Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy or Batman. Buffy and related characters belong to Whedon. Vampire Hunter D and related characters belong to Hideyuki Kikuchi and UrbanVision.
Originally for TwistedShorts August Fic-a-Day Challenge (Day 22)
A/N: So, this idea originally comes from Slinky_And_The_BloodyWands, so she graciously let me adopt it. The setting for Buffy, at the beginning, is within the end of season 6. As for Vampire Hunter D, I'll be drawing mostly from the novels. Also, this is more of a part one than anything else, but I'm choosing to do the two of them as separate one-shots because of the different tones of each one. This one is kind of bleak.
All for Naught
It hadn't worked. Dawn huddled herself into the corner, hugging her legs as she stared in horror at the rapidly cooling body of Tara Maclay. She was too shocked to cry, her face frozen in that one terrible moment of discovery. She had tried to save Tara. After all, Willow and the rest had brought Buffy back to life… why couldn't she do the same for Tara? But Dawn had worked the best spell she could find… only to see that Tara was still dearly departed.
"Oh, God," Dawn murmured as she began to rock, ever so slightly, back and forth. "Tara…"
Tara blinked against the burst of light. She was dead. Was this her metaphorical tunnel? But it didn't feel like a tunnel. Actually, it felt a whole hell of a lot like a coffin. She allowed her eyes to flutter aimlessly for a moment until she could finally focus on what was in front of her—or above her, as the case may be.
A hand—and she could have sworn there had been a face in that hand—was pulling away from her forehead, coming to rest at the side of a black-clad man with long raven hair, a wide fedora hat, and long cape that made it seem as if he was made from the very shadows that surrounded wherever the hell she was at. She narrowed her gaze at him, a little unsettled by how attractive he was—and this was even considering her particular orientation.
"She's alive," a hoarse voice said, and Tara couldn't understand why the beautiful man's lips had not moved.
"Human?" a different voice, this one accompanied by the motion of his lips, inquired.
She liked this man's voice. Even in her fogged state of mind, she felt safe, for some reason, just by hearing its velvet tones.
"What's your name?" the hoarse voice asked.
Tara took a deep breath, ready to push out the answer with her exhale. But talking hurt, like someone had sandpapered her throat, and only a rough croak came out.
"Poor girl. She's been in stasis sleep for so long that her voice has gone on her. That'll fix as soon as she gets properly hydrated. Yeah, she's human, D, so get her some water. And for the love of God, let's get her out of that coffin."
Coffin? Tara blinked, turning her head to the right. Sure enough, she was laying flat on her back in a satin lined box that looked fairly new. However, that was not what disturbed her. Laying almost right on top of her was the body of another, paler man whose blonde hair was spiked and almost as lightly colored as Spike's. But this wasn't Spike, not in the least. He was dressed in some fancy black get-up, like something a prince would wear. Tara whimpered—the only noise she could fully manage—and reached up for the edges of the coffin. She pulled, finding her muscles feeling heavy and a little like jelly—like she had just woken up from a drug induced sleep—and D, the beautiful man, had to catch her before she fell out of the coffin. He managed to get her on her feet, not saying anything. He didn't seem the least bit surprised to find a human woman in bed—coffin—with a vampire either. She opened her mouth again, trying to force several questions out. In the end, all she managed was a few more croaks.
"Easy," D said. "It'll come back in time."
She really hoped so. D moved her aside to a large piece of stonework that had fallen from the castle's—this was a castle, right? It looked like one—high ceiling. He bent to one knee, presumably about to ask her more questions. However, before he could even part his lips, the hoarse voice that Tara was now entirely sure was coming from his left hand, cried out, "D! The noble!"
The man who had been lying in the coffin with her rose, fangs bared. His face might not have transformed into the rigid mess that Spike or any other vampire in Sunnydale had, but Tara knew a vampire when she saw one. And she had no idea what this vampire had to do with some noble. Maybe he was a prince.
D whirled, drawing his long sword from his sheath with a flash of silver. The vampire hissed, diving for him. Without flinching, he drove the sword all the way through the vampire's body, splitting in half symmetrically. Tara's eyes widened as the vampire hit the ground as dust.
"Let's go," D said, pulling Tara to her feet without asking.
Tara was trying her best to vocalize, but her dried, unused cords weren't having it. So, feeling a little bit like a duck lost in the middle of the ocean, she simply followed along behind D as they left the castle.
It wasn't until the next night that Tara's voice finally returned. She estimated drinking, roughly, fifteen canteens of water between leaving the creepy castle and where she was now—sitting outside in the barren, monster-infested Frontier as D called it.
"My name is Tara," she said without warning.
D looked up from his place sitting underneath a tree, resting his back on the trunk. He said nothing, allowing Tara all the time she needed to ask the questions she had.
"Where am I? Is it another dimension? How did I get into that coffin? Was I dead?"
"One at a time, kiddo. First of all, you're in the Frontier. And no, you weren't dead, seeing as you're here now. And what kind of person asks if they're in another dimension?" the hoarse voice replied.
"Look. All I know is that I was shot, and I thought I died. But then I wake up in some strange, barren land beside a vampire. I mean, seriously, is this even planet Earth?"
"Yes," D answered. "The year is 12,090."
Tara felt like she was going to vomit. 12,090? That meant she had been dead and buried for… a long damn time. She should have been dust long time ago.
"How did I end up sharing a coffin with the vampire?" she asked.
"That's what I want to know."
Tara stood, pacing back and forth. "This is another dimension. It's gotta be. This can't be real."
"I found records before I found you," D explained, not bothering to stand. "Apparently the noble you woke up with had sensed that you were not actually dead, but under a spell."
"A spell? Noble? What's a noble?"
"A vampire, kiddo," the hoarse voice said, sounding exasperated. "When did you die?"
Now D had a flicker of surprise cross his face. Tara sank to the ground, feeling cold despite the rather warm temperature of the air.
And D explained. He told her how the 3rd World War had nearly wiped out humanity, giving the vampires every advantage they had ever dreamed of. They had taken over the world, ruling it like an empire, calling themselves Nobility. Humans were treated like slaves and cattle until, only a few thousand years ago, there was a decline. Humans were taking over the Earth once more, fighting viciously for whatever they could hold on to.
"But… what about The Slayer?" Tara asked.
D's brow arched ever so slightly. "What do you mean?"
"The vampire slayer. I had a friend, before I died, who was a slayer. It was a whole mystical defense rule thing. To each generation, a slayer is born with the strength and agility to fight the vampire. What happened to the slayer?"
"Sorry, kiddo. Never heard of a Slayer before," Left Hand said.
"Nothing's left?" Tara whispered, feeling hot tears welling in her eyes. "They won?"
"You can travel with us as far as the next town," D said evenly. "You can begin your life again there."
But Tara shook her head.
"I'm a witch, a powerful one, and I fought alongside the vampire slayer of my time. I'm not just gonna sit back and accept this. You kill vampires, don't you? Is that what you do professionally?"
"Vampires, werewolves, pretty much whatever you need killed, D will do it," Left Hand chuckled.
"Quite," D said, clenching his hand into a fist.
"Then I'm tagging along. My friends fought hard, making a lot of sacrifices to make sure this didn't happen… and it did. I w-want to help undo it. And that's all there is to it."
"You can't stop me."
D's only response was to lower his hat over his eyes. Tara sighed. This world needed a fighter. Someone who knew what it was like before all of this… this hell. She didn't know how she was still alive after she'd been shot, but now she knew why.
End Notes: I want to do a fanart to this so bad. I think I will one day when I get a free moment—got a lot coming up for me. Meanwhile, like I said in the author's notes, this is really part I. So if you're interested in part II—or any further parts I do, as I know I will continue this—you can just add this to story alerts. I'll be uploading any additional parts on as chapters. Part II is written and will be added soon. Please review!