DISCLAIMER: Buffy and characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy etc. Jade is the property of me!
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to Jonel Nightingale for fixing my terrible English.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Seriously Jaded
By Angie

Previously on Buffy the vampire slayer

After Sunnydale turned into a massive crater courtesy of Spike, Buffy, the Scoobies and their band of new slayers traveled around finding all the newly awoken slayers. It had taken almost two years but in that time they had helped reform the council, train new watchers and allocate slayers and watchers to towns and cities all over the world, with a little help from Willow and her mojo of course. Giles was now the head of the watchers council based in London, surprisingly Andrew was now a watcher and a damn fine one at that, perhaps even more surprising was Faith. She and Robin had married and were now both watchers in Edinburgh Scotland. They each had a slayer under their control but since Faith was now expecting her first child Robin had taken on both the slayers. Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Kennedy and Xander now lived in LA. Angel had fixed them up with apartments in the same block. Although there wasn't as much fighting to be had since hundreds of slayers had now been "chosen," they still hung out and did their part to keep the demon population down. Buffy was back at school studying psychology, Dawn was finishing up school and dating her first 'alive' boyfriend, Willow and Kennedy had opened a magic shop, with a little help financially from Kennedy's parents and Xander was doing what he did best, construction. All in all life was going pretty good for the slayer, maybe a little too good. She wasn't used to things being so easy. That was all about to change........

Chapter One

The vampire took another swing at Buffy and missed terribly.

"Awe come on, you could at least try a little harder, it's no fun if you don't try," Buffy teased. The vampire's next punch connected firmly with Buffy's chin, "now that's more like it, I'm almost sorry I have to dust you," Buffy said as she plunged her stake deep into the vampire's chest.

Wiping the dead vamp's dust off her clothes she stopped suddenly, sensing another vampire near by, "come out, come out where ever you are, either that or I'll come find you, but I warn you, you'll only make me cranky." Buffy, feeling the vamp behind her, swung around with a high kick and took her clean off her feet.

"Hey wait a minute, you're not supposed to do that," yelled the vamp.

"I'm the slayer, you're the vampire, we fight, you die. What part of that equation confuses you?" Buffy asked sarcastically.

"Well yeah, I know but it's not like that," the vamp said almost pleadingly.

"Uh-huh, well you look dead to me" mocked Buffy, almost feeling sorry for the pitiful lump lying in front of her, but not enough to spare her.

"I've been looking for you; you see I'm not exactly like other vampires."

"Yeah, and I'm not exactly interested," Buffy said while lunging at the vamp stake first.

"Wait! Stop! I was a potential."

Buffy stopped in her tracks, stake resting firmly against the vampire's chest. "What are you talking about?"

"I was a potential slayer and I got turned. I'm not here to kill you and if I was, sweetheart you'd have been dead ten minutes ago," the vamp said, trying to sound menacing but failing miserably.

Buffy rolled her eyes at the vamp's suggestion that she could have taken her out. "Doesn't matter what you were, only what you are and what you're about to be, which is a pile of dust. Oh, and I'm not your sweetheart."

The vampire had to think fast, she didn't want to die again so she knocked Buffy off her feet with a quick leg sweep and sat on top of her pinning her arms down by her side. Buffy struggled but it was no use, she was way stronger than your average vampire.

"Your little witch friend put the whammy on me. I believe there was a spell that turned all the potentials into straight up slayers?"

Buffy couldn't believe how strong this vamp was, no matter how hard she tried she couldn't get out from under her. "So what does that have to do with you, you're a vampire remember?"

The vampire rolled her eyes "I think we've already established that! Thing is you see, at the exact moment your friend's spell took effect, I was on the way to becoming a vampire. So instead of becoming one or the other, I became both and I need to know why. I need to know why I'm different."

At that moment the vamp released Buffy from her grip and stood up, offering a hand to the slayer. Buffy, choosing not to take the proffered hand struggled to get up. Being pinned down had given her one hell of a leg cramp.

"Do you really expect me to believe that?" Buffy asked, her patience quickly wearing thin.

"Think about it, if I was an evil thing would I come looking for the one person who could off me? Please, even I'm not that stupid" the vamp said laughing.

"Ok fine, lets just say I believe you, would you let my 'little witch friend' as you call her check you out?" Buffy asked, trying not to sound exasperated.

"Fine, as long as she doesn't turn me into a bug or something we're cool."

Buffy started to lead the slayer towards her apartment when she realized that she didn't even know the vamp's name.

"You have a name?"

"Jade," the vampire replied.

As they continued walking Buffy was still on her guard, but for some reason she felt safe with Jade.

Chapter Two

As they walked along in silence Buffy found herself studying the vampire. Her jet-black hair was making her already pale complexion even paler. Not only is she stronger than the average vamp, she's paler too, Buffy thought smiling to herself. Jade's full lips were surprisingly pink, her hair short and eerily resembling Angel's. Most surprising though were her luminous green eyes. I bet that's why she calls herself Jade Buffy wondered to herself. Jade was tall, at least 5-9, slim built but definitely in good shape. She was dressed entirely in black, like vampires tend to do, right down to her black leather jacket that looked like it should have been worn by someone on the back of a Harley. Buffy decided that Jade's top was way too tight, her reasonably sized breasts looked like they were trying to escape.

"So your accent, it's kinda weird, where you from?" Buffy asked, desperate to break the silence and remove her thoughts from Jade's breasts.

"Small fishing town on the East Coast of Scotland, nice place if you like fish."

"How did you know where to find me?" Buffy asked.

Jade looked at Buffy, her eyes lighting up, "I met the infamous Faith, she's really something, she said you'd be the best person to help me figure out what was going on."

Buffy was slightly annoyed that Faith hadn't bothered to call but then for as much as Faith had changed she was still Faith, totally phone phobic.

"So how many humans have you fed off?" Buffy blurted out.

Jade turned and looked at her, her bright green eyes flashing for a moment with anger, "None, I'm a......well I was a vegetarian."

Buffy choked back a laugh. "You're a vegetarian, how do you feed?"

"I WAS a vegetarian. Now I drink animal blood, pig mostly, which doesn't please me one bit, I actually hate myself for it."

Surprised out of hiding by the approaching girls a vampire jumped out in front of Buffy, knocking her flat on her ass with a roundhouse kick. Before Buffy could get up Jade grabbed the vampire by the throat and casually removed its head from its body.

As the vampire disintegrated into a pile of dust in Jade's hands Buffy looked on dumbfounded, "how did you......what the hell?!"

"I told you Buffy; I'm not like other vampires." Jade wiped the vamp dust off her hand and offered it to Buffy who decided this time to take it, slightly embarrassed about how easily the vamp had knocked her down.

"We really need to get you to Willow."

"Agreed," replied Jade.

They walked the rest of the way in silence, Buffy trying to make sense of what she just saw. She had never ripped a vamps head off like that, she didn't have that kind of strength and as far as she knew neither did a vampire. When they got to Buffy's apartment Buffy strolled right in leaving Jade at the door unable to enter. It seemed that some vampire rules still applied, even though she was different. Looking through the doorway Jade saw Buffy speaking to Willow, but she was too far away to make out what they were saying even with her vampire hearing. By the look of shock on Willow's face, Buffy had told her of the vampire attack on the way over here.

"I couldn't believe it Will, she ripped that vamp's head clean off its shoulders without even breaking a sweat."

"And you say she's not evil? Buffy are you sure she's not just up to no good?"

"I don't know Will, that's why I want you to check her out, isn't there some kind of spell you can do, you know to check for evilness?"

Willow nodded and started getting together the stuff she would need for her spell. She figured first up she'd check for a soul, after all that was the one sure-fire way for a vampire not to be evil.

Buffy turned around looking for Jade and realized she was still standing outside the door way unable to come in. "You can come in Jade, but you try any funny business and I'll rip YOUR head off your shoulders," Buffy warned.

Jade smiled, Buffy's kinda cute when she's trying to be all menacing. "So what's your friend going to do to me?" she asked as she entered the apartment.

"First of all I'm going to have a look and see if you have a soul," Willow shouted from the kitchen, "and if you don't I'm going to sit back and watch while Buffy stakes you. How's that sound?"

"Sure, fine, whatever," Jade answered looking worried. She didn't know if she had a soul or not, but she prayed that she did. She was a vampire and the only two vampires she heard of with souls were Angel, who was cursed with his and Spike who had fought for it. She hadn't done anything to deserve a soul, and if she had a soul how could she have done what she had to her watcher.

Chapter Three

"Ok, we're all set to go," Willow said. "Jade you want to just come over here and sit down in front of me and keeping your teeth safely behind this line!" Willow warned as she drew an imaginary line in front of her.

"Please, you're so not my type," Jade teased.

"I think she prefers four legs and a snout Will," Buffy offered laughing.

Jade looked at Buffy, wondering if she'd be so quick to joke when she found out what she'd done. Willow took Jade's hands in hers, closed her eyes and started to chant something in a language that Jade didn't understand. She wanted to pull away and run but she needed to know why she was different, why she could never bring herself to behave like other vampires.

Buffy looked on nervously, if Jade was 'up to no good' as Willow put it then she would have to kill her. Something Buffy really didn't want to have to do, not because Jade was stronger than her but because, well she didn't know why she didn't want to she just knew she didn't.

Willow's eyes shot open, "I see it Buffy, it's there, she has a soul and she really is a slayer, I wasn't able to sense it before 'cause of the whole being a vampire thing." Suddenly Willow's face changed, "but something's not right, her soul is burdened."

Jade pulled her hands away, "your soul would be burdened too if you'd....." Jade stopped herself, Willow's spell had left her woozy and she'd almost let it slip. But she couldn't, they wouldn't understand that it was an accident. They wouldn't care. They would just want her dead.

"If you'd what," Willow asked.

"Nothing, it's not something I need to share, I have a soul right? I am officially not evil."

"I guess so," said Willow, unsure of Jade's outburst.

"And my soul has always been there, I mean obviously when I was human but since I became a vampire, I kept my soul?"

Willow nodded, still not feeling a hundred percent safe around Jade. "It must have something to do with you being turned into a slayer at the same time as being turned into a vampire," Willow told her.

So there's no excuse for what I've done Jade thought, I mean she was going to kill me, but does that make it right? Jade knew that she would have to tell Buffy what happened eventually, but she wasn't in any particular hurry. If she could get Buffy's trust then maybe Buffy would understand why she did it.

"I'm going to go out, get my self something to eat" Jade said while getting to her feet.

"Wait I'll go with you."

"Buffy I don't need a baby sitter. Anyway, it's getting late, or early, whichever way you want to look at it, I should probably head back to the motel."

Buffy nodded, reluctant to let Jade go out alone, not because she was worried for her, she knew Jade could take care of herself, but because Jade was freaked out after Willow's spell and Buffy didn't want her skipping town. At least not until she figured out how she could be both a vampire and a slayer at the same time. A vampire vampire slayer, go figure Buffy thought.

As Jade shut the door behind her Buffy turned to Willow, "We need to call Giles, if she was a potential she must have had a watcher right, or at least be on the council's radar?"

Buffy went to the phone and dialed Giles' number, she wasn't sure what time it was in London but this was important. After a few rings Giles answered.

"Hey it's Buffy."

"Buffy, is everything alright? I mean hello, it's good to hear your voice," Giles said, his tone turning more towards a question than a statement.

"Relax Giles. This is a business call I'm afraid."

Buffy proceeded to explain everything to Giles, only leaving out the part about Jade ripping a vampire apart. Buffy didn't think that detail was important, deciding instead only to tell Giles that Jade was super strong.

"Wait a minute, you mean Jade is still alive?" Giles asked surprise evident in his voice.

"Not in the strictest sense of the word but, yeah, she's on the go," Buffy told him.

"When her watcher was found dead it was presumed that we were too late, that the bringers had got to her too," Giles said quietly, almost to himself.

Buffy was shocked, why hadn't Jade told her she had a watcher, did she even know that she was dead? "How was she killed Giles?"

"Well it was rather gruesome, her head had almost been completely severed off, it was hanging by a thread. I just pray to god that she died quickly."

"And you're sure it was the Bringers? I mean one hundred percent sure?"

Giles wondered why Buffy was so interested in Jade's watcher but she wanted answers not questions, "No we can't be completely sure it was the bringers, they normally stab, I don't think Alyssa's injuries were caused by a knife."

Buffy thanked Giles for the information and they said their goodbyes. Willow looked at her friend, watching Buffy's face turn white, "What's wrong Buffy?"

Buffy turned to Willow; almost unable to get the words out, "I think Jade might have killed her watcher," Buffy told her as she ran out the door.

Chapter Four

Thank god for nightshift butchers Jade thought as she entered her Spartan motel room. It was dark and dingy but Jade didn't mind, the drapes were thick enough to keep out the day light and the bed was comfy. She flicked on the TV and sat on the only chair in the room. She had just taken the cap off the plastic cup holding her blood when there was a pounding at the door. Annoyed, she took a few gulps and put the cup down on the table before moving towards the door, not worried about who or what was on the other side.

She opened the door to find Buffy standing there with a look of rage on her face. Buffy punched Jade square on the jaw, the force of the punch almost knocking Jade over. As Buffy came towards her for another go Jade grabbed Buffy by the arms and rammed her against the wall, holding her there she said through clenched teeth, "What in the hell are you doing Buffy?"

"You killed your watcher didn't you?!" Buffy screamed in her face.

Shocked, Jade released her grip on Buffy as she felt tears sting her eyes, "I had no choice, she was going to kill me."

Buffy felt a familiar rage boiling inside her. "You had a choice, you could have walked away."

"It was an accident! I woke up to these guys standing around me, trying to tie me up and Alyssa was there telling me not to struggle, but these guys were freaky, no eyes, no hair. They looked like monks gone bad."

Buffy knew straight away that Jade was talking about the Bringers, but why try and tie her up? Why not just kill her? What could the Bringers have wanted her for?

"What happened next was a blur, I know I took those guys out but then Alyssa started screaming at me, telling me I had ruined everything, and then she came at me with an axe. I didn't mean to kill her, I just wanted to knock her out so I could get away, but when I hit her, well, I didn't know then how strong I was, I didn't even realize I'd been turned."

By now Jade had sunk down against the wall, crying freely and Buffy felt the first pangs of guilt for the conclusions she had jumped to. Buffy sat next to Jade and wrapped her arms around her, "I'm sorry, why didn't you just tell me this before?"

Jade looked at Buffy, her green eyes glistening with tears, "Would you have believed me or would you have staked me on the spot?"

Buffy smiled, "I see your point." Buffy released Jade and stood up, "come on, you can't stay here if you have Bringers after you, stay with me."

This time Buffy offered her hand to Jade, who took it and stood up, smiling at Buffy. "I'll have to get some things together, are you cool with me keeping my blood in your fridge, it's just that I bought some on the way home and..."

Buffy cut her off, "It's fine, just as long as you keep your vampire food away from my people food."

While Jade was getting her things together Buffy called Willow to tell her what was going on. "Why would the Bringers be after Jade Buffy? The first is toast remember?"

"I don't know Will; all I know is they wanted her alive for something and her watcher was in on it and I have a feeling her being turned into a vampire at the exact time of you doing your spell wasn't just a coincidence." Even though Willow was on the other end of the phone Buffy could tell she was puzzled.

"Ok Buffy I'll do some research, see what I can find out. You want me to call Giles back?"

Buffy thought about it but decided against it for the time being. "No it's ok, I'll call him later. Bye Will."

"Ok Buffy I'm done. You ready?" Jade called as she turned towards the blonde.

Buffy nodded and turned to the door but before she could open it, it came crashing towards her and standing on the other side of the doorway were at least twenty Bringers. "Oh crap!"

Chapter Five

As soon as Jade saw the Bringers she froze, what the hell did they want from her, could she fight twenty of them, what if Buffy got hurt, or worse. The last thought of Buffy spurred Jade into action, she flew at them ramming her fists through the chests of some and kicking the heads off others. Buffy stood in the doorway watching as Jade took on the Bringers; punching holes through them as if they were made of butter. She couldn't believe how strong Jade was but she figured vampire strength plus slayer strength must make for some serious power. As she watched Jade take out the last Bringer she was aware of her heart thumping in her chest, looking at Jade she was amazed to see that she wasn't even out of breath. Jade rammed the last Bringers' head onto the ground with such force it squished against the road. Well that was just plain gross Jade thought to herself.

She turned to see Buffy standing in the doorway watching her. She thought Buffy was pretty, she reminded her of Alyssa with her long blonde hair and grey-blue eyes. The sudden thought of Alyssa stung Jade where her heart used to be, she loved Alyssa and she thought Alyssa loved her, she had risked her career as a watcher for her, if the council had found out they were lovers they would have fired her, or worse. She would never understand why Alyssa turned on her the way she did, nor would she ever stop loving her despite the issues. Jade was jolted from her thoughts by Buffy's tentative approach.

"You okay?" Buffy asked quietly.

"I'm fine Buffy; I just want to know what the hell is going on here."

"You and me both Jade, come on, let's get back to my place."

As they walked into Buffy's apartment, they were greeted by Dawn, Xander and Kennedy. Buffy hugged Dawn and asked how school was.

"Pretty tiresome, thank god we break for summer tomorrow; I think I might actually die of boredom otherwise....can boredom kill you?"

Buffy laughed at her sister, Dawn had changed so much, she was becoming one hell of a woman, Buffy couldn't have been prouder of her, she just wished her mom was around to see how well Dawn was turning out. Snapping herself out of her thoughts Buffy introduced everyone to Jade, "Ok she's a vampire and yeah she killed her watcher but the thing is…"

Xander stopped her mid sentence, "It's ok Buff, Will filled us in."

"Oh ok but there's more."

Willow looked worried. "More?"

Buffy gave a quick run down of the earlier events. "I just stood there and watched, it was pretty cool," Buffy added while smiling at Jade.

"Ok but did the Bringers head really go squish or are you just making that up for entertainment value?" Kennedy asked quietly.

"Kennedy I kid you not, there was definite squishiness," Buffy told the younger slayer with a laugh.

Jade looked at Buffy, "I'm kinda beat Buffy, is it ok if I crash?"

"Sure you'll have to sleep in my room though, it's only a two-bed apartment and I doubt you'll get much sleep on my lumpy sofa. Come on I'll show you."

Jade followed Buffy along the hallway to Buffy's room. Once in Buffy's room Jade couldn't help but notice there was only one bed. Buffy saw Jade looking at the bed, "It's ok, it's a big bed and besides I don't bite and if you know what's good for you neither will you."

Jade grinned at Buffy as she took a pair of shorts and a tank top out of her bag. "You mind if I take a shower?"

"'Course not, it's just through there," Buffy said pointing to a door.

Jade opened the bag with her blood in it motioning with it as if to ask permission to consume it in the blonde's bedroom.

"Of course I don't mind, you want me to put the rest in the fridge?"

Jade nodded as she handed Buffy the bag containing the rest of the blood she bought earlier in the evening. "Just don't be putting my vampire food next to your people food."

"Funny," Buffy said as she walked away, closing the door behind her.

Jade finished her blood and took a quick shower. Once she was ready and about to get into bed she realized she wasn't sure which side Buffy slept on, but figured in must be the side with the alarm clock by it and got in the other side.

Buffy walked into the living room, being greeted by four sets of concerned eyes, "It's ok guys, nothing to worry about, she really isn't evil."

"Buffy, she killed her watcher," whispered Xander.

"Yeah," Kennedy agreed quietly.

"She didn't mean to, she didn't even know that she was a vampire then and she certainly didn't know she was Mighty Mouse," Buffy explained, attempting to lighten the mood with her dry humor.

"But Buffy, what if she goes evil? You can't stop her. Nobody can," Dawn added, fear tingeing her voice.

"Dawny, I trust her ok, I don't know why I do already but I do, call it a feeling, but I know she won't hurt me or any of you guys, now can we please get some sleep?"

"But what about research Buffy? We still have no idea what the Bringers want; I mean what if they attack you here?" Willow complained.

"I'm not worried, Jade took out twenty of those things without even getting out of breath," Buffy reassured her friend.

"Okay," the rest of the gang grumbled in unison.

"Meet back here tomorrow morning and we'll go through this again with fresh brains," Buffy said with a smile.

Xander, Willow and Kennedy all went back to their apartments leaving Dawn and Buffy standing alone in the living room. Just as Dawn was about to speak Buffy kissed her on the cheek and whispered a gentle goodnight.

Chapter Six

Willow and Kennedy crawled into bed. "I should really get with the researching," Willow said grabbing a pile of books from the bedside table.

"Come on Red, I'm sure there are more interesting things we could be doing right now."

"Got anything in mind?" Willow asked the younger girl seductively.

"One or two things," Kennedy purred before leaning over to kiss Willow softly.

"Oh ok I get it," Willow mumbled kissing Kennedy back.

Willow loved Kennedy but she still missed Tara terribly, sometimes so badly she didn't think she could make it through another day, but Kennedy was always there for her. She understood that Willow would never be completely over Tara and she accepted it even though she knew there would always be a part of Willow she couldn't touch.

Xander was alone in his apartment; he had not dated anyone since Anya had been killed in the final battle with the first. He often wondered if things had been different, if she had survived, would they be together now. When times got rough he often wished Anya was still there making her inappropriate comments or prattling on about how much money she had made the previous day. Others thought it was shallow but Xander knew it was just Anya's way. Jade had him worried though. If the Bringers were after Jade then it meant the first was up to something. The Bringers were after all agents of the first and Xander couldn't imagine the Bringers thinking for themselves.

Dawn couldn't sleep; she wondered what it was about soulful vampires always ending up around her sister. Jade will probably fall in love with Buffy too, just like Spike and Angel. What's so special about her anyway, aside from the whole slayer thing, Dawn thought to herself. She didn't understand why Jade's watcher was helping the Bringers or why she would try to kill the slayer. Dawn remembered Willow saying something about the watcher telling Jade she had ruined everything after she had killed the Bringers. What exactly did she ruin...ah screw it; I'll worry about it tomorrow, before my date with Mark. Mark was Dawn's new boyfriend, he was in the same year as her at school and he was really cute. He was about Dawn's height with short blonde hair and really blue eyes, they were almost transparent. He was smart and funny and he had managed to charm the heck out of Buffy when they first met so they had her sister's approval, not like that mattered to Dawn, she would still have dated him even if Buffy hadn't liked him. Dawn considered herself to be old enough to make her own decisions now, even though Buffy always had other ideas.

As Buffy walked into her room she silently thanked God that she hadn't waited another half an hour. Jade had left the blinds wide open and it was almost sunrise. Buffy smiled to herself while she closed the blinds, she really isn't used to the whole vampire thing I guess. Buffy got her nightclothes out of the drawer looking over to Jade who was sleeping soundly. She was wearing a strappy tank top and a pair of barely there shorts. Buffy's eyes traveled down Jade's body and over her long, slim legs. The muscles in her legs were still visible despite her body being relaxed in sleep. Buffy stopped her wandering thoughts suddenly. What the hell am I doing? Am I checking out girls now? No of course not, it's just, well if she's gonna lie in my bed half naked I'm going to look, anyone with a pulse would look, Buffy thought trying to rationalize her thoughts and feelings. Cold shower before bed, sounds like a plan, Buffy thought as she made her way to the bathroom.

Feeling more chilly than refreshed after her cold shower, Buffy climbed into bed and lay facing Jade. Every now and again Jade's eyelids would flicker; Buffy wondered what she was dreaming about. Buffy couldn't explain why but right now all she wanted was to fall asleep in Jade's arms. Instead she rolled over onto her other side so her back was facing Jade and tried to sleep. She was just dozing off when she felt Jade's arm curl around her waist. She turned her head half-expecting Jade to be awake but saw the brunette was still sleeping peacefully. Buffy pulled Jade's arm tighter round her waist and closed her eyes. Surprised about how right it felt lying there, cradled in Jade's arms, her last thought as she drifted off to sleep.

Part 7

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