Chapter 7: Snyder's Future
Warning: I don't know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.
Challenge: #5837 'YAHF: Human Sire' by OldManAlexi. Also from a forum 'challenge' to write a Snyder-Stu.
A/N: Here's the last chapter, folks.
Thanks to my betas: zigpal, AerynSpeedleCaine and AshDawnSoulmates.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Tomb Raider characters belong to Simon West, Jan De Bont, Mutual Film Company and Paramount Pictures. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Quickly recovering from the shock of seeing Snyder in his office, the Mayor remarked, "So, either they failed, or you didn't go to the school with the Slayer."
"They failed," Snyder answered, closing the door and standing in front of it to keep the Mayor from escaping easily.
"Guess I should have known better than to have sent vampires after a Slayer," the Mayor mused. His cheerful demeanor slid away as he asked, "Before I have you killed, I want to know… Why did you betray me?"
Snyder knew the man deserved an answer. "Because she offered me friendship. Until then, I was just torn between my loyalties."
"How do you know she isn't just using you?" the Mayor inquired, not really expecting to reverse Snyder's allegiance again – not that he would want to anyway.
"I guess I don't," Snyder conceded, "but you're using me too, so what's the difference? At least she has tried to make me feel better about the things in my past, telling me that I didn't deserve to be treated that way."
The Mayor did look a bit stunned by that piece of news. "So all you need are kind words to sway you?"
"Sincere kind words," Snyder clarified. Remembering what he came here to do, he thought he'd throw the Mayor's words back at him, "Now, before I kill you, what was the plan that you wanted to keep the Slayer away from?"
"You think you can kill me before I can call my guards in here?" the Mayor leaned back in his chair, his hand hovering over the call button. He didn't feel the need to press it because he didn't really think Snyder was a threat – unless he had a gun.
Not explaining that he killed most of the guards on the way in – at least the ones that weren't human – Snyder replied, "Will you answer my question?"
The Mayor thought about it for a second, then shrugged his shoulders, "Sure, why not. It's not as if you'll live long enough to tell anyone. About eighteen months from now, I'm going to become a full demon. There's a strict timetable that I must keep in these last couple years – which is why her presence is so inconvenient."
Seeing a possible way out for upsetting his sire by killing the Mayor, Snyder pounced on that hope. "So are you human now?"
"Only a little bit," the Mayor answered, signing his own death sentence. "I traded my humanity when I first founded Sunnydale. I would create and maintain the Hellmouth so the demons wouldn't kill me. In exchange, I wouldn't age, and after 100 years, I could become a demon myself."
"That's a relief."
"Because I promised not to kill humans. She might be a bit upset with me, but if you aren't fully human, and you are behaving evilly, she probably will forgive me…I hope," Snyder tacked on afterward. He began to stalk towards the desk.
Something was niggling at the back of the Mayor's sense of self-preservation, so he hit the call button. Then he hit it again…and again. "I don't understand why you think you can kill me or why she's so important to you," he said, hoping to buy time for the guards who couldn't answer his call because they were all dead – something he was just realizing and was afraid might be his fate soon.
Bearing his fangs, Snyder replied, "I think I can kill you because I'm not human anymore." He raced over to tear the Mayor apart. "And she's important because she's my sire."
As the Mayor bled out, his last thought was, 'When did the Slayer become a vampire?'
When Rayner finally made it back to the library, Buffy practically jumped on him. "Are you okay? Did you kill the Mayor? I thought we talked about you killing humans! That counts for non-eating purposes, too! Except for in a self-defense situation, I guess, but how could a human actually threaten you?"
Giles put a hand on her shoulder to calm her down. "Buffy, dear girl, you'll have to stop talking if you want him to answer you."
"Oh, right. Go ahead, Rayner," she said, sitting down so she couldn't pace. It didn't stop her from fidgeting though.
"In order, I'm fine; yes, I did; fortunately, he isn't," Rayner replied with a small smirk.
Both Buffy and Giles looked confused at his response; however, she was the only one to say. "Huh?"
Rayner took pity on his sire and expanded his explanation, "He's been alive since Sunnydale began almost 100 years ago. He created the town to give the demons something to feed on while he worked on his plan."
"Which was…?" Giles prompted, his mind racing about what this could mean.
"To become a demon in about a year and a half. After I killed him, I searched his office for any papers about it." Rayner handed a bag to Giles. "There may be more, but that's what I found for now. Will you forgive me, sire?" he pleaded, dropping to his knees by her chair.
Despite her instant response to reassure him, Buffy felt she should check with her Watcher. "Giles?"
He was browsing though the books. "From first glance, the demon he would become isn't quite as bad as an Old One, but at the same time, he could have caused a lot of deaths when he…ascended, is the term mentioned here."
"Sounds like it was good then. I just don't want you to become a killer, Rayner," Buffy tried to explain her reluctance towards humans to him.
Rayner smiled warmly. He got up and took the chair next to her. "Thank you for your concern."
"No prob. I wouldn't want any of my friends to kill without a really good reason," she replied, not realizing how happy she made him by referring to him as a friend. Or maybe she did and didn't want to make a big issue of it. "So, now that the Mayor can't force you to be the principal, are you going to stay here at the school?"
"I haven't had the chance for it to sink in yet. I guess I don't know," Rayner finally said.
Now that he had heard back from his friend, Giles decided to put his proposition on the table. "I, for one, think it would be a tremendous loss to the world if you didn't go back to archeology."
Rayner's look of longing wasn't lost on either the Slayer or Watcher. Then he replied sadly, "It would be tempting, but I don't think I'd be able to find anyone to risk taking me on their team – not after the way I left my last dig. Plus there's the issue of my condition to keep in mind."
"I have some contacts that wouldn't worry about either of those things," Giles offered, hiding the smugness he felt for having things taken care of already.
Buffy's eyes widened in shock. "You're not thinking about the Council, are you?"
"Dear lord, no!" Giles denied vehemently. "The Council would try to kill him, then us for allowing him to live, if they knew of his existence." He shook his head, then explained, "An old friend from Oxford was an archeologist before his death, and now his daughter is following in his footsteps. I think it could work out splendidly for all involved."
"Why do I think that you've already arranged things?" Buffy asked suspiciously. He was acting like he always did before he would surprise her with something.
Still, Giles tried to look innocent as he said, "All I have done was call my goddaughter and asked her to consider having Rayner on her team – if he should choose to go back to that life."
Rayner turned to Buffy and asked, "Sire? What should I do?"
She refused to accept responsibility for making the choice for him. "Whatever makes you happy. You will always be welcome wherever I am, Rayner, I want you to understand that," she reassured him. "But asking you to stay here to help me fight vampires and demons is a waste of your talents. It would be like me becoming a professional cheerleader. Yeah, we can do those things, but it isn't the right thing for us. Did you love archeology? Do you miss it at all?" she asked.
Recalling his life before Cynthia's betrayal, Rayner answered honestly, "Yes. I miss the thrill of discovery, and the joy of learning."
"Then you should help Giles' goddaughter," she encouraged, sensing that he just wanted her approval for his choice.
"You're certain she won't be upset having a vampire on her team?" Rayner inquired hesitantly.
Giles simply smiled. "Lara's faced some fairly strange things in her life. A vampire from a book series will hardly be the worst of it."
His eyes almost bugging out, Rayner gasped, "Lara? Are you talking about Lady Croft?"
The title wasn't lost on Buffy, who instantly teased her Watcher, "You know nobility Giles? Should we be calling you Sir Giles?" All he could do was cough uncomfortably in reply. "We should? Oh my-"
Cutting her off, Giles quickly explained, "It's merely a formality because I'm a Watcher assigned to an active Slayer. Being knighted provides me with some legal protection if I should ever need it – as long as the trouble was due to my responsibilities as Watcher. I also have a letter certifying that I have limited diplomatic immunity."
"Wow, pretty big secret there. " She narrowed her eyes suspiciously when he still looked nervous about something. "What else aren't you telling us?"
"You have to keep this secret – even from your friends. Do you promise, Buffy? I'm not joking about this," Giles added in his most serious tone.
Which made Buffy answer just as solemnly, "I promise."
"You were knighted as well," Giles said with a tiny bit of apprehension. She really wasn't supposed to find out about this until she needed to. "All Slayers have the same protection for the same reasons. The Crown believes that protecting the world shouldn't hinge on the Slayer being in jail for committing a 'crime'."
Buffy started laughing hysterically. "Wow, can you just see Xander's face if he ever found out he crushed on a knight? Wait, does that mean I'm Sir Buffy?"
"In the case of a female, the title is Dame, so you would be called Dame Buffy Summers," Rayner corrected with a slight bow of his head out of respect for her title.
Giles looked alarmed and reminded her, "Buffy, you promised not to tell anyone."
"I know, and I won't. But you can't tell me that the teensiest part of you wouldn't love to see his expression." She knew she had him when he refused to answer, but his lips quivered ever so slightly at the corners.
School Administration Building
School Administration Building
The next day…
"…That concludes our scheduled topics for discussion," the district superintendent finished. Then he turned and informed the group, "Principal Snyder, we have to address a complaint from parents concerning your treatment of some of the students yesterday? You gave detention to one of the cheerleaders and several athletes? They are insisting that we discipline you."
"Detention they deserved, sir," Snyder responded firmly. "One of the athletes was sexually harassing a female student. The rest of that group were bullying other students. I suppose I could have given them a warning first, but I doubt it would have stopped them. They are too used to getting away with that sort of behavior."
One of the board members spoke up, "Why is that?"
"That's my fault. I've allowed it to go on," Snyder admitted.
This wasn't the Snyder the superintendent was used to dealing with. This one was respectful without being obsequious. And the fact that he disciplined the 'popular' kids was another red flag in his behavior. "Why did you change your mind about interfering?" he questioned.
Snyder decided to be as honest as he could without giving away too much. "I talked to a young lady a few days ago. She said that just because I had to suffer through it while I was growing up, didn't mean I should allow it to happen to other kids. I realized that by not stopping it, I was just as much to blame for the bullying as the bullies were. It's not healthy for any of the children involved to let it continue. I would suggest that this issue is addressed after I leave the school."
The superintendent was further shocked by that announcement. "You aren't being fired," he clarified, just in case Snyder somehow thought he had been. Maybe since the Mayor got him the job and the man was dead now, Snyder assumed he would be let go. It was doubtful any personnel decisions would be made before the special election to replace the Mayor.
"I know, but I was coming in here today to hand in my resignation." As he handed the superintendent the paper, Snyder explained, "I only took the job as a personal favor for the Mayor, and now that he's dead, I would rather return to my previous profession. Let somebody who enjoys being around teenagers be the principal; I think everyone should be happier with that."
"Okay, if you're certain about this," the superintendent replied, knowing most – if not all – of the students and staff at the high school would be happy about the decision.
Snyder gave them a rare smile. "I am."
Finding that he wanted to know this version of Snyder better, the superintendent sincerely said, "Then good luck with…" trailing off when he realized he didn't know the man's plans.
"I was an archeologist," Snyder provided the answer.
"Your archeology," he repeated with a nod. He looked at the other board members as he told Snyder, "We will discuss what you mentioned and decide if any rules need to be created to lessen bullying."
"Thank you, sirs…ma'am," Snyder said his goodbyes and left the room.
Outside, Giles and Buffy were waiting to take him to the airport where Lady Croft's private jet was ready to fly him to her ancestral home in England.
A/N: How's that for making Snyder a likeable person and a hero? Was he a Snyder-Stu?