One Heckuva Fight
DISCLAIMER: Nope, dun own anything Captain Marvel related or Buffy related, not even a copy of the comic book for Buffy. But I own lotsa DC Comics, and the old DC Heroes RPG, and the (slightly) newer DC Universe RPG... or at least copies thereof...
"Oh your effulgent magnificence, we have identified what we believe may be the Key!" crowed a revolting thing as it scrabbled into the room where Glory sat, having her nails done by a similar gnarled gnome.
"Effulgent? EFFULGENT?" she roared, standing immediately.
"Err... yes, your beautiful divinity, it means..."
"I know what it means! I just hate that word. Now tell me what you have learned before I feed your spleen to Glix, here."
Both servants looked a little ill at that, but the first one nodded as he bowed and scraped. "Of course, oh manifestation of eminent majesty. We have learned that the boy has recently come into some form of vast power, but we do not know what it is. We believe, though, that it may be the Key!"
"The boy, huh?" muttered the Hell God. "Good. Where is he right now?"
"He and the rest of the do-gooders are at the store, the Magic Box. At least that is where Blurgh says his Gee Pee Ess device is, that he secured on the old one's conveyance."
Somewhere during the servile creature's explanation, a hole roughly ten feet wide had appeared in the brick wall of their hideout, and Glorificus was nowhere to be seen.
"Okay, now put the hematite over there, so it's at the opposite end of the display from the malachite," barked Anya as she consulted a diagram in her hands.
"What about the topaz?" asked Xander, hefting the box of rough, orange stones he held in his left, even as he placed the box of metallic, shiny stones in his right where directed.
"Mmm... three spaces to the left. Then come back here."
Setting down the last box, he walked over. "More stones to place?" he asked.
An evil grin spread across the ex-demon's face. "Nope. Giles and Buffy are in the back, training, and Tara and Willow are picking up Dawn... so now's the perfect time for some mid-reorganization smoochies."
"Sounds like my kinda break time," grinned Xander. "But what if the others get back while we're in mid..."
"...smooch? Oh, crap."
Standing in the wreckage of the front window, and the display of various talismans that once occupied it, was the last thing either Xander or Anya wanted to see - a grinning Glorificus. "Well, lovebirds, here's hoping you got your last kiss in. Because he's mine, now," she chortled, pointing at Xander.
Anya grumped. "Even Hell Gods, Xander? I knew you were attractive, but..."
"NOT LIKE THAT!" shouted Glorificus, the volume shaking the displays. "He is or has my Key. I want my Key. He's mine, now."
"Shyeah, right," came a new voice from behind Xander, as Buffy and Giles stepped out from the training room. Buffy was in her workout clothes and still carrying the troll hammer, while Giles was hopping on one leg, trying to get the padded suit off.
"Go away, Slayer, and I might let you live," snorted the Hell God.
"Excuse me," said Xander, "don't I get to say anything about all this?"
Glorificus sneered. "Oh? And what would you say, mortal?"
As Glory blinked her eyes to get rid of the spots from the obviously magical lightning bolt, she didn't see the fist speeding her way, straight into her gut. The force knocked the wind out of her, and sent her flying into the recently renovated building across the street. Stunned more by the fact that she had been hit that hard, rather than by pain or shock, she grabbed on to each wall she passed through to slow herself down a bit more. Finally, she found herself no longer hitting buildings, and glanced around, to find she was now falling into a residential area, from about a hundred feet up.
If she had been mortal, any number of things could have killed her by now - the initial punch, each wall she was knocked through, the impact of finally landing, or even the massive road rash she would have gotten as she skidded to a stop in a thirty foot long trench she dug up in the road. But, of course she wasn't, so when she had managed to right herself, she was horrified. "You ruined my dress! And it was expensive, too!"
Another fist came from nowhere, crashing into her jaw and actually hurting. "Aww, too bad. Not like you paid for it, is it?"
Shaking her head, she looked at the soon to be dead individual who had dared strike her twice. To her surprise, it was the boy! And he was bigger now, in some sort of uniform - and radiating dim levels of deific power. "Drat. You're not my key. What are you?"
Xander blinked. "I'm... well, I'm not exactly sure. But you can call me... umm... Captain Marvel!"
Glory snickered. Then she snorted. Then she flopped on her butt and started rolling around laughing. "Captain...*wheeze* ... Marvel? BWUAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Sounds like a bad comic book, spandex-boy! Where's the cape?"
Watching Glory sail off to the edge of town, Xander hrmphd. "Make fun of my name, will she..." he muttered, then took to the air after her.
Flying up to where he thought she landed, he was surprised to see an empty crater. 'Where could she be?' he wondered. He started to look around, when as he turned left, a telephone pole slammed into the back of his head. Knocked to the ground amid a spray of splinters, he said the only thing that came to mind. "OUCH!"
Pushing up to a kneeling position, and spitting out a mouthful of dirt, he heard footsteps coming up to him. He started to try to stand as fast as he could, but the Hell God was faster, and she planted her own foot into her side with enough force to derail a train. "You are going to suffer like no one ever has in the history of... of suffering!" she shouted, even as he was sent skidding back towards town.
Once more pulling himself upright, he heard the machinegun staccato of her feet slamming into the pavement at hundreds of miles an hour. Almost without thinking, Xander leaped as hard as he could, taking off moments before she reached him. "Nyah-nyah! Can't reach me here, can you?" he taunted.
"You want to play games, wannabe? How about catch?" shouted Glory, grabbing the bumper of a parked car. With an almost negligent gesture, she hurled it at the transformed young man with lethal force. It slammed into him before he could blink, carrying him with it as it sailed into the side of a warehouse, embedding him in the cinder block.
A shove of superhuman power removed the car from his midsection, but he paused for a moment to try to catch his breath. This turned out to be a mistake, as a pair of feet impacted with his stomach, carrying him through the wall, and down to the floor twenty feet below. He felt a loud crack, but wasn't sure if it was the concrete floor, or his own ribs. "This is not going as well as I had hoped," grumbled Xander.
"Why don't you just stay there for a few moments?" asked the Hell God in a sickly-sweet voice. "Then I can just suck your brains, and everything will be hunky-dory?"
Staggering to his feet, he shook his head. "Not gonna happen, Bitchzilla," he snorted.
"Then DIE!" she screamed, and charged him. This time however, he was ready for her, and met her half way. Dropping to one knee and skidding slightly across the floor, he caught her in the gut with his shoulder, and then threw her across the warehouse, and through the wall to the office.
Standing, he popped his neck. "Okay," he muttered, "gotta think tactically here. What would Soldier Boy do, and what can ol' Solomon give me to work with?"
He probably would have had more time to think, but he instinctively ducked as a half-crushed desk came flying out of the hole he had knocked Glory into moments earlier. "Not what I was expecting, there, Solomon ol' buddy." But he had no time to think anymore, as he had to grab her wrists, and she was grappling with him with far more strength than he had ever expected.
"Give it up, boy! Give it up! GIVE IT UP! I WANT MY KEY, AND YOU ARE KEEPING ME FROM MY KEY, SO GIVE UP AND DIE!" she shouted, and forced her hands closer and closer to his head.
"Dye? Nah, I gave up Hawaiian shirts last year," he snarked, then suddenly had an idea. "So, ya wanna suck my brains, huh, Queen of the Dumbed?"
"Yes! And that's the stupidest insult I've ever heard!"
He smiled, and calmly said, "Then you can have them!" With that, he let go of her wrists, and her glowing fingers plunged directly into his skull.
"No wait, one of them just went zooming past that way!" insisted Buffy, the only one who could even really see the two tussling titans. "Go left, go left!"
"I really don't know if we can even make it there, Buffy, that hammer of yours is weighing down Giles' car!" complained Willow. "Well, that and the four of us. Maybe Tara and I could whammy up something to..."
"No!" shouted Giles, pushing his Citroen to its meager limits. "Whatever you do, you will not do it to my car!"
"Okay, okay, it was just an idea," pouted the redhead.
"Stop! Stop! STOP!" shouted the Slayer, pointing just down the street to where Xander hovered over an angry Glorificus.
The brakes squealed, and the car's passenger side door was falling to the pavement a half second later. Tara watched the blur as Buffy, with hammer, virtually exploded out of the vehicle. Unfortunately, long before the Slayer reached the Hell God, Glorificus had thrown a car at Xander, and then leaped into the air to land in his stomach, driving both of them through a hole too high up for Buffy to reach while carrying her burden.
Giles started his car again, cursing the loss of one of his doors, while Buffy motioned him to come closer. Unfortunately, it would not leave first gear for some reason. "Come on, come on," she shouted, "that bitch is killing Xander in there!"
"I promise you I am trying," insisted the Watcher, "but I do believe my transmission has, as you say, bitten the big one."
Snarling with repressed rage, Buffy raced back to the car, and started shoving it forward, faster than the car could handle at the time. Ignoring a few seemingly random parts that fell off as Giles hastily threw it into neutral, she positioned it exactly where she wanted it. "Okay, now everybody out!"
"But why?" asked Willow as Tara hurried to get out of the cramped back seat.
In the space of a few heartbeats, everyone was out of the car. "Now, why did you want us to get out?" demanded Giles.
In response, she simply hefted the troll hammer, hopped on top of the car, and used that to reach the hole in the wall twenty feet above, grabbing the lip with one hand and easily hauling herself through.
"Oh," said Giles, then winced as what was left of the poor car collapse in a complete state of exhaustion... or, perhaps, metal fatigue.
"Why didn't she j-j-ust go through the d-door, there? It was partly open," asked Tara.
Buffy slammed to the ground hammer first, the impact of the blow absorbing a lot of what would have ruined her brand new shoes. She rolled with it, straight up into a fighting position, and looked around the warehouse, to see where her friend and her enemy were.
And she was just in time to watch Glory plunge her fingers into the brain of her Xander-shaped friend.
"NOOOOOO!" she shouted, and began to charge forward, when what could only be described as a wave of pure force hammered into her, separating her from the hammer and knocking her into the wall hard enough to knock the wind out of her. She blinked and shook her head, and fought to breathe, and then looked back at the fate of her friend.
Xander, now in his civilian guise, stood tall, glaring down at a stricken Hell God. It almost looked like she was undergoing an epileptic fit, except instead of convulsing in place, she was shifting back and forth rapidly between her normal form, and that of a human male. "Ben?" asked a shocked Slayer.
"Oh, heya, Buff. Come to watch the weirdness?" grinned the Heart of the Scoobies.
"Wh... what happened?"
"Oh, that. Well, see, it's sort of a thing."
"A Solomon, Army Guy, and a few other things kind of a thing," nodded Xander.
By this time, most of the remaining Scoobies had made it in through the open door. "Re... remarkable," exclaimed Giles.
"Yep. Turns out ol' Skankatron Three Thousand here is more like Zombietron Three Thousand - she 'eats' brains. Or minds, at least." He grinned. "But she can only 'eat' one at a time. So I gave her a smorgasbord."
By this time, the flickering and convulsing of the Hell God had stopped, leaving behind only an unconscious Ben. "The doctor who is treating my mother... is a Hell God?" asked the Slayer of no one in particular.
Tara squinted. "M-maybe. There was s-some sort of spell that, um, shielded him from something. I can't tell what it was, but it's almost gone, now."
"Is she still in there?" asked Willow.
"Y-yes. Comatose, kinda, just like him, but she's still there."
Xander walked up to the rest. "Well, I'd say she's not gonna be coming back any time soon. And no, before you ask, I didn't lose my powers. I just kinda used up the rest of my time for today. And tomorrow. And probably next week."
"Well," said Giles, fighting the urge to polish his glasses. "I, well, I guess we'd all best be headed back to the Magic Box. Fortunately, we didn't get too far before your little tete-a-tete reached its terminus, so it should be a reasonable stroll."
"Sounds good to me," noted Xander. "I may not be as hurt as I was when I was, erm, all powered, but I bet I still have bruises on my bruises." He then made a mental note not to ever say the words 'Captain Marvel' again. Maybe Nighthawk, instead?
"Um, yes, well, you all go on ahead. I have to um, use the facilities. I shall catch up with you in a moment," said the Watcher.
"Right. You do that, Giles," grinned Buffy. "Come on. Lets go back so Anya can quit fretting and worrying and start applying the bruise paste."
Chattering happily, the four youngsters sauntered out of the warehouse, leaving their older companion behind. When he was sure they were gone, he removed his glasses, and placed them in his pocket, and looked at the unconscious man in the middle of the floor. He then slowly started walking towards him.
Coming to a stop beside the intern, he took a knee. "Young man, I am sorry. And this is something I hope my children never learn about - or ever have to do themselves. But I cannot have you recover - and with you, that damned thing within you."
And he reached down, and smothered Ben.