Fall From Grace
Dark Quckie challenge fic: Fall from Grace
nothing worse than either series.
pairing: Willow/LaCroix #122 in Quickie Challenge list
Quickie Challenge at http://quickie.moonlightpaths.com
disclaimer: I do not own anyone from BtVS or Forever Knight. LaCroix' monolog is quoted from Forever Knight.
distribution: any list-archives submitted to, Twisting the Hellmouth, Quickie Challenge. Anyone else, please ask.
AU after S6 Buffy, some spoilers for 7.
She'd gone back to Sunnydale, hoping to in some way make atonement for her grief crazed foray into evil scary darkness. She'd nearly been slaughtered by a skin eating demon. The only person who'd tried to save her had been Spike. There was some definite irony in the fact that she now owed her life to the vampire who'd tried to kill her and threatened to repeatedly, and her 'friends' had been willing to just let her die.
Sunnydale had been painful, and not just the physical pain from the demon. There was nothing that sent a clearer message of not being wanted than her 'friends' watching an evil demon peeling strips of skin away and eating them while they did absolutely nothing.
With that clear expression of just how things stood, she'd seen no reason to stay. She'd offered apologies which had fallen into stony silence. She'd refrained from doing anything magical in front of them, but they'd still watched her, eyes filled with distrust, suspicion, and fear.
So, she'd given SPike her thanks for saving her life, which he'd accepted awkwardly, with a muttered 'don't go spreading that around... ruin my reputation.' She'd given him her cell phone number, saying that if he needed anyone to talk to, just give her a call. She'd told him that she had 'returned, saw, and decided it wasn't worth hanging around'.
She'd set off on a rambling tour of the pacific northwest, visiting places that she'd never seen. Small towns that reminded her of the way Sunnydale had pretended to be, small cities, even larger cities. She felt like she was looking for something, searching for some quest. Maybe she was trying to find herself, or return to her inner balance. It didn't really matter... she didn't have anywhere that she had to be, so it didn't matter if she kept traveling around.
Today, she'd arrived in Toronto, lured by the appeal of some of the history and architecture. Her parents had been there once, and she could remember spending hours looking at their pictures from the trip. Now, she was the one here, and she intended to take the opportunity to see things and places. To enjoy her time here, for however long it lasted.
She had been out late, looking through small stores, meandering through rows of clothing and accessories, attempting to remind herself of how normal people lived. People who's one time friends didn't hate them, people who'd never tried to end the world. She'd ended up buying a delicate silver ring with a pale green stone, simply because it was pretty. Now, she was walking back to the hotel where she'd was staying. Night had come, sliding in without fanfare, leaving the sky clouded and the streets masked in shadows.
There wasn't the same feel to the night as there was in Sunnydale. Toronto's night felt full of secrets and the swarming lives of thousands of people, a welcome contrast to Sunnydale, where the night carried the feeling of fear and evil. Toronto's night felt almost alive, with the muffled sounds of life continuing on, heedless of the light or dark.
She'd decided to stop at a little club, feeling the need to be reminded of how people had fun. The first one that she came to was called the Raven, and she made her way inside. It was dark, and a bit gothic, and put off a strange feeling that crawled over her skin. But there were people here, dancing and drinking and having fun. She made her way over to the bar, getting a cup of coffee and finding an almost quiet spot to occupy, watching the people.
There was a radio playing for the bar area, some local station with a late night talk show. The man's voice curled around her like chilled velvet, and he was commenting on the world today with a dry, razor edged wit. BUt that was alright, rather entertaining to listen to actually. Until he gave a few 'words of wisdom'.
His voice seemed to go a bit deeper, as if he was opening up a bit more of himself over the airwaves. 'What a wonderful thing humanity is, passionate, intelligent, inquisitive, generous, full of hope and joy, noble of spirit and above all.... delicious.'
Willow could feel every hair on her body prickle in what could only be a warning. There was something wrong... something dangerous about or involving that man, the Night Crawler. She had a feeling that he was trouble, dangerous.
She finished her coffee and retreated to her hotel room. Part of her mind knew that she was hiding, hoping that the big scary danger wouldn't find her. But, realistically, why would something or someone in Toronto be searching for her? Nothing would be, and she would only need to worry about coincidence and chance. Surely, she could handle coincidental danger?
It took her most of the day to convince herself that she as being silly. There wasn't a dark, ominous thing searching for her. Nothing stalked Toronto seeking a willowy shaped snack. She had no prophesied danger to face. But she was still a bit uneasy as she walked back from the just closed art gallery, having stayed until they had gently insisted that it was time to close. Once more, the streets were shrouded in darkness. She shivered, not from the temperature, but from a sudden sense of foreboding, as if some big change was looming in her future.
Something made her skin prickle, some un named sense whispering that there was danger here, right behind her. SHe'd learned to listen to that little sense, and turned around slowly, feeling her heartbeat racing. Everything was in extremely sharp detail, and she felt herself aware of every little scent and faint noise. Someone was standing there, someone who radiated a feeling of cold power and age in a manner that eclipsed anyone she'd faced in Sunnydale. This was a vampire... his pale eyes haunted by pain, loss, and something that hovered on the edge of madness.
Willow's bad feeling got a whole lot worse. There was a vampire right there, and he was looking at her. There was something in his expression, a sense of calculation and planning that sent chills down her spine. But the last flickering shred of hope compelled her to make an effort. "I don't suppose I could just go away and forget that I was ever here?"
"Lovely Red, I don't think so. You look so lost, and all alone in this world. Who do you have to turn to? Friends? Family? A lover, perhaps?" He was moving slowly closer to her as he spoke, the same dark velvety voice from the radio show, the Night Crawler.
"And your solution is to take me out of it?" She could hear the slight tremor in her voice, knowing that it came from fear.
There was a blurring that she could almost follow, and he was there, one cold hand gripping her arm above the elbow, the other gently brushing her hair away from her face as he spoke, his voice a low whisper that only she would hear. "No, sweet red. I'm going to change everything for you. You will become my daughter."
She could feel his sharp teeth in her throat, feel her strength being pulled away into this man, this vampire LaCroix. Images flickered through her mind, glimpses of history from all over the world. Rome, Greece, Egypt... the middle ages and trying to teach a handsome you knight named Nicholas... his son Nicholas rejecting him, calling him a monster that had condemned him to darkness... darkness that Nicholas had freely chosen once... the death of Nicholas and his mortal lover... the death of his daughter Jeanette. LaCroix was alone in the world now, his existence a boring shell of pain and loss...
In some ways, it wasn't to different from her own shattered life. But he was starting over, creating a new family to rise from the ashes of this desolation. And he'd chosen her.
Everything had grown dim when she felt him pull away from her throat, and he spoke once more, a single word as he pressed his now bleeding wrist to her lips.
Willow swallowed, hoping that her new family would be better than the old, that this time, she would not be abandoned and alone.
end Fall From Grace.