Pleased to meet you,
Hope you guess my name.
But what's puzzling you,
Is the nature of my game.
Sympathy for the Devil; Rolling Stones.
“Only one thing could have altered our perception of reality,” Athena sat on a marble garden bench with Ilithyia, “A very powerful wish spell.”
“I, of course, noticed it straight away,” declared Ilithyia haughtily, “But you were too busy hacking demons into little pieces to take my call.”
Athena pursed her lips; Ilithyia could be a real, overbearing pain sometimes.
“What are you going to do about it?” Ilithyia sipped at the glass of wine that had suddenly appeared in her hand, “Or should I ask whether you are going to do anything at all?”
Athena had agonized long and hard over this question, after a great deal of soul searching she had come to her decision.
“I’m going to leave everything as it is,” She said finally, “It would be too cruel to take the child from Kennedy now…”
“What about the couple whose child the girl really belongs to?” Ilithyia as already stated could be a real pain by bringing up unhelpful truths.
“I’ll make sure they stay happily together,” Sighed Athena, “And I’ll make sure they have more healthy children…”
“They’ll never forget y’know?” Ilithyia stood up and gazed across the garden, “The pain of losing a child will haunt them for the rest of their lives.”
“I know,” agreed Athena sadly, this is what you got for interfering in the lives of humans. “Maybe their grief can be channelled into something good.” Mused the Goddess.
With a shrug Ilithyia vanished leaving Athena to her own thoughts, sometimes she wished she could be like Morrigan and her sisters. Smiling ruefully Athena waved her hand and conjured a vision of the Earth below. There she could see Morrigan and her sister Badb in their disguises as the human teachers who ran the girls school in Seattle. Waving her hand again she watched as Nemain started yet another bar fight in some…well, it couldn’t be ‘God Forsaken’ because there she was; corner of the world!
Athena laughed softly, maybe she would go visit her friends, or maybe she could help out, spend her remaining time trying to prepare people for the struggle to come.
The Slayer School, Cleveland, Ohio.
Buffy stood and watched out of her office window as the young Slayers threw snow balls with unerring accuracy at each other. She really wished her Mom was here, not to tell her what to do; she had plenty of people who were more than willing to do that. No, she really wanted someone to listen to her and give her a big hug and tell her everything was going to be alright.
They had buried Robin Wood last week. Faith had not turned up claiming that she and Xander were too busy. Buffy didn’t know whether it was Faith still holding a grudge or…or maybe they were just too busy. Buffy always made the time, she always went to the funerals, she had to, she was ‘Slayer Prime’, ‘she’ was responsible.
“My god am I responsible.” She muttered as she watched another flurry of snowballs fly between the two groups of laughing girls in the garden.
She wondered how many of those girls would be screaming in pain or fear before the end of the year, how many more funerals would she have to attend. But then she thought of Kennedy and her baby and the Slayer in Washington who’d had her child without incident and she felt a little better. Maybe her Mom was still around and watching over her; and in these little things like babies telling her everything was alright.
There was a knock on the door. Buffy wiped her eyes and turned to face the room.
“Come in.” She called as she sat down behind her desk.
The door opened and Dawn walked nervously into her sister’s office.
“Buffy,” Dawn sat down in the chair in front of Buffy’s desk and wrung her hands together, “I’m pregnant!”
“Oh joy.” Buffy breathed quietly, this was fate’s way of kicking her when she was down, Dawn burst into tears.
Buffy got up and hurried to comfort her little sister, oh how she wished her Mom was here.
YSWA, Seattle, Washington State.
“Girls on patrol?” Kennedy walked into the family room after putting Anna down for the night.
Willow looked up from the pile of documents she was studying and smiled nervously at her partner; Kennedy saw the look on Willow face and immediately became concerned.
“What’s up?” She sat down and picked up a sheet of typewritten paper grown yellow with age. “What’s this?”
“Um honey,” Willow really didn’t know where to start, she had engineered things so that she could have this discussion with Kennedy without being interrupted. “We really need to talk.”
Willow had spent the last several days going through the documents and computer discs that Mike DeSilver had given her to show to Kennedy. She didn’t like what she had found out, and it had taken a great deal of willpower for her not to just bury everything she had discovered.
“This sounds bad.” Kennedy now looked very worried she hated it when Willow sounded like this, it all sounded very ‘end of the worldy’.
“It’s not all bad,” Willow tried to sound convincing, “For a start,” She handed Kennedy a letter from an east coast bank, “You’re a very wealthy woman now.”
“I am?” Kennedy’s eyebrows shot up in surprise, “I know Dad had some money tucked away for me…” She took the letter from Willow’s hand and read it through quickly, “But…OH MY GODDESS!” She screamed. “How much?”
“Yeah and that’s a conservative estimate.” Willow didn’t share her partner’s joy, “Kennedy, do you know where your dad got his money?”
“Not really,” Kennedy admitted, her eyes becoming glazed over as she thought of what she could do with all that cash, and property, and airplanes and…and… “He was in some sort of Import and Export business; he didn’t talk to me about it much.”
“No he wouldn’t have.” Willow really didn’t want to say the next words she was going to have to say. “So if I said to you that your Dad was a Mafia Godfather it would come as a complete shock to you?” Willow watched Kennedy closely for her reaction, “Kennedy?” Willow took one of Kennedy’s hands in her own and started to rub it, “Ken sweetie, talk to me…please baby!”
The Oval Office, The White House, Washington DC.
President Templeton liked these moments when he had the Oval Office to himself, he reached out and stroked the desk in front of him and gloried in what it meant to be President. His musing was interrupted when a man in a smart business suit stepped out of the shadows cast by a bookcase.
“Mr President.” The man’s voice carried an air of quiet amusement.
“Who are you?” demanded Templeton. “How did you get in here?” He reached for the button that would summon the Secret Service guards.
“Don’t do that Mr President,” The man lifted his hand and Templeton froze in place, “It’s time for you to start to pay us back for getting you elected and curing your wife.” The man smiled down at Templeton and started to explain what he wanted the President to do.
As Templeton listened with growing horror to the plans this man and his masters had for him and the country, he felt his soul flee in terror as he realised what he had done.
Lord Hasseldorf’s Domain.
Hasseldorf’s throne chamber was full of Guard Demons and Lesser and Greater Demons, all there to be rewarded or punished at his whim, he looked down at the soul of the human church leader who had sold his soul to him years ago. Now he had died the bargain had to be completed. The human was explaining all he had done in his Lords name while he had been alive.
“…I spread ignorance and hate wherever I went my Lord,” There was a hint of panic and fear in the man’s voice; and so there should be thought Hasseldorf. “I took money from the poor to pay for my own lifestyle, I seduced young girls to use them for my own perverted pleasures and…and prevented medical advances that would have saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives. I split communities into warring factions…all this I did for you!” The human smiled smugly, having lost a little of his fear, up at his Lord and Master.
“Enough!” Hasseldorf waved his arm stopping the human in mid grovel, for a moment Hasseldorf considered what he should do. “Fifty years in a medium furnace should wipe that smug smile off your face…”
“But my Lord,” The human soul fell to his knees, “I served only you!”
“No, you served only yourself,” Hasseldorf turned to Squiftic who stood at his side taking notes, “Make that a hundred years!”
“NOOOOOO!” Screamed the soul as the Guards dragged it away.
“Next?” Asked Hasseldorf calmly.
“The Demon Rhode, my Lord.” Replied Squiftic quietly.
“AH! Rhode,” Hasseldorf beamed down at his loyal servant; the demon in question advanced on the throne and bowed low, “Stand-up, stand-up!” Chortled Hasseldorf, “I read your report, most amusing.”
“Thank-you my Lord, I only wish I could have killed more of the human brats.” Rhode glanced over his shoulder to cast an accusing glare at D’Hoffryn who stood a few steps behind him.
“No, Rhode, you must not blame yourself,” Hasseldorf placated, “In a way it was my fault, I added a backup plan and didn’t inform you.”
“As you wish, my Lord.” Rhode bowed to his Master again.
“But you killed the Slayers son, for that you have my thanks.” Hasseldorf smiled down at his servant well pleased with what he had done, “And I grant you ten-thousand-souls for your personal amusement.”
“Thank-you my Lord, you are too kind.” Rhode bowed again.
“Yes I am aren’t I? It’s a weakness of mine.” Every demon in the chamber nodded their heads when they realised that this hadn’t been a rhetorical question, “But I have more work for you, Rhode.”
“I live to serve my Lord.” Rhode replied smoothly.
“Your new job will be finding ways of eroding humanity’s belief in the effectiveness of modern medicine.” Hasseldorf explained. “I want them believing in the power of prayer to heal within a hundred years, do you understand?”
“Yes my Lord.” An evil grin spread across Rhode’s face as he thought about all the fun he would have; the task would not be too difficult, he had found some humans would believe anything.
“D’Hoffryn step forward.” Hasseldorf’s voice boomed out as Rhode retook his place amongst the Demon Lord’s followers.
D’Hoffryn walked calmly out to face Hasseldorf; he didn’t fear the Demon Lord. Not only was D’Hoffryn a powerful Demon in his own right, he had powerful protectors who would not be happy if any harm was to come to him, and anyway he had nothing to fear. He had completed his contract to the letter.
“Explain yourself.” Hasseldorf glowered down at the Greater Demon.
“I don’t know what I need to explain,” D’Hoffryn calmly held up his hand to forestall any interruption from Hasseldorf, “My agent simply saw an opportunity to increase the emotional pain of the Slayer in question.
“By wiping the torment of the death of her brat from her mind, and giving her a new brat to care for?” Hasseldorf shook his head in wonder, “This must be a new meaning of the word ‘torment’ I was unfamiliar with.”
D’Hoffryn smiled indulgently; sometimes Demon Lords could be so unsubtle.
“My Lord, Let me explain.”
“I wish you would.” Hasseldorf shifted on his throne there was nothing he could really do to punish D’Hoffryn, but he would have to save face somehow, maybe the vengeance demon in chief would open the door to his own furnace given the opportunity, “Carry on.”
“The pain caused to the Slayer and her family by the death of her son was real, and I hope enjoyed by your Lordship.” D’Hoffryn glanced up at Hasseldorf who nodded his head in agreement. “Then there was the added pain and sorrow of the humans when Shishah swapped the dead child for the living child. That’s two loads of grief out of one brat’s death. I think even you, My Lord, would agree that is quite clever?”
Hasseldorf had to agree that it was ‘quite clever’.
“But what about the Slayer and her new child?” Hasseldorf leant forward on his throne, “She doesn’t remember the first child or its death.”
“But my Lord,” D’Hoffryn smiled at his own cleverness, “The new child is a girl.” D’Hoffryn just got blank looks from Hasseldorf and his court, the vengeance demon tutted and explained further. “The Slayer’s child is a girl who will grow up to be a Slayer herself!”
“And this is good because…?”
D’Hoffryn rolled his eyes in frustration, just how stupid was this Hasseldorf fellow anyway.
“Imagine, if you will,” Explained D’Hoffryn, “The pain of the Slayer when she realises that her own daughter has been chosen to fight you! Imagine the fear she will experience every time her daughter goes out on patrol. Imagine the fun you can have tormenting her for the next sixty or seventy years.”
Silence fell as all eyes turned to Hasseldorf. The Demon Lord sat in thought for a minute or two as ideas went through his mind, and then he began to laugh.
“MAW-HA-HA!” The chamber trembled to the sound of the Demon Lords laughter, “Oh well done D’Hoffryn! HA-HA-HA! You are to be congratulated.” Hasseldorf wiped tears of mirth from his eyes before becoming suddenly serious again, “Next time tell be what you’re planning, understand?”
“Of course my Lord.” D’Hoffryn smiled a secret smile and walked from the chamber, he must remember to grant one of Hasseldorf’s wishes one day, now that really made him smile.
Willow watched her partner carefully as Kennedy held the glass of vodka in a death grip. Willow had rationalised that the therapeutic effect of a slug of vodka far outweighed the minimal harm the alcohol might do Anna. It wasn’t as if Kennedy made a habit of drinking, and the news she had just received would have driven even the most fanatical tea-totaler to hit the bottle.
“You alright sweetie?” Willow watched Kennedy’s reactions very carefully.
“Huh?” Kennedy looked at Willow without really seeing her; she tried to form some coherent words but failed.
“Look sweetie, have another drink.” Willow poured more vodka into Kennedy’s glass.
“So,” After about a third of a bottle of vodka Kennedy had regained some of her equilibrium. “My father, who I loved more than anyone in the world before I met you.” She glanced at Willow. “Was actually a murdering mafia boss?”
“’Fraid so sweetie,” Willow nodded her head. “But he did seem to try and keep that side of his life hidden from you.”
“Very successfully,” Kennedy sipped at her vodka, “I had no idea!” Kennedy looked at her feet then started to raise the glass to her lips but then had second thoughts, she put the glass down, “And all the money?”
“Drugs, prostitution, illegal gambling usual mafia type things.” Willow confirmed sadly.
“And then if that’s not enough.” Kennedy picked up a handful of printouts and documents and scattered them across the coffee table burying her glass under a shower of paper. “I find that who I am is a lie.”
“Uh-huh.” agreed Willow weakly.
“Let me see if I’ve got this right,” Kennedy’s voice was starting to get sharp and brittle like it did when she got really angry at a Vamp or Demon. “President Kennedy had an affair with Marilyn Monroe. She has a kid…”
“Norma Jean.” Prompted Willow.
“Who is my mother!” Kennedy looked around for the vodka again, “No, I’ve got to face up to this…” Kennedy rested her head in her hands, “Then when ‘Grandma’” There was that brittle laugh again. “Threatened to expose the President he had the Mafia kill her and his brother Bobby cover it up!”
“Look honey,” Pleaded Willow, “We can do this another time eh?”
“No, if I don’t get it right in my head I’ll…I’ll…” Kennedy didn’t know what she’d do but she was sure it would be violent.
“Okay.” Willow seemed to shrink under her girlfriends gaze.
“But the mafia family adopted my mother and raised her as part of ‘the family’.” Kennedy picked up a piece of paper looked at it then threw it on the floor, “Then when she grew up she married my father and they had me.”
Willow opened her mouth to say something but closed it again, it was probably best to let Kennedy get this out of her system.
“Then when the FBI starts to reinvestigate Marilyn’s death my mother has to disappear,” Kennedy shook her head in disbelief, “So instead of going to South America like any sensible super crook’s wife. My father arranges for my mother to die and come back as my step-mother!”
“I’m sure he did it for the best.” This comment earned Willow a full strength Slayer glare.
Silence fell across the room as Willow plucked up the courage to speak again.
“I can make all this go away, honey,” Willow gestured to the papers on the table, “One little spell and it’ll be like it never happened.”
“No way Will!” Kennedy looked up and grinned at Willow, “Thanks, but no thanks. Just think of what we can do with all the money!”
“But…” Willow started to object; talk about mood swings!
“Look,” Kennedy leant across the table and rummaged through the paperwork, “We can put some aside to support us, then give the rest to the Council…and look,” She held up another document, “Some of these properties are in places we could really use for Slayer Houses without paying the rents we do now…and…and” Kennedy picked up another document, “Daddy was giving donations to the old Council for years…”
“But sweetie…” Willow tried again.
“Look Will it’ll be like that thing the government tried; use drug money to counter the effects of drug crime. If the Feds can do it why can’t we?”
“But what about your father’s business associates?” Willow tried to put Kennedy off the whole idea.
“Hah!” Kennedy laughed as she settled back on the sofa, “In any power struggle between us, as in the Council, and the Mafia, who’d you think’s gonna win?”
“Weeell…” Willow’s resolve was starting to crack, listening to Kennedy talk, it did seem like a good idea.
“Look Willow,” Kennedy’s voice was softer now and her body language more relaxed, “I’m fed-up of scraping by on our trust funds and what the Council can pay us. When was the last time either of us could go out and buy something nice, just for ourselves, without counting the pennies?”
“Well it would make things easier,” Agreed Willow reluctantly, “And what with Anna, she’ll need stuff and I’d like to send Tara to kindergarten and…” Willow thought of all the things they could achieve with just a fraction of the money Mike DeSilver had left his daughter, would it be so terrible?
“Look sweetheart,” Kennedy got up and went to sit next to Willow; she put her arm around her shoulder and started to nuzzle Willow’s neck. “I’m in the mood for some ‘Happy Ever After-ing’, I think we both are.”
Willow melted before Kennedy’s onslaught, she giggled girlishly as Kennedy worked her tongue and lips up and down her neck.
“Yeah!” agreed Willow, “I don’t see why we shouldn’t.” Willow turned to face Kennedy and lost herself in her girlfriend’s eyes for a moment “Maybe we should finish this upstairs?”
The couple got up and headed for the door, Willow stopped to switch off the lights. As she turned off the lights she was sure that, just for a moment, she could hear diabolical laughter faintly in the distance. Stopping to listen she heard nothing more before taking hold of Kennedy’s hand and followed her upstairs.
“…HA-HA-HA!” Laughed Hasseldorf, “That’s a good one Squiftic.” Hasseldorf lay back in his bath of warm blood and smiled, things had been going very well just lately. “Pass me a towel would you?” Hasseldorf got up and let the blood run off his skin as Squiftic handed him a huge fluffy white towel.
The demon stepped out to the bath while he towelled himself dry with the now blood wet towel. He noticed the pensive look on his Chancellors face.
“What’s wrong?” The Demon Lord threw the dark red blood soaked towel into the corner of the bath chamber.
“Forgive me My Lord if I misunderstood,” Squiftic sounded uneasy and this unsettled Hasseldorf, “But we have won…haven’t we?”
Hasseldorf laid his great clawed hand gently on the shoulder of the smaller Demon.
“No.” Hasseldorf said sadly, “If we had won I’d be doing more that taking a bath in calibration!” The great demon laughed as he led his Chancellor back to the throne chamber where he retook his seat.
“But My Lord, the Son of the Slayer?” The Chancellor asked still confused.
“Just brings final victory that little bit closer,” Explained Hasseldorf, “We still have to wait for the last Chosen One to die…and that’ll be in what sixty or so years time. I’m in no rush.”
Squiftic still looked bewildered, he couldn’t understand why his Master wasn’t pulling the legs off virgins right now!
“Buffy Summers must die,” Announced Hasseldorf, “She is the last Chosen ‘One’, the last Slayer to be chosen when there was only ‘one girl in all the world’. Then we have to wait one hundred years.”
“But why My Lord? Why not kill the Summers’ whore now?” Squiftic wanted to know.
“Prophesy? Oh I don’t know.” Hasseldorf shrugged his great shoulders, “You can’t take over a world containing six billion humans just like that!” He snapped his fingers, “They need to be prepared so that when it happens they’ll think it’s something good, something they have brought about themselves.”
“I see,” Mused Squiftic, as usual his Master was right, he smiled, “So this is not the end?”
“No, no,” Hasseldorf sat back on his throne, “This is not the end; it is not even the beginning of the end.” Hasseldorf stretched out his hand and picked up the latest copy of the Financial Times, he looked down at Squiftic and smiled, “But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” The demon opened his newspaper and started to laugh, “MAW-HA-HA-MAW-HA-HA!”
As I have mentioned before I often think of these stories as some sort of incredibly popular, award winning spin-off TV series. So with that in mind…cue music.
As the credits start to roll for the last time instead of the normal title music we hear the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy For the Devil’.
At the end of the credits the familiar cut-out demon makes his way across the screen only to stop half way and turn towards the audience. As he turns towards the viewer he starts to laugh diabolically: “MAW-HA-HA!” Over and over again.
Fade to black.
A BRIEF FAMILY HISTORY FOR KENNEDY DeSILVER.
1954: JFK meets and shags young actress Marilyn Monroe.
1955: Marilyn gives birth to a daughter, Norma Jean. She agrees to keep Norma Jean a secret. JFK agrees to support the child financially.
Note; Marilyn only made one film in 1955, up until then she had been making at least two a year.
1962: For no adequately explained reason Marilyn threatens to expose JKF to the American public. JFK contacts his Mafia connections and arranges to have Marilyn killed, his brother has the FBI cover up the entire affair. Norma Jean is adopted by a branch of the Soprano family for reasons of their own. As she grows older Norma Jean Soprano forgets or represses the memories of her early life.
1982: Norma Jean Soprano marries Michael DeSilver.
1984: Kennedy DeSilver is born.
1985: Certain sections of the FBI, among them a young agent by the name of Fox Mulder, try to reinvestigate Marilyn Monroe’s life and death. The Soprano and DeSilver families move to head off the investigation.
1986: Mrs Norma Jean DeSilver ‘dies’ in an unfortunate boating accident.
1987: Michael DeSilver marries Kate Bishop an English woman who bears a striking resemblance to Norma Jean.
1988: Kate DeSilver gives birth to Madison DeSilver, Kennedy’s ‘half’ sister.
1996: Kennedy DeSilver sent to school in England.
2003: Kennedy DeSilver is brought to Sunnydale by Rupert Giles. Kennedy starts her relationship with Willow Rosenberg.
This is in fact the very last scheduled story in the ‘Seattle Slayers’ series. There will be a ‘Summer Special’ when I can get ‘round to finishing it, that will tidy up any loose ends.
Willow and Kennedy will appear in a revamped ‘Willow and Kennedy Series’ that will cover their lives from 2003 to whenever it was they moved to Seattle. This will involve some rewriting of existing stories and a lot of new stuff. Plus there’s always the Alternate Reality Will and Ken stories, so the girls won’t be going away completely.
Lastly I’d like to thank everyone who has read and reviewed these stories over the last year or so; Thank-you, thank-you very much.
All the best,