FIC: Pulp Faith (8/?)
Rasputin smiled coldly, dark eyes opening as he heard the disturbance outside and the sound of the wooden door splintering open. Somebody was here, someone either looking for him or looking for trouble.
His smile widened as he started towards the door. Either way, they’d find both, and more of the latter than they could hope to handle.
The Shadow was half-way up the stairs when his senses, honed by the mystics of the mysterious east, warned him danger was coming, racing, towards him.
He’d barely taken a step to the side, his back pressing up against the peeling-paint wall, when a towering figure appeared at the top of the stairs, his hand rising to reveal a badly scarred palm. “Hello,” the man growled in a gruff tone, “goodbye.”
A concussive force hit the Shadow in the shoulder, spinning him like a top and knocking him down two steps. Teeth gritted against the pain, the Shadow slid around and outside another wave and started up the steps, worn carpet beneath his feet. He was three steps from the top and in the process of drawing his guns when a third wave hit him.
His mouth opened in a pained gasp, eyes widening in shock as the blast’s force lifted him from the feet and flung him upwards and through the stairwell’s dirty window, glass flying everywhere.
The door splintered and flew open under a kick from Faith; she was first through the door, throwing herself facedown onto the dirty carpet as a tommy-gun wielding thug hurried through from the lounge to the left. Faith forward-rolled towards the man, his gun spitting hot lead over her head, arid gunsmoke filling the air.
The moment she was in range, she reached out to snatch a hold of the man’s legs only for the air to split under a thunder-clap and the man flop onto his back, blood bursting from his chest. Faith glanced over her shoulder as she leapt up, nodding gratefully to a revolver wielding Xander. For an one-eyed man, Harris could sure shoot with gun or bow.
Faith’s head snapped towards the darkened entrance to her left. The room was as dark as sin, and yet a Slayer’s enhanced night vision allowed her to see the thick-limbed fireplug stood by the unlit fireplace with a tommy-gun in his hands. The moment she saw him she was moving at the speed of a blur, leaping headfirst into the room beyond and into an Olympic-calibre cartwheel that ended with her hitting a two-fitted missile dropkick to the thug’s chest.
The man grunted as she connected, knocking her adversary into the wall behind him. A glazed look entered the man’s eyes but to his credit he still attempted to raise and shoot his gun. The man’s mouth opened in a gasp as she grasped the gun’s black matted barrel and tore it out of his grasp, her other palm slamming into the man’s chest, knocking him on his ass and out.
Her gaze snapped up as she heard the sound of breaking glass above them. “You heard -.”
“Yeah.” Faith nodded as she turned to Xander. “I’ll check upstairs, you finish down here!”
Faith sped out of the darkened lounge, reached up, one-hand vaulted over the stairwell, and raced up the steps, and into the far bedroom. “Hey asshole, where do you think you’re going?” Faith gasped as the Russian spun to face her, his hand reaching out towards her. Her eyes widened as an invisible force grasped and lifted her from her feet, flinging her into the wall behind her, lights exploded before her eyes as the back of her head smashed against the wall’s plaster.
Rasputin’s heavy brow furrowed as he ignored the chill wind blowing in from the newly opened portal. The intruders he sensed weren’t the expected criminal rivals of his benefactor or NKVD agents sent to murder him. No, they had power, the sort of power that could even challenge him. Muttering a curse under his breath, he hurried back into his room, grabbed the knapsack containing his papers, funds, and the artefact he’d stolen, and started towards the rear window. “Hey asshole, where do you think you’re going?”
Rasputin spun around in time to see a quite breath-taking beauty with an obvious gypsy heritage stride into his room. “Slayer,” he growled as he recognised the type from the almost pantherish way she moved, his hand swinging up to hit her with a concussive blast, lifting her up and flinging her into the wall with enough force to crack it.
Spinning away from the angrily cursing beauty, he shoved open the window, climbed out onto the balcony, and started down the stairs, the rusting steel steps swaying under his hurried descent.
Rasputin hurried down the stairs and strode across the rear garden, and into the garage. He scowled as he slid behind the seat of the town car sat there. This unexpected intrusion had caused him no little inconvenience. The object he’d acquired was but a means to an end, his true objective supposedly in the hands of an as a yet unspecified master vampire that he hoped to trade his artefact to.
But now, furrows deepened on his face as the car’s engine spluttered into life, he was forced to make a move before his investigations were completed, to scurry around in the dark hoping to strike gold against the odds.
But whatever the risk, whatever the odds, he had to get his hands on the object, it was his path to greater power than he’d ever had before. No longer would he have to be satisfied with being the power behind the throne, he would be the power itself. He snarled as he saw the Shadow stood in the road before jamming down on the accelerator, forcing the masked man to leap to the side, the man a blur as he sped past him.
His gaze snapped up as something thudded onto the ceiling, eyes widening in disbelief. “Damn Slayer!”
“Son of a bitch!” Faith shook her head clear as the Russian disappeared out of the window. Pushing herself out of the wall, she heard the sound of a car starting up.
Faith grunted as instinct took over. Adrenaline raced through her as she twisted to the right, raced onto the landing, and leapt from there and out of the shattered window. The wind whistled around her, tugging her sable locks back as she plummeted down, rain swirling around her.
Faith grunted as she landed in a cat-like crouch on the racing town car’s roof, the full realisation of what she’d just done hitting her. “Stupid bitch!” she cursed as the car screeched around a corner, the Shadow narrowly leaping out of the advancing car’s way.
Faith’s dark eyes widened as the driver’s car window opened and Rasputin stuck a snub revolver out of the window and waved it blindly in her own direction. “Gahhh!” Faith grunted as she side-heel kicked the Russian’s thickly-muscled forearm, Faith whipping her face back as the lead whistled hotly past her cheek even as the gun fell out of the monk’s hand.
Faith lunged for the Russian’s hand, thoroughly intending to pull him outta the car, but just then the driver slammed on the brakes and jerked hard on the wheel. Faith let out a despairing wail as the car’s screeching engine filled her ears and she was flung into the air. Faith grimaced as she twisted in mid-air and forced her body to relax for the inevitable impact.
“Ooooof!” Faith grunted as she crashed shoulder-first into and through a picket fence. Wood splintered as she crashed down in an over-grown lawn. “Oh crap,” she croaked as she forced herself up onto her hands and knees, and forced the world to stop spinning as she peered balefully after the fleeing car.
“Faith are you-.”
“Spectacularly dumb for jumping on the roof of a speeding car?” Faith waved away Xander’s assistance to stagger to her feet. “Yeah, I’m five by five.” She winced as she nodded. “Shit, my head hurts.”
“It appears Rasputin has escaped.”
“Yeah,” Faith glanced over her shoulder to where the Shadow was stood, “I’m fine, thanks.”
The Shadow’s eyes seemed to burn as he glared after the receding vehicle. “Wherever he goes, there will be no sanctuary from the Shadow!”
Faith blinked as the hero seemed to melt into the darkness. “Kinda theatrical, ain’t he?”
“You shouldn’t have done that.”
Faith bit back a groan as she turned back from the entrance of her hotel room. “Xan, I have a fuckin’ head ache in a time period that has shit for proper pain killers, so do me a favour and skip the damn lecture.”
“No,” the one-eyed man had an unusually intense look, none of the jovial joker in Xander right now, as he stepped up to her to the threshold of her hotel room. “That stunt with the car was beyond stupid. We’re a team and we’re all we have in this time. I need you and you need me, and I need to know I can rely on you not to do something that gets you killed and leaves me alone. It’s the same for me as it is for you!”
Faith stepped back, shocked by the heat in Xander’s voice. “’Kay, but it’s like reciprocal. You can’t be takin’ your usual dumbass risks when you’ve got a Slayer on hand to do the heavy lifting, dig?” Xander flushed, face taking on a mulish look. “Dig?”
Finally Xander nodded reluctantly. “Wicked,” suddenly uncomfortable about how close they were, and conscious of the body heat emanating from her friend and the sound of his racing heart, she stepped back, “so see ya in the morning?”
“Morning,” Xander agreed.