Not Quite Lost

By TwinEnigma

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Buffy The Vampire Slayer nor those of Naruto. This is done for fun and no profit.

Codes: AU for Naruto characters; Post-Chosen/Season 8 for Buffy

Ships: Buffy - none, Naruto - Sasuke x Karin

Buffy Summers stared at the new Slayer they'd brought in and her companion with a critical eye.

The girl, Karin, was Japanese, slender and wiry with dyed red hair and the layered asymmetrical cut of a club-hopping socialite, her eyes half-hidden behind stylish black-rimmed glasses. Her jacket was high-collared, stiff and heavy around the neck area – fashionable and functional, a Slayer's ideal choice for subtle protection against vampires. But, she wondered, had it really been the girl's call or was it the boy's?

Her eyes drifted to the cute, spiky-haired Japanese boy lingering at the girl's side and noted the way he held himself was not even the slightest bit as relaxed as he'd have liked her to believe. He had a loose stance, like that of a fighter, and could easily move to attack her or grab the girl and bolt. According to Andrew, the boy had insisted on accompanying the new Slayer and neither he nor the girl would not take no for an answer. Apparently, they'd been operating as a team since around the time of the mass-calling of all the potentials.

Buffy glared at him. A boy that pretty who fancied himself strong enough to run side-by-side with a Slayer had to either be crazy or not normal. Her gut instinct leaned towards the latter. Pretty always meant trouble. Idly, she wondered what he was under all the pretty wrapping.

"It is okay," Karin said in slow, stilted English. "Sasuke is my friend."

"Your boyfriend?" Buffy asked.

The girl blushed a little, her fingers brushing against his as he turned his head to look at her, his brow furrowing. The boy said something in Japanese and, as soon as she nodded, he looked away.

"I'll take that as a yes," Buffy sighed, her eyes flicking back to the girl's face. "Andrew, I thought I said no boyfriends allowed – just Slayers."

Andrew fidgeted with a sheepish expression on his face.

The boyfriend in question scowled.

"It's nothing against you," Buffy explained, glaring at him. "It's just, in our experience, lovers tend to get hurt."

"Oh!" Karin said, smiling brightly. "Then it is okay. Sasuke is strong. He can protect himself."

"Well," Buffy started, inwardly sighing. They always did think they were strong and then that always ended badly when it turned out they weren't strong enough.

"Show them," Karin said, turning to the boy, Sasuke, who frowned and gave a wary glance to Buffy. The girl ran her fingers soothingly down his arm and added, "We fight with them now. They need to see."

Sasuke again gave Buffy a wary glance.

Karin then said something in Japanese, squeezing his hand reassuringly. "So there are no mistakes, he will show you," she added in English.

The boy sighed, closing his eyes. He then shook his head rapidly, his hair going from short and black to a light grey and spilling over his shoulders. His skin had also darkened to an ashen grey, long claws now capped his fingertips and it looked like he'd suddenly donned an unflattering shade of lavender lipstick, the points of fangs peeking noticeably over his lips. He opened his eyes, now a brilliant avian yellow set against pitch black sclera.

"He's a demon," Buffy said, matter-of-factly. She resisted the urge to rub her head in frustration. What was it with Slayers and supernatural boyfriends?

Her mind flitted back to some of the more exciting encounters she'd had and she sighed, rolling her eyes.

Oh yes, that was right – supernaturally strong guys were about the only ones who could keep up with the Slayer sex drive without ending up broken into little man-sized pieces.

"Hawk yokai," Karin confirmed happily and beamed at him as she wrapped her arm around his. Sasuke just grunted and nudged her head with his own. His eyes still warily lingered on Buffy, knowing she was the big threat in the room.

Andrew looked like he was about to go into a geek spasm as his face lit up and started babbling about how yokai were similar to the Fair Folk of European tradition and what a valuable resource having one on staff could be.

Karin ignored him, placing a calming hand on Sasuke's arm, and smiled as she said something to him in Japanese that instantly relaxed him a little.

Buffy sighed and pinched her nose. She had a feeling those two were going to be more trouble than they were worth.

AN: Dedicated to Rin, who inspired this. May revisit the idea as the inspiration strikes me. Title refers to the idea of "lost in translation"