The following is a "crossover" story combining BTVS with the "Highlander" series universe. I am assuming an alternate world combining elements of both universes, using BTVS conventions where conflicts occur. All characters are, of course, copyrighted by their owners.

Time Frame: Several days after the events of "Zeppo": about midway through season one of "Highlander: The Raven" (although Nick and Amanda do not appear; this is for the sake of timing only).


Part I

The Mercedes' engine purred as Duncan drove up the highway in the deepening twilight. Traffic was light, contradicting the horror stories he had heard about California traffic. He rubbed his eyes: it had been a long drive, although the scenery had been lovely.
It had been two weeks before when Amanda had stopped in unexpectedly to catch up. He had not seen her since the incident where she had been abducted by an Immortal looking for an edge against him, and in which he had the series of visions that gave him perspective on the meaning of his life. She told him of the recent events in her life, which mostly involved one Nick Wolfe in one way or another, and he reciprocated by relating the few events that had occurred in his life since their last meeting. Amanda accused him of letting the grass grow under his feet, and suggested a trip, commenting that the California coast was beautiful this time of year. After token resistance, he acknowledged the wisdom of her suggestions and packed. He had spent the last week driving up and down the coast, stopping where it suited him. He had decided to go home in three days, having satisfied his wanderlust for the time being. For now, he would need a place to stay for the night. A highway sign caught his headlights: "Sunnydale-5 miles." He pondered briefly, then decided that Sunnydale it would be. An innocuous town, where an Immortal could spend one night in a lifetime that had already numbered one hundred and fifty thousand, more or less.
He found a motel without difficulty and checked in, stashing his luggage in the small room. He decided to stretch his legs: there was something vaguely wholesome about small towns at night, at least on the surface. Duncan quickly reached a walkway adjoining a small park and moved along it, taking in the fresh air and various greenery. Maybe I should find a place like this to dwell for awhile, he thought. After all, a place like this is well suited for staying out of tro-"Whoof!"
The undignified sound was caused by Duncan falling hard face down on the sidewalk after being hit by a rather large piece of pipe. He recovered quickly and rolled to his feet, drawing his katana in the motion he had practiced for centuries. He expected to see a normal mugger, if perhaps a particularly stealthy one, and uttered a brief expletive when he perceived his actual opponents.
Two figures stood on the path directly in front of Duncan, and he could see two more lurking in the shrubbery. Their features were twisted parodies of humanity, something out of a Lovecraftian nightmare. Though it had been seventy years since he had last encountered one, he immediately recognized them: vampires.
The one in front chuckled with an undertone of uneasiness when he recognized what Duncan was holding. "I think this one's seen too many ninja flicks, guys." He leveled his gaze on the battle-ready Immortal and sneered, "You're only delaying the inevitable, pal. Easy or hard, you're going to be dinner."
Duncan's grin was feral as he snapped back, "Try me, ugly!"
The leader snarled and waved the vampire standing at his side to attack. He charged, preparing to duck if the human attempted a decapitating blow. Instead, Duncan dropped to the pavement, executing a perfect sweep kick that knocked the charging demon to the ground. By the time he recovered, he barely had time to begin a scream that was terminated by the katana's passage through his neck, followed by his collapse into dust.
The eyes of the leader vampire widened briefly then narrowed in anger as he motioned his other two allies into the fray. They engaged him cautiously, using probing attacks that did not expose them to as much risk of an immediately decapitating attack. They took their occasional wound with a snarl, but did not withdraw. After about thirty seconds, one got luck and raked Duncan's left hand with a claw, drawing blood. The wound healed in about ten seconds, startling the vampire in position to notice the regeneration into dropping his guard long enough for Duncan to send the katana slicing through his neck, reducing him to dust. The other vampire quickly retreated, and Duncan whirled to face the leader. . . .
. . . . who was pointing a large caliber automatic pistol at him.
"I caught that little trick, " he taunted, pointing the pistol at Duncan's heart. "I've never seen one of your kind before, but I know all of the stories. Ordinarily, I don't like to waste good food, but then. . . you'll make more, won't you?" He chuckled again, then pulled the trigger.
The horror that Duncan felt had nothing to do with the bullet that pierced his heart and sent him crashing to the pavement and into darkness.

Buffy prowled the pathways of the park, her concentration completely devoted to listening for signs of trouble. It was her first night patrolling since she had been injured in the successful effort to close the Hellmouth after the Apocalypse demons re-opened it. Faith was MIA, as often was the case, leaving her to mind the store. She was still a little sore, and had thought of requesting some company, but the others had also been banged up in the effort, except Xander, who had to be out of town for some personal business that night. She had decided that she was fit, and had left her house at dusk over her mother's objections. The patrol had been uneventful thus far, which surprised her; after all, the streets had been Slayer-free for three nights running. Surely, something would take advantage of the opportunity to-
The crack of a gunshot shattered the silence, and Buffy was galvanized into action, covering one hundred yards before being consciously aware of running towards the sound. She slowed and moved behind cover as she approached the scene, not wishing to be killed by a mugger only days after having survived what would have been the end of the world, no matter how delicious the irony. She quickly spotted the center of activity and froze in anger and horror for a moment.
A vampire was bent over a supine figure on the sidewalk, his teeth fixed in his throat. After a moment, he raised his head and let out an eerie bellow that reverberated around the park. Too angry to dwell on the weirdness of the vamp's behavior, Buffy charged with a stake at the ready.
She had hoped to catch him off guard, but the swiftness of the blow that sent her hurtling into a bush ten feet away made it quite clear she had not. She regained her feet and stared daggers at the vampire, who was regarding her with amused contempt. "You picked a bad night to run into me, Slayer. I've come into some power, you see-great power. Unfortunately for you, I can't think of a better thing to do than to kill you with it and set myself up as the head man of this town. Whaddya think?"
Buffy pondered the question for a moment, noting while she did that the man lying on the sidewalk was clearly dead with a large caliber bullet wound in the chest as well as the now dry fang wounds in the throat. Damn, when did they start using guns? Except for that awful night when Darla had tried to kill her, she had never run across a gun-toting vampire: they seemed to take it as a matter of pride to kill with their hands, teeth, or perhaps a hand to hand weapon. She met his gaze and replied sardonically, "I'm supposed to be quaking in my boots at the sight of a vamp who needs to go militia to take out some tourist?"
The vampire looked back at the body on the sidewalk and laughed, "Oh, him. He's a special case. Don't worry, little Slayer. I won't need that little toy to kill you: I'm beyond that now." He dropped the gun to the pavement and advanced on her, a broad smile on his inhuman features.
Buffy didn't move as the supremely confident vampire moved towards her, intending to tear her limb from limb. He saw her raise the stake in her hand as she approached and prepared to sweep it aside with a contemptuous gesture. Buffy brought the stake back, then paused, dropping and diving between the vampire's widely spaced legs, coming to her feet behind the startled vampire. Before he could react, Buffy kicked him squarely in the chest, knocking him back into a tree. He was preparing to leap at her to rend her to bits when he felt the sharp pain in his chest. He was in the process of noticing the broken tree limb protruding through his chest when he exploded into dust.
Buffy couldn't suppress a brief grin, despite the grim circumstances. Nothing beats the golden oldies. Her mood quickly darkened as she looked back at the body on the sidewalk. Reluctantly, she moved to give the body one final examination before she called 911 and reported back to Giles. He would want to hear about this, there had been something strange about that vampire.
As she leaned over the body, she noted that he had been quite a looker. Tall, dark, and handsome, not to mention that he obviously knew about the inside of a gym. He was wearing a dark trenchcoat, and at his side, still in his right hand. . . a sword? Yeah, Giles is going to want to hear about this.
Buffy's musings were interrupted by a loud gasp. She whirled to find herself looking into the startled eyes of the "dead" man. He shoved her away and rolled to his feet, bringing the katana with him. Oh no, not another one was her first thought. He had become a vampire. She pulled out her stake, preparing to plunge the stake into his heart before he could bring the deadly katana to bear. Abruptly, she paused. In the past, whenever a new vampire had risen in her presence, it had worn its true face, reflecting the raging hunger a new vamp suffered until it had fed for the first time. The stranger standing before her ready to bisect her remained damned good looking; in fact, more so, since he had regained his color and the horrific wounds that had marred his body had abruptly vanished. Puzzled, she hesitated.
For his part, Duncan was also puzzled. His last memory was of the vampire shooting him: he had expected to wake up in rather unpleasant confinement. He had not expected to awaken to the sight of a rather attractive young woman examining his "corpse." When he recovered from the shock and got to take a clear look at her, he realized that she was somehow triggering his paranormal senses. Was she Immortal? He quickly realized that the feeling was different: where had he felt it before? A moment's reflection retrieved the memory, and he smiled. Boy, were you lucky tonight! Duncan assumed his most charming smile and bowed to Buffy, who looked uncharacteristically perplexed. He commented, "I suppose you would like an explanation of what just happened, miss."
Buffy was unable to reply for a moment, caught utterly off guard. After a moment, she managed a nod and replied, "I'd say that's a pretty safe guess, considering I know you were dead two minutes ago. You're not a vamp, so what's your game, Dead Boy?" She winced at the unintentional borrowing of the phrase that Xander used to annoy Angel, but she had to admit it fit.
Duncan smiled again and replied, "I'll tell you, but I think that there is someone else who will want to hear this. Why don't you take me to your Watcher, Miss . . . ?"
After a moment, she managed to whisper "Buffy."
Duncan raised an eyebrow, then continued, "All right, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, and I think your Watcher will be able to shed more light on this situation. Why don't you take me to him or her?"
Buffy stared at him for fully ten seconds before starting down the path, gesturing for Duncan to follow. Duncan chuckled inwardly at the girl's bemusement, then sheathed his katana and followed. He sobered quickly as he reflected on the narrowness of his escape, and also on the rising prickling on the back of his neck that told him something else was amiss in this town. He put the feeling aside and left the park with the Slayer.