1.Romani ite domum.*Romans go home!*By Dave Turner.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Monty Python’s Life of Brian. I write these stories for fun not profit.
Crossover: Monty Python’s Life of Brian/Jason and the Argonauts/myths and legends.
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar; Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.
Timeline: Set during and just after the events depicted in my fic, ‘Morituri te salutamus’.
Words: Loads, some of them are even spelt correctly and put into the right order!
Warnings: Gratuitous sex and violence; watch out for the blood, it’s a bugger to wash out of your toga.
Summary: Monty Python’s Life of Brian/Myths and Legends xover; Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what had the Romans ever done for Dawn?0=0=0=0BOOK FOUR.Part one.Romani ite domum.*Romans go home!*The Prologue.Sunnydale, 22nd May 2001.
“She will come for you soon,” the scabby, demonic follower of Glory informed Dawn as he walked away from her along the ramp and back towards the tower.
Standing at the end of the ramp, Dawn struggled against the bonds that held her wrists; desperation and anxiety filled her heart as she looked down towards the ground far, far below.
“Buffy,” she sobbed on seeing her sister lying face down on the ground at the base of the tower.
Tears filled her eyes as she realised her sister had been killed trying to save her, of Xander and the others there was no sign. Sniffing back her tears, Dawn realised with a growing sense of alarm that she was on her own now; it was up to her to save the world. Pulling at the ropes that tied her wrists to the tower her heart almost jumped into her mouth as she felt one of the knots start to come loose. Hardly daring to hope, she twisted her hand and wrist until the knot started to unravel and eventually fell free. Obviously Glory’s scabby followers had never been Boy Scouts or they’d have been able to tie better knots; the thought made Dawn smile for a moment until she remembered where she was. Twisting around, Dawn started to work on the other knot with her free hand. Tears of frustration filled her eyes as the knot refused to come undone, frantically she clawed with trembling fingers at the knot ripping off a finger nail in her desperation to get free.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Dawn almost fell to her knees as the knot came untied. With both arms free, she was able to edge around the hole in the ramp, through which she was supposed to bleed and cause glory’s portal to open. Moving as quickly as she dared on the rickety platform, she got to the tower proper and looked down. Groaning in despair, she took a step backwards not believing what she’d seen; she looked down once again towards the base of the tower. Half way up the tower was Glory herself, climbing steadily up the walkway that wound it’s way around the tower and towards where Dawn stood. In her hand was a long sharp knife that glinted menacingly in the moonlight; on the Hellgod’s face was the happy, insane smile of a monster that’d be going home any minute now.
Trembling with fear, Dawn backed away from the tower. The tears started to fill her eyes once more as she realised that there was no escape, no happy ending waiting for her, she knew what she had to do. Sobbing quietly to herself Dawn made her way to the end of the ramp and stood there for a moment trying to compose herself. She wished she could hold her sister one last time, she wished she’d been a better little sister and not said all the hurtful, hateful things that she’d said to Buffy over the last few months; she wished her mom was there to hold her and make everything right again.
But they weren’t, there was no one there but herself, a terrified fourteen year old girl who had to save the world. Glancing over her shoulder Dawn saw Glory getting closer and closer, any minute now the Hellgod would be standing at the end of the ramp. Knowing that if that happened she wouldn’t have the strength or courage to jump, Glory would rob her of her determination and win…again, Dawn resigned herself to her fate. Standing at the edge of the ramp, she sniffed and wiped away her tears with the back of her hand; after taking one last look towards the rising sun, she closed her eyes and stepped off the tower.0=0=0=0Judea, over Two Thousand Years Earlier…
…just after lunchtime.
Moving her head slightly, Dawn spat sand and bits of straw from her mouth. This couldn’t be right, she thought, she’d jumped, she should be dead and not spitting out a mouthful of grit. Letting her head rest on the warm sand again, she kept her eyes firmly closed for fear of what she might see if she opened them. Obviously she’d fallen into one of Glory’s hell dimensions and right now she was surrounded by hideous monsters that were standing around waiting for her to open her eyes. No doubt this was all part of some horrible, sadistic game that hell fiends played just before the helpless fourteen year old girl opened her eyes and they did all manner of unspeakable things to her.
Vague memories, that Dawn knew couldn’t be her own, crept into her mind and did nothing to still her fears; she remembered men shouting and arrows flashing through the air. She remembered the sound of panicking men and frightened animals screaming in pain as she’d turned to run. She remembered how the sand had dragged at her feet slowing her down; she remembered turning to look over her shoulder to see if anyone was pursuing her. Then she remembered tripping on her dress or on a stone. Falling she tried to save herself, she saw the sharp edged stone rushing up to meet her, the instant of pain as she hit her head on the wickedly pointed rock and then she remembered nothing but blackness and a feeling of peace before waking up in this new hell.
Whimpering quietly, Dawn seemed to have her worst fears confirmed as she heard voices speaking in a language she didn’t understand. Whoever it was, there were several of them and they shouted excitedly to each other as they moved around the ambush site. Every so often there’d be a sound like ripping cloth or of a box being broken open. Keeping her eyes firmly closed and lying as still as she could, Dawn waited for the monsters to go away.
Her heart almost jumped into her mouth as she realised that one of the monsters was coming towards her, she could hear its footsteps getting closer as it advanced towards her across the sand. What should she do, she asked herself, as the feeling of panic grew in her chest like some numbing poison that threatened to rob her of rational thought. Should she jump to her feet and try to run? This idea was rejected as Dawn remembered that she was surrounded by hellfiends who only lived to do depraved and no doubt really gross things to terrified teenage girls. No, the safest thing for her to do was to lie still and hope all the monsters would get bored and go away.
Resisting the urge to start crying or jump up and start to run, Dawn lay as still as she could, hardly even daring to breathe. Hearing the footsteps stop, she could almost feel the monster standing over her, its eyes roaming over her defenceless body, no doubt thinking of all the obscene, icky things it was going to do to her. ‘I’m dead, I’m dead’, Dawn repeated over and over in her mind thinking that if she could persuade herself she could convince the monster and he’d leave her alone.
Fighting down the urge to scream in terror, Dawn felt herself being rolled roughly over onto her back. The monster started to pull what felt like rings from her fingers and bracelets from her wrists, Dawn wondered where all this stuff had come from. But that wasn’t important right now, she had to convince this, no doubt loathsome and horrific creature, that she was dead and not worth the effort of bothering with anymore. Once again she almost cried out as she felt the depraved, fiend’s hands roam over her body. By some tremendous effort of will she stopped herself crying out or opening her eyes as the creature’s rough hands lingered on her defenceless skin. What felt like a necklace was pulled roughly from around her neck and still she didn’t cry out. It was only when the monster pulled the ear ring she hadn’t realised she was wearing from her ear did Dawn scream out and open her eyes.
“OOOW!” Dawn wailed as her hand went automatically to her ear and her eyes flew open.
Kneeling over her she saw a man, an ordinary man with no fangs or claws or tentacles, just an ordinary man. He was, however, possibly the ugliest man she’d ever seen, which made her feel slightly more justified in keeping her eyes closed for so long. His face was pockmarked with scars and he had a long knife scar that ran across one cheek. His teeth were blackened and crocked and his breath smelt strongly of decay and garlic. He was dressed in dirty robes, which might have been, at some far distant point in the past, white. He also looked like he thought he was the luckiest man in the world.
“Get offa me you freak!” Dawn lifted her arms and tried to hit the man in the face but he caught her wrists and forced her arms down so they rested either side of her head.
The man climbed across her body and sat on her stomach, Dawn groaned in fear as she realised what was going to happen. Still holding down her arms against her weak struggles the brigand (it was the only word than Dawn could think of that fully described the man) bent towards her and brought his face to within a couple of inches of her own. The stink of the brigand’s rotting teeth and the fear of what was going to happen to her almost made Dawn throw-up.
“You be good, girl,” said the brigand in heavily accented English, “maybe I won’t kill you when I finish.”
Squealing in fear, Dawn tried to fight her way free as the brigand ripped open the bodice of her dress. His hard, rough hands slid over her breasts as he squeezed them painfully making her cry out again in pain and fear.
“Please,” Dawn sobbed, “please don’t hurt me…”
The brigand laughed evily at her piteous cries for mercy. Just for a moment Dawn thought the brigand had had second thoughts about raping her, as he got off her stomach. However, her hopes were soon dashed, he was only altering his position, she felt one of his hands slide across her body down towards her legs. Still fighting feebly she felt him start to pull her skirt up around her hips. After pushing her legs apart with his knee he knelt between them and laughed in anticipation of what he was about to do. Looking up at the brigand through tear blurred eyes, Dawn saw him start to fumble with the fastenings of his own clothes.
“Please, don’t,” Dawn begged as her tears rolled down her face, “I’m only fourteen, please…”
As he looked into her eyes and sniggered at her pleadings, suddenly the brigand’s eyes went wide with surprise and his body stiffened; the head of an arrow appeared out of the front of his throat. Blood sprayed over Dawn’s face and breasts causing her to scream again, this time in a mixture of fear and disgust. Slowly the brigand started to fall forward until he landed across her body and lay still. The brigand lay like a dead weight on top of her and even Dawn could tell there was something badly wrong going on here. It was about then that the sound of galloping horses started to register in her fear clouded mind. Pushing at the brigand’s body, she managed to crawl from under him a little before pushing herself up on her elbow and looking around.
Her mind didn’t want to accept what she was seeing and tried to tell her that this was all some terrible nightmare. Any moment now she’d wake up and find herself in her own little bed at home with Buffy telling her everything was going to be fine. The nightmare, however, had different ideas and kept playing through her mind like some gory Technicolor main feature. Men on horses galloped around shooting the brigands down with bows or cutting them down with swords. Some of the men wore tunics and trousers; these were the men that were shooting the bows. The other men on horses all wore red tunics and cloaks. They had helmets on their heads and rode about cutting men down efficiently with swords or throwing spears into their backs as they tried to run away. Pushing at the body of the brigand that was still lying half on top of her, Dawn found her eyes riveted to the arrow stuck through the man’s neck.
“Oh god!” Dawn gasped; this last vision of hell proved too much for her stomach and she vomited onto the sand; coughing and spluttering she didn’t notice the man who’d jumped off his horse until he was almost standing on top of her.
“THE PRINCESS LIVES!” He cried as he knelt by her side, “Don’t be frightened Princess,” the man pushed the brigand from off Dawn’s legs.
“Princess?” Dawn muttered as she starred in horror at her saviour.
The man wore a red tunic with heavy embroidery around the cuffs, neck and hem, his trousers were made of some light brown material and he wore red leather shoes or boots. In his left hand he held a bow and on the wide leather belt around his waist hung a long curved sword and a knife.
“Don’t worry, Princess,” he told her in a kind, calming voice, “you’re safe now.”
Dawn didn’t really believe him, how could she be safe with all these men running around killing people and calling her Princess? Resisting the urge to curl up into a little ball and quietly go insane, Dawn tried to speak.
“I…” Dawn tried to form a coherent sentence but failed so only disjointed words came from her mouth, “Where? What? Princess?” Lifting her hand to her head she felt something wet and sticky on her fingers, pulling her hand away she saw blood on her fingers, she gasped, “On-my-god!”
“Quick!” The man turned to where a number of other men jumped off their horses, “Bring the Lady Naheed, the Princess is hurt!”
There were cries of consternation from the lips of several of the men before one of them literally jumped into his saddle and galloped off.
“Does it hurt, Princess?” asked the man in red.
Not being completely stupid (whatever Buffy might think) Dawn decided that right now might be a good time to play along with what these people were saying. Obviously they thought she was some sort of princess, which was good, right? Perhaps they were her bodyguards, they’d certainly dealt with the bad guy’s quick enough. Pushing herself up into a sitting position Dawn put her hand to her head.
“Ooow!” Dawn moaned pathetically, “My head hurts.”
Not closing her eyes to block out the sights that greeted them, Dawn saw dead brigands and animals lie scattered on the sand all around her, pretending to be someone she wasn’t looked like it was going to be the least of her problems.
“Where am I?” Dawn asked, “What happened?”
“Don’t you remember?” Red-tunic-man asked a frown of concern crossing his face, “We were ambushed after we made camp.”
“No,” Dawn shook her head and winced, her head did in fact feel as if it she’d hit it on something.
“We’re only a few miles from the Judean border, Princess,” explained Red-tunic-man, “we were lucky enough to run into a Roman patrol,” his eyes grew dark with concern, “don’t you remember anything?”
“No,” once again Dawn shook her head and tried to look as pathetic as possible; which wasn’t all that difficult seeing how she was covered in blood. Plus the way she was feeling right at that moment, was about as far from ‘fine and dandy’ as you could get and still be alive.
Red-tunic-man looked horrified as he called to his men to bring blankets and build a shelter to keep the sun off the ‘Princess’. While all this activity was going on around her, Dawn took the opportunity to think; Judea was the old name for Israel, wasn’t it? It was slowly becoming obvious to Dawn what had happened; having jumped from Glory’s tower she’d apparently died and been sent by God, or whoever, to some sort of Judo-Christian adventure world. This new reality came complete with Romans, brigands and guys with bows who seemed convinced she was some sort of princess. Smiling to herself as spears were driven into the sand all around her and blankets were draped over them to block out the sun, Dawn decided that this must be some weird sort of reward.
It seemed clear to her that having screwed with her life, such as it had been, by making her ‘The Key’; God, or whoever was in charge was trying to make amends by giving her a second chance at a life. However, Dawn frowned, she could have done without the robbery and attempted rape intro. This could be so cool, everyone thought she was a Princess, which was only as it should be, hadn’t she always thought that she was special and had been kidnapped as a baby? Although she’d loved her Mom and even Buffy, she’d always known she was different and not just because of the whole ‘key’ thing.
Looking around, Dawn saw a short, plump, woman climb down from her horse and rush towards her; she wore a long green dress with lots of jewellery that rattled and jingled as she ran. Sliding to a halt in the soft hand she almost threw herself at Dawn and enfolded her in a warm, busty embrace heedless of the blood that covered Dawn’s body and clothes.
“Oh my poor little, Kitten,” cried the woman sobbing into Dawn’s hair, “what did they do to you?”
“Hey!” Dawn called, her voice muffled by the woman’s enormous breasts, “I’m like okay, y’know? ‘Cept I can’t remember anything.”
“What!?” The woman released Dawn from her hold for a moment, “What do you mean? You can’t remember anything?”
“Like I totally don’t remember anything,” Dawn explained slowly, “Like, who are you?”
“Noooo!” Again the woman wailed as she clutched Dawn to her bosom, “What have they done to you,” she repeated, “what have they done?” As quick as lightning Busty-woman turned a hard eyed glare on Red-tunic-man, “This is your fault; the Queen will hang you by your balls for this!”
“I did nothing wrong,” Red-tunic-man snapped back, “it was your idea to stop here, and then leave the camp to go hunting.” Red-tunic paused for a moment, “The brigands didn’t have a chance to rape her, I killed the one who tried.”
“Well,” Busty-woman replied grudgingly, her attempt at having the princess assassinated had failed, this time; it would do no good if she was found out before the little bitch was dead, “I suppose you’re right…”
“Of course I’m right, you silly woman,” Red-tunic growled back, “and look,” he gestured to the Roman cavalry soldiers, “now we have all these fine Romans to escort us all the way to Jerusalem.”
“Oh all right,” Busty-woman replied reluctantly as she stoked Dawn’s bloody hair, the Romans would be another complication to her plans, but she’d think of a way around it.
“I say, how’s the princess, what?” This was a new voice and Dawn struggled free of Busty-woman’s arms a little so she could see who’d spoken.
“Wow!” She gasped quietly, it was a real live Roman soldier, an officer by the looks of the fancy plume thing on his helmet.
Dawn’s eyes roamed up and down the Roman’s body a couple of times before she regained control of herself and realised what she was doing. Something was telling her that he had to be the most handsome man she’d ever seen. Tall, bronzed, a nice smile that showed straight, white teeth and gorgeous blue eyes with the longest, softest boy-eyelashes that she’d ever seen.
“I’m fine!” Dawn smiled and tried to stand up, she was held down by Busty-woman who was a lot stronger than she looked.
“No you’re not,” Busty-woman told Dawn before turning to speak to the Roman. “The Princess Roshan has suffered a fall and has hurt her head.”
“Oh!” The Roman cast Dawn a concerned look, “Jolly bad luck an’ all that but, can she be moved?” The officer asked as he glanced around at the desert sands, “I’d rather we moved away from here before these brigand chappy’s friends come looking for them, don’t-cha-know?”
“I don’t know…” Busty-woman gave Dawn a concerned look; if there was any chance of the brigands she’d paid to kill the princess coming back and finishing the job, she wanted to be here.
“Look,” Dawn smiled, “I’m fine, honest, I’m sure if someone was to help me up,” she looked pointedly at the young Roman officer; she’d forgotten that she must look like a horror show all covered in blood, “and onto a horse I’ll be totally okay.”
Actually Dawn had no idea if she’d be ‘okay’ and as far as she knew she’d never ridden a horse in her life.
“I agree with the Tribune,” Red-tunic-man said as he climbed to his feet, “it would be wise to get as far away from here as quickly as we can, I’ll have the men build the Princess a litter.”
“Well if you think we must,” Busty-woman got to her feet and started to help Dawn up; damn she thought, but it couldn’t be helped there’d be other opportunities to kill the spoilt brat.
Once standing on her own feet again, Dawn fought down the feeling of nausea and dizziness that swept over her for an instant, it wouldn’t be cool to throw-up in front of the most handsome man she’d ever seen. Out of nowhere the question popped into her mind; I wonder if he’s married? Slightly shocked be this thought, Dawn distracted herself by looking around the camp site, she really wished she hadn’t as she started to get an inkling of the full horror of her situation. Dead people and animals lay all around, blood stained the sand between the boxes and bundles that had been pulled open and their contents strewn on the ground; Dawn swayed a little and clutched hold of busty-woman’s arm.
“Don’t bother with the litter thing,” she gasped, “get me a horse I’ll ride.”
“But…” Busty-woman started to object; all the time hoping the princess would fall from her horse and do a better job of dashing out her own brains.
“Hey!” Dawn snapped angrily, the words coming from somewhere other than her own mind, “Look I’m Princess Roshan right?” Busty-woman and Red-tunic both nodded their heads, “So, you have to do what I say, right?” Again the soldier and the lady nodded. “Right, like I said, I want to get away from here as quickly as possible…”
“Brave gal, I’ll have one of my men bring a spare horse, Princess,” The Roman office gestured to one of his men.
“Thank-you,” Dawn replied as regally as she knew how, “Mr…?”
“Tribune Acacius Varro, Princess,” Varro smiled and gave Dawn a slight bow, “at your service.”0=0=0=0