The Difference Thoughts Can Make
Summary: **Part of the '2012 Halloween Fics' series** How season 2 could have gone if Buffy could read thoughts – including vampires.
Warning: I don't know; definite language and innuendo somewhere at the end.
Timeline: season 2 BtVS 'Halloween' through 'Innocence'.
A/N: This has been on my computer for a couple years; decided to post it now. Given how the series ended, the irony of having Xander go as 'Cyclops' was too good to pass up. Doesn't mean anything to the story plot, though.
Thanks to my betas: zigpal, AerynSpeedleCaine and AshDawnSoulmates.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. X-Men characters belong to Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Marvel Comics. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
"C'mon, Buff…you promised to make up for embarrassing me in front of Larry," Xander reminded, complete with puppy eyes.
Buffy cursed the puppy eyes; they were almost as bad as Willow's resolve face. "But there's only one female costume left! And the two male ones- I don't know about either of them."
"And since I'm already a redhead, I get to be Jean Grey," Willow piped up quickly, giving Buffy a cross between puppy and resolve looks. She desperately wanted to be Xander's love interest – if only in costume for the night.
Xander, although disappointed that his Scott Summers costume wouldn't 'match' Buffy's anymore, still tried to talk her into the idea, "I think you'd make a great Professor. And think about all the fun you'll have zipping around in your powered wheelchair," he enticed.
Between the two of them, Buffy knew it was a lost cause to fight anymore. "Fine, but only because I owe you – and I don't ever want to hear about this morning again. We are so even after this!" Her mom would freak at the costume rental price tag since it included the chair. Maybe she'd sic Xander's puppy eyes on her mom when he came over; no way could her mom get angry at puppy-eyed Xander!
"You got it," Xander promised with a bright grin.
Lie to Me
Right after Ford watched Buffy stake a vampire, she caught his thoughts and told him, "Ford, I know you're dying, but that doesn't give you the right to use me and a bunch of idiots as bargaining chips in order to be turned into a monster."
The Dark Age
"If you don't tell me what's going on, I'll just have to check for myself," Buffy demanded once the police took Philip's body away.
Unwilling to tell his Slayer about the worst time in his life, Giles attempted to appeal to her conscience, "I thought Professor Xavier didn't believe in reading people's minds against their will."
"But I'm not the Professor, so spill!" she reminded him, narrowing her eyes in annoyance at his stall technique.
"Very well," Giles replied unenthusiastically, "Back during my rebellious days…"
What's My Line?
When Buffy finally got the upper hand on the dark-skinned girl she was fighting, she was startled to hear the girl's thoughts. She schooled her expression and said calmly, "So you're a Slayer, too."
Suspicous of the blonde who beat her and associated with a vampire, Kendra demanded, "How did you know that?" She also wanted to know what this blonde was.
"Little trick I picked up a few weeks ago. Now if you're done trying to kill me and Angel, we should go talk to Giles, my Watcher," Buffy replied, assuming the other Slayer could make the connection on her own.
Buffy glared at Xander, who just kept scarffing on the cookies Ted made for them. "I'm telling you…the guy isn't human! I don't even think he's a demon," she decided to appeal to Willow, hoping the redhead would be more receptive to the idea.
Given the Slayer's track record with picking out the weird in things around them, Willow figured this was one of those times they should trust her judgment. "How do you know that?" she asked with genuine interest.
"Because I can't read his mind." When Buffy realized she had this ability, she talked at length about it with both Giles and Willow. Giles gave her the responsibility lecture while Willow just wanted to know how it worked. That's why Buffy knew that she could explain this to the redhead, "It's not staticky or anything – there just isn't anything to read!"
Just as Cordelia is about to hit her with a metal bar, Buffy moved out of the way and yelled, "Xander, duck!"
Reacting instinctively, Xander barely missed being brained by Willow waving a microscope at his head. "What the heck is going on?!" he demanded once Buffy knocked both girls unconscious.
"Will and Cordy aren't themselves anymore. Or at least something is controlling their minds now. I'm guessing it has something to do with these creepy egg babies." Buffy's hypothesis was proven correct when they saw the tentacles burrowed into the back of Willow and Cordy.
"That is just so many kinds of wrong," Xander said with a shudder.
"You guys did all this for me?" Buffy glanced at Angel for a second before rushing to hug Giles. "You're the best Watcher in the whole world!" she declared after 'hearing' that it was his idea to have the birthday party for her anyway – despite the badness of the last couple days.
When Buffy joined them in library, Jenny looked the ensouled vampire. "Where's Angel?"
"I was hoping he had checked in with you guys." Buffy narrowed her eyes at the panicked thoughts she was picking up from the computer teacher. She couldn't quite get the exact concern though. "Wait…why are you so worried about him, Miss Calendar?" she inquired, hoping to direct the older woman's mind.
"I don't know what you mean," Jenny bluffed, not knowing about Buffy's new-ish ability; Buffy and Giles had decided to keep it a secret for the time being – well, except for Willow and Xander, since they knew who Buffy went as for Halloween. Even Angel had been kept out of the loop on this one so that she could practice reading vampires' thoughts too.
"Yes you do. And you were awfully eager to get Angel out of town last night." The Slayer was beginning to put all the pieces together, and the next thought confirmed her fears. Not caring that she was supposed to hide her ability, Buffy screamed, "Oh my god! Why didn't you tell us?"
"Tell us what?" Giles inquired, completely lost as to why his Slayer was so upset with his girlfriend-type person.
"That there was a chance Angelus could come back!" she practically spit out in Jenny's face. "She was supposed to make sure it didn't happen. Tell me! How could it have happened?" she demanded.
"I'm not sure," Jenny admitted. Seeing that her answer didn't go over well with either of them, she quickly added, "My uncle might though. I actually was going to talk to him later about this."
"You do that; I'm going to see if I can find Angel," Buffy said, not wanting to be near the spy any longer than necessary.
"Yeah. Like I really wanted to stick around after that," Angelus-posing-as-Angel sneered lightly, figuring it would crush her fragile teen heart.
With those words, Buffy knew the curse had been lifted. And what she read from his mind didn't make her any less afraid. She could picture the torments he was planning to inflict on her and her friends. Whatever love she had for Angel was no match for the horror she now felt in Angelus' presence. She owed it to Angel's memory to kill this monster before he caused any further atrocities with his face and body.
Keeping with her guise of a scared, naïve girlfriend, the blonde Slayer swallowed her disgust at what she was about to do and asked, "Is there anything I could do to make our repeat performance better for you?"
That offer shocked Angelus; enough that he hesitated before leering at her. "Really? Well, I have a couple ideas." Hey, if she was willing to have another go, he was more than happy to fuck the Slayer before playing with her – despite his earlier comments.
"So do I," she purred, walking behind him, trailing her fingernail across his chest and back.
Hmm, maybe he'd have to reconsider his plans; see what kinds of things she had planned for future sexual escapades. "I can't wait to see what you have in mind."
"Then I won't keep you in suspense…Angelus," she snarled. Before he could react, she plunged her stake through his back and into his heart. As he turned to ash, she whispered, "I love you, Angel."
Slamming the doors wide open, Buffy ordered Jenny Calendar, "You can go back to your family and tell them that Angel and Angelus are gone for good. Once you've done that, I'd really prefer not to see you again…ever," she finished with what sounded like a threat.
Jenny couldn't believe that her boyfriend was just sitting there instead of challenging his Slayer. "Rupert?" she asked pointedly.
"What?" he replied somewhat innocently. He knew what she wanted from him, but it wasn't something he could give – if he even wanted to. The truth was that he didn't feel inclined to side with her anyway. What she did was quite reckless, and her silence put Buffy in serious physical and emotional danger. While he cared for Jenny, Buffy was more important to him – both as the Slayer and as a person he loved.
Now she was insulted. "Aren't you going to say anything?" Jenny demanded.
"I doubt that you'd like to hear my feelings on the matter," he replied with a slight scoff. "Since you asked though, I'll tell you. It is incomprehensible that your family would do something so dangerous and cruel."
Giles sighed before continuing, "And you…you made me suffer for weeks because something from my distant past – which I had no way of knowing would come back to haunt me – threatened your life. I understand it was traumatic for you, and if it weren't for this, I would feel that you were perfectly justified in your response."
Then he shook his head and his eyes narrowed angrily. "However, you had knowledge of something that was of such concern to your family that they had you come here to keep an eye on it personally. To me, that puts my secret to shame. You had no right to get all self-righteous with me when you were hiding this from us. …I could have cared a great deal for you, but my priority in life is Buffy."
He moved to Buffy's side and put his arm over her shoulders in a visual show of support. "Not just because she's my Slayer – although that was the case when I came here last year – but mostly because she's someone I care a great deal for. Because you didn't warn her about the dangers of growing romantically attached to Angel, she had to kill somebody she loved. That is unforgivable in my book. But I suppose that's to be expected for people who make vengeance their priority in life," he finished sadly, turning his back on her in a symbolic gesture.
A/N: Canon change – Buffy can read vampires with her telepathy. Maybe because it's a different kind of telepathy, maybe because the explanation on the show didn't make a lot of sense to me.
Sorry, Jenny fans, I just can't like her when it comes to this secret. She probably will never be portrayed kindly in any story I post that deals with her family secret…unless she decides to betray them and comes clean with Giles and the others.