Title: For A Fee
Author: Restive Nature (aka bavite)
Genre: BtVS/ LotR crossover
Timeline: This takes place in Season 5 of Buffy, after Buffy has returned and is confronted by the mountain of bills left behind after her death. In LotR, it is well before the Lord Of The Rings starts. Otherwise, there’s no specific timeline there.
Disclaimer: I do not own either of these shows/ movies/ books. Buffy and all characters referred to are owned by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. The characters and settings of Lord Of The Rings belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien and his descendants.
Summary: Everybody has a price. And so does Buffy.
A/N- This fiction was written for TtH’s Fic-for-all pairings. #824 Buffy/ Thranduil
Forest of Mirkwood
The palace of King Thranduil
Sometime in the late afternoon
Buffy glanced around warily. Sure, she was in a palace. But what kind of weirdos had their palace right in the middle of a dark, dank, spider infested forest? Oh, that’s right. Fairytale land weirdos. Just like the type she had unceremoniously been dumped into.
And sure, fairytale land guys were cute. What with the tall and the blonde and the pointy ears and the piercing eyes. But as far as she could figure, they really had a one track mind. Which seemed to be attack anything that moves with lame little bows and arrows? Although tall-guy, which was actually a nickname that could fit everyone here, seemed to have some nice little daggers at his disposal. Buffy wondered if taller-guy would shut up for a minute so she could ask to have a look-see. But no, if anything, the guy just seemed to be getting going.
When on Earth was the last time she’d heard that many thees and thous? Well, actually never. But she always imagined that Giles might talk like that if you really let him go. He was after all, British to the core. Well, not Victorian British, but it made little difference to her. Of course, thinking of Giles made her mood even crappier. Thoughts of Giles led to thoughts of home. Thoughts of home led to thoughts of Dawn. Thoughts of Dawn led to the mountain of bills that she still had to figure out how to pay.
Buffy sighed heavily. It was much better when she wasn’t thinking about bills, but about something else. What had it been? Oh yeah, the overly English, stick-up-your-butt routine this blonde King-type dude was embarked on. She snuck a peek at him from under lowered lashes. Yep, he was still rambling on.
“I dare say, Thranduil,” a new voice interrupted and every head in the room swung around to see who had arrived in such a very easy manner. Quick was the sight of the Elves and keen, but even they had trouble spotting a Maiar who did not wish to be seen.
Buffy cocked her head to the side, studying the newcomer rapidly. He was vaguely familiar. And then it hit her. This was the guy that she’d dreamed about the other night. Some weird Slayer type dream in which some robed guy was fighting off a flaming beast. She’d run the dream past Giles, but he’d figured it to be an ordinary dream type dream. But hey, here he was now. Score one for Buffy. She’d been right. And now she had some clue as to what was going on. Well, she didn’t. But if it was Slayer related, then that explained all the weird.
“You seem to have lost your audience’s attention,” the old man quipped, nodding to her. He spared her a glance and then smiled broadly. “If indeed you ever had it.” Buffy smirked. He had that one almost right on the money.
“Gandalf the Grey,” the King guy sighed, seeming in resignation and gratitude. “Long has it been since you last visited these halls, as men reckon time.”
“And with a glad heart I come, to seek which had once been lost to us,” Gandalf bowed slightly. He rose and looked again to Buffy. “And now seems to have been found, right under your very nose.”
“What mean you by that?” Thranduil demanded, glancing between the two. He was long used to Gandalf’s riddles and everyone could see that Gandalf knew something about this intruder that they did not.
“The matter must wait,” the other blonde guy, by the King blurted out. Buffy searched her memory. She was sure someone had said his name at some point. Leg-o-lass or some other cockamamie name. It made Buffy want to snicker. The names around here were more laughable than hers. Her attention focused again as Leg-o-lass leveled her with a glare. “This young woman appeared in the throne room and attacked several of my father’s guards.”
“Hey bucko!” Buffy snapped back, feeling a thread of her old self coming through, “get it straight. They attacked me first!”
“And why shouldn’t they?” Legolas demanded. “You have dared enter the Elven realm of Mirkwood by a stealth most likely gained from alliance with the Dark Lord.”
“Please, Prince Legolas,” Gandalf soothed, stepping between them. “Calm yourself.” So Buffy had been right. This guy was a prince, and since there was a very definite family resemblance, the other guy had to be daddy-kins, which meant he would be the king of this place. Too bad she didn’t care a whit about the royalty. She tended to go comatose whenever Giles was amused over his own sovereign’s family’s antics.
Once the prince seemed to regain hold of himself, Gandalf turned back to Buffy. She stared at him pensively. She’d been wondering what he’d meant as well. A lost treasure. What she wouldn’t give right now for a little treasure herself.
“Young lady,” Gandalf began and Buffy could see that he was holding back some amusement. “Do you know how you came to be here?”
“Do you mean the birds and the bees, cause yeah, got the talk a long time ago,” she scoffed. She knew what he was getting at. But she wondered, was he as easy to rile as these other blonde model wannabe’s? But if anything, he looked slightly confused.
“Birds and bees,” he mumbled, and then brightened. “Ah, perhaps my brother Radagast the Brown had a hand in your coming. He is ever resourceful with his sentiments to nature.” The old man rambled on for a moment, but slowly stopped when no sign of recognition passed her face.
“No,” she murmured slowly, enjoying the feeling of someone else being as confused as she was. “I meant birds and bees. You know, like making babies.” The old guy’s bushy eyebrows rose about three inches off his eyes and Buffy could gleefully detect a slight hint of blush about his cheeks. And then he laughed. He waved a hand at her, trying to stifle his own amusement.
“Nay young lady,” he hiccupped. “I meant your coming to these lands, when this world is not your native world.”
“Ooh, that,” she harrumphed, crossing her arms. She shrugged half-heartedly, wondering just how much she could say. But heck, why not, she’d get a kick out of their faces when she told them the truth. “Well, it started with you, dream-guy. Then some baddies, some sorta swirly vortex portal thingie and then boom, blondies with arrows.” The explanation, though extremely vague, was also, in her opinion, very succinct.
It took Gandalf a moment to decipher it however. “A dream you say?” She nodded. “And I appeared in your dream?”
“Yep!” She uncrossed her arms, her hands landing on her hips. “You were fighting off some monster thing that was on fire.”
“Really?” Gandalf murmured, stroking at his beard with his free hand. “And then a… baddie?”
“Demon,” she supplied, watching the reactions carefully. Everyone in the throne room seemed to perk up at that. Well, except for a few. King guy and the princeling were exchanging strange glances.
“You encountered a demon?” Legolas asked, disbelievingly.
“Yeah,” Buffy snorted. “Kicked its ass too.” More of those weird glances.
“Let me understand this, please,” King Thranduil broke out. “You dreamt of Gandalf, and then encountered a demon and you… slayed it?”
It was Buffy’s turn to raise her eyebrows. This guy didn’t know just how on the spot he was. She nodded. There was a ripple of excitement running around the room now, definitely raising the hackles on her neck. “Murmurs of “The Chosen One” and “dagnir” reached her ears. And then another voice piped up.
“But she’s of the race of men. And she’s so little.”
Buffy spared a withering glance at the guy who’d said that, recognizing him immediately. “Managed to throw you across the room, didn’t I?” The offensive guy backed down immediately, bowing his head to her.
“This changes everything,” the King pronounced thoughtfully, staring at the young woman before him. He turned to Gandalf, who was nodding. His tone took on an almost dream-like quality. “I can not believe... the Slayer has returned to our world?”
Buffy felt a small shock run through her system. “Wait! You guys know about Slayers?” she demanded. All around her, heads were nodding. “How? How do you guys know?”
“Long ago, when the world was still young, before my time,” Gandalf began, in full storytelling mode, only to be interrupted.
“And mine,” Thranduil chimed in.
“In our world, there walked a mighty warrior,” Gandalf continued. “Always a woman, she had the strength of ten men. She could seek out evil beings and destroy them with ease. She was known as the Slayer. Imbued with gifts of the Gods themselves, she kept our lands safe.”
“And what happened to her?” Buffy demanded.
“None live now that could answer that riddle,” Gandalf lamented. “The legend of the Slayer was known to many. But knowledge of her fell by the wayside when she disappeared. Legend became myth, and the Slayer passed out of almost all the minds of this world.”
“Except ours,” Thranduil murmured. There were more nods of agreement to this. “Always we have remembered the Slayer. Striving to be as magnificent a warrior as she.”
“Wait,” Buffy implored again, despite herself. This was interesting stuff and certainly Giles had never mentioned it before. If he even knew about it, that was. “So you’re saying that a long time ago, you guys had Slayers?”
“Only ever one at a time,” Thranduil sighed. “It was said that when she died, another of her kind would rise to take her place.”
“Yeah,” Buffy agreed slowly. “That sounds about right.”
“So you are the Slayer?” Legolas demanded, his eyes alight with excitement. Without waiting for her confirmation, he turned to his father. “Adar, think what we could accomplish with the Slayer by our side. We could rid our home of the foul beasts that roam our poor beset forest.”
“Hey there,” Buffy huffed indignantly. “Who said anything about me staying?” Immediately there was a hue and a cry come up from the other males in the room. But Gandalf quieted them all.
“Of course you must stay,” he smiled. “A Slayer is called where she is needed. And you have been called here.”
“Okay, not that I’m all that excited to have been there, but I do have a home and friends that I need to get back to. They’re not safe… without me…” she trailed off. How true was that? They’d been fighting all summer without her. True, they had the Buffybot and Spike and even some powerful Wiccan magic via Willow and Tara. But still, she had responsibilities.
And then Thranduil surprised everyone. He came down from the dais that housed his throne and stood before her. He took up her hands, his eyes imploring. “My lady,” he began softly. Buffy stared up at him, wondering how his eyes could be such a bright blue. “I understand that you have family that you love and protect and a home that you seek to keep safe. But I must ask you to understand that it is the same for me.” He paused, gripping her hands tightly. “For many years, our home of Mirkwood has been overrun by evil things. As much as we try, we alone can not hold them back forever. I implore you to abide, even if only for a short time, to give us aide. Aide such as your sisterhood of old would have done.”
Buffy could feel herself wavering. If this guy had gotten to be King on the powers of persuasion only, she could see why he’d ruled for so long. She could feel herself teetering on the edge of indecision. And then, that magical world caught her attention.
“… give anything I have to have you stay and help us,” Thranduil continued on. “Gold and jewels. Any treasure we own, twould be yours if you asked.”
Buffy’s head snapped up. “Gold, you say?” Thranduil hesitated. He had almost been begging and wasn’t happy that he’d reduced himself to that. But his home was worth anything to save. Even his pride. Apparently Buffy registered that as well. “It’s just… my mom d-died last year and there’s no one but me to provide for my little sister.”
Understanding dawned in Thranduil’s mind. He straightened up, holding her hands that were still in his. “Then that is how it shall be,” he boomed. “We shall pay you for the great service you will provide us. Then we shall not be in your debt and you will have a means to care for the young one. It is an honorable alliance.” He waited for her to agree and when she did, nodding her head happily, there was a great cheer sent up through the room. Gandalf continued to stroke his beard, looking overly smug and very pleased with himself. Of course, there were still questions that he wished to ask of her, but that could wait until later.
“Come Lady Dagnir,” Thranduil invited grandly, sweeping around to put one arm around her waist. “We shall feast and talk and plan where we shall make our first strike on the evil that befalls us.” Buffy’s stomach took that moment to rumble and there were good-natured grins all around.
Thranduil led them to his feasting hall and called for the servants to serve the evening meal. He seated Buffy on his left, while Gandalf took a seat to the right. Wine was poured and Legolas stood, holding his goblet aloft.
“To the Lady Dagnir,” he cried out as others held out their goblets as well. “May her eyes be swift, her sword deadly and her rage enough to make the Dark Ones quake before her coming!”
“Dagnir!” the shout resounded around the hall and the wine was downed. Buffy felt a small blush of embarrassment creep into her cheeks. And yet, she was a little pleased at the change in the atmosphere towards her. But something was nagging at her. She turned to Thranduil.
“What does that mean?” she asked quietly. “That 'dagnir'?”
Thranduil happily answered in just as quiet tones. “It is our word for Slayer, my lady.”
“Oh,” Buffy nodded. Then she held out her hand. “Well, you can call me Buffy.”
Thranduil took her hand and swept a small kiss across her knuckles. He glanced up at her with a wink. “It would be my pleasure, Lady Buffy.”
She couldn’t help the grin that plastered her face. Servants began entering the room with platters of food that made her mouth water. Legolas and another blonde guy were already discussing which weapons she might have to use. Gandalf was smiling at her, his eyes twinkling merrily. She heard snatches of others conversations, discussing which beasts she could most likely kill the most efficiently. And there was Thranduil, hot blonde King guy, ready to charm her to the utmost because she’d agreed to help him out.
Yeah, this was turning out to be an interesting day.