“As you probably already know, the first rule to being a slayer is don’t die,” Buffy led the way into the cemetery, followed by the girls, who were all hanging on to her every word.
Buffy had spent the day observing the girl’s fighting techniques and was instantly impressed, especially when they had gone up against both Angel and Spike and held their own. There was no doubt in her mind that they were ready to patrol the streets of Sunnydale.
“Is it true that you had died twice?” Reese asked, ignoring the pointed glare that Jada shot her way.
“Rude much?” Jada shook her head in disapproval. Reese had always been too blunt in her opinion. The subject of Buffy’s death was a private one and Reese was way out of line in bringing it up.
“That’s ok. I don’t mind,” Buffy shrugged. She wasn’t at all bothered by the question. She had long gotten over being ripped from what she had once thought of as heaven. She accepted that she was back in the world for a bit longer. Besides, her deaths and resurrections was sure to be a popular subject among the new slayers. Questions were to be expected. “It’s true and not an experience that I’d recommend.”
“What was it like?” Trish Anne asked, suddenly curious. Before she had received her powers, her sister had been killed in a car wreck. She had often wondered about the afterlife and whether her sister was happy or not. “Were you at peace?” 9;
“Uh…yeah. For a while. Compared to where I was, this world…it was like hell. Uh…look, we’re not here to discuss my experiences with death and the afterlife and the after afterlife. We’re here to hunt some vampires. Now, let’s drop the subject and work on honing your senses. As slayers you should be able to sense vampires in the vicinity.”
Jada cleared her throat, her gaze falling on two tall figures approaching only a few feet behind Buffy, just as a tingle went up and down her spine. “Like those two coming up behind you?”
“And the five coming up behind us,” Reese turned her head as she too felt the twinge in her spine. She got to her feet, stake in hand. She had been ready for this ever since they had left Cleveland.
“Good,” Buffy grinned turning around to face the vamps behind her while the girls turned to face the five that was stalking them. “I see why you’re the top slayers in Faith’s class. Don’t forget to listen to your instincts. Even if the instinct is to run.”
Buffy raised her stake, ready to plunge it into the vampire’s heart when he disarmed her. Buffy tried to hit him with a left hook, but the demon was faster. He picked her up and threw her up against a nearby tombstone. He smiled in satisfaction at the loud crack her head made against the hard cement. Buffy slumped into an unconscious heap, unaware of the two vamps approaching her.
“Buffy!” Jada gasped as she watched their leader fall. Fear threatened to overcome her as she realized that they were all surrounded cattle to a group of vampires that had taken down the strongest of them all.
“Come on guys. What are we afraid of?” Teresa asked, trying but failing to hide the trembling fear in her voice. “We’ve fought vampires before.”
“Not like these,” Reese bit her lip. “Buffy is the strongest of all of us, but you saw what he did to her. She didn’t even have time to fight back. They’re stronger then ordinary vampires. I’m almost sure of it.”
“Look Daniel. Ripe girls for the taking,” One of the vampires, a thin, fragile man with black hair and piercing blue eyes leered at Reese, the glow of hunger in his eyes.
“But they’re slayers. The beast warned of the increase of the hunters,” a blond vampire with dull brown eyes looked at the girls wearily. He had heard stories about the slayer and how the balance had shifted. Now there wasn’t only one slayer, but thousands of them. The beast was clear when it told them to practice caution when approaching any one of the girls. That it was vital.
“The beast has granted us extra strength to deal with these…brats. They should be easy to destroy.”
Fighting back her own fear, Jada looked over at Buffy and felt a surge of relief run through her as she saw Spike and Angel helping the elder slayer to her feet. Jada couldn’t help but frown as he noticed the disoriented look in Buffy’s eyes. She didn’t look to steady on her feet either.
“Don’t be so sure,” Jada held up her stake, trying to convey the sense of confidence that Faith always seemed to carry.
“Oh we’re more then sure, little girl. We’re…”
“Dust in the wind,” Buffy finished as she staked the vampire. “There’s nothing I hate more then crashing into hard cement.”
“Graaagh!” The vampires rushed the group, demon visages returning, yellow eyes gleaming in hatred.
“Bloody hell!” Spike yelled as he was thrown into Angel as if he was a rag doll. These vampires definitely weren’t normal. The only thing that had this much strength had been that Glory bint and the Ubervamps that he had destroyed in the final battle. Not only were they strong, but they seemed to be experts on the art of hand to hand combat and fought in such a way that it made staking them difficult.
“You’re a vampire, yet you fight along side the enemy,” Daniel picked Spike up off the ground by the collar of his coat. “Why?”
“What can I say? I’m love’s bitch,” Spike kicked his opponent in the stomach, causing him to let go. “And one more thing. Don’t touch the coat.”
After what seemed like hours of fighting, the vampires were finally dust, but the slayers didn’t escape injury. Reese had a sprained arm and Buffy’s head felt as if it had struck an anvil numerous times.
Spike was the one to break the silence as he lifted a still unsteady Buffy up into his arms. Tired, she laid her head against his shoulder. “I reckon that we better tell the others about this. The sooner they research this, the better.”
“I agree. I don’t want any of my people coming up against any of these new and improved vampires. Not unaware of their enhanced strength, anyway,” Angel agreed. “Buffy? Are you going to be ok?”
“I’ll be fine. Just need a little down time. Just take care of the girls,” Buffy sighed, ready to drift off to sleep, feeling warm and safe in Spike’s arms. At that moment, she had no worries. The only thing that mattered was that she remained in Spike’s embrace. She never wanted to be away from him ever again.
“I’m going to take her on to the house. Think you can handle the rest, Peaches?” Spike asked.
“Positive. Go. Get her to bed,” Angel pushed back the urge to take Buffy away from Spike. He had to keep reminding himself that she was no longer his to comfort or to nurse back to health. That was Spike’s job now. If he tired to come between them again…Buffy would hate him forever. He couldn’t allow that to happen. It was better to have her friendship then nothing at all. So he kept a tight rein on his emotions as he watched Spike carry Buffy through the gate of the cemetery, heading down the road that would lead back to her house.
“Can we go now, please? This place is giving me the creeps,” Teresa rung her hands nervously, forgetting for the moment that she was no longer defenseless to the things that went bump in the dark. She just wanted to get to safety for the night.
Angel nodded and led the way back to the Summer’s house, his mind on the past and the girl’s minds on the future and if they’d even have one. From what they had seen that night…things were looking very grim.
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