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Challenge#10:Chrysalis.

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  • Challenge#10:Chrysalis.

    Title: Chrysalis.
    Description: Set in the Wishverse, this is an exploration of how Vampwillow might have been sired.
    Disclaimer: Not mine, no money, you know the drill.

    CHRYSALIS

    Willow hunkered even further down into the shadows beneath the school desk, trying desperately to remain silent. She listened carefully, straining every one of her senses, trying to block out the thump of her own heartbeat as she waited for the sounds she knew must come. Eventually, just as she was almost beginning to hope that her ordeal might be over, she heard the sound she had been dreading; the sound of slow, measured footsteps in the corridor outside.

    The evening had all started so well too. She had known that her mission to deliver the information to Mr Giles and the others would be dangerous, had known that she would be risking her life to do so, but the importance of what she knew and what it would mean to the fight against the Master and his minions outweighed any personal concerns.

    So she had set off, risking the dangers of the Sunnydale night, keeping to the secret ways that Larry had shown her, staying as far as possible from the main streets. In any other town the side streets and the lonely alleys would have been the natural hunting grounds of the vampires, but not in Sunnydale. Ever since the Master had risen and taken over the town in a wave of concentrated violence, the vampires had left the shadows and now they walked brazenly through the moonlit streets, leaving the humans to cower in the darkness they had left. So she had stuck to the outskirts of the town and she had made good progress too, as she ducked from cover to cover. There had been a couple of close calls along the way, a moment or two when she was sure she must be discovered but eventually she had found herself outside of the high school. That was when things had started to go wrong.

    Willow had just place her hand hand on the handle of one of the big double doors when something had made her turn. She had scanned the darkness, searching desperately for what had caused her sudden feeling of uneasiness. Had it been a noise? Some small movement caught from the corner of her eye? All that she had known was that something had registered in her unconscious, some small note of wrongness that had raised the alarms in the back of her mind. Willow had learned to listen to those alarms a long time ago and knew that something was wrong. All had seemed still, though. A small night breeze disturbed the surrounding foliage and somewhere back in the town a harsh cry sounded out but apart from that not a thing moved, not a whisper sounded. She had turned back to the door and begun to open it again when she was forced to turn once more. This time there was a definite sound, not the stealthy sounds of hidden movement she had imagined, but a soft deliberate snigger, filled with playful malice.

    That had been it for Willow. She hadn't need to see the face of the figure that emerged from the shadows, she had merely flung the door wide and fled, as fast as she could, heedless of direction, just trying desperately to put as much distance between herself and the thing she knew would be giving chase. She had run like this, careering wildly through the shadow clad corridors of the school, until her sides had felt like they would split and the breath had burned in her lungs. She had run until she could run no more.

    Flattening herself against a wall, she waited for the sounds of pursuit. Deep ragged breaths exploded from her, her heart was racing madly from fear and desperate exhilaration. The school remained silent though; the expected footfalls rushing towards Willow conspicuous by their absence. Slowly she had calmed herself, still keeping her senses focused on the dark corridors, still wary of the threat the darkness contained. As her heartbeat slowed she had glanced around her, trying to place her whereabouts in the building and, with a small lurch of relief, had realised that her wild flight had actually landed her within reach of her goal. The library was close at hand.

    With nervous caution she had pushed herself away from the wall and headed towards the safe haven that was so tantalisingly within her reach. She had moved slowly, all thoughts of haste banished as she concentrated on keeping her movements silent; aware that, although she appeared to have shaken off pursuit, the monster that hunted her may still be near. Turning one final corner she saw the doors that led to her sanctuary, a dim light shining through their glass windows. She pressed on, scanning the depths of the shadows carefully for the slightest sign of lurking danger. Nothing presented itself though and soon Willow found herself slipping inside the murky interior of White Hat Central.

    The library was deserted. A single light shone from a lamp placed on the book laden table that sat in the centre of the room but all else was empty darkness. Willow's heart sank. She had risked everything to get here and it had all been for nothing. But where was everyone? Mr Giles should be here, researching the Master looking for ways to defeat him. Larry and Nancy should be here too, readying their weapons for the next sortie; but there was no-one; not one sign of life.

    "Hello." Willow ventured, uncertainty making her way towards the stairs that led to what Mr Giles called the stacks. "Is anyone here? Anyone?"

    "Ain't nobody here but us chickens."said a voice from the gloom between the bookshelves "Everyone else has been sent out to play." The speaker moved forward coming into the light "looks like it's just you, and me." That was it for Willow, the sight of the figure above her was enough to send fresh terror flooding through her. Turning swiftly, she barged back out of the library.

    And so she had run once more, heading back the way she had come. Glancing over her shoulder occasionally, each time caching the slightest glimpse of her pursuer as he followed behind unhurriedly, seemingly content to simply keep her in sight. Turning a corner a corner she had caught sight of a door, slightly ajar, and grasping her opportunity she had dived inside as quickly as she could, hoping the thing that tracked her was far enough behind not to have seen her, closing the door quickly and heading towards the back of the classroom, secreting herself in the shadows beneath the desk furthest from the door, waiting, hoping; fearing what she knew must come.

    And now, as she retreated further beneath the desk,all she could do was to try to hold on to that hope..The footsteps in the hallway were closer now, still beating out their unhurried rhythm. Closer and closer they came until it sounded like they were immediately outside the room in which Willow hid.
    Then, abruptly they stopped, and Willow heard the sound of a long drawn out sniff.

    She held her breath, counting the seconds silently in her mind, unable to stand the silence that pressed in all around her. Finally after the longest ten seconds she had ever known the footsteps continued. Willow let out her breath as carefully as she could and risked a peek over the table catching sight of a retreating shadow through the door's small window. If she could get out of the room behind the prowling vampire, she thought, then maybe, just maybe, there was a chance she could double back and find another way out of the school. It had to be her best chance. Trying to outrun a vampire, especially this vampire was just unrealistic and if she stayed where she was it would only be a matter of time before it found her.

    No, stealth was definitely her best option. She would use everything that Larry had shown her and with a little care and a little luck she would make it back out into the night. Slowly, with as much care as possible she began to extricate herself from her hiding place, heading over to the door as stealthily as she could, hoping that a glance outside would reveal nothing but empty corridor. Before she was even half way there though, disaster struck.

    The chair could only have moved a fraction of an inch as she brushed against it, but the noise it made in doing so pierced the stillness of the school. Willow froze, her senses once more straining out towards the presence in the hallway. The footsteps had stopped.

    As quickly as she dare, Willow returned to her burrow, hoping against hope that the vampire hadn't heard, that maybe the noise would be put down to some creaking door deep in the building's belly. Still she could hear no noise other than her shallow breathing and her racing heart. Then the sound of footsteps returned, faint at first but getting louder as they came closer. Willow hugged her knees, willing the footsteps to carry on past her hiding place. It was to no avail though and soon enough she heard the gentle creak of the door of the room opening and felt the atmosphere of the room subtly change as another presence made it's way inside.

    There was a pause. Willow guessed the vampire was still over by the door, taking it's time, probably scanning the shadows for some sign of her. She remembered Mr Giles telling her that they had better than normal night vision and tried to make herself smaller, willing herself to become one with the shadows. Eventually she heard the measured footfalls again as the vampire made it's way more fully into the room, still in no hurry, still drawing out her torture.

    "Wiii-loow, oh Wiii-loow." The vampire said in a soft, sing-song voice "come out, come out wherever you are" A chair crashed back suddenly, overturning as the vampire pushed it sideways "C'mon hiding's no fair." Another crash. "I know you're in here Willow. You know I'm gonna find you." The footsteps had almost reached her now, only a few desks away at most. "C'mon, I only want to talk: honest injun." A pair of boots came into Willows view now, black and shiny, a slight scuff on the left toecap. She watched them, mesmerised as they closed in on her position, getting nearer and nearer, until they were almost close enough for her to reach out and touch. Willow felt herself shaking, a single tear escaping from one eye and slaloming lazily down her cheek. She watched as the boots stopped and the figure that looked so much like a man bent at the knees, ducking it head so that it was able to look Willow directly in the eye.

    "Ah, there you are." Said the vampire that had been Xander Harris.
    JUST ENOUGH KILL

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  • #2
    Willow gasped at the sight of the friend she had seen die just three nights ago. She had know all along who it was that was chasing her of course, known who it would be that the Master would send to hunt her down: but still as the light from the window hit those all two familiar features, Willow felt her entire world slowly collapse. She scurried backwards, trying to escape the horror that confronted her, leaving the sparse shelter of the desk and continuing backwards, unable to find her feet or turn away from the spectre before her. Back she scrabbled, until finally her back hit the unyielding classroom wall and she had nowhere left to go.

    “Finished?” Xander asked, good naturedly. “You know it's really just a waste of both our times, you carrying on like that” He grabbed the back of a chair and whirling it round, took a seat just in front of her, cowboy style, his position blocking Willow's route to the open door. “I mean it's not like you can get away now, is it? And even if you could, where would you go? You know there's no-one here to help you; no chance of you getting out of the building before I catch you again and I think we've just about proven that hiding's not going to cut it.” He smiled a familiar smile. “Not that I haven't enjoyed our little game of hide n seek; kinda reminded me of how we used to play together back when we were kids.”

    Willow kept her head down, staring at her hands as they lay in her lap, not wanting the other to see the tears that rolled down her cheeks.

    “You're not Xander.” She said in a hoarse, emotion filled whisper “You're not him.

    Xander gave a small snort of laughter and once again his mouth twisted into that slight sardonic smile. “I'm not, huh.” He said “Then who exactly am I?”

    “You're the thing that killed him.” Willow replied simply. “Just like Mr Giles told us when they took Jesse,” She looked up now meeting the vampire's eye “So do what you want with me, but don't, just... don't, pretend that you're him.”

    The figure in the chair seemed genuinely taken aback by this outburst “Wow, Will, I didn't know you had this kind of fire in you.” He said. “I gotta say I'm impressed. You're wrong though. Dead wrong.” He pointed to himself with both hands. “I mean this is still me. I'm still the guy you grew up with; the boy who held you're hand when you cried that first day in kindergarten, the boy who stole your Barbie. I still have all those memories Will. All those good times? They're still in here, still part of who and what I am.” He gently extended a hand towards her red hair and smiled forlornly as she jerked away reflexively “It's me Will, it's really me; I guess that's what makes this so hard.”

    “Then don't do it” Willow said, jumping on the opportunity she suddenly saw before her “If there's still some part of you that remembers all that, that remembers what we've meant to each other down the years, then just let me go. You could say you couldn't find me, that I got away somehow...”

    “Oh, Will. Will, Will, Will.” Xander cut in.“You have to know I can't do that. The Master wants you dead, and that means you're dead. He knows everything that happens in this town. If he finds out I let you go, well, that's gonna leave me blowing in the wind.” He smiled “To coin a phrase. I'm sorry Will, I really am, but it's you or me.”

    Willow wiped the last of the tears from her eyes and threw her head back defiantly. “Then get it over with.” She said.

    Xander rose from his seat and took the few steps that brought him to Willow's side. Gently he reached down and pulled the young woman to her feet until they were face to face. Then he paused, as if an idea had just come to him.

    “Course the Master said you had to die,” he said “he never said you had to stay dead.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “I mean I could... turn you.”

    Willow pulled away from him and sunk down on to the chair he had just vacated.

    “Just think for a moment what I'm offering you here.” Xander continued “It's a chance to leave all the fear and the uncertainty and whole... smallness of it all behind.” He came over to where Willow sat, taking a seat on a nearby desk. “I know it's a scary thought for you, but honestly Will, this is the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm free to be who I want to be, to be someone who matters in this world and I'm connected to something, something ancient and powerful.” He took her hand. “People have laughed at us all our lives Will, ignored us, talked down to us; like we didn't matter, like we didn't count. This could be your chance to rise above those people, to show them what you're really capable of.”

    “But...” Willow shook her head “But you're talking about turning me into a vampire, a soulless, evil, undead monster. You actually think I'm gonna buy that as some kind of life changing opportunity?”

    Xander sighed and rose from his seat, turning his back on Willow, his head bowed. “Look, I know what that librarian guy used to tell us, that some demon sets up shop inside a dead body and the person it used to be is just... gone.” He turned back to face her “But look at me Will, just look at me. You know who I am, you know this is me. Yes, I've changed, but the demon is only a part of me. I'm still the one in charge here.” He ran a hand through his dark hair and looked deep into her eyes. “If all I was, was some bloodthirsty demon, do you think we'd be talking like this? Do you think I'd be offering you this chance?

    “Well..”

    “I know you Willow Rosenberg. I know how much potential you have in you. I've seen your intelligence and your passion and I know what you could be if only you had the chance. What I'm offering you here is just that.;a chance. The chance to break out of your chains, to become what you know you can be. To be someone who counts, someone powerful, someone who can stand up to the people who want to hold you back and put you down and say 'no more! I'm the one in charge here and you will fear me.'” He paused “You have that in you Will, you know you do. You're like a butterfly that's stuck in it's chrysalis, all you need is to break out and spread your wings and you can do it Will. With my help, you can be that person.”

    Willow remained silent.

    “Just think, no more walking in fear, dreading the things of the night. No more loneliness, no uncertainty. Finally you'll belong, finally you'll be a part of something instead of an outsider.” He smiled “And of course you'll be with me.” He smiled again as he caught her expression. “What, you think I don't know? I never did you know, not whilst I was human, but now... Well it's like my eyes have been opened for the first time. You were there, all that time, right in front of me and I never realised. Well I guess now I know. Maybe that's why I want to do this for you. So we can be together, forever.”

    “Forever.” Willow asked, her voice small.

    “Sure,” Xander said “vampires live forever, or had you forgotten, 'Sleep all day, party all night, never get old, never die'”

    Willow smiled slightly “The Lost Boys.”

    “Heh, you were always good with the film refs.” Xander said “God, remember those games we used to play?”

    “Yeah” said Willow distantly.

    “Well then, just think think of all the games we could play if we were together. Immortal, powerful and together; you and me Will. You and me against the world. It's that or oblivion Will. Whadya say?”

    After a long silent pause, Willow looked directly at Xander, gazing deep into his eyes. “How.. How would it happen.”

    “I won't lie to you Will it's gonna hurt. I'm gonna have to bite you, but either way that's something that's gonna happen. I'll also open a vein, right here.” He pointed to his neck. “If you want the things I'm offering all you have to do is drink and all the meaningless trivialities will disappear, you'll sleep and when you wake up you'll be free, ready to spread your wings and fly. Finally able to be your true self.”

    Xander had been moving as he spoke and now he was directly in front of Willow. He offered his hand, which willow took, almost in a daze. Gently hauling her to her feet Xander hugged her close to him, his cold cheek against hers.

    “Ready?” He asked.

    Willow could only give a small, terrified moan in reply.

    “Shhh, shh, shh, it's gonna be alright” Xander whispered in her ear. “it's all gonna be alright.”

    Willow felt the shape of his face change against her cheek as the vampire reveled it's true face. A few seconds later she felt the stab of razor sharp teeth puncture her neck and dig deep into her carotid artery, and the rush of blood leaving her body with supernatural speed. She felt herself become increasingly lightheaded, her vision swimming, and blurring. As her legs began to give way she clung tightly to her long time friend, feeling him sink to the floor with her. Then, just as she felt that she could hold on no longer he pulled away from her. Raising his hand to his neck he pulled it across the surface of his throat. It's progress leaving behind it a scarlet trail.

    “Now drink.” He said, and to willow it sounded as if the words came from a million miles away. “Drink and we can be together, forever.”

    Willow felt her head being supported and lifted towards the line of blood that was beginning to drip slowly down the alabaster skin. Her face was pressed into the wound and Willow tasted the first hint of copper on her lips.

    “Drink.” The voice urged.

    Willow's head reeled, thoughts and words spun in her unconscious, promises of love, freedom and power mixed with whispered warnings from some place deep inside of her.

    “Drink!”

    She was so tired now, so very tired. Her body felt beyond her own control, limp, lifeless, distant. All that existed was that smooth pale skin and the metallic taste of blood. Unable to resist any longer, Willow Rosenberg drank.

    It was a matter of minutes before Xander rose to his feet. He dusted himself off, straightening his shirt and running both hands through his disheveled hair as he tried to regain control of himself. He had know that feeding from Willow would be a buzz, but the experience had been far richer than he had ever suspected. Every one of his senses seemed sharper, clearer than they had ever been, every nerve ending tingled with unadulterated pleasure, as his filled with sweet, joyous music. He closed his eyes and licked his lips, remembering the taste of the blood as it flowed into his mouth, not wanting to let go of the memories of the experience.

    Finally, Xander opened his eyes. There were still things to do before the night was over and he would need to hurry if everything was to be accomplished. Failure would not be something he would want to explain to the Master. He glanced down at the prone, unbreathing figure on the floor, her red hair splayed out around her head like a fiery aura.

    “Sleep well, Will.” He muttered. “There's gonna be some busy times ahead.”

    Turning he began to walk away from the fallen girl, reaching into his pocket as he did so, taking from it's depths a cellphone which he quickly flipped open. He cycled through the list of numbers it held until he found the one he needed and dialed, Holding the phone to his ear.

    “Hey it's me,” he said, after a few seconds “Tell the Master it's done. You can pick up the body at the high school.” He listened for a few seconds. “Yeah better than I thought, easy really. She never once guessed why I was really there.” He glanced back at the body. “She'll be an asset to us though, the Master was right about that, and you know what? I think I'm gonna enjoy watching her go to work.” He listened for a few seconds more and flipped the handset shut and placing it carefully in his pocket. Humming a little tune underneath his breath he made away out of the room, pausing slightly as he reached the doorway. Looking back for one last time he smiled that faint sardonic smile once more and then, shutting the door behind him, he left.
    tangent
    Lonely God
    Last edited by tangent; 29-09-08, 07:00 PM.
    JUST ENOUGH KILL

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