Chapter 11: What I Did Last Summer
Timeline: wishverse season 3, fallout (or lack thereof) for 'The Wish'.
A/N: Buffy is telling this story to Amy and Cordy at the end of chapter 10, even though Cordy was there for part of it.
Warning: I don't know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. MacGyver characters belong to Lee David Zlotoff, Henry Winkler-John Rich Productions, Paramount Network Television and CBS Television Distribution. Stargate characters belong to Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright / SyFy Channel. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Several weeks earlier…
Buffy pulled herself out of the pool leading to the hell dimension before it covered itself up again. "Huh, kinda handy. Still, I'd feel better if it were covered with about ten feet of concrete or steel," she quipped to the distraught girl next to her.
"What am I going to do without Rickie?" Lily cried. As soon as they were safely away from the demons, her mind recalled Ken's taunting that her boyfriend remembered her name long after he remembered his own. A large part of her didn't feel worthy of that kind of love and loyalty, but she vowed to become the kind of woman who was. She owed it to him and to Buffy- Anne.
Buffy gave her a sympathetic look and said, "I'm probably the wrong person to ask since I ran away from the memories of my first love. Granted, there were other problems going on back home, but I still have nightmares about killing Angel."
"Was he killed by a vampire? Is that why you feel like his death is your fault?" Lily asked.
"His death is my fault because I ran a sword through his non-beating, vampiric heart." For some strange reason – probably because she didn't think Lily could judge her, Buffy opened up about her tragic love story with Angel.
Lily reached out and hugged her rescuer, wanting to help in whatever way she could. "I'll have to remember this story the next time I want to feel sorry for myself. Something tells me that no matter how sucky my life gets, I probably will never have to kill somebody I love to save the world."
"Yeah, not something I'd wish on anyone. Well, I suppose we'd better see what's going on with the other people who escaped with us," Buffy suggested, needing to get away from the emotional turmoil of Angel.
They left the backroom side by side, expecting to have to track down the former slaves, but ran into what looked like almost every single one of them in the outer area. On the other side of the room, a young man stood between them and the doors.
Buffy's protectiveness kicked in when the former slaves surrounded her for security. What did that guy do to scare them? Was he one of Ken's minions? He was dressed in normal clothes so he obviously wasn't a slave worker. She stepped forward a little and asked him, "You're 3wearing normal clothes. Are you evil?"
The boy seemed thrown off-guard by her question, but an older voice answered it from the doorway, "He can be stubborn as a mule, but I wouldn't call him evil." The older man turned to the boy and asked, "Did you finish unloading the donations? Our food should be ready by the time we get back to the diner."
"Umm, yeah," the boy responded in a state of confusion. "I couldn't find the director, though."
The older man looked around, raising an eyebrow when he took in the apparel of the people filling the room. Since Buffy was the only one who didn't match, he chose her to answer his question, "Do you work here? Do you know where we can find Ken Straley?"
Trying to think quick – because she didn't think that admitting to murdering the kidnapping demon would be a good idea – Buffy lied, "He's gone. Guess he didn't want to face charges of kidnapping and human slavery after we escaped," she said, gesturing to the people around them.
"Sounds like quite the story," Harry murmured, thinking that he should mention it on his next report even though it didn't take place in Sunnydale. "Why don't you join us at the diner for a meal so you can tell us? I'll even buy food for the others – although you might want to bring it back here for them so they don't have to go out without proper clothing," he suggested kindly.
While she didn't care for doing any show and tell, Buffy knew that most, if not all, of these people needed food. "Give me a minute, please," she requested before pulling Lily off to the side to speak with her. "Try to keep them here and I'll be back as soon as possible with that food. See if you can find clothes for everyone, too."
Lily bit her lip before asking, "You think we'd get into any trouble if we kept using the shelter?"
Knowing the bad memories the place evoked for the group, Buffy lightly replied, "If you feel comfortable being here, the worst that could happen on the human side is the cops would run you out for trespassing."
"And the non-human side?" Lily prompted, not sure she wanted the answer, but knowing she needed it.
Buffy bluntly told her what she thought would be the worst-case scenario, "That portal opens up again and a bunch of those demons come to drag you back down there."
Glancing worriedly at the back room, Lily murmured. "Maybe we should cover it with that concrete and steel you mentioned earlier, then."
"For now, just worry about the clothes, okay?" Buffy turned back to the newcomers and said, "I'm ready."
"Name's Harry Jackson; this is my grandson, Mac," the older man said by way of introduction.
"B- My name is Anne," Buffy replied, catching herself before she gave out her real name.
As she ate her meal, Buffy gave them a highly-edited version of events, leaving out demons and aging victims.
When she paused to take a sip of her water, Harry said, "And you just happened to stumble upon this and rescue those people?"
Hearing the suspicion in his voice, Buffy bristled a little and snarked, "No, I didn't just happen upon it; I was looking for my friend, Lily. I followed some leads that brought me to Family Home and Ken. In order to save her, I had to allow myself to be taken as well."
Still guessing there was more to the story, Harry remarked, "It's good for them that you were there. What are you going to do now?"
Buffy laughed mirthlessly. "What makes you think I have any idea? They need more help than I can give them. Some of them were held so long that they don't remember their own names anymore."
Mac mentioned something that had been bothering him since she finished her story, "It's surprising he was able to get away with it for so long."
"Probably helped that he only kidnapped people that nobody would miss," Buffy replied offhandedly.
The two men nodded somewhat sadly. The homeless were rather overlooked by a majority of the population.
Due to the amount of food they ordered, the diner offered to drive it over to the shelter for them. On the way back to the shelter, they were stopped by a group of thugs. "Lookee what we have here…don't they look good enough to drink?"
Buffy sighed heavily. "You just couldn't let me get away with one explanation where I didn't have to spill the beans, could you?" she demanded of their accosters. "And I was really proud of the fact that I managed to give them a rational story without mentioning demons once!" she ground out angrily.
As she was speaking, she the cross necklace off and handed it to Harry. She told him, "If they get too close, wave that in their face until I can get to them. If either of you has a knife, now would be a good time to get it out. It won't kill them, but it will hurt them a little. It'd be better if you can find a piece of wood that I can use as a stake, though."
Confused, Mac and Harry stood there like statues. She hadn't seemed insane in the diner mere minutes ago. Maybe she had some kind of psychotic break or perhaps a split personality disorder?
Confusion led to shock when she hit the lead thug and his face shifted into that of a horror movie monster. "Do you think those are vampires?" Mac asked Harry quietly as they watched 'Anne' fight.
Quickly adding up the clues, Harry nodded. "As crazy as it sounds, I think so. Let's see if we can find some wood. Alleys usually have some pallets." Except apparently this one. It was almost like the vampires had specifically removed all objects that could be turned into weapons against them.
Which they had, based what another vampire said next, "And you thought it was stupid of me to move those crates and stuff!" he crowed in smug arrogance.
Harry handed the cross to Mac and quickly rummaged through a nearby trashcan. Time was running out for them when he managed a miracle. "Would a wooden hanger work?" he called out to the fighting female.
"As long as it's real wood," she called back.
He snapped the pants holder off first, then broke the shoulder piece in half, creating three stakes. A quick glance at the pieces verified that it was real wood – if the distinctive crack of wood breaking earlier hadn't already done it for him. He kept the pants part for himself, handed one of the other pieces to Mac and moved close enough to get the last part to the girl.
The fight didn't last long after that and they continued on their way, feeling rather shellshocked.
As they watched the former slaves eat their broth and soft food diet, Mac asked "Is there anybody fighting them?" Since the demonic cat had been let out of the bag, Buffy told them the full story of Ken's Hell – apart from her being the Slayer (or her real name). Lily joined them, but kept quiet about the areas Buffy didn't explain. Harry had gone to the store to pick up some more food and supplies with a couple of the stronger survivors.
Buffy knew who the 'them' were so she didn't ask for clarification, but she did inquire blandly, "You assume they need fighting?"
"Uh, yeah…if what these people have been through is any indication," Mac answered, pointing at the large group in front of them.
"Why do you care?" Buffy wondered aloud.
Mac gave her a rueful smile and said, "Let's just say it's in my genes to want to protect people."
Seeing the indecision on Buffy's face, Lily asked, "What could it hurt to have more help?"
"It'll hurt him if he likes danger and gets himself killed when he gets in over his head," Buffy snapped, remembering the mistake that was Owen.
There was a story there, he could tell. Not wanting to reopen any wounds, Mac declared, "I can't guarantee that I won't ever get myself into a situation that I'm in danger, but how 'bout if I promise that unless it's to save somebody, I won't go looking for danger? Will you teach me how to stay safe?"
Despite the likelihood of this blowing up in her face, Buffy just didn't want to fight it anymore. "I guess that seems like a reasonable attitude," she agreed.
So instead of heading straight back to Sunnydale right away, Buffy stayed in LA with Lily in order to teach her and Mac about protecting themselves from the nightlife. And eventually told Mac about who she really was.
In exchange, Mac used his contacts to get Lily ownership of the Family Home and some donations to turn it into a true safe haven from dangers, both human and supernatural. Once they were back home, he and/or Buffy would come back occasionally to check in on Lily, who had assumed Buffy's former identity, Anne.
1630 Revello Drive
Night of 'Dead Man's Party'
As soon as the first non-Slayerette guests showed up at the door, Mac stood in the doorway with his arms crossed and a glare on his face. Even though he already knew the answer, he called out over his shoulder, "Buffy, did you invite anyone else?"
Confused, Buffy answered from the dining room, "No…who is it?"
"Doesn't matter; I'm sending them away now." Mac faced the growing crowd and told them, "This is a private dinner, so go home or someplace else. You aren't coming into the house."
One of the burlier guys asked, "What makes you think you can stop us, pipsqueak?"
"I think my black belt in two martial arts, as well as a call to the police department about a bunch of trespassers, will stop you. Is barging into a home where you aren't welcome really worth the hassle?" Mac pointed out somewhat reasonably.
"Dweeb," the guy insulted him.
Mac rolled his eyes and snarked, "Yeah, like that hurts my feelings." He walked back into the dining room and told the others, "Situation handled. Not sure why they thought there was some big party going on tonight." He didn't see Buffy, so he assumed she was getting something from the kitchen.
"We thought it would be fun to welcome Buffy home with a big-" Willow trailed off when she couldn't think of a way to finish the statement.
Oz finished it for her, "Hootenanny."
Mac fought the urge to glare at them. He felt the tension between Buffy and her friends and wasn't sure he liked what was going on. "Did you ask her if that's what she wanted? Or even ask Joyce if it was okay to invite a bunch of strangers into her home?"
"Who are you, the party police?" Cordy sneered at him.
"I'm somebody who has enough manners to know that if you are invited to a simple dinner at another person's house, you don't change the dinner into a party by bringing a bunch of teenagers who will likely wreck the place when things get out of hand," Mac shot back. "And if by some miracle I did screw up that bad, my grandpa, Harry, would remind me how rude that is."
Buffy's voice surprised them from the doorway, "You didn't agree, Mom?"
"Well, no…but if you want a party, you can have a party," Joyce quickly offered, trying to find some solid ground when it came to her shaky relationship with her daughter.
Shaking her head, Buffy answered, "I just wanted it to be us and the gang."
"Now we're gonna look like idiots at school tomorrow," Xander complained.
Annoyed that that was his biggest concern, Buffy said, "Then maybe you should have asked first. Mac is right; you shouldn't have assumed it was okay to have more people come without at least checking with my mom."
With Pat there, the group was unable to talk about slaying issues, which made the dinner very awkward.
Adding to the awkwardness, Pat asked the million-dollar question nobody else wanted to, "So where did you go when you ran away?"
Seeing the panicked look on Buffy's face, Mac answered for her, "She was in LA. That's where we met."
"Oh really? How did you meet?" Joyce asked, not having heard the story yet.
Since she wasn't looking comfortable answering, Mac told them instead, "Buffy had just rescued a bunch of teenagers from a human slave trafficker who was based in a shelter, and I happened to be in the building, dropping off some donations Harry and I collected from town. I helped her and Anne organize the victims until the police could come take their statements."
"That's cool. How many did you save?" Oz inquired, figuring there was a Slayer aspect that wasn't being explained.
Shrugging, Buffy guessed, "I don't know…maybe a dozen or two?"
Mac snorted at the understatement, "Try like six times that. She and I promised Anne that we'd come back every once in a while to volunteer at the shelter now that she's in charge and responsible for the rescuees."
"Buffy can't go there. She has to stay here!" Willow interjected.
"Excuse me?" Buffy answered in a low, dangerous tone at the implied order.
Forgetting the company they had, Xander scoffed at her, "Fine! Dump your responsibilities on us again; you're great at doing that."
Before anyone else could say something else, the phone rang. Buffy jumped up to answer it, which was a good thing.
Giles was calling to warn them about the mask he had seen earlier. Apparently it was the focal point of a zombie demon which would raise the dead and draw them to the mask so he could be released from his prison. To destroy him, Buffy would need to destroy the eyes of the mask. That would release the dead bodies before they could cause any further harm around the city.
Buffy asked, "Mom, that mask you unpacked earlier is in your bedroom, right?"
"Yes. What's wrong?"
Looking at Pat, Buffy lied, "It's…stolen! We have to get rid of it right away or your gallery could get into trouble!" She ran up the stairs to her mom's room, picked up a lamp, and used the metal edge of the base to break the mask apart at the eyes…which happened to be glowing red. When the lights went dim, Buffy hoped that it meant she stopped the demon. Now she just had to figure out how to get rid of the mask without making Pat suspicious.
She walked back down the stairs and just as she was on the last couple steps, she appeared to stumble forward and smacked into the door frame in front of her. Because she had the mask in her hands, it broke it into even smaller pieces. "Oops?" Buffy softly muttered to the group of diners at the table.
"You really should have been more careful with that, Buffy. Even if it was stolen, it had significant importance to somebody somewhere. You should have tried to get it back to its rightful owners," Pat scolded her for her clumsiness.
Guessing that Buffy had done it on purpose, Mac quickly spoke up, "It's too late to worry about that now. Harry has a friend who has contacts with archeology people; he could probably make sure it gets back to the rightful owners."
Confused, Willow inquired, "Why do you call your grandfather by his first name?"
"I've done it for as long as I can remember. He just prefers it that way for some reason," Mac said with a small grin at his inside joke.
Then the awkwardness descended again over the group, so Pat quickly made her goodbyes and left. Giles came rushing in a few minutes later.
Buffy handed him the broken parts. "Here you go. One zombie-raising mask destroyed…I hope."
Nodding in agreement, Giles expounded, "It is. I was dealing with some zombies on my way over when they just suddenly disappeared. To be safe, though, we should send it to the Council's witches to ensure that any demonic residue on it is gone for good."
By the time Faith showed up in town, Mac was fully entrenched in the group and attending high school with Buffy. He told Harry that he felt confident enough in his teen slang that he could pass with her help. Harry agreed to the plan after Buffy and Giles sat him down and gave him the official Slayer spiel, along with suggestions for living a longer life in Sunnydale.
A/N: Here's another story that I had something partially written but didn't want to post a long time ago. There's a side story called "Becoming Mac". Let's say Amy wasn't there because she had something to do with her dad that night she couldn't get out of.