Pairing: Kendra/Richard Zeeman
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things AB belong to Laurell K Hamilton, et al.
Distribution: The normal places.
Summary: She was slowly starting to warm up to this world.
Dying wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. At least, maybe it wasn’t for her, Kendra mused as she sipped at a paper cup filled with coffee. She remembered the moment she died, knew that she had fallen in battle just as she had always known she would. Thus be the curse of the Slayers, she’d said more than once.
But she had never let it get her down.
She was doing the work of the Powers that Be – when she died she would see her momma up in the heavens.
She was so sure of it.
But the Powers didn’t let go of their warriors so easily. Didn’t want to give a single one up before ‘her time’ had come and gone.
Funny, that; most people would think death meant her time was up.
Not to the Powers.
Death…dying… the pain and suffering she had gone through in those final moments, that had just been a prelude to something else. Something bigger.
Something like… an alternate dimension.
Her nose wrinkled as she glanced around the late night coffee shop. Something in here wasn’t human. Not vampire. They didn’t frequent the coffee shops. They had their own places, down in the Blood District.
It was all ‘real’ here, in this strange dimension that still seemed more like a drug induced dream than any kind of reality she wanted to be in. Vampires, shifters, magic users, they all lived in this world and were known to the common everyday man and woman. There were court appointed executioners of vampires.
So why did the Powers send her to this place?
She didn’t know, months later.
Another sip of coffee burned a silent trail through her mouth, down her throat, sizzling in her stomach. Bodyguard was what she’d been reduced to. Bodyguard to a vampire because she could look in their eyes and not get sucked in.
It rankled against everything she believed in at first. Playing protector to the very creatures that she had trained all her life to destroy.
But it was a job and, as she’d found, in a world where the Council didn’t exist, jobs were necessary. Hard or not, she’d put her mind to it and done her best.
Well, now she was starting to enjoy this place. These people. Not having to hide that she was different from everyone else. No one thinking she was crazy if she slipped and said the wrong thing at the wrong time.
It was… freeing.
The feeling of something ‘other’ drew closer and Kendra looked up, eyeing the man approaching her table through narrowed eyes. This one she knew. Werewolf. Leader of the pack. He’d been around the Circus once or twice, never in a good mood from what she’d been able to tell. He was the former boyfriend of the Master’s girlfriend.
A story that made for interesting telling, she was sure, if she could ever find someone willing to lay it out for her.
She nodded, offering him a smile that matched the one that he had on his lips. Not overly friendly, not entirely welcoming.
Not that she minded his presence. Too many days and nights spent alone took their toll on a girl. Offers abounded, of course, mostly from Jason back at the Circus, but he didn’t interest her as anything other than… a momentary companion.
And he knew it.
“I’m Richard,” he offered her his hand and she got that particular tingle as she touched his skin. Definitely a shifter, as she had already known.
“I know who you are,” she arched an eyebrow at him as he gestured to the seat across from her, but tilted her head in acceptance nonetheless. There were plenty of empty tables but she wasn’t going to argue if he wanted to sit with her for a few moments’ time. She had more than enough enemies in this city already without making yet another one. For some reason very few people wanted to take the time to get to know the ‘weird little girl from another world’.
“You’re Asher’s new… bodyguard?”
She shrugged. “So much as a vampire needs a bodyguard, yes.”
It was only during daylight hours that she played her role. The nights were hers for the most part. Like now.
“Anita…” he paused, pain flashing over his face for the briefest of instances. “… says you’re not from around here.”
Kendra laughed. “That’s one way t’put it, I s’pose.”
“That I’m from another dimension.”
He took the news better than most might. Calm, silent as he watched her, looking for signs that she was joking. She met his eyes steadily. This was one thing she didn’t joke about.
Actually, there were a lot of things she didn’t joke about. No sense of humor, Buffy had once accused her of.
“Is it… different there?” he struggled for the words, she could tell.
“Very. The vampires are not legal citizens for one. No one really knows about them for another,” she trailed off, memories of secret training and even more secret societies flitting through her mind.
She shrugged, unsure of how to respond to that. It had been fun. It had been her life and she enjoyed it.
“So how do you like this dimension?” He stuttered over the last word as if he had a mental block against it. Funny that a werewolf would have trouble accepting something so supernatural in nature.
“I didn’t like it at first,” she admitted. “But I’ve been warmin’ up to it. A world where I can be m’self. A world where everyone knows the secrets I spent my whole life keepin’ inside? ‘Tis almost like a paradise.”
Come to think of it, Kendra thought with a silent laugh, maybe this was a Slayers heaven, after all.