A/N: I am still working on my other stories, I swear - but I'm also working on this crossover between Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Buffy. What I am doing is situating the characters from TFA in the Buffyverse (think: Seasons 1-4). The main pairing in this fic is Reylo, but I'm also a fun of Finnpoe so that may crop up later. Thank you for any and all feedback!
Two months ago, Rey learned three important things:
1. Demons were real.
2. She was the Slayer.
3. Unkar Plutt could hold a grudge. She lost her job scavenging junkyards for parts after that whole 'steal-the-1977-Falcon-to-outrun-some-angry-vampires' thing. Her former boss really took the theft personally considering the car didn't even belong to him.
Not that being fired mattered now. Rey couldn't go home. She had duties. The Watchers' Council sent her to some sunny town in California with Luke and Finn (who didn't have anywhere else to go now that the First Order wanted his head on a pike). After all the things she'd seen and all the people she met - demon hunters, human servants, even a werewolf - the worst part of her new life was dreaming about him. She couldn't get a good night's sleep anymore, she always woke up gasping. She relived that night in the woods over and over again. Sometimes she got the upper hand on Kylo Ren and ran him through with a silver sword, other times he pinned her down and bit her while she screamed, but most of the time it ended with the ground splitting under their feet. Rey staggered away from Ren to find her friend unconscious in the snow. She and Chewie dragged Finn to the car, and they escaped not knowing if the vampire survived or not.
Next time, she would be ready for him - and anything else the First Order threw at her. She trained every day with Luke and while he combed through tomes of prophecy and magic she patrolled the cemetery and dusted the newly risen vamps that came her way. If she ever met Kylo Ren again, she wouldn't make the same mistakes. She'd stake him in the heart - no hesitation.
Rey spent the morning replacing the manual transmission in Luke's old T-16. Finn came by the house with half a dozen breakfast sandwiches - she ate all but one - and she talked him through what she was doing. Slowly - but surely - she was teaching him how to fix cars. This was her part-time job. Rey spent a lot of time on Craigslist advertising her services in the neighborhood. She did odd jobs for half the price of a professional service: mowing lawns, walking dogs, fixing motorcycles. Rey liked having something that was hers outside of slaying. And she could always use the cash. She was crashing with Finn while he recovered - and she didn't want to be a burden. Luke didn't think it was a good idea because he thought it would pull her focus but Rey insisted she could fight the forces of evil and change a car battery in the same day.
Two o'clock rolled around and Luke was gone. He left to take a call from the Council and he hadn't come back. He was officially late so Finn offered to step in and spar with her. Rey hesitated until her friend reminded her that he had more training than she did in martial arts. That made her competitive - especially with the weapon she liked best.
Rey knocked the end of her bo staff against Finn's with a small smile, stepping forward with her right foot. He defended while she advanced, blocking her blows above his head, following the drop of her staff into a figure eight, crossing over and back rapidly until they both eased into the rhythm of side-to-side passes and sweeping butterfly spins. Rey quickened the pace and Finn kept up for nearly half an hour before he dropped his guard. She saw her opening and she darted forward, striking him in the side sharply. It was only a jab but it brought her friend to his knees - and his staff clattered to the ground.
"Finn?" She tossed down her own staff, crouching down next to him with one hand awkwardly hovering over his shoulder.
"I'm good," he insisted, raising his gaze to meet hers with a reassuring wink, "I just need a sec."
Rey watched him grit his teeth against another back spasm, the muscles in his jaw tightening. "Come on, let's get you some ice," she said ignoring the way he half-heartedly waved her off to slide an arm under his and help him stand. "This okay?" He nodded in response and she walked him over to the garage door, through the laundry room and into the house. Luke left it unlocked. She left him on his stomach in the living room while she rummaged through the freezer for a cold pack and grabbed a bottle of water from the counter top. There was a note from Luke on the fridge, reminding her not to drink directly out of the carton, and she smiled at the sight of his chicken-scratch handwriting.
She returned to the living room and saw that Finn had not budged from his position on the couch, cheek pressed into the brown cushion. He rolled his eyes up to glance at her and gestured her over loosely with one hand dangling over the upholstery. "Checking me out?" he made a concerted effort to waggle his eyebrows and she rolled her eyes. He couldn't be in that much pain if he still managed to flirt.
"For debilitating injuries," she replied with forced lightness.
"Whatever you gotta tell yourself, Rey." The doctor gave Finn a solid six weeks of recovery after his surgery and warned that he might not have full range of his arms for three months. There were a lot of stitches.
She was quiet for several minutes. "I'm sorry." She felt guilty and was worried she'd set his rehabilitation back.
"It's not your fault," he assured her, catching her eye with his before she knelt down next to the couch, "I'm going stir crazy being out of commission like this." He was in the hospital for a week and bed rest for three weeks afterwards. By the end of it Finn was desperate to start working out again. Today was the first time they sparred since the attack. "Besides, you need someone to have your back."
"You need to have your own back," she retorted, wrapping the ice pack in a paper towel, "I'm good. I've got Luke, remember?"
"He's not as spry as he used to be, Rey."
She smiled amusedly in response. "Don't let him hear you say that." Luke could hold his own. Keeping the ice pack in place with one hand, Rey tugged back the collar of his shirt and inspected the still-healing wounds in his back. "Besides, things have been pretty quiet on the undead front since we blew up that nest." There weren't that many vamps out and about and she hadn't run into a demon in weeks. Finn shouldn't be worried about her. She could handle herself. "Maybe we should take you to the hospital," she suggested, "Let them check you out. How bad is it?"
"No," Finn buried his face into the couch cushion, protesting in a groan, "No more hospitals. I'll be okay, I just need to... catch my breath."
"You should lay down."
"I am laying down."
"Fine. Here is a water - drink it," she waved the bottle in his face, then turned around to pull the coffee table forward so that it was in reach, "I'm going to get you some aspirin." Rey got up and she thought she heard a muffled 'thanks' on her way out of the room.
It's not your fault.
She knew that wasn't true. She was the Slayer and it was her responsibility to fight the monsters. Nothing would have happened to him if Rey hadn't let Kylo Ren get the jump on her like that. He wasn't an ordinary vamp. He was so much stronger than she expected and he had powers she'd never seen before. He wore a heavy, hooded black robe which enabled him to move around in daylight and a mask which distorted his face and convinced her there could be nothing human underneath. But when he showed her his face, he wasn't deformed at all. His skin was pale but not sallow and he had thick black hair which brushed his throat. She was startled at how young he looked. Rey closed her eyes and rubbed a hand over her neck uncomfortably, hesitating just outside of the living room where Finn couldn't see her. Kylo Ren had wanted to bite her. He told her she needed a 'sire'.
The only person Rey confided to about this was Luke, who didn't seem surprised.
"Kylo Ren is something of an anomaly among his own kind," he had told her quietly, "Ben Solo was gifted with magic as a child and he studied demonology extensively as part of his training." Rey was stunned when Luke told her who Ben Solo was. He was called to be a Watcher like his uncle before him, but he got turned by Snoke instead. 'Ben Solo' died. 'Kylo Ren' was born. "Now he has those powers in addition to what he gains as a vampire."
She still didn't understand what this had to do with her. "I don't do magic." She didn't even think magic was real until she saw it for herself.
"No," Luke agreed with her, "But you are an anomaly - like him. You are the Slayer. If he were to sire you..." he didn't finish the thought but Rey got the gist: a Slayer-turned-vampire was bad news. All of that strength and power harnessed by a demon, it wouldn't look good for Rey either. She didn't want to lose her soul. There was only one thing to do: kill him before he killed her... or worse, made her into a monster like him.
The Slayer tensed her neck and drove her forehead into the middle of the vampire's face, shattering the nose and disorienting her opponent. Kylo could tell he was young - newly made - because he still believed he needed his nose to breathe. The Slayer drew back and kicked the vampire in the chest so hard he lost his footing on the soft soil of an overturned grave. She recovered her stake from the ground and launched herself at him, driving the wood into his body with the weight of her own momentum. Kylo moved between the headstones slowly, following her progress with interest. A second vampire grabbed her from behind, his forearm colliding with her collarbone. The Slayer gripped his elbow on both sides, stepped out, and swung her body around. Freed from the choke hold she slammed her foot into his instep, twisted and shoved her stake underneath the ribs and into the heart. Her technique was rough but it had improved since he last saw her.
The Slayer stood still in the middle of the cemetery, facing away from him so he could admire the twist of her dark hair into three no-nonsense buns, her slender neck and the outline of her shoulder blades beneath her white shirt. She was small but lithe, agile, not to be underestimated. He would not soon forget the pain of her blade slicing through his face and shoulder.
Kylo stepped into the shadow of a black granite mausoleum, watching her turn in a slow circle with her stake loosely in hand. She sensed him in the stillness of the cemetery just as he smelled her. Her face revealed how young she was, brow furrowing in confusion and lips pressed together. Her eyes flickered over the entrance to the mausoleum and then her cell phone vibrated. He gazed at her steadily as she held up the phone, checked the display, and answered. It was Luke - who called to inform her that his sister's plane had finally landed in California. There was only one reason the leader of the Resistance would come here: the First Order. It would not be long now until she understood he had come to finish what they started. They say nothing tastes as good as a slayer's blood. He was looking forward to it.