This is a stand-alone fic I wrote a couple months ago. I don't really know when you would place it, though it could be anytime during the first 3 seasons - so take your pick:)

Please enjoy and review

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Thee graveyard was dark and dreary, the last few drops of rain falling from leaves and branches as the wind knocked them loose. She was thankful for the little miracle that ended the evenings' downpour an hour or so ago; trudging through mud and slick grass was easier than hiking through a heavy onslaught of rain. The tread on her sneakers did little, being caked with mud and muck, but they were lighter than boots and made her stealth attacks more successful.

Hunched underneath one of the bigger trees of this particular cemetery, Buffy Summers honed her senses and took in everything she could: lingering rain drops on gravestones, wind howling and moving through bush and twigs alike, and no animal noises, what-so-ever. The last bit of information, unnerving as it was, was what she had been hoping for; it proved she had chosen the right location.

The newspaper had been stagnant on clues concerning the deaths of the young man and woman found in Weatherly Park over the weekend. Bite marks were found on both persons, extensive neck and shoulder, and abdomen damage also. She was used to neck and shoulders, but the stomach bites were new. Was it just a newbie who was clueless on the best tactic to get the blood faster? Or something more sinister. The only clue to go on was the stomach was only attacked on one of the victims, not both, though the newspaper was unsure on which it was.

Cassidy Mare's tombstone twinkled brightly up ahead, as if to be calling her toward it like a beacon. Leaving the safe cove of the tree and walking out into the open, she slowly wandered toward the fresh grave, ignoring the goose bumps that suddenly erupted on her arms and neck. The eyes burned her figure but Buffy kept pace, refusing to scan the shadows for her audience.

If she had to pinpoint her stalkers appearance, she would hazard a guess that they came aboard not very far from her home, but they were playing by the rules so she wasn't worried; much, that is. She knew they would make themselves known soon enough. Likely, right after Cassidy made her entrance.

Buffy could hear the bell chimes from in town, a small wish considering she had broken her watch on a goblin-like monster earlier that week that had decided the school's baseball field, particularly it's dug-out, was its new home. Fingering the sharp wooden stake inside her new jacket, she sighed and instantly knew she was in for a wait.

She could vividly see her plans for a stop at the Bronze after this going up in smoke; and also her spare cash for a new pair of sandals – the dry-cleaning bill for getting the mud off of her pants would eat it up alone – plus any hope she had for her homework. It was too bad that the old 'I was patrolling for vampires and/or monsters' excuse didn't work. It's one of the few instances where she would like it if people knew what was really out there in the night. Maybe then her mom would get over the dream of her daughter becoming a straight-A student.

A few minutes soon turned into almost an hour and Buffy faltered, wondering if maybe she had chosen the wrong gravesite. A quick tour of her memory and she recalled that the boy, Nick something, had been laid to rest in the next cemetery over, just a few blocks up.

"Gee golly, a field trip," she muttered, forgoing the hassle of trying to avoid the mud since her shoes were already ruined. Time was of the essence if Buffy even hoped to glance at her trig work before sunup and the way things were going, she already knew it was lost cause but gave chase of it anyway, even taking a shortcut through a neighboring yard or two.

Nicholas Eliot's grave was free of grass and was loose dirt, but there was no hint of a rising, just a fresh coffin laid to rest that evening. Pondering the newspaper clipping in her mind, she drummed her fingernails on top of the headstone, finally coming to the conclusion that the night was a bust.

Maybe she could still make an appearance at the Bronze, giving if her friends were still there and that no one would notice the cemetery muck and grass on her feet. Hoping the concrete would scrap away most of the nights transgressions, she opted to take the sidewalk instead of a shortcut, doing a quick once-over on her appearance and clothes in a nearby store window.

Buffy rounded the corner to the first cemetery of the night, thinking up a good excuse if she was indeed caught mud-handed, as it was, by her peers, when she heard a sound. Curious, she paused mid-step and peered into the dark graveyard, reaching out for the noise again.

There, Buffy thought, hearing the slightly familiar sound, though not being able to place it. Throwing one last look down the deserted street, she kissed her night of Bronze dancing goodbye and crouched low, entering the sacred grounds once more.

Using the same tree from before as a cover, she rounded it slowly and quietly, stake in hand. Cassidy's grave came into sight soon enough, though she scene had changed notably from earlier. Not finding what she had guessed she would – a rising vamp – she was encountered with a grave robbing scene.

Realizing the sound she had heard, shovel hitting a wooden coffin, Buffy tucked her stake back, giving in for a wistful thought to a time before she sounds of a digging up a grave was familiar to her. The thought of handling this situation was not high on her list of things she wanted to do, but as she watched the tall figure haul the coffin out of the burial place, instead of just looting it without that added hassle, Buffy paused, hesitantly backing back under the cover she was just exiting.

The figure slowly lifted the coffin lid, inspecting the contents very closely, including reaching in and moving what appeared to be a hand. Coming up from their squatted position, they watched for a few more beats before pulling something out of their jacket, something that shone brightly in the moonlight.

A dagger, she realized, not being to stand back any longer.

"Hey," Buffy called out, knowing she was giving away the element of surprise, but also knowing that whatever this person had planned, it was not good and she did not want it to happen. She had a quick glib poised on her lips but before she could toss it out, the figure, whom she could now see was a short-haired woman, chanced a quick look between Buffy and the body then bolted, taking the dagger along.

"Hey!" she repeated, taking chase but knowing it was a losing battle. The woman had a good 60 feet or so on her and a head start. Stopping as she saw the last of the long coat the woman wore disappearing over the tall stone wall cutting the cemetery off from the woods, she shook her head and headed back to the grave site, chancing a look into the coffin since she hadn't had the chance yet.

Cassidy, if she had gotten the chance to live, would have made quite a pretty woman, but now all she left was a husk full of make-up wearing a turtle neck even though it was summer – not that the dead need to worry about that – but it must have been put there to hide the neck damage. Still crouched by the coffin, Buffy couldn't help but sighing and looking away, contemplating the nights' events.

Brushing her hands off on her jeans, she stood and slowly started to close the coffin lid, only stopping when the red thread of the turtleneck caught her attention. Her hand freezing with the coffin half open, Buffy dipped back down and tentatively reached the other hand out, her fingers gripping the bottom hem of the shirt, her eyes trained on the movement under the middle of it. White, cold skin, slightly tinted blue, was slowly exposed as the shirt was pulled up, higher and higher until she could see all of the poor girls abdomen, which was rippling.

A single pair of teeth marks marred the middle of the stomach, directly above the rolling phenomenon. Buffy stared with wide eyes as the movement intensified, stretching the skin up and out, pushing and almost seeming to be clawing for a way out. Swallowing back a wave of nausea, she glanced back up at Cassidy's face, realizing what was happening.

"oh…oh god…" she breathed out, closing her eyes and turning her head as she saw blood start to seep from gash marks forming in the body's inner-stomach. An intense urge for the dagger the woman had carried filled her, made Buffy want to gash the poor one-time mother's abdomen open and free the baby, but her gut was telling that whatever had been in that womb was no longer among the living, but now one of the un-dead.

Her eyes were still closed when she heard the flesh finally give away and ear-piercing wail assaulted her ears. The sound was in-human, making Buffy finally open her eyes and stare down at the hand reaching out of the gutted stomach, the little chubby hands corrupted with long nails instead of short, human ones.

With a hand over her mouth, she braced herself but reached out with her free hand and opened the coffin the rest of the way, not being traumatized by the sight of blood and guts, but by what lay among them, eagerly eating whatever it could manage to maneuver into its' mouth with the short, chubby arms.

The healthy glow belonging to a newborn baby was gone, tinged instead by an un-earthly white, pearly skin. Eyes yellow and feral, fangs sticking out of it's small mouth, the small vampire cooed as it feed on it's dead mother's body from the inside out, a growl coming out in between bites every now and then.

Not being able to take any more, Buffy finally pulled away and turned, leaning down on both hands and hanging her head, trying to resist tears for this un-thinkable horror. This was even low for a vampire; to subject an innocent that hadn't even gotten a chance to breathe one second of life…to just rip it away so coldly.

"My baby…"

hearing the soft praise, the pleasure behind it, she turned and glanced up, finding the woman from earlier had returned. She seemed to be looking through Buffy and at the body, her eyes wide and hopeful.

"yo-you did this?"

the woman, finally noticing her, turned her now yellow eyes back and smiled, bearing fangs. "I'm privileged you would stay for the birth. It saves me the trouble from going and hunting my child's first meal down."

Red rage filled her version and Buffy attacked. The Vampire had no chance to defend as a rock-hard fist planted it in the face and sent the demon sailing a good 10 feet. The stake forgotten in leu of an anger-filled beating, Buffy strode over and yanked the female murderer up and spat into it's face, "most new mommies prefer a trip to the store for milk, not the butcher for blood."

Her fist connected again, this time in the gut, driving the vamp to a bending position. "you," Buffy added," disgust me." She compounded the statement by kneeing the vamp in the face, sending it down to the grass and mud.

Reaching up and cocking it's head to the side, the vamp snapped it's jaw back into place before looking up at Buffy and brazenly saying, "well, I'm not really a new mommy, am I?"

Feet implanted themselves into Buffy's stomach lightening fast, taking the Slayer by surprise and knocking her backwards into a nearby headstone. Pain flew through her side and stomach, almost taking her breath away. Going for the defense again, Buffy quickly sought out her balance and deftly caught the fist aimed for her face, diverting it to the side and pulling the vamp close, not exactly a good decision to do to the enemy with fangs. As she had hoped, the vampire took the opportunity and leaned even closer, going for Buffy's neck.

Sneering, Buffy used the momentum and easily tossed the vamp over her shoulder, turning when she was greeted with a sickening thud. "did we get a little ahead of our self?"

The stake, as it was pulled out of her jacket, caught the vamp's eye and the monster stayed where it was, leaning against a tomb. The baby vampire, having consumed all it could, suddenly started to wail again, the demonic sound scrapping at Buffy's ears.

"Slayer," the demon hissed, it's eyes widening as it realized that Buffy was not just some unlucky bystander in need of a blood draining, but a force to be reckoned with.

"got it in one," Buffy offered, twirling the stake in her fingers. "so will I," she added, pointing the wooden shaft for emphasis.

Hissing and a feral growl added to the wailing and Buffy took on her fighting stance as the vamp rushed, sticking out with claws instead of a fist, catching her slightly off guard. The stinging filled Buffy's cheek and she could already feel the hot blood trailing down her chin and heading for her neck.

That's gonna leave a scar, Buffy thought, giving her own roar and grabbing the vamp up by the neck, driving it back against a tombstone. But the demon, not to be out-done, used all her might and reached up, locking a cast-iron grip on her wrist, making Buffy drop the stake.

Watching it roll and flop down into the open grave, Buffy huffed and added, "that's gonna cost you." Spotting the old mausoleum to her right, Buffy quickly formed a plan in her head and uppercut the vamp, sending it flying backwards over the gravesite. Running full force, she reached the stone building and, while reaching into her pocket, did a roundhouse kick and connected with the vamp's face.

Hissing in pain, Buffy was sure, the vamp paused but didn't give up the chase. "this is why I choose a baby…teenagers don't know how to respect their elders…"

For the moment, Buffy was defenseless, and it unnerved her very much. Eyeing the damaged vamp, she took in her own weaknesses: a pain in her side from the earlier kick, hinting to maybe a broken rib, the hard thumping in her wrist, which was probably sprained, and the gashes on her cheek, which just left her royally pissed.

"my elders? Please…I'd respect a rat before I would you," she stated while doing another once over on the vamp and moving a few feet to her left. "which it looks like you've been eating lately; running low on prey?"

Buffy saw the muscle in her thigh twitch before the foot came flying, giving her just the split-second she need to duck and roll out of the way, listening to the thick marble doors to the mausoleum give way under the weight of the vamp. Jumping up, the Slayer rushed into the darkened tomb, her eyes barley adjusting in time to see the fist coming.

Again, Buffy ducked the shot but lost her luck when she meet the vamps knee then, sending her spiraling around one of the two stone slabs place inside the old burial chamber. Catching her balance, Buffy looked up and placed the object of her plan right over the vamps shoulder, whom was across from her on the other side of the concrete coffin.

Backing up a step, Buffy used her legs and pushed upward, forcing her body in a high arc over the side of the slab, performing a perfect cartwheel. She landed right behind the stunned vamp, grabbing her short hair and violently smashing her face up against the side of the coffin. Hoping she had her enemy tranquillized enough, Buffy pulled out the lighter she found in her pocket earlier and reached for the old torch hanging on the wall.

She skillfully ignited the lighter as she yanked the torch, holder and all, from the wall. Connecting the two, Buffy watched in sorta-stunned silence, eyeing the old wicker top of the torch, as it quickly caught flame.

"you forgot one thing," Buffy told the vamp as she walked toward it. "us teenagers, we know how to rebel."

The wild, frantic look that took over the slowly awakening vamps face burned itself into Buffy's memory a second before she flung the lighted torch into it's lap. Howls of pain and anger erupted from the vamp as it rose and ran from the crypt, the fire quickly engulfing its' whole form till it was just a ball of orange flames.

Jogging behind, Buffy watched in stoned silence as the vampire stopped beside the open coffin of Cassidy Mare and bent down, laying her form over the wooden box. The flames seeped onto the coffin, turning the baby vampire's wails of hunger into cries of pain, intenseing them to the point of Buffy having to turn her head away and closing her eyes.

Soon enough, the only sound in the old cemetery was the crackling of fire and maybe the sound of the wind whipping through trees and such. With the ground being so damp from the earlier rain and the moisture still in the air, the burning coffin would soon extinguished itself, leaving nothing much more but the burned remains of a dead corpse and few pieces of wood.

Hugging her damaged wrist closely, Buffy let a tear or two roll down her cheek for the baby as she slowly started to exit the graveyard, only regretting the fact when the liquid reached her cheek and burned the open wound there.

"Buffy?"

hearing the footfalls coming from down the sidewalk as she finally reached the gates, Buffy tuned and watched as Xander and Willow, who had spoken, picked up their pace.

"I thought that was you. We missed you at th-…" the innocent red-head trailed off, noticing the state her friend was in. "oh my god!"

"what happened?!" Xander demanded, his eyes going wide as he glanced at the cemetery quickly before adding, "are they dead? Cause if not, they're gonna be!"

Buffy could hear the intended fury in her friends' voice and opened her mouth to speak but stopped when Willow stepped even closer and reached out for her cheek but stopped short and just stated, "you need to go to the hospital."

Knowing she must look horrible, Buffy just nodded and finally said, "yeah…hospital's good." The concern and emotions radiating from her friends was over-whelming and she semi-smiled, knowing they were the best thing to happen to her since becoming the Slayer – hell, her whole life.

Xander, seeing how Buffy was still cradling her wrist forgot all about his vengeance promise and reached out, wrapping an arm around her waist, offering some help.

"Owe," Buffy hissed as Xander was already apologizing and moving his hand from her ribs. Reaching down and pulling up her shirt, Buffy looked at her side for the first time and saw she was already black and blue. "just what I need with bathing suit season coming – a broken rib or two."

Concerned, Willow wagged her hands and offered, "Xander, get her to the hospital. I'm calling Giles – my house is right up the street." She was gone before the words were even all the way out of her mouth, racing the way they had been heading before spotting their friend.

"I'm on it," Xander proclaimed, taking Buffy's elbow, leading her down the street toward town.

For once, Buffy didn't argue.

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I'm not sure if I'll be doing anymore BtVS fics since this is my first in YEARS, but please let me know what you thought!