Revenents and Romance

Buffy sat on a swing in the park gently rocking to and fro. She was supposed to be hunting, which...she was in a way. Just in the way that didn't include much walking..or actual action. She was WAY tired from being up all night. She had practically slept through school. Over the past four days, she would guess she had slept about six hours. Trying to hunt vampires, date a vampire, do her homework, hone her skills and keep her mom on the clueless couch was not leaving any deep sleep time. Besides, the only time she could score honey points was when Angel was allowed to come out and play. Sleep or play..sleep could wait.

Buffy stifled a yawn with the back of her hand and glanced at her watch. It was only after midnight and she'd lay odds that the entire gang was at the Bronze. Giles had insisted that she hunt alone tonight. When Angel came along she usually got little slaying done..but a LOT of kissing done and practice makes perfect. She imagined that Giles was probably at the library scoring honey points with Jenny Calendar. THEY were probably kissing.

She figured that it was unfair for Giles to be having a date while she had to put her life on the line so she hopped off the swing, grabbed her bag and headed to tell Giles she was finished for the night. Buffy was about to walk out of the park when she heard a twig snap behind her. She turned to see what it was and took a punch to her jaw. She fought to keep her footing and looked at the thing that had attacked her.

"Oh great." Buffy yelled and put threw her hands in the air. "This is perfect!!"

She grabbed a stake from her waistband and buried it in the thing's chest. It writhed on the ground for several seconds and then died. She watched for a second and then sighed. It didn't turn to dust. It wasn't a vampire. It was revenant..not a full vampire, not as smart as one, but much much worse on the ick scale.

Behind her in the woods she could hear more rustling. She tried to focus but the punch to her face had left her eyes watery. Where there was one revenant there was bound to be several more. She walked to the edge of the woods and cocked her head to one side, straining to hear. It was silent. She stepped further into the trees and drew her stake up again. Suddenly, hands pushed her from behind and she slammed onto her hands and knees. The ground was sticky and she shrieked as she realized she had landed on the remains of an animal.

Jumping up, she fixed her gaze on the three revenants that had been feeding. She quickly killed the one closest to her but her stake got stuck in it's chest. She tried to pry it out by putting her foot on it and pulling but her foot caved in it's abdominal cavity. She lost her balance and was quickly straddled by a revenant in a green dress. It lowered it's face trying to bite her in the chest, right over her heart. She laced her fingers together and nailed it in the head. It's head cracked open and sent a foul spray all over her face and clothes. She threw it off of her and reached for her bag. The third revenant circled like a shark, closing the distance each time while she fought to locate a stake. Before she could find one, it flung itself at her and knocked her back onto the bloody corpse of whatever the animal was.

"God!! Do you mind. Pick a spot that isn't all blood and gore. This isn't B-rated." she screamed at it as she kicked it with both feet. It flew backwards and hit a tree. In the moonlight she could see it covered in slime and she could feel ooze dripping into her shoes. The revenant started to stand and Buffy grabbed her bag again, digging furiously.

"Dammit! Where is my stake!?" Buffy knew that Holy Water was NOT going to work. Nor would a crucifix. The revenant delivered a kick to her head and she saw stars. She grabbed her bag and ran from the woods into the light of the park again. She groaned as she checked the mess on her beige pantsuit that had made her look oh so thin. She found her stake and ran back into the woods.

"Come on out, Big Guy!" she called. After a pause she realized it had gotten away. "Oh no."

When she entered the library a few minutes later she was shocked to see her gang of pals and Angel with Giles and Ms. Calendar.

"MY GOD!" Giles threw his book down and ran to meet her. He was stunned at her appearance. She looked like she had bathed in blood. "What happened?"

"What happened?" Buffy sneered. "I had to hunt alone, Smart Guy!"

"Are you injured?" Giles removed his handkerchief and put it over his mouth and nose. Buffy could smell herself.

"No, Giles. I just finished watching 'Carrie' and this is my way of paying homage to Stephen King." Buffy walked past Giles and threw her bag on the long oak table in the center of the room.

"What happened? Ass kickage?" Xander walked toward her but then walked away so he could breathe.

"Are you OK?" Angel grabbed a roll of paper towels and handed them to her.

She wiped her face free of much of the ooze and said. "No. I'm not O.K." she glanced at Giles. "Giles, we've got revenants."

"Revenants? You're certain?" He was on the verge of vomiting from the smell and this made it worse.

"I was there." Buffy nodded her head. "Big, smelly, half decomposed, zombie vampires."

"Zombies?" Willow wrinkled her nose. "Don't say zombies. Zombies are skippable."

"So skippable." Buffy agreed. "But revenants aren't complete zombies."

"Then what are they?" Willow looked at Giles.

"Well, a revenant..." Giles began.

Buffy interrupted. "I got this one. OK..when you get sucked on by a vampire, they can make you a vampire by letting you suck their blood. Infant vampires, young ones, are sorta stupid. Sometimes, when they try to make a vampire they don't give them enough vampire blood. When that happens you get a revenant. A revenants body continues to decompose no matter how much it feeds. It will eventually die on its own but it's good to slay them quick, fast and in a hurry."

Everyone looked at Buffy and then Giles said, "How do you know all that?" It wasn't a big secret that Buffy was allergic to research.

"I faced a few in LA completely watcherless. I had to look it up in Merrick's books." she glanced at their astonished faces. "I CAN read...anyway..anything they feed on will become a revenant and..and..OH MY GOD!"

"What?" Everyone asked in unison.

"I left a dead animal in the park. A dog I think." Buffy headed for the door. "It will rise and feed."

"Wait." Giles stopped her and pointed to he bloody clothes. "You can't walk around like that."

"Right. I'll run out to the gym and shower. You guys head to the park." She started to leave again and then turned to add, "One thing before you go..I let one get away. Revenants are stupid. They can't think like a vampire. Only a stake through the heart will work so take a lot. The dog is in the woods by the north fork. I'll hurry on over."

"What do we do if we find the dog?" Xander asked. Even Giles looked at Buffy curiously.

"If you can find it's heart..even outside it's body, then stake it. If not, burn it. If it's too wet then chop it into pieces and scatter it." Buffy headed toward the gym.

"Sorry I asked." Xander called, sickened.

When Buffy finished her shower she dressed in her Razorback's gym clothes and Nikes and raced to the park. The gang had taken her bag with them so she ran full out to the park. She flew through the entrance then jammed to the northern end. She could see everyone near the swings that she'd been on earlier. Giles was talking to everyone and when she ran up everyone jumped.

"Sorry." she said with a smile.

"Gym clothes?" Angel walked over to give her a hug.

"Yep." She smiled up at him.

"Very cute." Angel started to say more but Giles cleared his throat.

"What?" Buffy asked and raised her eyebrow at Giles. "Did you spend all night just reading?" When Giles blushed and looked at Ms. Calendar, Buffy added. "That's what I thought. Did you find the dog?"

"No dog." Xander announced triumphantly. "Let's go home."

Buffy was alarmed. "It wasn't there?"

"No dog! Let's go home. How was that confusing?" Xander picked up her bag and walked away.

Buffy headed into the woods to see for herself. She stared at the spot that the dog had been resting in. She reached down and picked up a leaf. It was wet with blood. Proof that she was right about the spot. She started back out to tell the gang that a search party was definately a keen plan when she heard a low growl.

As soon as she turned it was on her and they rolled out into the open. She heard Willow scream and Giles curse. "My bag." she yelled. She was struggling to keep the dog from tearing into her throat. It was a big dog and currently had her T-shirt in it's mouth while she held it around the neck. Xander and Angel arrived and tried to pull it off of her.

"Xander, get away!" Buffy yelled angrily.

He backed away looking shocked and hurt. He just wanted to help. Why was Angel always allowed to help? Xander watched, feeling helpless, as Angel kicked the dog in the head. It yelped and landed on it's side. Buffy jumped up and landed on it, quickly rolling it onto it's stomach, and pinning it's head.

"Give me a stake." Buffy said quietly, angry that she was having to be the brains AND the Slayer. Willow handed her one. She quickly plunged it into the dog's back and closed her eyes as the dog yelped and then howled like a wolf. She finally looked at Xander.

"No dog, huh? BIG DOG!!" Buffy told him.

"It wasn't there. I swear." Xander said and looked at the ground, rejected.

Buffy felt bad and smiled affectionately at him as she stood up. "I know. I'm sorry, Xander. I didn't mean to yell at you but if it had bit you..we'd be in trouble."

"You mean I'd be a rembrandt?" Xander looked scared.

"Revenant, Xander." Buffy laughed. "And yeah, you would be."

Buffy led the gang back towards the main entrance of the park. She was furious that she'd have to shower and change yet again. Giles began explaining in breathless tones that revenents can be menacing but usually die out before they kill. He was making sure they realized that although revenants are stupid and cant think, they were very deadly and have such fierce hunger that their will to kill and eat was greater than a full vampire. Buffy was about to add that one small nip of a revenant would either poison you or make you begin to decompose and crave blood when she doubled up in pain.

"Don't move, anyone." She said through gritted teeth. She knew what this meant. Massive danger. Her gut was reacting to warn her. She straightened up and looked at Xander who threw her the Slayer bag. She threw it down and dug through, glad this time that she wasn't alone. She may act all tough but it got lonesome when she hunted alone. Not to mention creepy and scary. She pulled out four stakes. She slid two into her waistband and and one into her sock. She held onto one and brought out a crusifix. Something big was about to happen and every fiber of her being was protesting it.

"Ok guys. Stay close behind me and if I say run, then run..all of you in the same direction. STAY TOGETHER!" She looked at Xander. He sometimes liked to help her but he was often more of a hindrance. "I mean it!"

Buffy handed Giles her bag and he took out several Slaying tools and passed them around. Ms. Calendar held onto her jar of Holy Water and glanced towards the woods. "Do you hear something, Buffy?" she asked finally.

"No." Buffy answered and headed toward the exit again.

"Then how do you know..." Willow didn't want to sound unconvinced of Buffy's know it allness but she held out a thread of hope.

"I sense it. My stomach hurts and I feel like heaving. That's one hundred percent accuracy." Buffy groaned as her stomach recoiled again.

"A stomach ache? That's it?" Angel couldn't help but laugh a little. "You never knew I was a vampire until I bared my fangs."

"I took the stomach ache to mean I was lovesick. I was right." Buffy smiled.

"This is really touching me to tears but don't you think we should go?" Xander was not loving this hallmark moment.

"Definately." Willow said as she glanced around.

They were almost out of the park when the green dressed revenant from before staggered out of a patch of tall shrubs towards them. Willow and Ms. Calendar screamed. Buffy had smashed it's head to a pulp and it was holding one eye in place to glare at them.

"You should have stayed dead." Buffy kicked it to the ground and quickly staked it.

"Well..yes..nicely done..." Giles glanced at it then looked away. "I've never actually seen a revenant. Quite grotesque really."

"I hear ya." Buffy agreed as something caught her eye. Blocking the south exit of the park were four vampires. She sighed, knowing that it would be hellish. They weren't very far away so Buffy called to them. "Look, I've slayed my quota for the evening so why don't we call it a night."

"Nothin' doin', Sweet Cheeks." a man in a cowboy hat called back. "You ain't doin' no more Slayin' ever."

"You tell her, Earl!!" Said a trampy looking female vampire all dolled up in a red boa and tight corset.

"Who are you supposed to be?" Xander called. "Don't tell me...Bonnie and Clyde?"

"Wrong era, Xander." Willow said politely.

"Well ain't you just a funny one? You ought to hang on to that sense of humor. It just may make dyin' less grim." Earl chastised.

"Go ahead and make my..our day!" Xander called.

In a flash all four vamps charged at them. Buffy drove her stake right into a younger cowpoke's chest and coughed as he plumed into ashes.

"I reckon you think that was good." Earl glared at her.

"One down..three to go...and I still have my cool." Buffy smiled. "I'm damn good."

"I'm better!" Yelled the salloon tramp vamp and raced for Buffy. Buffy caught her when she jumped at her and tossed her to the ground. She still had her stake in her hand and a crusifix in the other and when Earl advanced she showed it to him. He hissed and backed up. Trampy began to wrestle around and Buffy took aim.

"WAIT!!" Earl cried out.

"Waiting's not good." Buffy plunged her stake into the vamp and watched her dust. "I'm impatient. Who wants to be next?"

"You killed her!!" Earl yelled.

"You're next." Buffy said.

"I don't think you ought to count your chicks before they hatch." Earl took off his hat.

"Why not?" Buffy shot back at him.

"Look a yonder." Earl tipped his head and Buffy turned. She gasped inspite of her resolve to look tough. Advancing were about ten more vamps.

"Guys, RUN..NOW!" She screamed at her friends. Buffy had told them to stick together and they scattered all over the place. She was about to yell when Earl's fist connected with her face. He had her in his grasp before she could think. She wrestled to free herself when Willow screamed.

"I got her." Angel called and grabbed Willow away from the only other vamp close enough to be a threat. The others were still a good two hundred feet away. Buffy, still in Earl's clutches watched her friends run away. She knew it was hard for them to leave her but she'd make it. She HAD to make it. She broke loose and hit Earl as hard as she could and grabbed her stake again. They sparred for a few seconds and Buffy was about to make her mark.

"Buffy!!! Come on!" Xander called out. He had come back!!

The other vampire who had attacked Willow set his sights on Xander and Buffy was about to shove Earl away so she could help him when Angel appeared again. "Get him out of here." Buffy yelled and watched Angel stake the vampire. She finished Earl off in a flash and quickly followed.

She glanced back before she ran out and saw the other vamps had paused. She didn't know if it was fear or luck that made them stall but she headed out before she had the chance to find out...

Part Two