"Don't ever underestimate how horribly complicated things can get."
Help can come from the most unlikely places and in times when you might think you don't need it. Reid Robinson is in debt, an orphan, and frankly just pissed off. Now she's expected to save the world from demon hordes as a newly called Slayer. Will it be possible for a woman, who was never given a second chance, to understand her own inner demons, the demons she must defeat to fulfill her fate, and the other demon she very might well love with all her soul?
Main character is OC but eventually will become embedded in the Scoobies. All continuity with the first seven seasons except Spike didn't 'go ghost' afterwards. He closed the Hellmouth and booked it outta there.
-To S. Davis and A.G
Chapter 1: The Lineage Continues
Cop cars smell like vomit. And beneath that remarkably acidic smell, (which always managed to permeate my heavily beer-scented jacket) a dusty, dirty smell, accompanied by the underlying scent sugar and burnt coffee. However, for the most part, every single leather-vinyl backseat of a New York state police car I had ever been in smelled like rotten sick.
And that was really saying something: I had been in many, many cop cars. Even more than that, most likely, because I don't remember doing half of the things listed in the police reports filed under my name. I must have gone in a cop car for all of those, right?
The cold, silver chains around my wrists rested on the vinyl between spread legs, my shivering hands pulling at the fleshy fuzz leaking from the dark blue fake leather. A static voice bleeped out from the radio up front, unintelligible to those in the back seat, and especially to those who are incredibly drunk. Me, for example.
"Isn't this thing meant for high-speed chases?" I blurted out and continued to pick at the yellowing fuzz. "Where's the Batman-mobile button? Press it so rockets will shoot us forward, faster than a speeding bullet. Whoops, wrong superhero reference."
Silence followed my minor pop-culture mistake. I glared up at the profiles of the men driving me home. One had a very thick neck, gray hair, comb mustache and beetle-brown eyes. Never once did his eyes glance back at me. The driver, however, was new. He was young for a policeman, maybe mid-twenties. With a black mustache and limp hair covering his balding spot, this man had already once or twice looked into the rear-view mirror at the young, drunk, redheaded girl whose legs were spread far apart in the back of his car.
"Hey, newbie, I haven't gotten your full name." I said, sneering. "It's Fibs-something, right? I have to know the names of all the fine gentlemen that tuck me back into bed at night. Their numbers are good too. You never know when you might need to call them back after a paternity test—,"
"That's enough, Miss. Robinson," the burly, older cop cut across me. His new trainee sent him a nervous glance.
My boots lifted up from the floor and the heels dug into the metal grate beside the older cop's head.
"Come on, Mr. Banks, I know you don't like it when I harass the new bloods. But how will they ever grow a spine to fight off the big meanies?"
Policeman Drew Banks did nothing but stare on ahead. The paleness of his skin shone greatly when we passed under streetlights.
"You know not every case will be as obedient as I am. Some will sit back here and curse for hours, no matter what you say." I resumed my task of demolishing the back seat. "They will curse you in every language they know. And that will be a broad range, depending on who they are. Not everyone you pick up will be a little spunk redhead who started a nice clean bar fight. Some will be rapists, murders. They can hold grudges for years after you put them behind bars. And the waste bin of society that we live in can sometimes let those people out before their justice is duly served. So who do you think they will come after first? Their last victims' families? No, most killers aren't that smart to remember whom they last tortured. My bet is that they go for who they took away their good years. Are you a particularly superstitious man, Mr. Fibs?"
"We're here," Officer Fibs croaked as we pulled in front of the apartment complex. His voice was dry. I smirked into the rearview mirror. Banks looked at his partner, whether to glare or to just simply look, I couldn't see; he was hidden in the shadow of a nearby building. But in any case, Banks continued with procedure: he opened his door, fiddled with keys to my door, unlocked and pulled it open. Fibs ran around to the other side of the car, waiting for me by the trunk. I slid towards the side of the seat and two firm hands, one firmly locked on to my arm and the other shaking ever so slightly, they pulled me out of the car and we set off toward the apartment gates. Fibs was holding onto me a little too firmly and I couldn't help but send a smile of immense satisfaction toward him. He absolutely refused to look at me now.
Banks typed in the code to the gate without even a grunt of request from me. The old geezer must have memorized it, I thought. Not surprising though, as he had dumped me back here so many times. I just wished the Alzheimer's would set in already.
The two men yanked me through the gate and up the concrete stairs. The pale green window dressings were closed and the pool in the center of the community was etched in silver from the reflection of the moon. It was late. Normal people had gone to bed. My kind of people had stepped out and I had gone with them. Unfortunately for one man, he had tried to take my pool table. That ended with a trip, for him, to the local hospital and a fine of $500 dollars for me. Oh, and a really killer headache from when the jerk hit me over the head with a wine bottle. But somehow I don't see Dina reacting too passionately to the pounding in my skull.
Through the lightheadedness and the robust tinge to the world around me, I felt a scuttle of uneasiness drop into my skin. For all the fun I could have in the world, I would somehow piss off Dina and I really didn't like that. So the fun was kept to a bare minimum. Except for tonight. Tonight, things had gotten a little out of hand.
The two cops pulled me along the door-blotched balcony and finally came to rest at apartment number 522. Banks lifted a pudgy hand and rapped firmly upon the off-white wood. There was a brief pause, and then my caretaker for eleven years opened the door.
She filled out a large old UNY sweatshirt, grey sweatpants and white and blue Nikes she never seemed to take off. Her short, curly, gray-dotted hair looped around her head, almost as agitated as she was. Even I, the girl that managed to put a full grown man in the hospital, slunk away from the piercing glare of her auburn eyes. But in the microsecond I saw her face before lowering my head ever so slightly, to escape the electric burn the disappointment and anger etched onto my skin, I saw she looked tired.
"Thanks Banks, Fibs. I'm surprised one of these days you just don't leave her in drunk-tank for the night. Might do her some good."
As though they knew the wrath of former Mrs. Dina Wilcox would unleash upon me, the cops that had maintained their vice-like grip on my arms immediately let go and I stumbled into the kitchen area of apartment 522. Acting slightly more drunk than I felt, I tumbled to the old couch and slumped into its cushions.
"We know who she is and instead of polluting the cell rooms even more, we just dump her back on your doorstep. Sorry if that's an inconvenience for you."
"I was about to go to bed anyway. It doesn't matter to me if she sleeps this one off too. Where'd you find her tonight?"
"Outside Ruben's. There was a noise complaint and when we drove up, she was wailing pretty hard on this guy. I'm personally not surprised that no one tried to intervene. When we finally got her away from this man's face, she looked wild."
In the darkness of the cushions, I grinned. My knuckles gave a particularly happy twinge too.
"What did the guy do to piss her off so bad?"
"We have no idea. Immediately after we got her away from him, an ambulance pulled up and took him away. The paramedics feared there might be some internal bleeding. We'll check up on him tomorrow, but you might hear from his lawyer sooner."
Dina sighed heavily, a sigh that she's been doing for years now.
"Well, in any case, thank you both for bringing her back. If it was any other officer that picked her up—,"
"She'd be in the drunk-tank and she could be facing charges tomorrow. Now at least she's got some time to try to get a lawyer and a defense case."
"His face was really that bad?"
"Yes." Banks said firmly and then when he spoke again, his voice dropped as if Dina was the only one meant to hear it. "This can't keep happening, Dina. The thieving has got to end and these bar fights need to go away. If she ever does get in front of a judge, her case is so stacked up from petty crimes, he'll have to send her away, whether she is convicted of the crime she is there for or not. You've got to fix her, Dina, before she makes a mistake she'll regret for the rest of her life."
Hidden away from the cops, I was absolutely shocked. Then his words started to sink in and they, the truth, seeped through my skin like hot lava swallowing a fallen tree. And I hated him for it. The grin mutated into a snarl and my good hand clenched into a fist.
"Brilliant, Banks," Dina said flatly. "I need sleep, so leave."
Her snap of a goodbye made me feel a rush of appreciation towards Dina.
I imagined the cops nodding solemnly, returning their blue caps to their heads and leaving back down the stairs as Dina closed the door on them. I then thought of what Fibs was asking of Banks behind that closed door; just how many times had he dropped me off at Dina's instead of the drunk-tank?, he'd ask. How many times had he let things slide just for me? How many more times would it be before I started to act my age?
I didn't have the slightest clue of the answer to these and I suspected, neither did Banks.
"I hope it was worth it, Reid."
She knew my passed-out routine was just an act and so I rolled onto my back, a harsh grin pulling at my face.
"Yes it was. Now everyone in the downtown Manhattan area knows to not take my goddamn pool table, even if I don't play with anyone other than me, myself and I."
Dina, a long time ago, would have said something. Reprimanded me for my crass responses. But tonight as she stood loosely in her sweatpants and sweatshirt, she only stared.
"I know why you're acting out so much."
I nearly laughed at that. "Acting out"; she hadn't said that since I was fourteen.
"The day is coming up again and you're just pissed. You're like a dog when there's a storm coming."
Right, that day. That day was coming up and I was doing everything humanly possible to keep the calendar out of my mind. A wave of uneasiness swayed against my resolve but in the end, I grinned up at Dina.
"Aww, gee thanks. Good to see that you think I have heightened abilities, like a dog. Well, I think you're a dog too. An old, grouchy bitch."
The grin became a snarl; I could feel it.
Dina stared at me. She was tired and there was a sharp burst of gleaming satisfaction I took from her sagged look.
"The bed is made up in the guest room."
Dina turned into the hallway and closed the door. As though the walls were glaring their disapproval, I turned away and swallowed. Old bat had no idea what she was talking about. My little "crimes" weren't increasing; nothing is changing.
The walls seemed to inch closer, and I thumbed the edge of the couch before pushing off and stalking down towards the other end of the hallway. My hand rested on the cold metal handle. The blank white door opposite me looked as sad as Dina did before she left, and so I slammed the door behind me with everything I could.
The light switch roughed my finger pads as I turned it. The surprisingly sterile white room opened with a yellow gleam. A short dresser with a mirror hanging above it stood facing a bed with green and blue patterns on the comforter. It looked like the bad side of the 80's had vomited all over the poor blanket. An arched window sat next to the bed and it alone was the source of moonlight. Everything was clean. And the room was disturbingly cold.
Shivering, I took off my boots and jean jacket and then stripping all the way down to my shirt and underwear, I crawled into the bed. The sheets itched as though there were tiny mothballs sewn haphazardly into the cloth. The comforter was plastic and thin. My head sunk down to the bed in the non-existent pillow. I felt out of place and out of sorts. Dina's face erupted in my mind again and my back itched. She didn't want me to be here at all. She was just taking me in because she felt responsible for what I was. Dina thought it was her fault I'm a "delinquent". It's not and she was right. The day was coming around again and I was beyond restless. Dina took me because she wanted to let me know I wasn't alone. But even now, in my old room, in my old house, with the woman who was practically my mother, I felt like an outsider. I was a guest and I was in the guest room.
With one last glance around the constant blankness that surrounded me, I switched off the light and sunk deeper into the bed. As the last threads of consciousness slipped away, I wondered if the reason why Dina had worn that UNY sweatshirt was to remember the college days between her and my mother. Dina was missing her best friend in her own way.
Then I began to dream about the night my birth mother was killed and I watched.
I was eleven and running. I was running so hard, trying to breathe past the pain and pure terror, but I wasn't going anywhere. My tiny white sandals were breaking down against the alley pavement and the heat from friction was burning my calves. I knew he was close by, practically behind me. In just one swoop, his hand could reach out and take me into the black that constantly shadowed him. I would never see day again, I would never see my mom or my friends or laugh again. He would take me and that would be it, but I wouldn't die. He was trying to take me to Hell.
The sheer primitive fear that came with that thought released a wild scream from my throat. I screamed again and tried running faster, but he was so close. I screamed again and suddenly realized that I wasn't the only one. My little feet slid to stop and I tumbled over my legs, hitting the ground, ripping my tights. Sharp rocks stung my skin and there was a cool rush on my knees and palms, like I was bleeding but I took no notice because as I stared down the alley, eyes filled with tears transfixed, I knew my mother was dying. All I could see was a shadowy silhouette of two figures: one as our attacker and my mother's rapidly weakening form. They were close together, almost like they were hugging, then my mother suddenly fell to the ground in a heap and the man stepped back. He stood for a moment, staring at the black lump before heading off towards the street. I screamed again, in both rage and fear. The man turned and the streetlight put him in full view. His face was mutilated and dripping in blood. Ridges covered his forehead and around his eyes, making the golden fireballs ever blazing. His wide mouth was set open in a gruesome snarl; long pointed fangs were set out like a cobra's; poison swirling inside of them. But he did not attack me. The murder hissed, wiped a running drop of blood from his mouth with the back of a hand and turned down the street, forever gone.
Silence was surrounding me, pressing down on me from everywhere until I could barely breath. I reached forward, towards my mother—
—and fell. Down through concrete and earth, spinning and spiraling and screaming—
I could smell everything, and see everything, floating in a huge cavern. There were roars and growls and snarls and the constant munch of feet upon dirt and stone. But for a moment, I couldn't see what was making the noise. Then I realized the ground and the walls were moving with things. Thousands of things were crawling everywhere. They had the body of a man, but ran hunched over and snarling like animals. They were gray and had lumpy heads. Their sunken black eyes gave them the appearance of having no eyes at all. There were purple scorch marks on their faces, and their boney fingers had jagged, sharp nails. Their chipped teeth made a wall of bone-barbed wire. Where their canine teeth would be, two long, perfectly pointed fangs glinted like icicles.
The only way out was through a small cave and that was where the sea of monsters was pouring out. But inside the cave, there seemed to be other things besides the monsters. They looked like they were trying to stem the flow of the monsters out of the huge cavern. The figures looked to be human, but as far as gender goes, I couldn't tell. Human or not, however, they were doing their best to push back the monsters.
"They are fighting for your future." Someone said behind me. I didn't turn around; I was perfectly calm. "Some shall die so that you may live."
"Can I help?" I heard myself say. My hand twitched. Something odd was sending chills down through my chest. My fist quivered. I looked down upon the scrabbling millions of the monsters with a towering gaze. They ran, relentless, in teaming masses, falling over each other to get out, ant-like in their struggle to be free. I was the kid with an iron heel and magnifying glass. There was an instinctual need to kill these things, and the need was growing into a burning desire.
"You are connected. Every one of them down there, they are your future. Your past, your present, you are a part of them."
I suddenly shuddered forward by a heavy force, my vision blacking out and a soft wailing filling my ears. Visions of thousands of women, young, beautiful and strong, came screaming into my head. A Victorian lady, a young Egyptian, a nurse in war, a beautiful blonde girl, about fifteen: they were bent over, hands over their ears and eyes clamped tightly shut, just like I was now. And suddenly I knew; they weren't in pain, they were feeling it too. As though my heartbeat had been amplified all over my body, I felt a pulse thrumming under my skin. A warm glow trickled down from the top of my head, seeping through my hair, down over my face, covering my arms, chest, hips, thighs, calves and feet. I was bathing in gentle honey. The women in my head had collapsed, dropped to their knees or started to cry. In seconds, I felt the source of their joy. I was strong. Energy was vibrating through me and I could feel my hands shake. I knew what we had. We all had power, a purpose. A string was threaded through each of those strangers and it was weaving through me now.
Still unperturbed by the chaos around me, I finally turned to see who was there with me, watching this change.
There stood a young woman, her black hair knotted and tangled, bits of cloth woven in. She only wore cloth bandages, torn, ragged and dirty. Her skin was dark as were her warm, dark eyes, but something about her presence made me feel as though a goddess was looking directly at me.
"You are the Chosen one. You shall stop the vampires and the demons. You shall fight the dark with your light and keep the evil at bay."
Behind me something large exploded and I glanced over my shoulder. One of the figures was glowing in a column of sunlight, their face upturned. Suddenly a blast of golden light shot from it and hit a wave of the monsters. They vanished. The light streaked into other beams and shook the cavern. The monsters disappeared. All of them were gone in a matter of seconds.
There was a brief, stunned silence and then the ground heaved in retaliation. A large chunk of the cavern wall fell in and rocks tumbled down from the ceiling. Another gap appeared in the wall as more of the cavern fell to pieces. I turned back to the wild woman.
"You are the Slayer." Her eyes flashed white.
I lay sprawled on the floor, shaken and disturbed. White sheets from the bed hung down towards me, like white fingers reaching out to draw me back. The ground was cold beneath my sweaty fingertips. The mind-blowing rush that had drowned me as I slept, I felt only a tingle of it now, a complete sense of helplessness being absorbed up from the floor. A rational voice in my head told me I had a seriously intense dream and I should just crawl back under the covers and never give it another moment's thought. But I couldn't. That bed that sat beside me, it didn't feel like mine. The small set of drawers over on the other side of the room; they weren't mine either. The body that sat shaking and cold on this alien floor, that was very, very far from being mine.
But here, as I tried to get used to being so far from home, I noticed that this place wasn't too far off from where I used to be. Moonlight spilt in from the dusty window. A splintered dresser hunched to the side, just as mine had before. The room itself was silent, but outside I could hear sirens and cars and the usual frantic noise of downtown Manhattan, New York. Never mind, this is where I live.
As last night came reeling back, accompanied by a severe headache, I remember the bar fight, the cops and Dina's disappointment. I check the clock. 7 A.M, it read and I shrugged. Dina has been known to drop me off at my apartment before she drives to work. How I made it up the stairs and to the correct room each time... Well, that was what Dina did with people.
A grimy feeling was making my skin itch so I took the risk of going to the bathroom. I doubted that my legs could hold but still I heaved onto them and wobbling, made my way to the bathroom down the hall.
If someone stood outside my room, standing in the stairwell, watching people pass from one dingy apartment to the next, they probably would figure I was still completely wasted as I tumbled along the hall, my hands grasping tightly to the rusty railing around the stairwell. But of course, as it always was, there was no one there but me.
Finally, I came to the grey, once-white bathroom door, banged it open and walked trance-like through. My hands automatically felt for the switch, flipped it on and then moved to the sink. They splashed cold water onto my face, freeing me slightly of the fog in my head. I dried myself and pushed a lock of wet, scarlet-red hair back behind my ear. Putting both hands on each side of the cracked sink, I glared into the blue eyes staring back at me from the mirror. Wet mascara from the previous day made black lines run down my face, like I had been crying throughout the night.
You are the Slayer
The wild woman's face flashed in the mirror and I dove backwards, hitting the wall. Inside my chest, my heart was beating erratically. But all that looked at me through the mirror now was a pale girl, looking scared, shocked and psychotic.
It was a dream, nothing else. Exhaling slowly, I turned my head against the wall and looked through the cracked window that sat above the shower. It was almost morning, light blue peeling off the dark black. A new day was starting, already late morning in some part of the world.
Mentally shaking myself, I tied my sweaty hair back and went back to my room. My shift at Burger Bonanza started in two hours. A couple more minutes of sleep wouldn't hurt. They really didn't care if I was late one more day. They had forgotten about firing me a long time ago.