Title: Winter Winds
Word Count: 3430
Prompt: #355 dust you are and dust you will return
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright of Joss Whedon and ME. Vampire Diaries and all related characters are copyright of L.J. Smith, Kevin Williams and the CW. No infringement intended.
Note: Apparently there's more to this concept. I intend for this 'story' to be a series of shorts, much like the others, and it will be updated when a prompt inspires or the muse feels like it.
Synopsis: Buffy has found the supernatural and they’re kinda sketchy.
Herringbone tile stretched out beneath her boot heels, it covered the floor of the bathroom that was larger than any motel room Buffy Summers had commandeered (stolen just sounded cliché) since her sister’s transportation mishap nearly half a year before. She’d been thrust into a world with only the clothes on her back and what little money she’d had on her at the time of the spell. Money that had been lifted from her person by a teenage pickpocket during Buffy’s search for a way home, back to her own dimension, and her chase of said thief had ended in tragedy—with blood on her hands and another life on her conscience.
A death that had, apparently, activated a dormant curse placed on her bloodline in this new world and Buffy had found herself with a slight case of werewolf. A curse that had nothing to do with Slayers and everything to do with her mother being a Lockwood. A woman, who in this dimension wasn’t a mother, had never married and had died several years before Buffy’s arrival under mysterious animal attack circumstances.
She resisted the urge to air quote at her own reflection in the mirror regarding animal attacks and what little they usually had to do with animals when she, and apparently her bloodline, were involved. Instead she brought those hands up to push her jacket off her shoulders before letting her arms drop. The jacket followed the movement, sliding down and she caught the collar, sweeping it up to be laid across the marble countertop beside a beaten down duffle. Turning from the mirror she grabbed the back of her shirt in her left hand and tugged it upward, dragging it up and over her head to leave her windblown hair in even worse disarray as she made her way towards a complicated looking shower.
Tyler Lockwood, who would have been her mother’s brother’s son if her mother had a brother(say that three times fast), had spent the better part of the last few hours talking with her about his experiences and she, in turn, had spoke of her own. Understanding and sympathy had been his response when she’d told him about being completely unaware in regards her condition until her first change and he’d fed Buffy her first full meal, outside her time as a wolf, in months after hearing her stomach rumble for the third time and ignoring her, “I’m peachy,” protests.
Buffy learned that her almostcousin
was still in high school, a football player and, if she was being honest, kind of an ass, but he seemed to care. He had
let a complete stranger, which he knew to be supernatural, into his home and offered to help her as best he could. The ass happened when she’d been informed that she smelled like gasoline and livestock, which was the haul of the two truckers that had been kind enough to drive her through the last few states, and she should probably clean up before Klaus got there and, if she was being honest a shower did sound just this side of lovely.
An offer to wash away the dust that had accumulated during her journey wasn’t something she could decline, regardless of the offerer’s lack of tact, and Buffy’s head inclined as she recalled that according to Giles mankind had come from dust. Though Willow had countered that explanation and expanded on it by referencing a different type of dust and stars. It was all very dusty as far as Buffy was concerned, herself included, which was what led to her standing in front of one massive shower without a clue how to operate it.
Her head cocked, frown becoming more prominent before she shrugged and turned back to the counter. The shirt joined her jacket and she tugged the duffle towards her before unzipping it to retrieve a pair of jeans and a shirt before grabbing the smaller backpack from deeper within that contained her toiletries and clean
underwear and socks. Grimy jeans she could handle but dirty underwear she could not and that had led to her thievery of commonplace things like detergent on more than one occasion—her mockery of Dawn’s toothpaste heist from way back when seemed less than funny these days.
The items she pulled out were simple and white and a far cry from the lace and nylon in every color and pattern under the rainbow she had back home. Her jean-covered ass hit that pretty floor so she could unzip her boots that had faded from stylish to worn and tug them down her legs and off her feet. She place them upright and heels together against the cabinet with careful precision, the time of being careless with her possessions and Council spending account had long passed and Buffy missed that spending account something fierce. Her jeans were next as she stood and folded them neatly before adding them to the counter followed by her bra and underwear until she was standing nude and relatively comfortable in an almost stranger’s home.
Staying in shelters were privacy was near to impossible had taken its toll on her modesty and hopefully her regular workings of unknown showers would aid her in this newest endeavor as Buffy rolled her shoulders back and turned around. The glass door was opened and she stepped onto the cool tile, brows tugging down with the slight temperature change before she made her way deeper into the shower.
Green eyes taking in the ceiling that was lower than the rest of the bathroom and the metal square in the middle of it that had four sections with small holes that had her guessing that was the shower head. She stepped forward to place herself directly beneath it and her tongue slipped forward to roll over her front teeth as Buffy stared at the three metal plates in front of her. With a sigh and a prayer she hit the plate in the middle and water sprayed down—cold, very cold water.
“Dammit!” She hit the middle plate again which only increased the pressure and not the temperature. “Dammit. Dammit. Dammit,” was chanted in rapid succession as she stepped forward and still found herself well within the range of the shower’s spray. In the next moment Buffy guessed left and hit the plate several times for good measure.
Another, more pleased, sigh escaped her as the water warmed and she continued to hit the plate until the water reached the desired temperature and she could step fully under the spray without her teeth chattering. Buffy helped herself to the toiletries already present in the shower, hording her own had become habit, and ignored the fact that she could clearly hear her almostcousin’s
Definitely an ass or, at the very least, a pain in her own.
Hair, still damp from the towel dry, was draped over her shoulder and while Buffy would have loved to use the blow-dryer stored beneath the bathroom sink she’d heard the front door open and thought presence was more important than presentation at the moment. Though she had taken the time to pinch her cheeks to give them some color and apply her lip balm, the only cosmetic she owned currently, before exiting the bathroom. The duffle hung from her shoulder, she’d learned to keep it within her sight at all times regardless of her location, as she made her way down the hallway towards the stairs.
Her boots thudded down the steps and the muffled conversation between Tyler and, who she assumed was, Klaus tampered off as she hit the main floor. She’d worn her best jeans, which meant her cleanest, and a flannel shirt that was a size to small—it had been a thrift store find—and only buttoned to just beneath her breasts, revealing the white tank top she wore beneath it. She self-consciously tugged at the hem of the blue material of the shirt and glanced up, past the checker-like design to the beautifully decorated home surrounding her and suddenly found her steps faltering and herself lacking.
That thought straightened her spine and brought her shoulders back, the duffle settling along her spine, as she pulled herself together and focused on the fact that, while she wasn’t flourishing, she was surviving. Her mental pep-talk derailed as the scent of something other distracted her internal musings and she paused in the foyer. Her nostrils flared, chest expanding as she scented the air and attempted to sift through the different smells. Disinfectant and lemon overpowered most others and were likely from the polish used on the hardwood beneath her boots and a woodsy acidic smell that reminded her of Spike came to her next. Someone had recently opened a bottle of Scotch and Buffy sniffed again, but the other scent was lost to the muddled smells of the Lockwood home.
A frown pulled her brows inward and Buffy shook her head for using a heightened sense that she still wasn’t entirely comfortable with yet before making her way out of the foyer. The conversation she’d heard earlier had held a faint echo and trusting her instincts she headed towards the kitchen at the back of the home. A hand rose to play with duffle strap, fingernails scraping over the nylon as she hit a break in the hallway and entered an area that could only be referred to as a ballroom.
High ceilings and panoramic windows managed to make her feel small as she made her way through it and to the door that led into the kitchen. Mustering a smile, she put her free hand against the swinging door and shoved; it opened with nary a sound and Buffy stepped through that opening. Her smile slipped and the hand holding the strap clenched as the door swung back, striking her in the shoulder. The scent of other was back. It was spicy and warm—which she wasn’t entirely sure how a scent could be warm, but this was—and it saturated the kitchen, but it wasn’t just the scent that gave her pause.
The air within the kitchen was thick with something, something intangible and heavy, and she could feel the weight of it against her skin. The hairs along her forearms and the back of her neck rose, the skin of her chest tightening with goosebumps and she’d only felt like this once before. When she’d been sixteen and fighting for her life in the catacombs beneath Sunnydale. The Master had made her bones ache and her breath catch and it hadn’t entirely been the mind-control.
She caught sight of Tyler first and he offered her an encouraging smile, motioning her forward, but across from him sat another—referring to him as a man, which implied human, felt wholly inaccurate. A granite island stood between them and she was thankful for it. Her throat tightened as she swallowed past the sudden dryness and the muscles in her thighs tensed in preparation of fight or flight as that nagging sense of wrongwrongwrong
attempted to override all other responses and force her into flight and Slayers didn’t flee—at least not without good reason.
She was certain the part of herself that had been splintered four moons ago and given a snarling voice was the portion of her clanging the warning carillon and making her sense things she didn’t normally sense. Buffy watched him calmly lift a glass of amber liquid, the Scotch she’d smelled just a moment ago, and take a sip before lowering it to the island. He stated, voice a mixture of amusement and something else, “You’ve brought me an alpha, Tyler.”
was giving her a concerned look as he replied, “How’s that?”
He ignored the question and absently rolled the bottom of the glass against the granite. His gaze remained trained on the sloshing liquid, but his words were for her as he continued, “And here I thought your kind had been hunted to extinction.”
“Rarity, thy name is me,” she countered as she stepped fully into the kitchen and allowed the door to swing close behind her. His gaze lifted from his glass to her face and Buffy watched as he rose from his seat at the island and made his way around it. Her chin lifted as he grew taller the closer he came, he was taller than Spike, but shorter than Angel and currently giving her a once over that was both annoying and expected as she stated, “I’m supposing you’re Klaus.”
His gaze lifted from his study of her attire to her face and he met her gaze. “You’d suppose correctly,” he offered before tilting his glass in salute of her and taking another sip. “Tyler, be a gentleman and get the lady a drink.”
Buffy let her gaze slide past Klaus to Tyler and she arched a brow. “If you don’t mind?”
He rose to do as she requested even as he questioned, “You’re a Scotch drinker?”
“Nowadays I’m not too picky.” She turned her gaze back to Klaus and shifted the duffle on her shoulder. “Care if I set this down? We can have a drink and a chat.”
“By all means, make yourself comfortable.” He turned, giving her his back and Buffy narrowed her eyes on it before she shrugged, letting the strap fall down her arm. She stepped forward and propped the duffle against the chair she intended to claim as Tyler went to the cabinets set into the far wall and retrieved a crystal tumbler and another highball glass. Klaus stood beside his own chair and called her attention back to him by questioning, “So Tyler tells me you’re from Cleveland.”
“Not originally, but I call it home,” she frowned, corrected, “Or I did.”
“The curse does make a habit of tearing one’s life apart.”
Buffy offered Klaus a tired smile. “I really won’t argue that.”
He smiled in return, just a minute twitch of his lips and no teeth, but it was there before he questioned, “So you’ve no family?”
Her brows tugged together as she replied, voice tight, “I had a sister,” Buffy trailed off as Tyler came forward and offered her a finger of Scotch. “Thanks.”
“Had; I am assuming is the operative word in that
“Klaus,” Tyler admonished and gave him a pointed look that had Buffy giving her own version of a tightlipped smile at his slight show in chivalry and had Klaus frowning at him. Her almostcousin
turned back to her, his mouth quirking just a bit as he offered, “He’s not the most tactful of people.”
Her teeth sank into the inside of her bottom lip, biting back the retort that would question the validity of Klaus being referred to as people since she wasn’t exactly people herself— glass houses and stones and shit—and instead brought the glass up to her lips. The Scotch tasted nothing like the battery acid that Spike used to drink, which was a pleasant and welcomed surprise, and Buffy swallowed the burn, enjoying the slight smoky taste that remained on her tongue before claiming her seat and watching Tyler do the same.
Green eyes narrowed when Klaus remained standing, his gaze trained on her and she took another sip of the Scotch before asking, voice pitched low from the burn, “So I’m an alpha?” His mouth quirked, that same thin smile as Buffy continued, “What exactly is that?”
“I believe that is a story for another day,” Klaus countered, retaking his seat and saluting her with his drink, “Tyler and I currently have a party to plan.”
“Homecoming,” Buffy turned, her brows rising with Tyler’s clarification as he continued, “Our school gym was flooded and Klaus suggested I host it here.”
“Your house is big enough,” Buffy frowned, “Which also means I should probably make myself scarce,” she nodded, more to herself than them, and began to rise, looking to Klaus as she clarified, “We can meet up tomorrow—”
“Buffy,” Tyler interrupted her, stilling her movements and drawing her focus back to him, “You can stay here tonight.”
“High school dances really aren’t my thing,” Buffy argued, “They weren’t even my thing while I was in
smile turned condescending—she mention he was ass-like—and he shook his head. “I wasn’t inviting you to Homecoming. I was suggesting you come back afterwards and crash in one of the many spare rooms we have around here.”
“Oh,” Buffy replied, feeling vaguely ass-like herself, before frowning, “I have camping gear,” she hesitated, amended, “Well a sleeping bag and I’m not afraid to use it—”
“You’re staying here.” Tyler interrupted, leaving no room for argument with his tone or the pinched frown he was shooting in her direction.
“Well,” Klaus stated, drawing both their attention back to him and Buffy frowned at the fact that she’d allowed herself to be distracted from the likely danger he posed. “Now that, that’s settled. Perhaps we can get back to making our arrangements.” He looked to Buffy, bared his teeth in a smile and offered, “I’ve a few friends with me who would love to make your acquaintance. They’ve been wolves a bit longer than Tyler here and perhaps could answer a few of your questions.”
Her brows tugged together with the odd sense that she was being moved around like a chess piece, but since this was her first chance to interact with other werewolves Buffy couldn’t find fault with the suggestion. She looked to Tyler and his reassuring smile had her lips pursing, but rather than voice her displeasure, at least at the moment, Buffy instead found herself nodding. “I guess I’ll just leave you boys to your planning.”
“Tony.” Klaus called, voice barely rising as he leaned back in his stool and the door at Buffy’s back swung inward and she turned, frowned at the man filling the entryway since she’d been completely unaware of Tony until he’d made himself known. She turned back to the others, eyes narrowing as she caught sight of Klaus’ smirk as if he knew his very presence had deadened her senses to all others.
His gaze slid from hers to beyond her shoulder as he addressed the newcomer, “Be a good fellow and take Buffy here into town for some dinner,” before Buffy could protest or question the motivation behind that request Klaus tacked on, “Answer any questions she has.”
“Of course, sir.” Buffy sighed, glancing behind her shoulder to find her escort smiling pleasantly down at her—as if someone had already drunk the Kool-Aid—and his head inclined before he inquired, “Ma’am?”
“It’s okay, Buffy.” She turned, met Tyler’s ‘oh so’ earnest gaze as he added, “You can trust us.” He inclined his head towards Tony. “Go, eat something other than a sandwich. I’ll take care of your bag and I’ll see you in a few hours.”
“Sure,” she offered him a tired smile, “Have fun at Homecoming.”
“I’ll see you in the morning, Buffy.” Klaus assured her, drawing her gaze to him and she resisted the urge to frown at him.
“Tyler said you can help me. That you helped him.”
“He helped us all,” Tony chimed in from behind her.
“I did,” Klaus agreed, “I’ll help you as well, but there’s some questions of my own I need answered first.”
“The alpha thing.” Buffy stated, her best hunch at what he’d need to chat with her about which earned her that same tightlipped smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. With a shake of her head Buffy turned, addressed Tony with an easy, “Shall we?”
He smiled, lines gathering around the incredible blue of his eyes, and placed his age closer to her own than Tyler’s before he offered her his arm and Buffy rose to accept it. She kept her gaze forward, unwilling to show Klaus how very much she didn’t want him at her back, as she was led from the room and then the house. Her own unease increasing as she noticed the people now loitering on the Lockwood property, but she refrained from commenting as Tony directed her to a sleek looking car and opened her door for her.
She watched the people, for lack of a better word, watch them leave with the sinking knowledge that she’d well and truly found the supernatural in this world and hopefully it didn’t come back to bite her on the ass, but with her luck it most definitely would.