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Frayed Life

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Summary: Melaka Fray needs a Watcher. The Powers that Be oblige her.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Comics > Fray(Past Donor)elementalvFR1587,5531278,9946 Apr 0419 May 04Yes

Whistling in the Dark

Author's Note: There are no original characters in this story. The characters and world of Fray belong to Joss Whedon. The crossover character, a mystery for the moment, is published by Dark Horse, and it will be fully covered in the closing disclaimer.

Spoilers: In the Whedon-verse, through Fray #8 and the last story in "Tales of the Slayers." In the crossover-verse, none. Honestly.

Background: If you haven't read Fray, I truly believe you should run to the nearest book store and pick up the graphic novel — it's well worth the money. Fray is set several hundred years after the closing of the Sunnydale Hellmouth. A Slayer who came after Buffy got a bit ambitious and managed to rid the world of demons. As a result, Fray is the first Slayer to be called in a couple of centuries, and there are, of course, problems. Frayed Life takes place about nine months after the end of the graphic novel.

Acknowledgements: It just occurred to me that I should have thanked Marcus Rowland when I first posted this. Without his complaint about a lack of fan fiction set in the Fray-verse, I'm not sure I would have been so determined to write this story. So. Thank you, Marcus.

1. Whistling in the Dark

"Melaka Fray. You're the Chosen One," he said from behind.

She'd been walking along, minding her own business, and then this shit had to happen. She rolled her eyes and sighed before turning around to face the guy. Too bad he was standing far enough away that she couldn't slug him by accident. With her hands on her hips, she gave him her best death glare and said, "Yeah? So? You gonna set yourself on fire or something?"

"Nah. That ain't my gig," he said casually. "Besides, got things to do, and I can't do 'em if I'm setting fire to everything around me."

"You're not my Watcher?" She frowned at him, wondering why being the Chosen One meant getting stuck with all the crazies in town.

"Nope. That job belongs to someone else." He took a bite out of whatever it was he was carrying, and kept walking, leaving her to follow or not.

She spent all of five seconds trying to convince herself to leave it alone and go home before she grudgingly turned to catch up to him. There had been precious few answers since she'd found out why she was so strong and fast, and she couldn't pass up this chance. She was a bit surly when she asked, "So who?"

"Who what?" And maybe, just maybe, she wouldn't kill the son-of-a-bitch for being a jackass before she got some information from him.

"Who's my Watcher?" Melaka remembered that once upon a time, not more than a year ago, she would have been upset at how perfect strangers not only knew who she was but also how they seemed to know more about what was happening in her life than she did.

That was before Urkonn showed up.

"He goes by the name of Giles," he said, finishing up his meal and tossing the remains into an old garbage can.

Fighting the impulse to toss the little weasel into the same garbage can, she asked, "So? Where is he?"

"He's around here somewhere. But you'll have to find him," he said, still walking, calm as could be.

Mel turned, grabbing the guy by his arms and lifting him off the ground so they could see eye-to-eye. "Give me the full story, all in one piece, or I'll rip one of your arms off and beat you to death with it," she said, her blue eyes slitted as she considered the amount of pain she could inflict on him.

He grimaced as he said, "Geez! What is it with you Slayers and the imagery?"

She shook him a little before saying, "Speak! And start with your name."

He rolled his eyes and said, "Name's Whistler. Happy?" When she continued to glare at him, he said, "Guess not. I was sent by the Powers that Be to help get you back on track. Part of that is getting you a Watcher who knows what he's doing."

"This Giles guy?" At his nod, she said, "So how come you're not just introducing us?"

"You mind putting me down? This isn't all that comfortable, you know," he said. She put him down a little more forcefully than necessary and glared at him while he straightened his jacket. "Don't know what it is about you Slayers, but I ain't never met one that wasn't in a bad mood."

"You can't be human, but you look it," Mel said, leaning in closer to get a better look at him.

"So do lurks, if they feel like it. Anyway, I thought you wanted to know about Giles," he said, distracting her from the question of what he was.

Torn between figuring out what he was and maybe meeting someone who wasn't crazy and who wasn't a demon but who could help her kill lurks, she opted for the meet. Reluctantly. And she reserved the right to kill the twerp at some point in the future if necessary. She said sullenly, "Yeah. Tell me."

"I ain't introducing you two, 'cause he's kind of pissed at me right now," Whistler said, looking a little uncomfortable. "But when you find him and tell him who you are, it'll be okay. He'll become your Watcher."

Mel, nobody's fool, said, "What's to keep him from being pissed at me when I find him?"

"He knows what a Slayer is. He knows it wasn't your choice." He stopped talking and looked around, pausing when he spotted an alley to the south. "Lurks back there. Might wanna take your pretty axe and take a look."

She looked from Whistler to the alley and back at him again before saying, "Okay. Yeah. You stay here. We got more to talk about."

Five minutes later, covered in lurk dust, she came back out, not at all surprised that Whistler had disappeared.
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