Disclaimer: I do not own any of the recognizable characters contained within.
That would be Joss Whedon, Stan Lee, Marvel Comics
So Long, Fare Thee Well
Faith made it back to the library in record time. Coming through the doors, Giles, Xander, Oz and Willow all turned to her with expectant looks on their faces. Willow went into immediate babble mode.
"Faith, where are the others, did the spell work, where's Buffy is she alright, what happened to the X-men, Why are you here by yourself?"
Oz took her gently by the arm and tried to calm her, "Shh, Will, one question at a time. Come on take a deep breath, that's it, good girl." He said.
Xander gave Faith his lopsided grin and said, "Just pick any of the above questions to start and sorta work your way through them."
Faith shot Willow an annoyed look and turned to Giles. "The spell worked, but Buffy and a few of the X-dudes got caught instead of Mr. Purple cloak. They're still back at the mansion and we need to go and release them. Everyone is alright. The big bad got away. I came to get you so you can do the deactivation thingy", she told him in a bored voice.
Giles said, "Very well. I'll grab what we need and be with you in a moment. Willow, can you re-cast the mutant location spell? Perhaps we can get a lead on our adversary's current whereabouts." Then he went into his office gathering books and ingredients as he walked.
As Willow went to work on the spell, Xander said, "So Faith, don't keep us waiting, make with the blow by blow."
Faith hopped up on the counter and crossed her legs as she started the tale, "When we got to the mansion, our boy had vamps and demons walking guard duty. Looked like he recruited local talent. Me and Buff went around the back to set up the crystals, while the others found a way inside. We dusted a coupla vamps on the way and got set up. We was just about to go inside when a coupla vamps come flying through the room, it looked like the X-men got an early start. Then we jumped in and started the kill, pussycat, kill routine. Next thing we know, there is shit flying all over the room and Magneto is making a break for the door. Something hit the X-men from behind, they flew into Buffy and all of them stumbled into the center of the crystals and activated the spell. Which brings us to the here and now."
Giles came back out of his office carrying a leather bag full of what he would need for the deactivation spell. He had been listening to Faith's story while in the office. "Any luck, Willow?" he asked.
"I've tried twice Giles and he doesn't seem to be in Sunnydale anymore. Either that or he's found a way to block the spell", Willow said, her voice showing her disappointment.
"Very well, are we ready Faith?" Giles asked.
"Yea, let's get going. As soon as we free up the others, I need to get something to eat. I'm so hungry I could eat a cow." Faith responded.
Giles turned to the others and said, "You should all go home and get some rest. We can meet up again tomorrow and decide where to go from here." This was exactly the wrong thing to say.
Willow burst out, "What do you mean go home? You might need me for the spell. What if something goes wrong?"
Xander said, "We can't just go home without seeing that the Buffster is alright."
"I follow my flag" Oz said with a nod toward Willow.
Giles knew when he was beaten. "Come along if you must, but I assure you I am more than capable of performing the deactivation spell."
Dawn was starting to peek over the horizon as the X-men and Scoobies gathered in the field behind the mansion by the Blackbird. Faith had brought Giles, Willow, Xander and Oz all back with her. She had tried to get Oz and Xander to stay away, but they would have none of that. Xander was too worried about Buffy to stay behind and Oz wasn't about to let Willow out of his sight until she was home and safe.
Standing there in groups of five and six, they started their goodbyes. Giles and Willow had informed the X-men of the results of the mutant tracking spell, so the X-men had decided to head back to New York. Maybe the Professor could figure out where Magneto would go next. There was really no reason for them to hang around any longer since the Glove of Myhnegon was permanently beyond his reach. The Slayers wanted to help, but they still had a Hellmouth to patrol and couldn't very well just dash off to the east coast at a moment's notice.
Cyclops was talking with Giles about the challenges of keeping Sunnydale safe. It seems he had developed a certain amount of respect for the older man's resourcefulness. Jean was standing next to him talking with Willow about the differences between telekinesis and witchcraft. They both agreed that it came down to a focusing of will, but couldn't agree on whether witchcraft required a genetic predisposition or if anyone anywhere could learn to do it. Oz just stood there looking on while holding Willow's hand. He was still not letting go of her. Willow wasn't minding that too much.
A few steps away Buffy and Faith were entertaining Wolverine, Jubilee, and Storm with tales of past slayer escapades. Xander was adding in little details the girls had tried to leave out like, which one dropped their stake at a critical time, which one kicked down the wrong door while looking for demons, the story is always in the details.
The two groups were intermingling as they all said their goodbyes. Jubilee and Storm wanted to know if being a Slayer could somehow be a form of genetic mutation. Giles suggested that the Council may never have looked into it that closely, but if he were to guess, there could possibly be some small genetic difference that allowed for certain girls to have the potential to be a Slayer. He further stated that no one was really sure why one girl was chosen while another was not. In the end it was still more mystic than science.
At last it was time for the X-men to leave. As they started boarding the Blackbird, Wolverine turned to the Slayers and said, "You know, if either one of you decides that you need a little change of pace, I'm sure the Professor wouldn't mind you joining up with us. Even just for a little while. I know with the Hellmouth being active that both of you couldn't leave, but maybe you could take turns?"
Buffy and Faith looked at each other. At one time or another they had both pretty much dreamed of a chance to get out of Sunnydale, but somehow those dreams had never been of leaving separately. "Well, thanks for the offer Wolfie, but I can't just go off and leave Blondie here all by herself. Who knows what kind of trouble she might get into?" Faith said with a smile.
"Leave me by myself?" Buffy responded with just the right amount of indignation. "What about you Miss get some, get gone, and leave the bodies wherever they land? If I left you alone for even 10 minutes poor Giles will have polished the glass right out of his glasses and then drop over from a heart attack."
Cyclops said "It would really help us out if we could call on you from time to time, Mr. Giles. We've been running into more and more of what we thought were super-mutants, but now I'm thinking they might have been demons. It would be a great help to us if we could run descriptions past you, to see if there's a chance we would need something more than mutant powers to take care of them."
"Of course, we would be more than happy to help you out. You have my numbers, I can be reached usually at the school library or at home" Giles replied. "Being based on the Hellmouth does keep us pretty busy…."
"Yea, what with the yearly apocalypse and all" Xander interrupted.
"Quite" Giles continued giving Xander an annoyed look. "However we would endeavor to give you whatever aid we could."
Wolverine spoke up "What would be better would be to have a Slayer on the team full time. If either of you decides you want a change of pace we would be happy to have you join us."
Cyclops just stared at Wolverine. The man was known as a loner and Cyclops could not remember him ever offering to have someone join up with the team. He also noticed that Wolverine was looking directly at Faith when he made his invitation. This brought a little smile to his face. Having someone around that Wolverine was interested in would go a long way to relieving his worries where Jean and Wolverine were concerned.
"Don'tcha have to check with the Professor on that one?" Buffy asked.
"As Wolverine said, I'm sure the Professor would more than welcome you." Jean answered, turning to board the Blackbird. "Please take care of yourselves, all of you."
The slayers stood there thinking. Little did they know they were thinking the same thing. Was there really a need for two slayers on the Hellmouth? There were a lot of bad memories in Sunnydale, maybe a change of scenery would be good. If a really big, big bad came to town, maybe the X-men would be able to bring them back quickly.
With these thoughts chasing through both the slayers minds, they watched the Blackbird lift off and disappear through the morning sky. Then with Giles and the Scoobies in tow, they turned and headed back home.