Title: Blood Footprints
Disclaimer: Don't own any of them.
Spoilers: S7 for BTVS, NIC for AB
Summary: Even monsters have hearts . . .
She came out of darkness, naked as the day she was born.
Long white hair, eyes a colour green that I had never seen on
a human before. It made me wonder if she was what she said she was,
because she couldn't just be some girl like she claimed. No ordinary
girl could have such a presence as hers. No ordinary girl could make
the beast inside me rear up and want out, to revel in blood and
flesh, to hunt freely as it was meant to. No ordinary girl could
evoke such a response out an Ulfric.
She was no where near being ordinary.
She walks around Anita's place, inspecting this and that,
smiling at the people as she passes them by. Why Anita harbours this
girl is beyond me. Anita hates unexpected visitors even more than I
do, and yet she tolerates this girl. Actually, more than tolerates
her. Anita seems to like her, which in itself is very suspicious.
Anita rarely likes anyone. Especially not mysterious young things
who come off too sweet to be real. And yet, here we are. The girl
was given free reign of Anita's house, even when there was another
one of those shifter meetings Anita was prone to calling every now
and then. I think we're supposed to be discussing the impending
arrival of Belle Morte and her entourage. I don't think we were
getting very far.
She walks by me, stopping to favour me with that half-smile
of hers before moving on. Catching a whiff of her scent, I have to
grip the arms of my chair in an attempt to restrain myself. She was
just too enticing, and I'm not the only one who thought so. Several
of my wolves watch her in the same way as I do, but they know better
to act on it. I've made myself pretty clear on the matter of the
mysterious white lady. If anyone was getting that girl into bed, it
would be me.
Now, it's not like me to be so callous, or so presumptuous.
I would never dream to lay a claim on anyone, not even Anita, the
supposed on and off again love of my life. But her, I had set down
the law with my pack, I made a claim I had no right to make. I
wonder if she even knows how deep she is in this world. She plans to
leave in a little while, or so I'm told. She has a home to go back
to, something in Ohio I think. She's crazy to think that she'll ever
leave this city. If I don't stop her, Jean-Claude will.
Whoever this Mr. Giles person is, he's not too bright if he
sent this girl to do his talking for him. She's come to claim all
the activated Slayers in our midst and play nice with all the Master
Vampires she comes across. She's not the only one either, there's
another one of these Neo-Watchers in New York and one in Chicago.
They're all over the place, all over the world, spreading their good
deeds all over the globe.
Okay, that sounded entirely more sarcastic than I intended it
to be. But really, what were these people thinking? They sent her,
and others like her, right into the lion's den. She was twenty-one,
twenty-two tops, barely old enough to even drink legally in this
lovely country of ours. Her eyes were too bright, her smile too
large, and her spirit too cheerful for someone who was going to spend
her life in the company of monsters.
And she's so optimistic. She doesn't even see the way we all
lick our chops as she wanders around. Anita surely does, and she's
constantly hovering around the girl. Wants to protect the little
girl from all us monsters. I wonder when Anita forgot that she was
one of us monsters.
But certainly, even Anita can't think that we're just going
to let this little vixen walk out of this city whenever the mood
strikes her. She's just too delicious. Jean-Claude was smitten with
the little girl, only Anita's presence keeping him in check. And
even that control was slipping every moment the vampire spent in her
company. This "ordinary "girl drew more monsters to her than anyone
I had ever seen in my life.
And I can't quite explain why that was. There was something
there, no doubt, something just underneath her skin. She smelled
like sugar and spice, like any good girl should, but the blood in her
veins, that's was called all of us. You should see her face when she
blushes, when all that blood underneath the skin becomes heated and
stains her cheeks such a scarlet colour. I could smell her blood in
times like that, I could almost taste it on the tip of my tongue.
I didn't like not having any control, which is exactly the
situation I'm in. I can school myself into pretending like she
doesn't have that affect on me, but it came with a heavy price.
Beating back my beast every time she walked by, denying the wolf in
me was taking its toll. Dreams of blood and sex filled my nights and
sometimes it felt like the wolf was creeping into my waking world. I
growled at a misbehaving student the other day. Really growled, as
in I let my beast speak its irritation. The poor kid nearly peed his
pants and shut up for the rest of the week.
Anita sees this, she can probably feel it. The marks are
stronger than ever, and even though I'm doing my best to ignore them
and her for most of the time, I know she can still sense me through
them. She can tell when my minds drifts to this little white-haired
girl in her home, and she doesn't like it one bit. Would it not
raise too many eyebrows, I'm sure Anita would shut the girl up in her
house and not let her out until her departure time left. As it was,
Anita was trying to hurry the whole trip along. The Executioner
took an entire week off work to help her locate all the new Slayers
in the city. She wanted her out of St. Louis and fast, before the
girl could fall into any trouble.
It was already too late for that.
I got up out of my seat, eyes locked on the lithe form making
its way to Anita's kitchen. A quick glance to right showed that
Anita was more than a little preoccupied with smacking Caleb over the
head. The overly enthusiastic were leopard has just made another
pass at Sylvie and Gwen, which was causing more than a little
ruckus. Anita stood swatting at the laughing leopard while Micah
busied himself apologizing profusely for his wayward pard member. I
slipped away from the room without anyone noticing, except for my
ever attentive bodyguards, who knew well enough to stay put and keep
their mouths shut.
She stood at the kitchen counter, pouring herself some
juice. She looked up at my entrance, that sweet smile gracing her
features once more.
"Are they fighting again?" she asked, her tone still very
cheerful. I only nodded, not having to say anything when a loud
string of curses cut through the air. Her mouth formed a tiny `o' of
shock as she listened to Sylvie rail against Caleb. I couldn't only
shake my head in resignation. When was that boy going to learn?
"Wow. Are all your guys' meetings this much fun?"
I smirked and shrugged my shoulders. She turned her
attention back to her juice, raising the jug in my direction. I
shook my head at her silent offer and she turned to return the
pitcher to the fridge. She seemed very at home in Anita's house, not
even blinking when all kinds of shifters or vampires wandered in and
out. It was like she was used to it, which again added to the case
of her not being an `ordinary' girl.
"So, Mr. Wolf-Man, what can I do for you?"
"What makes you think that I want anything from you?"
"Because you're always watching me," she answered flippantly,
not noticing my obvious shock. "Actually, almost everyone here is
always watching me. But you the most, Jean-Claude being second .
And that seems to be the main reason why Anita's designated herself
my shadow. So tell me Ulfric, what can I do for you?"
"You notice much more than you let on."
She shrugged easily, walking around the counter and pulling
out a chair before seating herself at the kitchen table. I followed,
a quick look behind me letting me know that everyone else was still
very distracted by the Caleb incident.
"It pays to notice things, especially considering what I do
for a living," she continued, pausing to take a small sip of her
juice. "We aren't called Watchers for nothing you know."
"You know, you guys aren't as sly as you think. Most of your
wolves get all growl-y when I walk by. It's kind of nerve-wracking
if you really want to know. Even Angel doesn't growl as much as you
lot, and he goes through these horribly grumpy periods like ever
three months. So, you going to tell me what you want yet?"
"What do you think?"
"I think it involves some naughty things that would normally
make me blush. I wouldn't mind it, if you really wanted to know."
That raised my eyebrows quite a bit.
"But I'm thinking that you want something more than that.
I'm thinking you're going into this possessive kind of mindset that
I'm not equipped to handle. You guys here, you're more than a little
scary, I'll give you that. But I can't get bogged down here. I have
to go to Denver next. There are at least four girls there that I
need to find and I'm going to find them."
"What if we don't let you leave?"
"Who's `we'? And why on earth do you think you could stop
"Willow, you don't know who you're dealing with here-"
"I've dealt with worse-"
"No you haven't. I believe you when you say you've dealt
with worse evil, but you haven't dealt with us before. We're not
good, we're not bad, we're just monsters. We're that grey area
that's just so dangerous to get lost in."
She looked me directly in the eye, green orbs hard set.
"I don't plan on getting lost."
"If this is some sort weird St. Louis dating ritual? Because
I know what you want, but this conversation is not getting you any
closer to your goal."
I couldn't help but smile at that.
"You're too cryptic. Anita never said you were this
cryptic. Are you feeling okay?"
"You know I'm not letting you out of this city that easily,
"I think you're putting too much faith in your ability. I'm
not what you think Richard."
"I don't doubt that."
"This is going in circles."
"You noticed that too huh?"
"I'm leaving in three days."
"That's it. No sex for you."
Just the way she said it was too cute. I couldn't help but
laugh, the first actual laugh I've had in a long time. I winked at
this marvellous white-haired girl in front of me.