She is Poetry & Prozac... (freneticfloetry) wrote,
She is Poetry & Prozac...
freneticfloetry

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Behind the scenes, take one (and two).

For darkmuse_ic...

Taking Over Me
Roswell/Angel, Michael/Liz, Spike, spoilers through “Graduation” and “Just Rewards”. Don’t own any of them, just using them for my own personal amusement.
The Pod Squad and the Fang Gang meet head on. What happens when disaster strikes, and Michael and Liz find themselves on their own in the City of Angel?





PROLOGUE A » All That's Left of Yesterday...


Yes, the title is Evanescence (and so is the chapter title. Groan.). I think everybody has one. It’s like fic-naming kryptonite. Perhaps even worse, the banner lyrics are Creed. Oh, self. It’s so humbling to realize that you, too, were once a textbook fanbrat.

Dark, narrowed eyes locked on an intoxicated stranger as he leered at his petite waitress, tossing out lewd phrases and drunken invitations between long swigs of MGD. The rundown tavern was nearly empty, and the man's slurred words sailed over the sharp clink of cues hitting solids and stripes and the muffled whine of the ancient jukebox in the far corner.

The lone waitress was a bright spot in a room of muted color, clad in a shrunken, logo-splashed tank, dangerously high heels, and a virtually nonexistent tube of stretchy fabric that barely grazed her thighs. The dim light bounced off her dark hair and deepened the olive tones in her skin, until every exposed inch looked dusted with warm bronze.

I knew there was a reason I don’t do this anymore, the third party description that should be unaffected and isn’t. It’s showing your hand way too early. Not to mention the purple prose.

The onlooker planted his palms on the wide counter in front of him, ready to vault over it and to the defense of the small woman being ogled.

A hand slid around to the back of the brunette's bare leg, the fingers thick, squared, and decidedly male, and Michael Guerin tensed behind the bar, cursing under his breath.

Thank god I finally got to use someone’s name. I was running drastically low on epithets.

Then Liz Parker and her serving tray tipped forward in unison, sending a draft beer and a bourbon chaser into the man's lap.

His wandering hand flew up in the air as he unleashed a fresh string of colorful words, this time in disgust. A steady stream of wetness dripped from his stained overalls to the planked floor, and he stared down at the mess.

"Oh!" Liz exclaimed. "I am so, so sorry."

The insincerity of her shocked tone was painfully apparent to sober ears, and the tall hybrid chuckled, letting his taut muscles uncoil.

Hmm. Guess I still had one more in me.

Liz tugged a rag out of her apron and tossed it onto the tabletop, smiling sweetly.

"I'll bring you a new round." Spinning on her heel, she cut across the floor, rounding a stool and crossing her arms on the long expanse of wood.

"One of these days, Bill's gonna start taking those happy accidents out of your check."

This is one of my many Polar fanon staples: continuation of Crashdown habits. I loved the idea that they’d settle into an old routine, just the two of them, despite the nomadic lifestyle. Like a little slice of normal that neither of them even realizes.

"Now is it my fault that my bartender overfills the glasses?" she replied innocently, her eyes sparkling mischievously. "I can't be held responsible for those mistakes. Maybe you should practice some portion control."

Michael snorted. "Maybe you should wear something that actually covers your ass. The apron is longer than your damn skirt."

Not that I looked, his brain amended.

She pulled her hands from the bar, her arms working furiously at her sides as the rest of her body shimmied and swayed. "That would imply that I have a choice in my attire," she groused, obviously trying to yank the tiny skirt down.

"Give it up," he tossed back. "Everybody's seen the goods already. You've been dishing up free eyefuls all night."

Not that I care, his inner voice tacked on.

"And that somehow translates to 'please paw me'?"

"To the average male brain? Pretty much." Liz glared at him, and he smirked, shrugging. "I'm just saying... This is the dealership. You're the shiny new car. Giving these idiots alcohol in that getup is like handing over the keys and inviting them for a test drive."

I still have no clue where this came from. It’s a random metaphor, even for me. But it feels like Michael, and I kind of love it that way.

"We talked about you and analogies, Michael." Sighing, she shook her head, brushing away an errant strand of hair that had escaped from her ponytail. "Can I just get my order?"

Grabbing a cloudy mug, he crossed the short distance to the tap. "Hey, I wasn't the one copping a feel," he argued, easing his grip on the handle as thick foam climbed up the glass. "Don't take it out on me. My meager wardrobe can't handle the consequences." Sliding the beer down to her, he filled a shot glass with amber-tinted, spicy-smelling liquid.

Liz attempted another adjustment to her skimpy uniform, frowning as she yanked at both pieces simultaneously, and Michael's eyes flicked to the tipsy patron still mopping himself off.

Oh, hell.

He and Liz had gotten closer in their travels - walks, talks, raging debates, comfortable silences. They'd built a solid friendship, found a strange solace in each other's company, and he couldn't tell if his raging overprotective streak was the cause or the effect. The part of him that wanted to remain detached was constantly at war with the overwhelming urge to look after her. To keep her safe.

It was a losing battle. But somewhere along the way, he'd stopped watching overly friendly customers and started watching their scantily clad waitress.

Still got the job done.

I hate the tell without the show. The up-to-speed approach. I know it’s impossible to provide backstory for every premise out there, but tossing in a couple paragraphs that basically amount to “by the way, this is how things are” feels like such a copout to me. And yet, it had to be done. Stupid timeline.

"Domestic and a JD," he stated gruffly, nodding toward the drinks. "Quicker on the draw this time. Deliver the goods and get out of groping range. I don't feel like playing bouncer tonight."

"I can take care of myself, Michael."

It was a line he heard from her several times a week, in town after town, dive after dive, generally following one of her fits of sudden clumsiness. And ordinarily, he didn't doubt that she was completely capable of handling herself.

But tonight, he had a bad feeling. Dread had crept into his consciousness, nibbling away at his senses, and he'd been on edge since they'd clocked in. Every cell was supercharged, waiting for something to go wrong.

Ooooh. Ominous. Apparently, folks, Michael is suddenly psychic.

He just hoped "something" didn't have a switchblade, a healthy buzz, and a hundred pounds on Liz.

"Humor me," he said firmly.

And premonitions render him unable to utter anything without the appropriate adverb.

"You're not rescuing any damsels in distress. Noted." She loaded her tray, adding a basket of half-stale peanuts. "I just want this shift to end so we can get back, my feet are killing me."

"You know..." He peered over the bar, eyeing her footwear. "Next time some asshole gets grabby, those could be a handy weapon. It'd be a riot to see you go all 'Single White Female'."

Rolling her eyes, she walked back to the offending customer, depositing his drinks and moving away before he could reacquaint his hands with her anatomy.

Michael mopped up a puddle of beer, trying not to relish in his verbal victory.

They'd been working in the small bar for a little over a month, since the group had temporarily settled into a tiny town south of Portland. All six of them lived in a two-bedroom hellhole that they rented by the week, but it was a small step up from living in the cramped confines of the van.

Since leaving Roswell, he and Liz had found themselves consigned primarily to the rowdy, noisy world of serving and bartending. The hours were long and the atmosphere was lousy, but it was decent money.

Their work banter would go on until someone caved and admitted defeat, and more often than not, Liz was on the losing end. The urge to throw a "Parker" on the end of one of his barbs was always present, and he had to make a conscious effort to prevent a slip.

Again with the telling. I suppose this is the reason prologues were invented. Even if I can’t seem to get mine done in one part.

The phone pealed in the back room, and his boss' voice sounded after a few rings.

"Roadies."

After a few silent seconds, the door swung, and a gray head poked through the opening.

"Mike," Bill grunted. "You got a call."

Michael's head jerked up, his gaze catching wide brown eyes. Liz was frozen by a pool table, gripping a corner pocket with white knuckles, the color draining from her face.

As a rule, they didn't use the phone unless there was an emergency.

And up until now, no one had ever called.

Swallowing thickly, he pushed past the older man and to the phone on the back wall, holding the receiver to his ear. Taking a deep breath, he tried to stamp out the panic streaking through his veins.

"Yeah."

"Michael," Max said urgently, his strained voice crackling over the line, "they're at the apartment."

Bill was pulling boxes out of the storage closet, shooting curious glances in his direction every few seconds, and Michael struggled to wipe his face of any expression.

"Kyle went down to pay the rent, and Mrs. Baker said there'd been people there asking about us. Two cars that we could see, there may be more. We managed to get everything out before we picked Isabel up. Get out of there, Michael. I don't think we should go with the planned meeting spot. They could know..."

Max faded into heavy silence, and Michael could faintly make out Kyle speaking soothingly in the background, peppered with strangled sniffling and quiet sobbing. Metallic beeps rang through his ears, signaling the eminent end of the connection.

Now is not the time to be long-winded, Maxwell.

Michael nodded, clearing his throat. "Where?" he asked simply.

"Please deposit twenty-five cents for the next minute," a robotic, recorded voice cut in.

"We're at a service station off Santiam. I'm pretty sure we weren't followed. Just get Liz and meet us do - "

The rest of his sentence was swallowed by a rapid hail of gunfire, and the line went dead.


PROLOGUE B » No Choice But to Carry On


Long fingers drummed rhythmically on the cracked steering wheel, the soft, blunt cadence echoing through the otherwise silent cabin.

They'd all scrounged and saved for a second vehicle once separate jobs had pulled them in different directions, and the ancient Oldsmobile had been the result of their efforts. It was a clunker - temperamental engine, worn transmission, no shocks to speak of - and ran predominantly on frequent alien tune-ups.

In high school, a friend of mine had the greatest junker ever: an Oldsmobile Calais. It even had its own theme song. When the need for a getaway car arose, it was the first thing that came to mind. As inside jokes go, it’s pretty pointless, since no one’s going to get it but me. Regardless, I remain amused.

But at the moment, Michael was grateful to have transportation at all.

The car had been gunmetal green once upon a time, and the original color had still shone through in odd patches. Now, after a quick wave of his hand under the cover of darkness, the body was a uniform, nondescript gray. Although the Roadies parking lot had been virtually empty when they'd made their escape, and the dusty two-lane highway behind them was nearly devoid of activity in the late night hours, he'd hoped the paint change would provide some added protection.

He eyed the cloudy speedometer, trying to keep a lead foot at bay. The last thing they needed was to get pulled over. He just hoped the car could make it for awhile without serious attention; Kyle had always acted as the group's mojo mechanic.

Kyle could be dead.

His hands stilled, gripping the wheel in white-knuckled fists. Stealing a glance at Liz, he grimaced, leveling his gaze back through the windshield. She hadn't spoken since they'd headed for the highway, away from the unknown status of the rest of their group.

And cue flashback! I’m still not sure why I didn’t tell this linearly, but no chapter is complete without a massive chunk of text in italics.

Michael recoiled from the deafening roar of gunshots, the sound of metal striking metal and shattering glass.

The phone slipped from his grasp, dangling from its tangled chord, swinging back and forth like a noose, and he sifted through the sudden wave of shock, desperate fingers grabbing for the receiver and hauling it back to his ear.

Oh, epic sentences. How I love you.

"Maxwell!" he bellowed, blood freezing in his veins.
"Max!"

There was only the eerie, ominous hum of dead air, silence the only answer.

Oh god, his brain lamented. No, no, no...

So his brain was distressed. Good to know.

"Hey, uh... everything okay, Mike?"

Jerking his head toward his boss, Michael blinked hard. "No," he rasped, a vocal continuation of the desperate chant streaking through his head. He swallowed to alleviate a throat gone dry, dragging a hand down his face. "Family emergency. We've gotta split." Even as the words left his mouth, he was pushing through the swinging door, half-stumbling.

One foot in front of the other, Guerin. You've only been walking all your damn life.

Bill was on his heels, voicing objections. "What do you mean "'split'? You two are the only ones on the clock tonight!"

Obviously, this is a hot spot. Folks are clearly beating down the door.

Ignoring the outburst, his eyes flew around the dim room in search of Liz, finding her rooted in the same spot, leaning heavily on the wooden railing of the pool table. In the still air, her splotchy apron fluttered lightly against her skin, and it wasn't until he'd crossed the distance and taken her arm that he realized she was shaking.

"Michael..." she started weakly.

"Let's go," he bit out, pulling her fingers from the table. Splaying a hand in the small of her back, Michael steered her toward the door.

Most of you know that I have a weakness for hand porn, and Michael’s are wonderful specimens to work with. Plus, I just like the sound of “splaying.”

"Where do you think you're going?" Bill shouted. "You can't leave, there's nobody I can call in to cover!"

"Like I said," he countered unapologetically, "there's a family emergency." Liz stiffened in his hold, a violent tremor tightening the expanse of flesh beneath his palm, and his gray-haired boss grabbed his free arm. The determined hybrid kept walking, dragging the ranting man with him.

"What the hell am I supposed to do without a bartender? Is this what I pay you for, to run out me in the middle of your goddamn shift? I've got restocking to finish, I won't get anything done slinging drinks my - "

Michael turned at the entrance, looking down at the smaller man, eyes steeled, face hard.

"Not my problem," he spat between gritted teeth. Bill shrunk back, and Michael jerked his arm away. His brother's earnest voice rang through his ears.
"Get out of there. They could know..."

Ah, the Guerin Glare of Impending Doom (patent pending). I may have gone a little hard on Extraneous OC Bill here. Or prevented a massive coronary, as I don’t see him as a young or particularly healthy man (hidden somewhere behind the bar, there is a can of chaw and a spittoon cup).

Pushing Liz behind him, he cracked the door open just enough to get a clear view of the parking lot. His searching gaze made frantic sweeps of the area, looking for any sign of dark, menacing government vehicles with tinted windows and all-road tires.

There were a few cars scattered in the gravel - Bill's blue GTO, their used hunk of junk, an oversized pickup that the grabby drunk and his buddies had stumbled out of, a couple sedans and an SUV that belonged to regulars inside shooting pool. The flat of land was otherwise empty, and Michael bit back a sigh of relief.

"It's looks clear," he mumbled under his breath, fumbling for the keys in his pocket.

"We're headed straight for the car." Scowling, he gestured down at her shoes. "Can you run in those?"

I’ve never noticed this before, but Michael could have a small stiletto fetish. Note to self: revisit later.

She blinked wide, glazed eyes, looking dazed. "I could take them off..."

"No," he cut in, shaking his head, "there's glass in the lot. Just try to keep up." She nodded almost imperceptibly, her teeth clamping down on her quivering lower lip, and he tightened his hand on her back, tugging her firmly against his side. "Stay with me, Parker."

Still one of my favorite aspects of this. I don’t know how Michael manages to say so much in so few words. It’s a gift.

Her chin rose, eyes locking on his, and she nodded again, the movement tight but solid.

Then they were rushing through the door, a large hand wrapped around a slim wrist, steadying her as she stumbled through the uneven rocks, trying to match his strides. Her pulse beat rapidly beneath his fingers, traveling through his tendons to pound between his ears, the rhythm becoming the harsh staccato of bullets. Dust stirred at their feet as they ran, kicked into the wind in a flurry of motion, the harsh breeze whipping stray particles into his eyes.

The car sat less than fifty feet from the front door, but time slowed, the air thickened, and their vulnerable dash through open space seemed to stretch on for miles.

His hand shot out before they stopped moving, flattening against the lock as he collided with the driver's side door, pulling Liz low beside him. The faint red glow that wound between his fingers couldn't come fast enough, and when the steel rod popped on the other side of the window he barely processed the audible click before wrenching on the handle and shoving Liz inside.

There it is, people: the extent of my action scene finesse. If you’re disappointed later, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Sliding in after her, he slumped low on the seat, pulling the door shut. He jammed the key in the ignition, unsure if he could keep his emotions in check long enough to start the car the alien way.

Probably blow the damn thing to pieces. Bastards wouldn't even have to kill us. I'd have polished off the rest of their targets for them.

Michael shuddered at the morbid tone his thoughts had adopted. "’The rest' would mean...

Jesus, his inner voice moaned. Please start.

Pressing his lips together, he turned the key. The motor didn't respond, and he repeated the action, pumping the gas pedal with a demanding foot.

"Come
on," he growled. "Turn over, goddammit."

Word’s spelling recommendation for that, by the way, is “goldsmith.” Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

Liz pressed an open palm to the back of his hand, and a warm jolt of energy coursed through him before the engine sputtered to life. He shot her a curious look, and she shrugged halfheartedly, her voice flat. "I... I saw it in a movie once."

The Golden Child for the win, y’all.

Snorting, he threw the car in gear and peeled out of the lot, the tires spitting gravel in their wake. His eyes shifted between the windshield and the rearview mirror, the rundown bar shrank into the distance as they drove away.

Of course, he had no clue where to go, what to do...

"
Fuck," he spat, pounding the dashboard with the heel of his hand.

"Michael, you're um... we're going the wrong way."

Their designated meeting spot was indeed in the opposite direction, in the next town over, behind a 24-hour Walmart almost twenty miles north. But no one was waiting for them there. At least, no one they wanted to see.

"No, I'm not," he countered.

"What happened?" she entreated. "If we're not following the plan, then where are we meeting?"

His gaze found the mirror again, but the long stretch of empty road in its reflection did nothing to calm his frazzled nerves, or the uneasiness settling in the pit of his stomach. He looked at Liz, then wished he hadn't - she was watching him, her expression confused, concerned, her eyes pleading.

"What
happened, Michael?"

He shook long strands of hair out of his eyes, reluctant to take a hand from the wheel. "The unit found the apartment," he said bluntly, his words clipped. "Asked Mrs. Baker about us. She told Kyle, and they packed up and left."

Liz nodded rapidly; he could see the jerky movement out of the corner of his eye. "Okay. Okay. So they got out, right?" He could almost hear the gears turning as she tried to work things out in her head. "Of course we're not meeting them as planned, if the unit knew where we were living... God, who knows how long they've been watching us."

She twisted in her seat, peering out the back window and into the dusk. "There was no one... We're not being followed. So everybody's fine."

After more than four years in Rosfic, I have discovered that Lizspeak has its own rules of punctuation. Rule number one: do not talk about dashes. Er, include lots of ellipses.

His heart constricted at the relief in her voice, and she shifted, turning back to him. "So we'll just meet them and... and come up with a new plan, that's all. Where are they?"

"I don't know."

"But you said... they got out."

Rule 1A: Bonus points if you place ellipsis mid-sentence.

"We're not being followed," he stated, his voice low and measured. "They were. Max was on a pay phone; they were at some gas station. He tried to tell me where to meet them, but the line went - "

Not dead. Not dead.

"We got cut off," he finished.

"That could have been the phone, maybe the connection was bad," she reasoned, too calmly. "You don't know it was the unit, Michael."

"There were gunshots."

Her voice hitched, a choked rush of air through her nostrils. "Wh- what?"

Rule 1B: Bonus points and a great big cookie if you place punctuation mid-word.

"I heard gunshots," he repeated. "Then the phone cut out."

Silence filtered through the air, heavy with tension, anxiety. "Where was the station?"

"Somewhere off Santiam. Doesn't matter." He flinched as the words left his mouth.

"It doesn't matter? How can you even
say that? We have to go find them, Michael!"

Casting one last look at the rearview mirror, he pulled the car onto the packed shoulder and threw it in park, leaving the engine running as he wrenched to the side to face Liz.

"What the hell are we supposed to do? Search every inch of Route 20 for alien hunters chasing a VW van? Do you honestly want to find out what could be waiting if we went anywhere near there?"

Every time I read this, I have to remind myself that he’s not actually shaking her by the shoulders and slapping her repeatedly across the face. Not sure why. Must think on that.

Tears brimmed in her eyes, but her gaze was challenging. "We can't just leave them. We have to - "

"It's not an option. I am not about to walk us into their fucking crosshairs," he ground out. "Look, we have no idea where they are. We don't know what the hell happened. But I know this - whether they got away clean or not, there's nothing left at that station that we want to find."

His throat closed, but he forced out the next words, harsh reality setting in.

"They're
gone, Parker."

Her broken look had nearly killed him, the sight of her face crumbling for the briefest of moments... Then her expression blanked, and she turned away. He'd pulled back onto the road, headed for the interstate as darkness fell.

And now they were driving south on I-5 with nothing but the cash in their pockets and the clothes on their backs, surrounded by the black of night and the occasional beam of headlights on the other side of the guardrail.

They'd stopped to refuel once the needle had dropped below an eighth of a tank and he couldn't put it off any longer. He'd dashed inside, grabbing snacks, caffeine, a map... and kept an eye on the car the entire time. Liz remained frozen in place, her head propped on the doorframe, staring into nothingness.

Michael cleared his dry throat, the harsh, scratchy hack cutting through the deathly quiet. He took a long swig of cold coffee, nearly choking when the small woman beside him spoke.

"Want me to drive?"

He forced the thick liquid down, setting the cup back in its makeshift holder between the armrest and his thigh. "Nah, I'm good."

Liz sighed heavily. "You're tired."

"You haven't slept either," he countered, rolling his head. "I'll be alright."

Will you? his brain taunted. Will she?

He pushed the thought away, glad she was showing signs of life.

Okay, I’ve thought on it. I honestly think Michael is so used to dealing with Maria – melodramatic, hysterical, hyperventilating Maria – that his default intervention is “scream in your face and shake the shit out of you.” Liz and all her shellshock has thrown him for a loop.

Now I kind of feel bad that he didn’t get to shake anybody.


"So... is there a new plan?"

Mid-sentence ellipsis, twelve o’clock! Ten points!

Reaching up, he scratched his temple. "Can't risk another small town. Newcomers stand out too much. We need to get lost in a crowd. We'll lay low. If they're able to contact us, they will. Iz can do it." She didn't respond, and he kneaded the split leather wheel in his hand, the other absently rubbing his knee. "I'm not giving up. That's not what this is."

"I know," she murmured.

"Us getting someplace safe... that's the best shot they have."

Another fanon staple: General Guerin. Michael flexing his military mind like the soldier he is. Running through reason and settling on strategy. Plus, I think it’s a coping mechanism for him. When the shit hits the fan, he boils everything down to its simplest form: preserve, protect, and live to fight another day.

"I know," she echoed, empty, fading again. He'd seen it before, after Alex died. The way she turned herself off, withdrawn from everything and everyone...

The blare of a horn sounded in the distance.

"He's alive, Liz," Michael said quietly. His peripheral vision caught her form in profile, silhouetted against the filmy window, half hidden by a thick sheet of hair. She didn't move, didn't blink, barely breathed, and he wondered if his statement had penetrated the shell she'd retreated into.

"How do you know?" The voice that emerged was almost nonexistent, dancing precariously on the air, so hollow... "How can we know anything?"

He clenched his jaw, trying to force away the chill that had settled around him with her softly spoken words. "Seeing as I'm still sane and seal-less, I think it's a pretty good hunch."

The long, silent hours had given him far too much time to think. Memories of his throne-induced tirade had invaded his brain - leaving Maria in the middle of nowhere, attacking Isabel's idiot husband... He didn't want to contemplate what could happen to Liz at his hands, with nothing and no one to save him from himself.

As flip as he was after the events of WDAMYK (which is the only time we’re going to mention that atrocity), I think he scared the hell out of himself. Not being able to control his own actions? Pretty much Michael’s worst nightmare, as there’s a short list of people he actually trusts, and his own name is at the very top. And I think he’s terrified that it’ll happen again.

"Why didn't I see this, Michael?"

He blinked at the swift subject change. "What?"

"I hugged Kyle before we left for work. Maria helped me dry my hair, I was running late..." Her monotone whisper trailed off. "I should have seen this. Why didn't I see it?"

Michael's mouth dropped open, moving soundlessly, guilty questions of his own racing through his head.

"You're not a crystal ball, Parker. It's not your fault."

He'd called her that once, after a vision of their death. They'd run then, they'd escaped... But an alien warning obviously wasn't in the cards this time.

Looking over, he met her eyes, flashing intervals of light illuminating the deep brown as they passed under the orange glow of the lamps on the side of the highway. "It's not," he stressed. "We get settled, and we wait." She pressed her lips together, shifting her gaze down to her lap, and he focused on the road again.

Soft warmth crawled over the back of his hand, tugging it away from his leg, and she pressed their palms together over the crinkled map, fingers lacing and locking.

I’d start a running tally of hand porn, but… Actually, screw it. Hand Action: 2 3 4. (Actual action: 0. Wah, wah, waaah.)

The headlights caught a faded green mile marker as Liz spoke, her voice catching. "Right. Lay low, get lost in the crowd. And wait." She squeezed, steadying her trembling hand in his. "LA, huh?"

Does it count? No? 4.5?

He nodded, his jaw tightening.

"LA."



She floated through a row of narrow arches and a sea of swirling fog, the ethereal haze parting in her path, dark robes flowing behind.

Coming to the end of the passage, she looked about the open space, scrutinizing its contents. The priestess Kayinsa had parted with the Orb of Albreah, sacred to her clan. The rare, iridescent Qu'arhai feather had been brought by the Shaman of the Ok'dul.

The names were totally random. I still fear that somewhere there’s an epic fantasy author just waiting to sue me for stealing his shaman.

The collection was vast, each article made in offering by a soul of the cause, seeking the wisdom of the ancients. Priceless pieces of a place she could not visit, a world she could not enter. Her life was encased in this room, entombed, trapped within the tales behind the objects and the guidance she had given in return.

It was her purpose. She had no other.

I loved the Oracles, but I was especially fascinated by her. When the bunny initially took root, I had all the pieces I needed, but wasn’t quite sure how to put them together. And all it took was miraculous resurrection. Take note, Jesus.

Not to be confused with “Jesus, take the wheel.” Because… well, just no.


Weaving through the gatherings on display, she approached the round column near the far wall that held her favorite gifts.

Violet eyes followed the tall curve of the Famille Rose, tracing intricate patterns set in black enamel that she'd long ago memorized. The wristwatch secured around the mouth of the vase still counted the hours even after its power source had drained, running on her will alone.

A surge of white-hot energy rushed beneath her golden skin, the cerulean markings of status and power she bore illuminated and pulsing. With the wave came knowledge, certainty, the moment when probability became reality and the present caught up to the future.

Cerulean. One of my favorite words in all the universe, and oft-abused by fanbrats with blue-eyed OCs. Ah well. At least it’s not the color of anybody’s orbs.

The prophecy was coming to pass.

Yes, I am indeed one of those Jossverse crossover writers. The ones who will never ever invent a creatively plausible reason for another universe to collide with Buffydom when there’s prophecy to be had. Sue me.

She felt her brother drawing closer, her companion in nameless existence, and didn't bother to turn as he stopped behind her. The bright blanket of blue radiating from his flesh crawled around her sides to blend with her own, intensifying the field of light, casting a neon glow through the thick mist and onto the stone floor below.

"They are coming."

"Yes," she replied. Lifting a hand, she trailed a fingertip over the smooth face of the watch, following the long hand as it ticked away the seconds, and smiled softly.

"It is time."

---

Image collection: two hours. Banner creation: Six and a half hours (give or take a snack or two). Completely unintentional ready-to-strike Spike, seemingly poised to bite Angel's head off: timeless.
Tags: fic, fic: dvd commentary, how sad am i?, meme
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