Season 3, Episode 2 (Dead Man's Party)
Buffy was thrilled to find that her mom had missed her as much as she'd missed her mother. She'd been so afraid of rejection that it had taken her several minutes before she finally knocked on the door to their house. But all of her worries were swept away when Joyce answered it, took one look at her, and swept her up in a tight hug.
Her mom was actually happy to have her home and that made Buffy happy. Now the next day, as she came downstairs to find Joyce in the kitchen making breakfast, that happiness was slightly eroded by what was ahead. She apparently was no longer wanted for Kendra's murder, which was good. That said, she was still expelled from school, which was bad.
Buffy put on a brave face as she reached over and stole a bit of food as her mom was buttering the toast, but she still didn't exactly look her mom in the eye, "So mom, today we go see Snyder right?"
Joyce stopped what she was doing and held the knife as she looked up at Buffy, "Well now, I think it's probably best that you look for the Master first."
That brought the world to a grinding halt for Buffy, as she froze up and finally looked at her mother. As she took in her face, she thought it looked a bit too slack, Joyce's eyes looking a bit glazed over. When Buffy finally found the strength to speak, it was with a small voice as she asked, "… What did you say mom?" .
Joyce spoke matter-of-factly, "The Master honey. He came by while you were gone, said that he was looking forward to meeting with you. He told me that you should leave and begin looking for him right away, or else I should threaten to slit my throat."
Joyce smiles reassuringly, but Buffy can't help notice she's still holding the knife. Buffy's voice is shaky as she responds, "Mom… you're kidding right. This is a prank, for making you worry?"
Joyce just shakes her head, "Oh I wish it was honey. But it's not. You really should get going, if you stay for breakfast, I think I'll have to do what he said."
Buffy doesn't want to believe it, but she can't risk the chance and her eyes are still on the grip her mother has on the knife in her hands. Joyce is holding it so tightly that her knuckles have gone white. Whimpering slightly, Buffy backs away from the Kitchen and a moment later she's out the backdoor. The Master can't be back, can he?
She has no clue where to start looking, so she goes where she knows she'll find help.
When Giles opened his door and found Buffy on the other side of it, he was elated at first, "Buffy, you're back!"
And then Vali's grinning face flashes across his mind and his smile slips off his face, "Oh no, Buffy you shouldn't have come back. There's…"
But Buffy cuts him off sharply, pushing past him into his apartment, "No time Giles, the Master is back and he's hypnotized my mom. We need to find him, now."
Giles stops for a moment and blinks, trying to figure out where to start. Eventually he lands on the most important bit, "What has he done to your mother?"
Buffy is worrying her lower lip and there are unshed tears in her eyes, "He made her tell me that I have to find him, or she'll hurt herself. We need to figure out where he'd go to ground for the day. Somewhere dark, but still extravagant I think… I can't see him choosing to spend time in a dump after being trapped in that cave for so long… I just… I just don't get how he came back! I took a sledgehammer to his skeleton!"
Giles shakes his head, "Buffy, it's not the same Master."
Buffy starts at that, turning to Giles, "An imposter then? Wait, how do you know?"
Giles grimaces and takes his glasses off to clean them even as he formulates his reply, "Because, he has forced his way into the lives of those closest to you. Xander and Willow met him first and then he somehow procured a job as Assistant Librarian at the High school. I assume that's where he got your address so he could pay a visit to your mother…"
Buffy has to take a moment as she processes all of this, but eventually twigs onto the most important thing, "So if he's the assistant librarian… he'll be at the library won't he?"
Giles nods, "Well, yes he has been spending a lot of time there."
Buffy nods and starts heading for the door, "Then we know where to go."
Giles follows, knowing he can't stop her but still speaking as they go to his car and climb in, "You must be cautious of this one Buffy, the sun does not hinder him, stakes and holy water do not work on him and I still haven't been able to figure out what exactly he is or how to kill him."
Buffy just smiles grimly in response, "That's fine, I don't want to kill him. I'm going to beat him black and blue until he undoes what he did to my mom."
Sunnydale High Library
I'm reading a treatise on some demon or other when Giles and a blonde girl burst into the library. I look up with a raised eyebrow, "Rupert. Who's your friend?"
Said 'friend' walks forward with determination, "Buffy Summers, I hear you've been looking for me."
She punctuates this statement with an attempt to slam her fist into my face. It would have made for such a badass moment if I was inclined to let it land. But I wasn't. Buffy's eyes widened as I caught her fist in my hand and pushed her back a step as I stood up and looked down at her.
"Oh, I have! I'm so glad to see you've come home Ms. Summers."
She responds by aiming her other fist at my chest, clearly hoping to push me back and free her other hand. I catch that fist as well, and she responds by aiming a kick between my legs. I block it with the inside of my thigh and then release her hands and headbutt her, laughing as she stumbles backwards, "A pleasure to finally meet you."
Buffy grimaces but brings her fists up and falls into a stance. I almost burst out laughing, it's a little ridiculous. Unfortunately, any quip I might make is cut off by Giles firing a crossbow at me from the sidelines. I catch the bolt and spare him a glance, "Don't do that again Rupert."
Buffy takes my moment of distraction to rush forward and attack, even as Giles begins to reload his crossbow. With a growl I zip right by Buffy's charge and appear behind Giles, arms coming up and immediately putting him in a perfect chokehold.
He struggles ineffectually against me and Buffy looks ready to charge before I wag a finger at her, "Ah! No sudden movements Slayer, wouldn't want to break his neck."
This brings her to a halt, and by the time I'm finished threatening his life, Giles is unconscious so I lay him down and step over his fallen body towards Buffy, a grin etched across my face, "There… now we can continue this uninterrupted."
She's clearly unnerved by my speed as she takes a moment to assess things. In response, I spread my arms wide and smile, "Go ahead Slayer. Give me your best shot."
She does, launching herself forward and slamming her fists into my midsection repeatedly, before kicking my legs out from under me to send me crashing to the ground. She lands on my front right after that, her fists now aiming for my face as she tries to pin me down. I catch her by the wrists and a moment later I'm standing and slamming her down on the table in the center of the room, leaning over her as I hold her wrists over her head.
"Is that all you've got Slayer? How are you going to stop me with so little strength?"
She struggles in my grip, but my legs have her legs trapped and my hands hold her arms down. I smile and lean in closer, putting my face in easy headbutt range even as I speak softly, "How will you save your mother if this is all you're capable of?"
Those words get her fired up and she takes the opening I've left, slamming her forehead into my nose and breaking it quite effectively. I could have taken it easily and kept holding her down, but I release her instead, stumbling back and letting her get to her feet. This gives her an excellent view of my nose, which is already healed, a small drop of blood from one of my nostrils the only sign she'd even managed anything.
With an angry yell she begins to charge me again, but she's looking right into my eyes so I hold up a hand and call out, "Stop!" even as I compel her and she comes to a grinding halt, eyes suddenly wide with fear.
I can see her tensing up, trying to struggle against the command even as I step closer, circling her and watching as she fights against it… ineffectually. It would seem being the Slayer doesn't help her in this department.
Draping an arm around her shoulders, I lean in and breath hot air on her ear as I speak, "I would have thought Giles told you all that I'm capable of. You should have listened to him better Buffy. What will happen to your mother now?"
As I move around in front of her, I can see fear in her eyes, mostly for her mom, along with unshed tears as she grinds out one word, "Please…"
I can't help it, I grin, wide, "Ah, the magic word. Well, there is one way you can save her."
Buffy swallows thickly and it clearly pains her to say it, but she says it anyways, "A-anything." She's ready to sacrifice whatever it takes for her mother.
Placing a hand on her shoulder and leaning down so that we're at eye to eye level, I reach out with my other hand and take hold of her left arm. Bringing it up, I position her hand so that its flat, her fingers pressed together and straight out as I look into her eyes, "If you want to save your mom, you're going to have to thrust your hand into my chest, grasp my heart in your fingers, and pull it out."
Buffy's eyes are wide as she looks between me and her hand, "W-what?"
I smile patiently and explain slowly as if I'm talking to a child, "I want you to punch a hole under my rib cage, reach up to where my heart is, put your fingers around it, and then tear it out of my body. Do you think you can do that? For your mother?"
Buffy is still clearly confused, obviously trying to figure out the trap in this exercise, but she nods shakily regardless. I grin and press her fingertips exactly where she needs to punch through, "Wonderful… ready? Go!"
I give her credit for this, she doesn't even hesitate as she pulls her arm back and then rams it forward, punching through my flesh. Her hand moves up to where she knows the heart is, and a moment later both of us feel it as her fingers close around my still beating heart.
I'm choking up blood now as I grin at her. She stares back at me in horror, eyes wide as she comprehends what she's just done. Speaking around the blood spilling from my mouth, I give her one more command, "Now… pull it out."
She does so mechanically, tearing her arm back out of my body and my heart along with it. She stares down at the bloody organ in her hand with wide eyes even as I stumble back a step. Then, Buffy gets to watch as the heart in her hand turns grey and then crumbles into ash. She looks up to find my straightening up, the hole in my chest already closed as I wipe my mouth and grin a wide bloody grin, "That was so exhilarating! God what a trip! Was it as good for you as it was for me darling?"
Buffy looks to be on the verge of bursting into tears as she tries to step back from me and runs up against the table. I flash over and brush a hand through her hair as she flinches violently at my sudden proximity, "Ah now, don't worry sweetheart. Your mother is safe, I only told her to tell you I'd ordered her to kill herself. She won't actually do it. And in a few more days my special brand of mind control will wear off and she'll be completely fine."
Buffy swallows thickly as she stares at me, "W-why are you doing this?"
I chuckle at that and shrug my shoulders, "For fun mostly! We all gotta get our kicks somehow, right?"
Suddenly I clear my throat and straighten up, "Anyways, in my official capacity as a school employee, it is my duty to remind you that you have been expelled, and thus aren't actually allowed on school grounds. I'm going to have to ask you to leave now Ms. Summers."
Buffy's eyes flicker to a still unconscious Giles before going back to me and I can almost see the resolve hardening. I roll my eyes, "Come now, if I was going to kill him, I would have done it already my dear. You should go check in on your mother. I'm sure you didn't exactly part on good terms this morning."
The Slayer doesn't take my eyes off of me, but she does slowly begin to back away towards the exit of the library, my mention of her mom spurring her into action. A moment later she's gone. I considered mentioning that her hand was still covered in my drying heart's blood, but in the end, decided it was more fun not to.
Dragging Giles over to a chair, I plopped him down in it even as he began to come around. I'd leave him to freak out there, having no real desire to explain what had happened to him. Given the amount of blood on the ground, he'd come to his own conclusions and they'd be so much better than my own!
Besides, that blood on the ground represented a very simple fact for me… I needed to find someone to drain if I wanted to keep my strength and speed at peak condition. Luckily Sunnydale was no stranger to murders. 'Gangs on PCP with barbeque forks' is what I think they called it in the fanfiction I read.
I was going to barbeque fork some unsuspecting chump so fucking hard.
I'd made the decision to give Buffy and the rest of them a break after the day before, bunkering down in the back of the library to read more about this world's supernatural side. When they brought in a zombie cat about halfway through the day, I felt like I'd made the right choice.
I liked cats, but I did not like zombies. I assumed that given I hadn't messed with anything or turned anyone into a zombie myself recently, this was just something that happened on the show and they could handle it themselves unless they asked me for help.
They didn't ask me for help, and the day after, the whole gang came into the library looking exhausted and beat up. Apparently there'd been an army of zombies and a Nigerian Mask and I really couldn't be bothered to pay too much attention after making sure all of the important characters were still alive.
Fucking filler episodes.
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