Bienvenue à la Bouche de l'Enfer

Author: Danielle Frances Ducrest <sword_girl[at]>

This is an answer to the challenge posted on XanderZone to base the Hellmouth somewhere other than Sunnydale. Where the characters are the same, but the location isn't. If you based the Hellmouth in Chicago, Xander and Willow would have to have grown up in Chicago, and so on.

Bienvenue à la Bouche de l'Enfer = Welcome to the Mouth of Hell

Laisez Les Bon Temps Roulez! = Let the Good Times Roll!

Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters/concepts belong to Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon, Twentieth Century Fox Television, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Television, Kuzui Enterprises, and the WB/UPN. Any copyright infringements were not intended. This story was written for entertainment and not for profit.

Spoilers and Timing: The first scene takes place before "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (assuming WttH took place in Lafayette, not Sunnydale) and the rest takes place around the time "Faith, Hope, and Trick" took place, only events in that episode happen a little differently in this story than they do in the series. Spoilers are for "Welcome to the Hellmouth," "Prophecy Girl," "What's My Line, Part One," "Innocence," both parts of "Becoming," "Anne," "Dead Man's Party," and a few for "Faith, Hope, and Trick."

This is essentially "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" with a Cajun twist. Hope you enjoy!

Summary: The Hellmouth isn't in California, but Louisiana. After Buffy burns down Hemery High's gym to kill a nest of vampires, she and her mother move to Louisiana where Buffy's greatest challenges is County Music Television, alligators, and the Lafayette bus system.

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness.

She is the Slayer.


"You can't stand around with your hands in your pockets when the fiddle starts to play When they say Les Bon Temps Roulez!"

Buffy Anne Summers hastily pressed the mute button. She'd just turned on the TV, wondering what was on, when her ears got blasted with the opening credits to "Laisez Les Bon Temps Roulez", a local program that filmed live Cajun music performances. Not that Buffy knew that this was what was assaulting her eardrums. She had no idea what it was. She and her mother had yet to re-subscribe to the TV Guide, and she had no idea which channel was the TV Guide Channel, so there was no easy way for her to find out, either.

Buffy flipped through the channels, looking for something to watch and making comments as she surfed.


"B-Rated Movie."




"Stupid sitcom."


"Random Brit sitcom on PBS."


"Stupid movie."


"Country Music Television - yuck."


"Oh my God! They actually show that on daytime television?"

With a shiver, Buffy switched the set off and resigned herself to her fate. There was nothing to watch. There was nothing to do, period. Sure, there were plenty of more boxes to unpack, but Buffy was feeling unpacked-out. She wanted to do something else.

The problem was, there was no one she could call and invite over, and there was nowhere for her to go. Broussard, a small town in Lafayette Parish, had nothing but an Albertson's, a few fast food restaurants, some gas stations, lots of sugar cane, streets upon streets of houses, and did she mention the sugar cane?

What had possessed her mother, Joyce Summers, that the two of them should move there in the first place, Buffy would never know. "It's the Cajun Music Capitol, Buffy! Just think, we can see all of those performers every year," Joyce had said.

"But that's in Lafayette, Mom!" Buffy had complained. "We're moving to Broussard!"

"It's not that much of a stretch, Buffy. I drove down Pinhook when I visited there a few weeks ago, and if it weren't for the sign, I wouldn't have been able to tell where Lafayette ended and where Broussard began."

That was the other thing Buffy hated. To get anywhere in Louisiana, you needed a car. Cab? What cab? There was a cab service, or so Buffy had heard, but you had to call them ahead of time. Everything was so spaced out in or out of the city limits of each town and city in south central Louisiana that the only way to get to one place or another was on the highway. The bad thing about that was that Buffy couldn't drive. Even if she could, she couldn't go anywhere - her mother had taken the car to check out possible locations for an art gallery in either Broussard or Lafayette. Buffy supposed that she could always take the bus.

She didn't have anything to do until the next day when she started at her new school. She was nervous. Not only did she worry that she wouldn't have any friends or that she'd have yesterday's hair, but she also hoped that she wouldn't have to face any of things she left behind in Los Angeles. She certainly didn't want to think about the likelihood of getting kicked out of her new high school because she burned down their gym.

Like she really had to worry about that. She had moved to the Cajun Capitol of the world; her worst challenges down here would be learning how to Cajun dance. She wouldn't come across any creatures that were more dangerous than alligators. Right?


Two years passed. Buffy had become very familiar with Lafayette and Broussard, not to mention bits and pieces of Opelousas, St. Martinville, New Iberia, and Cade. In those five years she'd grown accustomed to the main streets, Highway 90, I-10, the different areas of Lafayette, and some of the side streets, but it was impossible to know it all.

For one thing, she still couldn't drive, and the public bus system didn't have any routes that went down side streets.

For another, a portion of Lafayette was farmland and graze land. There was too much of it to really get to know in detail. The farmland was covered in sugar cane, and the graze land held cows, horses, and deer. Buffy spent part of her time in those parts of the parish when she went demon hunting. Some demons preferred the privacy of the rural country. However, most demons and vampires preferred more heavily populated areas, so most of her work was confined to the urban parts of Lafayette. The busiest parts included the shopping part of town that was Johnston St. and half of Ambassador Caffery, as well as the nightclubs, Cajun Village, the ULL campus, and for a few nights every year, downtown Lafayette where the various stages and booths for the Festival Internationale were set up.

Yes, there were demons in south central Louisiana. It got worse. Back when Lafayette was called Vermillionville, the original French settlers had another name for the town, and that was the Bouche de l'Enfer. Some of the Spanish settlers who came after the French called the town the Boca del Infernio, which meant the same thing - the Mouth of Hell. Lafayette - not all of it, but a good portion of it - sat on top of a mystical portal to one of many of the hell dimensions. Vampires, demons, and other supernatural beings were attracted to the town, although most of its human population was unaware of it. The town's obliviousness was quite an accomplishment when Buffy thought about it. Unlike Los Angeles, Lafayette had very little to no alleys. Stores and residences were placed back from the street, with more streets hidden behind the stores. No matter where you went, a car was bound to pass by at some point, if not every other moment. There were very few truly private places in the city. Yet, somehow, the demons and vampires found places to haunt and remain unseen.

Several powerful vampires and demons were attracted the Hellmouth as well. During Buffy's first year there, she fought and defeated the Master, a powerful vampire. The Master had been trapped in a drowned house along what was once the bank but was now the center of the Vermillion River. The house had been flooded over a hundred years before during a hurricane, and now very few people knew of its existence. The house was protected by a magical barrier that created a pocket of air around the boat, keeping the water surrounding it from getting in. The only way to get in and out of the Master's "lair" was to say a chant while holding a talisman - either that or swim. The Master's minions could move in and out of the lair, but the Master couldn't - he was trapped magically inside the bubble until one night when he finally freed himself. That same night, he killed Buffy.

Buffy didn't stay dead because Xander and Angel found her floating on the river's surface near the docks of the Hilton. Xander brought her back through CPR and Buffy had then proceeded to kill the Master.

The next year, they met Kendra, who had been called when Buffy died. Unfortunately, Kendra did not last long as the Slayer before the vampiress Drusilla hypnotized her and slashed her throat. Now it was near a month into Buffy's senior year at Comeaux High School. She'd just recently returned from a four-month hiatus in Shreveport, Louisiana, not that her friends knew that was where she'd gone. Buffy had left to get away from everything after she'd been forced to kill her just re-ensouled vampire boyfriend, Angel in order to save the world. Now, however, she was back. She didn't know how long she'd be there, but she didn't plan just to up and leave. Not again, anyway.

That night, she went on a solo patrol to several of the hot spots of demon activity throughout Lafayette. She took the bus to various parts of town. She stopped at the campus for UL-Lafayette as well as the parking lot of the Acadiana Mall at the corner of Johnston and Ambassador Caffery, many of the clubs along Johnston St. and Graham Central Station on S. College, among other places where vampires liked to frequent. She went on patrols infrequently; it simply took too long to cover the entire town in one or three nights. Most of the time, she and her friends counted on the Daily Advertiser for any clues of demon and vampire cults and nests. At least once a week, Buffy patrolled for anything the paper failed to mention.

Her last stop was to the drawbridge on Pinhook St. that passed over the Vermillion River. She wasn't there to patrol. Although the master's "lair" was located below the bridge, no vampires had come there since the Master's death. Occasionally, Buffy dusted a vampire that was looking for a bite to eat in the parking lots of one of the seafood restaurants on one side of the river and the parking lot of the Hilton on the other side, but those were infrequent occasions.

Whenever she came here, to this spot, she usually spent the half an hour until another bus arrived looking over the side of the bridge at the muddy water below. She stood on the drawbridge's sidewalk, ignoring the traffic passing by behind her. This very spot had been one of her and Angel's favorite places to visit, back before he lost his soul.

She fingered the Claddagh ring he had given her on her seventeenth birthday. It had been nearly four months since she had killed him but Buffy still couldn't believe that her lover was really, truly gone. Yes, Angelus had killed Jenny Calendar, not to mention countless others. Yes, he had deserved to die. But still…she wished they'd tried harder to restore his soul. And, more than anything, she wished she and he had never…

She slipped her ring back on her finger before turning and walking off the bridge, back in the direction of the bus stop. She had one more stop, and that was to her watcher, Rupert Giles', apartment. Then she would go home and spend the rest of the night thinking about what could have been.


"Sorry, gal, we don't serve minors. Even if we did, this is no place for someone like you to hang around in."

And with that, the bouncer deposited the black-haired teenager out of the entrance to Graham Central Station. He slammed the door behind him.

The girl turned and punched the glass door in frustration. In her anger, however, she didn't hold back as much as she should, and she left broke a hole through the glass. Thankfully, the bouncer had disappeared from sight, and with the dark lighting and noise radiating from within the multi-club building, no one had heard or seen this happen.

Faith turned and walked away, ignoring the door she'd destroyed. They deserved it as far as she was concerned. All she had wanted was a party thrown in with some screwin', and what had happened? Geez, it was the first bar that Faith had ever gone to in the south where she'd been carded. She really hadn't expected it.

Oh, well. There were plenty of other places to check out. Lafayette was a big city, after all. It was nowhere near the size of New Orleans, but it would do. Maybe she'd get lucky and run into that other Slayer she'd heard was based here.

She reached the sidewalk and walked down it in the direction of Johnston St. where she'd heard most of the bars and clubs were. On the way, she wondered where the other slayer would go to patrol for vampires. Faith had gone to a dozen places throughout the city that she figured would be hotspots, but at each location, her Slayer sense hadn't even tingled a little. Lafayette was unlike any city she was used to, that was for certain.

She was getting thirsty so she stopped at the first gas station she saw along Johnston. She planned to get a coke - assuming she couldn't buy a beer - and ask where the closest bus station or club was. She was just figuring out that Johnston was way too long to just walk up and down, even for someone with Slayer durability. Not to mention the fact that most of the street didn't even have a sidewalk, or at least not one that was safe enough away from traffic. When she stepped into the gas station, however, she overheard the clerk at the counter and a customer talking about something interesting.

"I tellin' you, the alligators down over at Vermillionville have sure gone crazy lately," the customer, dressed jeans, a button-down shirt that had seen better days, and a sweat-soaked baseball cap told the woman behind the counter. "Just the other day, my band was playin' over there for some big tourist group. Then suddenly, two of the tourists come runnin' in from outside - turns out that a gator had attacked 'em when they wandered a little too close to the river. It got a pretty good size chunk out of one of the people's legs before they managed to get away from it." He shook his head, sadly. "You'd think some people would actually use some brains, ya know? Although, accordin' to them, they had tried to avoid the gators and were on their way back to the main house when the gator attacked them. There must have been somethin' wrong with that gator or somethin'. Not that it'll harm anyone else. The guys and I went out and shot the thing when we heard what had happened."

Faith listened in curiosity. Tourist-biting alligators, huh? Sure, it wasn't a demon or vampire, but it was something, and Faith was in the mood for a little ass-kickin'. There might be some other gators left that she could beat up.

She grabbed a coke and went up to the counter to pay. She turned to the man and asked, "So, how do you get to Vermillionville?"


As Buffy walked into the parking lot of Giles' apartment complex from the closest bus stop, she saw Xander, Willow, and Willow's boyfriend Oz step out of his van. Apparently, they'd just arrived there as well.

"Buff!" Xander greeted her, smiling. "Where've ya been? We were waitin' for you at Girard Park."

Guilt filled Buffy as she remembered what Xander was talking about. That weekend was the Festival Acadiens, a local music festival that was held semi-annually at the park. "Sorry, guys. I forgot our date. I was patrolling."

Her friends accepted this explanation without comment. After they'd exploded at each other for Buffy's disappearing act over the summer, none of them had wanted to start arguing again, so they'd avoided it as much as possible since then. Buffy was grateful - she couldn't deal with another fight with her friends right then.

"So what did I miss?" she asked them. When she first moved to Louisiana, she hadn't liked country, zydeco, or Cajun music all that much, but after awhile they kind of grew on her. One thing she learned was to never Cajun dance with Xander - or any type of dance for that matter. Other than that, she didn't mind it. As she listened to the others talk about the performers they'd seen that night, she wished she had gone with them.

Giles opened the door before they could ring the doorbell, and the three of them proceeded inside. Giles' apartment wasn't all that bad, considering, although Buffy couldn't help thinking that, like with his choice of car Giles could have down better. The apartment had two bedrooms, one of which served as a guestroom slash study, one living room with a kitchen area, and a bathroom. Every space imaginable was crowded with furniture, weapons, and books on the supernatural that he didn't keep at the school library.

"There you are," he greeted them. He waited until they were all inside before he showed them a section of the newspaper that he had circled with a red pen. "Look at this."

Buffy took the newspaper and scanned the article. "'Alligator Takes a Bit Out of Vermillionville Tourist.'" She raised an eyebrow at her Watcher. "So? Hardly seems demon-related."

"I agree," Oz said. "Gator bites are pretty serious, but they're hardly slayer worthy. Unless, of course, it's a weregator."

"I don't think it is, although I do find it surprising that we haven't yet come across a weregator, considering where we are," Giles answered.

"So, if this isn't a weregator, then what is it?" Xander asked.

"I believe that the alligator in question was possessed," Giles said. He grabbed a book off of his coffee table, opened it, and presented it to the Scoobs. "It says here that at certain parts of the year, demonic nymph-like spirits that inhabit rivers take over the bodies of water-dwelling creatures for their own evil purposes. One of those nights was last night, when this attack occurred, and the next one is tonight."

"So you want us to check this out, in case the alligator just happened to be possessed and another alligator might be possessed again tonight?" Buffy clarified.


"What if he was just hungry or pissed off?"

"Well…then there's nothing to worry about."

"Unless you're one of the people who get bit," Xander pointed out.

"Yes, quite."


Vermillionville, as it turned out, was a museum town. It was made up of a small group of houses and other buildings that were placed alongside the river on the western outskirts of Lafayette. Vermillionville represented how colonial life had been for the initial settlers of what was now Lafayette. The main building in the "town square" also served as a restaurant and stage for cajun and zydeco bands.

Faith snuck by the admissions office - she wasn't there to see the bands or tour the museum, after all, although at that time of night the museum was likely closed. She was there to patrol the bank of the Vermillion for some angry alligators. Also, she had a limited amount of money, and didn't want to waste any of it on tickets she wouldn't use.

A rusted, broken-down machine from what Faith guessed was the smith's lay, half-covered in weeds, outside one of the museum's buildings. Faith broke off a piece of metal that didn't look as rusted as the rest of the machine and cautiously walked over to the treeline. Spanish moss trees and oak trees obscured most of the river from the moonlight. Faith wished she'd brought a flashlight. Even though Slayers could see better in the dark than normal humans, it was a little too dark for Faith's taste.

She listened, carefully, to anything that might be lurking in the shadows. She heard crickets, lots and lots of crickets. She was pretty sure she heard an owl or two, also, and she would have been getting misquito bites if she hadn't had the sense to put on some repellent before she left her hotel room earlier that day. Despite the noises of nature around her, she couldn't help but think that it was too quiet. What sort of noises did gators make, if any? She was pretty sure they growled a lot, although that could have been a misnomer.

Suddenly, her Slayer sense went crazy. Faith heard something growl to her right seconds before something collided with her, knocking her onto the ground.


Buffy, Willow, Xander, Oz, and Giles didn't have the same luck Faith had in sneaking past the admissions office. It was much harder to conceal five people who were loaded with crossbows, axes, and the tranquilizer gun they usually reserved for Oz whenever he wolfed out.

"Where the hell do you people think you're goin'?" A tour guide wearing colonial dress demanded when they tried to pass by the office unnoticed. She regarded all of them and their arsenal with wide eyes.

"We're here to slay some alligators," Buffy answered truthfully, unsure of what else to say.

The woman snorted. "Right."

"Jen!" Oz spoke up, addressing her.

Jen noticed him for the first time and started. "Daniel? What are you doin' here?"

"What Buffy said," Oz said simply. When Jen was about to brush him off, he continued, "Look, we won't do anything. Do you mind if we just walk along the Vermillion?"

Jen looked around at them all one more time before shaking her head. "I must be crazy," she said, "but I do owe you, boy."

She allowed them to pass. When they were out of earshot, Willow asked her boyfriend, "How do you know her?"

"I knew a guy who played the guitar here regularly until a few weeks ago when he got bit by a vamp," Oz explained. It was one of the longest sentences they had ever heard him utter. "Ever since then, I've been filling in for him until they find a replacement."

"Very resourceful of you, Oz," Giles complimented him. "It certainly came in handy for us tonight."

They were halfway across the field to the river when they heard the sounds of a struggle. "What is that?" Xander wondered.

"Don't know, but didn't sound good," Buffy replied before breaking into a sprint in the direction of the noises. The others followed a few paces behind.

Buffy could make out two dark figures struggling on the ground near the water's edge. One figure she could barely make out as human, while the other was clearly an alligator that, as Buffy watched, lunged and almost took a bite out of the person's side if the human hadn't rolled out of the way in the last minute.

The person got to her feet, stepping partly into the moonlight. Buffy realized it was a girl about her age. Buffy watched as the dark-haired girl got into a fighting stance, waiting for the gator's next attack.

Buffy didn't wait for the gator to attack. She raised the tranquilizer gun, aimed, and fired. It took three darts to put the twelve-foot-long gator down, but she eventually managed it at the same time the others reached her.

For a moment, everyone tried to catch their breaths. Then the dark-haired girl approached Buffy and the others. "Thanks," she said.

"No problem," Buffy told her.

"Are you all right?" Giles asked the unknown teenager.

"Five by five," she answered. She regarded them all with curious eyes before turning back to Buffy. "Are you Buffy?"

Everyone started. "How did you know that?" Buffy asked her.

Faith smiled. "Easy. I'm Faith, the Vampire Slayer."

Giles and Willow performed the de-possession spell on the alligator before the Scooby Gang plus one climbed back into Oz's van and Giles' Citroen. They headed back to Giles' apartment to talk about Faith and why she was here. Buffy wondered how long her sister Slayer would be staying. If she wasn't planing on leaving anytime soon, Buffy knew things were bound to be different with two Slayers on the Hellmouth.

Little did she know how right she was.