Good Mornin Sunshine
A/N: I own neither Buffy or Anita Blake they belong to their creators etc.
A/N: There is still no sign of my computor.
A/N: This chapter is dedicated to my reviewer Zira for inspiring the initial idea for this chapter.
Willow sat in her seat in Guilty Pleasures, she was glad that she couldn’t see just this once. She was sure that if she could she would be blushing even more. Just the sounds of the place and the feelings vibrating off of everyone was enough to make her blush.
She wasn’t comfortable, not one bit, there were far to many different people around her. In the crowds she had trouble picking out each different powerful signature. She was vulnerable.
She was easy pickings in her mind.
She tried to push down the anxiety that was building at the thought. A part of her absently wondered if the Slayers felt something familiar around A.I. and the L.A. gang where their spidy senses would be going off and they would know they were surrounded by so many powerful creatures, but they couldn’t attack or go on the offensive.
“You managed to find the door last night after so many failed attempts ma cherie congratulations are in order. What is it you Americans say so often? If at first you fail repeatedly try stubbornly until it works?” The silken voice gave her new companion away as being Jean Claude.
His voice dipped into darker more dangerous tones she could almost picture him leaning closer towards her while still towering over her as he quietly spoke again “I am surprised to see you have the bravery or the foolishness to return though.”
Willow raised an eyebrow “Surprised? And Dingos ate my babies!” A small stab of pain went through her chest as she retorted and thought of home for a moment. “If I recall what Anita told us I have to be here so that you can keep an eye on me and make sure I am still playing Glenda Good Witch.”
“Ma Petite informed you of her instructions?” Jean Claude sounded slightly surprised though not shocked.
Willow pushed down the smug grin that threatened to fill her face “Nope! But you just did, thanks for confirming that.” Willow flashed Jean Claude a daring grin that seemed more confidant then she felt at that moment.
“You are playing a dangerous game little girl…” Willow’s warning was interrupted as someone sat down at the table.
“Great because you know one vampire wasn’t enough I need a collection of them.” She muttered to herself.
“Mademoiselle, how nice to see you gracing yourself with your presence” Purred the vampire she thought was Asher, the mind violating one.
Willow was torn between a smart mouthed response and an actual greeting. While this vampire had been in her head she got a feeling of pain and it made her curious. “Well I have a bit of a headache; it’s always painful having people force their way inside your brains.” As soon as she said that she felt a bit guilty. She wasn’t mean and snarky and she probably would have done the same to him if their positions had been reversed at one time.
Bad feelings aside he did force his way into her head and she wasn’t going to let him do that again.
Willow sent a small surge of energy towards her mental barriers solidifying them a little more. No one would be getting into the fortress in her head now. As it was the general person would have a hard time understanding it if they tried.
Unlike most people Willow’s fortress wasn’t a physical building, instead it was the programming for an internal fire wall and virus software with an external fire wall as well, a sort of self updating system in computer language that very few people (usually not demons or vampires) could understand.
She felt rather smug about that idea.
Computer nerd to the rescue… and someone was talking to her…
“… get you a drink perhaps?” Asher asked the small witch who did seem lost in her thoughts.
“No! I mean no thank you. I’m just fine with my never ending glass of soda thank you. No drinking for me.” Willow replied and cursed her nerves for showing themselves even momentarily.
“A pity. Jean Claude Monsieur Zeeman is waiting in your office.” And with that Asher disappeared taking Jean Claude with him much to Willow’s relief.
Willow woke up suddenly something was off in her room. In her groggy half asleep state she couldn’t place quite what though. Something was off… in the back of her mind ‘one of these things is not like the other’ started to play as she tried to run through everything that could be wrong.
As she ran through her mental list she started to connect with her mental functioning abilities she was trapped. Oh Goddess she was trapped! Willow sucked in a deep breath of air panicking. Something was on top of her pinning her down.
She had to stay calm, cool and collected. She could get herself out of this. Willow shifted and felt what ever was pressing down on her shift with her. It was around this time that Willow’s brain fully returned to her and she realized that what ever it was that had her pinned down was warm and breathing deeply. Was she sleeping in the wrong bed?
Was she still at Anita’s?
She had to be at Anita’s.
As her panic seemed to heighten the warmth seemed to move closer. With her garbled ability to read people she got a mass pile of life. Praying to the goddess that she was either totally safe (however unlikely) or at the very least not going to disturb her potential captors she tried to murmur a transportation incantation. This was difficult because she couldn’t visualise places… she couldn’t see places.
She could think of people, but did she really want to end up in Anita’s bed? Some how that probably wouldn’t go over well with the petite woman.
She would have to decide and soon, because she couldn’t float around forever. So she focused on thinking about her bed at Anita’s house.
When nothing happened she panicked something was wrong with her magic! She didn’t go anywhere. Maybe not having an image to focus on was preventing her from moving. Maybe this reality or universe was preventing her from moving. Maybe she didn’t have her magic anymore! Something was rubbing against her cheek and purring. Oh goddess what was she going to do.
The Parde woke slowly the sensation of magic and panic filling the air rolling over top of them. They had come home to find Nathaniel curled up on top of the blankets with the strange red head both sleeping peacefully in Anita’s house so they all climbed on to sleep taking over the entire small bed.
Maybe the red head wasn’t a friend? Nathaniel wouldn’t be stupid enough to bring someone dangerous to Anita’s place would he? Lying there she hadn’t looked like she was his top she had been curled up in a fetal position sleeping peacefully. He had almost looked like he was lying there and protecting her.
Nathaniel was the last to wake up, but the first to form coherent thoughts or take charge of the situation. “What are you …? Never mind! Get off of her, give her some space.”
Everyone in the room picked up on Nathaniel, submissive spinless bottom Nathaniel giving an order. Not a request, not asking nicely, but a direct order and they did what any smart were with a sense of preservation would do they realized something was probably horribly horribly wrong and the entire parde squirmed backwards moving off of the bed.
Each stood kind of awkwardly by the door waiting for an explanation.
Willow calmed slightly as soon as she heard Nathaniel speak “Nathaniel?” she asked tentatively.
“Yes” He replied rubbing her back gently in a comforting manner.
“What… just… happened? One minuet I felt like I was being squashed alive by living weights and then the next and I tried magic and I donno if I’m broken or if it’s gone or what…” Willow tried to push down her panic and urge to resolve her magic problems right away, it was her one source of protection. If she was getting the sensation of casting with out actually casting anything then how would she know?
“It’s okay, they are friends… people who live here too… they… wont hurt you. We aren’t very good at sleeping by ourselves.” Nathaniel quietly reassured her. He should have warned her about the parde, but it just … he just… well he just forgot.
Willow smiled weakly “So they don’t plan on eating me? Killing me? Torturing my undying soul? Forcing me to go shoe shopping for hours on end?” A very red faced Willow looked up slowly cringing inside slightly “Hi I’m Willow and welcome to my bedroom” a cheeky grin lit up her face “usually though people give me their names before they jump into bed with me.”
Neither Willow nor Nathaniel were to be found though Asher was sure that they had entered. He stalked through the club looking for either on his way to the dressing room.
Asher was intrigued the other day he had got such conflicting emotions from the red headed witch. He had felt such a strange power from within her as well.
She didn’t seem to mind the pre-natural. She was comfortable with Nathaniel and had no problems with the necromancer Anita and she had even chatted to Damien rather pleasantly earlier, but she seemed closed off to him. Even Jean Claude got more of a reaction from her then he could.
If it hadn’t been for her making pleasant conversation with Damien and some of the minions he would have blamed the fact that he was a vampire.
And so now he was left seeking out her company so that he could figure out the little witch.
Pausing in the door way Asher silently took in the scene. Willow was seated in the dressing room with Nathaniel sitting by her reading to her from a vaguely familiar book. With her legs curled under her leaning forward and listening to the description of one invocation or ritual with rapt attention.
It took a few moments and Asher placed it as a book from Jean Claude’s library.
“Chat you are late to be behind the stage are you not?”
Willow tried to contain her disappointment, since she couldn’t read the words herself Nathaniel had been reading to her from the magic book that Jason had brought with him.
Nathaniel looked like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He had asked Jason to bring a magic book for Willow to read rather then have her sit out at one of the tables and now Jason would probably get into trouble over this.
He gently placed the book in Willow’s lap “Damien will be out as soon as I get on stage so he will be able to keep you company back here.” With that Nathaniel rushed out for his curtain call before to many questions could be asked about the book.
Asher moved forward his grace was lost on Willow though as he gracefully took Nathaniel’s seat. “You are not gracing us with your presence tonight mademoiselle?”
“It’s quieter back here.” Was all Willow gave in explanation.
“An interesting choice in reading material, a book I am sure Jean Claude will miss if his loupe does not return it shortly.” It was then with Asher’s speech that Willow noticed that he was not comfortable. She mentally went over all her conversations with him as brief as they had been. She didn’t think that he had ever seemed comfortable, even when just approaching Jean Claude with some new information.
“Something I’d know if I’d be able to see isn’t there?” She asked changing the topic with out meaning to.
“Mademoiselle?” Asher stiffened beside her.
“Oh Goddess! I’m sorry; I said that out loud didn’t I? I was just sitting here thinking in my head and it wasn’t meant to come out of my mouth, but sometimes my head runs away with itself and then my mouth well it spits things out that maybe it shouldn’t. Like now…” Willow managed to cut off her babble and silenced herself.
Blood rushed to her face and her cheeks flushed a light pink ash her hands fidgeted with the cover of the book.
An awkward silence filled the air between the two. Asher smoothly and deftly reached over and plucked the book out of her lap “Where were you?” He asked.
Her eyes turned up towards him and he was surprised how easily they found his own.
“What? Oh… we were reading protection spells, but that’s okay you don’t have to” Willow wasn’t entirely sure what was going on and she wasn’t entirely sure if she trusted this man… vampire… so she wasn’t entirely sure if she wanted him reading her protection spells.
A brief and slight smile graced Asher’s lips “Shall we return this then so that Jean Claude will not be aware of tonight’s transgressions on the part of his servants? Perhaps in the future if you are in need of reading material you will grace us with your presence at the Circus?”