Disclaimer: Anita Blake belongs to L.K. Hamilton. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the brain child of Joss Whedon.
A/N- Because I recall reading somewhere that there are far too few Anita-landers in Buffyville fics... and what could possibly be better than a mini Jean-Claude?
Jean-Claude could not remember his hands being so small in nearly 600 years. Fact was, it had been so long since his childhood, it was something of a bleached out dream, replaced by the stark, cold reality of adulthood and later vampirism. Growing up among the French court, though not of
the court, and then surviving the merciless attentions of the Council and their ilk, had ground out any childhood dreams he may once have had. While his sudden change in stature was incredibly worrisome, it was also something of a novelty, and he examined his hands with interest. Though he barely understood even the most basic magics outside of his own talents, he certainly appreciated the many wondrous things it could do. Anita did not share this appreciation.
"Oh, fudge-nuts!" His now très petite cursed as she tripped over her own dress. It had looked absolutely stunning on her, a dark glistening black that hugged the hips while dipping low to reveal a back criss-crossed with scars of battle, but now did nothing to hide her own shrunken assets. The too-big gun clunked to the carpet of the room as Anita struggled to arrange the dress in a way that didn't leave her falling onto her face when she walked.
The vampire plucked at his own clothing mildly upset at the fact his boots no longer fit. With a sigh he stepped out of them, shucked his pants entirely, and let his silk shirt fall to cover the appropriate parts before turning his attention to the rooms they were in.
"I should have known." Came a pre-pubescent growl from behind a modern style couch. Anita let out a girlish shriek, fumbled for her gun, and then blinked in surprise as a wet, young boy covered in soap bubbles marched out. "One second, I'm happily relaxing in my bubble-bath, the next, I feel like I'm being ripped in two before landing on my, apparently, pint-sized butt. Of course
it would be you two."
Ah. Jean-Claude remembered that feeling of being ripped apart when Kristine, the Master of New Orleans' human servant, completed her banishment ritual. She had attacked Jean-Claude and Anita shortly after their dinner date. Cornered them, while Anita had blown several holes through the witches escort, and before Jean-Claude had gotten to the witch herself, it had been too late.
The Master of St. Louis didn't have the faintest clue as to what brought on the attack. Of course, he was considered young
to be a Master of the City, and there were many who took offense to him sitting on the throne. Perhaps, for some, that was excuse enough? The Vampire Council wouldn't think so, but if he was not there to protest, if there were no witnesses, and no remains... Henrique was a shrewd man, indeed.
"Richard?" Anita asked in surprise, aim lowering.
"Yes. It is I, circa third grade. Do either of you want to tell me what happened?" The petit roi growled, perturbed, while crossing his arms over his chest. Jean-Claude had to admit the Ulfric made an adorable eight-year-old. Especially with his eyes glowing with power and annoyance. "Because, if turning into children is what you normally do on your dates... I'm sorry, Anita, but I just don't have that kind of kink."
"And you have other kinds?" The vampire asked brightly with a smile. The wolf growled low, power spiking, and Jean-Claude's blue eyes gleamed. His wolf was just so easy sometimes!
Anita wandered over to the couch and jumped up onto it, rubbing her face with her hands. "You two. Stop." She pulled over a tasseled pillow and set it in her lap, suddenly distracted by her scar-free arms. Ah-ha! Now the woman discovers the wonder of magic! Jean-Claude himself had already felt the lack of scars on his back, or at least the lessening of them, as well as the absence of those he acquired after his turning, most notably the cross on his chest.
"We were attacked on our way back to the Circus, Monsieur Zeeman. It seems that as most plots to kill any of us end with ma petite or another killing the would-be killer, our rivals decided that banishing us would be easier. I would guess, though I am not sure, that due to the marks binding us when Kristine attempted to send me to hell, yourself and ma petite were caught in the spell." He laid it all out, as simply as possible, and the werewolf's eyes widened.
"Hell? We're in hell?!" Richard then blinked, and walked over to a small end table. "They have IKEA in Hell?"
Jean-Claude shrugged. "I am not certain, as I have never been. Though, does it not stand to reason that if Demons can be summoned out of it, can others not be sent? I studied Latin as a child," his lips quirked at the statement, irony not lost. "And while I may be out of practice I could understand the phrases Kristine used before..." He gestured vaguely.
There was a groan from the couch. "Richard, put on some pants. You're making me feel like a pervert."
"Where I am going to get pants?" He paused, and having no trouble seeing in the darkened apartment with his enhanced vision, and gestured aimlessly. "I don't see any here. And I am NOT wearing Jean-Claude's. You know he doesn't bother with underwear." The wolf pointedly ignored the miniaturized vampire's smirk and marched over to the cooking area, and began opening drawers.
Jean-Claude had to admit he was curious of their destination. While he was relieved his entire triumvirate accompanied him, he checked the metaphysical links and despite their physical change Anita, Richard, and he were just as strong as before if exhausted from the translocation/ age regression, and if this was some illusion, some hell dimension, they may very well need all that power to survive it. Even the Arduer was intact, though somewhat dormant, and he didn't intend to be poking it with a mental stick anytime soon. If it did wake up, the vampire was very glad he had managed to develop a method of feeding the beast without touch.
It might be a bit awkward finding an appropriate venue to do so, but, c'est la vie.
The vampire wandered around the room, studiously avoiding Anita who was worse off from the trip, and ran his fingers along a wooden table. Solid oak, heavy, meant to take a beating. He could surmise the last from the faint dents and shallow cuts that had been carefully varnished over. A good attempt to disguise the damage, but his sight picked the imperfections up easily. Jean-Claude listened briefly to Richard's cursing about lack of towels, then moved to an armoire that seemed slightly out-of-place. It was in an out-of-the-way corner of the living room, half-hidden behind a jutting wall, and was quality
. Hand carved by a master, though there was minimal decoration, and giving off the smallest hints of oils and herbs. He slid open the bottom drawer and arched an eyebrow.
He didn't know what half the bundles of weed and containers were for, but it was pretty obvious what they represented. Spell components. He opened his mouth to call Anita over and ask her, but the echo of the headache he sensed caused him to close his mouth. His necromancer wasn't the least bit happy and only a few steps away from ruining the carpet. Best not to push her.
The second drawer was filled with more of the same, though different, and the third had a collection of artifacts, charms and various other
, all giving off a soft aura of power. Standing on his toes -Jean-Claude had never been especially tall before or after his growth spurt, no one in his time had been.- he reached for the small brass handles of the cabinet portion. The doors swung open, slowly, and the vampire stepped back to admire the contents. It had been quite a while since he had seen an armoire used as its namesake implied. A large battle axe rested against the back panel on a series of hooks designed specifically to support it. Two crossbows, a heavy wooden one and a more modern, compound hunting bow took up space on the floor. Knives of varying sizes and materials decorated the rest of the space as well as a single shelf where a small gun rested. Several crosses sat in a basket in the corner. Jean-Claude made careful note of two blank spots where, judging by the size of the emptiness and positioning of the hooks, short swords would have been.
Whoever their mysterious hosts were, they were running around at night armed.
"That's... oddly terrifying." Richard muttered under his breath as he walked up behind the vampire and stared at the assorted weaponry. "I can smell the silver in at least half of those."
"Perhaps they simply take home defense very seriously."
"Was that a joke?"
"It is entirely possible we are in a hell dimension." Jean-Claude reached up and took a knife the length of his child-sized forearm from the cabinet. He gave it a practice swing. Knife fighting was not his specialty, but it was better than nothing. Anything else would be too awkward, and he couldn't exactly rip out throats with fingers that couldn't even wrap around a man's wrist. Not unless they were very, very slow. "Such an armory may be normal for the denizens of this realm."
"I don't believe they would have yellow flower print dishtowels in Hell." Richard stated as he slung one of the towels he had found in the kitchen over his shoulder.
"Jean-Claude may not be wrong." Anita whispered, slowly navigating her way to the glass of water Richard had left for her on the table. "I can feel... something... pressing on my shields. It is almost like the demon felt, but more pure. Energy. Evil. Power." She shivered. "It's like a thin mist coating the air with maliciousness."
The werewolf was quiet, staring at his own tiny hands. "My beast is a bit more... antsy than usual for this time of the month." His head suddenly snapped up, nostrils flaring, and Jean-Claude focused his attention on the door and the halting footsteps beyond it. "Someone's coming."
"What?" The dark haired girl asked breathlessly. She held her gun to her chest like a teddy-bear, and began looking around, searching for an answer. "What if they're demons?"
What if they took offense to their guests? Jean-Claude was uncertain of the outcome of any battle with his triumvirate so out-of-sorts. Richard was the only one functioning at 100%.
The executioner wavered for a moment, then tried to jump behind the couch as someone fumbled with a key, and landed on her face. Jean-Claude winced as, snarling, Anita ripped off a good portion of her dress to free up her legs, and rolled behind an ottoman before using it as cover, and then crouching in a shooter's stance. Richard looked down at himself, rolled his eyes, and went to join Anita more for modesty's sake than any real worry.
Jean-Claude had the armoire closed, and the knife was concealed beneath his voluminous sleeves by the time to door swung open admitting light from the hallway, the sound of crickets chirping, and two entangled humans. Male and female, each on the cusp of full adulthood, and generating enough lust to peak the Arduer's interest. Jean-Claude carefully slapped it down while taking in the two lovers.
The man was on the tall side of average, dark brown hair, and covered in blood -not all of which was his own. The majority of it, in fact, was something
else's. His sword, nicked with use and only absently wiped of gore, clattered the ground as the man hurried to remove his belt while backing into the apartment. The fact that these people didn't bother with sheaths said something about them. A history of fighting, killing, and not stopping.
The woman was shorter, hair dyed a brown so light it was almost blonde, and had discarded her own blade in the umbrella stand by the door. Her arms were wrapped around the man's neck as she seemed to be trying to inhale him while grinding her hips into his. She was less injured than the man, bearing less blood, but that was quickly becoming a moot point.
Jean-Claude could feel Anita's incredulity through the marks.
"Ahn, I need to get this blood off before-" The man said when he pulled back from his lover's assault. The woman pouted, blinked, and squealed in glee as she finally noticed the other occupants of the room.
"It's a tiny undead Frenchman!"
"What?!" The man yelled, whirled, and shoved his woman protectively behind him. "Girly, if you don't put that gun down this
instant I'm going to go medieval on your ass. And I don't care
how cute and cuddly you look."
Jean-Claude wondered if his petite had been more troublesome as a child than she was as an adult. It was certainly looking like it.