Series: Popular: the Raven
Author: Melanie M./Shai/Misty AKA
Archive: The Realm (as always), possibly others (if you ask nicely)
Pairing: Nicole/Amanda, Brooke/Faith, and a few surprises ^.~
Disclaimers: I don't own anything attached to any mentioned shows/characters and I'm making absolutely nothing off of this fic. Well, accept for maybe feedback.
Comments: Shout outs to all my loyal fans and PopSlash ppl. You know I love you guys! A special shout out to Kimber cause without her my fics wouldn't have a home. Thanks a million hon. Also, to you readers, remember, I need feedback so FEED ME! Enjoy!
"Is something wrong Buff?" he asked, grabbing another jelly doughnut.
She sighed, deep in thought. "I had another weird dream last night," she confessed.
"Oh boy. Another end of the world baddie type dream or just your regular went to work without your pants type?" the redhead chirped, trying to lighten the mood.
The blonde let out a soft laugh. "Unfortunately it was a baddie dream. There were these three guys and we were fighting them but nothing we did killed them. I also saw a horde of very pissed off demons and vamps. Something's going on and we have to find out what before it's too late."
In a lair below the city. . .
"Are we ready yet?"
"Almost sire. We'll be fully ready by morning."
"Good. I want to get this started as soon as possible. The Slayer won't know what hit her."
The next day. . .
`She studied the land closely. They were chasing death or perhaps tempting fate. Their mission from those above wasn't quite clear yet but in the mouth of hell it would show itself.'
"Sam? What are you doing?"
"Leave her be Brookie. She's just writing another one of those venomous articles about the evils known as us cheerleaders. I know you're jealous Spam, I can see it on your face," Nicole teased.
"Actually, I was writing in my journal about our little adventure. I mean, c'mon, we're venturing into the mouth of HELL!"
"She has a point," Brooke replied.
As the car stopped they all looked around. "We're here. I have an appointment with an old friend and Nick has to check in at the Precinct. We'll meet you back here in a few hours," Amanda replied, leaving them with the car.
Walking into the cemetery, she looked around cautiously. "Come on out you wanker," she laughed.
"It's not polite for a lady like yourself to say such things," he replied, stepping out of the shadows.
Their eyes met with a moment of silence and then a hug ensued. "It's been a long time Amanda," he sighed with a slight British accent.
"It sure has Marik. How have you been?"
"It's been rough round `er lately. I suggest you go back where ya came from luv, cause this ones gonna be a bit bloody."
"How bad is it?"
"An immortal with an army of the undead. We're talking hordes of vampires by night and an equal amount of demons by day. I'm not sure the Slayer can handle this one."
"Two what? Slayers?"
"They'd have a better chance. With a little more magik and force they could possibly pull it off."
"Don't worry about these guys. I know how to kill them and I know friends of the Slayers."
"Well, good luck to you then. I'm headed to LA, less tension."
"Keep your head old friend."
Meanwhile at the Magic Box. . .
Faith sighed as she looked at the door. She took a breathe and nodded. She had to do this, it was the only way to make peace. She followed as the others went in. She paused when she noticed all of the Scoobies staring at her. "Hey," she managed calmly.
"Why are you here?" Buffy demanded coldly.
She hated that cocky tone in the blonde's voice. It was dripping with arrogance and supremacy. Narrowing her eyes, she spoke, "I'm here to help. Unlike you, I care about my friends and I won't leave anyone behind. This is gonna be a war and we need to be ready. I brought some major backup, so just chill out B."
"Are you blaming me for what happened to Cordi and the others?" the blonde replied, shocked.
"You fed them to those fuckers you sick little bitch. I'll never forgive you for that," the brunette seethed bitterly.
"No, Angelus did."
Nicole frowned as she looked around cautiously. Something here gave her chills like it was telling her to fight or run. She focused her attention back on Brooke, watching her carefully in case she needed to stop her from getting her ass kicked.
"He. . .he tricked me into thinking he was Angel. We got to talking and he distracted me while his friends fed. When I found out. . .I'm sorry Faith. I know they meant allot to you," Buffy explained.
"That son of a bitch," Faith growled, barely controlling her rage.
"He's gone. He has his soul back but he took off."
Faith nodded. For now she would put the past behind them. They needed to save the world. "What do you say we start diggin up dirt on the new bad guys?"
"I still don't trust you from before Faith. What makes you think I'll clue you in?"
"Because you need us."
Sam avoided eye contact with anyone as she took in the feel of the shop. Something felt out of place but she wasn't sure what. Feeling somebody's stare she met emerald eyes. Blushing, she ducked her head shyly before meeting the redhead's gaze again. `She's really cute,' Sam thought with a soft smile.
"You know what, why don't you just back off Miss Slayer. You've seen the nightmares. Faith sees them too. We know we're in for a fight and you need us whether you like it or not," Brooke hissed.
"And who the fuck are you? This is none of your damn business."
"Oh but it is Buffy. I'm Faith's girlfriend which makes it my business."
"I don't have time for this," the blonde huffed, storming into the training room.
Tara sighed, following the other blonde. She needed to make sure Buffy didn't hurt herself.
Two hours later. . .
"Just a really arrogant, stuck up, bitchy Slayer. You?" Brooke grumbled.
Amanda raised a brow. "I take it things didn't go well with the other Slayer."
"Not good at all. She basically said she doesn't need us," Nicole replied with a worried look. She'd felt the tension rise in the magik shop and she had a really bad feeling something was gonna happen between the two blondes. She didn't know what but she had to stop it.
Amanda picked up on the discomfort in her lover's voice and whispered in her ear, "do you wanna talk about it?"
"Later," Nicole whispered back, focusing on Nick. "Did you find anything?"
"Nope. Allot of unexplained murders but nothing suspicious."
"So where'd you take off to? Find anything?" Sam asked, eyeing Amanda.
"I met up with an old friend. He told me an immortal is behind this plan and they have an undead army," she replied, meeting Faith's eyes.
Faith looked away. "I hate to say this but we gotta tell B. If we plan on winning this one we'll need her and the gangs help."
"Are you sure Faith?" Brooke whispered, brushing a stray lock from the Slayer's face.
Faith nodded. "Yeah."
"Ok, sorry to interrupt here but I was wondering if any of you got a weird vibe from that shop," Sam asked with a quirked brow.
Nicole paused. "You know, you might be onto something Spam. I felt it too. You think one of them is like us?"
"That's the only explanation. It's an instinct we get when we meet others like us," Amanda sighed.
"It can't be B or that demon chick so it's either Red, Xan-man or Wicca," Faith mumbled, all of this being far too much for her to handle at once.
"We should investigate but right now we all need some rest. I got all of us rooms just down the street. What do you say we kick back for a few hours?"
"I say we all need it," Sam agreed.
An hour later. . .
"What troubles you lover?" she purred softly.
She sighed hard, taking yet another breath before she spoke. "I have a feeling the blonde Slayer and Brooke are gonna end up in some sort of fight and it won't be pretty. We're gonna have to hold them back. I. . .I don't know if I can let Brooke out of my sight. She. . .she means too much."
"Shhh," she hushed with a feather light kiss. "Don't worry Nikki, you know none of us would let her touch Brooke. Besides, Brooke is a very sharp girl and she knows when to stop pushing."
"Not with Buffy," Nicole replied as she shook her head.
"Because Faith and Buffy use to be lovers. Brooke knows and I could sense it. I also noticed the blonde witch follow the Slayer into the training room while Spam and the redhead silently flirted."
"And you picked all of this up in one sitting?"
"Yeah, it was a little weird. This quickening thing is really tricky."
"Sometimes. Get some rest, we only have a couple hours til sunset."
Evening at the Summers Residence. . .
Amanda narrowed her eyes. "Fine, I'll knock," she decided, tapping on the door.
A young brunette answered the door, giving the group a puzzled look. "Um, Buffy, I think these people are here to see you."
Buffy peeked out from the living room and groaned in annoyance. "What do you want?"
Amanda stepped in front of the others and met the Slayers gaze. Her eyes were cold as she replied calmly, "We're here to help you save this pathetic planet. If you want to lose this, I could care less. I can't die and I'm strong enough to protect my friends. Are you? If this world was overcome by demons, could you keep your friends alive?"
Buffy stared into the older woman's empty eyes blankly. This woman kinda scared her. Realizing the woman was waiting for a reply, she spoke, "We protect each other but I'll accept your help. Under one condition. I call the shots."
Amanda looked at the others. They all nodded and she met the girl's eyes again. "Fine."
The brunette at the door smiled. "Why don't you guys come in? The others are in the living room. By the way, I'm Dawn."
The group filtered into the house, each greeting the others as they entered the room. Buffy met Tara's gaze then headed upstairs. Faith sat next to Tara, eyeing her cautiously. "You better watch your heart Blondie. She hurts real bad."
Tara met the Slayers gaze then shook her head and followed Buffy upstairs. Faith shrugged, walking over to talk to Xander and Anya.
Amanda turned her head sharply as her instincts went crazy. Pulling Nicole, Brooke and Nick aside, she whispered softly "the guy with the dark hair is the one."
Sam sat on the couch, not really feeling comfortable here. Feeling a familiar gaze she turned to meet emerald eyes. Smiling coyly, she waved almost shyly. Receiving a wave in return she decided to approach the woman. Walking over to her she sat next to the redhead and whispered softly, "hi, I'm Sam."
The hacker smiled shyly. "I'm Willow."
"Hey Xan-man," Faith began, "I wanted to thank you and Anya for tryin to help my friends. I owe you."
Anya smiled. "You know what Faith? You've never screwed me over so I trust you. I like you and I consider you a friend. I'd do almost anything for a friend."
Brooke crept over, tapping Faith on the shoulder. "Can I talk to you for a minute?"
Faith nodded, looking back at Anya. "Thanks. You're a cool chick and I want you to know I've got your back Demoness. I need to talk to my girl real quick though so we'll chat a lil more later," she replied before following Brooke.
"What's up QB?"
"You know the guy with dark hair?" Brooke whispered softly.
"Yeah, that's Xander."
"Amanda thinks he's the one," the blonde informed.
"He has changed a little. I'll ask him about it later," the Slayer decided as she saw the other Slayer descend the stairs.
Buffy narrowed her eyes. "It's a little crowded in here. Do you guys mind leaving? I'll call you if we find anything."
Nicole nodded. "We should probably train and prepare. We're staying just down the street from the shop if you need us. Come on guys," she replied with a hint of bitterness. They hadn't had the chance to tell them about immortals but she had a feeling the time would come soon enough.
Once outside Amanda spoke up, "I think we should walk around here tonight. I have a bad feeling about this place."
"Good idea but we told them to call us. It's not gonna do any good if we're not there," Brooke muttered, still in thought.
"Why don't you and Nick go back to the rooms while we check things out? That way if they call you can just dial Satan's cell to let us know what's up," Sam suggested, more worried about keeping Brooke safe and as far from Buffy as possible. She knew there was bad blood there but she still wasn't quite sure why.
Brooke nodded. "You guys be careful. Call if you find anything. I'll leave my cell on," she whispered before leaving with the cop.
An hour later in the cemetery. . .
"Back to the basics, huh Buff?" Xander yawned, stretching like a cat.
"Vampires never go away. At least we'll get some training in," the Slayer replied.
Out of the shadows, he swooped down. His eyes were dark as he swung his massive broad sword in Xander's direction. Anya pushed her lover out of the blade's path, the metal slicing clean through her entire body. Her lifeless form fell to the ground in a pile as Xander went into shock. She couldn't die, could she?
Helfrek appeared before him, her features grim. She knelt by the body, sighing sadly. "Goodbye Anyanka."
"Goodbye? Sh-Sh-She can't die, right? Why isn't she getting up?" Xander sniffled, trembling slightly.
She stood and met his mournful eyes. "She was human. She gave her powers up to be with you and look where it got her," she growled angrily before disappearing.
Buffy looked around in confusion. "Where did he go?"
Hearing the scuffle alerted the immortals and the raven haired slayer. They all panted hard as they reached the group. Faith saw the sullen sight of her newfound friend in a pool of blood. She fell to her knees beside the corpse and whispered gruffly, "what happened?"
Willow bowed her head as she spoke, "Some guy jumped out of nowhere. He had a really big sword. He swung at Xander but Anya pushed him out of the way."
"We have to do something quick or more people will die," Sam sighed, looking away with her eyes squeezed shut. She still wasn't use to all the blood.
Tara narrowed her eyes as she stared at the new people. "Why did that demon run off when you showed up?"
"Because Nicole, Sam and I are immortals," Amanda replied honestly. This could only be the work of an immortal. He wanted Xander's head but wasn't patient enough to wait until the boy was alone. Big mistake.
"Why were they after Xander?" Buffy asked, slightly lost.
"I'm an immortal," he whispered sadly.
"How?" Willow asked, raising a brow.
"I was adopted. My real parents died right after I was born so my uncle and aunt adopted me. My dad was a highlander and he passed that down to me. I'm one of the chosen. I didn't know that until a few weeks ago. I died my first violent death which woke my senses as an immortal. I didn't really know what I was, so I looked it up in some books at the Magic Box. When I found out. . .I was afraid to tell you guys," he explained.
"So what do these immortals do exactly?" Buffy questioned, looking at Sam, Nicole and Amanda.
"We fight for the prize. When only one is left standing he or she will receive the prize. We live until we lose our heads, any other wound heals. We only age if we don't fight," Amanda explained, hoping she would understand.
Buffy nodded. "So you kill each other for no real reason accept survival and the need to be the last one standing. It must hurt, living forever and losing everyone you love. I understand why you didn't want to tell us Xander."
Xander smiled, hugging her gently. "Thanks Buff."
Nicole rolled her eyes. How sappy! "Well, if you guys need anything you know the number. I'm going back to the hotel to get some sleep. We're gonna need it if there's an immortal behind this," she yawned.
Sam nodded. "Yeah, we should all get some shut eye. We'll check in with you guys tomorrow," she added.
The next evening at the Summers residence. . .
"We need more info on these guys. We know how to kill them but we still don't know what they're planning," Buffy whispered.
"Maybe we have some books on these guys. We don't know them by name but maybe we can find something at the shop," Willow suggested.
Buffy nodded. "Good idea Wills. Take Sam, Brooke, Nick and Tara with you. The rest of us will hit the streets," she instructed as the group dispersed.
In a demon bar an hour later. . .
"So, do you know these guys by name?" Nicole asked softly, meeting his gaze.
"Yeah. Three legendary blokes by the names Kauthna, Katra and Kazan. Very dangerous buggers if you ask me," he replied with a grin.
"Any idea what they have planned?" she probed.
He shook his head. "None luv. Mate of mine said they're keepin it all under tight wraps," he answered.
She nodded. "Thank you Spike," she whispered before she stood and headed back to the Magic Box.
Walking into the shop she froze. Everyone was staring at her with sullen
gazes and she instantly knew something had
happened. "What's wrong?"
Sam bowed her head. "Satan. . .it's bad."
The blonde's face sank in sorrow. "How bad? What happened?"
Faith and Amanda walked in from outside, slightly worried by the looks they were getting. They stood beside Nicole, all of them waiting for an explanation.
Sam bowed her head. "I'm so sorry guys. I. . .I did everything I could. There were too many. . .I-I. . ."
Faith touched the brunette's shoulder gently. "What happened Sam?"
Tara sighed softly. "Three men came in here and attacked us."
Amanda's eyes widened. "Is everyone alright?"
Willow came out of the training room and met everyone's eyes. "Brooke should be ok in few days but. . ."
"But?" Nicole whispered, her heart sinking in her chest.
Willow swallowed hard. "Nick didn't make it."
Amanda turned away from the crowd, holding her tears back. Nicole felt her heart break as she wrapped her arms around her lover. She didn't know what to say but she knew words would be of no comfort at this moment. Amanda's best friend was dead and she knew this would take its toll on her more than anyone else. All of them had become friends with him but it still didn't measure up to the friendship he'd had with the immortal.
Amanda sighed, slipping out of her lover's embrace. "Did anyone get any information on these immortals?"
Nicole nodded. "Their names are Kauthna, Katra and Kazan. They're some kind of legendary three. Buffy, why don't you and the others see if you can find anything on these guys. I'm taking Amanda for a drive."
Buffy smiled weakly. She understood. "We'll see what we can find."
An hour later. . .
"Are you ready to go back in sweetie?"
"Yeah. Thank you Nikki, I needed that," Amanda whispered, kissing the girl gently on the lips. "Now lets go in and see who these bastards are so we can kick their asses."
They walked in and sat next to Faith. Nicole arched a brow as Sam whispered something in the redhead's ear. That was just too cute. Focusing on Buffy, she spoke, "anything?"
Buffy smiled. "Yeah. They're planning on taking over the world as usual."
"How?" Amanda asked calmly.
"They need to open the Hellmouth a special way," Tara began.
Willow pried her eyes away from Sam, meeting their gaze. "They have to sacrifice three immortals, three demons and three innocents."
"It has to be done a certain way though. They have to kill the immortals on demonic soil and the demons on holy ground," Sam explained.
"They also gotta off the innocents by impaling them on the Hellmouth crest under the school," Faith continued.
"Lovely. Does it have to be done in any kind of order?" Nicole replied.
"Not with the immortals and demons but the innocents have to be the last ones on the list," Buffy replied.
Amanda quirked a brow as a thought occurred to her. "What do we know about these innocents they have to sacrifice?" she asked softly.
Buffy looked at the others. "Did you guys find anything out about that?"
Willow, Tara, Faith and Sam all shook their heads. Then they heard a soft voice reply just above a whisper, "they have to be pure souls. That's what makes the last part so hard."
Amanda met his dark eyes. "Pure souls?"
"Yeah. That's why they came here to the shop," he whispered, closing his eyes. This was all his fault. Two people had already died because of him and a third could have been added to that list.
"Oh," Buffy replied, then suddenly realized what he'd said. "Wait, what do you mean Xander?"
"They came to take one of the pure souls. They're not stupid enough to come back because they know we're gonna try to stop them. They're waiting for us," he explained, his dark eyes filled with worry.
"Who did they want though? Brooke, Nick or Wicca?" Faith pondered.
Amanda shook her head. "It couldn't have been Nick. He did some pretty awful things before he was a cop."
"So we're down to Tara or Brooke. Let me see that spell," Willow instructed.
Xander handed her the book. "Be careful Will."
She nodded then browsed over the text. Mumbling softly, she looked around. It was kinda blurry like she was in a room full of fog. Then she saw her glowing with bright energy. The fog cleared and she felt Sam's hand on hers. "It's Tara."
Buffy's head snapped in the hacker's direction, meeting her eyes. "What?" she growled in disbelief.
"The spell revealed to me that the pure soul is Tara," she replied.
Buffy narrowed her eyes. Was Willow doing this to get back at her for taking Tara? "Are you sure?"
"I wouldn't lie to you Buffy," the redhead growled. She wasn't over Tara but she was happy that they had found each other. It had taken some getting use to but now she was ready to start moving on. And she thought Sam might be the one to help her do that.
Buffy saw the look in her best friend's eyes and her features softened. She felt a little guilty for even questioning her but that couldn't be helped. "Ok. So what do we do now?"
"We let her lead us to them," Amanda replied.
They all stared at her. "How?" Sam asked.
"We set a trap. It won't be easy or safe but that's a chance you'll have to take if we're going to stop these assholes," she replied coldly.
"We need a plan."
An hour later. . .
"Looks like they went for the bait. So what now Buff?" Xander whispered as they made their way down to the lowest depths of the school.
"Amanda, Nicole and Sam will go after the highlanders, the rest of us will hold off the demons and vamps. Willow will free the innocents. Just remember, the sun comes up in about an hour so if we're in a bind hang tight until then. Are we ready?"
Nicole received a nod from the others and spoke for them, "we're ready."
They made their way through the last passage of the secret tunnel and stopped in front of the door. "Everybody stay in one piece," the blonde replied as she opened the door.
They dropped down into one of the lower levels of the school, landing on the legendary crest. They quickly spread out, all of them doing as they were told. Katra, the youngest it appeared, knocked Xander onto Faith, his eyes cold and empty.
"That wasn't very nice," Nicole growled, her sword meeting his before he could behead Xander.
"Are you challenging me little girl," he sneered with a laugh.
"Yes I am," she replied coolly.
His face became serious as he pulled his sword away. "Then lets duel," he whispered.
Kazan watched his brother for a moment but once he realized one of them was trying to free the innocents he went after her. He jumped at her but right before he hit his mark he met cold, dark chocolate eyes.
"I don't fuckin think so buddy. Nobody goes after my girl," Sam whispered, forcing him back with her sword.
"You'll be a tasty treat newborn. Give me your best shot kid," he jeered.
Kauthna laughed. His brothers were so pathetic. They chose to fight instead of just killing the stupid girls. He spun around as he felt another immortal creep near. He laughed softly, "Amanda. I should have known. When did you start working for the Chosen Two?"
"I don't work for them. I'm helping them. We have a score to settle you disgusting filth," she hissed.
"Temper, temper dear Amanda. What ever are you talking about?" he mocked.
"I'm talking about Nick. You knew he was my partner and you killed him," she reminded lividly.
"Ah, yes. The cop. That was fun," he snickered.
The sound of screaming metal filled the room as Willow freed the innocents. She safely guided them to the secret passage that lead to solid ground. After the last had gone she made her way into the madness, right beside Buffy. They fought with all they had, demon after demon fading into the new morning. The sun began to shine and they knew what to do. They spread out, each hacking away at the roof. They retreated into the room with the crest and began to evacuate. The place began to shake as three immortals received their reward for defeating their enemies.
As she made it to ground level, Buffy panted and threw her arms around Tara. "Thank god you're ok," she whispered, kissing her lover's hair.
Faith, Willow and Xander were the next to join the group. "Where's Sam?" Willow whispered.
The entire school quaked before imploding. Willow stared blankly at the heap, unsure of what had just happened. Then a hand reached out from the debris. Faith quickly ran over, grabbing the familiar hand to help them out. Nicole coughed up sand, trying to breath again. "Amanda," she gasped.
Willow saw another hand shoot up and helped pull the next one out. Smiling warmly she patted Sam on the back as she coughed. "Don't scare me like that you big dork," she whispered shyly.
Now they waited for a third hand, but would it be of friend or foe? They saw a hand slide out of the earth and Buffy approached it cautiously. Seeing it was a woman's hand she pulled her out, swatting her on the back when she began to cough.
"C'mon guys, lets go back to my house. We'll have some hot chocolate," Buffy announced.
"Oooh, with the little marshmallows?" Willow chirped.
"Wouldn't be hot chocolate without them," the blonde replied.
An hour later at the Summer's Residence. . .
"Well, this has certainly been a day from hell," Nicole yawned. The sun had risen and they had not slept.
"Literally," Amanda agreed, stretching like a cat.
"We have to come visit more often. That was kinda fun," Sam whispered tiredly.
Buffy let out a soft laugh. "Why don't you guys get some sleep? Faith's watching over Brooke and you guys need to head back to Santa Monica tomorrow."
Sam pouted as Willow walked in. "I so hate not living here," she whined, staring at the hacker.
Willow grinned. "Hey Buff, you think you can do without my brains for a couple weeks?"
"Will, what are you up to?" the slayer asked cautiously.
"I have an uncle who lives in Santa Monica and I thought I'd pay him a visit," she replied. "Besides, I wanna show Sam a good time. She hasn't seen party girl Willow yet."
Buffy shook her head. "Don't get carried away Wills. I'll see you next week?"
"Of course. Another apocalypse can wait at least a week," Willow replied with a grin.
"Have fun. The rest of you stay safe, ok? And don't be strangers. You're welcome to visit any time," Buffy offered. She really liked these people. She knew her and Faith would have to work through some things but she was willing to be flexible this time. The other Slayer had changed but she hadn't seen that before.
"Thank you Buffy. I'm sure once the girls get out of school you'll be begging us to leave," Amanda snickered.
"Well, it's crash time for me. Goodnight guys," the Slayer yawned, heading up to bed.
~<>~ The End ~<>~
Hope you guys liked it and more finished ficcys will be on their way. Working on that By the Gods one and getting ideas for others. Well, that's all for now.
Peace, love and marshmallows,
~<>~ Mel ~<>~
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