Title: The Hellmouth for Dummies
Characters: Dean, Sam, Andrew, Buffy, Faith, Dawn, Willow, Xander, Kennedy, Rona, Aimee, Siobhan
Disclaimer: Supernatural belongs to Eric Kripke. The Buffyverse is the creation of Joss Whedon. Siobhan and Aimee are my characters and were created specifically for this fic. Do not use them without talking to me first.
Word count: 2513
Prompt: 007 – Days
Claim: Dean Winchester
Archive: Anywhere, just give credit where credit is due
Feedback: Yes, please! Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: If there’s time for music and laughter, then everything is alright.
As luck would have it, everyone they needed to talk to was packed into the living room. Looking grim, Siobahn took the floor, notes in hand.
“As you know or have heard, Dean and I have been translating and decoding a book that we found earlier today. We just finished and what it was to say isn’t good. For those of you in the room who aren’t familiar with the term, a Hellmouth is a physical location where the boundaries between dimensions are at their thinnest. They attract evils of all kinds and become, as a result, hotspots for demonic and supernatural activity. There are a few of them all over the globe. We destroyed the one in Sunnydale, but there is still one in Cleveland as well as ones located in Russia, Africa, Japan, and in the Northwest Territories in Canada. That last one just strikes me as being hysterically funny.”
“Could you skip the Canadian humor, please, Siobhan?” Xander moaned.
Her lips twitched. “Can’t help it. Anyways, what all of that text translates to is an instruction manual for breaking down dimensional barriers. In other words, it’s ‘Opening a new Hellmouth for Dummies’.”
“Siobhan, if that’s a joke, it’s not a very funny one,” Buffy said into the silence that followed her statement.
“I wish I was joking Buffy, I really was, but we’ve double checked everything. There’s no mistake.”
“How do we know that this is at all accurate?” Kennedy asked her.
“And how does this relate to Jo’s kidnapping?” Ellen put in.
“Kennedy, you know me better than that. If this book was written in a language I was unfamiliar with, then you’d have reason to doubt, but as it was written in Ancient Sumerian, a language you know I’m familiar with, just shut your pie hole and listen to the rest of this. Ellen, as far as Jo goes, this is where things get…messy. There was a list of things needed for the ritual. The correct date, time, and a few physical components. Most of these are pretty normal and straight forward items, things that you’d find in Willow’s supplies, but there are four that are rather vague:
The body of the Enemy
The blood of the Slayer
The soul of the Innocent
The heart of the Warrior
We know that Ethan Rayne has Jo. Since we know that she’s neither a Slayer nor his enemy, she’s either the Innocent or the Warrior.”
“Jo’s not a warrior,” Ellen countered.
“Isn’t she? Her father was a hunter and such things run in families.”
“Siobhan has a point, Ellen,” Giles said gently. “What bothers me, though, is the reference to the Slayer rather than a Slayer.”
“So?” asked Dean. “It’s just a word.”
“These sorts of things are always very specific and literal. For example, a demon said to be unkillable to any weapon forged would, therefore, be vulnerable to a rocket launcher.”
Buffy smiled in remembrance. “The Judge.”
“When these instructions were written, it’s likely that there was only one Slayer. It’s also likely that the author had no foreknowledge that the number of Slayers would one day change.”
“Wouldn’t that make these invalid then?” Xander asked.
“Not necessarily,” Willow said slowly. “Think about how the Slayers worked in the past. One dies, the next gets called. Buffy died at the hands of the Master and, even though Xander revived her, her brief death was enough to activate Kendra. Kendra’s death at Drusilla’s hands called Faith. When Faith briefly flat lined in the hospital after Buffy put her in a coma, Siobhan was called. ‘Bhan was the last Slayer called through this process and the last one called until I cast the spell that activated all of the Potentials around the world.”
All eyes were on Willow now. “Two options here. First, it could be any of the Slayers called after the spell. Or, more likely to my mind, it means Siobhan, who was the last naturally called Slayer and carried the potential for the Slayer line until the spell was cast.”
“I’m sorry, ‘Bhan, but I really hope that you’re the Slayer it wants.”
“I understand, actually. There are more than a thousand other Slayers out there. You can’t protect them all, not with how scattered they are,” said Siobhan, shrugging.
“If Siobhan is the one this thing needs, then she shouldn’t be left alone,” Buffy declared firmly.
Faith rolled her eyes. “Oh come on B! She’s a big girl. We can’t baby-sit her until this blows over. I say we just let her be. Maybe we’ll get lucky and she’ll lure Ethan out for us, or whoever he’s working for.”
“Or we’ll get unlucky and she’ll get killed with a brand new Hellmouth as a result.”
“I hate to break it to you, Buffy, but it’s not exactly like we have a safe existence the way things are,” Siobhan interrupted. “Think about it. On any given night, I could go out on patrol and not come back. It’s a possibility that we all live with every day, Slayer or not. The next Vampire we meet could get lucky or, hell, we could even get hit by a car. Unlikely, but it’s possible. That’ life; life is unfair, it’s uncertain, and it’s only more so for us Slayers. I’m not going to just sit around on my ass on the off chance that I’m the Slayer it wants. Work with me to do my job and keep this from happening or so help me I’ll do it myself. That’s how this is supposed to work anyways.”
“There’s no need to be dramatic, Siobhan.” Giles stood. “We all know full well that it’s very difficult to keep a Slayer locked up against her will without resorting to drugs or mystical means.”
Siobhan’s lips twitched. “Let’s avoid drugging this Slayer, ok? I’ve had more than enough of that to last a lifetime.” The other Slayers laughed a little at that. Dean and Sam just looked puzzled.
“Do you two have any idea when and where this is going to happen?” Ellen asked, cutting into the laughter.
“It mentions something called a Four Winds Bar,” Siobhan replied.
“It does more than mention it,” Dean corrected. “The last page I decoded contained the lyrics to the song ‘Astronomy’ by the Blue Oyster Cult.”
“I fail to see what that has to do with anything,” said Kennedy.
“Some people think that the song is just about astronomy, like the song title says, but others think that the Four Winds Bar is a gateway into hell.”
“In other words, a hellmouth,” Siobhan added. “I agree with Dean.”
Aimee eyed her thoughtfully. “The world must be ending. She’s agreeing with a cute guy.”
Siobhan gave her a long look. “I’m agreeing with his interpretation of the facts.”
“Is that what they’re calling it these days?” Faith teased.
She rolled her eyes. “Real mature Faith. Anyways, it’s funny that Aimee should mention the end of the world. If Ethan manages to get his hands on all of the required ingredients, it will weaken the barriers between dimensions and create a new Hellmouth, but at a cost. The barrier won’t stop weakening and will continue doing so until the barrier breaks. Completely and irreparably break, not the kind of thing you want to happen. Also, if I recall from my readings, this will make what Glory tried to do a few years back look like nothing out of the ordinary.”
Buffy frowned. “How’s that possible? The result sounds pretty much the same.”
“The final result will be the same. What Glory tried to do was instantaneously break the barriers in order to go home. The new Hellmouth will gradually and unstoppably break down the barriers. One by one, the other dimensions will bleed into ours, creating increasingly worse chaos.” She let the implications sink in. “The good news is that we think we know when and where this will happen.”
“The Roadhouse,” Dean inserted
“At midnight on the night of the first new moon of the year,” she finished.
Ellen looked surprised. “Why the Roadhouse?”
“Why not? It’s frequented by hunters and Slayers alike and Jo has an attachment to that place. Point of fact, ‘Warrior’ could be any of the still living hunters that’s ever passed through there, I’d be willing to bet that ‘Enemy’ has been known to frequent it as well.”
“That could be Giles,” Xander said. “He and Ethan could be considered enemies.”
“Or the enemy mentioned could be the enemy of whoever Ethan is working for,” Buffy countered.
“Look, we don’t even know if he’s working for someone else,” Aimee put in. “There simply isn’t enough evidence either way, so we should go with what we know for certain.”
“Aimee’s right,” Sam agreed.
“The new moon is only a couple of days away. We have to stop this,” said Siobhan, getting back to the point. She handed Willow a sheet of paper. “Willow, there are a few other components to this ritual. Do you think you can find out if any of these are available locally and if anyone has bought them in these quantities?”
The red haired witch nodded. “Piece of cake.”
“Sam, Aimee, I’d like you two to get out there and warn the other hunters in the area that this is going on. Slayers, keep your eyes peeled. We don’t have a lot of time here. Faith, you want to take the northwest part of town with me tonight?”
“I’m afraid that you’re not hunting anything tonight, Siobhan,” Giles informed her calmly. He got up and walked over to her. “You need sleep more than anything else, more sleep than you got in that little cat nap of yours.”
“I’m fine, Giles,” she insisted.
“No, you’re not. A tired Slayer is a sloppy Slayer; a sloppy Slayer is a dead Slayer. You’re at a higher risk if you go out now. You’ve been under a lot of stress lately and this whole situation has just made that worse.”
“Giles–” she started
He pulled a syringe out of his coat pocket and held it up to her. It was filled with a clear liquid. “Dean, I want you to take her home. If she starts to cause you trouble, poke her with this. It’s filled with a drug that will negate her Slayer abilities, rendering her helpless. The effect will last anywhere from twenty four to thirty six hours.”
“Giles, that’s cruel and unusual,” Siobhan growled.
“If it forces you to behave and sleep, then I can live with that.”
“I’m not entirely comfortable with this,” said Dean. “Besides, I don’t know where she lives.”
Aimee got up and handed him a sheet of paper. “Here’s her address. It’s not far from here.”
“Some friend you are,” Siobhan grumped.
Aimee smiled, ignoring the sarcasm in Siobhan’s tone. “Yes, I am a good friend, aren’t I? Just do us a favor and get some rest, ok? If this goes south, we’ll need all the help we can get.”
“Fine, fine. I’ll go home and sleep,” she sighed. She looked at Dean. “Let’s go,” she said and headed for the door, stopping only long enough to put her boots on before walking outside.
Dean wasn’t far behind her. “You want to take my car or yours?”
“Giles would probably freak out if he found out I drove my own car home.”
He shrugged. “I could always drive it for you.”
She glared at him. “No one drives my car but me.”
“Then we take mine,” he said, leading her towards the Impala.
“Nice car,” she commented as he unlocked the passenger door and opened it for her. “That wasn’t necessary.”
“Maybe not, but it’s done now.”
She got in. “Since you have the address, I’ll just let you drive.”
“Sounds good.” He got in and started the car. The last tape he’d been playing in the stereo, a Metallica album, resumed playing.
“Do me a small favor, Dean? Turn that down.”
He reached for the volume knob and lowered it. “Mind if I ask why?”
“One, it was too loud. Two, I’m not a huge Metallica fan. Three, I appreciate it. Four, since driver’s rules prevent me from getting you to change the music, I’ll settle for a lower volume.”
“If you asked, I’d change the music, but only if you promise not to tell Sam I did. I’d never hear the end of it.” When there was no reply, he looked over at her. “Siobhan?”
She was resting her head on the window, eyes closed, and breathing slowly. Dean shook his head and pulled the car out of the driveway, following the directions Aimee had given him. It was a short drive to the building Siobhan lived in. He pulled into her parking space and cut the engine. Seeing that Siobhan was still out cold, he pulled out his phone.
“Hey Aimee. We’re there. Yeah, I think she’s asleep. You’re sure? Alright then.” He reached over and, with some work, managed to get the keys out of the left front pocket of her pants. “You’re sure this is ok?” He listened for a minute. “If you say so, but if she freaks I’m putting full blame on your head.” He hung up and got out of the car, going over to the passenger side.
Dean opened the door and got her out, carrying her inside and up the stairs to her second floor apartment. He took his time getting the lock open as he didn’t want to drop her. Following Aimee’s instructions, he took her down the hallway to a simply furnished room. If he hadn’t known better, he never would have guessed that it was a woman’s bedroom.
The queen sized bed was unmade and covered in light blue sheets with a matching comforter. It only had one pillow and it’s light blue pillow case was half off. The small brown dresses was closed, but the top was covered in small weapons, bottles of holy water, a couple of crucifixes on chains and one not on a cord, and a small hunting knife as well as an assortment of coins. Beside the bed was an open chest with larger weapons including a crossbow, a massive axe, a few smaller axes, more knives of varying lengths, ammunition for the crossbow, and arrows for the bow propped up against the side of the chest. There were other weapons in the chest that he couldn’t identify. Hanging on the wall above her bed was a long sword. A desk against the opposite wall held a laptop, some spindles of CDs, an mp3 player, an assortment of CDs in cases, and a couple of books.
Dean laid Siobhan down on the bed and took her boots off. With some wiggling, he got her out of her long jacket as well. He pulled the blanket over her and left the room, closing the door behind him. He went into the living room and sat down on the only couch there and stared at the plain walls.
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