Title: Incompatible

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Rating: T

Category: B:tVS, Unbreakable

Summary: 400 words. Not all heroes are destined to get along with one another.

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Spoilers: B:tVS post-"Chosen"; "Unbreakable" (2000)

Feedback: It's the coin of the realm.

Notes: Twenty-third entry for the August Fic-A-Day challenge. I'm so tired right now, I almost gave up on this. Less than a week left! Afterward, I'll finally have time to get back to my WIP's. (Like, say, the Lesser Men series...)

Buffy backed away from the man in the Security raincoat, suddenly confused and unable to understand what her Slayer senses were telling her. He wasn't a vampire or any other kind of demon, not even part of one, and yet--

David Dunn was nearly as confused as the woman facing him. He'd grown a little surer, a little more trusting of the strange flashes he saw when he went out like this to feed his need for justice; he'd seen just about every kind of violence one human being could do to another, from tiny acts of pettiness through torture and murder, and every one he'd followed through on had turned out to be true. But this little blonde girl backing away from him with a wary expression on her face-- God, she couldn't be any taller than Joseph-- what he'd seen when he'd touched her--

An image flashed through Buffy's mind as she jolted to a halt, feeling the smooth firmness of a wall pressed up against her back. The Philadelphia newspaper article that had alerted the Slayers to what was going on, with its attention-getting "SAVED" headline, had been accompanied by a picture of a shrouded figure too large to be a young girl yet too strong to be standard-issue human. Giles had sent she and Willow here to investigate, to see if there was some kind of cloaking spell shielding those within from the outside, wondering if there was still any possibility it could be a new Slayer. From what Buffy was seeing now, though, she thought she could answer that with a firm no.

David shook his head and stopped advancing, pulling in on himself as human traffic continued to swirl around his intrusive presence like an eddy in a stream. He'd seen so much in her eyes, loss both inflicted and taken, a parade of death both dealt and earned. Vampires, if his mind wasn't playing tricks on him. Demons. He didn't want to believe in them, but up until a few months ago he wouldn't have believed in himself either.

Buffy took a deep breath and held up her hands, palms-out. "I'm not here to fight you," she said firmly. "I just wanted to meet you."

She still radiated so much danger that David was hard-pressed not to flinch at the movement. "You've met me," he replied, flatly.

She nodded and took the hint.