Title: Hell on Earth
Disclaimer: Willow and BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon. Sylar and Heroes belongs to Tim Kring. Loki and Dogma belong to Kevin Smith.
Spoilers: BtVS Season 6 and Heroes Season 3, mainly.
Notes: Finally got around to starting the sequel. It's only been, what, two years? Sorry about the delay... life was a bit busy for a while. Onwards!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Mostly an FR18 story, again a few FR21 bits may crop up.
It felt as though he were waking from a dream. At first, there was a feeling that something important to him was slipping away. Then, he gradually became aware of the darkness, the impenetrable gloom surrounding him. Then he realised that his eyes were closed.
His surroundings were not as they had been. His head was lying on something hard and cold, and a throbbing pain was coming from the point of contact. His hands were throbbing too, and they felt wet and sticky. It must be blood, he realised.
He ought to get up. Try to remember something.
Delicately, and perhaps a touch reluctantly, Peter Petrelli opened one eye. At first he thought he was blind, but then he realised it was night and he was in a dimly lit neighbourhood. He opened another eye and, muscles aching, pushed himself up a little. Sitting on the cold ground, he touched the back of his skull, wincing as his fingers felt a deep wound.My name is Peter Petrelli
, he thought, trying to reassure himself. I'm not quite sure what's going on here. But I think it will come back to me.
The area must be familiar to him, for he felt a twinge of recognition. Something had gone badly wrong here.
He was surrounded by shattered glass, and with a jolt, he remembered the feeling of flying backwards through a window. Looking up, he saw a dark window on the upper floor of a dirty building. It looked abandoned but then... he almost thought he could hear muffled voices.
He felt the strongest urge to go up there. Gingerly, half expecting his legs to buckle with multiple fractures, he tried to stand up.
But that was strange. He felt, unexpectedly, rather fit. Shaking himself a little, he took a few steps towards further into the darkened alleyway. An open door creaked on its hinges, moved by an unseen force. There was no wind.
Absently he reached up to touch the back of his skull again, wondering how many stitches he would need. He was surprised to find that the pain had lessened considerably in this short space of time. It felt as though it was healing much faster than it should do.
Healing. That seemed so familiar.
A feeling in the pit of his stomach told him that he really needed to get inside that building. He was almost certain he could hear voices now. A few more steps and he grabbed the door, yanking it open.
It hit him like a freight train, the sudden rush of images flashing through his mind, glimpsed for only a nanosecond and yet making sense.
He saw a man, dark haired and menacing, holding the door and considering it carefully. His face broke out into a sinister grin, and he entered the building. Peter then saw himself, his hair mussed, bringing up the rear of a group of girls, purposefully leaving the door ajar should a quick escape be needed. He saw the girls, one by one, enter the door. He saw a young man, one eye covered with a patch, smiling at the first young girl reassuringly, and Peter almost felt that he was flying backwards in time. Then he saw her, a young woman with such pained beauty and quiet resolve, he felt his breath catch. He knew her name. Buffy. As quickly as she had come she had gone. He saw a middle aged man, muttering incantations under his breath, revealing the hidden door.
And then a redhead, pale and drawn, her eyes glazed over as though she wasn't really there.
And more flashes, further and further back, and he found himself letting go of the door and stumbling at the overwhelming amount of information. He remembered everything.
And he had to save her.
Peter broke into a run, careening off the walls as he took the stairs two at a time. It almost felt that time slowed down, it took so long to get to his destination. The room he had been thrown from only moments earlier was in such a state of chaos that his steps faltered, his eyes could barely take it in.
Bodies littered the floorboards of the battered room. Some moved, some didn't. Splintered wood and shards of glass were everywhere. An immense fight had taken place.
His eyes were drawn to the far end of the room, and what he saw happening there sent a chill through him. A dark, swirling vortex seemed to have opened up. The centre was the pitchest black he'd ever seen, as though no light could penetrate. The outer edges were hazy, distorted, like the room was melting into the vortex. Slowly, yet inexorably, it was getting bigger. Two weak looking figures trembled before the vortex, on their knees.
Xander and the witch, Willow. And beside them lay a very still Sylar, his neck twisted at an awkward angle, his eyes glassy and dead.
He took a step towards the dark swirling mass of the vortex, and felt instantly heavier. It was exerting some kind of pull on him. This must be the witch's doing, he thought grimly. He had half a mind to stop her, but then he realised that her eyes, and Xander's eyes, were wide and popping in pain. A silent scream was etched on both their faces, and for a moment their bodies seemed to twist and distort.
And then they were swallowed, whole, by the growing vortex.
For the briefest moment, Peter panicked. He couldn't save everyone in this room.
But common sense and desperation quickly clamped down on his panic, and he knew in an instant that he wouldn't be able to save everyone. What he had to do, was save someone who would know how to stop this.
His eyes scanned the room and found Buffy where she had been deposited by Sylar earlier, after bravely putting herself between him and Willow. She was pale, and he was alarmed to see blood seeping through her shirt. The stitches over her wound had obviously opened up again with the impact. She looked as though she was out cold.
Forcing his way across the debris, he knelt down beside her, and carefully picked her up, cradling her in his arms as though she would break. The vortex was now almost twice the size it had been when he'd first entered the room. The very air around it seemed to be feeding it, helping it to grow. It was eerily silent. Several more bodies had disappeared into its inky depths.
He hesitated for a moment, desperate to stop what was happening, innocent people being lost before his eyes.
And then he hurried back down the stairs and out of the warlock's den as quickly as his legs could carry him, determined to put as much distance between the destruction and Buffy as possible.
After several agonising minutes wandering the deserted streets, his arms aching with Buffy's dead weight, he found what he was looking for. A battered old Dodge Charger with rusty wheel arches and dirty headlights parked in a quiet street.
"Buffy," he said, wanting to hear her voice. "I'm just putting you down for a minute."
His hopes were raised when she mumbled something, her eyelashes fluttering gently. He set her down, trying not to hurt her, and turned back to the car.
He telekinetically picked up a nearby brick, and shot it straight through the driver side window. The breaking glass was extremely loud in the silence of the night. Unlocking the door, he sat in the driver seat and tried to concentrate. Imagining his mind was a key, he turned the ignition, and with a satisfying chug the car started. He opened the passenger door and went back to get Buffy.
By now her eyes were open and she looked at him, alarm etched on her face.
"Peter," she mumbled, her words a little slurred. "We need to go back."
"I'm sorry," he said, picking her up again, glad that she didn't yet have the strength to resist him. "We can't do that right now."
"But Xander..." she whispered. "Giles..."
"I know," he replied, trying to soothe her. He placed her gently into the passenger seat and ran around the front, diving into the car.
He jammed the car into reverse and backed out of the alleyway with a screech of tyres. Throwing the car into gear he sped off, as quickly as he could.
Buffy started to stir in the seat beside him. "No," she muttered. "Please, we have to go back."
He grabbed her hand, holding it tight, and looked in his rear view mirror.
The warlock's den had already gone. In its place a void, sucking the life out of the world around it.
"No, Buffy," he said, feeling a rising sense of dread. "We can't go back."