Chapter One: Skeletons and Birdies
I'm thinking I might turn it into a Johnny/Buffy pairing. Depends. Also, Kennedy is a total bitch in this story, so be warned. Please review! I really want to know what other people think of it! Chapter One
Willow Rosenburg sighed as she walked to the New Watchers Council building in Cleveland. She shared a suite there with her girlfriend, Rosie. They had been planning on getting an apartment together, but with Rosie still learning to control her enormous power and Willow teaching a new generation of Wicca’s (not to mention her occasional temper tantrums that would make most landlords have kittens) they just hadn’t had the chance. Willow smiled, thinking of Rosie Eclipse. They’d met a few years ago, when the Scoobies had been trying to find a suitable place to train the Mini Slayers. Rosie had been friends with a small group of Potentials and had offered her old family home. Since Rosie was an only child and an orphan, she owned the large manor. Since then, they had managed to track down a couple hundred Slayers, although many more were still out there, and had expanded the NWC to London, Tokyo, someplace in Africa Willow had trouble pronouncing, and Zimbabwe.
Willow sighed again, leaning against a tree. She had been feeling ansy all day, something which did not
help her already sour mood. She was looking forward to going home, taking a nice long shower, maybe with Rosie rubbing her shoulders out….
Willow was distracted from her pleasant thoughts as something brushed against her magical senses. Something powerful.
Frowning, she carefully sent out a tendril of thought, seeking, searching. There, whatever it was was near the town border. Pushing harder, she could feel the undercurrents of power, neither good nor bad. Feeling it, Willow got a sudden feeling of unease, one she couldn’t shake no matter how hard she tried. And the sudden knowledge that a storm was coming.
Ghost Rider stopped Grace near an abandoned warehouse. The streets were emty, not that he could blame them, considering where they were. Stretching, he sensed the Hellmouth below him, it’s dark energy reaching out to him. He smiled. Oh, he wasn’t evil, exactly, but he definitely liked the feel of the Hellmouth. It’s pulsing darkness called to him like nothing else. And because it wasn’t a person, he didn’t have to destroy it.
He was brought out of his reverie as Johnny once again yelled at him. The Rider sighed in annoyance as he kicked Grace forward. Johnny had been irritating him all night. Normally, he didn’t mind Johnny’s occasional input. It was normally fairly reasonable, and good advice. But Johnny still, even after three months, hadn’t grasped the fact that they belonged to Mephistopheles, no matter how much Johnny hated it. Oh, the Gost Rider didn’t much like it either, but it wasn’t up to him. And Johnny’s continual defiance of Mephistopheles was
rather amusing. Still, if Johnny didn’t want to work for Mephistopheles, he shouldn’t have made that deal, no matter how good intentioned it was. But he did, and now he better learn to live with it.
But right now, Johnny was far more interested in telling him just why
he should just turn around and ride off. Oh, the Rider knew why he was so upset. Willow was his only cousin, and they had become very close after the years. Of course, the Rider figured Johnny must not know Rosenburg’s reputation, otherwise he wouldn’t be nearly as concerned.
But it was to late for turning back now. They had reached Cleveland fifteen minutes ago. All he had to do was find Willow, then he could do whatever he wanted, at least until Mephistopheles wanted him for something else. He was a little concerned about him getting his hands on Rosenburg, but he didn’t really think she’d ever willingly work for him. And if even half the stories of her were true, there was no way Mephistopheles could force her.
Johnny screamed at him, making the Rider laugh. Revving Grace up in anticipation, he roared down the deserted street.
Willow had just reached the street that the NWC building was on when she heard the scream. She hesitated, wondering if she should get a Slayer to accompany her. But that would take to long, and by then it would be to late. Besides, she was getting seriously pissed at Buffy and Kennedy. They both kept trying to ‘keep her safe’. Please, like she hadn’t been fighting evil for ten years now! She knew Buffy was doing it mostly out of guilt. They had just lost a team of Slayers last month, to an enemy they should have been able to take easily. Buffy had made a tactical error, but she was now pressing hard on everyone to stay safe. Willow knew Xander was having a hard time with it, even practicing sword fighting with Illyria on occasion. And Kennedy, well, Kennedy was still sore about their break-up last month. Kennedy was used to getting her own way, and the fact that Willow had broken it off with her was a sore spot. Never mind that Kennedy had been planning on breaking up with Willow, it was the fact that Willow had beaten her to it that killed her.
Shrugging, Willow ran in the direction on the scream. Ace would support her decision, she always did. Willow smiled at the thought of the red-haired Slayer. Ace had popped in about two years ago. Willow liked her, even if Ace’s love of motorcycles had caused a few twinges. She still missed Johnny, and desperately wished he had gotten back in touch with her. But she didn’t mind the motorcycles, as long as Ace never made her ride with her again. One dance with death on the metal beast and Ace’s insane driving had been enough. Ace had been chosen as the Protector of the Slayer line when she was twenty. The Powers That Be had decided to make her as immortal as you could get, and amped up her Slayer-yness. Buffy didn’t trust the quirky Slayer, though Willow suspected it might have been due to jealousy. The fact that Buffy was not, in fact, the oldest or most powerful Slayer had been a bit of a kick in the gut to her. Not that Willow blamed her, and Buffy actually had spent time with Ace before and had confessed to enjoying it.
Willow skidded to a halt, having reached a small, dark alleyway. How cliché’
she thought wryly. Turning into it, she stopped in surprise. Willow had been expecting demons, vampires, hell, even Gods would have been more likely. Instead, she had stumbled across a run-of-the-mill mugging. A human
mugging with human muggers. Oh, and a flaming skeleton currently kicking mugger ass. But it was the mugging
that shocked her. Although, even in her momentary surprise, a small part of her brain registered that the skeleton…Man, wore black leather pants and jacket with spikes coming out of the shoulders and gloves. Willow briefly wondered how a flaming man managed to wear clothes that didn’t burn.
A quiet purring made her turn. Behind her, she saw a motorcycle, the likes of which she had never seen before. Willow stared at it a moment longer before turning back to the fight. Except that right now, there was no fight. The skeleton had already delt with the muggers and was now surveying her. Although, could
a person watch her if he had no eyes?
All thoughts flew out the window when he started walking forwards. Ok. This wasn’t good. She briefly though of fleeing like a scared rabbit, but the flame-covered bike blocked her exit.
The skeleton stopped in front of her, watching. And Willow watched right back.
“Willow Rosenburg” It stated in a deep, gravelly voice.
“Y-yes?” Goddess, stammering! She wasn’t that
nervous, was she?
“I have been sent to find you”
“Why?” Now she was curious. Kill her, that was normal. But just find her?
The skeleton cocked his head, looking for all the world like a little bird. A giggle built up in Willow, one she tried to fight down. But it was stubborn and burst out of her. The demon looked startled. Obviously, it didn’t normally come across humans who giggled at it.
“What’s so funny?” He asked, clearly confused. Willow clamped a hand to her mouth, shaking her head.
“Sorry, it’s just that you looked like a little birdie just then”
The poor skeleton looked at her for several long moments like she was deranged. He was quite possibly correct, at that Willow thought, suppressing her giggles.
The skeleton looked up at the lightening sky and let out a sigh right before his body convulsed. Willow took a step forward, concerned. Ok, yeah, so he was quite possibly hear to bring her to her doom, but that didn’t mean she would just let him die. It skeletons could die. But he just shook his head, falling to his knees. Flesh grew quickly over bones, flames faded away. And Willow watched in horror as her favorite cousin, Johnny, replaced the skeleton. Finished transforming, he looked up at her, blue eyes bright, dark hair sticking to his forehead with sweat. Taking a shaky step towards him, Willow uttered one word.
He smiled at hearing it, his blue gaze holding her own, pleading with her not to turn away.
“Hi Wills” He said softly, his gaze warm and loving as he gazed at her. Of course, then he had to ruin the moment by promptly fainting at her feet. Although, mused Willow as she stumbled back to HQ hefting an unconscious Johnny, it had a sort of poetic ring to itAfter Note:
Ace is a character I made up. She might be coming into a few other stories, but in this one she plays a backstage role. And while it seems like I'm writing Buffy as a bitch in this story, I'm not. She's a good person in the shows, but she was never exactly sunshine and daisies, was she? So, I'm writing her as a human being, not as a perfect goddess. I won't say anymore, don't want to spoil it. But I did want to make sure you understood as Willow's thoughts made her sound like an ass. Thanks! Review!