the bunny warren v. Faith

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With an Alien People Clutching Their Gods - Chapter 1
And Arrived at Evening, Not a Moment Too Soon

Author: Mikelesq
Concept: After Buffy’s death, the Scoobies face a new threat, and one of Glory’s minions devotes his life to the worship of his new goddess. Set during the summer between Seasons 5 and 6 of BtVS.
Rating: PG-13.
Feedback: Please. E-mail Mikelesq@aol.com
Spoilers: Up to the “Bargaining,” Episode of Season 6.
Legal disclaimers: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer” characters and situations are owned by Joss Whedon and the producers of the show. The story is entirely fiction. Distribute if you like. The title, chaper titles, and lines quoted are from T.S. Eliot’s “Journey of the Magi.” Thanks to Estepheia for the plot bunny.

“So if I understand you correctly,” Giles said, “you have decided, after almost a year of trying to kill Buffy, that you now wish to...worship her?”

“I DO worship her,” Jinx corrected. “I adore the ground she treads, the air she breathes! I would gladly lay before her, so that she could wipe the dirt of her shoes on my most loathesome back.”

“Thank you,” the Buffybot replied. “My shoes are clean now. But it’s very nice of you to offer!”

“Alright,” Xander said. “First of all, that’s SO creepy. Second, where did you get the idea that the...I mean, that Buffy is a god?”

“She must be!” Jinx exclaimed. “She defeated the all-powerful Glorificus! Oh, I cannot believe the years I wasted in the service of an inferior being. Curse my eyes, for not seeing the superior beauty, the infinite power, the ultimate perfection that is...Buffy!”

“Does that mean I’m pretty?” the Buffybot asked.

“You are resplendent!” Jinx exclaimed. “You are the unparalleled embodiment of all that is pleasing and delightful! My wretched eyes drink the exquisite perfection of your beauty!”

The Buffybot absorbed this, then asked:

“Does that mean I’m pretty?”

“Er...well...yes. Very pretty.”

“Thank you!”

“Alright, look,” Willow said. “Jinx, we all helped defeat Glory. It was a group effort. So I really don’t see....”

“But none of YOU returned from the dead,” Jinx pointed out.

A hush fell over the Magic Box as the Scoobies exchanged concerned glances.

“W-w-well,” Giles finally said. “I-I-I can see where that would lead you to...Jinx, what makes you think that...?”

“I saw it with my own eyes,” Jinx explained. “I waited in Glory’s chamber, ready to bear her clothes and...well, mostly her clothes, to the next dimension. I heared the thunder as the portal opened. I rushed outside, carrying the first three bags of open toed pumps, and Glory was nowhere to be found. Buffy hurled herself from the tower, closing the portal. Her limp body fell to the ground, and you carried her away. Many days later I saw you bury her.”

“You were watching us?” Anya said.

“I observed,” Jinx admitted. “I was somewhat...I really didn’t have anywhere else to...well, no matter. What is important is that the splendid one was put to rest in the ground, but here she is! Alive, in all of her glor...I mean, in all of her delicious...wonderful...um...scrumptious....”

“Running out of superlatives?” Tara asked.

“It happens,” Jinx admitted.

“Yes, well,” Giles said. “I certainly can...understand...your position on this matter. If you wouldn’t mind, we could use a moment to...that is, we need to consult with Buffy, to see if she will allow you to offer your services.”

“Oh, but of course!” Jinx said. “Please, give counsel to her most supreme...er...superior....”

“Divinity?” Willow suggested.

“Yes! That’s a good one! I’ll just put my woeful hands to whatever service you deem worthy of my deplorable attention.”

“Well,” Anya said. “Now that you mention it, I could use some help sweeping up the....”

Anya stopped as she realized that the Scoobies were staring at her. Xander squinted a disapproving scowl.

“What!?” Anya exclaimed. “He offered! So what if he’s evil? You people used me and Spike to do all kinds of things back when we were evil!”

“Hey!” Spike retorted. “Still quite evil, thank you!”

“Oh, please!” Anya replied. “When was the last time you did anything really evil?”

“I do evil things all the time,” Spike argued. “I...I just don’t go showin’ it off is all. I’m secure enough in MY evil so that I got nothing to prove.”

“Riiiiight,” Anya said. “Have you ever been to Egypt? Because I think you’re taking a trip down a little river called....”

“Will the two of you please stop?” Giles interrupted. “Jinx, as you can see, we really do need to...consult. If you woudn’t mind?” Giles gestured toward the front displays.

“Oh, fine,” Anya muttered. “Just go stand over there. Stand on the dirty floor, with your dirty feet, right next to the nice, clean broom. See if I care.”

Jinx bowed, then walked toward the front of the store. Once he was out of earshot, the Scoobies huddled around the table.

“Well, it seems we have a problem,” Giles said.

“Yeah,” Spike agreed. “Stupid bugger knows too much.”

“Giles,” Willow said. “If he starts telling other demons that he saw Buffy die....”

“We certainly cannot count on other demons to misinterpret the situation,” Giles said. “We’ll need to...dispose...of Jinx.”

“That might not be so easy,” Dawn warned. “These guys, they’re strong.”

“I can take him,” Spike said.

“As I remember, last time they took you,” Xander pointed out.

“What if he runs?” Tara asked. “It’s not enough to just try to kill him. We need to make sure he can’t escape. These things...you can’t underestimate them. T-t-they...they did....”

Tara choked back a sob.

“It’s OK,” Willow said, resting a reassuring hand on Tara’s shoulder. “We’ll take care of it. He won’t get away.”

“Tara is correct, though,” Giles said. “It is important that we include a strategy to contain Jinx, in conjuction with our attack.”

“And can we at least TRY to minimize the damage to the store?” Anya added.

“Good point,” Willow agreed. “I mean, we can’t just keep trashing this place.”

“Alright, it’s soldier-guy time,” Xander said. “We’ll need to cover the exits, then come at him with a flanking maneuver. If we can concentrate our attack....”

“Who put you in charge?” Spike asked. “What are you going to do? Drop weapons ‘til he trips on one?”

“Spike, I have just about had it with....”

“Can we please stay focused?” Willow interrupted.

“She’s right,” Giles said. “We must keep our attention on the matter at hand. Glory’s minions proved quite powerful in the past, so it will require all of us working together with a concentrated, disciplined....”

“Excuse me,” Jinx said, approaching the table. “I was just wondering if perhaps there was something I could....”

“It’s impolite to interrupt when people are talking,” the Buffybot interjected. “Willow taught me that I should wait until other people stop talking before I say anything.”

“Oh, forgive me!” Jinx implored. “Of course, you are right, oh most perfect of beings! I beg your forgiveness!”

Jinx grasped his robe with both hands and ripped open the fabric, exposing the pale, wrinkled flesh of his chest.

“I implore you!” Jinx continued. “Please, tear out my heart for my impertinence!”

The Scoobies exchanged glances. Willow looked at Giles and shrugged. Giles caught the Buffybot’s attention, and nodded in Jinx’s direction.

Wordlessly, the Buffybot plunged her fist into Jinx’s chest. Jinx choked in pain as the Buffybot pulled out her hand, holding a pink, throbbing heart in her grasp.

“Thank...you,” Jinx gasped as his body collapsed to the floor.

“You’re welcome!” the Buffybot replied.

Jinx’s body shuddered, then went limp.

“Well, that wasn’t so bad,” Xander said. “I mean, it was easy. Gross, but easy.”

The Bot turned to Giles and extended the heart toward him.

“Did you want this?” The Buffybot asked.

“Well, yes,” Giles said. “I mean, no. I don’t want to actually....”

“Um, Buffybot,” Dawn said. “Could you not hold that over the table? Jinx’s blood is getting all over my notes.”

“I am very sorry,” the Buffybot said. “I will take this outside to...oh, it’s disappearing! Nevermind.”

The Scoobies looked, and saw that in fact Jinx’s heart was slowly fading into mist.

“Well, that’s odd,” Tara observed.

“Huh,” Anya interjected. “I haven’t seen anything like that since I saw a Migortha demon lose a hand during the Civil War.”

“Oh, I’ve heard of the Migortha,” Giles said. “From what I remember they...well, their organs....”

“Regenerate,” Jinx completed, rising from the floor.

The Scoobies stared in stunned silence.

“Although, for my kind, it’s not true regeneration,” Jinx continued. “Not the way that, say, vampires regenerate. It’s more of a mystical reassembly of cells.”

The Scoobies absorbed the sight of an apparently healed Jinx standing before them. Finally, Giles said:

“So, tearing your heart from your body, it doesn’t...harm you?”

“Well, it’s painful,” Jinx said. “But it heals.”

“And other forms of physical damage?”

“Also heal. It takes time, of course. I still feel a bit...achy. Not as bad as when Ben stabbed me, but that hit my liver. Livers take awhile.”

“Um, okay,” Willow said. “So cutting won’t kill you. What about other stuff? Like, let’s say, oh, I dunno, burning. Would burning kill you? I mean, just out of curiosity.”

“No,” Jinx said. “Burning’s the same. I remember one occasion, Glory discovered that I had returned from a raid on a clothing store with a dress that was a size eight. She lit my legs on fire, and I had to hobble around on my knees for two days while I waited for my feet to grow back properly over the charred, blackened flesh.”

As the Scoobies shuddered and swallowed and gasped, Jinx sniffed back a tear, then wistfully added:

“Good times.”

“Alright,” Xander said. “What about...acid? Would acid kill you?”

“No,” Jinx replied.

“Frost?” Tara asked.

“No.”

“Poison?” Anya suggested.

“No.”

“Blunt trauma?” Giles proposed.

“No.”

“Gettin’ all the blood drank out of you?” Spike put forth.

“No, and that actually is somewhat theraputic,” Jinx said. “When the blood comes back, it’s...well...cleansing. It filters out the toxins.”

“Oh, like they do to Keith Richards?” Xander asked.

“Exactly,” Jinx agreed.

“So what’s the big deal about Buffy coming back?” Dawn asked. “You came back. So what?”

“Yeah,” Anya said. “Why don’t you go...well, worship yourself.”

“Oh, no,” Jinx said. “That’s just silly. The regeneration is simply how my body works. I am no god. Not like Buffy.”

“Er, well, yes,” Giles said. “You obviously are...quite a creature. Perhaps we should allow you to serve as Buffy’s minion. That way, we’ll have you nearby.”

Giles glanced around the room, making sure the Scoobies understood his meaning. Once he’d determined from their faces that they had tacitly agreed on a plan, Giles continued:

“Nearby, so that you can serve Buffy. You’ll have the opportunity to worship your god, and we’ll have the oppportunity to see you in action. That way, eventually we’ll know how to deal with you. That is, how you can serve Buffy best.”

“A most splendid plan!” Jinx exclaimed.

“Jinx, perhaps you could take Buffy to wash her hands. The rest of us have some research to do. Willow, you and Tara should start searching for information on the vampires we fought tonight. Check a map of the cemetery, and see if there are any reasons for the vampires to be there. Xander, you and Anya should start researching our other...problem.”

“I would be most happy to assist her most esteemed worship in cleaning the blood of my foul heart from her delicate yet strong hands,” Jinx said. “Please, do not let the thought of my vile blood on the hands of the beautiful one distract you from your investigation of the tomb of Iparthus.”

“Wait a minute,” Xander said. “You know what those vamps were looking for?”

“Oh, yes,” Jinx said. “I heard them speaking before you arrived. They were discussing their search for the Talisman of Iparthus for a good twenty minutes, before the most magnificant Buffy dispatched two of the unworthy creatures.”

“W-w-well, Jinx,” Giles said. “That’s quite a...surprising bit of news. Perhaps Dawn could help Buffy clean up. We may need you for...other things.”


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