Disclaimer: Thunderbirds belongs to Gerry & Sylvia Anderson and their studios. Charmed and it's concepts belongs to….uh, I'm not sure, come to think of it. But it's definitely not me. And I'm not making any money off either.
Warnings: Violence, supernatural themes, completely trite, corny writing
Authors Notes: This was merely an exercise in the cause of defeating writer's block, which frankly I have a bad case of. I wrote out this little window from in my head just to get the juices flowing again. So, naturally, it's pretty light on plot – it's really just a scene. I hope to get the bulk of the next chapter of 'Psychics' done this weekend, so maybe posting will occur next weekend, with any luck. This plot bunny probably won't go anywhere.
Regarding the story, in case you haven't guessed, it's a fusion with Charmed. For those of you who know the show, all the familiar elements are in there, and some other stuff just to add some surprise. For those who don't know the show, this will be an extremely weird but hopefully enjoyable foray through my twisted up imagination. Spelling mistakes are there for free.
Please, read and review.
Princes Charming – By Ryuuza Kochou
Caitlin 'Cat' Shaughnessy was on the bubbly, floating surface of heaven's cloud nine. Okay, so she was just coming home from late orchestra rehearsal so it wasn't exactly a date as such, but hey, she was walking home with the handsomest hottie in the senior class, who happened to be a talented musician and the son of a millionaire (or billionaire – stories varied about the reclusive Jeff Tracy because he was so, well, reclusive). Getting a quiet moment with Virgil Tracy was a one in a million opportunity. Cat couldn't wait to throw this right in Ashleigh and Rose's faces when she told them about it on Monday. She had the right to grin smugly about this for months!
No time like the present to take this even further, Cat thought as the Tracy's stately but modest home came into view. "Thanks for doing this, Virgil," she said with all the warm gratitude she could bring to bear.
Virgil smiled, which was enough to make her nerve endings feel like lightning striking the ground. "No problem," he shrugged. "I still don't get what happened to your car."
Cat shrugged innocently. "Haven't got a darn clue." Leaving the headlights on all night last night and a ping pong ball in the petrol tank just to be sure, she added in the privacy of her own head. And a carefully 'forgotten' cell phone.
It wasn't that Cat was being, you know, especially devious. She wouldn't be forced to resort to things like that normally, but getting the attention of a Tracy was a war of attrition between most of the girls at school, for all the good it did them. The 'boys' were about as reclusive as their father.
It hadn't been easy, even with the car. He'd looked it over with worrying expertise, and then had headed back inside to see if the community hall was still open so she could use their phone, which had caused a few anxious moments.
He had been strangely reluctant to bring her to the house, which was within walking distance. She'd almost had to tattoo the suggestion on her forehead before he took the hint.
"Maybe we could do some more practice tonight?" Cat suggested idly, holding up her violin case. "I think I'm really starting to get the hang of Schubert."
Virgil grimaced and grinned wryly. "Not a good idea, Cat. Honest."
"Why not?" Cat persisted, not to be stopped by the first fence. "Your Dad can't possibly mind music practice, can he?"
"I have four brothers," Virgil said as they turned into the drive. "Two younger. It wouldn't be quiet enough to practice in my house even at two in the morning."
Cat laughed. "They can't be that bad!"
Virgil winced. "They are. Trust me." He led the way up the porch stairs. "Besides, you're good. You shouldn't need any extra practice."
Cat felt herself melt all the way down to her tippy toes. It didn't matter that the plan didn't work out exactly the way she'd fantasised it (something in a she and Virgil alone in his room sort of thing), she was swimming in her own pool of Nirvana being complimented by her very own Prince Charming.
Virgil reached for his keys. "Come on in."
"Uh huh," Cat nodded, still up in heaven.
And then it all went to hell.
"Virgil, grab your date and duck!" and voice yelled from inside. Virgil hauled her, case and all, to land face first on the porch slats. There was an animal shriek and an ear-ringing boom, chorused by the shattering of the leadlight panels overhead. Cat screamed as she felt glass shower over them. She looked up and was struck dumb by a molten glass edged hole in the door. There was a smoking, charred break in the railing of the porch too, as whatever it was had disintegrated it as it shot past.
"Virgil!" A skinny young blond – probably about twelve or thirteen by the look of it, appeared in the doorway after wrenching it open. "Virgil, are you okay?"
"Yeah, Sprout," Virgil levered himself up off the floor. "You're getting better at the whole premonition thing."
Cat gaped into the porch floor. Premonitions?
"Alan, down!" was bellowed from inside.
Virgil snatched the younger boy by the shirt front on pure reflex and hauled him to the side of the doorway, hunching over him protectively as something glowing neon purple and humming like high voltage scythed out the open door. Cat felt the cutting heat of it as it flashed by.
"Not that good yet," Alan grinned tightly at Virgil, or at least at Virgil's chest.
Virgil grinned back, and rubbed his hair. "That's what the rest of us are here for."
There was another primal howl and a very human yell followed by the crash of falling furniture. "What are we dealing with?"
Alan shrugged. "I just felt it coming, I don't know what it is."
Virgil sighed. "Stay out here and look after her."
"Hey!" Alan protested indignantly. Virgil had already darted back inside. "I always have to go outside," he muttered resentfully.
He turned to Cat, whose jaw was still sagging and who was slowly pulling herself up off the porch. His grin turned a little bit sickly. "Er…hi," he greeted awkwardly. "Um….I guess your…ah, wondering what all this about." Alan looked up for a moment, inventing desperately. "Um, well….well…"
"There was…there was…" Cat stammered, pointing at the hole in the door, which was about head height.
Before Alan could think of a completely plausible explanation for flying balls of explosive light being thrown at people's heads there was a shattering crash from inside house and a yell of "Virgil!"
Cat shrieked as she saw Virgil Tracy, her prospective date, go flying through the air, at about head height and almost fully horizontal, across the cross section view of the hall. Dropping her violin case, Cat lurched forward through the door without thinking.
"Hey, don't…!" Alan darted after her, dragging her by the back of her shirt until he managed to halt her progress at the cross roads where the entrance hall widened out. She stared.
Virgil was splayed out across a large, heavy dining room table on his back, stunned. There was a shriek, an ear splitting scream from the other direction. Coming in from the lounge…
…there was a thing standing there, a shapeless, shadow-made, stinking monster. It undulated rather than moved and its chest (or the place where its chest looked to be) rattled and bulged with vile vapoured breath. Suddenly its bulges vibrated and there was a shriek right on the point of pain and it spat a ball of dirty light into it's tentacle like hand. It moved into a classic pitchers pose to hurl it.
blinked from her hunched over spot as what she was expected to happen
happened in reverse. The…shadow thing went rocketing backwards
through the door it had slithered through, flying so fast and hard
that it burst through a far door at the other side of the connecting
room and leaving a sizable dent in the wall past that.
An older guy leapt down the stairs from where he'd raised himself on the corner landing. There were cracked banisters and rumpled up hall carpets where he'd stood.
Cat turned at the sound of coughing. Virgil was hauling himself into a sitting position on the table, shaking his head. "Ow." He muttered to the world in general.
"Virgil, are you…" the older guy's look passed over Cat as he scanned the area, and he let out an angry breath. "Who the hell is…"
"Guys! Demon!" Another guy ran in from the kitchen area, the door parallel to the stairs, this one only about sixteen. Said redhead tossed something in glass in the air like someone setting up a baseball hit, and as it came back down it was swallowed by tongue of magnesium white fire, that burst the phial and scattered a molten spray of splatter and smoke across the oozing thing that was remerging from its pounding. The smoke swirled around it in a strangely endless pattern. It writhed and fought the glittering tendrils as if they were chains, and staggered back into the dim lounge, toppling.
"Hey, is that your date, Virgil?" the redhead smirked at the speechlessly white Cat. "She's cute."
"She's not my date, Gordon," Virgil muttered as he hauled himself off the table. Cat felt molecularly insulted – the rest of her was too dumbstruck. "She needed to use the phone."
"Uh…which part?" Gordon stirred some of the shattered debris that littered the floor all over the place. "There a bit here, and a bit there, and there and there in the wall, and there in the floor – the melted black bits…"
The older guy ran his fingers through his hair. "This is why we don't bring guests home, people."
"What was I supposed to do, Scott, leave her out in the cold?" Virgil protested. Scott grimaced.
Alan shrugged. "We are supposed to save the innocent," he pointed out, grinning.
"Wherever an innocent cries out for deliverance – or long distance," Gordon flourished theatrically.
"E-nough," Scott grunted irritably. He shot Cat a sympathetic look. "Sorry about this, miss."
"Er…er," Cat couldn't think of anything to say.
But suddenly there was no time. Alan flashed by her in a golden blur and hit Gordon in a full body tackle, bearing him to the ground. Cat swore as he passed that his eyes glowed.
There was another shriek and a purple globule of light shot out of the lounge to strike the wall just past where Gordon had been standing.
Scott swung his hand like a scythe; there was a sound of sharply moving air and the shadowy shape coming in from the lounge was going backwards with a scream.
"No way!" Gordon yelled from the floor. "That vanquishing stuff was good for another month!"
"No," Alan was panting. "No, there are more coming…there's…there's…" he seemed to be listening to voices no one else could hear. "There's one coming up from the basement…and one…Virgil!"
There was a shriek Cat had learned to dread. It came from behind her. She spun and stumbled backwards, screaming, as another gross shadow-thing stood outlined in the swiss cheesed front door. She held up her arms in what even she knew was a puny defence, but out of the corner of her eye she saw Virgil's hands flicker, fingers splayed…
And then it was gone. Not thrown away or lying on the floor, just…not there, as if it had never been. Blinking, Cat looked into the foreground and saw that the hall light and fan combo was lying in a broken wreck at her feet.
But…but…it was right there a minute ago! A moment ago! It was inches from her, and she hadn't even seen it fall! It's not like she could have missed it!
Disorientated, she spun around. Everything was different. Gordon and Alan were on the stairs, battling with a creature that hadn't been there a blink ago. Virgil, who had been on her left was now barring the lounge door on her right. She saw him flick his hands into the gloom, and there was a cracking noise like an explosion, and a liquid creature scream. And Scott…
Scott was right beside her, so unexpectedly that Cat let out an undignified shriek. No one could move that fast, surely….
Scott hauled her into the dining room as if she were a toy doll. As she was pulled past, there was a bloom of white fire from the landing where Gordon and Alan were. It caught the monster full in the chest, spinning it round and sending it crashing through the banisters, down onto the hall floor.
Scott shoved her down under the table. "Stay here, don't move," his tone was one that was used to being obeyed, and frankly Cat had no problems with the order. Sheer horrified curiosity, the kind that made you watch the gory parts in movies and car accidents, forced her eyes toward the fallen creature on the hall floor.
Overhead, Alan extended a hand, and whispered something. Cat shouldn't have been able to hear it, but it seemed to carry. "Please."
The thing's chest had been bulging like balloons, ready to spit and throw, when suddenly it was thrown flat and seemingly pinned, except there was no one there. Shrapnel from the floor was thrown erratically at it where it lay, and china hutch perched in the corner of the stair wall toppled like a tree over it. If Cat concentrated hard enough, she fancied she could almost see faint outlines of hands and feet – not all at once, not a solid shape, but a hint here, a line of the shoulder there…
"You got him, Sprout?" Scott asked.
"They got a lot of dead hanging around," Alan was breathing hard, sweat pouring off him. "There are…more…trying to get in."
Scott turned warily trying to keep his eyes on the fighting Virgil, the pinned monster and his brothers, and the rest of the house all at once. "Where? Are you sure? I thought demons didn't feel!"
"They don't," Alan breathed. "That's how I know. Big black holes…"
"There must be a hole in the protections," Gordon added, tossing a fireball to land on the stricken shadow thing as it struggled to rise. "There's probably going to be more."
Scott let out a string of curses. "John, get down here! John!"
"Duck!" Virgil advised as he flung himself to the side as more lights came sizzling through the lounge doorway. Scott ducked
There was a twinkling, tingling fall of tiny blue lights glittering down from the ceiling, swirled into a mass like brilliant snow, then a shape, and then a tall guy with the same blonde and blue colouring as Alan, but older, closer to Scott, emerged. He blinked at Cat at the same moment Cat blinked at him.
"John!" Virgil's cry was a warning. John spun around and Cat was horrified to see a creature sliming in from the lounge, deadly spit ball in hand. It flung it in vile fury, and it was dead on target.
Except John wasn't there anymore. He dematerialised into a mass of spinning sparkles that the purple ball just passed right through harmlessly. Cat ducked instinctively as it whirled overhead, and John re-emerged in a corona of bright, pure light.
He was, understandably, a little miffed. "Jesus, a little warning next time you call, guys! Something along the lines of, 'we're surrounded by demons!' would be useful!"
"Stop dithering and go get Dad!" Scott ordered. He moved his hand like he was shoving air, and the creature reacted by somersaulting sideways and neatly cartwheeling into a handy parlour table.
"Dad?" Gordon asked from the landing, where he was fricasseeing the creature on the ground. Alan whispered quietly to himself by his side, hand still stretched in benediction. "Come on, they can get hit by Virgil's time freeze and my fire. You can bash them around, Alan can sense them coming a mile off. We can handle it."
"No," Alan gasped, looking at Scott. He shook his head. "No, there are more coming. Kitchen!"
Scott spun as the next filthy thing emerged from, indeed, the kitchen. He brought up his hand, too slow, too late…
John cast out a hand. The sickly purple thing vanished in a corona of blue-white glitter, and re-emerged in the older blonde's hands. It shot from his hands with no prompting, only this time it was going toward the creature, which actually put a smoking hole in it when it hit.
"John, go!" Scott bellowed, sending what was left of the creature flying.
"Back in a flash," John nodded, and vanished into the light.
"We need to do a pentagram," Virgil yelled. "Herd them into the hall!"
"I'll go through the back stairs," Gordon volunteered, darting up as he did so and disappearing.
Virgil stood to face the one that had been blown into the hallway. He circled it warily and was ready when it spat. He rolled to avoid it, and came up nearer to the door with both hands flung out.
There was a boom. The thing shrieked as the air next to it expanded with meteoritic speeds, knocking it off its, well, feet and sliding it back into the hall. A tongue of white fire threw the other one out of its safe port in the lounge. Alan muttered another please to the air. Who was he asking? But suddenly the creatures were finding it a lot harder to move with debris toppling and slamming on them from all sides.
Scott flung the next one out with practically his bare hands, the wounded kitchen one that was making a distressed whistling noise.
He brought out his hands flat, and pushed them down. There were identical thumps as all the creatures were flattened against the ground.
There was a mass of blue-white lights again, bigger this time, and from it emerged John and a handsome middle aged man wearing an incongruous business suit. Jeff Tracy.
"Boys!" he yelled as he took in the scene.
Cat felt it land on the table over her – a fifth creature that had seemingly oozed right out of shadows themselves. Before she could even think of what to yell in warning, Jeff Tracy turned to look at it, and no one with an expression like that needed warning. They were the cause of warnings.
"You," Jeff hissed. "You come into my home, attack my sons…"
It hadn't occurred to Cat that these things could speak, but this one did, in a voice so foul and flemmy that in could be improved by smoking. "Tras'he," it bubbled. "Traitaaa of underwaaarld. Polluuute' by humaaan blood. Lavaar of angels. Shaaame on ya haaalf-bred brood!"
"Believe me, that's not an opinion you'll hold for long," Jeff's eyes were almost black with fury. Behind him, the air seemed to grow darker, less clear, as if the ghost of a shadow was being painted in the air. Black, shadowy wings, barely in existence, seemed to crown the tall and imposing man for a moment. If he were to stretch them, their span could well cover the large hall from edge to edge. Something shiny and mirrored, like quicksilver, formed in his hand. Tendrils whipped out, and Cat couldn't see it, but she heard it strike the creature and wrap it, half dragging it, half flinging towards its comrades. Jeff threw the ball of quicksilver in with them, and it spread out like the finest filigree, coiling and spiralling across the fallen bodies like delicate and exquisite chains. On the landing, Alan sagged, suddenly free of focus.
"Okay boys, spread out," Jeff ordered. "I'll be the centre. Ready?"
John took up a position near the dining room, Gordon still hovered at the lounge, Scott at the kitchen and Virgil at the door while Alan remained perched on his landing.
They spoke. "When darkness falls in dead of night…"
The creatures screamed and fought the patterns of silver lacing through them, chests bulging desperately. One got off a shot into the ceiling, which left a hole. Cat cowered back.
"We who ever stand in light…"
Jeff calmly moved them into the centre of the hall, rolling them on quicksilver. In the air above them, and on the ground beneath them, lines began to form.
"Against evil's wills, fears and hate…"
The five pointed star was pulsating with a spectrum of colours, and in the centre, the demons cowered, Jeff Tracy holding it all together.
"Compel you leave by Hell's open gate."
Light and smoke swirled around them, and underneath, well, underneath there wasn't a floor anymore, just an inky blackness, deep and fathomless. Jeff stayed. The creatures dropped through it like there was nothing there, firing spit balls as they went.
As the pentagram faded a few on them hit the surface before it closed over. One of them just made the landing, sending Alan toppling down the stairs abruptly.
"John, get over here!"
As they all hovered over the fallen family member, Cat took the opportunity to, eventually, unclench and uncurl and stagger out from under the table. In a daze, she wandered towards the group, almost unnoticed.
"He's fine, he's fine," John was saying from far away. "Broken leg and concussion, no sweat." His hands glowed as he passed them over his younger brother, and wherever he went, bruises faded and bones went the right shape again. Alan sat up shakily and got a hug from his father. "Thank God."
"No more fighting on stairs for you, kiddo," Scott sighed, relieved.
While the rest of them all hovered and commented, Jeff founds himself doing a head count. One, two, three, four, five…six?
He raised an eyebrow at Cat's slightly out there expression. "Boys? Why exactly do we seem to have an extra member in the family tonight?"
"Oh, yeah," Virgil got up and shook Cat by the shoulder. "Cat, you okay? Cat? Sorry Dad, she just came in to use the phone and we just kind of walked into the whole thing."
Jeff looked around. "Which part?" he muttered resignedly.
"There were…things…lights," Cat said in an almost sleepy, dreamlike voice. She didn't notice Virgil shoot a 'please help me!' look at the rest of his family.
"Why don't you take her out to get some air," Scott said, tilting his head suggestively.
"Right. C'mon Cat, this way." Virgil led her out of the front door, Gordon and Alan following in the rear while Jeff gave quiet instructions to John.
He sat her down in one of the porch chairs. "There were…there were…monsters. Who spat things! And they stank!" There was an edge of hysteria emerging from the detached voice.
"They do, don't they. Shadow scum," Virgil nodded helpfully. "Not very powerful but there are a lot of them. You think you got problems," he added gloomily. "Try being a teen when your Dad springs it on you that you're the offspring of one quarter-demon half-witch and one half-Empath half-white lighter."
"White lighter?" Cat replied vaguely. "Like a Zippo?"
"Think of them like guardian angels," Virgil corrected over Gordon and Alan's vainly attempted restrained sniggering.
"Hah! It's worse when you don't have a single offensive power," Alan felt compelled to add.
"Oh yeah? Try an offensive demon power with angelic overtones," Gordon grumped. "That's a real barrel of laughs. Here, help me move this, Sprout."
Cat didn't react to any of this. There was a sense of this not being really real. Which is wasn't, of course. Or course it wasn't.
"Cat?" John emerged from the house with a mug in hand. "Drink this. It'll make you feel better. Oh, and what's your home phone number, by the way?"
She rattled it off as she took a sip. It tasted nice, like herbal tea. She took a longer slug, and everything seemed to improve.
"Oh, your father seems to have arrived," Jeff said.
Cat sat up
suddenly. It was really dark now, later than she expected. "My
Dad?" she asked. Oh yeah, she came here to call him, didn't she?
And to spend time with Virgil Tracy who was lounging in a chair
opposite. Funny, she didn't remember it being there before, but…it
must have been, mustn't it? They'd been sitting out here talking
for…for…that's funny, she seemed to have a bit of a mental
Well, she thought optimistically. Who wouldn't in this situation? She'd died and gone to hottie heaven. The Tracy family was full of them, even the Dad was a hottie in, you know, that icky oldster way. And Alan was more of a hottie-in-the-making; a cutie instead. And she'd gotten to spend the whole evening just…talking with them. They were all ranged on the porch, quietly chatting.
"Well," Cat sighed reluctantly. "I guess it's time to go…hey, what happened to your door?" There was a funny hole in it.
notice the others relax imperceptibly. "Oh that," Virgil
replied. "Well, er…"
"Alan sort of threw a baseball through it," Gordon explained. "My advice, kid, is don't quit your day job to go pro."
"Shut up," Alan replied, flushing.
"Never mind," Jeff smiled. "It's not the worst damage that's ever been done to the house."
"Hint, hint, Gordon," Scott chuckled.
"The solarium was never quite the same," John smiled wickedly.
"Or the French windows out the back," Alan added. "Or the upstairs TV, or the…"
"Catie," Cat's Dad got out of the car in the drive. Cat rolled her eyes. "It's good you called, your ma was getting worried."
"Right, Dad," Cat got slowly to her feet and grabbed her case. "I guess I'll see you," she waved a hand vaguely, not sure how to put it to make it sound totally not embarrassing in front of his family.
"Right. See you Monday." Virgil nodded.
Cat could have danced down those steps to the car, barely heeding her father's thanks to Mr Tracy for looking out for his little girl and Jeff's 'no problem' response.
Her Dad had this knowing little grin on his face when he got in the drivers side. "So, how was Prince Charming in there? Good kisser?"
"Daaaad!" Cat said in that special tone of teen exasperation. "We just talked, okay? I wasn't going to French him in front of his family!" God, that would be totally mortifying.
"You had no fun at all, then?"
The car was pulling out of the drive, so Cat couldn't hear the conversation going on at the porch.
"I feel kind of bad, doing that to her."
"Hey, that stuff only works if you want to forget, remember?"
"Remember what? Oh no, I think I drank some!"
"Why does it have to be me who throws the ball through the window?"
"It would be more plausible to say you did it."
"Alright boys, clean up time."
"Uh…I have homework."
"I've got serious practice to do."
"You pulled me out of an evening class, I really should get back."
"I had plans tonight."
"I promised coach I'd do more laps at home"
"Oh no you don't! All of you, get back here!"
The door slammed shut.