AN: Well, every year for a long while, I've done a BtVS Halloween fic that I try to put out on the day of. This year,I was going to go with Q and then follow it up with Xander trolling the multiverse afterwards with bits were he visits General Hammond and Admiral Adama (amongst others), but then I was kind of inspired by, well, this...
It's a different take on things, I hope, and a potential bit of fun. So, on with the show!
Ethan Rayne stood there as the small town began to shake, his plans to relax and watch the fun abandoned by the earthquake that sent the remaining costumes tumbling. His head spun as light poured through the shop windows and he advanced to peer beyond the closed shades.
It was not his plan...this was never his plan.
The Earth herself was writhing in agony as flames danced and chasms spread.
An echoing roar of primal, bestial pain almost physically knocked him back while sending spiderweb cracks spreading across the glass before rupturing in a spray of shards.
The sky itself seemed to be burning.
It was then that he heard it, something coming from the bust still sitting upon the table. Whispers, voices speaking awful nothings in his ears even as the eyes alight with amber flame.
Three steps towards it was all the chaos mage could take before the insidious whispers poured into him, treasonous thoughts of nightmares touching his own mind as he realized that while Janus was powering this spell, that was not the only god whose attention he had caught for his "prank."
Black smoke vented upwards as the dark voices turned to laughter even as his store lurched and began to move, prompting him to run. But even then, it was far to late, the building slid into an expanding chasm where once had been his street, leaving him dangling precariously to attempt scrambling upwards towards some semblance of safety.
Angry flames and the stench of sulfur poured upwards to reveal the newly formed caldera of what would eventually be called Mount Sunnydale while something rose from the lava pit below.
And then the remaining moorings of the shop tore free around him, leaving only the floor and the few anchored pieces that he'd held onto.
But the bust remained, now floating into the air as the black shape continued to surface, almost as a devilish while, and yet he knew in the back of his head what this abomination was...and what it had been.
One of those fools he had costumed had become...this...
This thing was a dragon, and one that brought the laughter of the gods of old.
Mayor Richard Wilkins' first sign that something was wrong had been the screams of terror while his guests for the annual Halloween party fled from his garden.
By the time he'd exited the mansion, well, things in his little town had been disappointing, at first he'd believed that someone had decided to get some measure of revenge on him by dragging Sunnydale into some hell dimension.
Funny that he hadn't felt anything about it.
The full moon had been blotted out by a thick cloud of smoke and ash, embers raining down upon what had once been an older shopping center. But his carefully constructed realm had not been hidden by the darkness, but illuminated by the fires of the earth where once had been the Hellmouth, now gaped the flaming maw of a volcanic caldera.
The rending of a building drew his attention to the garage he'd built as Wilkins the Second, a forelimb topped with claws the size of a tractor trailer, trailer included, had smashed it. A building he'd built as a tax write off for being a workable fallout shelter, promised to be able sustain as much as a modern bunker, well, it had been destroyed like so many toothpicks.
And then It rose, towering far above him, even at a distance of nearly a third the town. This thing held the vague form of a dragon, yet its flesh seemed to barely hold back the fires of the depths within in almost unholy light, even then it was aided by massive metallic plates all about it.
Waves of raw power shook him, wards vanishing to allow in the smothering heat and scent of death and fire. City hall had been ground zero for this disaster.
Almost as if in answer to the question on the tip of his tongue, the breast spoke in the same earth shaking voice as its roars.
"I AM DEATHWING!"
Angel was running backwards as everything went to hell around him.
He'd almost lost track of Buffy as chaos had overtaken them, but Giles had found them just as he'd grabbed the woman and Willows vacated body.
Now, the two men had stuffed the girls into a car and were frantically trying to escape as the landscape morphed around them and the streets were filled with those trying to escape the cataclysm that had overtaken them.
Xander Harris was missing in the chaos, lost quickly according to Willow, in her current ghostly form, before the hacker had elected to find the watcher for aid.
That the boy had been laughing with flaming eyes at the time was disturbing, but they hadn't a chance to look for him.
Hell, there was an almost eerie peace between every group as they ran. He'd even seen Spike helping humans get out of dodge along the way.
In his centuries of existence, Angel had seen many disasters. Natural and man made, but this was a nightmare.
And there was a god damned dragon running amok.
Distant flashes as he paused revealed the local army base getting involved, trying, desperately to stop what had come. Everything from guns to tanks to rockets, and even a pair of gunships were barely tickling the thing before what was left of the base was consumed in flame as this abomination breathed out.
"YOUR ARMOR MEANS NOTHING!"
The mocking response seemed misplaced as those soldiers died.
And it called itself Deathwing...
Holland Manners watched the fire in the distance from the relative safety of the Wolfram and Heart building in Los Angeles.
The seers had all died in fire at what they had seen, what had surprised them was now unfolding in plain view for the world to see. So many secrets and plans, now worthless and the White Room had been lost to them in a mass of tentacles and death.
His only clue was one phrase that had been screamed by the most resilient of those diviners at the moment of her death.
Evan as flames consumed the Dor'Chak, she had declared the Old Gods now saw them. The term was odd, and he was rather sure that it didn't refer to any of the Old Ones, they just didn't fit.
While his own talents in the arcane were modest at best, he could feel the pain of the planet as if something was ripping it apart, rending it asunder as news of disasters spread while a being of flame and death passed over the tower and his lights went out.
It had been three years since the world had faced its cataclysm.
He refused to forget that night, one that had ended as the Worldbreaker reverted to Xander Harris even as his actions had set Yellowstone to eruption, leaving the suddenly human mind to watch in abject horror as more destruction tore through the continent.
And that was just one of several pieces of hell that he had brought to Earth.
But even then, in the back of his mind the voices of C'Thun, N'Zoth, Yog-Saron, Y'shaarj, and many more whispered, clawing at his very sanity even as he held them back. They wanted to unleash the Black Scourge upon this world, still untainted by their tendrils, and bring it to ruin.
Despite himself, Xander Harris had been unable to keep from watching his friends, even as he remained in the shadows, wishing for some way to end the torment of the fires within him. But someone had managed to prove his assistance needed, and while as Xander Harris he'd have been incapable of providing any real aid, Alexander Prestor was something that no mere god could hope to comprehend.
She called herself Glory.
He called himself the Destroyer.
And his eyes burned in flames once more as the world, again, felt his torment.