The Tapestry Burns Part 1
Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy own Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all characters associated with it. I unfortunately am neither so only the ideas contained in this story belong to me. This is the last time I put up a full disclaimer (until I start adding crossovers anyway) so from now on the disclaimer will refer to the ones in the first 3 chapters. Chapter 3: The Tapestry Burns part one: Announcements and Acts of War Willow
Willow had been surprised when the man had stepped out of the stacks, she had been angry when she realized what his statement about dust meant about Angels fate. When she saw the ease and contempt with which he knocked aside Buffy she did what was quickly becoming her first course of action when faced with a problem, she used her magic. Unable to recollect any spells at the moment she simply concentrated her magic into a wave of force and threw it at the man.
The wave flew forward, crashing through a stack of books sending them flying in all directions before slamming into the man and…..doing absolutely nothing. The man stood there, unfazed, not having the decency of even his cloak moving at her show of force. Slowly his eyes turned to regard her and before she could try to read them he vanished, then her world erupted into pain. She fell to the ground clutching her abdomen as she struggled to remember how to breathe, glancing up she saw the man standing beside where she had stood moments ago, drawing his fist back into the depths of his cloak.
As she finally started drawing in shaky shallow breathes the man’s eyes flicked down to her and then just as quickly to Giles “Control your witch, watcher.”
He was here, the man who had killed Kakistos and saved her and Diana’s life back in Boston was here. After saving them he had helped them to a hospital, never saying a word and then he just upped and vanished on them. She had wanted to try and find him, but Diana had nixed that idea. It had become too dangerous in Boston, as vampires and other assorted demons fought a war to see which would fill the gap left by Kakistos, so when Diana got out of the hospital they had come to Sunnydale.
She had resigned herself to never seeing him again and here he was, she should have been happy but with the way he had casually backhanded Buffy all she felt was shock. Before she could take any action she both felt Willows power jump and saw as it flew at the man, where it did nothing. Her next shock came when he had blurred and dropped the redheaded witch with a punch to the stomach. Pushing any lingering feelings aside she prepared to attack the man when a hand fell on her shoulder. Looking back she saw Diana shake her head, and then he spoke.
“Control your witch, watcher.”
Ever since this man had entered the library Xander had been bolted in place by an overwhelming sense of power and fear. At first he had thought it his own reaction to the man, but he came to realize that the bulk of this feeling came from the remnant of the hyena. It recognized this man as the greater predator and it was scared. This surprised him because not even The Judge had scared the hyena remnant; at most it had seen The Judge as a challenge and a potential threat. Xander was forced back to reality when he saw Willow drop to the ground clutching her stomach.
Forgetting his fear he rushed to Willow’s side as the man said something that he didn’t pay attention to. He reached Willow at the same time as Oz did, as he helped her to sit up Oz rubbed her back and told her to breath. His concentration was pulled back to the man as he began to speak.
“This was meant as a courtesy call, as we will be seeing more of each other. I didn’t want there to be any misunderstandings, should we meet in the heat of the moment.” Apparently finished with them the man turned and headed back for the stacks. Xanders anger flared as he rose to his feet, only to slam down to his knees as the oppressive feeling from earlier returned three-fold. Managing to raise his head he swore he saw the man smirk at him.
Things hadn’t gone the way he had planned, but he had stuck to one of the tactics he had learned; never show weakness, even to those you aide. Giles cold and angry voice stopped him before he entered the stacks.
“Is this how you show courtesy, by injuring two helpless girls!?” turning his head Xander looked into Giles eyes and saw the tightly restrained anger and urge to do violence that resided there. That meant that some of Ripper still existed in the watcher, good.
He look from the still unconscious form of Buffy, then to Willows sitting form and finally back into Giles eyes. “Reckless?...yes, helpless?…I don’t think so,” turning his head back around he vanished into the stacks “and they’re still alive, aren’t they?”
He stood across the street from Willy’s Alibi room watching as a vampire stumbled out, apparently drunk, and bumped into two large green skinned demons. The demons laughed as the larger of the two punched the vampire to the ground and then entered the demon bar. Deciding that now was as good a time as any Xander crossed the street, when he reached the floored and groaning vampire his left leg flashed out and embedded itself into the vampire’s ribcage. He didn’t even break stride as the vampire vanished in a blaze of black and red flames, and continued on his way to the door.
Opening the door he surveyed the run down excuse for a bar; three vampires in the corner talking and drinking, the two demons who entered before him were nowhere to be seen but there were eight others of varying species. Behind the bar stood Willie, who after taking notice of him turned his attention back to one of the demons sitting at the counter. Waking over to stand next the demon Willie was talking with Xander spoke. “I need you to deliver a message for me.”
Turning to the man who had interrupted his conversation the demon said “Piss off I’m not a fucking messenger.” and turned back to Willie. Had he still been facing Xander he would have seen the half insane smile that bloomed on Xanders face, Willie fortunately/unfortunately had and backed up from the counter.
“Oh I know that, you’re part of the message.” as he spoke Xanders hand struck out, grabbed the back of the demons head and drove it into the counter top. When Xander let go the demon fell over backwards revealing the larger than average shot glass it had been drinking from, lodged in its forehead, blood and brain matter bubbling up into the glass. “Now, for the rest of you.” said Xander as he turned to face the room.
The demons in the bar were frozen in shock until Xander spoke “Come on, I haven’t got all day.” The spell broken the patrons of the bar rose from their seats and attacked. As the first demon neared Xander grabbed its horns jumped up and drove his knee into its face, as he landed he snaked his left arm around its neck. Kicking out at another demon he used the force of the impact to snap the neck of the demon he was holding, surging forward he punch another demon in its knee, shattering it. As the demon fell forward to grab its knee Xanders hand snapped up, his palm driving the demons nose into its brain.
Ducking under a punch he grabbed the demons wrist dragging it down as he powered into a standing position. Coming to his full height Xander flung the demon at the one he had kicked earlier, causing them to fall to the ground in a tangle of limbs. Spinning around to dodge the lunge of a sword he drove his elbow into a vampire’s neck, breaking its spine –paralyzing it- and in the same motion he drove a knife hand into the throat of the demon that had tried to skewer him. When the demon dropped its sword to grab its injured neck Xanders leg lashed out once
…catching the sword and sending it up into the air, twice
…catching the injured demon in the face and sending it onto its back, three times
…sending a chair flying into an oncoming demons face.
Taking a step forward Xander caught the falling sword behind his head and spun, decapitating the two vampires trying to sneak up on him. The fight paused for a few moments as the door leading into the back room opened revealing five demons, including the two Xander had followed in. Xanders hand flashed out towards the front door of the bar and the demon that had been attempting to sneak out went up in a pillar of hellfire. This distraction resulted in Xander receiving a hard punch across the jaw, throwing his head back and his hood off.
“Finally, I was starting to get bored.” said Xander as he shook his head allowing his hair to fall mostly out of his face. What little momentum the demons had gained was lost as they came face to face with demented grin still plastered on Xanders face and the hellfire that, literally, danced in his eyes. Deciding to get back to the fight Xander rammed the blade of his new sword through the chest of the demon that had slugged him. Streaking forward he flipped over the demon who had finally untangled himself from the paralyzed vampire, the sword splitting its head in two uneven halves, his knee coming to rest in said vampires head, dusting it.
His arm lashed out, whipping the sword into the green skinned demon that had leapt at him, killing all forward momentum and dropping its limp body to the ground. When the second green skinned demon kicked at his head Xander rolled to the side and rammed his arm into its torso. As it looked down in shock Xander grabbed its spine and glanced up into its face before it was consumed from the inside out by hellfire. Xander put back up his hood and walked towards the door, casually stepping on and snapping the neck of the demon that was still cradling its injured throat and face.
As he reached the door he stopped and turned back to face Willie, who had hoped that he had been forgotten. “Oh, that message…tell them that there’s a new predator in town and they’ve just taken a *major* drop down the food chain.” With that he opened the door and stepped out into the night.
Xander watched from the shadows as the Scooby gang dealt with the participants of Slayerfest `98 hunting Buffy and Faith across the campus and its surrounding areas. They had eventually overcome their problems and emerged victorious, but it had been sloppy, slow and unimpressive. He wasn’t going to stay on the Hellmouth indefinitely; he had a whole world of carefully plotted plans to fuck up after all, and he’d rather not have it open behind his back and bite him in the ass. This meant that the Scooby’s had to change, or more precisely he had to change them.
As he started deciding what to do he spotted his target fleeing down the street. As the vampire entered a grove of trees Xander dropped down next to him. “Hello Mr. Trick.” He greeted as he grabbed the back of the vampires head and slammed his face into a tree. Mr. Trick was knocked unconscious in the ensuing spray of blood and teeth. Smiling Xander grabbed one of Tricks feet and dragged him off deeper into the park.
Mr. Trick awoke to a world of pain and darkness. Shaking off his grogginess he realized that he was hanging from a crane by his wrists and his feet were in a pair of chains pinned to the floor by three heavy spikes. Glancing a little to the left and in front of him, he saw a crate which had everything from screws and knives to blowtorches and a surgical rib spreader strewn across its top.
His attention was pulled away from these when a too pleasant voice spoke up. “Good morning Mr. Trick, I sooo missed you back in Boston.” When the man the voice belonged to stepped out of the shadows and looked up at him Mr. Trick’s eyes widened in terror. It was the thing he had run to Sunnydale to escape from; he’d recognize those blood red eyes anywhere. The man turned and walked over to the crate that held the tools.
“Let’s have a little chat about any new employment you might have found……and any other tidbits that you might know about this town.” Chapter 3 End