One Wild Ride


by John Cope
Buffy/Dusk Til Dawn/Wild Bunch Crossover



CH 4.2 = God, you Summers girls are dumb




Buffy patrolled in a black mood, she had company and she wished she hadn't. Angel walked beside her and Seth and his new shadow Kate walked behind chatting about what vampires they had killed and where and how. Angel on the other hand said nothing, she suspected, because sensing her depression he thought it was his presence that had caused it. If only that where true she thought.

The Slayer was asking herself two questions. How many people will I lose tonight, and will any of them die at the hands of my friends? She had a bitch of a day and she suspected that it could get a lot worse.

It had started in the library. She'd arrived there about 9.30 am to find Willow busy on the computer and Giles cataloging some books ready for schools reopening in a couple of months or so, *Poor Giles he might actually get some students in here*. Then she realized that Wesley's voice was coming from Giles office and Faith was angrily retorting to whatever it was he was saying.

Before Buffy had the chance to disappear into the stacks until the coast cleared, Faith stormed out, shouting over her shoulder. "Well you see if you can do any fucking better!"

Seeing Buffy she stopped, *Jeez she's crying* Buffy was shocked at the sight.

"The limey bastard's in a pissy fucking mood", she mopped her eyes on the sleeve of a black jacket. "I guess it's your turn for the lecture next, B".

With that she stomped off over to Giles and to his horror pressed her face against his chest, she gave either a broken hearted sob or a good impression of one. "There there now", Giles said carefully not putting his arms around her and sending the other girls an obvious 'Help me please' look.

Willow sighed and got up from the computer, taking a clean handkerchief from the pocket of her skirt she went to help comfort her least favorite girlfriend ever. As she unclamped Faith from him Giles struggled to suppress a sigh of relief.

Buffy went the opposite way heading for the library doors. Her hand was touching them when a voice she hated said, "Ms. Summers so good of you to join us, please be so kind as to come into the office there are matters we must discuss".

*Aw shit*, Ms. Summers thought, part of her brain telling her to run. *You've graduated, you don't need to take this anymore*, but she was a Slayer first, so shoulders slumped a little she turned and headed towards Wesley, who was standing in the office door a superior smile on his face.

Sitting on the sofa Buffy waited for what new horror awaited her. The Watcher sat at Giles desk a folder open upon it, without losing the pompous ass expression Wesley sat studying the papers there seemingly ignoring her, then as her mind began to drift asked suddenly. "So Ms. Summers, how many vampires did you account for last night?"

"None", She replied honestly. "I only saw one and somebody else beat me to it".

Wesley looked disapproving. "One of the Slayerettes or Mr Gecko with his 'scatter gun' I assume".

"No", Buffy suddenly hated honesty. "Kate Fuller, a friend of Seth's, and no I didn't tell her about vampires she already knew which is why she's here. A vampire attacked her I ran to help but she dusted it herself".

Wesley nodded as the girl drew breath. "Very public spirited of her I'm sure, and it puts you ahead of Faith, who unfortunately didn't even see a vampire last night. Indeed from her reports one might consider that all vampiric activities had ceased on the Hellmouth, tell me what is your view?"

"Other that one vamp, I didn't see any either", Buffy shrugged, "What can I say? Maybe they're getting ready for whatever's going on at the roadhouse, maybe they went too a party. I dunno. You're the Watcher, you tell me".

Pursing his lips Wesley eyed his ward coldly, he could see what Cordelia meant about her. She was pretty enough, but was a poorly educated violent tempered creature, her last watcher had failed to instil any discipline or respect. That would change.

He held up the first two sheets of paper from the folder. "Two transients killed in Weatherly Park".

Another sheet, "A dockyard security guard found dead this morning".

And a final one, "One Raymond Morley found dead behind this very school building, he was a seventeen year old and played on the football team. A propforward I believe".

"A defensive lineman". The Slayer corrected,*At least learn the language.* Ray was a sophomore and a world below her but she had seen him around with the other jocks, he was a fellow student. One of her own.

"What ever he was, he's dead now". Wesley shook his head in a display of in Buffys opinion mock sadness. "Sunnydale is a town with not one but two Slayers and yet on a night that four people die in vampire attacks, their 'protectors' don't account for a single vampire. It isn't good enough, Ms. Summers, it isn't good enough at all".

He put the papers back in the folder and closed it, looking at Buffy intensely he went on. "A Slayer should be dedicated to her duties and not be constantly struggling to fit in a social and family life. That is why Slayers work alone, your intention to undertake a college education is laudable but hardly necessary your career is already set out, you are the Slayer".

Buffy almost rose to her feet with an angry retort on her lips, but Wesley carried on. "Let me continue, your actions have for the most part been courageous, but with examples of extreme foolishness mixed in. You unleashed Angelus on the world again because you did not mention your sexual intentions towards this vampire to your watcher, who might have found the details of the spell. You ran away from here abandoned your duties and left the Hellmouth without a Slayer at all, this was after your replacement Kendra was killed by a childe of the very vampire who's powers you thoughtlessly restored.

"You participated in the violent rampage in which Faith slew an innocent bystander, one of your friends emotional entanglement with her has also destabilized that young lady to a terrible degree. This despite the fact that you knew she suffered from a problem of a sexual nature relating to her slaying activities and should have warned Mr. Harris accordingly".

A red mist was beginning to form in Buffys subconscious, *Control it please* she thought, *Let him finish before you kick his miserable ass*.

It was with a sneer that Wesley hammered home what he considered to be the final nail. "You have associated yourself with a wanted criminal a murderer and bank robber, a man with almost as much blood on his hands as some of the monsters you destroy. It is only his undisputed abilities as a Vampire killer that stay my hand from informing the authorities, that and the knowledge that you yourself might be arrested for assisting a fugitive from justice.

"I have therefore decided and am putting to the Watchers Council that Sunnydale only needs one Slayer, the surplus individual and her watcher will follow the traditional path of traveling the world destroying nests of vampires. The matter of the roadhouse is quite convenient, whomever kills Trick or the most vampires shall help halt the free lunch the rest of the world's vampires are having, whomever kills the least will remain here to guard the Hellmouth".

Whatever reaction he was expecting it wasn't what he received, the Slayer simply burst out laughing. Tears began to roll down her face she laughed so hard. Wesley slammed his hand down hard on the desk, "Ms. Summers, control yourself".

He had expected anger or possibly even violence but this reaction was 'a bit much'.

When she got herself back under control, Buffy leaned forward, rested her elbows on her knees and with her chin on her arched hands smiled sweetly at her watcher and asked. "And you will drag me away from my friends and family how?"

Equally relaxed he replied, "You will do as you are told by your watcher because as a Slayer, you have no choice".

Buffy arched her brow, "Nah I don't think so, you see I died. I've been replaced...technically I'm a redundant quantity. I can just resign and off you go with Faith and her 'problem of a sexual nature' post slaying. Have fun, don't bother to write".

It had been a dream of hers for weeks a phone call from Europe, "Severe vampire problem in Rumania, send Slayer". Bye bye Faith. Wesley however wasn't a guy she expected good news from. She dropped the smile and gave him the look and hated the fact he smiled straight back at her.

"That would, of course, alter nothing". Wesley savored the look of puzzlement that crossed Buffys face. "Neither I nor the watchers council would believe that you would stand ideally by whilst the vampire population of the Hellmouth dined on your friends and neighbors".

*Damn* Buffy began to grow worried this wasn't going the way she'd intended when she'd thrown her trump card in,*Way too early girl*. "So you still disappear ,so does Faith, what difference does that make? Things go back to normal here or as normal as they ever are".

Wesley sat back on his chair and sprang his trap. "I am your appointed watcher, you may think that you could ignore that fact but picture yourself having to fight powerful demons and vampires without access to a reference library, I think you would be back to me begging for my help within weeks". The Watcher smiled coldly, "And how many of your precious friends would be dead in that time".

"Giles and Willow would..." Buffy began but stopped as she saw Wesley's smile broaden.

"Oh yes, the 'brains' of the operation". Wesley was loving the expression that had replaced the earlier defiance on Buffys face.

"Lets discuss the latter first, naturally Ms. Rosenberg would be able to supply a good deal of information but the net holds only so much information. The Watchers Council are English and old fashioned the greatest secrets are all on paper".

Now the smile vanished. "But as you might say.'We'd go ask Giles, have him look stuff up', you know he made such a gallant watcher, I rather feel that he should be given a second chance. In fact yesterday I wrote a letter to the Watchers Council pleading that he be allowed one, after all with Faith available we have a Slayer for him right in town".

"What!?" Buffy sat stunned now she began to see what he was up too,*Oh god, he's gonna use Giles against me*.

"This leaves you, my dear, with a choice doesn't it? Giles and Faith in Sunnydale where she has a ready supply of young men to satisfy her carnal needs or perhaps alone with poor old Rupert". Wesley's voice lowered. "My I could almost envy the fellow, she's a seductive enough package though perhaps a little rough for a man of his years, he could get hurt if he tried to resist her".

"You miserable little bastard", Buffy sprang to her feet, she slipped into a fighting stance. "Get up, lets see how your fighting abilities compare to Giles".

He didn't bat an eyelid, "True, you could do me serious damage but you're not Faith or Seth Gecko. Of course I didn't tell Faith what I've told you the thought of having her put in an extra effort to win and get Giles all alone didn't appeal to me. I'm looking forward to it being you and I traveling the world together. Wont that be fun Buffy? You're the greatest Slayer ever, but here all the glory still goes to Giles. Plus, who knows what might happen far from home and friends".

Throwing up her hands Buffy shouted, "Oh sure and are you trying to make me spew?" Then realizing that walls and brunette Slayers have ears lowered her voice and said. "Right like I'd even contemplate it, a relationship with a..a..a oily little shit like you, no way and in your dreams".

*I'm sounding like Cordy here, and thinking of which*. Buffy leaned into Wesley's face and almost hissed. "Have you mentioned your twisted little scheme to get me alone to Cordelia yet?"

Wesley, having established that Buffy wasn't about to hit him, didn't have any objection to her hazel eyes so close to his own. "The Chase fortune has its allure, but still if Faith gets lucky I stay here and pursue that dream whilst you do whoever you choose to do. If as I expect you win, well Cordelia's not the only eighteen year old in town. Together with me alone far from your friends I'm certain my way of thinking might grow less unappealing to you".

Slayers are strong and so when Buffy took a firm grip of her watchers tie she easily hauled him forward off the chair. "Think of all the work though, the stuff you currently offload onto Giles which is like everything", Buffys voice took on a hard edge. "Especially the training, have you thought about that, how badly you could get hurt?"

Since he was half choking Wesley struggled to reply but managed, "Before we leave Sunnydale ,I'll be placing a letter with my lawyers to be opened in the event of my death".

Buffy released her grip a little, "Huh?"

"How eloquent", Wesley managed to get himself completely free and knelt on the floor looking up at his ward more in admiration than fear he continued. "If I die under anything but natural causes, your mother will be visiting you in a prison. I'll state that a blond girl has been stalking me and give your name and description. Do you fancy a life on the run?"

Stepping back from him Buffy answered icily, "Write what you like, it won't make any difference. You're right, I'm not Seth or Faith, but I'd kill myself before I let you touch me".

Wesley's face showed only a brief flicker of doubt, "No Buffy you're a fighter, there's no urge for self destruction in you. You'll try to overcome me mentally and fail every time".

He got up and brushed himself off from his encounter with the floor. "Reach a decision, you in Sunnydale and Faith with Giles or you with me". Adjusting his tie he went to the door, "Meanwhile I'm off to court Cordelia, after all if you decide your feelings for poor Rupert aren't as strong as for your friends, I have to find some other way to pass the time".

For a moment after he was gone, Buffy stood unmoving, *It doesn't matter how he schemes Giles wouldn't leave here, he'd resign as a watcher rather than leave me with Wesley*. Reflection on it she wasn't sure, and she knew that she feared for him if he went off with Faith. *She'd turn him into Ripper, full time and full on, it's what he'd have to do to survive*.

Unlike Faith she had no intention of crying, she composed herself and went out to face her friends. Once Faith was out of the library she'd tell them what Wesley had planned and see what they could do to stop him. Whatever Wesley tried to do to them they were a team.

The first thing Buffy noticed when she emerged from the office was the concerned expressions on her friends faces and the fact that Amy and Xander had arrived and were sat as far from Faith as they could get. They were up on the counter whilst the second Slayer was sat at the reading table being 'comforted' still by a pissed looking hacker.

"Buffy, I hope that pillock Wesley didn't upset you too much", Giles came over towards her with concern written all over his face. "According to what Faith told us, he has been 'way harsh' over last nights events".

"Oh it was nothing I haven't heard before", The bright breezy response didn't come across as an act did it, she sure hoped not. "But the pillock is really starting to get on my nerves".

She turned and said "Hi Xander, Amy, how was the Bronze after I left?"

She was surprised to see Xander smile. "It was cool. Amy and I hung out while Oz and Willow danced the night away, it was totally Bronze worthy, all my troubles were forgotten".

"You should ask Faith", Amy gave the second Slayer an amused 'dare ya' look. "She was there, but then she wasn't".

Faith shot back a look if pure venom, *I don't know what went on,* Buffy thought, *but I kinda think I'll like it*.

"So Willow what does the coroners office have to say about last night fatalities?" Giles looked surprised she'd stolen his standard line, something was going on.

Glad to get free of 'comforting' someone she really didn't like, Willow went back to the computer, "The two transients and poor Mr Washington from the docks show up as the usual wild dog attacks, ever notice how you don't see these huge dog packs around town? Rays the narly one".

Nobody else asked so Buffy had to, "Narly...how?"

The red haired hacker blushed. "He was found kinda naked...and he'd had sex...and there were lipstick marks in weird places".

Faith her interest aroused stood up and read the screen contents over Willow's shoulder. "Shit girl get an education, those aren't weird places to find lipstick, guys I hang with get them all the time".

"Thank you for your input, Faith", Giles wished she'd take this seriously. "I take it he's uninjured except for a neck bite just like the rest".

"The rest", Buffy was surprised there hadn't been any similar instances she could remember in Sunnydale.

"There have been several dozen attacks in Southern California recently on young men and boys, instances with seem to suggest a vampiress who likes amusing herself with her victims first", Giles was blushing a little. "It's not unknown, but this particular series of cases is unusual in the amount of times its happening. It's almost as if it increases the thrill of the hunt in this particular vampiress to use men before killing them".

"Perhaps she looks on it as like their last meal", Xander chipped in. "Then she makes them into one". The silence that followed the remark was echoing, *Ok, this is one tough crowd tonight*.

"So Will who do we use for bait?" Buffy asked all sweetness and light.

"I guess Xander's the obvious candidate, he has the experience", Willow added.

"Quite", Giles tried to keep his face straight. "After Preying Mantis and Inca Mummy girls a vampiress should be no trouble at all. I'm so glad you volunteered".

"Hey", Xander began.

"After all didn't you once use Cordy as bait for vampires?" Willow added.

Xander's alarmed expression finally made Buffy give, "Don't worry Xander, we'll just cover the places this vampires liable to cruise for victims. Faith, as our resident vamp, how do you fancy staying in the Bronze tonight?"

"Sure B", Faith didn't make any effort to look pleased. "Whatever you say".

The other teens in the room exchanged glances, tv or patrolling tonight for them all the Bronze could do without their custom.

"Who's covering the roadhouse today?" Willow looked a tired Giles who had been parked in his aged Citrogen most of last night binoculars clamped to his eyes.

"Our illustrious leader", Giles looked like he wanted to spit. "Has denied to take on the task. In my opinion, just so that it will look good in his reports".

"Be a shame if the vamps get him", Faith murdered loud enough for only her fellow Slayer to hear.

*Hear, hear*. Buffy went and sat by the reading table but on Willow's side. "So do ya think they'll show, the Mexican vamps that is or is it all aimed at scaring off Seth?"

"I'm still not sure, though I suspect it may be a bluff", Giles adjusted his glasses, "Better safe than sorry though, tonight you patrol with Seth, and Buffy, though I know you don't like it, Angel as well. The rest of you keep yourselves near to a phone so you can be paged".

Addressing himself to the blond witch Giles added, "Amy if you can come to the library tonight, I'll give you some instruction in using the crossbow, it's probably the weapon I can teach you to use fastest".

"Oh sure, I'll be here", Amy turned beaming to Xander and whispered to him, "Does this mean I'm in?"

"Yeah I guess", Xander was surprised by her enthusiasm,"Welcome to the sudden death club, but remember Buffy does the main Slayage, we just get the pieces".

Amy wasn't really listening all she replied was, "Neat".

Giles was looking intently through the glass in the library door, "Faith", he said sharply, "please disappear into the stacks for a while".

"Why me G man?" she asked petulantly. "You got some objection to how I smell".

"For once do as your told", Giles snapped Ripper rattling the bars of his cage, "The rest of you grab books, look useful. Willow get the computer onto something you can do legally".

Faith trounced off, whilst the others rather puzzled got hold of some of the new books, "So what's the panic G-man, why other than the obvious reasons did you tell Faith to book?" Xander asked.

"Miss Kochanski's in the corridor", Giles grabbed glue and the relevant sheets of paper and began to glue returns forms in the fronts of the few 'fiction' books he'd budgeted for that year, nobody felt like telling him he was sticking them in upside down as the teens were exchanging 'knowing' looks. "Faith was never a student here and can't be trusted to behave".

There were none of them who could believe he hadn't noticed the looks she gave him, the way she smiled at him whenever they spoke hell how could he miss signs that were obvious to people more than half his age. Karen Kochanski was smitten with the G-man, plain for anyone with eyes to see.

So it was with keen interest that the former Sunnydale High students tried not to watch the new Principal walk into the library. She was 32, academical brilliance and the fact she was the only applicant who wasn't visibly crazed had won her the post,(word had got out about the death and disappearance rate at Sunnydale High). Karen Kochanski was widely acknowledged as being the most dollsome high school Principle in the state as Xander had put it, "I sure hope she likes apples, she'll be getting two dozen a day and that'll just be from the faculty".

Not that Xander was saying much at the moment as he was taking in a combination of short black hair, black tee, combat pants and boots and trying not to drool, *Its so unfair, I graduate and the first thing they do is get a principal like this, god life can suck*.

Karen glanced round the library, a rather dank dreary place in her opinion looking more like a museum that a high school library, no wonder most of the kids didn't use it. But it had its attractions, which was the purpose of her visit.

She smiled at him, and his hand as usual flew to his glasses, "Good morning Mr. Giles. Hi kids". walking over to the reading table and sitting on the edge she looked down at their supposed industry. "Haven't you guys got anything better to do this summer, all you seem to do is work here?"

"It keeps us off the streets", Buffy said. "And we always were the most literate students of our generation".

"You sure were", Karen smiled at the Mayor's daughter, "Buffy your reports from Mr. Synder were some of the most glowing I ever read".

A hacker concentrated hard on the library computer program, whilst a librarian adjusted his glasses again.

"Of course his written back up reports that he kept stashed in a safe at his house were radically different", Buffy looked up startled, whilst Willow barely restrained a "Yike".

Karen looked directly at Giles, "Shame I had to make some space for next years student records in our own safe so I had to shred it all".

A pin dropping at this point would have sounded like an earthquake, finally Giles broke the silence, "Could I possibly have a word with you outside?"

"Certainly", Karen stood up. "You kids try having some fun, you might enjoy it".

With that she was off after Giles leaving stunned silence.

"I have fun", Buffy sounded unsure, "I'm a fun person".

"Since I started going out with Oz, fun's been my middle name", Willow added.

Amy sighed, "Think we could hang at the beach on Saturday, assuming we survive till then?"

"That's defiantly doable", the slayer waved a hand in front of Xander's face. "Earth to Xand, you still with us".

"Did you, did you see that?" he finally stammered out.

"Yeah, high school principal, in off duty dress".

"She sure is stylish", Willow had a hint of admiration in her voice. "Cordy says she's the best thing ever to happen to this place. She feels like she can rest easy now the female students of the school have somebody else to look up to".

"NO, did you see that". Xander asked again.

"Yes, dollsome older woman", Buffy laughed, "Xand remember Ms French and don't go there".

"Ms French?", came from Amy.

"Willow will explain", Xander couldn't believe this was happening. "Don't you fems see my point, no students in school, thus no work, yet the new principal walks into the library thinking the G will be here all on his ownsome and she's dressed hot as hell, come on she wants to jump his bones, and we just ruined her opportunity".

"We were subtly not going to mention that", Willow was blushing again. "Do ya think he realizes?"

"If she'd have come in wearing a sash with 'Take me I'm yours' printed on it, he wouldn't figure it out", Buffy needed all the reasons she could get to keep Giles in Sunnydale. "Xander, maybe you should tell him".

"Me", Xander looked aghast. "Hey when did I become relationship counselor to librarians? Do ya think a fox like that won't be able to get the message across herself?"

"Fox!"three girls said together.

"You think she isn't", suddenly defensive Xander wondered if this was a wise conversation to have started.

"She's in a difficult position", Amy said sympathetically, "She's Giles boss, she could get accused of sexual harassment if she came on to strong".

"Which rules out the little black raincoat approach", Buffy wasn't thinking, then realized what she'd said. "Which I for one will never use again".

"I checked her out", Willow hadn't wanted another Nazi like Synder arriving without warning. "She's perfect for him, though maybe a little young".

There was silence, then Amy leaned forward and suggested that, "Ten years isn't that long when you get to their time of life".

Buffy reached for another book to not do much with. "Giles is handsome for a guy his age, single, isn't an alcoholic, knows how to behave in public, knows which knife and fork to use, can converse intelligently. Ok, tweed, but compared to the rest of the faculty, he's a catch. The only problem might be Jenny, but I think he's had time to recover from that now, he should move on".

Three fems were suddenly looking straight at Xander. "Tell him", Willow ordered.

Out in the corridor things weren't going at all as Karen had planned, she was leaning against the wall looking suitable lithe, her shoulders back a little and her right foot up on the wall, all Giles was interested in however was Synder's files.

It wasn't as if she had come to Sunnydale looking for romance, but this handsome charming Englishman with his old world manners and endearing absent mindedness had swept her off her feet, pity he seemed to be too dumb to notice.

"Look, I took a job in a nice peaceable law abiding community", she began. "Which has a higher annual death toll than Watts, the Internet says plenty of weird things about this place, I should have listened".

Giles began to say something reassuring but was stilled with a look from Karens brown eyes. "Anyway silly old me I took the job, got myself a ten year head start on my peers and a greatly reduced life expectancy, now ask me what I want?"

*Oh dear* Giles suspected this conversation was liable to wind up including the word 'Hellmouth' and didn't like that one bit. "What can I, er, we do to help?"

"We", Karen smiled, "I'm glad you said that it confirms what I'd thought, you know a faculty member who spends so long alone in the library with a small group of students might be regarded with suspicion".

Giles was flummoxed, he couldn't see anything suspicious at all.

"But I've ruled out those possibilities after reading Snyder's files, you and those kids are mixed up in every weird occurrence in Sunnydale but in a trying to stop them way." Karen scowled, "Even that wretched little bastard Synder couldn't deny that".

Giles had done the librarian equivalent of ransacking Snyder's office to try to find any written back up to his computer files, but had finally accepted Willow's assurance that in this day and age there probably wasn't one. Well maybe he should just be thankful Snyder's executors had handed the evidence of his and Willow's crime onto the charming lady now standing before him.

"I assume your like some kinda detective club", Karen looked hopeful. "If you are, I need your help, Sunnydale PD couldn't even find a crime, let alone a criminal".

Giles understood now, "I take it you mean Ray Morley".

"Yeah, poor boy", Karen looked into the distance down the long corridor. "I heard about him being found before the PD and I was here before they got him bagged up".

Her voice lowered, "He had just one wound right on his jugular. The local police claim that he must have had sex with some girl then argued with her, she took off and a wild dog attacked him".

"I take it you don't concur with their view." Giles dreaded the questions that were about to come.

"Ray was a jock, a strong kid", Karen tried not to let her anger come through too heavy but she spat the words. "Christ Rupert, he didn't even have defense wounds on his hands, and a wild dog attack with just one bite". She shuddered, but went on."Wanna know the part that really scares me though?"

Giles just nodded,*Oh please god, don't drag another innocent into this*.

"He was completely white, like he'd bled to death but there wasn't any blood on the ground after they moved him". She shook her head as she added. "The cops said he might have been dumped there when I pointed that little detail out to them, but hey, no tire tracks or drag marks either".

"I see",Giles nodded mesmerized by the brown eyes that held his, remembering Jenny. "And what do you suspect to be the true cause?"

"What kind of creature drains the blood of its victims through a wound in the neck?" she saw the pain that crossed Giles face. "Oh god Rupert tell me I'm wrong, tell me I'm insane, tell me it isn't a vampire".

*Oh god*, Giles blinked, everything in his training told him to lie to make up some story but he knew the woman standing before him was too intelligent to accept anything less than the truth. "I'm sorry Karen, but your right it is a classic vampire attack".

"Christ", She put her hands up to her face. "Tell me, how often does this happen? Bob Flutie, was he really killed by wild dogs too?"

"Yes he really was", that experience was to ghastly to share. "And vampires are quite common in Sunnydale. You don't have to stay here you know, you can quit go back to teaching at a more peaceful school".

"No I can't", Karen shook her head and turned to walk away. "I've read the kids files, I've met their parents, I'm staying here to share their danger. You do it, why shouldn't I?" She turned back towards him, "Can you kill them Mr Giles?"

"Yes, a stake through the heart, holy water, fire, beheading", the Watcher held his hand out to her. "But you mustn't hunt them you don't have the training or the skill".

Karen didn't take the proffered gesture of friendship it was almost as if she didn't see it, "I guess I'll just go buy a crucifix then". And with that she walked away.

Pressing his right hand to his mouth Giles stood there wishing Karen Kochanski had never set foot in Sunnydale, or that she had the sense to put on the blinders everybody here wore. Jenny hadn't and was dead. He didn't want to have to see Karen join her.

Buffy and friends looked concerned at his expression when he walked back into the library, Xander held up a hand. "Hey G man can I share something with you?"

"Wha..oh not now please Xander", Giles barely seemed to notice them.

"Giles..", Buffy began, about to ask what was wrong, but she didn't get a chance.

"When I read her academic record I knew there was going to be a problem", Giles took of his glasses. "I hoped she wouldn't see it that she'd be blind like all the rest. Not now though, now she knows and she'll be dragged into this just like the rest of you".

"I take it we mean Miss Kochanski", Willow wasn't that surprised, she'd heard that the new principle had been arguing with the police that morning. "Do you think she'll go public?"

"And wind up on powerful medication". Xander had lived in Sunnydale all his life and probably still wouldn't have known about vamps without an eavesdropped conversation in a library, people could be such showoffs. "But I guess this means the library gets a little more crowded".

Amy looked at him and he smiled back at her, "I don't mean you, you've put in the hours, it's just having some genius turn up and figuring out stuff I had to have written down is getting a little wearing".

Walking over to her former watcher Buffy said, "It'll be ok Giles, if she knows about them she'll be careful. Did you tell her about me?"

"No, I suspect she considers me to be a kind of Van Helsing and you my assistants", he looked for the usual blank expressions and was gratified to see they weren't there. *Ah they've actually all read the book, I can't believe it".

Xander suddenly shouted, "Ve are all gods, madmen now!"

"Antony Hopkins really over did that",Willow added. "He was almost as hammy as Gary Oldman".

*Thank you Francis Ford Coppola*, Giles might have known, they'd seen the film. Bram Stokers book was a stranger to them.

He walked up the stairs to the entrance to the stacks and called out, "Faith you can come out now". There was no reply, "Faith?"

"Buffy please go in and see if she's all right", at the look on the Slayers face he added. "Please Buffy she is your fellow Slayer".

"Yeah right", a sulky Buffy headed into the stacks. "A Slayers work is never done, Faith come out come out where ever you are".

Not a sound, *Perhaps she snook out the back*, Buffy paused and cast her mind out listening for breathing, *Ah there she is*.

She found Faith sat on the floor staring at the spines of the books on the shelf before her, "Whaddya want B?" She asked without looking up.

Shrugging Buffy responded, "For some bizarre reason, Giles wants the pleasure of your company now that the new principles gone".

"Oh how jolly", Faith snarled. "Now the decent people are gone and she can't embarrass us drag Faith out so we can use her to do the dirty work, you make me sick the whole fucking bunch of you".

Buffy had a bitch of a morning so far and her patience was at an end. "If you go around killing people and trying to rape my friends, don't expect to be treated like a decent person. What have you ever been to us but trouble?"

"Do you think I'm not sorry about Fitch?" Faith whispered. "And I liked Xander, he used me and when I wanted a little something in return. what did I get? Nothing".

"Sorry doesn't give a man back his life", Buffy knelt beside her unfriend. "What you did to Xander was maybe as bad he was trying to comfort you, he didn't want to take advantage of you in the state you were in".

"This is all down to that bastard Wesley". Faith looked at her fellow Slayer, "If he hadn't of shown, none of this would have happened, we might have stayed friends".

"I don't know", Buffy wasn't sure if that would have been possible. "But there's not a lot we can do about it now".

"Sure there is", Faith looked intensely into Buffys eyes. "I know your not as close to him as you were, but why don't you ask Seth to do him like he did the others?"

"Huh?" Buffys mouth dropped open. "Did how? What others?"

"Don't act all coy with me girlie". Faith replied angrily, "Do ya think I don't know who killed Wilkins and who gave Snyder a flying lesson". Then she smiled as she saw a look of horror cross Buffys face. "You really didn't know did ya? You hung with the guy for weeks and you didn't figure it out".

Laughing Faith stood up and looked down on the blond girl. "God, you Summers girls are dumb, it took your mom how long to figure out what you were, but this? Mayor Wilkins I know for a fact didn't disappear he was out to get you so Seth got him first. Then when you're mom decided to run for Mayor, wasn't it convenient that the guy who was planning to expel your ass to ruin her chances dies an accidental death?"

She leaned back against a book shelf. "Come on B, call me a liar, tell me I'm wrong".

Buffy shook her head, *God no this cant be true*, but suddenly it all fit, *How could I have been so blind?*

"Now hey B, all ya have to do is get Seth to cap Wesley and we can be friends again", Faith knelt back down in front of her. "And just let me have one of those boys of yours. Are you through with Seth, can I fuck him? You've been real greedy with the guys ever since I got here".

Buffy restrained the urge to grab Faith by the throat, somehow. "I'm not gonna ask Seth to kill anyone, and I think he has better taste than to go with trailer trash like you. I know your lying, I know it".

"Tsk tsk", Faith mock pouted. "What a naughty thing to call me, and you don't sound much like you don't believe me. Now picture you, mommy dearest and all your little friends in prison as accessories to murder, then do as I ask".

Standing again the brunette looked down one more time, "I feel like we're gonna be such good friends now B, now everything is out in the open. I'm having such a happy, tell Xand that if he comes to the Bronze just before closing and I've slain that vampiress, I will so make up for what I did to him".

"See ya", Faith said as she headed out the back way, "Wouldn't wanna be ya".

*Oh god say it cant be true* Was all that ran through Buffys mind, but a tear ran down her cheek because she knew it was. Buffy had waited till the other teens had left and had then cried it all out to Giles, he hadn't been very helpful on either score.

"Certainly you can't have Seth kill Wesley much as the though appeals to me after what you've said", Giles shook his head. "I knew he couldn't be trusted. Don't worry about Faith though, she's not crazy enough to go to the authorities she could go to prison just as easily for killing Fitch, and she actually struck that blow herself don't forget.

"But once this is all over we will have to tell him to leave, his presence here has compromised us all.

"As for the other matter, I'll leave Sunnydale with Faith if it comes to it", he stilled Buffys protests with a glance. "Would you really trust Faith with the Hellmouth, with our friends lives? No Buffy I'll go with her, I can look after myself".

"Please, why can't you just quit?" she almost pleaded. "Why can't you stay here with us?"

"No Buffy, its my duty. If I can be a Watcher again, I will", his hand went to his glasses that dropped back down to the table. "I'll spend whatever time I have left teaching Willow everything that I'm able to. Also well scan everything we can scan into the dread machine. She'll make an excellent Watcher, until the council realizes your total rejection of Wesley and orders me back". With that she had left it and wandered home. She'd gone up to her room and lain there wondering what the hell to do.

When it came time top patrol, she'd dressed in a daze, pulling on a black silk blouse and leather pants so when she'd met up with Angel, she had found to her intense embarrassment that they was dressed exactly the same. The lopsided grin she used to love had appeared on his face.

"Hi", he'd begun not knowing how close to him she'd want to get.

"Hey", was all she responded, cold and distant and with too much on her mind to really even notice him. They hadn't engaged in much conversation after that as they waited near the cemetery for Seth to join them.

He'd turned up a little late and he had Kate with him. "Hey guys, so which of you is tweedle dum and which is tweedle dee?"

That had more or less set the mood for the rest of the evening though Seth and Kate were to bubbling over with bon homme to really notice. Buffy wondered if she should warn the girl that he wasn't the reformed character she thought he was. Then figured what the hell, if being kidnaped by the guy hadn't discouraged her.

There were no vampires again,(other than Angel), but on the town limits they'd come across a very disturbing sight.

"Ok so tell me this doesn't mean what I think it does", Buffy was holding up a twisted fragment of a Welcome to Sunnydale sign.

Angel looked at the tire marks on the grass. "Not unless he's changed vehicles, no way did a De Soto leave these tracks".

"Still", he said getting up. "Best keep our eyes peeled for Spike, though after how he acted last time he was here, I doubt that he's anywhere near the danger he used to be".

"He's a vampire who feeds on the blood of the living", Buffy saw Angel flinch, Spike was his childe, his victim, Angel's by default. "If he's back he better get ready to die, I won't let him off again".

After another hour Seth and Kate had split, there had been no pages from Giles or Wesley and without a living vamp in sight not much point to going on. Angel and the Slayer had gone on a little both occasionally scanning the area with their senses. "Nada", being the usual response from both.

Turning down an offer of a walk home Buffy eventually and a couple of hours earlier than usual turned into Revello drive and stopped dead.

There down the street stood leaning on a lamp post was a familiar figure, the blond hair and the leather coat were anyway, Buffy had never seen Spike smoking a cigar before but still that didn't really make much difference.

Freeing Mr. Pointy from the back of her pants, Buffy smiled to herself, "Thanks god, this is just what I've been looking for all day".

Continued

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