White Knights of all Shapes and Sizes
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer was dreamed up by Joss Whedon. Anita Blake the Vampire Hunter goes to L.K. Hamilton. Harry Potter the Wonder Wizard belongs to J.K. Rowling. I own none of these or their affiliates.
A/N- I amazed myself with how quickly this chapter was written. Honestly. It was like, I had nothing, then BAM inspiration. Fair warning, those who read They Had Crossbows know how much I adore assumptions. They're just so fun.
"Well?" The one-eyed man asked with an arched eyebrow and an undertone of violence. Asher noted it was the brow over his missing eye that moved. The man was using his deformity to greatest effect, as Asher himself had done countless times. Whoever this person, being, was he had to be enormously powerful. Mind-boggling, as Anita might say in the event she yet remained among the living after her... indiscretion. The thought weighed heavy on his heart, but one did not make it long in world of vampires without being able to set feelings aside. For now, he had more pressing concerns in the form of an annoyed entity of unknown strength and tensions were high enough that one wrong move would result in the resumption of the no-holds barred brawl that nearly took his arm.
Asher felt not the slightest ripple of power from the man. Even after a light, cautious probe he didn't even run into detectable shields. The one eyed man was a complete and total null
, the most mundane of the mundane, to Asher's senses while his entourage -Guards? Harem? Mercenaries?- were tiny burning suns of power. They pricked at the vampire's instincts with whispers of danger, threat, predator, kill-now-before-it's-too-late.
Asher had not lived over six centuries by listening to every whim of his instincts. Somehow, the maimed man who appeared in the middle of their little war did not seem to have the slightest drop of power, yet he commanded the preternatural women. Thus, the only logical conclusion Asher could come to, and mindful of the sharp and shiny bladed weaponry being fondled as the young warrior women kept their attention on the surrounding crowd, was that the man had to be so
powerful and so
skilled he could conceal his power completely.
Not even Jean-Claude, who excelled in concealing his true power-level from others, could do such a thing. It was unheard of.
If the scarred vampire was still alive he might of fainted; as things were he was a corpse and his undead heart skipped at beat as the implications whirled around his mind. He was so distracted, his response to the one-eyed man's question and hostility was less than pleasing as they heard the wail of police sirens grow louder. "Your giant?"
"Yes. My giant. Brunette. Cute as a button. Blue eyes. Couple stories tall. Can't miss her. Where is she?" There was still no power behind his words, nothing but sheer antagonism swirled around the man. Incredible.
One of the girls squeaked. Actually squeaked, somewhat like a mouse. She let out a little breath of air, sheathed her weapon into a scabbard on her back, and left the circle. Her position was immediately covered by the others as they tightened their guard. The man watched the blonde willowy female run past monsters until she came to a pair of still bodies and a shallow pool of quickly drying blood. "Chastity?"
Chastity, Asher noted the name with grim amusement, kicked one crispy body out of the way, and from the size he would say it had at one time been Valentina. The woman knelt and dipped her fingers in the blood, raised it to her lips as if to lick it, but paused and sniffed instead. Dark eyes hardened as she stood and wiped the blood on her pant leg. "Its Dawnie's, Sir."
The miniature suns went supernova. Low growls sounded from delicate throats and Asher could practically feel his skin crawling, urging him to attack and make the first move before they did. The man closed his eye and took a deep breath. He opened it as the sounds of multiple guns cocking rang around the clearing and he turned his head. Asher, and the rest of those gathered followed. Asher's eyes widened.
The Council was going to be, well, pissed. The last time any of their kind had drawn so much attention of the human authorities... they had published a book about it. Vlad was dead now.
RPIT and a few other departments had surrounded them. Sergent Storr was walked toward them with Detective Zebrowski trailing at his side and the smaller man wore a disturbingly happy expression in contrast with his superior's stern one. They walked through the mess confident in their people's ability to take down anyone that tried to attack them, and Asher couldn't fault them for it. Those were a lot of guns pointed, and though he himself did not fear the shots, many of those gathered were not Master anythings and could easily crumple from silver shot.
The one eyed man gave a lop-sided smile completely at odds with his attitude only moments ago. "Evening Officers. How are you this fine night?"
Asher then noticed that the female warriors all had their blades behind their backs and were whistling as though trying to affect the appearance of innocence... but their eyes never left the many monsters scattered about the field.
Shoes. Dawn missed shoes, even her boring old red running shoes, and she didn't care how much they might have clashed with her outfit. Sadly, Jean-Claude hadn't been able to get her shoes though at the time it didn't seem like a big deal. It was summer, and warm, so her toes weren't going to freeze off or anything. Still, if her giant corpse was found she wanted it to be wearing shoes; then when Giles gave her obituary he could say how at least she had priorities straight.
Dawn walked, each step covering about half the length of a football field, and peered cautiously toward the setting sun. It had been the middle of the night back in St. Louis, but now it was almost dusk. She wondered if she had somehow time-traveled as well as place-hopped and then immediately pursed her lips together to prevent the vocalization of such a thought. With her luck, such would happen just to spite her. She sneezed and wiped at her nose with her uninjured hand, then frowned.
She lifted her foot. "Oh. Ew." Her nose wrinkled in disgust as she tried to scrape some weird white sticky material off, and wasn't THAT a mental image, but the stuff just seemed to pull dry, dead bark from the tree trunks she was rubbing it on. "Come on, give me a break! Stupid world..."
The sun vanished behind surprisingly tall and thick trees that had clearly never seen a good round of deforestation. Dawn sighed and headed further into the forest, heading north and keeping her eyes peeled for any markers to point her toward the orchard by the castle, but she was starting to think she wouldn't make it. Maybe she should find someplace to bed down for the night? Twigs, branches really, caught on her dress making great rips while scratching at her legs. Stupid trees. "What I wouldn't give for a team of loggers right now... or a pair of clogs."
The only saving grace, Dawn figured, was that the forest was so thick and dense the ground vegetation was nearly non-existent and she didn't have to worry about stepping on any thorn-bushes or something similar.
Except for the MWS (Mysterious White Substance) which kept getting thicker, spreading everywhere, and she wondered if maybe it was some kind of magical moss. It did kinda have a creepy, I'm-all-mysterious glow to it. The sticky stuff extended from trees, and some of it was even starting to get in her hair. Dawn was reaching up to brush it off when something tickled her fingers. She froze. Her time in Sunnydale had honed survival instincts sharply, even if she habitually ignored them in favor of indulging her curiosity, and it was those that had her pulling out of her post-betrayal depression to slowly lower her hands.
She shivered as something
crawled down her hair, its movements whisper-soft, and Dawn's eye's carefully drifted over to her shoulder.
It was big. It was hairy. It had eight legs, too-many eyes, and a set of dripping pincers that clicked with the sound of fingers snapping. Even normal sized spiders gave her the willies, and Dawn was unashamed to declare herself part of the noble few for whom arachnophobia took on a whole new meaning. She was a giant; therefore, the thing
slowly crawling closer to her neck, and jugular, was a giant thing
. Dawn swallowed as her pulse quickened to a rhythm on par with a race-car engine.
Then she screamed bloody murder.
"BLOODY MURDER!!!" Dawn clawed at the menace, eyes squeezed shut to block out the horror, and took off running pel-mel into the forest heedless of the trail of damage she made as her mind supplied her with visions of clustered eyes, thousands of long, spindly legs, and little Dawnies wrapped in silken cocoons as their organs slowly liquefied to be drunk through a straw by monsters speaking in Scottish accents and wearing kilts. "BLOODY MURDER!!!"
Xander tried to remember that they were not in their home dimension and he -that is to say the slayers- was not at war with the United States government. The United States government in THIS dimension, at any rate. He forced himself to relax despite the very real fears eating at his insides of his slayers strapped to a table and being dissected, of his little (now big) Dawn-patrol bleeding out in some god-forsaken crap-hole of a dimension, himself cut off from Buffy and Willow and everyone he ever cared about, or Faith reproducing because she couldn't keep it in her pants and had to open business to every resident werewolf with muscular muscles and-
"Excuse me." Xander stated in a subdued tone to the detective that was a man after his own heart. Zebrowski leaned back in his chair and gestured aimlessly. The other man stood and walked over to the exit of the interrogation room, paused for breath, and then bellowed. "FAITH! I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME! STOP FLIRTING WITH EVERYTHING THAT HAS A PENIS OR I'LL HAVE VI BURN YOUR COLLECTION OF CHOCOCAT DOLLS!"
He sat back down, satisfied that there was one less thing he needed to worry about.
There was an answering yell, just barely audible from beyond the supposedly sound-proofed door. "HOW THE FUCK DID YOU KNOW I HAD THOSE?!"
"I'M THE ONE-WHO-SEES! IT'S MY JOB TO KNOW!"
The detective was staring at him. Xander shrugged. Zebrowski nodded and they shared a moment of male bonding before someone knocked on a one-way window. The graying man sighed, adjusted his glasses, and tapped his pencil against a yellow legal pad. "So."
"What are you?"
Xander closed his one good eye and looked at the ceiling. He didn't think human was going to be accepted. He didn't expect or notice the reactions his little move of exasperation elected.
A heart monitor let out a steady series of uninterrupted beeps. It was touch-and-go for awhile, but the medical team had done it. He had needed more stitches than could be found in a sheet of Egyptian cotton, but they had saved the John Doe. The burns, luckily, weren't that bad and he wouldn't, probably, scar.
The nurse smiled as she shut the door and cut the lights on a well built red head. She didn't notice unnaturally green eyes flicker open, or the way he cried silently at the continuous, strong sound of his own heart beating.
Dawn's screams had died down to whimpers, but it wasn't because she was out of the woods. Sheer terror had overridden all logical thought processes causing her to run from the first menace and deeper into the nest clutching her injured hand protectively to her chest. MWS, now unhappily identified as fresh or fossilized webbing, covered just about every surface. Also covering just about every surface were hundred, maybe thousands, of things
. Dawn cowered in a ball, her fear magnifying the sounds of clicking, dripping mandibles and she just wanted them to go away
They inched closer.
She shivered, and wished Buffy was with her. Buffy and her new-and-improved army of sister-slayers to chop the things
into their component segments. Where was Buffy?
They inched closer.
Dawn prayed to whatever gods who looked over lost little not-really-girls that a giant can of Raid would drop from the sky. Weirder things had happened. Case in point: the current situation.
They inched closer.
She could practically feel them getting ready to pounce, to poison, to eat her insides like that prolix bitch Charlotte as they were drawn to the aroma of fresh blood.
They inched closer.
Dawn let out an inarticulate scream, tears streaming down her face, which was suddenly joined by another, more masculine, voice. The girl turned giantess gasped and peaked her eyes open as someone came barreling into the lair, tree trunk swinging, spider smashing, and roaring his displeasure. Great gods above. Dawn didn't care that he was quickly becoming covered in thing
guts, or that his head resembled something of a moss-covered boulder -she had dated Kenny who in his true form would make even the Fisherman's Wife green with envy- his ability to slay the multi-legged hellspawn made him the most magical, wonderful, amazing, handsome person she had ever met.
The new, most assuredly male, giant then tossed his chosen tree trunk aside, somehow managed to pick her larger body up, and ran. Dawn wrapped her arms around him and fought back a You Tarzan, Me Jane pun until after they were out of Arachnids R Us.