Parrot was hurt. Her entire lower half had been crushed by the bombardment spell. If she had been human, she would have already died.
As a vampire she gasped out curses and slapped weakly at Dove's fluttering hands. Her face jumped from grimacing demon snarl to sweaty browed, agonized humanity. She could see her entrails spread across the floor along with shards of shattered bone.
She wondered if she was going to die. And it made her angry.
Being a vampire meant living forever, yet here she was dying? It was the height of all unfairness.
The fighting wrapped itself up, then Master knelt down beside her, his lips twisting in slight revulsion. She knew she must make an awful sight and her dress was ruined. A few tears trickled out of the corners of her eyes.
"I bet you're feeling pretty crappy, huh?" He snorted and turned to snap his fingers at one of the Death Eaters. "Dove, go get that one. Parrot will need blood to heal."
"So... I'm not going to die?" Parrot hated how weak and pathetic she sounded, but it was something she had to know.
Master laughed. "From something like this? With *me* right here?" He shook his head. "You're going to hurt a lot while you heal, but you'll be fine."
He stood up and stepped out of the way so Dove could thump down an unconscious body within Parrot's reach. "You eat this guy and I'll get back to you," Master said. "Come on Dove, we'll need your help."
Dove scrambled to follow Master, her rainbow striped socks a cheerful splash of color.
Reaching out, Parrot locked her fingers on the man's shoulder and dragged the large body close. She needed to eat to get well, Master had said.
* * *
He thought that Parrot was going to die and he would have to get a new plaything. She was really messed up, and even if she'd been an older vampire he still might think she was going to bite the big one. Still, the whole living or dying thing, it was out of his hands.
If she got enough blood, she might heal up all right. It was up to her.
He went to supervise Puppy and Dove locking their new toys up in three conjured metal cages. He'd made sure the bodies were thoroughly searched for escape tools and finally just had Puppy vanish their clothes.
He liked to see what he was buying.
So far he wasn't that impressed. It looked like wizards didn't believe in working out and most of these guys were his parents' age before he killed them. There were so many pot bellies and wrinkled sacks that he didn't know where he was supposed to look.
"Maybe we should have left the clothes on," he said, turning away with a grimace. "Do wizards not believe in cardio?"
Puppy looked confused. "What is cardio?"
Xander threw his hands up in the air with a laugh. "Pathetic. A whole world of magic folk just waiting to be taken out."
He looked toward Parrot who had managed to drain a guy at least three times her size and still looked like she could go for more. It looked like her body was already beginning to knit itself back together and he was pleased to think he wasn't going to have to get a new Parrot.
He walked over to her and looked over the damage. It still looked bad.
"Let's get this stuff all back inside where it belongs," he said. He crouched down next to her and was careful not to get any of her guts on his pants as he stuffed her organs back inside her body.
She had exploded like an overcooked hotdog. The thought made him giggle.
"All right, looks good," he said.
She gave him a doubtful look. "Will I have all kinds of scars?" she asked.
He shrugged. "You won't be winning any beauty contests for a while, but you'll heal up. It will just take time."
Her mouth shaped a little "o" and he could see the lively curiosity flooding back into her eyes. Wizard blood seemed to have a real kick to it. "What else can we heal from?" she asked.
"Lots of stuff," he said. "We're real fragile to fire and staking, and holy objects are a bitch, but other than that..." He grinned. "It's much better than being human."
He reached into his pocket and pulled out an ivory handled pocket knife. He unfolded it with a "snikt!" sound and slashed quickly, watching how his flesh opened like a red lined mouth.
"Slayer blood might give a boost of strength, but Master's blood is always the best," Xander said, holding his wrist against Parrot's mouth. "Take a sip. It will heal you right up."
She lapped at first, her tongue probing curiously, then she vamped out and chomped down. He thought about thumping her on the head for her presumption, but she was still just a fledge. He would need to teach her better manners.
Feeling his blood being dragged out of him, he turned his head to look toward Puppy and Dove.
Puppy had his arms crossed and was watching Dove poke at their prisoners, trying to wake them up so she could play. The kitten had wandered in from the other room and she had pulled it onto her lap where it had curled into a ball.
They were all just fledges; he would have to remember that. They were looking to him for guidance and instruction. His was the voice they would follow and obey, the center of their world.
He was the Master now.
It made him grin.