Prologue: The Mission
Summery: Mephistopheles wants the one person that could make him unstoppable. When his Rider happens to be related, what will happen? Can the Scoobies fight Mephistopheles, and will Johnny be able to finally break his hold on him? And will Willow be able to resist the call of the dark? Please R&R!
Author’s Note: Rated for safety! I’m hoping for regular updates. Hopefully a chapter a week, but who knows? Also, the rating may go up as the story continues, but it’s unlikely. Pretty, pretty please review!
Disclaimer: I own nothing recognizable.
Johnny Blaze sighed. He’d been on the road for a few months and had managed to evade Mephistopheles the entire time. He had been working at controlling the demon that resided inside of him. So far, all he’d managed was a few fireballs and excruciating headaches. He still transformed almost every night, whether he wanted to or not. Most nights he didn’t mind, but sometimes it was a bit inconvenient to suddenly burst into flames in the middle of a conversation with someone.
Johnny closed the long-forgotten book he’d been reading. Before he’d felt the too-familiar burning, tingling sensation in the back of his mind. And only one person he knew could create such a reaction from his counterpart, the Ghost Rider…
“Hello Johnny” Said a darkly sweet voice from near the door of his hotel room. Johnny sighed again and turned to face his “guest”.
An old man stood there, his back ram-rod straight, dressed all in black with a silver cane. He had, what appeared to be, a friendly smile. Overall, he looked like any other nice, slightly eccentric, old men.
To anyone else.
But Johnny wasn’t “anyone else”, and he could see the old man quite clearly. He could see him as the very powerful, very dangerous demon that he was.
“Mephistopheles” Johnny said shortly. He really
wasn’t in the mood for one of Mephistopheles’ “quests”. They never went well.
Mephistopheles walked further into the room, walking along the edge of shadows so that he wasn’t quite in the light, but enough that you could see some details. Johnny snorted softly. Mephistopheles really was a drama queen. Johnny stood up slowly, never letting his eyes off the demon. Inside, he could feel the Rider tensing, waiting. ‘Waiting for what?’
Johnny thought uneasily. If it was waiting for orders, he might not have a choice but to obey.
“What do you want, Mephistopheles?” Johnny asked harshly. Mephistopheles smiled, the smile he always wore around Johnny. The one that promised pain and retribution. Johnny fought down a shiver at that smile.
“Oh, not much. A simple mission for one such as yourself” he replied silkily. If her guessed at Johnny’s unease he didn’t show it. Johnny laughed softly. “Not much”, yeah right.
“Whatever it is, I’m not doin’ it”
Mephistopheles’ smile grew.
“You don’t have any choice”
Johnny was starting to get a bad feeling about this little reunion. He had a choice, didn’t he? Mephistopheles gave him back his soul when he defeated Blackheart, right?
“I would have. I offered. But then you decided to stay a Rider. You cannot be a Rider and
get out of your contract.”
Johnny stared at him, a sinking feeling in his gut. He’d thought he was free since Mephistopheles had never come for him since San Vanganza. But it appeared he wasn’t quite through.
“What do you want?” He repeated.
“A simple quest as I said. I want you to track down Willow Rosenburg and bring her to me”
Johnny’s head jerked as he heard the name. No, it couldn’t be…
“Ah, I see you already know her. What is your relation?”
Johnny spoke without him meaning to, the words slipping through numb lips.
Mephistopheles laughed, an entirely unpleasant sound. He was clearly enjoying to horrifying moment for Johnny.
“Well, well, well. I never knew my favorite creation had such powerful relatives”
Johnny shook his head slowly, ignoring the usual hatred of his ‘nick-name’.
“She’s not powerful. She’s just a kid. And I won’t bring her into this. You have issues with me, bring em’ up with me”
The demon stared at him with amusement before he slowly shook his head.
“You forget. You don’t have a choice. You are mine
Johnny Blaze. I own you. You will find her and then you will bring her to me” And with that he disappeared. Below him, Johnny could hear his bike revving a little. And he knew he was about to transform again. With a resigned sigh he picked up his leather jacket and shrugged into it. Then he walked down the short flight of stairs, out into the pouring rain. His bike was there, already transformed and waiting. He stood for a few minutes, staring at it. So much had changed in the last three months. It was still a start to see his bike looking like that though. He wondered if he’d ever get used to it. Probably not. Then he felt the painful, all-to familiar burning pain behind his eyes. His body jerked as he automatically fought the demon taking over his body, boiling his blood and burning his flesh away. He pressed his hands to his eyes and fought back a scream. In his mind, he could hear the Rider’s maniacal laughter. Johnny took deep, steadying breaths as he tried not to fight it, to let the inevitable happen.
“Come on Johnny, don’t fight it. It’s gonna happen anyway” he muttered, his skin evaporating the rain that pelted him. The pain was reaching it’s peak and he knew he would soon be locked away in his own body again, to watch but not to act.
The Rider burst forth in a haze of flame and laughter, and Johnny Blaze was truly locked away. For now.
A whistle later and the Ghost Rider was speeding away on his hellcycle. Dawn was several hours away, as was Cleveland. He intended to spend every precious second he could. He had been heading to the Hellmouth anyway. It was the perfect place to find stained souls, when the people actually had souls. But now, he had a much better reason. For he knew from Johnny that he could find Willow Rosenburg there. And find her he would, in that he had no choice. It all depended if he would bring her to Mephistopheles.
He revved Grace up and roared down the deserted road, leaving flames and molten concrete in his wake. Time was short, and he needed to get started.
He had a mission, after all.