: One MoreRating
: Supernatural and all related characters are copyright Eric Kripke, Kripke Enterprises & The CW Network. No infringement intended. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright Joss Whedon and ME. No infringement intended. Challenge
: Weekly #2 Prompt: St Patty’s day and beerTeam
:Hellfire (cause the bad guys kick so much ass)Synopsis
: Some scars are meaningful, a symbol of bravery, or decoration but to a select few a scar simply means they have lived to see another day.One More
The rock tumbled its way down the paved sidewalk, propelled forward by a pair of faded boots. The rhythmic scrapping of cloth against concrete accompanied the skipping sound as cargo pants barely help up by narrow hips slipped an inch and began to drag. The night stretched wide and dark, a new moon filling the sky with no light to guide Buffy as she made her way further from the hustle of a St. Patrick’s Day parade and would-be gropers.
Her knuckles still throbbed from the last run in with an overly enthusiastic, drunk on green beer, celebrator as his hand dipped from the small of her back to cup her ass as he slipped past her in the crowd. She had ignored the swipe but the squeeze that followed snapped what little control she had and his hard head had been introduced to her small fist. The startled looks of his buddies as a six foot four male was downed by a barely over five feet waif of a girl had given her some amusement—until the patrolling cops had noticed and she had to ditch the scene.
The last thing she needed was another lecture from Pryce about stealth, considering he screamed like a woman whenever faced with non-controlled circumstances. Buffy’s annoyance melted as the hairs on the back of her neck rose and an already dark night grew darker. She frowned at the cookie cutter homes seated side-by-side with neatly manicured lawns spread out before and behind them. Spinning in a circle she caught sight of the few walnut oaks thrown in for symmetry and wondered when she had fallen off the beaten path and into Pleasantville.
A brow arched and she tilted her head, scanning the area for possible traces of Toby Maguire, less plausible things had happened on Cleveland’s hellmouth. She paused in her perusal of the neighborhood and shoved her hands into the pockets of her black hoodie as the wind picked up, along with the sense of unease that was contrasting with the picture prefect setting.
The tightening of her shoulders and chest forced her next breath out in a painful rush as a cold sweat spread down her spine. Buffy’s neck twisted the long braid shifting across her back as she focused her attention toward the last house on the left. Green eyes narrowed to slits when they noticed a shadowed figure, motionless in the front yard. She blinked as it raised a hand to its head in a salute and she thought its eyes flared yellow before it darted from sight. Her lips quirked as she welcomed the challenge and sidestepped into the grass to quiet her approach.
Her breathing pitched, lungs expanding to take in more air as the acceleration of her heart doubled, helped bring more oxygen rich blood into the dense muscles of her thighs to feed the flight or fight response spreading across her nervous system. Pupils dilated as she neared the home to sharpen her studied of the outside, checking for signs of forced entry as she circled around the back. Her stomach tightened, nearly doubling Buffy over as she passed beneath a second story window.
She glanced up, neck tilting back and senses stretched wide as a scream broke across the calm and she ignored the voice—that sounded annoyingly like her Watcher—that she was probably running into more human trouble than demonic and trusted her instincts. Used those instincts to place her boot bottom to the back door. The frame shuddered but held and she took a moment to roll her eyes before stepping back, taking a deep breathe and shoved her shoulder into it. The wood groaned and snapped around the deadbolt, splinters arching outward as the door gave and she stumbled inside.
Darkness leached its way in after her and the quiet of the house, the calm disturbed her more than the scream. She lifted the back of the hoodie up, slipped out the stake stashed at the place where her cargos met skin and flipped it expertly forward. Swallowing her unease, she shoved it ruthlessly back and the quiet was shattered around her by a child’s cry. It rose in volume, filling her head, the entire house with its owner’s despair. The sound pushed her into a run as she darted around the homey furniture decorated by family photos.
She felt the first spark of rage as she took the stairs two at a time. Welcomed the burst of heat, fed off the edge it gave her already hyperaware senses at the thought of another family being broken, destroyed as she reached the top landing. She skidded to a stop, chest rising and falling in time with her rapid heartbeat as she moved toward the wailing toddler. A white t-shirt with the words ‘kiss me I’m Irish’ hung nearly to his ankles and he clutched a stuffed frog to his chest.
She knelt, touched his face, turned those wounded eyes toward her. “Where are your parents?”
With a hiccup his cries stilled and a frenzied pounding filled the void. Buffy’s head turned, caught sight of a man’s frantic efforts to break through a door. She rose, lifting the now oddly silent child and in four strides she shoved the man aside, handed him the kid. He blinked, startled by the sight of her but accepted his son and the shift in responsibilities with little protest.
Buffy stepped back ignored the urge to kick the door in and once again placed shoulder to wood. It gave with little effort and she was spilled into the room, pushing herself into a forward summersault she came up low and stake at ready.
“Hey!” The shadowed figure stepped back from the crib dominating the room and turned molted eyes on her. The cramping in her stomach increased and she winced, pulling her back up straight.
Its head cocked, arm rising to point a finger skyward. Buffy frowned, followed the suggestion and her eyes widened at the sight of woman pressed to the ceiling. The front of her nightshirt that matched her son’s was soaked with blood and her mouth opened in a silent scream, gaze piercing Buffy’s until an unseen hand grasped her around the waist and tossed her effortlessly into a changing table.
The husband’s frantic shout seemed to signal the grand finale as flames erupted from behind the woman and Buffy pulled herself from the ruin of wood and plastic. She rose, stiffening as those haunting eyes followed her movement and she threw her stake. Watched helpless, as it would have struck true only to see the figure dissolve and the usually lethal instrument pass harmlessly through. It reappeared directly in front of her and the unseen hand shoved her backwards. Power, magick rolled over her like molasses, pinned her to the wall and she grunted trying to push herself through the thickness.
She turned her head enough to shout at the frantic widower. “Save your children!”
A shotgun echoed through the fire and bits of metal and powder struck her check and shoulder, spraying the creature and Buffy used the distraction to lurch forward. The shadow seemed to chuckle before dissolving and the father was yanked from the room just as flames arched downward blocking the exit and Buffy saw the owner of the shotgun look through the fire at her. Horrified with the fact that he couldn’t get to her, help her.
She turned toward the crib saw a ball of flame begin beneath it, and she leapt forward, snatching the infant up just as the mattress melted. She opened her hoodie, tucked the baby into her chest and covered it before turning around the room. Staring at the walls of flame she began to cough as the heat scorched her throat and she looked sadly at the paneled window.
Her shoulders dropped and she muttered to the infant, “Hold on tight,” before she propelled herself forward and through the plated glass. It shattered on impact and her head snapped back as one of the metal dividers struck her face. She ignored the pain, suppressed it and prepared for impact as her boots struck the lawn and she twisted, wincing as her ankle popped and she landed heavily on her back.
The air in her lungs was pulled out against her will and she gasped, trying to remember how to breathe as she stared at the moonless sky and cradled a screaming baby against her chest. Heavy footfalls rushed toward them and she struggled to sit up, met them standing but her back protested, body warning it needed a moment after the hard impact.
A face filled her vision, concern etched into every line around his eyes but he was smiling, a wide shit eating grin. “You saved her.”
Buffy blinked and pushed herself up. She felt the warmth of blood spreading over her lips and down her chin in a steady stream. She blinked, stared at the man holding a shotgun and frowned. “The clergy arms themselves now?” She winced as speaking pulled at the wound across her mouth.
His smile stretched just a bit wider and he nodded. “Some.” He opened his arms to accept the crying child and Buffy gladly handed her over. “I’m Pastor Jim.”
She arched a brow and pushed herself to her feet. “This is sweet, really but I should be going.”
“Wait, you’re wounded.”
Buffy shrugged, “Just a scratch.”
“It needs stitches or you’ll scar.”
Her gaze slid past him to watch the shocked father moved toward them, still clutching his son. The shock would fade into grief and then a welcomed rage. Rage kept you sane, kept living. She met the pastor’s gaze with a false bravado, “I have plenty. What’s one more?”
He rose with her. “What you did tonight,” He shook his head, “There are others that would want to talk with you, meet you.”
She stepped back from him, shook her head. “Not an option.” She offered Pastor Jim a half-hearted smile. “Thanks though.”
“Wait!” He ignored the widower as he stepped up to him and called to her, stopped her retreat. “We could help you.”
Buffy turned back to him, the sadness radiating from her nearly tangible. “I don’t play well with others.”The End.
Author's Note: This is supose to take place in the Wish'verse but to give that away in the synopsis would have been cheating.