Disclaimer: Ethan Rayne and anything else from Buffyverse belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Torchwood, its employees and anything else from the Whoniverse are definitely not my property. The Speaking Gun, Shotgun Suzie and anything else from Nightside belong to Simon R. Green. The only thing here I could even vaguely lay claim to is this particular arrangment of words.

Author's Note: The timeline on this is that it starts directly after episode thirteen of season four of the new Doctor Who, right before Hex and the City and about four years after the last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This story is ignoring all novels, comic books, audio dramas and video games associated with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Doctor Who and Torchwood. I am an American and if I use the wrong word for something I would appreciate being called on it.


Ethan Rayne looked up at the sky and wished he knew just what was happening. Gone was the familiar sun, replaced by planets he had never seen before. The first time Ethan had walked out of the never ending night of London's secret underbelly his first reaction had been surprise. That had faded into a vague disappointment that he wasn't responsible. Ethan supposed he ought to be more worried about where the normal constellations had gone and why but he couldn't get worked up about it. There were important things to be done. If the world was saved then the world was saved and business would continue as it usually did. If the world ended then there was no point in worrying about it.

Ethan readjusted the package under his arm as he looked around the underground station, trying not to think about what the box contained. One touch was enough for now, the memory of fever damp flesh nearly making Ethan shudder right there. Last night when he had holed up long enough to get some sleep he had almost thought he could hear it breathing through the closed box. Breathing and waiting for him to try to use it again. Ethan wasn't sure how something enclosed in a box and with no face to speak of could glare at him but the Speaking Gun was doing it. After years spent courting the attention of everything from chthonic deities to demonic entities so powerful the mortal plane couldn't encompass them Ethan had learned to pay attention.

He needed out of London. He couldn't give it back and he couldn't keep it. Even after the disaster with Eyghon he had possessed more options. Running from scientists, running from everyone else looking for this thing, making sure Ripper and his little pets didn't interfere and trying not to let the dreams overtake him; it was all a bit much. He needed somewhere quiet to hide and rest. He needed someplace with energies he could bind to his will.

A place like Cardiff.