You Don't Mess With The Slayer Wolf
Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy, but I do own Sophie :)
"Which way to the quarantine center?" Buffy asked as she and Willow wandered through the zoo, which, as it turned out, rivalled the cemetery for nighttime spookiness.
"Um.." said Willow, inspecting the map with Tara sitting on her shoulder. "This way." They headed off in the direction Willow pointed, trying to ignore the unpleasant feeling of the animals eyes on them. Eventually they came to a white building with a sign reading "Quarantine Center", and crept through the door labeled "Authorised personnel only." They then headed into a room full of what they assumed was animal medical supplies, before finding a room of caged animals.
"He must be somewhere in here" said Willow, looking around as Buffy began peeking into the cages. "Xander" Willow called quietly, "Xander, where are you buddy?" A frantic screeching began to emanate from one of the cages, and an eye-patch wearing chimp leapt against the bars of his cage, shaking them wildly.
"It's okay Xander, we're here to bust you out, don't panic." As Buffy began her efforts to wrench the cage open with her slayer strength, Willow suddenly felt a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, a feeling mirrored by Tara, who began to flutter her wings and chirp worriedly.
"I know baby, don't worry" Willow whispered, reaching a hand up to comfortingly stroke the panicking bird.
"Almost got it" said Buffy as the bars creaked.
"Good, could you try to hurry it up a little Buff? We really need to get home, something doesn't feel right." Buffy nodded. The panicked, stressed-out feelings that Faith was sending to her through the slayer bond were becoming harder and harder to ignore.
Back at the house, a very tense Dark slayer-wolf had her ears pricked, searching for any sign of danger. There was something there, outside, her slayer senses told her so, but with her current lack of the ability to speak, Faith had no way of warning her young companions, so all she could do was make sure she was ready to protect them from any attacks. Suddenly, the gang of demons waiting outside burst through the window, making Sophie scream, and Dawn frantically yell for Connor, who was on the phone giving Illyria instructions on how to cook microwave popcorn because Angel and Spike had left her alone while they went out demon hunting. Faith leapt into action, the adrenaline pumping through her veins cancelling out the effects of the tranquiliser, and her wolf-like maternal instincts making her even more protective of Sophie. She snarled as if to say "Touch the kid and I'll tear your throat out."
"Aww, the doggie wants to protect its master, how cute" one of the demons taunted. Faith, never being one to take an insult lying down, leapt at the demon, knocking it to the ground with a force it hadn't been expecting, as Connor dashed into the room, phone still in hand.
"Shit! I'll have to call you back Illyria, just don't touch the self destruct button. Why Spike thought it was a good idea to keep those appliances he stole from Wolfram & Hart, I'll never know." He hung up, leaping into the battle beside Faith. "Dawn, take Sophie upstairs!" Dawn obeyed, grabbing the terrified child and bolting upstairs. Just as Faith had fulfilled her silent promise of tearing the demon's throat out, two more grabbed her and threw her against the wall. The wolf winced slightly from the sudden pain, but jumped straight back into the fight, her jaws seizing the ankle of a demon that had attempted to follow Dawn and Sophie. It would take more than that to put the slayer-wolf down.
At the zoo, Buffy fell to the ground as the cage opened, clutching at a sudden pain in her side.
"Buffy!" Willow cried as she, Tara, and the newly freed Xander-chimp rushed to her side, "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, it's Faith" she replied. "We have to get home, something's definitely going on."
"I know, Tara and I feel it too" said Willow, helping the slayer to her feet. "Something's seriously scaring Sophie."
Meanwhile, Dawn was flipping through spellbooks in her bedroom, where she and Sophie had taken refuge. Dawn took a moment to look up at the little girl, who was staring intently out the open window.
"Whatcha doing Soph?" Dawn asked.
"Waiting" said Sophie, not turning away from the window. "My mommies are coming home now."
"Oh, okay then" said Dawn, returning to her book. She flipped a few more pages before pausing, her face breaking into a large grin. "Oh my God, I think this is it, I finally found it!"
"Founded what?" asked Sophie.
"The spell that will turn everybody back into humans!" said Dawn, jumping off her bed excitedly. "I just need to get the ingredients and then I can.."
"No!" Sophie interrupted, rushing over and snatching the book from her youngest aunt. "Auntie Buffy said no more spells!"
"Well Auntie Buffy isn't here!" said Dawn, trying to extract the book from Sophie's surprisingly strong grip. "Besides, you want your Mama Tara to be a person again don't you?"
"Uh-huh, but Mommy Willow will fix it!"
"Well what if Mommy Willow doesn't fix it?!"
"Mommy Willow always fixes it!" A tug of war erupted over the book, with neither side having the upper hand. Then, Sophie fell backwards, and the book went flying out of her hands and through the open window.
"Now look what you've done!" Dawn yelled.
"I didn't do nothing, it's your faults you lefted the window open!" And so, the moment that would go down in history as Sophie's first argument continued.
"Oh god" said Buffy as she climbed out of the car, registering the shattered window and the battle raging inside before she and the chimp-ified Xander rushed towards the house. Willow began to follow when suddenly, she was hit in the head by a falling book. She picked it up, studying the page it had fallen open on, and smiling as Tara fluttered onto her shoulder.
"Don't worry baby, you'll be human again before you know it!"