Buffy has been changed by the spell that empowered all the potentials. Will she learn to live with those changes?Disclaimer:
All characters, concepts and locations from Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy Productions. I do not own Highlander, the characters and locations used from the series are the property of Davis-Panzer Productions.
I have probably used themes/ideas which originated in other fiction/fan fiction, I read too much for this not to happen, no offense/infringement is intended by this (I usually don’t know where my ideas come from but I do know better than to claim they are original). If this refers to you, please accept my apologies and admiration - after all imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
The only things here I can claim as my own is the specific order of words which follows (mostly forming coherent sentences).Spoilers:
While perhaps not entirely necessary, reading Chosen
will help understand the Buffy I am writing about in this story. That story contains details of the timeline of this series in the Buffy universe. Spoilers for Highlander are up to and including series 5.A/N:
Regarding this story being a challenge response - it is the second chapter that was influenced by the challenge, although it obviously fails in the requirement to be a one shot. Woops.Feedback:
Is always appreciated. Well considered theories/criticisms keep the imps well fed (and me unable to sleep until I write down their ideas).Raining Blood & Ashes
Stepping out into the rain, the scent and bustle of a city once more surrounded her, comforting in its anonymity. She felt adrenaline begin to make its way into her veins as her senses took in the faint twinge of vampires chancing it outdoors as the clouds shielded them from the sun’s deadly face.
In a city as old and large as this, with shadow-ridden side streets and a constant influx of unknown tourists, the undead population thrived. Shouldering the leather satchel that contained a few changes of clothes and her small but deadly collection of weaponry, Buffy set off into the City. Somehow managing to move silently through the streets despite the wet leather of her coat that whipped behind her in the wind. She purposefully strode towards the most concentrated area of vampires.
She lowered her tight guard on the slayer power within, sending out a beacon announcing her presence to any non-human in the area. In a city that hadn’t seen a slayer in over a century, there would be many stupid vampires, both young and old afflicted with a fatal level of arrogance. Who believed too strongly in their own dominance to ignore the blatant challenge that she was sending out.
She had met so many vampires in Eastern Europe, as she travelled west across the continent that had believed the slayer to merely be a myth. Tales of the massacre leaving a trail of dust across the east would be dismissed, as ever, as the frightened ramblings of foreigners.
Today they would come to her, drawn by their lust for power, but tomorrow they would cower in their hideaways for fear of their natural predator. Tonight they would be forced to realise they weren‘t at the top of the food chain. Then the hunt would begin. The smile that crossed Buffy’s features as her prey closed in around her had no warmth in it, but the glint in her eyes showed her joyous anticipation of the fight.
~ ~ ~
Dust clung to her clothes, hair, skin. Mixing with the sweat and blood to create the scent that was pure slayer, life and death blended in a beautifully lethal combination. As the light of the dawn broke through the grey clouds in the East, she strode into the centre of the final vampire nest; an abandoned power station in the industrial district with huge ceilings that made the sound of her footsteps on the concrete reverberate through the building.
“Good Morning. This is your dawn wake up call. I hope you have a nice death” Buffy imitated the computerised voice used in countless motels across the USA. Unfortunately none of the European vampires seemed in the mood for jokes.
The few vampires that had managed to sleep through her entrance growled as they were roused by her cheerful greeting echoing through their home. A dozen vampires threw themselves at the slayer. Too groggy in their half awake state to make any replies, they merely wished to rid themselves of the interruption to their sleep.
Buffy ducked and weaved through the punches, allowing their uncoordinated attack to be used against themselves as their punches missed their target and hit one another instead. Three minutes after her entrance to the lair there were only four vampires remaining. Two of them worked together, forcing the slayer back as she fought back. When her back was against a wall the stronger of the two grinned at her.“Not so cocky now are we?”
a growl rumbled in his throat as the smell of fresh blood from her wounds roused his hunger.
Buffy tipped her head aside and seemed extremely amused by her comment, while the two vampires looked down in horror to find stakes in their chests before crumbling to dust at her feet. One of the remaining two vampires had finally gathered his wits, and made a run for the exit, exploding as, without glancing his way, Buffy threw a stake into his chest. She walked to the crumpled figure of the sole remaining vampire, working the kinks out of the shoulder she had dislocated earlier in the evening.
There was a deadened look in the demons eyes that was depressing even on a soulless creature, especially knowing from her encounters with Spike that vampires did have feelings, despite the fact that few took the effort to fight the demon and express them.
In nests of predominantly male vampires, Buffy often encountered one or two female vampires wh had been beaten and used by their counterparts. Some were even chained. Looking at the pitiful creature before her, Buffy made a decision.
“Can you talk?” The vampire looked up at her in confusion until Buffy realised her mistake and repeated in Italian “Can you talk?”
she nodded, looking warily at the girl that had defeated her entire group with ease, and yet seemed to be attempting to strike up a conversation.“I’m going to leave now. I’d tell you to run but I don’t know if you can anymore. Just let the master know I’m expecting him.”
At that the slayer turned on her heel, and strode out into the morning, the sky blood red as the sun finally emerged, marking the end of a night that had meant death to half the vampire population of Rome.
~ ~ ~
Buffy walked through the emerging dawn in the city and was assaulted by the hundreds of memories her surroundings invoked. The traders reluctantly awakening to open up their stores became roman slaves, already awake and about their daily chores.
She could even remember the smell. As she passed a street she had a flash of a demons corpse spread on the unchanged cobbled pavement, slowly disintegrating. The remembered pain of fatal wounds from battles she had fought nearby was added to the twinges from the fading scars of the nights battles, still knitting together after her active night. Knowing that she needed time to get her head together, she snuck into the Coliseum, resting on the stone seats.**The wavering thumb of her ruler descended.
The moss covered stones of the ancient building burned bright and clean for a momentThe crowds cheered as the blade sank into flesh.**
The arena around her aged nearly two thousand years in an instant. Midday sun dimming to early morning haze.**She was in the centre of the arena her shining armour dulled by blood and dust.
The construction hadn’t even been completed, wooden scaffolding remained around the upper tiers.Gates opened on every side, hunger causing the Demons to throw themselves into the fight.**
Sitting on the weathered steps, Buffy centred herself. Deaths were still the hardest memories to suppress, partially because she wanted to see them. To feel that moment of peace and safety when the pain stops as the world fades away.
The sun was high in the sky by the time Buffy had reorganised her thoughts and dragged herself out of the arena to her hotel and bed. Leaving as the first groups of tourists were brought in to be told about the battles fought for the pleasure of the mob. Delighting in the blood and gore, relishing in an assumed superiority over a civilization that enjoyed battles to the death staged for their pleasure even as they revelled in the idea of it. Gazing in horror at reconstructions of the costumes fighters wore to make themselves seem vicious. Demonic even.
~ ~ ~
She savoured the taste of an Italian coffee, unmarred by the effect of globalization on the quality of the beverage in most shops. The thick cream, the strong dark espresso. In this square the only memories that assailed her were of a childhood in the sun. Escaping with her neighbours to run riot in the streets. Slipping out during their siesta while the city slept. She looked back at the sign of the shop announcing ‘The Best Coffee Since 1832’ the plump Italian man edging between the tables, collecting glasses and chatting animatedly with his regulars must be the great grandchild, at least, of her playmate.
Finishing her drink, she looked up at the crowd of vampires who had been attempting to get her attention since sunset, finally ready to play their game. Buffy stood and threw some change on the table before moving to follow them down a side street. Knowing that there were another dozen vampires waiting for her in the gloom of the unlit street. Assessing each opponent, Buffy grinned these might actually be challenging to defeat, all over six decades old, none of the newbies that were usually sent to fight her.
~ ~ ~
Cassandra was walking across the square with some colleagues, when the twinge of an immortal’s presence made her search the crowds with a wary caution. Finally focusing her gaze on a petite blonde striding towards one of the smaller streets leading out of the square, she realised that the Quickening was faint enough for this to be a new immortal. It had been a long time since she had even contemplated taking a student, but the agony in the girls’ aura called to her. Making a decision she quickly changed direction, following the blonde.
Drawing close to the street down which the girl had disappeared, she ignored the cries of surprise from her friends as she heard the unmistakable sounds of fighting. She stopped in shock at the sight of the girl fighting ten fully grown men. The girl was distracted by her sudden presence, the feeling of the Quickening no doubt shocking her. The two women’s eyes locked as the men overwhelmed the girl and Cassandra felt the distinctive pain of a vampires fangs sinking into her throat.