Dresden Files (books)/BtVS Disclaimer:
I own none of these characters. Setting:
Season 7 of Buffy and post Dead Beat for Harry. Summary:
Harry is woken by a late night visitor. A/N:
Written as a lj prompt for Ava. The Right Thing
At first I thought I was dreaming, ‘cause how else would I be able to see my dead mother standing next to my bed? My next thought was that it couldn’t be a dream because I typically wasn’t in this much pain during one. That last nasty I had tangled with had left me feeling like a used punching bag. I couldn’t hold back the wince as I propped myself up on my elbows.
“Mom?” I asked, blinking away the last vestiges of sleep.
“Hello, darling.” Her smile was a dazzling as I remembered it. Granted, I had only seen her once and that was during my soulgaze with Thomas, my half brother. But she was exactly as I remembered her. The royal blue dress was flattering to her tall frame and her dark eyes sparkled down at me.
“How? What?” I stupidly asked as she sat next to me. Absently I noted that the bed did not sink with her weight nor did she disturb the blankets.
“I’m just taking advantage of an opportunity to come and warn you,” she said, her eyes turning serious.
I found myself tensing at the words. The last thing I needed at the moment was another problem after just barely scraping out of the last one. It seemed that I just couldn’t catch a break lately. “About what?” I asked, sitting all the way up. I pulled the blankets tightly around my waist to ward off the chill of my basement apartment. Any advanced notice of evil was always a bonus, and I wasn’t even sure I’d know what to do with it since it had never happened before.
“You push yourself too hard,” she said, her head tilting slightly to the right. “Not every problem that arises in Chicago is your responsibility.”
A frown pulled at my lips and I could feel the cut on the lower one threaten to reopen. “But it is. I’m the local Warden, I - “
She gracefully held up one hand to silence me. “You are not the only Warden in the United States. There are others who could handle it. And you’ve helped Karrin beyond all measure, probably more than you should have. She has been charged with protecting the citizens of this city, and has been doing it longer than you. She knows what she is doing. I’m just worried if you continue at this pace when you face something truly evil you won’t have the strength to protect yourself let alone this city. I don‘t wish for my baby boy to die because he wasn‘t prepared.”
Tears stung at my eyes. Having been an orphan for most of my life, nothing in the world felt better than knowing you were loved. To know that someone was concerned for your safety. My chest constricted in hearing these sentiments from the one family member I grew up never knowing.
I ducked my head slightly to hide the emotions that threatened to spill over. “I can’t just sit idly by, mom,” I said, my voice thick from the tightening in my throat. “I have to do the right thing.”
“You’ll die doing the right thing.”
My head snapped up. My tombstone said that. The one Mavra had presented to me at Bianca’s ball and was currently sitting in one of the city’s many cemeteries waiting for my inevitable demise. Usually I didn’t think about the piece of stone, let alone the words etched into it, but hearing them from my mother’s mouth struck a chord, and not a good one.
I remained silent for a moment as I took a moment to study her a little closer. She wasn’t a ghost. Or rather any sort of ghost that I had ever seen. I stretched my senses out and she definitely didn’t feel like a ghost. She had mentioned that she was taking advantage of an opportunity and my sleep filled brain was finally starting to put pieces together.
“How did you get here?” I asked suddenly.
“There’s no need to worry - “
“Yes, there is,” I insisted. My instincts were screaming at me now. “How did you get here and who are you?”
A smirk twisted her lips and it looked wrong on my mother’s lovely features. “It was the tombstone line that tipped you off wasn’t it? No matter. My warning is still the same. You should take it easy and stop trying to save everyone. It’s going to get you into trouble one day.”
Whoever or whatever this was wearing my mother’s face was worried I was going to do something to disrupt its plans. I could feel it in my bones. So I did what I did best, I talked back.
“I hate to spoil your fun, but I’ll just have to take my chances. There may be others who can step up and do the job but I refuse to let them do it alone. Yeah, sure, you or some other nasty may beat me. Kill me. But we won’t know until that time.”
“You’re going to lose,” she said.
“The only way I’ll lose for sure is if I do nothing. I’d never be able to live with myself.” I drew myself up with as much dignity as possible while being half naked in my own bed. “Only death with stop me, and even then don’t count me out.”
She sneered at me. “You do gooders will never learn. I’ll take you all down. One by one, you’ll fall.” Then she winked out of existence.
I waited just a moment more before falling back onto my bed. Whatever just happened couldn’t bode well, but my body ached too much for me to really worry about it. Morning would come all too soon and I’d talk to Bob then.