AN: This story is darker than THE SPELL (its prequel, which you should read if you haven’t) and is probably the darkest story in the series. You’ll also notice that I will mangle both the Stargate canon and also any information to shape my desire. Again, this will annoy people, as will my promise of future slash- which WILL happen! Just not yet in this story.
Warnings: language, violence, character death, OCs, adult situations, emergence of Super!Xan (if you want to call it that), clichéd plotlines, complete disrespect and total disregard of established canon, fake!Biology, fake!Science… did I miss anything? I rated this so high just in case. I never had a good sense for that rating stuff anyway…
Hm… you’ll notice that I despise the Wraith. I know the writers of the show want you to view them as some sort of euphemism or metaphor for humanity but I say… if it tries to eat you, kill it. Don’t think about it too much.
Hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: Neither Stargate (SG-1 or Atlantis) nor Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to me. I claim no ownership of them and recognize that they belong to the various people and companies who own them. I do this solely for my own enjoyment and, should our interests mesh, the enjoyment of others. I have made no money off of this and do not ever plan to. Anything that even looks vaguely familiar (such as brand names, culture references, etc) also does not belong to me.
Series: Return to the Blood Lands
Story: Welcome to the Keep
Xander woke up with a suddenness that surprised him as much as it confused him. His movement was limited- he seemed to be trapped against a wall in some kind of web. The place, or what little he could see of it, was different than the place he had been. Colder, harsher. More alien than he expected.
And then he met his first Wraith. He didn’t know it was a Wraith at the time. He just assumed it was a demon. It wasn’t one he recognized but it was one that seemed to recognize him. “Human,” it had spat at him, somehow grinning through the harsh tone. The contrast was eerie but the face of the demon threw him off the most.
He knew vampires looked a lot like humans, as did many other demons, but the being in front of him seemed more human-like than he was comfortable with. Like, human gone terribly wrong instead of a completely nonhuman demon wearing the ill fitting form of a human. It didn’t sit well with him, that his enemy should look so human. Not when he spent so much time trying to save the collective butt of humanity by doing his small part in preventing the end of the world.
And then the demon went ahead and punched him in the stomach, which rapidly dispelled any concerns Xander had. Human-like or not, the bastard was going DOWN.
As soon as he got free. And found a big honking weapon. Or better yet, Buffy.
Like any good Scooby in his position, he gave back as much as they took- or at least verbally, anyway. Sarcasm was one weapon he welded well and he used it without mercy. It just tended to be a weapon that got him hurt more than it protected him. There were two demons nearby, a skinny one in a coat and a bigger one in a mask.
“You’re really not my type, man.” Xander said, twisting away as much as he could when the demon made as if to touch him. “I tend to go for the prettier chicks. I’d even take a decent looking dude over you.” Wiggling around only exhausted him. Whatever the stuff was that was keeping him there, it was STRONG.
He looked up, sighing when he realized the demon was still there, hovering. Did his struggles amuse them? He looked at the masked one when the thinner demon only smiled unsettlingly. “They have surgeries for that.” He rolled his neck as emphasis. “You know, your face. That’s why you hide it, right?”
Diplomacy was never his strong suit. The thinner demon was immediately up in his face, one hand shooting out to grip his throat (Ow, what the hell is on his palm? He scratched me!) in a rough parody of the grip Drusilla had placed him in only a day before. There was strength and grace and beauty in what she did to inspire terror. There was only strength in this grip but, oh hey, what do you know, hello again terror!
“Whether or not you cower, you will die.” the demon hissed in his face. Oh, I was kinda hoping it wouldn’t come to that…
“You’re not the first ugly son of a bitch who’s promised that.” Xander wheezed, unable to stop himself. After all, Buffy was going to come busting in any moment now, right? He could afford to be a little reckless. “But at least THEY brushed their teeth.” The demon pulled his arm back, not as if he was going to hit Xander in the face but almost as if he was going to hit Xander in the chest with his palm. Now why would he want to do that?
Another demon came down the hall, catching the skinny demon’s elbow. “Do not feed upon him. This one has spirit.” Xander decided that the creepy smile thing had to be a genetic trait. “Take him to the queen.”
Xander wasn’t dragged, like he was expecting, but there was a lot of what he felt was completely immature poking, prodding, and shoving. They ended up walking for so long that he started to wonder if his demon escorts even knew where they were going. Were the demon males too prideful to ask for directions too?
Eventually, they made it to a wide open doorway. His escorts took up positions on either side of the doorway, but not before shoving him through. Grumbling, he kept moving, only coming to a halt when he saw the room wasn’t empty.
There was a big chair (a throne, if he was to believe this ‘queen’ stuff) way on the other side of the room and a table just in the middle. A woman stood with her back to him, the strange color of her skin revealing her demon origin. She ran a thin finger over what Xander recognized was his own pocket knife, usually secured around his neck with a shoestring. He didn’t go anywhere without it, not even bed. You never knew what was going to happen on a Hellmouth.
Why did she swipe it? It was his! He did notice, however, that she hadn’t touched the necklace Drusilla gave him. It was still around his neck, warmer than even his own skin. Now THAT he wouldn’t have minded if she swiped. Just thinking about how he received it still gave him the creeps.
“You wandered around the remains of an ancient settlement of an old enemy. You even managed to turn something on.” She turned around, the pocket knife in one hand with all of its attachments extended. She took her other hand and bent them over, the plastic straining and cracking as the little tools were bent in a direction they were never meant to go. She tossed the managed mess at his feet. “And yet your weaponry is so poorly made. How disappointing.”
“Well, sorry.” Xander snapped, annoyed. “I wasn’t planning on entertaining today.”
“You are different than the natives. You lack proper respect and wisdom.” The queen smiled, as if this was good news. But from the look on her face, he knew it was BAD news for him. “You might be of some amusement.”
Xander just had the WORST luck with women. Oh let me count the ways the female species has tried to screw me over… what? Oh no, I’ve run out of fingers to count them on. Maybe he was starting to get a little bitter about this but he felt he had enough REASON to.
“Who are you?” the demon asked suddenly. Her questions became very pointed, unlike her vague observations from before. “Where are you from?”
“I’m… Xander.” He frowned, wondering what had compelled him to speak. “I’m from…” Xander struggled, trying to be quiet but there was something unearthly about this woman that forced him to speak the truth. “Someplace you will never get to.”
“Oh?” She looked up at his downturned face, a sinister smile on her face. The bitch knew he was struggling! “Where is this place?”
“Another dimension.” He said through gritted teeth. What would they call his dimension in a hell dimension like this one? An earth dimension? A non-hell dimension? Somehow, that sounded so weird.
“We do not possess the ability to travel amongst the dimensions.” The queen said, mildly interested. “How were you able to?”
“It was an accident. Or it might have been on purpose.” He shook his head. “I don’t know.” Xander pressed a hand to his forehead, mumbling the next words to himself. “Jesus Christ…” Why the hell was his mouth still moving? He didn’t want to tell her these things! Maybe it was a case of the freaky demon pheromones. Lord knows how susceptible he was to those things.
“You are young. Do you not have the wisdom to cower or are you foolishly brave?” the demon moved closer, her voice soft and cold. Like a doctor doing a routine physical. She really didn’t care what she was looking at. The patient wasn't the topic of interest, it was the diagnosis. “Why do you not fear us?”
His head snapped up, his eyes flashing angrily. “As far as I’m concerned, lady, you’re an ugly bitch in control of a bunch of other ugly bitches and I can’t WAIT until someone takes you down.” She slapped him almost casually, as an afterthought. He went sprawling, wondering if his jaw was dislocated while at the same time thinking holy shit, she’s as strong as a vampire! Which he should have kinda gotten when she mangled his pocket knife.
He cautiously sat up, waiting for another blow to send him back down but she seemed to have lost interest in him. She was walking back to her throne like chair, her steps casual and her back seemingly vulnerable. Xander had the thought though, that if he made an attempt to attack her, he’d be dead before he could get completely on his feet. The strange demons on either side of the open doorway were armed.
She sat down primly, arranging herself before gazing upon him again. “Would you like to be my Keeper?” she said softly, but it was in a tone that would carry even across the noisiest of rooms. In the almost dead silence of the room, it sounded horribly loud.
“I wouldn’t like to be your anything, sweetheart.” Xander said, his jaw stiff with the effort not to speak at her command. Even at some distance away, the compulsion to speak was still powerful.
“How cute.” She leaned forward, a terrible smile on her face. “You think you have a choice.”