I feel like a have a hangover that I just cant get rid of. And everything seems oddly, dark. Wait a minute-
I pause and can hear breathing coming from behind me. I flip up and bring my hands up, forming them into fists.
"Who the hell-" I pause and realize who's staring right back at me.
"Wesley?" I shudder and look down. I'm naked. I glance around and nope, nothing to hide butt-naked Faith.
"Well, isn't this just fun!" I shrug and cover myself with my hands.
"And you're- uh, naked too." I point and watch him blush a bit. He looked pretty good. Wait, wait. Didn't think that.
"No worries, I won't tell anyone."
My eyes widen for a moment when I finally figure out who's in the room here with me. Faith? Of all the people to end up with, I'm drawing the lucky number of Faith. But of course, just my luck isn't it?
But wait, does that mean that she died as well? I'm afraid to ask, but I have to assume that yes, she did. And now we're both in...wherever it is were in. Certainly doesn't seem like hell. And somehow finding myself in a tree cabin far above the floor? Isn't the idea most people have when thinking about heaven.
"Faith," I say surprised. "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone either." walking over to her, I blush a bit when she notices I'm naked. But then so is she and it's not like she's not seen it before. Well, not from me, but the concept is still the same, I suppose. She still looks like Faith, which is good looking of course, and I see she's kept herself in shape.
Sliding down to the wall, I sit against it and pull my legs up, covering at least some of my body. My eyes are starting to adjust to the darkness, the only light coming from the small window with the cloth covering it. "It would appear we're in a tree cabin, in and actual tree." I wonder if she knows what's going on.
"A tree cabin?" I glance around the small room we are in and see nothing but creepy things and rags.
"I dunno about you, but I'm completely lost." I sit down across from him and sigh. What happened? The last thing I remember is well, dying. Flat out, drop dead, dying.
"Uber vamps..." I mumble as all my memories come back to me.
"Do you have any idea where we are?"
She's lost? Well, that's hardly news now is it? She's been lost for a long time. But she had found herself in prison again as it were. I still remember the Faith that stood by my side when we took on Angelus.
Damn, it's getting cold here. Must be the wind blowing so high in the tree. And these were some very high trees. Almost reminded me of a documentary I'd seen on Discovery once. Or was it National Geographic? Anyway, it was about sequoia trees. These reminded me a bit of them.
"We're in a tree," I deadpan, giving her a dry look. I'd already mentioned that hadn't I? "I've no idea where we are Faith. I was hoping you might know." Should've known better there shouldn't I?
"I suppose we could get up and see if we can get out of this cabin." Which would mean walking around naked. Ah well, can't really be bothered by that these days. Whatever these days are. Or is that whenever?
"Ya, got the tree part. Just wondering where are we? Hell? Heaven or somewhere in between?"
I suppose we could get up and see if we can get out of this cabin."
"If you want to wonder around naked ya can!" I wink at him as I stand up and walk up to something that looks like a bed.
"Here." I grab a blanket that's made out of some kind of fur and throw it at him.
"Wear that." I grab another piece of fur and wrap it along with quickly making a knot to keep it up.
"No more naked." I say turning around with a huge smile on my face. This felt a bit better and a little more comfortable than being butt-naked in front of Wesley.
"So, out of this tree cabin? I wonder if we're dealing with insane children?"
Catching the...fur, I raise my eyebrows at it. With a sigh I tie it around my waist. "I feel like a bloody caveman," I mutter. This is ridiculos, walking around barefoot with nothing but a fur to protect our modesty while we're staying in a huge tree, with cabins in it.
To say that this was rather mysterious would be an understatement.
Carefully I walk over to the door. Giving Faith a confused glance over my shoulder, I blink at her. "Insane Children? Never mind," I shake my head at her, "I don't want to know."
Opening the door, I glance outside sucking in my breath. It would seem there's an entire village of treehouses around us, with small walking bridges between them. Large houses, smaller ones. How very strange. There doesn't seem to be anyone around though. But if the state of these cabins are anything to go by, there should be.
"Come on," I whisper over toward Faith, sneaking out of the cabin. The wind is cold and with nothing but a piece of fur and on bare feet, it's even colder. And I've no weapon with me, which makes me slightly uneasy. Of course, having a Slayer around is a very good thing.
A small pale man stood outside of his home, preparing to enter. Then his bright green eyes widened almost comically as he brushed black hair out of his eyes and peered at the strange looking humans exiting his home. What the hell...? Okay, so that wasn't the exact translation of his exclamation, but it was close as he adjusted his water skin.
Blinking he remembered humans like that from somewhere...they had come to visit, to talk to the leaders for a few days before leaving. Swallowing he extended a hand like the one eyed man had taught him. "H-ahrlo." Waryness in his eyes he took a few steps closer, hand still extended.
They were thicker than he was...were they ill? He frowned in concern. He'd have to check...but after they perform the secret greeting of 'handshaking'.
Taking a step back, I blink at the little fellow right in front of us. He doesn't look threatening, but appearance isn't everything. Just look at Faith. No never mind, bad example. She can look very threatening, especially when she's hovering above you with a piece of glass in her hand. Or light and a can of gas.
Pushing away those thoughts, I glance at the small...man, creature, thing. He's making a strange sound, which could've been a greeting. It sounded a bit like 'hello' if I'm not mistaken. Perhaps he knows English? Wouldn't that be smashing, he could perhaps enlighten us about what was going on here.
Sharing a look with Faith, I carefully reach out to touch his hand. Clasping it carefully, it's such a small hand, I shake it gently a few time. "Err...Hello," I nod at him. Might as well get the proper greeting over right away. "Faith," I point at her, "And I'm Wesley," I point at myself. "And you are...?" And what in the bloody blazes is going on here?
We walk out of the cabin cautiously and what do I see? More cabins. Lots more. It was like a huge town of some sort. Odd though that they're in tree's.
"What the hell?" I shake my head as I notice a man approaching us. I raise my fists and wait for something to happen. He's small, which means I can tale him easily.
"Say what?" I watch as the little man holds out his hand.
"Alright." I give Wesley a look which we both exchange. I think we're both confused.
Wes cautiously shook hands and introduced both of us. Could he speak english?
"Hi, like he said, I'm Faith." I moved closer and stopped behind Wes, noticing how small the guy really was.
They were safe, atleast in his mind a he withdrew his hand, letting it drop to his side. They were speaking to him, and the little man's head cocked to the side like a little bird's before his eyes widened slightly in comprehension. They were saying their name sounds.
He offered his waterskin to the male looking human before taking a few steps back and turning to face the two. A small hand was placed on his chest before he slowly prounounced his name. "Ni-van." Then he pointed at each of the strangers in turn. "Wesri, Fae." His translation of the names.
Babbling on in his musical like language he started back down the wood and woven vine path before pausing and motioning for them to follow him. They needed to be taken to the leaders. The leaders would know what to do with them.
Besides...they were wearing sleeping furs for clothing. They might've been loose mentally.
Even though I was clueless as to what the hell was going on here, I was quite amused by the little fellows efforts to talk English. "Nivan," I repeated the name. "Nice to meet you." O smiled a little and noticed that hurt his face. God, how long had I been...dead?
After sharing a look with Faith, I followed the litlle man...Nivan... while he weaved his way through the cross cross of paths. He was talking in a language I didn't recognize, but the linguist in me was already perking up. Trying to catch a word here and there.
"I suppose you can't tell us where we are or what's going on either?" I tried, not having any trouble keeping up with Nivan. I glanced over my shoulder at Faith who seemed to be looking around in awe. And I must admit that I was quite impressed with the structure of this village myself.
This place is huge. It's look an old age L.A. or something.
"I'll take that as my name." I mumble as I look towards Wes and the little guy who are- now moving? I follow slowly behind, still looking around at everything I can see. So many bridges, torches and- hell, everything. It's like I'm in a completely new place.
As I walked behind, I could feel my bones ache and make weird noises as I moved. I'm not used to walking anymore. I'm not even used to breathing and here I am, doing it.
"I suppose you can't tell us where we are or what's going on either?"
"Ya, do you think you could tell us?" I chirped from behind Wes. They were walking fast while I absorbed everything around. This place, unlike any other, is amazing.
But on the other hand, it's a new place and I need to know my surroundings.
They were making sounds again like talking and the little man paused before making walking motions with his hand and then standing up as tall as he good and puffing out his chest before reslumping and smiling. He was taking them to the leaders. Then he was back to yammering in his own language, some derriviation of old english and latin just advanced and modified.
Pausing to grab a torch and hand it to the manshaped fur human, Nivan's head tilted to the side at the question and he hmmed softly before continuing further into the tree village, and it grew darker, the light dim before they came to a circle of houses, almost like a town square.
Then, the pale man seemed to turn even paler. For in the square were dead ones, being wrapped in oil cloth. He glanced back at his guests before walking down into the square and staring at the ones who would awake as a nightmare. Then he looked to the fire before looking back sadly at Wesri and Fae. He stared for a while trying to remember the word sound. Finally he sighed softly. "Vanire." He paused before pointing to the fire and adding in his language. Not wake up...
This place is huge, and beyond impressive. I wonder though where the humans are. How many time we've missed, what happened to the world. And it doesn't seem that Nivan was about to tell us. Or couldn't, I'm not sure.
Accepting the torch, I frown a little and look back at Faith. Without thinking about it, I grab hold of her hand and tug her behind me. I really don't wish to loose her in the dark, she's the only one I know. And as stupid as it sound, I seem to cling to that. "Stay close...Fae," I snicker, unable to keep the small barb from escaping.
When we reach this, for lack of a better word...town square, I stop and exchange a look with Faith. They're burning those people because they were attacked by vampires. "Vampires," I mutter. "Some things never change." Damn them. But if they're still around, then humans might be as well. "I'm sorry for your loss," I say to Nivan."
We seemed to walk forever. I didn't mind but it was fricken freezing. I mean, having no shoes wasn't really doing any good.
I glance forward and I feel a hand grab mine and tug me forward. Wes was holding my hand. In an odd way, it was comforting. This place was creepy dark and I could barely see.
After a bit of more walking, we reached a place that was circular and looked the centre of things. A town sqaure possibly?
I nod a bit and look at the bodies that they are preparing to- burn? I think they're doing that.
"Seems I may have to do some work around here afterall." I let go of Wesley's hand and walk towards the bodies.
"Do you think they know other methods?" I stop in front of a half wrapped body and look at it's face. Female and very young.
"I think," I say turning back to Wesley and our little friend, "we should show them how to kill them later." I wink at him as I walk up to him and grab his hand, holding his this time.
"I guess, let's continue?"
Nivan blinked slowly at his guests and then looked back at the sleeping ones with an unreadable expression on his youthful features before he continued through the square, yammering in a serious tone about danger and the lack of a big light in the sky and then more about danger when not in the trees.
Finally he stopped infront of a larger hut like dwelling and ducked inside, expecting Wesri and Fae to follow him. Inside the dwelling sat 3 older looking small men, all of them looking up almost in unison and then their eyes widened a bit.
The oldest looking one, his skin still smooth and pale as Nivan's but his age showing in his dark blue eyes. He shuffled forward to inspect the visitors before speaking in a heavily accented yet clear voice. "Who?"
"Perhaps, we shall see about that later," I tell Faith, giving her hand a squeeze. Bloody hell it was getting cold. If this kept up my toes might freeze off. And the deeper we went the colder it became.
Holding up my torch, I follow behind the little fellow again, who is muttering in his own language once more. I can start to make out certain words. Something about the sun and the trees and danger. But I couldn't quite understand what it was about. The context was of yet beyond my grasp.
He led us into one of the larger huts and I shared a look with Faith before entering after Nivan. There were three men seated there. They resembled some form of tribe elders, the leaders of sorts. At least that's what I'm assuming and going by here. Until they tell me otherwise. Giving the man in front of us a little nod, I point at Faith and then at myself. "Faith, and I'm Wesley."
I think we really can forget about last names here, they seem to have trouble enough with our first names. "Do you perhaps have answers to our questions?"
"Alright." I mumble as I stare at the corpses as we walk away. Vampires. A lot of them from the looks of it. Fuck, just can't seem to get away from the duties even when I'm dead.
I rolled my eyes as I turned forward and gave a quick glance to Wesley. A hut? I sighed as we both walked in together and this creepy old man started doing the whole "check out" thing. I eyed him and couldn't tell what he wanted but he wasn't a threat.
"Yepp, Faith here." I said quickly after Wesley. Where in the hell are we?
Nivan moved to stand by the door, eyes watching the proceedings and bright like a small child's would be.
The old man looked at each larger human in turn before nodding slowly and offering his hand to the male. "Second." Heavily accented, but still the English equivalent to his name. Nodding firmly he gestured to the other two men. "First, Third."
Introductions were made he went back to examining the strangers with some wariness. "To fight you come." The sentence a question and a statement at the same time.
I looked back at the old man as they were watched in turn. I could feel Faith tense next to me and only hoped she wasn't going to do anything rash. She was a slayer after all, she'd listen to her instincts first. But then again, she had changed a lot the last time I've worked with her. When we took in Angelus. How long ago was that? How much time has passed?
Glancing at each man as Second told them their names, I nodded at them in greeting. How odd to give them the names of numbers. But it wouldn't surprise me if those are an actual honor to have. They're quite old, I very much doubt if they even remember their real given name. I guess they're the shaman of this...tribe, clan...group.
"To fight?" I blink and shared a look with Faith. Now why does this not surprise me in the slightest. Why can't we ever be brought back to have tea with the queen or something equally mundane. No, rest of evil, but no rest of good either it would appear. "Fight whom or what? And who or what brought us back?" And are we the only ones?
"I'm with him, fight what exactly?" Just when you think it's going good, something is thrown in your face.
"Have you seen any other weird people like us?" I look to Wes and shrug. Maybe they have or we're in some other place. Man, I don't even know anymore.
"Can you tell us what year it is?"
Second frowned slightly and turned, moving to perhaps confer with his peers before turning to face the strange humans. "Vampires come many years." He paused, searching for the word sounds. "Two men come and vampires no come." Another pause as he looked to First as if for reassurance. "Vampires no come some years."
Then he began to pace. "Two men go. Vampires come back some years. Not find two men, we fight."
He paused before eyeing the female curiously. "Many years sun gone."
I had the distinct impression that these fellow only had a basic grasp at the English language. Which only motivated me more to learn and understand their language. I had a feeling we were missing out on the bigger picture, missed some finer detail about all this.
Not to mention that we weren't getting any straight answers to our questions. Were they deliberately avoiding them, or didn't they understand them? I didn't know, and until I knew I was going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Apparently patience was needed here. Which, if I remember correctly, wasn't something Faith had an abundance off.
"You're saying these two men, they made certain the vampire wouldn't bother you anymore? But they left and now the vampires are back." And if those dead people they saw earlier were anything to go by, they didn't really know how to fight. "Do you want us to find those two men or do you want us to teach you how to fight the vampires"
Wait. Wait a minute. "The sun is gone?" Oh dear lord, that cannot be good, to put it mildly. I remember the last time the sun was gone. Not good at all.
I listened impatiently as they told us about vampires coming and going when two men showed up. Two men?
The Sun's gone? I glance back to the doorway and couldn't believe what they were saying. The sun was gone. No light, which means vampires can walk freely and can attack anytime they want.
"So the sun's gone, which is bad for us. But, where did the two men go? Do you know where they are?"
Second looked between the two larger humans and uttered something in his own language before exiting the hut, gesturing for the humans to follow. "You help fight." It was simple as that. "Move to caves, find men, come back and vampires go."
Very basic, and very simple plan as he walked past a group of young men sharpening wooden spears and he paused to correct the way one was holding his weapon before continuing on his way towards the unlit pyres.
He moved to grab a torch, offering the item to Wesri and pointing to on pyre piled with small corpses. "Not wake up."
We help them fight? Caves, what caves? The man didn't make much sense. We were to go to some cave, find these men and bring them back. They brought us back from the dead for that? I think there's probably more to it. There has to be.
Still confused, I glance over at Faith and follow the small fellow with a shrug. I've no idea where we're going now, and these small chaps may look harmless, I'm still keeping my eyes open. And something tells me that Faith is as well. Probably second nature to her, being a Slayer.
When he offers a torch I look at it puzzled before taking it. What does he want me to do with this? Surely not set his people on fire? That's not my job...my right, it should be theirs. "What?" I ask him quietly, gesturing at the torch.
Caves and fight? The one word I can agree with.
"Whatever you want us to fight, bring it on!" I said smirking towards Wes as we started to walk. Where the hell was he taking us? Was he seriously taking us to a cave? Shit. It could be a nest of Vamps or who know's what.
I watch as Wes gets handed a torch and we both give a confused look to our small friend.
"Uh, what are we suppose to do with this?" I hope he doesn't want us to burn the bodies.
Second took a few steps back, a smaller person...probably a female handing him a torch as he gestured toward the stacks of burnable materials with the bodies on them. "Not wake up from nightmare." He explained patiently before moving off slowly, speaking softly to young woman staring at a non moving body on a pyre.
Second shook his head, looking back to Wesri and Fae. "Mate." Another soft explanation before he handed the torch to the female, stepping aside to let her take shaky steps towards the pyre.
And she stood there for a moment, a single tear rolling down her cheek before she took her time lighting the pyre before stepping back herself and watch the burning start.
Clutching the torch, I glanced over at Faith. Apparently the figure on the pyre was the partner of the smaller one, probably a woman, though I'm not certain. And I feel very sorry for them, for loosing someone so dear to them.
I know how they feel. I too have lost many friends, but they knew the risk they were taking when they took up the fight. Just as both Faith and I know the risk for taking up the fight again. But I suppose neither of us can *not* take up the fight. We're both born to do so, it's not in us to turn away.
My brow furrows as I look back at the small woman as she cries by the pyre of her...husband? These small creatures do not have a single clue on how to fight these vampire's. They're afraid to live their lives as they're supposed to do. Grimly I watch as the fire consumes the body slowly and stay silent. Because there really isn't anything you can say right now. At least nothing that would ring true.
"Hate to sound like a bitch, but can we move on?" Just watching the bodies burn was making my stomach turn. I just wanna get to wherever this guy is leading us and then be done with it.
"Can you tell us where you're taking us?"
Second watched muttering something in his own language, then something strange happened. Every person standing in the square took up the same chant, the musical tones of their languages creating an haunting yet beautiful requiem.
The chant spread through the trees and the smoke from the fires rose beyond the canopy, as if the smoke were the souls of the lost ones fading back from where the came...settling in a heavenly home. The scene sureal.
Second turned his head slowly towards the two strangers and his expression was grim as he eyed the female with some disdain before gesturing for them to follow him.
The chanting continued as he leading them down complicated bridges and pathways finally stopping and handing a torch to a young man waiting there. He spoke to the young man urgently before bowing slightly to the two. "He take down."
There was slight argument, the young man pale like Second and small as well but with bright blue eyes and light brown almost blond hair.
The young man peered curiously at the two before offering a smile and shy. "Wassup." Obviously...somebody has had time to teach the youngin slang.
Second continued. "Down, you find the others. Follow Andue." His accent slurring the name Andrew as he turned to move back quickly the way he came.
Andue, ahem Andrew looked at the two beore scrambling yes, down towards the ground.
I watched with some amazement at the entire ritual and kept quiet out of respect. And leave it to Faith to show her impatience at such a time. I quickly cast her an annoyed look and sighed, shaking my head.
While they were still chanting, the smell fellow, Second, lead us further. It struck me only then how incredibly complicated the architecture here was, it must have taken some considerable time to build that. It was very impressive.
We were introduced to another small young fellow, who's name sounded like...Andrew, if I deducted their speech pattern correctly. "Others?" Does he mean there are others like us? I looked over to Faith, noticing she had the same curious expression. "Well, alright then. Lead on." I frowned as the old man disappeared again, something really strange was going on here.
I caught the glance from Wes and shut right up. Keep quiet and maybe he won't go all british on me.
I shot a glance to Wes and I knew he was thinking what I was thinking. Maybe others like us are here?
"I wonder if it's anyone we know." I mutter as I start to become impatient again.
Andue, ahem....Andrew looked back at the two strangers and offered smile as he nodded slowly. "Others." And then he was off, not moving as quickly as usual...trying to be nice, but his strides were light and graceful as he led the two down a rarely used path.
Ruins of perhaps great buildings were passed, the occasional corpse laying across the path only to be carefully rolled to the side by Andrew as he shivered and continued in silence.
Then, he just stopped, rather quickly pointing to the remains of a small house. "Inside."
"Try to curb your excitement, Faith. I'm sure there will be some demons for you to pummel soon." Flashing her a teasing smile, I started to follow the little fellow. Who was walking quite fast for such a little fellow.
The path looked as though it wasn't used often. There were corpses here and there and the Andrew, I've decided to call him that, pushed him aside. I had no idea if I was allowed to help, I didn't want insult any customs. Perhaps strangers like Faith and myself were not allowed to touch their dead.
Finally we seemed to reach the end of the path and were looking at what at one point had been a small house. Very much unlike the buildings we had passed along the way. The ruins reminded me of civilizations long since lost. What had we all missed since we died? What had happened to the earth we knew?
"You want us to go inside?" I blinked at Andrew and shared a look with Faith. The others were inside that small house? I couldn't hear anything though.
As we followed this little guy, who moved really fast, I looked at everything around. Old school buildings were here? Alright, so we know we're on earth at least. Or maybe a crazy place? I vote earth.
"You want us to go inside?"
I snapped out of my trance and looked to Wes who was looking directly at me and then motioned to a house.
"In there? It looks- nevermind." Keep your thoughts to yourself, just in case you piss him off.