chapter 13 of 14
Crossover With: Star Wars, the Oz books, My Chemical Romance. Kind of. In a way.
Warning: Extreme Mary Suism.
Disclaimer: All characters who belong to Joss and co, belong to Joss and co.
Summary: post-Chosen: A group of watchers and slayers taking a creative writing class are assigned a simple lesson in author intrusion. But nothing’s ever simple when magic is -- literally -- in the air.
Mary Stu Got Harried, Chapter Thirteen: Revenge of the Bad Guys
(In which things go very, very badly for our heroes. Warning: Character death)
“All of you touch me.”
Everyone stared at Dorothy.
“Those are guns, right? I’ll bet they shoot further than your crossbows do.” She took Kara’s and Richard’s hand, with some difficulty while holding onto the sword. “Everyone I touch will be in-in --”
“Invulnerable,” Andrew finished, grabbing Kara’s hand. “That way we can get close.”
“Or run,” Xander returned.
Extinguishing her lightsaber, Padme joined the group, and in seconds the rest of them were clutching hands together -- all except the fallen bass player and Dana, who had advanced a few paces before the rest. “Dana, touch us!” Tara ordered, but the slayer shook her head.
“I know how the story goes,” she said.
At that moment the stormtroopers leveled their rifles and opened fire.
Bolt after bolt bounced off everyone it touched, ricocheting around the stadium. A light shattered here, a chair split there; one dissipated into the wall near Ethan Rayne, who looked startled for a second and then chortled with glee. He didn’t see what Richard saw: the Buffybot, stealthily working her way down the rows of seats toward the chaos worshipper.
Not a bolt hit Dana, who hefted her ax and started forward.
The others followed. “We need a plan,” James Raleigh said in a curiously detached tone, as if he was checking on the weather.
“They’ll bleed their blaster charges soon,” Padme told him. “When they stop to reload we can jump them.”
Andrew and Xander exchanged surprised looks. “Maybe they cut the reloading scenes,” Andrew mused, as he stepped forward with the others.
As they got closer, the Nome warriors flung their short spears, to no better effect. Their King had lost his good spirits, and was literally jumping up and down, screaming at his troops. Now without pikes, the Nomes drew short daggers.
This wasn’t right, Richard thought. According to Dana he was the key, and he was inclined to believe her. Like all slayers she sometimes got prophetic dreams, and in her case they were stronger and more realistic; it was easy to imagine that she'd seen all this, and based her own story on those visions. But he was the key? What the hell did that mean? For now, they had to play to their strengths. “Tara! We need to thin out those vampires.”
From the end of the line, she arched her head back to look at him. “I have to leave the line to do this; I’ll stay behind you.”
“Stay low!” He turned the other way. “Padme, you have to get Vader’s attention. Once he knows it’s you, he’ll stop fighting.”
“Trust me! Dorothy, listen closely:” He leaned down to whisper in her ear, and saw a smile spread over her face.
The two lines were about to merge when he made a final decision. “Listen, everyone: Go for the stormtroopers first, while they’re reloading! Leave the vamps and Nomes alone.”
Just as the groups were about to come together the barrage of laser fire faded, and as one the well drilled stormtroopers reached toward their belts. At that instant Dorothy released the others, jammed her hands into nonexistent pockets on her dress, then leaped forward, holding her clenched fists over her head. “Eggs!” she screamed.
The Nomes broke and ran. Directly behind them, their King, who was holding up his arms and shouting, “No eggs!” disappeared under their onslaught.
Tara shoved her way between Gerard and Bob, muttered an incantation, and made intricate motions with her hands. Then she swept her hands outward and balls of fire exploded in the face of the shrieking vampires, leaving only a few behind along with smoldering piles of dust.
Not even bothering with his sword, Bob dashed forward and slammed his drumsticks into the chest of two vamps who were unlucky enough to stagger into each other. “That’s for Mikey, you bastards!” Beside him, a screaming Gerard took off a vamp’s head.
The third group fared little better, as the stormtroopers fell under concentrated crossbow fire, followed directly by swinging swords and axes. Dana gleefully swung her battle ax, with such abandon that no one else dared get close to her.
Richard had always been amazed at how ineffective the stormtroopers’ so-called armor was, and he wasn’t disappointed this time: He swung his sword and brought one of them down instantly, then went after another who was trying to reload, taking that one out with two quick blows. Their protection wasn’t made for hand to hand combat, that much was certain.
Then it was over, and Richard stood over the body of someone he hoped wasn’t real, taking measure of their success. Xander and Suzy were both down, looking dazed, while Teagan sat on a stormtrooper and used her hand to staunch the flow of blood from a cut to her thigh. He had a moment of panic when he saw Tara cross-legged on the ground, but she appeared unhurt, and was either recovering from her fire spell or trying to contact Willow. Otherwise they were all standing, while the stormtroopers were all down and the vamps dusted. The Nomes were creeping back onto the field, trying to avoid Dorothy, but the bigger challenge lay right in front of them.
Darth Vader stepped forward, lightsaber swinging. James finished reloading his crossbow and sent a bolt with deadly accuracy, but the laser sword sliced it in two. Then Andrew tried, but just as the bolt reached Vader, the Sith Lord raised a hand and it streaked back to its source. Andrew stood with a comical expression on his face, staring at the bolt now buried in his shoulder.
At the same moment the remaining members of My Chemical Romance rushed Vader, but he spun around with supernatural speed, using the Force to lift Gerard off the ground and crash him into his bandmates. They tumbled to the earth and lay still, while behind them the Nomes joined the fight again.
As this was happening, Kara and Dana rushed Dracula. He turned, his gaze locked with Kara, and she jerked to a stop, in his thrall. Dana continued, but the lord of darkness was too fast, and grabbed her by the throat. Choking, Dana struggled, unable to break his grasp even as he moved toward Kara.
“I don’t think so.” Richard rushed forward, sword held over his head. He saw a flash of red light above him, and the weight of the weapon suddenly lightened; he brought it down to discover the blade missing.
Vader held the lightsaber to Richard’s neck. “We cannot kill you, not yet. But you will surrender your forces, or we’ll remove your limbs.”
Can’t kill me? Through the cold terror, Vader’s words reverberated. Why couldn’t they kill him? His gaze searched out Padme, but she was staring at Vader from the edge of the field, looking just as frightened as he felt.
Everyone turned. Ethan Rayne was on his feet now, and the Buffybot stood behind him, one arm around his chest and the other holding a sword to his throat. “Give it up, or the chaos guy gets it!”
Vader’s massive helmet turned, to look at Dracula, who returned the look with an expression of scorn. “We have no need of that pawn,” the vampire said. “He gathered us on this battlefield, but he isn’t responsible for bringing you to this world, or bringing me back to life.”
Ethan blinked. “I wasn’t?”
Dracula laughed. “That chaos demon you summoned was blindly trying to create a disaster. It never realized what the effects of its defensive spell would be, before it fell beneath Vader’s blade.”
“Bloody hell, you killed my chaos demon?”
Vader nodded. “Do as you wish with him, slayer -- it’s the little girl’s belt that we need.”
“Oh, poo.” Bottie hammered the hilt of her sword on Rayne’s head, dropping him like a bad investment.
And they need me, Richard thought, his mind reeling as he tried to sort out the reasons. Then Vader was flung backward, by a blow that caused the Sith Lord to cry out as sparks flew from his life support equipment. Kara had scored a hit with one of the Nomes’ dropped knives, and now she twirled into a side kick that took Dracula down before he could use his thrall on her again.
“Fight!” Dracula ordered the Nomes, but the little men still held back.
“Dorothy’s eggs --” one protested. “They’re deadly poison to us.”
“I will take care of the girl.” Climbing to his feet, Vader raised his hand and gestured upward. Dorothy sailed into the air. She squealed and dropped the sword, using both hands to try to maintain her dignity as her skirt billowed twenty feet above the ground. “Give us the belt, Dorothy Gale, or we will kill all your friends.”
“You’ll kill ‘em anyway!” Dorothy shouted back.
“So be it.” Vader gestured to the Nomes. “I will hold her and her eggs. Kill all but Richard Philips.”
James Raleigh went down first, fighting furiously as the wave of Nomes reached him. Suzy and Teagan dragged themselves to their feet when the Nomes got to them next, and were joined by Kara, then a whooping Bottie. It was no good: the Nomes were ferocious, and seemingly felt no pain.
Why was Richard so vital to the plan? He hadn’t written the stories; he’d only assigned them and read them.
Darth Vader was using the Force to send little Dorothy slamming into the ground over and over again, leaving the girl unharmed but shrieking in rage. But at the sound of a new voice he jerked around, and Dorothy fell heavily.
Padme approached him, holding the lightsaber out before her. “I’m ...” Her voice shook. “I’m a Jedi Knight. Surrender or die.”
Vader stared at her. Then, in a move that made her jaw drop, he lowered his own lightsaber. “Padme?”
Again, Richard scanned the battlefield. Dorothy had climbed unsteadily to her feet, and was waving her empty fists again in an attempt to scare off the remaining Nomes. There weren’t many left now, although the Nome King was going from fallen Nome to fallen Nome, kicking and screaming for them to get up. He didn’t see Dorothy approach until she spun him around and slapped him hard on the face.
There weren’t many people left standing now, at all. Kara was still up, back to back with Bottie, fending off the attacking Nomes. But Dracula had just shaken off an attack by the now still Xander, and was stalking toward the slayer and the robot.
Tara lay on her back near home plate, staring unblinkingly toward the darkened sky.
“Who -- who are you?” Padme demanded.
“Padme ... I came back for you.” Vader extinguished his lightsaber and approached the Queen of Naboo, although she kept her own weapon held at ready.
“It’s me -- Anakin.”
Padme stared at him, her breath coming in stilted gasps. “Annie?”
Behind him, Richard heard a low, almost feral voice. “Their story’s almost over.”
He spun around to see Dana, still holding her bloodstained battle ax. “She won’t be able to take it,” Dana said. “She won’t be able to stand the thought of her love becoming a Sith Lord and killing so many people. The story ends here.”
“The story ends?”
Dana nodded. “I didn’t have time to finish it. The rest came too fast.”
A lightsaber hummed, and a female voice cried out in agony. By the time Richard turned, Darth Vader’s body was on the ground. His helmeted head rolled across the ground, then lay still.
Padme, tears streaking her face, looked around until she saw Andrew lying nearby, unmoving. “He didn’t tell me.” She saw Richard looking at her, and repeated, “He didn’t tell me.”
“He didn’t want to hurt you.” In the distance, he saw Dracula grappling with the Buffybot. He couldn’t see his daughter.
“Hurt me?” She gave a short laugh that turned into a sob. “This was all because of me!” Then she twisted the still lit lightsaber around in her hand.
“No!” Richard shouted, but it was too late. Padme’s body fell, right beside the similarly still body of Tara. Who blinked.
“Tara!” He hurried to her, and only then saw the Nome dagger protruding from her chest. “Tara?”
Her gaze moved to him, and she sent him a weak smile. “You know ... irony? This is right where I got shot.”
Richard fell to his knees by her side, and instantly saw he could do nothing. “Did you ... did you get help?”
“Mmmmm ... not enough time. Willow and I, we don’t have the connection we once did.” She drew a ragged breath. “You know what? I think I know why I did all those things ... touched you, drank tea ... I think I wanted you to know I wasn’t just a spirit anymore.”
“No. Tara, don’t --”
“Now I’ll be a spirit again, I guess. But you ... I could have ...” She closed her eyes, and her chest stopped moving.
“No.” Something almost metallic clattered to the ground, and across the field a tall, black caped figure started moving toward him. “No.”
“There’s not much time,” Dana said.
Cold clutched Richard’s heart as he got to his feet, looking around for a weapon. Dana touched his shoulder, but he shook her off. “So that’s how your story ended? Everyone dies?”
“I told you, I didn’t finish it.” She grabbed him, using her slayer strength to spin him around. “My story’s still unwritten.”
“Well, this looks like the end to me!”
Her reply was a frustrated sigh. “I didn’t know it was going to come true --that’s your fault.”
“Me?” He gazed around wildly, trying to reconcile this to anything he could have come up with. In the distance, Dorothy stood still, her hands limply at her side, staring into Dracula’s eyes as he reached down toward her waist.
“They didn’t start coming true until you read them.”
It hit him then, harder than any weapon. The reason Bottie’s story hadn’t come to life was because he never read it. Only Tara did. But why hadn’t Dana --?
The slayer was staring at him, her eyes pleading.
She hadn’t warned him because he’d begun to read her story, setting it in motion -- but hadn't finished. Only now, as it neared the end, could she act freely again.
“Dana -- write me a story.”
She jerked the knife from Tara’s chest with a sound Richard would never forget, then fell to her knees, poised with its tip over the dusty ground. How much time did they have? Looking back, he saw Dracula had removed the belt, and was just starting to sink his teeth into the little girl’s bare neck. In a moment, he’d put the belt on himself, and have his own wish.
“Dana, write this:”