FIC: A New World (21/21)
Remembering the gun he’d used against Riley, Xander pulled the weapon out of his jacket. In a second Dru was on him, twisting his wrist back until it snapped. Xander screamed even as the bone shattered, his yells accompanied by the vampire’s insane giggling. “Little boys,” he shuddered when Dru ran her ice cold fingers down his face. “Shouldn’t play with guns. Get’s them hurt it does, all gunpowder, and owws.” The demon’s face dropped. “William’s Slay-.”
The vampire shrieked as she fell forward, her knee catching him in the face as she fell forward. “Get off my Watcher, bitch!” Xander gaped at the battered sight that greeted him. Faith, but how?
* * *
“B?” Faith whispered before giggling hysterically. Wicked, not only was she dying, she was hearing voices in her head. Going nuts. Again. Or being haunted by B. On balance, she’d rather go nuts.
”That’s right!” the blonde’s increasingly strident voice continued. Faith winced, couldn’t B tone it down a little, she was busy dying. “Now get up!”
”Want to,” she replied, her eyes fixed on Xander, Drusilla stood over him. “Can’t,” she mumbled, blood bubbling out of her mouth, staining the ground.
“There is no such word as can’t!” Faith rolled her eyes. Wicked, B was giving her shit from beyond the grave. “You owe him! Get up!”
She gasped as a rush of energy slammed into her, washing the pain away. “Oh god,” she looked up at Xander’s scream. Mouth hardening, she leapt up and charged across the room, slamming a foot into the small of the demon’s back, knocking her away from her Watcher. “Get off my Watcher, bitch!”
* * *
Drusilla spun around to face the Slayer, eyes widening in disbelief. How could Blackbird be standing after the games they’d played? Her amazement grew when she saw William’s Slayer hovering over Blackbird’s shoulder, the smirk on her face enraging Drusilla. “Kill you,” she hissed before driving her left heel back into One-Eyed Boy’s face, knocking him flat on his back.
“You want some?” the battered brunette tilted her head to one side before raising a hand and beckoning her on, lovely blood dripping from her torn fingers. “Let’s see how good you do without the chains!”
* * *
Giles stopped as he sensed something probing the magic in the air around him. Lips curling into a snarl, he reached into his jacket and pulled out the .38 there. “Mr. Giles-.”
”Do shut up,” he gruffly interrupted before stepping around the corner. Recognising the two people flanking the door at the end of the corridor, he nodded. “Ethan, Amy.”
Ethan’s eyes widened at his gun. “Ripp-.”
The boom of his gun firing interrupted his former dark arts accomplice, the bullet slamming into his head, the doorway behind splattered with blood and brains. Smiling slightly at the open-mouthed girl stood looking at the corpse beside her, he likewise shot her, her body slumping against and sliding down the wall. “Mr. Giles!”
Again, he ignored Vi’s trembling voice. “They were dark arts mages. Don’t like, stay here.” He nodded to himself when the two girls stayed where they were. Good, it made things easier; they didn’t need to see what he had planned, he’d have shared Pryce’s fate with Rayne and Madison, but they were too risky to try such tricks with. Best for the quick kill.
Kicking the door open, he stepped into the darkened room beyond. Sensing a presence to his left, he leapt backwards out of the chamber, firing his gun at the silhouette as he did so. His grunt as he hit the ground was accompanied by a pained bellow from within the room. Grinning to himself, he climbed to his feet. Hearing the sound of his Slayer escort rushing to him, he turned his head and shook it. “No, I’m fine,” he ordered. “Stay here.”
Walking back into the room, he turned the light on and smirked at the sight that greeted him. “Hello Roger.”
”Bringing a gun to a sword fight,” the older Watcher wheezed, face greying from the pain coming from the wound in his side as he sprawled on the floor, a crimson puddle around him. “Hardly fair.”
“Fair?” Giles raised an eyebrow as he kicked the rapier away from the Englishman’s flailing hand. “You want to talk to me about fair?”
He kicked the door shut to ward the Slayers from seeing what he was about to do. “Rup-.”
“Shut up.” The man grunted when Giles kicked him full in the face, sending teeth flying. Looking around, he grabbed a hold of the Watcher’s arms, and, ignoring his captive’s weak struggles, dragged him over to the office’s gleaming desk. Pulling out a pair of handcuffs, he looped the restraints around a desk leg and fastened the man’s wrists to the handcuffs. Stepping back, he pulled out a silver drinking flask and a gold lighter crafted in the shape of a guitar, and placed them both on the desk. “Christmas,” he smiled sadly. “Christmas, always a time for family-.”
“Rupert, you have to-.”
The man’s protests dissolved into coughs when Giles kicked him in the ribs. “Quiet, you’ve talked and done more than enough recently.” After taking a second to compose himself, he continued. “Yes, that was the last time I saw Buffy and Willow. Before,” he glanced down at the body at his feet. “You killed them. Buffy bought me,” he lifted the silver flask, “this and filled it with a rather foul brandy. Of course, I never told her what a terrible brand she bought, I wouldn’t dream of hurting her feelings.” He unfastened the top of the silver flask. “Of course it has its uses.” The Watcher gasped when he poured the brandy all over him. “And Willow, she bought me this lighter, a lighter with a rather fine spell on it.” He flicked it on, a small blue light flaring instantly. “It will light instantly, never need refilling, and will set aflame even the normally inflammable.” He looked down at the man at his feet. “Rather fitting don’t you think?”
By now Roger’s eyes were saucer-sized. “M..mercy.”
“Mercy?” Giles crouched over the man. “Where was your mercy when you were hunting my friends and I? Where was it when you blew up a building filled with dozens of innocents? Where was it when you killed my daughters?” Giles shook his head before setting the man on fire and stepping back, the man’s instantaneous screams filling his ears and the stench of burning flesh filling his nostrils. For a second, Giles stared down at the writhing man. He felt nothing, no satisfaction or joy that the man who’d killed Buffy and Willow was dying horribly, only a relief that he’d never get a chance to hurt Dawn or Xander. “Save me a seat in hell,” he said before striding out, eyes cold. He just hoped Xander and the others had found Faith in time.
* * *
The vampire screamed before leaping at her, Faith pirouetted away from her opponent’s rush with all the grace of a dancer, her left heel smashing into the demon’s lower back, knocking the monster to the ground. Spinning around, she saw the demon had already risen and was charging her.
Placing herself between her crumpled Watcher and the on-rushing monster, Faith shot out a side heel kick, the blow cannoning into the demon’s face, snapping its head back. If possible, the demon’s eyes hardened still further before cackling manically and leaping at her again.
“Fuck,” Faith muttered as she dropped into a leg sweep, taking the demon’s legs from under her. “A little bit of originality isn’t too much to ask is it?”
“AHH!” Faith screamed as the demon rose and attacked, her claws slashing up to rip a furrow through her left cheek. Dazed, she fell on her back. The demon loomed over her, the smile on her face spine-chilling.
Bringing her knees up into her chest, Faith slammed her heels into the demon’s stomach, knocking her back. Taking advantage of the demon’s distress, she leapt to her feet only to have to duck beneath a right hook, the monster’s punch pummelling the torture chamber’s stale air. Straightening, she swayed away from a follow-up crescent kick, grabbed the attacking foot as it came down and threw the vampire into the ceiling.
The vampire returned to the ground with a screaming thud. Deciding it was time to take the offence, Faith rushed forward and made to kick the demon in the ribs.
Drusilla’s hand flashed out, grabbing her foot and yanking. Faith shrieked as she hit the hard ground shoulder-first. Shoving aside the pain that briefly flared through her, she rolled to her feet, snatching a scalpel off the ground as she did so. “Time to end this.”
Eyes a burning yellow, the demon charged her again. This time, Faith didn’t meet its attack head-on, instead sidestepping the vampire and sweeping her legs from under her. The moment the vampire hit the ground, Faith was on her, knee in her back, she snatched at the demon’s lustrous black hair and yanked her head back with her free hand before decapitating her with the scalpel.
Her job done, Faith rose. Turning her head, she grinned at her Watcher, tears forming in her eyes as she felt the pain returning to her ravaged body. “Thanks,” she took a rattling breath as she staggered, “for forgiving me, Harris.” Behind her, she heard the room’s door crash open, and sensed her idol entering the room. Dots appearing before her eyes, Faith pitched forward.
* * *
Yuma Health Centre
“And those are the reports I ordered?” the secretary nodded. “Excellent, now how about -.”
“WE NEED HELP NOW!”
Dr. Nick Foley’s head snapped towards the doorway, his mouth dropping open at the sight that greeted him.
A huge, hulking man with what looked like smoke wafting off him stood there, holding what looked like to be a broken doll wrapped in a blanket. The hospital entrance way was becoming increasingly crowded, the powerfully-built man being surrounded by a slack-jawed, dazed-looking one-eyed man, an imperious looking blue-haired beauty, a grim faced older man, and several dozen teen girls. “What is going on here?” he demanded even as he rushed forward, gesturing to a passing orderly to bring a trolley.
He gasped when the man eased his passenger onto the offered trolley. He’d been a trauma surgeon for almost three decades, but he’d never seen anything to match this. The young woman, because that’s what she was, once at least, looked like she’d been tortured to death and then revived and had the process started again. Fighting back the urge to vomit, he looked around. “I want my team here, now!” he shouted before turning to the patient’s companions. “What happened?”
The older man of the group put a shaking hand in his jacket, brought out a card, and passed it to him. “UN Dangerous Groups Division,” Foley was surprised to note the man was English, “she was one of my agents, and captured by a cult. We just got her out. Please ring that number to ascertain my story.”
Blinking in disbelief at the man’s words, he shoved the card in his pocket with a mutter. “Sure,” seeing his team arrive, he shoved the gurney down the corridor.
”Save her,” he glanced back at the one-eyed man, noting the greyness of the man’s face and the way he was cradling his purpling, swelling wrist. “Please.”
“We’ll do our best,” he promised before turning his attention back to the paling nurse beside him. “Get his wrist seen to. Now, let’s go!”
* * *
“And Miss. Martin’s condition?”
Sister Reeves looked up from writing her notes up. “Not good,” she admitted. She’d never seen anything quite like it in her ten years as a nurse. She imagined that the young woman had once been very pretty, beautiful even. No longer. “Her injuries are extensive. Six ribs are broken, both lungs punctured, she has a fractured skull and an inoperable blood clot. She’s suffered a broken spine, two ruptured discs, and a damaged kidney. In addition both her shoulders were dislocated, her elbows, and knees have all been smashed with a blunt instrument as have her nose and jaw, and she appeared to have been repeatedly cut, whipped, and electrocuted all over her body.”
“It’s a wonder she’s still alive,” Foley muttered. Sister Reeves nodded, they’d worked feverishly to keep the girl alive, over six hours in surgery. Every time they’d repaired one injury, they’d discovered another. Whoever had done this had to be utterly insane.
“Doctor,” Sister Reeves turned to see the patient’s big brother and employer stood behind her, both men staring intensely at her boss. She was suddenly very glad not to be on the receiving end of that stare. “How is she?”
Doctor’s Foley’s Adam’s Apple did a nervous dance before he replied. “She’s not good Mr. Giles,” the surgeon carefully announced. “It’s a wonder she’s even alive. We’re far from certain she will recover.” Which was a very diplomatic way of saying no chance in hell.
”Whatever it costs doctor,” the Englishman pronounced. “However long it takes.”
“If she wakes up,” the two men glared at the surgeon. The surgeon’s Adam’s Apple did its dance again. “When she wakes up,” the trauma specialist hurriedly corrected. “There’s likely to be extensive emotional scarring from such a torrid incident.”
”She’s strong,” the big man glanced over his shoulder and through the private room’s window, “and we’ll be there for her.”
* * *
“So, with the death of his Uncle Ben, Spiderman learnt that with great power comes great responsibility,” Xander looked up at his companion. “But I guess you knew that already.”
He’d made a promise to Faith to teach her about comics, to be her Watcher, to be her friend. And he would be, he’d be here for her as long as she needed him. Tears filled his eyes as he stared at the small figure in the hospital bed, surrounded by sterile machines, half a dozen tubes sticking out of her.
For a long time, the only sound accompanying his sobs was the beeping of the life support system.