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Thunderer's Summer

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Aesir of Sunnydale". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Set in the 'Aesir of Sunnydale' verse, this is about Buffy's time in the desert.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Miscellaneous > Myths & LegendsjanusiFR1816,5375274,4834 Apr 104 Apr 10Yes
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any mythology.

Again, I would like to thank my beta-reader Tammin for his tireless work making my scribblings readable.


Thunderer's Summer

The Desert, Day 5
Keeping her feet in place, Buffy turned her upper body around letting her arms flow into the next position. She could feel her power course through her body following the motion. Behind her, about 30 yards away, was the entrance to a small cave in the hillside with the ashes of a fire in front of it. It was the place Buffy had called home now for a few days.

'Well, this certainly beats sitting around trying to meditate,' Buffy thought as she carefully exhaled. Of course, there was a drawback as well; like it's name. 'What the hell kind of martial arts is called slipper-slither?'

“Slyppr-sleiptr, it is” Mjöllnir corrected.

'Close enough,' the blond bit off.

“Call it Slyppr, at least you could. And forgot to stretch your left leg again, you did,” Mjöllnir piped in.

Breaking her stance, Buffy cast a furious look to her right where the war hammer was smugly leaning against a boulder. Her eyes had turned to blue pools of electricity again, spitting out small lightning bolts. “Will you stop with the Yoda impressions! I'm trying my best and having to decipher your every sentence isn't helping!”

For all that becoming an Aesir had made her stronger, faster, and tougher, not to mention improve her grades, it also had a few drawbacks. Feeling revulsion at the mere sight of her boyfriend was drawback enough, but here in the desert Buffy had found another problem.

She'd lost the Slayer's innate ability to learn martial arts moves in one try, reducing her to learning this discipline the hard way; with mind-numbing hard work. Which was made all the more grueling thanks to the 10-mile run and rock-lifting Mjöllnir had her do before they even started with the actual martial arts training.

“Fine, fine, ruin my fun why don't you. In case you hadn't noticed, you and me are the only people around and the Dvergar didn't think to equip me with TV-reception. I have to make my own fun, unless you've changed your mind on the bathing thing?”

“Forget it,” Buffy pointed a finger at the hammer, “having to wash myself under the open sky is bad enough without an audience. I am not going to cater to your pervert streak even if I live to be a thousand.”

“Don't worry, I don't want to see you naked when you're a thousand. You'd be all wrinkly and old by then,” Mjöllnir finished horrified.

“You, you, you,” the blond choked out. Crackling arcs of electricity were now playing over both her form and the ground around her feet. “I'm going to...” The snap of a miniature thunderbolt striking a dried-out bush to her left and setting it ablaze interrupted whatever Buffy was about to say.

With a “Crap, not again!” Buffy hurled herself at the burning shrub. Grimacing, the Aesir uprooted the plant and proceeded to bury it in the sand. Even after she'd put out the fire, Buffy kept kneeling there for a moment longer. She was dirty, tired, and frustrated and this was just the beginning. She still had weeks of this to look forward to.

Getting up, she looked around once before setting of towards the stream that provided her with water. “I'm going to catch dinner now, why don't you stay there and enjoy the view some more.”

Day 10
The sun was setting, painting the sky red-golden, but Buffy paid the scene little attention. She'd already seen it a few times and right now she was more focused on getting clean while the water she'd boiled was still warm. Scrubbing herself with a loofah under the open sky was mildly embarrassing, even if Mjöllnir was stashed out of sight.

'Would have been even worse if Willow hadn't thought of including shampoo with the soap. Still, she could have included some conditioner too,' the blond thought wistfully. Her friend's education on the finer points of beauty care was still a work in progress.

As Buffy washed her legs, she noticed something. They were still as smooth as the last time she'd waxed them. 'And I haven't had a bad hair day yet either, even thought I haven't been able to give it the usual treatment. That's odd.'

“Of course not, it's all part of the package.”

“No peeking!” Buffy hissed automatically.

“I'm not!” Her war hammer quickly said. “But that doesn't mean I'm not aware of your other thoughts,” Mjöllnir continued reasonably. “Excuse me for thinking you might want an explanation!”

Feeling mollified and mildly sympathetic, Buffy made sure to leak some grudging regret into her response. 'Okay, okay, no need to get snippy.' She would have gotten really bored by now as well if not for her training. Something the inanimate object obviously couldn't do. 'You're not the only one that misses the modern conveniences. Like chocolate ice cream. I am just glad someone remembered to pack toilet-paper, or things would have been even worse.'

“Right, yes, I'll take your word on that one. But to get back to the original subject, the reason for why you don't have any bad hair days, as you put it.”

'Oh yeah, you said it was part of the package,' Buffy commented as she started to dry herself off with another part of the towel.

Mjöllnir made a sound of agreement, or perhaps emotion would be a better word. “Yes, it's part of the same reason that you're blond now. The self-image you have of your body isn't a one-time off thing, it remains. Your healing uses it to know where everything's supposed to go, but a side effect of that is that your appearance stays more or less unchanged. So an Aesir doesn't have to shave, for example, unless he wants to grow a beard. Same thing goes for female Aesir.”

The blond's head shot up, her towel dropping to the sand forgotten. “Hey, I don't want a beard!”

“Actually, I was referring to your legs. Or maybe I should move my attention a little higher up....” Mjöllnir ended suggestively.

“Don't even think about m- about that,” Buffy spoke hotly as her cheeks grew red as power flashed in her eyes. “You're actually getting more perverted,” she muttered.

“But Buffyyyyy, you already took away my impressions. What's next, I'm not allowed to imagine what Willow and Cordelia would do if they happen to find themselves alone in the showers after PE? Or-”

Buffy cut him off before he could go further, her head now getting really red. “Barney the Dinosaur for six hours the moment we get home!” She'd pointed her finger in the war hammer's direction, ignoring the boulder that made it impossible for Mjöllnir to actually see her do that. Punctuating her shout a lightning bolt streaked from her digit, hit the boulder chipping a piece off of it.

There was blessed silence for a moment, then Mjöllnir responded in anything but a contrite tone. “That wasn't an order to stop doing that.”

With a growl, Buffy resigned herself to vigorously drying herself off rather than trying to argue some more with the hammer.

Day 16
It was late in the afternoon, and Buffy was damp with perspiration. But her breathing was controlled, her body didn't tremble as she turned a slow palm thrust to her right into a circling motion ending with that arm tucked in as her left reared back for a fast strike, her power gathering at her fingertips. Her right foot didn't feel right where it was placed, so the blond shuffled it a little forward. Her weight went more to her left and the energy in her body fluctuated.

Buffy held onto her concentration, then lost it completely when Mjöllnir broke in. “Slyppr requires grounding, which means keeping your weight nicely divided between both legs.” A bolt of lightning harmlessly pierced the sky as Buffy looked down at her legs, unintentionally shifting them back to their former position.

“You are not dancing the hokey-pokey!” the war hammer finished.

The blond didn't respond, just straightened out, and assumed the rest position Mjöllnir had taught her. Her hands came together before her stomach, but not touching, breathing out slowly as she calmed the jittery energy within her.

'I know what you're trying to do,' she thought still keeping her eyes closed. 'You're being extra annoying on purpose to test me.'

“Of course,” the war hammer retorted affably. “Once we get back among people, you are going to have to be in control of your power even when your emotions are not. And before you ask, if I'd told you beforehand it wouldn't have been as effective.”

'Well, okay, in that case I suppose I could lower your punishment to three hours of Barney.'

“You mean you're serious about that?” Mjöllnir asked aghast. His only answer was a beautific smile from Buffy and a heavy dose of amusement. For a moment, the magical weapon was silent. “Since you're in such a great mood right now, I was thinking about something and I want to get your take on this. It's about your boyfriend.”

'Angel? What about him?' The blond asked instantly suspicious. Mixed with that emotion was surprise as Buffy realized she hadn't actually thought of him for a while now. Her left hand began to caress the ring he'd given her on its own.

“It's about his curse, I was wondering if he ever told you what the condition for it was?”

Frowning, Buffy wondered what Mjöllnir wanted to know. 'Uhm, he said he got cursed with a soul after he killed some gypsy-princess. To feel guilty about all the things he had done.'

“Actually, that curse would have been meant to punish the demon. But that's not what I was asking about. No, what I wanted to know if he told you what would break the curse.”

“Break it?” Buffy asked horrified.

“Break it,” the war hammer confirmed. “That's the nature of a curse, remember Sleeping Beauty? Curses can be very powerful while not requiring the caster to be that powerful, but the price is that there has to be a condition to lift that spell. The condition is usually something either seemingly impossible or a sign that the target has learned its lesson.”

'Which one do you think Angel's has?'

“Oh, the seemingly impossible I would think. Of course, I have no way of knowing that as this particular curse was probably developed after I ended up on the Hellmouth. I'd never heard of stuffing souls into vampires before anyway.”

'But why didn't he tell me there was a chance Angelus could come back? You don't think he doesn't know about the condition, do you?'

“He's been under this curse for a century now, he must have become curious at some point and I wouldn't be surprised if he'd been told the terms by the people that put it on him. No, there's no way he would be that oblivious. Angel probably just didn't want to worry you.”

Giving the mystical weapon a relieved smile, Buffy nodded. 'You're right, I'll just have a talk with him about keeping secrets when he gets back.'

Day 27
'I think I'm ready to go home,' Buffy concluded as she strolled downriver a little ways away from the actual stream. She kept her eyes open for anything edible while juggling a pebble. It might not look like much of a weapon, but thrown with the strength of an Aesir combined with the aim of one, it could take out small animals.

The catch had usually been lizards, if any, but a few days ago the blond had gotten so sick and tired of it that she'd killed a rabbit. And had cried over it afterwards, but her stomach had growled and any remaining reluctance had drifted away on the smell of cooked rabbit-meat.

Now, she was actually on the lookout for another.

“Well, I'm not,” Mjöllnir interjected. “I don't want to be used as a utensil again. Why, oh why couldn't Willow or Xander remember to pack a knife?”

'I think their completely lack of survival experience has something to do with that. Or it could be the short notice we gave them,' was Buffy's amused response. 'But getting back to the subject, I'm ready to go home. I can control the power now, even when I get angry.'

“You do have the power under control, but I want to stay a while longer to teach you something else. How would you like to learn how to fly?”

Hearing that, Buffy abruptly stopped. “What? Flying? But I thought you said I couldn't do that for years?” she accidentally said out loud.

“I did,” the mystical weapon confirmed. “But I also thought you wouldn't be able to fire lightning for another year or so. You're progressing a lot faster than I expected. Now, given how fast you managed to master control over your energy, I think you can at least make a start at learning to fly. And this is the perfect place, no prying eyes to worry about here.”

Buffy frowned as she thought it over. On the one hand, flying sounded like fun. Back when she was a kid and had pretended to be a superhero with her cousin Celia, she'd fantasized about flying. Turning it into reality was tempting. On the other hand, she was running out of clean... clothes.

'Oh, what the heck. Having a five-hour soak in the bath is the first thing on my list anyway and to be able to fly...' she thought almost wistfully. 'Alright, teach me.'

Day 28
'When I agreed to this, I thought you would get straight down to teaching me how to fly!' A sweaty Buffy grumbled as she put down the boulder she'd been using for weight lifting. 'Instead, you have me running and lifting rocks like always!'

“And have you practice your kata for about an hour,” Mjöllnir added cheerfully.

“What?!”

“After flight-training, of course,” the mystical hammer continued unperturbed. “It's a great way to cool-down both your body and your power.”

Blinking, Buffy had to admit it sounded like a good idea. Sort of. 'Fine, but first I get to learn how to fly! So.... what's the first step?'

“There isn't a lot to it, really. You just take hold of your power and let the energy flow through your entire body. But don't overdo it, you only need to feel like every cell in your body is charged. If you feel like you're bursting with energy, it's too much.”

“Right,” the blond muttered to herself. “Sounds easy enough.” Taking a deep breath, Buffy assumed the starting stance of Slyppr to help her with accessing her power. Closing her eyes, she touched that inner well of mystical energy she'd become familiar with here in the desert. Like always, it came easily to her. More problematic was guiding it.

Without thinking about it, Buffy's arms flowed to help guide it throughout her body then stilled a moment later as she felt her body light up. Not wanting to break her concentration, Buffy didn't open her eyes as she asked what the next step was.

“You must will yourself up.”

She almost opened her eyes at hearing that. 'That can't be everything.'

“You can use your legs to push off of the ground if you want, but it's the energy now bound to every part of your body that will carry you aloft. That's what you have to move,” the weapon explained. “Done correctly, the body follows without complaint.”

'Alright, if you say so. Man, if it's this easy I'll be flying back to Sunnydale by tomorrow!”

Day 38
“You...said...this...would...be...easy,” Buffy puffed out as she hovered about a foot off the ground. Once again, her eyes were completely hidden by the mystical energy coursing through her body.

“Actually, you were the one who thought it would be easy. I remember telling you how it would take a few weeks,” was Mjöllnir's reply.

“Why...can't...I...go...” Her sudden drop to the ground preempted the rest of her sentence. Her legs no longer capable of supporting her, Buffy collapsed onto her knees only preventing a face-plant by catching herself with her hands. “Higher,” she finished between panting breaths.

She'd pushed and jumped, but the only result was that she managed to float longer. No matter how high she jumped at the start, she always fell back down to earth until she was a foot off the ground.

“It's because you've been an Aesir for less than a year. I told you your powers would take years to fully develop.”

Having gotten her breathing under control again, the blond Aesir could string more words together. “What do you mean? I thought I was way ahead!”

“And so you are, which is why you can negate gravity now with nothing more than your will. That is not a mean feat, but it seems that while your ability to summon the power is well advanced, your control over it is not.”

“You mean I'm not going to be able to fly yet?” Buffy asked disappointed. She'd been looking forward to it.

“Not on your own, no. However, with me in your hand you should have no problem.”

Buffy's right-eyebrow twitched. Her voice turned dangerous. “Are you saying I could have been home days ago? By flying back to Sunnydale?”

Mjöllnir apparently sensed her mood, because he quickly came with an explanation. “It was better for you to start off learning how to manipulate your energy without aid. I can only boost your control while I am in your hand, even in necklace-form I don't bestow that benefit. But now that you've got the basics down pat, you should have no problem. So let's go, upwards and beyond!”

The blond mulled it over for a moment, but relented quickly as flight beckoned. 'Not to mention a bath. And other plumbing related necessities like clean clothes!' With that goal now firmly in her mind, Buffy summoned the war hammer to her hand.

'Okay,' Buffy mused as she adjusted her grip. 'Guess I'll do it like before.' Taking a deep breath she let the power flow into her as she coiled her legs underneath her, ready to jump. Just before the blond jumped, she started to notice a difference in the feel of the mystical energy and then she was off the ground.

She got pretty high, but that wasn't any different from before. Buffy had started to will herself upward, also like before, but she knew from experience that she would start to fall most of the way back to the ground before it would take. 'Yep, should happen right around... now.'

A few seconds later, the blond Aesir frowned as she was still going upward. A look down told her she wasn't imagining things because the objects on the ground were getting quite small now. “I'm flying,” she whispered still not quite believing it. She didn't really feel anything, any strain or pull, nothing.

With a thought she stopped her ascend. “I'm flying!” Buffy repeated with a laugh as she twirled around. Another look down told her she was quite a ways up but she couldn't even begin to guess the exact distance. “This is easy. I wonder how fast I can go?” Choosing a small mountain for her target, Buffy accelerated towards it holding Mjöllnir beside her.

Quickly, the wind began to pluck at her clothes and Buffy actually had to slow down lest she suffer a wardrobe malfunction. But she didn't stop, instead she started to do loops and banking from left to right as she tried to find out how sharp a turn she could make.

And then she realized she'd lost sight of the mountain. Only after she'd gotten to a stop did Buffy realize she was breathing hard but that wasn't what concerned her. More worrisome was the fact that she had no idea where she was right now. 'Oh no, oh no. My clothes! Where the heck is my camp?'

“Left and behind you,” the war hammer broke in.

“What?” Buffy asked as she looked down at the weapon.

“I wasn't distracted like you were. Camp is to the left and behind you. That's it, no, a bit more to the left and, that's too much. Just a tad to the right and you got it.”

“Phew, thanks,” Buffy said as she finally faced the right direction. “Glad somebody paid some attention to where we were going. Uhm, how far is it? I still don't recognize anything, I can't even see the stream!” It started to hit home just how far she'd strayed in a very short time.

“Several minutes of flight at the least, you really got some speed there.”

Not knowing what to say to that, Buffy just nodded and started to fly back. But at a way more sedate pace. She didn't want to overshoot her target and spend the next few hours ping-ponging around. The blond also kept a close eye on the ground this time hoping to spot some familiar landmark.

Instead, she noticed an unfamiliar one. Below her, a series of stones had been arranged into a pattern only visible from the sky. 'Or maybe you could see it from one of the hills too,' she mused as she went a little lower to get a better look. 'Wait a second, there's something there. There's some kind of energy there, it looks familiar too.'

“It does look familiar, and not just the energy. I could swear I'd seen that pattern before... Oh no, don't get closer, fly up! Go-”

Buffy had stopped when Mjöllnir started to warn her, but before she could even ask what was wrong, the pattern below her began to crackle with energy. The build-up was sudden and lightning-fast, exploding outward by the time it had registered with her that something was going on.

She was still raising her hands up in a futile attempt to ward off the energy surge when it overtook her. The world dissolved into blue light, and then that was overtaken by darkness. “What the-?” Buffy stopped speaking when she noticed the echo her voice was producing now.

Blinking rapidly, the blond looked around. Her eyes were rapidly adjusting to what little light there was so Buffy had no problem discovering she was in some kind of cave now. Stalagmites and stalactites formed a stone forest on her right.

“It was a portal, I recognized the design. It's from seidr, so stay on your toes, this might be a Vanir trap,” the mystical hammer grumbled.

She nodded, but didn't really pay too much attention to what Mjöllnir was saying because she was distracted by the source of what little light there was. Some 30 yards from her, on the other side of the cave, a column of light enveloped a hovering sword. The source of the light itself was probably a white crystal floating just below the ceiling.

It probably hadn't always done that, Buffy concluded, because right above the crystal was a hole that it would fit in. Would have, that is, if there hadn't been a wide crack emanating from outside the light column going right through the hole. And it hadn't been a natural occurrence, there was a corroded metal wig still stuck in the crack.

“Fragarach.” The war hammer sounded surprised but the name, and Buffy assumed it was a name, didn't ring a bell with her.

Buffy was prevented from asking by the appearance of a man. Or maybe hologram or ghost of a man would be a better term because she could see straight through him. He looked old, the hazy outline and general blueness of the apparition couldn't hide that.

The next surprise was his voice, which sounded a lot more alive. Like he was right there after all. “Greetings, my fellow Aesir, I am-” And there it stopped, the man's image collapsing as his voice drifted away. Buffy could see that his lips were still moving right before he vanished from sight as well.

“Who was that?” Buffy whispered.

“The last wielder of Fragarach, I presume. He must also have been the one that put up the protective field and the teleportation circle. It's just about the best defense you can cobble up when you're on your own. The vault you found me in was far better protected than this. I believe that explains why the message was cut off... We weren't the first ones here, look up,” Mjöllnir instructed.

The blond did so and was confronted by a large circle painted on the ceiling. Rusty-brown and filled with weird squiggles and signs, it gave Buffy an uneasy feeling. “Is that the reason the old guy's message got cut off?”

“Yes, and I am certain it's not its only purpose. Worse, the design is demonic in nature. We can't leave the sword here, we have to take it with us.”

“Why? They didn't actually breach the light-column and the teleport-thingy seems to be working fine too. If it didn't, I would be on my way home by now.”

“Actually, they did breach the field's protection,” the war hammer corrected. “Even as we speak, the crystal is falling to the floor. It's using a time-delay effect to stretch it out, but that's just draining its energy even faster. There is a good chance its magic will run out even before the crystal hits the ground. When that happens, I have no doubt that the design above us will warn its masters that they can come and collect their prize.”

'Oh.' Was all Buffy could think to that. 'Alright, I'll go grab the sword, smash that circle on the ceiling and then...' She'd already begun walking towards the light-column when it hit her and she stopped. 'Uhm, how do we get home?'

“The teleportation-circle works both ways, you just might have to power it up to get it going again after you destroyed the seal on the ceiling.”

With that problem dealt with, Buffy was about start walking again when three long talons appeared out of the packet of stalagmites. The midnight-blue demon they were attached to shuffled into view a moment later and it was an intimidating one.

It was hunched, but that was probably due to all the armor that covered every inch of the thing. What was probably its head didn't have eyes, a nose or even a mouth but it was still aimed in Buffy's direction. It's lower arms were more like those of a mole, wide and sporting wicked-long claws while its legs were stubby ending in four-pointed stars. Finally, there were two shafts coming out of its back that jutted upwards for almost three feet before fanning out into sharp-looking axe-blades.

Even worse was the thing's essence. It spoke of old age, great power, and sheer alienness. This demon wasn't as powerful as Machida nor did its energy possess the pure wrongness and evil vibe a vampire sported, but Buffy hadn't encountered a single demon for more than a month now.

Startled as much by it's energy as the demon's appearance Buffy took a step back. The demon reacted by following her movement with its head, then two flaps on the underside of its head swung away to reveal a pair of barbed mandibles that flicked out before retreating again. The flaps swung back to cover what the blond now knew to be its mouth and it looked impervious to harm once more.

Mjöllnir identified the creature for her. “That's an Asagu, it must have been left here to guard the sword by whomever tried to steal it. They were rare even in my day, but that's what they were used for.”

“I've got a new use for it,” Buffy quipped as she let her own power flow into her and down into Mjöllnir. As her eyes became miniature thunderbolts, the blond aimed her weapon at the Asagu. “Target practice.”

“No, wait!” the war hammer tried to warn her but as he spoke up, Buffy's attack was already underway. The mystical bolt of electricity bounced off the demon's head straight at the light-column. She barely had time to blink before the bolt ricocheted one more time, shooting in her direction now.

Thunder rolled through the cave as stone exploded only a couple of feet above her. The shards of rock didn't have the lightning's speed, but that didn't make a difference for Buffy. She managed to avert her head a little, but two of the stone missiles still cut across her forehead and cheek.

The blond hissed as the pain started to register, but she was angrier with herself. 'Okay, that was stupid. You need to keep in mind that just because you can hurl lightning bolts now doesn't mean you're actually a god. Although,' she thought to Mjöllnir, 'you might want to warn me about important stuff like being fricking invulnerable right at the start too.'

“Well, I was still debating whether I should tell you first that it's hide is one of the toughest substances on the planet and mystical energies bounce right off of it or that it's an Old One,” the war hammer retorted innocently.

Her eyes flew wide open at that. “What?” the blond Aesir exclaimed before grasping her power again and using it to glide back to put some distance between her and the demon. “What do you mean an Old One?”

“The Asagu are from that era, but don't get too worried. They were that time's equivalent of the cockroach, or maybe rabbit would be a better analogy. The only Old One that actually bothered to use these things in his army was Asag, Lord of the Mountains. He was never more than a minor player in the war. You see, Asagu have a big weakness, their skin gets as soft as butter when it becomes wet.”

“Oh, is that all,” Buffy responded with mock cheerfulness. “So all I need is to whip out my water-bottle and dump the water over its head. Piece of cake,” she finished just as jovially as she started to pretend looking for one. “Oh, wait,” she said a moment later, “I just remembered that... I don't have any,” she bit off while eyeing the slowly approaching demon warily.

Mjöllnir staid quiet for a moment, probably to let her calm down. When he spoke, he seemed to be as worried as Buffy was starting to feel. “That's a problem, I honestly don't have an idea what to do... I suppose we should get back to the teleportation-circle and retreat.”

'And trust that whatever tinkering the demon-cockroach's boss won't screw us over when we try that? No, there's only one way. Forward!' And with that last thought she launched herself at the Asagu. Buffy closed the distance swiftly and was upon the demon before it could react.

With an overhead swing she planted Mjöllnir square on the thing's head, with the weapon's sharp edge leading the way. The demon's head dipped down as a few sparks flew up, but it didn't hesitate to swipe at Buffy with its claws. With the tortured screech of metal sliding against metal still clawing at her ears, Buffy placed Mjöllnir between her and the oncoming talons. A grunt escaped the blond as she blocked the attack, but she stopped it.

This time Buffy tried a swing from the side, aiming for the groove where two of the Asagu's armor plates met. Sparks flew as another metallic screech filled the air, but the demon's armor was barely scratched. And apparently completely undeterred by the impact, because it drove both its arms forward in an attempt to skewer her, even as its head was still moving with the strike.

“That won't do a lot of good, there's only a sensory organ under that dome. It's brain is located between those air-shafts on its back.” Mjöllnir informed her as Buffy jumped back to avoid becoming shish kebab.

'On to Plan B then,' the blond thought undeterred. She rose from the ground and immediately the Asagu came to halt. It didn't seem to detect her as she advanced towards the demon, not even when she was hovering right above it. 'Of course, I don't see any eyes on it so it can't possibly see. It must be using its hearing and flying as slow as I am now, I ain't making any!'

Triumphantly, she lowered herself into position. For a moment she debated staying in the air as she brought the hammer down but once that thing was under attack there was no way to know how it would jump. Buffy eyed the sharp blades less than a foot from her head. 'And it's probably going to take several blows to get through that thick hide. That settles it, I get to ride the demon.'

Rearing her hammer back with one hand, Buffy took another moment to eye her target. Air was starting to become an issue as the blond had held her breath in an effort to be as quiet as possible so she made her move. Landing on the Asagu's back, she gripped the left air shaft with her free hand even as she swung Mjöllnir with her right.

The hammer struck with a dull thump, and this time the demon did stagger. Buffy was already poised to strike again when the Asagu recovered and started to turn every which way in an effort to shake her off. Holding on with some effort, the Aesir struck down once more, then again, and again.

The cave sounded like a busy smithy while the Asagu hopped and twisted around with Buffy busily pounding on its back. She kept at it as long minutes ticked away, but at the end the demon's armor still sported no cracks or new dents.

'This is just getting ridiculous, there has to be a way to take this thing out!' she thought as she took a break to get a better grip on Mjöllnir. 'Everything has a weakness! So what's this one's flaw in the design besides a deadly allergy to moisturizing?' Her eyes racked over the demon, then sideways at the air-shafts.

Her gaze was already turning away from them, when it hit her. Eyeing the base of the blades closer, Buffy examined the slits at either side of them. 'Mjöllnir, does it only use these openings to breath?'

“Yes,” the war hammer answered slowly, his voice laced with suspicion. “The mouth is only connected to its stomach. What exactly are you plan... Oh, I see. Yes, that could work.”

Buffy grinned. 'Exactly what I hoped to hear,' she thought back before returning Mjöllnir to its pendant form and hanging around her neck. With the air-shaft tucked into the crook of her elbow, Buffy took a hold of her shirt.



The Asagu uselessly clawed at the ground, its failing strength nowhere near enough to push it back up. Its “neck” was bent in an awkward angle and had been since it had tipped over after falling on its knees. It wouldn't get back up, ever.

“Death by striptease, I'm so proud of you!”

Buffy's cheeks colored as she self-consciously crossed her arms before her breasts. 'Oh, shut up. I thought I only needed half the shirt, and I would have if those first wads hadn't fallen out!'

“Ah, but still, what a way to go; and ending worthy of a saga that will stand the test of time. They'll sing about this victory for centuries!”

'Not if I can help it,' Buffy retorted as she walked over towards the column of light. Only to stop in front of it when she realized she didn't know if it was safe to just reach in and grab the thing.

“Don't worry, it's safe. The light is only there to protect against those not worthy and demons, you'll be fine.”

'Okay then.' And with that, Buffy reached out on her tiptoes in an attempt to get a good grip of the blade right away. She was pretty sure that if she let it slip the sword would have no trouble slicing off a few of her fingers.

Slowly at first, the blond reached into the light-column. There was a slight tingling on her skin, but when nothing more happened she moved faster. Confidently yet carefully, she grasped the flat of the blade between her fingers. The sensation of cold metal had only just registered when a blinding flash of light hit Buffy followed by the sound of glass shattering against a hard surface.

Blinking rapidly, Buffy tried to see what had happened in a cave that seemed to be a lot darker all of a sudden. Instead of a gentle, white light there was a blue glow coming from behind her. The Aesir turned around and her right foot crunched something.

Looking down, the blond realized that the glass she had heard shattering was the crystal falling onto the stone floor. But most of her attention was caught by something a lot closer to her. Right there on her chest with its blade dipping down between her breasts was the sword. Or more precisely, a tattoo of the sword.

“What.The.Hell?”

“It would seem Fragarach has decided to use you as its carrier, probably until she finds someone worthy of wielding her anyway.”

Buffy's mouth worked but no sounds came out as she tried to process that bit of news. “Oh,” Mjöllnir added as Buffy finally managed to calm down. It was going to cost her a pretty penny, but there always was laser- “And since the tattoo is Fragarach, it's just as indestructible.”

“Mom is going to kill me,” Buffy moaned as she hung her head in defeat.

THE END

Author's Notes: With this story I am introducing other mythologies to the AiS-verse. From Sumerian mythology we have Asag. A demon said to be so hideous he made the fish boil alive in the rivers. Also had rock demon offspring from a union with the mountains.

From Irish mythology we have the latest galdra-vel, Fragarach. Supposedly capable of placing the wind at the wielder's command, cut through any shield or wall and if placed at a person's throat, that person would be unable to tell a lie. Of course, that's the real world mythology, I'll have my own take on it for this story but that's for the sequel.

I hope you've enjoyed this stand-alone story. I'm already hard at work with the sequel called 'The Sword and the Sorceror'.

The End

You have reached the end of "Thunderer's Summer". This story is complete.

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