For: CameronIllyria and Spike are on their way through St. Louis, and stop by for Spike to see old friends, and play the politics game. Everyone ends up with surpises. I made Spike a little older so I could toss in some history between Asher/Jc and him
I own nothing and no one, just the plot. :)
It was nighttime in St.Louis, one dark alley that should have been empty bustled with activity and noise. Anyone close enough to listen would have heard the noises of fighting. The noises stopped, and after a moment the slight woosh of a sword being swung hissed through the air, there was a small thump, almost as if something had lost a body part, then there was a larger thump, as if the lost body part had been very important. A second passed and a listener, if having moved by curosity to hear what was going on in the alley better would have heard a sigh of disgust.
"It has not turned to ash." A cold voice stated in the alley. "Why has it not turned to ash?" This was followed by the sound of a foot hitting a sack of clothes, or perhaps a body.
"Not all vamps turn to dust when you kill them Blue." Spoke a rough british voice, soothingly. "Theres different types."
"This is unsatisfactory." The first voice said coldly, although it now sounded annoyed. The sound of a sword striking something hissed through the air. "I wish for it to turn to ash." The sword moved again, this time hitting with a dull crack that was the sound of a bone being broken.
"It won't turn to ash if you keep beating on it." Came the british voice. "More like mush."
"Mush could be satisfactory." The cold voice said, a hint of a sneer in its depths.
"Well, we haven't got time for mush." The British voice held a hint of a snicker.
"Are you certain of this? There is no time for mush?" Asked the cold voice somewhat curiously.
"We have to go and annouce our prescence to the master of the city. Politics and all that." This was followed by a sigh. "Bloody politics."
"These politics, they are annoying." Said the cold voice.
"You've got that right Blue. Lets get out of here." And two sets of footsteps moved away from the listener. By the time the listener got the nerve to peek into the alley to appease their curiousity, the only thing left behind was a headless body, battered and bloody, and some feet from it, the missing head.
They stood out in the strip club. Not as if they were two sore thumbs, but as if they held themsleves as being better than everyone around them. They moved through the crowd warily, headed for the bar. there was something about them that screamed 'different' and they were noticed.
As Jason wandered off to find Jean Claude, Anita and Nathaniel watched the two at the bar.
"She has blue hair." Nathaniel said quietly.
"Shes not the first person to come in here with blue hair Nathaniel." Anita said wearily, it had been a long night for her.
"She has blue skin, and eyes and hair. My beast is attracted to her." Nathaniel said softly, as if that was supposed to explain everything. Anitas eyebrows rose.
"Attracted how?" She asked softly, pulling her own beast upwards to investigate this woman. Anitas beast rose like a kitten pulled from sleep, curious, but taking its own time to strech and rub the sleep from its eyes.
"She is different." Nathaniel said quickly. "Old and immense to my beast, but not evil, not good, just there. Different, I have never felt anything like her before." Anita closed her eyes and sent her beast for a prowl through the strip club. The cat moved through the crowd, taking a moment to rub against the shifters inside the club, sniffing delicately at their beasts. The cat tentatively prowled around the woman and the man at the bar. The hairs on Anitas arms rose, and a shiver went up her back.
"Fuck." Anita said softly, "I don't know what the hell she is." Anita reigned in her beast,
and it complied, curling back up inside her as if she'd never disturbed it. "The man with her is a vampire. Maybe 300 years old." Anita shook her head for a moment. "I think she might be a necromancer."
"A necromancer ma petite?" Came the whisper of Jean Claudes voice next to her shoulder. Anita jumped and slapped at him.
"Sneaking up on me will get you shot." She snapped. Jean Claude smiled at her and shook his head.
"You will not shoot me." He purred, "now this pair that has you and Nathaniel so excited." Jean Claude took a moment to look around the club, and then smiled. "The blond man at the bar with the.." His voice trailed off. "The woman with blue hair, who is not a necromancer." He finished coldly. Jean Claude turned to Jason, "Tell him that I will meet with him and his.. freind in my office, and then bring them in." Jean Claude held his hand out to Anita and drew her to her feet.
"I get the feeling that this will be interesting." Antia said wrly. Jean Claude nodded, eyes distant, and they moved off towards his office, Nathaniel trailing along behind.
Spike followed the werewolf towards the back offices, a wry smirk on his face. Illyria followed him stiffly, her eyes constantly moving. They paused at the office door, as the werewolf announced their prescence. They stepped into a lavishly funished room, occupied by three people. Jean Claude rose as they entered, holding his hands out to Spike.
"William," He purred, eyes sparkling. "It has been far to long."
"JC." Spike said, taking the hands and allowing himself to be pulled forwards for a quick embrace. "I heard you had set yourself up as master."
"I heard you were in Sunnydale?" Jean Claude made it a question, not a statement. Spike nodded and stepped back, holding his hand out to Illyria. "Ah your companion.." Jean Claude smiled icily at Spike, "Who is something I have never encountered before."
Anita blinked, as she had been doing since Jean Claude rose to greet these people. Jean Claude knew the man, but didn't even know what the woman was. She followed their link and found is humming with curiosity, and a sad sense of loss.
"This is Illyria." Spike said simply, passing Illyrias hand to Jean Claude. Jean Claude bowed low and kissed her hand, and the sense of curiosity grew.
"An interesting name." Jean Claude said smoothly, and Anita smiled to see the womans forehead wrinkle with a frown, for once, Anita wasn't annoying the newcomers. "Not one to be claimed lightly." Jean Claude went on, looking straight into the womans eyes. Anita was aware of the world swirling for a moment as Illryia and Jean Claudes eyes met. She blinked and realised that the feeling was coming from Jean Claude, who was trying to roll the woman with his eyes, and failing utterly. "I must ask, exactly what are you?" Jean Claude said after a moment, moving his eyes to rest on Spike, who was grinning cheerfully
"There will be time for that mate." Spike smirked, and raised a meaningful eyebrow in Anitas direction. Jean Claude released Illyrias hand and froze for a moment into an utter stillness. When he moved again, Anita released a breath she didn't know she'd been holding. Jean Claude reached for Anita in a practiced movement as she stood and reached to take his hand in what was a sweepingly graceful movement. Spike grinned at both of them.
"My human servent, Anita Blake." Jean Claude said, then waved at Nathaniel. "Our pomme de sang, Nathanial."
"Anita Blake." Illyria said, tilting her head to the side as she staired at Anita. "We have heard stories of you." The gaze reminded Anita of the look a snake gave to its prey, it was cold and alien and utterly unhuman. "The vampire executioner." Anita nodded and sat back down, as the gaze passed to Nathaniel and grew more calculating. "You do not look like an apple." Illyria stated, "Why would they call you an apple?" Jean Claude raised a single elegant eyebrow at Spike.
"Its a title Blue." Spike explained quickly, "like they call Anita the vampire executioner."
"What does one do to have the title of Apple?" Illyria asked curiously, moving closer to examine Nathaniel, who was blushing and regarding her curiously.Illyria blinked, and reached out quickly lying her hand on Nathaniels cheek. Anita jumped, and Jean Claude blinked. They han't seen Illyria move. "You are a cat?" Illyria asked Nathaniel, rubbing his cheek gently. Anita fought the urge to growl as Nathaniels eyes closed in pleasure.
"Nathaniel is a wereleopard." Jean Claude said smoothly. "Now as for what you are, madam." He placed a hand on Illyrias shoulder and gently eased her away from Nathaniel, shooting Anita a quelling look. "I belive we are due an explanation. Then I would like to know what brings you to our fair city." The last was directed to Spike. But Illyria decided to give why they were here first.
"Angel died." Illyria stated baldly, her voice a cold mixture of emotions. "They were warriors, and they died in battle. Only we remained, and left." The link between Jean Claude and Anita rang with a bitter sorrow. "We must find a place to settle." Illyria stopped then, noting Jean Claudes tense stature and closed eyes. "I am sorry." She said, her voice tense. "I did not think before I spoke." Illyria looked at Spike. "I am not used to..." Her voice trailed off as she looked for a word.
"The term is tact, Blue." Spike said gently, and Illyria nodded. "You are getting better."
"The shell was better at this than I am." Illyria said, and Anita blinked, it sounded like an odd form of an apology.
"I think that I will send for Asher." Jean Claude said tightly and moved to the door. "The explanations can wait. Would either of you like a drink?"
"Jack Daniels, no ice." Spike said, and lead Illyria to a seat. "And water for Blue here."
"I do not require anything." Illyria stated. She shot Spike a look and then shook her head. "But I would like a glass of water." She sat gracefully, and looked around the room for a moment, then her eyes landed on Nathaniel and she settled further into her chair, studying him. Jean Claude spoke to someone in the hall, and within moments drinks were brought in by a smirking Jason. They were followed by Asher, who fell on Spike with a smile. Anita found herself blushing as the two shared what could only be termed as a hot kiss. A feeling of lust and loss echoed down the link from Jean Claude and Anita realised that once upon a time, William had shared something with both Asher and Jean Claude. Illyria studied the newcomer curiously. Asher turned his head so that she would not see his scars, and the womans strange blue eyes seemed to flash silver for a moment.
"You bear the marks of a warrior." Illyria said softly, and Anita smiled, for all the woman claimed she had a lack of tact, she certainly had found some to use now. "They are not to be ashamed of." Illyria waved at hand at Anita's scars, "The executioner is not ashamed of her scars. I am not ashamed of mine." Jason rejoined them and sprawled on the floor, smiling up at Illyria.
"Time for explanations huh?." Spike asked, looking at Asher and Jean Claude. "Illyria here is an old one. A monarch and warrior of the demon ages. She was murdered and set adrift in the deeper well. She was supposed to sleep forever."
"Shes a demon?" Anita asked, giving Illyria another long look.
"She was still worshiped." Spike said softly, "One of her worshippers arranged for things to happen so that Illyria could be reborn. He chose a friend.." Spike voice trailed off. "A friend to serve as the shell."
"Her name was Winifred Burkle." Illyria annouced, cutting Spike off. "But it should not have happened at all. My kindom is long dead," her cold voice filled with sorrow and loss. "My armies are destroyed. I do not belong here." She paused and looked at Nathaniel, eyes soft. "They should have left me sleeping."
"And you let her live?" Jean Claude asked Spike. "She killed your friend, and you let her live."
"It wasn't her choice." Spike said, voice soft and angry. "Shes lost, and she needed something. We couldn't just kill her for something she had no control over."
"You can't bring your friend back?" Anita asked, eyeing Illryia speculativly.
"Winifred Burkle is no more." Illyria said gently. "Her soul was consumed as I was reborn." Nathaniel blinked at Illyria and the odd mixture of sorrow and contempt in her voice.
"You don't sound very sad." Jason said from his place on the floor.
"Emotions are hard." Illyria said. "Like politics and tact, I find them a nuiscence. At first they offended me, their grief was offal in my mouth." She blinked, waving at Spike. "I went to my temple and it was destroyed, my world was lost and I was as nothing. Loss and greif are hard emotions to bear. They were all I knew."
"Illryia is learning." Spike interrupted, sipping at his Jack Daniels. "Learning how to cope with the world as it is now."
"We have much to dicsuss." Jean Claude said calmly. "Anita, Asher, William and I will go to my other office." He shot Nathaniel and Jason a hard look. "You will stay here and keep Illyria company." Jean Claude Asher and William were half way out the door when Anita rose. She shot Illyria a curious look, and then followed them. As the door shut behind her, Nathaniel moved to join Jason on the floor, both of them moving to curl at Illyrias feet.
"It is so very different?" Nathaniel asked, at the same time that Jason inquired. "So what are you anyways?"
"It is like the sparrow." Illyria said, cold voice infused slightly with amusement. "The sparrow that flies all of its life in the darkness, then suddenly flies through a room full of light and warmth and people talking, and before it can take it all in, it has passed through the room and into more darkness. The sparrow can only fly on in the dark, with the memories of the light and the warmth and the sounds fading with each movement of wings." Nathaniel made a small purring noise in the back of his throat, but Jason looked perplexed.
"So your a demon bird?" He inquired politely after a moment. Illyria blinked and tilted her head to the side to look at him.
"You ask this in seriousness?" She asked just as politely.
"I think I'm confused." Jason replied, throwing an arm over his face dramatically and falling to lie on the floor. Illyria turned her gaze to Nathaniel.
"Why is your hair so long?" Illyria asked, running her fingers along the side of his cheek. Nathaniel began purring loudly. "Why do you make this noise?" Illyria asked him, continueing to pet his face. Jason moved his arm a slight inch from his face so that he could see better. "It is a pleasant sound." Illyria said after a short moment. "You may continue to make it." Jason began to snicker, and when no one spoke to him, he slipped quietly off the floor and left the room.
"She thinks shes a sparrow." Jason annouced to Anita who stood in the hallway with Jean Claude.
"I'm sorry, what?" Anita asked, turning to face the werewolf.
"I asked her what she was, and she went on this big rant on how it was like the sparrow, flying in the dark." Jason said, eyes perplexed.
"I think she was talking about something else." Anita said, turning back to Jean Claude. "He said they killed a vampire on the outskirts of town."
"It was justifiable." Jean Claude purred, "he attacked them. From the sounds of it, he was a rouge."
"Spike said Illryia beheaded it, but she doesn't have a sword." Anita thought of the skin tight red, blue and black outfit the woman had on. "Theres no way she had a sword hidden in that outfit."
"Thats because its under Spike coat." Jean Claude said, running his hand over Anitas chin. "She disturbs you this much ma petite?"
"Shes completely alien." Anita tried to explain, "But somehow not. She reeks of death magic, and my beast reacts to her, is almost intrigued by her. Shes a demon, but she looks perfectly normal once you get past the blueness, but theres very little about her that is human."
"And you want to know more?" Jean Claude asked, waving Jason away. Anita nodded, almost blushing.
"Its just so fascinating." Anita said, then blinked, "But dangerous. I keep almost forgetting that. Shes a demon, and i just want to pull her into a corner and ask about how she was reborn, find out if there are anymore like her. Find her weakness, their weaknesses."
A door further down the hallway opened and Asher and Spike emerged, lips almost swollen, both with messed up hair. Jean Claude went horribly still for a moment and Anita bit her lip, his hunger to join the couple was almost palatable. Spike leered at Jean Claude, and winked at Anita. Jean Claude said nothing, only turned and entered the office. Anita followed and the two of them froze in their tracks.
Illyria and Nathaniel were sprawled on the floor, Nathaniels head pressed into the womans neck as she nibbled on his ear. His hands were tangled in her hair, and her hands were laced loosly at the back of his neck. Anita bit her lip, fighting the urge to leap past Jean Claude and drag Nathaniel away from the woman. Nathaniel was purring, loudly, and after a moment the pair of the floor froze. Nathaniel left his face buried in Illyrias neck. She turned to look at the group in the doorway, her eyes coldly slipped over face after face until they came to rest on Spikes.
"I would like to stay here." Illyria said arrogantly. "You know the people here. We should stay." She ran one hand down Nathaniels back to rest on his hip. "Nathaniel has promised." Illyria stated, then stopped. Her eyes grew warm and for a moment she seemed speechless. "Has promised to teach me how to purr." Illyria stopped, and for a long moment, did nothing but blush. "I would like to stay." She said again, somewhat quietly, moving her gaze to Jean Claude. "Please." She added, even softer.
Anita fought the sudden rising urge to beat her head into the wall. She'd been nagging at Nathaniel to start taking charge of himself, start being the one to make the moves and the decision. He finally takes her advice, and its to offer to teach a demon to purr. And not just any demon, an ages old warrior ruler type. A small giggle rose in her throat and spilled out before she could stop it. The giggle grew and grew until she was laughing breathlessly, leaning on Jean Claude because she couldn't stand on her own anymore. She could see, when she blinked the tears away, that the back of Nathaniels neck was turning a volent red that clashed with his hair. She gasped for breath and fought to calm down and Nathaniel looked up for a moment, meeting her eyes with his violet ones. His were full of emotion, lust, want, but most of all, hope. It killed the laugher, and Anita blinked for a moment, took a deep breath.
"I think they should stay." She said firmly, and smiled at Nathaniel and Illyria.