The Law of the Jungle
With so many characters (and with people reading who may not be familiar with all the books) here is a quick ID key of who is present to lessen confusion:
Vampires: Spike, JC, Asher, Requiem, Wicked and Truth, Byron, London
Wolves: Richard, Shang-Da, Jamil, Sylvie, Jason, several others
Leopards: Micah, Nathaniel, Caleb, Elizabeth, Noah
Hyenas: Narcissus and underlings (Remus, Dionysus, Ixion, and Bacchus)
Tigers: Crispin & Domino
Lions: Haven and several others
Rats: Rafael, Claudia, others
With so many characters interacting I am including ‘~*~*~’ to separate the scenes just for organizational purposes.
A round of applause to Greywizard for being a splendiferous beta : )
“Ya know, this is kinda cute actually,” Buffy cracked as she parried another feeble blow from Anita. “You’ve been here in St. Louis for so long thinking you’re the big bad, but you can’t even scratch me with your little knife.”
“Oh, I’m *so* sorry that I am not up to your typical standards, Ms. Infamous Slayer,” Anita grunted as she futilely slashed through the air again.
Buffy grinned. “It’s okay. Few can match my standards. But it's hilarious how the next day at the demon-y water cooler, all the baddies brag about fighting me- If they make it out alive, that is.”
Anita jabbed her long knife towards Buffy and slashed upwards, coming closer to scratching her opponent this time.
“Maybe I won’t need to brag-- I’ll just show all the demons your head as proof,” she remarked with a wicked laugh. The broken triumvirate had weakened her, that was true, but Anita was still feeling strong, thanks to the power of her animals inside and her second triumvirate. She was still human, but she was certainly stronger and faster than the typical one.
“You want proof?” Buffy snarled. Her sword whistled through the air as she carved the letter ‘B’ into Anita’s right cheek. “There’s some proof.”
“Fucking bitch!” Anita exclaimed, her tone ripe with pain and outrage.
“I’m done playing tea party with you, Zombie Porno Queen," Buffy informed Anita. "You have severely fucked up by turning your back on your own race to hop in bed with the vamps-- both literally and metaphorically. Of course, I get that there’s nothing wrong with some vamp loving-- in certain circumstances, that is-- but you’ve helped them with their plots and you have helped them kill people without losing sleep over it. You say you like the monsters.
"Well, hooker, let me tell you: You *are* a monster!" she declared. "And a fucking traitor to other humans, not to mention an overall bitch.”
Anita screamed with anger and threw all her weight into her sword but Buffy casually deflected the blow with enough force to knock Anita’s knife out of her hands. After a shocked pause, Anita aimed a punch for Buffy’s throat, but the slayer dropped her sword, grabbed Anita’s forearm, and casually snapped it. With a howl of pain, Anita used her other fist to punch Buffy, but the blond easily caught the fist with one hand and slowly crushed Anita’s fist.
Then she kicked the screaming necromancer across the floor.
“You had a chance, Anita," Buffy told the broken and bleeding necromancer. "Dolph charged you and you could have left without any problems. Could have had your day in court and maybe even get parole, someday. But no, you just had to choose your boyfriend. Not to mention, you have been quite the rude hussy when it comes to giving up my friend, Spike.”
Hands on her hips, Buffy glared down at the stricken Anita.
Anita laughed bitterly. “And you say I’m hung up on my men. Look at the Vampire Slayer getting all protective over a vampire. A former lover, I assume?”
Buffy knelt down, grabbed a glob of greasy hair, and yanked back Anita’s head. “That is not your concern, bitch. Now, I want you to release Spike.”
“It’s not that easy!” Anita gasped. Her skull felt like it was on fire from Buffy yanking out her hair. "I can't just let him go without killing all of us."
“Then at least rescind your orders. And give up.” Buffy glanced at the battle between Richard, Jamil, and Shang-Da against Jean-Claude. “Looks like Jean-Claude isn’t doing so hot, anyways.” As she spoke Rafael and some of the rats were jumping in as well.
Anita’s eyes shone in a moment of realization and she laughed. “You know what I just realized? You kill me; you kill your ex-lover. So guess what? I’m not afraid of you, anymore.”
“Oh, dammit!” Buffy screeched, frustrated as all hell by the woman‘s attitude. “You know, there are plenty of things I can do that would be worse than killing you, you idiot!.” Then she couldn’t control her temper anymore and slammed her fist into Anita’s face, knocking the woman unconscious.
Buffy heard a piercing roar and turned around just in time to see a leopard man hit her and throw her against the floor. She rolled out of the way to escape his claws as she realized that the creature before her must be Micah. Feral yellow eyes glared at her as he pounced on her, but Buffy kicked him off before he could get a swipe in. Cat lycanthropy was hard to catch, but she didn’t want to take any chances.
Micah engaged her in hand to hand-- or rather, hand to claw. Buffy kept ducking his claws and managed to get in some blows of her own, but she had to admit he was a pretty badass shifter. Their efforts became frenzied and he landed a kick to her knee, forcing her to fall.
Before he could get in another blow, though, he was tackled by a partially transformed Richard.
“Rafael and my people are fighting Jean-Claude. You help them with the various vamps,” he grunted to Buffy as he sunk a claw into Micah’s shoulder.
“You sure?” she asked.
“Oh yes.” Richard turned to stare into Micah’s cat-like orbs. “This is personal.”
Faith was having the time of her life fighting Byron and Requiem. The two might act like some poetic losers from across the pond, but because they were older vamps they had some hardcore skills.
Hers, of course, were better.
Requiem lay on the ground, searching for both of his eyes that she had ripped out. Faith supposed that if he reinserted them, his vampiric magic might reattach them. Nonetheless, it was a comical sight. She just thought that if he was going to keep spouting crappy poetry, then she needed to make sure he would be unable to read anymore of it, anymore.
Hmm. Speaking of which…
She smacked him across the temple and, in his confusion from the heavy blow, he staggered. Snaking an arm around his neck, she pried open his jaw and ripped out his tongue before his teeth could snap closed on her fingers.
After all, it was better to be safe than sorry. Now he couldn’t read, write, or speak poetry anymore.
The world was definitely a better place.
Still blind, and now mute, Requiem stayed on the ground, fervently searching for his missing body parts. Byron let out a battle cry and his fists descended upon her in a flurry of body parts. He managed to yank her arm almost to the breaking point before she side-kicked him backwards. Then she engaged Requiem in the deadly dance, and within minutes, his head sailed through the crowd.
However, she had been so distracted by the decapitation that she didn’t realize Byron had gotten close enough to stab her in the lower abdomen. Her fist reflexively snapped around and knocked him backwards. Clutching her side, she let out a stream of curses and glared when Spike stepped in front of her.
“Aren’t you working for Hoes-R-Us, Spike?” she grumbled.
“Technically, yeah. But it’s all in the fine print, love,” he smirked.
“Spike,” Byron rasped. “Help me take down the slayer.”
“Now, mate, you know I don’t like you all that much. And besides the fact that you’re a wanker, you always bloody preferred Requiem’s poetry to mine at our weekly poetry cafe.
And I‘m just not the forgiving type.”
“Anita ordered you to help us,” Byron protested.
“Uh- not quite, mate. She ordered me specifically to help her and Jean-Claude. Not you. And since I saw the Wicked Truth,” he smirked in their direction since they were still watching, “manhandle you, I can only surmise that you are working against them and, thus, against Anita.”
“But I- They switched their loyalty, you fool!” Byron snarled with anger.
“Gosh, Byron old boy. It’s just getting so hard to trust people nowadays. I really shouldn’t be taking any chances, you know,” the blond vampire announced.
Then Spike let out a malicious laugh, reminiscent of his days when trying to kill the Slayer was his pastime the choice. He raised his hands and golden flames erupted onto Byron’s body. Bloodcurdling screams distracted everyone else from their own fights for a moment as they stared at the burning vampire body in fascination. In just a few seconds, he was nothing more than dust.
“Sweet move,” Faith complimented him. “But that was my kill,” she added in an annoyed tone.
“I know, Peaches, but I figured at any big shindig like this you need a good bonfire.”
“Get back here, Dawn!” shouted Giles.
Dawn sent a spell towards one of the werelions that Xander and his new hyena friends were fighting She glanced back and saw a now recovered Willow standing up and preparing for the next spell. Weaving through some dead bodies and dismembered limbs, Dawn made her way back to the protective circle.
“Okay, I’m ready!” she called cheerfully. Anytime that she felt in control of her magic was a good reason for cheerfulness. Even if maybe it was odd to be so happy surrounded by corpses. ‘But since they were enemy corpses,‘ Dawn thought to herself, ‘that was probably okay.’
Giles glared at her. “Young lady, what have I told you about invoking the Greek Gods? *Especially* Boreus!”
Dawn rolled her eyes. “Chill, Giles, its not that first time I’ve evoked him.”
“What?!” the Head Watcher half-screamed in a mix of horror and exasperation.
“Guys, back to the spell?” Willow interjected with a calm expression
Richard eyed Micah with murderous eyes. Ever since he'd first seen the bastard at the Lupinar with Anita, he had wanted to rip his throat out. Finally, he would get his chance.
“I always knew you were intimidated by me,” Micah said cruelly. “You were always jealous that Anita chose me and the others over you.”
“Intimidated? Never, you spotted bastard. What’s intimidating about a man who refuses to stand up for himself and just becomes Anita’s ‘Yes-Man’?” Richard snarled in response as they circled each other.
“I do what I must to protect my people.”
“Including fighting to the death to protect cold-hearted murderers?”
Micah smiled and his canines showed. “It’s called being pragmatic, not cold-blooded, Richard. Your failure to acknowledge that just proves how weak you are.”
Richard lunged for Micah’s face and his claws gouged down the side of his opponent's face, making him almost resemble Asher with his ruined features. Micah retaliated by throwing him against the wall, dazing Richard for a moment. Jumping on him, Micah began choking Richard in his rage. Blood from his facial wounds dripped down into Richard’s mouth and the werewolf's beast rejoiced at the taste of fresh blood. His heart sped up and he tossed Micah off of him as if he was a child.
Licking the blood off his lips, Richard graced Micah with a smile.
“Anita and Jean-Claude always said I was a fool for not embracing what I was," he said. "But that’s been changing lately. And the taste of your blood...”
Richard took in a deep breath and when he spoke again, his voice deepened into a near-growl. “I know who I am, now. I am the Ulfric of the Thronnos Rokke Clan. And I will be the man to kill you.”
With a roar, the two dominant weres leaped forward in a clash of claw and muscle. Micah exerted all of his strength and skill, but he could not keep up with the enraged werewolf's attacks. Finally, Richard sat on Micah’s stomach and successfully pinned his arms.
“You are ready to end my life?” rasped Micah. “Even after all your protests about the evils of murder?”
Richard smiled, content with his actions. “This is not murder. This is the law of the jungle, leopard.”
Canines fully extended from the continued change, his mouth flashed down to Micah’s neck, and he grunted with gratification as his teeth tore the Nimir-Raj’s throat and he swallowed the hot and bitter flesh.
It seemed that the rodere and pack members were sufficiently subduing Jean-Claude and Asher, but Buffy thought it would be fun to help beat down the vamp who threatened her and her family. However, she also saw that Anita’s eyes were blinking open.
‘It wouldn’t do to ignore my best new friend,’ she though darkly as she changed direction and went towards Anita.
The brunette’s face was covered with dried blood from her broken nose, both of her arms hung at strange angles, and there were interesting looking bruises canvassing her body. Her dark brown eyes glared at Buffy with a deep, searing hatred.
“Slayer,” she spat as blood flew from her mouth.
“Anita, it's been fun and all kicking your ass, but I’m ready to move on to some bigger game, like your precious boyfriend. So I think it’s time I escort you to Dolph and he locks your ass up,” Buffy said as she yanked Anita and threw her over her shoulder. She'd just began carrying her towards the staircase when Buffy felt a sharp pain in her back. She dropped Anita and winced. Reaching around, she found a small knife protruding from her upper back. Wheezing, Buffy knew that Anita had punctured a lung.
Anita Blake laughed scornfully. “Should have checked me for weapons, bitch.”
“You really are a backstabbing ho,” Buffy grunted as she pulled the knife out.
Immediately, blood began to spill down her back but she knew her slaying healing powers would kick in soon. Turning to face her assailant, Buffy kicked her and the necromancer flew to the middle of the room, just where Spike was.
“Spike!” shouted Anita. “I demand that you kill Buffy by choking her! Or stabbing her!”
“No!” he shouted with a thread of desperation. Nonetheless, his feet began involuntarily moving towards Buffy’s direction.
“Take the order back or I swear I will torture you for a hundred days before I grant you death!” he grunted, his voice strained by his internal struggle to evade her orders.
“Spike,” Buffy stated simply. “You can fight back. I don’t want to kill you, not after flying all the way here to rescue you *and* getting blood all over a brand new outfit.”
He got closer and she punched him. Behind her, Nathaniel the wereleopard grabbed her hair and punched her bleeding back wound, and Buffy gasped with the shock of the pain and fell to the floor.
“That’s what you get for hurting my Anita,” the dancer growled- his face already beginning the transformation.
“Dam-” Buffy was cut off by the feel of Spike’s hands enclosing around her neck.
His eyes shed tears of regret as he looked at her. “I’m sorry, Buffy. I can’t stop.”
“Try!” she wheezed.
Her eyes darted around the room. Didn’t anyone even notice her predicament? Giles, Dawn, and Willow were busy casting the next spell, Xander was in a fight with the blue-haired werelion while being supported by Andrew, and Faith was fighting Jean-Claude and Asher with the rest of the wolves and rats.
Kicking and struggling, Buffy was already having a difficult time, thanks to her punctured lung. Her vision began to darken as less and less oxygen was reaching her brain.
The last thing she saw was Spike’s mournful face.
Yes, Yes, I am evil for leaving it here… *grins*
Feedback is encouraged and appreciated! I always love hearing people’s favorite parts :D
Damian (staked)-- Faith
Valentina (ratted and squashed) -- Dawn
Nathaniel’s creepy hair -- Spike
London (Decapitated) -- Buffy
Caleb (Eviscerated) -- Buffy
Elizabeth (Killed by the North Wind God through flaying) - Dawn
Narcissus (Castrated, Stabbed in the heart) -- Andrew
Crispin (Eviscerated) -- Xander
Domino (Eviscerated)-- Sylvie
Requiem (Eyeballs ripped out, tongue ripped out, decapitated) -- Faith
Byron (Magically burned) -- Spike
Micah (Throat ripped out and munched on) -- Richard
-------------- Regarding Votes: Micah got 4 Kill votes and 6 Redeem votes… I admit, my artistic license decided to go ahead with his murder regardless… He’s just a 2-dimensional character who is like the counter-part to Anita’s Mary Sue-ness where he agrees to everything she says and he’s shady. And because LKH released a novel all about him that was annoying… Yeah, sorry, I don’t like him. Oh, plus Richard *so* deserved to kill him :D