Chapter 29: Means to an End


Scene: Giles' Place


Oz loved these moments. Even if they were at three in the morning and under what seemed like a pile of books as they researched almost everything on Mythology. Oz had once thought the subject was interesting, but right now he was starting to rethink it. Then as he looked down with a smile on his lips all of his problems seemed to go away.

{Who needs Aphrodite} Oz thought to himself as he stroked Willow's red hair. She had been asleep ever since Giles left the room. Her body was now stretched over the couch with her head in his lap. For the first time throughout the night Oz was at piece, that is until he heard Giles' bedroom door open and close. From the way Willow shot up he knew he wasn't the only one that heard Giles.

"Giles!" Willow said as he entered the room, "Your just in time to help us." she said picking up a book from the table, trying to act as if she'd not been drooling all over Oz's lap just a minute ago.

She quickly handed the book to Giles who took it, opened it to the first page, and then looked back to the cover of the book, "10 ways to please the man of your dreams." he read outloud before looking back at Willow who at the moment wished she was drooling in Oz's lap until she realised that was one of the ways so she just sat there while Giles gave her a look. She was saved by Faith who snatched the book from Giles drawing his attention away.

"You wouldn't happen to have the book, 10 ways to open a portal to another reality, would you?" Reed said standing at Giles' door.

The only sound everyone heard was a wsshhh sound as a knife came spinning at Reed before he caught it inches away from his head, "Good to know I was missed." he said putting the knife into his jacket.

Faith was about to charge the man, until Giles stepped in, "Faith, this is Reed."

"Oh." Faith said before looking back at Reed, "Then give me back my knife."

"Faith? Your Faith?" Reed said looking her up and down.

"Uhh...yeah, what's it to ya?"

Giles chose that moment to jump in, "Where's Buffy?"

"In your bedroom." Reed said still eyeing Faith.

"What, but I was just...."

"How do you know my name?" Faith asked as she eyed Reed up and down.

"Oh, Oh!" Willow yelled drawing everyone's attention, "I think I've found something." she said giving the book over to Giles.

"Is this your guys?" Giles asked giving Reed the book.

"Let's see, short, green, look kinda..." he broke off looking at Willow before continuing quickly, "Yep, that's them."

"Hmmm..."

"What?" Ms. Calendar said coming up behind him.

"Well, it mostly vague, but what I can make of it in order to contact the powers you have to go to a place of holy significance." Giles said skimming through the text.

"That makes sense if your God theory is correct." Ms. Calendar said looking at Giles.

"Yes, well, let me gather a few things and then we'll..."

"I'm going alone." Reed said cutting Giles off.

"What? You can't be serious." Giles said as Reed grabbed the book from him.

"It's too big of a risk for you to go with me. Listen, if these guys think I've told you anything there is no telling what they might do. They're not human friendly."

"Then what makes you think you can get all chatty with them?" Faith asked.

Reed exchanged a glance with Giles, before looking at Faith, "Usually I'd agree, but since I'm the one who they contacted in the first place for this little mission of mine, then I'm going to say that I'm the best choice to have contact with them." he said before quickly adding, "Besides, I need you guys to keep Buffy safe while I'm gone. Hopefully I'll be back soon." he said walking towards the door.

"But you don't know where to look other than a holy place." Giles said to Reed's retreating form.

"Yeah, and there are so many of those in Sunnydale aren't there." he said as he opened the front door.

"Well, actually....." Willow was cut off by Faith.

"Hey, where's my...." Faith stopped as a knife embedded itself into Giles' coffee table at her feet before the front door closed.
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It was now five in the morning and dawn would be threating the night in about an hour or so. Willow was catching up on her sleep with Oz as they lay on Giles' couch asleep in each other's arms, while Ms. Calendar sat in one of the chairs reading one of Giles' many books on the occult. Faith had excused herself a moment ago, saying she needed some air. That left Giles to his thoughts as he slowly made his way to his bedroom. As he opened the door there she was. The girl that had changed his life forever. He went and knelt beside her lying form on his bed. She was still unconscious, but Giles could tell she was getting better. The color was quickly returning to her face and her breathing was starting to become normal.


"Hey."

Giles turned to see Ms. Calendar leaning against the wall in the doorway.

"I thought you were reading?" Giles asked from his kneeling position.

"I was, but there is only so much of a book I can take. I'm more of a computer gal." she said, drawing a smile from Giles.

"Yes, yes you are." he said standing up.

"Rupert."

She was the only person who could call him by that name and it felt right.

"Yes." he said looking at her. He waited for her to speak, but the only thing he saw from her was that her expression had changed, "Jenny?"

As she fell to the ground Giles' breath caught in his throat at the sight before him.

There was Xander standing behind her with a knife, Faith's knife in his hands, "You really shouldn't leave these kind of things lying around in your house. I mean with the kids and all." Xander said waving the knife in front of him.

Giles kneeled to Jenny's side as she fought back the pain while Giles looked at her bloody wound in the side of her chest.

"Awe, isn't that sweet." Xander said looking at Giles on the ground with Ms. Calendar.

Xander was about to say something else until his eyes caught the site of Buffy on the bed, "Hmmm... But that's sweeter." He said as he went to take a step forward.

Giles acted quickly as he pulled out a cross from underneath his bed and shoved it in Xander's face, "Back away demon!"

Xander hissed at the watcher, but obeyed as he backed up through the door and into the hallway as Giles helped Ms. Calendar up. He continued to push Xander towards his living room with the cross.

"I'm sorry about dropping in like this. I would had been satisfied with just ordering in, but you know how Buffy gets when she wants something." Xander said backing up with a smile.

"Where is..." he was cut off by a kick to the arm knocking the cross out of his hands as V-Buffy came into view.

"Sorry about that, but I can't have you go and shove Holy objects in my lover's face. You know how impressionable he can be." she said while Giles backed up with Jenny.

"How about this impression!" someone said from her left kicking V-Buffy as she went flying across the room and landing against the wall with loud thud.

"Sorry I'm late, but I like long walks." Faith said to Giles as Xander charged her, "Well, except for the whole beaches and guys part." she said punching a vamped out Xander in the face before kneeing him in the chest and flipping him over onto his back.

Willow and Oz ran up to Giles, "Giles... Oh God! Ms. Calendar!" Willow said seeing Ms. Calendar's bloody hand holding her right side, "Don't worry Willow I'll...I'll be..." she didn't finish because unconsciouness had overcome her as she fell to the floor.

"Jenny!" Giles yelled kneeling beside her.

Willow and Oz's attention was drawn away from their two friends below them to the scuffle from behind them now taking place in the middle of Giles' living room as the table that was there a minute ago went flying across the room and smashed into the wall.

V-Buffy was now in Faith's face as they held onto eachother, each trying to get the upper hand.

"Who...the hell...are you?" V-Buffy said through the struggle.

"Name's Faith." Faith said through gritted teeth before continuing, "I'm the new slayer thanks to you." she said bringing her right leg around the back of V-Buffy's left leg to trip her. V-Buffy just laughed, "Nice try, but I know all the slayer tricks." she said as Faith used her right foot to buckle V-Buffy's left leg. However, instead of V-Buffy falling down below Faith, she held onto Faith while she went down and with all of her strength flipped Faith over her head. Faith landed on her back which stunned her for a minute, a minute she didn't have as V-Buffy quickly got on top of her pinning her hands to the ground, "Sorry, but Im always on top." she said in her vamp visage.

Faith struggled to free herself. She looked to her right to see if there was any weapons she could use. None. The only thing she saw was Xander approaching a terrified Willow and Oz as they backed up beside a kneeling Giles who was still by Ms. Calendar's side. This was it. {Damnit!} Faith thought. {I'm going to go down as the shortest living slayer in history} she thought to herself as she looked up into the eyes of V-Buffy.

"You know what...I've been thinking about getting me some new minions. How about it slayer? Think you're up to the challenge?" she said smiling.

{I may go down as the shortest living slayer, but I'll be damned if I'll be a minion} Faith thought as she mustered up all the strength she had and used her legs to buck V-Buffy off of her. V-Buffy went flying head first, hitting the ground as she rolled back up into a fighting stance just as Faith used her momentum to flip herself into the same.

"You may have been alive longer than me, but you won't be dead much longer." Faith said, {I really need to work on my puns some more.}

"Faith is it? Is there a special someone in your life?" V-Buffy asked smiling at Faith.

"What?" Faith asked not believing that V-Buffy was pulling a Dr. Ruth on her.

"Because there is in mine." V-Buffy said just as Faith turned her head in time to see Xander's punch hit her square in the face as she hit the ground a few feet away.

At that moment something happened that caught everyone's attention as they stared at what used to be the front of Giles' place being overshadowed with a huge, blue swirling light. Everyone stared at it's beauty just as Reed appeared in front of the blue portal.

"You dare to interrupt my destiny!" V-Buffy screamed, "For that you will die!" she said before coming at Reed with Xander by her side.

Reed stood there in front of the flowing portal, the picture of calm as he waited for them. Every step they took ached at his heart because he knew what must be done. As they grew closer he reached into his black jacket and pulled something out just as V-Buffy and V-Xander were upon him. In one quick movement he thrust the objects into them as they stood in front of him with shock written on their faces.

Leaning forward with a pained expression he whispered something so quiet that only V-Buffy and V-Xander could hear. After a moment the only thing that was left in front of Reed was the ashes on the two stacks he held in front of him.

A moment passed as Giles, Willow, and Oz all took in what had just happened. Then Giles quickly picked Jenny up in his arms as he made his way towards Reed, "I've got to get her to the hospital."

Reed nodded before making his way towards Giles' bedroom and coming out with Buffy in his arms, "And I've got to get her home." he said looking at Giles.

Willow, Oz, Giles and Faith watched Reed walk towards the still opened portal. As he stood in front of it he turned around with Buffy in his arms to take one last look at everyone before turning back around and disappearing into the portal. They all stood there as the portal disappeared along with Buffy and Reed before Faith spoke up, "Now your free."

"What?" Willow asked.

"Reed." Faith said looking at her, "He said, now your free."

"How did you..."

"Slayer hearing." Faith said cutting Willow off.

After a second, Willow spoke up, "Let's get Ms. Calendar to the hospital." she said as Giles took one last look at the space previously occupied by the portal and at Buffy and Xander's ashes on the ground before following Oz and Willow out with an unconscious Ms. Calendar in his arms.
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Scene: The Original Reality



"Buffy...Buffy."

"Wh... oa... What." she said waking up in her room to her mother's voice calling her name.

"You were talking outloud in your sleep." her mother said sitting on the side of her bed before continuing, "I could hear you down the hall."

Buffy felt very weak. As if she'd just woken up from a long coma, "Wha...I... I don't." she managed to somehow spit out before her mother interrupted her.

"Well, that's what you get for staying in all the time. All you seem to be doing lately is going to school and coming home, not that I'm complaining but..." she trailed off before continuing, "Are you okay honey?" Joyce said feeling of her daughter's head.

"Uhh, yeah I guess... it's just... I" once again her mother cut her off, "Well, Willow and Xander will probably be coming by in the morning to walk you to school and since you'll probably need your conversational skills then you'll need your sleep." she said as she got off of Buffy's bed and began walking to Buffy's door. As she opened the door she smiled at Buffy before closing it, leaving Buffy alone to the fogginess that was her mind. Buffy lies her head on her pillow as she falls back asleep without much trouble.
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The next morning Buffy walked to school with Xander and Willow as she had been doing the last two weeks since Ms. Calendar's death.

"So, how did you sleep?" Willow asked as they crossed the street to school grounds.

"Fine." came Buffy's reply in a stern manner, "Just like every morning that you ask." she said looking at Willow who gave her a I'm sorry smile.

After a moment Buffy broke the quiet, "Well, actually last night was kind of wierd."

"Uh ha!" Willow said making Xander and Buffy both stop as they neared the front of the school.

"Uh, Will calm down on the caffeine intake in the morning, okay." Xander said before looking at Buffy as they continued walking, "What kind of wierd?" he asked as they entered the school, "Bad, vampire/demon dream wierd or me in the shower with you wierd?" he asked with a smile.

Buffy just looked at him as she shook her head before recovering, "I don't know. My mom came in and said I was talking outloud in my sleep, but I don't remember why?"

"What did you dream about?" Willow asked.

"That's the thing, I don't know. It's all...Ugg" Buffy said waving her hands up in the air as they entered the library.

"Uggy feelings, huh. Sounds like a job for someone old and stuffy if you ask me." Xander said as he followed them into the library.


For the rest of the day Buffy would go through the same thing she had been doing for the last two weeks...anything to forget about Angel. Xander and Willow asked her to meet them at the Bronze tonight and no matter how much she tried to get out of it, they continued to beg until she gave in. So here she was about ten hours later walking along the sidewalk as she made her way to meet them at the Bronze. Just as she turned the corner she noticed a light coming from Weatherly Park.

...........


Weatherly Park a few minutes earlier


A blue light formed as it lit up the entire park. Out of the light stepped a big yellowish demon, by the name of Irus. He had three eyes, with one on his forehead that seemed to glow as he took in his surroundings.

"Awe, how I love the full moon." Irus said looking up with a snarl.

"Yeah, it's nice isn't it?"

The demon was surprised by the voice as he turned to his left before looking at the man with a snarl with his mouth opened, showing his sharp, shark like teeth.

"I mean it glows and everything." Reed said looking up at the moon before looking at the demon.

"Who the hell are you!" Irus asked.

"Name's Reed. I'm sorry we don't have more time to get acquainted, but you see the slayer will be coming around that corner soon and she isn't supposed to see me."

At the mention of the slayer Irus looked to his right, which was all the time Reed needed as he made his move bringing a solid punch straight to the demon's stomach making Irus kneel down in agony just as Reed brought his foot up and kicked the demon in the face, sending him into the air as he landed on the ground a few feet away.

When Irus got back to his feet the only thing he saw was a blade coming straight for his neck as it went clean through. His head fell to the ground just before the whole body disappeared in thin air, along with the head.

"And they say there's only one way to kill a Cytropyse demon." Reed said as he catches his long bladed boomerang just as the portal that the demon had came through disappeared.

At that moment Reed feels Buffy near as he hides in the bushes while she approaches. He watches as she comes into view.

Buffy looks around with a feeling that she's being watched. She takes a step forward just as a vampire comes out of nowhere and attacks her. She side steps the vamp as she trips him to the ground with her foot. When he gets up and charges her with a wild punch she grabs hold of the vamp's arm and with her free hand reaches into her jacket, whipping out a stake and jabbing it into the vamp's chest as he turns to dust. She dusts herself of and takes one last look around the park before she continues down the street to the Bronze.

After a minute, Reed stands up just as a blue portal appears from behind him. He watches Buffy until she goes around the corner before turning and stepping into the light.

........


As Reed cames out the other side he is met by two almost green looking beings. One female and the other male.

"You have done well. Perhaps, there is hope for your species after all." the female says.

"I'm so glad you care."

Reed's comment catches the attention of them, "You do not approve?" The male says.

"No."

"It was what was needed to be done. She fulfilled her destiny, just as you did." the female says as the male continues, "The slayer is just a tool in the balance of good and evil, just as you are."

"You made her forget. Is that my fate as well?" Reed asked.

"No. You will retain your memory."

"Well, then why let me retain my memory and not her?"

"Because, if she were to regain her knowledge of the other world it could influence the balance of her future." the female says before continuing, "Perhaps even yours."

"It was necessary to block her memory in order for us to keep both realities in order." the male said.

"So, now your through with us and it's just back to normal." Reed said taking a step forward as he continued, "We're not some *tool* that you can just use whenever you want!" Reed said.

"The slayer has completed her duty to us. We will not call upon her again." the female said as the male continued, "But, your journey has just began. Until we meet again Reed Lavelle Harris."

Reed crinched at his whole name being called. {I knew I forgot something! I should've woke Buffy up so...} Reed thought just as a bright light blinded his eyes.

The next thing Reed knows he's back in Wrigley Field. He looks around as he sees that he is standing outside one of the restrooms in the stadium. Just as Reed gets his bearings he hears the announcer come over the speaker. ["Once again, the final score is Dodgers twelve, Cubs zero."]

"The least you could've done is put me where the Cubs actually win a game." Reed says outloud as people walk by and look at him as if he were crazy.
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The End