title: Partners in Chaos
summary: Ethan Rayne is back and making trouble... just not in the place you'd think he would be.
disclaimer: Not mine. Ethan belongs to Whedon. Narcissa belongs to JK Rowling.
challenge: 20 minute Ethan
Being a minion was not what it was cracked up to be. Certainly he worshipped chaos, and this group was all about the chaos, but they were also about killing people for no reason. Ethan didn't like to kill people... just annoy the hell out of them. That's why Ripper was so much fun. He always got suitably annoyed. All this business of Ethan prostrating himself before someone who had no conception of moisturizer was getting a bit taxing. The last few years had not gone well for Ethan. He'd been foiled time and time again by Rupert and his slayer.
He'd heard they were in Italy now.
Perhaps it was time to pay them a visit. He needed to escape this group of mask-toting robe-wearers. Not that he didn't enjoy a good rousing night of dress-up, but you'd think they'd at least vary their masks every so often, have a robe color other than jet black now and again. They were just so... monotonous, but he didn't want to go it alone though. He sensed that the very lovely blonde wife of Lucius Malfoy, one Narcissa Malfoy was getting a bit bored with it as well. Her sister Bellatrix was another story entirely. Bella seemed to get off on being ordered about. Some people just loved to be dominated. Ethan did too... just not outside the bedroom.
"What can possibly have you looking so dire, Rayne?"
"Haven't I asked you to call me Ethan, Mrs. Malfoy?"
"And I believe I asked you to call me Narcissa."
"Very well... Narcissa."
"Thank you... Ethan."
They smiled at one another. He knew how rare this was... this thing she did with him. Smiling and flirting. Like she wasn't the wife of a Death Eater. Like she was an ordinary woman. Yet there wasn't a thing that was ordinary about Narcissa Malfoy, from her not looking her forty years plus to her noxious laugh. All of the woman was extraordinary. She was too much to be pinned to what she had been pinned with in this life. She was greater than the accessory her husband treated her as.
Narcissa motioned to Tom to bring them some drinks. The barkeep of the Leaky Cauldron nodded. In short order there was a bottle of Ogden's between them. For Ethan there was a shot glass, and for Narcissa it was a tumbler with two cubes of ice inside. She liked her firewhiskey cold... another oddity.
"What's troubling you, darling?"
"What makes you think I'm troubled?" Ethan responded as he poured some of the firewhiskey into her tumbler.
"Instinct. A hunch. I pay attention. Stop being coy, and stop avoiding. I won't let it rest until I know, you know." She swirled the liquid in her glass and listened to the ice clink.
Ethan sighed. "Don't you ever get tired of it?" He knocked back the shot he'd just poured himself.
"Tired of it? Can you vague that up for me a bit more, Ethan? I get bored with a great many things, you realize."
"You know what I mean, doll."
"No, I rather think I don't, and even if I did, I think I would prefer to hear you actually say it."
"Fine." He poured himself another, then leaned in close.
Narcissa sipped from her glass and leaned in closer.
"Don't you get tired of following?"
"I don't follow."
"But you do, dear. You follow blindly."
Narcissa snorted. "I meant you are still being vague, you arse. Get to the point."
"Why do you cow to the dark lord? You're better than that."
"I wouldn't call it cowing." She said stiffly. "Besides, what else can I do? What else is available to me?"
"I'm leaving. Come with me?"
"What?" Narcissa sputtered, choking on her firewhiskey. "You can't just leave. No one just leaves... well, not for long anyhow. Do you even know what he does to betrayers?"
"How could he do something when we'd be protected by those who have faced and defeated worse evil?"
Narcissa set her tumbler down. "And now I am intrigued. Do go on."
"We'd disappear and turn the head of the most vicious warrior for the light onto the dark lord's trail. He'd be far too busy trying to deflect her to search for us."
"A vampire slayer, well, THE vampire slayer as far as most of the underworld is concerned."
"A measly little slayer? You think a slayer stands a chance against the dark lord?"
"This one does. She killed a master vampire. She's stopped the world from being sucked into hell. She and her friends prevented an ascension. They brought low a military facility. She defeated a god, was brought back from the dead, and just recently her and her merry band of do-gooders permanently closed the hellmouth in California by defeating an evil known as the First. Compared to what I have heard of the First, Voldemort is a prancing lightweight."
"Shhh. Don't say that so damn loud. You never know where his ears are."
Ethan laid his hand over hers. Narcissa yanked it away.
"You never know where his eyes are either, Ethan. Do watch yourself. We have to be more careful."
"Especially if we are to pull this leaving thing off."
Ethan blinked. "You'll go?"
"Certainly. Sounds fascinating. Giving Lucius apoplexy because I actually left him? Making Draco realize his mother's not the arm ornament he considers me to be? Proving to Bella that I am not like her... at all? Having some bloody little do-gooders fight the battle that will come of our leaving while you and I sit back and watch the fires of destruction? It's brilliant. It will cause so much delicious trouble for all sides. How can I refuse, darling? When do we leave?"
Ethan laughed loudly a knocked back another shot.
"Would you mind if I sent for Draco after we're settled? He'll be graduating soon. He likely won't come, but I do so love my wicked little boy."
"Your son will be most welcome... because he is YOUR son. Perhaps he'll be interested in the surrogate daughter Ripper's been keeping. Lovely little sister to the slayer. Goes by Dawn. That would most annoy Rupert."
"This Rupert or Ripper... it would bother him if my Draco was attracted to this Dawn of his?"
"Well, given a nudge, Draco is excellent at causing trouble."
"I like him already."
"I do hope he's not too angry with me to visit. Then again, we could always just nip back and kidnap him. Wouldn't THAT cause a fuss?"
Ethan laughed again.
She seemed like she liked to stir up trouble just as much as he did. It had been a long time since he'd had another partner in chaos. In fact, the last time he'd gotten on so well with another person who liked to do things just to see what would happen was back in the days when his best friend went by the name Ripper.