The many faces of Buffy: tentaclesDisclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their owners.
Sunnydale was chaos. Buffy was dead, her robot double – disabled, and Hellions of all shapes and sizes were running and riding amok through the town. As far as Willow was concerned, their only hope lay in raising Buffy back from the dead, and that is what she was doing: raising the Vampire Slayer from the dead, using a rather complicated ritual that involved Osiris.
As the ritual was reaching its completion, Willow’s voice rose in a crescendo, and that was what attracted the Hellions’ attention, regardless of the obstacles the other Scoobies could throw into their paths. Sadly, with Spike taking care of Dawn that meant not a lot, and so the Hellions burst onto the scene, sending a range of missiles at Willow and the urn of Osiris. In other words, as Willow’s ritual reached its peak, the urn was smashed, causing a mystical explosion that seemed to shake the cemetery.
Actually, it did shake the cemetery, causing rifts to rip open in the ground here and there, including straight on top of Buffy’s grave, which is where the tentacles came into play. Covered in a moist hide and tiny pale purple scales, they were followed by two lidless white eyes that swung around the cemetery, taking stock in their surroundings, and the brain behind them reached a conclusion.
The tentacles spread wide, revealing a wide, lamprey-like sucker-mouth that opened wide, emitting some sort of a blast that caused the Hellions in the front of the assault to stop in their tracks and to fall prone onto the ground – sometimes into the rifts. That turned the tide and the biker demons fled, leaving the Scoobies on their own with the tentacles, or rather the body behind the tentacles, which was definitely draconic.
There was a general pause in the action, when Dawn, who had given the reluctant Spike the slip, arrived on the scene. “Hi! I’m Dawn!” she spoke without really thinking.Dawn? Is that you?
A familiar-sounding voice resonated in everybody’s minds. What happened to you... Willow Rosenberg?! What have you done?
Willow fainted.* * *
When Willow recovered, it was a brief time later. She had been moved – by the other Scoobies, most likely – into the basement of some home, which had been abandoned for a while now (not really surprising, since it was built on the top of a Hellmouth).
Sadly, the tenctacled dragon was there with them too. Well?
came its’ telepathic statement, sounding a lot like Buffy to Willow’s horror. Willow Rosenberg, care to explain what you have done to me?
“Um,” Willow said glibly, “Sunnydale was falling apart; the Buffybot just wasn’t working; so we decided to raise you from the dead?”
“Who’s that ‘we’?” Spike spoke-up suspiciously from his corner, nonchalantly standing between Dawn and the dragon. “I didn’t exactly agree to this, neither did the Watcher, and the rest of your team wasn’t fully committed to it either.”
“Well, Spike, I was,” Dawn spoke-up firmly from behind him.
“Well, Nibblet, then Red has delivered – your sister is alive, just not unlike herself at all,” Spike flatly replied. “Congratulations.”Dead? I never died. I was fighting the Master – he was pinning me down to drown – when the rift appeared and we fell through,
came the immediate telepathic response.
“That’s- that’s not how it’s supposed to work,” Tara finally spoke-up: ever since the dragon Buffy came up, she has been quiet, clearly thinking hard about something. “The – spell was supposed to bring you back from the dead, not from another dimension...” she trailed off.This isn’t my dimension?
came the incredulous reply. That is why Dawn is so puny and weird looking, then. Willow Rosenberg, send me back – I have to stop the Master before he opens the Hellmouth and destroys the world!
“Slayer!” came a thundering roar from outside, seemingly from high above, too. “Where are you?! Your magic tricks will avail you not!!”Never mind.
For a change, Buffy’s new telepathic voice sounded actually sheepish. He is here as well.
“Right,” Spike pulled out a cigarette, paused, and put it back, apparently changing his mind. “Is he also a dragon like you?”A dragon yes, but not unlike me – a proper dragon...save that he is a vampire, of course.
“A vampire dragon? Wonderful. Didn’t see that in my life before,” Spike muttered sarcastically. “Yo, Xander! Take the Nibblet and Anya and drive out of town.”
“Now see here,” if before Xander kept quiet, just as Tara had done, now he decided to speak up. “Spike, you’re-“
The street outside of the house shuddered, as a blast of fire or lightning or something like that struck it. You won’t make it anyways, little Xander,
now Buffy sounded genuinely regretful. As I said before, the Master is a proper dragon – he can fly.
“And you can’t?” Dawn spoke, before she noticed that the new-Buffy may have had tentacles, but her wings were little more than flaps of skin and flesh, useless for flying. “Oh. Sorry.”Still the same Dawn,
Buffy telepathically chuckled, before she moved outside, smashing straight through the wall. Master? Where are you?
“Up here, you abomination!”
Since the Scoobies have instinctively followed the new-Buffy, they looked upwards as well. There, soaring on big leathery wings was a dragon clad in scales of blue-black bronze and whose eyes were yellow-green orbs, while its fangs were really big and vampiric in shape as well.
The next moment Buffy jumped upwards, even as the dragon Master swooped downwards, and the dark bronze and pale purple dragons collided in mid-air, swinging and tumbling down in a knot.
But it became obvious almost immediately that even in dragon guise the Master was stronger than Buffy was, as he disengaged from the Slayer and flung her away. Buffy hit the ground hard and lay still.
“Well, that was fun!” the Master gloated in a loud, thundering roar. “Slayer, even your tricks didn’t help you!”
“I say!” Spike echoed the dragon vampire as he emerged from the shadows. “Clearly you are the vampire Master Heinrich Nest – only he was that big a braggart.”
There was a pause as the bronze-scaled dragon looked at the much-smaller Spike looking about as astonished as a human would have if the latter had heard a stray cat striking a conversation with them.
“What did you say?” he snarled.
“Oh, you didn’t hear me up there... braggart?” Spike lit a cigarette. “Sorry. Guess your hearing has gone bad at your age as well? Or are you-”
There was a popping sound and a much more human-looking Master appeared before Spike. He wasn’t unlike as how the senior Scoobies had seen him before the Master had died in this dimension, save that he had a thin bronze-colored moustache as well, making him look even more evil than before, rather like a vampiric Fu Manchu.
“Crap,” was all that Spike had time to matter before the Master grabbed him by the collar and lifted into the air.
“What did you say now?” the Master growled, just before a burst of magical sunlight emitted by Willow hit him in the arm, bursting it apart.
The Master whirled around, his mouth opening wide to spit a lightning bolt, but several bottles of holy water, thrown by Dawn, Tara, and the others hit him in the face, burning him even further.
The Master howled, his shape shifting from human to dragon, his wings spread wide, but dragon-Buffy was right behind him, grasping him tight, preventing the Master from going airborne. For several moment the white orbs stared into the yellow-green ones, possibly in some sort of telepathic conversation, before Buffy lifted her opponent high into the air, just as the morning sun was rising over the horizon, and its’ first rays hit the Master right in the muzzle.
The Master roared and flapped his wings, but Buffy held on tight. His body shimmered and he briefly appeared as a cloud of mist rather than a dragon, but he was still burning and Buffy held on tight, and then, abruptly, it was over, and the Master was nothing more than a great big pile of ashes that were swept up and away by a morning breeze. Well, glad that’s over,
dragon-Buffy said telepathically and then she collapsed.
“Now what?” Dawn asked quietly, as Spike moved sideways in the shadows of the street buildings.
“Now we figure out a way to have this Buffy transform into a human and back again, as this version of Master has done,” Spike said matter-of-factly.Just do not get Willow Rosenberg to do it – she is powerful, but not intelligent or considerate,
came a weak telepathic input from dragon Buffy.
“Will do,” nodded Xander, “and speaking of ways, we probably should call Giles to talk to him about this.”
Willow just looked away, clearly unhappy.* * *
“Faith, why have you exactly blinked out?” Lilah Morgan was meanwhile asking Faith LeHane, the other Vampire Slayer miles away, in L.A. prison (she came over to see if Faith was willing to return to the dark side once more).
“Just had a Slayer vision,” the younger woman replied instantly. “Looks like your latest Apocalypse is right on schedule.”
“...I’m sorry, but we hadn’t scheduled any Apocalypses this year, not until the Angel situation is resolved,” Lilah instinctively replied without thinking.
“Oh, too bad, since it’s coming anyways,” came the unsympathetic answer.
Lilah blanched as she realized that her life has just turned for the worse once more.