AUTHOR'S NOTES: Okay, gentlebeings all! This is an AU from Buffy 7.22 'Chosen' and Angel 4.22 'Home' – everything in the Jossverse up to that point is concrete and solid. However, anything that is mentioned, referred to, or happening after those two episodes is all up in the air.
First, there was one;
Then, there were two;
Now, there are many.
Something's gotta give.
Chosen One: A Swiftly Falling Darkness
Late at night, on the streets of the city, the solitary girl should have been easy prey.
She walked past the mounds of rubbish and refuse littering the alley. Her bootheels tapped lightly against the concrete. Her movements were akin to the careless grace of a cat, both fastidious and yet unafraid of danger.
This was a dangerous area for humans, if she'd only known it. But her ignorance was to the benefit of the vampire who pressed himself up against the packing crates piled high in the shadows. The scent of her blood, flowing hot beneath her skin, had taunted him since she'd entered the alley, taking a shortcut from one main street to the next.
He'd survived the return of daylight to the city after the beast was destroyed. He'd eluded the surge of insanity following Jasmine's appearance. Then, he'd managed to avoid the worst of the depression after she vanished.
Normality had returned and, with it, prey.
Including pretty little things with lovely, smooth skin, curling blonde hair, and sweet, red blood...
He should have stayed in place, waiting for the right moment to strike. But he was too hungry for the drink he could feel, intoxicatingly close. The vampire leaped from hiding with the easy viciousness of a killer, intending to bring her down to her death in the hard, cold street.
Even as he flew through the air, she moved with the preternatural swiftness of a predator, stepping out of his way and grabbing his arm as he passed by. His momentum swung them both around and down, and there was a crack as his jaw slammed against unyielding concrete.
He had time to yelp as he was flipped onto his back with hands too strong to be human, and then the girl was reaching into her jacket and pulling out something long and pointed.
Streetlight gleamed off a ring, flashing over the bright silver dolphin as the hand rose. There was time for the vampire to scream once as the stake plunged towards his heart, and then...
The girl stood, dusting herself off with meticulous care. The light of the alleyway cast her face into chiroscuiro, the lines of her features visible through the long waving strands of her hair. She paused as she stood, and looked both ways like a child about to cross the road.
Then she walked with an easy saunter to the other end of the alley and vanished into the sparse flow of traffic.
Dust floated in tiny eddies of wind as shadows moved and coalesced into forms, barely visible against the backdrop of the night.
There was a sound like the faintest rustle of cornstalks. "This changes things."
"No," said another voice, dead and filled with rotting things. No living creature had a voice like that. "It does not. She will fight and she will die."
"And another will come..."
The cornstalks rippled in the first voice, surprised by the certainty. "You are sure?"
Hints of curling copper made themselves known in the darkness as the second shadow shifted.