the Slayer. She looked at him, giving him one of her famous 'Tell me you're joking' looks. The young Watcher withdrew his hand. "Very nice to meet you."
Buffy moved to stand closer to Giles, showing him that she wasn't going to betray him by getting along with his replacement. For Giles could never be replaced.
"Is he evil?" she asked seriously, speaking to her Watcher, but eyeing Wesley.
"Evil?" Wesley repeated, sounding a little flabbergasted.
"The last one was evil," Buffy explained.
"Oh yes," Wesley said. "Gwendolyn Post. We all heard. No, Mr Giles has checked my credentials. Rather thoroughly. Phoned the council. But I'm glad to see you're on the ball as well." He suddenly leant forward and spoke in a hushed voice. "A good Slayer is a cautious Slayer."
Buffy looked to Giles again, noticing that her Watcher looked as though he wanted to put a stake through the younger man's chest.
"Is he evil?" she repeated.
"Not in the strictest sense," Giles said.
"Well, I'm glad that's cleared up. As I'm sure none of us is anxious to spend any time on pleasantries," Wesley said, making his way back to his pile of books.
Buffy sighed extremely softly and perched herself on the table, next to Giles, their shoulders touching, what little contact they had telling them both that neither of them was going to let go.
Wesley walked closer to them, holding a new note book. Giles recognised it instantly as a Watcher's Diary.
"Why don't you tell me everything about last nights patrol," Wesley said eagerly, his pen at the ready.
"Vampires," Buffy replied simply.
Wesley looked at her, expecting more. "Anything else you can…tell me?"
Buffy looked at her Watcher who nodded, telling her that it was alright for her to follow orders such as this. The fact that she had looked to him for approval made his heart leap. No matter how much he had hurt her with the archaic test of the Cruciamentum, there was no way that Buffy would let him be replaced in her life.
"One of them had swords. I don't think he was with the other two."
"Swords?" Wesley repeated with interest. He went back to his books, his security blanket, Giles had already noticed.
"One long, one short?" the young Watcher asked.
"Mmm, both pointy," Buffy replied. She looked towards Giles. "With like…jewels and things."
"Sounds familiar," Giles said.
"It should," Wesley replied smugly, handing Giles an ancient book.
"El Eliminati. Fif-"
"Fifteenth century duellist cult. Deadly in their day. Their numbers dwindled in later days due to an increase in anti-vampire activity. And a lot of pointless duelling. They eventually became the acolytes of a demon called Balthazar who brought them to the New World. Specifically here," Wesley explained by rote.
"You seem to know a lot about them," Giles commented.
"I didn't get this job because of my looks," Wesley said.
"I really, really believe that," Buffy commented. Giles stifled a laugh.
"I've researched this town's history…extensively," Wesley said.
"So why have we not seen them before this?" Giles asked, hoping that this new Watcher would fall flat on his arse, and be out of town by sunset. An un-experienced Watcher could get Buffy killed.
"They were driven out a hundred years ago. Happily, Balthazar was killed, I don't know by whom."
"And they're back cos…" Buffy asked.
"Balthazar had an amulet, purported to give him strength. When he was killed, It was taken by a wealthy landowner named-"
He stopped explaining as he saw the bored and fed up face of the young Slayer. Wesley couldn't understand how she had managed to stay alive for three years when she obviously had no respect for authority.
"I don't want to bore you with the details," Wesley said.
"Little bit late."
"Named Gleaves," Wesley continued, telling himself he wouldn't let the insolent girl get the better of him. He was a Watcher for goodness sake! "It was buried with him and I believe the few remaining Eliminati are probably looking for it. For sentimental value."
"You don't think that this amulet could pose as any threat?" Giles asked.
"On no, not at all," Wesely replied confidently. "Nonetheless, we may as well keep it from them. Buffy, you will go to the Gleaves family crypt tonight and fetch the amulet," Wesley ordered.
She looked at him doubtfully. "I will?" the challenge in her voice was evident.
"Are you not used to being given orders?" Wesley asked.
"Whenever Giles sends me on a mission, he always says please," Buffy said, faking a whine that she knew would make Giles cringe ordinarily. She saw him begin to laugh a little. "And afterwards I get a cookie."
Giles hid his smile, knowing that he would be shipped out of Sunnydale as soon as the Council could get him out if he was seen to be supporting the Slayer's rebellion.
Wesley looked at her, a little taken aback by what she was saying to him.
"I don't feel we're getting off on quite the right foot."
Buffy rolled her eyes and looked to Giles. She eyed him pleadingly, but he silently told her that she needed to listen to what the new Watcher was saying to her. It was only out of her fear of having Giles taken away from her that she would comply with Wesley's commands.
"Alright I'll go," she conceded. Giles smiled thankfully and watched as his Slayer jumped off the table.
Buffy eyed Wesley and walked past him. "Don't say anything incredibly interesting while I'm gone."
Wesley watched in shock as she walked out of the library. Giles hid his smile as Wesley turned to look at him.
"She'll get used to me," Wesley said, his voice sounding confident, though Giles could read that his eyes were not so sure.
Reading about Slayers in past Watcher's Diaries was easier than trying to train one and gain her respect. Considering that Giles had been fired and was still around, Buffy's loyalty's were staying firmly with her Watcher. Nothing the Council did could take her away from him.
Buffy clutched her torch in one hand, a stake in the other. She opened the door to the Gleaves family tomb, wishing that Giles had offered to come with her. If it weren't for Wesley, he would have been by her side.
"'Fetch the amulet', he says," Buffy said bitterly. "Why don't you fetch it yourself?"
She sighed and opened the first of the crypts, finding only a decaying body. She wrinkled her nose in distaste and moved to the second crypt. She pushed the lid off the tomb and grinned as she saw the amulet lying on the corpses chest.
"Score one for Buffy."
She quickly worked the clasp and pocketed the amulet, freezing suddenly as she heard footsteps and voices. Her vampire senses suddenly went on full, and she knew that she had to get out of there.
Without thinking to replace the amulet, she quickly jumped into the first crypt, pulling the lid over the top. She held her breath and tried to make as little noise as possible.
A group of seven vampires, dressed in Eliminati uniforms gathered around the two crypts.
"Someone's been here already," said a gruff voice. "They've taken the amulet."
'Please, just leave. Leave, leave,' Buffy thought desperately.
There was a sudden quiet and Buffy calmed for a moment.
"I can smell them. They're close," came another voice.
Buffy swore to herself and felt her heart beginning to race faster. Where was Giles when you needed him.
She clutched her stake, fearing the worst.
She heard the lid of the crypt begin to move, and before the vamps had a chance to look inside, she jumped out of the crypt, quickly surveying what she was up against.
Seven to one. The odds didn't look good.
"A Slayer," said one vamp, the disdain in his voice obvious. The other six looked up at Buffy in surprise.
Not wanting to think about taking on seven vamps who were toting some serious weaponry, she turned and fled as fast as she could, only to be headed off by another group of three vampires.
She quickly dusted one and turned to the next two. She almost groaned as she saw the previous seven coming up behind them.
In one fluid movement, the nine vampires drew their swords, two each, one long, one short…both pointy.
A single vamp stepped forward and hit her quickly, wrestling her to the ground. Her stake was quickly taken from her and she felt a hand beginning to crush her throat.
"Where's the amulet?" the vamp asked.
She didn't answer, instead, she tried to kick him, but his grip tightened. He lifted her to her feet and pushed her roughly against a tree.
"One more chance Slayer. Where's the amulet?"
She hesitated, almost telling him to take it, knowing that whatever she did she was not going to get out of this without a complete miracle.
Her hands grasped at a small branch that was coming out of the trunk, and she snapped it off the tree, quickly turning in the vamps grip and swiftly dusting him.
The remaining eight looked at each other and advanced towards her. Vamps had never worked in packs before. They hunted together to make it easier for themselves, but she knew that these vamps were organised and highly trained.
One vamp struck out at her with the long sword, clipping her arm as Angelus had done after freeing Acathla. She winced and her hand went to her wound instinctively.
Two vamps cornered her on either side, trapping her in. They grabbed her by the arms and held her tightly against a tree. She tried to kick but her feet were being held down by strong boots.
A third vampire took a step closer to her and held his sword at her throat, pressing in slightly, enough to make her uncomfortable and entirely fearful for her life.
The sword moved down from her neck and the vamp held it at chest level.
"I've heard that the blood of a Slayer is powerful. It's got everything you could ever want in it. It regenerates more quickly, it heals, and…it's rumoured to be a great aphrodisiac."
Buffy pulled back, sucking her chest in, trying to get as much room as she could between herself and the sword. To her surprise, the sword dropped, and the vamp stepped forward, his fangs beared.
"It occurs to me that you probably have the amulet on you right now. But…seeing as you're not really in a giving mood tonight, I'm thinking we should take you back to our master and see what he says. Cos honestly, I'm thinking that a Slayer would make the most brilliant pet. And I wanna see if I can make you bark."
He grinned and pulled the Slayer forward and, quickly before Buffy could regain her footing, her threw her into a sharp corner of the crypt, knocking her out cold.
"These are all the diaries then, yours included?" Wesley asked, flipping through pages upon pages of neatly written entries.
"That's everything," Giles confirmed. "Knock yourself out. Please."
Wesley ignored the snide comment and opened to the front of Giles' first diary. "Yesss, here's your first entry," Wesley said. "'Slayer is wilful and insolent'," he read. "That would be our girl wouldn't it?"
Giles glared at him for having the impudence of calling Buffy 'ours'. Buffy was not Wesley's Slayer, nor was she the Council's Slayer. She was his and his alone.
"You have to get to know her,' Giles said, wishing he had never written the first entry, or allowed Wesley to read it.
"Mmm, 'Her abuse of the English language is such that I understand only every other sentence,'" he continued. Giles had to wonder whether Wesley got off on torturing Giles so blatantly. "This is going to be fascinating reading."
"She should be back by now," Giles said, not only concerned for his Slayer's well being, but wanting desperately to change the topic.
Wesley glanced down at his watch nonchalantly. "Not to fret. My mission scenario has her back in one minute. Shouldn't be any trouble."
Giles frowned, wishing that he could knock this young Watcher over the head, teach him that Buffy wasn't just a Slayer. She was a person, a growing woman, and no matter what Wesley thought, Buffy belonged to Giles.
But all Giles could do for now was pace.
Buffy groaned and tried to sit up, wishing that the throbbing headache would go away. Before she could even open her eyes to gain her bearings, she felt a tight grip on her neck and she was pulled to her feet.
She glared at her attacker and went to strike out at him, only to find that her hands were bound to a wall, and she had no way of possibly winning in her position.
"Balthazar will be thrilled to have you as a prize. Now that he has his amulet, he will reign. And you, dear Slayer, will die."
The vampires voice was deep, raspy, mocking her with no trace of compassion whatsoever. She looked up as she heard more footsteps in the room. Three other vamps in Eliminati uniforms entered the room and grabbed hold of her, untying the chains. She struggled against them, but stopped in shock as a hand slapped her face forcefully.
"You must face your destiny Slayer. For as it was written, one of power, so pure and true will join the ranks of El Eliminati, and they will be the one to bring Balthazar his power once more," the vamp said.
She glared at him and spat quickly in his face, recoiling away and preparing herself for another hit. It didn't come. Instead the vampire laughed.
"You've got spunk, Slayer. I'm sure he'll like it."
She felt herself being lifted and dragged from the room, her hands still bound, her head still pounding. They took her through a small hallway, cobwebs and dust lurking in the corners. A door opened and she was thrown to the floor in front of a large well, a hugely obese demon sitting inside, his short arms flailing about him as he spoke.
"Ahhh, the Slayer," he said, his voice quiet, but still commanding. "Not only do you bring me my amulet, but you bring me my salvation as well. Yance, you have served me well."
The vamp who stood directly behind Buffy nodded, and stepped forward and Balthazar beckoned him to come closer.
"You will have the honour of teaching her. You will be her sire. And she will be…whatever you wish."
The vampire, Yance, smiled and turned to look at Buffy, suddenly able to smell fear. He hadn't smelt it upon her all night, but suddenly, at the thought of being turned, her entire being reeked of it.
Yance yanked her to her feet and watched as, even in her fear, she glared at him defiantly.
He smirked and touched her neck, enjoying the flinch away from his touch, the fear in her eyes. Her heart was beating rapidly, her blood pumping furiously.
"I think I shall enjoy this," he whispered for only the Slayer to hear. "A lot."
She closed her eyes, hoping against hope that it would be quick, painless. When the Master had bitten her, it had been over in seconds, though he had not drained her, just weakened her defences, and her spirits.
Yance bit into her and sunk his teeth in deeply, drinking her and savouring the taste. Buffy tried to cry out, but couldn't find her voice.
The vampires stared at the drinking vamp in jealousy, wanting to drain the blood of the Slayer as well. Balthazar could only smile as he saw the Slayer stop her struggle and let her knees begin to give.
Yance let her go and she fell to the floor, her eyes trying to open, trying to force herself to stay alive. She vaguely saw the vampire standing over her and watched as he withdrew his short sword. She winced as she saw him cut a line across his wrist and kneel beside her.
He held his wrist above her lips and watched as the blood poured around her mouth. Buffy refused to open her lips, refused to taste even a little of the vamps blood, her Slayer instincts telling her to die with dignity. Yance saw her resolve to not drink and his other hand darted towards her face, clamping her nose so she had no choice but to open her mouth.
As she did, she could feel the vampires cool blood drip onto her tongue, the bitter taste making her want to gag. She tried to struggle, but she had no strength left.
She swallowed a mouthful of the vamps blood, her body trying to stay alive but not letting her choke to death. As she swallowed Yance's blood, the vampire could only give an evil grin, knowing that he had defeated the Slayer for good.
After another mouthful, Yance stood up and left the Slayer lying there, her skin beginning to go cold, her breathing becoming strained, and suddenly, he heard her heart stop beating.
Yance looked to Balthazar for approval. "Well done Yance. She is your responsibility. It is you she will look to."
Yance grinned and nodded, fully accepting the responsibility. He took hold of the girl, gently picking her up. The other vamps could only watch as he left the room, the young girl in his arms.
Balthazar looked around the room in disgust at the other vampires. "Let Yance be an example to you all. He has turned a Slayer and you…you have done nothing. In a few hours, my power will be completely restored, and you will be nothing but my acolytes. Yance and the Slayer will be…everything you are not."
Giles paced across the library, wishing that his Slayer would hurry up and call or rush into the library, holding the amulet in her hands.
He looked up as he heard the doors swing open and was disappointed when he saw Buffy's demon lover walk through the doors, a concerned expression on his face.
"What is it?" he asked.
"Where is she?" Angel asked, not hiding his concern.
"What business is it of yours?" Wesley asked from behind the vampire.
Angel turned to stare at Wesley who took an involuntary step back.
"New Watcher," Giles replied.
"Does everybody know about Buffy?" Wesley asked.
"What did you want to tell us?" Giles asked to the vampire.
"Bathlazar's back and he wants blood. Specifically Buffy's. A couple of vamps said that he was destined to rise and come back at full force," Angel said.
Giles looked at him, wondering why any other vampires would talk with a soulful vampire who helped the Slayer. It occurred to him that even Angel had it in him to torture another living creature.
"Destined, you say?" Wesley asked.
Giles looked towards Angel, panicked. He raced into his office in the library and pulled down an ancient book, flipping through the pages. He went back towards the main room and sat at the desks.
"The codex," Angel said softly.
Wesley looked towards where Giles was reading the text carefully, Giles' face ashen.
Giles looked up at Angel, trying to find his voice.
"We have to find her. Fast!"
Angel nodded, not questioning the librarian who looked as though he would tear off the head of anyone who got in his way. Giles quickly grabbed a crossbow and a medium sized battle axe, throwing the axe to Angel, who caught it deftly.
"Any idea where they are?" Giles asked, walking quickly out of the library.
"They're at a factory on Henry St," he replied, wondering what was written in the codex to make him this concerned for his Slayer.
"We have to hurry," Giles said.
Angel could only nod and look over his shoulder as he saw Wesley sit at the table, his eyes glancing through the codex. Angel saw the look on Wesley's face become panicked and could tell that if this new Watcher was concerned, then Angel should be as well.
"Giles?" Angel said, as they raced out the school building towards Giles' car.
Giles quickly jumped into the car and started it, waiting only a moment for Angel to get in as well.
"What did the codex say?"
Giles stared straight ahead as they raced towards Henry Street, ignoring a red light and nearly running into another car.
Giles ignored Angel's question, the answer too painful for him to speak aloud. He quickly pulled into a parking spot outside the factory and knew that he would kill every creature in sight to save his Slayer.
He stopped just outside the door, listening what was going on inside.
"I have my amulet," he heard someone say. Balthazar. "My restoration will soon be complete!"
Angel looked towards Giles. "What now?"
"We have to get the amulet off him," Giles said.
Giles didn't speak, instead he opened the door quietly, hoping that they would be able to use an element of surprise against the vampires.
Angel followed silently and watched as Giles quickly took out two vamps with the crossbow, leaving eight other vampires staring at them in anger.
"Kill them!" cried Balthazar, angry that he didn't have the power to move from his pool of water.
The vamps advanced in a circle, weapons drawn. Angel quickly attacked two vamps at once, using his battle axe to decapitate their heads. Four down, six to go.
Angel had his back to Giles, but heard two more 'whumps' as two more vamps were dusted by the crossbow that the Watcher was carrying.
Four more. Angel smiled, thankful that the odds had been brought down in their favour. He vamped out and attacked two more vampires, hitting one in the chest with a stake and striking the other with the battle axe at his neck.
Angel turned to see Giles take out another vampire with the crossbow and watched as he threw the crossbow to the ground and faced off with the last remaining vampire, a sword from one of the dusted Eliminati in his hands.
Giles was quick with the sword, attacking and defending himself with skill that even Giles hadn't known he had possessed. Angel watched as Giles struck the vampire with a sword to the gut, and while the vamp was doubled over in pain, Giles pushed a stake through the vamps back, directly into his heart.
Giles turned, his eyes flashing with anger as he faced the demon who was sitting in the pool of water, angry and flailing about, unable to move properly.
"Where is she?" Giles asked, his voice low and menacing.
"She ran. Coward that she is," Balthazar answered. "The amulet is ours, and she ran for her life."
Giles glared at the obese demon and quickly ran his sword through the demon's gut. Balthazar just laughed and held the sword in as Giles tried to pull it out.
"You'll need a little more than that, Watcher."
It was Angel who swung quickly towards a rope that was holding up an electric light. He cut the rope and let the light fall into the water, electrocuting the demon.
Giles sighed in relief and watched as Angel de-vamped.
"We still have to find her," Angel whispered, tempted to put a comforting hand on the Watcher's shoulder, but knowing that any such contact from him would lead to Giles probably killing Angel without thinking.
"And we will."
Giles began walking out, stooping down to pick up his crossbow. He stopped as he saw a shiny necklace lying on the ground. He picked it up and felt his heart begin to race.
"She was here," Giles said.
"How do you know?" Angel asked.
Giles showed Angel the cross, one that was familiar to him. He had given it to Buffy after their first meeting three years ago.
"There's blood on it," Angel said.
Angel nodded, knowing Buffy's scent better than anyone.
"We have to hurry then."
As they raced towards the door to begin their search for the Slayer, neither one noticed the last remaining Eliminati standing in the shadows, watching as they left to search for a girl who was already dead.
Wesley looked up at the doors as he saw Giles come in with the young man who had entered the library before, claiming that Balthazar was back.
Giles glared at Wesley, hoping against hope that Buffy had come back to the library.
"Is she back yet?" Angel asked.
Wesley looked between the two of them, slightly surprised. He had assumed that Giles had found the Slayer and sent her home.
"She's not with you?" Wesley asked.
"We couldn't find her," Giles admitted, sitting down tiredly in a seat.
Angel paced nervously behind Giles. Giles had never seen the vampire look so worried in his life.
"I'm sure she'll be fine," Wesley said.
Giles could only glare and pray to whatever higher power there was that his Slayer would come back to him.
Giles went to tell Angel to go home, there was nothing more to be done, but he was cut off by the phone ringing in his office.
Giles was on his feet, racing towards the phone.
"Rupert, Travers here. Is Wesley with you?"
Giles groaned. Quentin Travers. His night couldn't get any worse.
"He arrived this morning," Giles said, not hiding his disdain for both Wesley and Travers.
"Get him for me, Rupert. I need to speak to him," Travers said.
The tone in his voice made Giles' heart stop.
"He's not here. I'll pass on a message," Giles lied.
"I can tell you're lying Rupert. No matter. You have to be told anyway," Travers said.
Giles swallowed hard, waiting for the words that would shatter his soul.
"A new Slayer's been called."
Giles felt his world begin to crumble. He moved the receiver away from his ear and felt the room beginning to spin. He didn't even hear Travers calling out his name.
Without even thinking, Giles threw the phone at the wall violently and fell to his knees.
Angel raced into the room and saw Giles on his knees, his eyes staring, unfocused at the wall in front of him.
"Giles?" Angel asked softly.
Giles looked up, startled by someone else's presence.
"A new Slayer's been called."