: A Slayer’s HandAuthor
: Kayla ShayRating
: BtVS is owned by Joss Whedon and respective parties while all things Highlander are owned by Davis-Panzer Productions and rest.Warning
: This is partly a dark fic and there will be character death in chapter two.Note
: This is written for Demona who didn’t get her TTH Summer Fic-a-Thon and will be two chapters in length. Her requests were:Characters
, Illyria, DarlaGenres
: Anita Blake, Highlander
: Fight scene, character death (doesn’t need to be the main Buffy/Angel character), main character pairing (doesn’t need to be romantic, can be slash and/or smut)Doesn’t Want
: Happy ending (yes I’m looking for a dark fic, I think) – and I think that is all that I’m restricting my ‘don’ts’ to.
: The Killer Within
Faith walked the silent streets of Cleveland with a feral sort of grin gracing her face. Even with all the extra slayers running around, she still preferred to go hunting alone. The new slayers turned the nightly patrols into a social event and she couldn’t handle it. More often than not, she walked the streets alone and took pleasure in the destruction of any vampires or demons that crossed her path.
It was the sound of grunts in the nearby ally that caught her attention. Moving into position at the opening of the ally, Faith took in the situation.
Five vampires were circling a young man, preparing for the feast. He appeared to be in his early thirties with short brown hair and a sharp nose. The look in his eyes told Faith that he had some idea that he wasn’t dealing with regular muggers. He was steeling himself for the fight of his life. But Faith knew if she didn’t intervene, he would not survive.
“Hey boys!” she called out, twirling her stake in her hand. “Did you forget to invite me to your gang bang?”
The vampires and their intended meal looked up at her voice. She saw a flicker of surprise followed closely by recognition cross the man’s face. Then, without warning, he acted on the vampires’ lapse of attention by grabbing the closest one and succeeded in knocking it of to the side against one of the building walls.
Just short of a Xena battle cry, Faith charged into the fray. She pulled out a spare stake and with quick eye contact with the stranger and his subtle nod, she flipped the stake to him and he caught it with experienced hands. Convinced he could handle his own battle, she turned her attention to the closest vamp. As she plunged her stake into one, a brief thought crossed her mind that things were going too smoothly. And so it was, that one minute later, the situation went to hell.
They were down to one vampire between them, each having two under their belt. Faith looked through the dust cloud of her second vamp to see the human guy on the losing end. When he had been dealing with his second vampire, the remaining one got the jump on him. The stake had been discarded to the street and the vampire’s superior strength was working against the man’s obvious fighting skills. Faith moved toward them quickly, ready to dispatch the vamp. Her arm was raised, poised for the strike, her hand in a death grip around the stake. The adrenaline coursed through her veins. This is what she lived for, it was her essence.
Her mind overruled her instinct one millisecond too late. The vampire had sidestepped and instead of a dusty vamp, Faith felt the sticky thud of her stake driving into the man’s chest.
His eyes clouded over as he stared unblinking at her, his body slumping to the filthy asphalt below. Her heart cried out in anguish. It had happened again, she had taken the life of another innocent.
The vampire took the better part of valor and fled from the scene as Faith sank to her knees beside the man’s lifeless body. Tears were flowing from her eyes as she reached with a shaky hand to find a pulse. She found none. She wanted to shake the man’s empty body in order to drag him back inside. She wanted to force time to rewrite the last few minutes, but nothing happened. Then panic set in.
Frantically, she reached for her stake lodged in his chest. She pulled it out with a sickly sucking sound and blood coated her hands. Unconsciously, she tried wiping the red stains onto her clothes only to find it smeared over more of her body. It marked her as a killer.
Her eyes blinking through the tears, she grabbed the discarded the stake that lay nearby and forced her legs to carry her from the ally. She ran from her personal hell. Had she remained only a moment longer, she would have witnessed minuscule streaks of lightening play across the man’s chest, sealing his wound.
Faith’s legs worked on autopilot, carrying her to her apartment. Some part of her was thankful that she had chosen not to live in the big house with the others. She knew it was only a matter of time before they learned of what occurred in that ally. The others, Buffy, Xander, Willow and Giles, would be forced to deal with her, to punish her. They would know it wasn’t an accident. Faith knew she was a killer, there was no changing it. It didn’t matter what good she had done or would do again. It was her nature.
She barely made it to her bathroom when her stomach revolted. She heaved over the toilet until nothing was left to come out. She was empty and her body felt as if it were collapsing around her.
Numbly, she reached over and turned her shower on, setting it to the hottest water temperature it would manage. Then she crawled into the tub, clothes and all. The water cascaded around as she pulled her knees to her chest. Sobs were racking her body as her mind supplied gruesome images of the unknown man’s face. It was etched into her mind for all time. Slowly his image morphed into the professor and the deputy mayor. The images brought more dry heaves on top of her tears. As her body shut down, realization set in that she was covered in his blood. The red stains were smeared on her hands and on her clothes.
She all but ripped the clothes from her body, flinging them out of the shower to the far end of the bathroom. Grabbing a bar of soap and a rag, she rubbed at her hands and then her whole body in an attempt to make the bloodstains disappear. She didn’t stop, even when her own blood came forth from the raw places she had created.
It seemed like hours later that she sat in the tub watching the blood, now turned pink in the water, swirling down the drain. Her mind started to clear of the haze as plans were flung out in rapid succession. The clothes and stakes would have to be disposed. They were a liability since they were stained with his blood. The most difficult decision was whether to avoid the others or keep up a normal routine. If she avoided them, they would be more likely to suspect something had happened. If she could control her emotions and put on her normal act, they may not bat an eye when they read of the mysterious death by puncture wound to the heart as they do the daily morgue report checks for unusual activity. ‘Damn,’ she thought, ‘I’m fucked.’
A week passed by without incident. Faith was constantly watching every eye movement that came her direction, waiting to see if they suspected her. There was no mention of a John Doe death in the morgue reports. No missing persons announcement. No indication that his body was even found. She found herself daring to believe that she was safe from being discovered. That she could hide this skeleton in her closet and deal with the constant nightmares in her own way.
It took another two weeks before she had the courage to return to that ally. To that point she had been patrolling with the other girls, who mainly kept to the cemeteries. Three weeks after the death, she went out on her own, retracing her steps that night. As she approached the ally, her heart clenched. She half expected to find a rotting corpse in the ally. Steeling her heart, she pressed on.
Once in the ally, she found it barren, much to her relief. Walking towards where the man had laid, she saw the faintest trace of red on the asphalt. Reaching down, she laid her hand over it. “Who were you? Were you really here?” she asked of the empty ally. But no response came.
Some time later, she got to her feet and headed back toward her apartment. It was just after leaving the ally that she felt it. Her heightened senses where telling her that someone or something was watching her, but a quick check around revealed nothing. She continued on to her apartment.
It was as she reached her street that she caught a glimpse of brown jacket as the person following her ducked down a side street. Over the next ten minutes, she worked toward pinning unwanted watcher into a location in which she could trap and confront them. She accomplished this with the extensive knowledge she had of the streets and area in which she called home for the past year. Finally, she had worked the stranger into a dead end and as she closed in on him, her heart lurched to her throat. There in front of her was the face that had haunted her nightmares for three weeks. He was alive, standing there against the wall with a smirk spread on his face. “You’re dead,” she stated, slowly reaching toward her stake. Whatever this guy was, he definitely wasn’t human.
“Yeah, I’ve been told that many times, slayer,” the man answered with an accent she couldn’t quite place. “But amazingly enough, I’m still around. I’ve been waiting each night to see if you would come back. I actually hoped you would.”
“What are you?” she hissed at the dead man. “See, I know my stake was in your chest. There was no pulse. What kind of demon are you?” Faith was rocking on the balls of her feet, ready to lunge at the demony guy.
The man, to his credit, stepped back slightly and crossed his arms over his chest, “Last I checked, I wasn’t a demon, although some have probably thought that over the years. I’m,” he paused as a flicker of hesitation crossed his eyes. “Ah bloody hell, that damn Boy Scout has turned me soft. Why I ever went back to that ally…” he trailed off, mumbling to himself in something decidedly not English.
“Look slayer, I’m part of a race of immortals. I don’t suppose that Watcher’s Council has told you about us, have they? A rather annoying bunch, much like the other group I know. We are humans that don’t age, don’t die, for the most part anyway, and work at killing each other. You need not interfere with us. I just wanted to,” he stopped as a bit of pain crossed his eyes. “I’ve seen what happens when a slayer kills a human and I wanted to find you and make sure that it didn’t happen to you. I was worried.” The look on his face told Faith that it took a lot to make him admit that last part.
“Why should I believe you? I kill creatures like you every night,” the sensible part of her mind was rebelling with the words she spoke. He claimed to know of other slayers who had killed. Giles had never mentioned that to her, granted, they never talked about her walk on the wild side, but what if this so-called immortal spoke the truth.
“There’s not really any way can prove it to you I suppose. Other than the fact that I’m not rotting in that ally and I haven’t tried to kill you yet.”
“You really knew a slayer that killed a mortal before?” Did she dare hope that this creature, this man could help her understand what had happened to her years before?
The man glanced at the hidden depths in her eyes and knew that she had killed before. “Yes,” he responded and decided not to pull any punches, “she killed herself two days later. After she had lost her mind. You must have a very strong will to resist the slayer’s natural instinct.”
Her mind shut off at that point, he couldn’t know of the dreams she had had after that first kill. She saw herself committing suicide in so many ways and almost acted on some of them, but something had kept her from following through. Making a decision that she hoped she wouldn’t regret, she spoke, “I don’t know if you would call it a strong will. Look, I don’t know you, but I’m willing to trade some stories. I know a bar a few streets down. You game?”
Never one to pass up a chance for beer, the man replied, “Lead the way. Just keep that stake to yourself slayer. I’m Adam by the way.”
“Faith,” was all she said as they headed away from the dead end and toward the promise of alcohol.To Be Concluded…