Chapter 9 - The Queen's New Subject
The characters of Charmed
and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
do not belong to me. Summary
The Halliwells and Scoobies are dealing with the arrival of Demon Willow. Phoebe and Willow recognize each other from their visions and want to compare notes. Cole and the Source are uneasy at their meeting. Buffy loses her temper with the Source. Chapter Nine – The Queen's New Subject This isn't happening. This isn't happening. This isn't happening.
Xander kept on repeating the phrase over and over in his head. It was going to be his mantra from now on. Although he was pretty sure it'd been his mantra since he first found out about vampires and demons and the things that do a whole lot more than go bump in the night. Willow was back to normal – well, back to looking normal. No black hair, no veins, no tail!! But he knew normal was several time zones away from here. Maybe even a couple light years.
He looked to where Willow was standing – no, make that kneeling. He couldn't believe it. She was buying into this whole King and Queen of Hell thing. Not that they weren't the King and Queen of Hell – no, he was pretty sure that was NOT an exaggeration, judging by the shape of the grandfather clock. Thank God for Slayer reflexes. No, it was the fact that Willow was bowing to these two. That's what was really getting to him. It really bothered him.
Xander would've been happy to know that he wasn't the only one in the room very, very bothered. In fact, the only people not bothered were the ones concerned. The Source. His Queen. And the new subject. Everyone else in the room were varying degrees away from a complete emotional meltdown.
Paige and Piper were disgusted that someone was kneeling in fealty to their sister. They wanted her to get away from the Underworld, not get closer to it. They just knew that this new demon – demoness – was just going to make things worse. What really bothered Piper was the look on Phoebe's face. She knew this demoness. Not the demon form. No, it wasn't until the demoness reverted to a human form that she had seen the look cross Phoebe's face. A look of recognition, of anticipation, of-- of-- could it really be arousal? She wondered if anyone else had seen that. It was disturbing on so many levels.
Piper didn't like to think of herself as a prude – or a bigot – or really even prejudiced in any way at all. She had to face it, though. She didn't understand homosexuality at all. It wasn't that she thought people should be treated different or hated because of it. No. She just couldn't get her mind wrapped around the idea. The man parts fit inside the woman parts. End of story. And Phoebe – of all people? The girl that considered mankind an all you can eat buffet? That she really, really could not comprehend. It was just too much and her head was beginning to pound. She needed some aspirin. She needed a whole bottle of aspirin. She moaned, grabbed her head, and headed for the bathroom.
Buffy rolled her eyes as one of the sisters left the room. You wouldn't catch her turning her back on the King of Hell! No, sirree. Any guy who guys by the name of Source of All Evil needs to be treated very delicately. She did, however, sympathize on the whole headache thing. She didn't want aspirin though... nope, she wanted something only available by prescription. Perhaps a narcotic. Or maybe even that rohip-thingy. Because, then she'd forget the whole thing. She sighed at the thought. Yes, that would be nice.
Her head, she'd bet, was throbbing a whole hell of a lot worse than the witch's. Especially with all the demons present. It still didn't really explain it, though. She frowned and tried to look at Giles. She smiled. Her Watcher was cleaning his glasses. A sure sign he was upset. An even surer sign that there was something he didn't want to look at.
As she looked at Willow, she tried to block the memory of the demon Willow from her memory. More than block it, she wanted it erased completely. She had to admit, though, that Willow had made the best-looking demon she'd ever seen. It had been quite incredible. She didn't look forward having to fight her. By the looks of her, she was very strong and quick. She turned her attention to the Source and his Queen. The Queen probably wasn't much of a threat. Sure, she was a witch. And, yeah, she probably wouldn't leave her alone with any guy she was involved with. But her offensive value was probably somewhere around... well, maybe Tara or Anya. She nodded internally. Yep, that's about right.
No, it was the Source that was the big threat. He of the giant fire balls. She glanced back at what was left of the grandfather clock. The other clue was how they all treated him. On an individual basis, the witches were probably not that dangerous. Giles had explained, though, that taken as a group, they were very threatening. So, if they were nervous, it wasn't a good sign. Add to that, what Giles had told her about the Source. He's kind of a hell god for this
Just what she needed. To fight another one of those. She died the last time. Still, he's a demon. She's a demon slayer. She scanned the room. Maybe later. This house was definitely not designed for slayage. She was too rough to get into it here. Plus she needed to get Wills alone. She really needed to talk to her.
What she really wanted to know was one thing, though. Just what the hell was driving her Slayer Sense so crazy? She was ninety-nine percent sure it wasn't the demons in the room. No. She could feel them, yeah. But it was above and separate from the other feeling. It was like it was all around and beneath their feet. She shuddered and asked a question with her eyes at Giles. What is it with this place?,
Giles and Leo had both gravitated to each other and retreated towards the kitchen door. Neither one was really ready to leave their charges. They looked nervously at each other. Leo had felt really honored to meet the Slayer and her Watcher. The things that they had accomplished, after all. All that was gone now. Every thing had fled his mind except for the Source, his pregnant and sure to be doomed charge, and this new demoness. He groaned. He'd been proud to be the Charmed Ones' white lighter, but - if this kept up – he'd be known as the one who lost them.
Giles smiled at the poor burdened man. Sure, he may be an angel – a white lighter. Still, he felt sorry for him. He was obviously over his head. Not that Giles had any experience with the situation they were in. Most Watchers had a pretty straight-forward policy for demons. KILL THEM. Not that difficult really. This, of course, was why he had gotten fired. He wasn't supposed to care. Not about the Slayer. Not about her friends. Hell! She wasn't even supposed to have
friends – or family! All he was supposed to care about was the battle against evil. The bottom line.
It was too late for that. So, he could understand very well what this boy was going through. After all, he'd made the same mistake he had. He cared. They weren't just his charges, they were his family. “So, Mr. Wyatt. Why haven't you been fired?”
Leo gasped in shock. What was this? He looked despairingly at the Watcher. What have I done to piss him off?
“Oh! My dear boy.” He'd really upset him. He laughed. “I only meant that I was fired by the Watcher's Council because I cared too much. I'd let myself get involved. I only meant I'd have thought that the Elders' Council would have the same sort of rules.”
Leo sighed with relief and smiled at the man. He understood. “I was. I was fired, Mr. Giles.”
The trio at the center of all the tension in the room were paying very little attention to the others. The truth was the two women were paying attention only to each other. Piper would've been gratified to know that she hadn't been the only one to notice Phoebe's expression. Cole and the Source were extremely agitated, but for different reasons. I don't like this. This isn't good. No. It's not. Thought you didn't like Phoebe. I don't. I don't like it because I want the other one.
He heard the damnable soul laughing at him. How dare you? I dare all the time. The other one has a name you know. Oh, yes. Willow. She definitely needs a more demonic name. She looked like a pretty damn fine demon to me. I thought Phoebe was your one true love. Your – ugh! - soul mate. Doesn't mean I can't appreciate a fine looking demoness. Haven't seen one that looked that fine in a long, long while. I know what you mean. Your mother... now there was a female with a fine tail. Ugh... that is so disturbing... you and my mother. Can I borrow the mouth so I can throw up now?
The whole room turned suddenly to stare as the Source erupted into laughter. Willow narrowed her eyes and stared at him. She wasn't too sure about him. The laughter made her nervous. What was it her father had said? Don't be worried when the Source is angry, it's when he's amused that you had to worry. And she was.
She turned her attention back to the Queen. Oh, she was even more beautiful in person. Though she wished they could get rid of those pesky clothes. She'd like to know if she was just as spectacular as she had been in her dream. Her eyes blurred and a shot of liquid heat enveloped her as she watched the royal tongue dart out and wet those plump lips. Wonder if she's as proficient with that as she was in my vision?
She licked her lips without thinking and tried to focus. She looked to her feet; anything to get her mind off the siren queen. She heard a groan and looked up. The Queen's eyes had darkened and she was looking at her very curiously. She started when she felt the Queen grasp her arm and pull her upwards.
“Maybe we should get to know each other a little better.”
“NO!” NO! NO!
They turned to look at Piper screaming at them, while the Source and his Soul looked on horrified.
“What?” Phoebe asked, confused. “I just thought her knees were getting tired. I just thought it might be nice to talk to someone who won't be telling me what not
to do all the time.”
As Willow got to her feet, never once taking her eyes off the Queen, she heard a voice call out from behind her. “Hey, Wills? Know you're busy and all... But could we talk before you and Her Majesty start serving tea?” She flinched at the sarcasm in her old friend's voice. As she turned to look at Buffy, she heard the Source snarl threateningly. Oooh, not good.
“Hey! Your Majesty! Stow the growling! I have been growled at by the very best, very stupidest, and very nastiest demons and vamps in creation!” Giles winced at the tone in Buffy's voice. He'd known her temper was close to the boiling point, now he felt it was closer to the vapor point. He tried to get her attention, but he knew that even if he did, she wouldn't listen. “Or mis-creation for that matter! Now, I want to talk to my friend! Before or after I slay your sorry ass, but I will talk to her
All Piper could think about was how much she really loved this old place. Damn it! I'm not going to let two hotheads destroy a house that's been in our family for four generations! It's damn well going to be given to the fifth!
She watched in horror as the Source roared a challenge and threw a flame ball at the Slayer. She was amazed to see the Slayer move faster than the ball, which exploded against the banister. She flinched and threw herself to the floor as pieces of the banister flew through the room. After the last of the fallout, she looked up to see that somehow nobody had been hurt. She shook her head in disbelief.
Something flew across the room towards the Source. It was the Slayer! How did she move like that? She watched, amazed, as she watched her foot connect with the Source's chest. The Source flew backwards, striking the fireplace. Wood shattered and the mirror over the mantel cracked ominously. Phoebe shrieked and leapt backwards, her hand moving protectively over her abdomen. Cole!
The Source growled and leapt to his feet as the Slayer moved in for another strike. She did a quick scan of the room for weapons. Unfortunately, all she had on her person was a wooden stake. She hardly thought it'd be adequate for the task. She spun to make a roundhouse kick as she spotted the Source moving in. Just as her foot sped towards him, she felt something grab her calf. She cried out in pain as her leg was twisted the wrong way. She grimaced as she heard the snap of her leg and then felt herself go flying.
Giles cried out as he watched his Slayer fly through the air, crashing into the piano. He flew to her side, motioning to Xander. Piper and Paige screamed in horror as they realized what the boy was doing. He couldn't! He was a mortal! He wouldn't stand a chance!
Their eyes focused on the demoness and shuddered. The girl Willow had re-assumed her demon form and had attacked the Slayer. Her so-called friend. Yet she had defended the Source. What more proof did they need? They exchanged a panicked look. What were they going to do? This was a new demoness – an upper-level demoness! There was no hope for a vanquishing spell in the Book of Shadows. Piper groaned in frustration and lifted her hands to blow up the demoness. Not that she had much of a chance – but she could always pray.
Phoebe grabbed the Tiffany lamp, ripping its cord out violently, and threw it right at her sisters' hands. She held her breath as she waited the few seconds to see if Piper and Paige would see what she had done. She watched as her sister poised her hands to either freeze or blow up Willow. Blow up most likely!
In the instant before she flexed her fingers, the lamp collided with her sister. Piper shrieked as she fell backwards. Blood ran from her fingers where the glass cut her.
“Phoebe!” Leo yelled in anger as he ran to his wife. She wasn't hurt too badly. Blood ran through her fingers, dripping into small spots on the hardwood floor. She was shaking. He was surprised to see with anger, not fear or terror.
“Damn it, Phoebe! We're sisters!” Piper yelled as Leo healed her cuts and bruises.
Xander's head was spinning. This was insane. He wasn't sure – no, he was sure! - he'd never been in such a crazy fight. Or in a place that was more unsuited for a demon-witch-slayer slugfest. He took a deep breath and faced down his old friend. “Wills. Please, Wills. I just want to talk. I don't want you to kill anyone. Please. Please.”
Willow took a breath and stopped at the sight of her old friend. He had a hitch in his voice and tears in his eyes. She closed her eyes and let it slide away, accepting her human form once again. She smiled at her friend before turning and kneeling before her king once more. She smiled happily as she felt the Queen's slim hand on her shoulder and looked up at the Source. “Please, my Lord, I can't hurt my friends. Don't ask it of me. Don't.” This is unbearable! Unbearable! Give her time. Give her time. She has proven herself to be loyal. Don't make her burn any bridges.
The Source relaxed, nodding in agreement. Sometimes the soul was pretty smart. He smiled grimly. He had plenty of time. It was patience he never had a surplus of.