Title: When You Get the Call (00?)
Author: Prospero Hibiki
Date Started: 8/07/07 Date Finished:
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, Fox and WB Network. In no way are these aforementioned characters being used for my own personal profit, and this is not meant as an infringement of the copyright owned by any of the above entitys. Also I don’t own the others either. But you’ll find out about them later. And on another side note I'm really disappointed that they (WB) didn't take my other source material past a single pilot because if you'd actually SEEN the pilot you'd realize just how much the show would have rocked.
Rating: M (16+)
Timeline: After Graduation Part 2 and before the Freshman. To start with.
Spoilers: Most everything.
Classification: Alternate Universe...Yeah. AU.
Summary: Everyone’s always thought there was more to the great trip across America than Xander ever said. But how much more could there be?
Author's Comments: I was sitting there browsing torrents and there it was. I’ve been reading tons of his stuff so I said what the hell and got it. And it just hit me. “Self: This would make a really good fanfic.” “I do believe you’re right.” So here it is. Oh and I guess I’ve made assumptions about the timeline that I know aren’t supported in my secondary source. But screw it.
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
-Edward Everett Hale
There comes a time in a man's life when he realizes that he has to make a decision. That there are certain things that he wants to stand for. That there are things he can't afford not to stand for. That there are things he won't sit by and watch happen. Every man has a line that he will not cross, even if most never find it, and will hold that line against all comers. Or die in the attempt. And some do.
And So It Begins.
Rest Stop on US 95, Northbound
Sitting on the picnic table of the rest stop I start to wonder what I'm going to do with the rest of the summer. Sure I told myself that I was going to see the country, but that was before I'd had my car looked at by one of the Sunnydale High gearheads. He'd given me the truth about the car. He even cut me a deal on getting it replaced on the cheap, something I still think I don't want to know about, but the end result still cut pretty heavily into my travel funds. So much so that I don't know if I'll even be able to make it back to good old Boca del Inferno. Though why on earth I would actually want to go back there is anyone’s guess. I’d like to think I’d go back for some greater purpose, some noble reason that demonstrates a devotion to a higher calling.
I’d like to think that but I’m not that naïve or delusional.
The only real reason I can see myself going back there is because I can’t find any reason not to. That and the fact that I don’t think I could do anything else with my life. God, that sounds pathetic. The only thing I’ve ever been good at is the one thing that even my friends don’t like me doing because they think I’m useless at it. What does that say about me?
With a sigh I crumple up the wrapper from the burger I bought an hour ago and toss it into the nearest trash can. Or rather I attempt to. I miss of course and my head drops to my chest. Great, now I’m a litterbug. Pushing my way off the table I walk over to the scrap of paper and bend to pick it up when I see it.
At first I don’t quite know what it is that I’m looking at except that it doesn’t belong here. Why that is takes a little longer to process. I guess that could be forgiven being as how I’ve lived my whole life in the unexplained murder capitol of the world. I mean seeing a partial bloody hand print on the side of a building isn’t all that unusual. Just another piece of evidence that people have pushed under the rug. And sadly one that would have plenty of company. Still, I should know better. I should have seen it for what it was and understood the significance immediately. Someone was hurt. Badly. There were things though that I didn’t know about the situation. A lot of them actually. The ‘5WH’. Who, what, where, why, when, and how. With a little bit of work I should be able to figure out a few of the answers.
Leaning over the blood smear I take one of the cheap almost plastic napkins that came with my food and wipe it through the blood. It was still liquid. Therefore the answer to “When?” was “Probably within the last hour.” It was almost depressing that I had enough experience to figure that out.
“Where?” would probably involve a little bit of exploration and would in turn lead me to some of the other answers. With that in mind I start to look around for some other sign of the person whose blood was in front of me. This takes a while but I finally find what I’m looking for in the form of a few isolated drops of blood leading to another smeared hand print that mars the base of the women’s bathroom door. I almost don’t spot it seeing as it blends in with the maroon paint on the door. In reality I don’t know how I do spot it. I think it’s probably more by smell than anything else. Left over remnants from the hyena and swim team incidents most likely.
Looking around the parking lot of the rest stop I can’t see any cars so I shrug and just push my way in. It was the right choice, I decide a moment later when I notice the small pool of blood visible in the far stall. It only takes me a second to make it to the set of black dress shoes and pants that I can see. Of course this leads me to the “Who?” And I don’t mean the band. Instead I’m faced with a woman in a black suit that is slowly bleeding to death in a bathroom.
My immediate goal was obvious. The initial ABC’s. Airway, Breathing, and Cardio first and worrying about the rest later. Okay, think Xander, think. We have breathing. So we’re good with everything else. So what next? Bleeding or spine. Which is it? The loud echoing click is what decides me. Well that is what shows me that the spine isn’t so much of a worry, at least at the moment. The clicking sound is quite distinctive. It’s the loud punctuating click of a revolver’s hammer being pulled back and pointed toward someone’s head. Mine in this particular instance.
I suppose I should be frightened more by this, but I’m surprisingly not. Partly because the woman currently holding the gun is aiming about two feet to my right. I’m guessing double vision or just general weakness. Which should actually make me more nervous rather than less. No, I just feel as if there’s something about this woman that I should trust. It’s not a feeling that she won’t shoot me, because I really do get the feeling that she would if she had to. No, it’s something else. There’s something about her that just screams white hat. Who knows, maybe she comes to the same conclusion about me because she lowers her gun and looks me straight in the eyes.
“Christ, you’re just a kid.”
I snort. “And you’re a woman bleeding to death in a bathroom.” Shrugging my way out of my outer shirt I start to rip it into long strips. It’s something I’ve had to do all too often in the past few years. I don’t know where or how badly she’s hurt but I’m guessing that we’ll need it in some form or another. Of course it’s only after I’ve started the ripping that I remember that I have a perfectly good first aid kit in the car that I traded in a very big favor owed to me by a powerful witch doctor. Crap. Once my shirt is nothing but a series of colorful bandages I try to open up her jacket ignoring her when she tries to lift the gun and point it at me again. “Cut that out. You can barely move as it is. I’m just trying to figure out what I’ve got to do before I get you to a hospital.”
“No hospitals.” This time the gun is quite firmly being pointed at my head and incredibly steadily at that. I decide to back off a little at this point. “Well great.” She bats my hand away as I reach for her again when I try to figure out what the hell her damage is. The physical damage that is because God only knows what the mental damage is.
I will admit that it was somewhat convenient that the crazy lady passed out right about then, though I do wish that she was considerate enough to wait until after I’d loaded her into my car. Still I wasn’t exactly stupid and did take the opportunity to take her gun before I left to pull my car around. And I’m really glad I decided to do that first.
I probably should have expected the camera just outside the entrances to the restrooms but I didn’t. I get the feeling that crazy lady would have if she hadn’t been so, well I guess beat up is probably the right phrase. So the day hadn’t been going as well as I had hoped it would and instead was going how my luck usually ran. Making a mental note to grab any tapes for the camera I pulled the car around and backed it right up to the restroom door.
She wasn’t as heavy as I’d expected and I didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I guess it was good in that it was easier to carry her to the car but it was bad in that she was more likely to be in more danger from the wound than a larger person was. Glass you are officially half empty and filled with acid. Getting her situated in the back seat was awkward but once I’d done it I was able to strip off her suit jacket and have my suspicions confirmed. The entire lower portion of her once white dress shirt was stained red with her blood. The source was also pretty obvious. Nothing really looks quite a knife wound.
Opening the first aid kit I grab what the witch doctor had called medical duct tape, I simply called it the best thing I’d ever seen for patching someone up. I also pulled out the bottle of peroxide and largish blood red slap patch. It was the real crown jewel of my collection and was in reality probably worth more money than I’d see in the next few years put together. It was an enchanted blood patch filled with ten gallons of type O negative blood and I had four others just like it. Paul Montemade had tried to explain how it worked but I hadn’t really cared beyond “Attach to body, don’t bleed to death.” Her shirt was a button up and it took only a minute or two to wash off the wound site and do a quick patch job. That done I lightly slapped the patch into place and watched as it emitted a quick flash of light before settling down into a much softer red glow.
I guess it was the first real chance I’d had to really look at my patient and I was kind of surprised by what I saw. She was wearing a bra, thank God, but the rest of her torso below the neck was boasted at least as many scars as I had on mine. Most obviously she was used to violence but then I already knew that from the gun that I’d placed in the passenger seat. Curiously the presence of the scars didn’t take anything from her physical beauty. I’d definitely give her a second, or even a third or fourth, long glance if she walked by me on the beach in a bikini. The biggest surprise though was that, despite what she’d said earlier, she wasn’t all that much older than I was. Maybe ten years at most. Having her black hair in a type of short bobbed hairstyle added some age to her appearance, but I could tell that she couldn’t be any older than twenty eight. What do you know, living on the hellmouth had given me a useful skill after all.
Closing up the car I made a quick detour to find the VCR attached to the security camera. It took a little while to find it and when I did it was locked up. Luckily I’d had the idea to bring a pair of bolt cutters and gloves. The cutters made short work of the lock and I was able to get at the tapes. There was more than one machine and I didn’t have time to search for the right one so I just took them all. Who knows, maybe looking at them later would help me to figure out just what the hell is going on.
Getting back into the car and throwing the tapes on the front seat with the gun I pull out of the parking lot and turn back onto the interstate. I guess having a wounded passenger in the back seat does have its bright sides. I suddenly have a plan for what to do next. My new plan: keep going North until I can find an exit and then look for a veterinarian’s office.