Journey of the Sorcerer
First, I'd like to say thank you to Trouble, JediKnight, Allen Pitt, and Sherza for bouncing ideas back and bugging me to finish the chapter. The first half was fairly smooth. The second half a bit of a bear. Trying to set things up took about twice as long as I'd originally planned.
Second, to answer a couple reviews: no current plans for "Surprise, you're a mutant!" or "Character X is related to Y." That's not to say it won't happen, but there are enough of both types already out there.
Third, I won't guarantee any non-canon pairings, and even those may change depending on how the characters develop.
Fourth, I have classes starting this week, so I'll work when I have time or when I'm too bored or frustrated to work on homework.
Disclaimer: Buffy belongs to Joss Whedon and X-Men and Marvel belong to (I can't believe I'm saying this) Disney.
Her motorcycle sat where Kitty left it, the purple form curled on the seat telling her where Lockheed had gone after the fight and why her bike hadn't been stolen.
"Hey, dragon, you have a good night?"
He raised his head to give her a smug look.
"What am I saying," she grinned fondly, "you killed a big, nasty demon, of course you had a good night."
As she mounted the bike, Lockheed swung his head around, growling. Kitty followed his look to see three men coming towards her. More footsteps from the other side proved to be a man and woman. They all appeared normal enough but something about these people seemed...off.
Kitty debated her odds of winning if it came to a fight. She and Lockheed could easily handle five normal opponents. Experience and the dragon's reaction told her they weren't. A couple of them reminded her of newly active mutants; she guessed physical enhancements. One of them moved closer and something about his body language and animal-like face had her amending her assessment to feral. In fact, the entire group reminded her of a wolf pack.
"Told ya she'd be back." He smirked.
A second guy stood next to him, "You sure it's her?"
"Boss never said nothing about the purple thing."
"Just grab her. Either we got the Slayer or we got dinner."
Kitty didn't know who or what a slayer was but she had no intention of letting them take her anywhere. Five normal people? No problem. Five ferals with no clue as to training? She jammed the key into the ignition, started the bike, and kicked it into gear.
The ferals moved in, two on each side, one directly in front. A good tactic against most people, but Kitty simply phased and took off.
Kitty didn't know what happened, just that as she passed through the feral, her body felt as though every muscle cramped. As she lost control of her motorcycle, a familiar roar accompanied the blast of heat from Lockheed's fire. Screaming and the smell of burning flesh ended abruptly with a soft explosion not unlike Kurt's teleports.
By the time she recovered enough to look up, she saw the last of her attackers running off with an irate dragon in pursuit. Kitty pulled her bike upright, intending to follow. She started the bike.
Kitty frowned and tried the key again. She could hear a soft click with each attempt, but the engine wouldn't even turn over. She groaned, dropping her head to the handlebar. It figured her phasing had shorted out the one critical electrical system when she lost control.
The dead-but-not thing ran fast. Lockheed flew faster. He could have easily caught it already, he just felt like playing with it first. They died too quickly, although they made an interesting explosion when they did.
Lockheed decided to finally end the chase when the thing turned into an alley. He shot a jet of fire at it and landed to watch the thing flail around. Its attempts to put the fire out only caused it to spread faster until it exploded into ash and dust.
The little dragon snorted, sending the dust swirling away.
"Holy shit, you're real!"
Lockheed looked up to see a teenaged girl crouched on the fire escape. His mind blanked for a long moment. Soap clung to her hair and body. She gripped a towel in one hand, a sharpened stick in the other. Then he noticed the angry, red claw marks on her leg and realized she was the same girl he and Kitty rescued earlier that night.
He flew up to her level. She stumbled backwards with a pained hiss as she jarred not-quite-healed wounds.
Lockheed tilted his head slightly, testing her emotions. Confusion/pain/exhaustion covered bravado/innuendo covered guilt/fear/rage covered predatory instincts too new for her to be fully confident in them.
"You ain't here to turn me into crispy-fried Slayer, are you?"
Lockheed snorted, "Hmph!"
He didn't know what a Slayer was or how it related to what the dead-but-not thing had called his human, but he doubted it could be coincidence. Of course, if somebody was using those things to look for Slayer and they thought it was Kitty...Lockheed narrowed his eyes slightly. He would have to get her to explain the mix up and why his human had been attacked.
Lockheed snickered. He had learned a few about human females during his time on Earth and, based on what he'd sensed, he had an idea of how to get her back to Kitty.
"What are you looking at?" The predatory sense grew stronger as she tensed.
He darted forward and...
...snagged the towel in his claws.
"Give that back!"
Lockheed paused at the and of the alley to watch the girl scramble down the fire escape. As soon as she reached the ground he took off.
"Get back here!"
He flew just fast enough to stay out of her reach, taunting her into pursuing him back to Kitty.
Faith gritted her teeth as the annoying little dragon seemed to laugh at her. First it had interrupted her shower, although seeing that vamp burn up had been kind of funny. Then it stole her towel.
That sounded suspiciously like the wolf-whistles she heard in clubs and bars.
The little dragon tilted its head as if listening to something before taking off again. Faith growled her irritation. Her leg ached, the nearly-dried soap itched, and she refused to let that thing get away.
It turned down a street just ahead of her. She pushed her speed, rounding the corner, only to all but dance to a halt to avoid running into a woman pushing a motorcycle.
"Faith?" Kitty's obvious shock faded quickly, eyes narrowing as she looked up. "Lockheed, get your purple butt back down here! Now!"
The little dragon peered over a window ledge. "Coo?"
"Not this time, Buster. You knew she was injured. There was no reason to make her run through the streets--especially not naked!"
"Not like it's the first time." Faith smirked
Kitty turned on her, "That's not the point. You might heal fast, but you're still limping. You're lucky no one else saw you and called the cops."
"That wouldn't be a first, either."
"Somehow, I can believe that." She looked up again, "Lockheed!"
This time, the dragon swooped down to drop the slightly-worse-for-wear towel, although he stayed out of reach before heading back to the ledge.
"A towel?" Kitty grinned slowly, "You have to be a hitchhiker to go chasing after a towel like that."
"Hitchhiker? You think just because I--"
"Hey, woah, relax! I didn't mean anything by it. I was just talking about Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. By Douglas Adams? There's a whole section about the usefulness of towels."
Faith stared at her, "You're nuts."
"Probably." Kitty cheerfully agreed before digging around in one of the bike's saddle bags, "And you're going to get arrested if you keep running around like that. Here. You look about my size."
A pair of jeans and a t-shirt flew her way.
"First the hospital, now clothes? A girl might think you're interested."
"You're not my type." Kitty said dryly, holding out a pair of sneakers, "Lockheed though? He might not be human, but he's still male and he doesn't seem to have a problem with cross-species attraction."
Faith snorted as she finished dressing. The clothes fit looser than she preferred--and the pants were a bit long--but they weren't obviously too big, either.
"He's got good taste, at least."
"So long as you're not an evil genius's second in command."
"What?" She couldn't tell if Kitty was being serious.
"Long story, but her boss was a psychotic little creep."
"Sounds like half the guys I know."
"Any of them have a thing for building demented amusement parks and killer robots?"
"What?" Faith wondered how the conversation had turned from slightly odd to completely bizarre.
"Like I said--"
"Long story. Right. So, you mind givin' me a ride, since it was your pet got me here?"
"I would, but the starter's fried."
"I could hotwire it for you."
Kitty shot the motorcycle an irritated look. "If it were that easy, I'd've been out of here. I'll walk you back, though. If you need a break, you can always sit on the bike."
"Nah, I'll be good. Slayer heal--" Faith cut herself off at her slip, but Kitty pinned her with a sharp look.
"Listen, I was attacked earlier. They were looking for someone called a slayer."
"They thought it might be me, wanted to bring me back to their boss." Kitty watched for Faith's reaction, "One of them said something about me being dinner if I wasn't what they wanted."
The teenager paled slightly, "Who?"
"I didn't hear a name before Lockheed chased them off."
Faith glanced towards the ledge. That explained what she'd seen outside the motel.
"You think you know who they work for, don't you."
Faith shook her head, starting to pace, "He's--I--there's this guy in Boston I pissed off."
"We're in Milwaukee."
"I really pissed him off."
"What is he, a mob boss or something"
"Definitely 'or something'." Faith looked around.
"You think they'll come back."
"I've already had to run twice since Boston."
Kitty nodded and began to detach the saddlebags from her bike.
"What are you doing?"
"Bike won't start. If we have to run, it's just dead weight."
"'We'? No, way. You're--"
"Already involved. You seem to know about these guys. Would they let me go just because it's mistaken identity?"
"I didn't think so." She looked up, "Lockheed, we're going!"
He dropped to land on Kitty's shoulders as they started walking.
"Nuh uh, dragon. You get to help carry."
Faith bit back a laugh at his affronted look.
"I know you can handle the weight." Kitty continued. "Besides, you made a friend run injured and naked through the streets."
Lockheed growled softly but took one of the bags.
"I'm your friend, huh?"
"Look, you know about these guys. If they could come after me, I want to know what I'm dealing with." Kitty shrugged, "I'd rather work with you as a friend."
"He'll kill you."
"I've survived death threats before. And maybe I can help you figure out how to get this guy off your back."
"You really think so?"
"You're half-way there." Kitty grinned, "You've still got your towel."