Why it wasn't my fault
Summary: Cal and Niko meet Misha and Stefan. Naturally, this ends with an angel putting a flaming sword through the roof. (Crossover with Chimera and Basilisk.)
I haven't exactly lived a cookie-cutter, white picket fence, 2.5 kids, normal life. First there was the whole "unholy creation of mad science" thing (I like to refer to it as the abomination of my birth). Then I was trained to kill people from the time I could walk and talk (and shortly before I was potty-trained. It got messy, let me tell you that.)And when my brother came and rescued me from that living hell, we found ourselves on the run from my own personal Dr. Frankenstein and his various henchmen, deranged creations, and corrupted government officials. But someday, I live out the hope that we'll be able to escape pursuit and I can live a normal life with my family, the Russian mafia.
Not that I'm complaining about my life as long as it's outside the "Academy" and with Stefan—I'm aware of how lucky I am, I swear. But all things considered, I think I can be forgiven for wondering which god hated me when yet another world of weirdness dropped onto my doorstep like a clumsy little kid's ice cream is always destined to hit the pavement.
Vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, pucks, mummies, and freaking cannibalistic elves (they call themselves Auphe), all real. That and everything else that crawled out of the scary movie mommy wouldn't let you watch as a child. (Stephan keeps telling me that we still haven't seen any proof of zombies, but I say that if the rest are real, zombies are definitely out there.)
I won't bore you with the story of how me, my brother, and my brother's semi-senile loud-mouthed friend stumbled upon the world beyond the looking glass. Suffice to say it involved a demon mistaking me for the next son of God (we have little in common, but we both have been known to revive the dead) and a stick-up-his-ass angel mistaking me for a blasphemous imposter, and my Mafiya brother "mistaking" both of them for target practice.
Then we ended up needing to hire a pair of supernatural jacks-of-all-trades to help us shake off the demons and convince the place called Eden House that we hadn't killed the angel (my brother only nicked him, not our fault he couldn't stay off a demon's claws.) We also ended up taking sanctuary in New York, the only place the waking Jehovah's Witness ads couldn't follow us, and there we met the rest of the supernatural menagerie. Vampires, werewolves, and elves, oh my.
Okay, there was only one half-elf, but he was enough of a pain in the ass to make me understand how his whole species got such a bad rep. They probably talked their prey to death.
Not that I really believed that. No, one look at Cal Leandros and I knew what he was. The feeling was mutual. We looked into each other's eyes and reached an understanding: I understood that if I tried to touch his brother, even in a seemingly harmless way, Cal would rip out my heart and crush it, and Cal understood that if he teleported a hand into Stefan's chest I'd rip his own cardiac organ to pieces before he could close his fist. We also understood that neither of our brothers needed to know of this little arrangement. It would only distract them from battling the boggles who had just burst through our window.
I had to admit, the gypsy twins were efficient. Niko Leandros was tall, blond, and gutted so many demons in five minutes that I thought he might be Buffy's more masculine twin. Cal killed fewer only because the creatures kept trying to run away from him. Not to brag or anything, but my brother sniped quite a few furry monstrosities himself. I just sat back and made like I was eating popcorn, because what were we paying these jokers for except to fight off the Addams Family reunion for us.
Blondy wiped his sword clean on a piece of silver cloth that looked designed for the purpose, while his brother cleaned off his gun on the motel's drapes.
The cleaner brother said, "They must not have heard yet that we got the bounty on your head removed. Still, it's only been a day. We'll stick around for maybe a few extra days just to make sure they're all gone, no charge."
Stefan inclined his head. "Money was never the problem, but me and my brother can take care of that type of thing ourselves. We only needed you to act as negotiators. Still, thanks for your help."
Just being around Blondy the Samurai was making his manners wear off on my brother. I had to get him away from this bad influence, and fast. "Why don't we lay low in Europe this time?" I suggested. I've always wanted to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I think I have a few ideas about how to make it stand up straight. Or bend over even further if that's what keeps the tourists happy.
That, of course, was when the puck chose to make his appearance. I knew he was a puck, because they all look exactly alike, and I'd already had one of the sleazeballs try to hit on me in a bar. And he clearly thought I was underage, the perve.
This one gave me the same irritating one-over with his eyes. Then he had the nerve to do the same to my brother, all the while saying, "Niko, Cal, I think I might have found a new job for you. How do you feel about babysitting?"
"Awful," Cal informed him.
"If you were babysitting a giant bird the size of a house with razor sharp teeth, would that make you feel any better?"
"Not if I can't kill it."
The puck regarded me and my brother with an interest besides lasciviousness. "Are these colleagues of yours, helping with the winged pest case? Perhaps they'd take the job?"
"We're the clients, and we're not interested," Stefan explained.
The puck blinked. "Oh. Niko said you were both fighters, so I thought…" He looked at me. "Aren't you a little young?"
That pricked my soft spot, I must admit. I snapped, "If you metrosexual nuts all think I'm a high schooler in diapers, why do you keep hitting on me?"
The puck waved his hand. "Oh, I wasn't flirting, I was only looking. Robin Goodfellow, at your service, committed monogamist." He attempted to hand me a card. I avoided body contact. Something about this guy reminded me vaguely of Saul, only with even fewer morals or standards.
He continued, "At one time, I would have happily taken you up on the implied offer in your words, but these days I am totally committed to one person and one person alone. Unless I can persuade Ishiah to consider a threesome, in which case you or your lovely brother would be the first I would call. Or both."
Stefan looked torn between nausea and plain old surprise. I could barely help my snicker, even if I knew I would pay for it later.
Robin finished, "But given the unlikelihood, the only real reason I have to rank the sexual attractiveness of those around me is habit, and my ongoing mission to set Cal up with someone who isn't a lost cause or a borderline psychopath. He's expressed a great deal of curiosity about you since you've met—and I always did say that murderous urges are one type of passion."
Cal growled, "Robin, don't think I don't know where to shoot to give you a minor flesh wound." He un-holstered his sidearm pointedly.
I also had had enough. I didn't rise to the bait so obviously—I could tell the puck was only trying to irritate us. Instead, I reached out a hand and accepted Robin's ridiculous business card, and while we made contact I rendered him impotent for exactly fifteen minutes. He'd certainly never notice, and it made me feel much better.
I wasn't sure what to make of it when his hand dropped limply. All color drained from his skin, from his face right down to his hands. Before I could say anything, he bolted from the room as if his obnoxiously curly hair had caught fire.
For a second, I wondered if I might have accidentally made him ill. But no, I've never made a mistake like that. I felt vaguely uneasy, but I didn't see how it could possibly be my fault, even if the timing was a bit much to be a coincidence. Both the brothers seemed to practically think odd exits were normal for their friend.
Niko frowned. "Did Robin just run out of here like an insane gypsy cult was chasing him again? Cal, go find out what's with him."
The bratty kid brother fixed his face in a deliberate look of disinterest, but slouched out the door after the puck anyway. I couldn't help smirking at him…I have Stefan much better trained than that. Of course, it's also possible he doesn't trust me off on my own, but I prefer to look on the bright side of such thoughts.
I will regret to the end of my days that I did not simply grab my brother and run from New York. It wouldn't have changed my ultimate humiliation, but at least it might have limited the audience. But at the time there seemed more important business at hand, like paying Cal and Niko and getting directions to the airport.
I was still in the process of negotiating with Stefan over control of the car keys (you crash an airplane once, and your older brother never lets you hear the end of it…) when our hotel door was flung open with enough force to rattle the already-broken window, and in strode an angel.
I do not mean that in the attractive sense of the word. Tall, leggy blond, but the comparison stopped there. This one was built like Hercules and towered over me. Plus, he had long, white wings which were practically erupting from under his shirt, shedding feathers across the carpet like snow over a dumpster (we didn't exactly pick a five-star hotel).
I had to admit, it was a rather impressive sight. Despite having seen angels before (and survived attempts to smite me) this one actually radiated an aura of ancient dignity and power barely wrapped up in a flesh and blood body. But still, the smiting thing had me drifting a little closer to Stefan, who was keeping his hand on his sidearm.
Niko assured us, "Relax, he's a friend. And he's a peri, not an angel. Ishiah, Robin left abruptly. Did something happen?" Niko asked.
Brother number two trailed in after the not-angel. "Oh, something hilarious happened," Cal snickered in a not-very-friendly manner.
Ishiah ignored them both and swept across the room, his eyes simmering with rage. "Which of you two irresponsible mortals is the one who controls bodily functions?"
"That would be Michael…oh, chimera kid, you didn't!" Cal said, amusement sparkling in his eyes.
The angel—or peri, or whatever—fixed his frigid eyes on me. "I want you to understand that over tens of thousands of years of existing I can count on one hand the number of times that I have ever regretted the day the Maker created me, and thanks to you and the last fifteen minutes of my life I am now going to have to use both hands."
"Excuse me?" I had some idea of what was going on, but always better to play innocent.
"I was minding my bar and minding my own business when the demented fool I call my lover comes tearing in and begins wailing that he doesn't know how long he has to live and he had to see me before the end."
I began to feel a little nervous. "I didn't do anything like that to him, honest!"
Ishiah continued between clenched teeth, "And when I, like a fool, drop a glass on the floor and crack my own counter in my haste to reach him, he starts rambling about loss of reason to live and pretty soon it becomes evident that he's sobbing all over my shirt because he's lost his sexual potency."
"How did he even notice that? Saul never notices!" I protested, momentarily forgetting about my plausible deniability.
Ishiah said, "Pucks are in a perpetual state of mild arousal. Touch their sex drive, and they know it at once."
Cal groaned. "Yet another fact I did not need to know that is now burned into my grey matter."
Ishiah glared us both into silence. He had eyes like the bottom of the Mariana Trench and they were getting darker by the second. "Then I had to deal with him clinging to me like a leech as he alternated between telling me he'd understand if I sought satisfaction elsewhere to begging me not to leave him. Then he described everything we could do together even while he was impotent—or at least everything he could cram into five minutes while talking very rapidly—followed by explaining that it wouldn't be the same because it wasn't what he really wanted to do, of which describing took another eight minutes. I estimate I lost a customer for life every sentence."
Cal snickered. "Got it all on my i-phone. I have enough blackmail material to last me a long time, once I edit out all the parts that revealed more than I want to know about Robin's sex life."
The angel slash peri was almost trembling with fury. "And then your ridiculous trick wears off, and I have to deal with the pest trying to make love to me in broad daylight in the middle of my place of business with what's left of my clientele clapped and screaming 'Go for it!' and I really had little choice but to club him over the head with my sword."
"Uh. Sorry to hear your love life is so dysfunctional? I think we can agree I have now suffered enough." To top matters off, I put on my cute eyes, which almost always lead to little old ladies and Stefan doing what I want.
Ishiah's eyes went pure white, from iris to pupil. No, seriously, this was Exorcist white, it was more the color white buried deep inside of a very hot flame, and let me tell you it was creepy as hell. Especially the small spot of red or it might have been blue in the middle. His wings spread wide, burning gold under the poor light. They touched the ceiling and sheering through the plaster as if they were made of razors. In his hands was a sword which burned with flames of black and stretched all the way to the roof, which was beginning to smoke.
"Perhaps I have not made myself plain, mortal child with the clever gift and the clever tongue. If I ever, for any reason, am forced to endure an ordeal such as this again by your careless hand, I will make the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah look like a parking ticket. I will dwarf the rage of God when Adam and Eve took their first apple bite, I will make Noah's flood seem an act of mercy, I will teach you what the eleventh plague would have been had the Pharaoh not given in to Moses. I will remind you why your sheep-brained ancestors once dropped to their faces and cowered in fear at the sight of wings in the sky. I will turn the skies red and the oceans black, and where you walk the Four Horsemen will stir uneasy in their slumber. Even Death will not want you. And I will wait for ten years, and then I will come back and do it again, and again, until you discover that Hell itself is the only place you can go where I will not find you, and beg Lucifer's spawn to take your soul to save you from me. In point of fact, I do not want you using your powers on anyone outside of self-defense, ever again. Have I made myself abundantly clear?"
I said nothing, because I was a scion of the Russian Mafiya and feared nothing. It absolutely wasn't because I was struck dumb with terror (whatever that ridiculous half-gypsy-half-elf and his cell phone camera might claim.)
"I think I have," the pigeon scowled, and stormed off. The sizzling of the air in his wake was likely an optical illusion.
Stefan gave me a hard look. "'I do it to Saul all the time'?"
I gave him my most winning smile, which was admittedly a tad weak at the moment. "But he never notices?"
"We will be talking about this later. And you will not be pulling stunts like this again." My brother turned back to the wannabe samurai. "I regret the inconvenience this may caused you."
"Oh, it's always like this around here," the samurai assured him. His half-elf charge waved an incriminating cell phone picture of my gaping open mouth at me. If he thought he could blackmail me out of calling him Legolas with that, he was very wrong.
And that should have been the end of that. So my brother lectured me all the way to the airport. So I didn't get to drive (he probably wouldn't have let me anyway.) So we had to pay for the stupid hotel damages—for Mafiya, my brother and I are far too nice. So I was forced to apologize to Saul for no reason, I could tell my brother actually thought it was pretty funny.
All was well until I met this drunk guy who was really really annoying. Wouldn't stop pestering this nice waitress. It was a good deed. There was no logical way for the pigeon to know about it, especially since he was a peri and not an actually hand of God.
And then the plague of locusts started.
Author's note: After reading the part where Misha briefly renders Saul impotent for fun in Basilisk (it was just a one sentence incident) I had to wonder what would happen if he ever tried that with, say, Robin. I suspect the result would be even uglier than what is written above. I also suspect that any encounter between these characters would end with something similar to the 10 plagues.