Prologue 2: The Watch-Pup
Title: Dark Inklings
Disclaimer: Joss owns all things Buffyverse, Christine owns all things Darkverse. I merely mash ‘em together.
Summary: Two worlds of hunters collide, and each seems to bring the other a bit of the salvation that was needed.
A/N: Did I mention my undying love for Josef, the rapping phase-having Spiderman wannabe? Le Sigh. Also, reworking of Dark Flickers Dark Inklings
Prologue 2: The Watch-Pup
He was not a hunter. He was not going to be a hunter. His parents had encouraged his creativity to be anything to keep him from being a hunter. Josef didn’t really understand it, but he assumed that it was simply because they still viewed him as a child. Not that he’d done much to discourage it. He could get away with murder if he so wished, not that he did. But part of him wanted to be a hunter, to pick up what he assumed had been his birthright. His uncle and many of his brethren had taken up the lonely reins of the hunting life to keep his race safe. Why shouldn’t he?
He’d even almost had his chance. When the abominations had started ravaging people in the local community of his homeland, the Carpathians had feared their lost men had chosen the life of the undead to escape the lack of feeling and light. But then Dawn Summers had arrived and told them of an equally disturbing fact of other vampires, at least several races of them. She’d met them. She’d killed some of them. She knew a whole separate race of young girls who would die young to kill said vampires. She was going to bring one of those girls here to kill the vicious nest of vampires and help draw the other society of human slayers away from his people. She
was arriving tonight to meet the Prince. And Josef was going to be her guide. He wasn’t any real danger to her, and the non-Carpathian vampires were little trouble to destroy. It wasn’t like he was going up against another one of the Jaguar people. He might be a fledgling, but he wasn’t totally useless.
He’d been lurking in the shadows, watching for her from across the train station. He had specific instructions to not let himself be seen until she was a good distance away from the station. If he could have, Josef would have smiled to himself. But he was in the form of an owl, so that proved to be a bit difficult to manage. He was extremely proud of the fact that he could finally hold the image for himself without an older Carpathian holding it for him. He was concentrating so hard on focusing on the image of the owl that he didn’t notice the train station was quickly emptying. Families and young couples were all that were left of the train’s passengers, which meant he’d missed the girl he’d been sent to watch over.
Cursing to himself, he quickly flew from his perch, straining his ears and eyes to catch sight of her. He didn’t see her at first. The first thing he’d seen was the black duffle bag flying up in the air at him. Josef swerved quickly, holding on tightly to the image of the owl in his mind. The next sound that he heard was the tinny strains of a singer coming from a discarded iPod, covered quickly by the angry mutterings of the girl in question.
She was a blur of motion, her legs striking out at her three attackers. The first, a long haired woman went down in a cloud of dust and an ear-piercing scream. Then he heard her voice, drawing his eyes toward her.
“If I’d known you asses were gonna jump me this quickly, I would have put on my kick ass play list, not my settle me down play list. Asses. Blah blah, blah blah blah - I can’t even quip!” the red haired woman’s fist slammed into the face of the closest male vampire. She ducked the punch of the other vampire. “Well, I could, but I guess it’s all lost in translation. Hmm, still haven’t seen that.”
The conversation she was having with herself shocked and amused him so much that Josef lost all thought of the image of the owl he’d been holding. Luckily, he was still a bit of a way from the fight and close to the ground when he lost it. He winced as he hit the ground. She didn’t notice him as she raced passed the vampires towards a tree she used as a springboard to attack them. Her leg arched out in a powerful kick that impaled the first vampire on a broken tree branch. She tucked herself into crouch as the last enraged vampire rushed her. He tumbled over her back, but caught her with a unanticipated blow to the abdomen. She groaned as she landed with a thud as the vamp shoved her to the ground, shrieking in a Slavic tongue she probably didn’t understood.
She kicked up and out at the rushing vamp, sending him sprawling back into the open clearing. She shoved herself off the ground and grabbed for her weapon from where it had landed. Josef finally shook himself out of the trance that she’d seemed to put him under. He had to end this, to protect her. Her breathing was rushed, and he could hear the blood pumping through her veins. He growled to himself as the vampire lurched toward her. He called for the bolt of lightening he’d seen his elders summon so easily and quickly incinerated the vamp who’d been charging at her again. He emerged from the shadows as the vampire burst into a shroud of dust, a nervous laugh escaping his lips.
Her head jerked up to search him out in the shadows. Her eyes scorched over his skin, and he couldn’t take his eyes off her face. He’d already seen her body in an timeless and beautiful dance that he was convinced his own race must have danced to in the old days. There was something about her that called out to him, something foreign and yet eerily familiar. Josef waited until her eyes caught up with his again and he held her stare for what seemed like an eternity.
He heard it then, her heartbeat began matching his steady thump for thump. Her mouth parted gently, a small o of shock and her eyes widened before she guiltily hid her weapon. He made her nervous. The thought flitted across his mind and he couldn’t help but smile to himself.
“Wow, that was weird, right? My cardboard cut out got slammed by lightening. My boss is gonna be mad. It was um, Jared Ackles’ stand-in for that movie we’re shooting,” she blushed brightly as his eyes never left her face. “I have to run and get a new one. Hollywood is surely the realm of the devil. Bye now.”
Josef barely had time to blink before she snatched up her bag and raced off in the direction of the chosen gathering place. Josef opened his mouth to speak, to say something to the girl who was affecting him so very deeply when he heard the song coming from the iPod.
“So how in the hell am I supposed to find the one that I love, one that I need, hidden so high, buried so deep…”
Josef scooped up the green media player and smiled to himself. The girl’s name was Vi, the one Dawn had told him about countless times and had even threatened to sic on him if he wasn’t nice to her. He arrived back a few moments before she did, taking his time by slowly tracking her and only letting her completely out of his sights once he was confident that she had safely reached her destination. What’s wrong, Josef?
His mother’s gentle caress brought him out of his thoughts as he appeared beside her. Nothing. The slayer has arrived.
What happened, Josef? Why is she covered in dirt?
His uncle demanded, tossing an accusing look his way. Her vampires attacked, she fought them off. It was amazing.
There was a touch of possessive pride in his voice as he showed his uncle and whoever else mind was open to his the dance Vi had performed. Suddenly he was aware of her presence in the room. Dawn turned nervously to her friend. Josef smiled to himself as he listened to her conversation.
“Vi, you are so very late. I have been stuck with the mind reading hot bodied men and gorgeous woman for far too long.”
“Jeez, thanks I feel so loved right now,” Vi sighed.
“Slayage? Please, please, please tell me it was of the vampy nature and not the Carpe nature,” Dawn moaned.
“Yellow eyes and a bumpy forehead. But I didn’t actually slay it,” Vi shifted uncomfortably beside her, her eyes drifting over to the circle of curious and potentially deadly race behind her friend.
“You didn’t? Vi - “
“I didn’t actually drive the stake into his chest, no, but he’s dead - crispy style dead. Nothing but ash dead.”
“You lit him on fire?”
“Not really. He kinda got struck by lightening and disintegrated into vamp dust.”
Dawn blinked at her as if she’d grown three heads. Vi nervously tucked a strand of hair behind her ear as her face grew hot again. Josef scooted away from his parents to hide behind a pillar closer to the whispering women.
“He kinda got struck by lightening?”
“Look all I cared about was the fact that the vamp was dead and that I was late for my first big pow-wow with the Carpathians. I didn’t question the dusted vamp or the hot guy in the woods.”
“Hot guy?” Dawn asked, leaning forward. Josef couldn’t fight the grin on his face and leaned closer to hear them. “Hot guy like the gaggle of Carpathians hot guys behind me?”
“No, punk-rocker hot. He had green hair, he wasn’t a vamp and he wasn’t a -”
“Ugly neon green or dark green-light blue kind of green?”
“Does it matter?” Vi sighed.
“It was greeny-blue I guess.”
“Great. Just great. I’m gonna wring that brat’s neck,” Dawn groaned.
“You saw a Carpathian male in the woods, Vi. You saw Josef.” He should be insulted by the disgust in her voice, but Vi’s reaction made him feel much better.
was Josef the Brat?” Vi cried. “No way. I though you said he was a baby. This hottie was not a baby. He was a full grown man.”
“No, he was a fledgling Carpathian who felt like being a big brat. Maybe I‘ll convince Byron that it‘s a great idea to kill his adopted nephew.”
“Come on now, that’s not even fair. I was merely helping out a damsel in distress,” Josef emerged from behind the pillar to face them, a smile on his lips. Vi gasped in shock and Dawn only rolled her eyes.
“Don’t you have anything better to do than to freak out my gal pal with your pyrotechnics?” Dawn muttered.
“I wasn’t actually trying to talk to you,” Josef bit out, turning back to Vi. He held out her iPod to her before speaking softly. “You dropped this.”
She eyed his hand as if he held a snake out to her instead of the iPod. Her fingers skimmed the surface of his outstretched palm. Josef shivered visibly at the contact, his dark eyes boring into hers. Vi tucked it into her back pocket before breaking the eye contact.
“Aren’t I supposed to be meeting a prince or something?” She murmured helplessly to Dawn.
“Mikhail and Raven are waiting for us,” Dawn said loudly. Josef didn’t budge out of their way, his eyes still locked on her face.
“Josef, let us pass,” Vi said quietly.
Josef knew then in that instant that his thoughts earlier had been right. He could deny her nothing. He stepped aside, letting Dawn take her away. He felt his mother’s probing caress in his mind. She is my lifemate. I can feel it.