Last Minute Shopping, Wes/Amanda, EUF universe
Title: Last Minute Shopping
Characters: Wesley, Illyria, Amanda
Disclaimer: Joss et al. own AtS, Panzer et al. own HL
Rating: kid tested mother approved
Series: Encore Une Fois, a few weeks after One Good Turn and Mistletoe
FFA: 835 Wesley Wyndham-Price/Amanda
~~~Last Minute Shopping~~~
Amanda shivered, rubbing her arms in the chill Parisian winter wind. It was damp, raw, and utterly familiar. No matter how much time went by, Paris was still the city of light, more or less. She was running a few last minute errands before heading to the airport to catch her flight to Seacouver. Christmas Eve and people were still shopping for gifts and gadgets, trinkets to be hidden away and forgotten about. In a way it warmed her old thief’s heart.
She ducked into a favorite chocolatier to purchase some molded milk chocolates—they always made Joe smile. It was nice to be able to bring presents to these family gatherings. Nice to have family gatherings to go to. No matter how many years went by, or how many bungled heists Duncan stumbled onto, he would always be her home for the Christmas.
She blew on her fingers to keep them warm, tucking the parcel into a large shopping bag under her arm, and swept back out into the night. Light clouds drifted over the stars, winking them in and out, like sparkling lights on the trees lining the boulevards.
She shivered again as that old familiar tingle started at the base of her skull.
Wonderful. She didn’t need a challenge right now, what with her flight leaving in three hours. She adjusted her bag so that her sword hilt was in easy reach and quickened her pace.
She walked on, with high hopes of avoiding anything resembling a confrontation. She ducked down a side street, taking a shortcut back to her apartment. Across the alleyway, she saw a couple walking towards her. A tall, slender man in a long coat had his arm wrapped tightly around the waist of a diminutive woman. Her hair gleamed bluish in the light and Amanda shook her head to clear her vision.
Nope, still blue.
And very much looking her way. The couple stopped, standing still. They didn’t move to separate, and if anything the man’s grip on the woman’s shoulders tightened. The woman turned her head, as if sniffing the night air, and smiled baring entirely too many teeth.
Amanda blinked and plastered a friendly smile on her face. “Bon soir.”
The man inclined his head, as if trying to decide something. He glanced down at her sword hand, inching into her coat and Amanda froze. Something about the way he watched her made her reconsider, as if he was evaluating her moves the way a big cat would stalk an antelope. She felt goosebumps run down her spine and withdrew her hand.
The woman sighed, a puff of steam in the night air. “She ruins our game.”
“Hardly, precious. She’s just a bit wiser than most.” He looked down at the woman and ran a tender finger across her cheek bone. “We’ll find other prey to hunt.”
Startled to hear them speaking English, Amanda took an involuntary step backwards. Instantly both of their gazes were right back on her, and Amanda couldn’t help a gasp at the woman’s eyes. They melted from deep blue to something alien and crystalline. There was nothing human there, no one she could relate to behind that inquisitive gaze.
Amanda didn’t survive countless centuries by being oblivious. She knew there were things that didn’t belong in the natural world, even moreso than the Immortals themselves were relics of another type of magic. There were demons that stalked the darkness, and one of them was facing her now.
She remembered the rumors that circulated amongst the Immortals she saw regularly. That there was something wrong with the Game; that Immortals were dying in ways that hadn’t been seen since before Methos’ time. Of course no one but the Old Man himself remembered those times so much of it was hearsay.
But watching that creature evaluate her like she was of no more worth than an insect to be exterminated, Amanda believed every word.
The Immortal man, for he was surely what disturbed Amanda’s walk, titled his head. “Have a lovely evening, madam. Perhaps we’ll meet again sometime.”
Amanda scooted back until her shoulders rested against the rough brick of the alley and let them pass. They exited onto the main thoroughfare and were lost in the throng of holiday merrymakers.
She let out a breath she didn’t even realize she was holding and let the shopping bag drop to the ground. Without thinking, her sword was out, clutched between her palms like a security blanket.
Closing her eyes for a moment, she relaxed her muscles. Whatever they were, they had left her alone. Maybe Duncan would have some answers for her when she arrived. After all, he’d said that Methos and Joe had been busy with Watcher business recently. Maybe they’d heard something about this strange couple.
She gathered up her things and set off for her apartment at a slow jog. After all, she had a plane to catch.