Disclaimer: See first chapter
Magneto stalked through the streets of Sunnydale, following the
Slayer on one of her "patrols". After the confrontation with Willow, he
found himself with a strong need to do something productive.
"Whoa, slow down. What's got you in a twist?" Buffy asked her companion. She was less than pleased with the older man joining her patrol. He had this whole "I'm superior" thing going that was sooo annoying. And did he even know how to slay a vampire?
Magneto just gave her a cold glare.
They walked along in silence, as Buffy listened intently for any sign of demon activity. The usual plus of a Big Bad going down in town was that the minor league baddies tended to lie low - they didn't want to step on any toes. But since Slinky loved the toe stepping on, the odds of that being true were low.
Really low. So low that -
- that there was no way this would be a quiet patrol. Buffy sprinted in the direction of the scream, Magneto following a few steps behind.
Crap. It seemed that two kids out for some late night smoochies were caught in the middle of a demon shoot out. Not the gun kind, but there was a porcupine type demon shooting quills at a mini Godzilla knock off. Slinky inspired chaos?
First order of business was to get the couple to safety. They were crouched against the wall in the alley, the entrance blocked by Porky. She sent him sprawling with a kick to the back.
As the demon scrambled to get up, she shouted to the cowering pair. "Get out of here!" The boy tugged his girlfriend up and sprinted to the mouth of the alley. They were almost clear when a quill tossed from Porky's thrashing struck him in the leg. He went down.
Not that Buffy noticed, since Godzilla had taken serious offence to having his fight so rudely interrupted. They traded blows in quick succession. Godzilla lumbered a bit but packed a nasty punch, his scaled fists scraping the skin even when she managed to dodge the brunt of the blow.
Magneto watched this all happen within the space of a few moments after catching up with Buffy. The boy was injured, but it didn't appear to be life threatening at the moment. His girlfriend, showing an amazing sense of altruism, was kneeling at his side trying to help him up. Magneto ignored the pair and focused on the quill tossing demon.
He quickly erected a magnetic barrier around the demon to prevent any more accidents. The creature noticed the confinement and grew more frantic as it sought escape. Convinced it was secure, Magneto looked up from the entrapped demon to watch Buffy stab the other one with a piece of sharp wood. Despite the primitiveness of the weapon, she was strong enough to cause considerable damage with it. Impressive.
"Ick. Why can't they just go poof? Make a nice little pile of dust? But no-o, gotta leave a mess - " Buffy looked up from her kill, just noticing the wounded boy.
"Omigosh!" She sprinted over. "You okay?"
"It burns," the boy whimpered. His girlfriend clutched his hand tightly at that.
"It's gonna be okay. Do you have a phone? Can we call an ambulance?"
The girl nodded shakily and pulled out a bright pink cell phone before asking, "What- what about th-the other one?"
Buffy flicked her eyes over to the trapped Porky. "We'll take care of it. Just get him to the hospital, okay? And tell them to check for poison."
Leaving her to make the call, she went over to speak with Magneto, who had not moved from his spot since arriving in the alley.
"You could help, y'know."
"I did. The remaining creature is incapacitated."
"I meant with the injured civiliany type people over there?"
"The boy will live. His pain is no concern of mine. He is obviously human."
Callous much? Buffy knew she wasn't exactly all touchy-feely with the victims she saved, but at least she gave a damn. Magneto, apparently, did not.
"If you don't care, why are you even bothering?" Buffy asked as she moved to check out Porky. Maybe the demon could shed some light on the situation.
"I care little for minor casualities such as this," Magneto responded, gesturing to the pair, "but more so for the consequences of the chaos the Sl'kantith could create."
"So a couple people could die in the meantime for all you care, s'long as the REALLY bad stuff doesn't go down?"
"I would not put it that way, but in essence, yes."
"Jerk," Buffy muttered under her breath, not realizing how fortunate for her that she was too quite for the mutant to overhear. With that, Buffy fully switched her attention to Porky. The demon had stopped thrashing and was now glaring at her balefully.
"So, Mr. Porcupine on Steroids, mind telling me what this was all about? Or better yet, can you tell me where I can find the Sl'kanith?"
It hissed. "Slayer!"
"Yes, that's me. Now how about you tell me a little bit about yourself. Say, what was up with Godzilla over there?"
"You will die for this!"
"Enough about me. How about some Show & Tell from you, huh? Seein' how you're all trapped in my friend's little bubble, we've got all the time in the world to get answers."
The demon snarled and struggled for a few moments before reluctantly admitting, "That n'ktlching cretin was a Kr'vuchtlk."
"The venerable Yaogwkjh clan has had a blood feud with them for eons!"
"We're getting somewhere! Now, what do you know about the Sl'kanith?"
The demon growled and gnashed its teeth, muttering what sounded like demon curses. Buffy wondered how insulted she should be about the "n'ktlching Slayer" part. When he refused to answer, Buffy realized he definitely knew something.
While Buffy was having a little interrogation session, Magneto was studying her intently. The ambulance for the children came, and he idly noticed that the medics ignored the sight of two people, a demon, and a demon's body, being in the nearby alley.
As the boy was being loaded into the van, Magneto noticed Buffy was staring intently at the demon, head cocked to the side and a decidedly nasty look on her face.
"Have you gained any information?"
"Wha? No, Porky doesn't like to talk to strangers."
The two contemplated the demon.
"There are other ways," Magneto suggested.
"Torture? Don't really go for that, but," Buffy's lips quirked up, "beating up the demon is always an option. Can you loosen whatever mojo you got going so I can do some convincing?"
A few punches and a rather painful looking kick later (Magneto sincerely hoped that it didn't look like the demon was hit where it looked like) and it still refused to talk. He considered offering his formidable interrogation techniques, but decided against it. It was illuminating to watch the girl at work. You never know when such knowledge comes in handy.
Buffy herself was quite interesting. As he understood it, she was the nominal leader of Willow's group of friends, the Scoobies (he still winced at that moniker). He had perceived them at first to be like Charles and his idealists. In many ways they were, but Magneto doubted that Charles would allow for the sort of tactics Buffy practiced. A point in her favor - he was always frustrated with Charles' inability to understand that the ends justified the means.
Buffy's voice cut through his musings, as she once again tried to force some answers from the demon.
"Let's go over this again. I'm thinking you know something about the Sl'kanith. If you tell me, we might stop this whole punching bag fest we've got going. You following me?"
"You'll kill me."
"In case you haven't checked, you're pretty much screwed. Tell me what I want, and maybe you can go off and continue your blood feud with the kvetch-its."
The demon spat something decidedly gross looking. Buffy sincerely hoped it wouldn't stain. "I serve chaos! You will learn nothing from me."
Why did they have to be so stubborn? Buffy doubted she was getting anything else out of him. She turned to Magneto. "Let him loose."
"What are you talking about?"
"Let the barrier thing down. He's not talking."
"And here I thought you killed demons."
"Just set him free."
Magneto debated on whether or not to take orders from the girl. Why would she want to set loose a dangerous enemy? Wasn't her duty all about protecting those weak, puny humans? He decided to do as she asked and see what happened. The demon certainly couldn't hurt him.
After it realized its bonds were gone, the demon immediately proceeded to attack Buffy. She responded with a quick kick that pushed it against the wall. Moving with impressive speed, she prepared to snap its neck.
Before it died, the demon hissed, "May chaos reign in Drinvksh' Name!" And then the body slumped to the ground, head at the wrong angle to the body.
Buffy scowled down at the body. At least she had something to tell Giles now. She'd tell him after she did a demon carcass clean up. Demons never decomposed in a nice, helpful way. Always with the rotting stench and the slime and - was that a stain on her blouse?
Buffy checked out the fabric, worriedly rubbing at the rapidly spreading mark. Yuck, yuck, yuck! She had to remember to slay in less cool clothing. Third shirt this week.
"What was the point of my freeing the demon if you were going to kill it?"
"Your attack was too well timed. You freed the demon only to kill it. Why didn't you finish the job when it could not hurt you?"
Buffy stared at him. "'Cause that would be killing a defenseless demon?"
"The demon was not defenseless. You saw what it did earlier."
"Yeah, but I don't kill in cold blood like that. That's wrong."
Magneto assessed her. Perhaps she was more like Charles. How unfortunate.
"Listen, if you're done with Ethics 101 talk, can you give me a hand with the bodies? These need to taken to the dump or something."
Magneto ignored her. He tired of this. Not to mention, he definitely did not want to have any more contact with the decomposing carcasses. He left, ignoring the girl standing there, an irritated expression on her face.
"Whatever, I guess I'll do it myself." Buffy wrinkled her nose at the corpses. "Ugh. Giles, you had so better appreciate the quality time that went into this."
She bent and began the process of moving the bodies elsewhere.
The demon killed earlier was beginning to stink even more.
The aforementioned Giles looked up at his visitor. He was sitting on the couch, trying for the umpteenth time to determine if the spot on the parchment was a dot on the i or a blot from a bad pen. Either way, the prophecy still made no sense. Maybe the seer was dyslexic? That would explain the passage earlier. He doubted that even the most vague of texts could explain the importance of "keep thine eyes upon the pastry, for it may desire to dance the tango". Maybe the line was meant to be an anagram, in which case the whole prophecy had to be reinterpreted...
"Hey, watcher guy. Return to the world of non-research."
Giles blinked for a second, focused on the blonde standing in front of him.
"You have a very odd stain on your shirt."
Buffy looked down, scowling at the mark. "Ugh, did you have to remind me? That is soo not coming out. Nasty spitting demon. There was absolutely no reason to get so cranky over a few questions. At least I didn't get any on my nice new pants."
"You met a demon on patrol?"
"Yup. Two of them. Blouse killer was some kind of spiny, porcupine type - I think he said he was a Yogurt? Yao Geet?"
"What you said. Anyways, he was fighting this kvetch-its Godzilla thing in the middle of the street and - "
"Any innocents near by?"
"Two. They're at the hospital, alive, thankfully. And could you let me finish my story?"
"As I was saying, these two guys were fighting. I took out the Godzilla one and ended up questioning the Yogi demon. He didn't say much, was all Hail Chaos. He did talk about something in Drinky's Name. Or maybe in Drain Kush's Name? Whatever. So yeah, that's my great patrol story for the day."
"Thank you. You said you spoke with a Yaogwkjh?"
"And you can't say exactly what he was hailing?"
"Chaos, definitely. Whatever specifically? It began with a d. And he was dying in the d-thing's name."
Giles considered this information. Knowing it was a Yaogwkjh demon would help - he could easily look up the various beings and such that they venerate - but a more specific reference would narrow down the search immensely.
"Didn't Magneto patrol with you?"
"Our great mutant ally? Yeah, he came with. Helped in the minimal interference just standing there way, but he was there. Skipped out when it came time for demon waste disposal, though."
"Good. I'll ask him for anymore insights into this Drain Kush remark."
"'Kay. I've done my Slayerly duty of reporting this. Can I go now? 'Cause I want to see if this shirt is still salvageable."
"Hmm? Yes, go on home Buffy. And thank you for the lead."
Giles heard Buffy go out the door. He was now focused on his new problem, the incomprehensible prophecy cast aside in favor of this conundrum.