A/N: Please bear in mind ‘Go Ask Malice’ isn’t canon.
FIC: Pulp Faith (10/?)
Faith froze as the terrible memories came back to her in an avalanche, burying her beneath them. The torture and death of her Watcher, the first person she’d ever loved. Her rape and the jeers and laughs of his minions that had accompanied it. The vampire’s stench filling her nostrils, its hands tugging painfully at her hair. Her escape and the desperate, morale-sapping chase that had followed it. The sleepless nights filled with nightmares.
“Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of a human.” The ancient demon stopped and let out a bellow that was half-roar, half-laugh. “Or two to be exact!”
Faith withered inside at the demon’s bellow. Images, smells, and sounds she’d buried deep inside flashed before her, drowning her in terror.
Xander blinked as he peered at his partner, wondering just what had caused his Slayer’s fall into terrified immobilisation. Yeah, this vampire looked old and everything, but they’d taken down three to five Master vampires in their time working together.
Hoping him leaping into action would garner a similar action from his friend, Xander leapt up and drew his automatic, dropping into a two-handed stance as he tugged hard on the gun’s trigger. The automatic bucked in his hand, the cordite filling his nostrils and cloaking his lungs.
The massive vampire let out an angry bellow as he staggered under Xander’s attack, slapping away some of the bullets like one would slap away a swarm of angry bees. Xander gulped as his automatic clicked empty.
The beast’s attention was now full on him, its glare bore deep into him as he pulled out his shotgun with suddenly clammy hands. “Oh shit!” he croaked as the vampire grabbed the desk they’d been hiding behind and threw it into the right wall then slammed a ham-sized fist into his chest.
“Oooof!” Xander grunted as the air exploded from his lungs, the blow’s impact lifting him from his feet and throwing him into the far wall where he slid down to the floor, black dots dancing before his barely conscious eye.
Faith screamed as Xander fell, her friend’s brave stand spurring her out of inaction. Leaping up, she leapt into a double-heeled drop kick that crashed home between the vampire’s shoulder-blades. The vampire stumbled a step then spun to face her as she landed, throwing a wild right haymaker even as he reached out with his left to grab the wrist of her gunhand and twist it. Faith gasped as pain flared through her forearm, her Glock falling uselessly from her grip.
Fear gave Faith’s movements a crispness they’d never had. She glided under the swinging blow then came up an uppercut that crashed into the demon’s jaw, snapping his head back. The monster grunted but made a grab for her throat. Faith stepped inside the attack then grunted as the demon’s follow-up crashed into her side.
Faith almost doubled up as she felt a rib creak and nearly break beneath the demon’s bludgeoning assault, but she managed to parry an uppercut to the jaw on her forearm before jumping back a step and kicking from side to side, trying to catch the demon’s shins. The vampire roared, ignoring her attack to race in with an overhand right.
Faith glided outside of the assault and drove an elbow into the creature’s side even as it reached across its body to grab her by her mane and flung him to the ground. “A Slayer?” She mewed slightly deep in her throat as she rolled away from the undead Greek’s attempted follow-up stomp. “Can it be?” A kick caught her in the ribs, this time she felt her rib crack, felt the speared fragment scrape but thankfully not puncture her lung. “It has been so long.” Blood spewed from Faith’s mouth as she rolled away from yet another kick, hand searching desperately in the dust for anything she could use as a weapon. “I shall savour your blood!”
Suddenly a voice roared out from above them. “Creature of the night, fear the Revenant!”
Kakistos let out an inarticulate roar as the warehouse filled with thick smoke, obscuring even his enhanced vision. “WHO DARES!” His bellow shook the warehouse’s walls. “WHO DARES?”
“That,” he gasped as the mystery man jammed a dagger into his right leg, “would,” even as he spun to face his adversary, his attacker thrust another knife into his other thigh, “ be me!”
Kakistos let out a bellow, the pain in his legs and the blood streaking down his thighs rendered unimportant next to the annoyance of this unseen attacker. “What’s wrong?” He lunged at the voice in front of him, then grunted as another dagger slashed his left shoulder from behind. “Can’t you see me?”
“Ahhh!” Kakistos swung around with a backhand that thudded into the white-cowled man with enough force to lift him from his feet and fling him back into the smoke. “Who else dares defy Kakistos?”
“Try me, dickless!”
Faith ignored her aching body to come up fast and hard as Kakistos spun to face her, her makeshift weapon, a blow-torch, swinging up. Flames shot out of the blow torch’s spout to engulf the right side of the demon’s huge head, including his eye. Kakistos’ head shot back, toothy maw gaping open as he stumbled away, his piteous yet hate-filled cries echoing in her ears as he stumbled away, Faith’s legs failing her, dropping her to the ground as she tried to pursue.
“Hey, you alright?”
Affection filled her as she peered up to find a battered-looking Xander staring down at her. “Little beat up,” she bit back a moan as Xander pulled her to feet, “shit, that does not feel good.”
“What happened there?”
“It was,” Faith tried for a casual shrug but couldn’t quite pull it off, “Kakistos.” She almost fell, her legs almost failing beneath her if not for her friend grabbing a hold of her shoulders. “Oh god, Harris! It all came back!”
“I’m sorry,” Xander’s lips brushed her forehead as he pulled her unwillingly into a hug, “but at least now we know how he got the eye.”
Faith choked back a half-sob and a half-laugh as she looked up at Xander. “Guess we do at that.”
Xander looked over his shoulder, through the dissipating smoke to where the white robed man was clambering to his feet, his cowl having fallen back to reveal its wearer was a handsome black man in his late twenties. “Thank you for your assistance, buddy. Who did you say you were?”
The man bowed slightly at the waist and looked at each of them in turn, his gaze lingering on her longer than on Xander. Faith noticed the guy’s gaze wasn’t like most blacks in this time, furtive like they’d been stomped on so many times they’d come to expect it, instead his was confident, assured. A definite improvement. “The Revenant, but my name’s Ezekiel Wright. You?”
Faith waited until introductions were complete before commenting. “Nice moves outta there, how did you get your powers?”
The African-American grimaced. “I used to work as an assistant to a magician who taught me magic so he could view his own tricks before trying them out on an audience, and learnt to be a ventriloquist, stage magician, an illusionist, and escapologist in my own right. Most of my fellow performers accepted me, regardless of my colour, but a single racist member had a policeman friend frame me for rape. I escaped him, but since then have used my skills to help the powerless against those who prey upon them, becoming the Revenant!”
“Going up against a vamp as old as that one took serious stones, bud.”
The man grinned at her praise. “In truth I didn’t know it was a vampire, I just knew there was an illict meet going down and came here to stop it. When I got here and saw big ol’ beastie, I figured I should throw my hand with the rest of you.” The man’s eyes narrowed. “I knew real magic existed, had a case or two involving it, but not vampires.”
“Werewolves, demons, and other stuff too,” Xander replied. “We could give the 411 at the nearest diner if you want.”
“I appreciate the offer but the 411?” Ezekiel tilted his head to one side, his expression confused.
Faith laughed. “We got a lot to explain!” Faith’s dark eyes narrowed as she noted Xander’s suddenly grim expression. “What’s the sitch, studly?”
“I was just wondering why Rasputin didn’t turn up here.”
Rasputin watched from the shadows as the battered looking trio limped from the warehouse just minutes after a screaming Kakistos had stumbled out. He’d arrived early and watched first the Slayer and her companion enter and then the Master Vampire. Sensing the gargantuan demon hadn’t been carrying the object he’d come here to exchange, obviously Kakistos had been intending to attempt to kill him and steal the Mask, he’d been content to wait and see if the vampire at least dealt with the pair of hunters.
Unfortunately it appeared the vampire had come up short against the pair, meaning they might be a problem for him down the line. And of course, he had to find the vampire who really had his Moonstone.
Problems, problems. Rasputin retreated further into the darkness, allowing the oblivious trio to stagger out of the rail yard. They might struggle to find his trail again, but the far greater obstacle to his plans was finding which vampire actually had the Moonstone.
A\N: The Revenant is a recent (2011) Marvel Comics addition to the pulps, and pretty unique as an African-American hero of the time, I just had to include him.