Love and Death IV

By Marcus L. Rowland

More short Btvs and Angel crossovers, written for various games on the Twisting the Hellmouth forums. I thought that some of them deserved a wider audience. Non-Crossovers, and stories that don't involve the Buffyverse, have been posted separately. All of these stories were written for death games.

All characters belong to their respective creators; this story may not be distributed on a profit-making basis. Warning - ALL stories involve character death.


Van Helsing crossover.

Ending Immortality

"...and this is our resident expert in your field," said Cardinal Costello, leading the visitors into the Vatican cellars. "This is Herr Van Helsing, who killed Count Dracula. Van Helsing I'd like to introduce you to Miss Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer..."

"An honour," said Van Helsing, bowing slightly and kissing her hand. Buffy blushed.

"...Her sister, Miss Dawn Summers..." He offered his hand, and Dawn shook it firmly.

"Miss Rosenberg, a witch of renown..."

"Your fame precedes you," said Van Helsing. Willow touched his hand, winced, and snatched it away, saying "Sorry... too much pain there."

"...and the vampire Spike." Van Helsing reached for a stake and held it ready for use if it was needed. "Spike is our ally in this matter," Costello said hastily, "He has a soul."

"I thought your name was Angelus."

Spike scowled. "Not him, I'm the other one. Got my soul for love, not a poxy curse. Spike... William the Bloody!"

"Sorry," said Van Helsing. "Never heard of you."

"Bloody hell."

"You can't expect him to know everyone," said Buffy. "After all, Dracula was this huge... thing. You just didn't get the same publicity."

"The real one got sod-all publicity outside Transylvania," said Spike, "but the impersonator, the guy we met, had an ego the size of mount Everest. Even paid that git Stoker to ghost-write his so-called story."

"That could explain a lot," said Van Helsing. "We certainly don't publicise our activities, and there is much that was wrong in the novel. What happened to the impersonator?"

"Buffy," Spike said with pride.

"Kicked his ass, and staked him when he rematerialised," said Buffy.

"So what's this about?" asked Van Helsing.

"The Immortal," said Costello.

"Ah yes," said Van Helsing. "How many years is it?"

"Seven hundred and fifty-six," said Costello. "He claims more, of course."

"How does he do it?" asked Spike. "He isn't a vampire, and as far as I know there isn't a portrait aging in his attic."

"I tried to get close," said Buffy, "might have found out something if a couple of meddling vampires hadn't turned up in Rome and tipped him off that something was wrong."

"It's actually quite simple," said Costello. "He murdered the Wandering Jew, the curse transferred to him."

"Not much of a curse," said Spike. "He's rich, immortal, super-strong, damn near unkillable, and he's got half of Italy dancing to his tune."

"Unfortunately it is evil's tune."

"Maybe we could break the curse," said Willow. "What were the conditions?"

"You don't know the story?" asked Costello.

"It's kinda a Christian legend," Willow said apologetically.

"As a first step you'd need to arrange the Second Coming," said Costello, "After that he'd need to beg Our Lord for forgiveness..."

"Okay," Buffy said hastily, "We get the point. Let's not go there. Maybe we're asking the wrong question."

"And the right one," said Dawn, "is how did he kill the Wandering Jew?" She blushed as everyone stared at her. "What? You don't know?"

"We've never been quite sure," said Costello. "Some records suggest the Immortal may have been the leader of a group of bandits on the outskirts of Rome. In 1249 AD the Jew was found dead, and the Immortal began to amass power by killing his rivals, fighting with wounds that would have killed any other man. It became apparent that he had the same powers as the Jew."

"So how was he killed?" Dawn repeated.

"The Jew? We initially thought that he might have fallen foul of a Slayer," the Cardinal said apologetically, "His heart was pierced, and there were splinters of wood in the wound. But we later learned that the Slayer of that period was in Germany."

"Can't just be a stake," said Buffy, "he actually offered to let me stake him to prove that he was immortal."

"Some specific type of wood?" suggested Willow. "Or a wand or something of the sort."

"It's possible," said Costello, "but how to find out?"

"You have records," said Van Helsing, "the archives here, and perhaps the local church where the Jew was found, if it existed then."

"Research party," Spike said unenthusiastically. "Great."

"You can go get the doughnuts," said Dawn.

. . . . .

"Okay, all of these doughnuts plus two cappucinos, a mocha frappucino, two lattes, a hot chocolate with the little marshmallows, two expressos," said Spike, "and a strawberry iced tea." He gave the counter-hand a ridiculous number of Euros then went to the collection point.

"No blood?" asked Van Helsing.

"Had some pig this morning. Chocolate'll do for now. Must say it's handy having a Starbucks in the Vatican."

"It's one of the Immortal's companies, of course."

"You're putting me on. I thought that was Doctor Evil."

"Who?"

"Never mind. How come Starbucks got the concession?"

"Nobody else would bid for the contract."

"So is this still holy ground?"

"The whole of the Vatican is," said Van Helsing. "I'm surprised that you can even walk here."

"I don't have Dracula's hang-ups," said Spike. "Holy ground is fine. I burn if I actually touch a cross, of course, but I'm not planning to touch any crosses. Come on, here's the order." They collected the cups and bags and went back to the chapel that covered the entrance to Van Helsing's headquarters. Behind them the counter-hand picked up a phone and hit the speed-dial that connected him to the Immortal.

. . . . .

"Getting anywhere, pet?" Spike asked a couple of hours later.

"Just a headache," said Dawn. "The Immortal didn't have access to anything unusual. I suppose he could have got lucky, but there's nothing to suggest he had any mystic weapons."

"What about the Jew?" asked Spike. "Maybe he was packing something and the Immortal got it while they were fighting."

"Holy crap," said Willow, overhearing. "Didn't they say..." she leafed through one of the books on the table, and said "Yeah. He was a peddler at the time, selling icons, fake relics, that sort of thing."

"Perhaps he had something real," said Van Helsing. "A genuine relic. The Wandering Jew would surely know how to recognise the real thing."

"Sounds like a riddle," said Buffy. "What's made of wood and holy?"

At least four voices said "the True Cross."

"Indeed it is," said a voice from the stairs. "Or at least a piece of it. Please, don't get up." The Immortal walked downstairs, with four Starbucks counter-hands carrying machine pistols. "I'm surprised that nobody ever put the pieces together before. It's a pity. Kill them all." The waiters began to fire as Spike tipped over the table to give them cover. One of the mercenaries went down too, a stake thrown by Buffy embedded in his forehead. Bullets thudded into the heavy wood.

"You all right, Niblet?" asked Spike. Willow was muttering something in Latin and the waiters began to curse as the metal of their guns began to get uncomfortably warm. Dawn said "I'm okay, but Buffy's been hit in the leg, she's losing a lot of blood."

"I know," said Spike. "I can smell it." One of the waiters screamed as the magazine of his gun cooked off, the exploding cartridges taking off most of his hand. Van Helsing rolled out from behind the table and leapt for a workbench, a trail of bullets following him across the room, grabbed a gas-powered crossbow, and fired off most of its magazine. In seconds all of the waiters were down, perforated by dozens of bolts. The Immortal staggered slightly under the force of the impact, bolts bouncing from his flesh and shredding his Armani suit, but didn't go down. He drew a sword and said "We'll obviously have to do this the hard way."

"Thicken" said Willow. The Immortal slowed as he hit Willow's barrier, but wasn't stopped.

"Got a bit of the True Cross handy?" asked Spike.

"Sorry," said Van Helsing. "Not down here."

"How true is true?" Buffy asked weakly. "We've got wood, we've got blessed. The real thing is just..." She passed out.

"Too bad," said the Immortal, still fighting through Willow's spell. "A pity, she was superb."

Spike said "Truth's what God wants it to be, is that right?"

"Of course," said Costello.

"Right then." He turned and ripped a wooden crucifix from the wall, ignoring smouldering fingers, and snapped off the end as a jagged point. "Get on the blower and ask him to make this true."

Costello touched his rosary and began to pray. Abruptly Spike's fingers burst into flames, sheathing the cross without burning it. He shouted "Drop the spell, Willow."

Burning, he turned to face the Immortal and slammed the cross through his heart. Both of them fell. Before anyone could do anything Spike's body flared up in flames and crumbled to dust.

Van Helsing cautiously prodded the Immortal's corpse with his sword, saw a small cut, then swung it to decapitate the body.

"I think that's the end of him," said Costello. "As for the vampire, we must say a mass for his soul."

"I think he'd like that," said Dawn, tears streaking her face. "But first get some help down here, Buffy needs a doctor."

End


This one's for the Firefly death game. Angel crossover, no spoilers for Serenity (which I hadn't seen when I wrote it)

Book Ends

"Zoe?" said Book, "What the hell's going on here?"

"They're worshipping me, of course," said Zoe, pointing to the crowd that had gathered around Serenity, and to Mal, Jayne, and Wash kneeling at her feet. "You can join in if you like."

"I don't think so," said Book. "What the hell's got into you people?"

"Love, of course," said Mal. "We love Zoe, all of us do. Are you telling us you don't?"

"I like her, I guess," said Book, "but worship? Hardly. You know I have my own beliefs." He held up the book that gave him his nickname.

"That's too bad," said Zoe. "Jayne, if you wouldn't mind..."

Jayne got to his feet and in one fluid motion drew his gun and shot Book between the eyes.

"I wonder why he didn't want to join us," said Mal. "I knew he was ill, had a bit of a head cold, but maybe it was some kind of insanity.

"Never mind," said Zoe, gesturing to the crowd. "You three, drag him off and bury him." Three of the onlookers hurried to obey.

"Now we need to spread our love to the Alliance," said Zoe, "so that we can bring about interplanetary peace. But first, I think I want to change my name. Zoe's nice, but it doesn't quite have the right ring to it."

"What did you have in mind?" asked Mal.

"Jasmine's kinda pretty..."

End

Note: Gina Torres played Jasmine in Angel and Zoe in Firefly, of course; also Nebula in Xena: Warrior Princess, which might also be an interesting crossover...


Crossover with Q: The Winged Serpent - lots of spoilers. It's many years since I've seen the film, apologies if I get anything wrong. Completely unnecessary character death and some references to slash. Badmovies dot org slash q has a plot summary and a marvelous clip of the monster in action - but I wrote most of this before I saw it, and frankly I think my version is better!

Exit Xander

"Something's snatching people off the streets in New York," said Xander, showing Buffy and Willow a dozen newspaper stories that Andrew had collected. "Or at least their heads."

"What is it, and who can we spare to deal with it?" asked Willow.

"No idea on the what," said Xander, "except it's happening in daylight so it isn't vampires. A couple of people vanished completely, but mostly it's decapitations, with the heads missing. Oh, and they've found body parts from the ones that went missing. A foot in a shoe, that kinda thing, mostly scattered on roofs. Andrew's thinking gargoyles."

"Bleugh," said Buffy, "I hate the messy ones. Trouble is that we're pretty busy. There's the werewolf thing in Seattle, the usual Hellmouthy goodness in Cleveland, all sorts of things crawling around in the ruins of LA, and signs that the Sunnydale crater wants to go back into business. I'm booked solid, so are most of the others. And Willow certainly can't take it in her condition."

"If I'd known how being pregnant screws up my magic," said Willow, "I would have made Kennedy have the babies."

Xander reached over to pat her rounded belly, and said "I can't see that going down real well. You're much more the maternal type."

"Says the man whose idea of being a dad is jerking off into a Dixie cup for us then running away before I'd even got out the turkey baster."

"Hey, two parents is plenty," said Xander, "and I'm pretty sure I'd be a lousy father."

"We'll see," Willow said ominously.

"I think I'll take this one myself," Xander said hastily, "I've never been to New York before. If you can give me a Slayer to work with..."

"Faith's available," said Willow, "she's just wrapping things up in Quebec, I can route her back through New York at the weekend."

"And your next suggestion?"

"She's mellowed a lot, Xander, and Robin'll be with her."

"Okay then. If you want to make the travel arrangements, I'll go pack."

. . . . .

"Right," said Xander. "We've got a dozen deaths and four or five disappearences. All of the disappearences are women and children. No common pattern except that all of the victims were outdoors, and that mostly they disappeared from roof gardens and terraces. Andrew may be right about gargoyles."

"Aren't they supposed to be like good guys?" asked Faith.

"The ones on TV were," said Robin, "the real ones were demons. But it's hundreds of years since anyone saw one."

"What about the guy who got his head cut off in the middle of Times Square?" asked Faith, "wouldn't a gargoyle be kinda conspicuous there?"

"Nobody noticed anything," said Xander, "so maybe whatever's doing this is using magic to cover its tracks."

"Or it was just too fast," said Robin.

"Could be."

"I really don't like the sound of that," said Faith. "Sounds like we might not see it coming."

"Then we work together and watch each other's backs," said Xander.

"Works for me."

. . . . .

"This has to be the dumbest plan we've ever used," said Xander, looking across the roof garden of the apartment block they were staking out. Faith had boosted a shop dummy, which was sitting on a lounger next to a small swimming pool, while they watched through the penthouse windows.

"Let's hope nobody saw us breaking in," said Faith. "I know we're not gonna steal anything, but it'd be difficult to explain."

"The owner's in Bali," said Robin, "so we shouldn't be disturbed."

Xander glanced towards him as he spoke, and looked back to see the lounger on its side, and the decapitated dummy sprawled on the ground. Faith followed his gaze, and said "Okay... that was fast. Real fast, and real quiet."

"No sign of footprints," said Robin, scanning the area around the lounger with binoculars.

"It has to be something that flies," said Xander, using a small monocular. "I think I can see something on the ground by the dummy, could be a feather. One hell of a big one. You two cover me with the crossbows, I'm gonna take a closer look."

"No way," said Faith, "I'll go, you cover me."

"I'm the one that can't see on one side," said Xander. "You two have twenty-twenty vision. You can cover me a lot better than I can cover you."

"Okay... but let's be careful," said Robin.

Feeling horribly exposed, Xander cautiously crossed the roof towards the lounger and picked up... yes, a feather, about eight inches long, pale blue with a rainbow sheen.

"Down!" screamed Faith, and Xander threw himself to the ground as she fired over his head. Something whizzed past with a shriek and the swish of huge wings, a sinuous shape like a gigantic winged snake. Robin took another shot, but neither of them seemed to hit anything. "Get back inside," said Faith, grabbing Xander by the arm and hustling him towards the penthouse. Robin covered them, neither taking any chances.

"What the hell was that?" asked Xander.

. . . . .

"Quetzacoatl," Giles said over the phone. "The ancient Mexicans regarded them as gods."

"So what are they really?" asked Xander. "Demons?"

"Precisely. Not particularly intelligent, but very fast and well-camouflaged. If it's taking heads there'll be a nest somewhere, possibly some young."

"Any idea where we should look?"

"They traditionally nest in caves on cliffs," said Giles, "but I'd imagine that in this case you'll be looking for a tall building, possibly one that's been condemned or has unused areas."

"So how do we take it out?" asked Faith.

"Decapitation ought to work," said Giles. "And I wouldn't rule out the use of firearms. They don't appear to have any armour."

"Not easy in New York," said Robin.

"As you say. Well, crossbows should work too, or incineration."

"If we can just find the damn thing," said Xander.

"You might want to look for someone who summoned them," said Giles. "They've never previously been seen North of Mexico."

"Summoning sounds like we might be looking for wacky cultist fun."

"Time to hit the streets and the demon bars," said Faith.

. . . . .

"The guy's name is Kahea," said the chaos demon, wincing as Faith wrenched on its antlers, "runs a lame kinda Aztec temple thing. He's been recruiting, says the gods are gonna destroy New York. A lot of demons go for that kinda thing."

"Not you though?" asked Xander.

"Hell no, the Aztecs ran their lives like they were all in the army or something. Where's the chaos in that? I like the city fine the way it is."

"And we're believing this because...?"

"Because I'm in pain here, guys. C'mon, you can check it out easy enough. Let me go, I've got traffic to screw up."

"What do you think?" asked Robin.

"I think I believe him," said Xander. "He'd be an idiot to lie to us."

"Hey!" said the demon.

"So now you'd better lead us to his temple, and if you're very very helpful you might get out of this alive."

. . . . .

Someone screamed as Faith kicked open the doors of the temple, another penthouse apartment, and they ran in to see Kahea in the middle of a sacrifice in the central atrium, which was open to the sky. There was a screaming girl tied to a stone altar, and Kahea stood over her in ceremonial robes, a stone knife in his hand. A dozen assorted demons watching from the edges of the room. Faith and Robin went for the demons, Xander pulled the shotgun from under his coat and took a quick shot at Kahea, pumped it and fired again. On the third shot he went down, sprawled over the screaming girl, and Xander ran forward to free her. Around the edges of the room Faith and Wood were kicking demon ass, and blood and ichor were spraying everywhere.

"It's all right," said Xander. "We're here to save you!" He hacked at the ropes that secured her arms and legs with Kahea's knife. There was a sudden shadow overhead, and he looked up to see the sinuous form of the Quatzacoatl, gliding down towards him. He pumped the shotgun and fired at it again and again until the shells ran out, while Faith and Robin fired their crossbows at it and the surviving demons ran out. Eventually, slowly, it died.

"It's okay," said Xander, turning back to the screaming girl. "I'll soon have you free."

"DROP THE WEAPONS!" said an amplified voice. There was an NYPD helicopter overhead, with a sniper pointing a rifle at Xander. More cops ran into the temple from the stairs. Xander carefully raised his hands, forgetting that he was still holding the knife. He never heard the shot that killed him.

End.