Xander skipped down the steps whistling a jaunty tune with a smile on his face. He turned the corner in the hallway and stopped knocking on Buffy's door. Dawn came out her door across the hall seeing Xander.
"She's already gone Xander."
"Yeah. She left for patrol."
Xander shook his head a look of anger on his face. He sighed feeling a little hurt. "I was supposed to go out on patrol with her." He looked down and shook his head. "I don't suppose she told you where she was doing patrol tonight?"
"You know Buffy. She doesn't tell anyone anything. Communication has never really been her strong suit."
"She at least took a couple of the girls for back up? Right?"
Dawn sighed and shook her head. "You know Buffy she has to do things her way."
Xander shook his head pissed off and walked away. "Screw this. I am going to find her and I'm going to kick her ass myself."
At Elmwood Cemetery Buffy was running through chasing an 8 foot tall orange scaled demon. The creature was sore tired and hurting. Buffy could smell the kill with in her grasp. The creature had a limp to its run. The beast used his last burst of energy to try to get away and hide. His speed carried him away from the slayer and he hid behind a mausoleum hoping he lost the slayer. As he turned to creep away he saw a foot connecting directly with him face. The demon flew 10 feet back as the slayer stood over him.
"Come on. You really didn't believe you could lose me that easy?" He was lying on his back trying to back away from her. Buffy walked towards him slowly. "Sorry pal but I think your days of bone crunching are pretty much done."
The demon looked up at Buffy and knew his options were limited. He had one last trick up his sleeve but if it didn't work he would be left powerless and vulnerable but if he didn't do it he would die. The silver dagger Buffy pulled out shined in the moonlight. As she threw the knife it connected directly in to the demons chest. He raised his arms pointing them directly at Buffy and the gills under his arms quickly released a purple hazy gas.
Before Buffy could react she took a face full of the noxious gas and stumbled back. She gasped for air hoping and praying what ever it was she breathed in wasn't toxic or poisonous. Her head started spinning and she fell back holding her chest as she gasped for air.
The demon used this as his opportunity to pull the knife out of its chest. The yellow blood coated the silver blade and the knife stuck in to the ground as he staggered to his feet. He looked at the slayer gasping for air. He was with in a hairs breath of dying where he stood and that was the only thing that kept him from killing the slayer right there.
Buffy rolled over on her back and saw the beast scurrying away. She looked at the night sky and wondered if this was the last thing she would see. Her breath quickened faster and faster till she could take no more and passed out.
Xander had already been through Crestridge and Moundview he was starting to get frustrated. Buffy had told him she would stop doing patrols alone and even gave her word that he could join her. He shook his head and just kept driving. "Where the hell are you Buffy?"
Buffy lay motionless in the cemetery. She had been there almost an hour undiscovered when someone not so friendly found her. At first the lowly vampire thought he stumbled upon a dumb girl who fell asleep in the graveyard. Upon further inspection though he knew this was another prize all together. Every vampire in Cleveland knew the Slayer's face. Most of them knew it because it meant turn around and run the other way
When he was alive he was known as David Goldberg mid level accountant at Bryce Waterman Ad Agency. When he was sired though he adopted a new name and new life. He adopted the name Slasher and ditched the 3 piece suit in favor of your cliché black leather coat and reject biker gear.
The vampire inched slowly towards her afraid it might be a trap. He could hear her breath and slow soft snore. He smiled realizing he was going to kill a slayer. He bared his fangs and dropped to his knees ready to feed. He was so excited at the prospect of killing a slayer he didn't hear the car approach.
Xander jumped out of the car spotting Buffy on the ground. His heart skipped a nervous beat afraid for her. The vampire about to feed on her suddenly was tackled to the ground.
The vampire rolled on to his side and away from him. He didn't know who Xander was or what business he had there. "Who the hell are you?"
Xander quickly hopped to his feet reaching for the only weapon he had on him. In retrospect the wooden stake wasn't as good of a choice as the battle axe on his front seat but he was worried for Buffy and ran with out thinking, "Doesn't matter who I am. Turn around and walk away and tell the tale to your vampire buddies about the time you almost killed the slayer."
Buffy's head was still spinning and it felt like her brain had been split with a pick axe but she was starting to wake up, She laid there on her back unable to move. She could hear though.
The vampire stood his ground in front of Xander. "You think you got what it takes to stop me boy?'
Xander gritted his teeth. All these years' later countless vampires staked and people still treated him like a joke. "Do the smart thing. You aren't the first vampire I've gone up against you won't be my last. This isn't a battle you can win."
"I don't' think you know how powerful I really am."
"You have been a vampire what, 3 maybe 4 weeks? I've been doing this 10 years." He hoped his talk would be enough to make the vampire back off but knew in his gut it wouldn't. "So Mister Vampire what is your name?'
"I'm Slasher the Unholy."
Xander couldn't help but laugh at the walking Vampire cliché. "Oh my God give me a break. You are Slasher The Unholy? Ironic considering the star of David you are wearing around your neck."
Slasher aka David Goldberg reached to his neck touching the symbol of his Jewish past. He was pissed that this insolent nobody was making fun of him. "You just shut up,"
"You should get in touch with Anne Rice and sell the story of Slasher The Unholy Jewish Vampire." The vampire had enough as he charged Xander leaving himself wide open for attack. Xander simply stepped to the side and raised the stake hitting the sweet spot right in his chest. Slasher looked shocked as he realized he started a fight he could not win. For Xander two words were enough. "Told ya."
With Slasher out of the picture Xander dropped the stake and ran to Buffy's side. He touched her neck feeling for a pulse and breathed a deep sigh of relief finding it steady and strong. A small groan and gasp escaped her lips.
"Oh God Buffy you okay?" She opened her eyes and looked around unsure of what was going on. She pulled herself up to a sitting position and had a glazed off far off look in her eyes.
"Was that you? I heard someone fighting?'
"Oh it was just a low level wanna be bad. He was kind of lame." He looked at Buffy's face and could tell something was wrong. "What happened here?'
She closed her eyes and tried to think. "I uhm. I don't know. I"
He wanted to tell her I told you so. He wanted to lay in to her about going out slaying alone. Until he knew she would be okay that could wait. "Buffy maybe we should get you home."
She stood up and looked around shaking her head. "What's going on?"
"Buffy I don't know? I mean you were knocked out when I got here."
"Why do you keep calling me that?"
"Are you joking? I said Buffy. It's your name." Xander suddenly stepped to her thinking this might be more serious then first thought. "What do you remember?'
She looked up and around like a child seeing the night sky for the first time. She paused for a bit then looked back down to Xander unsure. "I woke up a few seconds ago and before that I'm not sure."
"What do you mean not sure? You remember me right. My name is?" He waited for her to say his name.
She opened her mouth ready to say something but nothing came out. She closed her eyes hoping the answer would be there. "I don't know."
He pushed forward grabbing her worried. He was worried she might have been bleeding or had taken a bump to the head. So he started inspecting her putting his hands on her shoulders. "Come here I want to see if you are bleeding or any bruise"
She pushed him back with all of her force sending him flying through the air and crashing to the ground with a loud thud. He groaned in pain. "What the hell Buffy?"
Buffy looked at her hands a little awestruck by what she just did. Her eyes were wide as pancakes. "You think you can just feel me up I don't know you."
He pulled himself up dusting himself off. Nothing was hurt except for his ego. First off I wasn't trying to feel you up. I was worried and was looking for any cuts or bumps that might explain why you can't remember anything and of course you know me I'm Xander."
"I'm sorry but that means nothing to me. I don't know you."
"Tell me this is a bad joke. I mean Buffy you are scaring me here."
"I'm sorry if you are scared. How the hell do you think I feel?" Xander stepped to her trying to touch her shoulder. She stopped him though backing up. "Don't touch me."
"Buffy I was just"
"I don't know you. You don't have a right to touch me so just back off."
"Buffy of course you know me. I have been your best friend going on 10 years."
"I should believe that because?"
"Why would I lie?"
"Here is what I know. You were just fighting someone 2 minutes ago and I wake up with no idea where I am, who you are."
Xander bit his lip trying to think of a way to convince her. Suddenly an idea hit him. "If you don't want to believe me then believe your eyes." Xander reached in to his back pocket for his wallet. He flipped through his wallet and stopped at a picture of Dawn, Willow, Buffy and himself . It was one of those goofy photos snapped in the moment. The 3 girls were all sitting on Xander as he lay on his stomach. Dawn on his shoulders Willow in the middle and Buffy on his butt. It was just a goofy lazy afternoon when the photo was snapped. He pulled the photo from the protector out of the wallet and slowly passed it to her
Buffy looked at the photo unsure of what she was looking for. "Okay I see the guy in the photo is you. Who are the other 3 girls?"
He just looked shocked that she was completely clueless. "It's your sister and Willow and the 3rd girl is you." It occurred to Xander if her mind was completely wiped clean then she wouldn't even know what she looked like. "Just follow me for one second please."
"Okay but keep your distance."
Xander walked to his car and pointed to the side view mirror. "Just look at yourself in the mirror." He backed up giving Buffy the opportunity to look. She walked over and slowly crept over looking in the mirror.
She looked back at her reflection seeing the blonde hair and blue eyes. She blinked a few times and stayed there for a little while studying her face as if it was the first time seeing it. After a while she pulled herself away from the mirror. "Wow I'm kind of pretty."
"That is your thought process Buffy? You can't remember anything but hey at least you are pretty."
"You aren't very nice."
Xander sighed and shook his head. "I am in over my head here. We need Giles on this one."
"He's a friend of ours. We trust Giles Buffy. You trust Giles and he might be able to figure out what is going on. In order for that to happen you need to trust me. Let me take you home." Just then Xander spotted a few feet away the knife covered in the yellow demon blood.
"I don't know if I trust you but I don't have a lot of options right now." She saw Xander looking at something. "What are you looking at?"
Xander walked to the knife picking it up. "This might be a clue. It might help us to find out what happened to you."
"Oh well now that you have a sharp life ending weapon in your hand let me hop right in to your car I'm sure there is no way that can't end badly."
Xander rolled his eyes and opened the trunk dropping the knife in there. "Better?"
Buffy walked to the side door ready to get in but stopped and froze looking in on the front seat seeing the battle-axe. "What the hell?" She backed up looking at him with the eyes of distrust.
"It's not what you think Buffy. If you knew what was going on that wouldn't seem out of place."
"Right of course cause everyone carries an axe in the front seat."
"Buffy I'm worried about you. I don't know what happened and we don't have time to argue over who I am. For all we know the longer we wait the worse things could be getting." Buffy still looked at him with distrust. "Okay fine how about this. I'll give you the choice. We can either put the axe in the trunk or you can hold it in case I try something."
Buffy stepped to the car door inching towards the axe. "I'll hold it."
"Technically it's your axe anyways." He got in to the car and waited for Buffy to join him.
Buffy decided she wanted to give space between Xander and her. She got on the opposite side of his car and in the back seat. She held the axe in her hand. As she sat back she finally got an idea of where it was she was. "What the hell am I doing hanging out in the graveyard in the middle of the night?"
"Kind of a long story Buffy."
"Are you serious about that?"
"It's complicated and I'll explain it later." Xander started his car and slowly pulled out of the graveyard.
"No not the situation. I mean."
"Is my name really Buffy? That's a nickname right?"