Xander simply couldn't help himself. He started giggling, louder and louder, until he was bent over laughing. “You...have...got...to...be...kidding,” he managed to force out between giggling fits. “You are the big bad vampire who rules this city?!” He started laughing again.
The vampire in question looked affronted. Dressed to the height of fashion, Louis XVI fashion, that is, Jean-Claude sported a frilly ruffled silk shirt, tight leather pants, and long black hair. All-in-all, he looked rather less than intimidating.
This interrogation, while not as pleasant as the one in the SGC, was providing its own entertainment. “How in the world have you managed to survive? The first thing any self-respecting vampire hunter looks for is someone who dresses a bit out of date, and you are CENTURIES behind! Do you have a death wish or something?”
Jean-Claude scoffed. “Monsieur, vampires have been made citizens of this fair nation. We need no longer hide in the shadows, afraid of sudden mobs. We pay our taxes, feed from willing sources, and are granted police protection. Why should I not dress in a manner most comfortable to me?”
Xander rolled his eyes. Even the vampires on the Disc hadn't been so full of themselves. And though they had worn the traditional vampire clothing, they managed not to make it ludicrous. “Fact is, Johnny-boy, you look like the cover of one of those cheesy romance novels. Not exactly the best way to get people to respect you or take you seriously. Now, since I have apologized to Anita for disturbing her fish, I will be getting on my way.”
His erstwhile “captors” tensed up. Anita visibly reached for her gun. “Non, monsieur, when we have just begun our conversation? You, an obvious nonhuman, have invaded my territory, without permission or a gift. Therefore, you will be remaining here as my...guest...until I have decided what to do with you. Your power is like nothing I have ever tasted before...tell me, what are you?” The vampire's skin seemed to glow a milky white, eyes like jeweled sapphires. Tension once more rose in the room, this time sexual.
“EEEW, you've got to be kidding me! What are you, half vampire and half succubus? Are you some kind of whore that uses sex to get what you want? What kind of a master vampire does that?” Xander looked at Richard, sulking in the corner. “And you, you are obviously an alpha werewolf, so why are you acting like his bitch? Is she really so good that you are willing to wait until she's not with the vampire to have her? How messed up are you people?” While he was no stranger to men who flaunted or flirted equally with either gender, the fact that Jean-Claude was using some kind of sexual power to get his way disgusted him. Fortunately his own magical abilities shielded him.
Eyes glowing a faint gold, Richard stepped forward. He was visibly trying to control his urge to go fully were, as the tips of his fingernails turned black. “We are a triumvirate, sharing power equally. You are an outsider- you don't have any right to question our relationship.”
Xander snorted. “Sometimes you have to get an outside opinion to see things clearly. Like, for example, the fact that Mr. High-and-Mighty there can't just keep people prisoner while claiming to be a law-abiding citizen. And, unless the Constitution in this world's United States is way different, I don't think he has the right to proclaim himself as the Master of St. Louis and demand tribute. Nor does he have the right to demand that I ask permission to enter the city.”
Anita snarled, getting in his face. “He is the Master of the City; he has fought his way into power and maintains order among the vampires, weres, and other non-humans. Human law does not apply.”
Shaking his head, Xander replied, “Oh, but it does. The moment that vampires accepted citizenship, they, by extension, agreed to follow human laws. Acting like a mafia boss is NOT acceptable behavior for a citizen.” He turned to Jean-Claude, chains falling away. “Either you are a law-abiding citizen, protected by law, and with no power over me or any other, or you are a monster, commanding whatever power you may force or coerce. And if you choose the latter, you choose for yourself the fate of all monsters: annihilation. No protection from a government whose laws you violate.” He stood, hair streaming behind him in an unfelt wind. “Now CHOOSE!”
The vampire's face contorted with rage. “Such insults must be answered! Die!” With that, he threw himself at his former captive, followed somewhat more slowly by Richard. Anita, on the other hand, was edging sideways, gun in hand, looking for a clean shot.
Rather than risking a direct physical confrontation which he was sure to lose, Xander instead called upon his native element of water. Cries of rage and frustration ensued, with the three opponents swirling around the room in a waterspout. “I'll give you one final chance, Jean-Claude! Give up and release whatever power you hold over these two! I can feel the thread of evil binding them to you. Release them and you will live. Refuse and you will release them with your death!”
Unfortunately there seemed to be no reasoning with the enraged vampire. Face set in determination, he was attempting to swim through the water to get at the one who defied him. “Very well,” Xander cried, “I call upon the power of Strife, God of Mischief! Bless this water and make it holy!”
The water seemed to catch fire. There was a loud scream, and then silence as Jean-Claude melted away into the holy waterspout. Slowly, the water lowered, depositing its two unconscious captives onto the floor.
Xander looked at the pair, sadly. With any luck, they would survive and heal, back into the people they had once been. There was no way he was staying to find out, though. With a quick stop to grab Morgif, he headed to the bathroom, in search of enough water to hopefully send him out of this messed-up world.
Disclaimer: I don't own Anita Blake!
If you have any ideas where you'd like to see him end up next, review!