Disclaimer: I don't own them, I'm just borrowing them. No profit was made on the following:
Authors Note 1: I got the idea for this from a Challenge awhile back on TTH. It isn't quite what was requested, but I hope it's close enough.
Author's Note 2: I'm sorry this took so long to post. I've decided that what I'm going to do in the future for my stories, except for 'She Meant Everywhere, and my current ROS story, that I'm going to keep chapters to around 2000 words. I should be posting more often, as I have several stories I've been working on.
This story is set after Season Seven and Underworld. It will largely ignore Underworld Evolutions.
Constructive Criticism always welcome, flames cheerfully ignored.
Selene awoke, she was still spooned in with Michael. After Buffy had arranged for a hotel room for them in one of Rome's better hotels, they had eaten quickly, and then crashed. Michael had been surprised that room service had an alternate menu, Selene, who had traveled the world over hunting lycans, had explained that many of the better hotels catered to the Coven and other denizens of the night. They were not about to loose business just because the client had some unusual needs, especially with how rich many of those clients were. They had a very extensive 'wine list' of different kinds of blood. Selene was surprised that 'human' wasn't on the list, or rather that the person who took their order hadn't dropped a hint that it was available if they wished it. On the other hand, if The Slayer made a habit of using this hotel, they might have figured the risk wasn't worth it.
Michael shifted, he pulled his arm off of her and rolled onto his back Selene took the opportunity to slip out of bed. She padded over to the chair that her robe was thrown over, her nudity not bothering her in the least. Once it was belted around her waist she pulled one of her pistols out of its holster and began taking it apart so she could clean it. She noticed that Michael's glass was still half full of the cow's blood he had ordered for dinner. They had discovered during their escape that Michael's body was now set up to feed as a vampire; he could no longer metabolize solid food. He was still not used to drinking his meals.
Michael stirred, he rolled back over and when his arm didn't encounter Selene his eye's popped open. He quickly glanced around the room until his eyes settled on Selene working on her hand gun. He rolled out of bed and padded up to the former death-dealer and threw his arms around her and kissed her over her jugular.
Selene luxuriated in the embrace, but when he lifted his head up to say good morning she beat him to it by saying, "You need to eat."
He frowned, but picked up the glass and downed it in one gulp.
"Good, now call room service and order breakfast, I'll take what I had last night."
Michael had learned that arguing with Selene was pointless, he could talk himself blue in the face and she'd still end up getting her way.
Selene had just finished putting her first gun back together when there was a quiet knock on the door. The lovers looked at each other, the hotel boasted of its good service, but that was a little too efficient, even for them.
Selene loaded and charged the gun she had been working on; Michael shifted into his highbred mode and moved next to the door. "Who is it" Selene asked from inside the bedroom doorway.
"It's Khan," was the surprising answer, "I want to talk."
Michael looked to his lover, he was still new to this death dealer business and he trusted her judgment more than his own. When she nodded he opened the door and stepped back. Khan stood in the middle of the doorway, wearing only pants and a shirt, rather than his normal duster, holding his hands well away from his body. Without even being asked he slowly turned around to show the other Death dealer that he didn't have any weapons tucked away in the small of his back. "Okay, you can come in," Selene told her once friend.
"Thanks," Khan said as he stepped in. He glanced to his side were the half-breed stood against the wall, waiting to spring if he did anything suspicious.
"What do you want to talk about?" Selene asked, not lowering her gun.
"I want to join up with you, Carl and Sanderson want to too."
Selene frowned, "Next to me, you were Victor's most loyal follower, the other two right behind you. Why would you want to join up with me? I killed him."
Kahn shrugged, "You were right about Lucien being back, you were right about Kraven, I figured you must have had a good reason for killing him."
"He killed my family, not Lycans."
"See, I knew you'd have one," Kahn replied, somewhat relieved he had been right. "I figured I'd take a chance that it was one I could live with, because what was going on back at the Coven when Marcus woke up and discovered that he was the only Elder left me doubtful that I would survive long."
"Because Marcus was looking for scapegoats for Victor and Amelia's deaths, more hers than his I think, and since I was never a big fan of Marcus, myself, Carl and Sanderson decided that we'd volunteer for a long patrol to see if we could cut across any trails left by fleeing lycans and we just kept going. We picked up your trail in Madrid and managed to follow you here. Carl got lucky and spotted you with that blonde mortal coming into the hotel." Looking around Kahn asked, "Where is she by the way?"
"She had some things to do. She should be back soon," Michael explained as he moved into the room. He shifted back to his human self as he did so.
"Who is she?" Kahn asked, keeping an eye on the highbred.
"My half sister," Michael explained. He was about to go on when Buffy opened the door and came on in. She stopped when she saw that they had a guest. Looking at her brother and cocking an eyebrow she asked, "Are you going to introduce me?"
Michael shrugged, "Buffy Summers? This is Khan, he is a former associate of Selene. Khan, this is Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer."
Kahn blinked, "But the Slayer is in Cleveland."
The Immortal was shooting a game of pool; he had been practicing the game almost since its invention and prided himself that he was one of the best in the world at it. Before the invention of television he had regularly entered tournaments under a variety of aliases and disguises, but now with video tape there was too much of a chance that someone one going over old tapes might penetrate his identity. Jeeves came into the room and cleared his throat. The Immortal glanced up and said, "Yes?"
"'Erika, from the United Covens, has requested to meet with you tonight as early after sunset as is possible."
The Immortal smiled, it was nice dealing with someone who observed the pleasantries, "You may tell Erika that when ever is good for her is good for me. Then see if that Supermodel is in town, if she is, she is usually good for a pint or two."
Jeeves nodded and without another word turned and left.
Erika arrived about a half an hour after Sunset. She was dressed in a tight black sequined gown, a small clutch purse in her hand, spiked black pumps on her feet, and a black mink stole around her shoulders. She allowed Jeeves to take her wrap and purse, then held her hands out to the Immortal, "Alexander! How good to see you again," She said with a smile.
"And you my dear," The Immortal replied. "You are ravishing as always."
Erika smiled and nodded at the compliment, allowing herself to be lead into the dining room. A table big enough for two had been set in the corner. The Immortal pulled her chair out for her then sat. Jeeves brought out the first courser, bisque for him, a glass of blood in a crystal goblet for her. He then opened and poured a red wine from the Immortals cellar. Erika took a taste and smiled across the table at her host.
The two shared small talk all through dinner, the super-model had been available and Erika commented on the flavor, obviously enjoying herself. Finally, the dinner was over and it was to business. "Have you by any chance heard from Antonio or any member of his team?" Erika asked.
"Yes he stopped by here a couple of days ago to inform me that he was hunting a couple of fugitives," The Immortal replied. The dead way he said it was not lost on Erika.
"He was rude wasn't he?" She asked. She cursed to herself. When she had heard that fugitives had fled to Rome she had advised Marcus to send in another team. Antonio's arrogance would not do well in the neutral city, were diplomacy would often get you more than guns.
The Immortal just nodded.
Erika sighed, Marcus would not be happy. "Could you tell me were the bodies are buried?"
"I'm not sure, the Vatican did the actual clean up."
Erika could not keep the shocked look off of her face. That idiot might have started a war with the Vatican? The Coven so did not need that right now. "How did he alienate them?" she asked in a perplexed voice.
"They just did the clean up. The actual agency in their deaths was the Watchers Council."
"The Council is operating in Rome again? We were not aware of that."
The Immortal nodded, taking a sip of his after dinner sherry, "It is a relatively recent situation. One of their senior people wanted a break and The Council thought it might be a good idea to improve their relationship with the Holy See."
"Did you tell Marcus that the Council was back in Rome?"
"I would have, but he was in hurry to be after whoever he was chasing," The Immortal replied in a deadpan manner.
Erika snarled internally, I bet you made sure the Council was aware of his presence too. Which is exactly why she hadn't wanted Antonio and his butchers running around Rome without someone sane holding the leash.
Keeping a calm face she said, "That is unfortunate, would it be possible for you to set up a meeting? I would like to apologize and explain that the Covens had not intentionally broken the Covenant we had with the Watchers Council and explain that it was not an intentional slight on our part that they were not informed of our operations."
"I will send a message to Ms. Summers, the Council representative in Rome, and see if she is willing to meet tonight, or if not, when she is able to."
The Immortal waved to Jeeves for some note paper and after finishing it he handed it to the butler and said, "See that Ms. Summers gets this note immediately." Jeeves nodded and left to see the note off.
While they waited the Immortal caught up with the court gossip of the United Covens, and passed on some of the goings on in the rest of Europe. After about a half an hour, Jeeves returned and said, "Ms. Summers is on her way and should be here momentarily."
Ten minutes later the door bell rang and The Immortal excused himself and went to great his new guest.
Erika prepared herself; no doubt this would be one of those old wrinkly, no sense of humor Watchers. It would no doubt be a maiden aunt, one which had grown to be such nuisance that the other wrinkly no sense of humor watchers had decided to be rid of her for awhile. Erika hoped at least that she had a modicum of common sense and wouldn't insist that this incident was worth blowing up into a full scale war. The only thing the Coven needed less than a war with the Vatican was getting into a spitting contest with the Slayer.
Alexander and the Council Representative entered the dinning room. Erika was shocked to see how young she was. Short too. She was blonde with hazel eyes, dressed in a cream colored dress with matching heels. Erika thought fast, what would this one have done to deserve a break? She couldn't be a ditz, sure the Liaison position to the Vatican was hardly difficult assignment, but given their penetration into most countries it was not a smart move to piss them off, and they could be, persnickety, when diplomacy was involved. She could be a mistress perhaps, someone who had learned enough secrets to make her inconvenient, but was smart enough to hide the evidence so she simply could not be silenced without there being severe consequences. That didn't make sense either. Such a person would be unlikely to care if Antonio and his squad turned the streets of Rome red, unless it directly impacted her. She would be unlikely to respond so quickly as to have the death dealers dispatched the night they arrived in town. For that matter, she could not see her being given control of a wet work group sufficient to deal with Antonio and his squad. The Council had them of course. But such people were rare, and expensive, so the Council would be unlikely to have them sitting around Rome not doing anything. Plus the Coven tended to keep track of them, not as rigorously as The Slayer of course, but it always helped to know where the competition was, and what they were up to. The closest squad was currently in Tehran, tracking down group of Old One worshipers that wanted to make the situation in the Middle East even worse than it was. Personaly, Erika wished them the best of luck.
Erika stepped forward and held out her hand as The Immortal introduced her, "Erika, the representative of the United Covens, this is Buffy Summers, The Council's Ambassador to the Vatican."
The smile froze on Erika's face. This was impossible, Buffy Summers was dead. Amelia had sent them a picture of her tombstone. Kraven had the damn thing framed in his office. Buffy Summers had frightened the Covens like no Slayer since they had found out what Slayers were, or rather since they found out that killing a Slayer really didn't accomplish a whole lot except buy time. The Coven had partially been formed to enforce a treaty that had been drawn up between the non-demonic vampires, and the Watcher's Council. They agreed to keep themselves largely out of Western Europe, and keep their brethren from slaughtering humans in their areas and in return, the Council would not unleash the Slayer on them. When word got around that Buffy had quit the Council, the first things that Coven Vampires had done was hold a summit to decide the likelihood of her traveling, and what to do if she came into their area. In the end, it had been decided to send a warning to the Council that stated they would hold them to the Covenant if Buffy traveled into area's they controlled.
"Miss Summer's," Erika said pleasantly, "It seems that rumors of your death three years ago were exaggerated."
Buffy took her hand, "Not really, I got better."
Erika blanched; the hand that took hers was warm, living. She could feel the blood flowing in the Slayers veins, blood that called to her, promising a feast greater than any she had ever sampled. There was none of the stench of decay or darkness that came from a demonically sired vampire. How could she have gotten better? And why was the current Slayer said to be a brunette and hanging out in Cleveland?
"Ladies?" The Immortal said, "Perhaps we can retire to my study as I believe that you two have much to discuss."
Buffy nodded and waved Erika forward. It took every once of courage the vampire had to put the Slayer to her back.