Let the Punishment Fit the Crime
Summary: People wanted to know what happened to Xander, Willow and Kennedy when they left. This is that story. Mini-sequel to 'Charmed Places'. Warning…if you like them, you won't like this!
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Charmed characters belong to WB, I think. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
A/N: Thanks to my betas for their help... AshDawnSoulmates, Chrislover, DawnDreamer and zigpal. And a special thanks to asreal from for inspiring me.
Warning: Some swearing and sexual content (eventually) are going to be present. And obviously some serious smacking of the three mentioned in the summary. If it bothers you, you are so reading the wrong story!
Chapter 1: She Needs to Learn a Lesson!
As they drove out of Sunnydale, Xander, Willow and Kennedy fumed in quiet rage. Kennedy was the first to break the uneasy silence, "Who does that bitch think she is? Without you guys, she'd be a total washout as a Slayer! Just 'cause she's got a new group to kiss her ass…"
Both Xander and Willow zoned out by that point – not because they disagreed – but because they each started their own internal rants.
'No kidding! She'd probably still be rotting away in the Master's lair if it wasn't for me! Her first Deadboy obsession would have just left her there. And how does she repay me for saving her life? Oh yeah! By screwing that walking corpse and turning him back into a monster!' Xander seethed privately.
'And all the other times I saved the day…Do I get any recognition for it? No! Just a pat on the head and a 'Good idea, Xan.' But for her, we're supposed to hold a fucking parade when she does her job!'
"…and I bet I could do a better job than she could and I'm not even a Slayer…yet! You know, there should be some way to take care of that, don't you think? That's probably the real reason she had them steal your powers, Willow. That way you couldn't take hers away and give them to someone more worthy…" Kennedy continued her tirade.
'She's got a point,' Willow agreed quietly to herself. 'Buffy likes to whine about how tough it is to be the 'Chosen One', but let anyone try to butt in on the world save-age and she gets all territorial and demands everyone kiss her ass! She wouldn't be able to do anything without my magical power to back her up,' she thought snidely.
'And I proved last year that when it's between the two of us, that I can kick her ass without even breaking a sweat. Huh, I just gotta figure out who to see about getting back the powers the powers that she stole from me. Then we can go back and show everyone who is the most powerful. Maybe she should feel what it's like to have someone take something that is hers. At least I wouldn't ever have to doubt Kennedy's loyalty or intelligence,' she finished bitterly.
"Hey Xan," Willow interrupted her lover's continuing outburst, "We need to head to New Orleans. Kennedy's right; Buffy's obviously let being the Slayer go to her head. She needs to realize that the world doesn't rise or fall at her whim. She needs to be taught a lesson. And in order to do that, I need to get some magicks back. Since she probably has her little fan club watching everyone in California, we have to go somewhere else. There's a big underground network in New Orleans."
Xander looked a little uneasy at that. "Wouldn't that involve dark magicks, Will?"
She forced herself not get defensive at his apparent lack of faith. "Yeah, but I've learned control it now. It's not like I spent my time in Devon making flowers grow with magick. I was learning how to channel the magicks correctly."
She let a little bit of haughtiness enter her voice, "Besides, magick isn't really dark or light; it's all in how you use it. It's like a surgeon's scalpel. In the right hands, it saves lives. It's only in the wrong hands that it takes lives. So the question is: do you trust me or her?"
Now it was Xander's turn to get offended, "You of course! You'd never treat me like shit the way she always has."
"No, she's managed to forget that without us, she's nothing! But we'll show them all that it's us they need, not her. Then she can go off and live the 'normal' life she keeps bitching about having."
The powerless wiccan snorted in contempt, "Boy is she going to be in for a rude awakening! When she finds out that without the Slayer, she's just a stupid bimbo with horrid taste in sex partners, it should be very enlightening for her!"
Kennedy perked up; she'd had the sinking feeling that the two of them weren't listening to her, but apparently they were. "Now yer talking!"
New Orleans…2 days later
A tired and somewhat grubby trio crawled out of their car when they pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant in New Orleans' French Quarter.
"So where do we go from here, Will?" Xander asked his best friend.
Willow stretched her muscles and replied, "First things first, I think we need to eat, get some rest and clean up. Then we'll be in better condition to look for the entrance to the market."
Kennedy was anxious to get her powers, but tamped down on her impatience. "Okay, but let's not take forever, 'k?"
Just after midnight, they made their way to the upscale side of the business district.* Willow explained that it was different here than in Sunnydale. For the good black market stuff, you had to hit the upper side. Luckily, they had Kennedy's pocketbook to smooth things over for them.
They didn't go far before they were approached by two men; one had brown hair and a goatee who introduced himself as Gideon. The second one had straight, barely long gray hair and said his name was Barabas. Kennedy dropped into a fighting stance while the other two stood taller, hiding any anxiety they felt.
Gideon and Barabas shared amused looks as the Demon of Fear began his speech, "There's no reason to be afraid." The Elder bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing at that comment, but maintained a stoic look, much like Barabas was doing. "We are here because of your problem."
"You were mistreated by those you thought were your allies, correct?" Gideon suggested. "You want to prove to them that they have underestimated you. But to do that, you…" he pointed to Willow, "need to get some magick again. Then you can get even with the blonde one by giving her power to this young lady, right?"
Barabas studied Xander before asking – as if he didn't know the answer to the question already – "But how does this concern you? What do you get out of this if not power?"
The three younger people share a quick look before nodding their agreement to trust these people…so far.
"I'm here because Willow is my only true friend. It's an easy choice to stay with her. Besides, Buffy needs to be reminded that we were the reason for her success. I doubt that it will change anything, but at least she'll know what it's like to be hurt by people who have stood by her side faithfully for 7 years, despite the crappy things she did."
The two 'men' shared another look that was meant to appear to the others as if they were debating the worth of Xander's statement and if they would 'help' them. This was partially correct. They were deciding if all three of them needed to be dealt with as per their orders from the Tribunal.
After the Tribunal learned about the young wiccan's other misdeeds, they knew it was simply a matter of time before she broke the conditions of her sentencing. Apparently, being stripped of her powers by the Coven wasn't sufficient punishment for her either. So now more drastic measures had to be taken.
To this end, they chose an Elder and an upper level demon to go and take care of the problem. They were given the limitations that the punishment had to follow. And one of those was that it couldn't go on forever. Their souls had to be allowed to be reincarnated, albeit in lesser creatures like worm or such.
Now if these three entered into this without any coercion, they would have to suffer the consequences of that choice. Then they would go tell the blonde Slayer about their fates so there would be no need to look for or out for them. She may not be pleased, but she had promised not to interfere if this had become necessary. Knowing that they had to tell her also served to make sure the punishment wasn't overly cruel.
And like it was expected, the three's pride and greed drove them onward to their doom. Barabas could barely contain his glee at the chance to do this at the behest of the Tribunal, even knowing that he'd be banished again when it was over. Gideon's feelings were a bit mixed but since he believed in the 'greater good', he willingly performed his duty.
A/N: *I know nothing about the layout of New Orleans other than there's a part called the French Quarter.
A/N2: Next… Willow pays the price.