Return to madness
Subject:Return to madness
Shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Highlander: the series
Rating: ? At least PG 13
Summary: The Initiative try to experiment on the wrong kind of immortal
By Lore Krajsman
Disclaimer: The ideas of both Highlander and immortals and that of Buffy
and its concept of 'the Initiative' belong to some huge corporations I
can't seem to remember the names of. They'll know who they are. If you're
bothered by this I'm sorry, but please don't sue me I'm enough in debts as
it is and I can promise you I'm not making money out of this, quite the
This contains very mild spoilers for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer-fourth
This story plays in the fourth season of Buffy and after To Be Not To Be
I'm using the Initiative and characters that are related to it even though
I haven't yet been able to watch the episodes themselves. Therefore if I
make any huge mistakes I'm really sorry but the idea of the Initiative
capturing an immortal was to intriguing to throw away. Especially since I
was planning to have her kidnapped by Government Operatives anyway.
" " indicates speech
< > indicates thought
<< >> indicates use of the Voice
Some Dagala words to know: (Dagala is a language I invented myself, It's
supposedly used by the Dograi (homo Neanderthals and humans acquainted with
jinge: one who could live forever
liliaeth: protective spirit
dograi: Homo Neanderthal
Feedback can be sent to email@example.com
This is where your sanity gives in
And love begins
Never lose your grip
Youíll lose it all
The sweetest way to die
It lies deep inside
You cannot hide
Itís the meanest fire
Oh, itís a strange desire
You cannot lie
Thatís a needless fight
This is where your sanity gives in
And love begins
Never lose your grip
Youíll lose it all
The sweetest way to die
When your blood runs dry
It will eat your mind
Did you hold it back
It comes to you in slow attacks
Itís the meanest fire
(Paralyzed by the Cardigans)
The boy marched through the shadows. His face was covered in shadows by the
hood of his parka. As he stepped out of the rain and into the bar, all fell
silent. It was in that moment before they really saw him that they could
feel the menace coming from the lone figure. Unfortunately for them, most
forgot that first impression as soon as he stepped further in. They took one
look at the lonely kid and started talking again. Ignoring the kid whom they
presumed had probably just taken a wrong turn somewhere. And totally
overlooking the dark shadow that seemed to surround him.
He just stood there looking around. But didn't seem to be able to find what
he was looking for. Coldly he stepped up to the bar. Slowly he took out a
picture out of his pocket, then he asked in a low voice, "I'm looking for a
bunch of bastards who kidnapped this girl." He pointed to the picture.
"About three days ago." His voice, no matter how low seemed to reach every
ear in the bar.
"Are any of them here?" Nobody answered, some laughed at the boy's guts to
come in here and make demands of them.
"Do I have to repeat my question?"
Several of the men stood up and surrounded the boy. If he'd seemed small
before he looked even smaller in the middle of these giants.
"Who wants to know?" one of them asked.
"Her husband. Me." He stared directly in the man's eyes. It didn't take
long to force the man to turn his eyes away.
"So someone kidnapped the wifey, hey kid," a man stated laughingly." And you
expect us to help you find her." It was sheer arrogance, enhanced by numbers
and size. If possible the boy's gaze and tone grew even colder.
"Yes." Some of the smarter men and most of the women started backing off at
the sheer strength of that word.
"Why should we help a punk kid like you anyway, what's in it for us?"
A cold smile. "You should help me, because I tell you to. And because it'll
let you keep your lives." Several people started leaving out the back door.
The bartender quickly started dialing 911.
"Do any of you know who took her and where?" The boy repeated .
The men just laughed arrogantly and one of then took a lunge at the boy.
But instead of being hit, he just stopped the fist in mid air and twisted
it. Another was thrown to the other side of the room by a straight kick to
the chest. Before long all eight were lying, groaning on the ground.
Covered in their own blood.
The dark boy just pulled his jacket straight and turned back to the
bartender. The only man left standing. "Now, my boy. Where's my wife." The
words came slowly like if he were talking to a retard. He seemed to just
ignore the mess of bodies around him but the gaze in his eyes warned the
bartender not to play with him anymore. The man was smarter than his
He immediately cracked and began bursting with information.
One word kept running through the boy's ears: Sunnydale.
He was born before the times of the great pyramids.
A son of Lilith Demonmother.
Raised to be a warrior.
King Gilgamesh, slave of the pharaoh's.
Tortured by his brother Methos he turned to evil.
Hunting for every other of his kind that crossed his path.
Taking their heads and with it their power.
Not caring whether they were men, women or children.
It took the love of his brother to bring him back.
Temlan Ke cha Jo'lon.
Loki The Slayer of Gods.
May God be with us if he ever returns to the darkness.
David WeiB, Watcher
*** A week ago ***
A sunny terrace in front of a small restaurant.
A boy and a girl, both of them in their teens, sat at a small table.
She was almost sitting in his lap. He was feeding her little bits of ice
cream and strawberry. She licked his lips of every little smudge coming
from the fruit, chuckling slightly.
Her dress consisted of a long sleeved silken top and a long satin shirt
with a long slit in the side. He moved his hand over the bare part of her
leg. The boy was nicely dressed in expensive black jeans with a silken
shirt covering his upper body. A leather coat was hanging over his chair.
He touched the comforting cold sensation of the sword inside it when he
leaned back against it. He seemed a bit worried. He kept an eye on the long
dress coat his female companion had been wearing which was hanging at a
hook on the other side of the room. Teasing him she just pecked his cheek
and turned to kiss him. Pulling his attention away from anything beside
herself. She leaned back on him.
Touching his tongue with her own. Sending a message through her lover's
brain not to neglect her ever again.
When given a second to breathe the boy looked at her curly red hair, which
was circling her face. When she shivered ever so slightly he pulled her
closer to himself and passionately embraced her. Both of them ignored the
gazes and whispering of the surrounding crowd.
She looked him in the eyes and then turned her gaze to the exit. He just
The girl got up in one simple move and kissed him one more time before
heading for her coat. While she was doing so, her companion saw a young boy
selling flowers and bought her a single white rose. He twisted it in her
hair as she came closer.
She just smiled in response.
He placed his hand on her shoulder, not obsessive but as a simple form of
support against the outside world. She responded by falling closer in his
The two kids were too intent on each other to notice the group of men
following them. All of them had to be mortal or one of the two 'kids'
would have noticed them. But none of then was wearing the Watcher-tattoo.
The boy stepped out of the bar.
The grim look in his eyes that signaled death would have been obvious to
anyone taking even the slightest look at him. He moved like a well-oiled
machine. As elegant as a panther. Every fiber of his body under the
strictest degree of control.
The mere aura of menace hanging around him was scaring anyone looking at
him. This had been the third bar he'd visited in a matter of days and held
the un-original name of Willie's.
The bartender pretended not to know a thing. But the boy saw through it in
He could smell the stench of demonbreed hanging in the bar. The place was
obviously visited by the more obscure elements in town.
The man was a mortal though. And he'd talked soon enough, telling the boy
tales about vampires and other demons that had been disappearing in the
area. The boy didn't care about demons much but he was worried about the
reason for the abductions.
He took his bike and headed to his motel room. He'd found a mildly
surprising stash of stakes and holy water in the room. Whoever had lived
here before knew more than the average citizen. He took out a few of them
and placed them with the knives under his jacket, pants and shirt.
Some of them were obvious. In case someone searched him at least. But most
wouldn't show up unless they made it really thorough. He picked up one of
the guns and after brief consideration placed one under his armpit and the
other under his belt.
Finally he placed his katana in its sheath under his jacket.
He looked himself over one last time in the mirror. He was dressed in black.
His black parka covered his blonde strands of hair that kept falling out of
control. His tight black jeans went along with every movement his body made.
Not that there were all that many.
He placed a bivakcap on his head, not yet covering his face 'cause it would
attract to much attention, but ready to pull it down whenever necessary.
He crossed a few bikers but they moved aside as soon as they caught sight
of him. Even though they couldn't name it they could feel him like some
sort of unstoppable force.
***A week ago***
The couple dawdled on along the waterside to watch the ducks reposing on
the surface. The boy watched them with a sense of loss in his eyes.
"Thinking about hunting again?" the girl asked. He smiled in response. "You
know me too well." He sighed longingly. "These days people are so ...
Now mind you, I agree when they're protesting against the slaughter of
endangered species or about those fox-hunts the Brits are so fond of, but a
honest hunt? Man against nature. No more than a bow or a knife against an
animal's claws and fangs.
I miss it.
I hate modern hunting though. Guns and modern weaponry. Bah."
The girl chuckled at the disgust in his voice.
That was her Temie all right. Way too serious for his own good.
She started running away from him, teasing him to follow.
He got her feet before she could even reach the hillside and they both
tumbled down over the grass, totally ignoring the 'don't walk on the
It wasn't like if they were walking anyway.
Especially when he leaned over her and kissed her on the lips as a reward
for his win. She managed to kiss him back once before she broke out in a
bright laughter. She raced off again and he followed her. Playing a game of
tag and kiss.
That quickly led to the kind of behavior that could easily have gotten them
an indecent exposure-arrest if someone had spotted then. It ended when
Lilin kissed her husband and stood up. Pulling her dress straight and
checking herself for grass stains.
He was still sitting there when she headed for the trees.
*** Present ***
Graham was running. At first when the boy had come up to him he hadn't
thought anything was wrong. Even after they'd gotten the news that over
seven men had been found tortured, their tongues cut out and dead, he
hadn't thought that the kid had been anything more than he looked. A young
boy trying to look tough in a town filled with weirdness. But then the
seemingly harmless boy had pinned him against a wall with the greatest of
ease and had been ready to pull a knife across his chest.
He'd still thought he was just being mugged but then the boy started
questioning him about a girl they'd supposedly captured a few days ago. He
seemed dead intent on finding her and if his behavior was any clue he was
more than willing to kill to find her.
Luckily he'd been distracted.
When a couple of teenagers came out of the Bronze the boy loosened his hold
for a second and Graham had managed to get away. So he ran.
But he'd seen pictures of the boy's previous victims.
It was better to live in shame than to die in pain. Just when he thought
he'd gotten away from him he saw his attackers face in front of him.
He tried to run back but he found himself in a trap. A cruel smile appeared
on the boy's face as they both realized it at the same time. There was
nowhere left to run.
The boy just kicked him against the wall. As the man tried to center
himself he felt a pain as the boy pinched him in the neck.
It was unlike anything he'd ever felt in his life.
"Who are you?" He managed to say.
"Your greatest fear, mortal.
I'm Loki, you shouldn't have angered me."
The man trembled as he sensed his death sentence in that voice.
"Your people took my wife.
Now where is she?" Loki hissed out the words.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"You're part of the Initiative. A government group that captures, researches
and experiments on the supernatural. Well my mortal friend, this time you
took the wrong kind of immortal to mess with.
WHERE IS SHE?"
Beautiful girl, looks about 15. Great fighter."
The man had genuinely no idea who the boy was talking about. This didn't
sound like any of the demons he'd help capture. Well the fighter part did.
But the rest of it?
When he didn't answer the boy took a knife out of his coat and Graham
screamed as he felt it cut through his skin.
Later when his victim still hadn't responded to any of his questions the
boy just cut his tongue out and left him to bleed to death.
With his last strength the former commando of the Initiative managed to
draw the name Loki in the dust. Right before he died.
*** A week ago ***
Lilin had been walking to the trees when she suddenly stopped. A group of
men surrounded her. She didn't recognize any of them.
How could she know they'd witnessed one of her battles with another
immortal and had classified her as some kind of demon. She froze,
carefully awaiting their actions. When one of then pulled out some kind of
weapon, she hit him in the groin and headed off. But before she got any
further the stun-gun hit her in the back. She went down in an instant.
The men picked her up and pulled her in a van. Temlan arrived just in time
to see the men as they jumped in the car. He screamed his lover's name as
the strangers took her away from him.
*** Present ***
It was Buffy that found the corpse.
She'd been visiting her mother and had decided on taking a quick patrol
before going to bed. She immediately recognized the victim from campus.
When she heard the sound of the siren she took one last look noticing the
name Loki on the ground right before taking of.
The boy, by that time was sitting in his room again. So far he'd killed
eight mortals and none of them had been able to tell him a thing. He hated
them with a passion he hadn't felt in over three millennia. The pleasure of
seeing them squirm in fear as he did his work on them. Hearing them scream
to their god.
It strangely bothered him to feel like this. But he pushed away the idea
of wrongness and went on preparing himself for the following days.
"Giles who's Loki?"
"Loki? I'm not sure. The Watcher started cleaning his glasses as he
considered the question.
"I'm sure I've heard the name before."
"Wasn't he the Viking god of evil?" Xander asked. All eyes suddenly turned
"What? I just used to like reading comics. Before we started living them at
least. Something wrong with that?"
"No! Of course not." Giles quickly semi-apologized. "You're quite right of
course as far as the official history goes."
"The official history? Giles that does not sound good."
"Well I can't be sure until I've researched it more thoroughly, but I
believe Loki was also a demon of some renown. He apparently enjoyed taking
his victims heads and then eating their souls. Or something like that."
Willow and Xander followed him as he went into full research mode. Buffy
tried to help of course, but she couldn't seem to make any sense of the
Watcher-diaries. Finally it was Xander who found the demon in Giles' demon
"Ah yes. Here he is. Loki. Also known as the Slayer of Gods, the Trickster
or The Deceiver."
"Say isn't the word Slayer copyrighted or something."
Giles went on as if uninterrupted. "He was quite fearsome in his time.
Sometimes destroying entire villages. Murdering men, women and children.
Even the strongest warriors didn't stand a chance against him."
"Why isn't there any picture of him?"
"Nobody ever knew what he looked like. It was said that he could look
totally harmless and then kill his victims when they were unaware."
"So he could look like anyone."
"Yes apparently." The former Watcher could see Buffy didn't understand the
threat she was dealing with. How could she? She'd been fighting so many
different sorts of demons that the idea of one more didn't seem all that
special. He had to correct her on that.
"Buffy this is a serious threat. Maybe not the end of the World-variety,
but still. Loki is said to be very dangerous."
"So what. I'll slay him. He's dead. End of story."
"I don't think it'll be that simple.
The last time he not only killed four Slayers, but several of the worlds
strongest and most fearsome warriors as well." Buffy's head shot up at
hearing that. "Now no one knows how he was stopped then, but we know that
"So he can be stopped? Right."
"Yes. He has after all not been heard of for over 3.000 years. But we have
no idea of how he was stopped in the first place."
"Yes well, at least it didn't take an army. Right?"
"The Watchers would have known about something like that." Giles calmly
"Maybe Anya knows something?"
"I'm not sure Xander. This guy is supposed to be from over 3.000 years ago.
I think he's a bit from before her time."
"She might have heard something?"
"Ask her. It can't really do any harm."
*** A week ago ***
Lilin found herself waking up on a table in a closed off room.
She was surrounded by mortals in white coats. She immediately started
struggling to get up.
"Hurry she's coming to."
The soldier types tried sedating her. It took them several tries to get it
right. During this she got several cuts. The men looked weirdly when they
saw them all heal only mere seconds afterwards. She was given sedatives
strong enough to keep an elephant down, they only seemed to mildly sedate
"Her body-temperature seems human enough, but her blood is ... different."
"I'm not sure."
The world went dark after that.
*** Present ***
Riley was heading to Buffy's place.
He and his group had just taken care of a group of three demons and he was
quite happy about that.
Sort of a way to avenge Graham's death to them. He was thinking about his
girlfriend's face, not really watching out for anything, when he heard the
"Where is she?" The coldness in the voice stood strangely at odds with the
whole timbre of it.
"Where's who?" He felt himself being thrown on the ground.
"My wife, Lilin. Where is she?"
"I don't know who you're talking about." He tried to act brave. He looked
up at his assailant and saw a boy in his mid-teens with short blond hair
and blue eyes. It didn't look like any kind of demon he'd ever heard of but
he could be wrong. Besides he really didn't know who the boy was talking
"You bastards kidnapped her." Riley desperately tried to get away, but he
found that even though no one was holding him down he just couldn't move.
Then the boy pulled out his knife and crouched on top of him.
"First I'll take your eyes out. Then I'll start flaying you from your
For every question you damn Initiative-scum refuse to answer you lose a
part of your anatomy."
Riley tried to resist, it seemed impossible.
< How did this 'kid' even know about the Initiative? >
"Who are you?"
He couldn't stop himself from screaming when the boy cut open his shirt and
started drawing lines along his chest.
The pain was worse than anything he'd ever imagined. He was still a bit out
of it when all of a sudden the boy's weight was pulled off of him. He
wasn't even entirely sure of what he saw. Could that really be Buffy?
Buffy was coming back from one of her regular patrols when she heard the
It seemed familiar somehow.
All screaming did, she guessed while running towards the sound.
Once there she saw a young boy crouching over a man. It was the man who
"Where is she?"
The boy seemed insane, not even noticing that his victim was too much
in pain to answer anything.
Then she recognized the victim.
She immediately went in the fray. She kicked the boy in the back,
hitting him away from Riley.
"Nobody messes with my boyfriend, kid."
"Don't stand in my way Slayer."
He immediately counterattacked. They were both circling each other.
"What stand in the way of your fun? I wouldn't think of it, not."
"Those bastards got my wife. If you're with them you're against me."
"That is so unfair."
"Life's unfair Slayer." The boy stared her in the eye." For both you
mortals and us immortals." He gave Riley one last look. "Tell your
boyfriend here, him and his buddies better not have harmed Lilin 'cause if
they have I'm going to rip their spines out and use it to spoon up their
He gave the Slayer one last kick before jumping up. It seemed like an
impossible distance. He disappeared in the shadows of the rooftops before
she could make a move.
A few moments later Buffy took Riley in her arms and took him to Giles place.
"Loki." Buffy was sure she heard him mutter the word over and over again.
< Was the boy Loki? >
As soon as they got to Giles, the Watcher went on to call an ambulance.
She kept hearing Riley mutter things like
"Can't betray them.
Got to stop Loki.
He's after us."
She answered a few questions. Beginning with the fact that she'd moved him
because he hadn't exactly been in a safe location. Especially considering
that Buffy'd been alone and hadn't had anyone with her to call the ambulance
for her or to stay with Riley while she did so.
*** A week ago ***
The doctors were just finished with placing the implant in Lilin's head
when she woke up.
She tried to attack then to get away but was taken over by pain somehow
comparable with that of a Buzz. Only a thousand times worse. She didn't
let it stop her though and she managed to take out two of them before they
shocked her once again.
"Well? It should have worked."
"It did, but she went on despite it."
"Damn. Put some extra containment on her and increase the effect of her
implant. We can't do our job if we can't keep her under control."
Professor Walsh headed for the upper floor of the building. She stated a
passing phrase and left the labs. The doctor followed in her track.
"What is she anyway?
She isn't like any of the beings we've ever encountered before."
"I'm not sure. Aside from the blood, the healing and some other really
minor differences I'd say she was human."
"The healing, could we use it to our advantage."
"Well yes. If we could manage to duplicate it, I can only imagine what it
could do. A cure for every disease on the planet. Maybe even an end to
aging in general."
"What about military?"
"Well imagine having a soldier that can keep on going no matter what damage
you put against it."
"What do you mean?"
"From what we've seen so far, she could die from bullet wounds and come
back from it without any medical intervention. The video's we've got from
that fight she was in, showed her doing exactly that. She was shot five
times and doesn't even show a scar to prove of it."
"Interesting. Go on with your work."
*** Present ***
Loki was really starting to come up again as the boy sat in front of the
television looking at the blank screen in front of him. He kept up a
constant chanting. Totally not interested in anything outside of his
Suddenly a light appeared in front of him. The light grew larger and
suddenly it was as if there was a hole leading his sight to that of a young
girl lying chained on some sort of table. He screamed as he could feel her
pain. Shared her agony over the things they were placing inside her.
Despite the pain he felt he kept looking at her. Hoping to catch a glimpse,
a clue that could lead him to find her. But all he saw and felt was her
pain and the masked men and woman experimenting on her. The pain pushed him
away from her. And the light faded away. He slowly stood up and to prepare
himself to leave.
< They would pay for their crimes. > he thought, but he had to hold himself
up on the bed not to fall. The trance had fully exhausted him. Defeated he
sat back down on the bed.
Buffy tried to reach Riley, but it turned out he wasn't in the hospital.
Any more attempts to find Loki turned out useless as well.
She'd spent the remainder of the evening reading through the translations of
the chronicles mentioning Loki.
It was strange but besides the fact that he'd been torturing Riley, he
hadn't looked all that dangerous. Which was probably why they called him the
trickster in the first place. She was really starting to get worried. If she
couldn't find Riley, she couldn't protect him if or when Loki attacked him
again. She knew he could fight, but in the end he was just a regular guy.
What could Loki want from him.
It had to be more than just his soul. Loki had been searching for someone.
But who and what did it mean.
The boy was lying restlessly on his bed.
Even his sleep couldn't give him peace.
He was running from someone. Something.
His feet kept slipping in some kind of puddles.
He kept falling over things but it was to dark to see what they were.
Then he found himself backed in a corner as his assailant approached him.
It was himself.
And all of a sudden he could see it all.
The things tripping him on his path.
They were body parts.
Arms and legs and heads. But somehow they were all still alive.
He screamed as he felt himself pulled in by some kind of puddle.
The stench reached his nostrils and he recognized it as blood.
His victims blood.
He kept slipping in deeper and deeper.
No way to crawl out.
He was sinking in the blood and something inside him thrilled in the
Then he saw the sight of a young girl, being pulled away.
He tried once more to get out but he couldn't move, couldn't breath.
Finally he allowed himself to sink deeper in the darkness.
And all of a sudden he was the assailant standing in a rain of blood.
A grim smile on his face as he took the girl by the hair and felt his hand
heading for her neck.
He awoke startled, sweating and crumbled.
On the other side of town on the campus Buffy woke up from the same dream.
She kept looking at her hands as if to see the blood from her dream still
clinging on them.
She stood up and headed for the bathroom.
Throwing water in her face.
She looked at herself in the mirror and for a moment it was as if it wasn't
her own face she saw but that of the boy she'd faced earlier. Only he looked
His hair was longer, drenched in blood.
His eyes red of tears.
It was as if she heard his voice, "help me."
She took up her shirt and dressed as quietly as possible. Willow was still
Thank God for that.
She just climbed out of the window and headed out for a patrol.
She already knew she wouldn't be able to sleep any more.
*** A week ago ***
The girl crouched in the corner as far away from the door as possible. She
cried silently, fearing what she'd face if people came in. She tried to hide
but couldn't because of the light. She looked at the hallway in front of her.
She could see it through the glass wall in front of her. No cover, no place
to hide. Nothing but blank white walls and the glass locking her in.
They'd hurt her. They still were.
She couldn't figure out why. They wouldn't answer any of her questions. They
didn't really speak to her. Just about her. It didn't seem to matter to them
that she could hear then.
A face kept showing up before her eyes.
Temlan would come.
But as she thought so, she feared for him and prayed to the goddess to keep
*** Present ***
"I'm telling you Giles. This wasn't just a dream.
It seemed so real. This Loki, he's more than just a demon."
"You think he might be souled like Angel."
"Well maybe not like Angel. But he's got feelings like a person. I felt his
love and fear for the girls safety, but something was pulling him down and
I'm afraid it's his own darkness that's doing it."
Buffy tried to explain the sensation, but she couldn't quite manage to do it.
It was only a short while later that she was outside again.
She wandered aimlessly over the campus grounds, not really sure where she was
heading. Then she saw him.
The boy. He was just sitting there.
Buffy reminded herself that this was most probably a dangerous demon who made
use of his apparent harmlessness to make his kills. Still she went up to him.
He didn't move.
"So are we going to fight."
"I have no quarrel with you Slayer."
"Then why did you hurt my boyfriend."
"That bastard is one of the guys who kidnapped my wife."
"Your wife?" Buffy's voice became kinder as she said the words.
"Lilin. One moment she was there, the next ...
I saw them pull her in a van. Four men in commando-outfits.
I tried to call her, to find her but there's so much pain.
They're hurting her."
Buffy put her hand on his shoulder. "Why did they take her?"
"I'm not sure? What I found out, it didn't sound good. I was told those men
were part of some organization called the Initiative. They hunt down
vampires and demons. Best guesses are that they do it to experiment on them.
From what I got from Lilin they really hurt her. She didn't know why." He
could barely keep himself from crying.
Then he controlled himself.
"I want her back. No matter how. I'll get her back and they'll pay for what
they did." he hissed out those last words.
"Do you need help?"
He looked up at her surprised by the offer.
"Look Loki, that is your name isn't it?"
"I don't want you killing people.
If you promise to follow my rules, my friends and I will help you find your
Offering him her hand as a gesture of trust.
The boy looked at her not entirely sure whether he could trust her or
not. Then he accepted the shake.
Buffy was almost surprised when she felt the warmth of his hand.
She waited a few hours to take him to Giles' place the next day.
The others were already there.
"So Buff anything new on the whole Loki-deal." Xander asked before he
noticed the boy following Buffy in.
"Yeah I guess I do. Guys meet Loki. Loki the guys."
A few mouths fell open in surprise as they looked at the supposedly
immortal demon with wild-eyed shock. The boy just smiled at that.
It was on that moment that Anya and Spike stepped in.
She'd helped the vampire get some more cheese-noodles in the kitchen.
"Hello Anyanka. Human again."
"You could say that jinge."
"Didn't I tell you that my name isn't Timothy."
"Lilin told me. What should I call you then."
"Don't tell me you're headhunting again?"
"Not for my own kind no. Some mortals kidnapped Lilin."
"The guys they found dead?"
"Them and some others."
"I'm surprised you let them die so quickly. It doesn't sound like you."
"I didn't have the time to do a thorough job. I'll spare that for when I
get my hands on the head honcho."
It is only then that he looks up and sees Spike.
He'd been weirdly relaxed throughout the whole meeting but the mere sight
of the vampire caught him off-guard.
"Dad?" It was the first word the vampire manages to get out after seeing
his supposedly dead foster father sitting in the room.
The next moment he found himself lying on the ground with his fathers hand
coming down at his neck.
Only Buffy's fast acting stopped him.
"Sorry Loki, but we might still need him. He's the only one of us who's got
any real information on the Initiative."
"Then he'll live. For now"
The boy moved faster than she could imagine and was sitting back across the
room before she could blink.
"Am I the only one in this room who heard the 'dad-word' " Xander muttered
"Yeah Spike what gives."
"He used to be my father." Spike said while getting up.
"I was William Atkinson Moore's father demonbreed. Not yours.
The coldness started seeping in the boy's voice once again.
"So who'd they take."
"Mother." A glare from Loki immediately silenced the vampire up.
"I guess we'll have to help then, don't we."
"Don't act like if you care demonbreed."
"Hey." The vampire actually managed to act offended.
Giles kept throwing wary looks at Loki. Was Buffy pulled in by his seeming
harmlessness. The records showed that to be dangerous.
Before Giles got the opportunity to talk to her, Buffy decided she'd better
get Loki out of there. She didn't want to risk him getting in a fight with
Spike. Giles threw a worrying look at her.
As he let the others out he made sure to bring a sword within his reach.
Buffy headed out with Loki.
Taking him to his place. She startled in shock when she found out it was
the same room Faith used to stay in. Before she turned over to the Mayor's
"What's up with you and Spike?" she asked him. More to get her mind of
Faith than anything else.
"He used to be my son. Before he was turned." His voice nearly breaks on
the words. "After Angelus ...
Then he tried to kill me and Lilin. He failed of course.
After killing us for the fourth time or so he joined the other three,
Angelus, Darla and Drusilla, in the slaughter of our staff. Our servants,
People whom he'd known for most of his life.
They butchered them all." A touch of guilt showed in his eyes.
"By the time Lilin and I came to everyone in the house was dead. Some of
those people I'd known all their lives, growing up in my house with their
I found the bodies of some of the children. I had to stake some of them
myself because they'd been turned.
And it was my fault. If I hadn't invited him in." His fist made a loud
thump as it crashed the table.
"I should have seen something, felt something. It wasn't like I never
smelled the demonbreed in someone or anything. But I didn't." He was close
to crying at this point. "Because of Angelus I lost my son to that demon."
Buffy was starting to get worried at this point. She'd seen some of what
Loki could do to people he was angry with.
"Something wrong Slayer."
"Are you planning on hurting Angel?"
"Angelus? When I find him, yes."
"But he isn't the same anymore."
"What's that supposed to mean."
"Angel was cursed by gypsies. He's got his soul back.
You can't punish Angel for things the demon did."
He looked at her in surprise.
"Is that possible?"
"So I could get William back."
"Maybe." she answered, unsure. Wondering where the conversation was heading
But he turned away from her before she could ask any more questions.
She wasn't sure what to do when he sat down.
The guy wasn't like anyone she'd ever met. Human or demon.
"What do you think I am, Slayer?"
She took another look at him. The longer she spent time with him, the more
unsure of anything she got.
"I'm not sure. Some kind of demon?"
"And you still think I might be one of the good guys."
"I've met good demons before."
"Anya used to be a demon."
"She was human before that."
Buffy went on as if uninterrupted.
"And then there's Whistler and Angel's friend Doyle. He's half-human but
"You've met Whistler?"
"Is there anyone you don't know?"
He doesn't really react to the gibe.
"He's a friend of a brother of mine. A guy called Kaine."
The Slayer didn't recognize the name but doesn't mention it.
"So are you evil Loki? Is that what you're saying."
"That depends." he hesitated for a few seconds. "I'm human Slayer. A very
old and immortal human, but a human nonetheless.
I've done things in my past, things ...
You think you've seen me at my worst, but you haven't. Not yet."
"What about the dream."
He looked up, shocked at the mention of it.
"I had it too." Was all she said.
He knows immediately what dream she's talking about.
"I should have guessed. So if you saw that ..." he pointed his hand
aimlessly. "Then why did you talk to me."
"You didn't want the darkness to get you."
The boy just sat there. He pulled his jacket off and put it on the bed.
Buffy nearly choked when she noticed some of the weapons he pulled out of
"I'm not safe to be around."
"Neither am I." she answered.
She stood up to leave.
"You will leave Riley alone, right?"
"I always keep my promises. Even when I regret them."
She nodded and left him alone.
He remained seated, staring at the wall.
Feeling his wife's pain once again.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town. Riley was sitting in professor
Walsh's office at the Initiative's headquarters. He'd spent the past few
hours explaining how come he's still alive and giving a full description of
The professor was seething.
Angry at anything and everyone for not catching whatever was attacking them.
Riley tried to be as honest as possible.
Even though he realized what the others would think of him, he still told
them the truth.
That whatever attacked him looked like a boy.
A light immediately went on for the professor. She pulled out a file and
took a picture out of it.
The image was clear. A boy and a girl.
Riley's eyes fell open in shock as he recognized the boy.
"He said something. He said we've taken his wife. Did we?"
"We captured the girl a bit more than a week ago. She's not human. Not
"And he's coming after us to get her back."
"I think so."
"What do we do?"
"Everything we can."
The class looked up as Riley entered. Most of them hadn't yet expected the
TA back so soon. Buffy could see he was still in pain. It made her wonder
about Loki for a second.
She went up to Riley as soon as class was over.
She wasn't sure what to say.
According to Loki Riley was a member of this Initiative-group.
But was he right in assuming they had to be evil.
Graham hadn't ever seemed evil and Loki had just ... She couldn't really
blame Riley if he wouldn't understand it. She didn't really understand why
she felt she had to help the boy herself. It just was something she had to
do. Like if it were the only right thing left to do.
Riley wasn't sure what to say. The professor had told him Buffy had been
the one to scare this Loki-figure off. Maybe he was after her as well. It
was why he'd returned so soon. To be able to protect her.
He wasn't at all ready for what she was going to say.
"Riley, I don't know how to say this but ... are you a member of
something called the Initiative."
He was too stunned to think.
"How did you ..."
"So it's true."
"Why can't I ever fall for regular guys? Can you tell me that.
First I fall in love with a vampire, then those two jerks and now you.
What the hell I almost married Spike.
Could you please tell me what's wrong with me."
It was an outburst even Buffy hadn't expected.
She seated herself on the desk.
"I'm sorry, Riley.
It's just I was hoping to have one semi-normal relationship and now Loki
comes along telling me you're part of some organization that experiments
on vampires and other kind of demons. It's a bit hard to take."
"You talked to the guy who ..."
"It's not as bad as it looks.
He's really not all that bad. He promised he wouldn't kill any more people.
He's just, well pissed would be the word, that you guys kidnapped his wife.
I mean, he's been playing nice for the past 3 millennia and then you come
along and kidnap the woman he loves. He just lost track of his sanity for a
If she's free, he'll leave you alone. I think." At least she hoped he would.
"Buffy do you realize what this thing is?"
"I thought I did."
"He's a demon."
"That's what I thought too. He already corrected me on that one."
"So if he isn't a demon, then what is he?"
At that moment another person entered the conversation.
"A very long-lived human." They both looked up at the boy entering the room.
"Hello miss Summers."
"Loki. You promised."
"I said I wouldn't torture or kill him.
I didn't mention interrogating him."
Riley jumped back at that. Trying to reach the tazer he had with him.
Before he knew it he was held up against the blackboard.
Buffy looked up in surprise at this show of power.
"He knows where Lilin is." The boy states in a hard voice.
"We don't know that."
"I do. I saw him in her mind. He was there when they hurt her." His voice
stays steady but Buffy can almost see him tremble in pain and hate.
"Is that true?" Pointing all her anger at Riley.
"We captured a female about a week ago. I didn't know about her until
"One of our extern groups witnessed her killing a guy. They had her
classified as a demon and captured her."
"Why? I mean people get killed all the time. Why did they think she was a
demon." Even Loki admitted that the Initiative didn't just capture any
criminal they came across. At least he'd said he didn't think they did.
"The guy she was fighting shot her and it didn't kill her. Besides that,
when she killed him all sorts of light came out of the body and entered
Buffy looked at Loki questioningly.
When one of us dies and another one is around that other one absorbs the
Quickening, the soul of the deceased. It's the main cause of death amongst
our kind." He relents for a second,
"It's also the main reason for our existence."
"What do you mean?"
"It's hard to explain.
It's all about this stupid prophecy." He noticed how Buffy moaned at the
mention of the word. "In the end there's supposed to be only one of us left."
"At what end."
"The end of the Game. The Gathering. When all of us have fought to the last."
He suddenly changed his tone (and topic),
"Have you ever played Mortal Combat." She just grinned. "I don't mean
Slaying for real. The video game."
"It's a bit like that. Like some sort of tournament.
We're all foundlings that get raised by the mortals around us.
We live amongst you, leading normal lives and such until one day, poof you
Then it starts."
Buffy smiled at that.< Aren't things supposed to be over after you die.>
"That's a discussion for another day Slayer." It was almost like if he
could read her mind. She sure hoped not.
"Until our first death we're pretty much like everyone else. We grow older,
wounds heal at a normal rate. We even scar. But afterwards things change.
I was 16 when it happened to me. Lilin was 15.
Neither of us has aged a day since.
I may be older than the pyramids, but I still look exactly like I did the
day I was stupid enough to fall off a horse and break my neck."
"Uhm how old did you mean when you said old."
"I'm somewhat over 5.000."
Both Buffy and Riley had to swallow after that.
"There are only two of my kind on the world older than me."
"Wow. So how old is the oldest?"
Buffy immediately thought of the way she'd acted after that time she'd been
changed after drinking that poisoned beer. The image of herself as a
cavewoman kept coming up at the weirdest times.
She was shook up when he continued.
"She's a Neanderthal. Literally."
"Well there has to be one the oldest." She tried to get the image of one of
those Neanderthals from the pictures in history hanging out in modern day
out of her mind.
"But what about this Gathering.
"Yes, in the end when there's only a few of us left, the legend says that
we'll all be pulled to some far away place where we will fight 'till
there's only one of us left.
That one will win the prize."
"What kind of prize? A lifetime supply of choco-bears? A trip around the
"We don't know. Nobody really does.
There are a few ideas. But we can't be certain of any of them."
Her look told him to continue.
"Some say that the Prize is the power to rule the world.
That the One will be like a god.
Some of those who believe that, are constantly out to kill others of our
A sudden insight hit her.
"Like you were?"
"No." He chuckled. "At first I was out to rid the world of our kind. Later
I just got addicted to the Quickenings. I never cared about the Prize.
Either winning it or preventing someone else from getting it."
Riley wasn't sure what to do. Here the guy was explaining his race to them.
On one hand he could use the opportunity to escape, but on the other hand
he could use it to find out more about him. To find some way to stop him."
"There are some of the good guys amongst us who believe it's their sacred
duty to prevent the evil ones from winning the Prize. I'm not one of them.
And neither is Lilin."
One, I seriously doubt I have any right to judge others for their crimes.
My own scale of evil things is a bit too heavy for me to kill others in
the name of good. Even in the name of redemption.
Secondly ... If or when the Gathering comes, whatever the Prize will be,
it will bring loneliness. I can't imagine wanting to live in a world
without my family. Without Lilin. What would it be worth to rule the world
if you're all alone with no-one left to understand you. No-one to ..."
As long as Lilin is alive I will do anything in my power to prevent the
Gathering from ever occurring even if that means letting someone who
attacks me live. And giving them another chance to come after me."
"And if she dies."
"If there's an immortal responsible. I'll hunt him down to the end of the
world and take his head. And then I ... let's just say I won't be around
for long afterwards.
If there isn't I'll kill the mortal responsible and wait for Lilin to be
Neither of the three knew that outside the class people were listening in
on the conversation.
Professor Walsh was glad she'd thought of putting a transmitter on Riley.
She wondered why he hadn't run yet.
Not that she wasn't glad for it.
She hoped it was to get more information for the Initiative rather than to
help his girlfriend. It was obvious that little miss Summers knew a whole
lot more than she was supposed to.
"Now Riley. Where's my wife?"
"Riley?" Buffy's look at him was pleading.
He thought about refusing, but he'd seen what this 'boy' did to his victims.
And back at headquarters they were a lot more qualified at dealing with this
threat. He just hoped Buffy wouldn't get hurt in the situation. Did she
really know what she was dealing with? He considered knocking the boy out.
But considering his powers and speed it was unlikely he would succeed.
Shooting him would only help temporarily anyway.
His kind seemed to heal extraordinarily fast.
"She's back at headquarters."
"Which is where?"
"Under the Lowell-house."
"Damn he's betraying us." Forrest's voice sounded furious.
Professor Walsh disagreed.
"I don't think so.
"He's trying to lead then into a trap.
It'll be a lot easier to capture then at our own home grounds."
For a moment Buffy considered warning the others, but then she saw the look
on Loki's face. He didn't seem all too patient. Making him wait to go save
his wife might not be the smartest thing to do. He was already on the brink
as it was. She watches as he lets Riley lead the way.
Softly stroking the stake in her pocket. Making sure it's there.
Great. Now she had to distrust her boyfriend who's leading her and a
self-admitted killer into what might be a trap to free some immortal being
who might or might not even be one of the good guys. The Initiative had seen
her kill someone and she only had Loki's word that it'd been self-defense.
What the hell maybe they really were the good guys this time and she was
fighting on the evil side.
< I prefer black and white-situations >, she thought. < At least with
vampires (well aside of Angel and Spike and ...) I know what I'm going
into. I know they're evil. Here I can't even stake anyone, because with
Loki it wouldn't do any good and the other side is human. Why didn't I just
call Giles and let him decide? >
She took another look at Loki. He was barely restraining himself from
seriously hurting Riley and he was only doing so to keep his word to her. It
was positively eerie to see him walk. She couldn't hear a sound coming from
him. He didn't step on a single twig, didn't even leave footprints for that
matter. She noticed that last one because she kept looking at the shape her
shoes were getting in, walking through the mud.
She barely heard him breath and there wasn't a rustle made by his clothing.
Even Angel's sudden appearances seemed loud in comparison.
Riley didn't dare look back. He kept seeing Graham's body. The boy's voice
when he'd been attacked by him. How could Buffy fall for his act. This was
a monster. Maybe not the usual kind of demon. But still. He was probably
worse than that. He tried to hold in a groan of pain when his shoulder hit
a tree branch. He was glad Buffy was behind him, so she couldn't see the
pain in his eyes. He didn't really need another reminder of what the thing
had done to him. When they arrived at the dorm he eyed Loki as if asking him
whether or not to go in. The boy just stared at him to go on. He led then
into the room, trying to avoid Forest's eyes in the game room. He could see
from the way they were sitting there that they were waiting for something.
He hoped, almost prayed they were ready for the monster in their midst.
Riley went up to a mirror in the hall. It scanned his iris and opened up
for him. Loki and Buffy followed him into the elevator. He hesitated a few
seconds to establish voice-recognition.
"So what are you two gonna do when you get in."
Buffy threw a look at the boy next to her.
"Get Lilin out." was all he said.
Riley could almost smell it the moment a kind of non-lethal gas filled the
chamber. Buffy tried to stop the elevator and hit her way out, but she fell
unconscious before she could really do anything. Loki though held out
longer. When Initiative-commandos showed up, opening the elevator gate, all
they saw of him was his feet as he pushed himself through the top of the
elevator. Above him several of the men tried to stop him but they failed.
Loki wanted to kill them. He really did. But decided not to. He'd given his
word to the Slayer. He'd follow her rules. In other words no killing.
He could feel himself weakened by the gas. So instead of fighting a way
back in to help Buffy he just ran, losing his pursuers before they had a
chance to catch him.
He ducked into a garbage container and held his heartbeat as slow as
possible. He could hear then come closer. "There's some kind of inhuman
heartbeat in there." he heard a voice say. He waited until the voices came
closer. When they opened the lid he used his last forces in the only thing
he could do.
He waited as he saw the two commandos leave. Both totally convinced that
the only thing they'd seen had been a rat. At that moment Loki's final
strength gave out and he fell unconscious.
Xander had managed to hoard the most comfortable chair in Giles place for
himself. He was regretting that as he felt himself dozing of with Giles'
book on Loki in his hands.
Willow sat behind the screen of her computer, cross-referencing. Mostly
trying to find some tangible facts on either the Initiative or Loki. Spike
sat on the couch, munching chips while watching Passions. He was a bit
amused by the seriousness with which these mortals took these things. Giles
was pacing in the kitchen. His attempt to interrogate Spike on Loki hadn't
brought up all that much. Just that Loki used to call himself Thomas Moore
when he'd raised the boy that would one day become Spike. That and the fact
that Loki was impervious to most kinds of harm.
Willow used the name and found a report on a head hunter case that had
involved a certain Thomas Moore. It was almost immediately obvious that
Loki was involved.
Anya had tried to help, but what could she say.
Sure she'd met the guy during her demon-days, so what?
She'd been called on by one of his daughters and Loki had used his powers
to cast her away again. He said he could take care of the vengeance part
Anya chuckled at that part.
Xander knew her well enough now to know what that meant.
His look showed his reluctance to ask, but his curiosity won out.
"So what happened."
"He punished the guy himself."
"Duh. I guessed that, but how?"
"He made the guy cut off his own penis and eat it for breakfast."
Anya smiled. "I can tell you one thing the guy has a talent for the job."
Xander was just happy he hadn't been eating anything at the time and
beating himself up for even asking.
"What? I was just answering your question."
It was understandable that the situation had gotten quite tense.
The more they found out, the worse their opinion of Loki got.
And then he decided to come in. Loki himself. On his own.
The group didn't know this and the boy made sure not to show it, but he was
still a bit groggy from the after-effects of the gas. A usual consequence
when dealing with non-lethal poisons.
Giles faced him as soon as he entered.
"They got her."
The former Watcher just stared at him for a moment. He'd seen the
autopsy-reports on this thing's victims, he'd read the chronicles. By now
he was beating himself up for ever letting his Slayer leave with this
monster in human form.
He was so overcome by guilt that he just forgot that Loki could probably
kill him with a single touch and attacked. He pulled up his sword, threw
the 'boy' against the floor and put his sword on his neck. Before he could
do so the boy just snapped his hands on the blade and pushed it away. It
was almost instinctive.
Giles was still sitting on top of him and stared him in the eyes.
"What did you do to her?"
"I didn't do nothing." His voice sounded sincere but Giles wasn't ready to
trust him yet.
"And we should you believe you because you're so trustworthy Trickster."
"You don't understand."
"Oh no. Is that what you said about the other Slayers you killed?"
"I didn't kill Buffy." The boy just kicked Giles away from him and slowly
"I know I screwed up. OK."
It's my fault she got caught. But it wasn't on purpose."
His voice started trembling a bit.
"If I hadn't been so damn impatient."
Giles wasn't sure what it was, but something told him the 'kid' was telling
"If I hadn't been so stupid, so ... I don't know, if I hadn't let him lead
us in that trap then Buffy would still be here and the Initiative wouldn't
know about her.
And now she's in their hands. Just like Lilin.
It's all my fault. All my fault."
He barely stopped himself from collapsing. It was at that point that Giles
noticed the boy wasn't totally all right. Something besides guilt was
"I went to speak with this guy Riley." He obviously noticed the look on the
"To talk to him only. I promised Buffy I wouldn't torture or kill the
"Buffy was already talking to him.
We convinced him to lead us to their headquarters. We went in, but then
some kind of gas started filling the elevator. I barely got out. I would
have gone back but there were just too many of them. I should have known
the place was better guarded than that. I shouldn't have taken her with me."
"And now they've got her."
Buffy felt odd when she woke up. She wasn't sure what it was.
There was some kind of disorientation involved. Then she felt the hard
floor under her. For a second she considered having fallen out of her bed,
but that thought was over in less than a second. She quickly pushed herself
up, kicking her feet under her.
The place was covered in light. With white walls.
Buffy recognized it from Spike's description. She could somehow sense the
demons and vampires around her. From the noise they started making as soon
she'd woken up she presumed they'd sensed her as well. She softly touched
the glass in front of her. It showed her a sight on a cell on the other
side of the hall. Another girl, somewhat younger than herself was sitting
there in a meditative position.
A shock went through the Slayer as she recognized her. The girl from Loki's
"You're Lilin aren't you?" she asked. The girl seemed surprised.
She slowly came up and approached the glass.
"How did you know that?"
"Loki told me about you."
"Loki? Oh gods no. Please tell me he hasn't fallen back to that. All but
"Why what's wrong?"
"Temlan using Loki." Lilin could see the blonde didn't understand.
"Temlan is his real name. His original name. "
"But you don't like him using Loki."
Lilin hesitated for a couple of seconds.
"We have a saying, the people who know about him do, Temlan going Loki.
It basically means he's going insane. If he's gone Loki, then I could lose
him. Really lose him. Not to death, but to evil.
I'd rather see him die than that."
An image of Angel crossed the Slayers mind. The way he'd taunted her after
losing his soul. Seeing him kill innocent people. Leaving dead bodies as
messages to her. It sent cold shivers down her spine.
"I understand." And Lilin could see in her eyes that she did.
It was something they both shared. Loving men that could go evil at any
moment, but loving them nonetheless for the good they could do. And feeling
at times that bringing death would be a mercy.
"Don't worry, I was just ... thinking about a friend of mine who changed
like that." Lilin nodded in understanding. "I'm Buffy."
"Lilin Moore, but you already knew that."
"Sort of, Loki uhm Temlan didn't mention your last name."
"He didn't tell you any other name than Loki either I presume."
Buffy chuckled slightly, "Not really."
"Has he done anything?"
Buffy didn't know what to say. Could she tell the girl her husband had been
killing people to find her.
"He hasn't been nice."
The meaning was obvious to both. To Lilin especially. Images of previous
horrors crossed her mind. She hit the glass in front of her as hard as she
could. Getting shocked for the effort. Buffy watched as she started muttering
words in some weird language. No several weird languages. There were only
few words in the cascade that Buffy actually recognized and only because
she'd heard either Giles or Willow use then in their spells.
For some reason though she sincerely doubted the context was much the same.
"Damn mortals. No brains in the whole lot of them. They have no idea what
Buffy's mind backed up to some of the stories she'd read in Giles books. "oh oh."
"That's one way of putting it."
"Well, I think all might not be lost. He promised he wouldn't well kill or
torture anyone as long as I was willing to help him."
"He agreed to that?" Lilin seemed somewhat disbelieving.
"Well he promised he would keep himself to my rules. And my friends might
still help him to get us out."
Lilin considered it. "He tends to keep his promises."
She took another look at the frail blond in front of her.
"You're the Slayer, aren't you?"
Buffy stared at her with a look that clearly said: 'is it tattooed on my
forehead or something?'.
"I've met other girls like you before."
"The first time was around a 1.000 BC or something like that. It was right
after the fall of Troy. She was my daughter."
She smiled slightly as she noticed the shocked outlook on the Slayers face.
Her mouth had dropped open.
""Buffy? Are you OK?"
"Yes, sure. It's not like I don't meet people that look like kids but are
really thousands of years old everyday."
Lilin laughed freely for the first time since these mortals had captured her.
"I'm actually 3.500. Give or take a few decades."
"You know what the worst part of it is?"
She didn't wait for Lilin to respond.
"That you and Temlan aren't even the weirdest thing I've ever seen and that
I keep thinking, at least you're not 5.000 like him."
"Not that many are. Temlan is one of the oldest."
Professor Margaret Walsh took a look at the young man across of her. She
knew she had to debrief him and hoped he hadn't strayed to far from his
duty. She stopped the tape-recording they'd made earlier that day.
She silently congratulated herself for putting Buffy Summers next to the
female whatever she was. It was nearly impossible to get anything out of
her otherwise. Still the conversation worried her, at least as much as the
one she'd heard earlier that day.
"Slayers." Riley didn't seem to be willing to consider it yet. Summers and
him had been forming a relationship lately. He wouldn't be able to deal
with what they had to do.
"They said Summers is something called a Slayer."
"Yes. I'm more worried about the ages. 3.500 for the girl and over 5.000
"Older than the pyramids. It's hard to believe."
She stared a cold glance at Riley.
"So the boy is Loki but his real name is Temlan."
"I think so yes."
"And he's the one after us."
"He's more dangerous than we first thought. I've had first hand proof of
some kind of telekinetic ability on his part."
"The girl doesn't seem to have it."
"Why did you bring him here agent."
"He'd have found us anyway. He already knows something about who are
members and who aren't. Aside of that he claimed to have some kind of
telepathic connection to the girl.
I couldn't take him on my own and he'd already started torturing me once
before. I didn't think Buffy would be willing to stop him this time. Aside
of that, the sensors in front of the house should have shown him as a
non-human as soon as he entered. I thought it would be safer to lure him
inhere where we had a better chance of capturing him."
Professor Walsh couldn't disagree with his reasoning. It had been the
logical thing to do. Dangerous, but offering them the best chance they'd
ever gotten of capturing the hostile. And the fact that they'd failed had
been hardly Riley's fault. He'd done his best.
"So what's the plan?"
"The plan?" Loki seemed totally surprised that anyone expected anything
like that from him. Giles had never seen him look more like a young boy
than at that moment.
"Yes. You're the old whatever you are. It was your idea to bust in and
rescue your wife that cost us Buffy in the first place. Now how do we
rescue the both of them?"
"Why am I suddenly the guy with the plan. I'm not Methos you know. And as
you just stated yourself, my last plan got Buffy caught in the first place.
I was kinda hoping you guys had a plan."
"Methos? Who's Methos?"
Now both the teenager and the ancient immortal turned their eyes to the
former watcher, hoping he'd have some kind of idea on what to do.
"Great. Buffy's gone and neither the Watcher nor the old guy here can find
a plan. We're doomed."
"Xander!" Willow was seriously getting annoyed by both guys. Didn't that
boy ever grow up. From what she could see from Loki there wasn't much hope
for Xander at all. Couldn't he ever be optimistic. No matter how right he
might be. Especially when he was right. Luckily for all of then her glares
didn't really shoot fire.
It was at that moment that her decryption-program signaled it was ready.
She made a print of the Lowell-house lay-out, it was in an Initiative-file
she'd managed to get her hands on, and laid it out on the table. The others
circled around it.
Well everyone but Spike. He was tied to a chair again. This time with a gag
in his mouth. Loki had been ready to stake him after his third daddy-remark.
Now he was grumbling behind his mouth on the terrible atrocity of
child-abuse. The others just ignored him.
Anya couldn't understand why they would even risk going in again. But she
kept silent after the first glare Loki gave her. The immortal might not be
a demon, but he came close. Real close.
They all kept expecting to hear Buffy come up with a plan. But she wasn't
They knew they couldn't just barge in the way Spike had gotten out, because
that way would be to well guarded. They couldn't do a raid on the house by
the front gate cause that would fail as well. In the end they were all
starting to get desperate.
Loki was just sitting there. Wondering why he'd ever bothered by siding
with these mortals. But it was to late now, he couldn't just kidnap Walsh
and exchange her for the girls any more. Buffy wouldn't want that and he
owed it to her to keep following her rules.
His eyes caught the vampire. A bit of hope glared in his eyes as he
considered what Buffy had told him about Angelus. After they got Lilin and
Buffy out they could even get William back. If only Gerinn had been here to
see this day. The Kurgan would have loved it. Damn MacLeod.
Buffy was gently rubbing her arm. It hurt a bit from where they'd taken the
When she returned to her cell. Carried kicking and screaming, but to tied
up to be able to resist, she noticed Lilin lying in a heap on the floor in
her own cell.
The bastards had probably been trying out some new experiments. Seeing how
far the immortals regenerative abilities would hold out. Buffy hated to see
her like that. She was starting to understand why Temlan had gotten so
agitated. Him sharing her pain and all that. These people had no right to
do that to the girl. She wasn't even some evil soulless thing or demon like
Lilin was lying dead still. She probably was dead.
It was only temporary of course, her head was still attached, but it was
scary to see her like that. To realize that the frail girl wasn't entirely
She looked up as she heard someone enter the hall.
"Riley." she hissed in a tone of betrayal.
"Me? You're the one helping out the demon who killed Graham.
That monster killed one of my best friends. What did you expect?"
"It wouldn't have happened if you'd left him and Lilin alone.
What did you guys do to her today anyway?"
"Just some tests."
"Some tests? She's a human being Riley, an immortal one, but still a souled
living person and you're torturing her."
"She's not human."
"And what about me. What are you planning to do with me?"
"I don't know." Riley hesitated. "The doctors are still testing out what
He gave her a quick glance.
"Walsh wants you for debriefing."
"And what if I refuse?"
Neither of them answered that question.
It was some time later when Buffy was brought to Walsh. The girl kept eying
Riley but didn't resist to overly much. Walsh was sitting behind her desk.
She was reading in a file that had the label hostile 53 on it. Another one
with her name on it was unopened on the desk.
Finally the professor looked up at Buffy.
Buffy didn't respond.
"You seem to have attempted an attack on our facility miss Summers."
"So." Buffy shrugged.
"You do realize that an attack against a government facility such as the
Initiative is a federal offense? No?"
She placed the file down in front of her.
Buffy wasn't sure what to say. This wasn't what she'd expected.
"Now I can understand that a young girl such as yourself might be deluded
into helping out a good-looking boy like this," she pointed at a picture of
Temlan. "but that does not excuse your behavior." Buffy kept staring
openmouthed. "It is also a fact that this installation is top-secret and
that I could use that as a reason to detain you here."
"But you're not going to do that?"
"No I'm not. Whatever mystic mumbo jumbo you believe in, that boy and yes
that girl are dangerous non-humans. We have no real idea as to what they
are, but human they're not."
"Why? Just cause they're immortal doesn't give you the right to experiment
"Actually it does.
They aren't human therefore they don't fall under human rights and since
they're not exactly animals either they don't even fall under animal rights.
Miss Summers, the art is to see at the advantages these two can give the
human race. Just imagine if we were capable of using their unusual healing
properties for mankind.
Aside of that they are both dangerous murderers. Just look at what that boy
did to several people on this campus. The way he tried to torture agent
Finn here. Don't allow yourself to be pulled along by their innocent
outlooks. They are both extremely dangerous."
The professor pushed the file at her. Buffy didn't touch it. The professor
didn't allowed herself to be railed by the teenagers behavior and opened
the file on one of the autopsies. Even the Slayer had a problem keeping her
lunch in after glimpsing at the pictures.
Images of finding Grahams body came up.
"We are just trying to protect mankind miss Summers. I believe you of all
people should understand that. Being the Slayer and all that."
Buffy was shocked at that disclosure.
"We recorded your conversation with the female. I must say that I'm
surprised you actually exist. I'd always assumed you were no more than a
myth. A story told between the sub-terrestrials to scare each other."
"Yeah well I'm real, so what?"
"We are off course not going to keep you here Miss Summers. We only deal
with non-humans. But I will have to ask you not to get involved with either
of these two again. I would not want to be forced to face you."
After that Buffy was escorted outside.
"Buffy please" Riley tried to reach out to here.
"I don't understand how you can do this Riley. I wont let this rest."
"She's not even human."
"Who determines that, you have no right to mistreat her cause she's
different and I won't let you keep her. I'm sorry for Graham, but I can't
let you do that. Not to a souled being."
The Slayer turned her back to him and walked away. Tears slowly appearing
on her face.
In the meantime the Scooby gang and Loki and Spike were ready to roll. The
idea was to lean on Riley and force him to release Buffy and Lilin of
course. Spike just went along because he wanted to hurt the Initiative and
Giles didn't dare leave him behind. Who knows what the vampire might be
planning on. Anya went along for Xander.. They just arrived at the Lowell
house when Loki warned them to duck. It was Buffy and Riley.
Xander's heart almost broke as he saw the tears on Buffy's face. What had
these bastards done to her." Buffy?"
"I'm fine. But we've got to get Lilin out and soon."
"How is she?"
"Holding out. She's fine Temlan."
"You talked to her."
"She still has to tell me how she manages to keep her waist that thin
"We'll have to be careful, I think Walsh is still keeping an eye on me."
"Apparently the Bitchmonster from hell is leading this whole gig."
"Professor Walsh, Giles. My psychology teacher."
"And you say she leads this thing, huhm..."
"Giles please." Then she turned to Loki.
"Lilin did want you to know that she'd rather see you die than become Loki
again. She doesn't want you to kill anyone. Not even the people who hurt
her." Well the girl hadn't actually said that, but it had been all too
clear in what she did say.
"She loves you."
The boy didn't answer.
Xander didn't waste time with any questions. It was obvious Lilin had told
Buffy Loki's real name. He wasn't that stupid.
"Why did they let you go?"
"I'm human, apparently in their ideas Temlan and Lilin aren't."
The group was careful to watch their backs but that didn't help them much
against the transmitter Walsh had her people place on Buffy. The
professor's head shot up after finding out the hostile was so near. Now to
catch him when he didn't have that entire group to protect him. Then again,
he was apparently pretending to be nice because of the group. He probably
wouldn't use lethal force around the group if he could avoid it.
She immediately started mobilizing her forces. For a moment she considered
sending Riley but decided against it. The man was a good agent, but his
emotional attachment to Summers would work against him.
The group was once again sitting in Giles' place. Anya had left and Spike
was in the kitchen drinking his pig blood. Temlan sat on the ground next to
Buffy. The others still didn't really trust him. Giles and Willow showed
Buffy the plans they'd gotten and Buffy indicated where Lilin was. After
that Giles started a longwinded discussion on what they knew of the
commandos. Xander kept his eyes on Buffy, whom he knew had once again been
hurt by someone she'd loved. Then all of them were shook up when something
was thrown through the window. It was a gas grenade and it exploded before
Temlan could reach it and cover it with his own body. Immediately
afterwards several commandos wearing gasmasks bursts into the room. In the
end only Temlan and Spike were still up. Spike showed his game face and
tried to attack, but fell down in pain as soon as he moved an inch towards
them. The commandos quickly managed to knock him out with their tasers.
Temlan lasted only a wee bit longer but was knocked out as well.
The soldiers quickly picked up the three most dangerous members of the
group. Loki, Buffy and Spike. "What do we do with the others." one of the
"That's hostile 17. We'll have to take the others as well. Just in case
they were contaminated."
Temlan found himself all alone in a white cell. He could feel his head
ringing with the presence of not only another immortal but several other
kinds of sensations as well.
There were several soldiers standing guard outside the cage he was in. He
noticed how two scientists were looking at him. He threw them his hardest
He didn't even look down when he noticed they'd taken his clothes away from
< ;Damn they must have noticed some of the weapons.> All he was still
wearing were his underpants. He could feel the hate the soldiers felt
against him. Hate and fear.
He sat down in an easy meditation position and started concentrating on the
wall, but before he could do something a high level tone started bursting
through the cage. Totally breaking the concentration he needed. Suddenly a
gas started pouring in through the ceiling. Temlan could feel its effects
starting to work on him, his last thoughts were to the mortals that had
been helping him.
He suddenly woke up again, taking a deep breath that warned the people
surrounding him of his return to the living. He knew right away that the
gas must have killed him. He could feel a deep pain when someone cut into
his skull. His first reaction was to jump away and hit back but the ties
that held him on the table were to strong even for him.
One of the scientists hit him with a hypo spray in the neck and soon he was
"The implant was successfully installed Colonel Walsh. We dialed the pain
dial up somewhat, just to make sure that we wont have the same problems as
with the female. These beings are highly resistant to pain."
"Good." The professor considered the situation for a second. "I want to
debrief him myself as soon as you're finished."
The conversation was suddenly interrupted when the office door was thrown
open and Riley stepped in.
"How come Buffy's back. You said she could go."
"I did. Circumstances changed. She was with hostile 53 when our men
apprehended him. So were the others. They're under quarantine right now."
"But Buffy ..."
"No buts Agent. I warned Summers what would happen if she kept aiding the
hostile, she didn't listen." "But." "But nothing Agent. Is that understood?"
Riley silently left the room. This was Buffy they were talking about. His
He didn't reply to any words from the others and silently went downstairs.
Buffy was sitting in one of the detention cells next to the labs. He could
see that the doctors were taking blood tests from some of her friends. An
older man, Willow and that boy she hung out with. What was his name again?
Xander. He pressed his card in the door and went in Buffy's cell.
"I'm sorry, I thought she was going to leave you alone. I didn't ..."
"What are they going to do ... to the others."
"They'll be in quarantine for a while. But no one will harm them."
"And what about Temlan." Riley took note that she didn't even ask about
"The boy? They're putting an implant in him now so he won't be able to harm
anyone any more."
"Like you did to Spike."
"Who? Oh hostile 17."
Riley stayed close to the door, watching his hands to keep himself from
having to look at her. "It's the usual safety-procedure."
Buffy suddenly thought about what Temlan had told her about immortals. If
he couldn't kill or harm any living beings, he wouldn't last a year.
"We've got to get him out. Him and Lilin."
"I can't they're hostiles."
"They're people Riley. Friends." She turned a begging look at him.
Temlan was still out of it when two of the soldiers placed him on the chair
in the briefing room. They locked him to it and made double sure that his
shackles were secure.
When he woke up he found himself in front of the woman he'd seen in his
nightmares. The one who'd ordered her men to hurt Lilin. He heavily cursed
her in Akkadian, wishing her a fiery death, many diseases and pain and
misfortune throughout her life.
"Nice." She answered in Akkadian. Her accent was miles off of course. Like
that of many modern day scholars. But she spoke the words in a way that
showed she knew the language. "You sure have a dirty mouth for such a young
boy." She came closer to him. Sitting on the table right in front of him.
"But then again, you're not really young, or are you?" Temlan stared at her
in a way that could have melted iron, Walsh was not impressed.
"I wouldn't be too confident boy, you're mine now."
Temlan didn't respond, he just thought back to another person who had once
said those words, one of many. All but one were dead now.
"So what are you planning now that you have me?" He asked casually, while
concentrating on loosening his bonds.
"Oh I don't know. A few comparing tests, noting down the differences
between you and your friend."
For a moment the woman seemed to take it, but then she suddenly shrugged
"My my, you're even more dangerous than I thought. But I shouldn't be so
surprised, now should I."
Temlan didn't waste any more time and in one second he burst the shackles
loose. They went flying across the room. Two of the commandos tried to stop
him but he beat them down before they could actually do anything. He
grabbed Walsh by the neck and pulled her back. "Now you'll help me get
Lilin and the others out of here, or I'll snap your little neck."
Walsh seemed shocked that there was barely any sign of pain in the boy's
voice. He should be shivering on the ground under throngs of pain caused by
the implant, but he wasn't.
The immortal grabbed the woman with him, forcing her to open the door for
him. He suddenly looked up when he saw another of the commando-types come
at him. Temlan was ready to throw the woman at him when he suddenly saw
Buffy and her friends following the commando. Then Temlan recognized the
man. Riley, Buffy's boyfriend.
"You got out?" the girl said stating the obvious.
"Yes, our friend here was just telling me how she was going to help us free
"Damn Finn, you traitor. I'll have you court-martialed for this."
"Shut up" the boy said at her while pulling her neck down some more.
"We were going for her now." Willow blushed when she saw the boy. He was
practically naked wearing nothing but briefs. But it didn't seem unnatural
Buffy kept looking at him. She'd seen the effect of the implant on Spike,
so how come it didn't seem to have the same effect on the immortal. Both
Riley and the professor were thinking the same thing, but it was Xander who
pointed it out.
"Not that I'm not happy or anything but what about the implant?"
"I'll get it out later. It's annoying me."
"Annoying, isn't it supposed to be painful?"
"I've got a fairly high threshold for pain." he saw that they still didn't
"It's something you get after the I don't know how manyest time that they
burn you on a stake or flay you or something like that. One of the hazards
"You think this thing is hurting me, it comes close, but not really."
"Great, now he's a pain-junkie." Temlan just tightened his grip for a second.
"You think this is bad? Try and imagine seeing your own brother nail you to
the ground. Feeling how he slowly cuts inch on inch of skin of your body and
restarts each time you're healed. How Methos killed me again and again in
the burning sun just to prevent Kronos from finding out how he really felt
about me. It took him hours upon days to finish his work and stop for a
while. It felt like months. After about three days I managed to finally find
a moment that their attention was lessened. Another slave had escaped.
I was weakened but I managed to get away because Methos lead them
after the other slave.
Three days of continuous torture, two weeks in the desert heat with no real
water or food to speak of. It died several times of thirst on that trip. To
weakened to hold on.
Compared to that, this implant of yours is nothing."
"Your own brother?" Xander managed to ask.
"Methos did it to keep Kronos away from me. He should have told me.
That was when I first started as Loki. When I started ...."
He suddenly looked up.
"We're near Lilin."
They met several commandos on the way down, but none of them felt like
testing their luck with the angry immortal. Especially with the professor
as a hostage.
"Temie." Temlan pushed the mortal in Buffy's direction and opened the cell
door. Lilin immediately got up. Temlan noticed that even though there
weren't any scars left, there was a certain caution in her steps that the
girl didn't normally have.
He pulled her in his arms, cradling her in his embrace.
"I love you my sweet." She leaned back against him, nearly fainting from
exhaustion. He gently picked her up and took her in his arms. Buffy pulled
the professor along with them.
All the way up Lilin rested safely in her husband's strong arms. The others
didn't know what they were seeing. It was as if the driven vengeful demon
they'd encountered before had just disappeared. Leaving a loving, caring
man in its place. It wasn't so much the way he looked, but his entire body
language that had changed. His face seemed softer somehow and his eyes ...
It reminded him a bit of that time when Anya and Willow had accidentally
called up that vampire-version of Willow from some other timeline. They
looked exactly alike, but were two entirely different people. Loki and
Temlan. Xander hoped he'd never have to meet up with Loki again, though he
feared that would not be the case.
Lilin wasn't safe yet.
The group was almost up when they ran into a set of commandos that blocked
their path. Riley wasn't sure what to do, especially when he saw that
Forrest was leading them.
"Don't make me fight you Forrest."
"Shut up you traitor."
It hurt to hear one of his best friends talk like that. Especially when he
knew Forrest was right. He had betrayed all that they stood for. But then
he took one look at Buffy and knew that it was worth it. He took up his
tazer and lifted it. He didn't put it on lethal though. He still didn't
want to hurt any of his former friends. Even if they didn't understand why
he had to do this. Then he felt the boy come up beside him.
"You'd better let us through. Unless you want me to kill your leader. I
'really' feel like killing her. Slowly." Riley suddenly realized once again
who it was whom he was siding with. It was hard to remember that when you
saw him with the girl. The other commandos luckily realized it as well and
let them through.
As soon as they'd gotten far enough he placed Lilin on the ground and
turned his attention to their prisoner.
He hung his head for a moment, seeming totally innocent.
"You do realize I'm going to kill you don't you?"
The professor nearly screamed. She barely managed to stop herself.
The others immediately came on edge. He couldn't actually mean to do that,
could he? The woman was defenseless, defeated. She wouldn't have a chance.
Buffy was just about ready to interfere when a soft voice headed her of.
"No." They all turned to Lilin.
"No." Temlan turned fully to her now.
"But she hurt you."
"Yes she did.
But I won't let you kill her. I'll die before I let you harm a hair on her
"I love you Temlan, but I will not accept Loki as my husband.
If you kill her like this you're Loki and I don't want to have anything to
do with that."
The shock on the boy's face was stunning.
"The past is the past." she continued, "but that doesn't mean I'll let you
turn back to it."
He turned one last look at the woman lying on the ground.
"But she'll come after us again."
"No she won't." The words were calm, collected but deadly serious.
"If she comes after us again, I won't hold you for defending yourself." She
said the words more for Walsh's sake than for her husband. "But if you kill
her now, that would be murder and I can't let you do that."
Giles looked up at the girl with a new respect. He hadn't really considered
the girl since the deal began but now he couldn't help being awed by her.
She was probably the only thing in the world keeping Loki from showing up
and he hoped she would be around for a long long time.
A few days later the gang was sitting in the dining room.
Buffy was helping Riley cope with losing what he'd seen as his life for so
long. Willow was helping Giles with a book on ancient mystics that Lilin
had given them and Xander sat in a chair watching the entire group. Spike
was back in his usual place. Walsh had been more than happy to return him
to them after a short talk with Temlan. It was obvious he wouldn't let the
vampire stay in their hands. Spike was a bit more subdued. He knew that
Temlan was the only reason he wasn't in that white cage anymore. But he
wasn't sure why. It wasn't like if his former foster father even liked him
When asked by the others the immortal had only stated that he wouldn't let
anyone do that to his son's body. Especially not now that there was the
possibility of a cure. Spike nearly trembled at the idea of becoming another
bloody brooding human loving idiot like Angel. The very idea alone sent
shivers down his spine. Then again, William Moore hadn't been all that much
into guilt before being turned. Spike quietly sat in his chair when Lilin
came at him. She carried a cup with blood with her.
"I thought you might like this better than the usual drink."
Spike wondered what she meant until he tasted it. He looked at her
gratefully. The taste of human, no immortal blood was unmistakable.
"Your uncle Lucius always did say that pig's blood was to disgusting to
drink no matter what the situation was."
"The Nightflyer. So how is the general."
"The usual. Taking care of Nicholas. He's got a new child. Nicholas's
latest mortal lover."
Spike had a hard time just talking to her like this. The woman was his
mother and unlike Temlan she wouldn't treat him any different. It would
almost be worth it to be cursed.
Xander nearly threw up just looking at them. Wondering why he couldn't have
parents like that. All his mother ever cared about was if he paid his rent.
She couldn't care less about him, even when she was sober.
He quickly turned his thoughts away from his wasted family life.
"So Temlan, what are the plans for you two?" he finally asked the immortal
"We're staying for a while. William will stay with us."
"I will?" the vampire yelled out.
"Yes you will." Then he continued as if uninterrupted.
"I've called a brother of mine. He'll help us remove those damn implants."
He noticed the hopeful look on Spikes face. "No William I will not ask
Methos to take your implant out. He wouldn't do it if I asked anyway. He's
not that stupid."
"Again with Methos. Who is this guy anyway?"
The immortal just sat down leaning against the coach, a smirk on his face.