Random XAuthor's Note: Apparently I'm in a publishing mood. This has sat in my fanfic folder for a while. There's no real plot, just some scenes that started playing in my head and weren't happy until I wrote them down.
Disclaimer: standard obligatory copyrightcakes. Yadda yadda.
Logan ground out his cigar on the heel of his boot and flicked it toward the brick wall. “Okay, darlin’, your shot.”
As her knuckles loudly complained, there was no real way to take him without a weapon. Blows that would leave a vamp whimpering like a freshman PE student in Coach Kimmel’s class had absolutely no effect on Logan. His bones couldn’t be broken. A dislocation lasted only long enough for him to slam it back into place and shake it off. That left his throat, his belly, and whatever nerve clusters she could strike before getting her head handed to her. She would need weapons.
Buffy lifted the katana and the chokuto from their mounts on the wall. She would need the second, smaller sword to keep Logan’s claws away from her. While he could most likely carve right through the tempered steel, her guess was that he wouldn’t, out of respect for the artistry. Both swords were bare, no scabbards, As she stepped onto the mat and over to him, she took up a horse stance. With a brief glint of a smile, Logan matched her pose, claws sheathed.
It suddenly occurred to her that she was really looking forward to this…what had Logan called it?...this scrap.
“So, back in your real world,” Xander started, looking up from the moldy, dusty tome he been scanning, “people don’t think it’s cool to have super powers?”
“Nope,” Kitty replied, flipping to the next page in her own text. “Names get yelled, occasional effigies are burned, and every now and then, the government sends giant killer robots after us.”
“Man,” Xander shook his head. “I so do not get that. I mean, super powers. Who wouldn’t give their left testi- uh, arm for some fantastic cool ability? Like maybe Spider-Man.”
“Cool guy,” she answered, not really looking up.
He stopped cold and stared at her. “You’ve...met…Spider-Man?” His mouth remained open at the end of the question.
She glanced up at him, over the rim of her glasses. “Yeah. I was babysitting these kids, and there was this tunnel in their backyard. Turned out there were some Morlocks, kidnapped the kids. I went after them – can you imagine having to face their parents with a whole ‘sorry, Mrs. Emerson, but Johnny and Edgar were taken by creatures of the night. I think they’ve either been killed and eaten, or they joined up with a promise never to shower again.’ Anyways, the Morlocks had managed to get their hands on Spidey. We teamed up, rescued the kids, got the heck out of Dodge.”
Xander pushed his chair away from the table, the better to look her over.
“This is a new concept for you, isn’t it?” she asked, regarding him with a serious expression.
“You’ve…met…can I touch you?”
She pushed her chair back from the table as well, leaned back, and kicked one foot idly in the air. “It’s not the picnic it sounds like, Xander. I mean, sure, there are the really cool rockstar moments, like going webswinging with Spidey. I think he’s working as an English teacher these days. But believe me, there are some nasty moments. You know, getting an alien embryo implanted in me about the time I turned fourteen, almost getting killed by Magneto, watching friends get killed and maimed, nearly killing a friend, getting brainwashed by an evil ninja master, the whole “Die, Mutie!” fun.”
Xander nodded in understanding. “Sounds like my senior year of high school, actually.”
“Kurt?” Willow asked, nervously looking into the shadows of the woods.
“Here, fraulein,” Kurt answered.
It was uncanny. When he stirred, she could make out his eyes, glowing yellow. But for that, though, she’d have no idea he was there, crouched against the trunk of an oak tree. Without direct light, he just melted away into the shadows.
There was a soft bamf! where he had been, and then another above and to her right.
“Bitte,” Kurt said from just next to her.
She turned and nearly jumped out of her skin with fright. Somehow, he was hanging upside down (by his tail?) with his head just level with hers. He held out a flower, a shy, wistful smile on his face.
“I did not mean to frighten you,” he apologized.
“It’s all right,” she answered, taking the flower from him. It was wildflower with dark blue petals.
“Some people,” he shrugged, “they see me, and they are fearful. Because of my features.”
His features. The hand that had held out the flower to her had only two fingers and a thumb, but it was as graceful and strong as any other hand she’d ever seen. He spoke with a crisp, almost aristocratic German accent.
“No!” she shook her head. “I mean,…I’m really sorry I thought you were a demon. It’s just, that’s what we get out here, and they’re almost always bad. Which you’re…not. Bad, I mean.”
Was he suppressing a smile? It was so hard to tell.
“Others have made the mistake as well, fraulein, but none had as good a reason.”
He was smiling. She could almost hear the chuckle in his voice. On impulse, she put a finger to his cheek and felt his skin. The scars were ridged, but the rest of his skin had the texture of close cropped indigo velvet. No wonder Kitty had called him ‘Fuzzy Elf’ earlier.
“Weide?” Kurt asked softly.
“That is the word in my language for willow tree,” he answered. The smile in his voice had faded into uncertainty.
Oh, she thought, what the hell. She put her hands on either side of his face and kissed him. It was definitely a new experience, kissing someone who was upside down. And had small but sharp fangs. And a tail. A thought concerning his tail occurred to her, and she realized that between that thought and the way Kurt was kissing her back, her knees were getting extremely weak.
“Tell me about your people,” Giles said, setting out the tea tray.
With elegant precision, Ororo began pouring for both of them. A stray wisp of white hair – truly white, colorless, almost translucent – had escaped from her braid and curled against her cheek.
“Which people do you mean, Rupert?” she asked, her voice a liquid burr. “The people I was born to, the people I was revered by, or the people I count as my family?”
“Well, ah…any of them, I suppose.” He looked at her, his eyes narrowing in intellectual curiosity. “What do you mean ‘revered by’?”
She smiled at him over the rim of her teacup. She took her lapsang souchong without sugar or cream, the same as him. Her eyes were a crystal blue he’d never encountered in another human being.
“When I was no older than Buffy, indeed, younger, I walked across the Sahara Desert until I found a home, one far distant from any white man’s road. The people there saw my gifts and took it as evidence of divinity. For many years, I heard their prayers to send rains or sun, and it pleased me to do so.”
For a moment, he couldn’t form a coherent response. It was obvious why, of course, she had been worshipped. What man in his right mind wouldn’t? She was the most beauteous creature he had ever seen, and he had the sense that within her lay a core of strength and compassion that had weathered unimaginable storms.
“Is that…common, in your world?” he finally managed to ask.
Again, that smile, and those eyes gazing at him as if they could pierce him to the marrow.
“To my knowledge, no,” she answered, “however, as Professor Xavier later explained to me, my ability to alter and control the weather is singular.”
“Yes, well,” he nodded his head, feeling a little askew within himself, “and I can’t tell you how grateful that your…your compatriots and you have come to our aid in this matter. Do you have any idea where our mutual foe mi-“
She shifted in her seat, leaning forward.
She had all his attention.
“I did not come here to discuss strategy or tactics with you. That may wait upon another time.”
She placed her teacup and saucer on the table and stood. Her linen dress fell into immaculately tailored lines. While she stood, Giles found that the top of his head came up only to her waist, leaving his eyes directly in line to- He set his tea down as well and stood, only to find her regarding him with those startling eyes, quiet with wisdom and compassion.
“I do not take lovers very often, Rupert. I have no wish to cause strife in my family, nor do many outside my family understand my heart. You, however, have the heart of a scholar and a warrior, and whatever may happen between us, there will be an end when my family and I return to our world, and you remain in yours.”
He took his glasses off. “Ororo…”
Her name meant beauty, and she was without a doubt, the most beautiful woman he had ever met – in body, mind, and soul.
Without hesitation, he bent his head towards hers, and their lips met.
All six of them stood off to the side as Buffy and Logan sparred.
“Unglaublich,” Kurt murmured, watching the ebb and flow of the fight.
“Yeah,” Xander agreed. “What you said. Whatever it was that you said.”
Giles took his glasses off and chewed on the left stem as he watched.
“Amazing. Utterly amazing,” he said. “I had despaired of finding anyone who could fight well enough to give Buffy a challenge.”
“I have never seen anyone who could take a pounding like that from Logan,” Kitty said, awed.
The fight had ranged across the room, from back to front and side to side. It had gone up the walls a couple of times, and for one brief moment, there had been some hanging from the ceiling. The inanimate objects in the room were definitely getting the worst of it.
“You did say that Buffy heals quickly?” Ororo asked.
“Well, yes,” Giles answered, “though, obviously, not as quickly as Logan.”
“That, I think, will be the deciding factor,” she responded.
They watched for a few moments longer, occasionally wincing or hissing in sympathetic pain.
“There goes the horse,” Willow made a face of unsurprised dismay.
The clatter of its pieces falling to the floor drowned out the other responses. There was a final flurry of kicks, spins, jumps, and strikes that ended when Logan and Buffy hit the mat together. She had the blade of a knife against his throat, angled to split open his carotid. He had his fist just against the side of her head, claws sheathed, but it was obvious that no matter how fast Buffy might strike, Logan would be able to pop his claws just as fast.
“And I think that’s a draw,” Giles announced.
For a long second, Buffy and Logan stood – or rather knelt and lay – locked in combat, breathing heavily, and then they both came back to themselves. Buffy sat back on the mat and let Logan up. He gave her a hand up and then smacked her on the butt.
“Good scrap, darlin’,” he said, strolling off the mat.
Buffy smacked him right back. “Yeah, good scrap. Hey, any of you guys find my spleen lying around, put it on ice, and let me know.”
Logan smiled around a set of vivid bruises that were already fading. “Get changed, kiddo. Best thing after a good scrap is spicy food and a brewski. My treat.”
Buffy, who had started stretching out her shoulders and arms, paused. “Wow, that actually sounds good.”
“Get a room,” Willow and Kitty rolled their eyes in unison.
Xander, standing between the two of them, looked back and forth for a worried moment. “Okay, don’t do that. Ever. I think my brain wants to explode.”