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The Shining Key

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Summary: Well, I was trying to answer the new "To Boldly Go..." challenge... but I failed. The Scoobies visit the Overlook with intent to buy.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Horror > Author: Stephen KingAnnaDruvezFR1534,479061,40928 Sep 1230 Sep 12Yes

Chapter One

You know, I couldn't believe what I saw. I ran through TTH's search engine. I ran through Google. I tried them both again. Three times. Did I use the wrong search terms? If not.... Why is there only one story set in The Shining? Seriously? I don't remember any lawsuits over The Simpsons doing a spoof. I know we can't really do it justice, but still....

I can even think of a huge number of hooks for it without even trying! Seriously. It really isn't that difficult. All you really have to do is ignore the boiler explosion at the end.

A/N: Just for reference, this was going to be for the new “To Boldly Go....” Challenge. Unfortunately, there was one – ONE – fiction on the site set in The Shining. /pout/ Still, I finished it and I'm posting it anyway. I classed it as horror because I did manage to creep myself out just a little at one point. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: The Shining belongs to Stephen King, Kubrick and who knows how many others that actually did the work to make it the classic that it is. BTVS is nowhere near as classic, but it still has the potential to be if it stands the test of time. It also still belongs to someone else. a.k.a. Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc.

The Shining Key

Rupert Giles fought down his laugh at the sight of the teens – young adults, actually – sitting in the library of their Cleveland branch. They were huddled into each other for warmth and sharing a green woolen blanket. If one believed their shivering, their lips should be blue and icicles hanging from their noses. He bit his lower lip and did his best to appear deep in thought, fighting not to think of how winter hadn't even really gotten started yet.

Dawn, her head buried underneath Xander's chin, spoke up. “Can we get on with the meeting? I have a space heater to get back to.”

At least, that's what Giles thought she said. It was hard to tell through the vibrations her shaking caused in her trachea and diaphragm. He realized all eyes were on him and sighed. At least the rest of the Slayers were in the gym practicing, so he had only the core 'Scoobies' (plus Dawn) to deal with. “Yes, of course.”

He picked up a book and flipped it open, then turned it so that they could see the illustration on the page. “I give you the Overlook Hotel. It's a hotbed of spiritual activity from what I can determine. Why the Council never dealt with it is beyond me....”

He cut off his own tangent before it started. “At any rate, it is both likely to be heavily haunted and up for sale. Which brings me to the point: I believe we can purchase the hotel and clear it out. It's isolated enough that the younger Slayers can train there in peace, and we can keep backup copies of our library there in order to avoid the catastrophe that was the loss of the old Council Archive.”

Xander cut in. “Um. Where exactly is this? Cause those look like mountains and it's gotta be really cold in winter.”

Giles nodded. “Colorado, actually. And it does get cut off when the snow falls. However, for whatever reason, the snow hasn't come in yet.” He could tell he was losing them. Xander and the others seemed to be almost disappearing into their blanket cocoon. “However, it is still warmer than Cleveland.”

Their eyes – which had been slowly starting to drift from disinterest – snapped up. “Warmer?”

“At least ten degrees warmer.” He could see the gears turning in their heads. Xander was no doubt pondering the difficulty of attaining comestibles. Buffy was deliberating on the distance to the nearest shopping mall. Willow, he knew, was debating their ability to combat a spirit on its own territory – they'd not had much luck with it in the past.

Xander surprised him. “Wouldn't it be a pain to get Slayers in and out in winter if the snow cuts it off?”

He blinked at the boy – young man – and smiled. Perhaps he was growing up. “Actually, since we planned to make their training out to be a summer-camp type affair, we could simply close down in winter. During the months it was closed down, anything demonic would have just as much difficulty trying to break in as we would....” He paused. “With a few exceptions, of course, but they are rare.”

Buffy frowned at him. She was almost pouting. “Could vamps get there?”

He shook his head. “They have some of the same difficulties with wading through snow that we do, if not more. Their bodies do not maintain a constant temperature, so they are at risk of... well....”

Xander laughed in a bit of dark humor. “Vampcicles. Freeze solid and wait for spring.”

“Essentially.” He pulled his glasses off to polish them. The children did have such an odd way with words at times. “Assuming the sun doesn't take care of the problem before they... melt. At the very least, the inevitable cracking as a result of forcing their joints to move causes considerable damage and results in a near frenzied state. That's why there aren't more vampires in the northern wildernesses.”

Buffy sighed and nodded. Willow tucked the blanket closer around herself before making her voice heard. “Okay. But... what about this haunting? We've had some horrible luck with them.”

He nodded at her. “That is true. However, we have time to plan where normally we do not.”

She cocked her head in thought for a moment before nodding and burying herself back into Xander's shoulder. “Okay. Let's do it.”

Her voice was muffled, but easily understandable. One by one, the others nodded.

*

Coordinating the luggage of six people should have been more difficult. However, it was fairly easy after having done the same for fifty girls at a time. Xander glanced back at the group waiting by the terminal and sighed. It wasn't that he wanted Faith to join them on the trip. It really wasn't. It's just....

Why'd they have to bring Andrew?

Okay, so he knew some spells and had experience summoning and controlling demons. But, still... Andrew? Mister I-Annoy-You-With-My-Camcorder Wells? That was just.... Okay, maybe. He watched the minor scuffle as the summoner tried to get out of the press of bodies without dropping his instrument case.

At least he was better than Kennedy. And there was a discussion he was glad not to have witnessed personally. Even second-hand it sounded nasty. Willow and Kennedy fighting over whether she could join them was not an amusing thought. They were already bringing Buffy, though, and brute strength wasn't likely to be much of a help.

Willow, Giles – and, yes – Andrew, were the heavy hitters on this trip. Andrew was also going to cook for them. Dawn was research support and Buffy was heavy lifting. His own reason for being there was far more mundane: he was supposed to check over the structural integrity of the buildings and make sure the place wasn't going to fall down in the next few years.

Hey, it wasn't ghost hunting, but it was just as important.

*

The trip up to the hotel was uneventful, and the first view of it was fairly uninspiring. The gardens were overgrown to the point that you couldn't even see where the topiaries had been. A few of the windows were boarded, the ones that weren't were broken. The exterior paint was peeling and the wind off the surrounding countryside cut straight to the bone.

Dawn was not impressed.

She let her eyes drift closed, trying to get a feel for the place, and nearly felt her heart stop. She hadn't felt this kind of malevolence since she was in Sunnydale. Even the Cleveland Hellmouth didn't come close. From the way their three magic-users gasped, she was sure that they'd noticed it, too.

For a moment she couldn't speak, but then she felt a hand settle on her shoulder. “I-I don't like it here.”

“I didn't either. Not really. But it grows on you.” The voice was unfamiliar to her. She turned her head, slowly. The grinning face of Jack Torrance – receding hairline, tux, dilated eyes, maniac smile and all – materialized under her gaze. “We've been waiting for you.”
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