Chapter Five

"Nice try, Buffy," the First croaked gleefully. "You almost had me concerned once I saw the amulet and figured out your plan. But I should let you know that the elders of my minions are stronger than you are with your wound and all. Don't think I haven't noticed your power boost. That won't help either although it may prolong the fight for a few seconds more," he mused. "Well, well, look at that. My minions seem to like the taste of Slayer blood. I imagine that you're tired anyway with your undead lover dust in the wind now." The evil spirit clothed in the Buffy form turned its head and sighed maliciously. "Oops, there goes another one of your little girls. See what I mean? I mean, look at those little vampires go. They really like Slayer blood. It must have that special flavor not found in other people." The Buffy–First tucked her hand under her chin in thoughtful contemplation. "Spike wasn't that bad when you think about it but well, I guess he wasn't good enough." It smiled. "And, neither are you."

Buffy flipped over two Turok-Han slashing with her scythe as she did so. The back flip surprised the vampires but both managed bring their weapons up in time to keep from being injured or destroyed. As the blond attacked again, the closest vampire dodged the strike. The other had picked up a discarded weapon and went on the attack trying to gut the young woman and then Buffy was on the defensive as the other vampire joined in the attack with a huge club. She was in trouble as several more creatures were rushing towards her, ignoring more vulnerable targets. There was nothing she could do now, her plan ruined by Spike's death.

The young woman had thought of his death so many times, but now that it had actually happened, she wasn't sure what to feel. He was the deadliest of enemies, then the best of friends, a murderer, and then a protector. In her heart she understood that she was good enough, strong enough to fight, but ultimately for what? Life, death, life again and then death, and only to be called to life again in order to face death. What was the point?

She fully expected to be overrun any second, but the rush never happened. The dark-haired, young woman was there, taking on the proto-vampires with her black, silver-laced rune swords. Her style was as fluid as the older woman with her, who just had to be her mother, was not. The mothers' style was something completely different, static, but not. She didn't know how to describe it.

And the older woman d it was plain that the mother was a master in her own right. The elder woman flowed as she attacked, and the unprepared vampires didn't have a chance. Their weapons were useless as they broke and shattered against what Buffy knew had to be enchanted swords. The First screamed in frustration at the two women. "Why won't you Earth-spawn die already?" And in response a dozen Turok-Han rushed them.

Buffy Summers and Wednesday Addams didn't wait for the creatures to run towards them. As one they attacked, swords and scythe tearing into the enemy.

Wherever the girl had received her training, it had been impressive, mused Buffy and being next to her somehow energized her in ways similar to how she felt when she was fighting alongside Faith, but this feeling was different, kindred but somehow alien. Obviously, she was a Slayer, as she could feel the connection. But she was also a newbie, no matter what her training and Buffy felt the need to make sure that she could protect her.

"Be careful," she advised. "They're dangerous."

"I know dangerous they are," Wednesday answered as she decapitated another Turok-Han as it had been viciously kicked in the knee causing it to drop its guard for an instant. The young woman paused for a second, analyzed her enemy and went on the attack with a cold detachment that sent a shiver down Buffy's spine. And for some reason the dark-haired young woman seemed shrouded in shadow like the other woman but even more so.

Buffy's alpha took the way the stranger had answered as an insult and as a threat to her position. Not even Faith had triggered this intense a response. "Look," she growled as they both took out their closest opponents. "You, you may have had some training but if you want to survive, you will listen to me when I tell you something."

"Says the fake blond with the inferiority complex," Wednesday countered. She swung and the laughing swords cut through an attacking vampire's club and its body with minimal effort. The creature screamed in agony even as it turned into dust.

Unlike most vampires, the ancient ones didn't pause to reconsider their adversaries. Instead, the fighting and dying of their own seemed to encourage them. The fighting seemed to inflame them into more acts of ferocity.

Buffy noticed but didn't really care. Her focus had shifted somewhat to this new Slayer. "When this is over," she growled, "we're going to have to have a talk."

"It won't happen if your style continues to be that sloppy," retorted smoothly.

Buffy was angry now. "Yeah, we're going to have that talk. That would be of the good," she announced as she slammed into one of her attackers.

Buffy was aware of her surroundings, something that Giles constantly impressed to her when she was younger/ bitter experience added to that awareness, so she didn't fail to notice that underneath Wednesday's clawed shirt and trousers–the A dams' woman really had a thing for black. It was so morose with no real style at all–that she was wearing some type of thin armor! Where she'd get that from? "You had the need to protect yourself," Buffy snarked. "Must not be as confident as you pretend to be, huh?"

Wednesday raised her eyebrows as she engaged yet another vampire. This one was wary of her and the now singing swords taunting it. Instead of immediately attacking it stalked her cautiously trying to figure out the best way to get through her defenses. It reminded her of her brother in the good old days of their youth when he had his favorite axe and she her beloved butcher knife. He was wary of Wednesday and rightfully so. The Addams woman never stopped focusing on her opponent as she counter Buffy's blunt threat and stupid accusation. Wednesday responded in kind, using words with the same precision as a neural surgeon operated.

"Only a fool would come into this sort of battle without some kind of defensive protection. Anything would help, especially for the younger girls with almost no experience. But you didn't think about that, did you? Apparently, that dye has stunted your speech as well."

"What? What's wrong with my speech?" shew hissed as she killed another one of the cave vampires. How dare that, that person insult her blondness? But this woman with no sense of taste, wasn't finished yet,

"You may have to stop saturating your hair with it. Allow your brain to air out." Wednesday spare her a glance. "If I spoke like you, I know I would."

The raised eyebrow that Wednesday sent in her direction was nothing less than a de facto a declaration of war. Buffy quelled the urge to teach the unknown Slayerette her place right then and there. Teaching would have to wait though. Everyone was slowly being forced back to the entrance but the ever-increasing numbers coming after them.

This fight was becoming untenable. There were too many vampires climbing over the edge.

Wednesday was no fool. All of them would have to give ground in order to properly defend themselves. The blond bimbo who reminded her for some reason of Sarah Harmony Miller irked her, something that was never a good thing. The blond who had insulted her, or had tried to, by asking here why she named after a day of the week, was an amazing fighter. But Wednesday knew she could beat her. Buffy didn't know how to cheat and that was her weakness.

Another thing was that the Addams family had kept up with the Slayers and their adventures. Most of the Slayers died too quickly but Buffy had survived because she had 'family' to watch her back. Xander and the others interested her. He was surrounded by chaos and was destined for great things according to Grandmama. The stories of Faith and Buffy's antics were amusing but didn't have enough bloodletting for someone their age. And Buffy had one weakness that Wednesday intended to exploit for all it was worth.

"Hey middle-of-the-week girl, incoming on the other minis."

"I know, Biffy."

It's Buffy," Buffy snarled.

"That's what I said, Biffy dye-girl."

Oh, it was on.

Xander POV

True to form as with any carefully prepared plan, the instant it was implemented, said plans fell into the toilet. The entire plan collapsed the moment Spikey-boy had turned into a pile of dust.

The young Slayers were ferocious, but they were outnumbered and losing. Every lose tore at his gut but he ruthlessly suppressed those feelings that threatened to turn into despair and grief. The remnants of the 'soldier' part of him had come to the fore and was guiding him through the battle. Whatever part the soldier was had experienced the deaths of fellow soldiers and friends and helped Xander get through the immediate circumstances so that he could survive. There was nothing he could do now and any lapse in concentration would result in more deaths. The last thing the young man wanted to do now was to freeze during the battle.

But this battle was hard, being fought against enemies that were far stronger than he and he was exhausted. The only reason he was still functioning was because of adrenaline and the power that was boosting him through the borrowed axe–which he had to admit was really, really nice–which had been loaned to him by the hulking man creature who called himself Fester. That was the only thing keeping his mind-numbing fear from making him scream and run away in blind panic.

No, that wasn't true. He was here because he wanted to be here, making a difference no matter how small it might be. He'd never abandon them even when it meant death. His friends never fully understood that but right now he could care less. Xander was still in the middle of the pack with the Addams family, supporting them as they guarded him. It was interesting that Fester and Gomez kept protecting him and giving him bits of advice on axe handling, words which he took into complete consideration as said advice had saved his life a more than a few times.

If he didn't know better, it seemed as though they liked him even though they didn't know him. Fester kept looking at him as if he were a long-lost cousin, and Gomez just gave him that crazed but affectionate smile that could have meant anything. Xander just took it in stride. There'd be time enough for questions later if they survived this. Right now, he was busy ducking and weaving against a very small but vicious Turok-Han. The creature was a knife-wielding maniac with very long fangs. He looked like a subset of the regular ones, but he was fast and vicious with hands whose fingernails that were more actually described as extremely long claws, that reminded Xander of Wolverine or more precisely, the woman he had fought who had his same mutation in the movies. All of his attention was focused on trying to evade and kill this nasty vampire thing.

To aggravate matters, he was still aware of his surroundings, particularly of Fester's obviously insane bald-headed, ponytailed wearing, dual axe wielding wife. The woman was crazy, but she could handle those axes, one of which flew rather too close for comfort. One of her axes just happened to fly in his direction and decapitate Xander's adversary, turning it into nothing but putrid dust.

Fester just smiled at Xander's terror during that moment. "What can I say?" he said as he dueled with two vampires who were clearly wary of him. "But, don't worry. She's just a bit excited."

He'd seen demons less excited than that, but he was smart enough not to say anything to people that were actively helping to keep him and his friends from being eaten.

Xander and his companions, Fester, Gomez, and Dementia, had created a wall of mayhem and death to anything that came anywhere near them, giving the girls a bit of breathing room, to his utter surprise. The Slayettes were defiant and doing an amazing job but to everyone's dismay, their numbers were rapidly shrinking. They were however doing well and being flanked by Gomez's wife and Faith with the silver-laced blades they were able to regroup before being swarmed.

Gomez, ever the loving husband made sure that his wife was doing well. By the way she was moving he had nothing to worry about. But together, she and the Slayer with here were death incarnate, poetry in motion.

Faith felt an excitement that usually only Buffy elicited when she fought her. It was that of an equal. Buffy was a little stronger than she was being the elder Slayer, but not by much. She had felt her strength growing in this conflict as the Slayer essence built up inside her to meet this challenge. After all she was a Vampire Slayer and this was her calling, to slay vampires. She and Buffy, both 'old ones' so to speak, were mature enough for the Slayer essence to modify them as needed. The younger Slayers were babies, strong but not able to adjust in minutes what should take years.

This fight had shown Faith, why the old fogies on the Council did their best to keep Slayers from surviving more than four years. It was obvious that the older the Slayer was the stronger she became. The Council couldn't tolerate their power being threatened and that's exactly why she and Buffy were such threats. This was especially true of Buffy who had called them on it during the Glory situation. Too bad, since they were all dead and unable to see what they all had become and what a Slayer truly was. Good riddance. Let Giles rebuild it if they lived.

For a non-Slayer, Faith considered Mrs. Addams as poetry in in the study of controlled violence and Faith felt the need to follow her example. The older woman had a balanced style that Faith and Buffy were still developing.

Faith was never still, being everywhere at once while the older woman, for the most part remained in place, except when she was forced to move and when she did, she was like whirlwind. The dark-haired Slayer had never seen anything like it. The woman's hair never moved out of place. Mortica and Faith worked excellently with each other defending and attacking as if they'd being fighting together all of their lives.

It was, however, only a matter of time. The others knew it, also. Towards the edged the vampires were staring to swarm over one another to get to them like mutated roaches.

The First couldn't help but smirk.