The Freedom of a Different Choice
Still don't own Buffy or Alice, and I'm still making absolutely nothing writing this.AN
: I couldn’t resist writing more. I think I can squeeze out another two or three parts for this fic just to tie up the loose ends I have running through my head.
This part is in the Jabberwocky’s POV and is likely to read weirdly. The Jabberwocky is intelligent and yet still animal. Some of the names it/he has for things are likely to confuse you at first.
He couldn’t remember his name. He was sure he had one at one time but it was such a long time ago that everything but the title bestowed upon him by the Queen remained. She named him Jabberwocky, her
Jabberwocky. She was the only being to ever call him that with something close to love. Intelligent he may be, but the basis of his personality was completely animal and love to an animal was loyalty. The Jabberwocky would do anything for his Queen, had done anything for his Queen. He razed whole clans to the ground, gobbled up the running and screaming humans on her orders.
The Jabberwocky woke from his sleep, throwing off the stone that encased him and bellowing his rage to the sky. He would kill the girl as his Queen commanded.
Except it wasn’t that easy. The girl, Alice, the
Alice of prophecy wielded his old enemy. She held it all wrong, as if the vorpal blade was merely a silly human weapon, but the enchantments of the blade more than made up for her clumsy swings. The Jabberwocky growled in fear and anger; he could feel himself losing. He pushed himself harder as he watched his Queen become buried under a pile of white chess men.
The Jabberwocky rounded the twisting stairs, snuffling the air for the girl. She was hiding scared; that was good … except she wasn’t hiding. She was above him, vorpal sword held aloft as the prophecy showed, aimed to sever his head from his neck.
“Off with your
head!” The girl-child gave as her war cry.
And he was falling or rising, tipping and tripping through the air and his head was pointed skyward, nose to the air as he breathed in scents so different from those of Underland. The air was polluted, heavy with acrid scents and none of the forests and flowers he was used to, not even those of the stone buildings. The air was filled with metal, dying or already dead trees, and heavy with the scents of humans and pounding, pumping blood. There was no madness floating freely, but there was something else.
The Jabberwocky tilted his head, trying to catch the stench that tickled his nose. It was a scent he knew well, living with the Queen. It was the scent of evil and malice and it coated this clan’s dwelling. It drew him and he glanced below himself to find a glowing globe of light and energy encasing his body. Did he allow himself to slip back into that world that held a defeated Queen and certain death by his long known foe or did he pull himself free from this prison and explore this new world of unknown scents—a world without the vorpal blade needed to defeat him?
Decision made, the Jabberwocky arched his neck and tugged his body free, wings spreading gracefully to catch the wind and raise his body from its prison. Free at last, he chose the direction that would lead him to the most malice soaked place and flew at high speeds before the energy could attempt to drag him back or maybe before it would decide to send Alice and her sword through.
The Jabberwocky flew, sweeping low and high. The height kept him hidden, something he was sure was needed in this new world, but the acrid stench was worse and confused his nose with an itch and a tickle. Finally, he came upon the heaviest concentration of evil; swooping low provided him with the view of a burned and broken stone building. The stone was oddly colored, not the creams and reds of the Queen’s dwelling or even the pure whiteness of the Queen’s enemy foe. The chunks of rock were oddly broken and then fused together with smears of white gunk.
The Jabberwocky landed beside the rubble, nudging bits and pieces out of his way. The scent was here but seemed to be rising upwards. It was as if the scent was buried beneath the ground. Still, there had to be a way to get to that scent if the scent was indeed there. How else would it come to be there if no one had put it there? He used clawed fingers to dig through the stone, snuffling the ground that was uncovered, drawing ever nearer to the main, gutted structure.
His digging soon uncovered a set of cracked steps leading downwards. The structure above and below creaked as he forced his massive body through the narrow opening. The steps took him deeper, opening slightly at the bottom. Even with the addition of space, the walls pressed painfully against his wings and the Jabberwocky tucked them as tightly against his sides as he could as he crawled, belly to the floor, through the space.
The Jabberwocky traveled deeper under the building and down another set of stairs. Finally, the scent grew thicker and his dark form turned into a room. This one was larger, large enough that he could spread his wings at a comfortable distance before they were stopped. He breathed deeply of the malice, circling the room before he settled onto the floor. Yes, this would make a perfect den, he decided as he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep contented.
The seal under the sleeping creature gave an enticing throb of dark energy and the Jabberwocky gave a satisfied sigh in his sleep, nuzzling his spiked face into his clawed fingers crossed before him and slipped deeper into sleep.