Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the intellectual property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, et al; Gundam Wing is the intellectual property of Sunrise, Kodansha, et al; and Naruto is the intellectual property of Masashi Kishimoto, Shueisha, and VIZ Media. No money is being made from this story and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: In late August of 2005, a meme went around livejournal in which you listed 12 characters and then answered various questions about them. The trick was that you couldn't look at the questions first. One of my questions was whether Sasuke would do better paired with Faith or with Duo Maxwell. "Obviously," I said, "they should have a threesome."
Beware of making jokes. Sometimes they come back to bite you.
Summary: An unfortunate accident with a demonic portal dumps Faith, Duo Maxwell, and Uchiha Sasuke into a hell dimension. Knowing these three, things can only get worse from there...
Part I: In which three strangers take an impromptu journey
Faith kicked the Sargul demon one last time for good measure, watched its mouth tentacles fall slack, and then used its shirt to wipe the glistening turquoise blood off her knife. Behind her, the last demon gurgled and died as her two unexpected allies finished it off. Faith looked around, slowing her breathing back to normal levels, and tried to figure out where the fuck that portal had dropped her. Deep purple sky, sun an eye-searing white dot overhead, several stars visible near the jagged horizon. Black rocks underfoot, with a bit of sawtooth grass -- or something damn close to it -- for decoration, and the air as dry as vamp dust.
Had to be a hell dimension. Fuck.
"You look human, chica, but you knew a hell of a lot about killing those things," one of her new allies drawled, raking a blatant stare up and down her body. Then he slung a long metal pole across the back of his neck and draped his forearms over it. "You mind explaining yourself?"
Faith returned his stare. Hot guy, looked barely old enough to drink, dressed all in black and wearing a cross around his neck. Gun at his side, knives in his boots, down his back, and up his sleeves; he hid them well, but she knew the signs. A strange metal pole that could spit a curve of green fire out one end -- mojo or sci-fi, she didn't know which. And to top it off, long brown hair pulled into a three-foot braid. How the hell did he keep that out of his way during a fight? (And what conditioner did he use? Too much demon slime and guts, too many washes, and split ends turned into a real nightmare.)
"They're Sargul demons," she said. "They were opening a portal between dimensions and I crashed their party. The portal must've gone wild and grabbed you. Sorry." She shrugged. "I know some people who'll pull me back and we can get you two home again from there."
The guy laughed. "I'd call you a liar except this," -- he waved his hands at the alien landscape -- "is not Earth or the colonies, and glowing blue circles don't usually open in front of my targets and grab me. I'm Duo Maxwell -- I run, I hide, but I never tell a lie. You?"
"Faith." She looked at the third person.
He stared blankly back. He was younger than Duo, about the age Faith had been when she got Called as a Slayer, and he looked as angry and pighead stubborn as she'd been back then. Deathly pale, black hair chopped off in ragged tufts, black pants, a loose shirt, and way more knives and throwing stars than any sane person needed strapped to his legs and arms. Faith vaguely remembered seeing fiery explosions from his direction during the fight, but she couldn't see any grenades. Maybe he'd used them all.
She had a sudden thought. "Hey, do you speak English?" No response. "Shit. Parlay voo fransay? Not that that would help..."
The guy bit out a phrase in some weird lilting language, and Faith groaned.
"Hey, no worries," Duo said cheerfully. "That's Japanese. Hang tight and I'll explain things."
Several minutes later, Faith learned that the guy was named Uchiha Sasuke -- Sasuke being his first name and Uchiha his family, because people in his world put their names the wrong way around -- and he was a ninja assassin who could do magic. Sasuke swore anyone could learn to use 'chakra' to blow things up and shit, but Faith didn't believe him. Then she had to stop Duo from pestering the guy into giving him lessons on starting explosions with his mind.
"Lemme get this straight," she said as they sat in a circle on some handy rocks. "Sasuke's a magical ninja and he got grabbed while he was killing someone. You used to be a terrorist and fight in a giant robot, but now you're a freelance assassin and thief. And I'm a Slayer who got mystically chosen to fight vampires and demons." She drew her knife and studied the edge; there were a few nicks from the Sarguls' iron-hard claws, but it didn't need much sharpening. "I don't like this. If the portal was random, at least one of you should've been deadweight, not a fighter."
Duo translated that for Sasuke, who shrugged and said something short. "He said they might've been summoning," Duo told Faith. "Makes sense to me -- we're both pretty deadly and we fight for hire. I wouldn't work for demons or try to destroy somebody else's world, but they had no way to know that without grabbing me and asking."
"Fuck." That made way too much sense, and jibed with the dangerous vibes Faith was getting from these two guys. She was used to being the craziest, harshest person in the room, unless she was surrounded by vamps and had license to kill them. She wasn't sure how to deal with assassins who weren't actively trying to kill her.
Play it cool, she decided. She held out her left hand and began to trim her nails with her knife. "Guess I'll have to look hard at their friends when I get home. In the meantime, anybody got a deck of cards?"
A deck of cards. Pulled out of her world, surrounded by demons and two assassins, and Faith wanted to play card games? Duo grinned. He could definitely respect someone that loco.
If this was a hallucination -- if Katsopolis'd had sniffers and chem guards Duo hadn't spotted -- then at least it was an interesting one. One guy who reminded him of Heero and Wufei at their worst during the wars, and who could start fires with his mind; and one hot lady in black leather pants, who carried wooden stakes, a small throwing axe, and a seriously wicked serrated knife. His imagination wasn't usually this creative, so Duo figured he'd assume this place was real, unless he woke up in Katsopolis's basement with goons sticking sharp things into his ass.
"Why would I bring playing cards along on a cleaning trip?" he asked Faith
Faith shrugged and inspected her fingers. Then she switched her knife to her left hand and started trimming the nail on her right thumb. "Beats me, but you drove a giant robot when you were trying to be invisible. Anyone that fucked in the head, there's no telling what you might do."
Duo paused, blinked, and cracked up.
Faith snorted at him. Sasuke just gave him a fair imitation of Heero's old death glare.
"Maybe we should search the demons," Duo suggested once he had his breath back. He liked this lady. Summed up the Gundam program in two sentences and thought the idea was as cracked as he'd always told G it was. Yeah, mobile suits were cool, and Deathscythe'd been a damn good partner, but he was a thief and he itched when he stood out involuntarily -- the suits had always scraped his instincts raw. The other pilots had wondered why he spent hours tinkering with ECM programs and radar shielding, but Duo thought that Faith would understand exactly. (Well, Heero understood. He just didn't care. Heero was great, but he was screaming loco back then.)
Faith nodded and stood from her perch on one of the black rocks with weird purple streaks that made up the ground of this place. Duo repeated the suggestion in Japanese, and Sasuke grunted something unintelligible that probably meant, 'You two are psycho and stupid, and I wanted to do this fifteen minutes ago, but I was waiting for you morons to reach the same conclusion.' At least, that's what his expression said.
"You have got to lighten up, man," Duo told Sasuke as they dragged one of the demons off another. "Relax."
"Carelessness kills," Sasuke said. He bent down to search a burnt and partially dismembered demon, and ignored Duo's rolled eyes.
"Stress kills too," Duo said. Then he crouched and started going through one demon's pockets. The Sarguls looked disturbingly human, except for the greenish skin, the hair-like tentacles around their mouths, the claws on their hands and feet, and the irregular bony projections on their skulls. "Phrenologist's nightmare," Duo muttered to himself. Old Josie, back on L2, used to run her hands over your head and tell your future from the lumps on your skull. Then she'd swear she could spell away your bad luck if you came home with her. Solo, and then Duo, had kept the gang well away from Josie. Everyone knew how she made money off of kids.
He was damn happy his scythe cauterized as it cut or there'd be even more turquoise blood smeared around, and he was stepping around puddles as it was. The Sarguls didn't have much on them, just knives and clubs, and some grocery receipts, car keys, and other scraps of Have life. They must've been passing somehow, or Faith's world was more fucked up than she'd admitted.
Then Sasuke whistled. "Duo? Come look at this."
The so-called demons looked no stranger than some bloodline limit ninja he'd seen in Hidden Sound, but the turquoise blood did lend support to Faith's claim that they weren't human. Sasuke knew he wasn't trapped in a genjutsu -- he'd activated his Sharingan to check for illusions, and then used the dispelling seal just in case Itachi had tracked him down for some reason and was now toying with him again -- but the idea that demons could summon humans, and summon them into a different world, was unsettling.
Duo and Faith acted as nonchalant and crazy as his old teammates from Hidden Leaf, albeit with a darker edge. It put Sasuke's back up, but Duo said that Faith claimed she had friends who would summon her back to her world sooner or later, so sticking close to her was the obvious course. Searching the demons was the next obvious step, but it took those two a pitifully long time to reach that conclusion.
If he hadn't seen them fight, Sasuke would have dismissed them as useless. But Faith was strong enough that if she were from his world, he would have suspected a bloodline limit, and Duo's reactions were so fast that Sasuke wondered if he had a touch of precognition. In the hidden villages they would have been at least high-level chuunin, and he could read from their eyes and body language that they would kill without hesitation if they thought it necessary.
Sasuke pulled papers, keys, small plastic rectangles, and occasional bits of feather, bone, or wood from the demons' pockets and from around their necks. Their clubs he discarded, but the knives he collected; it was always good to have replacement weapons, even if the steel was poor quality and the balance questionable.
Then he found one demon whose corpse was dressed differently from the others. While most of the greenish bodies were clothed in loose cotton shirts and pants of a blue canvas-like material, this one wore a shapeless black robe, carried a gnarled wooden staff, and had several heavy pouches tied to a belt around its waist. A gleaming black opal hung in a silver cage around its neck and a turquoise-smeared scroll lay on the ground by its side.
Sasuke whistled. "Duo? Come look at this."
Duo ambled over, leaned on the metal pole of his strange scythe, and copied Sasuke's whistle. "You think that's the summoner?" he asked.
Sasuke nodded curtly.
"Faith!" Duo called, and then spouted a long string of the awkward-sounding language she spoke. The woman vaulted over a pile of demon corpses and joined them by the summoner's body. Her eyes widened, and she pulled her earring out of her right ear -- it was a twist of gold around a piece of amber -- and she ran it over the demon's body. The amber flashed as it passed above the necklace.
Faith spoke to Duo and hooked her earring back into place. Then she unbuckled the summoner's belt, kicked the staff from its hand, and used her knife to break the chain that held the caged opal around its neck. Duo draped a piece of cloth around his hand and picked up the opal, which he promptly wrapped up and tucked into one of the zippered pockets of his black jacket.
"What was that?" Sasuke asked.
"Faith says the opal has spells on it, so it might be tied into the portal. The staff might be booby-trapped, and the belt's just supplies. She's gonna see if the scroll explains anything," Duo said as he crouched, balancing on the balls of his feet, and poked through the summoner's belt pouches.
Faith cursed and waved the stained scroll in the air. Then she kicked the summoner's corpse, hard enough that the body crumpled around her foot and Sasuke heard its ribs and spine snap.
"Temper, temper," Duo muttered, and then asked Faith a question. She spat on the oddly-colored rocks and tossed the scroll to Duo, who unrolled it. Sasuke looked over Duo's shoulder, but couldn't make heads or tails of the markings. They seemed to be a sort of syllabary, like katakana, but the characters were totally unfamiliar and he doubted he would understand the words even if he could sound out their pronunciation.
Duo, however, grinned. "G was right -- Latin does come in handy," he said to Sasuke, which made no real sense but implied that he could read the scroll.
"Tell Faith, and get us out of this place." Sasuke sat down on a rock to wait.
AN: Thanks for reading, and please review! I'm particularly interested in knowing what parts of the story worked for you, what parts didn't, and why. Also, please tell me if I'm not giving enough background for any of the three series in this crossover -- I'm trying to be clear without resorting to exposition dumps, but if I'm leaving stuff out, I'd like to know so I can fix it! (Conversely, if I am infodumping, please tell me that too.)