"Master..."

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse,
www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon, Mutant
Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...


PG-13/Borderline R

Summary: An alternate series one story, just before "The Harvest"...What if the Master had learned
about...The Jacket...? And had more flexibility in his ability to adjust his battle plans...?

Spoilers for Him...

    
                      ...Nobody gets past Bunny the Vampire's Slayer...
Main theme

Part I
***
Word was passed to the semi-divine Master of Vampires, Heinrich Nast that his devoted Luke had
returned to the central lair, with captives...And a new female member of the "family"...

A bit odd...He was not under orders to return until later that week...Had something gone wrong with
his scouting and surveillance mission?...A serious concern so close to the date of the great Harvest...

"Have him enter..." the Master nodded to the minion who'd brought word...

Along with the new vampiress, three human women had followed him...Oddly enough, unbitten as
yet...Though clearly in some kind of ecstatic thrall...

"Welcome..." The Master nodded to them...

Much to his shocked surprise they backed away from him in fear...Clustering around his worthless
minion, showing him no deference...Even the vampiress was clearly under Luke's grip...

"Luke, who is this guy?..." one human girl turned to him in fear...

It's alright, he comforted her...and the rest...

This is my Master...My chosen leader...

They stared...

My dad, you might say...

Oooh...they now showed a little less disrespect...

"You're His dad?..." one breathed gently...
Sorry, another smiled at him...

"Luke?!..." Henrich frowned...Very strange...

Luke's hold over them was obviously not due to his Master's Gift...

Though Heinrich was understandably curious, decorum first...This was an unprecedented insult...

"Luke...?! How dare you bring humans here under your influence and not mine..."

"Hey..." the vampiress growled...

I realize you're the Master of us all and all...But this is LUKE!...And no one speaks to Him like
that...

"No one..." the three human females echoed...Looking at him grimly...

"Please, ladies..." Luke was all smiling charm...

"You mustn't offend the Master...I insist that you treat him...As you would...Me..."

Heinrich choked on that one!...His minion ordering females, human no less, to "treat him as they
would..."!! Oh...This merited extreme prejudice....

Still...Curiosity and an experienced awareness that something was up won out over angry
vengeance...For the moment...

"Luke!!...What is this?!..." Heinrich narrowly eyed him...

Or Him...If one went by the females' pov...

"And what is that strange jacket you've got on...?"

***
"So...You're telling me..." Heinrich fingered The Jacket...A little out of date even for this time, a
large S on the left side...

This piece of cloth is capable of controlling the minds of females...Our own as well as human?...

"More like their hearts...And souls..." Luke noted...

Forgive me my foolish and childish display, Master...he noted...As they fed on the remains of the
three girls...The female vampiress now frowning in a corner at the worthless Luke...Her sire perhaps
but one who'd placed her in a rather embarrass ing light with the Master of all...

"I sought only to demonstrate the power in this garment...After I saw the females around him spring
to the defense of the boy who formerly wore it, and my...er...our Marie here..." He eyed the
vampiress... "Join in after looking a moment at him...I knew there was something powerful at
work..."

And the boy himself proved worthless...His hold on the females breaking the moment I took the
coat off him...

After quite a battle he did not say...And only with luck catching the boy after stunning two of his
women...Not even mentioning that several of the ladies had actually held him off long enough for
their mate to flee...

Hmmn...Heinrich held The Jacket up to the electric light in the room...

"Seems rather ordinary..." he stared at the S...

"Say...?!" he nervously dropped it...Staring at Luke...

You did have it cleaned and checked for possible negative effects on its owner...?

Especially the cleaning...You never know what those humans are carrying...

Ummn...A thousand pardons, Master...Luke nervously eyed him...

"I thought it best to bring it straight to you..."

Well...Heinrich sighed...Give me a coat or something to wear under it...And send Simon down to
look this thing over...

And...he grinned a moment...

"Send Darla to me as well..."
***

"Yes..." Darla twisted ecstatically... "Oh, yes...I was planning to betray you at the first opportunity
once we'd seized power over Humanity...If I could reach Angelus through that idiot soul of his..."

Oh, Master...she sobbed ...Eyeing The Jacket he now wore, over a long topcoat...

Let my sufferings be horrendous and Eternal...

"Kill me, resurrect me, and kill me again...Over and over...Just so long as I may gaze upon you from
time to time...And..."

"Let me kill her for you, Master..." Marie whined...Groveling...

He removed the coat...And handed it back to Luke...Who at his request, put it on...

Immediately, Darla and Marie turned to the younger vamp...
"Luke, let us kill this fool for you..." Darla pleaded...

You are the only true Master!...they both knelt before him...

He took The Jacket off and handed it to the watching Simon, a vampire with some ability in occult
research, having once been a Watcher decades ago...

"Well?..." Heinrich asked, noting Darla and Marie continuing to plead with Luke...

Yes...Simon nodded...Definitely magical...Rather nice little spell, considerable power but limited
range...

"Which is probably all the better...If all a silly human wants is to attract a few mates...Less danger of
being exposed..."

And...He nodded at the females...Its effects seem to last beyond the initial enthralling...Until the
garment has a new owner...

"Which it now does..." Heinrich pointed and Simon handed it over...

But...he paused...

"You're sure there are no side effects for the wearer...?"

None that my research has revealed, sir...Simon noted...

But I will continue to check and to monitor you...

"As for your other question...I would recommend not cleaning it until we know more...Even a dry
cleaning might have a detrimental effect on the spell..."

Though my examination suggests it is free of most insect and germ infestations...

Ah, well...the Master sighed...

One must take chances in a bid for world power...

"And..." the key question...He gave his researcher a frosty look...

"It will work on a Slayer?...As on any female?..."

I've no doubt about it, sir...Simon bowed...

Excellent...Heinrich beamed...Putting The Jacket on...

"Now the Slayer can be killed easily..." Luke nodded happily...Watching Darla and Marie swing
allegiance yet again...
"Kill our dear Slayer?..." Heinrich shook his head solemnly...

My dear Slayer...he corrected...My servant in the light of day...Assisting me in my Ascension,
protecting my empire when we are trapped by the light...Killing any foolish member of the Council
of Watchers or other human who dares seek us by day...No...

"Miss Summers and I are going to have a very special relationship...The one human I allow life..."

Until she ages and a new Slayer must be enslaved...

"Darla...?" he called gently...

You do consider yourself already destroyed, don't you...?

"Oh....Yes..." Darla moaned...Awaiting the blow in rather good spirits...

Well, dead and destroyed as you are...You may yet serve me, girl...

Oh...? she blinked up at him...

At least until alls set with my ascent...he noted...

I have a special job for you...And our dear Luke...

"The Harvest...?" Luke beamed eagerly...

Screw the Harvest for now...Heinrich waved a hand...

It's time you got to know the Slayer better, my son...he smiled...

And introduced her to your "father"...
***

"Ok..." Buffy nodded to Willow and Xander...As they strolled cautiously through Greenwood
Cemetery...

If Giles is right, the Master's guys are getting ready for this "Harvest"...

So, hopefully...Tonight will be a leetle more quiet than usual...A good night for you guys to learn a
little more about Slayage...

Slayage...? Willow blinked...

"Quiet...Quiet is good..." Xander noted...

"Though, Buffy..."...he eyed her firmly, grasping his stake...

"This boy's ready and able...For anyth..."

Three vamps, males, emerged from behind three monuments...Large ones...Both monument and
vamp...

Ummn...Xander blinked...But held his stake out...

"Look what we got here..." one of the vamps grinned...

"Three girls..." he sneered...

Hey!...Xander glared...Waving his stake...

Oooh...One laughed...

"Careful you don't hurt somebody with that shar..." he dusted...Buffy emerging from his cloud...

One grabbed at Willow, Xander nailing him as Buffy took the last of the three...

"See..." she noted...

A quiet night...

A harsh scream...They looked across the cemetery and raced towards the sound...Now sounds of a
struggle...

"Help me!!..." the short dark-haired girl cried as she fought the tall vampire...That Luke, Xander
and Buffy recognized...

With several helpers...All males...

Luke glanced at the charging Slayer and broke off, racing for the depths of the cemetery...

The others engaged Xander and Buffy as Willow reached the girl...Whoops...

Darla grinned at Willow, removing her wig...

"Hi..." she vamped...

"Hey, Buf!...Xander!?..." Willow called...

Much to her surprise, Darla turned and fled...Racing in the direction Luke had taken...

"Well..." Willow beamed...

Guess the word about Willow Rosenberg, assistant Slayer, is starting to...

Oh, please...she shook her head at herself...

Buffy and Xander came over, Buffy dragging the last survivor...

"That looked like the one who..." Xander looked after the fleeing Darla...

Yeah, Buffy nodded...

"You guys wait here..." she paused to look at her captive...

"You refuse to tell me anything, you'd never betray the Master, your lord...yadda-yadda-
yadda...Right?" she eyed the large vamp...

Actually, Miss...he began...

"I'd be quite willing to...." And dusted as she staked him...

And headed off after Darla and Luke...Leaving Xander and Willow staring...

"You know..." Xander shook his head as he gathered up their stakes...

Interrogation and information gathering are not that girl's strongest points...

Hmmn...Willow nodded...As they set out after Buffy...
***

The Slayer had reached the center of the cemetery and spotted a large mausoleum at the entrance of
which Luke awaited her...Smiling cheerily...Darla apparently off to safety...

She halted in battle posture...

"I'm surprised...I thought chivalry was dead..." she eyed him...

"Well..." Luke grinned at her...

I'm an old-fashioned kind of guy...

Uh-huh...she stared at him...Feeling for her stake...
Jacket Theme (A Summer's Place)

"Nice jacket..." she noted...

"Thanks...Buffy..." he smiled...

You...Ummn...Wear it well...she continued...

"I try to keep in shape...Eternity's a long, long time you know...And a spare tire for all time's a
drag..."
Yeah...she smiled...

"But...There's no danger of that with you..." she beamed...

"Thanks..." he nodded...

"You know...Buffy..." he smiled...

"There's no real reason we have to fight...I don't plan to kill you...Right now...And I have this
sudden feeling...The last thing in the world you want right now is to kill me..."

Ummn...she stared at him...Him, she thought, blanking a bit...

She blinked...A vamp, Buf...Get a grip...

But such a hot one...

And he said he doesn't want to kill me...How can I not believe such an honest face?...A devastingly
handsome honest face...

And what's Death really, to a Slayer...So I die now and transform...It's gonna happen anyway,
eventually...If I let Him take me, I'll be with Him...And a new girl will come soon enough to deal
with His boss...

And kill Him...Oh, no...I stay Slayer...

"Look, Buffy...If we hang around here...Your friends come up...I'll have to kill Šem while you
watch...Or they might kill me..."

NO!..she cried...

I'd stop them!...she hastily noted...

"You might have to kill them..." he eyed her...

Well...I could probably restrain them...Talk them out of it, knock 'em unconscious...she smiled
eagerly...

"But...If it did come to killing them...I don't really know them yet all that well..."

"That's sweet of you...But, why don't we go and avoid all that trouble?..." Luke
suggested...Offering a hand which she happily took...

"I want peace between you and my Master...And I'm sure you and he can work things out between
you if the two of you would just sit down together and talk things out..."

Yeah?...Buffy smiled, nodding...
Peace...That's the way...Luke is such a great guy...If he says the Master can be reasoned
with...Well...

I have faith in your negotiating skills, Slayer...he continued...

"If you think you could just trust me a lit..." he started...she interrupting him...

"With my life, Luke!..." she embraced him...Kissing him passionately...

Take me to your Master...she smiled...

***

"And you say, Buffy simply followed this Luke...Into a mausoleum..." Giles eyed Xander and
Willow at a table in the library...

Yeah...they nodded...

Leaving out the fervent embrace and kissing thing they'd seen as they'd raced up just as Buffy and
Luke had disappeared into the crypt...Where they'd followed to find no trace...

The Watcher eyed them sternly...

"Had he bitten her?..." Giles asked...

Ummn...Well...

Not that we could...Tell...

Except...Xander added...

"Yes!..." Giles snapped at him...

"She was kinda all over him...With the hugging and the kissing..."

But it could be a very clever ruse...Willow noted solemnly...As Giles put his head in his hands...
***

"So...Miss Summers..." Heinrich smiled at a nervous Buffy...

"You came all this way to talk to a lonely old fellow like me...In the interests of peace...?"

Why, I call that...Kind...Compassionate...

Servile...he eyed Luke...As she did...

"And you took this brave chance...All for my Luke's sake, eh?..."
She bit her lip a little...Ummn...Maybe he wouldn't go for this...And she'd never want her Luke to
be in hot water with his boss...

Well...she began...

"Tell him the truth, sweetheart..." Luke grinned at her...Darla, Marie, and various other vamps now
having entered and watching...The females riveted to dear Luke...

"After all..." Luke explained with a smile...

"The Master is like a father to me...And you'd want my father's blessings on us...For my sake,
right?..."

Oh...Yeah...Buffy nodded...

Please...Ummn...Sir...she eyed Heinrich...

"I did do it for Luke here...I love Him...And He loves me...So if you could see your way clear to
making peace...And letting us be married..."

My demon God...The Jacket is something...Heinrich grinned at Luke...

"You know that you'd have to die and transform to be his...Always...Slayer...And allow me to
proceed with my plans..."

Kinda was hoping to avoid the mass murder thing...she sighed to him...

"But if I have go along with it...To be with Luke..."

"It's not like I know all these people...And my Watcher will probably get a lot of them outta town
before things get really bad..."

Ummn...Heinrich frowned...Your Watcher is a problem, my girl...

"Giles...?..." Buffy stared...

"Giles is a great guy...A little British and all but..." she stared at the Master...

I won't let you hurt him...

"Really?..." Heinrich smiled...

Well...he soothingly noted...Perhaps it won't be necessary...

She smiled a bit, glancing to Luke...

You're right, he can be reasonable...her look said...
"Luke...Might I see that fine Jacket of yours...?" the Master smiled...

****


"Master..."

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse,
www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon, Mutant
Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...


PG-13/Borderline R

Summary: An alternate series one story, just before "The Harvest"...What if the Master had learned
about...The Jacket...? And had more flexibility in his ability to adjust his battle plans...?

Spoilers for Him...

Part II...

"Aren't we gonna do anything?..." Xander eyed Giles as the Watcher grimly poured over his book...

Willow by the phone...

"We are doing something, Mr. Harris..." Giles glanced at him...

We are awaiting a conference call with the Council and I am reviewing every possible bit of useful
information I can find...

"This Luke and his Master could be sucking Buffy dry ri..."

"Shut your damned mouth, boy and sit down!..." Giles hollered at him...

You think I don't know that?!!...

He slammed his book closed and jumped up...

Calming a bit...

"My apologies...Despite my appearance, my instincts are not really suited to the Watcher lifestyle..."
he smiled faintly...Removing and wiping his glasses carefully...

"Miss Rosenberg..." he sighed...

Can I count on you to deliver all the information I have here...he tapped the stack of papers and
books...To the Council members when they call...

"Me?...The Council?..." she squeaked a bit...

"Mr. Harris and I must make some effort...But it's probably more vital now that the Council has this
information for the next Slayer..." he eyed her...

The fate of Humanity may hang on this...he patted the stack...And on your ability to deliver this
information clearly and precisely...

"Well...In that case...Shouldn't you..?" she paused...

"I've failed my charge..." he sighed...And Xander is right...We must "do anything" that we can...

Possibly my meager abilities will help...Though I doubt it...

Ok...Willow nodded...

"Good luck..." she smiled and waved as they left...Heavily armed...

"So...I suppose there's no point in asking if you think she's dead..." Xander stared at the Watcher as
they got into Giles' car...

If this Luke has her under thrall...Giles grimly noted...And snapped again...

"God damn you, boy!!...Why didn't you kill that thing...?" he raged at Xander...

Was your worthless life too precious to risk for her...?

"I...We...weren't near enough...I only had a stake..." Xander hesitated...

I...Thought she could handle it...She's always been a take-charge type in the short time since we
met, ya know...he feebly noted...Clearly near tears...

Giles sighed again...

"The correct answer to such a rude question, Xander, is... "Why weren't you there, Giles...?"...Or, if
you choose to be kind... "I understand...It wasn't your fault, Giles..."..."

Xander nodded...Staring back...

"It wasn't your fault, Giles..."

***

Main Theme (Come Softly to Me)
"I understand...Heinrich..." Buffy er...Bunny, now...A little renaming test joke Heinrich had tried to
see how good his hold on her was...nodded...As she knelt before Him...In all His Glory...

Especially His cool Jacket...

"But...Why can't I be with You now...Darling...?" she eyed that powerful face, the experienced,
careworn face of a Leader...

Her Leader, now...

Oops...God, how stupid and dumb a blonde can I be...she thought...Heinrich?...In front of his
minions...That's no way to address the Leader...The God...Of the underworld...

"You need me, Master..." she noted...

"Yes...Bunny..." Heinrich smiled on her...

Bunny the Vampire's Slave...Darla whispered to Marie in the back with a nudge...

"I do need you...But your place is in the Light...Fighting for me against those who would try to
surprise me at my most vulnerable moments..." Heinrich noted solemnly...

Bastards...she growled...

"Cowards...I'd kill them all..."

Even...Mr. Giles...? Heinrich eyed her...

If you want him dead, Lord...He is gone...Bunny...er Buffy nodded solemnly...

"Your...Mother?..."

Ummn...she eyed him...

"She's a wonderful homemaker..." she eagerly noted...

Could really keep this place in tip-top shape...And the place you'll have when we get you out of
here...

Course...she noted to herself...Narrowly eyeing the female vamps about her...

I do not need more competition...And Mom is rather hot stuff...Closer to my Heinrich's age and all...

But if he could just see her as a servant, maid kind of thing...I could deal...

"Well...Lets leave that matter for later..." the Master smiled on his devoted Slayer...

By the way...You destroyed Luke quite exquisitely...The additional torture was excellent...A
wonderful adaptation of my methods to your own...

"Thanks..." she beamed happily...

Glad you enjoyed it...

Ummn...If you'd like more...? she hopefully eyed the females...

"Not at this time, dear..." the Master raised a hand...

And you should be returning to your friends...Convincing them that you're absolutely fine...Which
of course, you are...Not a bite mark on you...he noted...

Finding out what your dear Mr. Giles and his Council has up his sleeve for me...

"Do I hafta go?...I'm really not very good at the research thing..." Buffy sighed...

As for the spy thing...I'm so dumb, really...I might blow it in the first ten minutes...

"Can't I just stay and protect you, Master?" she pleaded...

And maybe...Make you happier than you've been in several centuries...Your little love...Bunny...

"Why you little slut..." Darla rose up in fury...Several other females rising as well...

"Ladies!!..." Heinrich growled...

My Slayer is now my lieutenant...And you will protect and follow her as you would
me...Understand?!!...

A chorus of yes...

"Buffy..." the Master eyed her kindly...

While I appreciate the offer...

"At least before I go back...Please...Hein...er Master..." she begged...

I've never had anyone before...Be my first...Please...

She put a hand on his shoulder...Kissing him on the lips softly...

Ummn...He stared at her...This was a turn of events he hadn't quite...

And if truth be told...A somewhat embarrass ing turn...Given the sad truth about Heinrich Nast...

In his life, famed throughout Europe, one of the Pope's favorite singers...
Soprano...

"Oh..Am I Buffy again...?" she asked as she kissed him again...Running hands down his chest...

Above ground...Yes...he gasped a little...

Haven't felt quite like this in...

"Bunny we'll keep for down here...Between us..." he smiled...

Whoa...she'd just shown herself quite capable and enthusiastic for a virgin...

Though she was a bit surprised to find him...Lacking something...

"Who did this to you, Heinrich?..." she growled...Forgetting decorum in her concern...

He waved a hand...Bunny, please...The minions...he whispered...

This is my private matter...Not to be spoken of...

Oh...she nodded...Psychology class coming to the rescue...Poor Heiny...No wonder he was so world-
conquest obsessed...

Just needed a compassionate, loving, powerful woman with incredible latent sexual powers to help
him find contentment...And peace...

This wasn't just a service to Him...Or a rapturous joy for herself...she told herself...It was really a
service to Humanity...

"Everyone...Out..." he croaked out to the others...As they stared at the rather unbelievable
spectacle...

Me...? Buffy wanly stared at him...Stopping...Having begun to unbutton...

Oh...No...Bunny...he shook his head...

Please continue...By all means...

"Darla..." he called sternly to her...Or as sternly as he could under the remarkable circumstances...

"No ambushing my Slayer later...Obedience means absolute loyalty to her, until death...Your
death...Understand...?"

Yes, Master...she sighed sadly...

"I could do that a thousand times better..." she groused to Marie as they left...Shutting the door to
His chamber reluctantly...
The kid's utterly inexperienced...You'd think he'd turn to a competent professional for the first time
in so long...

"First time...Ever..." one of the other females hissed quietly...

"You don't say..." Darla asked eagerly...

OH...!...came a groan from beyond the door...The minions turned in shock...

"Alls well!..." Heinrich's faint cry of reassurance...
***

"Master..."

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse,
www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon, Mutant
Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...


PG-13/Borderline R

Summary: An alternate series one story, just before "The Harvest"...What if the Master had learned
about...The Jacket...? And had more flexibility in his ability to adjust his battle plans...?

Geesh and I was gonna use my time off today (Missus to the doc's) for finishing up some of the
others as I have some major professional stuff to work on the rest of the week...Oh well, gotta go
where the spirit leads...I will try to finish "Drusilla"at least over this long weekend....

Spoilers for Him...

Part III...

A very reluctant Bunny...er Buffy left her beloved Master a short time later...Uncertain of her ability
to deceive her friends until the day of her Heinrich's emergence..He being reluctant to sacrifice his
new acquisition for his escape unless absolutely necessary...But bolstered by his confidence in her...

Well, at least he believed she'd do her damnedest for him...And he didn't want to buy into the
"dumb California blonde" stereotype...

Also he'd just made her his chief lieutenant...Maybe a spur of the moment thing...An ecstatic
moment...But not a thing easy to withdraw just like that without the risk of major loss of face...To
him as well as her...

Ah...She'd pull it off...he told himself...Just bat her eyes, give 'em that gung-ho... "Ready to Slay"
spirit like he'd told her and they'd accept things...No bites after all...
Besides after what she'd just accomplished...Given his physical limitations...

A girl like that probably could do just about anything...

Hmmn...

Somehow this just wasn't quite what he'd expected when he'd had the ill-fated Luke bring her to
him...

No, he never expected to actually find having Miss Summers around so...

Pleasant...And in her human form, no less...

Not that it was gonna stop him from rising to Earth and destroying Humanity en masse...

Well, maybe he'd spare that mother of hers...If she really was as good a housekeeper as her daughter
swore...

And maybe...For his Bunny's sake...He might consider closing his eyes to Mr. Giles' escaping to
England...

As if he cared what futile efforts the Council would make once he was up and about...

Damn it, Heinrich...he groused to himself...What the Hell's wrong with you...? Some girl gives you
a good time...

What a good time...

For the first time...Ever...And you're thinking up excuses to spare her little family?...

God, if word ever leaked out...

But, then again...He was the Master...And the first vampire Master who had gained control of a
Slayer, ever...And if he damned well chose to celebrate his triumph by sparing one or two
unimportant feeble humans...?

And dear Bunny would be so pleased...

Now just a couple more days to Harvest, choose a Vessel...Gather in a few humans...No need for
Bunny to watch that of course...She could be usefully employed keeping her friends busy with some
of his more incompetent minions who were due to be winnowed out in any case...Then maybe top
off the Gathered with just a little...Not too much...Slayer blood...

Just to make things sure...But with a turned doctor in attendance of course...Drawing a couple of
pints hygienically...What with AIDS, BSE, and God knows what else in the blood supply these
days...No fangs for his personal Slayer, thank you very much...

And then he and his sure-to-recover-quickly Slayer take the throne of Earth...

Wow...

Really, when you considered it in full, this one was far superior to his original plan...

Now if the poor kid'd just remember it was ok to kill any of his she and her little friends took on...

After all, as he'd explained to her...Several times, as Biology was clearly not her best
subject...Eliminating any of his minions too weak or stupid to avoid her was actually service to
him...Survival of the fittest and all that...And would keep her friends believing she was good ole
Slayer girl...

Oh...she'd finally seemed to get it...Like in Biology class...That Darren guy...

Exactly...But, Darwin, dear...He'd corrected...

Hmmn...Must have Simon check to see if this thing depresses the intellect...May have to encourage
her to exert herself harder at school to cover...

***

"Giles...Xander..." Bunny...er Buffy beamed at her anxious friends at the entrance to Greenwood...

Anything wrong?...she eyed them...

They looked at each other...

"Got that Luke guy..." she nodded happily...

Hope I didn't get you and Willow scared Xander...she sighed...

"Scared...? No..." Xander eyed her...

Nauseated...Definitely...

"What was all that with the vampire embracing and saliva exchanging...?"

What...? she asked brightly...

Damn...They saw me...And with that worthless stooge of a minion... she thought quick...

Heiny was depending on her...

"He thought he was putting me in thrall, you know..." she smiled at them...

Just trying to get some info out of him before I let him have it...
"You can check me out, if you'd like Giles..." she showed her neck, then wrists...

See...

"Well..." he nodded... "I can do a examination in detail later, if we deem it necessary...What did you
learn from this...Luke?"

Learn...? she blinked...Oh, right...

"Nothing...He claimed the mausoleum there led to the Master's lair...But it was all hooey...I guess
he was one of the loyal ones..."

Maybe we should get back?...I gotta get home soon and Willow must be freaking...she grinned...

Indeed, dear...Giles eyed her...

***

Heinrich emerged from his chamber to a slightly empty main church hall...

Strange...I thought I had more females...

Darla sheepishly came forward...

"Lord...There was some...Dissension in the ranks...About your Slayer..."

Some of the girls didn't feel she was worthy of you...

And planned to eliminate her at their first chance...

"But...The others and I..." she nodded at the surviving females...

Heard your orders as to her protection and obeyed...

Really?...he blinked...

Well...See that a few more females are secured tonight...And remind me to explain the Slayer's
protected status to all of them in detail...

I don't want a reception room full of males, you know...

"No, Lord..." Darla bowed...With the reverence of double thrall...

Hmmn...

Perhaps I should speak with Simon about this thing once more...he looked down at his Jacket...
***
Back at the library, Bunny...er Buffy...Heroically suppressed her overwhelming urge to boast to
Willow about her new boyfriend...An older guy, powerful...Masterful...Yet, in deep need of what she
could provide...On several levels...

But...Duty first...

And even in her thralled, somewhat intellectually repressed state she could see that her Watcher was
a bit uncertain of her...

Taking the forthright approach she suggested a full exam...Anything he wanted to throw at her...

After all, she high-mindedly noted...The Slayer must be above any suspicion...

And her little intrigue with Luke had been a bit unusual...

Different from her standard, open-hearted lock on target and destroy mode...

"I was just trying to be a little more clever in my approach..." she explained to Willow in a moment
alone...

Ah...Willow nodded...As Giles returned with some implements...

Very James Bondian...she smiled...

Bondage...Yeah...Bunny...er Buffy thought...Picturing...

Giles began setting up...If she wouldn't mind a quick thrall test or two before heading home...

"Do I strip or what?..." Buffy eyed him...

Ummn...Xander thought...
***

"The effect of The Jacket seems to be cumulative..." Simon noted...

The female becomes ever more obsessed...Especially when in close contact with the wearer...

Ah...Heinrich nodded...

So...My Slayer can only become ever more devoted to me...?

"Well...It may be best that she's not in constant contact...At least until your Ascent, sir..." Simon
eyed him...

She might have difficulty concealing her state from other humans if she is exposed too often too
quickly...

Oh...The Master showed a slight...

"So I should avoid contact?..."

Poor guy...Simon thought suddenly...Realizing immediately the bizarreness of that thought...

But she'll be in thrall as long as no one else gets the garment...he hastily added...

No reason you can't see her...Just limit the exposure to The Jacket...

"She'll still feel the same about you...She just won't get more...Excited..." he concluded...

Excellent work Simon...Heinrich beamed...

I really have neglected the scientific and research aspects of my operations...

***
On the one hand, Bunny...er Buffy...Buffy she reminded herself...Only Bunny with Heiny...As she
headed home, Giles' tests for thrall passed on all counts...

Mom wouldn't assume I've been placed in a vampire's thrall if I mentioned my new boyfriend...

On the other hand...Boyfriend...? Older boyfriend...? She'd be on my tail in a sec...

She sighed...No one to confide in...

She turned a dark corner...Scanning for any vamps...

A tall, handsome fellow stood on the other side of that corner...

"Buffy..." he smiled gently at her...

Angel?...Hi...she smiled at the mysterious stranger...

Hmmn...Someone to confide in...Whom she barely knew and need not worry would be speaking to
Mom or the gang...

Confide within strict limits of course...
***

Hmmn...Giles frowned at Willow and Xander...

Willow looking at his stern face...

"Buf did pass, didn't she?..." she asked cautiously...

Or was his affirmation of her non-bitten, non-vamp whore status just a clever British ruse...?
She did...Giles paused...

But there was something wrong...You two must have noticed...

"Ummn...We don't know her all that well, Giles..." Willow noted...

She seemed...Ok...

"She was too eager to be tested..." Giles replied coolly...

The Buffy I know would have insisted the whole thing was ridiculous and threatened to walk
out...Before reluctantly agreeing to the testing...

"She took notes of my discussion about our next efforts against the Master..." he eyed them...

That was strange...Xander nodded...I definitely caught that...Not like Buffy to write a single note
once the school bell rings...

Even before it rings she generally dodges note?taking...

"Well..." Willow sighed...

"She has been trying to improve her study habits..."

She left the notebook behind...Giles pulled it over...

"Now that's our Buffy..." Xander relaxed a bit...

Probably just wanted to impress her Watcher tonight with the note-taking...

"Look at the notes she took..." Giles pushed the book over...

Hmmn...Well...This would explain her poor grades in Biology...Willow thought, looking at the
rather confused jottings...

"I will not claim my charge is the finest student in this school..." Giles paused...

But these are not the notes of a young woman her age...I would say she is operating on the level of a
sixth-grader...

Well, considering what the average intellectual level of a high school student is these days...Willow
thought...

Guys...? Xander had turned a few pages...To find some rather innocent absent-minded jottings of a
young woman...In a rather romantic mood...

Buffy...Or a childish facsimile thereof...In a coffin...With a giant heart drawn round...
Buffy...Again, rather childish, identified only by the name...Hmmn...Was that "Bunny"?...Written
below...In kneeling posture before a large figure...

Hmmn...Willow stared...Very...Interesting...

Maybe I should speak to ole Buf about that strange Angel guy...Could be...

Mrs. Bunny Nast...On the following page...Enclosed within another large heart...A bleeding one...

Nast?...

"The nineteenth century cartoonist, Thomas, right?..." Willow asked nervously...

Not the mad would be world-conquering Master guy...?

Bunny...? Xander thought...

"I'd say we have a serious problem...And a possible traitor within our ranks..." Giles coldly eyed the
drawing...

Not of her own accord...he noted...Seeing Willow's angry glare...

But somehow...Someway...Heinrich Nast, the Master has secured a hold on Buffy...And is very
likely using her against us...

Bunny...? Xander whispered to Willow...
***
"Master..."

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse,
www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon, Mutant
Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...


PG-13/Borderline R

Summary: An alternate series one story, just before "The Harvest"...What if the Master had learned
about...The Jacket...? And had more flexibility in his ability to adjust his battle plans...?

Geesh and I was gonna use my time off today (Missus to the doc's) for finishing up some of the
others as I have some major professional stuff to work on the rest of the week...Oh well, gotta go
where the spirit leads...I will try to finish "Drusilla"at least over this long weekend....

Spoilers for Him...

Part IV...

"Buffy..." Angel began...

"I want to apologize about not helping you earlier...There were reasons I couldn't..."

"Oh, no problem...Xander's friend was already dead...We got out..." she hurried over the boring
stuff...

"The Harvest is drawing near...You or I or both of us must try to prevent..."

Yeah...Harvest...Big kill...Got it covered...she waved a hand...

"The real news is...Angel..." she giggled a bit in her wide-eyed eagerness...

I have a new boyfriend...An unbelievable guy...You just can't imagine...

He blinked at her...Did she just morph into that Chase girl?...

Hmmn...No smell of blood on her...

***
Hmmn...Willow stared at the entrance to the mausoleum where she and Xander had seen Buffy in
Luke's arms a short time before...Or rather, Buffy wildly grabbing Luke...Before they'd
disappeared...

"Buffy claimed Luke lied to her about this being an entry port to the Master's lair..." Giles noted...

But given the fact that you and Xander didn't see her return from inside...And that we can no longer
trust in Buffy's word...I think this place is worth another look...

"We did scout around the thing pretty well, Giles..." Willow stared at the crypt...As they approached
the open doorway and entered...

I'm sure you did, my dear...But the entrance may be mystically concealed...he frowned at the walls...

More or less your typical bare crypt...A central slab, some bronze plaques on the walls dedicated to
the memories of once-beloved but long-forgotten family members...

Hmmn...He began probing carefully...Chanting a bit, Willow noticed...

Xander leaned against the central slab...Which moved with a loud scrape to reveal a hole...

Whoa...The mother lode...he grinned...

"Wait..." Giles shook his head...

We can't go blindly charging in against what the Master has to protect himself...

"And we came out here to what?...Stand around and go home...?" Xander eyed him...

Stand around...Hidden...Yes...Giles nodded...

Go home...Only if you wish...he eyed them...

"So...We wait here...For Bunny...er Buffy?" Willow looked at him...

Yes...This is likely where she'll return sooner or later to report on our activities...

"Giles...Can we be sure she's in the Master's clutches?...Why wouldn't he have killed and
transformed her?..."

If he has found some way to put her in thrall without showing his hand...Perhaps something as silly
as a basic love spell...He may hope to keep her alive to act for him in daytime...

Spell?...Willow thought...Neat...

Love spell?...she eyed Xander...

Still neater...Ummn...If it's as easy to treat as Giles seems to think I mean, of course...

"Can't we just break this hex or whatever it is...?" Xander paced a bit...Eyeing the hole...

"There's no way to be sure what it is until we learn more about the matter..." Giles shook his head...
"If we try to do something general and fail...She and her Master..." Willow stared at Giles... "Will
know that we know...And act accordingly...Which may mean he will take her as a vampire...Or she
may try to stop us herself..." he concluded...

The best thing is for two of us to wait here...And the other to return to the library...And see if she is
home or still wandering about town...

Also the Council may call with additional recommendations and information...

"This sounds like a job...Not for me..." Xander noted...

Me...? Willow frowned...

You guys are really showing a bad...A low, deep-voiced howl from the hole...

"I'll look out for Buf and keep in constant touch..." she nodded...And scurried for the car...

"Best we moved that back, Xander..." Giles nodded at the slab...And found some spot outside to
hide ourselves...

***

"So...He has the most incredible deep eyes..." Buffy gushed on to an increasingly frustrated Angel...

Can't really say what color they are...Sorta just black...Like doll's eyes...

But sooo deep...You know...?

"Yes...Well...That's great, Miss Summers..." Angel smiled wanly...

But as to the Harvest...And the coming destruction of Humanity...?

"Told ya...I got it covered..." Buffy waved a hand...

Already did in the first "Vessel" guy...That Luke one...

Really...? he eyed her...

"And just how did you know this Luke was the chosen...?"

Saw it in his eyes...Buffy solemnly noted...

Now...This guy of mine...Has got this one leetle defect...And I was wondering, Angel...

You being a guy and all...And I know guys get nervous when the little problem is...Sexual...

"What's the best way to deal?...Come right out and talk about it...Potential loving wife to potential
husband?...Or kinda take it...Slow?..."

Wife..To...Husband?...Angel stared at her...

He brushed it off...

"Buffy...The Master won't stop just because his first Vessel is destroyed...If you're right about this
Luke in the first place..."

Hmmn...She thought...This guy sure is curious about my Heinrich's plans...And not to be put off by
my clever dodges...

Maybe it would be best to let my Master deal with him...

Besides, it's very rude of him not to at least pretend to be interested in what I've been telling him
about Heiny...

"I guess you're right Angel..." she smiled brightly at him...

We'd better go see if anything's up...We could use this new entrance to the lair Giles detected...

"That is...If you're not still..."afraid" to face these guys...Cause then I could just go in without any
help...Not even Xander this time..." she eyed him...

***

Whoa...Willow stared as she passed Buffy and Angel making their way to the Greenwood
cemetery...

Guess that leaves out the need for a listening post in the library...

She pulled over and called Giles via cell phone...

***

"Just this way, Angel..." Buffy smiled, moving quickly for the crypt entrance...

"You've checked the passageways here...?" he hurried after her...

Yeah...Guess they didn't feel this one was likely to be found out...Must be cause we found that other
way in...

"Now..." she paused at the entrance...

"Just let me call Giles..." she dialed...

Yes...Buffy?...Heinrich answered quietly...

"Giles...?" she happily spoke into the phone...

"That strange Mr. Angel..." Sorry, no offense...she looked up at him... "And I are gonna poke
around the Master's lair...See if he's got another Vessel guy...Ok?"

"Wonderful...By all means..." Heinrich smiled into the phone...

Thank you...Bunny...Tell our friend... "Mr. Angel"...

"I wish him the best of luck..."

She beamed at Angel...Keeping the phone at her ear...

"He wished us luck...And wants us to keep in touch..."

Now she frowned at the central slab...

I think this is it...she shoved the slab away to reveal the hole...
***
The Master smiled gently at his minions...
"My Slayer has performed her first true service..."

She's bringing Angelus to us...

Angelus...? thought the kneeling Darla...Feasting her eyes, starved for a glimpse, on her Master's
divine form...

Oh...Right...Him...My old mate...

Isn't he using some other name these days...?
****

"Master..."

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse,
www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon, Mutant
Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...


PG-13/Borderline R

Summary: An alternate series one story, just before "The Harvest"...What if the Master had learned
about...The Jacket...? And had more flexibility in his ability to adjust his battle plans...?

Spoilers for Him...

Part V...

***

Well?...Xander looked at Giles as they stood by the newly reopened entrance to the Master's
lair...Alerted by a returning Willow's phone call to their stakeout spot just outside...

Buffy and Angel clearly already deep inside...

"Whoever this "Angel" is...I think he'll need our assistance...Very soon..." Giles noted...

Ok...Xander nodded...

In we go, with Buffy probably the Master's love Bunny now...Dozens of vamps awaiting our
arrival...And no way of knowing just what this "Angel"'s game is...

Piece of cake...Heck...Buf and I did practically the same thing just the other day...

And her now being on the other side?...A leetle extra challenge...Making things sporting as our Brit
would say...

***

Quite a few tunnels here...Angel looked at Buffy...

"You're sure you know the way...?"

The guys and I poked all around it earlier...she smiled...

No problem...This way...

To Him...she breathed...Trying desperately to curb that enthusiasm...

"Him...?"

Ummn...Him...As in "Mr Big..." "Mr. Super Evil"... "The Master"...You know...she frowned at
him...

Little dense this guy...Hope Heiny'll go easy on him...Probably no idea what he's gone and gotten
himself into...

Course if he makes any trouble...Bunny will deal...

The future Mrs. Bunny Nast...she sighed to herself a bit...

Mrs. Heinrich Nast...she corrected...

Heiny being a traditional kinda guy he'd probably want it that way...

As of course she did...
***
Guys...Willow looked at the open hole, sighing...

Mucho macho...

So what am I supposed to do now...Boil water...?...Light candles for your safe return...?

Go back to the library, I suppose Giles would say...

Whoops...What was that sound like someone stepping on a tree branch just outside?...

Hmmn...She glanced out a stained glass window...A...man? of medium height...Dragging a body-
sized object...Her way...

Hmmn...Cemetery, late night, dragging bodies...Or body-sized objects...Reasonable
guess...Vampire...Whoops...Two vampires...Nope...Three...
Lovely...Can't they just use the other door?...

She scooted to the hole and hurried down...

***

Two grinning vamps faced Angel and Buffy as they made their way to the final entrance to the
underground former church where the Master made his lair...

"Angelus...I presume..." one smiled...

"You know him...?" Buffy eyed Angel...

An old friend of the Master's...the other grinned...

Well...Buffy sighed, putting it on a bit...

"I guess you guys got us...Angel, there's noth..."

Angel grabbed her and swung her around to face them...

Whoa...Hey!...she struggled in his surprisingly strong grip...

"I'm on your side, fella..." she angrily noted...The two vamps backing off a bit...

Slayer's life the new top priority...Bizarre as the concept seemed to them...

"I doubt that right now, Miss Summers..." Angel noted...

Let me go!!!...she hollered...

"Or what...Your boyfriend Nast will have these goons kill me?..." he looked at her...

She stopped and stared at him...

How...? she began...Oops...

"You're crazy, mister..." she corrected...

I'm trying to help you fight these two...

"Buffy...You may not be bit...But believe me...I know thrall when I see it..."

My compliments to Heinrich...he noted to the two vamps ahead...

A very neat job on the Slayer...

"But he should try to find a way to make his subject less submissive..."

"I am not submissive...!" Buffy raged...Breaking free and whirling on Angel...

Take him!...she called to the other two...

Difficult job they quickly learned to their regret...Even with the Slayer's assist...

***
"Geesh...What are you anyway?!..." Buffy cried as she dodged Angel's next blow...Her two helpers
having been rather easily dispatched...More in her way with their efforts to protect her than help in
any case...

Tell you when there's more time...And you're not the Master's little girl...he noted...Hopping up and
over her next kick...

"I'm Heinrich's Slayer..." she called to him proudly...

His own Bunny...And his only human servant...Ducking to avoid a blow...

Loving...Devoted...But not...she landed a good kick on his side, throwing him back against the
tunnel wall...

Submissive...she panted...

" "Bunny" sure sounds submissive to me..." Xander called as he and Giles entered the fight
zone...Xander firing a dart gun at Buffy who dodged...

"Guys?..." she looked at them...

"Are you crazy?!...It's me...Help me...This guy's one of..."

"Your boy Heinrich's...?" Xander glared...

Oh...she paused...

"You can't deceive us any longer, Buffy..." Giles called to her...

Ok...She nodded...Sighing...

"In that case...You guys can choose...Turn and go home...Now...For ole times' sake...Or...Surrender
and I'll try to get Heiny to go easy on you...Or..."

Heiny...? Xander and Angel frowned...

"I and my friends here..." she waved to show six vamps moving up behind her from the tunnel
back...

Will have to kill you...

"There's another option..." Xander called...Giles raising a large multi-chambered gun...

We kill all of your friends...!!!

Giles fired...Arrows whizzing into three of the six and dusting them...Xander firing another dart at
Buffy...Another miss...

She backed away into the main tunnel...Heiny...Gotta keep him covered...

Geesh, Giles...How come you didn't bring the big gun out before?...she frowned back at her
Watcher...

The other three dusted to Giles' second multi-shot...But more were on their way...

"Come on, guys..." she urged the vamps...

Lets pick it up a little...Our Master's in danger...

"Go for the guy with the big gun...He'll hafta reload soon..." she called to several...Falling back
herself...

Must be in place to help my Heinrich...

And I haven't laid eyes on him in most of a day...

Angel and Xander attempted to push on after her...But too many loyal minions making their way
down the tunnel despite Giles' efforts...

Hmmn...One tunnel, well packed with onrushing vampires...Giles switched weapons...

Time to bring some light to bear on the subject...He called Angel and Xander back and fired off a
burst of flame from his flame-thrower...Incinerating about a dozen of the most loyal and
brave...Their remains and their additional touchingly dedicated fellows...An equal number of males
it should be noted...Now blocking the path of more...

But, of course also blocking Giles, Angel, Xander from further progress...

They began trying to clear some of the remains away and poke at the walls hoping to find another
way in...

The only solution, Giles quickly noting...Being to fall back and try the additional tunnels branching
off near the exit...Watching for ambushes along the way...

***

Willow had already managed, in the course of getting completely lost while avoiding the three
vamps entering the tunnel behind her, to find another route to the rest of the lair...Fortunately a side
tunnel rarely used but left unblocked if needed...

She found herself emerging into a large area in front what couldn't be...But was...Some kinda
church...

From which a number of vamps were hastily charging down into what appeared to be a main
tunnelway...

She drew back to her tunnel, keeping out of sight...

Buffy appeared from the end of the main tunnel...Looking a bit...Rumpled...And turned to some of
the vamps moving towards the tunnel...Shouting orders...Quite the Slayer-in-charge...

My God...It's true...Willow sighed, watching her...

She's working for him...

Darla emerged with several females from the church...And went over to Buffy...

Consultation...? Willow wondered...

Nodding at Buffy, the females returned to the church...

The Master must be in there...she realized...And they're the "last ditch defense" line...

Buffy looked back at the tunnel...Her vamps now having formed something of a defense line at the
entrance under her orders...Far better than the hopelessly suicidal charging of the others earlier...

A bit dim she might be under whatever kind of thrall she was in...Willow noted...But her tactical
skills remained more or less intact...

But she seemed preoccupied...Looking back at the church constantly...

She's afraid for him...Willow shook her head sadly...

God...I never wanted to kill anything in life before...But what I wouldn't give to get my hands on
him or whichever of his minions did this to her...

Howls now came down the tunnel...Several vamps now fleeing back...One on fire, Willow noted...

So...Giles got the new thrower going...Nice...she grinned...

One vamp, pausing from the confusion a moment...Sniffed in her direction...

Oh-oh...she looked over to see him turn her way...
"Slayer!!..." he cried, pointing...

Willow desperately raised her stake...Only to see Buffy glaring in her direction...

"Willow!!!..." she hollered in a rather determined growl...

Come here...Now!...

"Don't make me send them after you...!..." she glanced at several vamps near her...
***

Inside the church, in his chamber, the Master was a mite perturbed...

This was not how he'd envisioned the day before Harvest to turn out...

Still, Darla had assured him that the group of humans assaulting the tunnel was fairly small...The
older entrance was undisturbed...And that the Slayer was taking things in hand as far as defenses
went...

With proper devotion to his safety, she grudgingly had to admit...

Somehow, however...He'd thought having the Slayer in his corner would ease his cares, not increase
them...

But then maybe a few extra worries was the price of victory...And of his Bunny...

A tremendous explosion now rocked his world...Sending various parts of his lair crashing about
him...

And knocking his minions within and without to their feet...

"The humans must have blown the main tunnel...!" Darla cried...From her "last ditch" post of honor
assigned to her by the Slayer just outside the Master's chamber...

"Go and see what's going on..." she cried to one of her comrades...Who hesitated to leave her post
near the beloved Master...

A male nearby however, was quite pleased to escape the crumbling church...Eyeing the shaking
ceiling above them...

A rather devastated scene greeted him...The main tunnel was a shambles...Ashes and clothing
surrounding the entrance, many stunned, some likely destroyed vamps littered about...Although the
Slayer's line and her vamps still remained for the most part intact, a bit removed from the tunnel as
they were...

She herself was busily checking to see if the explosion had sealed the tunnel...Having sent two
vamps to pursue a Willow who'd presumably fled back into her side tunnel in the confusion...Under
orders to bring her in alive...

As the Slayer's best friend...And potential hostage...

***

"There was nothing else to be done, Xander..." Giles eyed him sympathetically...As Xander paced
about the blasted remains of their side of the tunnel...Blown courtesy the hand grenades Giles had
included in his bag of tricks...

They'd nearly cleared the tunnel again...If we'd let them continue...We'd be dead...The Master
would've succeeded in his plans...And Buffy would be his slave forever...

"And she's still back there...Still his..." Xander noted...If she wasn't killed...

And there's no reason the Master can't just use the other entrance...The one Buffy and I went
through the other day...

"Giles is right, Xander..." Angel shook his head...

We couldn't do a thing if they'd taken us...

Well...Xander sighed...Lets hope Willow's safe back at the library at least...

***
"Master..."

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse,
www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon, Mutant
Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...


PG-13/Borderline R

Summary: An alternate series one story, just before "The Harvest"...What if the Master had learned
about...The Jacket...? And had more flexibility in his ability to adjust his battle plans...?

Spoilers for Him...

Part VI...

The two vamps dispatched down the small side tunnel Willow had come through returned to report
no sign of her some distance down...Either she'd displayed simply incredible speed and rejoined her
friends...Or more likely she'd been buried in rubble from the explosion that sealed the main
tunnel...Or...
"Or..." Buffy frowned at them... "She's around here somewhere, a threat to our Master...Well, guys
I suggest you start looking...Throughly, please..."

Slayer?... A vamp came up from her tunnel entrance defense line, things having calmed a bit...

Yeah?...she looked at him, an eager smile on his hideous demon face...God, hard to get used to
workin' with these guys...But it's all for my Heiny...she reminded herself...

"I was wondering...If you had a moment..." the vamp paused shyly...

"Could you show me how you do that thing with the stake ramming...I always wanted to learn it..."

He nervously held a stick...

"I've been practicing on my own ever since I saw the last Slayer doing it...But I never get it quite
right..."

And your moves are even better than hers...

A fan?...Buffy blinked, a wee bit...

Well...I 'pose I do have a moment before I go check on Willow and then go see...Him...she beamed
at the little fellow...To one so eager in her Heiny's service, how could she say no?...

After all, I am sorta human Slayer Queen of the Damned now...And the better they fight, the longer
my Heinrich survives...

"Ok...Come on over here and I'll show you...Quickly..."

Several others joined to watch...

"It's like this, see...You take the stake..." she began...

***

It's just like walking into the attic at home...In the dark...When you know it's full of
spiders...Willow told herself as she carefully crept round the back of the Master's church lair...So
closely piled up against the rocks that she could barely squeeze through...But unguarded...

Just don't think about the dozens of vampires within a coupla hundred yards and you'll be fine...

Besides...If worst comes to worst...I just surrender to Bunny...er Buffy and let her hand me over to
her Master...Then lil' Willow lets him have it with her craftily concealed stake...She patted her
pocket...

If he doesn't make me his human love Puppy alongside his Slayer Bunny first...Or his Undead
computer geek...
Which would be a better application of my skills after all...

***

Ummn...Nice try...Buffy nodded encouragingly to a small vamp, one of the group who'd been
struggling to learn the rudiments of Slayage from the expert...

He sighed, embarrassed by his failure...Stake had slid right out of his hands and flew off just as he
waved it as he'd begun his "Here's the deal..."

"I'll never get it, Slayer...I'm sorry..."

And sorry about ole Fred back there...

"No, now come on..." Buffy eyed him...

When I started out...I did things like that all the time...

But I practiced, stuck to it...

Had my super strength of course to help...she noted, smiling at the group...Several shyly smiling
back...

But...Look at my old human friends...They're practically Slayers themselves after a few fights...And
all of you guys have twice...At least...their strength...

"I mean...Guys..." she eyed them...

Before I saw the light and joined up with our Lord...All it took was the thought I was saving and
serving Humanity to get me going...

Now...We have the privilege of serving...Saving...Heinrich...Our beloved Master...she noted...

"Nuff said, right...? Do we need anything more to get that fire in the guts going?!"

Yeah!...Several raised fists...Pushing forward to make their try with stake

Well...One fellow thought...I like our Master and all...But...Even filial devotion's gotta have its
limits...

"Don't feel bad about that Fred guy..." Buffy told the small embarrassed fellow, offering him her
stake with a smile...

He dusted in our Lord's service...And he shoulda been paying attention to what was going on around
him in such a time of crisis...

"Slayer..." the two she'd sent back to scout for Willow had returned...
Empty-handed...

The human must be dead or back down the side tunnel with your friends...Your former friends...one
noted...

She frowned...Best to confirm these clowns hadn't screwed it...

Willow might be small, but she was kinda smart...Clever...

And...Attractive...Bunny..er Buffy's eyes narrowed...Hmmn...

Not that she had any doubts about dear Heiny's faithfulness...Just...You know how it is...Powerful,
overwhelmingly handsome, sexy Leader guys can't help having worthless sluts throwing themselves
at Them...And in moments of weakness...Well...

She excused herself...Keep up the practice, guys...And maintain my defense line...she told the
remaining vamps as she stalked off with the two scouts...

The Master's Slayer has a lil' red-haired problem to deal with...If she's still around...

And then...Oh...Boy...

A chance to make a report...To Him...

***

"The old tunnel entrance Buffy and you used before is sure to be heavily guarded..." Angel noted to
Xander and Giles as they sat for a brief conference in the upper tunnel...Just where various side
tunnels branched out...

Our best chance is to find one of these small tunnels leading into the main lair...Or near enough that
we can cut or blow our way through...

"Oh...?" Xander nodded, staring at Buffy's Tall, Dark...Remarkably Strong...Mystery Guy in
Black...

His failure to raise Willow by cell phone...Hopefully, but no doubt unlikely, given recent luck...Safe
at the library...Not having done much to ease his edginess...

And who suddenly voted you into our little group?...he glared...

"Do you want my help...Or no...?" Angel eyed him...And Giles who watched him carefully...

"It might help us answer that...Angel..." Giles paused... "If you told us why you...A vampire...
(Vampire!?...Xander stared...)...Should wish to help us...Or Miss Summers..."

***
O...Kay...Willow sighed...

Good news...No one could possibly pursue me into this section of the back rock wall...Any vamp
would be torn to ashes by the wood fragments scattered round here from when this church fell into
the hole here...And even Bunny...er Buffy...Is too big to squeeze in...

Bad news...I am so stuck...I can't even reach my cell phone...

Oh well...How many humans besides his Bunny could be this close to the Master and his minions
and yet remain quite safe?...Until they die of thirst...Starve...Or the rats come for them...

***

A soul?...Xander looked at Giles...The two having requested a moment to discuss the situation apart
from their new ally...Who'd agreed and begun an inspection of the branch tunnels...

Giles shrugged...Not impossible, vampire redemption has been achieved on rare occasions...But
more important...

"We have no choice but to accept his help, Xander...Whatever his real motives may be..."

Well...Maybe...But hey, wait a minute...A soul?!...Xander stared at the Watcher...

"Easily checked, my boy...When this is over..."

And he's had us over for dinner...? Xander glanced over at the tunnel where Angel had gone...

"If he were the Master's...We'd be dead, transformed, or listening to the future Mrs. Nast's loving
tales of her intended's doings..." Giles pointed out...

"If he's an enemy of the Master's...With his own agenda...We can make use of him and deal with
him later..."

Ok...Xander nodded...

I get it...Principle of divide and enemy of my friend is my...Ummn...

More or less...Giles agreed drily...

"But, assuming soul boy is the Angel he's cracked up to be...What do we do now...?" Xander
frowned...

We continue our plan...Such as it is...Find Buffy, dart her, bring her to my library, and use the
Council's resources to free her from the Master's grip...Giles noted...

Xander sighed...

"I don't think Bunny the Vampire's Slayer wants our intervention...To put it mildly..."

And she seems to have lots of dance partners tonight...

"Speaking of which...What about Willow?..." he eyed the Watcher...

She's gotta be around...And if she won't answer her phone?...

"If she answered her phone...More than likely she'd either be safe at my library...In deadly
danger...Or wanting us to come and meet her new boyfriend..." Giles replied...

Her not answering may as well be taken as a positive sign...

***

Oh...Darling...Bunny...er Buffy moaned a bit...Tears of sorrow and shame on her face as she knelt
before her Heinrich...Fervently apologizing for her failures...To deceive her friends, capture or kill
them and Angelus...(this guy's a vamp...? With a soul?...Hmmn, pretty lame...she thought...Though
somewhere within...A long-buried voice cried out...With a British accent...

A soul?...

...William?...)

And now letting Willow slip through her fingers...

Tears which however were not devoid of joy...Joy at once again gazing at her true love and
Master...And the cool Jacket which he'd failed to remove as Simon, his advisor had suggested...

He hadn't expected her to come in so suddenly...And damn...He looked so good in the thing...

A pity to have to take it off...And Simon had said exposure to it would only deepen dear Bunny's
devotion...

A devotion she was manifesting quite passionately...Perhaps even a bit...Suicidally...

"I don't deserve you, no...Heinrich...To fail you like this...?"

Buffy...he shook his head...

We all make mistakes...You just have to learn from them...

"Oh..." she sobbed...Staring...

Not...Bunny?...she whimpered...

"Of course Bunny..." he smiled...
My own dear Slayer Bunny...

Who has a job to do for her Master, he lifted her tear-streaked face to his...

Oh...she beamed...Reaching for her blouse buttons...

Ummn...Later, dear...

"First...I'd like you to deal with your old friends...And my old friend Angelus..."

Like a grandson he once was to me...Heinrich sighed...

But...Destroy him...

Quickly...

"Please..." he smiled at her...

Oh, yes...she nodded eagerly...

Oh...Her face fell...

"I don't know how to get to him...He's on the other side of the tunnel junk..."

There are other tunnels, Bunny dear...he noted...

You take a few of my people who know the area...And they'll get you to Angelus and your friends...

Right...she nodded...

"And he's a vampire, so it'll even be Slaying..." she noted...

My old job...she beamed...

"Hmm-hmmn..." the Master nodded, patting her head...

And tell you what...

For my Bunny's sake...Spare your Mr. Giles and the other fellow...Just take them alive and bring
them to me...

"Oh...Heinrich..." Buffy sighed...

What can I say?...she shook her worthless head...

"Except..." she grinned up at him...Devotedly...

"I hear and obey...Master..."

That's my Bunny...he nodded...

"Master"... Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca or
direct,
www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/Master.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon,
Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer
series...


PG‑13/Borderline R...Ok, this one's a little more R...

Summary: An alternate series one story, just before "The
Harvest"...What if the Master had learned about...The Jacket...? And
had more flexibility in his ability to adjust his battle plans...?

Spoilers for Him...

Oh and I dropped a Cicelyverse hint in this part...

Part VII...

"No handsome face...Could ever take the place..." Bunny...er Buffy
hummed to herself as she pushed hastily down a side tunnel towards
Angel and her old friends...Having quickly outpaced her two guides in
her zeal...

"Of My Guy..."

Whoops...Some noise up ahead...

She raised her stake and continued on cautiously...

***

O...K...Willow sighed...Still trapped in the tiny space between the
back of Heinrich's church and the rock cavern...

There's a little space for my hand now...If I just...Can lift my cell
phone just a...

Ah, crap...she dropped the phone...It fell to a spot just above her
knee...

Not a good day...she sighed, trying to squirm a bit...

***

Giles put down his phone...It had definitely rung for a moment...

"Wil?..." Xander eyed him...

The Watcher shook his head...Can't say...Whoever it was is gone...

"It may have been Buffy, checking on us..." he noted...

Well...he sighed...Dialing...

Time to call in some additional assistance...he eyed Xander...

"Assistance?..."

The Council has been...Rushing, I hope...A couple of their teams to LA
to be at my disposal as needed...Giles explained...

I requested the help as soon as we learned about Buffy...

"If they have reached Sunnydale...Or even LA...They may at least be
able to watch over the other entrance you found and perhaps help us
here..."

The Council has "teams" and they were gonna let Buffy face off with
the Master alone...? Xander thought...

"We've found it's usually not helpful to the Slayer to have us
interfering in any numbers...It's generally just more people for the
Slayer to fret over and protect..." Giles explained as he waited on
the line, catching Xander's frowning look...

But we have no Slayer now, so...They may as well die here as in
England...

Yeah...Xander nodded...And I like that confident attitude, Giles...

"I'm gonna go see what our Angel is up to..." he noted...Pointing off
to the branch tunnel Angel had begun exploring...Grabbing his dart
gun, some grenades, and his trusty, if not overused as yet, stake...

Giles nodded in return...

"Yes...This is Ripper..." Xander heard as he headed off...

Ripper?...
***

"Mr. Angel?...Or it is Angelus...?" Buffy called to Angel, spying him
round the corner of the small tunnel she'd been moving down...Her
"staff support" still hopelessly far behind but on their way...

"Miss Summers...I don't want to hurt you..." he replied...Holding his
ground...

I know you can't help yourself right now...

"Love's a tidal wave..." she nodded...

I gotta kill...or whatever...you, you know...she sighed...

Sorry...

"But..." she beamed... "I understand you have a soul in there..."

So really, I'm gonna be doing you a favor...Releasing your poor soul
to Heaven...

"Of course, this is really a Gift from my Heinrich..." she smiled...

Angel smiled back...

Well...Much as I would like peace...And appreciate the Gift...

"Humanity's fate has come to matter to me over the past century..." he
took up a defensive stance...

"Oh...that..." Buffy shrugged...

People die, Angel...Our little efforts don't change that...And
Heinrich is trying to keep some bit of us all Immortal...

"It's a worthy goal if you look at it without prejudice..." she
noted...Lunging at him...

"Been there...Not all that appealing..." he replied...Dodging to the
right as she came at him...

Nice...she pulled up before hitting the tunnel wall and looked at
him...

Thanks, he bowed slightly...One from my darker days...

A soul?...A voice within her questioned...

She blinked at him...

But brushed it off...Duty called...

She leaped back at him...Slashing her stake hard, just missing as he
hopped back...

"C'mon...Angel...I'm trying to give you eternal peace in Heaven
here..." she called, annoyed...

And Heinrich is waiting for me...I don't wanta screw up his
timetable...

"Sorry..." he shook his head...

Guess I'm just not the cooperative team player type...

"Guess not..." she nodded...

"And I haven't got time to play around..." she tossed a grenade at the
wall just behind him, backing away...

***

Angel desperately tried to struggle to his feet...Debris from the
tunnel wall around him...

Not a very powerful grenade...But enough...

He put his stake in his other hand and tried to stand with it as
support...

Unnh...he groaned...Leg broken by the fallen rock about as well as a
vamp's could be...He fell back...

Buffy came up, towering over his prone body...Stake in hand...

Devoted triumph in her eye...

But...For some reason he couldn't quite...She hesitated...

Staring at him...

The vamp with a soul...Heiny's said so, so it must be so...

***
"Excuse me...Angel?" Buffy paused, stake raised...Eyeing the fallen
vampire...

This may sound like a rather strange question...And I don't quite
understand why I'm asking it myself...When I should be destroying you
immediately for my Heiny and all...But...

"Was your human name...By any chance?..."

William?...

William...? he blinked at her...

"You're not talking about William the Bloody...?" he eyed her...

Spike?...That maniac...he thought...

That posturing phony‑romantic maniac...

Still...she had him...And if he didn't get her off‑track..

"William the Bloody...?" she stared...Blinking...

The effect of the Jacket's mental repression having opened a few
unexpected doors in her mind...

"...cause his poetry is so damned Bloody Awful..." she quoted, a bit
dreamily...To his surprise, in a British accent...

"Not you?..." she blinked at him...The moment clearly fading...

Well...My name was Liam...he noted...

"But William the Bloody is an old acquaintance..." he thought fast...

Oh...she stared at him...

"Where..."

Back in England was where I saw him last...Angel explained...Watching
for an opening...

How the hell did she know Spike?...he wondered to himself...And what's
with the accent?...

"Oh...Thank you, sir..." she beamed at him a moment...
Bloody Awful...It's got to be him...I've found him at ...

I...Whoa...She got hold of herself...And whoever else was in there...

Heiny...She had a job to do for her beloved Heinrich...Yeah...She
raised her stake...

"Sorry...Angel..." she sighed...

Hope you like Heaven...

Ow!!!...she shrieked...As Xander's dart struck her arm...

Oh, no...Oh, Heinrich...Forgive me...she pulled the dart out and
staggered back, Angel rising to his feet weakly...

"Bunny!!...er Buffy!!!" Xander called, racing up as fast as he
could...

"Wait, Buffy!..." Angel called to her...Trying to move after her...

But with devoted love giving her that something extra, she managed to
back off and run, staggering a bit...For the rear of the
tunnel...Quickly eluding Xander and gone by the time Giles had made
his way to them...

"Slayer?..." Two more vamps moving up the small tunnel, hurried to
assist a stumbling Bunny...er Buffy...

Hurry...she grabbed at them...

"I've been drugged..."

"Get me back to the lair...Carry out...Plan B..."

Plan B?...One asked, a bit apologetically...

Hadn't been there for her briefing before she set out...he
explained...

"Have Harvey...The short guy just back there..." she pointed at
another group coming up, staggering... "Blow this end of the tunnel
up...After you get me back past him...He's got some dynamite with
him..."

Ah...

That's our Slayer...the other noted proudly as they helped her back...

Always thinking ahead...

"No wonder she gave us such a hard time..."

"That's sweet, fellas...But...Hurry..." she gasped...
***
Giles?...Xander looked after the fleeing vamps and Bunny...er Buffy...

"Stay with Angel, try to get him back towards the upper tunnel..."
Giles told him, grabbing the dart gun and pressing on...Towards where
little Harvey was hastily laying his dynamite sticks...

He caught sight of the little fellow who blinked back at him, racing
back...And the burning dynamite fuses...Four burning fuses...

Hmmn...Two, I might possibly deal with...Four, a bit much...

He raced back towards Xander and Angel as the tunnel blew...

***

A dull, rumbling roar sounded through the cavern where the Master's
sunken church lay...All the minions outside and within, turning to
look back towards the small tunnel...

Uh-oh...Sounds like Plan B...

Hmmn...Darla frowned as she waited at her post of honor within the
church...Staring up at the ceiling...

We can only ask so much of this old place...she thought...As the
building shook and the walls and ceiling swayed a bit...

Well...So much for our Slayer Queen...one female noted...Grinning...

"Hey!..." Darla glared...

Our Master wanted her by His side...At all costs...And she's His best
protection by day...Probably by night, too...If we're honest about
it...

"I hope she made it..." she noted sternly... "As we all should..."

Some of us have unselfish devotion to our Lord...she sniffed at the
other...
Yeah...several other females echoed...Eyeing the less devoted one
coolly...

But then, she hadn't seen his new Jacket...

"Go!..." Darla pointed...

"Find out what happened to His Slayer or die trying...You're not fit
to stay here defending Him..."

Geesh...The female groused as she headed out...Not entirely sad to
escape that damaged building and weakening ceiling...

Just a day or so ago she was our prime enemy...Now we gotta pray for
her safe return?...

***
"We've done our best, Xander..." Giles sighed as they sat by Angel in
the upper side tunnel...

All we can do now is wait for our support...We can't clear the tunnels
alone...

"The old entrance...?" Xander eyed him...

The Master can't blow every entrance...He'd never get out...

True...Giles nodded...But that entrance is heavily defended, no
doubt...

"Well...We've got help coming...And maybe we can come up with a few
extra weapons..." Xander paced a bit...

"You've got to focus, gentlemen..." Angel told them, groaning...

The Harvest is tonight...You can't throw your lives away trying to
rescue Buffy...

"Besides...Heinrich seems bent on keeping her human...Probably enjoys
it that way...And wants her protection in daylight...She's probably
quite safe for now..."

And he's sure to use her tonight to make the Harvest come off...Our
best chance will be to catch her above ground...

"If we only knew where that damned guy's home down here was..." Xander
noted...
It's daylight now...We could shine some light in there and kill
em all...

"We're thirty or forty feet underground, Xander...Not likely to reach
him with sunlight..."

Eh...Xander waved a hand...My Uncle Rory's equipment could clear that
in an hour...

If we knew where...

"An hour?..." Giles eyed him...

Maybe less, Xander shrugged...If there's a large cavern or something
down there...

Giles stared at Angel...Angel at Giles...

But...We'd need to have a good idea exactly where the place is...And
I'd need someone to sign off with my uncle...

"Here..." Giles handed him the phone...

Call your uncle...Tell him his company's just been hired by the Royal
Council of Librarians and Library Scientists to do some emergency
archeologic excavation work...

Price no object...

"Uncle Rory?...Archeologic excavation?..."

Giles, he's not the careful, methodical type...

Even better...Giles smiled...

"Call..."

***

Him?...Heinrich looked at little Harvey, the same shy fellow who'd
been Bunny's...er Buffy's enthusiastic trainee and recently
successfully and quite bravely blown the side tunnel down which she'd
made her escape...

For my new Vessel?...he eyed his Bunny...Now nearly recovered from
Xander's tranquillizer dart under the care of his research expert
Simon...
"Absolutely..." Buffy noted, smiling at the nervous Harvey...

I dunno...the Master shook his head...

I mean...The chosen Vessel represents me...

"He's not exactly the image I have of myself, sweetheart..."

"He has the heart of a lion...Like you, darling..." she beamed at her
Master...And his ever‑cool Jacket... "And he'd never attract
notice...In case my pathetic failures earlier lead to my Watcher and
that Angel guy having a chance to call in more help during the Harvest
time tonight..."

I can go out with some of the guys, including somebody who looks the
part...And while Giles and the others are chasing us around...she
looked at Him...

"Harvey here takes in my Harvest...Hmmn..." the Master nodded,
smiling...

Nice to see Bunny's mental powers are rising back a bit in my
service...

"But...Bunny dear...Remember...I do not want you committing suicide
over past mistakes tonight while battling your old friends...Though of
course you are never to let yourself be captured...Human..."

Never, darling...And I know you need me to protect you by day...she
nodded solemnly...

"Even if I am the dumbest Vampire's Slayer who ever lived..." she hung
her head...

I hafta live...To protect my Heinrich...er Master...she corrected,
noting Harvey and several minions around...

Gotta maintain decorum...Though it's sooo...hard in His presence...

"Oh...Say, Master..." she paused...

May I stop by my house tonight?..Let Mom know I'm fine?..

"She's gotta be climbin' the walls over me not coming home last
night..."

Of course...Heinrich nodded...
Poor lady...You should call her now, Bunny...Tell her all's well...

"And you can bring her here to me tonight..."

Ummn...? she eyed Him...and the Jacket...

Mom here?...My sweet...Attractive, sophisticated...Mom...?

Ummn...Hein...Master...? she asked...

"Mom will just be a servant, right...?...A maid kinda...?"

It would kinda gross me out if she were your girl too...

"Well, Bunny...All my people must be devoted to my service..."

Naturally...How could they not?...she beamed...

"But I don't plan to take her or you in the near future..."

Great, she nodded...But I was kinda thinking more along the lines of
you not seeing her much...Human or otherwise...

Another human servant?...Darla in the back sighed...

The lines are really blurring these days...

"Bunny...Jealously has no place in my service..." Heinrich frowned a
little at her...

No...Sir...she nodded...Immediately embarrassed...Keeping head bowed
in shame...

Well...Maybe I could sorta lose Mom on the way here...she thought...

Or she might escape us...Giles and Xander might rescue her...Or she
might get killed in the fighting...

I mean...We all die...And she'd probably prefer to die than become a
vamp someday when she's too old to work for Him human...

Still...I gotta do my duty to Him...she sighed...Try to get her here
safe...

Then make sure He sees her as little as possible...After all, we'll be
above ground soon...He'll have lots of palaces to be kept clean...

Heinrich had reached an executive decision...So like him,
so...Masterful...she and the other females noted...

"I approve your plan, Bunny...Select your staff from my best...And
have Harvey here..." he frowned at the nervously beaming little
vamp... "Properly prepared by Simon...Then brought to me for the final
ceremony..."

"Darla..." he looked over...Bunny...er Buffy jealously glared over as
well...

Darla...Gotta deal with that bitch one of these days after
Ascension...she noted to herself...

Devoted as she is...

In fact, it'll be high time Heinrich's females went through my own
special vetting process...

Eliminating the uselessly pretty and attractive...

But...Let that sit for now...We need the whole team for tonight...

"Darla..." the Master eyed her...

You'll command Harvey's bodyguard...And see he gets all the Gathered I
need...

The favored one nodded eagerly...The other females glaring...Nearly at
Bunny's...er Buffy's intensity...

Didn't want my poor Bunny to be there anyway he thought...Rather hard
on her to see such a slaughter even if her utter devotion to me would
lead her to help kill them...

Wouldn't want her to suffer from post traumatic stress for the
remainder of her human years...And I must remember to be especially
polite to her mother when she comes...

"Well, people..." he beamed...

Lets get our Harvest in the works...By tomorrow, I'll be footloose and
fancy‑free...

Yeah!!!...Buffy lead a cheer...

Ummn...she paused as the others left...
Heinrich...she whispered...

"We've got three hours until I gotta head out...You know..." she
smiled at Him...

I know you got terrible cares...And maybe I could...Stay?...And ease
your worries a little...?

Ummn...Well...Yes...Heinrich stared at her eager, rather animated face
as the others left, Darla hesitating as she looked back...

"That would be nice..."

Get out Darla!...he called over...She closing the chamber door with a
slight slam...

But...he turned to a rather deliriously happy Bunny...er Buffy...

"Call your mother first, dear...Right now..."

***

Ah...Willow sighed...At last...Nearly...Gotcha...she pulled her cell
phone up...Now...Just slide it and my hand up...

Yeah...Just close enough...Though I won't likely be able to hear them
they should hear me...

She managed to dial, praying the phone was intact...

"Giles..." she whispered as loudly as she dared...

"I don't know if you can hear this...But I'm in a cavern...Stuck
between the Master's lair, this big church he seems to be trapped
in...And the cavern wall...It's about a half‑mile directly down from
the place where all the tunnels branch out..."

I took a side tunnel when a coupla of vamps showed at the crypt
entrance...she proudly noted...

I saw Buffy...She's definitely the Master's girl, human or no...she
added sadly...

"They saw me a moment before you guys blew the main tunnel but I think
I've lost them..."

Only problem is...I really am stuck...I can't move from here...
"Wait a minute...I've got some head wiggle room now at last...There's
a little window into the church just to the side of my head...Let me
see if I can look in and see if the Master's..."

"Oh...My...God!..." an intently listening Giles now heard...Along with
the clatter of a cell phone dropping...

Oh...Master!...Buffy moaned inside the chamber as a horrified Willow
watched from her fortunately small and dark stained glass
window...Stretched out below Him...His feet on her chest...Stroking
rather tenderly...

An old technique one of his old music teachers told him about back in
his human days, he noted...But being in the Vatican choir and all for
so many years under strict guard and restriction on contact with
women...He'd never had a chance to use it...

Until now...

Moaning himself as she reached up to repeat her earlier remarkable
performance...

No...Willow repeated to herself...She hasn't gone all the way...She
hasn't gone all the way...Oh, crap where'd I drop the
phone...Phew...Lodged down by my left arm...Just gotta try and
reach...

Oh...Buffy, I am really gonna enjoy killing that...Hmmn, neat jacket
he's got there...
Jacket Theme (A Summer's Place)

She watched a bit...Now with a more intensely observant air...

You know...She's really not making an effort there...I'd have gone all
the way by now for Him...she noted to herself...

Damn...If only I could get outta here...Maybe if I break the glass and
call them...

If nothing else she'd have to stop wasting His time with that
miserable performance...Oh, crap...Giles...!

What if I've given His location away...?! Damn me...! I deserve to
starve here slowly...The rats eating my rotting carcass...

Gotta reach Him...Or at least get the damned phone and tell the others
I was wrong and this isn't the real lair...

She began simultaneously trying to whack the glass with her head and
get the phone back up to her lips...

***
Master...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse,
www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon, Mutant
Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...


PG-13/Borderline R

Summary: An alternate series one story, just before The Harvest...What if the Master had learned about...The Jacket...? And had more flexibility in his ability to adjust his battle plans...?

Spoilers for Him...

Part VIII...


Willow!... Giles called into his phone...Xander straining to hear...

Nothing...

Shes either dropped it or been taken or... Giles began...

There is no other or!!... Xander cried...Waving a hand...

The Watcher nodded kindly...Xander shaking his head as he backed off...

But now we know where to start... Giles noted...

Yeah...Xander nodded...Well, lets get the hell out of here and do something...

Wait... Giles indicated Angel...Lying on the ground, having listened to Giles side of Willows call as best he could flat on his side...

Ok...Xander sighed...Lets get soul-boy to the crypt room and get moving...

"No...Leave me here..." Angel replied..."It'll take too much time to drag me out and there may be other minions searching for us via the other tunnels..."

Angel...Giles paused...If we start smashing through the cavern roof back there, this section may collapse as well...
If the roof collapses...Angel noted...Your friends Buffy and Willow will be killed...Sacrificing me is no great additional loss...

But if you can find something I can use for a splint before you go...I might be able to get myself out of here in time to help...

Vampiral healing ability...The one good thing...Sometimes...In my miserable existence...he grinned at Xander...

"All right, I'll see what I can find..." Giles nodded...

Xander, go and see your uncle gets here on time...

"Uncle Rory?...For a certified check?...He's probably out there now..." Xander noted...

I'll get him to the site...

Ummn...he paused...Giles...?

Buffy and Willow...?

"I'll try to have the team from the Council proceed into the lair, Xander...Maybe they'll be able to help them...But the Master must be stopped...Whatever the cost..." Giles eyed him carefully...

He nodded and headed for the exit...

***
"On it, Ripper..." Tristam Reynolds, Council Observer and field agent spoke into his cell phone, and closed it...

Right...he pointed to the old entrance to the lair...Where Xander and Buffy had made their ill-fated effort to save poor Jesse a few days before...

About two hours of daylight left, sir...Young Wesley Wyndham-Price reported the team's evaluation to his superior...The others gathering round...

"The passage seems safe for the first two hundred yards...Then blocked with a barricade..."

Blow it...Now...Reynolds replied...Crossbow or blast anything hindering you except Ms. Summers...Our objective is an underground church, approximately two-two and a half miles straight on...To be destroyed at the latest after Ms. Summers is in our hands...But to be destroyed at all costs...

"To it, lads...!!!"

The combined team of twenty entered, all heavily armed with crossbow and grenades...One sporting a multi-chambered gun even more potent-looking than Giles'...Another hoisting a box that bore a remarkable resemblance to those boxes of high explosives in the movies...

***
Oh...Master... Willow whined in synchrony to Buffy's own groans...Watching from her window...

If only I could reach you...To show you and that moron how it's done...

But even her extreme and ever-strengthening devotion...As she continued to eye the Jacket whenever Heinrich's movements allowed...Was not enough to get her free of the confining rock cliff and church back wall she was trapped between...

Uh-oh...Looks like the Slayer is finally getting serious...Swinging round and moving up on Him...

Oh...My...the Master gasped...Eyeing his Bunny creeping up on Him...I can't believe it...

Who would have thought this would beat world conquest flat...Oh...

Bunny...he whispered...I...Think that's about as far as I can...Go...

Given my...Unfortunate limitations...

"Forget your disability, darling...We're gonna do this, Heinrich..." Buffy beamed at him...Utter love in her eyes...

Or I'll die trying...she climbed up on him...

"Oh...Bunny..." Heinrich moaned... "For this Gift I could..."

BOOOOOM!!...A huge pounding crash shook the whole cavern to its foundations...

The church ceiling began giving way in several places...

Wow...Heinrich and Buffy looked at each other...Beaming a bit in slight confusion...

Well, natch...Slayer and Master Vampire...Earth's gotta move...she thought...

"Master...?!...Eehew!!..." Darla threw the door open and grimaced, covering her face...

"The cavern is being attacked somehow...!" she cried from behind her fingers "...From the surface...!"

"What!!!?" Buffy and Heinrich cried...Buffy hoping up in a rage...

Attack her Heinrich?...From the surface?...In daylight?...

Bastards!!...Cowards!!!...

"C'mon Darla!!..." she yelled...
Heinrich, wait here!...she turned to the Lord of all...Still recovering in his reclining position...

I'll kill them all and be right back...

Don't worry, we are gonna finish what we started...

He feebly waved a hand...

A grim Slayer emerged into the main church, much of the ceiling caved in now...

Above, the cavern roof could be seen still intact...But rocks had fallen from the sides and the roof itself...

BOOOOMMMM!!!!...Another huge blow knocked them off their feet...

"I have to get to the surface...What's the fastest way...?" Buffy looked at Darla...Who looked back at the chamber...The Master in danger...

Darla...?!!!...Buffy shook her...Devotion is fine, but practical matters here, sister...

How can I get to the surface quick?...Heiny's existence depends on it!...

"I'll take you..." Darla nodded...

Thank our demon God for Bunny the Vampire's Slayer, she sighed, as she led Buffy out...

Heiny?...she thought...

***
Master...Willow struggled desperately...The last crashing Boom!!! having loosened up her crawl space...She found a gap and wriggled out to freedom...

Well, freedom to embrace utter servitude forever...

She raced for the church front...Several vamps blinking at the human in astonishment...

"Bunny!..." Darla pointed...

"Willow!...Stop...!" Buffy hollered, whipping up a stake...

"Grab her!...She's here to kill our..." Buffy called out to several vamps...

No!!...Willow stopped, raising hands...

"I'm here only to serve Him!..."

"Don't kill me yet Buffy...You need me!..." she cried...
I think these blasts were just the warm-up...Checking for a hollow underground space before they really start blasting...she explained...

"Please...You and I have to get to the surface and kill those bastards attacking our Master!..."

"Our Master, Willow?..." Buffy glared...

Since when did you join the team?...

I saw Him...Willow sighed...Through the back church window...Where I was hiding...

"With you..." (you incompetent slut, she did not say...)

And then...Suddenly...I knew...I was His...

Forever...

Right...Buffy frowned...

Just like that...

"Wait..." Darla eyed Willow...

Did you see the Master's new Jacket?...

"Oh yeah...Cool...He looked so great..." Willow beamed...

Yeah...Buffy, Darla, and several other females sighed...

"I think she's telling the truth, Bunny..." Darla noted...

Our Lord has a magic Jacket that has some power over females...

"That's crazy..." Bunny...er Buffy glared...As more vamps came up to report on damage to the cavern...Simon joining them...

I don't love Heinrich because of some damned jacket...It's his...

Well...

It's his...Soul...Trapped within...

(Like William's...a voice cried within her...She brushed it off...)

Soul...? Darla and Willow eyed her...

How lame can you get...And who needs some soul to love our studly Master...?

"Well..." Darla sighed... "The Jacket probably just allows you humans to see Him more clearly...It even seems to help us clear away any renegade thoughts..."

In any case, I'm sure your friend is being truthful...And if she is His, we do need all the above ground help we can muster...

"Simon...?" Buffy turned to the expert... "This sound right to you?..."

Yes, Slayer...he nodded...I'd say this human is definitely under the influence...

You saw the Master in his Jacket, miss?...he eyed Willow...

Well...Yeah...Willow nodded...But I don't need some Jacket to love the Master...

"But leave that for now..." she shook her head...

These explosions are just the beginning...They're probing for us and the big one is coming soon...

Yes...Simon nodded...That would be correct procedure...I believe the human is quite right...

"Ok..." Buffy nodded...

"I do need all the daylight capable help I can get, Willow...So ok...But if you turn on me...On Him..."

I'd want to die, Buffy...Willow nodded...

Bunny...Buffy corrected...

"My new name..." she beamed... "Heinrich gave it to me our first day together..."

***

"Well..." Giles eyed Angel...Now safely settled near the crypt entrance...Moving a bit slowly on his hastily prepared splint...

You should be safe here...And able to leave when night falls...

"I'll join you at the site as soon as I can..." the vampire nodded...

And, Giles...Thanks for having a little faith in me...

"No alternative just right now, my boy..." Giles replied...

Though I am curious to hear more about your story when time allows...
***

"So...Kid, see...Everything's got a procedure..." Uncle Rory noted to his nephew...As they stood in the afternoon sun 35 feet above the cavern where the Master's lair lay...

Nice to see the little wuss haulin ass for once and gettin' some hustle goin...At quite a profit for his dear unc...Uncle Rory eyed Xander...

Might be more to the kid than he'd thought...But then his sis' husband being that drunk and all...He'd figured his nephew for either a lush-in-training or gay...

Of course the client he'd brought in...The Royal Council of Whatever... sure sounded...Well... "British"...If you know what I mean...

But for the price they were paying...Without negotiation...Who cared...

"First we did the small blasts...See what sounds come back...So we know what's down there and don't break somebody's water or sewer line...That's to please the jerk-offs in the state house...And keep Uncle Rory outta court..."

Like that time we blew the main oil line into town...he reflected...

Anywho, the sounds tell Howie over there... he pointed to a tall, young guy jotting notes over by the blasting equipment... If we got a hollow space and how large it is...A cavern...Or just a pipe line...

"Then we get to have fun..." he grinned...

And either use the big machine...He noted the huge shovel...

Or the real explosives...He noted Howie again...By the blasting equipment...

Depends on whether we wanta collapse this thing or just uncover it...And how deep it is...

I think we'd like to just...Uncover it...Xander noted...

Howie looked up from his notes, thumbs up...

"We got it..." Uncle Rory grinned...

Big hollow...

Howie came over...

"Hey, Mr. R...We gotta big space down there...We gonna collapse or we gonna dig?..."

Uncle Rory eyed Xander...

"Which way's faster?..." Xander asked...

Drill holes, collapse...No time...An hour tops...Howie replied...

But we likely smash up anything down there...

And...Uncle Rory noted, solemnly eyeing his nephew...We're outta here in one half-day's work...

"And if we dig?..."

Three or four hours to uncover...A day to clear...Lots less smashing...

And two full days work...Uncle Rory beamed...

"Well...The Council rep Mr. Giles really wanted to get to the inside before dark today..." Xander paused...

Kaboom...Howie nodded...Uncle Rory frowned...

But there's things in there that his Council doesn't want damaged...

"Could we...Maybe...Just get a medium-size hole through...Get light down in there...Get the stuff out...And then collapse...?" Xander asked...

"Need an extra crew..." Howie noted...One to dig, one to blast...

"I think the Council guys will spring for it..." Xander replied...

Uncle Rory relaxed a bit...

"And they'd probably want you to sift through the place tomorrow, in the daylight as well..." Xander noted...Eyeing his uncle...

Uncle Rory beamed...Patting his favorite nephew on the back...

"They got their permits, right...?" Howie noted...

Uncle Rory frowned, rolling his eyes...Permits?...

Well...New guy...Some college...

Oh...Yeah...Xander nodded...Permits are on the way...Mr. Giles is bringing em...

Ok...Howie nodded back...And the home office confirmed the deposit just before you guys came up...

"I'll get the first crew goin'..." he smiled at Xander...

Uncle Rory positively glowing...
***



"That looks like the entrance Xander and I came down..." Bunny...er Buffy noted to Darla, pointing down a side branch as she, Darla, and Willow paused at a widening of the winding tunnel to the surface...

Yeah...Darla nodded... "But it would take you quite a long way out of..."

Shouts and several fleeing vamps came falling back from the side tunnel...

"Humans!...With lots of weapons!!..." one called...

Go on, Bunny!...Darla pointed to the tunnel to the surface...Calling on her cell phone for reinforcements...

"We'll blow this tunnel when you're clear!..."

It's all up to you...Slayer...she eyed a determined-looking Bunny...er Buffy...

"Ok...C'mon Willow..." Buffy nodded...

But...Willow eyed the branch tunnel...

Our Master...If they get through?...

"Darla and the others will stop 'em..." Buffy looked at Darla...Who nodded solemnly...

Our job is in the light...Lets go...

"Hold it!!!..." two humans suddenly charged through from the branch...

The Slayer clearly their focal point...As they aimed dart guns...

Willow and Darla leaped to Bunny's...er Buffy's defense, each taking hits as Buffy rushed to the surface tunnel...

More vamps emerged from the depths of the cavern...The two humans fell back, one dragging an unconscious Willow...For interrogation before staking...

Darla rescued by one of the vamps moving up...

"Blow the branch tunnel as soon as I get up this one a little way!..." Buffy called back to the vamps charging into the old entrance tunnel...

Hmmn...Several looked at each other...Their headlong charge slowing a bit...

Long as we're gonna blast the thing anyhow...
***

Master...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse,
www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon, Mutant
Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...


PG-13/Borderline R

Summary: An alternate series one story, just before The Harvest...What if the Master had learned about...The Jacket...? And had more flexibility in his ability to adjust his battle plans...?

Spoilers for Him...

Part IX...

Wesley looked at the unconscious young...Human?...Woman he and Edward, the other team member whod gallantly charged through the old entrance defenses with him to try to seize poor enthralled Miss Summers before it was too late, had captured and dragged back to the rest of the team in the confusion following...

"She's definitely human..." Tristam, the team leader noted...The others ahead now again heavily engaged by the rallying vampires...

Let me call the Ripper and see if we can get an id on her...She might have useful information...

"In any case we could test some of our thrall cures on her...See if they might help the Slayer..."

Hard to believe the Master is using humans now...Edward shook his head, staring at Willow...

"Makes sense..." Wesley replied... "Always wondered why more of them don't use humans for daylight guards...Though of course, thrall by bite is relatively easy to spot..."

Willow stirred faintly...

"Better get her well-trussed up..." Reynolds told Wesley...Looking over from his phone...

"She's likely to be in deep thrall, whatever they used on her...And if she's one of the Slayer's assistants here in town, she's probably well trained in fighting..."

"Young girl for such a job..." Wesley noted...Hardly a slip of a thing...he sighed...

As is Ms. Summers...As are all of our Slayers...Reynolds eyed him...

"Best to get used to that, young fellow..."

"They're pulling back!..." a cry came from down the tunnel...

Wesley eyed Reynolds...

"Everyone back!!!..." Reynolds called back...

Brace yourselves!!...he cried...The foremost members now rushing back...

An explosion rocked them, but was confined to just the entrance tunnel...

"Blocked...!" a cry came back...

Damn!...Reynolds sighed...

"All right..." he paused...

Gentlemen...Miss Summers can no longer be a priority...Wesley, take your men and this lady back a safe distance and see what can be learned from her...Call Ripper for whatever he can tell you...

"The rest and I will secure the blast site above and collapse the cavern...At once..."

"We're sacrificing the Slayer?..." Wesley paused...

We've done what we could for her...And she is no longer the Slayer as things stand...

She was trying to make for the surface, I think... Edward noted...

"All the more reason for us to get there as quickly as possible...If she emerges, she's certain to try and stop the destruction of the cavern..."

"Perhaps there's still a chance to capture her...?" one asked...

It can't be the priority any longer...Reynolds told them coldly...

"Stopping the Master is our sole goal now..."

***
Oh...Willow moaned, blinking...

Tied up fast to a pole, carried by two guys, several others about her...

"Hey...?" she cried...

What's...?

"Miss Rosenberg?..." Wesley came over...

Wesley Wyndham-Price...We're from the Council...Here to help you and Miss Summers...

A lot of help, thanks...she frowned at him, trying to see him clearly...As they continued along...

"Could we stop a mo...?...I'm getting sea-sick..."

Wesley waved...Far enough away, I think, lads...

The men lowered Willow's pole and two took up positions covering the rear...

Others unpacking some weapons and some bits and pieces of equipment...

"How's about untying me...?" she smilingly eyed Wesley...

"I'm sorry I took you guys for vamps when you came charging..."

"We know you and Miss Summers are under the Master's control, miss..." Wesley shook his head...

I'm sorry but this is not the time for us to take any chances...

She glared at him...

"I'm not under anybody's...Control...Especially the Master's..."

She couldn't quite keep that gleam out of her eyes on the Master however...

Gotta get out of this, gotta help Buf..er Bunny...Save Him...Willow thought desperately...What to do...?

Hmmn...

"Hey fellas, you know...I know this is all some foolish Council overprotectiveness...And no hard feelings, really...But as long as we're not tied up in the battle...Why don't you untie me and I show you boys some American...Hospitality..." she cooed...

The men continued their work, eyeing each other...Wesley sighed at the poor girl...

Thank God for years of intensive training and deprivation experience...

Look, guys...I know you're all Brits, no sex, please and and all that...But we're all facing imminent death here...Willow continued...

"Wouldn't one of you like a beautiful memory to take to his grave...And to bring fulfillment to a young and innocent virgin before she dies...?"

"C'mon, are you guys all gay?!..." she hollered... "Lemme make your dreams come true..."

"Miss Rosenberg..." Wesley sighed again...

We are not going to release you...And you will feel very badly embarrassed about this later if you continue on this tack...

"Suppose instead..." he brought up a bottle of green liquid from one of the unpacked equipment boxes...

You try a spoonful of this...

"Sure...Just untie me and I'll be glad to...What's your name, again...Cutie?..." she smiled...

Wesley Wyndham-Price, miss...he nodded at her...

"But no, I will not untie you..."

"What?...I'm not a vampire, Wesley...Or a Slayer...Is a big strong guy like you afraid of leetle old me...?"

Please, Miss Rosenberg...Just one spoonful...

"No vile glop for me!..." she cried...

"If you think you can destroy my love for the Master with some magic elixir...?!" she raged...

"Must be a pretty weak love...If one spoonful of a weak potion like this could end it..." Wesley noted...

Willow eyed him narrowly...

Gimme that...

Ha!!...She sneered...I'm still the Master's red-haired little love pup...she proudly noted...

Oops...Guess I shouldn't have confessed my devotion so openly like that...she sighed to herself...

"Well...Your love is...Strong..." Wesley nodded...

But is it strong enough...For this?...he held up another bottle...Brown this time...

"Bring it on...Limey boy..." Willow glared at him...

***

Just a bit more...A leetle bit more...C'mon, Bunny... Buffy told herself...As she struggled through some debris blocking the final yards of the surface tunnel...

A little more and we get to kill all those cowardly bastards attacking our poor helpless Heinrich...

Ah...She shoved a boulder back...Crawled through a mess of sharp and pointy rocks, tearing clothes and skin...And saw daylight...

And a large machine shovel bearing down on her...

Whoa!...She fell back down as the shovel came down hard on the tunnel opening, biting into the earth...

A quite nice opening now exposed as she pulled herself up and back...She clambered over some muddy rock as quickly as possible, seeing the shovel scoop rising to fall back any moment for another bite...

Whoa!!!...Xander stared from his spot beside Uncle Rory as he spotted the figure struggling up the side of the small pit the machine had begun digging...

"Hold it!!...Unc, how do you tell 'em to hold it!!!?..." he cried to his shrugging uncle as he waved frantically at the machine operator in his cab...

Never did get those hand signals things worked out, Uncle Rory thought...

Oh...Xander glanced back at the hole...No need...She was already out...And running their way...

Or rather the machine's way...With stake...And what looked a lot like a grenade in hand...

And looking about what he'd expect a devoted Master's Slayer to look like when someone was smashing into her Lord's lair with heavy equipment...

"Who the hell's that?..." Uncle Rory stared...

Nice gams, he noted...
***

I had to get ambitious...Heinrich sighed to himself as he heard the latest grim reports from his nervous minions...The old entrance now blown as well as the others, making the Harvest exodus most unlikely ...Much worse, the humans on the surface very likely to penetrate the cavern before dark...

Couldn't just settle for world conquest, not me...

Still having trouble rising from the position where his loving Bunny had left him a short time ago...

A lot of those muscles hadn't been used in years...If ever...

Nope, he berated himself...I had to have the Slayer...

Well...If anyone can save me and my dream now...It's my Bunny...

And if she can just keep them from breaking through before dark...Still a chance...

***

"Buffy...!" Xander hurried towards her...

She gave him a grim look...Halting to size up the situation...The big machine, clearly her main focus...

"Keep away from me, Xander!..." she cried...

You're trying to hurt my Heinrich!...And after he was willing to spare you and Giles!...she raged...

If I had the time...I'd kill you myself...Slow...she glared...

"But..." she dashed off to the side, moving easily away from him and toward the machine...Tossing the grenade as she reached a point 20 feet away...

"Jesus..." Uncle Rory stared...Watching the little skirt, her clothes in tatters, tossing what looked like an old-fashioned WWII grenade at his pride and joy...

God...Not another of those damned tree-huggers...he sighed...

Xander raced for the machine, grabbing the grenade and tossing it with what he hoped was a quarterback's grace...

It wasn't...But it sent the thing about 20 feet...Which was enough...

Especially as the Master's stock of explosives was not all that...Fresh...

Bang!!...The grenade tossed a bit of rock and earth up as Xander and a now-halted Buffy looked at it...

Shit!!!...Buffy stamped her feet...My only one...She glared at her old friend...About 30 feet away...

Well, change of plan...she raced for the cab of the machine...

Tossing poor Howie out the other side just as Xander reached the base and climbed up...

Hmmn...She looked at the controls...How do you drive this thing?...

"Buffy...!!" Xander threw open the side door...She frowned at him...

Out!...she pointed...Or I throw you out...

"You're not gonna save him this way, Buffy!..." Xander eyed her...

We're gonna blow this place apart...With or without this thing...Now that you're safe...

She blinked at him...Oh, shit!...He's right...Oh, I've done it again...

Dumb Bunny screws it again....

Wait a mo...They can't blow up the place if we're sitting on top of it...As we are...

"Xander...?" she stared at him...

"Go tell your friends...I'm staying right here...Let them try and blow the roof..."

That is...If you're willing to watch me die...

No...he sighed...

I'm not...

But...he pointed at the team of Council members now racing over the site from the left...Most heading for the temporary explosives storage shack...

"I think those guys are..."

***
"Tasty..." Willow nodded...After trying a spoonful of the fourth bottle Wesley had offered her...

But the Master is still my number one...

I see...Wesley eyed her...

Well, thank you, Miss Rosenberg...That rules out a chemical agent...

Oh...she blinked at him...

Hmmn...I shoulda pretended that one of them worked, shouldn't I?...she sheepishly asked him...

"Don't be too hard on yourself..." Wesley smiled...

This thrall mechanism seems to involve depression of the intellect...

***
"Xander?..." Buffy stared at the group now securing the site...Much to Uncle Rory's fuming indignation...Soon relieved by Reynolds identifying himself and his team and a promise of a sizable bonus if he and his men quietly knocked off for the day...Immediately...

"You got a cell phone on you?...Could you call somebody over there and tell 'em Bunny is ready to die for her Master?..."

"I have a phone, but I don't know these guys, Buffy..."

Bunny...she corrected...

My new name...she explained...

Heinrich's idea?...Xander eyed her...

Yeah...Pet name kinda...she smiled...

I could call Giles...Have him call them...

Please...? she beamed...

Or I will kill you before you can get out of this thing...she raised her stake...

Sorry...she sighed...

Love, ya know?...

Fraid I don't...Xander sighed as he dialed Giles...

Oh...Xander...Bunny...er Buffy shook her head...

"Someday the right girl will come along...If you live through this..."

Say...she pointed at a man just appearing in the distance at the far edge of the site, lifting a cell phone to his ear...

That must be Giles...

***

"Buffy..." Giles sighed into the phone...Reynolds now beside him...

You must realize we are determined to stop your Master no matter what the cost...

"You'd kill me?...Your own Slayer...?" she replied...

And our innocent Xander?...

It's out of my hands now, Buffy...

Bunny...she replied...Please...Call me Bunny, now...

"No..." Giles firmly told her...

You are Buffy Summers, the Slayer...Not the Master's trollop...

"And as your Watcher, girl...I ask you...I order you...To pull yourself together and shake this nonsense off..."

"Guess you better just blow this place, Giles...Cause I belong to my Heinrich...And I'd just as soon die for him...Than live to see him destroyed..."

And I am not a...whatever...

I'm sorta his Queen...his wife...Mrs. Heinrich Nast...

"Fine..." he sighed...

But you'll forgive me if I don't choose to give the bride away...

"Here is team leader Reynolds to talk to you...Try to get hold of yourself, my dear..."

He handed the phone over...

Keep her talking...he hissed...And went over to join several of the team members....

"Miss Summers...? Tristam Reynolds here..."

Hi...she brightly replied...

"Did you guys come all the way out from England for me...?"

***

Oh...Willow put a hand to her head...

"Stop that...It hurts..." she eyed Wesley...Approaching her with a spell field detector and general neutralizer...

Hmmn...

"But I still love Heinrich..." she hastily added...

Naturally Wesley nodded...

"This just indicates that a spell is in use on you...And shakes it up a bit..."

Nice...she eyed the unit...

"Be nicer if the Council coughed up a few bucks and let us have some of this high-tech stuff..." she noted...

"You guys got...Anything else...?" she asked innocently...Trying to make mental notes of all she saw...

***

"Whatdaya mean Xander's not important...?" Bunny...er Buffy glared at the cell phone...Standing in for Mr. Reynolds of the Council...

Xander...?...She shook her head...

"Don't you let this Watcher guy tell you anything like that...You are very important...To all of us..."

"But you would still kill me..." he sighed...Looking across the cab to her...

"Love's a tidal wave, Xander...I'm sorry..." she eyed him sadly...

***
Master...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse,
www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon, Mutant
Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...


PG-13/Borderline R

Summary: An alternate series one story, just before The Harvest...What if the Master had learned about...The Jacket...? And had more flexibility in his ability to adjust his battle plans...?

Spoilers for Him...

Part X...

"Charges set, sir!..." one of the team reported to Tristam, still on the phone to Bunny...er Buffy with Xander in the cab of Uncle Rory's machine...Giles, beside his fellow Watcher stared at him...

Reynolds shook his head...We can't risk waiting much longer, he noted...Turning back to the phone...

"Miss Summers?...We are ready to collapse the Master's cavern...I strongly urge you to leave that machine...You must know we will not hesitate even for your sake..."

"Go ahead and kill me!!..." Buffy yelled...

Hello?...she stared at the phone...Call terminated...

Damn!...I guess that's what they were planning to do, huh?...she noted to Xander...

"They're very dedicated...Like me with Heiny..." she smiled...

Heiny...? he thought...

"Ummn...Buf...Bunny...There's no point in dying here...It won't do your Master any good...And these guys are all Giles clones, Brits...They mean what they say when it's about Duty and all..."

Yeah...she sighed...

Well...Xander...I guess we should leave...she smiled...

"You do realize you're my hostage now...Right?" she raised her stake, sliding over to his side of the cab...

But I'm sure I won't have to kill you until we get to Heinrich...she noted....

Great...he sighed...

"OK...Xander...When I say the word...I'm gonna have you open the door and we're going out...Looking like I'm surrendering to make a deal or something...But if you try to run away...I won't have time to remember you're my friend..."

"We're still friends...?" he eyed her...

Practically brother and sister...she beamed...

Oh...he looked down...

"Xander...Is that so bad?..." she patted his hand...

Nah...he smiled back...

"But of course you will kill me if..."

Sorry...she bit her lip, a sheepish expression on her face...And raised her stake...

Get ready to move...

She punched her redial...

"Hey, Mister...We're coming out...Hold it just a minute...I got a hostage, you know..."
Reynolds held a hand up as he listened...

"Hold, lads...!" he yelled...Looking at Giles...

Get every man with a dart in position...Now...he whispered to the Ripper...Who headed off...

"All right, Miss Summers... If you come out, we'll hold off a bit...But just three minutes..."

Buffy...Xander eyed her...She frowned...

"Sorry...Bunny...You can't save him...They'll set off the three explosions, one after the other...And the third will finish him..."

He's through...

She glared at Xander...But...Having already reached the same conclusion...

Look...she nudged Xander with her free hand...As they watched Giles move off from Reynolds...

He's trying to get the guys over to catch me...Good ole Giles... she beamed...

Kinda glad in a way I didn't catch him...

Though I told you Heinrich was gonna spare both of you?...For my sake?...

He's really so kind when you get to know the real Him... she gushed...


***

So... Wesley smiled at Miss Rosenberg...Still tied to the pole the team had secured her to, lying pole/back side down...

Lets sum up...You are in thrall...It's obviously not a chemical...Though extremely fast-acting...It does not require constant contact with the user...

"The thraller or thrallee...?" Willow asked...Looking up at Wesley...

Sorry...I always wondered which was the correct term...she explained...

"Thraller...I believe...Jackson?..." Wesley eyed a team member who'd been thumbing through a book of thrall spells...

Thraller, Jackson nodded...

Anyway... Wesley continued in a precise tone... A spell is involved...But apparently of short-range, else every female in Sunnydale would be rushing to your Lord's defense now...

They will be...Willow noted proudly as she could in her current position...

Soon as my Master rises...

"Ah...So the thrall mechanism requires contact with the thraller..." Wesley nodded...

Damn...Willow cursed herself...Outwitted me again...Guy is good...

"By the way, Miss Rosenberg...Shouldn't he really be...Buffy's Master...?" Wesley eyed her...

She is his most important asset you know...And being the Slayer, naturally he'd be planning to take her for his Queen...

"That's only for the present...Tactical reasons!..." Willow insisted...

He's merely using her until his Ascension...Then he'll...

Well...She paused...A sad expression on her face...Even in thrall, she had to be honest with herself...

I guess...She's the One... she admitted...

But I can still serve Him til death...And beyond...In some small way...

Don't ya think...Wesley?...she asked pathetically...

"I'm sure he appreciates your services..." he gallantly nodded...

Aw...He doesn't even know I'm His...she sighed...

Oh...? I can't believe that...Wesley shook his head...

"It's true...I was just looking in his church window...At him and Bunny...Together...I was trying to betray Him to Giles over my phone..." she looked away, ashamed...

Then I saw his Jacket and how great he looked in it...she beamed...

Jacket...? Wesley asked innocently...

Jackson eyed Edward beside him...The spell artifact...

Oh...Yeah...Willow nodded...This really neat old Sunnydale High jacket, with a big S on the left...

Looked sooo good on Heinrich...You wouldn't believe...

I think I would... Wesley smiled kindly...

Say... she smiled back...

"I don't suppose you'd be willing to untie me now that we're getting on so well?...Let me use the facilities?..."

I'm sorry...he shook his head...

Geesh...she frowned at him...

"On his worst day, Heinrich was never that cruel to his victims..."

***

Ok... Bunny...er Buffy...Tensed, nodding at Xander...

Open the door and on the count of three...One...

Xander raced out the open door of the cab, leaving dear Bunny...er Buffy...With jaw hanging...

"Xander?!...You're my hostage!..." she cried after him...Hopping out herself...

The various Council team members who'd moved up fired their darts at her...She dodging nimbly...

Damn...How could Xander do that to me?...He was gonna be my human shield...she groused to herself as she raced for the hole where the tunnel surface exit had been...

"Bunny!..." Xander called to her, he having reached the hole first...Expecting she'd make for it if the others failed to stop her...

She slashed at him to get him out of her way...Pointless to drag him down to the lair...And actually she'd accomplished her initial goal of reaching the entranceway even without her shield...

"You can't help him now...!" he cried as she leapt in...

I can die with Him!...she hollered back...Disappearing into the tunnel depths...

And maybe...Still a little bit more...she thought...Racing down the tunnel...

"No, Xander!..." Giles rushing up, held him back from the pit's edge...About to hop in...

She'd only kill you now if you try to stop her...

"We can't help her now..." Giles told him... Even the entire team would never make it to her this way through all those creatures...

It will be sundown in less than an hour...We must collapse the cavern before the Master's vampires are free to roam out...

"No..." Xander stared back...
Giles, there's another way...

I told her just now there'd be three explosions...One after the other...Not the whole set at once...But if we set off just one heavy charge...The shovel might be able to break through there right away without destroying the entire place...We'd have the light on our side and we could get down fast by dropping cables...

She'll be waiting for the other explosions...Hoping somehow to save her boyfriend..With the others dead or hiding from the light maybe we could reach her before she realized....he finished...

Right...Giles nodded crisply...Waving down the fast-approaching Reynolds, he quickly outlined Xanders plan...And insisted on its implementation with a non-negotiable stare...

So...Xander thought, watching a coolly precise and forceful Giles hed never suspected existed within...

That's Ripper...

***
Several vamps looked up at the remaining exit tunnel to see the Slayer racing towards them...

"Bunny?!...What happened...?!" one called...

She waved a hand... "All set!!!..." And raced for the church...

Yeah!!! a number cheered...

That's our Slayer!...

No need to have them all getting panicky now...At least not until the end came...

And not before she'd rendered her last service to her beloved...

Just as she reached the church and hurried in, the most powerful blast by far yet shook the whole cavern... Several rock masses came down, destroying a number of the faithful...

"Bunny!?..." A still drug-recovering groggy Darla eyed her within the church...

"I couldn't stop them, Darla..." she moved toward the chamber door...

Darla grabbed at her...

What can we do for Him now?!...she pleaded...

We can't possibly get Him to safety!...He can't leave this building!!...

"The chamber is sturdy...I'll try to shield Him when the final blast comes...Maybe I can hide him if I survive..."

We should all go...Darla insisted...The other females rising...

Cover him with our worthless bodies...

No!...Buffy sternly commanded...

We don't want the humans to find a lot of vamp ashes in the chamber...

Let the others surround you, Darla...If you're all killed...They'll believe you were He, protected by His faithful...

Darla frowned...But winced as a large rumble and crash was heard...

Light!!!!...A scream from outside...Along with the sounds of dozens of panicking, dusting vampires...

"No time to argue!...Am I His second-in-command or no?!..." Bunny...er Buffy glared...

Get around me...Darla called to the others...

Like you're protecting me...Hurry!...

Save Him, Bunny...she eyed the Slayer...Who nodded...

I will...she thought...Opening the chamber door...

"Bunny!?...What's happened?!..." Heinrich cried...

At least the most important part...I will...she promised herself, shutting the door behind her...

***

Boom!!!....Uncle Rory's shovel crashed down again on the ground above...Rapidly widening the gaping hole in the cavern roof...

The church below rocked and heaved...More rocks crashing down on the weakening ceiling...

Bunny and Heinrich Love Theme (Romeo and Juliet)

There's nothing more to be done, my love...Buffy sadly noted to the anxious Master...Eyeing The Jacket...Which called out to her...As if telling her what was the only thing to do...

They're going to destroy you...And I can't stop them...

"But...I can help you still..."

Another crash on the cavern roof...Several pieces of ceiling fell...Light shafts now peeping through...Imprisoning the Master in his spot...

"What do you mean...?...If you love me, go and kill them!..." he nervously waved at her...

I couldn't now sweetheart...They're about to set off the final blasts...she sighed...

I'm so sorry, dearest...But thank God I got back to you in time...

Hmmn...Heinrich frowned at The Jacket...

Beginning to think this was a bad investment and a bad idea from the start...

"What do you mean...You can help me?...Can you get me out of here...?" he stared at the light shafts...

No...she shook her head...

"Oh...Right...The mutual death scene..." he rolled his eyes...

Now that's what I call help...he sighed...

Still...He thought...Astonishing himself...

Poor Bunny meant well...

"Oh, no dear..." Buffy smiled at her beloved...

It's your soul I can help now...

I have the power to free your human soul...

Ummn...Bunny...Heinrich paused...Listening to the shouts outside...

My soul is long gone...

"No, no...Heinrich...Your soul is trapped...Buried within the evil someone encased it in centuries ago..." Buffy insisted...Rather emphatically...

(Just like William's...A voice within gave encouragement...)

Yes... she nodded...Staring at Him...

I know it now...I couldn't have come to love You so much unless Your poor trapped soul was calling to me...

"What!?..." Heinrich stared...
Now Bunny...I appreciate your desire to see me in the best possible light, but...

"It's my Gift to reach that soul..." she noted... "And free it..."

And then...When this place collapses around our dead/destroyed bodies...My soul will join yours...

She blinked a bit...Hmmn...

Guess we will be doing the mutual death scene at that... she bit her lip... Sorry if I'm being lame, darling...

The chamber door was forced open...And shut...

Sir...?...Ma'am...? Simon eyed Buffy and a desperately backing away Heinrich...Penned by light beams in his dark corner...

The humans have blasted part of the cavern roof away!...he began...

"Simon!..." Heinrich cried...

"She's lost her mind!...Stop her!..."

Buffy whirled on the research chief...Grabbing his arm before he could run...

Help!...He cried...His cry lost in the shouts and rumbles from outside as she covered his mouth...

"Damn you, you coward...Fight her!..." the Master glared...Looking for any break in the light shafts...As Simon helplessly struggled...

Hmmn...Funny she thought...

"Simon?...Do we know each other from somewhere?..." she asked, holding the stake at his chest...

He stared up at her...What?...

Of course...she glared at him...

"Farris?!...You murdering bastard!!!..." she cried, in a British accent...While Heinrich stared in surprise...

Simon for his part...suddenly recognizing the accent she'd taken on...

"Cicely...?" he gasped as she staked him...

Bastard...she stared at his remains...

Suddenly she blinked at Heinrich, shrugging...
"Don't know what came over me..." she paused...

You're insane, girl...Get away from me!...the Master hollered...

Help!!...he yelped...

She came over to him, raising her stake...Gently...

"What are you doing, Bunny!?..." he cried

"Slayer, you are mine, I command you..." the Master solemnly intoned...Applying his hypnotic technique...

I'm sorry...Darling...Buffy sighed...

It's true...I am yours...Forever...

But love pretty much beats out hypnotic thrall...

"Heinrich...Sometimes love means doing things your beloved may not understand, but you know are for his best..." she murmured...

And it's your soul I adore...My darling...She staked him as he desperately tried to back away...

But...Even as he dusted...An unmistakable look of joyful peace on his face in that last second...

Someone...Cared...

It may not have been the real thing...But for the centuries-condemned Heinrich Nast, his torment at the acts of his demon at last over...

It would do...

She knelt...And buried her face in his Jacket, sobbing...

And waited for the next blasts...Staring up at the creaking beams of her tomb...

She was still gently sobbing when Xander burst into the chamber and fired his dart...

***

"Normally..." Reynolds sighed...Eyeing Giles and Xander...And a newly arrived, darkness having fell...Angel...

The Council would never go for this...A memory spell on the Slayer...

But given the circumstances...And the potential psychological trauma...

"Are you guys sure about this?..."Xander stared...

It's safe?...

"It should be quite harmless, Xander..." Giles noted... "On both Bunny..." The others stared at him...

Oh...Sorry...

On both Buffy and Willow...

We'll simply reconstruct what happened from the time just before Buffy was first exposed to the Jacket...They'll believe the Harvest was attempted but failed and that the Master was afterwards defeated by Buffy...Their minds will fill in any details under hypnosis during their joint debriefing stage...And we just have to make sure we agree with whatever scenario they construct between them...

I dunno... Xander sighed...

"Do you want them to learn they were both deliriously happy slaves of that thing?..." Giles eyed him...

Hmmn...Mrs. Bunny Nast...Xander thought...No, not even Buffy could bear that...

Ok...he nodded...

"All right then..." Reynolds nodded...Then we are all in agreement...And this incident will be expunged from all Council records...The version our dear ladies construct between them under therapy tonight will be taken down as the true history of these last few days...

"Angel?..." Giles eyed the vampire...Who nodded ascent...

Anything to keep History from learning how small my part was here...he thought...

"What about that Jacket?..." Wesley asked, speaking up from his spot near his superiors...

I mean...Mr. Harris may have set it on fire and destroyed it when he threw it at Darla and her burning companions before she escaped...But we still don't know where the hell it came from...

And...I can't see Sunnydale High as having any particular appeal for Heinrich Nast that he would feel compelled to model his greatest weapon on one of their football jackets...

"You know..." Xander pondered...

It did kinda remind me of the jacket Lance...Our football team captain...Used to have...Before he wound up in the hospital last week...After his girlfriends Bev, Marie, and Linda beat him up cause he ran out on them when some punks jumped them...

"Always was quite a hit with the ladies..."

Main Theme
***

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