Chapter Five: Games Without Frontiers

The black convertible leaps from the swirling vortex hovering several inches above the dry, knee high grass covered ground. It's tires tear up chunks of dirt and grass as they touch down, bouncing erratically several times before coming to a stop.

"Shit!" Angel shouts casting a frantic look around as the bright sun beats down on him for the first time in over two centuries, except for that one day he had convinced the Powers That Be to turn back for him.

They had made the decision to leave L. A. at night on the assumption it would be night here as well. Now, because of their lack of research, he was going to fry under a noon day sun.

"There's a tree," Buffy cries coming to the same conclusion as Angel at almost the same time, but without all the recriminations.

Angel leaps out of the car clearing fifteen feet in a single bound. Then he stops. Nothing was happening. There was no sharp itching, no fiery, burning sensations running up his skin. Absolutely nothing.

"Angel! Hurry!" Buffy shouts seeing him come to a stop. "Get under..."

"It's okay!" Angel exclaims gleefully. "It doesn't burn," he calls out after a moment. Holding his arms out wide he spins in a tight circle as he shouts, "it doesn't burn!"

Buffy stares blankly at her ex-boyfriend, suddenly glad she can put the ex there. "I don't believe this," she sputters in a mild state of confusion.

"It's nothing all that spectacular really," Wesley says with an air of self assurance Buffy hasn't heard in the man's voice since his early days in Sunnydale. She was actually sort of glad to hear the confidence returning to his voice. She may not like the man, may in fact never like him, but she didn't like seeing anyone sunk as low as he had been the last time she saw him. Which was actually being carted of on a stretcher now that she thought of it.

It still doesn't stop her from turning disbelieving eyes on the ex-watcher and succinctly asking, "hugh?"

"I'm going to see your hugh and raise a what?" Cordelia comments as her own gaze shifts towards Wesley but still manages to keep Angel in sight just in case he losses a little more of his sanity and goes completely nuts.

"That in this dimension the sun would have no adverse effect on a vampire." Taking a good look at the two young girls uncomprehending faces he decides to simplify his rather in depth explanation that would just be wasted on them. "Simply put a vampire here will not go poof from prolong exposure to the sun," he murmurs brightly.

"Well duh," Cordelia responds waspishly. "That's kind of obvious since he hasn't, how you so eloquent put it, poofed yet."

"But are you looking at him?" Buffy asks pointing at Angel, "with the arms waving and the spinning?" Her voice almost sounding horrified.

"Almost looks like somebody who doesn't know how to do the hokey pokey," Cordelia adds after a beat.

Wesley swallows hard under the intense gaze of the two strong willed woman. "Yes, well... I can quite imagine he'd be feeling slightly... Jubilant on his first occasion of seeing the sun in nearly two and a half centuries. Wouldn't you agree that seeing the sun, any sun after so long a time might make some act..."

Lorne scowls at Wesley for a moment before he hops up on the back seat. "Wanna know what sun I'd like to see right now. It's big and yellow and warms a city called Los Angeles on a planet named Earth, but I'm not getting to see that right now and would you like to guess why?" He rants as he walks down the trunk of Angel's car.

"I thought you understood that we need a guide on your world," Wesley remarks almost bashfully.

"Understood, yes. Agreed, no."

"Would you prates shut the bloody hell up!" Spike shouts from inside the trunk. "How's a bloke suppose to get any bloody sleep with the lot of you blighters jabbering on like a gabble full of old ninnies," he mutters just loud enough to be heard by everyone even through the trunk.

Buffy grins as she plunks the keys from the ignition and hops out of the convertible. A quick glance at the dark, often brooding vampire, reveals Angel lying in the middle of the grassy field with his shirt open soaking up the sun. A wicked grin slips across her lips as she imagines Spike's over dramatized reaction. If Angel was acting like a ten year old on Christmas morning she can't wait to see what the blustering rebel will do.

"Rise and shine," she says popping the lock and flipping the trunk open. "It's a..."

"Aargh!" Spike screams as the sun hits him. Reaching up he grabs the metal crossbar and slams the trunk close. "Bloody hell slayer! Are you trying to kill me you sodding bint?"

"But its not going to kill you," Buffy informs him. With a quick look at Angel she adds, "Angel's lying in it right now."

"And the great poofter can burn for all I care," Spike growls.

"He's not burning," She responds. "Well okay. He might burn but it's more in the blistering, peeling I haven't seen the sun in two hundred and fifty years kind of way not the flaming, burning, poofing I'm a evil bloodsucker kind of way," the tiny blond explains quickly.

"What don't you understand about this? I'm a vampire. I don't do sunlight. Period. End of the soddin discussion," Spike growls at her through the sealed trunk.

Buffy glowers at the metallic lid as she scornfully remarks, "never thought I'd see the day Spike was afraid of something."

Spike snorts from inside the trunk. "Fear ain't got a bloody thing to do with it."

"Then what does?" She demands angrily because Spike wasn't giving into her desire to see him make a fool of himself, not that he knew that was what she wants him to do.

"It's unnatural. Vampires aren't suppose to be running around in the sunlight. Besides... It's just wrong," he responds actually managing to sound sanctimonious.

Buffy laughs softly at his objection. A moment later she says, "this coming from the vampire that attacked me in broad daylight."

"That was different," he growls. "Surprising the enemy with a tactical advantage," he adds unconvincingly.

A few feet away, while Spike and Buffy hold their nearly theological debate on sunlight and vampires, Cordelia places a tentative hand on Lorne's shoulder. "I'm sorry," she says with true sincerity to the miserable looking green skin demon. "We really shouldn't have forced you to come back here," she admits softly, "but we really do need your help."

Lorne nods his head as he says, "I know sugar cakes. I'm just not planning on making it easy on them," he admits with a slight smile. Turning toward her he changes the subject, "you know that old saying about great power, great responsibility," at her blank look he shrugs slightly and adds, "well, however it went, its true. Here's another one your friends are going to have to be reminded of. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Cordelia blinks slightly as she says, "Buffy and Angel? Please, they are so like the most uncorrectable people ever. Yeah Angel's got the whole soul with a curse thing going on, but as long..."

"That's the whole point sweetie," he cuts in. "They're human, basically, with human souls. Those are always corruptible," he finishes wit a pointed look at her.

"Um, not to be an alarmist," Wesley calls out from the Angel's car. "But has anyone by chance seen the book we used to open the portal?"

"Aarrghhh!" Logan roars as he lunges forward straining against the chains securing him to the thick dungeon walls. It was a futile gesture. He knew that before he did it, but he did it anyway. His nature, as much as his training, wouldn't allow him to do anything else.

He pulls and strains until the point were most men would have torn their arms from their sockets. Still he pulls harder. The adamatium bonded into his very bones allowing them to withstand nearly anything, anyone can throw at him. Pulling his arms from his sockets is a feat even the Hulk isn't capable of accomplishing.

For whatever reason his captors were allowing a portion of his healing factor to remain active. It wasn't enough to heal him completely, but at least he didn't have to worry about dying from radiation sickness.

The cell he was in was much like any number of dark, dank prison cells he had been chained in over the years. It was dark and dank, and those were it's good qualities. His hairy body, at least, manages to stave off the cold despite his lack of clothing.

Turning around savagely he pops his claws, slicing at the chains holding him. Sparks fly, but nothing else happens. Just like every other time he struck at them. The stone wall is equally resistance to the effects of his unbreakable claws.

His nostrils flare as he picks up a fetid odor floating to him on the stagnant air. Soft footfalls echo dully on the stone floor as half a dozen demons slowly walk down the corridor. He growls deep in his chest as he whirls around to face the door.

Groosulag said the priest would kill him slowly if he resisted. He guesses its about time for his torture to begin.

A moment later the cell door swings inward. First one red robed priest walks in followed by a second, then a third, until five of them form a semi circle in front of him. A few seconds later the last priest enters, this one wearing dark black robes.

Logan can almost taste the evil rolling off him in waves. Its enough to make the heckles on the back of his neck stand on end while he wants to nothing more then empty his stomach.

With a massive animalistic snarl he lunges forward, his claws glinting dangerously, uselessly in the pale light. Right now he'd give anything to be able to tear his arms from their sockets so he could rip this demons throat out with his teeth.

Silas stands less then a foot away from Logan, a smug smile smearing his lips. "Yes, I had heard you were quite the savage, even for a cow, but until now I had no idea just how... Primitive you truly are."

"That's it bub," Logan growls. "Nother step and you'll get to experience my primitiveness first hand."

"Enjoy your freedom while it last. The next time you address me it will be as master," Silas tells Logan his voice full of arrogant confidence.

Logan suddenly jumps into the air. While his hands grab hold of the chains holding him to the wall, he pulls his knees to his chest. A bare instant later they explode outwards smashing into the priest chest driving him out the open door to crash solidly into the opposite wall. He uses the momentum from his kick to flip all the way over, making sure to keep his hands from getting tangled in the chains he lands smoothly on his feet.

While all the priest take a few, wary steps away from him only two rush to the aid of their leader. None of them show it outwardly, but all of them had various levels of amusement mingling in their scents.

Silas surges back through the doorway, self righteous indignation and rage replacing his smooth, smug, arrogance. Spittle flies from his mouth as he shouts, "you'll spend the rest of your life flogging yourself every single night and thanking..."

"Aarrghh!" Logan roars again lunging at the priest.

"Ah!" Silas cries out falling backwards even though he was nowhere close to being in Logan's range. He stands quickly, not being able to have his underlings see his weakness, or his lack of control over this one simple cow. With a final scowl he spins on his heel and sweeps out of the room. The other priest quickly fall to in his wake.

Barshon however lingers for a moment at the door giving Logan a hard speculative look before he pulls the door close.

Logan smiles to himself. When you can't when the big battle settle for winning the little ones. Chip away at your enemy's armor and reveal his weakness. If not for yourself then perhaps someone better suited will take advantage of them when they see the opening. Not that it helps him in his current situation, but anything that would lead to Silas' death would make him happy. For a few moments anyway.

A few high, wispy clouds flow past overhead in the darkening sky briefly obscuring the large moon, that hangs too close for those not native to Pylea, and the few stars, are in the wrong place for them as well. The light breeze that speeds the clouds on their way also cool the warm air to a more tolerable temperature. A temperature the six individuals found a little more comfortable.

The gentle sloping hills are covered with a dry, brown, shin high grass. A double wide, hard packed dirt road cuts through middle of the sun burnt pasture.

It had taken a heroic effort, on Buffy's part, to convince Spike to get out of the trunk, by which point the sun was already half way to the horizon. Hours everyone else had spent tearing Angel's car apart looking for a book that wasn't there. After that the search spread out to the surrounding country side, where the book wasn't found either.

Wesley had finally come to the conclusion that somehow the book must have been left back on Earth and prayed that they would find a similar book here that would be able to send them back home. Lorne had been extremely snide in his running commentary about how he hoped everyone found Pylea as enjoyable as he did.

"Well. Here we are people," Lorne remarks with a broad sweeping gesture towards the small hamlet nestled in the low valley between two squat hills. "The good old homestead," he adds with biting sarcasm. "I always remember it as being more daunting," he says with a shrug. "Then again it wasn't really the buildings I had a problem with, but the vipers that nest in them."

"Bloody wonderful," Spike mutters mirthlessly. "Wager there's not a telly in the whole bleeding dimension."

"Considering I have yet to spot a utility pole I would imagine you are quite correct in your assessment," Wesley wordily agrees.

Spike ignores the young ex-watcher as he addresses Buffy, grumbling angrily, "if we don't get back to Earth right quick slayer, before the next episode of Passions, I'm gonna add myself a third slayer to my tally," he finishes menacingly.

"Actually," Wesley begins excitedly, "we have no idea how much time is going to pass on Earth. One day here could be..."

At the same time Wesley begins Buffy turns an dark scowl on the bleach blonde wonder. "I'd like to you try that chip boy. You even glare to hard and you're gonna be on the ground begging me to drive a stake through your heart."

Spike's sneer intensifies to the point were Buffy thinks that all it would take is for one stray spark flickering in his eyes to start a raging wild fire. "I'm not wanting you to dust me yet, fact I'm starting to get a craving for slayer blood, and looky what my little old eyes do perceive. Why if it isn't a scared little slayer lost in the woods on her way to Grandma's house," he taunts her.

Buffy takes a slow deliberate step forward. Her hand instinctively going for the stake she always keeps hidden in her waist band. For a moment Spike doubts his decision to bait her with some of the stories he heard while chained up in Giles' bathtub. He doesn't back down though.

Before anything can happen Angel places a hand on their shoulders and shoves both of them hard enough to cause the two to stumble back a step. After listening to their constant bickering, like an old married couple that could do nothing other then grate on each other's- plus everyone else's- nerves all the time. He was more then fed up with it. "Would the two of you shut up," he snarls, his head whipping back and forth between them and their indignant glares. "Or am I going to have to put the two of you separate corners?"

"Like to see you bloody try that peaches," Spike growls turning his full attention on Angel. "Seeing how you're a... What do they call them, oh yeah right. Vampire. Vampires being demons and oh yeah, this is the best part. I can still kill demons, so unless you wanna see just how quickly you can turn into a big pile dust. Get the bloody hell out of my face!" He yells straining forward making Angel lean back just a bare fraction of an inch, but enough to make it seem like he was cowering before the young vampire.

"Hey!" Buffy shouts shoving Spike back. "You can't go around talking to him like that," she continues in a hiss that could be heard miles off. She was still upset with Angel. He didn't have any right to judge her, especially about events he didn't have a clue on, and even less to say some of the things he had.

For some reason though she was even more upset with Spike. The Billy Idol reject had always been able to rile her up without even half trying. Since getting the chip in his head and the two of them spending more time around each other it was getting progressively worse. What had taken minutes previously, now only took seconds. In fact the only time they had been semi civil to each other was during Willow's my will be done spell, and still there had been that aching need to bait each other. Like it was so deeply ingrained into their bones there was no way they could fight it.

"We had an agreement, deal, extension on our already tenuous truce..." she begins.

"That while I was in LA, LA land the great poofter didn't have to worry his sorry, expanding ass off about me going after him," Spike finishes for her. "In case you haven't notice goldilockes we ain't exactly in Los Angeles anymore," he points out with a viscous sneer over her head at Angel.

Wesley had at first taken one cautious step away from the three super humans once they began bickering amongst themselves. Then decides that several more might come in handy if the conflagration combusted. The last thing he wants is to wind up a splat, or a bloody smear on the back of someone's poorly aimed fist. An odd thought bubbles in his head as he wonders about the chip implanted in Spike's brain, weather it was even functioning right now.

There were too many variables, too many unknowns as to what the hardware's operating parameters might be, its power source, and so on to form a definitive answer and he wasn't about to ask Spike to punch Buffy, Cordelia, or himself to find out. It would be sort of like placing a starving lion in a low ceiling cage full of monkeys and since he and Cordelia were the only two monkeys present it would be better to leave the lion as it was.

With a quick glance at the former high school May Queen he reminds himself it would probably be wise to never mention that analogy to her or else worrying about weather Spike was likely to eat him would suddenly seem like a small problem in comparison.

"Don't they just make the cutest couple?" Lorne murmurs, more to himself then anyone else, as he watches the two dye blondes interact.

Cordelia steps up beside him. "You still can't be going on with that whole their meant to be together spiel you've been going on with? Can you?" She questions him with a confused little frown creasing her forehead.

Lorne shrugs lightly. Him and Cordelia had been talking most of the trek to his family's ancestral home, and he found her surprisingly easy to talk to. "Listen pudding. I know what I know and that pair of dumplings is going to be stewing together for a long while. If they actually admit that they're in love with each other and what they're feeling isn't just the residue of some stray, sort of, love spell..."

"Someone cast a love spell on them?" She doubtfully questions Lorne, as a very horrified look settles on her face while she gazes past the green demon to where Buffy and Spike are still shoving their fingers in each other face as they fire waspish and stinging insults, while Angel looks on in amazement.

"Mmm," he sounds scrunching his face up lightly. "More like someone just... Made it so they didn't care what people thought. Sort of released them from the inhibitions they feel where each other is concerned. Something along those lines, it's kind of hard to read given the amount of time that's passed since then," he finishes with a bashful shrug.

Cordelia gaze shifts back to Lorne as she blurts out, "you're serious?" Her voice having risen an octave with her question. She gives her head a small jerk as she regains control of her shock. In a fractionally quieter voice she continues by asking, "they're meant to be together?"

Lorne frowns, a slight down turning of his lips. "It's like this. If they admit they're in love with each other we're talking one of those sickeningly sweet movie of the weeks they show on the romance channel."

The brunette gives him a deeply concern look while asking, "and if they don't?"

He shudders at her query. "Pain, misery, death, life, more of the same. Rinse and repeat," he tells her casting a quick peak at the animated three way argument between the two vampires, one with a soul one with a chip, and the slayer- with Wesley occasionally trying to get a word in.

It was an erratic, disparaging argument that Lorne couldn't make sense of. Buffy was angry with Angel for verbally attacking Spike for some demeaning comment he made about her. According to the tiny slayer she neither needs or wants someone that walks away from their relationship because of a few stumbling blocks jumping to her rescue. She was a big girl now and more then capable of defending herself thank you very much. Then she turns around and jumps down Spike's throat for siding with her. After that the entire thing falls into, Lorne would have said disarray, but it was already there.

"I still think you've got your horns crossed, but..." Cordelia remarks leaving the thought hanging there. Granted, she didn't really like Buffy, but she was sort of a friend and she had saved her live on an almost a weekly basis back in high school and she wasn't the type of person who lets her debts go unpaid. "What can I do to help?" She finally asks wanting to make some sort of restitution to both Buffy and Spike since she does owe both of them and she never did get to properly thank Spike for his involvement in ruining her Senior year and hooking him up with Buffy seems like a fitting payment, she muses to herself silently.

"Be there. Let her know it doesn't matter who she's in a relationship with so long as she's happy."

Cordelia blinks at him as she gripes, "you've got to be kidding me. We can barely be civil with each for a few minutes at a time."

Everything about the entire situation rankles Kitty. She has seen this same play time and time again and it never ends well. Especially for the enhanced children that have been turned into killing machines.

Even if they did manage to survive the wars or the revolutions they were trained to fight seldom, if ever, did they survive the Governments they helped install. Often it was those they put in power hunting them down in the end because they were no longer deemed useful and were still too dangerous to be left untethered.

She wasn't about to allow that to happen to Scott.

Kitty knew what she had to do after spending the afternoon hanging out with Scott. An afternoon she spent asking innocuous questions that had painted a picture she was hoping not to see, but one she had more then been expecting. It also afforded her the opportunity to get to know the extremely mature- almost unnaturally so- young boy.

Scotty, as she had taken to calling him, has been with these rebels for nearly three years now. His mother, a woman born on Earth, died unexpectedly shortly after their arrival. After refusing to allow the warriors to take her child. According to Scott she had taken ill one day and was dead by nightfall, but he had never been allowed to see the body. After that the elder, Bolvin Coun, had taken and given his raising over Cilac Hrit who was the best warrior in the camp.

The only reason Scott hadn't been at his normal lessons today was because Hrit had been out with a hunting party tracking down and killing a local predator that was making a nuisance of itself lately. If not for that she doesn't think they would have let her near him. Most of the camps residents are native to Pylea and have a heavy dislike for anything or anyone from off world.

Kitty saw how the members of this community treat him. How everyone was towards him, and her just because for associating with him. Like he was a barely tolerable pet.

Stealthily, silently she slips through the makeshift camp. With skill that border on the preternatural she glides from shadow to shadow. She wasn't actually skulking, but she was taking care not to be seen by the rugged inhabitants that call the camp home.

Phasing, she easily slips into Scott's small one man tent, that was right alongside Cilac's larger pavilion, through the back wall. Placing a small hand over his mouth Kitty gives him a quick shake waking him up. The young boy struggles for a brief moment before recognizing who is in the tent with him. She places a finger over her lips indicating they should be as quiet as possible and he nods his head.

"It's just me," she whispers. Her soft words barely audible in the small enclosure.

He gives his head a slight jerk as he pulls back wondering why the endearing newcomer is inside his tent. He asks as much as he hisses, "why're you here?"

Kitty cringes at the loudness of his voice in the small space. "Shh, we need to be quiet so we don't wake anyone up or alert the guards."

"What are you doing here?" He demands if anything in a slightly louder voice.

"I'm getting you out of here is what I'm doing here," she answers decisively.

Scott's eyes widen in shock and outrage as he tries to bolt away from her, but Kitty manages to hold him in place. "I belong here," he growls savagely. "To lead my people to freedom."

Kitty latches on to him with both hands, her dark, penetrating eyes pinning him where he is. "You belong someplace you can be a child, not held up like some leprous messiah. You deserve to be someplace where you can have friends, play with children your own age, not fighting a revolution before you turn thirteen. A cold blooded killer by fifteen. You deserve better then what these people are going to give you. You deserve more, a real childhood," she tells him urgently.

He looks at her with the same wariness in his eyes as he did when first meeting her. While he understands what she is saying the meaning behind her words eludes him. He can however hear the desperate pleading in her voice. Like what she is telling him is extremely important, perhaps the most important thing she will ever say. "It's the same everywhere. Wherever I go it's going to be the same."

Kitty shakes her head as she whispers, "maybe on this world but not on mine."

"Yours," Scott blurts out in disbelieve. "There isn't no way back to your world."

"Anyway," she corrects absently as she considers what he just said. Giving him a sharp look she continues, "if there's a way from my world to this world then it stands to reason the opposite is true as well. We just have to find it."

"The priest," he exclaims just a little too loudly.

"Priest?" She inquires softly.

He nods his head vigorously as he answers. "To the east of here, a day. Maybe..."

Kitty holds her finger up in front of her lips. Outside loose dirt shifts under the hard soles of somebody's boots. She waits anxiously, poised to react instantly if someone should poke their head into the small tent.

Because of his training Scott can feel that while Kitty might be loose and relaxed her body hovers on the verge of action. Ready to move on the moment like a true warrior. Her guard doesn't lower until after the footsteps fade from his hearing. Even then she's still ready to act.

When her dark eyes finally settle back on him their tinged with regret. She takes a deep breath. "I can't force you to go with me Scott," she tells him knowing in her heart if she did it would make her know better then the people she's trying to save him from no matter how noble her reasons. Lifting her right hand she brushes back a lock of his unruly chestnut brown hair out of his eyes. "This is a decision you have to make for yourself. You can sty here, where most of the people treat you like a wild animal. As something less then human, fulfill the role a group of bitter old man have picked out for you... Or you can come with me and we can find a way back to my world, and while things might not be perfect on Earth no one is going to expect you to lead a revolution before your prom."

Scott looks at her deeply. At the moisture in the corner of her eyes. He could hear something strange in her voice. Something he hasn't heard in anyone's voice when talking to him in a very long time, since his mother. Concern.

Concern for him. Concern for his wants, his needs.

With everyone else it was always about how he was going to have to do what was best for the people.

It was as simple as choosing between those two facts. One person whose only concern was for him compared to hundreds of people who care nothing for him.

He takes her hand in his giving her slight nod along with his bravest, this doesn't hurt, face.

Kitty slight smile brightens her face. She hadn't been sure which way he would choose. "Is there anything you need?" She asks softly having a vague idea of what he must be feeling right now. "If so bring it with you because we're never going to be coming back here again."

Scott jabs his hand back into the loose pile of rags that make up his bedding and pulls out a small gold medallion. "It's all I have of my mother's," he mumbles defensively. As if him having it was wrong.

Kitty nods as she tightens her grip on his hand. "Then keep a tight hold on it," she tells him simply. "Anything else?" He gives a little shake of his head in answer to her question. "Ready? Take a deep breath then," she adds after his curt nod.

He does and she phases them through the back wall of the tent. Now was going to be the hardest part. Getting out of the camp unnoticed. By herself it wouldn't have been a problem, swim underground, walk out above their heads, or just slip through the camp using the shadows to keep from being seen.

With Scott at her side she was going to be sticking to the ground, unless circumstances, or the natives, force her to take more extreme action.

Scott quickly impresses Kitty with his skill as he moves through the camp as soundlessly as she does. Silently they make their way to the edge of the settlement.

"What do we have here?" A gravely voice demands from out of the darkness. A large, cruel looking man with a savage, zagging scar that runs the length the left side of his face, from chin to brow, pulling the corner of his mouth into a vicious parody of a grin.

"Cilac," Scott moans tightly.

Kitty takes a close look at the man as two others step out cutting of her avenues of escape. Or so they thought. If this was indeed the man instructing Scott then he was probably more dangerous then he appears. Which was fine with Kitty. The young mutant didn't feel like playing nice today anyway. "We're leaving," she informs him in a firm, unwavering voice.

He glances at her lazily even while his fingers tighten on his sword hilt. "you can leave whenever you like girlie. The half breed stays."

"Scott goes with me," she replies emphasizing his name as she keeps herself between Scott and Calic.

Scott frantically pulls on her arm as he shouts, "Kitty no! He'll..." He suddenly stumbles back a few steps as Kitty phases. He hadn't known she was capable of making only her body intangible while she was touching someone else.

"It's okay Scotty," Kitty says in a deadly calm voice. Locking eyes with Calic she adds, "one way or another," with steel in her voice.

"So be it," he growls whipping his sword out of its sheath in one smooth motion.

Calic moves fast, Kitty moves faster. Stepping forward towards the outside of his right shoulder, her right hand delivering a hard knife hand strike to his left wrist as she tucks the thumb of her right hand flat across the palm and strikes upward with a ridge hand strike into his tricep. His sword drops from suddenly nerveless fingers.

Her right hand wraps around his wrist and she twists his arm savagely forcing his palm towards the starry sky. Pivoting to the inside she slams her left elbow into his solar plexus. As he buckles forward her left backfist catches him flush in the nose then slips up around his head and into his hair, latching on painfully as she jerks him up and over as she drops to a knee.

He hits the ground with bone jarring force just as Scott shouts, "behind you!"

Kitty's fingers wrap around the hilt of the sword and she spins around on one knee. The soldier jumps back barely avoiding getting split open by her slicing swing. As Kitty's sword moves past he lunges forward in an attempt to skewer her. She brings the sword back, expertly parrying his thrust moving the blade out away from her.

Overextending and meeting no resistance he begins to fall forward. Surprise registers on his face for a moment as he realizes she isn't just some girl with her hands on a blade for the first time. Kitty surges upwards as he stumbles, smashing the hilt of the sword into his face knocking him to his back as he clutches his face at the pain that explodes from his broken nose while the blood spurts.

"Another one!"

Kitty whirls around aware of the activity stirring in the camp as the steel striking steel rings out in the night. She blocks upward deflecting the downward chop. Using her blade to guide his, she arcs them in a wide circle, up then down and away, tossing him off balance. She spins in the opposite direction, shifting her grip on the hilt slightly, she hits him across the back of his head with the flat of her blade. He crumples to the ground like a boneless sack.

She whirls around again scanning the area. Fires burn brightly deep inside the camp. A few move towards them but nothing close yet.

Scott stares up at Kitty with wide eyes hardly able to believe what he just witnessed. He had never seen anything like it, from anyone let alone a girl. From beginning to end the entire confrontation had taken only seconds. The three best warriors he has ever seen and Kitty dispatched them in heartbeats, with seemingly no effort. More amazing then that was the fact she didn't kill any of them.

"How?" He breathes out in awe.

Kitty grabs his hand as she says, "I'll tell you later," while giving him a slight tug to get him going. She knows there is very little chance of them getting any sleep tonight and she wants to put as much distance between them and the camp as possible. She had gotten lucky tonight, but she knows she can't count on her luck holding out forever. Sooner or later she was going to be forced into killing someone to keep them free. She just hopes it's later. Much, much later.

Fred crouches down in front of her small pool of water making a show washing her clothes, the cool air inside her cave doing little to keep the sweet from trickling down her bare back. She is trying to act as normal as possible, just as Faith had instructed her a few minutes ago. It was hard trying to act like she always did knowing a handful of demons were about to pay her visit.

Oddly though she wasn't as nervous as she thought since she was almost always nervous to begin with wondering if this was going to be the day that she was discovered. Knowing that they were coming was almost a relief because there was no more wondering about if they were coming or not since they were on their way.

It sort of took all the guess work out of it.

At least she didn't have to worry about keeping the water clean anymore. She had already filled up everything that could hold water, with water. Plus her and Faith had drank as much as they could. Maybe twice as much as she could considering the queasy feeling in her stomach.

She had just been trying to keep up with Faith, the raven hair girl who had dropped in on her unexpectedly the other day. She was incredible...

Fred stops reevaluating her thoughts, she was smart enough to recognize a Freudian slip when she hears one. She had meant it was incredible the way Faith was back up on her feet already, barely more then a day after suffering injuries that would have killed anyone else. Fred wasn't sure if it was her slayer powers that kept her alive or if it was just Faith being Faith and doing what she shouldn't be capable of.

So she thought Faith was incredible, and why shouldn't she. The young brunette was a slayer, someone chosen to fight the forces of darkness, protect the world, keeping everyone safe from the creatures of the night. That sounds like the makings of a pretty incredible person to her.

Somewhere in the back of her head she wonders if that is the real reason she thinks Faith is suck an incredible person. If her feelings didn't have more to do with a pair of haunting brown eyes that see right through her, piercing her heart with their sadness. Then there was the fact that Faith was an amazingly beautiful woman with an incredible- there was that word again- body, nearly flawless in its perfection.

Fred ducks her head slightly with the thoughts running rampant through her mind. She had never seen herself being attracted to women, or falling in love with one. Then again she had never seen herself living as a slave in another dimension either. Who ever really knew where life was going to take them, or what surprises it was going to place along your path. The most that could be hoped for was that the good out weighed the bad.

Faith couldn't help but smile as she watches the little spaz's smooth back while she stands motionless in the dark shadows by the caves entrance. Fred was extremely thin, too thin, but that was to be expected with living off what could be scavenged or stolen from the villages in the surrounding area.

It was something Faith was actually looking forward to doing when they got back to Earth. Taking Fred out and just watching her eat. A little dream she knew in her heart was never going to happen.

It didn't stop her from having it though.

She had learnt a lot about Fred last night, this morning, and the rest of the day. Like the food she misses the most. Taco Bell's tocos, burritos, and enchiladas. Which according to Fred go great after smoking a big fatty, not that she ever had because it was illegal and it was wrong to break the law- she had nearly sounded like Buffy when she said that. That she misses her physics classes with Professor Seidel- Faith found she just didn't have the heart to tell her what the good professor was really like- almost as much as she misses her parents.

There was more, the auburn hair brunette had this knack to ramble on about anything and everything for hours on end. Faith thought it might be an affliction brought on with extreme intelligence. The smarter a person was the more they could babble because Fred could certainly put Willow to shame with the amount of chatter that flows out of her mouth. Unlike the shy redhead Faith didn't mind listening to Fred go on and on and on.

She found it cute.

It was strange for Faith to have someone willing to talk to her, but she also knew the only reason Fred did was because she didn't know what she is really like. Didn't know the evil and cruelty that rages within her. Didn't know about the violence that was a part of her. Constantly churning, straining, threatening to burst free at any given moment. Sometimes without the slightest provocation.

Faith knows she is about to lose that peaceful, easy feeling Fred exudes around her with what was about to take place.

It was only a few minutes ago that her slayer senses had gone off like a bell ringing inside her skull. It was the first time since her arrival here that a demon had come within range.

It wasn't like Earth. There it was a vibe, a sense of wrongness. Here it was literally like somebody ringing a small gong that resonates through her skull.

Faith wasn't sure what she was capable of right now, most of it would depend on how strong the demons were. After almost a full day of rest she thought she was close to seventy-five percent, but it could easily be closer to fifty. Another day and she wouldn't have given a second thought about going out there and taking whatever was coming at them head on.

In fact she would prefer that to lying in wait.

And waiting and waiting. For nearly two minutes now, but at least she was starting to hear their soft footfalls, on the loose gravel like dirt, as they make their way up the slight embankment.

She waits silently as the two green skin demons, oddly reminiscent of the club owner, slip almost soundlessly into the cave. Their subtle movements were loud to her slayer hearing.

They stop a few feet beyond the entrance staring at Fred's exposed back as she washes up in the pool of water. They turn their heads in unison to glance at each other sharing a slight vile smirk and malicious chuckle. One of them says something pointing at Fred.

Faith doesn't understand the words but the meaning is more then clear. Her blood boils on the instant as a chill runs over her blazing skin. A haze slips over her eyes and all she can see is red.

She moves forward, pouncing with the ferocity of an enraged tiger. Her right fist punches clean through his chest where, if he was human his heart would have been. Grabbing hold of his left shoulder she levers herself up smashing her right knee into the back of his partner's skull as her left leg slips up and over his head cinching in around his throat.

Flexing every single muscle in her body simultaneously, many in ways that would not be possible for a normal human, even with decades worth of gymnastic, dance, and intense martial arts training. Her legs yank backwards, towards the cave floor, her torso twist upwards and around as she hurls the demon she punched though the chest into the corner of a wall, snapping his back like a dry twig and turning his internal organs to mush.

As the second soldier hits the floor with a bone crushing thud, she spins in a tight circle directly over him. A split second later her knees drive into his chest turning his ribs to powder as she lands on top of him. She growls savagely as her fist crashes into his face the first time. And again a fraction of a second later. And again and again and again as she rains one high powered punch after another down upon him.

Time loses all meaning for her as she pounds the creature under her into bloody paste.

Fred knows, even as her small hand reaches out latching onto Faith's arm, that there was no way she could stop the powerful slayer. Still she had to try. She couldn't just sit back and watch as Faith's punches did as much damage to herself as they did to the Pylean native.

To her surprise, as much as Faith's, her arm stops instantly once contact is made. Faith looks up at the caring brunette with something akin to horror shining in her eyes as she gazes into Fred's warm, gentle, understanding brown orbs. There is no fear or revulsion or any of the dozen different emotions she had thought she would see there and that terrifies the harden slayer more then anything ever has.

Feeling a sudden urge to flee Faith tries to jerk her arm out of Fred's grasp, only her fingers don't loosen their light hold and her arm doesn't budge. She tries again with the same results. One more time and the same thing happens.

She stays right where she is. Melting, or maybe it was drowning, into the most compassionate eyes she has ever seen. She can feel all her defenses shutting down, switching off, without so much as a by your leave captain, much less the proper password being given, or security clearances being issued, verified, and authenticated.

Tears begin welling up in her eyes as nearly seventeen years of pain, misery, abuse, and neglect come crashing down around her. As Faith ducks her head trying to hide her shame, she again tries to pull free.

This time she manages to move, only its towards Fred instead of away from her as the older, bone thin, brunette pulls the crying girl into her arms. Totally and completely unaware she has yet to put her clothes back on as her concern for Faith had over ridden everything else.

Fred doesn't say anything, doesn't know what to say as she presses Faith's cheek, wet from her hot tears to the cool flesh of her shoulder. Ignoring the heat she feels blossoming in her loins she does the only thing she can think of to soothe Faith. She whispers gentle words as she holds her, stroking her long, luxuriant, dark tresses.

Again she doesn't think about how much she enjoys the feel of Faith's silken hair on her skin. Her only concern was in helping her friend feel better.

Everything else she would worry about later.

__________________________________________________________________

Games Without Frontiers - Peter Gabriel

Jeux sans frontieres
Jeux sans frontieres
Jeux sans frontieres

Jeux sans frontieres

Hans plays with Lotte, Lotte plays with Jane
Jane plays with Willi, Willi is happy again
Suki plays with Leo, Sacha plays with Britt
Adolf builts a bonfire, Enrico plays with it
Whistling tunes we hid in the dunes by the seaside
Whistling tunes we're kissing baboons in the jungle
It's a knockout
If looks could kill, they probably will
In games without frontiers

War without tears

If looks could kill, they probably will
Games without frontiers

War without tears

Games without frontiers

War without tears

Jeux sans frontieres
Jeux sans frontieres
Jeux sans frontieres

Andre has a red flag, Chiang Ching's is blue
They all have hills to fly them on except for Lin Tai Yu
Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games
Hiding out in tree-tops, shouting out rude names
Whistling tunes we hide in the dunes by the seaside
Whistling tunes we piss on the goons in the jungle
It's a knockout
If looks could kill they probably will
In games without frontiers

Wars without tears
If looks could kill they probably will
In games without frontiers

War without tears
Games without frontiers

War without tears

Jeux sans frontieres
Jeux sans frontieres
Jeux sans frontieres

Jeux sans frontieres
Jeux sans frontieres
Jeux sans frontieres

Jeux sans frontieres
Jeux sans frontieres
Jeux sans frontieres

Jeux sans frontieres