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The Road Less Traveled

by Eena Angel


Part One

He really shouldn't have left. It didn't matter that Jeff
cost them the tag titles, he shouldn't have left. It didn't matter
that the brothers had a massive fight. It didn't matter that Lita
took Jeff's side over his. It didn't matter that Lita slept with
Edge . . .
Okay, that last one mattered. That's why he left. Matt felt
abandoned. Wasn't he the one who took care of everyone? He was the
big brother, the boyfriend, he was the responsible one. So why did
they all turn on him?
And how could Lita cheat on him? How could Jeff demand to
separate, to go into singles competition? And how could he leave so
abruptly? He should have stayed, stuck it out. Seen what would have
happened. Try to work it out with his lying bitch-he meant Lita.
Try to calm down his ungrateful brother. Should have castrated Edge
for touching
his lying cheating bitch!
Oh yeah, that's why he left. Too angry and too hurt to think
straight. Vince didn't even care. He had just won the battle of the
promotions, what did he care if one wrestler left. He had the
legions of WCW stars to pick from, and those ones would be wrapped
around his finger. And as for Lita and Jeff, he didn't even tell
them goodbye. Thought they didn't deserve a farewell, still thought
that.
But why did he end up here? In Sunnydale California of all
places? He didn't even know this town existed, so how did he end up
here? Just driving through the country, looking for something. Ran
out of cash while stopping for gas. He could have just accessed his
bank account, but that would have clued his brother in to where he
was.
So he needed cash, which meant he needed a job. Pure chance
he came upon that construction crew. They needed strong guys to help
out. Matt knew something about construction. He used to help his
Dad fix up the house and stuff. And he was strong; several years of
wrestling had taken care of that. So it seemed logical that he just
apply. After all, not like his brother could trace him that way.
Matt had paid a lot of money for the fake ID he was using nowadays.
He was hired almost immediately. The foreman, Alex Harris,
asked him to come in the next day. And asked him not to call him
Alex. He had some strange nickname, Xander or something. Matt
didn't care much. He figured he'd be gone in a matter of weeks.
Of course, life doesn't always go the way you plan. He
should have known that. After all, look at all the surprises he had
been getting back in the WWF. Sorry, WWE now. What bullshit.
The point was, unforeseen forces were at work in that town.
Forces that seemed to be determined to keep him there. Now that
might just be an exaggeration on his part, but Matt didn't
particularly care at the moment.
He had been in this town for all of three days before this
happened. Now he was screwed. Matt should have just stayed in the
WWE. Stayed with his lying cheating bitch and ungrateful rugrat.
Being bitter was much more appealing than being dead. Which he was
most likely going to be in a few seconds.
The thing that caused his sudden reflection grinned at him
evilly. He could see the moon glinting off its fangs. God, it was
hideous to look at. He could have sworn it was just a human at
first. It looked human, but then it changed its face. Ridges and
fangs took the place of the hot blonde he had met in that bar. Left
behind a seriously nasty monster.
The thing let loose a growl and dove at his neck. Matt gave
a gasp as he felt its fangs sink into his flesh. What the hell was
this thing? It was drinking his blood. Only vampires did that, and
vampires were fiction. Weren't they?
His vision was getting clouded. His eyelids started to
droop. Matt Hardy knew he was going to die. He cursed his lying
cheating bitch and ungrateful brother. They sent him away and they
were the reason why this happened. God, the pain, it hurt so
much . . .
And then it was gone. Matt jerked slightly when the weight
of the monster suddenly disappeared. He drew in a shaky breath and
gagged when he got a mouthful of dust.
"Are you okay?"
He felt hands go to his neck wound. He opened his eyes and
gasped. There was a redheaded beauty gazing at him in concern. She
was pressing something against him wound, trying to stop the bleeding.
"I'm going to help you. I promise," she told him.
Matt smiled and closed his eyes. He believed her entirely.
After all, weren't all angels to be trusted?
*****
Part Two

"You want to keep him."
Willow sighed and hung her head.
"He's not a puppy I found in an alley Anya," the redhead
chastised her friend. "I can't keep him."
"But you want to," Anya continued. "I can see it. And I
think it's a good thing. I haven't seen you look at a girl like that
for months. I haven't seen you look look at a guy in years."
Willow shook her head once more.
"Let's just wait to see if he lives before we start making
dinner plans," she muttered sarcastically.
"See!" Anya pounced immediately. "You want dinner plans.
That means you want to keep him."
"Anya's right," Dawn nodded. "I think you like this guy."
"I rescued this guy from being a vampire's dinner," Willow
corrected crossly. "And then I took him to the hospital because he
lost a lot of blood. We didn't have time for idle conversation. I
don't even know his name."
"We're not disagreeing with you," Dawn soothed. "We're just
saying, you look at him with interest in your eyes. And that's
something new."
Willow rolled her eyes and turned away from her friends. The
guy she had found had been admitted into the hospital hours ago. She
had phoned her friends to let them know where she was. Xander, Anya,
and Dawn had come down immediately, concerned for their friend and
this mysterious stranger she had apparently saved. Buffy and Spike
were still on patrol, having decided to wait until later to check up
on Willow. After all, the redhead had insisted she was fine. And
even if she wasn't, Xander and the girls had gone down to be with
her. Of course, Willow would have been grateful if Dawn and Anya
would just stop bugging her about the hottie she rescued. Just
because he's devastating cute and looks like he has a great body,
they think she likes him. He hadn't even been conscious for more
than five minutes in the entire time she knew him. Liking would have
to come later. Right now, she was just interested. In his well being
that is.
She looked up as Xander and the doctor stepped out into the
waiting room. Xander had been quite shocked to find out that his
newest employee was the man Willow had saved. He thought he had
given Matt the complete, "It's-not-safe-to-be-out-late-at-night-in-
Sunnydale" speech. Apparently the man hadn't paid much attention.
"Is he okay?" Willow asked, jumping to her feet.
Anya and Dawn exchanged a giggle over her reaction. Xander
shot his fiancée a confused look that she just waved off.
"Mr. Johnson is just fine," the doctor assured them. "He
lost a lot of blood, but you got him here just in time. He'll be
released in the afternoon."
"Thank you doctor," Xander said, shaking his hand. "We're
glad to hear that."
"He's actually asking for Miss Rosenburg," the doctor
continued. "You can go see him if you like. Just not too long. He
needs his rest tonight."
Willow nodded and followed the doctor to Matt's room. Her
friends were asked to wait outside while she visited. Hospital
rules and such.
She entered the dimly lit room slowly, eyes going immediately
to the figure on the bed. She thought at first he was sleeping, but
then a huge smile broke out across his face.
"Hey, it's my hero," he whispered. "Am I glad to see you."
Willow managed a little smile, hiding her blushing face a
little.
"How are you feeling?" she asked, coming to sit on the side
of his bed.
"Like crap," he answered cheerfully. "But alive. Did I
mention you're my hero?"
Willow laughed and patted his knee.
"Just glad I got there in time," she giggled. "Those crazy
gangs around here, they tend to do a lot of damage."
"I bet they do," Matt replied, eyebrows raised. "But we both
know that I wasn't attacked by gang members on PCP. Or whatever else
you told the doctor."
Willow was slightly taken back.
"We do?" she responded tentatively.
"Yeah, we do," he affirmed. Matt gave the slight redhead a
determined look.
"We both know it was vampires. But after that, I don't know
much. Care to enlighten me?"
*****
Part Three

Amazing how he just fit right into their lives. They just
kind of tucked him in around the edges, slowly bringing him further
into the fold. His ready acceptance of their truth helped with
that. And his ability to hold his own against the monsters helped
too.
Dawn adored him. He was a real big brother type. Always
taking her out for ice cream and getting into pillow fights during
television programs. Buffy admired his fighting ability and general
protecting nature towards her younger sister. Spike was a little
jealous, but he liked him as well. Xander and Anya were also fond of
him. Xander liked having another male around. He and Spike didn't
feel so outnumbered any more. Anya thought Matt was wonderful and
that Willow should bed him immediately. And as for Willow, well, she
liked him. A lot.
But she didn't get too close in that aspect. Matt had told
her once that he didn't know if he was going to stay in town. He was
just passing through, picking up work where he could. Xander was
more than willing to make him a permanent part of his crew, but it
was all up to Matt. And Matt hadn't made up his mind yet.
The girls forced him to move in the Summers home with them.
Mostly due to the fact they discovered he was living in a dive motel
on the outskirts of town. One look at the room and they had all his
things in their car. He tried to protest, but Buffy simply tossed
him in the car along with his belongings. They made the basement
into a living space for him. He moved in to save himself from the
argument that would have followed if he tried to decline. One thing
he learned rather quickly was that one does not challenge the Resolve
Face. And all the girls had their own variation of it.
He never talked about his life before. They could get
mutterings about a lying cheating bitch and an ungrateful brother out
of him, but that was all. They didn't push much. They had long ago
decided they liked him; it didn't matter where he came from.
And he liked it there. His new friends were great. He
trusted them entirely. And he really liked his hero, Willow. She
was so different than the women he was usually around. Shy and
confident, beautiful and cute, loving and fiery at the same time. It
was hard to categorize her. Matt was sure he could fall for this
girl.
That is, if he hadn't already.
*****
Willow pushed the front door open and trudged tiredly into
the entrance hall. She tossed her book bad onto the couch and made
her way up the stairs. She could hear the shower running and knew
Dawn was home. Buffy was still at work, as was Matt.
The redhead made for her bedroom when she noticed steam
floating around the hallway. Groaning, Willow turned around and made
her way to the slightly ajar bathroom door.
"Dawn," she called out tiredly, letting herself into the
bathroom. "Haven't I told you not to leave this door open when you
shower? There's steam all over the hallway."
"Sorry," came the reply definitely not from Dawn. Willow
spun around quickly. She got an eyeful of wet and dripping Matt.
Wow, what a set of muscles.
Willow went as red as her hair. She made a few squeaking
noises and then fled from the room. Matt watched her go amusedly
before reaching for a towel. Drying off and wrapping it around his
midsection, he went off in search of the flustered redhead.
*****
Willow slammed her door shut behind her. She buried her red
face into her hands.
"I can't believe that just happened!" she moaned to herself.
Wet Matt. Wet, dripping Matt with all those sexy muscles. A girl
could just eat him alive.
"Bad Willow!" she admonished herself. The redhead hung her
head. Today was just not going her way.
"Willow?" came the call from outside her door. "You okay?"
"Fine," she squeaked back. "Really fine- I mean okay!"
She heard chuckling from outside.
"Don't laugh at me mister," she warned him. She heard the
doorknob turn. Willow turned to meet Matt's eyes and then started
when she saw he was only in a towel.
"Where are your pants?" she demanded hysterically, hands
going over her eyes again.
"Why?" he asked in response. "Do I look bad?"
"NO!" she shrieked. "It's just-I-and you-"
She was so cute when she was flustered. Matt grinned at the
picture in front of him. Willow was red in the face and her hands
were slapped hard across her eyes. She had left her mouth uncovered
so she could talk to him. Did she even realize how tempting she was?
He leaned over and kissed her before he could even think
about it. She gave a shocked squeal before melting right into the
kiss. He almost crowed when she pushed up against him. He was
having a hard time touching her while keeping his towel up.
Willow felt one of his hands go up the back of her shirt.
She arched into his touch, desperate for more. Her eyes flicked to
the open door.
"Door," she gasped out between kissing. "Others. Home.
Soon."
He got the gist of it. He spun both of them around so he
could slam the door shut, never breaking the kiss once. Willow was
surprised when she felt him push her back against the closed door.
Giving a mental shrug, she linked her ankles around his waist and
pulled herself up. He squished her against the door, both hands very
busy with all her pesky clothing. Why did she have so much on? This
was California damn it!
Willow was tugging at his towel. She figured if he was
playing remove the clothing, she should participate as well. When it
hit the floor, he pulled her away from the door and flopped down on
the bed.
He towered over her with a question on his lips.
"Are you-"
She pulled him down for a kiss before he could finish.
Taking that for a yes, he fell down on top of her.
*****
Part Four

Willow had barely shut her eyes when she heard the door slam
open.
"Willow, do you know where Matt is?" Dawn called, stepping
into the room. "Cause Xander says they let off early and he's not
down- OH MY GOD!"
Willow's eyes shot open as Dawn bounded onto her bed. Matt
jerked awake and stared wide eyed at the little blonde in front of
him.
"Dawnie, you shouldn't be in-"
"You guys are the best!" Dawn declared, ignoring their
stammering. "I knew something would happen and now it happened and
this is so great!"
Willow opened her mouth to respond, but stopped when she
heard the pounding footsteps in the hall.
"What's wrong?" Buffy demanded as she and Spike tumbled into
the room. "We heard scream- oh my."
Spike took one look at the two red faced figures in the bed
and broke out into a grin.
"Way to get some Red," he called out teasingly. Willow
turned a very vibrant red while Matt just started to laugh. Buffy
let out a squeal and raced over to her friend.
"You are evil for keeping this from me," she informed Willow
sternly.
"It just happened," the redhead protested feebly.
"What's going on up here-oh lord."
Willow groaned and slid underneath the covers.
"I knew it!" she heard Anya declare. "They are having sex!"
"No, they just had sex," Dawn corrected her.
"Whatever," Anya waved off. "I saw this coming a mile away."
"Um guys?" came Xander's voice. "Let's leave them alone. We
are so intruding here."
Willow let out a sigh of relief. Leave it to Xander to be
her white knight once again. She heard shuffling as the others made
their way to the door.
"Wait," Dawn stopped and ran back to Matt. "Does this mean
you're staying?"
There was a tense silence. Willow stayed under the sheets,
biting her lip nervously.
"I guess it does," she heard Matt agreed. Willow broke out
into a grin. She waited until the door shut before coming out from
under the sheets. Matt was waiting on her, leaning on his side.
"Hi," he greeted her. Willow blushed deeply.
"Hi," she returned, tucking the sheets around her. She
folded her hands on her stomach and stared at the ceiling.
"So?"
"So?"
Matt grinned and pulled her closer to him.
"Want me to stay?" he whispered in her ear.
"Wouldn't mind," she returned slyly. She giggled as he began
to kiss her ear and down her neck.
"I'm thinking I wouldn't mind staying," he informed her. "As
long as I get to do this everyday after work."
"Everyday?" she repeated. "Who do you think I am? Some
manufactured love-bot?"
"Now that would be an interesting," he chuckled. "But I
think I'll stick with the original Willow. I kind of like her more."
She blushed and buried her head in his neck.
"You better," she shot at him. Matt laughed again.
"Don't worry. I do," he assured her. "Should we go face
them? I think they're waiting on us."
"Are you kidding me?" she gave him a look. "They're not
waiting. They're listening at the door."
There was a silent squeak and a thump as someone tripped
backing away from the door. Willow exchanged a look with Matt as
they heard their friends race down the steps. Both of them laughed
and reached for their clothes. Well, Matt could only reach for his
towel. He had no clothes. Willow kind of liked him that way.
"I'll bring you some," she promised him, pulling on her jeans
hastily. "And then we'll go face the Inquisition."
She skipped across the room, pausing at the door.
"Matt?" she started, turning back to him. "Are you really
going to stay?"
Matt smiled at her warmly.
"Why would I go?"
Willow grinned and headed out of the room.
*****
Lita was worried. Not that that was new at all. She had
been worried for months now. Five months to be exact. Five months
since anyone had heard from Matt Hardy.
She shouldn't have been so hard on him. Choosing Jeff over
Matt had been too much for his pride. It hurt him too much. That's
why he left. That and the whole thing with Edge . . .
She was sorry about that. Lita did love Matt, she did. But
in those last weeks, he wasn't always there for her. And Edge, well,
Edge was a sweet guy. Who she slept with to get back at Matt. True,
when she went to Edge she had been angry about the whole Stacy
Kiebler thing. Stupid blonde had been all over her boyfriend, and
Matt wasn't exactly stopping her. Probably because Matt didn't like
hitting women, but still. She had been angry.
Jeff felt miserable too. He was barely able to concentrate
on his matches. The only solace they had been that Matt kept in
contact with their father. Called or wrote every now and then to let
their dad know he was still alive. They weren't having any luck in
tracking him down. Matt had wanted to disappear, and so he did.
Their friends felt the loss too. Everyone was concerned
about the remaining members of Team Extreme. It was like they were
lost without Matt. They just kind of floundered about in his
absence. They couldn't focus, couldn't organize. They were falling
apart. They needed Matt.
And they had no idea where he was. Vince had let him go
without an argument, which he was now regretting. Had the owner
known the other two depended so much on him, Vince would have fought
Matt. But he had been giddy over the win at Survivor Series, so Matt
had passed by without so much as a glance. And they all felt the
repercussions of that.
So it begged the question. Do they find Matt Hardy or do
they let him come back on his own? But then again, if he planned on
coming back, wouldn't he have been here by now? Five months had
passed. It was too much.
Where was Matt Hardy?
*****
Part Five

The match went well, considering Jeff lost. But at least he
was in one piece by the end of it. Lita kneeled beside him in the
ring, trying to get him to stand. Edge stood behind both of them, a
slightly annoyed statement on his face. The younger Hardy just
couldn't get it together. And Lita was almost as bad.
The fans were still cheering for them though. Deep down,
they probably thought that could salvage the remnants of Team
Extreme. If only they knew. The only thing that could save Team
Extreme was Matt Hardy. And no one knew where he was.
Lita sighed as she pulled Jeff to his feet. The same old
story as before. They just couldn't concentrate enough on the
matches. They were too worried, too unfocused. They needed a
miracle.
Static bursting out across the speakers diverted everyone's
attention. Lita and Jeff watched in interest as the GTV logo
appeared on the titantron.
The footage showed a park filled with people. There were
kids running around and playing, adults watching their moves
closely. But the video zeroed in on one couple seated at some picnic
tables. The girl, a redhead, was perched on top of a table with the
guy standing in between her legs. They were kissing and generally
carrying on. Lita didn't recognize either of them, probably because
she couldn't see their faces, but the guy looked sort of familiar.
The fans started cheering when the guy's hand disappeared
under the girl's shirt. Suddenly, a bread roll flew across the
screen to belt the guy in the back of the head. The camera swung
around to show the perpetrators. A group of young people seated on a
picnic blanket were jeering in the direction of the couple.
"Park is a public area," called out one blonde. "Hanky panky
must wait until you guys get to private quarters."
"Bite me Buffy," a male voice responded. Lita froze when she
heard that. It sounded just like . . .
The camera swung back to the kissing couple. Only now, their
faces could be seen. The guy had turned around and was mock-scowling
at his friends. Lita nearly had a heart attack at the sight. Matt!
"Holy shit," Jeff breathed in wonder. She barely nodded,
eyes watching the screen carefully. Matt traded some more remarks
with the others while the redhead blushed profusely.
"Dude, it's true," insisted the youngest of the group. "You
can't do that here. It's like illegal and stuff. Not to mention all
the impressionable young kids running about."
On screen, Matt frowned before breaking out into a huge
grin. He turned around and swept the redhead up into his arms. Lita
felt a surge of anger and jealousy at the sight.
"What are you doing?" she shrieked in surprise.
"Taking you home," he responded, stalking past their amused
friends. "Going to have my way with you. You guys stay out all day
if need be."
"Have fun with orgasms," the last woman called out after
them. The dark-haired man next to her hushed her immediately.
"Anya!" he reprimanded. "Night life aside, this is still
Sunnydale California. There are children around in the daytime. You
can't say stuff like that."
"But it's true," the woman protested. "They're going to go
have orgasms and I simply wished them well."
The footage cut out then. The lights came back on. The fans
were still screaming while the wrestlers stood in the ring, more or
less shocked beyond belief.
That was Matt Hardy. They had just seen Matt Hardy. Now all
they had to do was find him.
*****
Matt slid off Willow slowly, wrapping the redhead up in his
arms as he did so. Both were panting and sweating. Sex really did
take a lot of a person.
"Wow," Willow finally said. "You should have your way with
me more often."
"I just had you four times," he teased her. "How much more
can you possibly need?"
Willow gave him a mischievous grin.
"Well, they do say fifth time's the charm."
"Who's they?" he asked.
"Mostly Anya," Willow shrugged. "But Spike wholeheartedly
agrees with her."
"I bet Xander does too," Matt chuckled. "She must wear that
boy down."
"You know any guys who would complain about that?" she raised
a brow at him.
"Not any I can think of," he agreed laughing. He pulled the
redhead closer.
"I love you," he whispered to her. "I love your hair, your
eyes, and your smile. I love the way you blush and stutter. I love
the way you make pancakes in the morning. I love the way you look in
the mornings. I love the way you sing in the shower."
"Wow," she giggled, blushing profusely. "You must love me a
lot."
"Yeah I must," he agreed, moving so he was on top of
her. "But I especially love the way you look when I'm inside you,"
he whispered huskily into her ear. Her whole body was tense with
anticipation. He entered her slowly, savouring the feel of her.
"I love you too," she sighed. Matt grinned and captured her
lips with his own. Moving slowly in and out of her, Matt reflected
on his new life. He loved it here, loved the people here.
He hoped nothing would ever change.
*****
"That guy said Sunnydale California," Lita reminded Edge as
he sat in front of the computer. The blonde man rolled his eyes and
glared at her.
"I know that," he retorted testily. "I was there.
Remember?"
The redhead looked slightly taken back, but didn't dwell on
it. She knew why Edge as so irritable. He was angry she was still
so caught up in Matt, but she didn't have time to care. Matt was out
there, somewhere in California, with a new redhead hanging all over
him. She wouldn't stand for that. Matt was her guy, wasn't he?
"And he called that girl Buffy," Jeff pitched in. "I don't
think we'll find too many people in one town with that name."
"Look, I found her okay," Edge told them. "Buffy Summers,
254 Revello Drive, Sunnydale California."
"So we just go there and ask her where Matt is," Lita stated,
more to herself than the others. Jeff nodded his agreement.
"Let's go get my brother."
*****
Part Six

"I'm just saying, if they keep multiplying like this, we are
so screwed."
Matt nodded, agreeing with Xander.
"Pretty soon, there'll be dozens of them," he added. "We'll
never be able to handle so many."
"You gits are just worried it'll interrupt your sex time,"
Spike scoffed.
"But it will," Xander protested. "Hell it already has! I
could be having sex right now, but I'm not. And do you know why?"
"Because I don't think of you in that way?" Spike tossed back.
"No, side bar, ew," Xander glared at him. "I'm not having
sex because they went shopping. They always go shopping. And it
gets worse as more of them arrive."
"I can't believe you idiots are complaining about the
abundance of women in our lives," Spike shook his head
resignedly. "It's not a bad thing to have dozens of sexy women
around."
"It's not that," Matt objected. "It's just that now that
Faith is here, they are double our numbers. And all they want to do
is have girl time. Sleepovers, shopping trips, and such. Where's
our sex time?"
"Exactly my point," Xander added. "Now that they have so
many girlfriends, they don't need us anymore. Pretty soon, they'll
pick up vibrators and we'll be completely obsolete."
Matt paled at the prospect. The vampire just laughed at his
human friends.
"You morons," he chuckled. "They keep you around because
they like you for some reason. And besides, if you want sex time,
take them for a vacation or something. A nice weekend away and not
only will you get sex, but they'll love you more for it."
"Junior's onto something with this," Xander said, nodding
slowly to himself. "We could have a full weekend of sex, and they'll
think we just want to be romantic and stuff."
Matt clapped Spike on the shoulder.
"See, I knew that brain of yours still worked," he ribbed his
friend.
"Sod off," Spike retorted, lighting a cigarette. "Just try
and work something out soon. I'm tired of you wankers whining all
the time."
Knocking on the front door interrupted any retort that the
others had. Xander got to his feet and ambled to the door.
He opened it to find a strange group of people on the
doorstep. There were two large blonde men, one large guy with green
hair, and a redheaded woman.
"Hi," he started curiously.
"Hi," the redhead replied. "We're wondering if you could
help us. We're looking for somebody."
Matt froze when he heard the words drift into the living
room. He got to his feet slowly, ignoring the questioning look on
Spike's face. He knew that voice. Sometimes he could hear it in his
dreams. Well, nightmares more like it.
"He's a friend out ours," he heard the female continue. "His
name is Matt Hardy."
Xander was a bit taken back. He tossed Matt a confused
look. Matt stepped up next to him and looked at the new arrivals.
Lita broke into a huge grin at the sight of him.
"Matt!" she squealed in joy. Matt didn't respond, he didn't
have the opportunity. Both Lita and Jeff pulled him into an
embrace. He stared silently at Chris Jericho and Edge as they waited
uncomfortably on the porch.
Lita and Jeff were yapping happily. Spike and Xander stood
by the stairwell, waiting for an explanation. Suddenly, Matt had too
much of their greeting. He pushed away from them, a frown on his
face. Both of them looked at him with shining eyes, but he could
only scowl.
"What the hell are you doing here?"
*****
"But I really wanted it!" Dawn whined as she waited for Buffy
to open the door.
"I don't care," the blonde replied. "No way is any fifteen
year old sister of mine going to wear a halter top. No way."
"But you have halter tops!" Dawn protested.
"Yes, but I'm the adult."
"That is such a double-standard," the younger Summers huffed.
"Don't worry Dawnie," Faith assured her. "You'll be old
enough soon. Besides, you don't need to wear something like that to
attract the guys. There are all kinds of things you can do with a
lollipop that are just so much more effective."
"Here we go!" Buffy shouted triumphantly, pushing open the
front door. "We're home and Faith, you are not allowed to be alone
with my sister at any time."
The brunette smirked at her friend.
"Ah, come on B," she giggled. "You did the same stuff in
high school."
"That is true," Willow put in. "You did have the lollipop
thing down pat."
"And you did wear horrendously skimpy clothing as well," Anya
added helpfully.
"Oh shut up you two," Buffy glared at them. "You're supposed
to be on my side."
"Well, Red here is supposed to be on Mattie right about now,"
Faith teased. "The boy was adamant that we get home quickly."
"Where are they?" Willow mused, walking into the family
room. She heard some noises from the kitchen and looked up to see
Matt standing in the doorway. His face was set stone still. The man
looked angry.
"Matt?" she called out to him curiously. "What's wrong?"
Matt didn't respond. He yanked Willow into his arms roughly
and gave her a bruising kiss. The redhead had been unprepared and
all her shopping bags tumbled to the ground. Matt kissed her
furiously, she could barely breathe.
"Whoa," came the whisper from Dawn. "He really was antsy for
sex."
"Who the hell are you?" she heard Buffy demand.
Willow pushed away from Matt, breathing heavily. His face
was still angry and he kept his arms around her. Willow could see
Faith and Anya enter the kitchen. She heard some voices she didn't
recognize and turned to Matt.
"What is going on?"
His eyes flashed at that. He turned to face the kitchen
door, anger rolling off him in waves.
"We have visitors," he informed her.
"Who?" she asked as he pulled her to the kitchen. Matt
turned back towards her, fury coming to his face.
"My ex-lying cheating bitch and ungrateful brother."
"Oh," was her only comment before they entered the kitchen.
*****
Part Seven

Lita had been waiting for Matt come back to the kitchen. She
knew he had been mad when he left, but she hadn't expected him to be
angry with them for coming. Jesus, they didn't even know if he was
alive half the time. But he was acting like he didn't even care.
A bunch of women came in. The first was the blonde she
recognized as Buffy. Another little blonde followed, whom she could
tell was her sister or something. They looked a lot alike. Two more
came in, one brunette and one more blonde. God, they were definitely
in California. She saw Jeff perk up at the sight of the brunette.
Lita could only roll her eyes. They were here for Matt, not for Jeff
and his libido.
The blonde, Buffy, was demanding answers of them. Lita tuned
her out. She craned her neck to try and get a peek out of the
swinging kitchen door. Where was Matt?
Eventually, he came back in . . . with her on his arm. Lita
could barely contain her rage at the sight of the little redhead
hanging on her Matt's arm. Who the hell did she think she was?
The little redhead's eyes went to her immediately. They
stared at one another, silently assessing one another. She saw the
fear come into the girl's eyes. Lita gave a smug smile at that. The
girl knew she stood no chance.
Her smile faded when Matt pulled the girl closer to himself.
Lita felt her anger flaring up once more. Matt tossed her a warning
glare before kissing the top of the girl's head. She turned her eyes
away from the sight and right into the eyes of one angry brunette.
Lita could see the danger flickering beneath the surface of that one.
"What is going on here?" the littlest blonde finally
interrupted. The two men who were here with Matt, Xander and Spike,
exchanged looks before turning to Matt. They were lost too.
"Guys, this is my brother Jeff, Lita, Edge, and Chris
Jericho," Matt introduced. "Guys, this is Buffy, Dawn, Faith, Anya,
and Willow."
He pulled the redhead even closer when he introduced her. It
was like he was afraid that if he let go, she would disappear
immediately. His face was still angry, but getting less so. He
could actually look at Jeff without anger in his eyes. But when he
turned to Lita, the rage came rushing back. Willow clung to him.
She wouldn't even look at the new arrivals. Her eyes were locked on
Matt's face. She had this wide-eyed innocence to her that made Lita
want to barf. But then again, maybe that was just because she was
bitter.
"Why are you here?" Matt asked again.
"We're here because we were worried about you," Lita spoke
up, her own anger coming to the front. "God, you just left and
didn't leave word. Do you even understand how worried we were?"
"Because you've always thought of me first," Matt deadpanned
back at her. Willow flinched at the cold tone in his voice, hands
clenching at his shirt.
"Matt, I'm sorry-"
"I don't want to hear it," he interrupted. "I just want to
know why you came here. I understand why Jeff came, and I'm sorry I
didn't call or anything bro. But why did you come? And why did you
bring him?"
Matt's finger was pointing directly at Edge. The blonde man
straightened at the gesture. Anger washed over his face as well and
he made to rise out of his seat. Only Chris Jericho's hand on his
arm stopped him from starting something right then and there.
Willow was horribly confused. She looked at the green haired
man who Matt claimed as his brother. She saw the family resemblance
there. Jeff caught her gaze and gave her a half smile. She returned
it with a hint of nervousness. Matt's arms were ever tightening
around her. She wouldn't be able to breathe much longer.
"We came to bring you back," Lita admitted. There was a
brief silence. Matt couldn't believe his ears. Did she really think
he would just come running back after all of this?
"You can't," Dawn interrupted tearfully. "You can't make him
leave. He promised he would stay. You can't make him."
"She's right," Matt nodded. "I'm not going anywhere. You
can't convince me otherwise."
The wrestlers exchanged a look. Jeff looked positively
guilty while Lita looked a little smug. Chris was the one to speak
up in the end.
"Actually, we can," the blonde man shrugged. "Vince sent us
to get you. He says you walked out of your contract before it was
filled. Either you come back, or he'll sue you and your friends out
of house and home."
The Scoobies were stunned. Chris offered Matt a stack of
papers. One he recognized as his contract, the other were legal
papers that he probably didn't want to read. Willow accepted them,
flipping through each rapidly. He watched as she read over the
pages, lips forming the words as she scanned the words. He wanted to
kiss her. To throw her on top of the counter and fuck her right then
and there. Probably wouldn't make Buffy too happy though. But it
would piss the hell out of Lita. But then again, he was more scared
of Buffy, so it wasn't an option.
Willow dropped the papers suddenly. She turned to look up at
him and he saw the answer right there. Vince had him. He had to go
back. Matt sighed and leaned his forehead against hers. This sucked.
Dawn gave a little sob and then raced out of the kitchen and
up the stairs.
"Dawnie!" he called out after her. The only response he got
was the slamming of her bedroom door. Buffy made to follow, but he
stopped her.
"I'll do it," he told her, casting a look behind him at
Willow. The redhead got up and took hold of his outstretched hand.
Together they made their way upstairs to the upset teenager. Buffy
watched them go with apprehensive eyes.
Anya grabbed the discarded papers and started to look them
over. She looked desperately for some loophole. Xander and Spike
read over her shoulder, making faces and having a hushed argument.
Lita watched them all in confusion. It was like her and the
other guys were just conveniently forgotten. Well almost forgotten.
The brunette Faith stood leaning against the counter, staring at
Lita. And if looks could kill . . .
"I have one rule," Faith started. "I don't have any others.
Don't really believe in rules that much. I only keep this one
because it's very important and a girl's got to have some structure
in her life."
"What?" Lita demanded.
"You hurt my friends, I hurt you," Faith answered, shrugging
slightly. "Pretty simple. Learn it and live by it."
With that, the brunette turned on her heel and marched out of
the room.
*****
Part Eight

"Dawnie?"
Matt pushed open the door, letting him and Willow enter the
room. The light had been turned off but Matt could make out the
figure of Dawn lying underneath her covers. The little blonde's body
was shaking with little sobs. He wanted so badly to make it up to
her. But what could he do? Vince had him until the contract ran out.
And from what he could remember from his contract, that was a while
away.
"Dawn honey?" he tried again, this time sitting next to her
on the bed. Willow joined him silently, hands resting on his
shoulders.
"Dawn, sweetie, please talk to us," she pleaded. There were
some more muffled sobs before Dawn stuck her head out from under the
covers.
"Everyone leaves," the teenager stated, sniffling. "They
promise to stay and then they leave and never come back. Mom died,
Buffy died, Giles left and so did Tara. They're never coming back.
And now Matt is going and I don't want him to leave."
"I don't want to leave either pumpkin," he assured her,
pulling the girl into a hug. "I'd rather stay here with you. But one
thing I know is that Vince McMahon doesn't make idle threats. If he
says he'll sue me out of house and home, he means it. Normally, I
wouldn't care, but he extended that threat to the rest of you. I
don't want you guys to have to pay for my decisions."
"But we don't care," Dawn protested. "We just want you to
stay."
"I know sweetie, but if I don't Vince will do what he said,"
Matt sighed, resting his cheek on top of her head. "And Buffy has a
hard enough time keeping you. If Vince pulls the carpet out from
under us, she'll lose custody of you. Anya will most likely lose her
shop, Xander his apartment, and Spike won't have anybody to pay for
his blood. I can't do that to you guys."
Dawn started crying again, burrowing her head further into
Matt's chest. He sighed and pulled her closer, planting a kiss on her
head. He looked up at Willow when he felt her arms encircling them.
His redhead gave him a small smile and a quick kiss. The three of
them sat there until Dawn cried herself to sleep.
*****
Matt trudged unhappily down the stairs. He held Willow by the
hand, leading her along with him. At the bottom, he pulled her in for
a hug and just stood there for a moment. Willow hugged him back,
sighing herself. Everything had been perfect just yesterday. Now, it
was all going straight to Hell.
"Come with me."
Willow jerked her head up at that. She looked at Matt in
confusion.
"What?"
"Come with me," he repeated. "I know I have to go. There's no
way around it. I won't let Vince ruin your lives just because he has
a problem with me. But I don't want to leave you behind. I love you
Willow. I want you with me. So, come with me."
Willow stared back at him silently.
"What if you don't want to come back?" she whispered. "What
if at the end of your contract, you decide you want to stay on? What
then?"
"I don't plan on staying after that," he informed her
firmly. "I don't want that life anymore. I gave it up quite happily.
But even if I did, I would want you with me. I love you, don't you
love me?"
"You know I do," Willow glared up at him. "Don't you dare
ever question that. But this life of yours, from before, what if I
don't fit? What if you decide that I don't fit? What if you decide
that Lita-"
"Wait a minute," Matt interrupted her. "Lita? You think that
Lita has anything to do with this? You think I would ever go back to
her? What would possibly possess you to think that?"
"Well, she's beautiful," Willow shrugged. "Sexy. Tall and
proud. She's known you longer and I know you loved her. I can tell
she still wants you."
"I don't want her," Matt interjected firmly. "And as for
love, you said it right. Loved. As in former, as in not anymore. And
for all her attributes, hate to break it to you Willow, but you out
do her at everyone of them."
Willow blushed and ducked her head. Matt grinned down at her.
She could still blush at his compliments. They had been together for
a few months, but she still blushed. Matt hoped she never stopped. He
loved that about her. He loved everything about her.
Matt leaned down and placed a kiss on her lips. Willow kissed
him back lightly, letting him take control. Grinning against her
mouth, Matt swept her up in his arms and made his way back up the
steps. Willow gave a little squeal when she realized what his plan
was.
Laughing, Matt carried the red-faced girl into their bedroom
and slammed the door shut behind them.
*****
Lita watched Matt carry Willow up the stairs. Her eyes burned
from his previous words. He didn't love her anymore, he only loved
Willow. She had hoped when he came back, he would remember what they
had. Remember that they worked so well together. But he was bringing
her along. It made her want to wretch.
Brushing angry tears from her eyes, Lita turned to head back
to the kitchen. She came face-to-face with an angry looking Edge. The
blonde man stared down at her and she could see the jealousy burning
there.
Lita gave him a defiant look and tried to brush past him. She
faltered at his side. She turned to whisper in his ear.
"My hotel room, tonight?" she made it a question, but she
didn't have to ask. He would come, he would always come.
Edge gave her the barest of nods and she continued on into
the kitchen. He remained by the staircase, hand gripping the railing
furiously. He shouldn't let her do this to him. He should tell her to
go to Hell. But whom was he kidding? Even if she went to hell, he'd
follow behind her, like the pathetic dog he was.
Angry with himself and with her, Edge turned back to the
kitchen. He needed a life.
*****
Faith watched all the going ons with an observant eye. She
gave a grin when Matt carried Willow up the stairs. The little
redhead had been blushing something awful, but Faith could tell she
was happy. Matt loved her, Matt wouldn't leave her. And given
Willow's past experiences with love, that was a blessing.
Faith had also seen Lita come out of the kitchen and watch
the whole scenario with angry eyes. Faith nearly laughed at that. She
didn't like the other redhead already. Just on principle. And if Lita
tried to take Matt away from Willow, tried to hurt Faith's friend,
Faith would break every bone in her body.
Faith had also seen Edge come up behind Lita, his face
jealous as well. She had watched their confrontation, heard Lita's
words with her Slayer hearing. That was kind of a surprise.
Only when Edge went back to the kitchen did Faith let out a
snort. It wasn't a wrestling business; it was a souped up soap opera
on steroids. And she was going to accompany her friends there.
Besides, never know when a superhero could come in handy.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Part Nine

Matt looked resignedly at the house that had become his home
in such a short time. He was leaving, against his will, he might
add. And it wasn't sitting well with anyone. Dawn wouldn't stop
crying. She was standing by the car, tears coming down her face. It
broke his heart.
Willow stood by Buffy as the older Summers tried to comfort
Dawn. Not only was Matt going, but also Willow and Faith were coming
with him. Their stuff was packed and waiting for them in the car.
Jeff and Chris stood off to the side, giving them space for their
goodbye. Lita and Edge had left the day before, he had asked them
to. No way was he spending that much time in an enclosed space with
those two.
He saw Faith conversing with Spike on the porch. The vampire
remained just indoors, out of the sun's harmful rays. He and the
brunette Slayer were deep in conversation. Matt smirked to himself.
Spike was probably telling her all the things he would do if the chip
were gone. Faith didn't need any tips. Matt was pretty sure any
wrestler to mess with her or her friends would end up regretting it
immensely.
He looked over at Xander and Anya. Both normally bubbly
people were strangely subdued. The former demon was actually
pouting. He caught her eye and she launched herself at him suddenly.
"If anyone tries anything, just let me know," she whispered
to him. "I've got some favours left in the world of vengeance
demons."
Matt chuckled and hugged her back.
"I'll be back before you know it," he assured.
"Well, you better bring a happy Willow back with you," she
informed him, poking his chest. "I expect happiness abound and a
wedding in the near future."
He laughed again before giving her another quick hug.
"Might be one sooner than you think," he whispered in her
ear. Anya's eyes went wide and she let out a little squeak. Matt
winked at her before turning to Xander.
"See you soon man," he offered his hand. Xander shook it and
nodded.
"Got a job waiting for you when you get back," Xander
confided in him. "And take good care of my Wills. I trust you and
everything, but if anything happens, I'll kill you."
Matt nodded, expecting nothing less from the man.
"You got it," he agreed. "Later."
Willow was hugging Dawn for the last time. He made his way
over to the two, taking both of them into his arms.
"As soon as school let's out, I'm sending you a plane
ticket," he promised the little blonde. "You're going to be on the
first plane out to see us."
Dawn gave a little smile and sniffled back her tears.
"Will I get to meet the Rock?" she asked innocently.
Matt burst into laughter.
"Sweetie, if you want, he'll be the one to pick you up at the
airport," he assured her. "Rocky owes me one. I left the WWE before
I collected though."
Dawn brightened considerably at that. But then her face fell
as she looked at the waiting Jeff and Chris.
"You'll help watch for Willow, right?" she called out to
them. Both men looked startled when the little blonde addressed them.
"Absolutely," Jeff nodded. "Faith too."
Dawn snorted at that.
"I'd like to see that," she rolled her eyes. Jeff frowned
and shot a confused look Faith's way. Chris only sighed and stepped
forward.
"We should get going," he announced to the group. Dawn's
face fell once more and fresh tears started down her face. She
latched on to Willow and Matt and cried some more. Matt hugged both
of them fiercely, reiterating his promise of a plane ticket.
The rest of the goodbyes were done in a hurry. Willow barely
was able to extract herself from Xander's arms before Buffy started
to squeeze the daylights out of her. Finally, the trio shuffled
towards the car as their friends stepped back to let them go.
Willow cast one last look at her friends and house before
getting into the car. She had no doubt that she would see both
again. She just hoped she still had Matt with her when she did.
*****
Faith made her way to the car only to be stopped by Buffy.
The blonde Slayer pulled her counterpart aside for a second, eyes
flickering over to the other wrestlers.
"I hope I don't have to tell you that you can't beat up
people left and right," Buffy started. Faith sighed and made a face.
"Relax B," she assured the blonde. "Red and Spike already
gave me the behave yourself speech."
"Good," Buffy nodded to herself. "But I know you. You get
angry and most likely someone's going to get hurt. So, in regards to
the large redhead-"
"I should keep my distance," Faith finished for her, eyes
rolling.
"No," Buffy disagreed, smiling at the shocked look on Faith's
face. "If she tries anything, hurts Willow in any way, you have a
moral obligation to break her legs."
Faith gave the blonde an evil smile.
"Finally," the brunette grinned. "Someone's talking my
language."
With a quick handshake, the two went their separate ways.


TBC...
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The authors own nothing. Joss, UPN, WB, etc. own Buffy, the show, the characters, the places, and the backstory. The authors own any original plots.