Disclaimer: The characters of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess have been borrowed for this piece of fiction. No infringements are intended by their presence here.
This piece is rated General for all audiences. The setting is an imagined present day where Xena and Gabrielle have survived the centuries as vampires after Xena failed to kill Bacchus in the storyline seen in the second season episode of X:WP entitled "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." In consequence, you must imagine that none of the following four seasons events of Xena: Warrior Princess occurred, and Xena and Gabby remained daughters of darkness instead of continuing their path for the Greater Good. Chronologically, this story takes place in the midst of season five of BTVS. Enjoy!
The streets of Sunnydale were strangely quiet that night. She hadn't had one good slaying the entire evening. Although this should have made her feel better about her job, the ease of tonight's patrol put her more on guard than ever. The silence didn't give her the feeling that she was finally accomplishing something in her fight, only that a bigger storm was brewing just ahead.
"This would be when some big nasty thing comes jumping out to surprise me," Buffy muttered.
The moon emerged briefly from behind its mask of clouds, illuminating the marble headstones lining the cemetery. Buffy jerked toward the faint sound of rustling in the western corner of the grounds. Expecting to see the vulpine features of a vampire's face breaching the darkness, she was disconcerted to see only a wisp of leaves pass by on the breeze.
"Should of at least brought Willow with me," she murmured, shuddering. Buffy normally elected to work alone, but company on a night like this didn't sound too bad.
The two women who watched from behind a large tombstone nearby turned to each other and grinned. The gleam of teeth outshone the moon for one moment. After centuries together, they no longer needed to speak aloud to convey their thoughts. Their minds were inextricably bound.
The smaller one gestured toward the Slayer with one pale hand. Her long blonde hair seemed to shimmer in the darkness. Her taller friend shook her head minutely.
Time, she thought, the message ringing clear in her partner's mind. I want some time to watch before we take her.
She was a massive creature, standing six feet tall and tight with muscles. Her long black hair fell past her shoulders, brushing the taut leather of a corset more suited to the bedroom than a cemetery. The ensemble was very impractical for these times, but she'd always preferred leather.
Her friend appeared more contemporary. The ready availability of cottons and linens in these modern times amazed her. She collected clothing as she hunted her prey—stalking malls and boutiques whenever darkness fell before closing time. She was never seen in the same outfit twice.
I thought we were here to fight, the smaller one complained. We left Paris for this and now you're just going to watch--
That's enough, Gabrielle. I came to have fun. Playing with her will give me just as much pleasure as killing her.
Well, I'm bored. I'm going to Starbucks. Stupid humans hopped up on caffeine are all tingly on my tongue.
With that, the blonde flitted away, faster than the human eye could see. Her friend shook her head ruefully. The little one had grown in many ways since Bacchus turned them so many years ago, but in others remained the innocent child she'd been before the bite of the Bacchae. She'd had no dark side to nurture, and so her cruelties remained more the simple desires of a spoiled child.
Xena had been evil once before becoming a Bacchae. Her time of goodness and charity remained blessedly short. She now knew that there was a reason for her do-gooder change of heart. She never would have met and joined up with Gabrielle if her entire life had been devoted to hate. And now she had her fun as well as her soulmate. What more could a girl want?
Speaking aloud at last, she whispered, "I've never hunted a Slayer before. This will be great sport."
Gazing out across the cemetery once more, she was shocked to find no trace of the human. She tensed when she smelled the cloying scent of young blood pumping through a living body and knew that someone now stood behind her.
"Didn't anyone ever teach you that line about counting chickens, or do none of you have any common sense?" Buffy questioned before striking.
Her stake met air before skittering across the nearby gravestone. The tip snapped off evenly. Peering at her useless weapon a moment, Buffy frowned.
"Damn," she whispered, tossing it aside and reaching for her spare.
A low chuckle rolled out of the darkness. "Oh, you are fun," Xena murmured. "Not many humans can catch me off guard."
"Well, I'm not like other girls," Buffy responded. "Now, do you think we can get on with this? It's almost light."
"Oh, past your bedtime," Xena clucked sympathetically. "Very well."
The night grew still once more as Xena withdrew. Buffy glanced around herself quickly, losing sight of her foe. As she had the first time, she relied on her senses to find the vampire again. She heard the whisper of a sigh at her right, and whirled in that direction just as Xena rushed at her.
The blow hit her square in the middle, knocking the breath out of her. Buffy kept her balance, however, dropping and rolling out of harm's way before she could strike again. A streak of black whizzed by, and she easily used the leverage of her position on the ground to kick up. Her boot connected solidly. The responding grunt of surprise made her smile.
"All right, we'll dispense with the kid gloves," Xena said. A metallic scrape followed this comment, and Buffy jumped to her feet when she spotted the gleam of a long blade.
She'd noticed something strapped to the woman's back when she stood behind her, but didn't associate it with a sword right then. Not many vampires carried those around, anyway.
"Wow," Buffy said. "That's pretty old. Twelfth century?"
Xena smiled in response. "Oh, it's a little older than that. It's held up pretty well, too," she added, gazing lovingly at the weapon in her hand. "Much better than my poor armor ever did. Regular bathing in Bacchae blood preserves the steel," she explained.
"Bacchae?" Buffy questioned, wondering if the woman was intent on talking her to death.
"Sorry, antiquated term. What would you prefer—the undead, Nosferatu? Or that ghastly old standby…vampire?"
"That's fine…if we can just skip to the part where I stake you, that would be great."
To her surprise, the vampire started laughing. "You know, you remind me of myself at your age. Of course, that was a few millennia ago…"
This time Buffy was intrigued in spite of herself. "Millennia?" she repeated, processing the information.
Xena shook her head. "Not too quick in the mental area, though. I guess those lightening quick reflexes make up for that, huh?"
"Who are you?" Buffy asked, quickly getting annoyed.
"Name's Xena. Now, as you say, can we get on with it?"
Then she raised her sword with an impressive cry and darted forward. Clenching her stake tightly, Buffy ducked to avoid the first slash of Xena's sword. Unfortunately, her piece of wood wasn't about to defend her against that weapon. She knew she'd have to simply dodge Xena's attacks until she had an opening to strike.
Buffy leapt back when another swing brought the sword a little too close for comfort. She felt the cool hardness of a gravestone behind her. Grabbing it for balance, she used it to flip herself backwards, landing behind. It shielded Xena's next blow, causing the sword to strike its marble surface and spray a shower of sparks overhead.
"Ooh, I'm impressed," Xena said. "Gabrielle never could master those flips."
Xena jumped, easily mounting the gravestone to stare down at her prey. Buffy was in a vulnerable position now, and thought by the expression on Xena's face that she could use that to her advantage. If she thought the Slayer was easy pickings, maybe she could catch the vampire with her guard down.
Indeed, Xena quickly moved in for the attack. But when she thrust down with her sword, Buffy was able to kick her wrist hard enough to loosen her grip. The weapon went clattering off to one side. But she reacted just as quickly, punching Buffy in the face with her other fist. Stunned, Buffy lost her grip on the stake. Knowing she'd lost her advantage yet again, she kicked one last time, catching Xena in the stomach and throwing her backwards off the gravestone.
Buffy jumped to her feet, grabbing her stake and hurrying back several steps. She wanted to be sure of Xena's location before she tried anything else. But the vampire woman didn't reappear over the gravestone.
"Very good!" a delighted voice cried from above. Looking up, Buffy spotted her perched in a nearby tree. "You do well in a pinch. I think it might be interesting to have you around for awhile. Ever thought of it?"
"You mean hang out with someone like you?" Buffy asked.
"It's not that bad of an idea."
Buffy snorted. "Let me think about that….um, no. I kill evil bottom-dwellers, remember?"
"Oh, I was a very well-behaved human for a good couple of years there before Bacchus got me. I'm not as bad as all that. But it's your call, Slayer. We could have had fun."
"You're not running off on me, are you? Big, bad Xena's afraid of little old me?" Buffy taunted.
"I guess you could say I have a thing for irritating blondes. I'll let you live, for now. Think of it as a gift for managing to disarm me. Maybe you'll be able to extend me that same courtesy the next time our paths cross."
Buffy shook her head. "Can't promise you that." Looking up into the sky, she saw the faint beginnings of a sunrise streaking overhead. "Time's up," she whispered. When she looked toward the tree once again, Xena was gone.
Her boring patrol had quickly become anything but. She knew she'd be hurrying back to Giles' house to pump him for information. How had he neglected to realize there was a two thousand year old vampire on the loose? Buffy hurried out of the cemetery just as the sun rose, knowing for a fact that she'd be meeting up with this Xena again.