Disclaimer: Don’t own any of this, except the sleep-deprivation, musical stuck in my head inspiration that brought the two together.
Author’s note: Consider this my apology on being lapse in updating my various stories. Also, and explanation. Stage managing has a tendency to eat your soul.
The Luckiest Little Slayer
by Casix Thistlebane
“Anya?” Xander folded back the sheet on the full-sized bed. His blue satin pajamas were tucked safely into the back of the drawer, and he was dressed in his more customary boxers and undershirt. Anya seldom wore anything to bed. He let his eyes linger for a moment on her thighs, then turned his attention back to getting ready for bed.
“Are my eyes really beady?” Xander felt his brows draw together, and fought against it. It was a stupid thing to worry about really, there was no way his eyes were–
“Kinda, yeah. But not really.” She shrugged. “It rhymed.”
“Yeah.” Xander felt a pang of remorse. He had no idea the spell would go that wrong that fast.
“Hey.” Anya put a hand on his shoulder as they both leaned back in bed. “Relax. Yeah, it was pretty dumb calling up Mr. Twinkle-Toes, but it’s not like Buffy’s the first slayer to deal with Sweet.”
“Nah.” A small smile graced her face, and Xander knew she was thinking back to her past as a vengeance demon. “I mean, it was before she was called. She was eleven. Hallie did it, actually.”
“Ah.” Xander blinked. “Who’s Hallie?”
“She’s a vengeance demon. Has a thing for protecting kids. It was back in the thirties, in the depression, and let me tell you, they called it the depression for a reason. I understand it so much better now, all that angst over no money. . . .”
“Anya, honey, the slayer?”
“Right. She was an orphan, you see, and what she really wished was that everyone could just sing together and be happy, a real positive look at the future. Kind of a weenie, actually. Let me tell you, everything changed when she became a slayer.”
“Wait. She called up Sweet? Didn’t she have to, you know, join him as his underworld bride?”
“Well, it was really Hallie who called him up, and vengeance demons are really good at getting around the loop holes. Are you gonna let me tell the story, or not?”
“Sure, hon, sure.”
Grace stole another piece of brie from the silver platter in front of her. She was exhausted, and her glamorous dress, which hadn’t had nearly the affect on Oliver as she would have liked, was wrinkled and slightly sweaty. It had been Annie’s 16th birthday, a big event at the mansion. Usually, Grace loved these festive occasions, they drew Oliver out of his war-mongering business persona and turned him back into the loving man she knew he could be. But tonight. . . .
Tonight Grace and Drake had some important news for Annie, and she didn’t think it would go well.
They just had to keep it all from Oliver. Which would be quite a trick, since Annie and Oliver had been nearly inseparable since he’d adopted her five years before.
At first she and Drake had simply been glad that things went according to plan. They’d located Annie Bennett, gotten her away from that awful Hannigan woman and her brother (half-demons if Grace didn’t miss her guess, and Grace was very good at identifying demons), President Roosevelt’s New Deal seemed to be slowly, but surely lifting the country out of the depression, and the beginnings of Annie’s training, mostly with tennis at the start, to get her strength and dexterity up, had been moving along wonderfully.
She and Drake had just missed a very important detail. They’d never told Annie she was a potential. And tonight they’d just gotten word from the council, the previous slayer was dead. Annie was already showing signs of having been called, waking up most nights with screaming nightmares (keeping those from Oliver had been quite the task), and nearly breaking her racket with a serve yesterday on the tennis courts. Annie was optimistic as ever, a fact which was beginning to grate on Drake’s nerves, judging by how he was wringing his dust cloth.
“We’ll take her out on patrol tonight.”
Drake nodded. He didn’t look up from his dust cloth.
“She’ll be fine. She’ll be great. Annie is just what this world needs, a positive slayer. Not one who’s been bogged down by Council traditions and the world of darkness.”
“Of course, Ms. Farrell. You’re right.” Drake stood. “Shall we go retrieve her from her friends?”
Grace nodded. Almost all of the girls from the orphanage had been adopted now, since Annie had convinced Oliver to use his ample influence to find them families, and the girls would be staying up late, playing dress up in Annie’s enormous wardrobe and basically being normal teenaged girls.
Annie would never be a normal teenaged girl again.
“Well, let’s go fetch her.”
Annie was excited about getting to go out into the city late at night. Oliver almost never let her wander about alone, not since he’d noticed her hanging out with the bums in Central Park, giving them wads of his hard earned cash. But with his trusted secretary and butler, he seemed to think she would be safe. Grace swallowed another lump of cheese as they waved their goodbyes to the tycoon and headed out along fifth avenue. If only he knew.
“Annie,” Drake began. “There’s something very important that Miss Farrell and I need to tell you.”
“Okay, Drake.” Annie carried herself proudly, she always had, but since Oliver had gotten her a charm tutor, she walked like she owned the world.
“This is serious, Annie.”
Annie’s face suddenly became pale. “Oh no, Drake, what is it?”
God that child was so naive. Grace hated to ruin it.
“It’s. . . about vampires, Annie.”
She stopped walking, right on the corner of the street. “Vampires. Like the ones I’ve been dreaming about?”
That was all Annie said as Drake launched into his speech about the world being older than anyone knew, about the Chosen One and Annie’s new duties. “Do you understand, Annie?”
“I think so. Am I one of these ‘slayers’?”
“You are the Slayer, Annie. The one girl in all the world.”
Grace nodded, handing her a carefully carved stake. “It’s your responsibility to keep New York safe from them, Annie. There are a few ways to kill them: shove this through their hearts, and they crumble to dust. They can also be burned, or beheaded.”
Annie nodded, her face a stern look of concentration Grace usually only saw when Oliver was giving her business lessons.
“And then there’s sunlight.”
“That’s right, vampires can never walk in the sun. If they do, they’ll burn.”
Annie sighed. “Okay, Miss Farrell–Grace. I’ll do it.”
“That’s the spirit, Annie.” Drake patted her on the back. “We know you can do it.”
“Wait a minute. You’re telling me that this Annie kid was adopted by some millionaire,”
“BILLIONAIRE, in the midst of the depression, so that the council could keep an eye on her?”
“Both Drake and Grace Farrell were part of the council’s employ. They knew that Annie would need a lot of money to back her up if they were called, so they manipulated events so that she would be adopted.”
“And she accepted her duty. Just like that.”
Xander rolled his eyes. “I don’t believe it. It’s almost sickening.”
“Well, most things about Annie usually were.” Anya lay back in her bed. Then she laughed.
“Nothing, just thinking about what she used to say every time they stopped an apocalypse.”
Xander lifted his eyebrows. “I’ll give, what?”
“The sun will come out tomorrow.”
Something in Xander’s brain clicked. A memory of a show the Rosenbergs had taken him, Jesse, and Willow to when they were in elementary school. “Wait, like the song?”
“That musical is that old?”
“Where do you think they got the idea? Hallie’s still collecting royalties on it.”
“You’re kidding me.”
“Nope. Warbucks was pretty broken up when she was finally killed. They say he lost his whole fortune trying to pay the FBI to track down the killers. They didn’t, of course,”
Xander smirked into the darkness. “Well I’ll be. Little Orphan Annie, the Vampire Slayer.”