I do not own any of the rights to ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ or ‘The Dresden Files’ and am making no money from this story.
Kathy, Faith and Matt came through the portal in the middle of a forest of trees. White bark with golden leaves, not the yellow that leaves often turned in the fall, but an actual gold. The forest seemed to be empty around them, only a slight breeze rustling through the leaves. The two slayers had weapons drawn the moment they were through, but after a brief look around it looked as if the forest really was empty. Faith took out the amulet and ran through the spell that would allow them to track Xander down. The amulet spun gently for a long moment, but before Faith could begin to feel worried, it tugged off to the left. It wasn’t a strong tug, which meant that Xander must be a fair distance away, bu just that the amulet had moved put Faith a little more at ease.
“Looks like we’re going to have to go for a walk, boys and girls,” Faith said putting the amulet back around her neck and began walking in the direction it had swung.
“How accurate is that thing?” Matt asked following after her
“I’ve never seen it not work,” Faith said before reconsidering, “At least, when the person we’re looking for is alive or at least a little undead.” They stopped every few minutes to use the amulet to adjust direction. They hadn’t been walking for very long before Matt started to complain.
“Exactly how long is this going to take? Usually when some one says ‘go for a walk’ it’s around the block or a short trip through a nice park,” Matt said his voice took on a vaguely squeaky tone, “not a freaking expedition through a forest!”
“Oh, come on we’ve only been walking for like twenty minutes, I pretty sure I’ve sprinted for longer than that,” Kathy said sarcastically from her spot behind the ‘sorcerer’
“Yeah, well, I’m
not some super strong demon slayer girl,” he said petulantly
“Yeah, because everyone who goes hiking has super strength,” Kathy returned
“No, I think they’re just crazy. Who in their right mind likes to go tramping through the woods!”
“Oh, I don’t know how abo–“
“Hey, are you two to gonna quit yapping or do I have come back there?” Faith interrupted, turning to look behind her briefly before pulling out the amulet once more, “Geez, it like I got stuck on a road trip with a couple of twelve year olds,” She muttered. The amulet continued to swing in the same direction, with the same weak pull. The forest seemed to go on and on just a seemingly endless stretch of perfect trees; it was unsettling Faith something fierce, not that she would ever admit that. The only positive part of the journey so far was that Matt had finally shut up. Kathy had reminded him that they didn’t really need him to get back and then proceeded to threaten to unspeakable things to him if he didn’t shut up. He shut up.
They had checked with the amulet four more times before then ran into anything.
She was beautiful and when Faith looked at her she couldn’t help but think of everything bright and good, and a gentle breeze on a warm summer day. Faith tightened her grip on her short sword. Nothing came off looking that good without being some kind of ugly inside and if there was one thing that Faith hated, it was people screwing around with her head.
“Okay lady, I don’t know who you are, but if you don’t stop messing with my head, I think my sword here going to get a nice introduction.”
“I am the Summer Lady,” The impossibly beautiful girl said in a gentle voice, as if Faith hadn’t just threatened her. She regarded them for a moment more, before saying in that same gentle voice, “You do not belong here.”
“Oh, sorry, is this your forest? ‘Cause we really didn’t mean-“ Matt said in a rush of nervous chatter before Kathy cut him off with a hiss, “Shut up, Matt!”
“Look, we’re not here to fight anyone” Faith spoke firmly, “We’re just here to find our friend.”
“If you’re not here to fight, why do you have so many weapons?” Came a voice from her side. Faith managed to quell the urge to jump in surprise at the sudden appearance of the man. He didn’t give the impression of being fully human either, though not because he was inhumanly beautiful. He was an average height with white blonde hair that didn’t quite match up with his tanned skin. And… there was just something off about him, like the fact that he had managed to sneak up on two Slayers. Kathy, who didn’t have the amount of experience Faith had and let out a startled yelp when he appeared. Matt just flat out jumped, like a spooked horse, “What the– Where did he come from? He wasn’t there before! Was he? I mean-“
This time it was the stranger that cut him off, “I am the Summer Knight, where my Lady goes I am not far to follow.” There was a shadow of amusement in his otherwise blank face.
“’Follow my lady’?
What are you, her attack dog?” Faith asked caustically, still deeply annoyed that this guy had managed to sneak up on her.
“It is my duty to protect the Summer Court,” He said it drily, but didn’t leave any doubt that he a no qualms about taking them on, his hand resting casually on the hilt of the sword that hung from his hip.
“Well, like I said, we’re just here looking for a friend. We’re not here to fight,” Faith said doing her best to sound nonviolent, but she couldn’t stop herself from saying, “unless y’all have done something to him, then we might have problems.”
“I think that we may be able to aid you in the search for your friend,” The Summer lady said in the same soft tone she had used earlier.
“Oh, yeah?” Faith asked suspiciously, “Why?”
“You do not belong here. I would choose to see you and your friend returned to your homes rather than remain here,” The lady explained in a voice so filled with tranquility that both Kathy and Matt had no doubt of the girl’s goodness. Faith just tensed up more at the unnatural feeling.
“In my experience most folks who want me gone generally don’t go helping me out
“No harm will come to you on the way to seek audience the Summer Queen, on this you have my word.
The blond guy stiffened up a little at that. He didn’t say anything, but Faith got the feeling that getting the word of whoever this Summer Lady was kind of a big deal. That combined with the fact that there were apparently people that could sneak up on a slayer easily, Faith only had to speak quietly with Kathy and Matt for a moment before they were agreeing to take the proffered help. The Lady and her Knight were untested, but they had managed to sneak up on two slayers. Faith really didn’t want to see if she could take them in a fight if she didn’t need to.
They walked along with the two mostly-strangers; Faith’s skin was itching with the unease she got whenever she was in unknown territory with people she didn’t know if she could trust. Matt was staying quiet for the most part except for his nervous humming of ‘off to see the wizard’ and Faith felt that she should be thankful for the small miracles in life.
“Inform the Queen that there are visitors that she may wish to see, should she have the time,” The Lady directed to the Knight. He didn’t look as if he like that much, but he still gave a nod
“Of course my Lady.”
They stood waiting in the bright room and Faith could almost feel the shifting of power in the room as a truly regal woman glided into the room. Glided
. She took in all of them fully, her gaze was even more unnerving than the Summer Lady’s. Watching them for a good minute before she shifting her attention to the Summer Lady.
“You were right to inform me of this development.”
Harry phoned into the council once he’d managed to shake off the fog of sleep. Xander was currently taking an ice cold shower that Harry had apologized for in advance.
“One of the downsides of being a wizard,” Harry had said, “Technology doesn’t like to work around us, and when I say ‘doesn’t like to work’ I mean it tends to explode.” Xander had raised a dubious eyebrow and laughingly said, “You guys sure drew the short end of the magical stick there didn’t you? I don’t think I could cope without the hope of a hot shower waiting for me at the end of the day” and took the towels from Harry.
Harry patiently went through all of the security protocols reading the most current responses out of a small black notebook.
“Hello Warden Dresden,” said a competent female voice that Harry didn’t recognize.
“I have a potential code wolf,” Harry said,
“Hold one moment please,” the operator said professionally. ‘Wolf’ was the code for ‘end-of the world-y’ events, as Xander would say. Harry didn’t have to wait long for someone higher up to come onto the line.
Harry almost grinned at his luck when his mentor came on the line. Ebenezar McCoy had taken Harry in when the Council had leveled their verdict. He had taught Harry how to use his magic as well as how to be a better person. Of course, years later Harry had found out that the man who had taught him to use his magic to help others was the Blackstaff for the White Council. Ebenezar, the one wizard that was fully allowed to kill, maim, coerce, and otherwise break the laws of magic that had helped form the principles that Harry did his best to live by. When Harry had found out that his mentor had spent most of his life defying everything that he instilled in him. They hadn’t spoken for a long time after that, but Harry was starting to accept that Ebenezar was still the good man that had taken him in. It wasn’t painful to talk to him anymore, but what was the Blackstaff
of the Council doing answering phones?
“Sir? What’s a Senior Council member doing answering phones? I thought that that was above your pay grade.”
“It’s all hands on deck, Hoss,” Ebenezar said gruffly.
“No one called me,” Harry said still annoyed with the Councils distrust, even after they had made him a Warden.
“Probably would have soon, but apparently you’ve found your own problems to deal with,” Ebenezer said, nudging Harry to get to the point.
Harry ran through his encounter with Xander, he left out the fact that he had gotten information from Bob, since the White Council thought that the skull had been destroyed years ago, but told Ebenezar that he believed Xander when he told Harry he had come from another dimension.
“You shouldn’t have waited Hoss,” Ebenezar said tightly, Harry could pratically hear the man running a hand over his face “The Merlin’s got Wardens running around like a bunch of headless chickens looking for what came through.”
“Really? Xander doesn’t seem like something that would get the Council up in a tizzy” Harry asked, “But then again the Merlin does like to –“
“Your boy wasn’t the only thing to fall through. The Gatekeeper felt something else come through a few hours ago, but there’s too much magical interference in Faerie that he can’t pinpoint where. We’re already trying to get some discussions started with the Sidhe courts.”
“Do you really think the Sidhe are going to help the White Council? They’re not exactly known for their charitable nature,” Harry said sarcastically.
“Hoss, if the walls of our dimension are breaking it’s bad for everyone that includes Faerie,” Ebenezer spoke in the firm voice he’d always used when he’d been giving Harry a lecture.
“Yeah, but that doesn’t me they have to help us when they’re helping themselves. They’re can be selfish that way,” Harry said seriously, “What do you think my next move should be? Wait for Wardens to drop by for a pick up?”
“I doubt the Merlin would to want to pull anyone off the search for the others since this boy is already in the custody of a Warden,” Ebenezar said.
“I’m sure telling him that I have an Outsider in my custody would do wonders at putting him at ease,” It was lace heavily with sarcasm as they both knew that that the Merlin couldn’t stand Harry.
“You should get the boy to Edinburgh, before I have to get past telling him that a Warden
has taken custody of one of Outsiders.”
“See you in Edinburgh, sir,” Harry said hanging up the phone, much more gently than Xander had, but he tried to be as gentle with any technology he didn’t have sights on breaking.
“That didn’t sound like you were getting good news,” Xander said, walking into the room still running a towel over his head. He had just taken one of the shortest, coldest showers of his life but at least he was clean.
“Apparently you weren’t the only one to have come through the gates,” Harry said turning to the one eyed man, “Any ideas?”
“Oh,” Xander said with a small smile, “Sounds like they already sent a rescue party after me.”
“You must have some pretty powerful friends if they managed to follow you into another dimension,” Harry said suspiciously. Xander gave a shrug.
“They’ve been known to do the impossible from time to time,” He said, trying for nonchalance, buffing his nails on the too big t-shirt Dresden had lent him.
“Uh huh,” Dresden quite sure what to say to that, but would most definitely be watching him with an even sharper gaze, “Well, rescue party or not, whoever came after you has the White Council running up the walls.”
“I have no doubt that whoever they sent has that ability. Did they come through the same place I did?” Xander asked, thinking of the snow and spiders.
“I don’t know. They’re having some trouble tracking them through all the magic of Faerie and we only have save passage allow certain paths and Nevernever is a big place.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means, if we go off certain paths then any Fae we run into could take us out to the metaphorical wood shed and no one can say that they violated any form of the agreement we have with the Sidhe courts.”
“Just to be clear, the Sidhe are those spider things?”
“Yes, but not all Sidhe look like spiders”
“Like the whole square rectangle thing,” Xander said waving a hand in the air.
“Exactly, but those spiders were really more like pests as far a Sidhe go,” The Wizard said before continuing on carefully, “Your friends will probably end up running into something much more dangerous if the White Council doesn’t find them first.”
“If those were pests I’m not sure I want to know what you consider threat,” Xander said a little incredulously, “but I bet the rescue party can deal with it. They hunt demons for a living, though can you call it a living if you don’t get paid?”
Harry shrugged, “It’s what I do and look at the nice digs I got. Though I’m not really out hunting for things, they just end up finding me.”
“You’re a demon magnet.” Xander said, more statement than a question, a grin forming on his face.
“Not so much demons,” Dresden’s mouth twisted, “but it seems that every bad guy has to pass through Chicago.”
“Man, your like this dimensions version of me… a taller, scraggily, magical version of me… with two eyes.” Though from the scar that ran down through the wizard eyebrow and continued down onto his cheek, told Xander that the whole two eyes thing was probably a close call.
“Yeah,” Harry said wryly looking Xander up and down, “It is like looking in a mirror, one of those weird wavy ones in the fun houses.”
Xander grinned at the man, shaking his head, “So, where do we go from here? As far as the whole ‘end of the world’ thing goes?”
“I called in. It seems that I need to get you to Edinburgh
“That’s in Scotland right?”………
“I just don’t see why we couldn’t take a plane is all I’m saying,” Xander said as he and Dresden made their way through a distinctly unfriendly looking forest in the Nevernever. He was really not looking forward to the possibility of running into the talking spiders again, or any of their faerie cousins, especially since Dresden had insisted that he make the trip unarmed, with the hope that Xander’s presence wouldn’t agitate the White Council more than necessary.
“The last time I took a plane the navigation system went out and we had to make an emergency landing in a field,” Harry said, “Plus this way we’ll get there in half an hour instead of 6.”
“I think that flight is actually something like ten hours,” Xander said thoughtfully, “Yeah, not having to breath recycled plane air for ten hours pretty much makes up for having to walk through giant-spider infested forests.”
Harry huffed out a small laugh. For an outsider that may or may not be causing the universe to collapse, this kid sure had a sense of humor he could get behind.........AN: sorry, it's taken me soooo long to update. For some reason this chapter just did not want to cooperate with me and more characters just keep popping up. I really didn't mean for this story to be this long. Also, I've decided this is taking place post-Turn Coat, but pre-Changes and if you haven't read Cold Days yet you need to! It's AWESOME!