Title: Journey to Another Hell III
Fandom: Buffy/Anita Blake
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Anita Blake Vampire Hunter.
"A day--night--in the life of three vampires. It all began innocuously enough... with the shooting of a twelve year old girl by the human servant of the gorgeously great and handsome Jean-Claude, Master of St. Louis. Of course, Anita Blake, licensed vampire executioner, is a psychopath with control issues and an inability to understand that sexy Xander Harris is far beyond her reach for vengeance because if she ever made a wrong move, he would snap her neck like a twig and use her still twitching body as a snowboard, because hey, California born and bred doesn't automatically mean a lack of like for the snow. Still, it's hard to understand why Xander, handsome, charming, intelligent, sex-kitten to Jean-Claude, is willing to rescue said psychotic with control issues from the pokey. Maybe it has to do with the rewards he is sure to reap from the Master's luscious form? Maybe it has to do with...
"All right, Xander, enough with the external monologue," Jason said. He'd been waiting for them at the police station, leaning against the wall next to the double doors, waiting for them before going in.
Xander shot the werewolf a quirky grin. "Aw, tell me you love me and maybe then I'll stop. Or tell me to hurt you more, and I'll make it real good for you."
Jason shot him a nervous look, which just made Xander laugh and sling an arm around the smaller man's shoulders. He knew that he wasn't exactly Jason's favorite person, but it was all good. It wasn't like he cared about anyone else's opinion but his own anyway.
"Stick with me, man, you'll see the world the way it was meant to be seen." Xander's lips almost brushed Jason's ear as he breathed, "Bathed... in... blood."
Jason twitched away, which just made Xander laugh and let him go, returning back to walking next to Jean-Claude. He didn't quite touch the master vampire, but it was a near thing.
"Must you tease him so?" Jean-Claude asked.
Xander shot him a sparkling glance. "Of course. I have to get my fun from somewhere... and Jason is just that easy."
A faint smile quirked Jean-Claude's lips for a minute, but it didn't last. He was worried about Anita and it showed itself in his complete lack of expression as they passed through the doors and into the police station.
"Wow, I haven't been to a police station in awhile," Xander said, low-voiced. "The last time was when we killed the Chief of Police after eating his wife and daughter in front of him." He sighed regretfully. "Good times. Good times."
"Is that true?" Jason asked Asher.
"What are you asking him for?" Xander demanded. "He wasn't there. And of course it's true. Sunnydale was my town, and I ruled it with a bloody fist and a mouth full of hungry teeth. Those were the days of fun and games. I miss them, and if it wasn't for Jean-Claude, I would miss them even more."
"You're a strange one," Jason said.
"I've heard that before," Xander admitted. "Though not since I was Turned. People were always afraid after that, no one wanting to say anything to make me mad. I don't know why people were always so scared... it wasn't like I was a raging psychopath or anything." He tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Oh, wait..."
He loved how scared Jason was of him. It was a bittersweet reminder of the home he'd left behind.
Back in the day, he'd been the favorite of the Master, one of his top enforcers along with Willow. Boy, did he miss Willow. She was the best to kill with, even though her Turning into a vampire had pretty much fried her mind. She was still his best friend though, and that had to count for something, even if they were both soulless monsters bent on the mindless consumption of human lives.
It had felt great to know that everyone in their little world was afraid of them. Sunnydale was their home town, and their every word was law. The Master had pretty much let them do whatever they wanted. No one had been able to stand in their way.
Now he was in a world where he had no real kind of reputation and no one cared about him one way or the other. At least he'd found Jean-Claude... The Master of the City was willing to take care of him, and that was of the good. Everything was just so strange here, and he really didn't like the having to play nicey-nice with the humans.
Everything was just so damn different from what he was used to. It felt almost like he had gone back to being the loser he had been before he was first Turned, back to when he was Xander Harris, butt of all jokes.
When he thought back to his human years, he couldn't believe how much of a loser he had been.
The greatest things that had ever happened to him were meeting Willow, being possessed by a hyena, then being Turned into a vampire. Everything else had been crap and the moments of true control over his own life had been few and far between.
The first thing he had done after he'd been Turned--after jumping a defenseless jogger and draining her dry, of course--was to take his parents out of the picture. He hadn't even bothered to feed on them, not wanting to be contaminated by any more of their blood, had just tortured them until they had stopped screaming, then chopped them up into little pieces that he'd fed to the neighbors dogs. It had been a bit of fun that he even now thought back on with fondness. Those were the days.
He knew he was a soulless demon with a thirst for blood and violence, but at the same time he didn't feel all that much different from the human boy he had once been. He had just been freed from all inhibitions, but he was still Xander.
Maybe that was why this whole living in another universe thing didn't make him feel as weird as it should. Sure, he'd lost a lot of his authority and he had to depend on other reputations to carry him through the day, but inside he was still Xander Harris, ruthless lieutenant in the Master's army, and a part of him would always believe that it was just a matter of time before he was ruling the world.
His plans for domination hadn't been set aside. They'd just been changed a little to include his love for Jean-Claude, his chosen consort.
Xander had fallen into a thinking silence, which made Jason a bit nervous. There was just something about the guy that completely freaked him out.
All vampires were predators, it was just a given, and they all had a taste for the violence and the pain, but Xander... he took it to a whole new level of psychosis. There was a hunger shining out of him and it was never going to be satisfied until the rivers ran red and humanity was reduced to scrabbling in the dark as they were hunted for food.
There was a nightmare living in Xander's eyes, and Jason really didn't want to see it come true.
Xander was good looking in a "going to be a teenager forever" kind of way, but his eyes were mad things sparkling with hidden dark delights, and they made him older than he was. It was no wonder that Jason was scared of him and the younger vampires shied away from him with spooked expressions.
He would happily kill them all, and it was right there in the way he looked at the world as though it was something to be devoured. He was a real monster, and not like the civilized ones people were used to around here. He was wild and hungry.
Jason had to wonder what Humans First would say if they ever met Xander. He wasn't the usual kind of monster they faced, and it was obvious in the way he laughed about death and destruction and rolled his eyes at thoughts of the end of the world.
He spoke of his home as though it were a mythical land of fun and chocolate, not a nightmare that any sane person would have been glad to escape. Even the few stories Jason had managed to sit through about Sunnydale had left him shuddering even as Xander waxed eloquent about all the great stuff they were missing--the death, the decapitations, the exsanguination parties, the demon fighting, the humans kept as pets and abused for entertainment. It was a horrible place to think about and Jason didn’t even want to know where it was, much less want to go there.
Jason knew that the only reason Xander let him or the others live was because of Jean-Claude. The guy had no fear of the police or of what they could do to him. In fact, he had laughed about the laws protecting vampires from the machinations of humans. He was amused by them thinking that he needed to be saved from anyone. And after getting to know him a little better, Jason thought that he had a right to think that the rest of the world should fear him.
It was because of that feral intensity that Jean-Claude kept Xander out of the limelight. The world just wasn't ready for someone that was such a complete monster and reveled in his lack of humanity.
Xander was one scary motherfucker, and there was no denying that. Jason was just glad he wasn't on the guy's wrong side. It would be a long, painful death.
Almost all attention turned their way when they entered the police station. The Master of the City was making an appearance and everyone wanted to get their view on. Anyone else would have been self-conscious under all those eyes, but Jean-Claude just kept moving coolly forward, Xander and Asher at his shoulders and Jason trailing along behind, watching their asses flex as they walked and wondering what was going to happen and whether it was going to be as bad as he thought it was going to be.
Jean-Claude strode up to the desk sergeant and leaned calmly against the counter. "I am here to post bail for Anita Blake," he said.
The guy didn't even glance at his computer. "There is no bail listing for Blake," he said. "You'll have to talk to Sergeant Storr about what's happening with her." It was almost comical how careful he was not to meet the vampire's eyes.
Jean-Claude gave a single nod. "Very well. Please direct me to the good detective."
The desk jockey called a uniform over. "Can you show them to Sergeant Storr?"
"Sure," the officer said, and led the way through the police station toward where Sergeant Storr was waiting, a big man with his arms crossed aggressively.
From the first moment Jason had met Dolph Storr, he had scented that the man didn't like lycanthropes, vampires, or any other monsters and that dislike had only grown as his personal life insisted on getting in the way of the Job.
Looking at Xander out of the corner of his eye, he had to wonder how the police officer would take his first meeting with the Master of the City's new toy. He had a feeling that things weren't going to go too well.
Xander was not the kind of person that would take any crap without throwing his own variety back--and his usually involved blood and gore and the kind of physical damage that normal humans couldn't survive. It was looking to be a bad scene all around.
"Behave yourself, mon amour," Jean-Claude said, low-voiced.
Xander just grinned and shrugged his leather clad shoulders. No matter what anyone said, he still insisted on wearing wife-beaters and leather, looking like a perverted old man's idea of a wet-dream. The fact that he could rip the head off of anyone that insulted his choice in clothes was the only thing that kept people from truly insisting he change. "I'll be a good boy, daddy. I promise."
Jean-Claude sighed a little exasperatedly, but Jason could tell he was somewhat amused. There was just something about Xander that had Jean-Claude cutting him the kind of slack that not even Anita had received. It was actually pretty weird.
"Jean-Claude," the large black-haired man said, barely looking up from the stack of papers he held. The tenseness of his shoulders gave away how unhappy he was.
"Ah, good detective. Perhaps you can be so kind as to tell me why Anita has been taken into custody." Butter couldn't melt in the mouth that bred that silk-smooth voice.
"There was an incident," Storr said. "A kid was shot. Anita's being held until the charges can be cleared... or proved."
"You know that Anita would not purposely hurt an innocent child," Jean-Claude said.
"Whatever Anita may or may not have done in the past, I'm not so sure of any of it now." He turned his head to glare in Xander's general direction, still careful enough not to look him directly in the eyes. "And who are you?"
Xander smirked at the man, which made Jean-Claude and Asher tense nervously. "I'm a little bit of this and a lot a bit of that, but bottom line: don't piss me off. You won't like me when I'm mad." He laughed a little. "Did you see how I fit that whole Hulk reference in there?" he said as an aside to Asher.
"Was that a threat?" Storr demanded.
Xander opened his mouth to say something, but Jason stepped forward, putting himself into the breach. "No, no, that wasn't a threat. That's just how Xander is."
Storr looked at him dismissively, probably thinking he was Anita and the Master of the City's toy to play with. He should have felt offended, but he had heard about Storr's bullshit of the last couple of years, and really, he just didn't care.
"Dude, you totally don't have to defend me to this guy, man," Xander said, grabbing him by the shoulder and pulling him out of the way with effortless ease.
Jason's feet skidded against the floor and he hit his hip against the side of a desk. It didn't hurt, but he could tell this was going to be some trouble. Xander wasn't going to back down, and Storr didn't know that Xander felt no need to follow the rules about not hurting humans.
"Who are you?" Storr asked, glaring at Xander's chest.
The vampire stepped forward, invading the detective's personal space. "My name is Xander," he said. "I can either be a good friend, a bad enemy, or the worst kind of nightmare you'll ever meet."
"I think you're trying to threaten me," Storr said. He looked over at Perry. "Did you hear him just threaten me?"
"Oh no, no," Xander said, wagging a languid finger. "I don't do threats. When I want something done, it happens. Then people realize they've pissed me off. And you? You're just a bug at my feet and I care about as much for you."
Jason glanced at Jean-Claude, wondering if the Master was going to step in and stop his lover from getting himself into trouble. But Jean-Claude was just watching what was going on with a blank expression on his face, his eyes lidded.
"You better watch yourself, vamp," Storr growled. Unconsciously, he began flexing his shoulders, making himself up bigger. "You might end up in a cell downstairs."
Xander laughed and relaxed, all the tension running out of him. "You know what, you're a pretty funny guy. You're just lucky I'm so cool. Some of my line, they can get a little mindlessly violent, if you know what I mean. But me? I was the Childe of a planner, and even without a soul to back me up, I can maintain my control." He leaned close. "Just don't push me, man. I'm not as nice as the vamps you're used to meeting. I've never been as nice as them."
With that, Xander glided back away from Storr until he was next to Jean-Claude, then a step or so behind him, peeking over the Master of the City's shoulder. And if Jason hadn't seen it for himself, he might not have believed it, but Xander then proceeded to make flirty eyes at the detective, a smirk twisting his lips.
Storr growled low in his throat, turning back to Jean-Claude. "I'll let you take Blake for now. But the grandparents of the dead girl still want her brought up on charges for murder."
"Fine. If Anita is guilty, we shall be sure to bring her back to face the justice of the American legal system," Jean-Claude said in a voice so smooth it didn't even sound sarcastic.
Storr shook his head and walked away from them, frustrated anger rising from him in almost visible waves.
"Well that was fun," Xander said, sounding amused. "Now I know why you like him, Jean-Claude. He's fun."
"You shall behave yourself, mon amour. We do not need the kind of trouble police can cause."
Xander shrugged. "Whatever."
Jean-Claude made a tsking sound with his teeth. "Xander."
Xander threw his hands up. "Fine, whatever. I will leave him alone unless he tries something with me. Then all bets are off."
"Fine," Jean-Claude said. "As long as you are not caught."
Jason felt a shiver go through him. Jean-Claude had been following human laws without a single sign that he wanted to do anything else. So his even hinting that he would let Xander torture and kill a police detective was very kind of disquieting because it was a sign of how much of a monster Jean-Claude really was under the thin veneer of civilization.
Maybe we really are monsters, Jason thought. Then was surprised by how much that thought didn't bother him.