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Going Home

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Summary: Sometimes in life, you need a good kick in the pants to get you going again. Luckily for Anita, the Host isn't afraid to get his hands dirty.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Other BtVS/AtS CharactersMezekFR1312,762041,23712 Apr 0912 Apr 09Yes
Going Home

AN: For Lorne.

Disclaimer: I do not own Anita Blake or BtVS.

Anita was drunk. Falling down stairs, running into parked cars sort of drunk, it was the reason she avoided alcohol, the drunkenness. The skewing of her senses and inhibitions were also unfortunate side effects that she tried to avoid. And let’s face it, given her job and the way her life had been going the past few years, drinking was well on suicidal. Nevertheless, on this occasion, far away from home and anybody who knew her, Anita was drunk.

Some movie studio or another needed an animator to raise a long dead playwright to clarify his work, claiming they had to get the ‘right feel’ for the film. Bert had jumped on the chance to spread word of their expertise to the west coast, and who else could he send but his most famous animator, Anita Blake? So, after much arguing with her boys and threats from her boss, she finally caved and agreed to travel to LA to do the job for an exorbitant bonus on top of her already pricey fee. Jean-Claude had spent days in negotiations with the Master of Los Angeles before Anita had been given permission to enter the city. Much to her vampire’s dismay, she couldn’t bring any of her leopards, wolves, or other preternatural friends/bodyguards with her; on the other side, all of the weres and vamps in LA were ordered to avoid her at all costs, under pain of death if Anita didn’t kill them first. All in all, the bargain didn’t seem that bad to her, almost like a vacation if she was going to be honest with herself.

Still, all that didn’t explain why she was sitting, barely, on a barstool, hypnotically swirling a rum and coke, heavy on the rum, with the thin red straw that came with the drink. Thinking back to the raising she’d just performed, Anita shuddered. ‘Oh, yeah, that’s why I’m drinking.’ Not particularly hard, the job went smoothly. A little blood, some funky smelling salves, a dash of chanting and the waving of ceremonial steel and pop went the zombie. It wasn’t until the corpse started speaking that the problem appeared. Well, the long dead playwright could speak alright. Loudly. Verbosely. And in rhyme. All in rhyme, it couldn’t talk any other way. Several hours of that would drive even the most devout to drink. It had certainly been enough for Anita. After putting the zombie back, she had proceeded to head for the nearest bar in an attempt to stun her memory into oblivion.

Driving in her rented Jeep, the Executioner kept her eyes peeled for someplace that would sell her copious amounts of alcohol. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, there it was, nestled in between a dark alley and several rundown building was her salvation. The neon pink sign above the door read ‘Caritas’; not knowing or caring about the significance of the name, Anita pushed her way into room. And nearly fell back out once her senses caught up. Supernatural creatures of every kind were sprawled across the room, fey and vamps and shape shifters and witches and things in colors she didn’t know existed, and the place was warded out to the teeth. She couldn’t even begin to guess what they were all for, but given that most of the spells were non-hostile, it was probably safe enough for her, probably.

She is drunk. She knows this. It takes two rum and cokes, a shot of Bailey’s, and a half bottle of beer to completely decimate the resistance that comes with her status as a human servant. Otherwise, Anita is sure she would have been wasted after that first drink, rather than buzzed. So, she’s sitting here, in a strange bar, full of strange people, in a strange city, watching other things, human and not – trashed or not, sing karaoke. It should seem bizarre that these supernatural creatures who are normally so obsessed with appearing strong and evil get onstage and embarrass themselves like that. Except it isn’t humiliating, not really; everyone knows that they are here for a reason, even if they are too far gone to remember what. After their performance, the singer is pulled to the side by a man in green… nope, a non-man with green skin, for a few moments. She doesn’t know what is said or done, but the singer leaves with a little less strain to their muscles, a peace that she can’t explain.

But she wants to. She wants to have that peace. Her life has become so chaotic and different the last few years, she can hardly recognize herself. Sometimes, she doesn’t want to. Is this really her, sleeping and helping and choosing and loving monsters? The family that hates what she is called to condemn her actions and warn her of the damnation waiting for her. Are they right? Has she forgotten that monsters are monsters and people are people? Which is she? They called her a slut and a whore and a killer and she can’t say that they’re wrong. There is a part of her, underneath her empty place, that revels in the bloody sex and deathly flesh she drowns herself in. Love, she knows, love has done this. It’s love that has made her so weak and pathetic and let the monster inside her out. It’s the reason she has run away, yet again, from those that need her, depend on her, want her. They want her, despite her faults and flaws and fears and sometimes fickle nature. She isn’t easy to be with, to love. And, with her nose nearly touching the glass before her, she can admit the rest of the truth.

Standing up, Anita straightens up as much as she is able and weaves her way to the slightly raised stage. She doesn’t think about what she about to, for once. She just does. Letting her instincts guide her, she picks a song and grabs the microphone before her courage flees. The first bars of music fill the air as she focuses on the pictures in her head instead of the scene before her. This is it then. Breathe and say goodbye.

Miss independent
Miss self-sufficient
Miss keep your distance, mmmm

* Blood is trickling down the side of her face; the sticky redness mingles with beads of sweat that burn as they find more cracks and crevices in her skin on their way down. Her ribs are now her enemies, grinding against each other and stealing her sharp, panted breath. A pale arm, white as the moon, and eyes like the darkest blue of night reach out to her; it is an offering, an admission, a gesture of caring. She turns away and uses her own shaking hand to push herself up from the floor. *

Miss unafraid
Miss out of my way
Miss don't let a man interfere, no

* Two women sit on the benches outside the park, all blank faces and angry eyes as they discuss the case the brunette is working on. The blonde is pushing her friend to let someone know what’s going on. She says that her friend has all those monsters for a reason; why not let them help her find the one the brunette is looking for. But the shorter woman doesn’t hear. I can handle it, she replies. *

Miss on her own
Miss almost grown
Miss never let a man help her off her throne

* An impatient executioner checked over her gun as she half listens to the older man urgently speaking over the phone. Why was he making such a huge deal out of this? This wasn’t her first job.

“I know what I’m doing.”

Cursing in Spanish is the last thing she hears before she hangs up.

Four days later when the man visits her in the hospital, he doesn’t mention it.

Not even when she smiles and says, “I got the bad guy.” *

So, by keeping her heart protected
She'll never, ever feel rejected
Little miss apprehensive
Said ooh, she fell in love

* Purple eyes like flowers and spring days stare at her. They are begging for something, but she doesn’t know what it is. The shadows of long nights in an empty, cold bed and criticizing words hover between them. When she slides to the left and pulls the covers back, they are chased away by a feeling of fur and the smell of vanilla. *

What is this feeling taking over?
Thinking no one could open the door
Surprise, it's time, to feel what's real
What happened to miss independent's no longer need to be defensive?
Goodbye, old you, when love, is true

* The photograph is taunting her. It was taken several years ago, just after she’d gotten her license and started hunting. It is her, just younger, a little more naïve, a little more innocent. She had been a giant then, full of belief and righteousness. Alone, she’d been alone and unhindered by the responsibilities and people she has now; someone who’d have rather died than let anyone get near her. Two bodies collide with her, knocking her from her contemplation and the picture from her hand. She laughs as two of her cats wrap their arms around her and start to talk about their days. It makes her uncomfortable sometimes, being so such to so many people and having them mean as much to her, but she wouldn’t want it any other way. The photograph falls to the floor and is pushed beneath the couch. No one misses it. *

Misguided heart
Miss play it smart
Miss if you wanna use that line, you better not start, no

* A loud bang follows her exit as she leaves her golden one behind. He whispers to her of emotions and things that can’t possibly be true. There is no soul to feel the words he tells her, half in resignation or fear and half in hope; it’s only dead, after all. *

But she miscalculated
She didn't wanna end up jaded
And this miss decided not to miss out on true love

* The sound of his bitter laugh draws her back in, a sound full of the pain and heartbreak of a near half millennia. He cries tears of blood at her prejudice and rejection. His brilliant hair covers both halves of him, the broken and the not, but she knows he is crying and it is all her fault. The stone under her is unforgiving as she falls to her knees before him. *

So, by changing a misconception
She went in a new direction
And found inside, she felt a connection
She fell in love

* She doesn’t say anything as he composes himself and a hard look enters his beautiful eyes of spun gold. He stares at her, weighing and accessing her motives for lowering herself before him. Behind the act, as submissive and sexual and extremely out-of-character as it is, he sees the real concession is in her gaze. There is sorrow and humiliation and fear and steel. And then beyond all that, there is the kindness and happiness and concern and love that she has for him. She is raw and opens herself to him like she never has before; in explanation or apology he doesn’t know. One single tear runs down the young, oh so young, face he holds in his hands. What a pair they make, unrelenting midnight and the forever rising sun, healing and hurting without trying. It is enough. For both of them. *

What is this feeling taking over?
Thinking no one could open the door
Surprise, it's time, to feel what's real
What happened to miss independent's no longer need to be defensive?
Goodbye, old you, when love, is true (when love, is true)

* He took her dancing. Her master asked and she gave. They glided together through a history of deception and half-truths and inflexibility. They’ve used and redeemed each other, been together despite other men and murder and building new lives. And finally, finally, after so many years, they were truly equals, in power, in status, and in feeling. *

When miss independent walked away
No time for love that came her way
She looked in the mirror and thought today
What happened to miss no longer afraid?
It took some time for her to see
How beautiful love could truly be
No more talk of why can't that be me
I'm so glad I've finally seen

* There had been a man once, a ruler among wolves. He had gotten past the walls and pains the past had left on her. She had wanted to share everything with him, even things she wasn’t sure she really wanted but knew he did. She gave and he took. Then he wanted more. Until she could give no more and he was gone, stealing away like a coward and taking her heart with him. He kept it for years afterwards, playing on and with it, using it and those she had claimed to help himself and hurt them.

One day, another man was there, a king among cats. He patiently helped put her together, showing her how to take back the heart that been ripped from her. And she had, only to turn around and break it into pieces. From the fragments of such an act, she gave them away: one to her master who called her the same, one to her tarnished sun who knew the value of broken things, one to her little catling who looked at her with needy eyes, one to her servant with hair like blood who needed someone to hold him together, one to the steady blond who excelled at making her laugh, one to her green-eyed king who gave her his faith and held her up, and many to the cats and wolves and vampires that she guarded from the dark. *

What is this feeling taking over?
Thinking no one could open the door
Surprise, it's time, to feel what's real
What happened to miss independent's no longer need to be defensive?
Goodbye, old you, when love, is true (when love, is true)

* They were a family. They had a home and a circus and people to listen to them. They fought together and bled together and died together. The pain of one was the pain of many, they were perfect when their own insecurities let them be. But it didn’t matter. The loved, together, each other, singularly and as a whole. They loved, and so did she. *

Miss independent

The song was over and Anita found that she felt surprisingly sober. As she walked offstage, she made her way to the green man. She stopped before him, not knowing what to expect.

“Well, honey, this is quite the pickle you’ve gotten yourself into isn’t it? Running away and running back, you’re gonna make me motion sick if you keep this up.”

He smiled at her as she tensed, red eyes that were warm instead of threatening boring into hers. “You’re right in thinking that you’re hard to love.”

Ignoring her flinch, he continued on.

“But so are they. Each one of those snuggle-bears of yours has just as many, or more, issues than you do. You try anyway, just like they do for you. Stop hiding from what you already know. You’ve got the guts and pig-headedness and the loved to make this work. Now, hop to it.”

Blaming it on the alcohol, Anita smiled lightly at the man before calling a cab and leaving the bar. Originally, she had intended to stay another two days but she packed her clothes and changed her flight. The cab left her at the airport to finish sobering up and wait.

As the hours passed and boarding finally started, Anita had made only one call to her house. No one had answered, but she’d left a message with her new flight info and telling them she was not to worry if they couldn’t get her from the airport and she was fine.

When her boys had, for one reason or another, decided to congregate at her house, the flashing light on the answering machine attracted their attention. Micah pressed the button and all of them were shocked by the quietly assured and happy tone that emerged.

“I love you guys, and I’m coming home. I’m not leaving again. And we’re all going to live happily ever after, even if I have to kill half of the vampire council to make it happen.”

The End

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