Title- Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire
Disclaimer- I almost literally own nothing, not to mention BtVS or Anita Blake
Pairing- None as of now
Summary- Buffy jumps through Glory's portal, but her body doesn't pop out the other side. Considered AU after that. Willow takes the logical step of looking for Buffy before attempting to resurrect her. She discovers that the Slayer is alive. The story of Willow searching for her lost friend.
Spoilers- Through season 5 for BtVS and Cerulean Sins for Anita Blake. Be warned that I've since read Incubus Dreams and Danse Macabre. While those books don't necessarily hold true to this work, I may pull references or information from them.
Previously in Chapter 50:
Anita screamed as she came, feeling both men moving in tandem within her. The ardeur was more than satisfied. This was more than feeding a hunger. The muscles in Anita's back spasmed sharply and she arched up, another scream rising in her throat-
Pleasure instantly died when she felt Asher go still behind her. It was the stillness of death and the disturbing sensation was accompanied by a fleeting rush of energy that prickled along senses attuned to necromantic power. Instinctively her power reached out to Asher and found...nothing.
It was night, well before sunrise, and Asher was a lifeless corpse, his member cooling inside her.
All of this happened within the span of a moment. It took another second or so to realize that Asher was dead.
Like some sort of caged beast, Anita paced the bed chamber. Her small, nude frame was not physically imposing, but the thundering pulse of cool necromantic energy pouring from within her was disturbing in its intensity. Unbeknowst to the Necromancer, she was literally wearing a rut in reality, imprinting herself on Creation with her energy in much the same manner as her tiny bare feet seemed to be doing to the thick black rug beneath her.
Lying prone on the bed Anita had so recently occupied with her vampiric lovers was the still recovering form of Asher, his lovely flesh -marred by holy water scars or palely perfect, it mattered not to her- only now regaining some semblance of color beyond the corpse gray tone it had acquired nearly half an hour earlier. The moment had been perfect, their union complete, and then Asher was dead. Anita knew death more intimately than she was comfortable with. Death was a part of nearly every aspect of her life, whether she was animating a corpse, destroying a rogue vampire, or tasting the stiffening flesh of one of her vampire companions as it grew within her mouth.
Beyond these, however, was her Power, her Necromancy. Anita's metaphysical domain was Death. Asher had been dead! Dead!
With tears once again threatening to spill down her face, the Executioner spun around with a savage cry and smashed her fist into the worked stone wall of Jean Claude's daylight resting place. The pain came immediately. Despite the changes she'd undergone recently, some of which made her more or less than human depending on your viewpoint, Anita was still a flesh and blood creature, one with very real physical limitations. Bones crunched, agony flashed up her arm and down her spine, but the stone cracked in a fine mesh of spider web-like cracks that expanded from her target impressively.
"Ma petite!" Jean Claude crossed the room in a flash of vampiric speed, restraining his love before she could further damage herself. "Stop this at once, Anita," the vampire growled, uncharacteristically using her name. "Asher lives, at least so much as any of my kind may."
An animalistic sound came from Anita's throat as the vampire cradled her to his bare chest. Not at all human, it sounded like a great cat whose ire had been raised to fatal levels. It sounded like a leopard.
"I felt him die, Jean Claude!" Anita struggle against him briefly, oblivous to the myriad signals of pain her damaged hand was sending to her brain. It was a token effort, though, and she settled down within moments. "I felt it happen. He was inside me and then he was dead!"
"Yes, Ma Petite, yes." Jean Claude confirmed as he softly stroked his distraught human servant's hair. "Asher is powerful, a Master vampire of great ability. Nonetheless, he shared a bond with Belle Morte. She did not make his heart beat, nor did her power raise him from his daylight slumber, but he was of her, a creature of her power. Vampires of all Bloodlines, Belle Morte's moreso than others, share a primal connection with the progenitor of the line.
"Belle Morte is no more," the vampire continued, his eyes now dimly lit with sparks of blue fire. "I felt her slip away, but unlike Asher, I an now my own Bloodline. My ties to Belle Morte were vestigial at best. Asher and others like him, Masters of Belle Morte's Bloodline, have taken up the burden of sustaining Belle Morte's creatures." Asher had fed deeply from three of the lycanthropes who served at Circus, nearly tearing the throat from the first before his mind reasserted itself. Jean Claude was thankful he had not awakened with Anita within reach. "Our dear Asher's essence was torn from him, a portion of it drawn to any number of Belle's vampires. Now it his is power that they depend upon. As his vampires feed and recover from the trauma of losing Belle Morte, Asher too will recover.
"Within weeks, Asher will return to his full strength. In the meantime, Ma Petite, we must prepare lodging and arrange food for the vampires who will soon feel compelled to seek out Asher, their new Master."
Explanations over with for the moment and Asher out of any apparent danger, Jean Claude led a strangely subdued Anita away for medical attention.
Willow was feeling decidely peeved and quite groggy as her telephone's incessant ringing tore her from a rather pleasant Tara dream. Would it really be so bad if she turned the caller into a frog? The witch groaned and pushed that happy little thought right out of her head, instead reaching for the phone.
*Hello?* Willow croaked. How could her voice sound so ragged when she'd only been asleep for -a quick glance at the nearby alarm clock- a little less than an hour? Who in their right mind would be calling her at the ungodly hour of Noon?
*Willow, did I wake you?* Zerbrowski sounded entirely too cheerful for his own good, especially considering that he was more than likely calling from a gruesome crime scene. Then again, he'd probably gotten a full night's sleep. He probably wasnt' sexually frustrated, homesick, or planning to single-handedly destroy the Vampire Council, either.
Sighing, the witch willed herself not to be harsh with the friendly detective. Afterall, she was responsible for all the crap she was currently having to deal with at the moment. No use taking it out on others. *Yeah, pretty much. What's the matter? More police stuff?" Currently, 'police stuff' translated into her efforts in assisting RPIT bring to justice the warlock who'd created the memory eating rings.
*Police stuff, I'm afraid. Our boy seems to have escalated big time.*
*We've got a family of five that appears to have been ritually sacrificed and security camera footage showing our warlock entering the apartment complex only minutes earlier.*
Willow didn't bother to dress as she got directions from Zerbrowski, instead transmuting her pajamas into a reasonable fascimile of the outfit she'd worn the night before on her zombie raising rounds.
Author's Notes: Well, this is my first new chapter for this fic in over two years and it's shorter than I'd like. I apologize for the stupidly long delay. It always annoys me when a fic that I enjoy cuts off midway through. I don't have any room to talk about other authors who do this, since I obviously make a habit of it myself. You all know how real life is, I hope. I won't make any promises, but I'll try to make regular updates as my muse allows.