Title: World On Fire
Fandom(s): Angel/BtVS/Batman Begins/The Dark Knight.
Blink and you’ll miss it: Ironman(Movieverse)/Highlander/MASH/Ugly Betty
Summary: Cutting off the monster's head doesn't always kill the monster. Sometimes, it just pisses it off. Gotham is going up in flames, rumour has it Azazel's in town and an enemy thought vanquished has returned. It's a not so ordinary week for Cordelia and Bruce. Part of the Life After universe.
Disclaimer: Angel belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Batman Begins/The Dark Knight belongs to DC with homage to Christopher Nolan. All others belong to their respective owners. No profit is being made from this story.
Author’s Notes: This started as my 2008 NaNoWriMo. Not Beta'd. All errors are my own. Constructive feedback welcomed.
There are many sayings about evil and monsters and the best way of dealing with them.
‘Evil can only flourish when good men do nothing.’
‘Cut off the monster’s head and the body dies.’
Both are true.
But not always. Sometimes, cutting the monster’s head off just pisses it off.
The attack has been in the planning stages for almost two years, ever since their last failure. They had underestimated Gotham’s self appointed protector, flaunted their presence and been thwarted for their arrogance. They would not make the same mistakes again. They would not draw the Batman’s attention, not until it was too late.
A dark figure stood in a dilapidated warehouse, the smell of salt and sea giving way to the acrid smell of burning and smoke as flame began to flicker around its body. The blaze built slowly, flames leaping and coruscating into a column of flame that engulfed its body. A slow smile appeared on his face; the supreme satisfaction would have chilled anyone watching, but there was no one to see.
Finally. After so many years of hiding, not being allowed to fulfil his function, his mission. At last he could return and judge again.
With a surge of satisfaction he sent a pillar of flame at the closest wall.
In a law office in LA, a bemused vampire looked down at the stack of magazines that had just been thrust into his hands. Why Nina thought she needed to make such a point about having current periodicals in reception quite escaped him. The photograph on the cover of the women’s tabloid on top of the pile stopped him cold. There accompanying the screaming headline ‘Wayne’s Mystery Woman!
’ was a fuzzy picture of Bruce Wayne, and a woman who looked exactly like Cordelia Chase.
The warehouse was well alight, embers leaping merrily on the wind to start other fires in the surrounding buildings. He wanted to stay, to revel in the release he felt at being able to let loose the tight rein on his powers, but he knew he couldn’t. Modern fire brigades could be depressingly efficient. This was a test to see just how efficient Gotham’s was.
Quickly he relinquished his control over the inferno and let the flame burn freely. He couldn’t afford for them to stop him now. He still had
work to do, and there would be more flame, fire and yes, justice.
It would all burn.
This wasn’t good.
It really was amazing how many times that those words had run through Allen’s head in the last hour. As a Pedaque demon who had been working as low level enforcer in Salvatore Maroni’s operation on the China Docks, he was no stranger to trouble. But the scuttlebutt he’d heard tonight scared the hell out of him.
Despite being a demon, he wasn’t interested in hell on earth, or ruling the world. Those types rarely came to Gotham. He’d be happy with a small slice of Gotham’s underworld, and his wife actually listening when he told her to do something.
But that was in danger now.
He was all for avoiding death, where possible.
“Joy, we’re leaving,” he announced as he slammed the front door of his apartment open.
She looked up from her ironing, acknowledging his entrance then returned her attention to a set of pleats. “Are we?” she asked mildly. Allen was a man who thrived on drama. His banging through the front door with a dramatic announcement was nothing new. “Why?”
“Because it’s not safe here anymore.”
“Allen, this is Gotham. When has it ever been entirely safe?”
“Joy, I’m serious. Pack your bags. We’re leaving,” he repeated, trying to impress upon her the urgency of the situation.
“I’m not leaving my home,” she stated with the same annoying calm that had driven him nuts for 10 years. “I’ve survived 30 years here just fine. It’s not likely to get any worse now.”
“Don’t count on it. I overheard some guys at work tonight.” He told her what he had heard.
The iron stopped its rhythmic movements she stared at him in shock. Good. Maybe now she’d do what he’d told her.
“Are you sure
“No,” he retorted and began stuffing clothes into a suitcase, “but I’m not about to stick around to find out the hard way.”
20 minutes later and the door slammed behind him. “Bloody women.”