Disclaimer: Joss owns all the BTVS stuff, I made up the plot and the 
            extra characters...

Inspiration: All the things I said in previous parts that I've now 
             forgotten... plus a couple of really dull train journeys...

Recap: B & W are in Manchester helping Torr, a were-slayer, defeat 
       the forces of evil.... 


Its Grim Up North (6/10)

By SPik

The rain tapped against the window just as Willow was waking up. As 
she sat up on the edge of the bed she could hear the faint sound of 
someone working out in the room next-door. Part of her dream came 
flooding back to her - she remembered snuggling up to someone and 
feeling very safe, but the memory was too hazy and she couldn't make 
out who it was. After quickly getting dressed she headed out of the 
room. As she entered the main room she spotted Joe and Torr sitting 
on the sofa watching TV.

"The weather's turned again then." commented Willow as she walked 
towards them.

"I know, I really should be out patrolling." replied Torr as she 
started to rise.

"No you don't!" exclaimed Joe grabbing Torr's arm and pulling her 
back down into the seat, "You're in no fit state to be out there 
getting beaten into an even bloodier pulp!"

"I could do it." remarked Buffy as she came through the door from the 
back room, "Although, I might need some help as I don't know my way 
around the city, and I can't drive." she continued, glancing at Joe.

"Sure, I can do that." replied Joe as he got up and headed towards 
the front door.

"Alright, but I'm patrolling with you tomorrow." Torr yelled as Buffy 
and Joe left, "Oh well, want to watch a movie?" she continued as she 
turned to face Willow.


The thunder rumbled overhead and a bolt of lightning momentarily lit 
up the skies as Graham wandered through the wet city streets. Ruairc 
asking him to personally take care of this had freaked him out 
slightly and  he knew that failure would not be tolerated. He had 
seen the strength of Ruairc's power before and felt that he didn't 
want to be on the receiving end of it. Over two hours had passed 
since he'd set off in search of his new friend but not knowing where 
he could be lurking in a city of this size was somewhat hampering his 
search. He was considering giving up when he rounded the corner and 
headed through the tunnel under the main railway station.

"I'm guessing that you're looking for me," a voice from behind 
appeared, "I can't think of any other reason why you'd be traipsing 
around in the rain for at least the past hour."

"You were following me?" Graham replied as he turned round to face 
the hooded man.

"And you didn't notice." he quipped back.

"I need your help." Graham continued ignoring his friend's 
comment, "I need to know absolutely everything you know about the 

"I don't know that much about the new one although there is a red-
head who appeared at the same time." he explained, "I'm not sure who 
she is though but the blonde slayer seemed to care about her."

"How about the other slayer?" Graham asked again

"She has a brother, he goes out on patrols with her sometimes. But 
leave the wolf to me, if you try to stop me or get in my way I'll 
take you out as well." he replied walking around Graham towards the 
far end of the tunnel.

"Thank you my friend." Graham remarked turning to face his friend 
again, "If I should need to contact you, is there a faster way than 
wandering around in the shadows?"

"Go to the old Grafton pub up near the University and ask for 
Patrick, he'll know where you can find me," he replied as he headed 
down the tunnel, "but I'm more likely to find you first!", and with 
that he disappeared back into the shadows.

"I was thinking more of a name!" Graham muttered to himself as he 
continued walking this time towards his apartment as he had a plan 
forming in his warped mind.


"More popcorn." asked Torr handing Willow another bowl.

"No, no more." Willow replied looking bleary-eyed and rather 
ill, "Anymore popcorn and I'm going to barf!"

"I suppose we have eaten quite a bit!" Torr continued, placing the 
bowl down on the table in front of her, "So I'm guessing you have 
some good stories about what it's like living in Sunnydale. From the 
little Buffy's told me, it sounds like quite an interesting place."

"Interesting is certainly one word for it."

As Willow began to tell a few tales of life in Sunnydale, Torr picked 
the popcorn bowl back up and finished off what was left.


Joe parked the van just round the corner from where Buffy had jumped 
out. He grabbed the double-headed axe from behind him and ran down 
towards the alleyway. As he neared it, he could hear the sound of 
something or someone being thrown against the walls of the 
surrounding buildings. Buffy had noticed a rather large, somewhat 
hairy and demon-looking creature lurking in the shadows as they drove 
past through the back streets. Against all of Joe's advice, Buffy had 
promptly leapt out of the van and chased it into the alley, Joe was 
just hoping that it was the demon being thrown around.

In the alleyway the demon approached where Buffy was just picking 
herself off the ground after being thrown against the wall. Buffy 
thought the demon looked a bit like a were-wolf but with large curly 
horns, also the lack of a full moon had ruled wolves out. The demon 
held Buffy down and was trying to maul her, thinking she was finally 
exhausted, when she kicked out sending it flying down the alleyway.

As Joe turned the corner brandishing the axe he noticed the demon 
running towards Buffy. The force of the demon hitting her knocked 
them both to the ground but Buffy rolled over backwards and flipped 
the demon upside down into the wall.

"Buffy!" Joe yelled as he threw the axe in her direction.

Catching it perfectly she spun round and lodged the axe in the side 
of the demon's neck. As Buffy removed the axe, the demon grasped at 
the wound, slid slowly to the ground and with one last growl, died.

"Well that was a bit dramatic." commented Buffy

"Are you alright?" gasped Joe as he reached where Buffy was standing.

"Fitter than you." she quipped back noticing his wheezing after 
running such a short distance, "Nice axe by the way." she continued 
looking down at the now rather bloody but still highly decorated 

"It's one of Torr's favourites. She has quite a collection." Joe 
replied as they headed back towards the van.

"Well I suppose we ought to continue patrolling." Buffy 
remarked, "Still plenty of time until dawn."


"So let me get this straight." remarked Torr seeming slightly 
overwhelmed by the tales Willow had been telling, "You've averted a 
number of apocalypses and helped kill many demons and vampires. 
Turned into a ghost then later met a vampire version of yourself from 
an alternative universe. Blown up your school and a rather large 
demon, who used to be the mayor, in the process. Helped stop a demon-
human-machine hybrid, created by a mad government scientist, by 
combining all your strengths into Buffy. And had the first slayer try 
to kill you all in your dreams."

"Put like that it all sounds all pretty huge and unbelievable, but 
yeah we've done all that." replied Willow with a kind of pleased and 
slightly smug grin on her face.

"Woh! And all this in four years, since you first met Buffy?"


"Right. So how come you and Buffy haven't got it together yet?" Torr 
asked inquisitively but rather out of the blue, "If this is a touchy 
subject then forget I asked." she continued noticing Willow's open-
jawed expression, "It's blatantly obvious to me that you're both in 
love with each other."

"But... how can you tell?" questioned Willow regaining her composure 
slightly, "Is this one of those extra wolf senses?"

"Not exactly a wolf-sense although that might have heightened it, 
more a gay sense!" Torr replied, "I came out a couple of years ago 
and since then I've learnt what signs to look out for, so I don't try 
it on with someone who's not that way inclined or already taken."


"Haven't you ever noticed that whenever you're talking about Buffy 
you get this little warm-glow inside?" as Torr explained Willow just 
nodded, "Well it shows."

"But she's my best friend. I wouldn't want to jeopardise that 
friendship." Willow replied suddenly feeling a need to justify why 
she hadn't broached the subject before.

"That old chestnut." exclaimed Torr, "Two of Joe's friends thought 
that. For 6 months they kept putting it off, until one day they 
decided to go for it. Instead of losing the friendship between them, 
it strengthened and they became much closer. Infact they're now 
inseparable, best friends and lovers all rolled into one. That one 
day was 6 years ago and they're still going strong."

"Ah, but Buffy's not interested in women..."

"You'd be surprised what secrets the human body can give away without 
you even realising!" Torr remarked, raising her eyebrows.

<<< Part 5 | Part 7 >>>
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