Chapter 1: Oops I did it again
Chapter 1: Oops I did it again
Xander was on his feet but was having trouble staying there. Behind him Willow lay on the street, unconscious and defenceless. In front of him were two vampires, both male and grinning viciously. Buffy had been gone the entire summer, staying with her Dad in L.A. which had left nobody to patrol Sunnydale. Xander and Willow had been patrolling together for most of the summer and there had been a few close calls, but this was the first time that Xander felt well and truly desperate. The vampires had knocked Willow out right away and Xander had gotten knocked around enough that he wasn’t sure how much longer he could fight back. If he had been on his own he might have tried to run, but with Willow out-cold...
The two vampires weren’t worried at all and were taking the time to divvy up the catch. “You want the girl or the guy?”
“I like it when they fight back. You take the girl; I’ll take the clown.”
Before Xander could fight back he was grabbed, spun around and held by his arm and his neck. The vampire didn’t bite him right away, though. “You’re gonna watch your little girlfriend get drained, then we’re going to turn her. You, on the other hand, you’re just a meal.”
The second vampire was approaching Willow’s unmoving form. Xander could do nothing as it came closer and closer. Just as the vampire had started to bend down a stream of fire coursed through the air from somewhere behind Xander catching the vampire in the head. The vampire’s hair and shirt lit up immediately, making it lose interest in Willow in an instant. The vampire ran down the sidewalk, screaming. Seconds later it was dust, still smoking slightly.
The vampire holding Xander had been stunned momentarily but now spun around still holding him. Standing ten feet behind them was Buffy, looking at her hand and seemingly as confused as Xander. “Buffster, not that I mind you interrupting, but when did you learn to throw fireballs?”
“Uh, never. I have no idea how I did that. Did you know that Slayers could shoot fire from their hands? I’m pretty sure I didn’t hear about that anywhere. Giles should have said something because that was a lot easier than actually fighting vamps and better for my hair too – totally dust free hair.”
“Slayer?” The vampire was startled. “The Slayer isn’t here. She went missing a couple months ago.”
“Oh, I was on vacation in LA. I shopped, I saw the sights, worked on my tan. Now I’m back and I can shoot fire from my hands. Xander are you sure Giles never mentioned the fire thing?”
“Pretty sure, Buff.”
“Hey! Slayer! Can’t you see that I’ve got your friend here! If you don’t do what I want, I’m going to eat him.”
“Hush, you. Can’t you see I’m having a conversation with my friend?” She turned her eyes back to Xander. “How was your summer?”
“Oh, not bad. Me and Willow have been doing the patrol thing. We killed, like, ten vampires. We’re practically super heroes now. We’ve been thinking of superhero names.”
“Superhero names, huh? I always thought they were tacky. Same with spandex costumes and superhero hair. Plus they never have cool shoes. The only ones with cool shoes dress like whores.”
“We weren’t really discussing the footwear aspect of it - just the names that would strike terror in the hearts of vampires everywhere.”
“I’m not sure how we’re friends. The footwear is of utmost importance. How can you be a superhero without care for your feet? Anyways, I still think superhero names are pretty tacky.”
“So says the girl who already has a superhero name. If you didn’t already have `The Slayer' you’d be thinking about a name too.”
“Hey! Don’t ignore me! I’ll kill this guy!” The vampire was scared. The Slayer had disappeared at the start of summer and all the demonic residents of the Hellmouth had breathed a sigh of relief after word got around that no one had seen her. Now here she was standing not ten feet away, calmly talking to her friend as if nothing was wrong. This was crazy! The only reason he wasn’t dead was because he had a friend of hers for a hostage.
The Slayer regarded him through narrowed eyes. “Fine. Now I’m paying attention to you. You have 15 seconds to let go of my friend and run as far away as you can. After 15 seconds I’m going to chase you. If you haven’t let go of Xander, I’m going to hurt you for a while before I dust you.” She smiled at the now trembling vampire. “Your fifteen seconds starts....now.”
Xander fell to the ground as the vampire let go of him and started running. Buffy threw a stake at the fleeing vamp immediately, dusting it. Buffy gave Xander her hand, pulling him up to his feet. “Let’s go check on Willow.”***
“So let me get this straight; Buffy’s back from vacation, she saved us, and she shot fire from her hands, and I totally missed it?” Willow asked in a dazed voice. She was awake and walking, supported by Buffy because she was still kind of dizzy and more than a little disoriented.
“Yep, that’s pretty much what happened.” Xander was limping alongside the pair, better off than Willow but still walking wounded.
“Also, she thinks superhero names are stupid. I’d totally get rid of mine if I could. Although I’ll probably need a new one if this fire shooting thing happens again. Vampire Roaster? Vampire Toaster? It just doesn’t have the same ring as Slayer.”
“Duly noted, Buff. We'll have to think of some suggestions for a better title for you.”
They reached Willow’s house which was, as usual, empty. Willow’s parents were on a trip, or a conference, or something. None of them were really sure. Xander was staying the night to wake Willow up every hour in case she had a concussion. Buffy needed to get back home.
Outside of her own house Buffy could hear arguing that she thought she’d never hear again - her mother and father were in the same room yelling at each other. That her Dad wasn’t back in LA and her mother wasn’t asleep meant they probably knew she wasn’t in her room, where she was supposed to have been sleeping.
“Where have you been, Buffy!? Your father came to say goodbye and found that you’d snuck out of the house!” Her father, unlike Joyce, just stood there with his arms crossed, watching her with disappointed eyes.
“I went to go see Xander and Willow.”
“And you couldn’t wait until tomorrow? Or at least ask before you left the house late at night?” Joyce’s eyes narrowed. “Is that blood on your shirt? What were you and your friends doing?”
“It totally wasn’t my fault. These two big guys attacked Willow and practically beat the stuffing out of Xander. I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if I hadn’t been there.”
“Sneaking out, fighting? Buffy, I thought we left all this in LA last year! We talked about this! We had enough trouble after you started doing this a couple years ago, and look where it led! A building was burned down and you were expelled! Expelled! You can’t get expelled here Buffy, there’s only one school!”
“I didn’t do anything wrong, Mom! I just went to go see my friends who I hadn’t seen all summer and two guys attacked us! Would you have preferred I let them hurt Willow and Xander?!”
“I can’t help but doubt you since it’s obvious you have no compunction lying about things to suit your wants. Have you snuck out before? I have to assume yes. Have you been doing this all of last year?”
Buffy didn’t want to lie to her mother. “Umm...sometimes?”
“I tried so hard, Buffy. I thought that if we came to a new place and you met new people you’d stop doing this kind of thing. Well starting now there’s going to be some changes. You are grounded. Indefinitely. You go to school, you come back home. No friends, no outings, nothing. I’ve had enough of this...delinquent behaviour. If and when I feel I can trust you again we’ll talk about giving you back some of your privileges.”
“What! Mom you can’t do that! I have stuff that I have to do! There are people who depend on me!” This was bad. Very bad. Not slaying, as fun as it had been, wasn’t really an option. Hadn’t she just saved her two best friends from a gruesome death?
“I don’t really care about that, Buffy! What I care about is my daughter, who used to be the sweetest girl I’d ever met, but got expelled for burning down a building and now, more than a year after she promised me she would straighten herself out, is back to fighting and sneaking out. Buffy I love you, I care for you, and that’s why I’m going to be tough with you now.”
“You don’t understand! This is life and death! I can’t stay in, people will get hurt!”
Hank finally cut in. “Life and death? Buffy, your mother told me that there was a lot of gang violence in Sunnydale. Are you involved in a gang?”
Buffy saw her mother’s face go pale. Of course her dad would say something just stupid enough to be believable. This was all going really wrong. “No! Of course I’m not!”
It wasn’t working. Her mother had started crying. Her father was giving her the “its-ok-everything-will-be-alright-face”.
“God! Why won’t either of you believe me! I’m not in a gang!” She flung her arms out in frustration and to her horror felt a tingling in her hands.
The flames that shot from her fingers set the entire room on fire instantly. There was no other way to describe it – one second everything was normal and the next practically everything was burning. “Shit! Not again!”
Buffy’s parents were staring at her hands and then at the fire, stunned. Buffy grabbed the two stupified adults and hustled them out the front door, locking the deadbolt behind them. Then she ran to the kitchen, grabbed the fire extinguisher hanging by the stove and started spraying white powder all over the living room. Her parents had just managed to get the front door open when Buffy had finished putting out the fire. The room was filled with smoke and white haze from the extinguisher, the reek of charred cloth and plastic hanging heavily. The fire had done some serious damage – more than just the furniture it had burned large areas of carpet and scorched the walls and ceiling. All the fire alarms in the house were beeping loudly.
“Buffy Anne Summers! Explain what just happened, RIGHT NOW!” Joyce was scared and furious. Buffy was keeping secrets, but Joyce couldn’t even imagine what they were. She couldn’t even begin to understand what she had just seen, except that her living room was now destroyed and her house smelled disgusting.
Buffy was emotionally drained. Her mother was threatening her with something she couldn’t let happen. Her mother had seen definite proof that Buffy was involved in something not normal. Her dad was still standing there, speechless. “Well, it seems that since I’ve come back to Sunnydale every time I get upset I shoot fire from my hands.”
Joyce didn’t know what to say. On one hand what her daughter said was...crazy. On the other hand Joyce had just seen it happen. Buffy was wearing a tank top – there wasn’t even a chance that she was hiding some kind of...fire thing in her sleeves. “I see.”
“No, Mom, I really don’t think you do.” Buffy’s sighed. “ I've got to go talk to Giles.”
“What? Why Giles? This late?” Her mother’s just got more and more confused, but Buffy could hear the undertone of fury in her voice.
“Because if he can’t fix this,” she waved her fingers and Buffy saw her father flinch “then he’ll know someone who can.” Buffy started towards the entrance.
“You walk out of this house; don’t even think about coming back!”
Buffy Anne Summers looked at the ruin of the living room, at her parents staring at her shocked and accusatory, and then at her own hands, suddenly capable of random destruction, capable of burning things and people horribly. It was a power she couldn’t control, something alien even to the discipline her training had taught her. It was a danger to everyone around her. She could have just as easily burned both of her parents to death a minute before.
“See you around, Mom.” Buffy went through the still open front door and started running down the street.
Hank took the moment to finally speak up. “Did she just try to burn down your house?”
“Hank,” Joyce looked at her clueless ex-husband “get the fuck out of my home.”