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Chapter 9: Settling In (Part 1)
Buffy gradually opened her hazel green eyes as she awakened from her short but deep sleep. She turned her head slightly to get a better look at the clock on the small bedside table.
It read seven thirty.
With a slight groan she picked herself up to a seated position and looked over the bed to see the sleeping form of the X-Woman Rogue.
She stretched to work the kinks out of her still slightly sore muscles. Sore muscles one could only get by sleeping on the floor using nothing but a mattress and one single pillow. Fortunately for her, her slayer healing was already working towards getting rid of the few aches that were troubling her.
She had returned to her room at around 4:30 am in the morning and had found the young Goth occupying the bed she had assigned to herself.
Most of the other rooms were either taken by the potentials or the Scoobies… not to mention the X-Men. Not wanting to disturb Rogue from her sleep, she had opted to make herself as comfortable as possible on the floor by making use of a blanket she had recovered from one of the closets. She did however; steal her pillow from the Goth heroine. Well, it was not as though the girl needed two pillows.
Three hours of sleep. It was going to have to be enough.
Being a slayer meant she could go days without proper rest, but that did not stop her from squeezing in every minute of sleep she could manage.
The sounds of a low whimper coming from the young woman occupying her bed made her head snap in Rogue's direction. She watched as Rogue's eyebrows knitted together forming a slight frown as the girl tried to ward off whatever demons haunted her dreams.
Buffy cocked her head to a side and studied the myriad of emotions playing across the young Goth's face. Most prominent being that of sorrow and pain… and fear.
When she had returned near daybreak, she had found the girl in the thralls of another nightmare. She wondered briefly if the girl was still suffering from that same nightmare.
Buffy thought of waking the girl up – thought against it – then finally decided to wake her up. Suffering from prophetic dreams on several occasions, Buffy knew exactly how relieved she felt every time she woke up from any type of nightmare.
She knew she did not even know the girl that much but she hoped that Rogue would thank her for bringing her out of whatever nightmare world she had found herself in. she couldn't imagine how someone so young could have nightmares that last for hours.
"Only on the hell-mouth." She offhandedly muttered.
She reached out and grabbed the young Goth lightly by the shoulders, being unaware and not even noticing that the particular anatomy she had reached out to grab was covered by a layer of thick blanket. She shook Rogue slightly.
"Umm, Rogue." She said softly. "Rogue… wake up!"
After a few more tries, Buffy saw Rogue's whimpers getting a little loud and therefore shook her just a little harder.
And Rogue did wake up… with a jolt. And Buffy for her part found herself sprawled out on the floor. After of course bouncing off the wall at the opposite end of the room.
As the last vestiges of the nightmare of watching her… no, she corrected herself immediately, not her family, but Magneto's being shot down in the Auschwitz death camps finally left her, Rogue finally came to her senses.
For a second, her eyes darted around the room taking in her surroundings. As though she was not sure where she was. Slowly but surely, the events from the previous day came to her.
Jubilee… potential slayer.
She cocked her head at that last part. No, that was it. The slightly older man, Xander had called his team the Scoobies. But didn't he refer to themselves as Slayerettes as well? Rogue shook her head to clear away the cobwebs.
A small "ooww" however diverted her attention to the opposite end of the room, where to her horror she found Dawn's older sister lying on the floor in a heap.
"Oh mah Gawd!" Rogue exclaimed as she pulled off the blankets and ran to help the young woman up from the floor. Halfway there, she realised she was not wearing any of her gloves. She turned her gaze to the bedside table where her gloves lay beside the small clock.
In a span of a few seconds, she was at the small table picking up her gloves and putting them on and then back at the spot where Buffy was picking herself up from the floor with a groan.
"Are yah ahlright?" she asked concernedly as she helped the older Summers to her feet.
"Peachy," Buffy replied as she graciously accepted the young girl's offered hand. Still a little wobbly on her feet, she stared at Rogue and grinned. "Heh…sorry I startled you."
At Rogue's confused look, Buffy elaborated. "You were having a nightmare," she started. "Thought I'd bring you out of it."
Rogue nodded understandingly. "Thanks."
Buffy shrugged and winced a little. Her left arm and torso having taken the brunt of the impact were stinging like crazy. Thank god her slayer healing was already taking care of them. She felt as though she had been hit by Glory.
"It's alright." She regarded the younger woman who for her part was looking anywhere but in her direction. She couldn't help but find it a little funny. Yesterday night, the girl had been the model of confidence. Here, at this time, half drowsy from just having woken up from sleep, she looked like any other teenager who had done something terrible and was waiting to be reprimanded. Buffy however had no intention of doing anything of the sort. "You're really strong you know that?" Buffy commented with a chuckle meant to alleviate the girl's fears.
Rogue shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot before finally looking up with regret clearly showing in her eyes. "Sohry about tha'. The strength and speed are kindah new. Ah'm still getting used ta it."
Considering that this was the first time one of the X-Men had actually offered some information about their powers, Buffy was eager to learn more. After all, what good were the X-Men if she did not know exactly what each of their members were capable of and how each one of them could contribute to the mission?
Plus, there was only so much one could learn from watching TV footage of the team and reading magazine and web articles.
"I can relate," Buffy stated in a knowing tone remembering the first few accidents that had occurred due to her slayer strength. "So," Buffy started again cheerily, no sign of any discomfort from her impact with the wall any longer visible on her face. "What else can you do… if you don't mind my asking?"
Since she didn't find anything wrong in telling the slightly older woman about her powers, Rogue started, "Well, right now, ah got theh super strength, near invulnerability, flight and…"
"Flight?" she was cut off as Buffy interrupted her. "As in," Buffy imitated the action of a plane taking off with one of her hands, "fly…fly?"
Rogue nodded as Buffy's eyes became as huge as saucers.
"As in like a bird fly… right?" Buffy asked again. Just to be sure. Despite herself, a smile crossed Rogue's face as she nodded in affirmation.
"Yeah." She said. Buffy's mouth fell open the next instant as with a gentle push, Rogue lifted herself off the floor and hovered there in midair, just a few feet away from her. "As in fly." Rogue stated and couldn't stop herself from letting a genuine laugh escape her lips at the gawking expression on Buffy's face.
Rogue lowered herself to the floor gracefully as Buffy finally closed her suddenly dry mouth. "T-that's… Wow! I mean, I've heard that a few people could do that but, wow. Seeing it is definitely something else." she stated grinning widely.
Rogue just smiled back. "Its mah fahvourite powah of all."
"Man…" Buffy sighed as she shook her head and stared at the young Goth in wonder. "What I wouldn't give to be able to fly." She confided.
"Its ahlright." Rogue shrugged. "Can be a little scary the first few tahmes though." She admitted with a slight shudder. She looked up and added. "Until yah remembah tha' yah're invulnerable so no mattah how far yah fall from, yah're gonna be ahlright."
Buffy not being able to relate to the experience described by the young woman simply nodded. Her gaze turned to the clock and she had to remind herself that she had a school counselling job to get to. "Sorry Rogue," she frowned for a second and asked, "Is that your real name?"
"Everyone just calls meh Rogue," Rogue responded. The fact that she still did not offer her real name did not escape Buffy's notice. She however tried not to show it on her face.
"Right. Ok, I need to go get ready for work." Buffy explained. "I'm sorry I woke you up… but…" she trailed off.
"Thanks." Rogue offered with a half smile and a nod. "Ah'll get some more rest befoh ah head down and meet the othahs."
"Good." Buffy said. She smiled one last time at the Goth and then proceeded to make her way to the nearest available restroom. But not before picking up a few fresh clothes she had brought along from her house. She reminded herself that she needed to go back to her place and get some more sometime later on in the day.
Logan walked out of the mansion and into the courtyard flinching slightly at the bright morning sunlight. He scowled. California can be so…bright.
He noticed at least fifteen girls, all of whom he assumed were potential slayers going through punching and kicking sequences following the slightly older potential slayer Kennedy's direction.
He recognised a few of the girls from the previous night. Chao-Ahn and Amanda waved at him happily and he found himself returning the gesture in kind. As he walked past the potentials, he gave the other girls a cursory nod and walked on. Most of the girls followed his movement with slightly wide-eyed fascination, having not seen him the night before. He could hear them starting to chat about the X-Men as soon as they thought he was out of hearing range.
'Yeah right. Good luck on that kids.' Logan mused. He then heard the Kennedy girl shouting out in a commanding voice, "What the hell do you think you're talking about potentials. Get back in line!"
He smirked and shook his head.
He walked out of the mansion grounds and decided to take a stroll around the block. To get a feel for the area. And to decide where the weakest points of defence were. Not to mention he needed to call the Professor and report to him about the happenings of this small town and their so far cooperative hosts.
As he walked past a few other pedestrians in the area, garnering a few odd looks from here and there, he brought out a metallic looking device from the front pocket of his jeans; a device that looked suspiciously like a cell-phone. He pressed a button on it and clicked it on. The bottom and top part of the small device extended out in opposite directions becoming something that resembled a mouth and ear piece.
He did not need to dial any number on this particular device. As soon as it was clicked on, the only other person on the planet who would be able to converse with him was none other that the benefactor of the X-Men, Professor Charles Xavier.
"Charles?" he started speaking into the communicator casually as he walked past a few shops that were starting to open. "Ya there?"
"Logan?" he heard his old friend's voice come through the small speakers that were built into the communicator. "How are things?"
Logan cocked at eyebrow at this question even though the Professor could not see it. He sighed and started relaying the details of what had happened since they had arrived in Sunnydale the previous night.
Charles Xavier listened intently to Logan's detailed report of what had happened the previous night as he sat in his elegantly furnished office. As Logan finished his report, the Professor nodded to himself and said into the communicator. "Thank you very much Logan. I appreciate you taking the time to inform me of the situation there."
"Nah, don't mention it," he heard Logan reply back.
"How are the rest of the team doing?" The Professor asked.
"Kitty and Jean are up and helping Willow in the kitchen with breakfast, the girl who's supposed to be a witch." Logan stated. "Scott's up and about. Kurt an' Gumbo are still snoring away. Dunno how though. With all the racket those potentials are makin'." the Professor just smiled and shook his head in amusement.
"Am I to believe Rogue has not joined the land of the awakened yet?" Professor Xavier asked and received the answer he was almost certain of.
"Ya believed right. Well, last I checked anyways." Logan said with a snort. "I think Kurt, Gumbo and Rogue are makin' the most of not havin' ta get up fer Danger Room sessions in the mornin'." Logan paused for a seconds before adding, "Gotta do somethin' about that."
"I am certain you will come up with a suitable alternative," the Professor suggested helpfully.
If he had been any other man, he would have dived under his large wooden desk and cowered at the sight of the feral gleam that had suddenly appeared in Logan's eyes as his mind raced through the many possibilities of alternative exercises he could put the X-Men through. However, as it went, he was not just any man, but Professor Charles Francis Xavier, founder of the X-Men. And therefore, he simply remained seated in his comfortable wheelchair giving his feral friend at the other end of the connection a few seconds to gather his thoughts before he decided to speak again.
Of course, the fact that he could not actually see the gleam in his friend's eyes may also have contributed to the Professor still being seated in his wheelchair. Sadly, this was one of those questions which will forever remain unanswered.
"How is Jubilee Logan?" the Professor finally decided to speak up. "Is she feeling better?"
"I dunno Chuck!" Logan admitted. "Willow gave her some kinda potion, s'posed to help her recover faster or somethin'. Last I saw her when I woke up, she was breathin' fine and she smelled kinda better." Logan shrugged even though the Professor couldn't see it. "Maybe it worked. Not like I know much about potions and stuff."
"I am certain Miss Rosenberg knows what she is doing Logan." The Professor supplied helpfully. At least, Rupert Giles had been very confident in the witch's powers and abilities.
"Yeah, yeah," Logan sighed. "Doesn't mean I gotta like it."
"I am certain things will get better Logan," Professor Xavier said into the communicator. He then added. "Try and give them a chance."
"Right," Professor Xavier could almost see his friend nod his head in affirmation. "So who else is back at the mansion?"
"Piotr is arriving sometime tonight," Professor Xavier stated. "As for Hank, he is..."
A knock on the door alerted the Professor to the presence of someone waiting outside his office. Upon recognising the presence, he smiled and spoke into the communicator, "Beast… is here." Without raising his voice he called out telepathically to the X-Men's resident doctor, "Come in Hank."
The door to the office opened a little as the smiling face of one Dr Henry McCoy peered in through the opening. Professor Xavier gestured with an ever present smile for the blue furred mutant to come inside and take a seat as he said into the communicator. "Logan."
"Yeah?" Came the instant reply. "I'm here."
"I will speak to you same time tomorrow," the Professor said. His voice took on a concerned tone to it as he added, "please. Take care of the children and let us know if you need anyone else to come down."
"Got it Chuck!" Logan responded. "Over and out."
With that the Professor felt his feral friend cut the connection. He gently laid the communicator back on the table and turned to the man known as Beast. He reached a hand out as Dr McCoy took it in his own and they shook it enthusiastically. "Henry, it is good to have you back."
"It is good to be back Professor." Hank admitted with a toothy grin as he settled back into a seat.
"I am sorry I had to call you back Hank…" The Professor said with regret but was quickly dismissed by Hank with a wave of his hand.
"Think nothing of it Professor," Hank stated.
"You did sound very excited about the work you were doing with SHIELD." Professor Xavier added and smiled as he saw the young scientist's face lit up in excitement.
"It was indeed." Hank nodded. "But, I'm sure that can wait. I was hoping you would be kind enough to let me know about what has been happening at the mansion. I noticed the absence of a few of our residents. Camping trip with Logan?"
Hank watched as the Professor's face became solemn. "I wish that had been the case," the Professor stated grimly.
Hank had wanted to speak to the Professor about the research work he had conducted with some of the scientists back at SHIELD. However, a look at the concern laced across the Professor's face and he knew that talks about his research were going to have to wait.
"You must be hungry as well as tired from your trip," the Professor said as he wheeled himself out from behind the desk. Hank stood up from his chair and grinned sheepishly as at the mention of food his stomach made a loud growl making its demands to be fed known. The Professor just chuckled and added, "Come. Let's go to the kitchen and prepare you something to eat first. We can discuss everything there."
"Yes, of course," Hank nodded as he went ahead of the Professor and held the door to the office wide open for the older man to wheel out of the office. Professor Xavier smiled in gratitude.
With that, Hank followed the Professor into the kitchen; not having the faintest clue that by the time he stepped out of that same kitchen, his view of the entire world was going to change.
To Be Continued…
Alright everyone, as promised. Shorter chapters but slightly faster updates. I really hope you all enjoyed this first part of Settling In. I plan to get the next part up as soon as possible. In the mean time, do let me know what you thought of this one.
Also, just wanted to let you know that I've started working on a new story. It's called "Six Sharp Claws and a Mister Pointy". It's also a BTVS crossover with Marvel (slightly AU future). Here's a little preview: -
"One girl, Chosen. Slayer. The other, Clone. Mutant. Marvel AU, BTVS Crossover. Buffy the Vampire Slayer comes face to face with the most dangerous girl on the planet. Weapon X23."
Got your interests peaked? I sure hope so. Have a go through the first chapter and let me know what you think. Take care all. Before you go however, please… REVIEW. REVIEW. REVIEW.
Just a small reminder. This story has been revamped and a newer version of this story has been posted on is known as The Guardians at the Gates of Hell: New Beginnings and can be accessed through my Profile page. Here's to hoping you'll enjoy this newer version just as much as you enjoyed it in its prior incarnation. Thank you all and as always, Happy Reading.