Sharks and Angels
One – Sharks and Angels
“You is sharks, certain. But if you govern the shark in you, why then you be angel. For an angel is nothing more than the shark well-governed."
- Fleece, Moby Dick
“I think I’m gonna hurl.”
“You’re telling me that you can face the Master, Angelus, the Mayor, Adam, Glory, Evil Willow, and-”
“Sitting right here.”
“Sorry. Even the First didn’t get you down! Why are you afraid of planes and not them?”
Xander gave the Slayer a look that clearly said ‘duh!’.
“Because *they* weren’t thousands of miles in the sky,” he said petulantly. “If we were meant to fly, we’d have been born with wings.”
Buffy sighed and rolled her eyes. “Men are such babies.”
“On behalf of all my species: hey!”
Willow scowled and shut her book as she listened to the bickering. She loved her friends dearly, but humoring them when they were acting this childish, was going above and beyond the call of duty. Her eyes fell on Giles, perusing a magazine with earplugs stuffed in his ears. Oh good, she thought reverently. A sane person.
Giles looked up when someone plopped into the empty seat next to him.
“Hi,” Willow chirped. “Can I sit with you?”
Despite his efforts at a stoic countenance, he felt a smile stealing over his lips. “Are they wreaking havoc?”
She pouted. “Yes. And I can’t read.” Her expression turned serious. “I don’t mean to belabour the obvious, but how are we meeting the bloodsuckers? We don’t exactly have a car waiting.”
Giles swept his glasses off and cleaned them furiously. “Actually, we do.”
Willow narrowed her eyes. “Be kind, please rewind.”
Refusing to meet her gaze, he responded meekly. “Marcus – the last of their Elders – is sending an escort to pick us up.”
The witch shook her head, bemused. “You’re letting the enemy exercise control over us? Buffy’s not gonna like that.”
“I’m not gonna like what?” The petite Slayer was glaring daggers at them; hands on her hips.
Willow’s eyes widened. “I’ve uh...gotta go to the bathroom!” She bolted.
Buffy kept her stare on her Watcher. “Well?” she prompted.
“All passengers, we are preparing to make our descent. Please fasten your seatbelts until the plane comes to a complete stop.”
“There is a God,” Giles muttered thankfully. Buffy growled at him before stalking back to her place next to Xander.
“Saved by the intercom,” Willow whispered as she slipped into her seat.
“I’m not out of the woods yet,” he said, motioning to the Slayer’s baleful glare.
They were late.
It wasn’t Dawn’s fault, not really. Luggage was lost all the time.
Giles tapped his foot irritably. For any other time, fashionably late would have been fine. But this was a first impression. They were important. Especially when ones hosts were the most feared vampires to ever walk the earth.
Buffy apparently picked up on his apprehension. “Dawn, we’ll just have to get it later.”
“But all my clothes and my CD’s are in there!” she wailed. “I can’t leave my leather mini-skirt, it cost me all my allowance!” She crossed her arms and jutted out her lower lip. “I’m not moving.”
Dawn emitted a most interesting squeaking sound.
And looked up.
Here was a guy you didn’t want to mess with – undead or otherwise. This vamp had a physique that would make a quarterback envious. His dark skin was taut and rippling with power and his eyes were hard and unyielding. And he was currently eyeing them up and down like meat to be inspected.
When he spoke, it was with a drawling British accent. “I take it *you* are our backup.” The scornful tone was not lost on Buffy who fixed him with an icy stare of her own.
“What if we are?” She asked flippantly. “And who the hell are you?”
Giles slapped a hand to his head and groaned. “Tact, Buffy!” he hissed.
“That’s all right, Mr. Giles.” His black eyes sparkled with amusement. “I am Kahn, head of security and the Death Dealers. You must be the Slayer. I’ve heard about your famous disregard for authority.”
Faith quickly stepped in before Buffy got warmed up for a verbal battle. “Are you the dude who’s givin’ us a ride? ‘Cause I gotta say I’m not liking the ‘tude.”
Kahn arched a brow. “You’re Faith, the rogue Slayer. I’ve heard...interesting stories about you.”
“Look, these hormones on parade would be fascinating to watch any other time, but I’m tired and I’m hungry. Can we go to Dead House, or whatever it’s called?” Dawn was apparently still moping about her suitcase.
“Very well. The car’s out front.” Without waiting for a reply, he turned and made his way rapidly to the exit.
Buffy pounced on Giles. “So that’s why we took an evening flight! You didn’t tell me the leeches were playing chauffer! That’s the stupidest thing – well, one of them – that I’ve ever seen you do! When they kill us, I’ll stalk you for the rest of my spiritual existence saying ‘I told you so’.” With that, she tossed her golden locks over her shoulder, and flounced away haughtily.
“Ouch,” Dawn winced. “I don’t envy you.” She patted his arm then followed her sister.
Giles cleared his throat. “Right then, is everyone ready to go? Where’s Xander?” Faith pointed to the restrooms.
“Still throwing up,” Willow said as she approached them. “Isn’t it cool how many ways there are to say ‘throwing up’? There’s barfing, puking, ralphing, heaving, technicolour yawn, spilling your guts, tangoing with the toilet-”
“Thank you Willow, I get the picture.”
She blushed. “Sorry. Here he comes.”
Poor Xander was an interesting shade of green and grey, and looked like he was going to get a concrete facial any minute. Giles quickly grabbed his arm.
“Thanks G-man,” he smiled weakly. “So, what’d I miss?”
“Nothin’ much,” Faith said cheerfully.
The car ride over was nothing to sing about. Their escort was as talkative as a zombie. But their first sight of the house...that was a whole different ballpark.
Faith whistled sharply. “Hot damn, check out Frankenstein Manor.”
There was a scramble for the windows.
“Jeez, you could kill all of New York, and no one would find bodies in there.”
“I told you so!”
“Someone’s got a Dracula complex.”
“Can you imagine playing hide-n-seek in there?”
“Nice crib. Bet it’s got it’s own private arsenal.”
Kahn tried not to smirk. These so-called warriors were very amusing. “Welcome to Ordoghaz, the Devil’s House. Marcus would greet you himself; unfortunately, he has important matters to deal with. I am supposed to take you to Kraven, his second-in-command, for a briefing.”
Still in awe, they followed him up to the large doors, guarded by stern looking vampires. They eyed the humans but nodded respectfully to Kahn, and opened the doors wide.
“Rude much?” Dawn mumbled. But then she froze.
At least a hundred vampires were staring at them, most of them curiously, none of them friendly. Buffy glared back at them defiantly. After a few moments of awkward staring, Kahn motioned for them to follow him. Passing through the undead throng, they walked dizzyingly around a myriad of hallways and rooms. Suddenly, their guide stopped, so abruptly Dawn nearly walked into him.
“Go through that door,” he said, pointing to the hulking thing in front of him. “I am allowed no further.” Then, he vanished into another corridor.
“Come into my parlour, said the spider to the fly,” Xander muttered. Buffy elbowed him and grasped the doorknob boldly, flinging it open. The others entered more hesitantly.
Upon first glance the room appeared to be empty. Then they noticed the high-backed chair facing away from the entrance.
“So,” a cultured voice spoke into the silence, “you’ve arrived.” The chair turned, revealing a man with handsome, aristocratic features. “To be quite honest, I didn’t think you would come. But here you are.” He inclined his head, mockingly saluting them. “I’m Kraven, though I expect you knew that.”
Buffy’d had enough of being patronized. “Why are we here?”
“To help us, not that a mangy pack of humans can.”
“Cut the drama, you know what I meant.”
He casually leaned back. “You are here because lycans - which were our devoted servants once – have been attempting to usurp us in a rebellion that has lasted for the better part of a thousand years. Filthy beasts,” he sniffed disdainfully.
“By ‘lycans’, I take it you mean lycanthropes? Werewolves?” Willow asked, biting her lip.
“Then what’s the problem? For three nights a month they turn into a monster, so what? I’m not exactly a picnic to be around at certain times of the month either.”
Kraven stared at her in disbelief. “Where did you hear that little piece of fiction? Lycans can change at will. You must be referring to a different breed. No matter, the point is, they’re all animals, and they need to be exterminated.”
Willow’s eyes flashed. “Wait just a minute. My ex-boyfriend was a werewolf, and he was the sweetest person alive – for the majority of the month. He wasn’t a ‘filthy beast’.”
“If that’s true, then where is he now?”
Kraven raised his brows. “My point.”
Willow blushed and lowered her gaze. Xander put his arm around her and scowled at the vampire lord.
Giles cleared his throat. “Could we continue this tomorrow? We’re all exhausted, and we’re still adjusting to the time change.”
Kraven stood and pressed a button on the wall. Within moments, a blonde vampiress appeared at the door. “Show them to their rooms, Erika.” He looked at Giles. “We will talk more the following night. Good rest.” He swept out of the room like a bat.
The female vamp was barely restraining her disgust. “Follow me,” she said curtly.
“And again with the labyrinth,” Xander grunted under the weight of the suitcases he was made to carry. This time, though, the trip was shorter. Erika gestured at a line of doors. She pointed at the two men. “You two are in there, the Slayers are in here, and the witch is on the end. The kid’s room is here.” She left without another word.
“Y’know, for people who claim to want our help, they’re not real forthcoming,” Faith stated. “Anyway, I’m hittin’ the sack. You comin’, B?”
“Just a sec.” Buffy turned a worried gaze on Giles. “I don’t know if I want Dawn by herself in this place. It gives me the wiggins.”
“Buf-fy,” Dawn whined, “come on! I’m seventeen, for crying out loud! Giles, help me.”
“She’ll be fine,” the Watcher said gently. “She’s surrounded by Slayers and a witch, nothing could happen.”
The Slayer chewed on her lip before agreeing, and going to bed. Dawn blew Giles a kiss, and they parted ways.
Inside, Dawn gaped at her room. It was huge! She could almost fit the entire upstairs of her old house in here. She rubbed her hands together gleefully. “This is getting better and better. Now where’s the TV?”
A few blocks from Ordoghaz, a man was talking urgently into a cell phone.
“What do you mean you lost track of them?! You fool, without them, we lose!”
The voice on the other end was stammering excuses.
“I don’t care if they killed your mother, I want them located! If you don’t find them, they will be finding you entrails for years. Do I make myself clear?” He snapped the phone shut.
Aggravated, he rubbed an old bite mark on his neck. The half moon peeked out from behind the clouds, and the light shimmered on the chain around his neck. Hastily, he concealed himself in the shadows and disappeared.
There was light in her eyes.
Irritably, Dawn pried her heavy lids open. Some moron had left the blinds open! She sighed. Oh well, I’m hungry anyway was her conclusion. Glancing at the bedside clock told her it was only eight twenty-two a.m. Far too early to wake up when you’d just changes countries for the second time four and a half hours ago. “I’ll just have a snack and go back to bed. No vampire will be out, it’s daylight,” she told herself.
Dawn eased open the door.
It creaked. Loudly.
She froze and listened. All she heard was Xander’s snoring.
She tip-toed to the end of the hall and ambled down the stairs. They’d better have human food, ‘cause my munchies are bordering on full starvation, she thought. Dawn wandered further into the mansion, walking carefully to avoid any more creaks.
After fifteen minutes, she came to what had to be the kitchen. It had a ‘fridge. She yanked on the handle. It wouldn’t budge. Who would lock a refrigerator? She tugged a pin out her hair and played with the lock. Five minutes of sore fingers was worth the effort when it gave with a click.
Triumphantly, she threw open the door.
This wasn’t a ‘fridge. It was a medical room, or something.
Dawn turned to leave when a heap of clothing caught her eye. She slowly walked closer until it moved and looked up.
She gasped. It was a man! And he had blood all over his face; chained to the wall.
“Aren’t you a little young to be in here?” his voice was hoarse, as if he had been screaming.
“Who’re you?” She asked, ignoring his question.
He blinked in surprise. “Lucian.”
Dawn scrunched up her nose. “Is that supposed to mean something?”
Lucian’s gaze became more alert, and he tensed. “You’re mortal!”
“Get out before they find you! Hurry, child!”
She smirked a little. “You mean Kraven and his lackeys? No worries.”
Now Lucian was staring at her as if she were insane.
“Oh, I didn’t tell you? I’m Dawn. My sister is the Slayer.” She waited for the reaction.
And got one. “That’s even worse! What in the name of all that’s holy are you doing here?”
Deciding he was no threat, she plopped at his feet. “Some dude named Marcus contacted some mutual acquaintance and asked us for help in some war against werewolves. I personally don’t see the big deal. My sister’s friend’s ex-boyfriend was one, and he wouldn’t hurt a fly. He used to baby-sit me when I was younger.”
The lycan stared at her. “I am in hell,” he mumbled.
Dawn frowned. “Are you okay? You don’t look so good.”
Lucian gestured to his chains. “It’s the silver. I’ve already been shot with several rounds.”
“Oh.” She hesitated. “I could let you out.”
“No,” he said tersely.
“Because they would kill you.”
She snorted. “Doubt it. Buffy would turn them into blood cocktails if they even looked at me. ‘Sides, that Kraven guy’s all talk.” She winked.
He stared at her intently. Dawn shifted uncomfortably. “What?”
“You remind me of a woman I knew a long time ago.” She offered him a brilliant smile.
“Dawn! What are you doing?”
Willow stormed toward the guilty Key. And stopped when she saw Lucian. Their eyes met, and she gasped when she felt a shock of awareness go through her. Dawn, seeing her chance to plead her case, interrupted their connection. “I’m sorry, Willow, but I was hungry, so I went to look for a kitchen, and thought I found the ‘fridge, but it was a prison instead, and then I saw Lucian, and he’s all chained up just ‘cause he’s a werewolf!” She finished indignantly.
With extreme effort, she transferred her gaze to Dawn. “It’s okay Dawnie. Just...go back to your room, and I won’t tell Buffy.”
“What about Lucian?”
“I’ll handle it.”
Dawn nodded, satisfied, and left.
Willow cautiously walked closer and extended a hand and placed it on his head. She closed her eyes and concentrated.
The lycan gasped and all the colour rushed back into his face; his wounds healed. “What did you do?”
The red head smiled wearily. “I removed all traces of silver from your body. Don’t worry,” she said as she moved to leave. “I’ll straighten this out. Somehow.” She left.
And for the first time in over seven hundred centuries, he dreamt of another woman.
End Part One
A/N: For those who actually reviewed, thanks very much. For those who didn’t, shame on you! Also, I’ve realized something I forgot to put in my previous AN: Kraven is alive (obviously). I’ve read the book and I’ve seen the movie. He wasn’t killed, he just scampered off like a coward. The only ones who knew he was a turncoat were Viktor (who’s dead) and Selene. But who do you think Marcus would believe? A confirmed traitor – or the vampire who ‘killed’ Lucian.
A/N2: I’ve had a disturbing lack of reviews. I know how it is: you’re enjoying yourself too much to pause and leave comments. So this is where give and take comes in. The more reviews I get, the faster I’ll post a new chapter. Comprende? Also, don’t just tell me ‘you suck’ or ‘great’. Tell me everything you thought about it. Anything from spelling mistakes to an inconsistent plot, please let me know. Writers can’t fix what they don’t they’re doing wrong. No flames please! The critics are our friends, they show us our faults.
Answers to reviewers:
Crazy Green Person: Fascinating pen name! I love Smallville. Especially a certain billionaire playboy... Thanks for your review!
Superfan: It actually means ‘raven’ but it wasn’t my idea. If you’ll read the book, or listen to the movie carefully, you’ll hear all about the Corvinus line. One of my favorite parts of the movie. And yes, I intend to work on this until la fine.
RainySunshine: I guess me answering this question is a moot point now, but what the hell? As you can see there will be a Lucian pairing. Couldn’t let him be alone, now could I?
I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter. The next one should be up within a few days, depending on my work schedule. Hopefully, I’ll have more inspiration tomorrow night, I’m going to see Underworld again!
Remember to review!