Prolog: Some Kinda Party...
Disclaimer: All characters and settings of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon. Characters and the like related to Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter belong to Laurell K. Hamilton.
A/N- Challenge Response: 2039 - The day after Halloween.This story doesn't exactly
follow the challenge. I've inserted Joyce and Harmony into the fic, too, because it amuses me. I'll probably expand on it. While it won't have the meat of a fanfic, plot and story line and what not, it'll have little snapshots into the 'verse created. The Anita Blake character's are AU's, possible versions of the preternatural we know and love. Now, on with the story...
Giles awoke to a groan and a pounding headache. He was also sore, with a crick in his neck and feeling rather cramped. And cold. "Bloody hell..." the England native murmured as he rubbed his eyes, noticed the lack of glasses, and tried to figure out why he was in his bathtub. A quick glance down confirmed his pants were still on, so it wasn't one of those drunken-Ripper escapades so fondly remembered from his youth, but it still didn't explain why he was in his own bathtub and not his bed.
He stubbed his toe while searching for the light switch. The librarian shuffled over to the sink, ran some water, and swished Listerine around his mouth. It felt like something had died in it, and as he spat the delightfully orange flavored cleanser he winced. He still had those stupid costume fangs in. Seeing them, the previous night came rushing back to him in technicolor glory.
While he distinctly remembered beating the shit out of one Ethan Rayne, he also remembered yelling at a few police and punching one out, followed by quickly stealing the radio and sidearm. The Dave persona had not been pleased at witnessing such a dereliction of duty and in a fit of rage organized a search for the witch committing 'Magical Maleficence'. The standard punishment, of course, was execution.
Giles sat on the edge of his tub, head in his hands, at the memory of human blood splashing across a wall. The gun was on the kitchen table.
The little man with the hammer in his skull was getting louder, and had found a bell somewhere. "Oh, Ethan... you complete and total moron..."
"Mr. Giles!" Wait, the man thought, that isn't my headache. It's the bloody door. "G-man! Please be home!"
Giles stood shakily and placed a hand on the doorknob, locked he noticed, and paused to look in the mirror. He tugged at the teeth he had glued in to stop the badgering of his children, and winced. They weren't the kind he remembered from his youth, plastic denture like things that slipped on over one's teeth, but some fancy type that consisted of two simple fangs and a small bottle of glue for application to the canines. It looked more real. Felt more real, too, and Giles sighed as the glue evidently hadn't dissolved yet.
He carefully ignored the gun on the table and felt his eyebrows twitch at the clock. One forty-seven. He hadn't slept so long in years. "Coming! I'm coming!" He shouted to get the frantic fists to stop abusing his poor door. They did so and he slid the chain back, followed by turning two locks and briefly wondered why the cross kept above the doorway was in the trash... oh. Right. Dave didn't need it falling on him while waiting for the man who's wallet he apparently had to get back, and Giles had never before noticed how bright
the sun could be. "Yea- Good Lord. Buffy's ma, uh, Ms. Summers, Xander. Come in." He stepped back and left the door open, wincing at the afternoon light.
Part of him gibbered at having said an invitation. Part of him scoffed at the gibbering portion and reminded it that it was daylight, you ninny, and they couldn't possibly be vampires. Another, newer, part shrugged and kept it's own consul.
"Oh, man. Giles. You gotta, gotta....aide. Je ne sais pas que dire. J'ai eu des rapports sexuels avec la maman de Buffy! et je keep slipping into Français!" Xander was wearing something from a time before he was born, and the Watcher part of Giles dated it as seventies disco wear. No red blooded male of the current decade would be caught dead in a shirt that frilly, with that low-cut of a neck. Not to mention the pants that were against everything he knew the teen to stand for. They were black jeans, skin-tight, and were those heeled boots he was wearing? Like he actually knew how to walk in them?
For the first time, Giles found himself victim to the infamous Scooby word vomit. "Good Lord, what did you go as, a street walker?!"
Xander froze, mouth dropping open, and Joyce looked away from them both with a blush. "Hey! The plan was pirate
! See the billow-y shirt? I had a rapier at some point, too, but instead of vampire pirate when whatever happened last night hit I turned into the walking-talking incubus from the French lagoon!" The boy blushed, his entire face burning crimson, then immediately marched over to a bookshelf filled with the occult and reached for a cask of bourbon.
"Mr. Giles?" Joyce whispered as she moved away from the door. "I'm not, not entirely sure what happened last night." Now that he bothered to look, Giles noticed that both Xander and Joyce had the fake vampire teeth as well. The librarian pulled crystal shot glasses from a small drawer in the coffee table. "All I know is... one minute I was hosting the Gallery Halloween Party, and the next..."
Giles downed a glass of Bourbon. "What did you go as?"
"No one." Joyce shook her head and gestured to her rumpled white dress which was a in a state qualifying for a walk of shame. "At least, I hadn't intended to go as anyone. Then Buffy came home handed me one of her extra packets of teeth, and I thought, why not? Get into the spirit of the holiday..." She quieted as Xander handed her a glass, with ice, and muttered under his breath 'I'm no one's effing catamaran'.
"So you became a, vampire, as well?"
"Yes. A master vampire, actually. She, um, knew Xander's vampire." The older woman blushed, matching the boy perfectly. Gears clicked into place in Giles head and he joined them in their embarrassment.
"Seraphina." Xander whispered into his drink. "They had a thing, before my guy bit the big one." He shook his head. "Dumbass got himself fried trying to rescue some chick from being burned at the stake."
"Mine was dead, too." Joyce added, hesitantly. "A, um, Faerie cut off her head when she lost control of it... she was pleasantly surprised to find herself in the middle of a party."
"I'll bet." Giles sighed. "What about Buffy and Willow? I'm fairly certain my, um, persona kept casualties to a minimum, but are they..."
Joyce shuddered. "I don't know, Mr. Giles. I awoke in a hotel room two hours ago, and it took at least an hour to get Xander up... last I saw Buffy she was getting dressed in some kind of armor."
Xander gave a hysterical little cackle that somehow had physical presence. "Vampire crusader, for the irony. She was borrowing Willow's mother's Joan-of-Arc costume and a sword from the weapons case."
Buffy woke by degrees. Fire flashed through her mind, flickering under her eyelids, and the first thing she heard were breathed prayers and the clinking of beads over the ghostly memory of self-immolation. She shuddered and sat up, peering up at the painted glass of a church. Jesus. Obviously, who else got glorified in all anorexic, impaled glory?He suffered, so that we might live.
Subconsciously, Buffy gipped the heavy antique broadsword she'd borrowed from the bookcage and crossed herself. The thick, maroon carpet she knelt on smelled faintly of smoke and lavender. "You are, ah, awake?" The slayer spun around to see a man of the cloth, cross and rosary dangling from his hands where he could reach them, but he didn't seem aggressive. Just wary. War-rick.
Buffy bowed her head as memories played behind her eyelids. "It seems so, Father." It was clear in her mind, not the years of servitude and then penance, but the burning. Holy fire he had summoned up, confused and afraid, as it burned without thought like a fey spirit. Fire that he had thought was his sin, so he pledged himself to the church and then lost himself to a beautiful devil. Fire burning through unworthy bones as it curled around his undead flesh like a brassed off lover and carried both him and his Mistress into the next life, if they were to get one.
Warrick had been damn surprised to find himself on a street, in the middle of the night, in a body that was not his and decidedly female. But there had been a sword in his hand, a holy sword for all he could feel the prayers that had gone into the making of the blade, but they did not eat at him with the harsh light of another's faith. He slew those demons that came upon them, and then walked into the Church, something he hadn't done since taking the cross so many centuries ago.
It wasn't like going home. Buffy had gone home plenty of times. It was better.
Glancing at the candles burning before the Madonna, and the colorful glass through which sunlight streamed, Buffy felt her eyes tear up. "I'm awake." Finally. She'd never realized how lost she had always been. "Father? If it's not too much trouble..." She felt the fangs still in her mouth with her tongue and her heart rate spiked. She wasn't dead, she knew
she wasn't dead. The priest shifted, and Buffy could hear the nuns in the wings whisper to those that had sought refuge from the chaos of the night. "...could you, could I... I would like make confession."
The priest's eyes softened and he reached out to rest a hand on an armored shoulder. It wasn't the steel and iron she remembered form last night: the spell had long since ended and reverted her clothing to a plastic costume. But her sword, real before the spell, remained solid and real in her hand. It was a reminder of what she was, what she had been chosen to do. Duty and honor. Warrick understood that, much better than a 15 year old valley girl had, and things were so much more clear in the sunlight. "Of course, child."
Buffy smiled softly and turned over to the many candles. She should call her mom, tell her she was okay, but first...
Something inside her gave a stifled twist, a snap and crackle, and Buffy gasped as a power flowed out of her. Several of the candles lit up seemingly on their own. Her lips quirked. My Holy Fire.
If the blood thirsty revenants that dared call themselves vampires thought Holy Water was bad... Buffy followed the priest into the confessional, calmed her thoughts, and did for Warrick what he hadn't been able to do himself. "Father, It has been 917 years since my last confession..."
"Mein Gott." Willow groaned as she woke to the smell of beer and blood tickling her nose. Her head was pounding, and she had lost her pants somewhere along the way. The nice leather pants Buffy had generously allowed her to borrow. Willow whimpered and held her aching head in her arms and winced at the too bright light of a lamp searing her retinas like a small sun. At least she was still wearing her bra, even if the vest she had pulled out of her father's closet was missing in action, and the sword... the sword!
Frantically, the red haired girl stood and tripped as she tried to crawl out of the booth her barely dressed ass had woken in. In something sticky. Shaking her head, then immediately regretting it, Willow pinched the bridge of her nose with a grimace. Giles was going to have a whole herd of cows if she lost one of his swords! Decent, battle-worthy blades were hard to come across these days unless you paid a truly epic price and commissioned them. And she, or rather the person running around in her body, had appreciated the long sword snatched from the librarian's private stash after he got over the shock of not being on fire. "Lass los!" Willow screeched at the blonde limpet attached to her leg. A blonde limpet she recognized.
Gretchen, something inside her recalled faintly. "Harmony!" Willow hissed as the blonde Chordette slowly woke while licking her lips.
"No. Nicht Damien. Willow. Lass mein Bein los. Ich muss mein Schwert finden! Und Buffys Hosen!" Her cheeks turned as red as her hair as she remembered what they had done. Somehow, Willow's plan to go as a kick-ass dhampir turned her into this year's Gender Confused Undead Viking. It had been horrible. Willow hadn't been Willow, not really, but she hadn't been entirely absent either. Like the ghost in the machine, she watched as Damien fiddled with his new curious attachment, shrugged, eviscerated some monsters, and then proceeded to find a tavern. Among other things. Willow's stomach rolled. Though Damien had been delighted to find his temporary body fully capable of digesting beer, Willy's also stocked the good ol' O-Neg. A pale hand went to cover her mouth. "I'm going to be sick."
"Wow, Willow." Harmony grinned as she sat up, flashing fangs, and adjusted her boobs so they weren't spilling out of her silk top. "Ich hatte keine Ahnung dass Du das mit Deiner Zunge anstellen kannst."
"Please, Harm. Don't remind me." Willow begged while forcing her mind to jump from German to her formerly native tongue of Californian. Sexy and wild with no repercussions... once she found her sword she was shoving it up Buffy's ass. The self-professed geek froze, green eyes widening, and wondered just where that uncharacteristic thought had come from. "Willy!"
The bar's owner peeked out from behind the kitchen door and chuckled nervously. "Ladies. So good to you awake..."
"Where are my pants? And vest. And sword." Willow practically growled as she found a shattered bottle and held like a dagger. Her free hand spasmed and reached for an abandoned dish towel to drape over her exposed nether regions. "Hell, throw in an aspirin for me and the wench."
Willy held up his hands in the typical surrendering gesture. He edged along the back of the bar, sweating, and wisely did not stare at the barely concealed form of the red head or her blonde. Said blonde shifted to perch on the table that smelled like sex while trying to get the tangles out of her hair with her fingers. "R-right. Four aspirins and some vestments coming right up!"
Willow watched him for any sudden movements. For all she knew, he could have a crossbow under there or something. It was a troubling thought, and the arm holding the broken bottle was shaking as nerves and fear rushed though her system. Damien had been old, like before Columbus Old, and his generation's idea of a good time was jumping national boundaries and eviscerating the first thing they saw. Poor little Willow was only a spoonful of experience and life next to that.
The barman carefully, slowly, placed a bottle of Extra-Strength Advil on the counter, moved down a little way, and produced her vest. It had a few stains on it, and Willow couldn't tell it they were beer or something else. She frowned, forcing away a number of ideas that ended in 'illage'. "Pants?"
"Sorry, but you, um... I think a Kevlar demon ran off with them while you and, uh, Gretchen were busy..."
"...a demon stole my pants?!" Willow didn't know what to say. Killing, raping, and property damage she understood. Theft of clothing on the other hand... she downed the pain killers, dry. "What about my sword?"
"I don't see why you're so worried about the pants." Harmony mused aloud. "I never realized you had such a great body. Those baggy, fuzzy things you usually wear hide it, I bet with a little conditioner and make-up you could even be popular!"
Ignoring the cheerleader, Willow zipped across the room and growled in Willy's face. "Sword?!"
"O-over there. On the weapons rack. Halloween armistice rules." Came a stuttered and terrified response. The weird thing was, the Highschool Junior could swear she actually smelt it. Fear wasn't the scent of piss and ick, like she once thought it might be, but was more like burned sugar. Sweet, with the slightest aftertaste of charcoal.
Swallowing, Willow marched over and took her borrowed (without asking) sword off the rack, and then stumbled for a moment as she got used to the weight. "Phone?" She needed to call Giles. She needed someone to bring her pants. "Stop that!"
"Not what you said last night." Harmony pouted as she held her swatted hand to her chest. Her blue dress looked like it had seen some battles, she was missing one earring, and Willow was ashamed to say she knew exactly what color the cheerleader's thong was.
"That wasn't me, and you weren't you!" Willow screamed as she fumbled with the phone, and focused on her breathing. Dialing the Summer's residence got her an answering machine. The Library and Xander's place gave her busy signals. On the third ring a tired voice answered her at Giles' place. "Gott sei Dank."
Xander stared into his cup and twirled the ice around. He could see himself reflected in the glass, barely, and it was a relief. He wasn't a vampire. At least, not his
kind of vampire, and hey, no burning in the sunlight! Alexander Harris had never been so happy to see brown eyes staring back out at himself.
Good God, he remembered
last night. Remembered soft touches, harsh lips, and hunger
. It was bad enough being a hormone-driven teenager, but dropping a three-hundred-and-some-odd-years vampire incubus into said teenage body was just asking for trouble. Hot, sweaty, sticky, trouble.
Something began uncoiling in the pit of his stomach, and Xander desperately thought about the football team clad only in jockstraps.
Surprisingly, it didn't really help.
The sudden cry of a high-pitched voice from the doorway, did. "Jean-Claude!" A blonde bombshell squealed and pelted into the room, sliding between his best friend and Sera... Joy... Buffy's Mom.
"Harmony." Xander greeted in confusion and a small amount of horror. Cordy's SIC came to a stop and stared at him. Slate-grey eyes gained a calculating gleam that didn't belong anywhere on the usually self-absorbed girl, and Xander felt his whole body shift out of the careless slouch he had been in. He melted into the couch and subconsciously assumed a pose that screamed, 'I am a sexy bad ass, you know you want it.'
And she did. Oh, yes, she did. Harmony approached demurely and flashed fangs at him. Uncouth, but so was she. His little whore, street urchin plucked off the street. "Master." Harmony purred with Gretchen's voice. The purr just encouraged that thing inside, that beast that rose up and hungered.
Not for blood. Never for blood.
Deep inside, Xander whimpered, and the world fell away. Outwardly, he took Harmony's chin and flashed fang back. Willow was saying something, alarmed, and trying to get his attention, but he just couldn't focus on her.
"Oh SHIT!" Xander screamed as Harmony hissed and Ice Cold water drenched the couch. Xander sputtered and looked down. "Where did my pants go?"
Giles was beating his head on the table. Buffy's Mom was smiling amusedly and holding an empty mop-bucket. Willow was glaring at him, and he could smell
the arousal wafting off of her like a fine wine. "Demon. Fucking. Magnet."
He really couldn't argue about it, now.
Dr. Timmons glanced at the chart of his new patient, confused. "And you've found no sign of injury or trauma? No history of fainting spells or sickness?" The nurse shrugged and set up a drip line.
"Blood work came back negative for toxins of any sort. So far as we can tell, she was out heading to some party then dropped cold into a coma." Timmons looked over the, under normal circumstances, smoking hot brunette. She still had little lines on her cheeks, whiskers, as testament to her costume. The only thing they could find wrong with her, aside from the coma, was low blood pressure. If they didn't know better, the fine folks of Sunnydale General would have said she was in some kind of hibernation. "And then there's... ah... this
." The nurse used a gloved finger to slide her lip up.
Timmons stared at the fang. He surreptitiously glanced around the room for something sharp and wooden. He read something in a folder about this, right before accepting the ludicrous paycheck bonus to transfer to the ass-end of nowhere.
"We thought it was part of the costume, at first, but... they won't come off. And they won't retract." The nurse lowered the lip and scrubbed a hand nervously through his hair. "Other than those, she checks as a perfectly normal," the human went unsaid, "girl in a coma. Like sleeping beauty."
Dr. Harry Timmons pursed his lips. "Well, let's put Miss Chase in an isolated room, just in case. With a lock. I'm sure her parents wouldn't mind springing for some guards to protect their unfortunate little girl."
"Yes, sir. I'll get right on that."
Cast, In Order of Appearance:
Giles, "Dead" Dave, minion level, former cop fired when he was turned on-the-job.
Xander, Jean-Claude, lower master level with incubus tendencies, died attempting to rescue Julianna.
Joyce, Seraphina, master level with the ability to call ghosts, died while attempting to permanently boost her own powers when Bloody Bones turned on her.
Buffy, Warrick, master level and pyrokinetic, self-immolated while killing his Sire, Yvette.
Willow, Damien, minion level swordsman, died by fire when his Mistress made him walk in the sun and then removed the power of her protection from him.
Harmony, Gretchen, minion level created by Jean-Claude, died from multiple silver bullet wounds to the head and chest delivered by one Anita Blake.
Cordelia, Marmee Noir, Supreme Master and Supposed Origin of all Vampires and Lycanthropes, were-sabertoothed tiger, Been napping for the past 1000 years and one spell isn't going to change that.
French phrases found through use of online translator, so they're probably all wrong. This is what they were supposed to mean:
aide. Je ne sais pas que dire. J'ai eu des rapports sexuels avec la maman de Buffy! et je... Français. - Help. I don't know what to say! I had sex with Buffy's mom! And I... French.
Special thanks to feynstrom for German assistance:
Mein Gott - My God.
Lass los! - Let go!
No. Nicht Damien. Willow. Lass mein Bein los. Ich muss mein Schwert finden! Und Buffys Hosen! - No. Not Damien. Willow. Get off my leg. I have to find my sword! And Buffy's Pants!
Ich hatte keine Ahnung dass Du das mit Deiner Zunge anstellen kannst. - I had no idea you could do that with your tongue.
Gott sei Dank. - Thank God.