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Through The Eyes of My Enemy

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Summary: After the defeat of Angelus, and the destruction of Acathla, Dracula finds a hurting slayer in LA.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Buffy-CenteredReaperCBFR21315,84711604,97121 Jan 099 Nov 13No

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Torn

Disclaimer: All characters, locations, and/or ideas related to Buffy, Angel, LXG, BloodRayne, and Underworld, are the properties of... actually, I'm not sure who owns all of them, but it aint me. This story is purely for entertainment value, and the only thing I hope to get out of it are a reviews. The song at the end, is the property or, Natalie Imbruglia. That being said, please enjoy, and remember to review!



Buffy stepped off the bus, her eyes instinctively taking in the surroundings of the stop. It’d let her off in the seediest part of LA, like she’d planned. No better place to disappear for a while, forget her calling, forget her life. She moved into the shadows easily, not bothering to concentrate on the minor buzz her senses were giving her. She new places like this called to vampires and demons alike. If they didn’t bother her, she’d ignore them.

She slipped down an alley, away from the few remaining people that had followed her path from the bus stop. If her memory served, there was a run down hotel this way. As she passed a diner, she took note of the help wanted sign next to the one that proclaimed it closed. That’d be a good spot to look for a job come tomorrow.

“You’re a hard one to find young one.” A cultured voice spoke from behind her.

Buffy turned, falling immediately into a fighting stance. Her eyes roamed over the elegantly clad vampire there. He wore a long cloak with a deep red lining, a red silk shirt and black slacks. His long black hair hung in waves down his back as he examined her from across the alley. Her eyes roamed his body appreciatively for a moment, before deciding it was too bad she had to stake him.

“Do we really have to do this? I really just want to be left alone…” Buffy said.

“Nonsense, don’t disappoint me after I’ve traveled so far just to see you my dear…” The vampire said, “You’re quite the legend among my kind.”

“Yea, yea, yea, I’m the big bad slayer…” Buffy mocked, “I’m tired of it.”

“Ah, you misunderstand me, I don’t mean the slayer legend, I mean you specifically Elizabeth.” He walked toward her slowly, showing no sign of hostility.

“Me? Yea right… for what?” Buffy said, still on the defensive.

“In your first days as the slayer, you defeated an ancient master of Kagan’s line. Lothos was legend among all breed of vampire, his death was heard in all corners of the world. Of course, this I thought was luck. Then you went on to face Nest, and you were again victorious. No small feat against that particular demon breed. After that, I took a keen interest in you.” The vampire stopped a few feet from her, bringing his hand up to his chin as if thinking.

“Yea? And just who are you?” Buffy said, her eyes hard.

“Oh, my apologies my dear, I thought perhaps my reputation had proceeded me. I am Vlad Draculae, Prince of Wallachia, and progenitor of my line.” Dracula bowed, “Most often now, I am called, Dracula.”

“Dracula? As in, The Count Dracula?” Buffy laughed, “You’re kidding right?”

“No my dear, though I was never a count. That was merely how Stoker wished to write me. Creative license I guess, but we were discussing you. What truly brought me here was this last battle with Angelus, the leader of The Scourge of Europe. I knew them you know.” Dracula gave a small smile.

“Leave that out of this…” Buffy’s eyes flashed.

“Ah, there it is… that’s the girl I’ve heard so much of… I can feel it in your blood.” Dracula smiled again, “You cared for Angelus, or Angel, as he called himself while cursed. I had heard that.”

“Leave him out of this,” Buffy drew a stake, “Last warning.”

“But you killed him anyway, defeated him just like the rest… you are a true hunter. Never swaying once you see your prey.” Dracula grinned as she lunged at him.

Buffy swore as Dracula vanished, his body seeming to become mist before her eyes. Her stake sailed through it harmlessly and she quickly turned to find him standing behind her. He still held a polite posture, his eyes smiling.

“Such fire, yes… I think you’ll do quite well my girl.” Dracula’s face changed, but not like other vamps had. His eyes turned red, and his eye teeth lengthened into two perfect fangs.

“How did you do that?” Buffy asked, gripping her stake tighter.

“Ah, I see… you’ve not been properly educated.” Dracula started to stalk toward her.

“What?” Buffy lunged again, and again her stake passed harmlessly through mist.

“Weren’t you listening my dear?” Dracula said, this time from several feet away, “Lothos was of Kagan’s line. Nest and Angelus, were demon breed. There is a fourth line, the line of Corvinus. And then, there are those of my line; my sons and daughters. Has your watcher not told you this? No, I suppose not, to them we are all the same.” Dracula sighed.

“Good to know… Now stand still so I can stake you!” Buffy rushed him, surprised this time not by him misting out of the way, but grabbing her advance and holding her easily at bay.

“Yes, there is the fire I sought out… The warrior I had heard so much of… You do not even know yourself dear girl…” Dracula’s eyes bore into hers.

Buffy struggled at first, but soon Dracula’s gaze boring into her sapped her will; leaving her at his mercy. She could only watch as his red eyes searched hers for whatever he was looking for. Slowly, he leaned toward her. She whimpered as she felt his lips touch her throat.

“Relax my dear…” Dracula whispered against her throat, producing an involuntary shudder from Buffy, “Soon, you will know your nature intimately.”

Buffy winced as she felt the fangs pierce her throat, but then her body shuddered as waves of pleasure washed through her. She could feel the slayer rebelling inside her at first, but soon it was washed up in the pleasure as well. Its predatory nature finding a match in that of the vampire. With a last shuddering moan, Buffy felt her heart begin to slow. The last thing she was conscious of was the taste of blood in her mouth as she passed out.
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Buffy woke with a start, then shuddered as her senses went into overload. She heard the heartbeats of people in the other rooms, could smell the scents of those who had been in this one, the colors were more vibrant than anything she’d ever seen before. It was all too much and she closed her eyes, covering her ears with her hands to block out some of the input.

“Ah, my Childe, welcome back. I had not expected you to awaken for another two days…” Dracula’s voice permeated her overloaded brain.

“What is this?” Buffy screeched out, still trying to calm her senses.

“A bit shocking, I know. Your senses are much better now, especially at night when we are at our strongest.” Dracula said, “It’s compounded by the fact that you’re freshly risen, that you haven’t fed.”

“I won’t!” Buffy hissed, then stopped, “I don’t want to… I don’t want to feed, to hurt anyone…”

“Ah, and you learn another difference between my Childer and those demon breed. While I’m not sure if it’s a soul, you still retain your identity.” Dracula said, “Those of the Corvinus strain are the same in this, while the line of Kagan are… somewhere between us, and the demon breed.”

Buffy thought for a moment, concentrating. She still loved her family and friends. She still hurt from what had happened with Angel. The part of her that was tired though, that was giving up on life, was gone. She could feel a hunger in its place, a desire to hunt, to fight. She could feel the Slayer too, but it was stronger than ever before.

“I still have my soul.” Buffy said.

“Perhaps.” Dracula said, “And look.” He pointed to a mirror.

Buffy looked, jumping a bit as she saw them both reflected there. She was also surprised at her attire. She wore a low cut red silk top, and black pants that fit her like a glove. Her feet were incased in high heeled leather boots. Around her neck rested a single teardrop diamond necklace. Her hair had been returned to its natural color and was platted so that it sat atop her head with two tendrils framing her face.

“Whoa.” Buffy stared.

“Now, I shall order room service…” Dracula reached for the phone, “I believe it best if you feed here before we venture out into the night.”

“I won’t feed…” Buffy said.

“Ah, but you will. You won’t be able to help yourself, not in the long run. What you can help, my childe, is how you feed. You can drain the victim dry, should you choose. Or you may drink a bit here, a bit there, merely feeding to sate your thirst, instead of gorging yourself. There is no need to kill your victim, merely to feed.” Dracula smiled, “Not a habit of mine, though I when I feed from my own servants, I do allow them to live.”

“I can…” Buffy said, losing interest in the world around her as her mind tried to process everything. Her thoughts ran over what had happened, amazed that the pain she’d felt over losing Angel was gone. She still cared for him, but the part of her that was a predator now, understood. Accepted it. She still cared for her friends, her family, wanted to protect them, but there was a practicality to it. She was vaguely aware of Dracula using the phone to order a bottle of champagne.

Buffy was still running everything over in her mind when there was a knock at the door, the sound bringing all of her senses to bear on the door. She could see the grain of the wood, hear the heartbeat of the person beyond it, the scent was much stronger now as well. She could smell the slight hint of vanilla that the girl used in her shampoo, the different scents of her clothing, and under it all, the pure scent that was her own. When the door opened, her eyes roamed the young woman’s body.

She wore a hotel uniform, black slacks, white shirt, black vest, her hair held in a ponytail. Her tan skin was gorgeous to Buffy for some reason. But what truly called to her was the pulse she could see jumping in the woman’s throat. Before Buffy knew it she was on her feet in front of the girl, staring into her eyes. Deep brown pools stared back at her, and only Dracula’s hand on her chest stopped her from sinking her fangs into the girl.

“What do you want My Childe?” Dracula asked, his voice calming.

“Her…” Buffy pushed forward a bit, the girl paralyzed by Buffy’s red eyed gaze.

“Then drink,” He released her, letting Buffy take the young woman into her arms.

Buffy crushed the girl to her chest, kissing her throat a moment before her fangs sank into the soft tender flesh. The taste was amazing as she drank. The girls hot blood pouring like ambrosia over her tongue. But that wasn’t all, no, there were memories flooding her brain; the girl’s memories, growing up, her first kiss with a boy, her first broken heart, her first kiss with a girl, meeting her current girlfriend. Renting an apartment with her, making love to her. It was all there, running through her mind as if she’d lived it.

Suddenly she was pulled away, and held tightly in her Sire’s arms. She could still taste the woman’s blood in her mouth; still feel the hunger, even as her brain told her she didn’t want to kill the girl. It was brutal trying to reign in the conflicting emotions. Feed? Protect? She couldn’t decide. The battle raged until slowly she managed to calm herself.

“There now, you don’t wish to kill… at least not yet. I’d hate for you to do so in the thrill of your first drink only to regret it.”

“Thank you,” Buffy shook in his arms a moment, still staring at the girl who now stood with a dazed expression on her face, “She’s…”

“Yours to command.” Dracula said, “Until you release her.”

“How much did I drink?” Buffy asked.

“Enough to dull your thirst, but not enough to harm her.” Dracula said.

“This is wrong… I should be freaking out, planning my walk into the sun rise.” Buffy said, only to hear Dracula chuckle.

“I suggest, my childe, that you have her bandage her wound, and return to work,” Dracula released Buffy as she stared at the thrall before her.

“Maria,” Buffy said, using the girls name, “Bandage your neck, and go back to work…” She started to tell the girl to forget this ever happened, but stopped, her mind warring with her new instincts finally she ordered “Tell no one what happened here.”

“Yes Mistress.” Maria turned and left the room, obeying without thinking.

“You didn’t release her.” Dracula smiled.

“I know.” Buffy said, “That scares me.”

“You’ll learn, young one.” Dracula said, smiling, before he turned to the dresser, picking the room’s key card up.

“What now?” Buffy asked.

“The room is yours till the end of summer, and I’ve left you a small stipend in the desk, as well as a lap-top, and a closet of clothes I believe will fit you.” He handed Buffy the key card, “You have much to learn. I must return to my duties, my childe, but I’ll be watching.”

“You’re just going to leave me…” Buffy looked shocked, “Not make me into a minion?”

Dracula laughed, “Elizabetha, my dear, you’re a vampire, not a thrall. Remember, we are not the beast that the demon breed are, we are above that. We make thralls of mortals, of course, and occasionally covens with others of our kind, but never do we force our will upon each other.”

“Ok…” Buffy said, “But what about teaching me?”

“You’ll learn your powers yourself in time, young one. They’re instinctual. Relax, and use the time wisely.” With that, he walked to the window, and vanished in a cloud of bats.

Buffy looked around the room, finally taking it in instead of the sensory overload that had occurred before. She stood in the bedroom now, and she could see that the door Maria had come through led into a living room, not the hallway. In the back of her mind she remembered Dracula giving room service orders to send her straight in and nock on the bedroom door. The bed, if something that size could really be called a bed, was big enough to fit five or six people comfortably. The sheets, when she ran her fingers over them, were silk, and she could feel the weight of the goose down comforter.

She walked into the living room, her eyes roaming over the couch and coffee table, the large TV set before them. There was also a desk, and a lap-top set on it just as Dracula had said. A stereo sat against another wall. The kitchenette had a dining table, a sink, and a fridge, as well as a microwave. Buffy walked out to the balcony next, taking in the view. This was when she noticed where she was.

It wasn’t Hollywood, or Beverly Hills, but she was definitely in an upscale portion of Los Angeles. A quick look back into the room showed the hotel’s name on the desk’s stationary; The Imperial Hotel. She’d never heard of it, but it was elegant. Buffy closed her eyes, breathing in the night, as well as letting her other senses loose. She almost shook from the sensory overload again before she managed to regain control.

It was amazing. She could feel her Sire still in the city, though he was fading quickly from her range. Back toward the worse parts of town she felt several vampires and demons, but there were a few nearer her as well. A huge beacon of evil was nearby as well. There was also something strange in her sensory range. It felt powerful, and she could feel vampires, demons, and humans all inside, but she felt something odd as well.

“Something to investigate…” Buffy shook her head, “What’s happening to me?”

Buffy moved back into the room, trying to figure out what was going on in her mind, but she could feel her hunger coming back, slowly. She needed to feed if she wanted to be able to control herself. Dracula had told her that. Maybe she could figure things out on the streets.

At least, she might find something to drink down there.
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Buffy looked around the park she’d found her way to. Even in the darkest shadows, she could see as well as if it were daylight. She could hear the sound of other people as well. A couple making out in the bushes, a policeman walking his beat. She’d learned quickly that her mental abilities had expanded as well. She could read the surface thoughts of all those around her. Well, almost all those around her.

There was a void of silence where her senses told her there were actually three vampires. Correction; three demon breed vampires. She couldn’t capture their thoughts at all, but she could tell their intent easily enough. They were moving toward the couple in the bushes. Buffy paused in her walk, thinking.

She could save them, she was sure of that. She doubted that the demon breed were any match for her skills even if she wasn’t aware of all her powers now. Still, did she wish to? Was it still her responsibility? She closed her eyes, letting herself contemplate things. Could she live with herself if she didn’t save them?

She was a vampire now, but she was still Buffy, and, as she touched that part of herself deep inside that she’d tried to bury, she was still a slayer. She smirked, more so now than ever it seemed. Buffy looked up at the full moon and smiled. She was the slayer, and it was time to hunt!

She walked toward the group of vampires, her eyes bleeding red and her fang elongating as she did. She could feel her fingers become claws as well, and her senses heightened all over again. This was her game face; red eyes, claws, and two perfect fangs. Not the Klingon wannabes that the demon breeds she’d fought were. She smirked as she rounded a tree, standing in their path.

“Boys.” Buffy smiled at them.

“What the hell? I don’t know what one of Dracula’s whelps is doing here, but this is our turf. You’re not poaching our kill.” The leader spoke.

Buffy let her eyes roll over them. The leader was dressed like a biker. Torn jeans, leather jacket, bandanna, all offset by yellow eyes and a ridged forehead. His two cronies wore the same style bandanna, but they had bare chest, and torn jeans. Buffy noticed that they also wore tattoos wrapping around their torsos. She didn’t even consider them a threat.

“Leave the lovebirds alone boys, or I’ll have to introduce you to the local allergen supply.” Buffy grinned wickedly.

Buffy knew it was coming. They rushed her in mass and she just stood there. Her right fist lashed out, sending the leader flying backwards several feet as she finally moved, turning to avoid the other two. Her hand flashed again and five furrows opened up in both her opponent’s chests as she raked her claws over them. She laughed as they jumped back, hissing in pain.

“This is amazing.” Buffy chuckled, “I thought I was tough as a slayer, but now!”

“A slayer!” The leader spat, “Dracula turned a damn slayer!”

“Yea…” Buffy grinned, then rushed forward, pouring all her speed into the move as she held her hand in a spear point, shoving it through the vampires heart and out his back.

The two minions watched as their leader turned to dust and the red eyed vampire turned toward them. She was smiling as she looked at her arm.

“You know, that was pure instinct. I’d never done it before…” Buffy said.

One of the minions rushed her while she seemed distracted, only to have Buffy catch him by the throat with her other hand. She looked up into his eyes, smiling as she held him effortlessly. Again she launched her hand forward, spearing it through the vampires heart.

“Cool.” She chuckled as he vanished into dust, “You.” She pointed at the last, frightened minion.

“Y.. ye.. Yes… ma’am?” The minion whimpered.

“Hot spots, what’s in this town?” Buffy said.

“I.. I don’t… know what you mean…” He stammered out.

“Demon bars, nests, anything you can think of that might convince me to let you walk away.” Buffy stalked toward him, “Though, I wonder.”

He whimpered as Buffy sniffed the air, “W…won…wonder what ma’am…”

“I can smell your blood, and with you, I don’t have to hold back… But it smells wrong. Tainted. Not tasty at all. So speak.” Buffy moved in a flash and was right in front of him.

“Caritas, it’s in the downtown area. Can’t miss it. Hyperion’s a place you want to avoid, paranoia demon there… most of us steer clear of it. Wol.. Wolfram and Hart is the big law firm in town, they handle stuff for the demonic community. There’s a… a… shelter, run by slaver demons that have been preying on the homeless lately…” He whimpered, “That’s all I know…”

“Hmm… thank you.” Buffy slashed her claws across his throat, severing his head, then watching the dust blow away on the breeze, “He was pathetic…”

Buffy concentrated her senses again, using the directions the vampire had given her to pick out each of the spots. Caritas must be the one she was curious about earlier. The evil beacon she picked out had to be the law-firm. She could sense another, smaller patch of darkness to. That must be the slaver demons. Nothing else in the immediate area though. She concentrated on the feeling of Caritas, letting her mind wander a bit.

Suddenly she felt her body dissipate and she was flying over the town, seeing it through thousands of eyes at once. No, not seeing it. Hearing it. The entirety of the city being transmitted into her senses through echolocation. She could ‘see’ all the hiding place, the nooks and crannies, the different alleyways… everything. Then she was suddenly standing on the pavement again, outside a bar.

“Hmm. That was interesting…” Buffy grinned as she looked down at herself, her clothes still immaculate, and a quick glance at a reflective window showed her hair still perfectly in place. “Neat.”

Buffy walked into the bar, smiling at the door man, “Heard about this place. What’s it like?”

“Neutral ground. No violence at all. That’s not just a rule, it’s a fact. There’s a spell preventing it. If you want a reading, speak to The Host, and pick a song. Other than that, enjoy Caritas.” The demonic doorman smiled as he bowed her through the door.

“Hmm.” Buffy smirked as her eyes traveled over the patrons. A few vampires, some demons she didn’t recognize, a couple she’d fought before, one she was pretty sure ate babies, and a dozen or so humans. All of them were looking at the stage where a green creature with orange hair and horns stood. He wore a loud blue suit.

“Alright doll babies,” The man on the stage said, “That’s my set for the night. Anyone who wants a reading, come see me, or just to sing, feel free.”

Buffy smirked as the green demon left the stage and started toward the bar. She made to intercept him. She sat at the bar beside, who she assumed to be, The Host. Her eyes roamed over him a moment, before gesturing to the bartender.

“You The Host?” Buffy asked.

“That’s right Baby Cakes. Name‘s Lorne, and you are?” Lorne looked her over, taking in her appearance.

“A vampire,” Buffy said, watching the Bartender nod, she mouthed ‘wine glass‘ “Though I’ve just been informed that can mean one of four lines, but before tonight, I was The Slayer.”

The Host nearly spit out his drink as his eyes bugged out, “What vampire in his right mind would turn The Slayer!”

Buffy smirked as the entire bar went silent with Lorne’s declaration; she reached out, taking the glass from the frozen bartender “Dracula.”

Lorne gulped, then gestured at the bartender, in a heartbeat he’d been handed a glass of something blue. Lorne downed it in a single drought, then signaled for another. Slowly he turned to face her, his eyes a little calmer, but Buffy could tell he was still rattled.

“What can I do for you, my Lady?” Lorne gulped.

“Relax,” Buffy smiled as she sipped the blood, then spit it back in the glass, “Blech! What is that?”

“P.. Pi…Pig’s blood M’lady,” The bartender said, “Please forgive me, I’d not realized your heritage when you ordered.”

“Hmm, something the old man didn’t tell me.” Buffy said, “I guess animal blood just doesn’t fit the bill for my line.”

“He left you…” Lorne said, still watching her.

“Yes,” She pushed the wine glass away, “I was so hoping to quell my thirst without having to hunt.”

One of the human waitresses came up to them then, “I’d volunteer, My Lady.”

Buffy turned to her, eyeing her carefully, “It would make you mine, put you in my power till I released you.”

“I know, My Lady. I’ve heard of the Dracula Line’s thrall…” She gulped slightly.

Buffy smiled as she picked up the woman’s fear, and anticipation, “Lorne, may I avail myself of your waitress’s hospitality?”

“Of.. Of course.” Lorne said, watching her carefully.

“Wrist, or throat?” Buffy asked, and the woman held her wrist out to Buffy.

Buffy smiled at the girl, capturing her with her gaze before she leaned down, biting the woman’s wrist. Again there was a flood of images as memories ran through her mind; flashes of the woman’s life, her loves, her hopes, her dreams, everything that she was. Then with a parting kiss, Buffy released her wrist. She looked at the shaking woman, her body quivering as the pleasurable waves of Buffy’s bite passed.

“Thank you, Alicia, go back to work. I’ll call on you again, should I need you.” Buffy smiled at her.

“Yes, Mistress.” Alicia shook her head before returning to work.

“You didn’t release her,” Lorne pointed out.

“Nor do I mean her any harm in that.” Buffy said, “I’m not sure why I didn’t release her though…”

“So why are you here?” Lorne asked.

“I was curious. I sensed this place, it felt different to me, and one of the vampires I dusted tonight said it was neutral ground.” Buffy said.

“Ok…” Lorne said, “What do you want.”

“Not sure,” Buffy shrugged, “The old man just turned me, gave me a few quick points of interest, and did his horde of bats vanishing act. No teaching, no training, just a hotel room and told me to… use my time wisely.”

“Well, I can tell you a bit about the Line of Dracula, and I can read your aura, if you want.” Lorne said.

“My aura?” Buffy looked at him.

“Yea, but you have to sing.” He gestured to the stage.

Buffy thought over that for a bit, “Information first.”

“Well, Dracula’s powers are pretty common knowledge. He can change shapes, becoming mist, bats, a wolf. You’ve already figured out how to entrance your victims, obviously. You can walk during the day…” Lorne stopped as she turned her head sharply.

“I can?” Buffy asked.

“Yes…” Lorne said, “But you’re not as powerful during the day, trapped in human form, and your gaze is weaker.”

“That’s why he laughed.” Buffy nodded.

“Invitation rule?” Buffy asked.

“That’s only demon breed, and Kagan’s line.” Lorne said.

“Tell me about Kagan’s line.” Buffy closed her eyes, listening to him.

“Kagan was a necromancer, who bonded a blood demon, like the kind that form the demon breed vamps, to his human flesh. This made him a soulless vampire, but different from the demon breeds in that, he still lived. He has their weaknesses. Sunlight, crosses, wooden stakes, but they don’t dust, and water doesn‘t have to be holy to burn them. They’re also capable of mating with humans, the males anyway, to give birth to Dhampir, though there are only a few of those known to exist.” Lorne said.

“I get the feeling,” Buffy gestured to those around her, “That I make you nervous, Lorne. Everyone else here sees you a happy, bubbly person normally.”

“Well, sweet cheeks,” Lorne smiled a bit, “You have to admit, you’re a touch of a shock.”

“True.” Buffy smiled, “Dhampir?”

“Half vampires, half human. No weakness to sunlight, or holy objects, but water still burns them like acid. They can feed on blood, or food. The one you need to be concerned with is Rayne. She’s a member of ‘The Brimstone Society‘.” Lorne shook his head, “Why am I suddenly the vampire teacher.”

“Probably has to do with the mild compulsion I’m using.” Buffy said, “Corvinus strain?”

“A disease wiped out part of Hungary, the only survivor being a Hungarian Warlord by the name of Corvinus. For some reason, no one is sure why, he became the first immortal. He had three sons, one bitten by wolf, one by bat, and one was forced to walk the road of mortality. The other two, became the first vampire, and werewolf, of the Corvinus strain.” Lorne said.

“Hmm…” Buffy smiled as she thought about all this, “You Lorne, are a pleasant host. Though I’m still trying to figure out why I’m not rebelling at the fact that I’m now a vampire. I should hate myself, and I’ve already fed twice…”

“I can do a reading, if you like… but like I said. You’d have to sing.” Lorne noticed the entire bar watching them, “I don’t believe anyone else is going to feel up to it tonight.”

Buffy looked around the bar, smirking as they all still stared at her, “What? Never seen a turned slayer before?”

The all shook their heads.

“Oh, carry on then.” Buffy laughed.

“That reading?” Lorne suggested again.

“Hmm, may help explain why I’m so ok with this…” Buffy grinned as she got up, walking toward the stage, “Why not.”

Lorne shivered as Buffy smiled at him. A waiter by the stage asked what she’d be singing. Buffy looked around the room, letting the emotions and surface thoughts pour over her a moment before shutting them out. She’d heard the song once, but it fit her state perfectly she thought.

“Torn.”

Buffy took the microphone from the stand as the music started to flow, eyes on the screen for a moment before they closed and she just let the music take her.

“I thought I saw a man brought to life…” Her voice escaped in a siren’s song, but she kept going, letting her instincts take over to express herself, “He was warm, he came around, and he was dignified… he showed me what it was to cry.”

Buffy started to sway as the music took her, eyes completely closed now as she recalled the song perfectly, “Well you couldn't be that man I adored… You don't seem to know, or seem to care what your heart is for. I don't know him anymore…”

By now she was dancing, her thoughts gone as she let her emotions pour out in the song, “There’s nothing where he used to lie! My conversation has run dry… That’s what’s going on… nothing’s right… I’m torn.”

“I’m all out of faith… This is how I feel. I’m cold and I am shamed… Lying naked on the floor!” Buffy spun as she strutted off the stage, her body moving of its own accord now as her voice hypnotized the crowd into silence, entrancing them.

“Illusion never changed, into something real… I’m wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn!” Buffy’s eyes snapped open, and they were red as her fangs distended, taking on her now natural face as she sang, locking Lorne in her gaze, “You’re a little late, I’m already torn!”

She swayed through the crowd with the rhythm of the music as it played, slowly making her way back to the stage so that her foot too the first step as she sang the next line, “So I guess the fortune tellers right… I should have seen just what was there and not some holy light…”

Buffy smirked to herself at that line, as she turned back to the audience, “But you crawled beneath my veins, and now I don't care. I have no luck. I don't miss it all that much… There's just so many things that I can't touch. I'm torn!

Buffy stalked around the stage as she burst into the chorus again, her motions sure even as she poured the chaos of her soul out into the lyrics. She was flowing like a breeze, never meeting a gaze for more than a moment as she sang. She was briefly shocked to notice that even the demon breed vamps were enthralled by her performance before she started the final verse of the song.

“There’s nothing where he used to lie, my inspiration has run dry. That’s what’s going on… Nothings right I’m torn… I’m all out of faith, this is how I feel. I’m cold and I am shamed, lying naked on the floor… Illusion never changed into something real. I’m wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn!

“I’m all out of faith, I’m cold and I’m ashamed, bound and broken on the floor! You’re a little late… I’m already torn….” Buffy swayed with the music as she let the last of the track play out. Her eyes were closed again as she let her senses run through the song in octaves and frequencies only she could hear.

The last note died and silence dropped over the entire room with the echoing click of the mic as she placed it back on the stand. Like a tidal wave, all the emotions and thoughts of the room crashed against her in a blast of thundering applause. She smiled at that for the briefest moment, but when her eyes opened they were locked on the awed face of The Host.
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