Be Seeing You
The vacant halls soon became crowded as the bell rang. Students poured from classrooms as if floodgates had been opened. Buffy navigated through her fellow students, struggling to reach her locker. She had a training session with Faith and Giles and she had no desire to get yelled at for being late. She hastily went through the combination lock, shoving books in.
She turned to see Willow and Xander approaching. She gave them a small wave as she shut her locker.
"Why the rush, Buff?" Xander asked.
"I have to meet Giles and Faith…training."
"Right. We could come with," Willow offered.
"No that's ok. You guys go hang. I'll see you later at the Bronze."
As they parted ways, Buffy couldn't help but feel as though someone was watching her. She chanced a look behind her but there was no one there. She shook her head and walked towards the library.
She walked in to find the library empty. "Giles? Faith? Anybody here?" She got no response. She took a few more steps, lazily peering around the edges of the bookshelves.
"Guess I'm early for once." Buffy slid into a chair and leaned back.
The silence of the space soon began to make her edgy. Her fingers drummed on the arm of the chair until she was on her feet, wandering. She checked her watch and let out a breath.
"Where are you guys?"
It was then that she noticed something sitting on the counter near Giles' office. Her brow furrowed with curiosity as she picked it up. Something clunky slid around in the envelope. She turned it over in her hands. There was no name on it.
"Weird." She slid her finger beneath the flap, pulling out a folded piece of paper. An object fell to the floor as the unfolded the paper. She didn't recognize the handwriting.
Ripper- Found this and thought you would want it back. Brings back some old memories. Be seeing you.
She put the note back in the envelope and stuck it beneath a pile of books. Quickly, she bent to pick up the object that had fallen; a ring. She turned that over in her hands too. It was ornate and definitely old. She glanced around to make sure no one was really there and slid it on.
"A little bit big…but…not bad." By the time she'd finished her sentence something had knocked her flat on her back. She let out a groan and sat up. The scene before her was not the library.
"What the hell?"
Moments later, Giles and Faith walked into the library.
"Yo, B! You here?" Faith called. No one answered. "That's weird…her stuff is here."
"I'm sure she'll be back."
Faith shrugged. "Whatever. I say we start without her."
Giles cleared his throat. "Yes, alright."
Faith let out a breath and began stretching. Giles took a seat at the table, watching the young woman before him. She was so unlike Buffy, but the two seemed to offset each other. They built off the others' weakness, relied on their strengths. Perhaps it wasn't such a bad thing to have two Slayers after all.
"Are you ready?" he asked.
"Let's do it."
With a nod, Giles donned pads, taking a fighter's stance. Faith gave him a smirk before throwing a punch. In a matter of blows she'd backed him up against the stair railing.
She took a step back. "I haven't tired you out have I?"
"Oh, no. Just need to catch my breath." He took several breaths, willing the ache in his shoulders to dull long enough to finish the day's session. "Let's go again. Try to remember to keep your core protected while you strike."
"I got this." A cocky smile and she launched a round house kick at his stomach.
He back up just in time to avoid the wind being knocked out of him. The session continued for another twenty minutes before Giles collapsed into a chair. Faith lounged next to him, her eyes fixed on the door.
"So…you think we should worry that Buffy didn't show?"
"Well, she could have forgotten or perhaps she had to go home for a short time."
"I don't know…she's been focused on her training as of late."
"She'll probably be at the Bronze tonight. I'll catch her there."
"Yes, very good. I think we're done for today." He watched Faith walk out of the library and let out a breath. He hoped Buffy had simply decided to ignore the day's training. Still, he couldn't shake the dread beginning to stir in his gut.
Afternoon faded to evening and music filtered through the open windows of the Bronze. A crowd stood outside, anxious to get in. Faith stood among them, jostling to get through. When she finally made her way inside, she immediately began scanning for Buffy or Willow and Xander. She spotted the pair sitting at a table near the bar. Willow noticed the other Slayer approach first.
"What's up guys?" Faith slid onto the chair next to Xander.
"Not much…just waiting for Buffy," Xander answered.
"Have you seen her since school?"
"We saw her right after classes let out. She said she had training with you guys."
"She never showed."
"That's weird…" Willow looked around. "Maybe she went to see Angel."
Faith raised an eyebrow. "Maybe. Guess we could go check."
"I'll…wait here to see if she shows," Xander mumbled.
"We'll be back as soon as we can."
Willow and Faith walked out of the club and made their way to the abandoned mansion. Neither spoke as they snuck inside. It was eerily quiet as they looked around. They stopped dead in their tracks as a noise caught their attention.
"This way," Faith hissed.
They rounded a corner to find the room empty but a fire burning in the hearth. Footsteps echoed behind them, making both girls jump. Angel stood before them in a towel.
"Willow? Faith? What are you doing here?"
"Oh…you aren't evil again are you?"
He gave Willow a confused look. "What? No…why?" He glanced down. "Shower…I was in the shower."
"Yeah…sure," Faith snickered.
He cleared his throat and ducked out of view. "So...what are you doing here?"
"We're looking for Buffy. She skipped out on our training session…thought she might have dropped by."
He reappeared, clothed. "No. She hasn't been by for a few days." He caught Willow staring at him nervously. "Willow…I swear I'm not evil."
Willow nodded. "I…I know. Just…ok so if she's not here…then where could she be?"
"Maybe she just went home?" he suggested.
"I'll go back to the Bronze and get Xander. We'll meet you at her house." Willow took off, leaving Faith and Angel alone.
"For what it's worth, I wouldn't have minded if you were evil."
"Trust me, Faith…you would have minded."
By the time they reached Rivello Drive, Willow and Xander were waiting at the end of the driveway. Xander and Angel exchanged nervous glances as they made their way up to the front door. Willow reached out a hand and knocked a time or two. Angel made sure to keep to the shadows. He didn't want to scare Joyce. The door opened and Joyce stuck her head out.
"Willow? Xander? Faith?"
"Hi Mrs. Summers. Is Buffy home?"
"No…I haven't seen her since this morning. She said something about training with Mr. Giles."
"We haven't seen her since school got out," Xander explained.
"Yeah, she never showed for training. Thought she might have just bailed or something."
Joyce shook her head. "No. Please, come in."
The threesome crossed the threshold, leaving Angel to lurk in the shadows. He made his way to the back door to try and overhear thee conversation. They'd moved to the kitchen and Joyce picked up the phone, handing it to Willow.
"I'll call Giles." She hurriedly dialed his number. She'd hacked it from the school system. It rang twice before he answered.
"Giles, it's Willow."
"Is something wrong?"
"We can't find Buffy. We're at her house…can you meet us here?"
"Yes, of course. I'll be right there."
The line went dead and Willow ended the call. "He's on his way."
Buffy looked around her, trying to get her bearings but found she had no idea what was going on. The roads were dusty, the wind blowing large swirls of it in her face. She coughed a time or two as she pushed herself to her feet. The sun was just below the horizon and a pungent smell wafted into her nostrils. She took a step backwards and collided with a pole. From behind her, a peel of laughter sounded. Buffy took a breath before turning around. Standing under an awning was a familiar figure.
"This isn't good."
"What do we have here," Darla cackled, careful to keep to the shadows.
Buffy glanced skyward and then back to Darla. "Be careful. Wouldn't want to get burned."
Darla let out another laugh and stepped from the shadows. The sun had gone down just enough not to affect her. Buffy took a few steps away from her, feeling in her jacket for a stake. She had none. Her eyes began to searching wildly around her, trying to find something, anything she could use.
"Strange little girl, aren't you."
"Uh…guess you could say that." Buffy kept backing up until she collided with something. No it wasn't a something, it was someone. It spoke before she had the chance to turn around.
"This one's a little too easy, don't you think darling? Falling right into my arms."
Buffy eye's widened and spun around. A longer haired, dirtier Angel stood in front of her. But she could tell it was the Angel she'd fallen in love with. It was Angelus.
"Uh…why don't we talk about this…you don't want to kill me…it would be…well it would end badly."
"Who said anything about killing you?" Angelus licked his lips.
"I know what you are."
He reached a hand out and she let out a kick. He stumbled backwards, startled by her strength. Darla took the opportunity to go at Buffy from behind. She grabbed the Slayer and sent her tumbling into a stack of barrels.
"Now, now Darla. Be gentle with her. Don't want her dying too soon."
"You're really starting to piss me off," Buffy grumbled as she pulled herself to her feet.
They exchanged blows, Buffy taking more than she gave. She couldn't be that out of shape. He was no stronger than he'd been when she'd fought him before. Buffy tried to focus but something about her surroundings kept disorienting her. It was as if the world was moving beneath her, moving against her. She could feel several ribs were at least bruised, if not broken as Angelus grabbed her by the arm and pulled her close.
"I'm going to enjoy this."
Her body tensed as he ran his lips against her throat. She'd stake him before she let him bite her, no matter what reality it was. But she had no stake and his grip pressed so tightly on her bruised ribs that she couldn't move. She let out a cry as she felt his teeth sink through her flesh.
"Hey!" a voice called.
Darla looked over and tugged on Angelus' sleeve. "Come along. We have to go."
Buffy struggled against his grasp. He'd stopped drinking but was still holding her close. He looked to see a young man approaching them.
"What are you doing that girl? Let her go!"
Angelus wiped his mouth on the back of his hand before letting Buffy's body drop to the ground. She gave a soft moan as the two vampires took their leave of the young man. He bent down by her side. She blinked at him through blurred vision before blacking out.