A Left Turn

Summary: The fallout of the mutiny takes a turn that nobody could have predicted.

Timeline: Season 7 post-'Empty Places'

Warning: death, death and more death

EDITING A/N: I had a really, really crappy day at work yesterday and decided to do the unhealthy thing of getting drunk, which made me want to play with this tribble. The tribble started out from a comment I heard in a review of this episode and morphed from there.

Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.

Sunnydale Docks

Buffy wasn't sure how she ended up at the docks. When she left Revello Drive, she was in such a stupor that she was lucky there were no baddies around or else she would have been easy pickings for them.

She leaned against one of the pilings and stared at the ships, wondering what it would be like to just get on one and leave. It would be so easy… She wouldn't even have to go on a ship; there were so many vehicles around town that she could take and just…go. The thought was incredibly tempting, especially since her own friends and family threw her away.

If it weren't for the world-endage happening, she might even do it.

Of course, if it weren't for the world ending, she probably wouldn't have a reason to. 'Gotta love the irony!' she thought ruefully.

She started moving again and didn't realize until she got there that she was being drawn in by a mystical force by something on one of the ships. She went to a shipping container, broke off the lock, forced her way to a crate, ripped off the lid and stared down…

It didn't seem like a good thing that she was drawn to a sarcophagus, particularly on a Hellmouth during an apocalypse. As if she was having an out-of-body experience, she watched herself reach out to touch the crystal in the center. Unsurprisingly, the hole around the crystal opened and spewed dust in her face.

Buffy barely had time to come back to herself before she bent over in pain. She could feel her insides burning up and laughed cynically. "Of course it would be a coffin that ends up killing me," she snarked between moans of agony.

As the hours dragged on, she ended up in her mindscape where she met the First Slayer. This time the Slayers were joined by some weird bug/octopus hybrid.

"You must fight it!" Sineya commanded of Buffy, thrusting an ax into her hands.

The creature attacked before Buffy could even wonder why she had to fight. It was like fighting Doc Ock from that Spiderman cartoon show. To make matters worse, when she'd cut off an appendage, it just grew back. She screamed at Sineya, "You can help out, too, you know!"

For the longest time, she wasn't sure if the other Slayer was going to do anything, but suddenly they were surrounded by thousands of girls, including Kendra. Were they all Slayers?

They did their dance of death against the monster and girl after girl fell until it was just Buffy, Sineya and Kendra. Each girl managed to do some damage, but at the expense of her own 'life'.

"We will fall, but you must protect the world," Kendra pleaded with Buffy. There was something Buffy wasn't getting; something she didn't understand about Kendra's admonition. God, she hated cryptic shit!

"You go low and I'll go high," Buffy suggested as they both swung their weapons against the demon. Kendra's strike went through its abdomen – if it had the same biology of a human – and Buffy's took its head off. The tentacles made their victory a pyrrhic one as they pierced the Slayers' hearts before they went still.

In the real world, Buffy opened her eyes just long enough to see the sun rising over Sunnydale before closed again, icing over in a blue haze.

Summers' home

The night before…

"We'll get some rest, and tomorrow things won't seem so—" Vi's comment was cut off by the lights going out.

Faith looked out the window and saw all the other houses had gone dark, as well as the streetlights. "Power's out everywhere," she told everyone.

While they were looking for candles and flashlights, the doors burst open and the living room window exploded in a shower of glass. Several Bringers swarmed in, slicing their way through the terrified girls. The ones that tried to flee were taken out by the uber-vamps.

As their numbers dwindled, Caleb strode into the house. He gazed at carnage and smirked. "Thank you for making this so easy for me," he said to the remaining survivors. "Granted, I still could have killed you all, but sending the Slayer and her vampire away just paved the path for me. For that, I'll keep you alive for a bit longer…at least until I can kill you in front of her. Grab them!" he ordered the Bringers.

Rona, Dawn, Willow, Xander, Anya, Giles and Wood were dragged past the bodies of their friends, unsure if any of them were still alive or not. As they were pulled through the streets of Sunnydale, Caleb talked about his plans. "I was planning on a trap to wipe most of you out; thought I'd drop a couple breadcrumbs about a supply of weapons for you to find. Whoever went there would be blown up by a bomb instead. But this is more fun for me. The Slayer will be guilt-ridden for leaving you alone to be slaughtered and that will make my victory so much sweeter!"

When they got to the vineyard, the Bringers tied up the gang in the cellar, then got back to work on the stone they were demolishing.

Caleb kept talking, "I don't know what it is, but it's the key to ending the Slayers forever," he explained. "Or it's something that can hurt The First's plans…either way, I'm getting it before she does."

As the hours passed, the gang wondered if Caleb was going to torture them to death by talking. It wasn't as if they wanted him to actually torture them, but seriously, he just…kept…talking! Shouldn't his throat be sore by now or something?

The Bringers had finally removed enough of the stone to reveal a weapon, like something out of an Arthurian tale.

Giles dropped his head in regret. He had really hoped that Buffy was tilting at windmills earlier when she wanted to come back here. The fact that she was right was of cold comfort to him now. Pretty soon Caleb would have that weapon and who knows if any of them would survive the culmination of The First's plans.

All of a sudden, they heard a fight upstairs, and Caleb grinned with a touch of evil madness. "She's here!" he announced gleefully. "Which of you should I kill first when she comes down here?"

But he didn't move to kill any of them. He wanted to stand between Buffy and the weapon when she came into the cellar.

"That's a different look," he commented blandly, staring at his enemy. "You look like even more of a whore in that painted-on leather outfit."

The gang was shocked at her appearance. Her blonde hair had streaks of blue. So were her eyes. Caleb was right, her clothes were so tight, they looked painted onto her body. Worse was her expression…or lack of one. She gazed around the room but didn't seem to register their presence.

The only person she acknowledged was Caleb, and she spoke to him in a manner that eerily reminded most of them of Glory. "So, you're the muck trying to take something of mine." Then she looked angry at herself for saying it.

He moved to attack, but she just pushed him away with such force that he made an indent in the wall and crumbled to the floor.

She appeared to fight herself as she walked towards the weapon and reached out for it several times, only to pull back and then reach again.

"What happened to Buffy?" Xander asked Giles, even though the Watcher had no way of knowing either.

Giles shook his head in concern. "I don't know, but I'm guessing it isn't good for us."

"But she beat up Caleb," Dawn offered optimistically. She was grasping at straws, she knew, but it was all she had.

While they were talking amongst themselves, Buffy finally grabbed the weapon and murmured, "It is for her alone to wield."

When she turned back, The First was in front of her, wearing her un-tinted appearance. "That won't change anything," it taunted her.

She tilted her head to the side, studying the non-corporeal being. Finally she said, "You were Zagyg…the cockroach always trying to gain favor with us."

Now The First looked frightened. The gang wasn't sure if it was the fact that Buffy knew its name or the Gloryesque way she was talking to it.

"Illyria?" The First guessed worriedly. This could be a major problem!

She narrowed her eyes and hissed, "You dare speak my name?!" Reaching out, she stunned everyone when she grabbed the other Buffy and shook her. "You desire a corporeal form, so I will grant you one."

Willow looked up in shock. "Since when does Buffy have that kind of power?" she asked rhetorically.

"I'm not sure that is Buffy anymore," Giles answered her.

It was weird and terrifying to see The First cowering in front of the Illyria!Buffy.

"That is your Qwa'ha Xahn?" Illyria!Buffy comment with a glance in Caleb's direction.

The First nodded. "He is my vessel."

"He is unworthy," the Slayer pronounced. "He reeks of hatred and other emotions," she explained with a small shudder of revulsion.

Anya's eyes widened in terror, "She's an Old One! The demons that ruled all other demons! They were supposed to be locked up in another dimension or something!" she slid to the floor and started to sob quietly.

"Oh, dear lord!" Giles gasped. He may have said it sarcastically in the past, but if this were true, the world certainly was doomed.

"But he is useful. He can help us rule the world," The First softly suggested to her in a hopeful tone.

"I did not grant you a form to allow you to rule with me; I granted it so I could kill you once and for all," the Old One replied, swinging her new weapon to remove The First's head.

Caleb woke up just in time to see his master be destroyed and attacked in a blind rage. "You whore!"

She stopped his punch and twisted his arm around to use it as a weapon and put a hole through his chest. Then she dropped his body with little interest.

"Time to raise my army and rule this world," she proclaimed to herself as she stepped over the bodies of The First and Caleb. She didn't even spare a glance at her former companions on her way out of the cellar.

A/N: I know it took longer for Fred to turn, but for the sake of my story, Buffy being the Slayer sped up the process to near-instantaneous. I'm also saying that The First isn't as old or powerful as it claims to be. Not sure how I feel about the ending to this. Maybe someday I'll come back if Musie decides on a direction to take it.

The review I was talking about before brought up the question of the house being attacked after Buffy was kicked out. That merged with another tribble I had about Buffy and Illyria.