Welcome to the Hellmouth (Belize)

"Buffy, I've some new information, demons, planning to open the hellmouth." Giles told her.

"Where are they and how hard can I kill them?"

"They aren't here at this hellmouth, normally we wouldn't take on such a thing, but this is very serious. They plow through village and village, shredding and killing all things in their way. The hellmouth, the hellmouth is in Belize. This species of demon has been classified as one that is cruel and brutal to its victims."

"So you're saying we have to go to Belize? No go for me."

"Buffy this is your destiny, your birthright, and you choose not to go. You have no choice in this matter."

"Giles, it would just hurt too much, okay?"

"Hurt why?"

"Riley.... that's where he is, Belize." She said quietly.

"Buffy, there is very little chance you would come across his troop, let alone him."

"I'm just not sure."

"Buffy, you don't have to be sure, you are going along with Willow, Xander, Anya, and I. We all are very useful. Anya says she knows over one hundred demon dialects. Willow can do some majicks to help us in this fight. Xander and I will plan. We are going and you have no say." Giles insisted, and Buffy nodded reluctantly.



All his nights were like this one, maybe with a few differing details. He was restless, wriggling around on his cot. He heard many complaints from his drowsy tent -mate, Graham. It all came back to him, their times walking hand in hand on the beach, the salty air, her blonde hair. The smile that spread across her face when she was amused and the frown that appeared when she was in obvious pain. During the day hours he could block out the memories, but at night, the time when he felt the most alone, they came back, the memories plagued him, haunting his sleep. He rubbed his stubble that had rested on his cheeks. Then, as if on cue, he remembered the soft touch of her lotioned palm on his face. It was too much, too overwhelming, but he had to deal.



"Giles, are you sure we had to drive? Couldn't we have taken a plane?"

"Must I say it again, Willow? Baggage claim would have field day with our majick gourd, let alone the numerous stakes and axes." Giles replied to her question, he was very irritated. Buffy was asleep in the back of the van while Xander and Anya played portable Life. They had just entered Mexico and passed the border inspection quite well, the inspectors, saw the weapons, but paid them no mind; they were only looking for drugs or illegal produce. Willow simply nodded and took it that she should be very quiet now.

Meanwhile....

"This is no fair! I can't trade my little pink children in for more cash?"

"No, you can't Anya, you know this, you've known this since you first played with Dawn and me, you CAN'T trade in your children." This point of the game annoyed Xander. Dawn was staying with Janice while they all went down to Belize. Their arguing awakened Buffy.

"I'm awake, I'm awake. Giles, how far?" Buffy said drowsily as she poised herself. Giles looked at the high tech navigator by the wheel, it was a special bonus in his new automobile.

"Probably two more hours, if we take the shortcut my friend Carl at the local butcher told me about, he went there on vacation." Buffy raised an eyebrow. Carl?



"Wake up, Ry. You can't hide under your pillow all day. We have to go trace the Muldangis demons and you know Travis is a stickler for late-itude." Graham was prodding the sleeping form of Riley with his hiking stick. A groan escaped Riley. Then he turned over.

"Okay, I'm up, I'm up. Just had the dream again." Riley sat up and moved his head in a circular rotation to get the cramp in his neck to leave.

"Ah, the infamous/famous Buffy dream-nightmares. The reason why you twist and turn many a night." Graham nodded and sat on his best-friend's cot.

"They've come back super fierce, she's close, I can feel it." Riley said sniffing the air around him.

"Close to here or close to your heart?"

"Close mile wise, Graham. Seriously, she's not in California any longer." He wondered, where was she if not California?



They passed a sign that read "you are now in Belize" in Spanish, Xander read it. They were around twenty minutes away from the hellmouth, it turned out Carl was quite the expert in demon happenings and history, he knew who, what, when, where, and why. Maybe he picked up a few things after three decades of selling blood to vampires.



"If she's not in California, where could she be, Ry?" Graham tried to knock some sense into Riley.

"I don't know, Graham, just that she's like really close. In South America, no doubt."

"No doubt... really inconclusive. Riley maybe you're hallucinating or something."



They were there, the very essence of the hellmouth wreaked and made her head spin a little. Spending three years on one gives you an idea of the feel of it when you're close. Buffy could feel it was right ahead along with a big sense of demonic energy.

"Giles stop, I can feel it. I can feel all of it, the sense, the energy, and the essence it just call me. I can tell, it's right there Giles, behind the foliage and trees, it's in a temple." Buffy said abruptly. Giles stopped the vehicle quickly and he pulled out a few handy stakes and axes. He handed them to the entire group as they hopped out of the van. They walked into the forest.
It was very scorching, the humidity made her bathe in sweat just as she even got out of the van. Sunnydale was warm, but never this humid and warm. She could barely handle it and she was in an orange halter and blue jean shorts. What about Riley? He had to wear all that heavy high tech gear; didn't he swelter or faint from heat stroke every day? He had lived in Iowa, a place that got very cold often, how could he stand this boiling heat? How could he stand the conditions?



God, it was warm. But he had adjusted to the climate quite well. He was walking in the forest, checking on the hellmouth, his duty, he did this everyday. The temple where it was housed was a pretty nice place, as satanic worship centers go.
Then, something, rather someone, coming out of the thrush caught his eye. It was a blonde girl, correction woman, she wore a very ornate orange halter, and a very fashionable pair of shorts with ribbon wrapped around the cutoff. She would stand out like a fish out of water, a very tasty target for any Muldangis demon that came across her. She was followed by a redheaded woman, a man with short graying hair, an awkward brunette woman, and a dark headed young man, they all carried weapons. The blonde turned, checking if the coast was clear. It was she, it was Buffy. It had to be a mirage, he told himself, it just had to be.



The temple was magnificent; it was beautifully detailed and clean, too clean. Too clean for any demon hang out. Buffy almost tripped over something. It was the seal, the seal to the hellmouth. It had many symbols, the words carved in Latin, a dead language. She touched it; it was cool, icy cold, like it hadn't been touched in years by anything with warm blood. But Buffy knew better.



If it was a mirage, he could touch it, right? Only grasping air, not flesh or any other material. He walked up to the temple, hearing voices from the inside, correction, mirage voices. Or at least he thought so.
He walked inside casually, staring at his Buffy mirage and her imaginary pals. They were looking at the seal. Funny, exactly what the real Scooby gang would do, not beckon him invitingly, he took another swig from his water bottle. They were still there, still looking for clues. He walked up to his supposed mirage and touched her shoulder, it was solid. She turned to face her assailant.

"Riley?" She was very surprised as was he. She fainted.