Whispers In the Dark

Chapter Three: Invasion

"Sharing the world has never been humanity's defining attribute."

—Professor X, X-Men


"Freeze, Mommy!" the little redhead called from the hallway, sprawled on her stomach with her hands clasped together in the shape of a revolver. Willow cocked an eyebrow, sauntering along into the corridor with her Freudian slippers and pajamas. "Bang bang!" Cealyn added the sound effects, smirking.

Faith rolled out onto the carpet from a nearby room, "Red, that means you're supposed to die," the brunette Slayer whispered loudly, pretending to make it a secret to Cealyn.

"O-Oh!" Willow paused, then grasped her chest and collapsed to the floor. The red-haired woman wasn't too keen on acting, so it wasn't as dramatic as the Cealyn anticipated. After a few moments of stillness, the little girl crawled over to her mother, shaking her gently.

"Little Red," Faith advised, "This is 'no mercy, man' part."

"Right," Cealyn smiled coyly. "No mercy, man!" she yelled, which wasn't saying much, but it was worth a try, and reshaped her hands into the gun mold once more.

"I should've known," Willow performed, pretending to die with slightly more accuracy. "Cealyn is the best…"

"Bang bang!" the girl shrieked on cue, and Willow closed her eyes, letting her tongue roll out of her mouth. Cealyn gently stirred her mother. "Mommy, it's just pretend. You can stop now."

Willow opened her hazel green eyes, "I know, baby." She sat up. "So, Faith, you've been teaching my child the value of shooting stuff?" Cealyn crept onto her mother's lap.

"She found my Alias episodes," Faith shot a grin, then shrugged. "Didn't get much of the CIA stuff, but she did enjoy the good ole violence."

"I really wasn't much into that stuff… but, hey…" Willow trailed off, staring at the ground. "… Miss Osbourne," she interrupted herself, addressing her daughter formally, lapsing into 'pretend'. "You up this late! Ludicrous!"

Cealyn's face twisted from trying to hold her giggles in. "But, Mrs. Osbourne, I am a young lady, and ladies can stay up as late as they want—" she suspended. "S-Sydney does! And—so do Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup!"

"Well, Sydney is up late 'cause she's working—and stuff… and do you really wanna do something that crazy?" she asked, standing up with Cealyn propped up against her body. "And—the Powerpuff Girls are saving the world before bedtime, not after."

"But—you save the world sometimes," her voice clearly was in full-on protest mode. "Why not me?"

"Because you will someday, I promise," Willow smiled softly. "But now, you're my little Pumpkinpooska."

Cealyn returned the shy smile, no energy left to say much more. She rested her head on her mother's shoulder as she was taken to her temporary room. After a few minutes of tucking in and the stroking of hair, Willow reappeared in the hallway.

"So, Red, what's up with you and Dawn and Connor these days?" Faith inquired, sitting up and leaning against the plaster wall. "You didn't really do much in the way of explaining."

"In all honesty… we're big with the running, since Buffy died," Willow sighed, tentatively staring at the ground. "It's been super bad."

Faith shook her head, seeming to be disappointed. "Buff—man, what happened with her? I thought I was the 'dark Slayer', but mercenaries…"

"… I know. She was—it was stupid. She said it was the only thing they could do now…" she curled into a fetal position, growing uncomfortable discussing the matter.

"And—what about Xander? What ever happened to him?"

Willow shot Faith a look that would've been identical to one given to a person who had said that Diana Osbourne was Mary Poppins. "Xander?" she repeated her voice hostile, then turning deflated. She held up a hand to her forehead. "He—is with the bad guys…"

"Oh." Faith became uncharacteristically hesitant. A beam of light shone brightly from the end of the hallway, through an unkempt, filthy window. A loud, threatening noise of fluttering helicopters was easily distinguishable through the walls. "Go get Little Red," Faith commanded, getting up. "I'll get the love birds."

Reassembled in the basement, the group stared from window to window, watching the lights dance across the cement floor.

"Any bright ideas?" Connor asked Faith harshly.

Faith grinned. "You'd be surprised."


"Jes?"

Thousands of miles away, the director of Frozen Sky aroused to a similar situation. She grumbled impulsively, running her fingers through her frumpy, frizzed hair. "What?" Jeshickah snapped to Evelyn, who tentatively backed away.

"Jes, they've found us," said Evelyn hastily, also still in pajamas and bedhead.

Jeshickah shot up from her bed. "Get Merrick, and go."

"W-What?"

"You heard me, get Merrick," her expression attained a rare, softer quality. "Don't worry about me, I'll make it out. All that matters is Mehr."

Evelyn nodded, scurrying off into one adjacent passage. The whole of Frozen Cloud was a giant indoor Labyrinth. It would be quite a miracle if even the Government, in all of its power, captured everyone, with all of the confusion the winding routes. Despite this sudden surge of confidence, she couldn't help but fear when she looked to the towering ceiling, sprawled with stain glass windows, and seeing the light from helicopters filtering through the colored glass.

Left, right, right, left, Evelyn memorized. There. She came to a large pair of doors with twin dragons as knockers, but paid them no mind as she rapidly ran in. She hurried to the corner, where an infant slept, undisturbed and oblivious to all the danger that surrounded him. He was nearly a toddler; Merrick was, with a large growth of dark hair and bright green eyes, currently closed in a dreamy sleep. She lifted him from the small bed, whispering, "It'll be okay, little Merrick… little Merrick Summers…"


Author's Note: Just to do some more coverings of my ass, Alias doesn't belong to me, either Anyway—

Sorry, sorry, sorry for such a long period between updates. Now Can't Come Home and this story are going to have my full attention for the time being, so expect an update for them soon.