Sorry guys, I reposted because I am really anal about spelling and grammar errors and I found some. I just couldn't let them go.
Majin Gojira: One: sorry I didn't respond in the last posting. Two: I wanted to make sure that Willow wasn't going to be Supergirl. I wanted to make sure she still had to put in some effort for some things. I tried to make things as "realistic" as possible. Buffy didn't walk up in NYC and start owning the place, because that never would have happened. Sara DID push around Buffy a little, but only because she got a couple bruises from her fight with her and wanted to get her back a little.
6:45 am, Friday – Slayer Base HQ
The alarm had gone on for about five minutes. The night had been, quite possibly, the most peaceful sleep Sara had been allowed in a long, long time. Which wasn't saying much. Still, it was better than what she got on a usual basis and that was good enough for her. She woke up to take another shower, to prepare for another day at work, and hear Dante chew her out for last night's debacle.
The others were still fast asleep as she exited the shower and put on her clothes that Willow had brought up. Sure, she was going to be wearing the same thing she wore yesterday, but at least they were clean. Dryer-fresh and blood-free. Throwing on her jacket and putting her hair in a ponytail, she grabbed her report papers, helmet, and keys and started to leave.
"Uh...oh... Sara," Giles said groggily. "Leaving for work?"
"Yeah, got to get this report in. I'll try and stop by tonight and see what's new," she said as she started to exit.
"Actually, something is already 'new'. Buffy is planning on stopping by Mr. Vitelli's residence to see Amy."
"What? Why? Forget it, I know why. Just convince her not to."
"We both know that isn't going to happen, Sara."
"Yeah, I know. Just... tell her to wait for me, alright? Last thing we need is a harassment suit."
"See you, Giles."
7:28 am, Friday – 11th Precinct
Sara had arrived just in time to hear yelling coming from Dante's office.
"I want to hear something better than, 'They just disappeared'! A crack S.W.A.T. team and all we got is, 'They just disappeared'! What do you guys get paid for, huh?! Where's Pezzini? Get her in here. She got in there first. Get her in here, now!"
"Captain, I'm right here," she said entering his office.
"'Bout time, Pezzini. Where's your report? What happened last night in that auditorium? And why do you look like you've been in a street fight?"
"It's right here, I entered into the auditorium, and I did some kickboxing to work off some tension. That good enough?"
"Don't be a smart-ass, Pezzini. What happened in the auditorium?" Dante asked.
"I went in and saw multiple aggressors assaulting the convention-goers. I pulled my piece, but was attacked and by the time I was able to retrieve it, they were leaving. Danny and Jake came in about minute and a half later."
"S.W.A.T. team says they didn't see anybody, not even a shadow. And now I've got the commissioner on me to give some sort of explanation."
"Captain, we don't know what happened," Danny said. "We followed procedure and next thing we knew, the speaker was dead and the attackers were long gone."
Sara knew what had happened; she lived it in the following hours. But what was she going to say to tell her boss: the truth? Oh, by the way Captain, a super-witch killed these women to make a copy of an evil gauntlet that I currently wear in case things get out of hand. Yeah, smooth. Still, if she didn't give him something, they would all possibly end up in hot water. Actually, the water was already hot; she just didn't want it boiling.
"Tell me we have some leads on this guy," Dante said.
"Actually," Sara replied, "a source led me to a suspect. Amy Madison-Vitelli."
"As in Genovese Vitelli's widow?" Jake asked.
"What makes you suspect her?" Danny asked.
"Some sources said that Amy had a history with the occult and was fairly unstable. They also said her mother exhibited the same traits and probably had an influence on her."
"So some young girl either kills or orchestrates killing five people? And how would they know?" Dante asked skeptically.
"They... had run-ins with her in the past."
"I see," Dante said. "And would these 'sources' be willing to come to the station and give a statement?"
"Unfortunately, no. But I do know we should at least keep an eye on her," Sara replied.
"Well, Pezzini, we'll be keeping an eye on her anyway. They just fished Carlo Vitelli out of New York Harbor this morning. An eyewitness said that his car just flew off a pier. They're ruling out suicide, and some are speculating it may be the work of some rivals, maybe the Japanese or the Russians."
"Or maybe it was Amy," Sara offered.
"Right, and maybe she got Jimmy Hoffa, too," Dante quipped. "Nevertheless, Staten Island's going to question her and I need to put something on the commish's desk. If your source has some credibility, and it better Pezzini, we might produce something yet. Get back to work and find me something else to work with."
"And Pezzini," Dante yelled as the three detectives started to leave, "cut back on the kickboxing, got it?"
8:00 am, Friday – Slayer Base HQ
Buffy woke up to the smell of fresh coffee. She knew it was Giles making it by the coffee's aroma; it was a special-blend import he had gotten from a shop in L.A. Willow preferred some of the more generic stuff, simple and effective. She strolled into the kitchen and greeted Giles.
"Morning, Giles," she said.
"Good morning, Buffy. I made some fresh coffee for you two."
"Yeah, I smelled it. Coffee is of the good."
"Are you still planning on going to confront Amy?
"Giles, we went over this. She needs to know we won't be cowed into a corner."
"Well... since you're planning on doing this despite my objections, Sara wanted me to tell you to wait for her."
"You told her?" she asked indignantly.
"Yes, I did. First, for backup, and second, to make sure there are no legal complications by your actions."
"Fine, she can come along."
"Me too," Willow said from the doorway to her bedroom.
"You sure, Willow? It might be a little emotional," Buffy warned.
"And you're just going for tea and crackers?" she quipped.
"Good point. Well, I'm going to take a shower. Willow, be ready to move out in thirty minutes."
"Got it," Willow replied. As Buffy left to take her shower, Willow turned to Giles. "Did I really just agree to go confront Amy on her territory?"
"Yes, you did."
"Well, maybe I can convince Buffy to get some breakfast first. I'm starved."
9:15 am, Friday – Verrazano Narrows Bridge
Willow was nervous. She was about to walk into the lion's den smelling like an injured zebra from one of those nature shows. The bite they grabbed helped her stomach a bit, but as they approached the island she began to feel as if they were making a huge mistake.
"Buffy, maybe Giles was right. Maybe we shouldn't play this out."
"No, Willow. Amy started it, and I want to show her we plan on finishing it. Giles is already starting to gather info to find the New York Slayers, and Kennedy and some others should be arriving soon. Besides, I feel like seeing an 'old friend'."
"Alright, but if we die I'm telling Giles."
Sara was trailing them on her bike. She had handed in her report and left the precinct to question Amy. In reality, she was actually going to back up a Slayer and a witch against a serial killer, as well as make sure any case against her wouldn't be jeopardized. Before she left she had told them about Carlo Vitelli's demise. If Buffy had been in any way unsure about her next move at first, she wasn't now.
Twenty minutes later, they had arrived at Genovese Vitelli's home, rife with security, as well as a few reporters. They had no doubt gathered to the home because of Carlo Vitelli's death. Sara had told Willow and Buffy about it and that made Buffy more than convinced that confronting Amy was the right thing to do. Approaching the home, she got off of her bike as Buffy and Willow exited the cab.
"So, what do we do now?" Willow asked.
"We should go around the back," Buffy replied.
"You know reporters are going to be camped out there too," Sara said. "We don't need the publicity on what we're doing."
"Excuse me, ladies," one of the guards said as he approached them.
"Yes?" Buffy said cautiously.
"Ms. Vitelli will see you now."
"She's been expecting you," he replied. Turning around he started to lead them toward the gates. On the way past the reporters, Willow waved her hand, scrambling some of their equipment, to make sure their faces weren't recorded in case the police wanted to question them. Guided up the walkway, Willow was beginning to have second... no, third thoughts about this.
"Buffy, I think the element of surprise is pretty much lost," she said.
"Yeah, I know. Still, we're here. Turning back is going to look pretty stupid at this point."
Greeting them at the front door was Amy, looking sullen and worn. Of course, she was faking, and they all knew it.
"Buffy, Willow. What a pleasant surprise. Please, come in." Motioning to the guard she said, "That will be all, Sean."
"Yes, Ms. Vitelli," he replied before leaving their presence.
"Laying it on pretty thick, huh Amy?" Buffy asked.
"Well, my stepson was killed in an unfortunate incident. It could have been an accident, but some are saying disreputable parties may be involved," she replied playfully.
Walking them to a private office, she turned around, saying, "So what brings my old friends here?"
"We're just here to tell you that we're coming for you, Amy. Whatever you're planning won't work," Buffy said.
"Well, it has so far. Maybe you guys aren't as tough as you let on."
"Or maybe it was just beginner's luck?" Willow replied. "You know, Amy, you can play up the sullen widow or the bereaved stepmother. But me and Buffy know that you're nothing but a second-class witch, looking so hard for Mommy's approval. You couldn't even do your own dirty work."
"First, I did do some of it, just to get a feel for it. I dated a med student for a little while, taught me a little about rib-spreaders." Amy replied. Her tone then changed to one of anger. "Second, my mother only dreamed of power like this. She was too busy trying to relive her 'glory days' to go after it. I've surpassed her in every way, and now, I've even surpassed you."
"Touched a nerve, huh?" Willow retorted.
"I'll enjoy making all of you suffer, especially you," she said, pointing at Willow.
"You wanted a war, Amy?" Buffy said. "Well, now you've got one. I'm going to bring this fight to your doorstep. You won't be able to eat, you won't be able to sleep, you won't be able to walk around this house without thinking about how we're going to take you down. Your games brought me to this city, and I'm going to make sure you and everyone who backs you pays for it. Let's go, guys."
"Oh, and one more thing..." Willow said. Turning quickly toward Amy she landed a solid right hook to her jaw. "That was for Kennedy."
As Amy stood there clutching her mouth and wiping the blood, she started to laugh. "Detective Pezzini, nothing to say about all this?"
"Looked like an accident to me. Seems you bumped into her when she turned to talk to you. Besides, you know where we both stand. Sooner or later, murderers like you always get theirs."
"What about murderers like Willow?" she offered.
"What?" Sara asked.
"They didn't tell you, huh? Must have slipped their minds. Our little Willow here killed two people in cold blood last year. Yep, did that right before she tried to end the world. Surely they would have mentioned that?"
Looking at Willow she saw her face tighten and her lips purse. Buffy spoke up and said, "She's just trying to divide us. Don't listen to her."
"Is it true?" Sara asked Willow.
She lowered her head in shame and silence, all of it deafening to the detective. Sara just stared at Willow and said, "Sooner or later, Amy... sooner or later." With that she left the office, leaving Buffy and Willow to catch up. Before Willow left, though, she glared at Amy, the same look she had when she confronted...
Remembering herself, she turned and left, catching up with both Sara and Buffy. Sara wasn't saying a word, just storming out of the front door and down the driveway. They easily got past the reporters without having their picture taken, as most of them were scrambling trying to figure out what happened to their equipment.
The cab had been waiting outside with the meter running. Sara hopped on her bike and sped down the street toward the ferry to Manhattan as Buffy and Willow rode in the cab. She stopped just short of the ferry, and Buffy had the cabbie stop the car alongside her. Sara had taken off her helmet and her face was almost unreadable. Still, Buffy knew what was coming and paid the cabbie his fare. After he drove off, Buffy began to talk.
"It's true, isn't it?" Sara asked.
Willow looked sullen, and said in a soft voice, "Yes... it's true."
"I can't believe this. I absolutely cannot believe this!"
"Sara, this isn't the issue. The issue is..." Buffy started.
"No, this is exactly the issue! I've got a murdering witch over there, with criminal connections to boot, ready to 'make us suffer', and the only people I've got as my backup is another murdering witch and her accomplice!"
"Hey, Buffy wasn't an accomplice! She tried to stop me!" Willow said.
"Does Giles know?" Sara asked, hoping he was in the dark about all of this.
"Yes. He was helping me cope after..."
"After you killed two people and tried to destroy the world?"
"But I'm better now, Sara."
"Look, Sara, we know this isn't easy, but..." Buffy started to say.
"And you! She kills people and you give her a free pass, the one person in the world who's supposed to protect the public from people like her!" Sara yelled.
"She's my friend and she needed help!" Buffy shot back.
"You said this wasn't going to be easy. Well, I'm making it easier. You, Willow, and Giles have twenty-four hours to leave town. I don't want to see you; I don't want to know you. I catch you here again, I'm arresting all of you, got it?"
Sara put on her helmet and started up her bike as Buffy protested over the noise. "Sara, wait!" Speeding away, all that was left was a cloud of dust, a Slayer yelling at the top of her lungs, and a witch feeling she had done more harm than good coming along.
Taking out her cell phone, Buffy dialed the one person she hoped would solve this conundrum.
"Giles, we have another problem."
12:03 pm, Friday – Quinn's Diner
Giles had been briefed on what had happened. He called Sara, hoping she'd be interested in talking about it. He wanted to convince her that they all were on the same side and that they needed to be united against a common enemy. After much prodding, she had finally agreed to meet with him, but only briefly.
He had been waiting for about thirty minutes, sipping his second cup of coffee. He was hoping Sara wouldn't back out. If she did, Amy would only take advantage of everything and the world's safety would be in jeopardy. Dreading those thoughts, he was relieved when he saw Sara's bike pull up. She walked off of the bike like a woman ready to confront an army.
Sara entered the diner and looked for Giles. When she spotted him, she walked over, determination set in her eyes and along her jaw. Sitting in the seat, she quickly remarked, "You've got ten minutes."
"Thank you for meeting me here, Sara. This means a great deal."
"I only did it because I think you at least deserved this. But don't think you're getting any more favors."
"Sara, Willow went through a traumatic ordeal last year. Things happened that pushed her over the edge."
"Yeah, and she murdered two people when she fell off of it."
"Do you know the circumstances of it, Sara?"
"Why does that matter?"
"Willow's lover was killed, right in front of her, by a bullet meant for Buffy. Willow had been coming off of a magick addiction. She was delving into dangerous territory and her friends helped pull her back. But when Tara died, all of that came rushing back. She dove headfirst into acquiring the darkest powers she could find and hunted down the man who killed Tara."
"What about the other guy?" Sara asked.
"He was a magick dealer, a mystical version of a drug pusher, named Rack. She drained him of his power to recharge," Giles replied.
"So how did she stop?"
"After draining the powers imbued to me by a coven, she went to try and destroy the world. It was only after her best friend Xander confronted her that she was able to calm down and let all her grief and pain go. After that I helped her in England to recover."
"Well, that sounds like a nice story, Giles, but that still doesn't explain why you harbor her."
"She's a friend, Sara. One doesn't turn their back on friends. And she's not 'living it up' either. She feels it every day, every night. There are times when she's broken out in sweats in the middle of the night, haunted by what she did. And something like this is going to stay with her, forever. But she knows that, and still she's been at the forefront of this war against things that most people don't know exists. Besides, don't tell me that you've not done questionable things with the Witchblade."
Sara took that one hard, but took it in silence. She may not have killed two people in cold blood, but she did do some things that would have shocked most, the whole turning-back-time issue being one of them. She remembered very little, but she knew for certain that she did it. Ever since then, she had one question that crept up every now and then: What right did she have to interfere with time itself?
"Look, we've all done things we've regretted, myself included," Giles continued. "But we have to move beyond them and focus on the task at hand. If Amy capitalizes on our weaknesses and mistrust, she could very well destroy us all." Sara sat in silence, thinking about what Giles was saying. Confusion and anger at what Willow had done had blinded her and clouded everything... which was exactly what Amy intended. Though Sara knew it deep down in her soul, it was the part of her that held people at arm's length that had taken over at the time, using Willow's past as an excuse not to trust. She had gone so long without anyone truly at her side that it was easier just to brush them off. But Giles had a point. If Amy won, they, and possibly the whole city, would lose.
Giles, seeing Sara contemplating her next choice of words, decided to speak again. "There is another reason I asked for this meeting."
"We're planning on setting up a base here, to gather the new Slayers and deal with Amy. There are a lot of girls in this city who need guidance, who need to understand their power, but frankly, we're going to need some help," Giles said.
"Are you... are you offering me a job?" Sara asked incredulously.
"No, not a job per se, more of an opportunity really. We need allies in this fight. You are directly attached to this problem because it concerns the Witchblade and you know New York better than all of us. You have information and resources as a police officer that we're not privy to. I was hoping you'd be a part-time consultant, of sorts. You would be paid, of course."
"I see," she said, pondering the offer.
"And there's more," Giles continued. "In return, I will also guide you."
"Yes," Giles replied. "Buffy is an extraordinary woman. She is the Slayer that a Watcher dreams of... or has nightmares about, as in the case of her high school years. Still, she has become a teacher in her own right, capable of carrying on her leadership confidently."
"But few have any idea of what it is to carry the Witchblade. All people have are vague stories and legends and what little facts there are provide hardly enough to work with. You've said it yourself, that if you had someone like a Watcher, things might have been better for you. I'd be willing to help you understand your power, to understand the Witchblade, because I think you need it and because I hope you could count me as a friend. Besides, I've already trained one super-powered girl quite well; I think I'm capable of another."
"And if I refuse the 'consulting' position?" Sara asked. She wanted to know the catch. Everything had a catch.
"I'll still help you, if you want. I may not be as available, but I'll still aid you as best I can," Giles replied.
Sara sat there flabbergasted, but she didn't show it. There was no catch. Someone was willing to help her understand her power. Someone who didn't want to manipulate her or deceive her. Someone who wasn't out to make her some slave to their wishes. Someone who truly cared. It was almost too good to be true. Maybe it still was...
"You don't have to give an answer right away, Sara," Giles said. "Give it some time and..."
"I'm in," Sara interrupted.
"I said I'm in."
"Are you sure? I mean, you haven't..." Giles started to say.
"Giles, I want this. If I have a chance to better understand this thing and bring Amy down, I'd call that a win-win situation. So, I'm in."
"Good." Giles dialed his cell phone and said, "She's in."
Walking by the window of the café were Buffy and Willow. They entered in and approached Sara and Giles. Sara had felt them both in the vicinity when she arrived, but let it slide to hear Giles out first. "Good to hear it. I wasn't too happy about it at first, but Giles is persuasive," Buffy said.
"Yeah, that he is," Sara agreed. Seeing Willow Sara decided to do something uncharacteristic of her: she started to apologize. "Willow, I, uh...that is... I..."
"You had every right to say those things," Willow said, interrupting her. "Sara, I've done things that haunt me when I sleep, that most people would cringe at. I did things that your whole career has been spent fighting against, and I'm going to have to live with that the rest of my life. I won't excuse it, or ask you to either, but I'm hoping you can forgive me for it. And maybe we can start over."
Sara's only response was a slight smile that formed on her lips. She began to think that maybe this could work out, that she didn't have to carry her burdens alone, that she could have allies and friends to help her on her along the way. She was snapped out of her thoughts by Giles' voice.
"Well, we'd best get started. We have a lot of work ahead of us," he said.
"Do you always have to say that?" Willow asked.
"Well, it is true," Giles said defensively.
"Yeah, but can't you just lie to us once in a while?" Willow retorted.
"Alright. This will be terribly simple. Amy will fold like a deck of cards by tomorrow and we'll all be in England next week having tea and crumpets."
"Liar," Willow replied.
"Giles is right," Buffy said. "We do have a lot of ahead of us. You game, Sara?"
Sara smiled. Things were going to be challenging and arduous. Rough times were ahead for all of them. But also ahead of them was something Sara had never thought possible, something she never dreamed would come: hope. If they could hold on to it and nurture it, then maybe they could win.
Thanks again for all those who read and thanks a bunch to all those who reviewed. And no, I don't plan on leaving this story hanging like this. I intended this as the first part of a trilogy. I even have some of it fleshed out in my head. Until next time cats and kittens.