Chapter 3: Triple-Cross

Challenge: for the livejournal 2020 August Fic-a-Day Challenge

Timeline: post-series BtVS; vague for Highlander; follow-up to 2018 entries the 'Immortal Companion'

Warning: anti-Scooby/Giles

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.

Los Angeles

Andrew walked away from the confrontation with Angel's people, seemingly confident, but as soon as they were out of sight, he was a bundle of shivering nerves. When he calmed himself down, he looked at the mini slayers and said, "Let's get her home where she can be helped by the right people."

Once they were in the air, the slayers moved around as if randomly, but Andrew was muttering something under his breath at the same time, so it caught one of the girls as a little suspicious.

"What's going on?" Kara demanded.

Instead of the nervous geek that was usually the image he portrayed at the new Council's headquarters, Andrew looked…determined, almost frightening…if you didn't know him.

"You have a choice to make now. Do you back the True Slayer or those who would sell her like a piece of cattle to the highest bidder?" he fired back.

The girls who weren't in the know looked confused. "What do you mean?" another one asked.

"A few months ago, the senior Council decided they wanted an alliance with The Immortal. In return, he wanted Buffy's companionship. They ordered her to go for the good of the new Council…for girls like you," Andrew explained, sounding legitimately pissed off.

"So what?" snarked one of Rona's little minions by the name of Anita. "It's not as if she has a problem sleeping with vampires or anything."

Kara came to a different conclusion however. "What if they require one of us to do the same thing to secure different allies?" she theorized to the others. "I'm guessing Buffy wasn't happy, so I'm with her."

Anita was the only one who disagreed, so Andrew completed his spell which put her to sleep and erased her memory of the conversation.

Andrew told the others, "We'll drop her off when we get to Europe, but before we head to Rome. What you girls need to decide is if you want to stay with Buffy or if you want to stay with the Council. If you stay with Buffy you will probably be considered rogue slayers so it's not a decision to be taken lightly. Buffy has assured me that The Immortal will protect anyone who joins her in Rome."

"I don't think that we want to find out what they would sell us for when they need something for their Dumbledore-ish greater good," Kara answered for the slayers who hadn't been hand-picked by Andrew. "It's hard enough to fight evil demons; I don't want to have to be worrying about a knife in the back from our leaders as well." The other girls agreed her assessment.

It came as a shock to them when they met The Immortal because they recognized him from photos of the earlier days of the core group at the Council. They started firing questions at him immediately, "Aren't you Willow's ex-boyfriend? How did you become The Immortal? Were you The Immortal when you were dating her?"

Oz shook his head and said, "I didn't find out about my immortality until after I had left Sunnydale. Then I met Richie," he added, pointing to the man standing next to him, "…and he explained what our kind of Immortals are. We aren't demons but we aren't quite human anymore either. Many of the people staying here are Immortals who don't want to fight for one reason or another, so this place is a sanctuary for them. All I ask is that you give them the privacy you would want. Richie will show you to your rooms now."

After the girls went away, Andrew joined Oz and Buffy in the conference room where Dawn was waiting for them. "How did it go, Andrew?" Dawn inquired.

"Angel wanted to keep Dana and threatened to go to Buffy to keep her, but I explained that we didn't trust him or his team since they were compromised by Wolfram and Hart. I hope that was okay, Buffy," he said, worried that he had overstepped his authority.

"No, it's true. I know he means well, but just joining them means his judgment is screwed up. How many girls did you have to whammy?" she asked.

Andrew looked pleased and replied, "Just one. She was Rona's trainee, so it doesn't come as a big surprise that she has thrown Rona's attitude towards you. As far as she's concerned, her name was taken off the list of slayers to go to Los Angeles."

Buffy sighed. "The others will still know something's up when you don't return with Dana. How should we play this? A lot of this is on you, Andrew; do you want to play the spy which means you'll be in danger if they find out about your true allegiances."

"I had something else in mind," he suggested. "They've been wanting to know what's going on with you since you left, so I thought I would tell them that The Immortal offered to help us with Dana, and when I brought her here, I thought I could use the time to keep an eye on you and report back to them what you're doing. Or at least what you want them to know what you're doing."

She thought about it for a minute and realized it was the best solution they had. "Alright, let's clean up the story a little and tell them what they wanna hear."

A/N: It will be so nice to get home where I can have time to myself again.