Title: Deal With the Devil
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things pertaining to the crossover part of this story (a surprise) belong to those specific copyright holders.
Author's Notes: TNL Scenario #9. http://qfic.moonlitpaths.com
The girls raced through the darkened streets, wishing for all the world that they not only knew where they were going, but knew that it, in turn would be safe. The warmth and safety they had felt that morning, lounging around Giles' London home, was long forgotten now, in the dead of the night.
Buffy pulled Willow into the shadows of a building, into a small alleyway. It was difficult to hear anything over the raging pants of their breathing, but still they tried. He was out there. Somewhere.
"We should go back to Giles!" Willow whispered, her eyes darting frantically around the darkness.
Buffy nodded. They needed to get back to Giles, back to the supposed safety that his home represented. He would know how to help them. He had to.
They slipped silently from between the buildings, slowly creeping as much in shadow, away from the streetlights, as was possible. Buffy could feel a stitch in her side, painful and sharp, from the running that had been done. God only knew how Willow felt. It wasn't like the witch was used to this much physical exertion in such a short length of time.
They rounded a corner, Buffy glancing ahead to be sure there was no one else on the streets. If they could just make it to Giles' house everything would be okay. Or, at least, better. Giles had to know who this person was that was after them and why --
"Well, well - what do we have here?"
Buffy stilled, her hand grasping Willow's in silent communication. Be ready to run when I do.
"If it isn't Mister Dark and Dreary himself," Buffy sneered, turning to face their confronter. "Leave us alone."
He smiled, though it was more of a smirk than anything; an expression tinged with the underlying evil that seemed to swarm around this man. Handsome didn't even begin to cover his startling beautiful good looks. But they were the same type of looks that she had thought attractive on Angelus, too; and he was a cold-blooded killer. The same could be said of this man, dressed smoky gray suit, with just the hint of a ruffled white collar peeking out from beneath the jacket. He looked like a man from another time. A time of gentlemen.
But he was no gentleman.
The blood on the front of that suit attested to that.
Sparkling eyes danced from her to Willow and then back again to her, his lips twitching as he pursed his lips in thought.
"I don't think I will be doing that. No."
"Fine, then." Buffy growled. She heard a gasp of pain from Willow as she tugged at the other girl, pulling her along at breakneck pace. Run from the devil, her brain screamed. Run from the devil. Find someplace to hide. You can't stop him.
She had already tried.
A sword to the stomach. Punching. Kicking. All out fighting. None of it seemed to phase him in the slightest. He was up and on his feet again before she could think of the next way to try to hurt him. So, finally, they had given up and just started with the running.
And running was what they were still doing, with him never more than a few minutes behind. He didn't even seem like he was getting winded, running so hard and for so long. They were the ones getting tired, not he. Slayer strength and stamina or not, she didn't know how much farther or longer she could run, not with Willow stumbling along, nearly at the point of falling down exhaustion.
Buffy's keen eyes searched the darkness for anywhere they would stand a chance of hiding in. If they could just hide long enough to throw him off, she reasoned, they'd stand a better chance of getting back to Giles' house. Everything would be better if they could just find their way back there - that was her mantra now and, true or not, she was sticking to it.
It was all she had left.
"Here." She whispered, tugging Willow into a doorway. She twisted the doorknob, hearing the old metal give way beneath her strength. It opened with a 'pop', the sound echoing in the streets.
"Get in and hide." She told the red head.
"What?" Willow whispered back, frantic green eyes. "Buff, its me and you together in this. Don't do anything --"
"I'm not going to do anything stupid." The blonde argued. "At least, I don't plan to. I'm going to lead him away from here. In twenty minutes, if I'm not back, get back to Giles' house without me. I'll meet you there."
Willow glanced up and down the street, weighing her friends' words carefully. Finally she nodded, throwing her arms around Buffy's neck.
The Slayer nodded, unable to speak. Sure, this could be suicide. But running wasn't getting them anywhere. He had found them every time they stopped. Maybe she would have a chance of leading him away from Willow. The red head disappeared into the building, the door shutting quietly behind her. Buffy heard a whisper and then a wave of power ran over her. If he did find Willow it would be only with some effort that he actually got into that building - through that door at least.
She turned, wandering off down one street, trusting that he would find her. She wanted him to, wanted him to take up the trail that led in the opposite direction of Willow. Slowly she crept through the silent streets, hoping that it at least appeared like she was trying to be stealthy, when in fact she was doing far from that.
It only took a few minutes for her to be rewarded.
"Divide and conquer? How quaint."
Buffy turned, putting her best glare forward. "I'm not afraid of you."
He smiled. "I never said you were, my dear."
That gave her a mental stumble, and she hurried to get back on track. "Are you going to stand there all night or are we going to play this game some more?"
One perfectly sculpted eyebrow lifted ever so slowly until she felt heat creep across her face. The handsome baddie was mocking her. Silently. Without the total verbal sparring she was personally so adept at, in her own opinion.
"What makes you think I'm going to come after you. . .when the reason I was chasing you is no longer even with you?"
It took all her willpower not to glance in the direction of the building she had left Willow hiding in. This changed things completely. He wasn't after her, or even both of them. He only wanted Willow.
"Why?" She hissed, furious. "What has she done to you?"
He took a step forward, reaching out a hand as if to touch her cheek. That same lazy smile on his lips. "To me? Nothing. To the people I work for? Also nothing. It's what she can do, you see."
Buffy took a step back, eyeing him warily. "You want her. . because. . ."
"She's powerful. Someone that powerful will be an. . .asset." The smile widened as she stepped back again, and again. She felt hunted now, stalked. His eyes were following her with something that she didn't want to put a name to, something primal and terrifying.
"Who -are- you?" She whispered, back now to a literal wall.
He paused, tilting his head to the side, lips pressed together in amusement. "I've been rude, have I? Not bothering to introduce myself?" He bowed low, eyes never leaving hers. "Dorian Grey. And yourself? I know who the delectable red head was, of course."
Buffy swallowed, wishing with all her heart that he -didn't- know who that 'delectable' red head was. That would save all of them alot of trouble.
"Buffy. The Slayer, if you've heard of me."
"The Slayer?" His eyes widened, grin spreading uncontrollably. "My. . .my. . .no wonder you have such. . .endurance."
She flushed, inching sideways along the wall, praying to reach the corner before he noticed what she was trying to do. Getting away would mean she could get to Willow and they could run, together, again. The red head would be safer if she was really the target of all of this, if she had someone to help her watch her back.
"Tell me, -Buffy-," he purred her name, a husky whisper that sent chills along her arms. What was it about the bad guys always being so handsome? "What would you do to keep the little witch safe?"
She paused, her sideways movement stilled for the moment. "I -- What do you mean?"
He stepped closer, blocking off her route of escape, and she cursed herself for allowing it. A sharp inhalation of breath brought with it a whiff of cologne that seemed just as pretty and old-fashioned as he, himself, was.
"You know what I mean, don't you?" He whispered, lips touching her ear. "I want to see just how far your. . .endurance. . goes."
She flinched, closing her eyes. He was doing things. . .just with his voice. . that made her -want- the deal he was proferring, even if it was immoral and wrong.
"And Willow?" She finally managed, silently threatening her body with a five hour marathon work out if she lived through the night, just for betraying her in this way.
"I will forget that I ever saw her here." He shrugged. "Someone else may be sent. Or not. I cannot control that. But you will never see me again." He laughed softly, running a hand down her shoulder, over her arm. "Unless you want to, of course."
Buffy bit her lip, forcing her eyes away from the handsome face that would haunt her in so many ways no matter what she chose at that moment. It was a deal with the devil, for sure. But what other choice was there?
Out of the corner of her eye she could see him still smiling that little, arrogant smile. It made her want to slap him. Or kiss him. Or both. His goattee was neatly trimmed. She could almost imagine the tickle of it on her skin.
"Fine." She snapped, sighing as the word left her mouth. "You win. You get me for tonight. . . and Willow is safe."
"From me." He added, warningly. "Others may come."
"I'll deal with them when it happens."
"As you like," he shrugged, offering her his hand. "Let's retire to someplace more. . comfortable."
She took the hand, sealing her fate.
At least Willow would be safe for tonight.
In the warmth of the morning she stole from his hotel room, their night burned into her mind for all of time, just as his handsome face was, caught in the silent grip of sleep. She would never see him again, despite the offers he had made during hour upon hour of. . .
She stopped, shaking herself. Time to move on. Get over it.
Giles house was a brisk five minute walk, but she ran it in less than two, letting herself in. The others were up already, in the living room; she doubted they'd slept at all.
"Buffy!" Willow cried, racing to embrace her. The Slayer winced, her body aching and sore from the night before. "I'm so glad you're okay. Giles recognized that guy. . .his name's. . ."
"Dorian Grey." Buffy offered quietly, pulling back to give the red head a tiny smile. "Don't worry. He won't be coming for you again."
"He. . .won't? For me?" Willow frowned. "He was after me?"
"Yeah. But - no worries. It's taken care of."
"How?" This from Giles, leaning against the doorframe to the front foyer, arms crossed and face speculative. "Dorian is not one for giving up until he has what he wants."
Buffy laughed sadly. "It's worked out Giles."
She turned, heading for the stairs. Shower and then sleep. Dreams would come, as they always did. And this time they would be full of -him-.
Giles was right about Dorian, though. He didn't give up until he got what he wanted.
Lucky for everyone, she had something he wanted just as much as Willow.