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Buffy Slayer

harmony033 in still_grrr

Prompt 224: Fic (witch oc)

Title A Trade
Author harmony033 / SallyAnn
Rating G
Word Count 2,526
Prompt 224, original characters, witch
Characters Buffy, Giles, original character Yulia (sorceress)
A/N: Set sometime in S3, after Revelations but before Helpless.




It had taken months to track the Slayer’s movements and ensure the path was accurate. It had taken months before that to ensure the Mineral of Toln was aged and durable enough for the spell to take place. After all the preparation, it was finally time. “And I’m certainly not getting any younger,” Yulia chuckled, coming out more like a cackle.

At seven hundred and thirty-one years old, Yulia felt she had been plenty patient. She had traveled from the mystical forests of Russia, through the icy mountains of Alaska (only recently part of America, Yulia recalled), and down the Pacific coast to find the Hellmouth. It was the closest one, and it had taken most of her life to locate. It wasn’t that she couldn’t have gotten here sooner, but after three hundred years of life, one no longer appears...normal. Traveling by daylight, or in populated areas, was no longer an option after she marked her three hundred and fourth birthday, when all the initial preparations were ready.

“By this time tomorrow, the Slayer will be dead, I will be dead, and the world will be at peace,” Yulia raised her arms to the skies, thanking whichever gods she was praying to that week. Over time, she realized there were so many options, so she rotated through them all weekly.

Barely more than skin and bones, with long, thin hair and a stereotypical wart on her nose, Yulia pulled her wool cloak over her shoulder and hunched down, avoiding the street lamps in Sunnydale. Her curved spine made her appear almost serpentine, ready to strike at any moment with her jerky movements.

Cackling softly to herself at her good fortune, she headed back to the woods north of town. There she would rest before her last night on earth.

***

Buffy had just finished patrolling through Sunnydale’s cemeteries when she realized she still had history reading to do. She grunted her frustration and headed towards the Sunnydale High library. “Whatever,” she thought, “who cares about the Russian Revolution anyway? It happened like, ages ago.”

As she crossed the street in front of the school something bit her ankle. “Hey!” Buffy swatted at the ground. Seeing nothing, she shrugged it off, and headed inside.

***

Yulia took a deep breath. She could feel the first pull deep within her, yanking at her soul, and giving her a bit of a side cramp. The first mark was reached. Only eight more, and then it would be time.

***
Buffy walked into the library when she felt another bite, this time on her lower calf. “Ugh! Mosquitoes!” Buffy scratched at her leg and pushed the door inside.

“Giles? You still here?” she called out, still scratching.

Giles popped his head out from the stacks. He held a steaming cup of tea and several small books. “Up here,” he called back.

“Just finished patrolling, not much to report,” Buffy called.

“Good, then. Forget something?” Giles came down from the stacks and held one of the small books out to her. At Buffy’s confused expression, Giles smiled. “It’s a brief history on the Russian Revolution. Trust me, even more brief than your history text.”

“You know me too well, Watcher mine. Thanks,” Buffy took the book and waved good bye. “See you tomorrow!”

On her walk home, Buffy stayed alert, but was irritated by the bug bites she continued to get. By the time she reached her door, she had one on her ankle, two on her legs, one on her hip, and two on her shoulders. “I’m going to have to get some of that anti-itch stuff, this is ridiculous!” Buffy muttered to herself. By the time she had was home she realized she had seven little bug bites. Little bites, but big itching! Irritated, it took Buffy a while to relax and fall asleep.

***

Yulia stayed awake all night, not wanting to miss a thing about her last night on Earth. She had lived in the night so long, now feeling more alive and awake during a time when so many people rested. Around six in the morning, she began her chanting. The D’rraki would be expecting everything to be perfect, and so was she.

***

As Buffy walked to school the following morning, she felt herself get two more bug bites. She pulled the anti-itching gel from her pocket as she scratched the one that got her just above her left eyebrow.

***

As soon as the ninth point had been reached, Yulia thought her entire body was being ripped apart. She raised her arms to the sky and shouted, “D’rraki, all is ready! Take her power; take me to rest! It is at your will!” She said this over and over until she felt the mystical hold drop her body. She wilted to the ground, covered in sweat and smiling.

It was time.

***

As soon as Buffy opened the library door, the ground started to shake. Buffy’s slayer senses immediately went on alarm and she rushed inside. “Giles! Are you in here!”

She saw him standing in the doorway to his office, bracing himself in the frame. “Here, Buffy. Get in the doorway in case the quake gets -” He didn’t finish his sentence as the quake became more violent.

Buffy glanced over her shoulder, hoping this was just a regular southern California quake and not one of those pesky Hellmouthy ones. When the study desks split apart in two and the ground cracked open, however, she knew she wasn’t going to be so lucky.

“Giles, is there an apocalypse scheduled today?” She shouted over the din.

“Not that I’m aware of, however, it seems to be so,” Giles replied, holding out his hand to pull her into the office.

She shook her head and crossed over to the cage. “Weapons!” she called to him. He nodded in understanding and she tossed him an ax. For herself, she grabbed the long sword Giles had been training her in. At least it felt natural now.

Buffy stood ready to face something icky or large coming out of the Hellmouth. What she wasn’t ready for was a thick beam of blue light, shooting right at her.

“Buffy!” Giles called out, not able to reach her before the light struck her square in the chest, knocking her down and completely unconscious.

***

Yulia remained on the ground until it began to shake. As soon as the quake began, she rose and prepared her sacred circle. Once she was safe inside the blessed area, she covered herself in lamb’s blood and talcum powder, looking horrific and smelling terrible.

The ground outside of her circle began to crack and fall away, protruding the gruesome woman upwards on a pedestal. Dirt swirled around her like confetti, raising her enthusiasm.

A disembodied voice cut through the noise of the quake. “Yulia...” it hissed loudly.

“I am here, D’rraki! I am your servant! I am at your will!” Yulia responded with the appropriate intonation, then proceeded with the final incantation in Russian.

Her pedestal began to sway and the quake intensified - so much so that Yulia thought for a split second that there was nothing left but her. The thought saddened and excited her - for this was to be her final day on this plane.

With a small grin and her characteristic cackle, she raised her arms and shouted the final words “let your will be done!” and in a brilliant flash of blue light, she disappeared.

***

Giles couldn’t get Buffy roused. He tried shaking her and dumping cold water on her face, but nothing. Finally, in desperation, Giles decided to do something he had sworn to himself he wouldn’t do again. Not after...that time.

He grabbed a small bundle of spearmint (he kept it for tea, really) and a jar of Rhysian tonic. It was oily and smelled a bit like lemon, but he was sure it was legitimate and not just Pine Sol.

Quickly he rubbed the tonic into Buffy’s forehead in a circular pattern. He shook the spearmint over her face then laid a few leaves on top of the tonic. Lightly, Giles rested his right hand on her face, being sure to cover the nose and mouth, as he was about to mystically channel breath into her and compel her to wake. At least he hoped.

He quietly muttered the incantation, a simple one he had known since before his Ripper days. Although, this had been a useful spell then, as well, as his friends and him often drank until they blacked out and performed powerful magicks that drained them of consciousness.

As he said the final words, he raised his hand from her face and Buffy sputtered, like a drowned woman back on shore.

“Giles? Wh-what happened?” Buffy wiped at her face, concerned that she was so oily. “Oh my-what is this?!” She asked as she pulled the spearmint from her forehead.

Giles just looked relieved and a bit giddy from the magical channeling. “You were unconscious. I couldn’t wake you conventionally, so I tried an old...trick.”

Buffy raised an eyebrow at him. “Well, at least you are still...you. So I’m not too concerned. Thanks, by the way.” Suddenly, the ground lurched and Giles hauled Buffy on her feet.

“We still have a quake, you know.”

“Yeah, I can see that, Gi-” Buffy began, but was cut off by the disembodied voice.

“Slayer....” it hissed, filling the library with its high-pitched tone.

Buffy gripped her sword and braced her knees. “Present!” she replied flippantly.

“I have a gift for you,” it boomed.

Buffy tensed, never liking gifts from unknown sources, especially when they weren’t wrapped in pretty paper with ribbon. “What sort of a gift?” Buffy asked cautiously.

“Immortality...or death...”

“Uh....thanks, I’ll pass, but it was great of you to think of me!”

She couldn’t really tell through the hissing, but it sounded like the voice actually laughed at her reply. “Choose. It is a life for a life - either you take Yulia’s immortality or I will take you,” D’rraki offered.

Giles stepped up next to Buffy, a thoughtful look on his face. “Yulia..” he said quietly. Then, louder, “Do you mean Yulia Robeshenski? The sorceress?”

“Yes....” D’rraki hissed.

“Then you must be D’rraki!” Giles became more confident and stepped forward. This just made Buffy more concerned and she stepped up with him. “You trade life and death and manipulate magicks to prolong or stop life, correct?” Giles continued, more for Buffy’s benefit, she knew, than the voice.

Another chuckle floated around the library. “Yes...and I want to give Yulia’s immortality to the Slayer. She...amuses me. Yulia expected her to die, using the Slayer’s life force to empower Yulia’s own death, but those incantations are meaningless to me. I will do what I want, no matter what.”

“Yes, well...” Giles had now removed his glasses and was cleaning them...calmly. Buffy was concerned, unsure of what was about to happen, and the fact that Giles was so calm made her even edgier. “The point is that you can affect change and take life and grant immortality, but you can only give it to the willing. As determined by Rubien in 1244, I believe.”

The voice roared and a strong wind whipped around Buffy and Giles, nearly knocking them off balance. “You infuriate me, human! Why do you interfere?” Giles held a hand up and the wind stopped.

“You know I am right, D’rraki, and you will find no willing participant here. Go back to the Hellmouth and leave this place!” Giles’ hands were raised above his head, looking threatening, it was just too bad he had no corporeal foe to intimidate.

Buffy decided she should do something to back him up. “Yeah, get out!” she called out loudly. She grimaced, even to her it sounded ridiculous.

With a distressed scream, the wind whipped back into the small crater in the middle of the library and the voice quickly faded. The library was still a mess, but at least the Hellmouth was closed once again.

***

After Buffy and Giles had cleared out the debris, they sat down in two of the chairs that were still in one piece. Buffy had been eyeing Giles, and he knew it was coming. Questions he didn’t want to answer, but she certainly had a right to know. He was her Watcher, and if he couldn’t be honest with her....

Buffy fiddled with the hem of her shirt, picking at an invisible piece of lint. She glanced over at Giles for the hundredth time and sighed, exasperated. Finally, she spoke.

“So?”

Giles let out an inaudible chuckle. “So?” he echoed.

“Giles, I mean, come on. You knew that guy, demon, voice thing, and knew how to get rid of him. You knew this Yulia lady, and you know, you didn’t even ask me if I wanted to be immortal or not, you know. I mean, that could be fun...for a while...”

Finally Giles cut her off. “Yulia the sorceress I am familiar with only through Watcher’s diaries, as she was rather prolific with her magicks in Russia centuries ago. D’rraki was mentioned not only in those texts, as she became immortal through him, but I have met him before. Although, he clearly did not recall me..” Giles grumbled that last part quietly.

“Before? Like...when you and...” Buffy trailed off, not wanting to pry, but desperately wanting to know.

“Yes. Ethan actually summoned him as a birthday gift for me. Offered to give me immortal life, the only problem was, and Ethan did not anticipate, was that I had to choose whose life force I wanted to trade for eternal life. I refused, and that was it. D’rraki has no power if the recipient is unwilling. It is actually a curse that was placed upon him by a warlock in 1244, Rubien something-or-other from Latvia. I’ll admit I’m a bit vague on those details, but at least I remembered the important part, mm?”

Buffy nodded, in awe at her Watcher’s recall and quick thinking. Otherwise, there was no way she was going to be able to battle a voice.

“And, I apologize I didn’t offer you the chance,” Giles continued, so quiet Buffy almost didn’t catch the words. “I suppose it could have given you a chance to be with Angel...” he trailed off, the difficulty in talking about him was still clear.

“Stop, Giles,” Buffy put her hand out to hush him. “You know me better than I knew myself..probably better than I want to know myself,” she gave a small smile. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it, whether I had to choose a life to trade or not. There’s just too much...baggage for that.”

Giles visibly relaxed and leaned back in his chair. They were both quiet, contemplative, for a long moment. “At least as far as Hellmouth openings go, that was fairly mild.”

Buffy laughed, “Thank goodness for small miracles?”

Giles joined her in the relieved laughter. “Indeed.”

Comments

Ha, that was pretty cool! I especially had to laugh at the sentence "She could feel the first pull deep within her, yanking at her soul, and giving her a bit of a side cramp." It's very arson, murder and jaywalking. :)
This was great fun. I really enjoyed the read. Thank you.
Cordy Grrr

January 2017

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