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All The World's A Stage

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Summary: Willow closes the Hellmouth, and it goes downhill from there . . .

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Willow-Centered > Pairing: RichardEenaAngelFR1837,6272226,9636 Jan 0326 Sep 03No

All The World's A Stage

Title: All The World's A Stage
Author: eena_angel2001
Email: igrewal@sfu.ca or eena_angel@hotmail.com
Rating: R
Category: BTVS/Anita Blake
Pairing: Willow/Richard, Faith/?, Spike/?
Disclaimer: Don't own any of them.
Spoilers: Season Six for BTVS, NIC for AB.
Summary: Willow closes the Hellmouth, and then it goes downhill from
there . . .

Prologue

It knew.
It knew what was coming. It felt it inside of itself. It knew that
this was going to be the end. It knew that it was over.
It knew it was all my fault.
I never felt so alive in my entire life. There were no words to
describe the feelings inside of myself. You see, I knew all things
that it did. I knew all its secrets. And there was a scent of fear
in the air surrounding us. And it was not coming from me.
I let a smile come to my face, but never once stopping in my
chanting. I could feel the terror of it coursing through the air. I
could feel its fear, its terror, its anger. I don't think it like me
all that much.
Well, the feeling was pretty damn mutual.
I looked up at it, gazing at the monster that flailed above me. It
lashed out with tentacles, heads, teeth, and many other appendages.
But it could not touch. It knew it could not touch me. My power
kept it at bay, while at my back Faith and Spike kept the other
demons at bay. Why were Spike and Faith there, you might ask?
Because I wanted them to be the ones inside with me. The others were
outside, fighting to keep the demon population of Sunnydale out of
the school. I had only let Spike and Faith come inside with me. It
had hurt Xander, Buffy as well, but they knew they had to respect my
decision. After all, this was my show.
Why Spike and Faith? Well, to be it mildly, they were the only two
even remotely like me. They were the only two of either the Scooby
Gang or the AI team that I could trust. Because quite simply, they
didn't have anything left to lose. Just like me.
I couldn't take the others in here with me. Buffy had to live, for
the world and mostly for Dawn. She needed to be here with her
younger sister, to help her grow up. Xander couldn't be in here as
well, he had reconciled with Anya. They were kind of inching to the
altar once more, especially now. Neither of them knew it, but I
did. That's why I insisted Anya stay safely with Giles at the magic
shop as my anchor. Because you see, in all the confusion and haste,
even Anya hadn't figured it out yet. The girl was three weeks late,
and I knew the reason why.
So Xander couldn't come inside. Giles had to be the anchor, in a
place far from me. Angel I wouldn't let inside for similar reasons.
He had Connor and Cordelia to think about. He had them to live for.
Gunn and Fred only lived for one another, so they were out as well.
All those people outside had too much to live for. Me, on the other
hand, had nothing left.
Spike was like that too. His soul had ended his zest for anything.
Too guilty, to full of self-loathing to want to live anymore. He was
running on autopilot. Give the boy a task and he finished it
mindlessly. And that's what he was doing now.
Faith, she had stopped living years ago. Now, this was just the way
for her to go out with a bang. Cause, you see, there was something I
hadn't actually told the others about this spell. The people closest
to it when it happened would most assuredly die.
I thought it would be best to keep that to myself.
It didn't really matter in the end. I stopped living the moment the
bullet hit my darling Tara. And I haven't really mustered any energy
for anything since. Until now, until this.
I was going to close the Hellmouth, once and for all. Pretty good
redemption huh?
Snarling brought me back the present. Faith and Spike had joined me
in the spell circle. Spike stood in front, hacking at any piece of
the demon that came near me. Faith stood at my back, killing any
vampire or other demon that tried to come at me from behind. I knew
the others were doing good out there, they were keeping most of them
at bay. But when the Hellmouth calls, all the baddies come a
knocking.
It wouldn't make a difference anyway. I was done. Finished, the
last words of the chant left my lips and it knew. The Hellmouth knew
I had defeated it. And it was all over.
Except it didn't end. The demon was wailing as it was pulled back
into the hole in the ground. I watched it disappear with my own
eyes, seeing the magic seal beginning to close the Hellmouth
forever. But something else happened, something that wasn't suppose
to happen.
A white light filled the room. Spike and Faith stopped in their
fighting, turning to me with hopeful eyes. They had known they would
die in here today, both looking forward to it in some way. I
understood, I felt the same way, but something wasn't right. We were
supposed to go with the Hellmouth. We would be the last things
inside before it would seal up forever.
But it was sealing already, without us being dragged inside as well.
And the white light filling the room just got brighter. I couldn't
figure it out, not completely anyway. Something had interfered with
the spell. We weren't going to die in the Hellmouth.
But we weren't going to be in Sunnydale any longer either. I
frowned, covering my eyes as the light got too bright to handle. And
then the heat started up, all around me. I bit my lip, tasting my
own blood as I tried to keep from crying out. I felt arms go around
me, knowing that Spike and Faith had gathered me up in some futile
attempt to save me from whatever was coming. But that wouldn't do
them any good. They couldn't stop this from happening. The light
wasn't here for just me. It had come for all of us. This I
understood in a flash.
And then I felt a cooling wind on my face as the floor beneath me
disappeared. And I thought no more.
*****
Part One

He was confused, to say the least. This was all very puzzling. And
he really didn't know what to do about it. In fact, he was lost.
Richard sighed, running a hand through his brown locks as he stared
down at the arrivals. He shot a glance over at Anita, his ex-lupa,
noting the anxiety of her features. The brunette had her precious
Browning out, levelled at the three sleeping figures on the floor.
"Must you have that out," he asked with a bit of exasperation in his
voice. Anita shot him a glare, a tight smile coming to her lips.
"I must have it out," the Executioner retorted. "Because you see
Richard, they fell out of the sky. I'm not used to people falling
out of the sky and landing on my back porch. It's just not normal
for me. And considering the kind of stuff I deal with on a daily
basis, surely you can see the gravity of the situation."
"They're not humans," Micah jumped in. "They don't smell human at
all. That one's a vampire, and as for the other two . . . well I
don't know what they are, but I know what they aren't. And they are
not human."
Richard turned, frowning at the Nimir-Raj. He didn't particularly
like Micah, petty jealousy on his part considering he's the one who
broke up with Anita, but he had to agree with the were-leopard.
These three weren't human. Probably a good reason for Anita to have
her gun out, but then again, they weren't conscious either.
"Vampire?" he repeated, frowning thoughtfully at he looked at the
blonde fellow. "But they dropped into the yard at noon, right? So
why didn't he burn up?"
"Oh, he did," Anita answered with a nervous laugh. "He came out kind
of smoking. The girls woke up for about two seconds to roll him into
the shade and climb on top of him before passing out. But he did
burn a bit. And get this, he just healed after we got him indoors."
"Like in an hour or so?"
"Like in under ten minutes," Anita corrected, bringing her gun back
up. "And that's when I put the silver in."
"Ten minutes?" Richard shook his head, looking down at the three at
his feet. A tingling of fear began creeping into his stomach as he
looked at them. They appeared harmless for the most part, almost
innocent if you could ignore the foreign scents coming off of them.
Richard couldn't ignore it.
He knelt before the group, ignoring Anita's squeak of protest. He
peered closely at the sleeping faces of the three, not really knowing
what to think. There were two girls and one man. The man was
definitely a vampire. He had stark white skin, almost translucent.
He had sharp features, which just reinforced the image of a vampire.
His hair was blonde, though obviously dyed, Richard could smell the
scent of the peroxide. It was in a tangle of small curls on his
head, originally brown from what he could see of the roots. He wore
a black leather jacket over a red silk shirt and black jeans, combat
boots on his feet.
The girls were alive, but not entirely human, though they could fool
a young shifter with their scent. Richard assumed they were part
human, but not overly human. There was a brunette and a redhead,
both small in size and stature. The brunette had a slightly dark
colouring, looking Slavic in nature. She was very pretty, eyes
worrying in her sleep. She looked young, too young to look so
haunted while she slept. But there was something else about her,
something that made his beast almost recoil in fear. As it was her
mere presence made the wolf in him nervous, like he wasn't sure if
she was a threat or not. He inched away from her. Better to be safe
than sorry.
The redhead, now she commanded more of his attention, and more of his
fear. She had power, and he meant POWER. But he couldn't quite
place what it was. On one hand, it reminded him of Anita, leading
him to think she might be a necromancer. On the other hand, the was
some other sense overflowing his senses at the sight of her. Magic,
like a witch had. But Richard had never encountered a witch with
such power before in his life. Her redhead hair fell around her
head, contrasting sharply with the paleness of her alabaster like
skin. She was tiny, as small as Anita almost. She might have an
inch or two over the Executioner, but not much more than that.
Both girls were dressed head to toe in black leather. And all three
of them smelled like they had been in a fight. Richard caught hints
of sweat, dirt, and blood intermingling all over them.
So, they knew they weren't human, they knew they had been in a fight,
and they knew they had fallen out of the sky. But all of that
amounted to not knowing a hell of a lot. Richard rose back to his
feet, inching back towards the others. Anita still had her gun up,
trained shakily on them. Micah stood beside her, seemingly relaxed,
but muscles tensed for a fight. The were-leopards were scattered to
the outer reaches of the room. His own wolves, bodyguards plus
Sylvie, were right behind him.
Richard stared down at the three of them, chest heaving with the
force of his breathing. They weren't right, they didn't belong.
Those were the only two things clear to Richard at the moment. These
people were not supposed to be here.
But that raised the question: Where were they supposed to be?
"I say we wait for Jean-Claude," Anita suggested from his side. "He
might have an answer for this."
"They don't belong here Anita," Richard murmured to her. "I know you
feel it too. They don't belong here, so I doubt Jean-Claude will
have anything more useful to add."
"Yeah, but with him here we would have the triumvariate," she
shrugged. "And maybe with our combined power we could hope to be a
match for that redhead."
Richard could hear the fear in her voice, tense with agitation. He
looked back down at the redhead, feeling her power once more.
"We should wait for Jean-Claude," he surmised. Anita nodded,
starting to back out of the room.
"We should wait for him in the other room," Anita added. The rest
agreed, all heading slowly to the door. Richard backed out slowly,
eyes trained on the three lying on Anita's bedroom floor. He shook
his head, trying to clear his thoughts. He didn't need another
complication in his life at the moment. But looking at them as
Nathaniel moved to close the door, Richard realized that he had one.
Whether he wanted it or not.
*****
Part Two


When I woke up I was more than a little confused. The last thing I
could remember was the spell and something going wrong. Something
went very wrong. I was supposed to dead. But with the breathing and
general living informed me that I wasn't dead. No, I was very much
alive.
Darn.
I didn't really understand anything. I registered first that I had a
headache. It was one of those really bad headaches that just
throbbed and pulsed all at the same time. It really took up a lot of
my attention at first. And then I figured I better focus on
something else that could be more productive. So I tried to be more
awake, trying to get my bearings. I noticed that I was on a hard
floor. The second thing I noticed was that I was lying on someone.
I opened my eyes and discovered it was two someones that I was lying
on. Spike and Faith if you want to get specific, both of whom were
very unconscious. I groaned, sliding off my companions. I hit the
floor with a bump, landing rather hard on my butt. I groaned once
more, rubbing my tailbone as I rose to my knees. And that's when I
realized something very interesting.
We were not in the high school anymore. Nope, we were in some
bedroom. There was a large bed in the centre of the room. It looked
nice and comfy. I was slightly irritated to see that we were
obviously just thrown into this room. And whoever had done the
throwing hadn't even been considerate enough to put us on the bed.
No, we were just thrown in a heap onto the floor.
How rude.
I scrambled to my feet, stumbling a bit as I tripped over a limb. I
flailed a bit in standing, accidentally stepping on Spike's hand in
the process. The vampire let out a painful growl, jerking into
awareness at the contact. He turned his head upwards to look at me.
"What happened Red?"
Good question. I just shrugged my shoulders, signifying that I
didn't have a clue. Spike groaned once more, turning to nudge Faith
awake. I stepped away from them, circling the bed rather
covetously. It was a really nice bed, and big enough to fit all of
them. I was increasingly angry at whoever put us in here. They
should have put us on the bed.
I made my way to the window, pushing aside curtains to look outside.
Trees and a neatly trimmed lawn greeted me. We were in some house,
presumably out in the middle of nowhere, and it was night. There was
a long driveway leading up to the front of the house. Beyond that, I
couldn't see any sign of other life. There wasn't a house in the
immediate vicinity, no cars on the road that I could barely make out
at the start of the driveway. I couldn't see anything that would
help me find out where we were. But I did know one thing.
This was not Sunnydale.
"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."
Spike tossed me a glare at that, coming to join me by the window. He
obviously didn't appreciate my attempt at humour. Someone woke up on
the wrong side of the floor.
"So tell me Dorothory, where the fuck are we?"
Ah, Faith was awake. I turned, gracing the Slayer with a little
smile.
"I do not have a fucking clue," I shrugged, going over to flop down
on the bed. Maybe whoever threw us on here didn't want us on the
bed. I rose to my knees, bouncing a bit before flopping back down
onto my back. Too bad for them huh?
"Shouldn't we be doing something to find out where we are?" Spike
asked suddenly, eyes still intent on the outside. I scoffed at that
a bit. Spike had become increasingly less fun since he got his soul
back. I kind of wish the old, sarcastic and insulting Spike was
back. He would have been swearing a blue streak and nitpicking about
everything in this room. This Spike was just standing by the window,
looking all contemplative and stuff. Not one wisecrack about my
grand magical prowess that landed us here. I didn't like it.
"Don't suppose you've got ruby red slippers for us to go home with?"
But at least I still had Faith. I turned to the Slayer with a smile,
shaking my head.
"You have to get those from a good witch," I replied
cheekily. "Preferably one from the north."
"The Wicked Witch of West are you?" Spike was getting into the swing
of things. I favoured him with a smile, patting the bed.
"Just sit back and wait on our captors," I suggested. Faith frowned,
climbing onto the bed with me. She folded her legs underneath her,
looking around the bedroom thoughtfully.
"Captors?" she repeated with a frown on her face.
"Who would want to kidnap us?" Spike asked, lying down next to me.
He turned onto his side, looking at my profile intensely.
"Where did you send us Red?"
"Like I have any clue," I shook my head, rising to a sitting
position. "We were supposed to go into the Hellmouth. We were
supposed to die. And look at us, all not dead and so not in the
Hellmouth."
"We might be," Faith muttered. I turned to locate the brunette,
seeing she had wandered off to trifle through the dressers in the
room. She was holding up what looked like a business suit, startling
red in colour in one hand and something very odd in the other. I
went slightly red when I realized that it was some sort of sex toy.
What exactly it was, I didn't think I wanted to know.
"Okay, we have business chic and leather sexpot," Faith shook her
head, fumbling through the other drawers. "We might be in hell yet."
"Or maybe just that Lawyer lady that Angel always has trouble with,"
Spike suggested lightly.
"Like I said, Hell," Faith repeated, slamming the drawers shut
firmly. "Okay, we need to find out where the hell we are."
Resignedly, I climbed off the comfy bed. Faith had a point. We were
in some serious shit if we couldn't figure out what happened, and
fast.
"Well, let's do the most obvious thing we can do," I shrugged. I
motioned to the bedroom door.
"Let's go meet our hosts."
*****
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