Disclaimer: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer have been borrowed for the purpose of this fiction. No infringement is intended by their presence here.
This fic is rated General for all audiences. While subtext is slightly present, there are no graphic scenes with sexual content. This story is the final part in a series concerning Buffy meeting with a vampire Xena and Gabrielle, who in this fic remained vampires after being bitten by Bacchae as seen in the second season episode of Xena titled "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." It occurs during season five of BTVS.
* * *
Buffy stared at the dark-haired vampire in dismay. As if Glory weren't enough for her to handle at this point, Xena had to make an appearance. Thankfully, the “warrior princess” would not be allowed to enter until invited. Buffy wasn't about to let that happen. Turning her attention to Glory, she saw that the woman was still very perturbed by Xena's presence. Maybe she could use that to her advantage, after all.
“Giles, why don't you take the others and find some cover?” Buffy suggested, barely raising her voice.
But Giles had already ushered her friends closer to the bookshelves lining the left side of the Magic Shop. It was the only place they could go with Glory standing right there in the center of the room. Buffy knew she could count on him to get everyone out as soon as she gave him an exit.
“You know, this is getting extremely tedious,” Glory said. She held her right hand up in front of her, fingers splayed, and examined her manicure. Apparently there was something not to her liking, for she scowled and rubbed at a spot on one of the long nails. “Little scabs,” she muttered. “A girl can't depend on anyone but herself, can she?
“But where was I?” Glory continued. “Right. You have something that belongs to me. As I can see, one of your little witches is missing tonight, so no more cute spells to send me flying. I'll swat Red here like a bug. Or better yet, rip out that pretty pink tongue before she has a chance to utter a word.”
Buffy saw Willow grimace before frowning at the insult. She held up one hand, knowing her friend had something to say about her abilities. “We'll just keep this between you and me, Glory,” Buffy promised.
“How very mediocre,” Glory intoned, rolling her eyes. “Well, I can just kill you now…I have a sneaking suspicion your friends here know how to get what I want. I don't really need you.”
“Slayer,” a voice hissed behind her. Groaning, Buffy glanced over her shoulder to see Xena still standing in the open doorway. “Let me in, and I'll make her eat those words.”
Glory snorted. “As if you had the remotest chance, vamp,” she sneered. “Her peroxide buddy didn't get very far with me, but if you really feel like getting dusted...”
“She'll learn to fear me,” Xena promised, not sparing Glory a glance. Her ice blue eyes were steady on Buffy, who felt a small shiver of fear at their intensity. “The slut is just asking for a good lashing.”
“Like I'm afraid of some undead bitch you can't even dress herself properly,” Glory scoffed, gesturing toward Xena's leather bodice. Her eyes fell to the vampire's feet, and she raised her brows in surprise. “Are those boots Prada?” she asked. Then, shaking her head, she snarled, “I wouldn't waste my time with a little maggot like you.”
Buffy felt a stirring of wind, and knew she'd made a grave error in allowing her attention to be swayed. Glory swooped in behind her, and grabbed her around the neck with one impossibly strong hand. Her feet left the floor an instant later, and Buffy was holding onto Glory's wrist with both hands in an effort to give herself some support. The woman was unaffected by her struggles. She began to tighten her grip, adding steady pressure. Black dots swam before Buffy's eyes.
“I'll just squeeze you like a grape,” Glory whispered, her red lips curling luxuriously around the words. “No more trouble.”
Gasping, Buffy had just enough breath to force a few words out of her strained throat. “Xena, come in.”
What sounded like a faint scream echoed through the cold air that whistled into the room. Buffy saw Glory's eyes widen in surprise, and then she was suddenly released to come crashing to the floor. Clutching her throat, she coughed as she took her first unhindered breath. She glanced toward her friends to make sure they were okay, then gazed around the store.
Her eyes fell on the dueling women just as Xena sent a sweeping punch straight into Glory's chin. The blonde woman lurched backward a few steps at the force of the blow, her head falling back. Standing straight a moment later, she twisted her neck with an audible crack and rubbed her chin thoughtfully.
“Okay,” she said. “More distractions. Now it's my turn.”
She rushed forward, her red dress rustling around her thighs with the sudden movement. The fight began in earnest. Both women were completely intent on one another. Buffy rose to her feet and hurried across the room to her friends. She settled Giles's unspoken question with a nod.
“Now's a good time to get everyone out of here. Watch out for Dawn for me, okay?”
“Buffy, you're going to stay behind?” Dawn asked in amazement.
“I have to see where this goes,” Buffy responded. Behind her, Xena's warbling cry was followed by a particularly snide comment by Glory. “See who's left standing in the end.”
“They are ruining the merchandise,” Anya whispered, gesturing. At that moment, Glory fell back into a glass display case after being kicked in the gut by Xena. “We will not be held responsible for damaged goods.”
“Anya,” Xander interjected. “Not a good time for this discussion.”
“You'll be careful?” Giles asked Buffy, ignoring the previous two comments.
Buffy nodded again, then ushered them through the front door of the Magic Shop. Standing near the front wall, she silently watched the skirmish. Xena fought as well as she remembered, blocking more hits than she took, and dealing out blows like an old pro. She smiled, realizing that for the two of them it had been hate at first sight. Perhaps they'd take each other out and end her troubles.
Panting, Glory held one hand to her side and grinned. “You've got some major spunk,” she admitted. “I won't have to worry about my workout today.”
“No worries at all,” Xena agreed, pausing to watch her. A strange glint lit her eyes, and Buffy wondered what she was thinking. “We haven't even started yet.”
“You know what? I've really had enough of you,” Glory muttered.
Running forward, she met Xena in mid-stride. Buffy had a hard time keeping up with the exchange of blows after that. Glory moved so fast she appeared as a blur, her fists catching Xena in the face, then the chest. Her foot hooked around the vampire's ankles and swept the other woman off her feet. Glory bent over, grabbed the fallen woman by the waist, and heaved her across the room into the stand of bookshelves. The structure collapsed immediately, covering Xena in pieces of heavy oak and glass.
The blonde woman stood silently a moment, watching the mess with a speculative eye. Xena could not be seen under the massive pile, and there was no movement of any kind for several moments. Sighing, Glory brushed her hands across her soiled dress.
“God, she was annoying,” Glory exclaimed, whipping her hair back with one hand. Her gaze fell on Buffy. “I hope you don't mind me saying this, because I do tend to get a little personal, but you hang out with some real freaks, you know? Now, where were we?”
Buffy steeled herself for another harrowing encounter. She cast a quick glance about herself for any sign of a weapon, but came up dry. Just as Glory took her first step forward, the pile of rubble behind her burst outward with the force of a small bomb. Whirling in surprise, Glory threw her hands up as a rain of debris fell around her. They watched a dark figure loom out of the pile of wood and glass and fly up above their heads. Xena executed several midair spins as she leapt across the room, finally landing on her feet at Buffy's side.
“You don't just kill me and walk away,” Xena crooned.
Glory looked at her with new appreciation. “I thought you were dust for sure,” she commented.
“I'm not that easy to get rid of.”
“That's a pity. You see, we're kind of busy here, and there isn't a lot of time for whatever personal politics are going on between you and the Slayer here,” Glory explained.
Xena shrugged, unconcerned with the blonde woman's ire. “What can I say?” she asked. “She grew on me.”
Buffy stifled a groan. She liked it better when Xena just wanted to kill her.
“That's enough,” Glory said. “I'm outta here. I've got other options here. I'll just leave you two alone now.”
Realizing that Glory meant to find her friends and find the key through them, Buffy hurried forward several steps when the woman turned and began walking out the way she came. But Xena was much quicker on her feet. The vampire zoomed across the room, completely silent. Glory's back was turned, and she didn't sense Xena's approach. Suddenly, the vampire had an arm thrown around the other woman, pulling her close in a tight embrace.
“But we haven't finished playing,” Xena whispered.
Amazed that she could actually hold Glory, Buffy watched as the blonde woman twisted in the vampire's arms. When Glory's eyes met Xena's, the scowl on her face slipped away. Her lips parted, and her head tilted back to rest against the vampire's shoulder. Buffy was dumbstruck. Xena had actually enthralled the woman somehow.
She didn't try and stop Xena when it became clear what the vampire intended to do. Buffy simply turned her gaze toward the floor when the dark-haired woman's mouth opened wide to reveal large fangs. Glory moaned, and Buffy knew she'd been bitten. That was an approach she hadn't considered, Buffy thought snidely.
“Whoa,” Xena groaned after several moments. “She's got some kick to her.”
Glancing up, Buffy carefully avoided staring straight into Xena's eyes. She looked at Glory instead, who appeared to be unconscious. She sagged in the vampire's powerful arms, a faint smile on her face. A line of blood ran from two bite marks on her neck to soak into the red fabric of her dress.
“What is this one worth to the Slayer, hmm?” Xena questioned. “She seems to have been after you for some time now.”
“Oh, now we're negotiating?” Buffy asked. “No way. I don't deal with vampires.”
“Well, I'm going to keep her for awhile anyway,” Xena shrugged. “This blood is very good…a vintage year, I'd guess. I might as well take her out of your hair. Gabrielle wants to see Paris again,” she mused.
“You do what you want with her,” Buffy answered. “But I'm making no promises. If you come back to Sunnydale, you'll meet the business end of a stake.”
Xena laughed then, a husky sound that sent shivers up and down her spine. “You think big. I like that. Very well,” she said, hefting the blonde up into her arms. “I'll just retire with my prize.”
“And I'm reversing the invitation, so don't think you can just traipse in here again,” Buffy threatened. It was futile, though. This was no victory, just another long delay.
Xena walked past her, bowing slightly as she passed. “Then until we meet again,” she said, waggling her eyebrows. “Don't you just love that line?”
In an instant, she was gone. Buffy ran out into the street, but there was no sight of the vampire or Glory. She heard someone call out her name, and turned to see Giles and the others hurrying across the street.
“We saw Xena take off with Glory,” he said. “What happened?”
Buffy shrugged. “She took her. Said something about Paris.”
“Glory's gone?” Dawn asked, her voice hopeful.
Shaking her head, Buffy said, “Doubtful. Xena won't be able to hold her forever.”
“Agreed,” Giles said. “But I think we may have bought ourselves some time to perhaps come up with a suitable defense, should Glory return.”
Buffy stared out at the starry sky, imagining she saw a small dark shape flitting through the inky blackness, a dot of red in its embrace. “Oh, she'll be back. They both will.”