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Ma Chaton

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Summary: A response to Jinni's five song challenge- Asher is sent by the council to investigate reports of military activity near the Hellmouth

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Willow-Centered > Pairing: AsherdulcineaFR1855165,32913100123,5132 May 043 Sep 06Yes

Under Pressure - 12

~Angel’s Mansion, Friday, 6:00 p.m.~

Asher had been speaking to his sourdre de sang for almost an hour already and was getting the feeling that she was ready to end the conversation. “There is just one more thing I think you should know.”

“Oh?” Belle Morte sounded elegantly bored.

“El Lobo is dead.”

“What!” Asher hadn’t expected such a strong response.

“He is nothing but a pile of bones. I would send them to you, but his dogs have carried him off and buried him in the forest.”

“This is not a joking manner!”

“I was not joking.”

“Mon Dieu, how could this happen? Was it the soldiers’ weapons?”

“No. He challenged me.” Asher was suddenly faced with one of the toughest decisions of his unlife. Did he tell the truth, as his sire always required of him, or did he just this once lie to save his pride and Willow’s reputation. If it was just a matter of his pride, he would admit that he was not the one to best the wolf, but if anyone were to find out Willow’s role in the vampire’s demise… “I did what I had to do.”

“I suppose you did.”

“If you would like, I can find the bones.” He offered lamely.

“No, that will not be necessary.”

“What would you have of me?”

“If you remain on the Hellmouth, especially after the soldiers are done for and El Lobo has been destroyed, it will appear that you are trying to hold the portal on my behalf.”

“I do not think your childer could support such allegations.”

“If you had just let him succeed, no one else would have noticed. We could have held la bouche de l'enfer.”

“If he had succeeded, Padma would have the Hellmouth.”

“Perhaps.” The queen admitted. “But now, you certainly can not stay there.”

“But what about Monsieur William?” Asher feebly offered. He could not say what he truly wanted to say, which was “What about Willow? What about ma chaton? What about my darling?” No, that must never be said.

“You must leave. Go to Monsieur Angel’s house in Los Angeles. He owes you his hospitality and it will give you more time to train him with or without his permission.”

Left without any argument, Asher reluctantly agreed. Sensing the conversation was at an end, Asher muttered his farewells and hung up.

“Tough chit, isn’t she?” Spike said from the door.

“You were listening in.” Asher sighed.

“Rather hard not to.” Spike answered. “If it makes any difference to you, Angel just offered to let me crash at his place, at least until things get settled, whatever that means. You could tag along.”

“Indeed.” Spike could see the shadows begin to darken around the older vampire. Evidently the Hyperion would be one big broodfest.

“By the way, the reason I came in here was to let you know you have a visitor waiting in the living room.”


“Does that mean you want me to tell her to go away?” Spike smirked.

“No, no! I’ll be right out.” Asher shook his hair in front of his scars. If he were an average
man, he would have stormed down the halls towards the living room, but his vampiric grace made it seem more like gliding.

“Ma chaton!” He greeted the redhead on the sofa.

“Hi, I hope it’s okay that I stopped by.”

“I was going to call on you this evening.” He sat down right next to her, and held her hand.


“Yes, yes, of course.”


“So how is everyone?”

“They’re fine. I mean, everyone’s tired. We were brewing potions until two, and I think my hands will smell like witch hazel for the rest of the week, but we’re going to be alright.”

“That’s good.” Asher nodded absently. “I have something I’ve got to tell you.”

“Me too. I have something to tell you.”

“Ladies first.” Asher offered.

“Oh. Okay.” Willow bit her lip, and Asher couldn’t help but find it endearing. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about things, us things.”


“Part of me thinks, this’ll never work. You’re a vampire; I’m not. It’ll just be a Buffy-Angel thing all over. But then part of me thinks, well, maybe that’s what love is. Love is daring you to care about people you normally wouldn’t. Maybe I’m just a chicken to give up on love so fast. Part of me thinks I’m deluding myself. Love is just an old fashioned word, and what I really mean is lust. I lust you, oh boy do I lust you, but is it love, or is it Stockholm syndrome? And if it is love, would I ever be able to trust that it was true and not Stockholm syndrome? And part of me thinks that I spend too much of my life worrying about how things aren’t going to work, without just letting them do their own thing, and what if it turns out that my worrying drives you nuts? I mean its one thing to worry when there’s a government conspiracy out to get you, it’s another thing if it’s just a Tuesday. You know? And part of me…”

Asher put a finger on Willow’s lips. “Shh. Perhaps I should say what I have to say.” He smiled at her embarrassed blushing. “Ma chaton. I love you very dearly, and for as long as I live, you will stand out as one of the most brave, intelligent, and beautiful women I have ever met.” He kissed her gently on the cheek, letting his scars scratch across her face. “That being said, I must leave you here. The Council knows of El Lobo’s demise, and there will surely be retribution. I have told them it was by my hand. If I remain here with you, they will find you and make you suffer for my sins. I am going to Los Angeles, with Monsieurs Angel and Spike, until this blows over.”

“But Asher…”

“I will always be available if you wish to find me, but I must insist that we part now, while the danger is eminent. It would be unfair of me to expect you to wait for me, for vengeance is a long lived business among my kind.”

“You’re breaking up with me?” Willow sniffed.

“Not because I want to, but because I have to.”

“Oh god, you must think I’m…” She broke into tears.

He held her as she cried, hating himself for doing what was necessarily. “I think you’re beautiful. Since the moments I laid eyes on you, sitting up in that tree by moonlight, I have thought you beautiful. But you are a living beauty, and I can not bring you into the death that awaits me.”

Eventually, she leaned back and wiped her eyes. “You know, Buffy’s going to want to hurt you after this.” She nervously joked.

“Perhaps she will have pity, and send Monsieur Xander after me instead.”

“Hey, don’t underestimate Xander.”

“I am not. I am merely thinking that if I am destined to pay for the slight I am offering you, my pride would feel much better being taken down by a fellow gentleman.”

“You better believe it.” Willow tried to smile.

“You are a wonderful woman, Willow, and I am just one star amongst an entire galaxy. You will find your own sun one day, and when that day comes, I expect to hear from you.” He helped her to her feet, then handed her a slip of paper. “This is the number you can reach me at.”

“Alright.” Willow wiped her eyes one more time, then reached for her new crutches. “Well, I better be getting back. I’m really behind on my homework, what with, being kidnapped and all.”

“Well then I musn’t keep you from your studies.”

Willow hobbled to the door before turning back one last time. “Asher?”

“Yes, ma chaton?”

“I just wanted to say thanks. This is the best kidnapping experience I’ve ever had, and I just wanted you to know, that if I ever get kidnapped by vampires again, I hope they’re as nice as you.”

“Of course.” Asher nodded, not quite sure what to say to the young girl. He watched as she walked down the driveway with a steady step-swish-thunk.

“Poor girl.” Spike muttered from the stairwell he had been watching from.

“She’ll be fine. Those girls always bounce back.” Angel offered, seeing the broken look on Asher’s face.

“Yes they do.” Asher admitted.

“So, time to hit the road?” Spike jumped up. “I call shot gun!”

~ The Initiative Rubble, Friday, 11:59 p.m.~

As the temperature finally cooled down, out of the embers of the Initiative remains, a cement column shifted. A passerby might have mistaken it for settling, but then a few more cement piles moved. A hand shot up through the debris. “Mother? Mother, where are you?”

~ The End~

Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure
That burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets

It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming get me out!
Pray tomorrow takes me higher
Pressure on people
People on streets

Chippin' around
kick my brains round the floor
These are the days
It never rains but it pours

People on streets
Dee da dee da day
People on streets

It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming let me out!
Pray tomorrow takes me high high higher

Turned away from it all
Like the blind man
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love
But it's so slashed and torn
Why why why?

(Love, love, love, love)

Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can't we give love that one more chance?
Why can't we give love give love give love?
Give love give love give love give love give love give love?
Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care
For the people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way
Of caring about ourselves

This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under Pressure
Under Pressure

The End

You have reached the end of "Ma Chaton". This story is complete.

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