Part 9: Surprise Endings
"Well, I‘m not dead or unconscious, so I say bravo fro me." -Rupert Giles
"After being blown up, don‘t even touch me!" -Connor MacLeod
"Whoa! Somebody‘s cranky." -Danny Woo
The large group made they’re way to the cemetery, weapons being checked and rechecked. Tension was building with each step, no matter what happened to any of them, they had agreed that they were going out fighting. Somehow Sunnydale and the threat of ending the world causes one to set aside their own survival to preserve the world. The troubles that they had been having with each other over the last few days and some hours created an leveling of the higherarcy. Respect for those just joining the fray for the people they didn’t know putting their lives down for them created a level of respect that was instant.
They arrived at the gate of Sunnydale’s oldest cemetery to find that the headstones, mausoleums and markers were gone. The earth had been tilled up, no sign of remains, coffins, or urns marked the area. The placed looked like it was already a battlefield. Craters and holes were randomly scattered around them. As soon as the last person had entered the gate had disappeared, a line of fire formed the gate to keep any of them from leaving. The fire circled the width and length of the cemetery within a few seconds of entering. What the two gods did not know was that none that had entered the cemetery had plans on leaving, unless they were carried out in a body bag after the struggle.
The Witchblade after only a few moments on to the tilled earth had taken shape. Ian’s matching armor covered him. Shea stood at the head of them all, her broadsword swinging over the back of her hand a few times as she glared before coming to rest in her hand. Her eyes never left the two Hindustani gods, they seemed perched upon a structure that didn’t exist.
"Is this the army that will defeat us?" Kali asked chuckling.
"Keep laughing," Shea glared with a smirk that made everyone shiver. "They just keep laughing, even when I’m the one poised to cut their heads off ."
"I see two slayers, the Justicarus, The Wielder of the Witchblade, two vampires, and four Immortals. The rest are mortal, this will be easier than I thought." he smiled. "Far too easy."
"We must be a laugh riot." Buffy chimed in. "Remind me to form a comedy troop when we get finished here."
"Do you know who we are embryo?" Kali asked a fanged grin on her face. "I am Kali, Goddess of death and destruction, he is Lord Shiva, my counter part."
"And I’m the Justicarus, can we get on with the world destructive show down, or are you going to bore us to death with the customary list of your finest accomplishments?" Shea pulled another blade from her coat.
"Our daughter," Kali smiled with pride. "You know I was ashamed of her, until this moment."
"My mother was Sheaki of the Alti Plains, you were no mother." Shea glared. "You taught me something’s, like the cruel nature of humanity, that’s the only lesson I’ve learned from you."
"Bitch!" Shiva charged at her she stood her ground as he flew toward her at the last moment she took his arm off. "You think that will do any damage?" he grabbed her with his remaining hand lifting her off the ground by the neck of her duster.
"No," Shea smirked. "I’ll take you apart piece by piece, father." she added bitingly at the end. Before wiggling out of the duster and dropping to the ground in a crouched position.
Methos saw her in the crouch, she reminded him of a tigress on the hunt, his blood ran cold. The last time he had seen that look in anyone’s eyes was when he caught his reflection in the water when he was with the Horsemen. The vampire that laid his hand on him lost his head before going to dust. The demons and vampires were now after everyone except Shea. She was on her own as Kali and Shiva came at her. From that moment on he had other things on his mind.
Angel and Spike side by side with Wesley, Gunn, Ian and Giles were killing anything that got within radius of any of the group. Willow and Cordelia were with Xander, Oz, Gabe, Doyle and the Host in nailing anything in small teams of two. Richie and Owsyn were back to back staking and decapitating the demons and vampires that came at them.
"Duck!" Richie beheaded a vampire behind Owsyn’s back.
"Spike!" Angel sliced the Polagra demon into before the poisonous barbs shot out."Look out!" Faith gave a round house to the demon that had come at her sword in her hand.
"Stake!" Buffy shouted at Faith tossed hers at the other Slayer.
Sarah let the Witchblade guide her, the viscera and bodies around her had begun to multiply as Ian joined her side.
The opposing forces seemed to be never ending, when the shock of an explosion came from Kali and Shiva, causing just about everyone to loosing their footing. Shea fell on her rear and rolled to her feet. The insurmountable numbers of demons and vampires had vanished and the wall of flames had cut Shealti off from the group. Sarah knew in the back of her mind what was coming next, Shea was going to fall then what? Just as the Witchblade had shown her Shea was hanging by her neck, Kali had her. Shiva had the sword that Shea had dropped and cleaved her head from her body. All eyes seemed to turn just as Shea’s head hit the ground, followed by her lifeless body.
"Noooo!" Buffy wriggled free from Spike’s grip.
Both Slayers were leaping over the wall of flames and rushing to Shea’s lifeless body. Faith like a shot after Buffy Summers, and Sarah was running in step with Faith. They stood next to each other, Shea’s head and body had been thrown behind them. Buffy’s face held pure anger and determination, Sarah held up the blade and pressed its cold steel up against her forehead. Faith had stooped to pick up the very blade that had cut Shea’s head from her shoulders. Buffy picked up the other blade that Shealti had held earlier, the black blood that had coated both were gone.
Buffy caught her refection in the high polished steel and saw Shea standing behind her in black leather pants and a black tank. Buffy glanced over her shoulder to see Shea’s body where it had been tossed. Faith must have seen it as well she was looking down at Shea’s body. Sarah’s armor covered her one moment, the next the only thing she had was the Witchblade itself and her street clothes.
"Mortals?" Shiva put his feet on the ground. "You’re going to stop us?"
"When they set foot on the ground their vulnerable, if the three act as one they can be defeated." Shea ‘s voice sounded like a whisper in their ears. "Wait for it."
"I’ve killed mortals for such insolence!" he struck Sarah but quickly drew back a blood stump.
"Oh yeah?" Faith grinned. "Try it pal," she smiled "You might find it’s a bit more difficult now days than the last bunch of mortals you dealt with."
"Yeah," Buffy smiled. "We’re not your typical cowering masses around here. In fact we’re the opposite, were fighters."
Buffy, Faith and Sarah made quick work of Shiva, Sarah quickly took his head and the world flickered back to what was normal. Buffy and Faith quickly separated the rest of Shiva into small pieces. Kali remained on her perch, unmoved and was not stupid enough to go down where the mortals were, she knew the weaknesses, even if Shiva did not.
Methos had for a moment though that Shea was gone, but there was no Quickening, there should have been at least that. Iolaus and Richie were grieving her passing already, Richie consoling Owsyn. Something was not right here, the whole situation was off a bit. Shea had been decapitated, a Quickening should have occurred. Studying Faith a bit closer he saw something that didn’t match up with the second slayer. Looking down at the crew that had come from LA was indeed the second slayer. Looking back at Buffy, Sarah and "Faith" he glanced at the manner of dress. Black leather pants as well as a black tank top. Looking at Shea’s body she was dressed in a pair of blue jeans and a green baby doll shirt. Looking back at the reflection on the sword in Faith’s hands revealed that Shea was indeed still alive
Reality flickered once more and Faith took charge, moving a bit faster than Buffy had remembered her moving. Faith charged at Kali only to be pushed back by an energy blast.
Giles looked down at Angel and then saw Faith, looking back at Buffy’s side he saw Faith. Xander seemed to have noticed as well, Giles covered the younger man’s mouth. "Just watch, you say anything it could ruin it."
"There are out of-" Cordy nudged who she thought was Angel when she looked over and saw Faith. "hey, your-"
Faith held up a index finger to her lips as a simple gesture.
Kali was not expecting what came next, The two slayers became one, the Witchblade on the new form before her. What she saw was not real, it couldn’t be she had killed her, she and Shiva both, they had cleaved her head off of her body.
"Durga!" Kali wailed out. "I killed you whore!"
"Vishnu says you fucked up, again." Shealti’s face smiled back with Sarah’s smile, Buffy’s eyes twinkled. "Enough of your lies," Shea’s arm extended, the Witchblade emerged from it. "Its time your returned to the fold, Lord Vishnu and Sri Lakshmani wish to see you, don’t keep them waiting."
Shea’s form took movements that could only be described as Shea’s, Buffy’s and Sarah’s fighting styles all rolled into one and fought Kali. Moments of it seemed to pause reality, both hanging mid air. Shealti kicking and punching Kali, then Kali apparently had had enough and was not going to be taken back to the fold, three sets of arms dropped down from her current pose. Shealti fought double to keep her footing as well avoid the spear, the sickles and swords. Each time Kali tried to strike the Armor of the Witchblade would protect the form of the three. Kali made one false move she had fell to the ground as Shea’s form dropped at her feet, straddling the blackened nude form. One heavily booted foot was placed on Kali’s chest.
"It’s time," Shea’s face smiled down at Kali.
"To say," Buffy’s face grinned down at the Goddess.
"Goodbye to this world." Sarah grinned.
Shealti took her head and the explosion that took place created a fire ball that rushed toward the group. Willow and Owsyn acted quickly, they chanted and formed a protective bluish aura like barrier around everyone just as the fireball flowed around them. As soon as the danger was over the barrier vanished, the wall of fire was high and no one had glimpsed Sarah, Buffy or Shea.
"I don’t get it," Xander looked around. "Shea died we all watched her. Everyone saw it."
"True," Owsyn grinned. "Or did you see what you needed to?"
"Wait you knew this was going to happen?" Richie asked Owsyn.
"She wasn’t the only one." Angel smirked.
"I’ve been Scully-ed?" Xander looked around.
"Not the only one." Oz furrowed his brow. "I found it really believable."
"Look!" Cordelia pointed to the wall of flames.
Buffy, Shea and Sarah emerged unharmed from the wall of flames, making their way to the group. Weapons still in hand, all their own forms. Reality flickered once more and the graveyard returned to mausoleums and headstones. Shea leapt up atop a Gravestone and paused for a moment looking back at the empty cemetery expecting to find something of a body or some sign of the battle. Nothing, not a trace, maybe that was a good thing, no one needed to know what happened.
"Shea?" Buffy looked up at her. "What was with you dieing?"
"The key to getting them to make careless mistakes was to get rid of the one person that might pose a threat to them, me."
"So that’s what Somaris meant as the key, not Dawn."
"I wasn’t sure until a couple of days ago that was the key." Shea took a step off the head stone and dropped to her feet. "I just keep looking for something to prove that it happened, some mark on something, but not one sign."
A few hours later everyone was heading out, leaving, despite their short and tight friendships they were leaving the small Southern California town behind. They stayed long enough to burry Tara and Anya’s bodies. It seemed to be the fitting thing to do. The large groups parting was welcomed and bittersweet.
"Next time you come here," Buffy began with Shealti "had better be just for a vacation."
"No problems," Shea smirked. "This place would be perfect for a vacation, at least by my standards." Shea paused as she took the Prophecy back. "Like wise if you come the Seacover, better be for site seeing."
"You know," Xander smiled. "I might go there, need some time away from here."
"Giles has all the info on getting in touch with us." Owsyn smirked.
"Hey," Richie had been quite lately " Shiva said there were four Immortals, who’s the fourth?"
"Shea." Iolaus smiled.
"Try again curly," she tussled his shoulder length hair. "I’m Justicar, Shiva just needs to learn to count." Shea smirked before looking over her things.
"That or someone’s a Pre Immortal." Owsyn lifted her brow.
"As many times as I’ve been back from a dirt nap it could be me." Buffy smirked.
Shea, Methos, Iolaus and Richie looked at Buffy. Buffy looked around.
"What?" Buffy grinned "Remember I’m a Slayer."
"Could be any one." Giles looked around.
"Except those that are undead." Spike began to smoke.
"Look who ever it is doesn’t need to know." Methos made an offhand comment.
"Why not?" Willow asked.
"Just one of our rules," Iolaus checked his sword. "If you knew you could be foolish enough to lay down your life for someone and loose your head before you even got a teacher."
"Yeah that could be a drag." Xander jammed his hands into his pockets.
"On the plus side you wouldn’t have to worry about being hunted." Richie smirked.
"Hunted?" Wesley asked.
"Yeah, vampires, demons, and werewolves have hunters, so do Immortals. Usually other Immortals just trying to increase their body count." Methos shot a look at Richie. "Scare the hell out of who ever it is before they even become one of us."
"You know I think we’d better go before Richie lets anything else out." Iolaus smiled slipping his Greek short sword into his coat.
"Yeah." Shea nodded. " Its been a blast." Shea winked. "Let’s not do this again."