The Devils Are All Here
A Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Good Omens Tale of Tragedy, Humor, and Ineffability.
Written by Kieranfoy and Shamrock.
AN: This is mainly set in the Omensverse, with characters and situations from the Buffyverse either present or not at the author’s whim. This is due to the fact that I haven’t actually watched BTVS for years, and even with the help of my brilliant coauthor, Shamrock, I couldn’t hope to do a fic that used the entire canon. I mean, Shamrock’s a Buffy expert, but I can’t monopolize that much of her attention.
Guess what, Scoobies? I don't own a thing. Not even the phrase 'that is one flickin' Wiccan,' which was borrowed from Peter David's Knight Life, which I heartily recomend (where else can one here King Arthur referred to as 'the dude with the day-glow sword and the submersible girlfriend,' eh?)
This couldn’t happen. This wasn’t happening. This was a thing that absolutely could not be happening. This was the only thought that Willow Rosenberg could think. This couldn’t happen.
‘This can’t be real,’ she thought as she cradled Tara’s broken and lifeless body in her arms. It was impossible. Tara was so brave, so strong. She had fought vampires and monsters with them. She’d even bound Duke Ligur in a coke bottle.* She couldn’t die like this, killed by some junkie looking for money to get his fix.
They had been buying cloves in a small health food store when the disheveled teenager had burst through the doors, waving a gun. “Just give me the money, damn it!” he had shouted at the cashier. “Just give me the money, and I won’t shoot no one!”
But he had lied. He had shot at the clerk, and when Willow had tripped him with a spell, he had shot at Willow.
He had killed Tara.
And it was her fault.
If she hadn’t tripped him, it would have been the clerk who died, not Tara. God help her, she wished it was the clerk who died.
She wished it was her who died.
She refused to let the EMTs separate her from Tara. She kicked and screamed until they finally allowed her to accompany the body down to the morgue.
It was the least she could do.
She had killed Tara. The police would never agree, but she had.
‘This can’t happen.’
She wouldn’t let it.
Two angels watched as the body of Tara McClay was zipped up into a body bag, despite the loud protestations of her despairing lover. The first was clad in black slacks, a fine silk shirt of an indigo hue, and a longer black duster. His long black hair was tied back with a piece of leather cord, and he just generally had the look of a rock star about him.**
The second was dressed in tasteful but worn clothing, and looked vaguely like the better class of people who haunt second-hand stores. You know, the ones who stick to the small and quirky thrift stores, avoiding chain stores like the Plague.
“Is this the justice of the Lord?” the first angel asked acidly.
“I would think,” his companion replied stiffly, “that the fault lies with the opposition, Kopakiel. The man was clearly infernally motivated.”
Kopakiel snorted. “Oh, please. Are you telling me that this wasn’t Himself punishing the poor girl for the ‘unforgivable sin’ of loving someone who happened to be born in a body that shared a gender with her?” Millennia of outrage and bitterness leaked out of his voice. “Give me a break, Haniel.”
“I thought the homophobia was the Opposition’s doing,” she murmured. “Besides, the Good Lord would never punish people thusly. He is merciful.”
“I guess you’ve never been to Gomorrah,” he said disdainfully. “No, I lay this right at our feet, dear.”
“We must trust that His will is being done,” Haniel murmured, knowing as she said it just how little it would move her friend.
“Feh. You’re supposed to thwart, and you’re supporting… this.” He sighed disgustedly, and turned away, his black duster billowing in the wind as he stalked out of the health food store. “There are times when I hate my existence,” he added as he jumped into his car.
The magick shop in Spurtley Alley was less than popular among the Wiccan crowd, and for good reason. The owner had absolutely no scruples regarding what he would and would not sell. Henbane hung on the drying rack right next to the wolfbane, and knives designed for ceremonial evisceration sat beside dulled athames. Books on necromancy and demonology sat on the same shelves that housed texts of ceremonial blessings.
It was not a place for the faint of heart.
It was called the Skull and Athame, which wittier customers had commented sounded like a good name for a pub. ***
It was to this place that Willow went in search of knowledge.
“Yeah, whaddya want?” the storekeeper asked ungraciously as she walked in. Willow was wearing a hooded cloak to keep her face covered, but that didn’t surprise the storekeeper much. Hoods were pretty damn common here, they were.
“Give me your books on necromancy,” she said quietly. The storekeeper shuddered a little. It had been quite a while since he’d heard a voice that sounded that… dead. And the last time, the person actually was.
“What, you want me to put ‘em all in bag for ya? I’ve got… maybe fifty of the things.”
Willow reached over the counter, grabbed him by the throat with one hand, and drew his face down to hers. The storekeeper tried to recoil. Her face was a mess of blackened veins and pasty skin. Her expression was one of pure rage melded with unspeakable loss.
“Now,” she hissed.
The storekeeper found himself thinking that he would do anything, anything, so as not to have to look into those eyes again. Even his sorry excuse for a soul had shriveled and run to hide in the corner when the black-haired Witch pinned him with her glare. Gulping, he scurried – and this was not a man prone to scurrying – to do her bidding.
Ten minutes later, Willow strode out of the store, letters and symbols dancing across her skin, glowing slightly before fading into nothingness.
She turned back to regard the store, juggling a ball of searing, liquid fire between her hands. A bit of arson would be a nice start to the day, she thought.
In the store, the shopkeeper shook his head slowly. “That,” he muttered ruefully, “is one flickin’ Wiccan.”
Outside, Willow stiffened in rage as her preternaturally sharp senses picked up the insult. “Yep,” she muttered. “Arson time.”
The police were forced to use the man’s dental records to identify the charred skeleton.
* A long story, but suffice it to say that the Duke of Lurk had been lurking a little too close to Willow’s window, especially in the evenings.
** The well groomed type of rock star, the type who writes very philosophical music and doesn’t do too many hard drugs. He was too neatly groomed to be the other type.
*** In fact, it was the name of a pub. The Athame and Skull was a popular pub in Ireland, at least among the magical section of the population (which is larger than in most countries, Ireland being what it is). It was founded by an ex-warlock who had dealt with one too many demons for his own comfort, and decided to retire. There was absolutely no relationship between the Irish pub and the shop in Sunnydale - except, perhaps, that the patrons of both had a certain tendency to walk on the seedier side of the street (or occasionally underneath it).