Chapter 5 Getting to know the natives
Disclaimer: I own nothing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, X-men, Stargate, Anita Blake, Hellsing, nor Highlander.
Note: Sorry about the delay, I’ve been working on other stories, but I will continue this series.
Chapter Five: Getting to know the natives.
“Miss?” Jason began, his voice a low murmur, as he did not want anyone else to overhear them. He stole a peek at the red haired woman walking at his side as they moved down the hall, wondering at her calm demeanor. How unusual…She seemed at ease in his presence; as if she didn’t care at all that he was a shifter.
He looked away when she offered a smile, nodding at him to continue. He was just a young wolf; never too serious with others, always ready to flirt or play, but there was something about this woman…it would seem rude to treat her as he did anyone else. The red head wore her immense power like body armor; and it was a warning to all to watch their step around her. For once, Jason would follow his instincts. She was strong; she was Alpha, and he would treat her with respect. Besides, Jean-Claude would have his ass if he offended the lady in anyway.
“Is it true”, he wondered, “…what you showed us…what you said back there?”
A soft sigh left Willow’s lips. “Yes. A Hellmouth…your name’s Jason, right? You can call me Willow, ya’ know.”
She felt the young man’s fear grow, so she laid her hand on his shoulder, allowing her magic to enter his body to sooth his beast. “Don’t worry so much Jason. My friends and I will do everything possible to protect you guys and the city, alright? The next few days will be hard, but we’ll fight, together.”
He sensed the truth of her words, and smiled. “Thanks Willow.” He felt relaxed, and he briefly wondered if wolves were Willow’s animal to call. As Jean-Claude was a Master Vampire, perhaps the red head was a Master Witch? He gave the matter no more thought as they finally reached their destination.
“If you need anything, I’ll be outside waiting.” He offered, standing back. “How long will you rest?”
“About four hours.” Willow decided with a thoughtful look on her face. “We’ll need something to eat then. I’ll strengthen the Wards around the Circus after dinner. Is there anyplace we can practice?”
“You can probably use the Circus Rings once the building closes.”
“That’s perfect. Thank you Jason.” She walked by the wolf, flashing him a dismissive smile. Her head tilted to the side as she sensed her friends awake and aware. They were listening to the conversation. “Well then, we’ll see you later.” She opened the suite door and went inside, leaving Jason in the hall. For good measure, she placed a magical shield around the room; nothing would be able to get in without her say so. It was also sound proof.
“What’s the what, of witchy friend?” Xander wondered from his position across the room. The next few minutes past with Willow telling her friends of what happened in Jean Claude’s office.
“An alliance luv’?” Spike questioned from the middle of the bed. The red head gave a nod before walking over and lying down besides him.
Willow was tired, and they all needed to sleep. She glanced over at the dark haired vampire lying on Spike’s other side. Dru’s condition had improved. The cuts and bruising were nearly gone. When she woke, she would need to feed again. Willow was determined that Dru would get better. “They’ll allow us to do what we need to Spike, without interference. We have a place to rest, and a base of operations. They’ll help us.” Willow laid her head down on Spike’s chest, her eyelids heavy.
“It is a good plan witch. I approve.” Illyria spoke from her position of guard at the suite door. The ancient glanced over at Xander. “You should take the opportunity to rest boy.”
The young man eyed the bed. It was big enough to hold six. “Blue, what about you?”
The Ancient’s brow rose. “I do not need to recuperate human.”
Xander hid his grin as he slipped into the bed on the other side of Dru. Surprisingly he found himself not tensing at the proximity of an old enemy. If Wills and Dead Boy Jr. had no problems sleeping with the dark haired demon infused with a soul then who was he to complain? He curled around Dru, offering his spare heat, and laid his head on the pillow. “Night all…”
“Night Xan…” Willow returned softly, watching until her best friend drifted off to sleep, a grateful look on her face. Perhaps she had nothing to worry about…it looked like Xander would get along with Drusilla. Now, all that remained was Angel and Logan…a sigh filled the otherwise silent room. Yep, she was looking forward to that meeting…
“Hey bud!” Logan called out, giving the vampire strolling at his side a piercing look from the corner of his eye. “Should I be asking ya’ what your intentions are?”
“Wh…what?” Angel mumbled in reply, nearly tripping over his feet in surprise. Once he overcame his shock, he gave the mutant a questioning frown. “Are you talking about Willow?”
“Yeah…” Logan confirmed with a pointed look. He slowly released the middle claw of his left hand and held it under the master vampire’s throat, impressed when Angel stayed where he was, despite that threat. “Now, I’m thinking I’ve only met the girl a few weeks ago, but Willow’s a good kid, with a big heart and a solid head on her shoulders. You’re friends, I get that, I really do, but she’s my niece, and I won’t have her hurt.”
Angel’s eyes flashed yellow for a split second; the demon within furious at the accusation they would hurt the girl, but was soul of the vampire was calm, pointing out to Angelus the fact Logan was Family to Willow, and the mutant had to right to protect the girl as he saw fit. “I love her… I want Willow as my wife, my mate.”
Logan’s brows twisted. “…and?”
Angel leaned forward, the skin of his throat pressing against the tip of the claw held to his flesh. “There is nothing in this world I would not protect her from, even myself. If she chooses friendship…I would still stay by her side, protecting her.”
With a grunt, the mutant retracted his claw, giving a final warning. “If ya’ hurt her, you’re dust.”
A tiny smirk graced the vampire’s face. “I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
Logan turned away with a nod, and began to lead the way back to the hotel. Suddenly he tensed, stopping mid-step. “…something’s not right.”
Angel strode by, easily blending into the shadows; his senses on high alert. He took a sniff of the air, and tuned his hearing. He could not smell his friends scent…He could not hear Willow’s heartbeat, or Xander’s. His childe was also missing, as was Illyria. Soon the two guardians finished searching the area, finding no sign of intrusion but the note Willow had left behind.
“Now what?” Logan wondered, crumbling the piece of paper in his closed fist.
Angel leaned against the wall, his face hard with anger. “We wait.” He growled. It would seem he had a few things to say to a certain witch when he saw her again…starting with the fact she would never be leaving his side again…
“…magnifique…” Jean-Claude breathed in awe as he watched the small group in the middle ring of the circus. Anita stood quietly at his side, silently fuming.
“They’re fast…” Richard stepped forward, leaning over the rail of the stands to get a better look. “…very fast, and strong.” A tiny frown appeared on his face.
“What are your thoughts?” The Master of the City wondered, his eyes glued to the red haired figure sparing down below.
The wolf king stood back, folding his arms over his chest. “The blond is someone to be feared. He will strike without any hesitation. The lady in blue, she’s holding back. The kid with the patch, he’s unpredictable. The way he moves…he’s not one to be underestimated. The one called Dru, she might be weak right now, but she’ll fight until her last…”
“…and la rouge sorciere?”
Richard stared hard at Willow, watching as she mocked battled with the blond haired vampire, her teasing and laughter bringing smiles to her friends faces. He could see the care she took with Dru, how she kept the dark haired vampire attention on the here and now, her soft words of encouragement giving the weak vampire strength. “She is the leader, the Alpha of the group.”
“With you permission, I would like to join them.” Damian requested from the direction of the exit behind them.
“No!” Anita exclaimed, the knuckles of her hands white with strain. Damian was hers, damn it!
“Cher…” Jean-Claude murmured in a low, warning tone.
“Listen, they don’t understand our…” there was a delicate pause, “…customs.” She hissed through her teeth.
“Anita, there is no match; no challenge.” Jean-Claude explained. “It is merely practice. You have no need for worry.
The necromancer glared before turning sharply on her heel. Why did everything feel abnormal? She walked briskly down towards the exit, calling over her shoulder, “Whatever. Do as you please Damian. I’ll see you later Jean-Claude. Goodnight Richard.”
‘So, what do you think?’ Willow sent her mental thoughts to Spike, while she spun on her heel, and blocked another thrust at her chest.
‘Old school pet, very old school.’ Spike returned just as he swung back with his broadsword, placing his weight on his left foot, and swinging low with his next thrust. ‘The three share a power base…and they’re watching us.’
A slight grin broke out on her face. ‘I know. I can hear them.’
Spike frowned at that. ‘You can? When did that start luv’?’
Willow thought about it. When did her senses start improving? “I noticed the changes sometime after the L.A. incident, but I suspect using the Spell to call the Potentials to Power was the start of it all, ya’ know, the whole trying to balance the Dark and Light thingy… Calling upon the Earth was probably the last nail in the coffin, pardon the pun.’
Spike gave a snort of laughter. ‘Either way pet, we have company coming.’ The two turned, eying the auburn haired vampire approaching their position.
Damian bowed to Willow, his motions full of grace. “Greetings Immortal Protector.”
Willow smiled politely as he straightened, holding out her hand. “Please address me as Willow, mister…?” She could play the innocent for a time. There was no need for their new allies to know everything about them.
“I am called Damian.”
“What can we do for ya’?” Spike questioned with a near snarl on his lips. He really did not like how the undead of this twisted supernatural dimension looked at Willow. They had no right.
Damian glanced around, noting how the others of Willow’s group were watching the exchange; very protective of the witch…“I would be honored if you would permit me to join your practice.”
Willow’s smile grew, liking this vampire’s bold, though understated manner. “We are nearly done, but you’re welcome to join us tomorrow.”
“Hey guys!” Jason called as he ran past the exit and near the rings. “Boss man says he needs to see you little red.” The witch gave a snort at that. She’ll never get away from the nickname.
Damian turned to the young wolf with a frown. “What has happened?” He had just left Jean-Claude. It must be sudden.
Willow was about to offer a comment, when something pushed against the Wards protecting the Circus. Something was coming and it felt familiar… She felt Dru coming up from behind, worry and fear shadowing the vampire’s aura. Dru was not hundred percent; she needed a few more feedings before she was well.
“It’s false daddy little tree. He comes to prepare the way for his master.” Dru whispered in Willow’s ear.
Willow turned her head and glanced up at the vampire. Upon waking a few hours before, Dru had been more lucid then everyone had expected from the formal insane vampire, but Dru still spoke in riddles, and was slightly confusing at times. “False daddy? What do you mean Dru?”
“False daddy Angelus…He hurt me.” Dru replied, her voice full of sadness and pain. The others came over, and heard the comment.
“Wha…Oh!” Willow exclaimed, her eyes growing wide. It had finally clicked inside her mind what Dru was talking about…the person who had tortured Dru…it was a doppelganger! Angel’s double in this world. The others reached the same conclusions.
“Ah man, can we say ‘up the shit creek without a paddle’ anyone?” a grim faced Xander said, memories of the past flashing through his mind. Illyria gave a nod; understanding what was at stake, while Spike swore a blue streak under his breath, cursing their luck.
Willow couldn’t agree more with the sentiment. This was serious. Angelus without a soul was a scary thing indeed; power hungry, shrewd and cunning…and all she could imagine was an Angelus with the abilities of the undead of this world…with a master no less, heading their way. Goddess, this was bad...