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Home. I was home. I took the Long Way, but I was home. I stood in front of my home, trying to suss out what I was feeling and how I was here again. After helping Graham, he made me think. I walked up the familiar stone pavement to my house. Last time I'd even been in this town it had been with...And now I'm here again. I walked through the door and the familiar scent came to me. It smelled like home. Or as close to home as this place could be.
I fell to the ground with a thump and rolled over onto my side, kneeling in front of the vampire and blocking the kick of the vampire I was fighting. He was a larger variety. I was in the cemetery once again, fighting a vampire once again. I decided against calling my friends...they would just get up and drive all the way over here for no reason. Then they'd ask questions about where I'd been and why I left. They might even ask about Lestat. I wasn't ready for them to ask about Lestat. I was barely able to think of him. I couldn't find the words. As I staked the vampire, I looked up to notice a bunch of assorted demons marching through the street on the way to the cemetery. I cringed and clutched my stake harder, praying for a friend right now. I prepared myself as the demons moved closer, but felt something behind my back and I turned with my stake in the air, ready to stake whatever it was. My eyes widened as I was face to face with Connor. Connor pushed me aside as he began fighting the demons. I got to my feet quickly, rushing into battle!
Connor and I entered my house, tired from the assault we had been dealt. I walked over to the sofa and sat down. We hadn't really talked, other than shouting commands at each other. Connor looked uncomfortable but smiled as I looked up at him. His shirt was ripped and his abs were showing. I smiled as he surveyed the cut in his shirt.
"It's just a...thing." Connor said.
"We should probably talk." Connor said. I nodded again. Connor looked at me and sighed.
"Okay. I'm not saying much." I said, "I'm just surprised to see you."
"I know. You haven't exactly been in contact." Connor said.
"The world's ending. Have you heard about Twilight? And Buffy and Angel, they brought it." I said, "That's why I came back."
"Why come back here?" Connor asked.
"Friends." I said, "There's this seed. The Seed of Wonder. It's a powerful...thing. I need to see them before I go after it."
"You're going after the seed of wonder?" Connor asked.
"Buffy hasn't been herself. Something's up with Willow. Xander is...less of an issue. Dawn is clueless...One of us has to stop all of this." I frowned.
"...Is on my enemies list." I frowned, "He did unspeakable things and this time, it was him."
Connor looked at me oddly.
"The world's all different now." I frowned, "Why are you here?"
"I thought that would be obvious." Connor said nervously.
"Gwen...all the other girls...Illyria..." I smirked.
Connor sighed, "Graham, Oz, all the other guys." He said.
"I didn't come here to fight." Connor frowned, "I came here to help your friends find you."
I smiled a little.
"I'm a great hunter, remember?" Connor smiled, "Wouldn't have been too hard, either. You've been making quite a name for yourself. And..."
"...That puts me and my friends in danger? If it looks like they aren't my friends anymore, then they're not in danger." I explained.
"That explains all the demons attacking them." Connor said, "Sorry, it was a good thought, but if I learned anything, it's that demons aren't as dumb as they should be."
"This wasn't an everyday thing, was it? This seemed like a they were after something." I said.
"Slayers around the world have been swarmed by demons." Connor said.
"Haven't noticed." I frowned.
"Then how did you know about Buffy and Angel?" Connor asked.
"Graham. I was helping him with some demons and he got a call to Sunnydale." I explained.
"And you came here?" Connor asked.
"I had to make sure they were okay." I said quickly.
Connor looked at me oddly, "You didn't say that you wanted to see them again." He said, folding his arms, "And how were you supposed to just see them? Were you going watch them through the window?"
I was silent and diverted my eyes.
"Are you insane?" Connor asked, "They're your friends! You can't just come here without seeing them! They called me because they're worried about you. "
"I have to save the world first, or at least help." I said quickly.
"The world needs saving here." Connor frowned, "Titan is still out there. The gang also called me in to try and stop him, preferably before I found you."
"Stop him?" I asked, "Twilight..."
"Is this town's least concern." Connor said, "If this and Twilight happens, the world is doomed. Let Buffy and the gang worry about the rest of the world. Titan could possibly destroy everything."
"What's he doing?" I asked.
"He's going to use magic to suck the power from the Earth, to stop bring about the end." Connor said, "Let's be honest, this Apocalypse was made for you. You are the only person that should kick his ass."
I nodded, "You're right." I said, "Where is he?"
"Under city hall." Connor said, folding his arms.
"The Hellmouth?" I asked, "It's not even a big Hellmouth. Is it?"
"He's going to take in its power or something." Connor said.
"And I've got to stop him." I said quickly.
"You're not alone." Connor frowned, "There's help if you want it."
"I do." I said, "But not from you."
"What?" Connor asked, offended, "You are not..."
"I am." I frowned.
"Can I at least watch?" Connor asked.
"No." I chuckled, "You're needed somewhere out there. We have it under control."
"Fine, but if you die, I'm going to kick your ass." Connor frowned, walking to the door.
"Stop." I said, standing. I walked over and kissed him. I felt the passion we used to have, it was all still there.
When he pulled back, he was smiling and his centered on mine, "You sure I can't stay?" he asked.
"It seems harsh, huh?" I smiled. I took a gulp and choked out what I wanted to, "You have to."
Connor nodded and kissed me. We pulled apart when we heard the door open.
"Holy..." Kelly trailed.
Doug and Cale were quiet. I noticed another face, Mal.
"I came back to watch them make out?" Mal asked.
"Definitely not what I wanted to see either." Cale frowned, "Although, I am glad they're back."
"One of us is leaving." I said, looking to Connor.
"Be careful." Connor said. He looked over to Doug before leaving.
Kelly ran over hugged me, "I'm so glad you're back!" she pinched me, "Don't ever leave like that again!"
"We have an apocalypse." Doug said.
"Everyone does these days." Cale said, "I trust you've heard about Buffy."
"I've been unable to reach them, go figure." Cale said.
"I was on my way to help them." I said.
"You're not staying for our apocalypse?" Doug asked a little angrily.
"Of course I am." I smiled, "We're going to need weapons."
"Got em." Kelly smiled.
"And some kind of magic to get in city hall undetected." I said.
"Done." Doug smiled.
"I think we're ready, are you?" Cale asked.
"We should hurry this up, the feds are on my ass." Mal said quickly.
"Feds?" I asked.
"Long story." Doug sneered.
"We must hurry, Titan's plan is already in motion." Cale said.
I walked to the stairs, "I just need a minute." I said, climbing the stairs. I looked around my house and everything was in its place, albeit a little moved around. I moved into my room and pulled off the clothes that I had on. I stood, naked for a second before sliding on underwear and black leather pants. I grabbed a black sleeveless shirt and a looked over to see the white jean jacket. I then walked to the window and looked down at the backyard below. Something was wrong about this. Something big was about to change. Everything was about to change. It almost seemed tragic, almost macabre. I had been around the world and here I was, back in captivity.
"So..." I turned to see Doug speaking, "I see Lestat didn't come back with you."
I shook my head.
"Did you come back on your own?" Doug asked.
"What?" I asked.
"I mean, you up and left your best friends for your boyfriend..."
"You think that's why I left?" I asked.
"Isn't it?" Doug asked.
"No." I said, "The world is caving around us. We are targets because of what I am." I frowned, "I can't let you anything happen to any of you."
"Isn't that our choice?" Doug asked, taking steps toward me.
"Yeah, but you'll make the wrong one." I said quickly.
Doug chuckled, "You are the most infuriating..." he stopped, "We could have helped. Just like now. We're going to help."
"The life of a slayer is solitude!" I said, "That means no you, no Kelly, no anything!"
"You can't waltz back in here like everything is okay. Everything is not okay!" Doug said, standing in front of me.
I grabbed his face and pushed my lips onto his. There was no struggling and no pulling, there was only us kissing. It felt different from Connor...not better or anything, just different. I loved it instantly. He pulled me in and wrapped his hands around my waist. There was a shout to hurry from downstairs and we pulled apart.
"No. It's not okay." I said, grabbing my jacket and heading downstairs.
"It's fast approaching. The seed is...close." Titan said, sitting on a desk with his hands in the air and his eyes closed, "With this power, I'll be able to help in bringing Twilight to Earth."
"Sorry, oh master malifical, but what about the local slayer and his group?" A scaly green hooded demon asked.
"Without a slayer, they'll be no match for all the demons." Titan said.
"What?!" Titan asked, opening his eye and casting a glance forward.
"Hello, lover." I smiled, shoving a demon off my sword.
"Come, give us a kiss." I said with a dire look on my face.
Downstairs, the vampire guards sniffed the air. They stood, about to run up to the Mayor's office, but stopped dead in their tracks. The glass doors exploded off their frames and the gang walked in. Kelly carried a crossbow while Cale sported a sturdy axe. Mal had guns and stakes. Doug floated in, an orb levitated in front of him and it was all glowy. Kelly began firing the crossbow and a whole new group of vampires appeared. Back in the mayor's office, which was huge, Titan and I stood facing each other, both with swords.
"How are those memories?" Titan smirked, "When Twilight comes, you won't need those memories or the real ones."
"Did anyone explain twilight to you? Demons all coming to this dimension and the seed?" I asked, "Buffy and Angel ascend, they leave this dimension to go to Twilight, a new dimension and in that dimension, they have paradise! The rest of us don't get that."
"You're lying." Titan frowned, "This all means something better for those in his favor. This magic is me. I am going to link myself with magic, to become magic itself..."
"The seed is magic itself." I frowned.
"I plan to tap into it from here. My use of magic is extensive." Titan said, "When I finish with you, I'll make you watch."
"Kinky." I said, "You're not going to get that far."
We both put our swords up to each other.
"One way or another, this ends now." I frowned.
"I couldn't agree more." Titan smirked, swinging his sword!
I dodged it and swung my sword toward him, narrowly missing the side of his face! He swung his sword at my feet and I jumped over it, spinning and kicking him back into the empty space of his huge office. He rolled under and brought his sword upward, trying to slice me in half! I moved in time to miss it, but he nicked my shoulder.
"You were never any real threat to me and time has not been..." but before he could finish, I sliced his cheek. He calmly touched his finger to it and lifted his sword again. He began to fight me harder than before, probably determined to end this quickly, but I was right there with him. I spun around, meeting his sword with mine, fighting across the room. Somehow we switched sides and he kicked me back into the desk! I instinctively rolled over the desk, knocking everything off! Titan brought his sword down on the desk, leaving a dent with the sword. I jumped on the desk, fighting him still. I kicked him in the face, to which he swung at my feet, but I flipped off the desk and landed behind him! As I brought my sword down on him, he held it horizontally, blocking my attack! He kicked me backwards onto the floor and I slid into the wall. I stopped when I realized a sword was at my throat, "Of course, this is all a formality. We both know how this ends."
In the Lobby...
Doug levitated in front of an orb, his eyes glowing with light as the rest of the gang fought of the vampires that had appeared. Every now and then, a burst of light shot from the orb and incinerated a few vampires, causing another wave to come crashing into the lobby. Everyone was holding their own, though. There was blood, sweat, and tears all over the lobby, which was a mess. Some of the blood happened to be vampires who had been dusted and some was the gang's. Kelly had gotten used to using a crossbow and knew exactly where to aim to dust them instantly. Mal was a pro at what he did and dusting vamps was easy enough for him, especially with all the knives and guns he'd brought. Cale was experienced, more so than most watchers. He was now chopping away at the undead with his axe. He kept a close eye on Kelly, not letting her stray far from his mind at all times. Doug felt very zen. Since Austin had left, he had begun studying magic deeper than he had before. He was now powerful enough to reach out, to command magic. He could feel all of them fighting, he could sense something wrong, though.
In the instance he felt something wrong, he dropped to his feet and grabbed the orb from the air, "Austin's in trouble!" he said, speeding away from the battle.
"Don't stop!" Cale shouted over the fighting. He got distracted for just a minute when a vampire knocked him down and began to drain him!
Back in the office...
"The thing with you slayers is that you buy into the isolationist crap!" Titan said, his sword still at my throat, "To be feared, to rule everything. That is the true essence of power. You have none. You gave it all to me the second you walked through the door." He said, pulling the sword back and plunging it forward!
Without thinking, I closed my eyes and brought my hands up, catching the sword. I opened them to see Titan looking down at me, stunned. I pushed the sword back into his face.
"I'm power incarnate." I said, standing, "The slayer is one girl in all the world...I get why I'm the first male one. You have all the power in the world at your fingertips and still you can't rule the world because you have no heart. I get why it's me. I allowed you to take everything from me: My family, my friends...my memory. But in the end, you can't take me." I punched him so hard he flew backwards and skidded across the floor!
Titan chuckled as he struggled back to his feet, "Look at you, all empowered. Who said any of your memories are real? Who said you're a slayer? Who says that any of the things that you think are true are, in fact, true."
"Doesn't matter. I'm me. Whatever I am, I'm better than you." I smirked.
"What?! You're better than me?!" Titan said, outraged, "How dare you!" he said, gathering magic from the air. He pushed his hands forward but Doug jumped, out of nowhere and absorbed the blast!
"Doug!" I shouted.
Doug said nothing, he hovered in the air, glowing.
"No!" Titan hissed, "It can't be!"
"Austin?" Doug asked softly.
"Doug...what?" I asked.
"I'm connected to it...to everything." Doug said, closing his eyes, "I can see them! Willow was at the Seed...She's fighting something big in Sunnydale! Amy's with Warren in Venice...Something..."
"Doug, what's happening?" I asked
"Austin, I love you." Doug said breathlessly.
"I love you too!" I shouted, "Doug!"
"Buffy, no!" Doug said as a huge explosion erupted, causing everything to be displaced and thrown everywhere!
I was awoken by a horrible screaming! I was trapped under debris and though I wasn't claustrophobic, I felt very trapped! I pushed a load of heavy debris off of me. I crawled out of the hole I was in, gasping for air! I took a quick look around and noticed that the building I had been in was now destroyed. Parts of City Hall were still standing, but most of it had been leveled! My mind allowed itself to remember what had happened and my breathing began to quicken. Suddenly, besides the screams, someone was screaming my name. I was still just trying to breathe when Kelly ran over to me.
"Oh my Gosh, you're okay!" Kelly said.
"Where is he? Did you find him? What happened?" Kelly asked.
"Who's screaming?" I asked.
"I don't know." Kelly said, "It sounds like Titan. Where is Doug?"
"Is that Cale's axe?" I asked.
I snatched the axe from her and headed towards the screams. When I came upon Titan, he was still screaming.
"It's gone, don't you feel it! It's gone!" Titan screamed, "Where'd it go!?"
I swallowed, "Where'd what go?" I asked.
"The magic. It's gone!" Titan shrieked, "It's gone."
I looked around for the first time and heard the sirens. He was right, something was different.
"How...it doesn't make sense!" Titan screamed, "Twilight was supposed to free us!"
"He did." I said, swinging the axe.
- - - - - - - - - -
Thank you for reading.