Beta: As always, a huge thank you has to go to ConstanceTruggle/jaded_angel8, who has made this fic readable.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy or Anita Blake novels. I only own my twisted imagination.
Anita was weirded out, and Jean-Claude, the bastard, just seemed to find the whole thing terribly amusing. So what would the source of the discomfort be? Simple - Edward. During the last week she'd taken a case with Edward, and seen something that freaked her out - a wedding ring. After all, who would marry Death?
The hunt had involved four Marshalls in total, and they had given pretty big hints about knowing the identity of the new wife. In the car, she had seen what she assumed was a wedding snap. Edward and the beautiful blonde looked happy and more interestingly, Edward showed genuine emotions. It did raise the question of how someone who looked like the archetypal Californian princess, could be happy with Edward. That was the kicker for Anita - it was Edward who'd married; not Ted.
Still there was one thing that Anita could rely on, and that was Edward’s desire to kill things. It was the type of certainty in life that was up there with death and taxes.
The Council were back in St Louis, and it wasn't a battle that they could fight without help. The individuals in St Louis were quite powerful, but they were not even in the same league as some of the Council vampires. Anita had her pride, but she knew when to seek help.
Edward answered his cell on the second ring, although he asked Anita to pause a second. She heard him shout, "For god sake Rona pick that sword arm up unless you want to be monster food!"
Anita heard 'Rona' shout back, "I have bad habits."
Anita did not have to be in the room to know that Edward was smirking. "Okay, well when you spar with Buffy I'll remind you of what you just said."
Anita listened in disbelief, in a twisted way Edward was sounding paternal. "It’s not fair that your wife is the best.”
Edward didn't respond he just issued a command for the group to split and spar. Finally, he was satisfied enough to turn his attention back Anita. "So what’s up in Monsterville?!
Anita rolled her eyes, but it was an old argument between them. Anita had always been a straight shooter. "The Council is in town, and I need help."
Edward sounded happy, he spoke to someone close, "Go find Buffy, tell her I have good news."
Anita assumed that this Buffy was the new wife. Edward asked Anita a question, distracting her from her musings. "Who's coming to town?"
It turns out that Buffy was not fond of Vampires either; making her good a good match for Edward. However, Anita could hear the absolute delight in her voice, when she heard the Master of Beasts was coming to town. Anita heard, "I owe that bastard an arrow in the eye."
The Council were due to arrive later on that evening and all Anita could do was pace and, Jean-Claude being the bastard he was; was smirking in his own, gallic way.
Damon knocked on his door, "Your guests have arrived."
Anita greeted Edward, and shook hands with his wife, who he introduced as Buffy. She sized up the woman in front of her. She could see the weapons and guessed they were even more that she couldn’t see. Anita could see how many would dismiss the woman in front of her. She had almost made the same mistake, but the eyes told the whole story. This woman was a hunter, but unlike Edward, she didn’t hide any part of her personality.
Anita did not make the immediate connection. In the Marshall business, the Slayers were known, especially the Dark and Queen Slayer. Jean-Claude, though, knew immediately who'd walked through his door. He didn't know whether to be terrified or delighted. For now, he settled for being a little bit of column A, and a little of column B. He laughed, delighted, and stepped forward; with an exaggerated Gallic mation he kissed Buffy's hand, "Ma Reine, it’s an honour."
Buffy smirked, and turned to her hubby, “I like him, and he’s got more class than Spike.”
Edward did not look impressed, “That really isn’t hard when you consider that he’s the reason for Sid Vicious.”
Anita looked quizzical and Jean-Claude didn't fancy what would happen if Anita lost her temper. "Ma petite, this is Buffy Summers, also known as the Queen Slayer."
In the room, the supernatural creatures who weren’t vampires stiffened. The Vampires hadn't, as they had sensed her power when she walked into the room. Edward shared a knowing smirk with Buffy. Honestly, you survive twenty years as a Slayer and you gain a reputation. She didn’t get it though, she expected the vampires to react not the weres’.
Buffy looked bright and cheerful as she got down to business, "So I heard there is a party going down and I would really like an invite."
Anita had frozen upon hearing the words ‘Queen Slayer’. She was going enjoy this little match up. Of course, she breathed a little easier, when Buffy promised that she was only after the Council. In fairness, everyone in the room breathed a little easier upon hearing the pronouncement that she was not interested in any of them. Anita broke the tension, "Can I just say; I only wish I could slay without license?"
Buffy snickered, as Edward grumbled, "So do we all."
She shrugged, not being the least bit sorry,. Still, she was grinning, and it was the type of grin that promised destruction. "Hey it’s not my fault, and the minis hate me and Faith just as much."
Anita could understand how the two women had gained the power. The mind boggled that two slayers had managed to reach a decade of active slaying, but to reach two, well, it had never happened in recorded history. The Queen and Dark Slayers were attributed with a list of accomplishments that made many hunters, executioners, and mercs weep with envy.
Buffy wore the vampire clothes without comment. She had just wiggled her eyebrows and promised to wear the outfit for Edward back at their hotel.
The meeting was going bad - fast. Buffy figured now was the time to enter. Personally, she had no taste for the theatrics, but she’d enjoy seeing the look of surprise on Padme’s face when she stepped from the shadows.
Padme enjoyed threatening the Rats, after all, he’d done it the last time he was in town. Edward made a comment, “I think that it’s time we went and greeted the locals.”
Buffy looked innocent, “It would be rude not to.”
Buffy sounded happy, like she was catching up with an old friend. “It’s so good to meet you Padme; I’ve been waiting a long time.”
Padme frowned, he didn’t know the woman, but took note of the way the Traveller stiffened. “What business do you have here, Slayer?”
Edward chuckled darkly; there was no way that the old vampire didn’t know. Buffy had wanted vengeance for what he had done to the slayers. “Come now, you didn’t think I’d want vengeance for what he did to my girls.”
The Traveller didn’t smile, but he did try a distraction, “I have yet to congratulate you on your recent nuptials to Death.”
Buffy smiled, but it was dark, the slayer was coming out to play. The Vampires all stiffened in fear, every animal knows when they are in the presence of a predator.
Buffy smiled serenely, “The First Slayer told me death was my gift. I just didn’t realise she would deliver so spectacularly.”
The Traveller was trying to find an out; he couldn’t move against her, and she knew it. “I don’t understand why you would be here in St Louis.”
Buffy played innocent, and with her looks, you might have almost believed it. If she wasn’t holding a shiny, slayer scythe like it was her favourite teddy. “You know, Anita phoned her colleague and was chatting. As they were catching up I happened to hear Padme's name mentioned.” She paused and the silence was telling, “So being such a big fan of his work, I thought I’d ask for his autograph.”
Edward smirked, but there wasn’t a trace of the good-humored, all-American Ted, this was Death. “Nope, I think you promised him a death that would make Angelus proud.”
The Vampires paled, the Aurelian Vampire was a legend – and it was no secret that the blonde in front of them was the only one to have defeated him in modern times. The other thing that was well known was that in her younger days, she’d been with the Vampire, and then after that, with his childe, William the Bloody. It meant that when it came to torture, well, let’s just say that she knew all she needed to know.
Buffy looked directly at Padme, it was a challenge – and a reminder of just how much power she held. She smiled, softly, “You know, Edward was a good husband and he listened to my endless fantasies of how best to get revenge.”
Edward nodded, and kicked both his Uzi’s up to waist level, when he saw some of the lesser vampires step forward. “She gets violent, and I must say I was impressed. Some of it made me feel like a rank amateur.”
Anita shivered at even the thought of that. Buffy spoke, and the authority was clear in her voice. “The rest of you will leave St Lois now, but Padme can stay behind.”
The Traveller wanted to test his luck – clearly, he needed to save face, “If we don’t?”
Buffy didn’t blink, “Then Faith and I will go on a long working vacation, with the sole aim of destroying the Vampire Council, and no one will say a thing.”
Edward looked to Anita, and he thought that she really was an interesting human. She played with the monsters, but still couldn’t understand them. Whereas Buffy amazed him; she could play in the monster's world, but was still so startlingly human.
Padme looked up in defeat. His excesses were a problem, but one that he never bothered to correct. After all, he never saw the point because no one was strong enough to stop him. “What did you decide?”
Buffy smirked, “I’m going to do something I haven’t done since I was a teen. All of us knew better, but there is a little known fact. The head vengeance demon owes me a favour.” Padme’s eyes widened, the demons had withdrawn from society. Buffy knew exactly what he was thinking, “Demons didn’t disappear, but they went incognito after Sunnydale.”
D'Hoffryn appeared in the middle of Guilty Pleasure, “Slayer, have you thought more about my offer; you’d make such a good vengeance demon.”
Anita could see Buffy squeeze Edward’s hand in warning, or maybe reassurance. To ‘D'Hoffryn’ she smiled warmly, far warmer than she had to any of the vampires. “I’m sure, but I have enough action being Queen of the Slayers.”
The huge demon actually bowed to the tiny blonde, and Anita figured that she would remember that for a long time to come. “How may I help you today?”
Buffy pointed at Padme, “I want to give you this vampire to have fun with; no request, just consider it a repayment of an outstanding debt.”
The being turned towards Padme, “This is the being that hurt your girls.”
Buffy nodded, “I was all for unleashing everything I learnt from Spike and Angelus on him, but Edward persuaded me this was more poetic.”
D'Hoffryn grinned, and many in the room would have nightmares for years to come. “Why thank you, Death. You are a wonderful consort for the Queen.”
Buffy snorted, “We’re happy.”
Before anyone could blink, or bitch, the Vampire was gone. The other people who were part of his triumvirate actually thanked Buffy. She shrugged, to her it was just a happy coincidence. “No biggie.”
Much to her bemusement, the Vampires were still hanging around. Feeling nice, and maybe playing small favourites, she turned to Jean-Claude. “Do you have any further business with the Council?”
He shrugged, but his shrug was so much cooler, and less practiced. “Non, Ma Reine.”
Buffy turned back to the Council, and quirked an eyebrow, looking confused, “Why are you still here? Are you begging to be staked?”
The Traveller sighed, knowing that he lost this round. He also made a mental note to warn the Council to back off St Louis if the Queen was favouring the current kiss. He made a motion and the Council left, if they moved quickly they would be out of St. Louis by dawn.
Once the Council had left and everyone relaxed, that was when the fun and banter truly began. Jason was in awe, and fell down to his knees, “If I didn’t think either of you could rip me apart; I’d kiss you. You are just badass.”
Anita swatted the young wolf over the head, muttering, “Don’t make me get a newspaper.”
Buffy snickered, liking the darker humour, “You know I’ve found that neutering helps make pups behave.”
Jason looked horrified at the mere suggestion. He figured that he could be forgiven for instinctively covering his family jewels. Buffy just looked at her husband, asking if this was what the group was normally like.
The look he gave her in return, said that she had no room to bitch, which was kind of true. Still, he couldn’t deny that he had found a home – and a wife – who were perfect for him the day that he’d done a job for the Council. They were the ultimate, All-American, scary hunting couple.