Don't Mess with the Mommy
Disclaimer: All recognizable properties belong to their respective copyright and/or trademark holders. Neither infringement nor profit is intended by their use in this story. Any request by the rights holders to cease and desist or take down the story will be honored.
Author's Note: This fic is a crossover between the continuity of the Angel: After the Fall comics (virtual Season 6, post-NFA) and the recently released movie Hancock. Spoilers for both will be found within.
It was a good thing they'd gone for a king-sized bed, reflected Mary. It wasn't just stormy nights like this one that Aaron crawled into bed with her and Ray for comfort, after all; he was a rather nervous kid, prone to nightmares or just staying awake worrying about facing bullies the next day, regardless. The sound of thunder was just an excuse.
She supposed Aaron was getting a little old for this, but if she admitted the truth to herself, she found it just as comforting as did the child. It confirmed her place in his and Ray's life. The only mother Aaron had ever really known, even if she was technically his stepmother, she was
the mommy. It was a role she hadn't played in centuries, but had fallen back into with ease. After all, wasn't she the very symbol of motherhood in iconography going back millenia? Even if they had
gotten the nature of the relationship between her and him
wrong from almost the beginning. Just because he had wanted to give little Harpo his name, make clear that nobody up or down the river should ever mess with the boy, or else
She started awake, disturbed by a sound that wasn't really a sound. Definitely not thunder. It was like the world had twisted around itself for a moment, then settled back into place. A little like that feeling you sometimes got right before sleep, like you'd been floating an inch above the bed and then dropped onto it, your muscles jerking. Mary knew that feeling more than most, but she'd been very careful lately. Best not to blow things with Ray and Aaron by literally flying in her sleep, after all.
No, this was different. It took her another moment to identify it as magic on a scale she hadn't felt since the days the sun went out. Mary hadn't worked with the Word herself for so long that she'd literally forgotten more than any mortal practitioner had ever known.
She went to the window, careful not to disturb her boys as she slipped out of bed. It was still raining outside, with the occasional flicker of lightning, but there was a different quality about the air. Just a hint... was that sulfur?Who would dare?
Her penetrating eyes picked out the beginnings of fires across the city. She opened up her third eye and picked out much fear and pain, caused by a multitude of foreign presences... Demons
. Except, of course, it was actually the city that was a foreign presence here. Not that the demons would mind having new territory, new prey, new slaves, brought right to their very doorstep.
Door to door service. Right. Well, they had
said they were a full-service law firm, hadn't they? This certainly went a long way past setting her up with valid identification when she decided to move to LA, though. Then again, they probably weren't doing it pro bono, either. Still, I would have thought they'd remember I lived here. Not tomention him being active in the city in recent months. Maybe they just didn't understand exactly who it was they'd be pissing off with this little stunt. I never actually gave them all of my names, after all, just intimidated a couple of flunkies.
Damn. And here she'd so adeptly avoided involving herself in any crises since meeting and marrying Ray. She'd stayed out of it, just kept Ray and the boy safe inside, during the rain of fire, the days without the sun (although her patience had just about run out when somebody else apparently undid the ritual), the rise of Jasmine (oops, Ray, I'm not sure how the cable box got smashed like that), and the riots that had followed. Now she was going to have to figure out, not only how to get her husband's city back where it belonged, but also how to properly chastise a pack of lawyers and their demonic Senior Partners. Wolf, Ram, and Hart. Please. Not a patch on the Snake, really. For them to be such big players these days, the current Powers must have really let things go to.... well, yeah.
Her reverie was interrupted by a sense of many demonic presences drawing closer. Somebody wanted to add her neighborhood to their territory, or just wreck it on their way going somewhere else. Well, she wasn't having that.The whole city may have gone to hell, but I'll be damned if I let hell come to my neighborhood. To my home. To my boys.
With a quick glance towards her boys, still asleep and oblivious to their predicament, she turned towards the bedroom door and down the stairs. A little floating took care of any worries about the squeaky step, and then she was opening the front door and walking out onto the porch and street in her pajamas and night gown.
The sound of booted or hard-skinned feet came down the street, and a middling horde of demons started to round the corner. They were better armed and organized than most, wearing bits and pieces of metal armor, carrying axes and maces and swords, and even coming along in some approximation of a marching formation. One had longer spikes on his helmet, maybe inside it too, and appeared to be the leader. As the tail end of the scraggly line of monsters entered the cul-de-sac with Mary's home at the end of it, he called for a halt and seemed ready to let his troopers peel off to loot the houses at will.
Mary interrupted by gliding towards him smoothly, her bare feet barely kissing the asphalt. "You want to leave this neighborhood, now," she announced. "Turn around immediately and never come back, and I might even allow you and your... men to live." She cocked her head to look the commander in the face, all corrugated, seemingly skinless flesh and teeth underneath his helmet. "I haven't really decided yet, but it's your best chance for survival. I suggest you take it."
The demon grimaced even wider as it looked down on her. "And why should I listen to your... suggestion?" it asked. "One human woman against my band of warriors? Your threats against your betters are a clear sign of insanity. Why should I not have Gwarfan here swat you aside like the mad human cow that you are?" He gestured towards one of the larger and dumber looking members of the troop.
Mary's eyes narrowed and she raised a hand. The minion demon paused. "Are you calling me crazy? I'll leave the cow comment aside, those I've actually got a soft spot for, but calling me crazy is really... suicidal, given who and what I am."
"And what are you?" asked the commander. "Even if you're a Slayer, you'd hardly be a match for all of us."
"Slayer? I've answered to worse, really, but that's just a job description. Your puny little mind couldn't begin to comprehend the amount of blood I've shed, when the times called for it. In fact, I'm starting to think you're so thick that a little demonstration is in order, out of the kindness of my heart." Mary closed the distance between herself and Minion #1 with barely a whisper of visible movement.
"For our purposes here, just think of me as a magician. The hand is quicker than the eye and all that."
"And for my first trick," continued Mary, "I'm going to make your boy here disappear." There was a blur of motion too fast for even demon eyes to follow, and suddenly the minion in question was nowhere to be seen. Only a few of the troop noticed that the pavement beneath Mary's feet was also cracked, now.
The demon commander was nonplussed for a moment. "Bring him back. Now," he demanded.
"Oh, that's part two of my demonstration," said Mary. "You might want to take a step back, though. One, two..."
With a rush of air, the hulking demon slammed into the pavement at terminal velocity, making a rather large crater and shaking the cars on the street, not to mention everybody except Mary on their feet. Greenish-gray demon guts and ichor spattered a fair distance.
Mary scowled. A lot of people were probably going to wake up now, thinking they were in the middle of an earthquake. She also wondered what detergent would get the stains off her night gown.I'm really too nice, sometimes.
Collecting himself, the lead demon shook his head. "Very well. You are obviously a powerful witch, to teleport my warrior so high and let him fall to his death. Are you crazy enough to think you can do it to all of us before we kill you?" He hefted his battle ax and prepared to charge, his brothers in arms following suit.
"There's that word again," said Mary. She was no longer thinking about witnesses or keeping this quiet. "You are seriously starting to tick me off. That's it; say it one more time, or make one move other than to quietly run away, and you're done. No second chances."
The demons chose to charge. Mary stood her ground, letting the commander swing his axe directly down towards her head. The expression on his ugly face when the axe head shattered on impact was priceless. Not to mention when she put a manicured hand around his throat and took him with her to 20,000 feet in the blink of an eye. "No teleportation involved, see? What do you think of my sanity now?"
She tossed him for the horizon. "Although I suppose I do have a temper. I suppose I should have mentioned it first thing, really." The demon was just a dwindling speck now, even to her remarkable eyes. "And this is just me slightly annoyed. You really
wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
Mary started descending back towards her street, where the demon warriors were now milling around in confusion and fear. Time to take out the garbage. The literally hellish landscape of LA reflected itself in her eyes, bringing to mind far worse scenes from her distant past.
Time to send a message that all the other demons in the city would take to heart, she thought, as she landed in the demons' midst with another earthshaking boom.
Mary didn't speak a word as she went about efficiently dismembering the entire band of demons and piling their remains at the entrance to her street. She was thinking only one thing the whole time, though.Don't mess with the Mommy.