Part 8: Harm Against Yourself and Others
"She didnĎt care enough to cut off my head or set me on fire." -Spike
"You asked her to play!" -Duncan MacLeod
"Play nice boys." -Sarah Pezzini
The time had come and she knew it, Shealti was doing one last sweep through the last graveyard in Sunnydale. Everything was quite, too quite, like the calm before the storm, more like the eye of the hurricane. She sighed, they had already lost two of the Sunnydale members it was more than she wanted to happen. Kealti was to leave this between them, now she had included mortals in their squabble. Her hearing picked up on a set of footsteps following along behind her. She knew better than to stop and look behind her, whom ever it was would be gone. She kept her pace up, getting near the Bronze she doubled back to see a taller man, at least six two, dressed in a tee shirt and a sport coat, he was pale, dark hair copped close at one point and now had grown out. His hair reminded her of Methosís style, she saw the sword in his hand as he began to look around for her.
Angel had been tracking her since he saw her, Buffy mentioned that she was to be approached carefully. He had kept his distance, watching her work, she had been a hunter or a slayer for quite a long time. She had come this way he was sure of it. She was completely oblivious or knew he was following him. He had gone to the end of the alley to see if she had went this way, there was not a trace of her. He chuckled at the thought of finding a trace of a vampire. They were careful, and made sure that they hadnít left one. He had turned to double back, maybe she was good enough that he had walked by her. The cold bite of English steel found his neck he closed his eyes.
"Want to tell me why youíve been stalking me all night?" She smirked.
"Buffy mentioned you were in town and I thought I might catch you in action. Its rare you get to see a vampireís walking nightmare." He smiled.
"Cut the shit," Shea rolled her eyes. "You got a name bloodless wonder or am I going to call you Sparky all night?"
"Angel." he gritted his teeth as the blade pressed into his neck. Opening his eyes he saw Gunn three feet away with a crossbow aimed at the Justicar, he tried to gesture with his eyes for Gunn to put it away. In stead of putting it away, Gunn fired the shaft and Shea spun catching it in her closed fist.
"Iím on you side." she smiled. "Nice shot."
"Thanks." Gunn quipped not letting it bother him. "I take it this is the thing that vampires are sacred of?"
"Do I look like an inanimate object?" Shea rolled her eyes. "I have a title, a name, a pronoun." she winked. "I was headed back to the Magic Box, until I was stalked."
"Magic Box?" Gunn furrowed his brow.
"Local Occult shop, Giles owns it?" Angel asked.
"The other watcher?" Gunnís raised brow indicated the unfamiliarity with the Scoobies.
It had been four hours since Shea had left with Buffy, the Slayer had returned promptly, followed by the arrival of the Angel Investigationís team. Willowís anger had subsided some, but her clothes were still black along with her hair and her eyes. Cordelia had inquired why Willow was sporting a new look. Xander quickly explained. The introductions continued on as they were familiarized with Immortals and the New York Crew. Spike and Nottingham were eyeing each other with a bit of suspicion. There was one member of the investigative team that had remained silent, this Doyle character had kept quite along with a green skinned demon that had blood red eyes. They had sat down next to each other and had whispered to each other. They had all reached an uncomfortable silence when the door opened, Shea lead the way followed by Angel and Gunn.
"Hey, hey the gangs all here." Buffy quipped.
"Should I be introduced to everyone, or does everyone already know who I am?" Shea asked sarcastically.
"Anything?" Buffy asked hopeful.
"Its dead, literally and figuratively." Shea smirked. "Not a soul living or dead on the street."
"Well thatís good right?" Doyle asked.
"Nope." Xander smiled. "When the scary things get scared around here its for two reasons, their plotting massive assault or they all know Shea and Buffy are here." he smiled.
The bell over the door rang and there stood a familiar face that none of the Sunnydale Scoobies expected to see. Faith stood there her hair was a bit longer and the manner of dress was the same for her. She did not make eye contact with Buffy for more than a few brief seconds.
"Whatís she doing here?" Buffy asked gritting her teeth.
"She works for me since she changed," Angel gave Faith a reassuring smile.
"Look," Shea eyed the two young women. "Whatever happened in the past is that, the past. Everyoneís entitled to start again. Right now we have bigger things to deal with."
"Iíd say," Cordelia looked at the book in front of her. "You said that the girl that were fighting went by Kealti?"
"Yes," Giles turned his attention to the young woman. "why?"
"It says here that she also goes by Kali, a Hindustani goddess of destruction, her companion is constant and is the fear of the two a very powerful Hindu god better know as Shiva. Wait I thought that Shiva was a girl."
"Not a girl," Shealti looked at the book, "he has androgynous appearance."
"Wait," Methos narrowed his hazel eyes. "Your telling me that the oldest living religion on the planet has two gods that are still walking and that these two caused you," he stared at Shealti "to be what you are?" he looked around. "Did you know that this is what they are?"
"No," Shealti shrugged her shoulders. "I knew they were old but now Iím getting nervous."
"Thanks for the boost of confidence." Sarah folded her arms. "No one can defeat a god, let alone two."
"Beg to differ." Ioluas smirked. "I have some experience here."
"That makes two of us." Buffy folded her arms. "Glory may have put me six feet under, but that wonít keep me from this again."
"Glory did a number, sheís a little fish in a wide ocean. She is nothing in compare to what Kali and Shiva will do." the Host spoke up. "Those to do the Mambo and the world begins to deteriorate."
"What I wouldnít give for the Hindís Blood dagger now." Iolaus muttered.
"Gloryís weakness was Dawn." Buffy began pacing. "These two have to have an Achillesí heel."
"Yeah," Gabriel spoke "Thereís always kryptonite for every cultureís gods. Just have to figure out what Hindu Gods fear."
"Not loosing their life." Methos quipped. "Think about it, its from them that we get the idea for reincarnation. Plus we know that they are both immortal."
"Separate the head from the body and that will end even a God." Iolaus spoke. "Even the Greeks, but you still have to have a weapon that no god can dispute."
"How about one forged by a god?" Shealti asked.
"The hindís Blood Dagger has been missing for over a thousand years." Methos spoke up.
"I never said that the dagger would do it," she paused looking at Sarah. "Try one made for a god."
"The Witchblade?" Ian asked. "That was forged by a very ancient Persian civilization by devoted servants of a god."
"The ancient Persians moved to India, adopting the Hindustani culture." Methos saw where Shea was heading with the thought. "Making it something that even a Hindu god could not dispute."
"They have the oldest creation myth know to recorded history." Giles interjected. "They could just as well deny it as well as accept it."
"This is out of my league." Sarah spoke up. "Vampires, demons, Immortals, I can deal with that. Your talking about ancient gods and if theyíve been walking the earth this long, good chances are that theyíre not going to bend to the blade, no matter if it was forged for or by a god." Sarah eyed Nottingham for a moment. "This is where I leave." she headed for the door.
"I was sacred when I fought Glory." Buffy called after Sarah. "Iím scared now just thinking about this pair. It doesnít change the fact that I still have my duty as a Slayer to do. If I die again saving the world again, then so be it. Iím sure that youíd feel the same way if this were New York about to be the ballroom for two destructive gods who are bound and determined to dance until we all die." Buffy spoke as she saw Sarah stiffen at the mention of New York. "Is it any different since itís a small Southern California town? How far do you think that youíll get to New York before this effects you?"
"Sheís right Pez," Gabriel smiled. "Your tied to this, we all are. Running isnít going to us any good."
"Pez," Shea spoke. "It takes a lot to make me quake in my steel toes," she smirked. "Yeah Iíll admit that this has got me quaking. Iím scared, this could be the end of me just as it could Buffy or any of us. The balance of Good and Evil lays on the edge of a knife weather we fight them or not we all face the end of the world. Iím willing to fight to the end to keep it all going." Shea folded her arms.
"Iím not sure I can." Sarah spoke turning toward them, as she did the bracelet slipped from her wrist. She stared as it bounced and rolled to the toe of Sheaís boot. She tossed it up in the air and caught it.
"Think this belongs to you." Shea handed it back to Sarah.
"No," she turned to leave "its yours."
"Sarah!" Nottingham shouted s she reached the door. "Itís a test, you walk away now it proves your not worth of the blade."
"Remember, that I didnít ask for this." she said walking out.
"Sheíll be back." Buffy crossed her arms. "No one can walk away from their duty as much as they would like to." she smirked.
Willow who had been standing in the same spot finally collapsed to her knees. Her hair, eyes and clothes had returned to normal. She looked up at Giles bruised face and began to cry as she threw her arms around his neck. The tears and sobs racked the red headís frame as she saw the other faces, Cordelia racing to Willow, her arms taking her from Giles.
"What now," he glared at Shea "What if Sarah doesnít come back, no one can used the Witchblade but her, if what Ian says is correct."
"It is," Ian looked at Shea "The Witchblade has never encountered a previous wielder."
"It it goes through wielders like Watcherís go through Slayers I think we know why." Faith quipped.
Shea looked down at the weight in her hand and back at Giles and Ian. She shook her head. "I wore it once, my time has come and gone. This is Sarahís not mine, I wonít take it until the last moment." She slammed it into Ianís open palm walking out.
"Where are you going Fearless leader?" Richie asked.
"To find Sarah," Shea threw over her shoulder. "Sheíll be coming back one way or the other."
Shea had not gotten more than two blocks from the Magic Box when the glow of a large fire could be seen. The smoke was acrid and thick with the smell of roasting flesh. Shea looked to see Sarah ahead of her running in the same direction. A large boom sounded from the Restful Hills cemetery. The crowd inside the Magic Box emerged to the smell and sight of the smoke. Shea gave an ear piercing whistle to Sarah before motioning her back to the rest of the gang.
Sarah approached and Shea took the bracelet from Ian and slapped it on her wrist. The metal conformed to her wrist. Before Sarah could speak the blade pulled her into the depths. The breathless sigh that she had heard many times was over and she saw the blackened face and evil black eyes twinkling with glee at the destruction at her feet. The Man next to her wore a similar grin, his sword out fighting Shealti who had moved faster than anyone could catch, the blade slowing her down so Sarah could see her. Buffy and Faith Fighting along with the rest of the mortals, Immortals and vampires. Through the flames, Buffy had glanced up to see Shea fall at the deadly coupleís feet. She and Sarah were screaming furiously.
"You know you would think this whole world destruction plan has been done to death," Buffyís stake out "apparently itís a classic, like Gone with the Wind or something."
"Along those lines." Spike held a sword next to Angel who held a scimitar.
"Shea," Sarah whispered "Becareful, one false move could kill us all."
"Blade show you my death?" Shea smirked. Sarah nodded "Yeah, its whatís coming after my death that you didnít see thatĎs gonna shock everyone."