Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or worlds of BTVS/ATS and Anita Blake. The creators of these worlds have far more talent and money than I do.
Warnings: SLASH. Also known as GUY-ON-GUY sex and WOMAN-ON-WOMAN sex. I don't know how much plainer I can make it, and this warning will remain for the entire story, just to be safe. Eh, mentions of past abuse and general foul language. The warnings will change for each chapter - it depends on who I'm writing about. Spoilers for "Blood Noir" throughout the rest of the story, so if you haven't read that yet, you may want to before proceeding - otherwise, A LOT of the men's interactions with Jean Claude aren't going to make sense.
Chapter 7: Mira's Powers
The next two days had been busy for Xander, Dawn, and Willow. There was the three-hour-long lecture that Buffy had managed to give them all through a magically-created window in the dimensions when she found out her baby sister wasn't going to be around to be bossed around anymore, getting Dawn set up at the university, moving all of the furniture into the apartment, repainting the rooms, shopping for entertainment (sound systems, t.v., DVDs, every music CD they could think of and several that didn't exist in their own dimension), oh, and planning for a formal dinner with the vampires in charge of St. Louis.
Convincing Mira not to use her powers around the "rude vamp" also came into play.
They'd agreed to a dinner at something called "Circus of the Damned" the upcoming Friday night, which was two days after they'd arrived. Xander had muttered unpleasant things under his breath about politics-playing vampires and even more unpleasant things about the IDIOT that had come up with the idea to associate vampires with a circus, of all things. Mira, promptly picking up on her beloved Uncle Xander's displeasure, had been plotting pranks and bad behavior worthy of Spike for the dinner. The other two girls were trying to convince that it was a bad idea, since Xander was actively encouraging her.
The girls had reason to worry: the vampires in this world were even more flammable than the ones back home, and Mira's powers, other than her extraordinary intelligence and extremely sharp sixth sense, were based in fire, due to her mother's side of the family. Willow and Dawn were of the opinion that it just MIGHT make a bad first impression if anyone was set on fire during the dinner. Xander, of course, was all for it.
The girls had literally forced Xander to buy nicer clothes for the dinner. He was planning on jeans and a tee shirt; Willow and Dawn had other ideas.
The night of the dinner, Xander muttered more rude things that made Mira giggle and Willow scold, and tugged at his dress shirt that Willow had actually made him tuck into his pants and wear a belt with. He'd wanted to get a belt with a gigantic skull on the buckle; this had been vetoed by Dawn and Willow as tacky ("But that's my style!" "Not tonight, it isn't!"). He'd let Mira stick a skull-and-crossbones sticker on his eyepatch, but Willow had noticed it and peeled it off, making both man and child sulk ("Sheesh, we've got two children, not one.").
The friendly werewolf they'd met the other night, Jason, had said the vampire would send a ride for them, and even Xander whistled when the limo pulled up. Mira's sulking vanished when Nathaniel, the pretty wereleopard, stepped out of the limo and waved to them.
"T'aniel!" Mira crowed happily, bounding down the sidewalk to the young man, followed by her guardians.
"Hello," Nathaniel said softly, smiling down at the beaming toddler, before directing his attention to the others. "Jean Claude invited Anita, Micah, and myself to dinner as well. I hope you don't mind riding with us?"
Xander glanced down to Mira, who had wrapped herself around Nathaniel's calves and didn't look like she wanted to let go any time soon. "Guess not," he said with humor, relieved that it wasn't going to be just them and the vampires. Of course, that relief vanished as he realized that more politics were coming into play - politics that none of the Scoobies wanted to really be a close part of, as they weren't a part of this world.
Nathaniel's eyes widened as Willow approached, and Xander couldn't really blame him. Willow had found a deep purple knee-length dress, which set off her hair in a lovely manner and made her eyes brighter. She was beautiful, and that was only added to by the power that hummed in the air close to her skin. It seemed that even when Willow shielded, her power slipped out in this world. Willow had explained it to him earlier, something about free-floating magic and auras and dimensional balance. He hadn't really got it, but it was enough for him that Willow knew what was going on, and was okay with it. He was just grateful that the darkness Willow had battled for so long was mostly defeated.
They climbed into the limo, which turned out to have an enormous back seat that seated them all very easily with plenty of room to spare. Mira scrambled in happily, reaching for Nathaniel and tugging him over to sit by her. The other Scoobies sat on the other side of Mira, opposite the other occupants of the limo.
Anita Blake wore a black dress that would have been a decent length had she been standing up, but when she was sitting rode up rather high, showing off smooth, well-formed legs with feet encased in spiked black heels. The other wereleopard - Micah - wore a deep blue, almost purple shirt tucked into black slacks and simple black dress shoes. The Scoobies were relieved that they hadn't overdressed.
Micah smiled a little at the toddler who seemed so attached to the submissive of his pard. "You look very pretty tonight. And the two of you as well, ladies," he added to Willow and Dawn.
Mira smiled at the powerful Nimir-Raj. "Dawnie helpeded me pick my dress, 'cause Unca Xan doesn' have da sense of a turdle when it comes ta clothes."
"Hey," Xander muttered in an offended tone.
"It's true," Willow pointed out. "We had to dress you." The others laughed at the face Xander made at her.
"We won't be long getting to the Circus," Micah offered.
Willow nodded. "If that's the case, then we'd better go over rules with Mira now." She turned to the toddler, who was busy playing with Nathaniel long, shiny braid. "Mira, rules."
"No running wild, no screaming, no fire, and no throwing dung bombs at stinky ol' ladies," the toddler rattled off in a bored tone, making the weres half-choke with laughter, unsure whether she was serious. Willow certainly seemed to be taking it literally.
"Or?" the redhead prompted.
"Or stinky ol' vampires," the toddler grumbled.
"Good. And we have witnesses, so don't get mad later if you break a rule and we put you in time-out," Willow said sternly as Xander tried and failed to hide a smirk.
"YES, Auntie Will," the toddler sighed out, mumbling "Spoilspor'" low under her breath. Unfortunately, she was in a limo full of people with hypersensitive hearing, and they all choked with laughter at that comment.
"I have to ask," Anita said. "Dung bombs?"
"One of our friends loves pranks and reads entirely too much fantasy," Dawn said, trying and failing to hide a smirk of her own; her sister had been the first recipient of Spike's invention.
The limo slowed, and Xander looked out the window curiously - only to let out a cry of dismay and bury his face in Dawn's shoulder.
"Xan?" asked Willow.
"Clowns!" was the muffled reply. "Clowns with FANGS! It's so wrong! Whose bright idea was it to build a circus for vampires?!"
Willow peeked out the window herself, and winced when she saw the sign. "Okay, that's creepy," she agreed.
The weres were watching Xander's reaction with some amusement. "I think the idea was to make the vampires not as scary to the general public," Nathaniel volunteered.
"It's not working," came Xander's plaintive moan. He lifted his head and glared at Willow.
The redhead rolled her eyes. "Xander hates clowns with a passion," she explained to their audience.
"We noticed," Anita said in amusement.
"There aren't going to be any of those at the dinner, right?" At the silence, Xander's eyes widened with anxiety. "Right?!"
AN: whoops, forgot to mention that dungbombs aren't mine. Update in the story of your choice to the person that identifies where they came from first.