contains violence and dead bodies.
main character(s): Kendra, 'Ted'
disclaimer: I hold no legal rights to any characters that you recognize from BtVS or the Anita Blake novels.
distribution: TNL, Paula, anyone else ask.
note: for Jinni's Poetry Quote Challenge #1. AU for Kendra, could be almost any time for ‘Ted’ – which is an alias for Edward.
"Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality. "
-- Emily Dickinson - Because I could not stop for Death
Kendra looked at the stars overhead. They seemed so much like the ones that she'd always known, as if things hadn't changed. As if that demon-witch hadn't attacked her and Mr. Zabuto, flinging them into a swirling vortex of green and gold energy. A vortex that has spat them out on a small island.
They'd assumed that it was a simple trans-location. That all they'd have to do would be to simply figure out where they'd landed, and travel until they were home.
Until she'd found a newspaper. Until she'd read headlines with unfamiliar names, where powerful politicians debated a recent law that had legalized vampires in America. She'd almost fainted. The rest of the paper had been filled with other things that had told them that they weren't just elsewhere, they were in a whole alternate world of elsewhere.
They'd ended up in Nevada, establishing a home near Las Vegas. There weren't nearly as many problems here, with demons being unheard of, and the shape shifters and vampires both being... different. Very different. They'd had to learn things all over again, driven by panic and suspicion.
Now, she was the appointed Executioner for the state of Nevada, and any vampire that couldn't behave in Las Vegas met it's end through her hands. Same job, new place. She even got to work with the police now, instead of having to hide from them.
Unfortunately, she needed to get to one of the multiple city morgues tonight. There had been a few killings, most likely a vampire, and two victims had stated in their wills that they wanted to be staked and their hearts removed if there was any suspicion that they could have been turned. Which was where she came in. If she could get to the place on time. Mr. Zabuto had the car, and was not back yet from picking up the new shipment of silver blades.
Shaking her head, Kendra began to walk along the road. She would get there eventually. And most likely, nobody would stop to pick her up, due to the scarcity of people wearing long coats in this season. Personally, she would have left it behind, but people tended to get so nervous seeing some weapons...
"You look like you could use a lift, little lady." The words carried the local drawl, a soft blurring accent to the words. He had pale eyes, like the winter sky, and short very blond hair. His jeep looked worn, splattered with mud and bits of blood. A rifle muzzle was visible, just peeking up from behind the drivers seat.
She looked at him, extending her senses a little. He was human, but also dangerous, a hunter. But he didn't seem to be intending her any harm. "I could use one, if you are making the offer. I need to get to d' morgue."
"Not the usual place for a pretty gal to go." He looked at her, his eyes slowly moving over her body. Not in the way that said he was imagining them naked and sweaty, but in the way that said he was searching for weapons.
"I have an appointment. A couple bodies." She shrugged, the slender braids shifting over the leather of the coat like a scattering of snakes. "I am Kendra the... appointed executioner of de vampires."
His eyes widened slightly, and he looked at her again, a small smile sliding over his face, but not reaching those cold pale eyes. "You look a bit young for it. I'm Ted Forrester. Happens that I'm headed that way myself, if you'd like a lift."
"It's what I've been trained for all me life." She walked around the jeep, opening the passenger side door. "A lift would be welcome."
The trip into Vegas was quiet, with only a few questions from him to clarify which of the several morgues held her 'appointment'. The whole time, his voice and posture claimed that he was nothing more than a pleasant and charming guy, sociable and well mannered. Not once did his eyes hold any warmth.
Naturally, things couldn't continue in such a calm manner. Their arrival at the morgue was calm enough, but as they entered the building, Kendra tensed. She could feel the vampires. As she started to hurry to the stairs, one hand pulling a weapon that was in the fuzzy area between a long knife and a short sword, the steel blended with silver and blessed by both a Catholic priest and a Navajo medicine man, she spoke to him. "We must hurry, there are vampires below."
"And you just assume that I want in on this?" There was finally true emotion in his voice, a blend of amusement and curiosity.
Kendra didn't even look at him. "You are a hunter, are you not?"
"Close enough." A gun's safety clicked off in accent to his words.
One of the morgue attendants was crouched outside the fire door, his eyes wide, and one arm bleeding from what could only be claw marks. Blood had splattered over his clothing and onto his face. He had slid down the wall, just sitting there and shivering from shock.
"I guess dey are early risers." Kendra gave the man a quick glance, checking for any bite marks. The vampires here could enthrall their victims, turning someone needing rescue into yet another minion.
"They killed Joe." The whisper slipped out, and he looked at her. "Just.. ripped him open."
Kendra nodded, unsurprised. Just because many of the vampires here had learned to hide what they were behind acceptable behavior did not change the fact that they were monsters. "Which means there is only one thing to do - kill dem all."
Carefully, she unlocked the fire door, more sensing than seeing Ted ready himself beside her. As she pulled the door open, he set off a burst of gunfire across the room, forcing the four vampires to step back, revealing the nearly dismembered corpse of the other morgue attendant. Kendra leapt in, her blade already swinging. Her strength was equal to theirs, she was confident that she was a better fighter, and their eyes would hold no power over her. It had been too long since she'd had a serious challenge, this would be good enough. Four blood crazed vampires operating wholly on instinct, which she had to prevent from getting out of the room.
Ted's gunfire severed the head from one of them, even as she sent another to the ground, a solid bit of sharpened wood that had been soaked in holy water embedded in his heart. Two down. The third, a once pretty woman with bronzed skin and red brown hair, lunged at Ted, cackling with laughter as his last bullet hit her shoulder. The laughter stopped as Kendra's blade severed her spine, sending her crashing to the ground. The fourth tried to run past them, perhaps in an effort to escape, perhaps seeking the fresh blood of the other attendant. Kendra tackled him, sending him crashing into the wall head first, slamming him into it again to stun him long enough to sever the head.
After that, it was simply a matter to ensure that death was final by decapitating all of them. The vampires here were a bit harder to kill, best not to take any chances.
"Are you injured?" She glanced over at Ted, wondering how much of the blood over him was his, how much the vampires, and if any had been from the victim.
"A few bruises. Nothing serious." He stood up, still glaring at his gun. "Could have sworn I had another clip..."
Kendra shook her head, half amazed that anyone would take a gun to kill vampires. "It is good that you were not harmed."
He looked back at her, and there was something in his smile, not true pleasure, but respect and something else. "I'm glad that I gave you a lift tonight, Kendra."
end A Lift to d' Morgue.