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This was supposed to be a reply to the nekid numbers on the LJ community nekid_spike. It's grown :D
Sotia helped me with her test-reading again and Mari was nice enough to beta this for me.
The brand new Audi Q7 came to a halt in front of a hotel that looked just as ancient as the rest of the sleepy little town of Sighisoara. The name on the door advertised the same name as the burg, apparently wanting to promote the fact that it was the quintessential place to be. The doors of the car opened at the same time, allowing its two occupants to descend.
Willow stood on the sidewalk waiting for Alia to take the luggage out of the trunk and join her so that they could both walk into the lobby. Her loose clothes were a mix of earth-brown and black and her hair had streaks of white running through it from all the high-power spells she’d done for the Coven and the Slayers over the last few years and the numerous invocations of the Guardians. Tara would have been proud of her.
She took the customary few seconds to breathe, invoke the goddess, and take in the feel of the place, to extend slender magic tendrils to figure out what powers were ebbing and flowing throughout the old town, the location of Eastern Europe’s best preserved medieval citadel. Another second was reverently taken to imagine her long-lost beloved standing right next to her partaking in the same feast of the magical senses.
Knowing just what it was that her lover was doing, Alia gave her the space required. When it seemed that “the joining” was complete, for that is what she called Willow’s powers connecting to the place they were in, added by the memory of a woman Alia herself would have loved to meet, she stepped to the redhead and placed a soft kiss on her cheek.
“Ready?” she asked the slightly smaller woman, the receptacle of so many ancient energies that her Slayer sense always tingled in a very pleasant way whenever they were touching.
The answer was a brilliant smile. “I’m ready whenever you are, sweetie.” And with that, the two powerful women strode into the lobby of the hotel that was to be their home for as long as it would take them to sweep the ancient ruins for the treasure they had come to recover.
After a week of fruitless searching, Willow was more grateful than ever that Alia came from a Romanian background, as the few people that knew anything relevant to their mission spoke no English. And if one was to believe in coincidences, then there were a lot of them they’d come across.
Dracula just happened to be helping the Slayers when a new prophecy about a powerful artifact appeared. He just happened to know that it was related to the Transylvanian town of Sighisoara, a place he’d once considered as a possible headquarter, only to be repelled by the magic housed therein. It just happened that Willow was the most powerful of the witches of the Coven. Another lucky occurrence was her relationship with a Slayer whose parents were born in Romania and who had taught their daughter their native language. It also just happened that all other possible teams that could be sent there at that precise time were busy with random demon resurgences.
Willow did not believe in coincidence. Alia and her were always on high alert, even in the peaceful surroundings they found themselves in. They couldn’t allow themselves to grow lax even if the people were always welcoming and forthcoming with information. True, digging up things related to ancient witches was as difficult as one would assume, but the rest came without a hitch.
Now, a week into their Transylvanian stay, they finally found the thread that could lead them to where they wanted to go. The owner of an remote bar, an elderly fellow with a cheerful attitude and very bad teeth, had heard from his mother, apparently somewhat of a practitioner of the occult arts herself, about a special secret buried in plain sight within the walls of the old city hall.
Another week had passed since Onu (the owner of a bar and one working tooth) had told them about the possibility of their prize being close. Since then they’d frequented his place every day, finding more about him, the history of the town and the numerous events that had shaped the destinies of the people they were living among. For Alia it had been a revelation to connect with roots she’d never particularly missed, yet somehow found to be an integral part of who she was as a person.
For Willow, watching her lover bloom and interact with the people around them was enchanting. Before coming here, Alia had been shy, quiet and studious, making her so much like Tara that sometimes it pained her to be in her presence. Now she was opening up, seeming cheerful and in her element, becoming the kind of woman she’d always envisioned the caring Wicca would have turned into, had she not been cut down by that stray bullet years ago. Surprisingly, that revelation did not hurt, instead bringing her closer to the chestnut-haired beauty.
And tonight the final test would present itself. They’d found out about a secret passageway leading from one of the towers — the Tailor’s Guild Tower — down beneath the hill the citadel was built upon. If something were to happen, it would be the first time Alia would be in combat without being part of a squad of five, the customary way Slayers were deployed these days. Alia joked, saying she could be more like Buffy on this mission, one Slayer on a mission.
Willow ached when she remembered one particular morning and a tower. The ‘big gun’ Buffy had talked about then had become what the same woman now called the ‘one-woman army’, though, and she would let nothing get to her girl.
She shook off any thoughts of failure or traps and steeled herself for the possibilities of what the shadows would bring.
They’d descended through the hatch and had been twisting and turning within the long corridor for what seemed like hours. The small glow-ball Willow had conjured threw eerie and strange shadows along the uneven walls, making the hearts of both women beat faster than normal.
The weapons Alia carried made an occasional noise as they trudged up and down the winding stairs. Despite the fact that only the sword and stake she held in both hands and the bow slung across her back were visible, Willow had watched the Slayer stash about a dozen more stakes, darts and knives throughout her clothing. She was left wondering where exactly they all went, seeing as how the skin-tight clothes left almost nothing to her imagination and yet revealed not one of the concealed weapons. The redhead made a mental note to take her time exploring all her lover’s hideouts, for she just knew it would be very pleasurable.
All of a sudden, the space became larger, the corridor ending in a room as big as a barn, a possible spot for either keeping supplies during a siege or for witches to perform their rituals. The floor was smooth and even, the rock apparently having been carved out to specific designs. Along one of the walls a small stream of water trickled out of the rock and down through a special channel all the way to what was obviously the outer wall. On that side, two man-sized slits had been cut into the stone, fresh air coming through them.
Flaring the glow-ball to shine brighter, the two could discern patterns on every surface, old paintings, writing and even occult drawings having faded into lines and shadows. The strangest thing and that which made both their hearts leap, was what lay in the very center of the opposite wall, across the water stream where they stood now.
Willow felt the power emanating from the evidently ancient artifact, despite the pristine condition it was in. She couldn’t wait to take it home to the Coven and unlock its long-forgotten secrets.
“A broom? Is that it?” Alia gave voice to what they’d both thought at the sight before them. There, in plain view, now that they got closer, was a medieval broom reclining on the wall. It was almost as if somebody had forgotten it long ago while taking a breather from cleaning the premises.
“Well… you know, they didn’t make up all those stories about witches and brooms for nothing, right?” The two exchanged amused looks and headed towards the item in question.
Before Willow could grab onto the broom, its magic calling to her like a siren, a wind came out of nowhere and time seemed to grind to a halt. Like spectators to a strange show in a foreign language, the lovers watched as a black blur bound past them from behind. The blur stopped beside the magic broom before their hearts managed to beat once, revealing a game-faced vampire who grabbed the artifact and leapt towards the closest of the two slits.
It had all happened in the blink of an eye, leaving Willow shocked and Alia amazed that she hadn’t gotten any warning from her Slayer senses even when the vampire had brushed past her. Springing into action, the girl gave chase, only to find that the slits led outside through a series of very sharp turns and out on a cliff-face overlooking a river. The unusual vamp was gone and without any tingles, it would be impossible to track him down in unfamiliar territory at night.
Returning to the chamber, Alia found Willow rooted to the spot, mid-reach for the broom that had been robbed from them. Growing worried, the Slayer touched her lover’s neck, trying to feel for a pulse. With a shudder that startled both women, the witch came back to her senses and, entirely out of character for her, started cursing a blue streak.
When she was done hurling colorful expletives, which made Alia wonder what wharf her lover had frequented to get language tips from, the redhead dropped to her knees in a fit of half-crazed giggles. By the time those subsided as well, the Slayer almost believed that her companion had lost her mind and was preparing to scour the earth for the vampire responsible for somehow bringing down one of the most powerful witches in history.
Willow, her eyes still watering from her laughing and voice still rough from shouting, turned her attention to her lover and asked her, “Buffy’s gonna have a cow when I tell her Spike stole our broom.” and promptly fainted.
Chapter End Notes:
You have Sotia and Mari to blame for the continuation of a supposedly one-shot. *wink*
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