This is a crossover story combining the Amber universe created by the late, great Roger Zelazny and BTVS. This is accomplished by assuming that the Buffyverse is simply a shadow of Amber (if any reader is now in a state of deep confusion, I highly recommend you read Nine Princes in Amber by Zelazny, and go on from there).

Summary: A Prince of Amber visits the Hellmouth. . .with completely unexpected results.

Disclaimer: All of these characters are the property of their owners/creators; furthermore, if Roger Zelazny were still alive I wouldn't even attempt this. . .but these characters are too interesting to leave alone.

Rating: PG-13, for the usual violence, mild language, and pointed irony by elder Amberites and Slayerettes.

Time Frame: Between "Dopplegangland" and "Enemies." Also takes place after all of the Amber short stories written by Zelazny before his death.

Author's note: This story is written in the first person. The point of view character will be noted in capital letters before the appropriate section (my apologies to anyone who thinks I am restating the obvious).




I stopped shifting shadow and examined my surroundings. Great, a graveyard. It may have been all right for Brother Corwin to piss on his own grave, but I have made it a lifetime habit to avoid such places if at all possible; else, what good is it to be immortal? From my vantage point atop Zephyr, my best hellriding stallion, I carefully looked around for other sights of interest, only to spot more graveyards as far as the eye could see. Nice place my big sister had decided to send me to. I removed the pack of Trumps from my pocket and removed the correct one. I concentrated on the delicate features and met the emerald gaze. After a moment, there was contact.

"Ah, Bleys, you've arrived. Good of you to get there on time." Fiona's voice contained just a hint of mockery, reflecting the annoyance she knew I felt about her uncanny ability to know who was calling her by Trump before answering, while the rest of us had to worry about finding ourselves at the mercy of a relative with a grudge and a talent for mental duelling. I scowled and replied, "Yes, I endeavor to please, Fiona. Would you mind telling me again why it was so damned important for me to find myself standing in some misbeggoten shadow in the middle of the night in a graveyard?"

Fiona smiled and purred, "Why dear brother, I thought you would like to be out and about for a while, after I spent those three weeks nursing you back to health after that unfortunate incident with Rinaldo."

Bitch. Leave it to Fiona to turn the guilt tap on at full force. I would have been in sorry shape after my vengeful nephew perforated me with a bullet that should not have been effective so close to Amber had Fiona not taken the time to supervise my recovery. I will have to have a talk with Rinaldo, not so much because he shot me-that just proves he's family. No, I will get even with him for putting me in debt to Fiona, for she always collects debts with interest. "All right, all right," I grumbled, tacitly conceding the game to the smirking woman before me, "but would it have killed you to bring Corwin in on this? He seems to love dealing with all of this terribly significant crap."

Fiona looked rueful for a moment before replying, "Corwin and I are on the outs right now. . .he still hasn't forgiven me for that whole situation where he and Rinaldo ended up perforating each other. Amazing what some people will hold a grudge over." She looked directly at me and commented, "Besides, you are better suited for this task, little brother. You are gifted both in weapons and sorcery, and you are quite familiar with this area of shadow."

After a moment, I realized that she was right. Some time back, when I was dodging most of my siblings in the aftermath of my fall from Kolvir (have Corwin tell that tale, I've grown weary of it) I spent a lot of time in this general area of Shadow. . .close to Chaos, modern technology, lots of weird stuff going on. . .it made it easy for one scion of Amber to remain inconspicuous. I wasn't sure if it was this shadow in particular, but I did have a nagging sense that I knew this place. I dismissed the feeling and returned my attention to the Sorceress of Amber. "Very well, sister. What is the mission that brings me here?"

Fiona frowned, then began to explain, occasionally looking down at what appeared to be notes. "There is a nexus of power in this shadow which the local inhabitants-those who are aware of its existence-call the Hellmouth. My studies, together with the close-up investigations of those who know of such phenomena and report to me, suggest that this nexus has a direct link with the Logrus of Chaos." I raised an eyebrow at this, knowing that the central power nexus of the Courts of Chaos contained inconceivable power that could be channeled through any suitable power artifact linked with it. Fiona continued, "This link seems to be of recent origin and is growing in strength. If it is not disabled, the Hellmouth will soon explode, annihilating the shadow in which you stand and creating a chaos storm that will lay waste to the majority of the entire region of shadow."

A Prince of Amber learns early in life to remain composed in the face of apocalyptic danger, for if he cannot, he will never last against his own siblings. However, I allowed myself an impressed whistle at the scope of destruction being calmly described by my sister. I looked at her and asked, "What do you want me to do, sister?"

Fiona wasted no time in answering my question: "You will seek out this Hellmouth, and examine it using your own sorcerous abilities. You will then report back to me about your findings. . .this should take you no more than a few hours local time, as the Hellmouth is close to your current position. Also, I want you to make contact with the local forces that seem to be fighting against the influence of the Hellmouth-the odds are good that one of them will be a local practitioner of magic that will be able to help you sever the local end of the link with the Logrus."

I nodded and asked, "So who are these people? Apocalypse cultists? Knights Templar? Alien refugees? Who?"

Fiona paused for a moment, and for the first time I can remember, she seemed embarrassed as she softly whispered the answer to my question:



Patrol had been largely uneventful, with the local vamp forces still recovering from the aftermath of the Evil Willow fiasco. Willow was still helping Giles with the reconstruction of the library files after the Hellmouth demon trashed the place, and Giles had even drafted Wesley for the duty, keeping the little weasel out of our hair for a while. Faith was still off duty while the Watchers' Council stared at her inkblot tests, wondering if she'd be all right. She seemed better to me, and my bruised arms definitely made me think she was itching to do some serious demon-pummeling. That left Xander and Oz, and they seemed happy to come along with me. Oz had a rough time during the whole Evil Willow incident, and I think he was looking forward to the idea of taking out a few vampires to even the score, both for his girlfriend and the version of her he could not save. As for Xander. . .thinking Willow had died was harder on him than any of us, and though that-thank God-turned out to be just more Hellmouthy weirdness, it was just another nasty incident in what had been a rough year for him anyway.

I saw motion in the corner of my eye and gestured to Xander and Oz in time to call their attention to the four vamps trying to sneak up on us from the left as we moved through the Courtland Cemetery. We were ready as they attacked as a group, two attacking me and one taking on each of my two friends. They were reasonably fit, but I managed to hold them off as I kept an eye on Oz and Xander. Oz is a small guy, but I think that the werewolf problem has left him with some leftover speed and toughness that helps him in these situations-he seemed to be holding his own. Xander was doing better than that-I took a moment to enjoy his performance as he clearly outclassed the vamp he was facing, executing a perfect sweep kick and knocking him on his ass before staking him. Watching him, I felt a little guilty that we had tried to exclude him from the whole save the world again thing, particularly after Angel told me what his sources told him about what Xander had been up to while we were busy. While I pondered the fact that all of our efforts might have been futile without Xander's solo fight against O' Toole's gang, Oz finished off his vamp. A little embarrassed at being outperformed by my friends, I manuevered the two vamps into running into one another, stunning them. I took two stakes and staked the two of them at the same time, causing a way too large cloud of dust that had me coughing as Xander and Oz ran up to me.

I turned to them and grinned, "Hey, no problem. Good job, guys. Let's motor." Oz moved ahead, still wanting to deal with his anger quietly and by himself. I respected his desire and moved into step with Xander. He turned to me and asked, "How much longer are you planning on patrolling, Buffy? I've got a few errands to run tonight before I crash."

I looked at him and couldn't resist. "What's the matter, Xander? Got to make it to the leather store before it closes and leaves you out in the cold with Faith?"

Xander stopped for a moment and took a deep breath, and the expression on his face made me sorry I had kidded him. After a moment, he turned to me and smiled before saying, "My friend, I can guarantee that is absolutely not what I am planning." He sighed and looked at me, commenting, "You know, Willow still has a hard time looking me in the eye. I guess you're pretty disappointed in me, too."

I felt a pang of guilt as I took his hand and looked into his eyes. "Xander, I'm not disappointed in you. It's not as if Faith had fangs and claws, and she was pretty damned heroic that night. It's just like when we were talking about you and Cordy last Valentine's Day. . .I think you can do better. I should have warned you about her. . .she would have moved on to the next conquest, and you wouldn't be hurting right now."

He looked at me and squeezed my shoulder before looking away again and replying, "Don't be so sure that I would have said "No" even then, Buffy. I'm not exactly Mr. Willpower."

I smiled at a sudden memory. "It seems to me you were able to say no in a very similar situation last year."

Xander blushed as he realized what she was talking about. "That was a little different. The whole thing was my fault, and whatever else I screw up, I'm never going to be Date Rape Boy. But if Faith came back to me with the same offer she made that night. . .I'd probably go for it again. How stupid is that?"

I chuckled and replied, "From what Angel said, I gather one of the reasons she was so pissed off at you was that you were managing to resist her. . .offerings. I think your sense of self-preservation will kick in if it comes up again, and who knows. . .maybe her head is screwed on straight now, and you can try it on a more healthy basis. . ." I saw that Oz had paused ahead of us and was sniffing the air. We ran up to him, and Xander asked what we were both thinking: "What are you smelling, Oz-man?"

Oz turned to us and replied in a puzzled tone, "A horse, but it smells funny." He pointed ahead, and we followed the path for about two hundred yards before seeing a mounted figure in the distance. As we approached, the figure remained unmoving, and we stopped about twenty feet away and took a good look.

He seemed to be about six feet tall sitting fully upright in the saddle. He was a redhead, with medium length hair and a well-trimmed beard and mustache. His clothes were red and orange of shades that Cordelia would have killed to have in her wardrobe. A large broadsword hung at his hip. There were three rings on his fingers: one of ruby, one of sapphire, and one emerald. His smiling blue eyes met mine, and I blushed for a moment before I remembered who I was and that this man might be a threat. Still, he might just be a tourist with odd travel accomodations, or some local nut I didn't know. Politeness seemed to be in order. I walked up to him and asked calmly, "Can we help you with something, sir?"

The man on the horse seemed to regard me for a moment, then looked carefully at Xander and Oz. He smiled in the cryptic manner that always annoyed me when Angel did it before we connected, then replied, "Yes, I think that you can. My name is Bleys, and I need to find the Hellmouth."

As always, comments are welcome and desired.