Aug 05 – Immortal Companion
Chapter Summary: Buffy is very unhappy with her current assignment to 'befriend' The Immortal. **Part of the 2018 LiveJournal's Twisted Shorts FaD** challenge.
Challenge: for the livejournal 2018 August Fic-a-Day Challenge.
Timeline: post-series BtVS; vague for Highlander
Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. Highlander characters belong to Davis-Panzer Productions. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Slayer Training Facility, Scotland
"I'm sorry, but it sounds as if you're pimping me out to this Immortal," Buffy ground out once she heard her latest 'assignment' from the group.
"Wouldn't be the first time you slept with a supernatural creature with ambiguous morality…or even the second time," Kennedy muttered with enough volume to be heard by most of the room.
Giles ignored her unhelpful comment and explained, "His representative made no mention of anything of a sexual nature. He simply wants a companion and requested you by name. He holds a great deal of power in that region and his alliance could benefit the Council immensely."
"Yeah, still sounding skeazy," Buffy snapped. Then she glared at Kennedy and added, "Mention Angel or Spike again, and I'll give you a beat down that Willow can't magic away."
"I don't see what the big deal is, Buffy," Willow interrupted. "You hang out in Rome with the guy for a while, the Council gets what it wants and everyone's happy. You should feel flattered that he wanted you specifically."
"Oh, so if he requested Giles or you, then you'd be willing to sell yourselves for the good of the Council?" Buffy demanded.
Clearing his throat uncomfortably, Xander said, "That's different. Giles is the Head Watcher and Willow is the Head Witchy person. They're…unique to the Council."
Buffy reeled back as if slapped by a fyarl demon. "Wow! Nice to know how you really feel about me now that you have an army of Slayers around." She held up her hand to stop anyone from interjecting. "I'll do this, not for the fucking Council, but for the girls this could help. However, I have some conditions: first, I won't sleep with him unless it's something I want to do. Second, after this, you leave me the hell alone…except for a severance package that will last the rest of my life – or 10 years, whichever comes first. I'm not sticking around to see who you'll sell me to next."
Once she stormed out of the room, Giles pinched his nose and remarked, "That could have gone better."
Dawn, who had remained silent throughout the whole thing, stared at him in disbelief. "Are you possessed? How could you expect her to react any differently to what you did? You can put it into as fancy of words as you want, but she's right, you're pimping her out! And to a guy whose morality you aren't sure of! I think you'd better take me off the training roster for Watcher-wannabes because there's obviously something sick that happens once you become one which drains your own scruples away. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find my sister and tell her she isn't going alone."
The next day…
Buffy was surprised by the tense body language of the man who came to gather her for The Immortal. If she was reading him correctly, it wasn't an alert kind of tense, but more of anger. At her? His boss?
"Am I expected to live with him?" Buffy asked. "My sister wants to go with me, but I'm not going to let her if I have to live with him."
The muscles in his jaw were working overtime before he spit out, "That is not a requirement of his request."
"Do I get your name or…" she left of the less than flattering thoughts running in her head.
He took a deep breath and nodded. "My name is Ritchie Ryan. Are you and your sister ready or do you need more time?"
She snorted; it almost sounded like he cared. "We packed last night and said our goodbyes to the people we wanted to."
"He said to tell you that you are able to keep in contact with anyone and even visit them occasionally," Ritchie explained, somehow wanting her to know she wouldn't be a prisoner, despite the circumstances.
Assuming she had any desire to talk to anyone after this, apart from Faith and Robin. They were both suitably horrified when she called them last night. She didn't think any of the minis knew except for Kennedy, who was granted leadership status because of her relationship with Willow.
"Dawn! We're leaving!" Buffy called out, and her sister walked into the foyer with a luggage cart loaded with everything they owned.
"Nobody's seeing you off?" Ritchie asked in concern.
It was Buffy's turn to sigh. "I have to be honest here, I'm not real thrilled with this arrangement, or the fact that it was decided for me. I kind of told them that if they came to say goodbye, I'd put them in the hospital. Don't worry, though, I'll behave…as long as he can help the minis."
There went that jawline again. He'd crack a tooth if he clenched it any harder. Rather than try to speak, he just nodded and stepped towards Dawn to take the cart.
There was a limousine waiting in the drive and he waited while they made themselves comfortable inside. He gave the driver a hand with some of the heavier pieces of luggage.
As they drove to the airport, Dawn asked, "What can you tell us about The Immortal? I know the Council's records of him were kind of sketchy. Sometimes he was almost cooperative and other times, he was bordering on evil."
"It's easiest to consider him like a king of sorts. He rules the supernatural community in that area. Sometimes that means allowing things which others might find distasteful. But in the last few years, he has made some tremendous changes in his policy, including something that changed my future for the better," Ritchie admitted.
"Which is why you agreed to do this for him?" Buffy asked. "I can tell you don't like something about the situation, I'm just not sure what."
"I'd rather let him explain," their escort said, shutting down any further communication.
If it hadn't been for the circumstances, the trip would have been a treat for the sisters. From the limo to the private jet to another limo on the other end, they were afforded every luxury. At least he had money, which made Buffy feel like Julia Roberts in 'Pretty Woman' – complete with the sickening hooker connotations.
"After you meet The Immortal, we will make plans for your living arrangements," Ritchie finally spoke again on their way to the villa.
There was a man tending the gardens outside who looked like he belonged in a monster movie – as the main villain – but Ritchie greeted him like an old friend, "Hello, Ursa! The flowers look beautiful as always." The man gave a weird grin and grunted in reply.
Turning to Buffy and Dawn, he explained, "Ursa is one of The Immortal's protectees. He's had a hard life, made harder by the fact that he's…kind of simple-minded, or whatever the politically correct term for it is now. He loves flowers, beauty and music, so don't be surprised if he brings you a bouquet whenever you visit the villa. He doesn't speak a lot, though."
They went in and Ritchie led them to a balcony set up for an early lunch. "I'll be right back with your host."
Once he was out of earshot, Dawn whispered, "Do you feel like we just stepped into the beginning of a horror movie?"
"A little," Buffy admitted. "Thankfully, the blonde in this movie can kick the ass of most monsters."
"Something I'm forever grateful for," a voice said from behind them.
Buffy turned in shock. "Oz! What are you doing here?" she cried out as she jumped up to hug him.
After the hug ended, Oz gave a shy grin as he introduced himself with a slight bow, "The Immortal at your service."
A/N: Evil of me to leave it there, I know. I will come back for the second part of this story later, but I had to do real life stuff. This bunny has been bouncing around in my head for years and now felt like the right time to tackle it.