Jan. 2nd, 2017

thesoulofchaos: (Default)
Given my propensity for excessive word count (and a lack of desire to flood the 12 days page) - I am linking to my own blog so I can divide up the entry into three... I have decided (after suggestions from people much more knowledgeable about this blogging business than me) to go on the Waiting List for AO3 but per their estimation box thingy it won't arrive before tomorrow, after which I will edit the posts accordingly to link there. So until then...

Fandom: Malory Towers/Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Rating: 15

Word Count: 5978 (in total)

Summary: Everyone has questions and sometimes the answers are not the ones you want.


Alicia

“Did you get answers?”, Alicia grinned as she managed to make Marie jump by appearing beside her as the teacher walked through one of the fields near Malory Towers, “I see you’re not always on guard”.

“It’s the middle of the day, I am on guard as I need to be”, Marie replied and then after a pause continued, “Nonetheless that was well done - it’s not often anyone sneaks up on me”.

“Thanks”, and Alicia grinned despite herself, “So come on then, what did you find out?”

“I found out that you took Darrell out on patrol with you”, Marie continued with her walk and Alicia fell into step alongside her.

“Rupert’s already given me the lecture”, Alicia muttered, “Don’t know why he had to go and tell you”

“He didn’t”, Marie took their walk further away from the view from Malory Towers.

“Darrell?”, Alicia screwed up her face, not imagining that her friend would have revealed anything.

“Not intentionally”, Marie had a slight smile at the corner of her lips, “Unfortunately Miss Rivers is quite easy to read, and far too forthright to keep all of her emotions off of her face.”

“Are you angry?”, and Alicia was surprised to find that she was anxious to know the answer.

“You are both alright, although it could have ended quite badly. I would think you both realise now why her accompanying you is not a good idea?”, Marie stopped beneath a cluster of trees and faced out over the ocean.

“Yes”, Alicia scuffed at the ground with the toe of her shoe, “When all the skeletons rose at once I…”, she glanced out at then ocean and shrugged, “She can't defend herself and I can't keep her safe. It's better for me to be alone”.

“Is there something you need to talk about Alicia?”, Marie asked. Alicia thought -for all of about a second- about answering truthfully but eventually just shrugged,

“You know there is, or you wouldn't ask”, she said, “I just don't want to. So how was the Council?”

“Less illuminating than I had hoped”, Marie said, “I did visit a cemetery that had more answers for me - shame that the dead often offer more assistance than the Council”.

“I think I’m beginning to see why you took Rupert in”, Alicia grinned, “I see that streak of defiance”.

Marie gave her a quick glance but didn’t dispute the statement, “I found another entry concerning the Conduit”. Alicia forgot the teasing of her mentor in an instance,

“Do you know what it is?”, and she eagerly took the parchment that Marie took out of her pocket, relieved to find it in a language she could read this time - French.

“The Conduit didn’t just affect Greece?”, she asked.

“It did the second time it rose - this is the first time the Conduit was summoned”, Marie explained, “To say that the second summoning in Greece was more devastating would be an understatement”.

“Five hundred people died…”, Alicia said as she read down the page, “More died in Greece?”

“Many more…”, Marie accepted the parchment from Alicia, “I fear that the next time may see even more deaths. The skeletons were not a coincidence. They were called from their graves so that someone could search them”.

“Something was taken - something to do with this Conduit?”

***

Marie

Marie sat down in her chair with a sigh. She would be expected to put in an appearance at least in the teacher’s common room later that evening - with a convincing explanation for where she had been that did not involve cemeteries - but for now she was grateful for the opportunity to rest.

Alicia - as she perhaps should have expected - had practically drilled her for every last piece of information about the Conduit, and had seemed quite unsatisfied with the limitations of Marie’s knowledge. Marie smiled to herself; it had at least prompted Alicia to return to the books from the vampire nest to look for more information herself.

“Come in Rupert”, she called as she heard the floorboards outside her office creak. The door opened a moment after.

“Showing off are we?”, Rupert asked, “I take it Alicia was quite energised by your findings - I saw her rush off down to the cottage”.

“She seems to be throwing herself into the Slaying with perhaps a bit too much vigour”, Marie said, “but you aren’t here to discuss Alicia are you?”. Rupert smiled, and was it Marie’s imagination or was it almost ruefully.

“Your visit to the Watcher’s Council got me thinking - along with an encounter whilst you were away”, Rupert took a seat in what was usually Mademoiselle Dupont’s chair and leant back.

“No need to be subtle - although your discretion is admirable - I have already established that Alicia had Darrell accompany her on a patrol”, Marie shook her head to herself, “I am quite aware of the sorts of trouble those two are capable of getting up to when together. I suppose it must have been quite sobering for you? To see Alicia put a friend in such danger?”

“You could say that”, Rupert looked away from her with a frown, “I found it unsettling to be on the other side of that conversation - to be the responsible adult. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about it actually”.

Marie waited patiently, giving Rupert the space he needed to find his words. Seconds ticked into a minute and the young man seemed almost conflicted as he stared out of the window. When he finally spoke his voice was soft,

“I don’t think I should be a Watcher, Marie”

Marie found herself both surprised to hear the words come from Rupert’s mouth, and equally surprised that he hadn’t spoken them sooner. She fought the instinct to respond immediately, experience telling her that he had more to say that would be lost should she jump in too quickly. Sure enough Rupert continued,

“I had forgotten about them all until your visit”, Rupert finally looked back at Marie, “Managed to keep their smug faces out of my head. I joke about and tell you that you’re the only decent Watcher I’ve ever met, but for me it’s not a joke. How can I ever be a Watcher when they stand for so much that I despise?”

“I could give you an answer”, Marie kept her tone soft, “I could list off your good qualities - though I think you would just wave them off - or I could talk about how the sort of man you will become is exactly what the Watcher’s Council needs, but I don’t think that would help would it?”

“Not really no”, Rupert got to his feet and shoved his hands into his pockets, “Why do you do it? Stay a Watcher? I know it’s supposed to be a calling and everything just like the Slayer but let’s be honest - either of us could walk away at any moment”.

“A few months ago I would have said I didn’t know”, Marie hesitated before deciding to be a little more honest, “I considered retiring. Then Alicia was called and I decided that I couldn’t trust any of the Watcher’s at the Council to mentor her. She’s...a difficult personality at times”.

“Then they lumped you with me as well”, Rupert almost managed a grin, “Bet you really do wish you’d retired”, then he sighed and shook his head, “Thanks for the talk but it’s getting dark and I feel like I need to do some Slaying”.

Marie wasn’t sure that she had been of any help at all.

***

Darrell

“Everything okay?”, Darrell realised that Sally had stopped and was patting down her pockets.

“I don’t think I picked my necklace back up after you untangled it when we sat down - it must still be on the log”, Sally frowned, “I’ll run back and get it”. Darrell glanced at the horizon through the trees. The Autumnal evenings were growing darker ever earlier, and Darrell had no desire to be outside after the sunset. She had even less of a desire to let Sally walk around alone as it got dark.

“I’ll come with you”, she said immediately.

“Don’t be daft, it’s just a few minutes if I run”, and Sally had turned back and started to make her way quickly through the trees. Darrell clicked her tongue in frustration and scrambled back up the bank to follow her. Of course Sally would think she was being over-protective but Darrell could live with that.

She moved quickly through the trees, reminding herself to breathe in and out slowly so that it didn’t feel like her heart was about to burst out of her chest. Sally was quicker than Darrell had given her credit for. When she heard a cry up ahead she broke into a sprint.

“Sally?”, she slowed to a jog as she ran into the clearing and allowed herself a sigh of relief when she saw Sally at the centre, “Is everything alright? Are you bleeding?”. Darrell closed in the gap between them to get a better look at Sally’s wrist.

“It’s fine - my own fault”, Sally said immediately, and she tugged her sleeve down to cover the cuts, “I...think I caught myself on some of the brambles or something”, and she waved vaguely at the bramble bush nearby.

“Let me look”, Darrell insisted, holding out her hands and after a moment of hesitation Sally complied. Darrell turned Sally’s arm over to look at the cuts and frowned.

“This looks awfully deep for bramble bush cuts”, Darrell said, and she squinted at the peculiar pattern of wounds.

“I tripped coming over the ridge”, Sally replied, pulling her arm back, “Put one hand right in the thorns. Look can we get back to school so I can wash up before dinner?”. Darrell was quite taken aback by Sally’s tone and gave her friend a glance over. Sally’s cheeks were a little red and flushed, and Darrell realised that her over-reaction to a simple trip and fall was probably embarrassing her.

“Sorry, Did you get your necklace?”, she asked and Sally dug one hand into her pocket and pulled it out to show Darrell, “Alright - come on then”. The walk back to school was quiet, not peppered with their usually easy conversation. As they closed in on school, Darrell noticed Alicia walking in from across the fields - probably returning from the cottage. Sally, of course, noticed her attention shift and a strange something crossed over her face when she saw who Darrell was looking at.

Darrell was quite sure that Sally didn’t realise that Darrell was watching her out of the corner of her eye - otherwise she surely wouldn’t have practically tracked every one of Alicia’s movement across the field as they walked.

“Sally?”, Darrell asked eventually, feeling a little unsettled.

“Hmm?”, Sally finally looked away and turned to look at Darrell. Darrell stopped walking and stared at Sally’s eyes. Darrell blinked heavily and looked again - whatever she thought she saw was gone, Sally’s eyes were the same dark blue they always were, she must have seen a reflection of the sunset.

“Is everything okay?”, Sally was the one to ask this time and Darrell shook herself.

“Fine - must just be tired or something”, Darrell started walking again. Alicia had reached the school before them so Darrell was spared any awkwardness between the three of them. Sally dashed off to the dorms to wash up and change her shirt before dinner; Darrell waited at one of the bay windows in the corridor, one overlooking the woods.

It was strange how so recently she would have felt quite comfortable sat gazing out at the countryside, charmed almost by the beauty that surrounded the boarding school. With the added knowledge of the monsters that crawled out at night, it became much less enchanting. Darrell couldn’t see the graveyard from the school which was probably for the best. The sun was low now, and not being able to see what was outside made Darrel a little uneasy.

A slow tingle crept up her spine and she just knew something was watching her. She tried to remember what Alicia had said about all the spells and wards around the school - practically impenetrable was how Alicia had made it sound with how often she talked about it. So where then was she being watched from? No - not watched - hunted. She felt like at any moment she was about to become something’s prey...

She wasn’t too proud to admit that she actually squeaked when she turned around and found Sally behind her. Sally seemed to study her for a moment,

“Are you sure you’re okay?”, she asked, looking past Darrell and out of the window.
“Never better”, Darrell said, hoping that she didn’t look even half as terrified as she felt. She was very grateful when the bell sounded for dinner.
thesoulofchaos: (Default)
Fandom: Malory Towers/Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Rating: 15

Word Count: 5978 (in total)

Summary: Everyone has questions and sometimes the answers are not the ones you want.

Read more... )
thesoulofchaos: (Default)
Fandom: Malory Towers/Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Rating: 15

Word Count: 5978 (in total)

Summary: Everyone has questions and sometimes the answers are not the ones you want.

Read more... )

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