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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

“Is every monster I’ve ever read about real?”, Alicia ran her hands through her hair as she paced the small office, “Vampires, Skeletons...now werewolves?”

“Many of the myths and legends do have a basis in reality”, Rupert was perched on the window sill, he hadn’t lit up his cigarette yet - preferring to twirl it around in his fingers. He seemed agitated. It made Alicia wonder what he had seen.

“But werewolves are still people right?”, Alicia finally stopped walking back and forth and instead perched on Mademoiselle Dupont’s desk, ignoring the pointed raised eyebrow from Marie, “They’re only werewolves during the full moon?”

“Correct”, and from the slight wince on Marie’s face, she must have realised how teacherly she sounded, “You become a Werewolf if you’re bitten by another Werewolf - then, whenever there is a full moon, you will transform. Most people have no knowledge of what they’ve been doing when they wake up the next morning”.

“So they could kill someone and have no idea?”, Alicia drummed her fingers against the edge of the desk as she thought.

“Yes - some can go a number of months before they even realise something has changed”, Marie began to dig through her holdall as she spoke, “The human mind is very good at rationalising seemingly impossible things”.

“Do we kill them?”, Alicia hadn’t expected that sentence to be as difficult to say as it was. The looks between Marie and Rupert was conflicted.

“It’s a grey area”, Rupert said eventually, lighting up his cigarette and pushing the window open a little, “Comes down to individuals - both the hunters and the werewolves. There’s no hard and fast rule”.

“What’s the Council’s rule on it?”, and both Marie and Rupert went stiff and their faces betrayed their thoughts, “I’ll take it the Council vote for killing then”.

“The Council see numbers and monsters; they don’t see people”, Marie sounded more scathing than Alicia had ever heard and she wondered what personal event - and there had to be one - had prompted such a response.

They were interrupted by a knock on the door.

“Who is it?”, Marie began to look around for somewhere to throw her holdall, and then glanced between Alicia and Rupert - almost as if she were wondering where exactly she might hide them.

“It’s Darrell”, and Alicia got up to open the door. Darrell wouldn’t look at her, but Alicia didn’t need her to to know that she had been crying. Despite her natural instinct to quiz Darrell on the spot, she stepped aside and let her friend in.

Marie looked almost startled when she realised how upset Darrell was, and Alicia couldn’t blame her. Darrell didn’t cry. Or at least, Alicia hadn’t seen her cry since first form. Darrell was explosive meltdowns that left you stunned and in shock until she calmed down and apologised - truly meaning it every time - not tears and despair that made you feel like wrapping her up and protecting her. Alicia shook her head and decided to barrel in to be the one to ask,

“What happened?”

“Something’s wrong with Sally…”, and as Darrell stumbled over her explanation, returning to clarify things when Rupert or Marie asked, and when she reluctantly pulled up her sleeve to show the awful bruising made by fingers, thumb and palm on her forearm Alicia couldn’t help the cold chill that seemed to run down her spine. She spotted the glances between Rupert and Marie and knew that their minds were going to exactly the same place as hers because as much as Alicia disliked Sally she knew that she would never lay her hands on Darrell like that.

Darrell finished talking and just kind of stood, uncertain of what to do next. Rupert cleared his throat gently and asked,

“The scratches, the ones you said looked strange”, he glanced at Marie before asking, “Could they have been a bite?”

***

Marie

It was amongst Marie’s worst nightmares - possibly her very worst nightmare - for something terrible to happen to one of the girls at Malory Towers. For so many years she had kept them safe, and now…

Her eyes flickered to Darrell, and she felt overwhelmed with empathy for the poor girl. Darrell looked like she was still struggling to take in what Rupert and Alicia had said. Who could blame her?

“I don’t…”, and Darrell clenched and unclenched her hands, a calming strategy Marie had seen her employ on more than one occasion in recent years, “She doesn’t...she can’t…”

Alicia and Rupert had finished gathering up the equipment they needed, Marie nodded and turned her attention back to Darrell,

“I can’t imagine how difficult this is - I will explain more when we return but we have to go out and stop her before she hurts anyone”, and Marie left the ‘else’ unspoken at the end, deciding that Darrell didn’t also need to contend with the knowledge of what Sally might have been responsible for.

“I should have gone back with her - I should have been quicker”, and Darrell turned her anger and frustration on herself.

“Then you both might have been bitten”, Marie said simply, “Now I suggest you go to your dorm, we will bring her back. If anyone asks about Alicia or Sally then just say they’ve gone to the San”. She saw Alicia pull a face out of the corner of her eye but didn’t comment on it, after all there were very few excuses available for why a student was conspicuously absent from the dorms.

Darrell begrudgingly left to return to the dorms and Marie hurried the others down the stairs, uncertain how she would explain their late-night departure from the school if anyone were to see them.

“Do we split up or stay together?”, Rupert asked as they stepped out into the darkness of the night.

“Together”, Marie’s answer was immediate, “werewolves are unpredictable, especially newly turned ones”, she knelt down and sought out some indication of which tracks might belong to Sally then stood and indicated for the others to follow, “and we might be looking for more than one…”

“The one that turned her is probably still around as well”, Rupert agreed grimly.

“Do you think she killed that man?”, Alicia’s voice was barely more than a whisper.

“I don’t know”, Marie kept her eyes on the floor, tracking the footsteps that were fleeing towards the woods, “If she did - she isn’t aware of it”. She glanced at the rifle slung over Rupert’s shoulder, wishing she had both more rifles and more tranquilliser darts.

They moved in silence, the tracks leading them into the woods. Marie stopped and pointed to the pile of clothing - a Malory Towers uniform - nearby. Part of her had been hopeful that Sally hadn’t been turned, but it seemed they had their answer.

“Why…?”, and Alicia’s face furrowed in confusion.

“Any supernatural that shifts throws off their clothing as they transform - where else would the clothing go?”, Rupert nudged the branches aside with his rifle.

“I didn’t really think about it to be honest”, and Alicia followed Marie’s carefully placed footsteps, “I don’t much fancy our chances if we have to fight in these woods”. Marie gestured for the two of them to quieten down as she carried on tracking. Rather than lead into the woods, it seemed Sally had turned and made her way out towards the coastline. Whilst Marie felt an awful lot better about being on in open space, she most certainly did not feel better about how close they were to the school.

Then she heard it. A growl that was all the more terrifying for the fact that she couldn’t pinpoint where it came from. Alicia and Rupert kept walking as she turned around. A crack of a twig drew her attention elsewhere. Then a rustle of bushes sent her attention to her other side.

“We’re being hunted”, she spoke softly, but Alicia and Rupert stopped at her words.

“Is it her?”, Alicia asked and Marie nodded,

“I think so…”, she didn’t get a chance to finish her sentence as a Werewolf charged from the treeline. It had been so long since Marie had encountered a Were that she had quite forgotten how fast they were, how powerful. Rupert was closest and so he took the brunt of the attack, with no chance to raise his rifle, he was slammed into. The sound of his head hitting the floor was loud enough to echo in the cold night air, and Marie had no chance to check on him as the Werewolf turned on Alicia, jaws snapping shut and gripping hold of her shirt but thankfully missing skin. Marie forced her attention off of Rupert. A well-placed kick to the side of the Werewolf’s head was enough to loosen the grip on Alicia’s shirt but it didn’t daze it...her for very long. Marie tried not to think about the fact that the creature trying to tear them apart was a student - a student normally so quiet and calm that it seemed almost laughable that this monster was her.

Marie rolled out of the way of the Werewolf’s teeth just in time, pushing herself back to her feet in a single fluid motion and closing the distance on Alicia.

“She’s so quick”, Alicia scrambled to keep her footing. It was easy to lose sight of their attacker with the darkness cast by the clouds overhead, whenever their eyes adjusted enough to see, the Werewolf had darted off out of view. Then she changed tactic.

Marie made a split-second decision as the Werewolf charged at Rupert’s unconscious form, and she sprinted to cut off the attack. She realised her mistake too late as the Were changed course and barrelled Marie out of the way. All of the air was knocked from her lungs as she clattered to the floor, and she was certain one of her ribs had cracked from the impact. She struggled back to her knees, watching in horror as Alicia was pinned to the floor. She had never heard Alicia scream in all of the unnatural encounters the young Slayer had been forced to endure - and the sound was not one Marie would forget, no matter how long she lived. She staggered to her feet and started running, no matter how futile it was given the distance between them.

Even with time, Marie wasn’t certain she would be able to fully recall the events that followed. She did remember thinking - quite irrationally in hindsight - how dare Darrell go against her instructions to return to her dorm. The sound of the cricket bat hitting the side of the Werewolf’s head was almost sickening. The pop of the tranquilliser being shot behind her seemed to precede time slowing down and the werewolf yelped as it stuck. Dazed from the blow to the head, the Werewolf stumbled for a few seconds before crumpling to the floor.

The hardest part was the flicker of dark blue in the Werewolf’s eyes before the tranquilliser took effect.

***

Darrell

Darrell couldn’t remember going to the San.

She remembered plenty of other things. Like following Alicia and the others outside. Like the feel of leather grip against her palm as she panicked to find a weapon.

Like the way the cricket bat cracked when she drove it against the werewolf’s...against Sally's head…

She hadn’t wanted to leave but Marie was insistent that this time Darrell would do as she was asked and return to school. Somewhere in the confusion, Darrell had discovered that Matron was not quite so oblivious to the supernatural goings on as she thought.

She winced as her forearm throbbed. Matron had tutted and fussed, then wrapped up ice and given Darrell strict instructions to hold them to her arm.

“Marie says Sally will be okay tomorrow - besides a serious headache”, Alicia sat down on the bed beside her. She was wearing a distinctly unflattered t-shirt that was two sizes too big; her own shirt had been torn up in the attack. Darrell didn’t know what to say to that so she just sat in silence, not wanting to think about any of it.

“Thank you”, Alicia spoke again, “I am quite glad you chose to completely ignore what Marie told you”, and there was a strangeness to Alicia’s voice that Darrell wanted to ask about but she was just so tired.

“Nothing’s ever going to be okay again is it?”, Darrell said eventually, after silence had gone long past the point of being comfortable.

“I don’t know”, and it was rare for such an admission from Alicia, who tried her hardest to pretend that she knew everything. It was rather worrying in a way.

“What’s going to happen to her?”, Darrell wasn’t sure she wanted to know the answer and was quite grateful in a way when Alicia shook her head,

“I don’t know that either”, and Alicia smiled ruefully, “Starting to realise there’s actually rather a lot that I don’t know. I keep asking questions but it feels like Marie picks and chooses which ones I’m allowed to know the answers to”.

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing”, Darrell couldn’t think of anything to say and the quote seemed appropriate. She almost smiled at the look Alicia gave her,

“You and your bloody books”, Alicia muttered.

“Careful, Rupert’s rubbing off on you”, and it seemed normal - for just a moment. Two friends teasing each other. That made it so much worse when the moment passed.
Normally Matron would have ordered the girls back to their own bed, but when she glanced in and found both asleep in the same one - still in their clothes with pajamas folded neatly on the chair - she didn’t have the heart to wake them.

Date: 2017-01-03 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] versipellis.livejournal.com
Oh bless them. I really enjoyed both these parts, you combine the action-adventure fights with meaningful character moments. Good old Darrell!

Date: 2017-01-03 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thesoulofchaos.livejournal.com
I absolutely advocate for hitting your friends over the head with cricket bats. Does wonders for relationships :)

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