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This story is No. 2 in the series "The Magician Chronicles". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Sequel to "Enter The Magician": Buffy, Zarina, and the rest of JLS now must confront two enemies, College and the Initiative.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > GeneralRubyPaladinFR18315,45144012,64323 May 103 Mar 11No

Shadow Court


Chapter Two

Shadow Court

The blaster whined as it charged with energy when it was brought into Kathy’s face. Kathy was frightened as she had not only found out her roommate was a Slayer but was also the Scarlet Scarab. Scarlet Scarab shook her head as if she was disappointed in her.

“First mistake, you thought you could be here in Sunnydale and not get my attention.” Scarab said. “Second mistake was your attempted soul theft on me so that you could try to remain here while someone tried to take me in your place. Third mistake, you didn’t realize I’m kinda a vindictive bitch.”

Kathy asked. “What gave me away?”

Kathy could see Scarlet Scarab smile at her. “You didn’t really do any demony.” She said. “It was your incessant playing of Celine Dion. That was so annoying I had to investigate you.”

|Behind us.| The scarab warned her.

She turned to see the robed demons appear in her room but they didn’t seem to be interested in her. They were interested in her roommate however as the robed demon in the center began to speak to Kathy in a tone that sounded like he was scolding her but it was in a language she didn’t understand but the scarab was able to translate.

“But I’m nine hundred years old!” Kathy exclaimed.

“I’m guessing nine hundred is the new eighteen.” Scarab said. “Look, you were the one dumb enough to listen to Celine Dion on the freaking Hellmouth. If this had been anywhere else, I would have never thought demon. I would have just thought you were weird. But, you should be thankful that you have a father who cares for you like he does. My Dad is probably somewhere in Spain with his secretary.”

|Actually, flight plans for a Hank R. Summers list him going to the French Rivera.| The scarab reported.

“So didn’t need to know that.” Scarab replied to her suit. “Just go back with him.”

Without protest, Kathy went to her father’s side and the group vanished in a flash of magical power. Buffy allowed the scarab to retract her armor and she shook her head.

“I need to get some sleep.” She said.

The next day, Graham had assigned himself a personal mission. He had been concerned for Riley. The last mission he had been on could have been easily classified as a Code Charlie-Foxtrot for how everything went down. Personally, he was quite happy that his friend had survived the attack but the strange burn on his arm seemed to be getting worse and not better. Walsh was too insistent on studying the damage but no amount of painkillers was helping him. Graham had one idea on how to help his friend and he hoped that she would be helpful. Spotting her sitting in the cafeteria, he walked over to her table. He noticed she was sitting with her sister as well as Jonathon, Kendra, and Buffy.

“Hey, Zarina.” He said. “Can I talk to you about something?”

She turned in her seat towards him and gave him a friendly smile. “You’re Graham right, what’s wrong?”

“There’s something wrong with Riley.” Graham said. “He has this weird burn on his arm and the doctors can’t do anything for him. I was wondering if you could maybe look at it.”

“Okay.” She said turning back to her friends. “I’ll see you all later, okay.”

As Zarina got up to leave, Graham heard Kendra say something to Zarina in what he thought was Greek but he wasn’t sure. Zarina nodded at her friend and left with Graham. The two of them made their way over to Lowell House where Graham saw Forrest’s smiling face to greet them. He looked over at Zarina.

“Can you wait here?” He asked. “I don’t want Forrest to get the wrong idea. He’s liable to think of anything.”

“Not a problem.” She replied.

He walked over to Forrest who seemed quite happy. “It’s not what you think.” Graham told his friend.

Forrest didn’t believe him. “Come on, man.” He said. “You hit the fucking jackpot bringing her back here. I know Walsh told Riley to get cozy with her friends but I didn’t think you had it in you. You are the man!”

“Nothing like that.” Graham replied hoping to squash this before Forrest thought too much. “She’s here to try to help Riley.”

“That weird burn?” Forrest asked getting a nod. “You think she can help him.”

“Walsh doesn’t seem interested and if we watch her help Riley, maybe we won’t need her help in case we run into whatever the hell did that to him.” Graham said. “Unless you want to be Walsh’s lab rat.”

Forrest nodded understanding why he was doing it now. Zarina was led into the house by Graham and after a few odd looks from some of Graham’s fraternity brothers; they made it to Riley’s room. He was sweating rather profusely and his left arm had been bandaged with gauze. However, he was aware they were in the room.

“Graham, what is she doing here?” He asked.

“I’m here to help, hopefully.” Zarina said. “Can you unwrap your arm?”

Riley unwrapped his arm and Zarina could only stare at the burn. Almost his entire left forearm was dark red and blistered up, she wondered how much pain he was in. She reached over to touch it and was shocked by a red jolt of energy from the burn.

“Fuck me, that hurt.” She said.

“It never did that before.” Riley told her. “Can you do something about it?”

“Are you okay?” Graham asked.

Zarina nodded. “I’m fine.” She said looking over at Riley. “You were burned by hellfire. That’s why it’s not healing like a normal burn should. I can treat it though I’ll have to get a few things out of my hat.”

Intrigued, they watched as Zarina conjured her top hat that she normally wore whenever on stage or in combat and pulled out a few items. She picked up the clear bottle which they noticed had metal crosses on the sides of the bottle.

“Holy water?” Graham asked.

“Very good and I’m glad you aren’t afraid enough to ask me what I’m doing.” Zarina replied. “Since the burn was obtained because he was burned with hellfire, the residual energy that was left won’t let it heal. The holy water will dissipate the energy in the wound.”

Riley could tell she was holding something back. “What else should I know?” He asked hesitantly.

“This is going to hurt but it will work.” She said before turning to Graham. “You might want to get a few people to help restrain him.”

Graham did as he was told and three more guys entered the room. Graham and the three guys held Riley down as Zarina poured the holy water on the burn. Fortunately, Graham had the foresight to grab a rolled up towel and stuck it into his friend’s mouth as his jaw jammed shut in pain when the holy water hit his skin. The holy water foamed up as if it was hydrogen peroxide and the burn began to spark with red crackling energy.

“!DLEIHS” Zarina yelled creating a white energy bubble around the arm.

It was a few tense moments later that the red energy finally ceased hitting the shield and the magician lowered the protecting bubble. She placed two small jars on Riley’s night stand.

“Those two jars contain a salve that is essentially a combination of essence of murlap, wolfsbane, and sage.” She explained. “Apply the salve three times a day and keep the burn wrapped up. In a few days, it will be healed with very little scarring.”

“Thanks.” Riley said realizing that he wasn’t in any more pain from the strange burn.

“No problem, just don’t piss off whatever burned you again.” Zarina replied. “If you had left it like it was...”

“What would have happened?” Graham asked curious.

A sad look appeared on Zarina’s face. The answer to his question wasn’t something she wanted to answer but she was going to anyway.

“You wouldn’t have been considered human anymore as the residual hellfire energy corrupted every part of you.” Zarina said.

Jason sat in his office drinking tea while grading papers from his class. He had to admit that Zarina had a bit of an unfair advantage if you took into account the few times he recalled that she had accidentally traveled to the past but then again he had the same advantage as he had actually lived it. Mentally, he cursed himself as he saw Zarina open his office door and step inside.

“Is there something I can do for you, Zarina?” He asked.

“What happened to cause Etrigan to get pissed off?” She asked him.

He took a drink of his tea before answering her question. “I was on a date with Drusilla when we were attacked by a group of soldiers. Dru had been rendered unconscious and I had suffered a blow to the head.” He informed her. “I did what I had to do to protect her. Would you have done anything different if it had been Faith?”

“I probably would have done a few things that would have made the Joker a bit squeamish as well as take a few notes but I’m a vindictive bitch.” Zarina replied. “Be careful though. Buffy and Giles don’t know about your own personal Mister Hyde and I would prefer to keep it that way. Less chance of Buffy trying to run you through with sharp pointy iron objects.”

“Your sister doesn’t know either.” Jason informed her. “She just knows I’ve been cursed by Merlin for betraying Camelot.”

Before Zarina could reply, a figure clad in a hooded black robe with silver trim flame transported into the office. The figure’s face was shrouded by the hood in darkness but they could tell the person wasn’t human as it held out a rolled up scroll to Zarina. The hand that held the scroll was gray skinned with long fingernails. Zarina took the scroll from him and nodded to acknowledge the figure. A flash of flame and the figure was gone. Her fingers trembled as she unrolled the scroll and read what was written.

“What is it?” Jason asked.

“It’s a summons from the Shadow Court.” Zarina replied grimly. “I am to act in the capacity of prosecutor...”

“Who is being charged?” Jason asked knowing she left something off.

“The Shadow Court is charging Buffy as an accessory to murder as well as dereliction of a sacred duty.” Zarina replied pulling out her Justice League communicator. “Jonathon, you there?”

It was a few moments before Jonathon answered. “I’m here, Zee.” He said. “What’s wrong?”

“Find Buffy.” Zarina ordered him. “The Shadow Court put a warrant out for her arrest.”

“Wait, aren’t these the same people who consider slight resistance as a reason to kill?” He asked.

“The same.” Zarina said. “I’ve been ordered to act as prosecutor.”

“Damn, we’ll find Buffy.” Jonathon replied. “I hope we can help her in time.”

“As do I, I have to prepare for the trial.” Zarina said. “Tell Buffy I’m sorry.”

Buffy and Willow were walking to their next class. The blonde slayer noticed her friend seemed to be nervous about something but she wasn’t sure what her friend was nervous about. She didn’t think Willow was worried about their next class though.

“Willow, what’s wrong?” Buffy asked.

“It’s one of these homo magi things I’m trying to deal with. My senses are screaming at me that something is coming.” Willow said trying to explain. “Whatever it is wants someone.”

“Boy, that’s creepy.” Buffy replied smiling. “Don’t worry, Willow. Whatever it is has to get through everyone in the Justice League Sunnydale as well as me and you.”

Willow’s cell phone began to ring to the tune of “That Old Black Magic” and she answered it quickly. Buffy let her talk to Jonathon who had been the one to call her. The black and red haired freshman yelled something into the phone before hanging it up.

“Buffy,youareinalotoftroubleanditlooksliketheShadowCourtiscomingforyou.” Willow said very quickly.

“Willow, what’s the Shadow Court?” Buffy asked.

“The Shadow Court is like a magical justice system that governs the supernatural. They apparently have charged you as an accessory to murder.” Willow said and her eyes quickly widened. “Buffy, behind you.”

Buffy turned to see four figures clad in black robes with silver trim were behind her. She reached out through the connection she had with the scarab only to find the scarab seemingly quivering in fear.

|They’ll kill you if you try to resist.| The scarab told her. |Plus, magic scares the crap out of me.|

“Buffy Anne Summers, you will surrender.” One of the figures said.

“Buffy, you need to give up.” Willow told her friend. “You run and they will kill you.”

|She’s right, Buffy.| The scarab said. |I have scanned the files that Zarina has on the Shadow Court. If a suspect resists arrest, they will respond with lethal force. I can not guarantee I will be able to help protect you.|

She lowered her head. Putting her trust in her friend, she surrendered to the enforcers.

The atmosphere inside the Sunnydale Hall of Justice was tense as the various members of the hometown team along with a few guests gathered around the conference table. Joyce was worried as much as the rest of them.

“Why has my oldest daughter been arrested by some group I’ve never heard of and why is one of her best friends prosecuting her?” She asked.

“Joyce, the Shadow Court is an ancient magical judiciary that had been set up in ancient Babylonia by Hammurabi who had a fascination with the arcane arts but realized the need to try to limit magic users damage to the innocent.” Jason explained to her. “It has underwent many reforms since its inception.”

“But that doesn’t explain why her friend is the one prosecuting her.” Joyce said. “Why would Zarina betray her like that?”

Jonathon pulled his mask off and looked at Joyce. “She doesn’t have a choice.” He told her almost remorseful. “She doesn’t have a choice because of me.”

Willow looked over at her sister’s best male friend. “What do you mean?” She asked.

“It was back when Zarina and I had just joined the Teen Titans. We responded to a midnight heist at a jewelry store and I accidentally killed one of the robbers. It turned out that the man that I had killed was some kind of mage and the Shadow Court arrested me.” Jonathon said as he talked about the past. “Not one of the priors, that’s what they call lawyers for the Shadow Court, would take my case in my defense so Zarina became my prior and won the case.”

“I sense something you’re not telling us.” Drusilla said staring at the young man.

“The rituals that she went under to be recognized as my prior also made her subject to the court proceedings.” Jonathon said. “Not only is she liable if her oaths are violated, any students she has are forcibly removed and given to new teachers. She is stuck between a rock and a hard place. The only way she can make certain that Dawn stays safe is if Zarina prosecutes Buffy to the best of her ability.”

Joyce thought for a moment and her gaze returned to the young man who had revealed his identity to her. She had liked the Queen boy and had gotten along well with his mother though she hadn’t met his father yet.

“How bad does Buffy have it?” She asked. “How good is Zarina?”

“After Zarina won my case, she was jokingly referred to by the prosecuting prior as a female Johnny Cochrane.” Jonathon said not wanting to lie to her. “She’s ruthless to a fault and you know that she is like a pit bull on a bone.”

Drusilla smiled. “But there is someone who can aggravate her greatly.” She said. “It may be enough to save Buffy.”

“Who?” Willow asked.

“John Constantine.” The vampiress replied.

Willow’s eyes widened. “Whatthehellareyouthinkingbringinghimintothis?DoyouhaveanyideahowpissedoffZarinawillbewhensheseeshim?” She asked in one breath.

Giles had been cleaning his glasses as he recognized the name as well. His few run-ins with the man had not been pleasant.

“We going to trust in a man who sold his soul to three different demon lords in the hope that they would cure him of his cancer rather than fight between themselves to save Buffy from the Shadow Court.” He said to them. “Why?”

“John used to be date Mom and the relationship didn’t exactly go well.” Willow explained. “While Mom doesn’t hold anything against him, Zarina does and what I’ve heard her say I can’t exactly translate into English.”

“I don’t care if he’s a war criminal from Dimension X and...” Joyce said as she noticed the looks on some of the heroes’ faces. “Don’t tell me there is actually a Dimension X.”

“Okay, won’t tell you then.” Faith said with a laugh.

She had recently learned teleportation magic from Zarina. After a bit of trial and error, they had realized she was more adept at portals which was how she arrived in the living room of Cordelia’s rather lavish penthouse apartment.

“Well, that shows me what I get with cheap wards.” Cordelia said stepping around the corner wrapped up in a white towel. “What’s wrong, Dawn?”

“Buffy got arrested by the Shadow Court and Zarina’s prosecuting.” Dawn said looking around the apartment. “How can you afford this? Your parents are on the run from the IRS.”

“True but I won a lottery and my abilities got me to pull a Zarina.” Cordelia said loudly explaining her circumstances as she headed for her bedroom closet. “I ended up as the majority shareholder of Lex Corp. I left Talia in charge.” She decided to change the subject to something a bit more important than herself. “So, why is Buffy on trial?”

Dawn waited for Cordelia to exit her bedroom before continuing. The former May Queen turned superheroine was now dressed in a green blouse and blue jeans.

“Remember when Angel lost his soul?” She asked getting a nod from Cordelia. “Apparently, she’s being charged as an accessory to over a hundred and twenty murders.”

“Wow, that many.” Cordelia remarked. “Is that just an estimate?”

“Four months between losing his soul and thrown into Acathla’s hell dimension would be about that many if he just fed.” Dawn replied. “Maybe we should ask Angel for an exact count. Do you know where he lives?”

“I ran into him while he was saving this one girl from a vampire businessman.” Cordelia explained. “Angel and this drunk half Brachen demon named Doyle are running a detective agency now. I was able to get them an actual detective license before they got into any trouble. Let’s just go already.”

Dawn concentrated and said a spell in a language that sounded slightly like Latin to Cordelia but she wasn’t going to question it. She stepped through the portal that Dawn had made to find Angel and Doyle looking surprised as to the method of their arrival. Dawn looked over at the guy who had to have been Doyle.

“I guess you’re not much of a seer if you didn’t see us coming.” She remarked.

She wasn’t exactly happy to be in the jail cell she was in but it had beat the alternative that Willow had mentioned. Buffy saw one of the guards open her cell door and a man with graying hair who looked about Giles’ age entered the cell. He wore a gray trench coat and didn’t seem happy to be here. Taking a drag off of his cigarette, he took a look at her.

“Man, I don’t want to be in your shoes.” He said. “John Constantine, your Mom hired me to defend you in the trial.”

“What am I being accused of?” She asked. “No one has told me anything.”

“Remember when your vampire boyfriend lost his soul, you’re being charged with allowing him to murder at least one hundred twenty people.” Constantine said to her. “That’s only counting the times he fed and not anyone he just killed because he wanted to.”

“Why in the hell am I being tried for it?” She asked. “I did not kill those people.”

Constantine shook his head. “Did you try to stop Angel?” He asked. “Obviously, that is the question that is going to be asked.”

“I tried...” She said weakly.

“But people still died. We have to prove that you didn’t have any way to prevent those deaths.” Constantine told her.

“Is that all?” Buffy asked.

“We also have to undermine the prosecutor’s argument and she is known as the Iron Maiden.” He replied. “You’re not going to like who it is.”

“Who is she?” Buffy asked.

“It’s your friend, Zarina.” He said cutting her off before she could respond. “I know you think she’ll go easy on you because you’re her friend but don’t count on it. The things necessary to get to be an attorney in the Shadow Court are forcing her to act as if she wasn’t your friend.”

“Crap.” She replied.

Drusilla was a bit confused as to why her sight had led her down this dark street of Sunnydale. Sometimes, her sight was clear but it wasn’t this time. All her sight was telling her was that it was very important. Willow and Faith, clad as Slayer, followed her.

“Dru, if I wanted to be a bit uncomfortable, I would have told Willow about that last time Z and I were at Themyscira.” Slayer said. “But, shouldn’t we be trying to find out who got those bogus charges pressed against B?”

“This is important, Slayer.” Dru replied. “More than you could know.”

Willow looked over to Slayer. “What happened on Themyscira?” She asked.

“I introduced jello shots.” Slayer said smiling at the memory.

The red and black haired woman gently slapped Slayer. “How could you?” She asked. “Do you know what could have happened?”

Drusilla smiled as she turned to look at Willow. “Willow, the Greeks invented the orgy.” She said to the multi-colored haired woman.

Willow’s face flushed red and she began to stammer which caused both the Slayer and the vampiress to begin to laugh as their friend tried to get the images out of her head. They didn’t expect Willow to say what she said next.

“Was Wonder Woman there?” She asked before she grimaced. “Wait, I don’t need to know anything.”

“What is suppose to happen?” Slayer asked Drusilla.

Drusilla pointed down the street and a green portal flashed momentarily but not before someone small fell out of it. The figure got up slowly and they saw it was a little girl with black hair that was mostly straight but had a hint of curl to it. She looked a little scared but Drusilla took a single step towards her.

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star...” Drusilla sung softly but they saw the girl heard her as her head swiftly towards the sound of the voice. “How I wonder what you are...”

“Nana Dru!” The girl exclaimed running up to the vampiress with her arms open for a hug.

Slayer and Willow were surprised when Drusilla bent down and hugged the girl when the child came within range. Drusilla picked the girl up to bring her to eye level with Slayer and Willow. The girl seemed familiar and Slayer noticed she resembled Zarina’s child form back when Willow had cast a spell which inadvertently separated Zarina into different aspects of herself. Resemblance was there but she noticed something else. It was something that was kind of weird to her as the girl had Faith’s eyes and nose. Willow didn’t seem to notice the similarities though.

“Sweetie, what’s your name?” Willow asked. “Who are your parents?”

The girl gave Willow a confused look and turned her head back towards Drusilla.

“Nana Dru, what’s wrong with Auntie Willow?” She asked.

Drusilla smiled when the confused look on Willow’s face grew. “Zallana, your auntie isn’t going to be the only one confused.” She said. “You haven’t been born yet. That’s why your auntie is confused. Your other mummy is confused also but your birth mummy will be concerned as well.”

“Wait, she’s my daughter?” Faith asked removing her mask and stepping closer to Zallana. “How is this possible?”

A look of realization appeared on Willow’s face. “There’s a potion I read about in one of Zarina’s books. It’s called the Cradle of Venus potion. The potion allows two people to conceive a child if normal means aren’t available like if the guy was sterile. Aside from the ingredients which most are rather commonplace, blood from both parents is what catalyzes the potion allowing for it to work.” She explained. “Zarina must have made the potion sometime in the future.”

Zallana held her arms out to Faith who pulled the girl away from Drusilla. The six-year old girl’s arms wrapped around the dark-haired slayer and Faith felt comfortable. It was a feeling of familiarity that she was experiencing. She felt her communicator vibrate but she didn’t reach over to grab it. However, she felt little hands grab the communicator and activate it. Zallana seemed to recognize who it was on the other end.

“Hi, Uncle Johnny.” She said smiling at the Blue Bowman.

Faith pulled her mask back on and took the communicator away from the little girl. She found the look of confusion on the face of the Sapphire Archer amusing.

“Who was that and why was she calling me Uncle Johnny?” Blue Bowman asked.

“Her name is Zallana Zatara.” Slayer said. “She is my daughter as well as Zarina’s.”

Blue Bowman’s jaw dropped and he said. “I wish I would have known so I could put my hat in as godfather.”

“Nana Dru said I wasn’t born yet.” Zallana told him.

Bowman’s eyes widened a bit. “That would explain it.” He said before a thought crossed his mind. “Who’s her father?”

“According to Dru, I am and I know how messed up that sounds but why did you call?” She asked trying to change the subject.

“Found a demon who apparently was hired by some Asian lawyer who works for Wolfram & Hart, a law firm in LA, that hired the demon to get the charges filed against Buffy.” Bowman said. “If we get our hands on the lawyer, then Buffy’s case will be thrown out. It’s one of the laws of the Shadow Court. They don’t like the Wolf, the Ram, and The Hart.”

“Call Delphi to let Angel know.” Slayer told him. “LA’s his city. He’ll find our lawyer. We’re going to drop Zallana off at Joyce’s house as Grandma’s not in town and we’ll meet you guys at the Shadow Court. Slayer out.”

Giles sat on the couch in the Summers’ residence next to Jenny feeling quite useless as he waited for news. Joyce was sitting in a chair next to the couch.

“I got around to contacting the other members of my clan to let them know I was alive.” Jenny said trying to make conversation. “They were rather surprised until I mentioned that Zarina was one of the ones involved. The elder said something about a debt had finally been paid between the Kalderash and the Zataras. I’m going to have to ask Zarina or Zatanna what that meant.”

Before anyone could reply, the front door opened and Slayer, Willow, Drusilla, and a little girl that the three adults were finding quite familiar walked into the house. The little girl’s eyes lit up when she saw Giles.

“Grandpa!” She exclaimed running over the former librarian and hugging him tightly. “Do you know where mommy is?”

“Zallana, they don’t know you yet.” Drusilla said admonishing the girl. “Introduce yourself.”

“I’m sorry, Nana Dru.” Zallana replied. “I’m Zallana Zatara and can you answer my question, please?”

The adults’ eyes widened when they heard the little girl’s name and Joyce’s eyes went to Slayer with a gaze that forced the young superheroine to divulge what she knew.

“Drusilla led us down this one street claiming that something important was going to happen. A portal formed and little ZZ came out.” Faith said after removing her mask. “Apparently, she is my daughter also. Somethin’ about some potion and my and Zarina’s blood.”

Giles seemed to recognize the potion. “Cunabola of Venus; it would make sense considering.” He said.

Zallana laughed at Giles. “You’re always smart, Grandpa.” She said.

“Now, we need to head over to the Shadow Court.” Drusilla said. “Do you mind watching Zallana until we return?”

Joyce shook her head. “Of course not, I’d love to watch her.” She said. “Have you had dinner yet?”

Zallana shook her head. “I was suppose to go with Mommy when she picked me up from Dawn’s house but I dropped something I wasn’t suppose to be playing with.” She said lowering her head expecting to be scolded.

“Don’t worry, it’s not your fault.” Joyce said to Zallana. “Though, I might have to explain this to Dawn as to why she’s grounded for something she didn’t do yet.”

Faith pulled her mask back on and started to follow Willow out the front door when Drusilla bent down to talk to Zallana.

“Now Zallana, don’t be telling anyone what might happen in the future.” She told the little girl.

“Like how Dawn’s mommy had an aneurysm and died?” Zallana asked.

Joyce heard the little girl and fainted from shock but was luckily caught by Giles before she hit the floor. Drusilla closed her eyes and sighed.

“Yes, dear.” She said. “Like that.”

Angel and Doyle made a few calls and found out the lawyer, Gavin Park, frequented a demon karaoke bar named Caritas. Dawn had donned her costume which consisted of a light green hooded cloak, a dark green body suit with white gloves and black boots. Angel was certain the body suit was made of some kind of armor but he wasn’t sure what kind. The four of them entered the bar and were greeted by a green skinned demon with horns.

“Hi, I’m the Host.” He said with his eyes being drawn to Dawn. “I don’t recognize this member of the cape and cowl community. Who are you?”

“I’m Ios.” She said. “I’m here to bring a lawyer before the Shadow Court.”

The Host pointed over to the bar where they saw the Asian lawyer sitting while drinking some fuchsia-colored concoction. Ios smiled and scanned the room with her mage sight. It was a useful skill that had taken her a little bit to pick up and she understood quite well why it was essential to her training. She smiled at the Host.

“You have adequate wards in place but they leave too many loopholes in your security.” Ios said.

“Such as?” The Host asked inquisitively.

Ios smirked. “Observe.” She said.

The teenage heroine walked over to Park and took his drink away from him. He was about to protest when she splashed the contents of the glass into his face. As he let out a yell of surprise, her right fist collided with his nose with most of the bar hearing the cartilage snap from the force of the impact. Park collapsed to the floor while Ios rubbed her right hand and those with enhanced hearing could hear her swear in several different languages. When she recovered, she motioned for Angel to grab the lawyer. She walked over to the Host as Angel dragged the lawyer outside and handed the demon a business card.

“Your anti-violence wards don’t take into account anything a human might do and you also leave yourself open to attack should anyone decide to do something like throw grenades into the bar.” She said. “Doctor Fate has a bit of a hobby and likes warding places. I think he’d be interested warding your bar.”

The Host couldn’t believe his luck and quickly thanked her. Gathering outside with Angel, Doyle, and Cordelia, she muttered the spell to teleport them to the Shadow Court. They appeared outside the large ornate doors of the court room. Ios could see Slayer trying in vain to open the doors.

“Don’t bother.” She said. “Once the doors are sealed, only a Lord of Order or a Lord of Chaos can open them while court is in session.”

“How are we suppose to get that jackass in there then?” Cordelia asked the young sorceress.

“Simple, I can open it.” Ios said pulling out a dagger with her left hand.

“But you said only a Lord of Order or a Lord of Chaos could open the door now.” Bowman said. “How can you open it?”

Ios removed her right glove and began to slice open her hand with the dagger. “My blood carries the trans-dimensional energy of the Key. For all intents and purposes, this enables my blood to open any lock.” She said placing her bleeding hand on the door.

The blood flowed down from her hand across the door. An audible click could be heard as the lock opened and Ios pulled herself away from the door saying a healing spell for her hand. They ventured into the courtroom filled with rather angry beings that were enraged from the intrusion. Slayer saw Zarina was clad in black robes and looked happy to see them. Buffy and Constantine were sitting down and had similar expressions on their faces as Zarina. The judge, some sort of lavender-skinned tri-horned demon, frowned at them.

“What is the meaning of this?” He asked.

Angel stepped forward and threw the lawyer to the floor. “Your honor, this lawyer was the one responsible for the charges that were filed against Buffy Summers.” He said. “He works for Wolfram & Hart.”

A collective gasp could be heard in the courtroom as several of the audience members began to react to the news with cries of outrage. The judge slammed the gavel.

“Order!” He bellowed. “In light of the interference by the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart, the charges are dismissed against Buffy Anne Summers. She is free to go.”

Buffy let out a cheer of victory and Zarina pulled down the hood of her robes with relief being shown in her body language. Two massive troll-like bailiffs brought a massive chest over to Buffy and set it down on the floor. The chest was opened by one of the guards and it was filled to the brim with gold coins and several other gems.

“For the inconvenience you have suffered.” The judge explained. “Please accept this humble pittance.”

“No problem, your honor.” Buffy said as she stared at the chest.

The judge turned his attention to Angel. “Step forward, Angel.” He ordered.

Angel stepped forward wondering what the judge wanted with him. “You have already tangled with the forces of the Wolf, Ram, and Hart in the past. With their involvement in today’s travesty, they have declared war on the Shadow Court.” The judge said producing a golden badge which he threw to the vampire. “With the power invested in me, I hereby deputize you as an officer of this court. Whatever you require to combat the Wolf, Ram, and Hart in your city will be provided.”

Angel stared at the gold and black badge that he had been given. “Okay, I’ll do what I can.” He said.

“Court is dismissed.” The judge said vanishing from where he stood.

Zarina ran over to Buffy. “I’m so sorry.” She said quickly as she tried to apologize. “I had no choice.”

Buffy walked over to her friend and hugged her. “It’s okay.” She said. “John already told me this. I’m not blaming you.”

“Can we get out of here?” Slayer asked. “I’d like to get home and put Zallana to bed.”

Perplexed, Zarina looked over to Slayer. “Who’s Zallana?” She asked.

“Our daughter.” Slayer replied.

Surprised, Zarina fainted but was caught by an equally surprised Buffy. The golden-haired slayer was wondering what else she had missed.

Buffyverse Earth

Xander stared at the vampiric version of his best friend but he was equally concerned about the unconscious Slayers that were bound by dark energy tendrils that sparked with energy. She laughed as Buffy, Faith, and Willow came running into the room.

“Well, looks like we have a dilemma here.” She said. “So that there isn’t any confusion, call me Chaotica.”

“Let them go!” Buffy exclaimed.

“I think an exchange would be better.” Chaotica said. “I will release your little girls if you give me what I want.”

“What’s that?” Xander asked.

“I want you, Xander.” Chaotica said smiling at him. “You’ll give me what I want. The white knight in you won’t allow you to do anything else.”

“You can’t have him!” Willow shouted.

Chaotica laughed. “Do not the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?” She asked. “You would condemn these girls to my tender mercies just to keep him away from me. I won’t stop with just them. How many Slayers are there on this Earth? How much blood must I shed to get what I want?”

Xander dropped the stake he was carrying as he knew the power that Chaotica was throwing around would be enough to destroy anything they had to go against her. He walked over to her.

“Let them go.” He said. “I’ll come with you.”

“Xander, don’t!” Buffy exclaimed. “She’ll kill you.”

Chaotica encompassed herself and Xander in black energy which caused them to vanish. The energy binding the unconscious Slayers dispersed. While Buffy and Willow were checking the Slayers, Faith was deep in her own thoughts as something about the vampire Willow’s name was familiar.

Arkham Asylum

Gotham City

The sound of rapid gunfire was what awoken the Clown Prince of Crime. His cell doors were blown off with some kind of plastique and he saw a black clad gunman who motioned for him to follow. Not one to begrudge a jailbreak, he followed the gunman and he saw several of his compatriots were in similar situations. Someone had apparently broken into the property room as several of Gotham’s criminals were in the process of donning their costume.

“Hey, where’s my suit?” The Joker asked only for the articles of clothing to be produced. The psychotic criminal looked over the suit to insure that it didn’t have any surprises. He leapt back into his cell and changed out of his clothes. The Joker emerged from his cell and looked at one of the gunmen. “I just love a laundry service that delivers. So, who is our benefactor in this escape?”

“That certainly is the riddle we have.” The Riddler said before spying a teenage girl dressed in purple robes with gold trim. “Perhaps her.”

Windows shattered and the Joker spotted Batman and Nightwing had responded to the disturbance. The gunmen raised their weapons to bear on the Dark Knight and his former sidekick when the robed girl raised her right hand staying their fire.

“It’s a lovely evening, isn’t it.” She said. “I thought these lovely individuals would like to go on a moonlight stroll.”

“You’re not going anywhere.” Batman informed her.

“Unfortunately, Batman, you entered exactly where I expected you to.” She said as a crystal around her neck glowed.

Crystals appeared that encircled the two heroes. Before either one of them could get away, energy arched out from the crystals creating an energy cage. The two heroes glared at the villainess. She set a black crystal on the floor.

“Give my regards to Zarina.” She said before teleporting her gunmen and the escaped prisoners away.

Author’s End Notes: I’m sorry about how long this took.
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