In the Cards
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Darksiders.
A/N:I can't believe i've gotten back into writing fanfiction. This takes place during season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
"Wow… that looks… So not good."
Dawn Summers quirked her brow at the spread before her and rolled over onto her stomach. In an attempt to get away from the lack of… well, everything at home, she was spending the night at Janice's. And Janice, who had taken an interest in divination after stopping by the Magic Box on occasion had begged the other girl to let her give her a tarot reading. Dawn had shrugged and consented. What was the harm in humoring her friend? And Janice practically squealed as she ran to grab her slightly used deck of cards. Honestly, Dawn was rather excited to be getting a reading. She used to get them from Willow and Tara every now and again, and she even had her own deck for a short time. However, after Willow got all stupid with the magic and made Tara leave, she didn't get anymore readings. And couldn't even do her own since Buffy made her throw out all of the magicky stuff, her deck included before she even did a reading. She was still pissed that Buffy made her throw out their mother's fertility statue. So many things she liked, along with good usage of her arm for a few weeks, all gone because Willow lost control and Buffy was busy not caring to do anything. The one time people actually NEEDED her to butt into their lives and she decides to get all spacey.
Though as Janice began lying down the cards, Dawn forced herself to push away her angry and bitter thoughts. Tonight was about fun. However Janice's words had her eyes widen slightly in alarm. Blue eyes darted to the Celtic cross spread covering the green throw rug. "What doesn't look good?"
"Well… you have the reversed Hermit as your significator…." The girl paused as she tried to remember what it meant. "Are you being or feeling neglected?"Well, that was a megaload of redundant…
"A bit… No one's ever around…" Dawn admitted to her friend for the first time.
The other girl's expression softened with pity. "It was like that when Mom and Dad got divorced…" She turned another card before Dawn could comment on that. "You're covered by the Three of Swords… separations and people leaving and stuff?" Dawn jerked at the mention of that but nodded. Janice nodded and continued. "Crossed by the Ten of Cups reversed. Messed up home life." She flipped another card. "The root of the matter is… Death reversed?"
Dawn knew exactly what that meant… literally but didn't comment on it. "Keep going."
"Your crowning, or goal, is the Ten of Pentacles. A happy, tight, stable home. Recent past is Nine of Cups reversed. You got something you thought you wanted but it turned out to be not what you expected."
Boy, ain't that the truth…?
"Now, your near future… the Tower. A giant change is coming and it doesn't look too good with the surrounding cards. How you see yourself or how you are mentally, the Ten of Swords…. you've just given up. How everyone else sees you as well as your environment, the Five of Wands. They see you as difficult, while actually its them that aren't making things easier… Your Hopes and Fears are the Empress reversed." Janice got a bit quiet.
"What is it?" Dawn asked.
"Well, I don't know if I should mention it… because its…"
"The mom card?" Dawn finished for her and Janice nodded.
"What's it mean? What can it mean?" Dawn's face was void of any emotion. "My mom's dead."
"And you wish she wasn't, or you're hoping for some one to be a mother figure to you because all the women in your life are not paying attention to you."
"What's the last card?" Dawn asked, wanting to move on from this touchy subject.
Janice flipped the last card. "Last card, the outcome of everything is the Devil. Temptation, addictions, negative attitudes, someone being controlling. Or on a very basic level it could mean you're going to get fed up and look out for number one."
Dawn fell silent as she mulled over everything. Maybe Janice had a bit of seer in her after all, as Tara would probably say. She touched everything spot on. She then remembered that Tara added other cards to a reading. "Hey, lay out four more. They're like outline cards."
Janice shrugged but did as she was told and flipped the first one. "The Five of Swords, the Temperance reversed, Strength, and the Nine of Swords."
"The first card is something that is unexpected, the second something unknown that's happening now, the third is advice and the last is how things will be for a long while."
"So…" Janice began, "Unexpected is a battle… that's going to suck badly, probably a fight. Unknown is a loss of balance occurring somewhere around you, or overcompensation. Your advice is to handle it with quiet strength and… for a long while things are going to suck. You'll be in a dark place,,, because the nine of swords means cruelty and suffering…"
Janice looked up from her reading and regarded Dawn with worried eyes. Her friend was not even looking at her. She now wished she didn't insist on giving the other girl the reading. "Um… I'm sorry… Maybe, um…. maybe I got them wrong or… or you didn't shuffle the deck all the way?"
"No," Dawn said without looking at her. "You got it right. And its nothing new. Things are always like that. All you did was tell me what I knew was going to happen anyways."
"Well… the Devil card can mean hot sex, remember?" Janice quipped in an attempt to lighten her friend's mood.
Dawn's lips quirked appreciatively but the smile did not reach her eyes. "Maybe… or, it could just mean an apocalypse… That I can deal with."
Janice settled back against the foot of her bed. "Well, with all the destruction cards and whatnot, it might be." She was glad that Dawn tried changing the subject. It wasn't that she didn't care, because she did. She was just bad at handling emotional situations. Dawn said it was because she was an Aquarius.
Getting up from her spot on the floor, Dawn forced the dark thoughts to the back of her mind and grabbed the remote. She had come over here to escape that Hell for a few minutes, not recap on it. Spreading on a false smile, she plopped back down next to her friend. "So, shameful R rated movies and practicing our stripper dances we'll never use?"
"Hells yeah!" Janice cheered.
Dawn clicked the remote and the night's energy was lightened with crude humor, cheesy sex scenes and bad attempts at chair dancing.
"Girls? Breakfast is ready!"
Downing a Dixie cup full of water, Dawn rinsed the toothpaste from her mouth and made her way down the stairs, Janice following. Another reason she enjoyed spending nights at her friends' houses: actual home cooked meals. Willow never really cooked much anymore, something about the spices reminding her of doing spells. Xander was more of a Bisquick and Eggo man and she was mildly afraid Anya's cooking would have demon toes as garnish or something. Tara wasn't there to cook anymore and Buffy… well, that was not even worth thinking about.
"Good morning, Dawn. Did you sleep well?" Janice's mother asked with a kind smile as she placed a stack of pecan pancakes and bacon in front of Dawn.
"Yes, thank you. These look awesome." She took a bite and it was like her taste buds were throwing an all day rave. God, they were good! "OMG, Janice, your mom's cooking is like, stellar level awesome!"
"Suck up." Janice smiled, glad her friend was in better spirits this morning.
The older woman smiled at the compliment and sat down to join the girls. Breakfast was a tame affair the radio playing soft rock and table conversation that was light and normal and not about demons or monsters or magic addictions or thinly veiled attempts at keeping her out of the loop. When breakfast was over the girls cleared the table.
"So, want to hit the stores first or go on a caffeine run?" Janice asked as she loaded the dishwasher. "Or, want to just skip it and have a Hugh Jackman drool-a-thon over all his movies?"
"So leaning towards the latter," Dawn grinned.
"Who's Hugh Jackman?" Janice's mother asked and both girls looked at her as if she was insane.
"Only a megawatt hottie," her daughter informed her. "Remember, the X-Men movies? He played Wolverine. He was also in Van Helsing. You almost walked into the wall when you saw him during movie night and Grandpa laughed at you?"
Dawn tried to conceal a snicker and the older woman smiled when she remembered. "Oh yeah… Mmm… Mind if i join you girls?"
Now all three laughed heartily but it was cut off when the house shook slightly. Dawn gasped and held onto the counter while the others braced themselves in the doorway. A few plates and glasses crashed to the quake only lasted a few seconds at most. The house finally stopped shaking and the three slowly let go of whatever they were holding for support and eased back into the room.
"I'll grab a broom," Dawn offered, noting the broken glass and went to the hall closet.
"One of the lovely things about living in California, huh?" Janice's mother said with a shaky smile as she and the girls tried to resume their activities. "So, now about this movie marath-" Her words were stopped by the blade of a battle axe exploding through her chest.
The blue plate in Janice's hands crashed to the floor along with her mother's lifeless body.
Dawn sprinted back to the kitchen, holding the broom as a weapon and she froze, ducking back around the corner. The sound of glass shattering resounded through the house and the scream that was locked in Dawn's throat finally escaped at the sight of what burst into the home.
The nightmare was tall, nearly seven and half feet and covered in purple scales and strange markings. Horns protruded from its head, its face was craggy and its mouth was full of sharp teeth. Stunted wings sprouted from its back and its flesh was jagged as was its armor.
With a bellowing roar, it reached down and yanked its battle axe from the dead woman's back. It gave a small growl toward's the broken window and a strange, flesh colored creature scrambled in on four legs, giving the impression of a hound. It circled the body, sniffing it and then immediately began devouring it.
Hot tears of sorrow and fear streamed down Dawn's face as she inched towards Janice. As long as she could get them both out of here and to the Magic Box. She had to find Buffy. Or Anya or Xander or anyone.
Janice let out a keening wail as the monster devoured her mother. Fueled by grief and rage, she leapt onto the hell hound, trying to beat it off of her mother's corpse. The creature easily flung the teenager off its back and clamped its fangs into her arm, ripping it off in shower of blood. Janice's screams reached a new octave and the creature was about to rip her throat out but was stopped with strike from its master. The monster backed off and the demon warrior advanced on the maimed Janice.
It fell on her, only pausing to adjust remove its codpiece and rip away her underwear. Janice pained shrieks and sobs filled the bloody kitchen as the demon raped her. Blood gushed from between her thighs as the jagged scales that covered the demon's cock sliced her insides, its massive girth stretched her past her limit.
The violation of her best friend snapped Dawn out of whatever trance she was in and she ran forward, breaking the broom over the demon's head. The demon roared and lashed out, catching Dawn in the midsection, sending her crashing into the wall.
"Dawn, get out of here..." janice pleaded weakly as the monster continued to ravish her.
Dawn slowly got to her feet and tried to lunge to save her friend but the strange four-legged hell beast leapt into her path, growling at her. Squealing, Dawn turned in ran, survival instincts overcoming loyalty though part of her new she couldn't save Janice no matter what she did. Tears streaming, she ran out of the house, the beast at her heels.
Buffy. She had to get to Buffy. She would know what to do.