Disclaimer: Don't own Buffy or Big Bang Theory.

A/N: This does include a reference to Eternal Contradiction's lovely story Apocalypse Week over on FFN. It's a straight Big Bang Theory, Shenny ship fic that got sparked because of Space AnJL's epic masterpiece The Paladin Protocol. Both are stories you should definitely read. But as I'm uncertain about my ability to write TBBT, especially having missed a lot of the last season (shoot me now, please), I'm putting it out there for whoever wants is. All I ask for is credit for this bit. ^.^ I'm not one hundred percent ecstatic about it, but overall I am quite pleased with the direction it was going. It took a lot for me to finally say that yes, this can be adopted. I hope somebody makes something out of it. It is pre-Advent-of-Amy, however. I like Amy a lot, but can't write her. Sorry.

This is Buffy/Sheldon, too. You can thank mmooch for that. Go read her ficlet It's All About Who Says It.

Crazy-Smart and Super-Strong

One month, three days. That's how long Buffy Summers had lived in her apartment in Pasadena. She took up the whole fifth floor, but that's okay, too. She lived in 5A and had set up 5B as her training room. Of course, she bought the building (thanks, Council!) in order to renovate the apartment, but whatever. Her cousin, Penny Olson, lived downstairs so it was worth it. In fact, when Penny wasn't working, she was splitting her time between 'her boys' and Buffy. But Buffy hadn't met them yet. In fact, it seemed that Penny was almost wary of introducing Buffy to them. It seemed that The Perv really worried her that Buffy wouldn't like them. The Perv and The Crazy-Smart One. Then there was The Situational Mute and The Insecure-But-Sweet One. As she explained one night while teaching Buffy the finer points on How To Kick Ass In Halo. Andrew had insisted Buffy have an XBOX when she moved in.

"Sweetie, I don't know if I want you to meet them. You see, Howard – the perv – and Sheldon – the crazy-smart one – tend to put people off. If you're not disgusted by one, you're confused and insulted by the other. It's just not a good situation to introduce new people to."

"Penny, c'mon now. You know about my work. You know about Willow. Hell, you met Andrew! What is it you're really worried about?"

"I just don't want them to drive you away. That's all. I like having you here and I don't know if I could forgive them for forcing you to leave."

"Oh Penny! It's fine. I won't leave because of them. In fact, having to buy the building to get it just the way I want it makes me more likely to stay long-term. And let's face it, would you leave your own property because of someone else?" A pang hit the blonde slayer then as she recalled that yes, she had done just that and could have lost her life over it. If the turok-hans had come for her then, she might have been toast.

So Penny had smiled and said sure, they could meet. That had been a week ago.

Dr Sheldon Cooper, PhD, as the lessee, received the certified notification of change of ownership for the building. The letter stated that the new owner was going to be going over all the leases and would give a month's grace period on breaking said lease to any tenant who wished to move due to this change. A re-signing of the lease would be required, but would not extend the term specified in the contract. A contact number was left, along with a address for future rent payments if he chose to pay electronically. He vaguely wondered who had bought the building before putting it out of his mind until his designated appointment date and time.

Buffy was filthy and wanted nothing more than a hot shower. She caught Penny going up the stairs and invited her up to hang out after, but Penny had the early shift at the Cheesecake Factory, so was heading to bed herself. They had a companionable chat about nothing much as they mounted the last few landings to Penny's place. They said their goodbyes as the door across the hall opened, a tall, dark haired man peering out. The first thing Buffy noticed was his mouth, followed by all the angles that made up his face. He was hot! She arched an eyebrow at her cousin in curiosity, and Penny sighed before turning around.

"Hello Sheldon. I'd like you to meet Buffy Summers. She's my cousin, and lives up in 5A. Buffy, Sheldon Cooper. The – ahem! – smart one."

Sheldon interjected, "I must object, Penny! Smart infers a higher intellect than the average person. My genius, as you know, is immeasurable. Furthermore, the way you introduced me is indicative of you speaking of me beforehand and I insist you don't do that again unless you tell me what you're going to say first."

Amusement graced the smile Buffy bestowed on Sheldon Cooper, Crazy-Smart One. "Hi! I'd shake your hand but I'm filthy and Penny says you don't like to touch people anyway. So, nice to meet you!" Turning to Penny, she gave her a brief smile too. "I'll call you tomorrow. Maybe I'll come see you for lunch. I have a lot of papers to go through yet before next week's meetings. So I'll see you then?"

Penny smiled back, but it looked a bit strained. Buffy had set the meetings for the first week of the month, and not all the rents were in yet. "Sure! But Buffy, about rent. It might – "

Buffy cut her off. "Don't worry about it."

"Buffy, I won't take charity. It's just gonna be a bit late, that's all."

"Seriously, Penny. It's not a big deal. If you can't pay the rent, I'll just co-opt you into helping me do stuff. If that's okay with you, that is. I mean, it's like washing dishes to pay for your meal, you know?"

Both girls ignored the snort from across the hall, but not the words.

"Penny doesn't even like to do her own dishes," Sheldon said. "In fact –"

"Not now, sweetie," Penny cut in. "I'll see you tomorrow, Buff."

"Yeah Pen, tomorrow." Buffy said and trekked up to her own place.

It was Anything-Can-Happen Thursday. Leonard, Howard and Raj traipsed into the apartment to find Sheldon and Penny already there. Whatever Penny had been saying to him in low tones ceased as soon as the first one came through the door. The three exchanged looks and shrugged it off, but Leonard was slightly suspicious. He knew Sheldon would never have feelings for Penny, but did Penny have feelings for Sheldon? He figured further study was necessary and turned to lightening the atmosphere.

"So, has anyone seen 5A yet? Or are there just ghosts moving around up there?"

Sheldon and Penny both looked at each other, Sheldon finally answering.

"As a matter of fact–" he was cut off by three knocks falling on the door. Raj, the closest, opened the door and squeaked.

"Hey... is Penny here?" a feminine voice called, and Raj pulled the door open all the way to show a petite blonde standing there. She gave the Indian man a large smile saying, "Oh! You must be the 'Situational Mute'! Nice to meet you. I'm Buffy."

Howard sauntered up, slick-as-oil charm dripping from him, "Well hello there, Buffy. I'm Howard."

"Oh! 'The Perv'! Yeah," she said, rolling her eyes and turning to the last one. "That means you must be Leonard. Nice to meet you."

"Oh! Hello, Buffy! Come on in!" Sheldon positively oozed smugness at knowing who she was.

"Heya Sheldon! Penny, are you coming up tonight? I have a ton of books to get through yet. God knows I'm glad I'm done with the carrying of the boxes because a ton? Not an easy feat."

"Actually, Buffy," Sheldon began, ignoring Penny's muttered "here we go again", "it is scientifically impossible for someone of your size to be able to carry a ton."

There was a flash of amusement as Penny and Buffy traded grins while Penny gathered up her things. "Sure, hun. How old are these ones?"

"Oh, you know, not too old. Just a few centuries. I left all the thousand year old ones in England."

Leonard silently wondered what nickname he had if she wouldn't even say it, but settled for peppering Sheldon with questions about how he knew her, where he met her, is she the 5A ghost and (from Howard) if he 'tapped that' already.

The next day found both girls in the apartment chatting with Sheldon. Well, Penny was chatting (read: arguing) while Buffy watched with mild amusement. They were arguing about the existence of the supernatural. Buffy found this hilarious, since she could prove to Dr It Doesn't Exist Since Science Has Not Proved It that the supernatural world really did exist. If he stayed around her long enough, he'd learn. Then have to adjust his thinking and outlook. That ought to be a barrel of laughs for all involved.

Sheldon found the conversation fascinating, that someone would actually believe all that hokum, that is. He said as much and was utterly confused when Buffy started laughing. At him. He could not understand what was so funny. But as he said his piece, and Penny said hers, the conversation moved on. He mentioned that Buffy was now Howard's new obsession. She spat her soda across the table. He made her clean it with soap and water, followed by Windex. He did not need her germs floating around his area. He was rather pleased with her reaction, however, and figured that saving what, exactly, Howard said would be great so he could use it to shut her up if she started her incessant babbling again.

The other three appeared, Leonard from his room, Howard and Raj from the street. Sheldon made sure they brought enough food for Buffy too; it's Chinese food night. She proffers enough money to cover both her and Penny and the conversation continued, delving into infinite dimensions. When Sheldon pauses in his explanation, Buffy looks at him very seriously.

"There's a dimension without shrimp." And she shudders.

Five sets of eyes stare at her as she blithely continues eating, then Sheldon carries on.

"Well, of course there is, Buffy." She interrupts him again.

"There's also one with nothing but shrimp." She cocks her head thoughtfully, "I'm not sure which would be worse, actually."

Again they all stare at her, and a slim eyebrow twitches upward. "What? Would you prefer to have all the shrimp you could eat, or be forever shrimpless? I mean, if you were in the world with only shrimp, would you get tired of it? Having nothing but shrimp to eat?"

Sheldon nodded. "Conversely, would you miss the deprivation of shrimp in the world without it?"

Buffy beamed at him, "Exactly!"

Eyes wide, Leonard turns to Penny. "This is the oddest thing I've seen in a good long while, I think."

Penny snickers and nods, watching they byplay between her neighbor and her cousin. She had the glimmerings of her own suspicions, wondering if something could possibly come from this odd pairing.

A couple nights after Buffy had mentioned purchasing the building, Penny was up at 5A with her. She asked what she meant about helping her for rent. Buffy grinned.

"You know what I do for 'work', right? But there's more to it than just what I do, you know? I mean, if something's going down, I need to be able to research it. So I came complete with books. About half of the boxes are emptied, but I need to put them all away, and in some sort of order so I can find them easily. Also, if you don't mind with the research side, that would be a huge help to me. I am so not Research Girl. But I do what I need to do so I don't have to call England too often. About the only one I talk to regularly over there is Dawn, and that's because she's my sister. And Faith, of course, but she's in Cleveland now. And Andrew. They're all so mean to him. It's sickening to think I used to be the same."

"What happened, Buffy? I know you told me that your world is why Sunnydale collapsed, but tell me everything. You used to love telling me about Xander and Willow and even Giles. Now you barely mention them, and when you do you just call them England. What did they do?"

So Buffy told her. She told her of the weeks leading up to the final battle for Sunnydale, she told of Caleb and Xander's eye, and the girls dying–

"But it's war, Buffy!"

–and of being kicked out of her own home only to be welcomed back like the prodigal son when she returned with the Scythe. She spoke of the pain at having everyone but Faith treat her like that after all they had already done to her. After pulling her from Heaven and expecting her to be fine and telling her to grow up and make the tough decisions. For them to tell her that her decisions weren't right after they pushed her into the role of making them, she was devastated. Destroyed because they showed clearly how they felt about her. She was great to have around in a fight, but not worth taking care of. She was like a sword. Use her without proper maintenance and eventually she'd rust and lose integrity and break and Penny was seeing the broken pieces trying to be refit into a whole that included a new paradigm and she hated to see her favorite cousin so hurt. So she agreed to Buffy's stipulations. She'd help her train and research and get everything put away (new books kept arriving) but she couldn't guarantee her organization of them. Buffy laughed it off and shared some Ben and Jerry's with her cousin, turning the conversation to lighter topics. Like the whacky neighbors.

The day after Buffy first appeared at the apartment, at lunch at Cal Tech, Howard went on about how hot she was and how he could 'show her a good time' if she ever needed one. Sheldon tuned him out and considered why he felt irritation at Wolowitz for his comments. He never felt that way when the Engineer went on about Penny or even Winkle. So what was different with Buffy?

She wasn't home when he went banging on her door. He waited, sitting on the steps by her door for a couple of hours before he decided to come back. He was hungry, thirsty, and needed to use the facilities. He had just made it down to the fourth floor when voices floated up the stairwell from below. So he paused, waiting to see if she was among them. She was. All six stopped and stared at the dirty, disheveled man, dark hair going in every which way, blue eyes strained.

"Wesley?" Buffy gasped, unused to seeing the former Watcher anything less than immaculate. "What happened? What are you doing here? C'mon, let's get you cleaned up," she said, chivvying him up the stairs.

Penny's eyes followed the blonde and the man with the jeans and leather coat, watching his ass in those denims. Then she decided she didn't need to just look, and trailed after the two, leaving the guys with only a cursory goodbye.

Wesley Wyndham-Price felt tolerably better after a hot shower, a couple of bandages, and some food in him. He hesitated in talking about what had happened, but rallied when it was explained that Penny knew of the Nightlife and was very aware of what her cousin did. So he told them what happened. That Angel was slowly losing himself, turning back into Liam with all that that entailed. How the Vampire with a Soul had betrayed the man on nearly every level possible. How he was tossed out of the group, to the demons, nearly. A few had actually caught up with him, hence his wounds. But Andrew had kept him informed of what was going on in the Scoobies, and so he knew Buffy was close. He wanted to stay the night, then carry on in the morning. Where he'd go, he was uncertain, but she was his only hope for that night. His story made both women upset, Buffy because of her own preconceptions being battered and her faith in her ability to read people taking another beating; Penny because she couldn't imagine what this man had to go through.

"Don't worry, Wes. I can always use a Watcher-type here to help. Let me just set it all up with Giles, then you can bunk here until we get you your own place. I only have the couch, I'm afraid, for now," Buffy apologized.

Wesley's eyes were wide, and it seemed Buffy wasn't the only one whose preconceptions were blown out of the water. "Thank you, Buffy. I really appreciate it."

Buffy's smile was warm as she left the pair to go make her calls, listening to the hesitant sounds of murmured conversation coming from her living room.

Giles blustered and could not believe that his Slayer was asking for a different Watcher to stay with her. Yes, he had things to do in London now that he was the head of the New Watcher's Council, but really!If she wanted a new Watcher so badly, he would willingly send her Andrew, for Heaven's sake! But no, she had to ask for the one sore spot he held in that regard; the one the Council sent to replace him originally. Oh, she certainly said all the right things to him, about how Wesley was in need of employment, this is what he knows, she needs someone to help with the research who knew what they were doing, someone to organize the books, etc. But what he heard went more along the lines of Buffy not trusting him anymore, wanting to replace him as her mentor. It was a fist to the gut, but he couldn't refuse her. She made a valid point that a Slayer with a Watcher-type was more likely to live longer than a Slayer on her own. So he grudgingly agreed. On one condition. She take Andrew off his hands, as well. Of course, he phrased it differently, something about her needing a magic user as well. She agreed to his demands. He didn't know if he should be shocked or regretful that she would pick them over her original support team. He grabbed a tumbler, filled it with two fingers of whiskey and decided he did not want to know the answer to that.

The books were being stored in 5B, in what would have been the bedroom. The 'Study Room', Buffy called it. She figured if she was going to keep getting guests, than the second bedroom in her place would be turned into a guest bedroom/triage. Anyone who stayed with her knew of her calling, so she didn't have any problems with the room doing double duty. Wesley was a huge help with cataloging the massive amount of tomes, and Andrew was arriving that afternoon, so he could help by digitally cataloging Wesley's catalog. Shelves had gone up, Buffy hammering and Wesley helping until there was no wall space left. The second apartment was looking more and more like a training and research center. The door was standing open, Buffy calling for something from Wesley when Sheldon stopped, gaping. Penny just breezed past him, sauntering in like she owned the place, dropping her bag on a hook by the door. Sheldon entered more slowly, his eyes trained on the blonde in the middle of the room, upside down, one arm parallel to the floor while the other held her up, her eyes closed.

"Is that you, Wes? We have to leave soon to get Andrew... oh!" Buffy tipped over as she opened her eyes, a flush that was not entirely due to the blood rushing to her head spreading over her cheeks. "Hello Sheldon. Penny. Are you going with us, then?"

Penny had told Buffy she'd think about going to meet Andrew at the airport, giving Wesley an out so he could play with his books if he wanted it. He took it. So she had dragged Sheldon along. From what Buffy said, they may have a few things to talk about, after all. And Leonard and Howard were pissing her off. After talking with Buffy, and seeing how Buffy saw the guys, she could see how they denigrated and insulted Sheldon nearly non-stop. He, apparently, didn't notice, but once it was pointed out to her she couldn't help but notice.

Wesley staggered in then, burdened by a rather large trunk of books. Buffy took it from him with no difficulties. Sheldon watched with narrowed eyes, but he needed more data. Things were not adding up, and it didn't work like that in his universe. Everything added up in the universe. So he watched and he compiled and waited for more information. They were about to leave when Wesley's voice beckoned.

"Buffy! A moment, please!" The Watcher joined them at the door, a cookie in hand. He passed it to Buffy with a soft 'thank you' and grinned as she laughed.

"You remembered!"

Sheldon was uncertain as to the uncomfortable churning he felt deep in his abdomen. He'd had his usual lunch, prepared by his own hands, so it wasn't a food-borne illness. He would have to decipher this feeling. Perhaps Stephanie would be willing to consult on it? He would call her later. He followed after the girls, deep in thought. The trio bade the Englishman goodbye and headed to LAX to meet up with Buffy's 'geek friend'.

Buffy's friends were not what Andrew had expected. Oh, Penny was, certainly. Fashionable, a bombshell and talking shoes with the Slayer. But Dr Sheldon Cooper was most certainly not what he had in mind. Most of Buffy's guy friends were brawn, not brains. Spike, of course, had more smarts than the others, but his were life-smarts, not book-smarts. But Sheldon! He was a physicist! He watched Star Trek and Doctor Who and Star Wars! He could converse on comic books with authority. Aside from being arrogant and superior, Sheldon was Andrew's perfect man-crush. Maybe living out here with Buffy wouldn't be that bad, after all.

That Saturday, Buffy was down in the laundry doing up her new bedding for the guest room when Sheldon came in and started his loads. She watched him idly, a reluctance to go back to her apartment building. Everything was in the dryer, so she just had to wait.

"Hey Sheldon."


So she watched him some more before losing herself in her thoughts once again.

"Hey Sheldon?" she asked when he was folding his things, hers long having been tucked away in their basket.

"Yes Buffy?"

"Do you think, when you're done here, I can go hang out with you in your place? I mean, I know we don't know each other all that well, and really, you may very well just not like me..." she trailed off, an uncertain look to her face.


"Why? Besides that I actually like you, weird though you are? I really really don't want to sit and watch Wes and Penny make cow-eyes at each other anymore, and I can only handle so much of Andrew. Besides, he's baking. I'm not allowed near the kitchen when he bakes. He says I eat it all before anyone else gets a chance to have some and that's really not fair, you know, because I don't eat it all up, just... my share. Yeah, I just have my share and it's not like he won't make more. He once told me that he loves to bake, and he bakes to think, or when he's stressed, or when he's bored... I'm babbling again. You can just tell me to shut up, you know." She finished talking as they mounted the stairs, and she paused awkwardly in the hall in front of his apartment. "So, you know, I understand if you wanna say no."

"Fascinating. You tangentially discussed Andrew and his baking and still managed to retain the original question. You may."

Buffy blinked at him, before placing her laundry basket just outside his door so she'd see it when she left and followed him in.

Leonard, Howard and Raj all looked up when they heard soft laughter following Sheldon in, and blinked when there was no Penny behind the other blonde.

"Heya Buffy," Leonard called, getting a nod and a hello in return. Howard received similar treatment, and Raj got a hello with a small smile attached.

"Buffy, would you like a beverage?" Sheldon's voice floated from his bedroom.

"Sure thing!" she called back, and wandered into the kitchen to see what they had. As she passed behind the couch, she rested a hand briefly on Raj's shoulder. He squeaked. She grinned at him and grabbed a soda. Raj leaned over and whispered in Howard's ear.

"No, I don't know why she's flirting with you. Maybe she wants to jump your bones?"

Buffy snorted and rolled her eyes, snagging a stool from under the counter to perch on. The guys all felt that she wasn't very warm or approachable in that moment. Then Sheldon returned to the room. Her eyes lit up and her smile spread like liquid gold and Leonard stared.

"So Buffy, what are you doing down here?" he asked, his weird little nervous smile showing.

"You mean aside from the fact that Penny and Wesley seem to be about this close–" she held her thumb and forefinger apart marginally, "–from checking out each others tonsils with their tongues? Why else would I come by? I enjoy Sheldon's company, of course."

You could have heard a pin drop with the stunned silence that followed. A hot chick coming to this apartment to hang out with Sheldon? Really?

"Oh." Leonard couldn't contain his shock, and that one word was all he could manage.

"Nobody comes here for Sheldon!" Howard retorted with a laugh.

Buffy, with a mild glare at the little man, leaned a bit forward. "So, Dr Cooper. Explain your strings to me."

With an affronted look, Sheldon launched into a lecture that lost Buffy within minutes but she smiled and paid attention. It didn't matter that she had no clue and was so lost she was drowning. She wasn't being graded on it, and who knew? She might just pick something up. So she listened and watched him get animated, something she very rarely saw in the weeks she'd known him. But he seemed to realize that she was clueless eventually, and so he wrapped it up and told her he'd be giving her a quiz later. Leonard told her she didn't have to take it. She ignored Leonard and asked if it was a take home exam or if she had to finish it there. He gave her a brief twitch of the lips for that.

Conversation continued, the other three pitching in occasionally (well, Raj via Howard), until Buffy announced she had to go. With a string of goodbyes, she headed to her place to put the sheets on the guest bed (delivered today) and get ready for patrol. She declined any company from Penny, Wes or Andrew and tossed on a pair of black leather pants and a flirty top. She planned to stop by Sheldon's once more. And she did. She knocked and was admitted by Raj again, with Howard wolf whistling at her attire. With a roll of her eyes, she turned to Sheldon.

"Hey... Penny says you could teach me how to play Halo. I mean, Andrew could, but he gets soo annoying and Penny is probably going to be spending more time with Wes than me and she suggested I ask you so if you wanna come over tomorrow and teach me that would be great and Andrew's making cookies and brownies right now and he said something about peach cobbler and apple pie tomorrow night and if you want some you're more than welcome to so just text me or something and let me know, okay? Bye!" And with a red face and no breath, Buffy retreated to go kill something.

Sheldon had invited Penny over, with her new friends Wesley and Andrew. He didn't feel nearly as antagonistic towards the British man after Buffy had left, and he had no idea why. The guys had left him home while they went to a bar, and he was bored. So he was pleased when Penny agreed and said they were on their way back to the apartment after taking a walk. Well, she and Wesley were. Andrew was home, baking. She'd call him when she got there.

He heard footsteps on the stairs and as Buffy's place was the only one above theirs, and Penny lived across from him, he deduced it had to be Penny. So he opened the door, just in time to have Penny and then Wesley shoved at him. He looked out and watched with horror as Buffy was impaled by something that came out of this green monster's arm! It was humanoid, excepting the fact that it wasn't human. Buffy's grunt of –pain? Surprise?– snapped him to awareness of her and he frowned at the blood dripping from her shoulder. Before he could even think of what to do in this situation, Buffy had grasped the skewer, pulled the thing forward, snapped the skewer and impaled the thing on its own weapon. Her eyes, hard peridot, flicked to Wesley.

"We need to get rid of it."


"Then we need to find the rest. How did it find me, Wes? How did we not know there were Polgaras in town? I think I need to find the local Willy's and shake 'em down."

"True. I don't know how it found you, but I'll crack the books on it as soon as we've gotten rid of it. I'll need Andrew's help and a few supplies. It'd be best if Penny kept anyone else from coming up the stairs, and you should perhaps explain to Dr Cooper just what happened."

Buffy sighed and silently agreed. It made things both easier and much more complicated, though. While she was concerned with how the demon found them, and how it managed to sneak up on her, she was more worried that her new friend was going to leave her, just like the rest. She genuinely liked him, geekiness and science and all, and didn't want to blow whatever chance she might someday have.

"Sheldon?" she asked softly, trying not to spook him. He hadn't stopped staring at the dead Polgara since it went down, but her voice seemed to snap him out of it. She saw his eyes zero in on her wound, and was pleasantly surprised by the concern he displayed.

"Buffy, are you alright? Here, let me just get my first aid kit and we'll–"

"I'm all stocked upstairs for this kind of thing, honey, if you want to come up and maybe help me bandage it? I think it went through, and it's kind of hard to reach the back side, and I totally understand if you don't. Blood and all. Oh! But I have gloves!" she smiled hopefully at him, mentally crossing her fingers and smiled when he agreed and followed her up and into the room Wesley was using.

Sheldon looked around the room, finding one complete wall housing medical supplies of all kinds. Suture packs, minor surgical tools, gauze aplenty... aha! Irrigation bottles and sterile saline. She perched on a high stool in front of him, minus her shirt as she presented her back to him. He snapped on a pair of latex gloves and applied a dressing to both the front and back, studiously avoiding looking at the lacy bit of material she called a bra as she moaned about how she loved that shirt and was glad that the Council now included wardrobe damage compensation for all full-time slayers. He didn't quite understand yet what she was talking about, his mind going a mile a minute trying to figure out what that thing was. Well, the best way to get an answer is to ask a question.

"Buffy, please explain to me what that thing was and what a slayer is. I am assuming, based on the way you've spoken of this Council and slayers, that you are a slayer and you work for this Council."

"Yup. I'm one of the original two Slayers, actually. The rest of the slayers... well, I'll get to that in a bit. I should start at the beginning. Giles used to love this part, and I bet Wesley did too. Too bad he's not up here to do the spiel.

Into every generation she is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer

That's what they tell me, anyway. So the girl before me died, and I got called. I had a brief brush with death, which called another Slayer. You see, when one dies, the next is called. Well, I technically died (gotta love CPR!), so the line runs through Faith now. Anyway, so there were battles, another couple deaths, then finally we go after the First. The First is, literally, the root of all Evil. The First Evil. It is from this Evil has sprung, etc. We couldn't defeat it, couldn't push it back. It had turok-hans, which are old vampires that are super strong and hard to kill. So we used a mystical weapon made for the Slayer line and some magic and took all the girls that had the potential to be a Slayer and turned them into slayers. All of them. All over the world. And that thing downstairs? It's a Polgara demon. Nasty things that I rarely run into, but we should have known about it before it snuck up on me. I mean, they feed every two hours! How did we miss the signs? And oh God. I told you all this without making sure you wouldn't tell anyone. Me and Secret Identity Girl do not mix!"

Sheldon had since irrigated the wound, as much as he could anyway. It was already closing and he estimated a few more hours before it was fully healed. Which made him ask,

"Aside from incredible, Wolverine-like healing capabilities, what else can you do?"

Buffy laughed and told him all about the Slayer package, as she called it. The senses –usually!– for picking out demons and vamps, super strength and speed, better night vision (nothing like a vamps, though!), sharper hearing and a strong immunity to illness.

What Buffy didn't share with her Physicist was the loneliness inherent in being a Slayer. The minis didn't know better, but Faith did. Faith and Buffy, the last of the Chosen Ones. Being a hot chick with super powers sucked sometimes.

Penny, seeing her cousin's burgeoning fascination with Dr Crazy-Smart, brought up preparation as they were sitting at Buffy's with Sheldon, Andrew and Wesley. In fact, she mentioned that Sheldon ran his very own Apocalypse Preparation Course annually that he called Apocalypse Week.

"Howard calls it the week that Sheldon is made of Awesome 24/7," she said. Buffy and Wesley both perked up at this, asking what was involved. As Penny described what she knew of it, Buffy took mental notes. This was good stuff. She didn't hear what she was looking for, though, so when Penny finished, the shorter blonde turned to the coordinator of it all.

"What about swords and hand to hand?" she asked Sheldon.

"Of course there are swords! And really, Buffy. You've met them; you know they couldn't handle hand to hand training," was the reply. It was a split second of thought before she was nodding ruefully.

"True. So tell me more about your preparations?"

Sheldon filled her in on how he had multiple escape routes for all places he regularly frequents and emergency bags packed in both his apartment and his office filled with necessities. Buffy and Wesley shared a look, resolving to adopt such a practice as well. Buffy got a funny look on her face, one only Penny picked up on, apparently, before she turned back to Sheldon.

"What will it take for me to get one of those bags? One for everyone here, actually. If we had done something like that when we were fighting the First, we would have left Sunnydale with more than just the clothes on our backs. Do you know what it cost to clothe all the survivors?"

Sheldon had apparently taken her question seriously as he pondered what she would need. "We will arrange a shopping trip for Sunday, if you're not busy."

"Sure thing!"

"Buffy, why were you so worried about swords?" Penny asked.

The Slayer grinned. "Giles always says that not many things can survive decapitation. The ones that can usually don't have their brain there."

Sheldon tilted his head, then calmly mentioned how a Klingon bat'leth could be beneficial for her. At the mention of a weapon, no matter the origin, Buffy was interested. Andrew chimed in, gushing about how the mighty Vampyr would fall to the mightier Slayer wielding the Klingon longsword. Sheldon ran downstairs to get his collector's item while the others slipped across the hall to the training room.

Buffy had to promise not to actually hit anything with the weapon. It was a collectible, and he wasn't certain he could get his hands on another. She understood. Having lived a couple of years with Andrew –first in Rome, then in Germany– she was fully aware of the madness that struck a collector. So she did a few slashes, trying to get a feel for it before adapting a couple of sword katas for it, the others watching with interest. It was to this scene that Leonard and the guys arrived, after checking the apartment for Sheldon and finding nobody there or at Penny's and hearing noises from upstairs. They weren't sure if they were more shocked at Buffy's apparent proficiency with a weapon or that Sheldon actually let somebody touch his Bat'leth.

The amazement on the faces of the new arrivals would have been funny had anybody noticed or acknowledged them. But Buffy was too enthralled with this new weapon type.

"Andrew, can you get me one of these?"

"Like this or a real one?" was the reply.

"Real. I need to use this. Badly."

"You can do that?" Sheldon inquired.

"Oh sure! Andrew knows a few weapons smiths that he'll check with to get one. Or more. If this works like I think it will, then Faith is so getting one for Christmas." Buffy beamed as she handed the sword back to Sheldon. "Thanks for letting me try it out."

"No problem, Buffy. What are friends for?"

12 November, 2011

Word Count: 6531