Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Marvel and Disney own "Thor" and related characters; I own nothing.~*~*~
“No we’re not. I know exactly where we are.”
“How? Your magnificent powers of celestial navigation?”
“...No, but I know where we are!”
“Face it, we’re lost.”
On a deserted stretch of highway in the middle of New Mexico, a lone car’s high beams cut through the darkness. It’s two occupants--the brunette driving and the blonde in the passenger’s seat--were in the midst of an animated argument, the blonde gesturing with a map in her hand and the brunette looking determinedly at the road with a stubborn expression on her face.
“Can we please just pull over and figure out what road we’re on before we nosedive off the Grand Canyon?” the blonde asked, trying and failing to properly fold the map in her hand, becoming more and more aggressive with it.
“Don’t go all Slayer-y on the map, Buffy. It’s not it’s fault that you can’t read it properly,” Dawn Summers replied, the scowl deepening on her face. “And we’re in the wrong state to pull a Thelma and Louise into the Grand Canyon.”
“I’m not the one who decided that Thomisina was annoying and chucked her in the trunk, Dawnie,” Buffy countered, finally giving up and chucking the map into the back seat. She didn’t even know what road they were on any more.
“Because she was giving us bad directions in that awful fake British mechanical voice of hers!”
Buffy and Dawn were en route to New Mexico, Land of Enchantment and site of something that was sending ripples through the magical system in a major way, according to several witches in the Council employ. Not only that, but two days ago, one of the minis had gotten a text from her older sister, saying that there was something that might be up the IWC’s alley. Unfortunately, that text had come smack in the tail end of an apocalypse in Cleveland, and it wasn’t until late last night that Georgie had tried to call her sister back only to get a disconnected signal. With Willow wiped from performing a complicated spell to prevent the Hellmouth from being opened, that left slower, more mundane means of transportation.
“I hate that we’re going into this blind,” Buffy muttered, staring out of the window. OK, that’s not really what she hated about this, if she wanted to be honest with herself. The text from Georgie’s sister had said something about a guy claiming to be a god, and that brought up too many memories Buffy wasn’t fond of. From the way Dawn was gripping the steering wheel, her sister was feeling the same way.
As the senior Slayer, Buffy had been the first choice to go investigate, and Dawn had volunteered to come with in case research or a more diplomatic approach was needed. It helped that they were relatively unscathed from the latest bout of attempting to end the world, although hopefully it wouldn’t come to fighting. And double hopefully there would be no celestial beings of any kind involved.
“Look on the bright side, at least we get to have sister bonding time,” Dawn commented, trying to sound cheerful and somewhat succeeding.
“Yeah, at least there’s that.” They didn’t see much of each other, although that wasn’t because of any split between them. Those wounds had (mostly) healed clean post-Sunnydale. Now it was just they had different lives they were living, Buffy as one of the few roving Slayers checking in on Council houses around the world and helping wherever needed, and Dawn finishing her studies in England while training under Giles for more of the behind the scenes work of running the Council. “At least you getting us lost in the desert was good for something.” Spying lights playing across the sky, she frowned. “Do they even get the aurora this far south?”
“OK, that was a low blow, Buffy,” Dawn began before a sudden wind began to buffet the car, completely obscuring their view. “Shit, where the hell did this come from?”
“Think of the errand we’re on. Do you really want me to answer that?” Buffy shouted back, gripping the seat tightly as Dawn struggled to regain control of the car. “Watch out!” Buffy screamed, spying a dark shape in front of them.
Dawn slammed on the brakes, but the car kept skidding and slammed into the figure before them. It bounced off the car with a sickening thump as the vehicle finally slowed.
“Grab the first aid kit,” Dawn ordered, already unbuckling her seat and grabbing a scarf to wrap around her mouth. The wind was already dying down, however, when the women exited the car. Fortunately, the road was deserted at this hour, so their victim wasn’t in immediate danger of being run over again.
“Crap, please don’t be dead,” Dawn prayed out loud as they approached.
In the clearing air, Buffy caught sight of the body before them and froze. She recognized him. That wasn’t possible. It couldn’t
be possible. How the hell was he here?
“Earth to Buffy, first aid kit.”
Dawn’s voice snapped her out of her trance, and she quickly knelt down next to him.
“He’s unconscious, with probable internal bleeding but I’m not sure with this armor on,” Dawn summarized, removing a pair of gloves from the kit. “You should call...”
“No,” Buffy interrupted sharply, not looking at the man’s face. At Dawn’s startled look, she explained, “Guy appears in the middle of nowhere during a freak windstorm wearing unknowable armor? How much do you want to bet that there’s something in the land of weird going on? We do have some emergency healing charms in the trunk that we could use while we figure out what the hell is going on.”
“The key word on those is ‘emergency’, Buffy,” Dawn protested, rocking back on her heels. But her protest lacked heat, and Buffy could see the wheels turning in her head. Good. If half of the stories Buffy had heard were true, a hospital full of normal, vanilla humans was not a good idea at all.
“Let’s get him into the back seat,” Buffy continued, going into the car and grabbing the blanket from the trunk. Thank god for Council supplied cars coming stashed with all the goodies. “There was a motel a few miles back we can stop for the night. We can plan what to do next when we get there.”
Dawn, a worried look on her face, nodded. She had to be majorly wigging about the potential threat that Georgie’s sister would be involved in, Buffy thought to herself as they carefully maneuvered the man into the back. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been easy to convince her of this.
Staring down at the face of a man she had observed from a distance in the halls of Valhalla, surrounded by her fallen sister Slayers, Buffy shivered. Whatever or whoever had cast Loki Odinson out of Asgard and onto Earth was something she didn’t want to face under any circumstances. This whole situation with Georgie's sister had just reached proto-apocalypse levels.