FIC: Pulp Faith (1/?)
Title: Pulp Faith
Feedback: In lieu of a Faithbot yeah.
Disclaimer: Whedonverse characters owned by Mutant Enemy. Further xovers to come later.
New York 2010
Xander dipped under the yellow police evidence tape and crouched by the door, using his pick to ease the door unlocked. “I could just kick the door in.”
Xander bit back a sigh as he glanced up at his beautiful companion. “And then the police would know we’d been here. Have a little patience, okay?”
Faith pouted. “I don’t know why you ain’t usin’ the Council contacts to get us involved officially.”
“Paperwork,” Xander grunted; his solitary eye narrowing as he concentrated on the lock before him. “You know how I hate paperwork.”
“’Kay, but if we get arrested, you’re explainin’ it to Giles, deal?” Faith crouched down beside him.
Xander forced himself to concentrate despite the Slayer’s hot breath on his face. “Deal.”
“But he knows we’re investigating this demon?” Faith groaned when Xander shrugged. “Harris?”
“He sent me the case reports together with a bunch of other stuff, he probably didn’t know I took a specific interest in this one,” Xander finally admitted.
“Jesus,” Faith shook her head as she stepped back and glanced left and right, checking the empty corridor. “But why this one?”
Xander finally looked up. “Five men and women all in their late teens, all from broken families, trying to make it on their own, their unlived decades taken from them in seconds. Your question should be why not this one?”
Faith rolled her eyes. “Time it’s takin’ you to open this damn door, I definitely know how they felt.”
Xander grunted as the door clicked and swung open. “Done it.”
“’Bout time,” Faith grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back as he started forward. “Uh, uh,” the curvy Bostonian shook her head, a faintly mocking expression on her face, “Slayer first.” The Slayer was past him before he had chance to either protest or agree, stalking into the darkened apartment with a sinuous grace that only another Slayer or ironically a vampire could match. “You can come in.”
“Thanks,” Xander muttered sarcastically. His heart fell at the sparsely-furnished single-room apartment, to struggle so hard to have so little, and then have even that taken away from them. It wasn’t right, and maybe the police didn’t have a chance of catching the killer, but these victims would have justice, he’d make sure of it.
Well, Xander’s lips twisted in a wry smile, his Slayers would, he’d just hide behind the nearest furniture and watch hot babes kick ass.
God, he loved his job some times.
“Huh,” Faith glanced around the dark, dusty apartment, “I’m not seein’ any blood splatter or even signs of a struggle. How did the victim die?”
“Like I said,” Xander reached into his khaki jacket and pulled out a brown envelope that he passed to his companion, “it wasn’t pretty or normal.”
“Shit.” Faith’s nose wrinkled as she glanced at the crime scene photo before looking towards him. “I don’t get it. Someone kidnapped the apartment’s owner and replaced them with a skeleton?”
“No,” Xander shook his head. “DNA confirms that the skeleton belongs to Lisa Fox, the room’s nineteen year old tenant who had been seen at work two days’ earlier. And yet her corpse is that of a ninety year old woman whose corpse had been left unburied for somewhere in the region of several decades.”
“Shit,” Faith grimaced. “And the other victims are the same?” Xander nodded. “What sort of demon can do this and why? For kicks, for power?”
Xander shrugged. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “I’ve got Harri researching, I just thought I’d look around the latest crime scene and see if there was anything that the police didn’t notice, but might stand out to a demon hunter.”
“Like gnats snapping at the feet of gods.”
Xander joined Faith in spinning around in time to see a tall, thin man with immaculately parted grey hair and cold dark eyes set deep in his lined features step out of a shimmering portal in the wall by the apartment door, a smirk playing on his thin lips. For all his simple yet well-cut black suit made him look like a prosperous undertaker, Xander didn’t need the portal to tell him the man was much, much more.
An assumption that was confirmed when Xander tried and failed to move, out of the corner of the eye he noted Faith likewise frozen besides him. “Huh,” Xander strained, his muscles aching as he vainly struggled to move, the stranger stepped up to Faith and smirked, “such a tasty looking morsel. It’s a shame I didn’t get a hold of her when she was younger. She’d have been quite the meal.”
“Don’t.” Sweat beaded down Xander’s face, his jaw feeling like he chewing glass as he struggled to form words. “Touch. Her.”
“Huh,” the being peered at him, ageless eyes considering him, amusement glinting in his dark pools, “that must hurt, pushing against my magic. You have quite the will young man. Not one person in ten thousand could manage to even speak with my magics on them. Not one in a billion would have the will to move.” The interloper nodded smugly when Xander tried and failed to utter a smart-ass reply. “Better.”
The interloper stepped back and laughed. “You thought you hunted a mere black arts mage or minor demon. I am Chronus, god of time. I kill a mere dozen teens a year, their life force fuelling mine. In millennia past, thousands would be gladly sacrificed to me, and yet you seek to begrudge me a few paltry deaths?”
Out of the corner of his eye Xander saw the sweat beading down his wide-eyed companion’s face as she strained against the enchantment. “Go.” Every muscle ached as he fought and failed to move, like he was a wakening coma patient fighting to raise from his bed. “To.” His lungs burnt like a marathon runner’s as they raced for the finishing line.
“Hell?” Chronus chuckled. “I’ve ruled in hells. And I could send you to any hell of my choosing with,” Chronus lifted his hand, “a click of my fingers.” Chronus chuckled. “But I have a more entertaining fate in mind for you.”
Xander would have wailed in protest if he had the energy when a portal appeared behind him and Faith, dragging the pair of them inexorably towards it, their passing accompanied by the Titan’s mocking laughter.
The spell holding her suddenly gone, Faith pitched forward, and would have fallen flat on her face but for Slayer balance, her hand shooting out to grab a hold of Xander’s shoulders and stop him from crashing to the ground. “You okay, hon?”
“Oh boy.” Instead of answering her directly, Xander looked around them, the colour rapidly draining from his face. “We’re in big trouble.”
“Wha-.” The question died on her lips as Faith suddenly registered that they weren’t in the apartment any more. Instead they were in the mouth of a paper-strewn alley with people rushing past them. The breath gusted from Faith as she realised the landscape was New York, but a landscape lacking many of its familiar landmarks, the air was cleaner than she remembered, and what cars that did drive past looked like something out of a Cagney gangster movie.
“Faith.” Faith tore her eyes away from the impossible landscape surrounding them to glance down at Xander knelt on one knee, holding a paper up to her. “Look at this.”
“Oh crap,” Faith’s legs felt suddenly unsteady as she took the paper and read its headline ‘Spider smashes black marketing ring’, then her eyes were drawn to the paper’s date ‘May 12th 1937’. “Not good.”