Archive | July 8, 2016

Buffy: the Invitation (an Addergoole Crossover), Part VIII

Part I: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1096503.html
Part II: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1100922.html
Part III: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1104619.html#cutid1
Part IV: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1108537.html
Part V: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1112216.html
Part VI: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1124762.html
Part VII: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1134781.html

Help! I’d like clever individual titles for these chapters as well – now taking suggestions for all 8!

Giles pulled the car to a stop on the side of the barely-paved road, very slowly put the car in park, and twisted in his seat to stare at Xander.

Willow and Buffy had already turn to do the same.

“Xander!” Willow broke what was threatening to become an unpleasant silence. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Indeed.” Giles coughed. “The time for this information would have been several days ago, Xander. What if we hadn’t brought you along?”

“Look, guys, it’s no big, okay? So some fancy school wants me — for whatever reason, probably a glitch in their system anyway…”

“From what I have heard of Regine Avonmorea, nothing in her presence would dare to do something like ‘glitch’.”

“Yeah, Giles’ books says she’s a real hardcore accuracy nut. Got in some arguments with some other scientists… I mean. If I had been reading Giles’ books or anything.”

“When we return home, Willow, we will have some conversations about your propensity for breaking into places uninvited.” Giles cleared his throat. “Regardless. Xander…?”

“Hey, no need to bring it back to me yet, I mean, Buffy might still want to get her kicks in, right, Buff? Your turn to yell at me?”

Buffy shook her head slowly. “I got nothing.”

“Come on, Buffster, surely you want to yell at me a little? I mean, I’ve been yelling at you since you got back. Just a little scream? Some witty quips? Anything?”

“Sorry, Xander, you’re just gonna have to answer the question.”

“You don’t look sorry. Does she look sorry to you, Willow?”

Willow tried her best to frown at Xander. “You’re on your own here, buster.”

“Darnit. Maybe I could just…”

“Xander.” Giles’ voice was uncharacteristically harsh. “Now.”

“Aw man… look. Fancy school. Fancy, expensive school. There’s no way my parents can pay for something like that, and I’m a horrible student anyway.”

“You’re not that bad,” Willow offered loyally. “You just don’t really care.”

“Yeah, well, why should a fancy school waste time on ‘doesn’t care’ me? So I threw the invitation out.”

“Xander!” Willow glared at him. “And you didn’t say anything?”

“Look, Will. Two things. One, you really need to get out of Sunnydale. Two, Buffy could use a break. But someone has to stay home and clean up the mess, right? And really, I’m not that good at school, and… no way to pay.”

Giles cleared his throat and cleaned his glasses for a moment. “Well. We will discuss scholarships when we get there… if we can come to an arrangement. I do believe this is something that we are going to need to wait on a decision for, until I can speak to Dr. Avonmorea in person.” He straightened up. “Be that as it may, Xander, if you receive any more mysterious letters or invitations, do tell me straightaway. And it would likely be kind to inform your friends as well.”

“Right. Tell everyone about my junk mail. Do you want to know about my credit card applications, too? Because I just may qualify for a low, low rate.”

“Xander…” Willow set her hand on his leg cautiously. Xander jerked away.

“No, Wills, you’re all mad at me, and it’s just ‘cause you’re not thinking. Yay, you got into a fancy school. Good. You should go. I’ll miss you, hell, yeah, I will, but… let’s not pretend, all right? That just makes the whole thing worse.”

Giles pulled the car back on the road. “I think you’re making several assumptions, Xander, and that — not an unhealthy interest in your junk mail — is why I wish to know things like this. There is information available to you which may change your decisions, especially if it turns out that Willow — and, yes, possibly Buffy — end up attending this Addergoole school.”

“Such as?” Xander glowered. “It’s private school, Giles. They don’t do private school for losers.”

“Xander!” Willow glared at him. One more time, Xander shrugged it off.

“It’s just the truth, Will, and I don’t see why everyone is all worked up about it.”

“Secrets,” Buffy pointed out darkly.

“Yeah, well, we all have those, don’t we?” Xander flopped back in his seat. “It was a mistake. That’s all.”

“Xander.” Giles’ voice may have been soft, but it was firm. “Two things. First, from what I know from my research — as I’m sure Willow can attest — this is not the sort of place that makes mistakes, certainly not in admission. Secondly, the school is free; indeed, they appear to pay for college for their graduates.”

Xander swallowed. “Oh.” It sounded small and a little lost. He coughed and managed a lopsided smiled. “Oh, well, why didn’t you say so?”

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The Hellmouth Job, Chapters 7 &8 (A Leverage/Buffy Fanfic)

Part I
Part Ia
Part II
Part III

The Reconnaissance

“So, complaint one, this place is in like the eighteenth century or something. LIke nothing here at all is computerized. That’s going to mean a lot more Parker and Sophie and a lot less me.” Hardison frowned at his computer screen.

“And Tara.” Sophie opened the door to their rental house to reveal her sometimes-partner. “She’s consulting on this one.”

Nate raised his eyebrows. “Hello, Tara. Sophie…”

“No, I didn’t invite her, Nate. I know how you get about these things.” Sophie held up both of her hands.

“I invited myself. Sophie and I were chatting about your little mission here, and, well, it’s Sunnydale. You need a guide.”

“A guide?” Hardison frowned. “A big town, this is not.”

“I’m not talking about the streets.” She dropped her bag and checked her make-up in the mirror. “I’m talking about the nightlife.”

“We’ve handled the mob before, Tara.” Nate frowned at her. “This one doesn’t have a revenue stream. We can’t pay you.”

“Trust me, I’ll make money. If I can’t make money in Sunnydale, then I can’t make money anywhere — and I can make money everywhere.” She made a kiss-face at the mirror and then, only then, turned to look at the three teammates. “Nate, Sophie, Hardison, good to see you. Eliot and Parker running recon?”

Hardison coughed. “Something like that…”

~

“The mall,” Eliot complained. “The freaking mall.”

“Teenagers?” Parker shrugged. “That’s what Nate said. Teenagers like malls, right?”

He side-eyed her. “You’re something else, you know that, right? Yes, teenagers like malls. So where are all the teenagers?”

“Curfew?” Parker guessed. “Do teenagers have that?”

“Why are you asking me?” Eliot nearly snarled it out. He was looking back and forth, scanning for danger, while they were faced with nothing more exciting than a nearly-empty mall.

Parker shrugged. “Seemed like you’d know.”

Eliot glanced at her, then dropped his voice and moved in closer. “Look, I was never what you’d called exactly a normal teenager, either. None of us were, except maybe Nate. Okay?”

“Teenagers are hard,” Parker muttered. “They talk a different language, and the language changes all the time. It’s like being in Paris and suddenly finding out they speak German. That wasn’t any fun either.”

“What… never mind. Look, we’re pretending to be — we’re going in as adults, all right? And the one thing teenagers know about adults is that they’re clueless. Use that.”

“Clueless.” She widened her eyes. “Like normal people!”

“Exactly. So… look. You know that feeling you get when you look at normal people? Like they’re all a bit ridiculous? Just use that. Everyone’s a bit ridiculous.”

“Have you noticed,” Parker shifted gears without warning, “how for a mall, there’s no mirrors here? When Sophie goes shopping… there’s mirrors everywhere. This place… I’ve counted something like three.”

“And there’s this guy sneaking up on us, too,” Eliot muttered. “Go check out the mall,” he sneered. “See what the teenagers in this town do. Thanks, Nate.” He ducked down, barely missing a swinging grab, and swept the attacker’s feet out from under him. “Amateurs.”

The man on the ground shifted; Eliot grabbed his hair. “P… Alisha.” At the last moment he remembered they were here under alias. “Cameras?”

“None.” She looked again. “There’s two camera balls there, but there’s no camera in them. And they didn’t even bother with the cheapest hidden cameras or anything.”

“A kill zone,” Elliot muttered. “It’s a freaking kill zone. I’m gonna murder Hardison.”

“I heard that, man.” Hardison’s voice popped up in both their ears. “All right, so what you’re in is also a dead zone. Half of that place, I can’t even find you. Oh, and the good news? Security ain’t coming.”

Eight: The Debrief

“I don’t know why driving you to the mall is part of my job. I mean, I don’t know why I have a job here at all. I mean, I’m not part of your little scooby gang. It’s not my thing. But here I am, it’s nearly dark, and we’re going to the mall…”

“Because we’re going to buy you a new pair of shoes,” Buffy interrupted, “just as soon as you tell us what you found out from Franklin. Remember, pointy bribery?”

“Yeah, well, just make sure that’s the only pointy thing you aim my way, creep girl.” Cordelia glared at the steering wheel.

“The intel, Cordy?” Xander prompted from the back seat.

“‘The intel’,” she mocked. What are you, army boy?”

“Shoes, Cordy.” Buffy flapped a hand in Cordelia’s direction. “What’s the scoop?”

Next: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1141327.html

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