Chapter16: Of Loss, Honors, Shock, Sho’nuff!
Disclaimer: Xander, Buffy, and anyone or anything else that pertains to BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon. Dracula belongs to the estate of Bram Stoker, or Francis Ford Coppola, or someone I think.
Larry Talbot, the Frankenstein Monster, and some others may belong to Universal Pictures.
NCIS belongs to Belisarius Productions, and CBS.
Ghost rider belongs to Marvel Comics, Dimension Films, Crystal Sky Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, and Sony (Whew!), and was played to perfection by Nicholas Cage!
OCs belong to me, and as always I remain…the man behind the curtain.
Chapter16: Of Loss, Honors, Shock, Sho’nuff!
The Tiger (In tribute to Felicia Vander Hagen, read by Queen Victoria II at the funeral)
By William Blake
TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
The days after the attack at the palace were both busy and tedious. Everything concerning the queen was wrapped in pomp and ceremony. Plans were made for state funerals for the palace dead, for Lady Sarah Wyndam-Pryce, for the valiant were-tigress Felicia.
Both Larry and Sir Wesley were inconsolable. Larry and Felicia had been lovers and workmates for the past three years. Sir Wesley had married Lady Sarah through an arranged marriage, but had come to love her.
The funerals for the waiters, and the cook were paid for by the crown and a pension was settled on their families.
Lady Sarah’s funeral was an official Royal Funeral. She had died defending her queen’s person, and no higher honor could have been bestowed on her than the title Lady Defender of the Crown. Sir Wesley was comforted by the entire Team Slayer/Nighthunter band, but none more so than by Professor Burkle. Once the state funeral was finished Sir Wesley requested a leave of absence from MI-6, and requested to be allowed to work with Nighthunter until the current crisis was averted. Victoria created him Duke of Northumberland, and approved his requests.
Felicia was posthumously dubbed Dame Felicia Vander Hagen, by a grateful monarch. She too was given a state funeral.
Victoria also set a new precedent by naming Mina, and Buffy as Lady Knights of the Realm, an honor normally reserved only for men. To be sure she also named Vlad and Xander as Baronets Royal as well. The remaining Team members were all given the title of Royal Yeoman, an ancient title rarely granted in the twentieth century.
Mina determined that there was time to travel back to North America by dirigible and chartered the German vessel ‘Die Württemberg’ for the trip. Felicia’s body was loaded aboard so that her body could be buried in Atlanta.
Ziva was being cared for by Ducky, and Dr. Hall, and ‘comforted’ by a solicitious, and thoroughly enamored Connor Angel. Gibbs was spending a lot of his off time with Elizabeth Bathory. Ducky had developed a friendly relationship with Drusilla, and a more romantic one with Ms. Hannah Ashford the dhampir. Abby was becoming quite interested in Pete Fisher, who she found out was a bestselling writer of adventure novels, and the youngest editor-in-chief that Heartsblood had ever hired. She was also learning far more voudon magic from her Grandmama, Marie Laveau.
Some of these relationships were formed probably the result of 'fox-hole familiarity' due to the ever present danger, and possibility of death, others were formed by like interests, and true affection. For what ever reasons they were formed they were very real, and often very intense. Even if they were only doomed to be at best temporary.
It is also to be noted that Dru was also seen to be quite cuddly with Xander and Buffy! Her real romantic fervour was reserved for some one else, someone who had been in love with death since he was a child. This someone she knew would never harm her as he had living women. To him she was the epitome of what a woman should be. Drusilla was, once her soul, and her sanity had been returned to her, almost angelic. She was sweet, but could be vicious, gentle, yet deadly, and loving, yet beastial, Dr. Ian Evan Hall, aka Jack the Ripper was in love for the first time in his life. To most people he was just creepy, and he inspired fear. To Drusilla he was loving and gallant. Perception they say is everything. She saw him as a hero, and he saw her as an angel. Thus with her by his side he WAS a hero, and she WAS an angel!
The news of the thefts from the British Museum were also hard news for the group to take, but it was a learning experience, and the same mistake would not be repeated. The next time there would be a team left in reserve to cover such contingencies!
The dirigible was attacked over the North Atlantic by a flight of gargoyles, but was fought off by the marksmanship of Gibbs, and Sir Wesley, with Xander’s and Buffy’s assistance on crossbow.
Their landing at Atlanta’s Airfield was anti-climactic, where they were met by Victor, ‘Shade’ Farrell, and Willow Rosenberg!
“How-double-damned-dare-you,” were the first words out of the irate redhead’s mouth! “Damnitall Buffy, you have the unmitigated gall to assume that if Kennedy and I are still a couple, which we're not by the way, you take my Xander and my Buffy friends off on an alternate dimensional adventure, and you decide that you don’t have bother poor little Willow with it cause she's needed elsewhere whether she wants to be or not, then you and Xander decide to get engaged, and you leave it to Giles to tell me and Dawn, and you fight a bunch of Big Bads who are apparently working for an even Biggerer Bad without asking me to back you up, and…and…”
“Breathe Willow, breathe,” Xander said as both he and Buffy wrapped their arms around the trembling form of the weeping Red Witch.
“I could have lost you both, my bestest friends in the whole world,” Willow cried.
Breaking away from them Willow turned on Mina, “and you Missy,” she growled. “You come and take them from us without a by your leave. Who are you? Yes I know you’re a big deal vamp-with-a-soul. ‘Shade’ already told me that, but what gave you the right to…”
“Willow Danielle Rosenberg, that will be quite enough,” roared Xander! “The Lady is the strongest force for good in this dimension! This realm has no slayers, they had no one to fight the creatures of darkness until she and the redeemed, her Nighthunter Teams, were formed. She is this world’s Buffy, and she fights this fight looking forward to the time she will be allowed to DIE and achieve final redemption! Do you think you could do that knowing that your only reward is death? I love you Wills but think before you talk! Find out what’s the what before you let that damned temper of yours go off half-cocked!”
The red headed witch lowered her eyes, tears leaking from them. Mina took her in her arms, and held her until she had calmed down enough to speak with her rationally.
“How did you find Buffy and Xander, little one,” Mina asked?
“I went to Buffy’s apartment, and cast a locator spell, when that didn’t work I cast a pinpoint dimensional rift with the locator and fanned through the nearest dimensions. When I got a Buffy/Xander hit I widened the rift and walked through. I then closed the rift and made certain that neither Dawn, nor Giles could follow me until I determined what was going on,” Willow stated with just a bit of pride in her voice.
“My, you are quite resourceful,” Mina said in praise.
“What do you mean you and Kennedy aren’t a couple? When did that happen,” asked Buffy?
“When I caught her with a slutty senorita in Bogotá is when, and it turned out she had also been cheating in Buenos Aires and Rio as well! Willow’s face was suffused with anger again.
"Hey you were listening to me!” she said in wonder.
Then she saw Wesley, Fred, and Drusilla and her jaw dropped.
Buffy noticed the shock on her face and quickly drew her aside for a much needed explanation. Further explanations would have to wait, but this one couldn’t without causing the affected parties further anguish.
Gregor the Russian vampire seemed much taken with the Red Witch’s appearance, but then so were little Magda,‘Shade Farrell, and Victor! ‘Shade’ it appeared was the one who won the battle for her attention, for now that is. Willow was a bit intimidated by Victor's size, but he did peek her interest. Since three were vampires, and Victor was gigantic, it may not last, but for now the four would provide comfort, and initial friendship.
Buffy and Xander had yet to drop the real bombshell, their marriage! Buffy could only dread Willow’s reaction to that bit of news!
(Author's Note): Please Note: Titles, and Honors conferred by Victoria may not be consistant with those of OUR Great Britain, but remember this is an alternate dimension, and that explanation can cover a multitude of sins.:)
I am still on the road so updates will be sporatic at best but know this: I am writing on! Reviews are always welcome, extraspecially positive ones. ;)
Addendum: Computers are going to be few and far between for a while...Mine at home took a dump, anad the laptop I bought for the trip died two nights ago. I am still in the wilds of Southeastern Lower Michigan's tundra up to my #*& in snow so until I can go back to Florida and straighten out my computer troubles this will only be added to when I can make it to a benevolent friends home. Wish me luck!