The Lady Warrior
Rating: PG (maybe) for subject matter
Feedback: Please. Constructive criticism is always welcomed and appreciated.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything associated with BtVS and AtS. (Characters from the shows are borrowed with no infringement intent whatsoever.)
Distribution: Please ask and let me know where it's going.
Summary: AU. Buffy has to defend her home and her husband during the 1700s. Contains Riley bashing.
A/N1: I have not researched American history so my descriptions of life and events during that period in America may be way off. I hope this does not offend anyone.
During the mid to late 1700s in the southern part of North America that later became the United States, Elizabeth (Buffy) Summers lived with her mother, Joyce, her father, Hank, her younger sister, Dawn, and two older brothers, Xander and Doyle on a large farm that had been owned by her family for many years. Her best friend, Angel O'Conner, lived with his family which consisted of his parents, Ethan and Katherine, two sisters, Faith and Cordelia, and a brother, William, on a neighboring farm.
Both young people enjoyed their relatively simple lives and they enjoyed each others' friendship.
Early in their lives Buffy's father taught his sons and Angel how to fight, including how to use the sword. Buffy was not included in this training because, according to Hank, "Men are warriors; ladies don't cross swords."
Buffy may not have been included in the training, but she watched, out of sight; and she learned. She and Angel would practice diligently, every day, what her father had taught the boys. She was determined that one day she would show her father that she was just as good a fighter as her brothers, maybe better. At eleven she was already better than Angel, her secret sparring partner.
Then one day when her father was away, she watched her brothers practice with the swords. Exasperated at the display, Buffy yelled at them, "That's not how it's done. You two will never be good swordsmen. I can take both of you right now."
"I'd like to see that, Lil Bit," Xander yelled back.
Buffy was furious, because he doubted her ability, but more so because he had used that dreadful nickname that he often called her, knowing full well how much she resented it. She jumped down from the tree she was hiding in and demanded, "Give me your sword, Doyle."
"Come on, Sis, you're going to get hurt." Doyle told her.
"Give me the sword," she demanded again.
"Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you," Doyle told her before he turned to Xander and said, "Don't hurt her, Xan; you know what Father will do to us both if you do."
"Don't worry, I won't hurt her; much." Xander told his brother with a grin.
Ten minutes later Xander and Doyle had both been defeated by their younger sister.
"When did you learn to handle a sword like that, Buffy?" Xander asked her, still not believing what had just happened.
"I have watched all this time as Father taught the two of you to fight. I am not only better with a sword, I can out run, out shoot, out box and out wrestle both of you. I can even beat Angel sometimes," Buffy told them proudly.
"Father is never going to believe this," Doyle said as they entered the house through the kitchen door.
"I'm not going to believe what, and Elizabeth, what are you doing with a sword?" their father demanded as they entered the house.
All three kids were startled seeing their father and did not reply. When their father crossed his arms over his chest, they knew what that meant.
Doyle, the oldest, spoke up. "Father, you have to see Buffy use the sword. She is amazing. She defeated both of us and says that she sometimes defeats Angel."
This was not a surprise to Hank. His wife had already told him about Buffy's skills which she had observed first hand when she was visiting Katherine, Angel's mother, and had seen Buffy and Angel sparring. With his arms still folded across his chest, Hank looked down at his daughter and waited for her to speak.
When she didn't say anything, Hank said, "Well, Elizabeth, why don't you show me what you can do?" Even though he tried to keep a stern look on his face, he faltered and Buffy could hear the pride in his voice when he spoke.
That was the beginning of Buffy's formal training as a warrior. She astounded her father, her brothers, and Angel with her skills. After he had taught her all that he could, Hank hired a friend of his named Rupert Giles, who was an expert with the sword, to continue his daughter's training; this was with the understanding that, other than the people who already knew, no one else would be made aware of Buffy's abilities.
When war came, her brothers were taken first; then her father and the male workers were taken, leaving just Buffy, Joyce and Dawn at home. Buffy had to defend her family and her home until the men returned.
Angel, his father and his brother were also taken, but Angel was wounded during the war and returned home. He was told that he would heal, but it would be a long slow process. Angel was left with his mother and sisters to support. Eventually, before the war ended, Buffy's father and brothers and Angel's father and brother were returned home in wooden boxes for burial.
This left Buffy to defend her home and her family on a permanent basis. Many men, including Riley Finn, a bordering landowner, came to ask for Buffy's hand in marriage in order to get her land; she refused them all. Angel's sisters married local men who returned from the war; both lived in nearby towns.
Neither Buffy nor Angel could maintain their land alone so, with their mothers' approval, they entered into an agreement: they would combine their farms into one and share ownership of the combined properties.
Angel had always been a quiet and studious person who loved to watch his mother cook. When she became ill, he became the cook for the family.
After the agreement with Buffy to combine their farms, he continued to cook for both households and Buffy was the head of the hired help; in other words, their roles were reversed.
Angel and Buffy eventually announced their engagement and were married at the end of the week.
Both of their mothers agreed with Buffy that Angel's cooking was more than good enough for him to go public. Since he had decided to open a small restaurant, about six weeks after their wedding Buffy and Angel decided to throw a party to introduce the town to Angel's cooking before his restaurant officially opened. It was an open affair and everyone in the small town was invited.
While Buffy and some of the other females were inside the house talking among themselves, unknown to Buffy, Riley openly taunted Angel regarding his housework and cooking.
Riley, who also wanted to marry Buffy, challenged Angel to a duel for Buffy's hand. If he won, Buffy's marriage to Angel would be annulled and Buffy would have to marry him, which meant that half of the combined property would be his. When he refused, Riley attacked an unarmed Angel and stunned him by hitting him with the hilt of his sword knowing full well that Angel was already injured.
Buffy heard the disturbance and Dawn's voice calling her; she grabbed a sword and ran outside to see what was wrong.
What she found was Angel on the ground and Riley standing over him with his sword raised ready to finish him off.
Buffy blocked Riley's sword with her own and disarmed him, then in front of the entire town, she challenged him to a duel. If he lost, he would be disgraced and his property would go to her.
"I told you before, I will never marry you. You have now issued a challenge for my hand. I accept your challenge. Now pick up your sword."
"No, I won't fight you. I won't fight a woman."
"You yellow coward, you would fight an unarmed man, but you won't fight a woman who openly challenged you; pick up your sword, pick it up or I'll kill you where you stand."
Buffy knew that her words would force Riley to fight her to defend his male pride. He had to take the challenge.
She defeated him easily, injuring him in the arm in the process; he would have a permanent reminder of this public humiliation. Buffy's victory meant that she also took ownership of Riley's land.
As a last ditch effort to embarrass Angel, Riley challenged Angel's manhood.
To this Buffy was quick to reply, "I assure you, Angel is all man. Anyone who has ever eaten at our house can attest to the fact that he is a genius in the kitchen; there are food samples here for everyone and you can take my word for it, he is much more a genius in the bedroom than he is in the kitchen.
"Oh, and ladies, you may not sample this merchandise," she said as she put her arms around Angel's waist and snuggled close. The crowd roared with laughter and applause as Angel laughed, put his arm around her and kissed her on the temple.
A man in the crowd called out, "Lucky guy."
To which a female voice responded, "No. Lucky girl."
Angel and Buffy both considered themselves very lucky indeed – they had each other.