Title - Sunnydale CA
Summary - Mulder & Scully Arrive in Sunnydale to checkout some unusual weather patterns and stumble upon more than they bargain for.
This is my first effort at crossover fanfiction. The characters are from The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I claim no ownership of them. They belong to Chris Carter & Joss Whedon etc. I set this mid-season 3 of Buffy (post Amends) which is around season 6 of X-Files. I hope you enjoy.
The moon was whispering to her again. She loved it when the moon told her things. Good things, bad things, impossible things. Knowledge was power. Power was the gift she wanted most in the world.
She listened closely to the moon. Something was coming. Too vague. Much as she loved her conversations with the moon, she often wished for a little more detail. A wish that would soon be granted if she had her way. Soon, soon she would not just be listening to the moon, she would be controlling it.
Pushing aside the distracting thoughts she focused all her attention once more on the whispering moon. Two people were coming. A man and a woman. They would have an effect on the events of the next few days.
She pouted at this distressing information, upset at the idea of any one disturbing her carefully laid plans. Her mood changed like quicksilver as she dismissed them from her thoughts. No one would have a chance to interfere. Only she possessed the knowledge. Only she danced under the light of the whispering moon. She was smiling again now and began murmuring her plans to the moon as if it could hear her.
Perhaps it could.
"So tell me again Mulder, why are we here?"
Mulder turned his head to smile at his partner as they drove past the Sunnydale CA city limits sign. "I've already explained Scully, we're here to investigate some bizarre weather patterns that occurred around this town.
"Yes, I know that's what you've told me, but I figure there has to be something more to it for you to drag me from one coast to the other. At least I hope there's something more to it." Scully sighed in exasperation. She hated the way Mulder fed her only pieces of information before a case. She supposed it was his way of getting her interested but surely he must realise by now that it only irritated her? "Ok Mulder, I give up. I'm sure you'll tell me when you're ready."
"Scully," Mulder replied in an aggrieved tone, "Don't you trust me?"
She rolled her eyes at him and remained silent.
"You don't find it fascinating that it snowed in this part of California on Christmas Day?" Mulder asked pressing the point.
"No Mulder, as a matter of fact I don't." She answered testily. "Interesting in the context of strange weather caused by natural phenomena but definitely not 'fascinating'".
"C'mon Scully, it hasn't snowed in this part of California in recorded history. And the entire surrounding area was in the middle of a heat wave."
"So let's chalk it up to a Christmas miracle and go home." She snapped back, her patience with him finally worn out.
"Please explain the scientific nature of the Christmas miracle to me?" Mulder teased throwing her rationalism back at her.
Scully shook her head in exasperation but Mulder caught the slightest hint of a smile before she turned away from him.
It took them half an hour to find the local weather station and only fifteen minutes to get all the information the meteorologist had to provide.
"Now can we go home?" Scully asked wondering why the hell they had come all this way to get the same result they could have achieved from a phone call. "The locals obviously have no inside information and neither you nor I have the appropriate qualifications to dig any further."
Mulder had the grace to look slightly guilty as he checked his watch. "Look, it's late Scully, we're never going to get back in time to make our flight," he said lightly. "Why don't we check in to a motel and get an early flight out in the morning."
Scully checked her own watch in surprise. Time was getting away from them certainly but knowing Mulder's lead foot, they could easily make their flight if they left immediately. Her eyes narrowed as she searched her partner's face for a clue as to what was going on in his devious mind but his face remained innocently blank.
"I'll buy you dinner..." he added as a sweetener.
Oh yeah, she thought, he's definitely up to something. "Fine." she said on a sigh, mentally kicking herself for giving in to him so easily once again. Still it wasn't like she had to rush home for any particular reason and she had to admit she was curious.
"I promise, Scully, I'll make it worth your while."
"You'd better" she muttered.
Later, over coffee after a mediocre dinner at one of the local restaurants, Scully's eyes as widened as Mulder finally told her what he knew about Sunnydale that had made a trip there so appealing.
"Mulder, that's all so..."
"Unbelievable," he supplied. "I know Scully but I promise you the figures I've given you are accurate as far as I can tell."
"But surely someone has investigated this matter before?" She queried. "I mean when that many people go missing or turn up dead over such a short period of time, that's got to start alarm bells ringing somewhere!"
"Apparently not." He answered. "I checked that and it seems that everything has been handled by the local PD."
Scully was silent for a moment as she absorbed all he told her. "And you have a theory on what's been happening here?" She asked, mentally preparing herself for Mulder's latest ideas about alien abduction.
"No, actually I'm at a bit of a loss. There's no evidence that it was alien abduction." he stated, knowing this would surprise her. "But..."
Scully allowed herself a small smile. With Mulder, there was always a but.
"But," he continued, unaware of her reaction. "I've done a bit of research about the Sunnydale area and turned up some very interesting information."
"Well, interesting in the way that there has been unexplained phenomena in this area for centuries."
Scully's left eyebrow raised of it's own accord. "What kind of unexplained phenomena are we talking about?"
"You name it Scully. The reports range from the ludicrous to the ridiculous." He replied evasively not yet willing to divulge all that he had discovered. "Even by my standards."
"So if everything is weird in Sunnydale, where do we start?" She winced as soon as the words were out of her mouth.
Mulder smiled at her triumphantly, knowing that he'd hooked her and making a mental note to cancel their early morning flight when he got back to the hotel. "Well, the only names that seem to crop up in the police reports regularly are Rupert Giles and Buffy Summers. It seems he's a librarian at Sunnydale High."
"And Buffy Summers?"
"She's a student at the same school." he replied.
"So are you thinking that they're suspects?"
"No, not really," he answered carefully. "The things that have been happening here have been going on long before they got here."
"But you think they may know something?"
"Exactly." Mulder looked at his partner thoughtfully, appreciating the way her logical questioning allowed him to put his thoughts in order and wondering how he ever managed without her.
"Well then, I guess we've got a big day ahead of us." Scully said as she finished her coffee and rose from the table.
Mulder took care of the bill and followed Scully out of the restaurant. They'd left the car at the hotel, choosing to walk the short distance to the restaurant in the last light of the late winter evening. It was completely dark now and Mulder noted with interest and unease that many of the streetlights in the main street had been broken.
Although it was still relatively early the street was mostly deserted. Scully suppressed a shiver as they started walking back to the hotel and chided herself for letting Mulder's stories get to her. She sent her partner a sidelong glance and was surprised to find that he too seemed to have picked up on the strange atmosphere of the town. He was constantly looking over his shoulder and was in the same state of alert readiness she had observed on their many cases together.
They walked on in silence, leaving the main street and heading into a more residential neighborhood with big maple trees and scrupulously maintained gardens.
The attack came when they least expected it, as they were passing a children's playground. Someone leapt from the bushes and knocked Mulder to the pavement with a crushing blow. Scully reached for her gun reflexively but the attacker turned on her with such speed that it was knocked from her hand before she could raise it to fire. She had a brief glimpse of a disfigured face before she was pulled into the circle of the attacker's arms and held in a vice like grip. She struggled ineffectually to free her arms as he bent his head to her throat. Something caused him to jerk back from her neck and taking advantage of his distraction she gained control of her rising panic she kneed him in the groin with all her might , relieved to hear a grunt of pain and feel his grip on her slacken.
"Get down Scully!"
She dove for the pavement and heard the rapport of Mulder's gun as he fired and Mulder's gasp of surprise. She doubted Mulder could have missed at that range and was horrified to see the attacker, still standing, turn towards Mulder. Catching sight of her own gun in the gutter nearby she dived for it and turned to fire.
Before she could do so another figure appeared from the undergrowth on the outskirts of the playground and jumped at their attacker with a karate-style kick that landed a flush hit to the side of his head knocking him back a few paces but not down.
"Hold it, FBI!" Scully yelled automatically.
Both combatants turned briefly to stare at her and Scully recoiled in shock as she saw the demonic face of their attacker and youth of the girl who had taken a protective stance in front of herself and Mulder. She shot her partner a quick look and was unsurprised to see her expression mirrored on his face.
Her words caused the two combatants to pause for only seconds before the creature lunged at the girl who used his own momentum to flip him over her shoulder where he landed heavily on his back. He was on his feet in seconds and on the attack again.
Scully looked over to Mulder, questioning whether or not they should intervene but Mulder shook his head and they watched in amazement as the slim, blonde girl in a gray training outfit and Nikes took on a man more than twice her size. She had amazing speed and agility and although she took a number of hits that would have floored even Mulder , she managed to remain on her feet and finally began to gain the upper hand. The girl reached inside her jacket and pulled out a large piece of wood, sharpened to a point and leapt towards her attacker, who turned and fled down the street, disappearing into the night.
Mulder and Scully turned with guns raised as a tall, lanky boy with black hair and a petite, redheaded girl, both holding large crosses appeared from the playground and skidded to a stop near them.
"Get out of here you guys!" The blonde cried and all three turned and ran back into the park before the two FBI agents could say a word.
Mulder and Scully stood where they were in shock for long seconds until Scully noticed a trickle of blood on Mulder's temple.
"Mulder, you're hurt!" she exclaimed, hurrying over to his side.
He raised his hand to his temple and his fingers came away sticky with blood. "It's okay Scully, I must have scraped my head on the pavement when I went down. I'm gonna have one hell of a headache tomorrow though."
"What the hell was that thing Mulder?" she asked as she gently confirmed his diagnosis of his injuries.
"I have no idea. But I think we just met Buffy Summers."
"My God, Mulder. That girl's reflexes...!" Scully was having a hard time absorbing the experience. To have first been attacked by that nightmarish looking man and then saved by a young girl with unusually fast reflexes, not to mention the other two youths with crosses. It was all too much to assimilate.
"You want to know something else Scully?" Mulder asked as they began walking towards the hotel again
No, Scully thought, not really.
"I shot that thing that attacked us." Mulder stated flatly.
"Shot at him you mean."
"No Scully, I mean I shot it. In the chest." Mulder placed his hand on his chest indicating the area he'd hit.
"But Mulder..." she began.
"I know, I know. Impossible. But I'm telling you Scully, that bullet made contact."
"Maybe he was wearing a bullet proof vest." She offered the most reasonable explanation..
"Maybe...maybe not." Mulder answered slowly looking down at his partner, seeing the confusion and fatigue in her eyes. "C'mon Scully, let's get back to the hotel. I have a feeling we're going to need a good nights sleep."
It was after ten am when they arrived at Sunnydale High. They'd stopped at the police station first to lodge a highly edited report of last night's incident and to see if they could dig up any more information but the local police, while happy to process their report, were reticent to the point of rudeness when asked to provide information on other reported attacks of that kind. Their attitude had left Mulder and Scully annoyed and wondering what kind of conspiracy they'd uncovered now.
Deciding that they would skip the courtesy visit to the principal's office, they asked a pretty brunette in a yellow and black cheerleader outfit for directions to the school library. She'd rolled her eyes and given them a "What now?" attitude before pointing them in the right direction.
"Scully, do you get the feeling that it's not the first time she's had to direct the authorities to the library?" Mulder asked.
"Oh yeah." She replied.
They found the library at the end of the corridor they'd been directed to and were greeted by a man who looked as if he couldn't be anything but a librarian. He wasn't old, perhaps a few years older than Mulder but the glasses, tweedy clothing and pale skin announced that he was a man who spent a lot of time among dusty books and enjoyed it.
"May I help you?" He asked in a clipped British accent.
"I hope so," Mulder stated. "I'm Agent Mulder, this is Agent Scully of the FBI. We were hoping we could ask you a few questions."
"About?" His easy smile slipped but he remained composed.
"About Sunnydale and some of the events that have taken place here." Mulder replied easily.
"I see. Um. Were there any events in particular that you had in mind?"
He matched Mulder's easy tone and Scully guessed that there was some steel underneath all that tweed.
"Well, actually I thought we might get some general information about the town first and start from there." Mulder was sizing him up and reaching the same conclusions as Scully. "I've heard you're quite an expert on the town's history. You are Rupert Giles?" He confirmed.
"Yes. Perhaps you'd better sit down." He indicated a couple of chairs at a nearby study desk.
As Mulder took his seat, noticing as he did the titles of the books on the desk. "Wrotham's Demonology. The Book of Akathla. Interesting reading for teenagers." He stated mildly.
Giles coughed and quickly moved the books out of sight. "A hobby of mine."
"I see." Mulder quirked an eyebrow at Scully. The had definitely come to the right person.
"Wait a minute," Giles said. "You mentioned your name was Mulder. Not Fox Mulder?"
"Yes, that's right," Mulder replied in surprise.
"Of course." Giles said in a tone that indicated something had clicked into place. "I've heard of your work agent Mulder and of course you were a few years behind me at Oxford. You have quite a reputation."
Now it was Mulder's turn to feel uncomfortable.
"I can assure you agent Mulder, we have no trouble with aliens in Sunnydale." Giles said with a hint of a smile.
"I'm sure you don't Mr Giles," Scully finally spoke, taking control of the situation. "But you do appear to have some other problems in Sunnydale, don't you?"
Giles turned his gaze to Scully and she was satisfied to see the guarded look return to his eyes. "Ah, well, Sunnydale is an unusual town and I will admit that it's had more than it's share of, ahh... unusual occurrences."
"And from the number of times we've seen you name appear on various police reports, it appears you may know more about them than anyone else." Mulder interjected.
Giles looked quickly from one agent to the other as if trying to decide how much they knew and how much he should tell them of the situation in Sunnydale. The silence stretched between them..
The library doors were flung open and Buffy Summers burst through them. "Giles! Mucho weirdness last night on patro...Uh oh! Her exuberant greeting died on her lips as she caught sight of the couple seated at the study desk in front of Giles.
"Buffy Summers, I presume." Mulder stated laconically.
Buffy looked on the verge of flight as she nodded abruptly and looked to Giles for clarification of the situation. Scully was once again struck by the diminutive size of the girl and her wholesome good looks, wondering how on earth this blonde teenager could be the same person who battled the attacker who had bested herself and Mulder last night.
"You left last night before we could thank you." Mulder said with a smile intended to put the girl at ease.
Buffy gave him a sickly grin in return. "No worries."
"Last night?" Giles interjected looking at Buffy.. "What happened last night."
"I was following a vam...suspicious looking guy," Buffy covered quickly. "and saw him attack these...people and I...umm...helped out. Yeah, that's it."
"Vam...pire?" Mulder asked, earning him the shocked attention of all three listeners.
"Mulder..." Scully groaned in embarrassment.
Mulder turned his attention to his partner. "Don't you see Scully, it all fits. The man's face, the way the bullet had no effect, the crosses and the wooden stake."
"Mulder, it's ridiculous," She responded quietly, regretting that their conversation was not private. "There's no such thing as a vampire."
"I wish!" Buffy muttered loudly.
"Buffy!" Giles chided. "Yes. You're quite right Agent Scully. No such thing as vampires. Absolutely ridiculous!" He continued hastily. "I really don't see how I can help you. I'm just a school librarian, you would be better off taking your enquiries to the Police Department."
"We've been to the Police, Mr Giles." Mulder informed him. "And I think you're just the person who can clear things up for us."
The swing doors to the library opened again and the other two teens from the night before entered.
"You should have seen us last night Giles," the dark haired boy was saying, oblivious to the pained expressions and desperate signals from Buffy and Giles. "That vampire didn't stand a chance with the Slayer and her back up group on the case."
"Xander!" "Shut up!"
A look of hurt surprise crossed his face at the harsh welcome from Giles and Buffy and mutated into horror when he finally registered the presence of the two agents.
"Uh oh" The redheaded girl stated succinctly.
Scully shook her head in bemusement, replaying the boy's words. Vampires? Were they dealing with some kind of mass delusion here? And what the hell is a "Slayer"?
"Mr Giles?" Mulder said. "We are not here to cause trouble for you. I...we, are just here to figure out why over 400 people have either gone missing or turned up dead in Sunnydale over the past 12 months and hopefully find a way to put a stop to it."
Giles looked the two agents over carefully, weighing up Mulder's earnest expression against his partner's skeptical one and finally deciding to take a chance on them.
"Very well, Agent Mulder. I'll make us a pot of tea and try to explain what we're up against here in Sunnydale."
"Giles!" Buffy exclaimed in horror, as he turned towards his office. "You can't tell them. We don't know if we can trust them." She hissed.
"Buffy, Agents Mulder and Scully have quite a reputation for investigating cases involving paranormal activities. I'm sure that we can trust them to be discreet. Besides," he said with a knowing smile, "from what I've heard about them, I don't think there is anyone they could tell who would believe them. Why don't you make the introductions while I get the tea."
Thirty minutes later, Scully was reeling from the information that had poured out of the stuffy looking librarian. They had been introduced to Xander who interrupted Giles at every opportunity to make lame jokes in a vain attempt to impress Scully, and Willow the petite redhead who had smiled at them shyly and spoke rarely.
As Giles talked a frightening picture emerged of life on the Hellmouth, a mystical convergence located in Sunnydale, which seemed to make the impossible not only possible but likely.
Scully could not help glancing at Buffy frequently, trying to visualise the pretty teenager as The Slayer and savior of the world. It was laughable. Mulder, who Scully suspected would have been a staunch supporter of Henny Penny, hung on Giles' every word, asking for clarification on certain points and even taking notes, was swallowing this story hook, line and sinker. Scully was racking her brains for a reasonable explanation.
Buffy looked as Scully with pity, recognising the disbelief on her face. "I know how you feel," She said quietly as Giles and Mulder talked on. "I reacted the same way when I found out I was the Slayer."
Scully looked at her in surprise, not sure how to reply. "I don't mean to be rude but if this is some kind of elaborate prank or..."
"It's not. Believe me, I wish it were but...unfortunately this is my life." Buffy replied wistfully. "There used to be cheerleading and boys and shopping but now there's staking and beheading and burning." She pondered her own words for a moment. "It's really no substitute."
"Hey! What am I? Chopped liver?" Xander interrupted.
Buffy ignored him. "I'm sorry Agent Scully, but if you hang around Sunnydale long enough you're gonna see some stuff that'll turn your world upside down." Turning from Scully back to Giles she interrupted. "Giles, I know how you love to make new friends but I really do have something important to tell you."
"Of course Buffy. Please excuse me Agent Mulder, Agent Scully" He apologised politely before giving Buffy his full attention.
"One of the tombs in the cemetery on Saffron St was broken into last night. Yes," she said before he could interrupt her. "I chased the vamp and tried to recover what he took but he ran off after he attacked our new friends here and I thought velour was the better part of...No wait that's not right..." Her voice trailed off but she'd made her point. "Anyway, I went back and checked the name on the tomb for you. It was Gwendolyn..no wait..Genevieve Feist."
Giles rose from his seat and began to pace furiously back and forth the room with an expression of intent concentration as Mulder and Scully watched curiously.
Willow felt some kind of explanation was in order. "He does that when he's trying to remember something."
Scully couldn't help smiling at the sweet-faced girl.
"Yeah Giles, what's with the pace mode?" Buffy asked.
"I seem to remember something about the name Feist in one of the Watcher Diaries, I just can't put my finger on it." Giles replied absently. "Something about a veil. Wait a minute." He walked to the locked cage where he kept his books and Buffy's weapons and began rummaging through various volumes.
While they waited for Giles to return, Xander pulled up a chair next to Scully. "So, you in town long?" He said in his best chat-up voice, the one he saved for sexy FBI agents.
Willow and Buffy shared a look. "Down boy," Buffy stated mildly.
Xander flashed Buffy his kicked puppy look which Scully was familiar with, having seen that same expression on her partner's face more times than she could count.
Giles' emerged from the cage with a heavy book which he placed on the table. "Here it is," he said indicating an illustration. "The Feist Veil. Said to provide extraordinary powers of precognition to its owner. Provided they have they ability to use it."
"So what would your common or garden variety vamp want with it?" Buffy asked. "I can't imagine any of our current stock would be interested in something like that."
"Indeed," Giles replied, "It would take someone with considerable talent in that direction to..."
Everyone turned to look at Willow in surprise.
"Well, um, I mean she does." She flushed in embarrassment at being the centre of attention but continued. "Have powers in that direction. Considerable ones." she looked at Giles for confirmation.
"Quite right, Willow." He said worriedly.
"Ahem," Mulder interrupted. "Who is Drusilla?"
"She's a powerful, extremely vicious vampire who has caused a great deal of trouble for us in the past." Giles replied.
"She's also as mad as a hatter. An especially mad hatter." Buffy added.
"We thought we'd seen the last of her but as Willow says, she's the only one I can think of who would be interested in this particular artifact."
"Ohmigod, Angel!" Buffy exclaimed jumping from the desk corner she'd been sitting on. "If Drusilla's back, Angel's the first person she'd go after."
"Calm down Buffy. You saw Angel last night, yes?" Giles asked and Buffy blushed slightly and nodded. "Then the odds are he's fine. She can't go after him in the daylight."
Scully, seated at one of the library desks, almost felt she should raise her hand to ask her question. "I'm sorry but who is Angel?"
"Vampire." "Buffy's boyfriend." "Just a friend." Were the answers from Xander, Willow and Buffy respectively.
Buffy scowled at her friends and tried to clarify the explanations, "Yes he's a vampire but he's good. He WAS my boyfriend," she gave Willow a hard look and Willow looked contrite. "but now we're just friends."
"Oh." said Scully.
"But I have to warn him!"
"Yes Buffy, we will make warning Angel our first priority." Giles stated calmly. "But after your classes.
"After classes." Giles said firmly. "Speaking of which, the three of you had better go. It's almost lunchtime and you really can't afford to cut anymore classes."
"I had a free period," Buffy and Willow chorused.
"Oh I cut." Xander said proudly earning him a stern look from Giles. "Woops, did I just say that out loud? I mean I had a free period too." He lied easily.
"Out, all of you. I'll see you back here at 3.30."
The three teens walked out of the library regretfully and Mulder would have bet anything that they wouldn't go back to classes but would find somewhere to discuss the events of the last few hours.
"Well," Giles stated turning back to Mulder and Scully. "Now you see what we're up against. So if you don't mind, I have a lot of research to do before 3.30."
"Wait just a minute Mr Giles," Mulder said, annoyed at the brush off. "You can't just dump all of this information on us and then expect us to go merrily on our way."
"Fine." Giles returned. "I'd be glad to have any assistance you can offer but please keep in mind that we have had a few years of experience in dealing with this kind of situation so if you expect to stay, please be so kind as to remember who's in charge."
"And who would that be?" Mulder challenged.
"Ultimately," Giles responded. "that would be Buffy."
Mulder and Scully looked at him in shock and Giles relented slightly.
"You have to understand, Agents, Buffy is the Slayer. The Chosen One." he warmed to his subject, relishing the chance to perform his role as the Watcher to someone who hadn't seen it before. "She alone must stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness."
Scully opened her mouth to speak and seeing the expression on her face, Mulder rose quickly pulling Scully with him. "I think Scully and I might go get something to eat. We'll be back later to assist you."
With that he gripped Scully firmly by the elbow and propelled her out of the library leaving Giles to wonder if perhaps he'd gone a bit to far with the "She alone" bit. He shrugged and returned to his books searching for any other reference to the Feist Veil.
Mulder and Scully left the school grounds and found a quiet luncheonette where they could talk without being overheard.
Scully was finally able to vent her feelings on the events they'd just witnessed. "Mulder, it's a load of rubbish and I can't believe that you are taking it all as gospel." She said archly, frustrated with him. "There has got to be some explanation for those missing people, other than 'vampires'. For God's sake Mulder, those people are delusional. What they've told us can't possibly be true! Surely you can see that?"
Mulder waited until she had finished her tirade before he spoke. "Scully, even I can see how unbelievable this it, but I do believe it."
She looked at him aghast.
"Scully, it's the only explanation that fits what we've both seen."
"No Mulder, I don't accept that." She said stonily. "The idea that that... child is the savior of the world is ridiculous. It has to be an elaborate prank or perhaps a cult."
"Whatever it is Scully, it warrants further investigation." He gave up trying to convince her, knowing that the harder he tried, the more she would dig her heels in.
"That's one thing I do agree on." She conceded.
He checked his watch and saw that they'd been arguing back and forth for over two hours. It was almost time to head back to the library.
They arrived at the library right on time to find that Buffy, Xander and Willow were already there along with a new addition. He was a short, self-assured boy with strawberry blonde hair introduced as Oz. Giles motioned them to sit down and told them of his findings.
"Genevieve Feist was an extremely gifted psychic who lived in London in the 1800's. She was also an expert lace maker and in 1851 when her health was failing she apparently wove a lace veil for her only daughter's wedding, using some kind of spell to weave her powers of precognition into the veil in order to pass on her gift to the next generation. Unfortunately, her daughter died of smallpox a few weeks before her wedding. Ironically Genevieve's health improved and, perhaps drawn by the energy of the Hellmouth, she emigrated to America and more specifically to Sunnydale a few years later. Perhaps fearing what could happen should the veil pass into the wrong hands, one of the specifications of Genevieve's will was that the veil be buried with her."
"Okay, I'll bite," Xander spoke as the others sat in silence. "What could happen if the veil falls into the wrong hands?"
"It would give the wearer the gift of second sight, the ability to see the future," Giles answered. "And if the wearer already had powers of her own, it would mean that they could not only see the future but also be able to control it."
"So if Drusilla's already got the veil, we're toast?" Queried Buffy.
"Not quite," Giles answered, relieved to be able to give some hope to the group of depressed teens. "She would have to perform a fairly complex ritual under the full moon in order to release veil's powers. One of the restrictions Genevieve put on the veil to ensure it was difficult to misuse."
"Full moon huh?" Oz asked. "Well that's tonight so I guess that counts me out." He sounded regretful and turned to Willow. "Be careful, okay?"
She gave him a sweet smile and nodded. Then noticing the Agents looking at them curiously she explained. "Oz has a kind of a condition that means he can't go out during the full moon."
"What kind of condition?" Scully asked, medical curiosity getting the better of her.
"The werewolf kind." Oz answered matter of factly.
"Right. Of course." Scully turned to Mulder with a meaningful look and was pleased to see that this time he looked as shocked as she did.
"Stick around," Oz didn't take offence at their disbelief. "Like the man says, you ain't seen noting yet."
"Well, now that we're all up to speed, we need to make some decisions." Giles took charge once more. "We still have an hour or so till sunset so I propose we split up. Half of us will try to determine if it is Drusilla we're dealing with and try to get a fix on her location while the rest of us warn Angel.
"I'm going to Angel." Buffy stated in a tone that brooked no argument. "It's a save bet that if it is Drusilla she'll head for Angel before doing anything
Giles looked as if he'd like to argue with her but her expression stopped him. "Fine Buffy," He sighed. "You go to Angel. But you'll need back-up just in case."
I'll go with her." Scully volunteered, surprising Mulder whose gaze she avoided.
"Well gee, that's sweet. I'm not sure how much use a gun is going to be against what we're likely to come up against." Buffy said. "But what the heck."
"I'll try not to be a liability," Scully returned sarcastically.
"Xander and I will pay a visit to Willy the Snitch and see what he knows. You're welcome to come along Agent Mulder." Giles offered and Mulder nodded his agreement.
"What about me?" Willow asked. "And Oz. Someone's got to ... look after him."
Oz smiled at her tactful phrasing, "It's okay Will, you can say "stand guard"."
"Willow, I've found a book containing the spell required to prevent Drusilla from using the veil but I need you to double check it and get the requirements then meet up with Buffy at Angel's"
"Okay," She replied. "Oh, but Oz...!"
"Yes, that does present a difficulty..."
As Giles pondered the problem the library doors swung open and the cheerleader who had directed Mulder and Scully to the library, strode in.
Xander, who had once again pulled up a chair next to Scully immediately moved closer and placed his arm around the back of her chair, gazing into her eyes, much to Mulder's amusement and Scully's disconcertion.
"Giles, have you ever heard of a book called "The Catcher in the Rye"?" The statuesque brunette ignored everyone else in the room. "I know you probably only have a copy of "The Demon in the Rye" or whatever" she continued with heavy sarcasm "but I need it for an English assignment. God knows why we have to read a book about a baseballer's sandwich but who am I to question the...Hey!" She interrupted herself suddenly noticing the existence of other people in the room. "If you guys are having one of those 'let's save the world from evil again" meetings, why wasn't I invited?"
"Actually Cordelia," Giles replied soothingly. "We were just about to call you."
Buffy, Xander, Willow and Oz all looked at Giles with 'we were?' expressions on their faces.
Suddenly the light dawned for Oz and he spoke with quiet desperation. "Can't you just shoot me with the tranquiliser gun Giles?"
Giles looked compassionately at Oz. "I'm afraid it's the only way."
"Well okay, but if you're leaving me here with her, could you shoot me anyway?"
Cordelia looked from Giles to Oz in confusion.
"Cordelia, I'm afraid we have a situation on our hands that requires our immediate attention and we need your help." Giles explained. Cordelia looked at him suspiciously.
"We have to go out to find a stolen relic before it can be used by Drusilla," Giles elaborated. Cordelia started at the mention of Drusilla. "and we need you to stay here with Oz tonight."
She gave a sigh of relief that she wasn't going to be asked to go out and do battle with vampires or demons or whatever new offering the Hellmouth was serving up this week. "Okay, I can do that. It's only manicure night and I guess I can do that here. Hey! Wait a second," Something had suddenly clicked with her. "It's full moon night! Oh geez, how come I get stuck minding the puppy?!"
"Face it Cordy," Xander couldn't resist commenting. "It's all you're good for. No offence Oz."
Oz shrugged. "None taken."
Cordelia opened her mouth to make a comeback but thought better of it and settled for tossing her hair over her shoulder, rolling her eyes and giving Xander an icy glare.
Xander flushed and moved his even chair closer to Scully who tried surreptitiously to move her chair away.
Cordelia's dark eyes finally spotted Mulder standing quietly to one side and recognized an opportunity when she saw one. Flashing him her widest smile, the one she saved for making Xander jealous she walked over to him. "Hello," she purred. "I don't think we've been introduced. I'm Cordelia Chase."
Mulder smiled and politely introduced himself and then Scully. Cordelia's sharp hazel eyes flicked over Scully, noting Xander's proximity and narrowed briefly before she moved even closer to Mulder, smiling up at him flirtatiously through her long lashes.
Giles, Oz and Willow watched her performance entranced but Buffy was unimpressed. "We so don't have time for this!" She said. "Coming Agent Scully?"
Scully rose from her chair with relief, stepping over Xander's long legs, grateful to get away from the tension that was building in the room.
"We'll meet at Angel's at sunset." Giles reminded them, indicating to Xander and Mulder that it was time for them to leave also.
Mulder stepped away from Cordelia who had been slowly but surely invading his personal space, and headed for the door.
"Willow, make sure that Oz is ... comfortable before you leave." Giles instructed.
Willow nodded her understanding, knowing that in Oz's case comfortable meant locked up for the night.
"And Cordelia, if anyone comes to the library tonight, you are to leave immediately. Oz will be able to deal with anyone who comes calling tonight." He added on his way out the door.
Cordelia nodded vehemenently in agreement. There was no way she was hanging around for trouble.
Willow, Cordelia and Oz watched their friends depart. Willow and Oz then turned their attention to the books Giles had left for them and settled down to study.
Cordelia watched them for a moment and then headed for the stacks to find her book, muttering under her breath. "I can't believe I'm going to spend the night in the library. Studying! Please God, don't let anyone find out about this!"
"Guess being a Watcher doesn't pay that great." Mulder commented as he and Xander climbed into Giles' ancient Citroen.
Giles grinned at him wryly, "What do you mean Agent Mulder? This car is a classic."
Giles started the car and headed towards one of the quieter streets in the main part of town.
Xander looked at Mulder speculatively. "So, Agent Mulder." He asked. "What's the deal with Agent Scully?"
Mulder turned in his seat to look at Xander curiously. "What do you mean?"
"Well, is the beautiful Agent Scully married?"
"No, she's not married." Mulder replied.
"Does she have a boyfriend?"
"No, she doesn't have a boyfriend."
Xander paused a moment as if unsure how to frame his next question. "And are you and she....?"
"No, we're not." Mulder replied with a mixture of amusement and annoyance.
Xander's surprised tone tipped the balance to annoyed. "Yes. Really."
"Great!" Xander said enthusiastically. "Well I mean it must be a good thing to be able to work together without all that, you know, sexual tension." Xander qualified after catching Mulder's expression.
"Yeah, it's great." Mulder said wryly wondering what the boy had in mind for Scully.
"Your partner seems a little, well, shall we say skeptical, to say the least, about our situation here." Giles commented, more as a way to stop Xander's questioning of Agent Mulder than any real desire for information.
"Scully's a scientist," Mulder defended his partner instinctively. "She's used to believing what she can prove."
"Well, the Hellmouth will offer a unique experience for her." Giles replied mildly. "I must say the two of you seem well suited."
Mulder turned in surprise.
"I just mean that her desire to prove your theories must be of great assistance to your investigations." Giles explained.
"I couldn't continue in my work without her." Mulder replied honestly.
Sensing Mulder's discomfort at the turn of the conversation, Giles changed the subject quickly, giving Mulder a rundown on the man they hoped to gain information from, Willy the Snitch. The trip to the Alibi Club didn't take long and when they entered Giles was relieved to find that Willy was alone in the club. Not that he expected otherwise. The sun was still up and Willy's regular clientele didn't come out till after dark.
Mulder was prepared to take charge of the questioning but to his surprise Xander took the lead, swaggering with false bravado.
"So Willy, long time no see." Xander began in his best Humphrey Bogart impersonation before leaning across the counter to grab Willy by the shirtfront. "We need some information, see."
Willy looked disdainfully down at Xander's hand and rolled his eyes before replying. "Kid, that intimidation thing works a whole lot better when you've got the Slayer by your side." He brushed Xander's hand away and looked to Giles and Mulder for explanation.
Xander shrugged in defeat and stepped aside to let the other men take control.
Giles opened his mouth to speak but Mulder had already pulled his FBI ID out and flashed it at Willy who broke out in a sweat.
"Whoa, you bought the Feds into my place?"
Giles sent a grateful glance at Mulder. "That's right, Willy. We've no time to play games today. Is Drusilla back in town?"
Willy reacted like a rabbit caught in headlights as he tried to figure out which was worse. An insane vampire or the threat of the FBI.
"Look, I'd really like to help you," he stalled. "But if any of the vamps found out that I'd talked to you..."
"I promise you Willy, no one will ever know you spoke to us." Giles said. "Of course if you don't feel like talking to us, I can always get the Slayer to pay you a visit to get the information."
"Ok, ok." Willy gave up. The FBI he could probably handle but a rampaging Slayer was someone he really didn't want to deal with. "Yeah, Drusilla's back."
"And Spike?" Giles asked.
Willy shook his head. "Nah, I think they had a falling out. If he's in town I haven't heard of it."
'Where is she?" Xander asked aggressively, wanting to have at least some input. "Where's Drusilla now?"
"Last I heard she was holed up in the old Larkin factory outside of town." Willy said to Giles, ignoring Xander.
"Thank you," Giles said politely as they turned to leave.
"Hey kid!" Willy called to Xander who turned back to him. "That Humphrey Bogart impersonation? Needs a little work."
"Yeah, thanks." Xander replied flatly and followed Giles and Mulder out onto the street.
"Well," Giles said with satisfaction. "That was productive." He looked at the sky which was starting to darken. "We'd better get to Angel's quickly and plan our attack."
Scully drove the rental car through the streets of Sunnydale, relying on Buffy for directions. For some time Buffy's instructions was the only conversation in the car. Scully was still in denial over the explanations she had heard in the library and didn't quite know what to say to the girl sitting next to her.
"You're having major issues with this aren't you?" Buffy asked, sensing Scully's unease.
Scully smiled wryly, "Yes, you could say that."
"Well you've got a wild evening ahead of you." Buffy said. "So" she said in an attempt to change the subject. "What's the deal with you and that sexy partner of yours?"
"Deal?" Scully replied with a raised eyebrow. "There's no deal. We're partners. That's it."
"Ah ha. And how long have you been partners?"
"About six years."
"Six years?!" Buffy asked in disbelief. "And you two have never...?"
"Not that it's any of your business," Scully chastised gently. "But no, we've never..."
"But...!" Buffy stopped herself.
"But what?" Scully asked, curious in spite of herself.
"Well, he's gorgeous for a start," Buffy replied. "and B, he's got the major hots for you."
Scully's eyebrow lifted even higher and she opened her mouth to deny if not the first, at least the second part of Buffy's explanation.
"And thirdly," Buffy continued, warming to her subject. "You're in love with him."
"What?!" Scully was aghast. "How did you...I don't...What on earth would make you think such a thing?"
"Duh, it's so obvious." Buffy answered. "Besides I have a special sense about these things."
"Oh really. This is one of your "slayer talents"?" Scully asked, looking at Buffy skeptically.
"No," Buffy laughed. "I'm a teenager, boy/girl relationships are kind of my secondary interest. After the slaying, of course."
"Of course." Scully decided it was best to let the subject drop and turned the conversation to a less dangerous subject. Less dangerous for her anyway. "Tell me about Angel."
"What's to tell?" Buffy shrugged uneasily. "I'm the Slayer, he's a vampire, we dated. Didn't work out."
"Now I'm sensing there's more to this than you're letting on." Scully said, wondering at the pain in the girl's voice.
"Yeah, a lot more but let's not go there, Ok?" Buffy replied. "Angel and I had one of those relationships that was doomed to fail. It just took us a long time to figure it out."
"Are you sure you've figured it out now?" Scully asked sensing Buffy was not yet over her feelings for Angel.
"No, not really." Buffy smiled sadly. "Oh, turn here. This is the street."
On Buffy's instruction Scully pulled up to a large mansion that looked as if no one had lived there for years. Buffy had left the car and was running around the back of the house before Scully had locked the car. Scully hurried after her.
"Angel!" Buffy called as she entered the dark house trying to contain the panic she felt rising. "Angel! Are you there?"
Scully walked in after her having finally caught up.
"Shut the door, quickly." Buffy ordered to Scully's surprise. "You're letting the sunlight in." She explained.
Scully turned and shut the door, blocking out the only natural source of light in the room. She blinked as her eyes became accustomed to the dark room and looked around noticing that the windows were not only shuttered but also covered with black material, ensuring that not a speck of natural light was able to enter. The only source of light was a couple of Japanese style lamps which Buffy hurried to switch on.
Scully started at the voice but Buffy turned eagerly towards the new arrival who was in the process of buttoning his black shirt, and ran to embrace him. "Angel," She said with relief. "You're ok."
"Of course," He answered putting his arms around her and holding her gently. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Drusilla." Buffy stated flatly and began to explain what they had discovered.
Scully watched them from her position near the door. Angel was the epitome of "tall, dark and handsome" with his dark hair and brooding good looks, the perfect counterpoint to Buffy's petite blonde beauty. She noted with interest the pallor of his skin and wondered if perhaps it was a medical condition that kept him from the sun. That would certainly explain everyone's assumption of him being a vampire.
Angel expression grew dismayed as Buffy told them what they believed. "Buffy, we don't know that it is Drusilla." He tried to calm her.
"Yeah but if it is..."
"Buffy, calm down. If it is Dru, we'll deal with her. We've done it before." His reasonable tone finally had the desired effect and Buffy stepped away from him and took a deep breath.
"Ok. I'm fine now." She said with false brightness and Angel smiled at her.
"Now why don't you introduce me to your friend." Angel nodded towards Scully who was still standing in near darkness by the door.
"Oh, of course. Angel, this is Agent Scully of the FBI." Buffy introduced politely.
Scully walked over to him her hand extended. "Hello."
Angel looked down at her with a frown as he took her warm hand in his cold one. "Agent Scully. Formerly Doctor Dana Scully?" He asked.
"Well, yes." Scully replied hesitantly, shocked that he knew her name. Who the hell was this person?
Angel's frown cleared and he gave her a half smile. "We've met before."
"We have?" "You have?!"
"I'm afraid I don't remember..." Scully's voice trailed off in confusion. Now that she looked at him closely, he did look somewhat familiar. She had seen him before but long ago.
"Angel, what is this?" Buffy asked, trying not to let the immediate jealousy she felt seep into her voice. "How do you know her?"
"It was in about 1988 or 1989, you were working at Washington Memorial Hospital. I was bought into the emergency room where you were working." Angel said to Scully.
"You were in hospital!" Buffy interrupted in disbelief.
"Yeah, I was picked up by the police as a vagrant. An unconscious one." He grimaced as he turned to Buffy to explain. He had successfully hidden that part of his life from her so far and regretted that she had to hear about it this way. "They couldn't bring me round so they took me to the hospital."
A memory nagged at the back of Scully's mind. Something from her days as a resident. Something about blood.
"When I came to, Dr Scully was trying to take some blood from me." He smiled wryly at the memory.
"I remember." Scully interrupted grasping at the vague memory. "You attacked me, broke the needle off in your arm!"
"That's right." Angel nodded. "I didn't have any blood to give you."
"But you took some," Scully accused. "You broke into the emergency blood supplies and stole some."
"Not my finest hour I'll admit," Angel agreed. "But I was hungry." He turned back to Buffy knowing that she would understand. "I hadn't fed on anything for over a week. That's how I ended up in the hospital."
Buffy bit her lip as her eyes filled with tears for him.
"There was a police investigation but you'd disappeared. But...that was ten years ago and you...you haven't changed. Haven't aged." Scully shook her head in confusion. She didn't want to believe what she was hearing, what she was seeing in front of her.
Angel looked to Buffy. "Doesn't she know what I am?" He asked her curiously.
"Well, we told her but she's have a bit of a hard time, um, dealing with the whole vampire issue." Buffy replied looking at Scully who had paled as everything she had been told today sunk in. "I think she'll be ok when she comes around."
Sure enough Scully was wavering where she stood and Angel hurried over to catch her as she fell. He picked her up easily and carried her to the settee in the corner of the room, placing her on it gently.
"So," Buffy said lightly as she fanned Scully's face automatically. "Do you remember everyone you meet by chance?"
Angel's lips twisted into a grin, not fooled by the lightness of her tone. "No, I don't remember everyone I've ever met."
"You have a thing for redheads then?"
"She had a kind face and a soft touch. And I've always been attracted to women of a certain height. Or lack thereof." Angel joked gently. "I remember people who tried to help me. She was one of them."
"She helped you by trying to take your blood?" Buffy asked, confused.
"No." Angel answered as he went to get some water for Scully. "She followed me when I ran to the blood supplies. She though I was delusional or on drugs and tried to talk me down. She could have called security but she didn't. For some reason she felt sorry for me and didn't try very hard to stop me from escaping. If it hadn't been for her, I probably would have been arrested and died in jail."
"I'm sorry Angel." Buffy apologized taking the water from him and passing it to Scully who was beginning to come around.
"Oh God," Scully groaned as she looked from Buffy to Angel and back. "I wasn't dreaming."
"'fraid not." Buffy replied.
'Ok, just give me a minute." Scully tried to collect her scattered thoughts. "Vampires are real. Well. That does explain what happened back in Chaney. I guess I owe Mulder an apology."
Buffy and Angel looked at her in confusion. "Are you sure you're ok?" Buffy asked.
"Yes. I'm fine." Scully nodded as she got to her feet. "It's just...a lot to take in."
"Well, if it's any consolation, you dealing with it better than my mom." Buffy joked lightly. "Anyway, if you're okay, we really should be deciding what to do about Drusilla. Or whoever it is that wants that veil." She amended as Angel started to protest.
"Maybe you'd better tell me a bit more about Drusilla." Scully requested.
"Not much more to tell," Buffy responded. "She's powerful, vicious and insane. That really just about covers it."
Angel flinched at the description. It didn't escape Scully.
"Why will she be coming after Angel?"
"Because, I'm the one that made her that way." Angel replied succinctly, watching Buffy's reaction.
Buffy avoided his eyes, not wanting to see the guilt and pain she knew she would find there. "Angel is her sire. The one who made her a vampire." She clarified for Scully. "Before he changed."
Scully digested that information wondering how much more there was to Angel and Buffy's story. She looked from one to the other as if trying to read the story in their body language.
Before she could frame another question there was a knock at the door which caused them all to start.
The door opened a crack, letting a sliver of fading sunlight creep across the floor. "Hey." Willow said by way of a greeting, popping her head around the door. "Can I come in?" Buffy motioned her to come inside, Angel being well away from the source of the light.
"What'd you find out Will?" Buffy asked urgently.
"Lots. Giles left the book I needed out for me so it was just a matter of finding and interpreting the correct spell and counter measures." Willow's face took on an excited glow. "Which I did."
"You sound more and more like Giles everyday." Buffy said with a half smile. "Good going. Do we need any supplies?"
"I've bought most of them with me and I was hoping that Angel could provide the last few." She looked over at Angel who nodded.
"What do you need?" He asked.
"Umm," Willow pulled out a spiral note pad and checked her list. "I still need Valerian Root and Alecost."
"I've got them but I hope you don't need much Alecost." Angel replied.
"Just a pinch." Willow assured him.
"So that's it?" Scully asked bemusedly. "You just cast a spell and your problem goes away?" Although she had been forced to accept that Angel was a vampire she was still not ready to believe that a magic spell would solve anything.
Willow's face fell slightly. "No, unfortunately it's not quite that simple..."
She was interrupted by another knock at the door and Xander, Giles and Mulder entered.
"Giles!" Buffy exclaimed. "Is it Drusilla?"
"Yes," Giles replied quickly, preventing Xander from spilling the news in his own unique style. "Unfortunately Willow was correct. Willy confirmed it."
"The good news, if we can call it that, is that we know where she is." Xander added.
Mulder crossed the room to stand next to Scully, noticing immediately how pale she looked. "Are you alright, Scully?" He asked.
She nodded and gave him a wan smile. "Yes, I'm fine. It's just...a lot to take in."
Mulder looked down at her wondering if her words meant what he thought they did. If Scully believed what was happening then they were in more trouble than he'd thought. He knew from experience just how much it took to make a believer out of her.
Angel was watching the two agents curiously. Scully caught his look and introduced Mulder quickly. "Angel, this is my partner, Mulder."
Mulder automatically reached out to shake his hand, noting as Scully had how cold it was. Angel nodded his greeting and turned back to Buffy and her gang who were discussing the best way to proceed.
Giles turned to Willow. "Did you find what is needed to stop Drusilla from using the veil?"
Willow nodded. "I did, but we can't just perform the spell here. We need to have the veil in our possession."
"Uh, Will?" Xander asked. "You do realise that if we had the veil, we wouldn't need the spell? Hey that rhymes!"
Willow wrinkled her nose at him. "Yes I know but the spell was written by Genevieve Feist and I don't think she allowed for this particular situation. She was trying to prevent the veil from being misused by a mortal not a vampire."
"Well, that was shortsighted of her." Xander quipped nervously. "So what's the plan?"
"Seems pretty obvious to me." Buffy answered. "I go to Drusilla and ask for the veil back and if she doesn't want to play nice, I kick her butt."
"That's the Buffster I know and love!" Xander said with a grin.
"Buffy," Angel said anxiously. "You've never gone up against Drusilla one on one. You don't know what she's capable of."
"Yeah, I do. She killed Kendra. I know exactly what she's capable of." Buffy replied determinedly.
"Buffy..." Giles began reasonably.
"No Giles! Drusilla has to be stopped and I'm the only one who can do it."
"I realise that but Angel has a point. Drusilla is extremely dangerous and it will take all of our respective talents to stop her not just yours." He continued sternly. "You can't do this alone."
Buffy considered Giles' speech and finally nodded her assent. "Ok then, we do this together."
Giles turned to the two FBI agents who had been following the exchange. "I think it would be best if you two stayed well away from this. You would only be in our way." He added trying to be tactful and failing miserably.
Mulder and Scully shared a quick glance before Mulder replied for both of them. "We can't do that Mr Giles." Mulder continued before Giles could protest. "By the sound of it, you can use all the help you can get. I promise you, Scully and I will stay in the background as much as possible."
Seeing the determined expressions on their faces, Giles relented. "Fine." he said abruptly to the agents. "Alright then. Buffy, Willow, gather whatever supplies you need and let's be on our way."
Drusilla was watching the sky darken outside, feeling the excitement build in her slender body as the moon began its ascension. She swayed slightly, humming a song half remembered from the time when she walked the earth in sunlight.
Soon she would have everything she wanted. Limitless power, control over the future and most importantly of all, Angeleus. He was the reason she had returned to Sunnydale. She missed her former paramour Spike it was true, but he'd betrayed her. He'd made a deal with the Slayer and she could never forgive him for that. Besides, he had no vision, she thought petulantly. It had been enough for him to cause mischief and mayhem, albeit on a grand scale but he'd lacked the ambition to control the world and in Drusilla's eyes that was a serious flaw.
But Angelus, he was a demon to equal her. She shivered as she remembered the violence and passion that had ruled their relationship. Surely when she had mastery over the Feist woman's veil she could find a way to woo him back from the clutches of that wretched Slayer and return him to where he belonged. By her side.
She turned from the window and clapped her hands together, signaling the vampires she had gathered around her that it was time to move. She looked at them disdainfully. They were children, servants. None of them were really worthy of serving her but she needed them for this night .
This glorious night! Her laughter rang through the empty rooms as she spun in joyful anticipation, head thrown back, arms flung wide. The other vampires looked at her in fear as her maniacal laugher echoed about them. As suddenly as she had begun, she stopped her joyful dancing and singled out two from those watching.
"You and you. Prepare the chamber. It is time to begin." Her voice held a note of triumph. She feared nothing, no one. Nothing could stop her on this night.
The two cars pulled up as close to the factory as they dared, which considering the noise created by Giles' car was still a fair walk for them. Giles had organised them into two groups. Buffy, Angel and Mulder were to cause as much of a distraction as possible while Giles, Willow, Xander and Scully would focus on retrieving the veil and performing the ritual that would prevent Drusilla from ever releasing it's potential power.
Buffy and Angel ran quickly around the outside of the burnt out shell of the factory in a hasty reconnaissance, locating the guards Drusilla had posted and where necessary, eliminating them. They returned to the others, neither one out of breath and quickly apprised them of the situation.
"There's a way in for you on the other side of the building," Buffy advised them quietly, sketching a hasty map in the dirt. "You'll need to stay low just in case she's got sentries on the second floor, but if you stay close to the building they won't be able to see you anyway. The second window from the corner on ground level."
Giles nodded abruptly, his thoughts already racing to the task ahead.
Buffy looked at Willow anxiously noticing that despite her nonchalant pose she was shaking from head to toe. Xander was standing close to her protectively but she could see the tension in his jaw that showed his own fear.
She glanced quickly at Scully who was standing nearby holding the stake that Buffy had given her. She could see how easily Scully held her fear in check and drew comfort from that fact.
"Keep them out of trouble." She said to Scully softly as she passed her, nodding her head towards Xander and Willow.
Scully looked at her questioningly.
"I think I can trust you to keep your head." Buffy said by way of explanation.
Scully smiled at her reassuringly. "No problem. Just make sure you return my partner in the same condition I left him in."
"Don't worry." Buffy smiled back. "I'll look after him for you." She turned to Angel and Mulder. "Well guys, I guess we'd better get on with it. Lets go."
The others watched them leave with trepidation.
Buffy, Angel and Mulder headed towards the factory at a fast pace staying as low to the ground as possible. Not a problem for Buffy but it slowed Angel and Mulder considerably. Mulder was wondering what the hell he had gotten himself and Scully into as he followed Buffy's lead.
When they reached the entrance, they paused as Buffy looked cautiously around to ensure that the sentry she had reduced to a pile of dust had not been replaced. They were in luck. She motioned them inside and they headed cautiously towards the centre of the factory where they expected Drusilla to be. Despite all their precautions, Buffy had no real hopes of taking Drusilla unawares. She would be waiting for them but as Giles had pointed out, Angel was their one hope for success. Drusilla would be prepared to let them come to her because Angel was with them and her passion for him would be her undoing. They hoped.
She shuddered at the thought of what could happen to him, to all of them if their plan failed.
As they approached the heart of the old factory the sound of low voices could be heard above them and they followed the sound till they reached the entrance to an inner chamber on the second floor.
"Well, " Buffy whispered. "I guess this is it. You ready?"
Angel nodded somberly and Mulder held up the stake he had been given as his answer.
"Right, we go in hard and fast." Buffy turned on her last word and kicked out at the solid wooden door that stood between them and the chamber. The door broke away from the lock with a splintering shudder and slammed against the inside wall.
As they raced inside, a half dozen or so of Drusilla's minions were already heading towards them fast. Buffy and Angel showed no hesitation, throwing themselves into the fray with an abandonment that shocked Mulder who was unused to the kind of hand to hand combat that Buffy and Angel were skillfully displaying. He was deploying all his skill to keep one combatant from gaining the upper hand while they took on two or three with ease.
Buffy dispatched two of the attackers quickly and moved on to fight a more worthy adversary while Angel reduced another one to dust while holding off two others. Mulder was having trouble pinning down the one he had. He had made an attempt to stake him through the heart but had only succeeded in stabbing him through the shoulder which made his opponent angrier.
He was knocked to he ground but rolled quickly to avoid the next blow. The vampire was knocked off balance when his fist met with thin air and Mulder was able to use the advantage to finally drive his stake through the demon's back and into his heart. He scrambled to his feet and looked towards his next opponent, barely registering the fact that his victim had been reduced to a pile of dust.
The vampires paused as the shrill cry rent the air and Buffy used the distraction to stake her current opponent before she to stopped where she stood and turned towards the speaker.
"I want them alive. For the moment." Drusilla stood in the centre of the room in an ivory silk and lace gown which had been fashionable over one hundred years ago. She was wearing the Feist veil and looked the picture of Victorian bridal elegance.
Provided, thought Buffy, that the bride was an escapee from a mental institution. She moved towards her threateningly but Drusilla's voice, now low and gentle stopped her, as did the thirty vampires which seem to have appeared out of nowhere and now surrounded her, Angel and Mulder.
"You are welcome to try to attack me," Drusilla said sweetly to Buffy, ignoring Mulder altogether. "But I fear the odds are against you. I thank you though, for returning my Angelus to me." She turned to Angel with a smile.
"I don't think so!" Buffy answered angrily.
"Buffy," Angel chided under his breath praying that she would be strong enough to play her part.
She barely caught the warning in his tone, but glancing at him quickly she restrained herself from rushing towards Drusilla to scratch her eyes out. If their plan was going to work she had to play it cool.
"Bring him to me." Drusilla instructed imperiously and two of her minions seized Angel and dragged him to her.
He stood before her calmly. "Hello Dru,"
"My Angel!" She reached out her hand to gently stroke his face and he controlled his automatic reaction to flinch away from her with difficulty. "You've come to me at last. Tell me, is this Slayer you've bought me a gift? You see I'm dressed for a wedding. You will be my groom and this girl, our wedding feast."
Buffy dropped her eyes from them, knowing that this was where Angel must play his part if they were to have any chance of winning against her. The sight of them together made her nauseous.
"Dru, I've missed you," Angel said with all the sincerity he could muster. "You should have let me know you were back. I would have held a party. We could have slaughtered some innocents. I know that would have made you happy."
Drusilla sighed and moved in to lay her head against his chest. "Oh Angel, I feared that you were lost to me forever."
"Never, my darling Dru," Angel replied embracing her, grateful that Buffy was behind him, knowing he could never pull off this deception if she were in his sight. "I've merely been killing time, among other things, waiting for you to return to me."
She lifted her face to him and he lowered his lips to hers and kissed her passionately.
Buffy's anguished cry of betrayal echoed around the chamber.
Scully waited impatiently with the rest of the Scooby Gang as the few minutes Buffy had instructed them to wait, passed slowly by. Xander had informed her this was the popular term of reference for Buffy's assistants. She checked her watch again and looked over at Giles who was doing the same thing.
"I hate this part."
Scully turned to look at Willow who had moved to stand beside her.
"I can handle the fighting and stuff because there's no time to think but the waiting around....It just gets to me."
Scully smiled at her understandingly. "I know exactly what you mean." She remembered all the times she had been forced to wait for word of Mulder when he had ditched her on one of his quests.
"It's time." Giles finally said. "Is everybody ready?"
They all nodded their assent.
"Right then. Remember, we go in as quietly as possible." He handed the bag containing the requirements for the spell he and Willow would perform to Xander and they headed towards the factory. "I only hope that the others have succeeded in doing their part."
They walked quickly and cautiously towards the factory, following the track Buffy and set out for them, alert for any sentries that may have been replaced. Giles took the lead as they entered the factory, confidently picking his way through the maze of corridors. Scully followed Xander and Willow cautiously.
Soon they could see the entrance to the inner chamber, noting Buffy's handiwork on the splintered door and the piles of dust just inside. They stayed well back in the shadows taking up positions on either side of the door. Giles and Xander took the left, while Scully and Willow covered the right.
Fortunately the acoustics of the barren factory were good and they could hear every word spoken inside. They heard Angel's cruel betrayal of Buffy and held their breath, knowing that any second now they would have to make their move.
And then it came. They heard Buffy's anguished cry and entered as quickly and quietly as they could, taking advantage of the vampire's attention on the scene that was being played out before them and putting themselves in position.
Angel raised his mouth from Drusilla's and turned towards Buffy, assuming an expression of triumph for Drusilla's hordes benefit as he glanced around the room to ensure everyone was present. He avoided Buffy's eyes as he did so, knowing that even though she had approved of this pretence, his actions would have cut her deeply and he was not yet ready to see it in her eyes. Catching Giles gaze briefly he gave an imperceptible nod and turned back to Drusilla.
With one hand cupping her face he gently grazed the knuckles of this other hand across her forehead and up to her hair which he stroked gently until his fingers reached the lacy cap of the veil. He then grasped it firmly and pulled hard, yanking it free of the comb which had held it in place and tossing it towards Giles who leapt forward to catch it like a bridesmaid scrambling for the bouquet.
He managed to grasp a corner of it and was immediately tackled by two vamps who had recovered quickly enough to assess the situation.
Drusilla shrieked wildly and lunged for Angel, her fingernails scratching for his eyes. This was not how it was supposed to be!
Angel used his considerable strength to thrust her away from him. All hell broke loose as the rest of Drusilla's minions finally realised that she had been duped and ranged out to take on Buffy and her gang.
Buffy had acted quickly when Angel made his move taking advantage of the distraction and breaking free of her captors. She quickly located a stake and was making short work of dispatching any vamp that came within striking distance of her.
Mulder had also broken free and was doing his best to take some of the heat off the others. Fortunately he was starting to get the hang of Buffy's weapon of choice and had some success in eliminating a few of the less accomplished vampires that came his way.
Struggling underneath the vampires that had jumped him, Giles managed to hold the veil in his possession but guarding it impeded his fighting skills severely. Leaping onto the pileup as if it were a football game, Xander managed to stake one of the vamps pinning Giles and distracted the other long enough for the librarian to free himself and he headed towards Willow who, as instructed was hiding behind the altar with the bag of ingredients needed for the spell.
Horrified by the carnage she was witnessing, Scully stood nearby, guarding Willow's position. Oddly enough her FBI training complimented by her medical knowledge made her a formidable opponent and when confronted with two vampires who had marked her as an easy target she dispatched them skillfully, her borrowed stake plunging directly into their hearts with a few well-judged blows.
Giles nodded approvingly as he rushed past her to Willow who had assembled the ingredients of the spell and was waiting for the veil to complete it. Scully held her position as more vampires headed towards her and was relieved to see that Xander had moved into position close by and was helping her to fend of the seemingly endless stream of vampires that confronted them. Although her aim with the stake was good, the ferocity of their attack made it hard for her to maintain her position and Xander's assistance was welcome.
Drusilla's shrieks of anger still reverberated around the chamber but her twisted mind searched for a way to put things to rights. She pulled herself together enough to see that Angel and Buffy were out of her reach for the moment. But the tall man that the moon had tried to warn her about was close by and she focused her attention on him. Gathering her power she concentrated her thoughts on him, entered his mind and searched for a way to control him. Moving closer she clawed away his attackers and looked deeply into his eyes, hypnotising him.
His thoughts were full of demons and aliens but tucked away in a buried part of his mind that he rarely visited there were thoughts of the redheaded bitch who had accompanied him. She smiled up at him. He wasn't even fully aware of how much she meant to him and this was something Drusilla could use. She searched his mind for a name and found it. Dana.
The voice that spoke to him was soft and gentle and he blinked once as if to clear his head, looking at the vision in front of him. It was Scully. But it wasn't. At least it wasn't the Scully he'd been working with for the last six years. No, this woman standing in front of him was Dana. She was beautiful and she was looking at him with so much love in her eyes that it hurt. The past had been wiped clean of every event that had hurt her. Her father and sister had never died, she had never been abducted or hurt in his quest for the truth. There was no need for self-recrimination. He had done nothing to cause her pain. And she loved him. He could see it in her eyes.
He had called out to her and in spite of the noise of the battle that surrounded them Scully heard and turned her gaze towards him. She was shocked by what she saw. In the midst of the battle her partner was standing unaware, reaching out to tenderly stroke the face of the woman in front of him.
"Dana" he whispered again as he reached out to pull her into his arms.
"Mulder! No!" Scully's cry was unheard by Mulder and she struggled to move towards her partner but it was no use. There were too many vampires. Searching she room she finally spotted Buffy and cried out to her for help.
Buffy's head snapped up as she heard Scully's cry and, plunging her stake into yet another vampire, she scanned the room until she saw what Scully had.
Mulder, embracing Drucilla in the middle of the chaos surrounding them.
Buffy cursed softly and plunged into the fray that separated her from Drusilla and Mulder. She remembered Giles telling her of how Drusilla had tricked him into believing she was Jenny to obtain the information they needed to release Akathla's powers. She knew instinctively that Drusilla was trying the same thing with Mulder and it was working. She fought her way over to them and grasped Mulder's arm to pull him away but he shrugged her off.
Trying a different tack she went for Drusilla with the stake but Drusilla cried out in fear, not for her gang of vampires but to Mulder.
"Fox, help me!"
Mulder turned on Buffy immediately, not sure why she was attacking his partner but determined to protect her at all costs. Throwing the stake aside he drew his gun from his holster and aimed it at Buffy.
Drusilla smiled. "Kill her, Fox, she's a demon. She'll kill me if you don't. Please."
Mulder hesitated, his finger on the trigger and the safety off. Something wasn't right about this but he couldn't clear his head enough to figure it out.
"Mulder!" Scully screamed at him as she forced herself towards him. "Don't! It's not me. She's a Pusher!" She hoped the memory of that case would convince him that it was a trick and buy her time to reach him.
Buffy sighed with relief as the gun wavered and his arm dropped but she had no time to use the advantage to attack Drusilla again. Three more vampires were advancing and they became an annoying priority
Mulder turned towards Scully's voice and was stunned to see her forcing her way towards him. His head throbbed as he turned from her to the woman in front of him. Dana looked at him with pleading eyes and he felt himself falling under he spell once again. Spell. He shut his eyes tightly for a moment and when he opened them she was still standing in front of him but this time he noticed that she was dressed in an old-fashioned lace gown.
"Fox" Her eyes implored him to trust her. Fox. Scully hadn't called him Fox for years.
His gun raised without hesitation and shot her in the chest.
Drusilla screamed once more in agony and rage. Ignoring the searing pain in her chest she advanced on him without any disguises this time. He flinched from her demonic face but was unable to run. Her gaze held him captive and she reached up to loosen his tie and pulled his collar back from his neck. She ran a razor sharp talon down his throat, not to kill but merely to wound and lapped up the trickle of blood she had drawn with her tongue. He would die slowly for the pain he had caused her. She growled low in her throat as she prepared to tear out his.
Her fangs had barely touched his jugular when her head was yanked back by her hair. Scully had managed to reach them finally and used all her strength to pull Drusilla off her partner who slumped to the ground mentally exhausted from the effort of fighting against Drusilla's mind control.
Scully plunged her stake at Drusilla but the vampire twisted causing the blow to miss her heart and she turned on Scully more enraged than ever. In one swift movement she had removed the stake with one hand and grabbed Scully's wrist with the other, twisting it cruelly behind her back. She dropped the stake and grabbed Scully's hair forcing her head back so she could meet her eyes, so she could control her.
Scully met her gaze levelly as if daring Drusilla to try her worst. But Scully's mind, though open to Drusilla's probing was beyond her control. Frustrated and a little frightened by this loss of power Drusilla looked harder for the key to Scully's thoughts. She could see all the events that had made Scully what she was today. The loss of loved ones, her love for her family, her pride in her job, her overwhelming love for her partner and her many near death experiences. Death. That was the key. But she could not use it. Drusilla was death but Scully had no fear of her. No fear of death. Scully had faced death and defeated it so many times that it held no threat to her. Scully was beyond Drusilla's control.
Drusilla began to tremble. She had never encountered a mortal who did not fear her. Even the Slayer with her own considerable powers had shown that she feared Drusilla. The two women stood motionless, an eerie island of calm amidst the sea of destruction that surrounded them.
Finally, something broke the standoff. It was the sound of Latin chanting and the smell of burning herbs. Drusilla broke the connection with Scully and turned towards the altar which was to have been the scene of her greatest triumph.
There she saw Giles and the witch girl, Willow casting their spell and before she could make a move in their direction, they had completed it and the Feist veil which lay on the altar before them changed. The fabric stiffened and solidified, changing from delicate lace and tulle to exquisite crystal. A supernatural wind blew gently across the fragile sculpture and it made a bell like sound which reverberated around the room before the veil shattered and disappeared.
Drusilla gazed around the room in horror. The few intruders were overcoming her hordes of vampires, Angelus had betrayed her and her dreams of limitless power had shattered on the altar. Whimpering with distress she threw Scully to the ground and headed for the exit.
Buffy and Angel both noticed her hasty departure but were too busy fighting her minions to pursue her. They both took their frustration at letting her slip through their fingers once again out on their current combatants. Others had also noticed her departure though and soon there was no one left to fight as their attackers also fled, presumably to lick their wounds and curse their erstwhile leader's defection.
Buffy glanced quickly around the room for more vampires to fight, her heart pounding, adrenalin still racing through her veins but there wasn't a vampire to be seen. Except for Angel and she thanked God that she didn't have to fight him tonight. She relaxed her fighting stance and searched the room again, this time for her companions.
Giles and Willow were still standing at the altar looking stunned, Xander was nearby looking the worse for wear but still on his feet and with a huge grin of his face. Angel was heading towards her, still wearing his demonic visage but his eyes were filled with concern and even as she looked at him the ridges and hollows of the demon that resided within him slipped away to be replaced by his own beautiful human face. Scully was picking herself up and heading towards Mulder who was still lying on the floor unconscious.
Buffy ran towards them calling for Giles who was already on his way to the fallen Agent.
"Mulder" Scully softly called to him, praying that he would wake unharmed. She checked his pulse and respiration and was heartened to find that they were normal. She called his name again and this time he groaned in acknowledgement and opened his eyes.
"Scully? Is that really you?"
She could have cried with relief and heard Buffy and Giles release their pent up breath. "Yes Mulder, it's me. Are you ok?"
Mulder groaned again but slowly managed to sit up despite Scully's admonishment that he shouldn't move.
"I feel like I've been kicked in the head by a mule but apart from that I think I'm OK." He gazed blearily around the room. "Did we win?"
"We kicked ass!" Xander cried exuberantly then looked contrite as Mulder winced at the volume of his announcement. "Sorry" he added lamely.
"Great." Mulder replied wearily as he pulled himself to his feet. "In that case maybe we could get out of here and someone can tell me what the hell happened."
"You got it." Buffy said. "I'm with him guys, lets blow this place."
Giles and Angel gently moved Scully aside and helped Mulder head towards the door. Xander ran to the altar and helped Willow gather up the instruments for the spell and they all gratefully headed out into the fresh night air.
Two Days Later. Sunset.
Mulder and Scully walked swiftly through the streets of Sunnydale towards the centre of town. Scully was completely unscathed from the recent battle and walked easily alongside Mulder who was a little stiff thanks to various bruises and abrasions. The cut on his neck, caused by Drusilla's talons was covered by Scully's neat bandaging and hidden by his turtleneck sweater. They walked along in comfortable silence, following the directions Giles had thoughtfully provided them with after Buffy and Xander had explained how to get there.
There had really been no need for them to stay in Sunnydale any longer but Buffy and the gang had insisted that they stay on to celebrate their victory over Drusilla and the local vampire population. Mulder was more than happy to go along with this plan as it had given him the opportunity to spend long sessions with Giles in the school library discussing the various demons and occult phenomena they had encountered. A professional exchange of information as Mulder had called it.
Scully had spent a number of hours with them, opening her mind to the frightening possibilities she now acknowledged. But often she had left Mulder and Giles to their discussions preferring to spend some time with Buffy and her gang, hearing the stories from them, knowing that later she would be able to trade information with Mulder.
She found that she enjoyed their company. Xander's goofy exterior and big mouth concealed a rapier wit and enormous courage. Willow's quiet demeanor hid an extraordinarily sharp mind and huge loyalty to Buffy. The cheerleader Cordelia, Scully met only briefly but the girl's honesty and lack of tact were surprisingly refreshing, in small amounts. Oz, who she had seen as a werewolf when she returned to the library after the battle was a bit of an enigma but she sensed that like all of Buffy's friends there was more to him than met the eye. She had spent some time with Angel and although he didn't talk about himself a great deal she sensed the underlying torment of his situation and his great love for Buffy was all too obvious.
It was Buffy with whom she spent most time of her time. In spite of her group of loyal friends and her caring mother, Joyce, Scully instinctively felt that Buffy needed someone to talk to. Someone outside her circle who could listen without personal involvement. From the few hours she had spent with Giles and the others, Scully began to realise just what a frightening future Buffy faced and did not envy the girl her duty. It surprised her to find that despite the horrors she had been through, Buffy was amazingly resilient and the only thing that preyed on her mind was her relationship with Angel. During their long conversations when she accompanied Buffy on patrol, Scully had finally pieced together their history and she felt so much compassion for the Slayer doomed to love and be loved by a vampire with a soul.
Shrugging off her somber thoughts she looked up to find that they had reached their destination. Buffy had assured them that everyone came to the Bronze and they would not feel out of place, but looking at the youthful faces of those entering Scully was not so sure.
Mulder also looked skeptical and raised his eyebrows. "Well Scully, I guess this is it. I knew I should have worn my leather pants."
Scully smiled at her partner and looked him up and down. He looked incredibly handsome in the black jeans and sweater that was Mulder's idea of dressing casual.
"Oh I think you'll do." She answered easily.
Mulder looked at her, surprised. "Was that a compliment Agent Scully?" He asked as they walked past the bouncer who didn't bother to ask them for ID.
"You may take it as such if you wish Agent Mulder." She replied with a smile.
She had to shout to make herself heard over the noise of the band and for a moment they hovered near the bar, feeling very out of place among the teenaged clientele. Scanning the crowd she finally spotted Buffy who was waving them over to her table. Nudging Mulder who was buying them drinks, she headed towards her. Xander, Willow and Giles were sitting with her. She was relieved to see that Giles looked even more out of place than she and Mulder. He had obviously never heard of the concept of dressing down and was wearing one of his tweed suits, wincing at the noise coming from the speakers.
"Hey Dana!" Buffy enthused, "Welcome to the Bronze."
"You might as well say 'Welcome to Hell', I'm pretty sure the noise levels would be about the same" Giles shouted in greeting.
"Agent Scully, wouldn't you know it, there's a spare seat right next to me!" Xander offered grandly, gesturing to the spare inches of space on the couch next to him.
Buffy rolled her eyes at him and pulled up a chair for Scully between her and Willow while Scully returned the various greetings. Mulder appeared at her shoulder and placed a beer in front of her while responding to the new chorus of welcomes.
Willow offered him her own chair and Mulder smiled down at the pretty redhead. "Thanks for the offer Willow, but I think these old bones can take the strain of standing for a while yet."
Willow blushed and stammered a reply and Mulder whispered a response to her causing her to blush even harder.
Scully shook her head. Was there a woman on earth her partner couldn't charm when he set his mind to it?
Buffy was looking at Scully piercingly noting that she still wore her dark overcoat, buttoned all the way up. "I think it's time I made a trip to the bathroom." She announced to the table. "Come with me Agent Scully?"
Scully blinked but Buffy gave her no time to respond, gripping her by the elbow and pulling her along leaving the others looking slightly surprised. She dragged Scully past the dance floor to the dingy Bronze ladies room and once inside, turned on her.
"Dana," she began sternly, "You're still wearing your overcoat."
"Yes, well the air conditioning in here is kind of chilly." Scully muttered.
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Please, just take of the coat. It's not going to kill you."
"Buffy..." Scully began in protest.
Buffy pouted. "Four hours of shopping and you won't take your overcoat off. I put my heart and soul and your credit card into finding the perfect dress for you to wear tonight. As if my life wasn't bad enough, to see you waste all that effort..."
"Alright," Scully sighed. "I'll take the damn coat off." She unbuttoned her overcoat and Buffy hurried around to slip it off her, bundling it into a ball and tucking it under her arm. She then spun Scully around and before she could protest had twisted Scully's hair up into a loose knot and secured it with bobby pins she seemed to have produced from thin air.
"Excellent," Buffy said with satisfaction surveying the FBI agent in front of her. "NOW we're ready to party. Let's go."
Buffy headed back into the club and Scully followed muttering under her breath. As they passed the dance floor once again, Scully slowed her pace and surveyed the dancers and the band. She recognised Oz playing lead guitar but his hair was black instead of the strawberry blonde he'd had for the few days she'd known him. Actually, the band wasn't that bad. Louder than she would have liked but not bad at all. She watched the dancers for a moment, delaying going back to the table for as long as possible. She spotted Cordelia in the centre of the dance floor, dancing under a spotlight with three guys and for a moment envied her her youth and incredible self-confidence.
As she neared the table where Buffy had already resumed her seat she noticed that Xander was watching Cordelia as well. His expression was a picture of jealousy and dismay. Buffy had filled her in on Xander and Cordelia's stormy relationship and she felt sorry for him. The music changed to a slower song with a funky rhythm perfect for dancing.
Throwing her shoulders back in the dress Buffy had insisted she buy for tonight she walked up to Xander and asked him to dance. Xander's jaw dropped when he recognised her but it took only a split second to recover and he leaped to his feet, bumping the table, which rocked alarmingly and spilled a few drinks.
Mulder grabbed Scully's beer before it slid off the table altogether then turned back to get a better look at the sexy redhead in the strapless teal blue dress who had asked Xander to dance. Buffy had nudged Willow and both of them gazed expectantly at Mulder waiting for the penny to drop.
Mulder was oblivious. His gaze raked the redhead dancing with Xander from top to bottom, admiring her sexy curves, white skin and tousled upswept hair.
Xander was in seventh heaven. Partly from the fact that Agent Scully's sexier twin was dancing with him but mostly because Cordelia had stopped dancing and was glaring at him with ominously green eyes. As was every male in the room. He relished every moment of it. His wild style of dancing ensured that every eye was on them and Agent Scully was laughing up at him. He took advantage of her good humor to move closer, picking her up and spinning her around. When he deposited her back on the dance floor their positions were reversed and Scully was facing out towards the club.
Scully glanced over at the table to smile at Buffy and encountered Mulder's heated gaze. She smiled at him and waved.
Mulder dropped the glass he was holding and it shattered on the floor. Buffy and Willow erupted into giggles and Giles turned in his chair to see what all the fuss was about. "My," he said adjusting his glasses to get a better view, "Isn't that your partner, Agent Mulder."
"What?" Mulder replied distractedly.
"I said isn't that..."
"Yes" Mulder answered shortly not taking his eyes of Scully for an instant.
The music from the band came to a stop and they announced a break and a DJ took over and started playing an even slower dance song. Never one to miss an opportunity, Xander pulled Scully into his arms. Mulder made a low sound which was interpreted by Buffy and Willow as a possessive growl and headed for the dance floor.
He approached Xander from behind and politely tapped him on the shoulder.
"Hey, Agent Mulder!" Xander greeted him.
"Xander," Mulder said with a smile and a nod. "Get lost."
Xander would have protested but caught the menacing glint in Mulder's eye and took the hint, releasing Scully. "Okay Dokey, guess I'll take a break." He headed back to the table, running into Cordelia who looked as though she'd like to make a comment but settled for tossing her hair over her shoulder and storming off. Xander grinned happily.
Scully and Mulder stood in the middle of the dance floor saying nothing. Then Mulder took her hand and pulled her close to him and they began to move to the music.
Buffy and Willow, looking on from the table sighed happily.
"What's going on?" They all started and turned towards Angel who had arrived without warning, as usual. Oz followed close behind.
"I sense that someone's been offering free makeovers to FBI agents." Oz stated wryly as he deposited a quick kiss on Willow's nose before settling himself in the chair next to her.
"I plead guilty." Buffy answered lightly.
Angel looked down at Buffy from his position next to her chair. "You want to dance?"
Buffy nodded as he took her hand and led her onto the floor. Dancing with Angel was one of the few pleasures they had left to them and when he pulled her into his arms she could forget everything that had happened between them and just enjoy the feel of his body against hers. She leant her head against his shoulder watching her friends.
She watched Oz put his arm around Willow to keep her warm. Xander had obviously cracked another of his jokes and was grinning madly at Giles who was shaking his head, smiling and cleaning his glasses at the same time. Agents Scully and Mulder were dancing close by, still not talking but moving together and occasionally gazing into each other's eyes as if they were the only people in the world.
Once again they'd managed to save the world. Buffy snuggled closer to Angel and closed her eyes.
Mulder and Scully stood in front of Sunnydale High saying their goodbyes. It was Saturday and the school was deserted except for the cleaners, Buffy and the Scooby Gang who had turned up to see the Agents off. Angel had said his goodbyes the night before.
Mulder and Giles had exchanged phone numbers and Giles had promised to keep Mulder informed of the happenings in Sunnydale and to call on them if they ever needed their help.
Scully had said her farewells and she and Buffy stood a little apart from the others. Buffy looked disappointed.
"I can't believe that after all the effort I put into that dress you and Agent Mulder didn't...." She left the sentence hanging.
Scully laughed. "Mulder and I have a complicated relationship."
"Please!" Buffy cried in exasperation. "I'm the queen of complicated relationships!"
"Besides" Scully said with a secretive smile. "I was quite happy with the results."
Buffy's eyes narrowed with suspicion. "Not fair! You're not telling me everything."
"No, I'm not." Scully replied. "Lets just say...Well, let's just not say anything yet, but I promise I'll keep you up to date on any developments."
"You've got my number." Buffy said, cheered by the thought.
"Buffy, if you ever need someone to talk to..." Scully said seriously.
"I've got your number." Buffy answered. "I'm gonna miss you. It's weird. I mean you've only been here a few days but..." she shrugged, at a loss for words. "I'm gonna miss you."
"Scully, we've got to hit the road." Mulder interrupted. "Take care of yourself Buffy."
Scully gave Buffy a quick hug then released her and got into the car, waving to the others.
Mulder settled himself into the drivers seat and they pulled away. They drove in silence until they passed the Sunnydale city limits sign.
"Mulder," Scully turned in her seat to face him. "I owe you an apology."
Mulder glanced at her in surprise. "You do?"
"Yeah, I do." She paused a moment. "I'm sorry I didn't believe you about the vampires in Chaney."
Mulder laughed "You're forgiven."
They continued driving in silence for a while before the silence was broken again, this time by Mulder.
"You know Scully, if I ever give up the X-Files, I'm thinking that Sunnydale may be a nice town to retire to."
"You've got to be kidding!" Scully replied.
"No really, I mean it's got great weather, good schools, cheap real estate." Mulder answered easily.
"Mulder, it's on a Hellmouth!"
"Exactly. What better place for us to settle down in?" He turned and flashed her a smile and they both began to laugh.