Fic post: this is not a birthday fic, as I don’t think that she is reading this story. It’s the second update in two days to the most insane of my crackfics, ‘Dojo Hard’ – don’t read it if you haven’t read Part 8! Despite what I said yesterday this chapter is perhaps relatively low on the funny; there are important plot points to establish and the parallel canon Buffyverse events really weren’t any fun at all. Hope that you enjoy it anyway. 2,500 words. Rating R. Previous parts are HERE.
By the way, I’ve started posting this story at Twisting the Hellmouth but I wasn’t quite sure how to classify it. I’ve put it under ‘Non-crossovers’, but I wonder if ‘Multiple crossovers’ might be more accurate. Very few crossover characters appear, but some do, and crossover situations certainly do. I’m not sure. Thoughts?
Dojo Hard Part 9
Buffy woke disoriented in a strange bed. For a moment she didn’t know where she was, and then memory flooded back and she reached out for Angel. He wasn’t there.
She sat up. “Angel-kun?” The room was empty. She rose from the bed and retrieved her clothing. It was more or less dry and she dressed quickly. “Angel-kun?” she called again.
No answer. She attended to some basic needs and then left the building. She saw a strange contrivance standing outside the window, a wooden tripod with a small shelf running across it, and she paused to examine it. There were odd splatters of paint on the structure. She could not fathom its purpose and dismissed it from her mind. She walked off in the direction of home and her thoughts turned once more to Angel.
Where had he gone without even waking her? Perhaps there had been some emergency at the Shogun’s palace. But, if so, why would he not have woken her to accompany him? She was, after all, the Shogun’s chief bodyguard, and every bit as accomplished a warrior as Angel. Her expression lightened. A messenger must have arrived for Angel and he had kept her presence secret to protect her reputation. The messenger’s presence had stopped Angel from waking her or leaving any kind of message. He was, after all, an honorable warrior and a considerate and caring boyfriend. Even if he had left her to wake up alone after their first night together.
Angel lifted his head from Drusilla’s breasts. “Shimata!” he cursed. “I sent the guards to Buffy’s house. She’s probably still at my apartment.”
“Don’t worry, Angel-kun,” Drusilla said soothingly. “She will go home when she wakes. I shall send someone she trusts to summon her here. All shall be well.” She turned her head away so that Angel didn’t see the savage expression that she could not keep from her face when he spoke of Buffy.
“Yeah, good idea,” Angel agreed. “Now, where were we?” He ran his lips down from her breasts to between her legs and pleasured her with his tongue.
Drusilla squirmed in pleasure. “You were practicing your first speech as Shogun,” she reminded him.
“Oh, yeah.” Angel’s voice was muffled. “Unaccustomed as I am to pubic speaking…”
Chopstick had a perplexed frown on his face as he looked up at Dalton. “Drusilla set up Angel as Shogun?”
“She did, Chopstick-sama,” Dalton confirmed. “Giles has been thrown into the dungeons, together with those of the palace staff who would not swear allegiance to Angel, and our old enemy has taken the throne.”
“Bloody pillock,” Chopstick groaned. “What’s Dru sodding playing at? We were supposed to overthrow the Shogunate, not just put somebody else on the throne. Might as well have stuck with Giles. Wasn’t a bad old stick, it’s the whole concept of a hierarchical feudal system that I have a problem with, not just the particular bloke at the top of the tree.”
Oz raised an eyebrow. “So you didn’t want to make yourself Shogun?”
“Nah. Couldn’t be doing with all that ceremonial crap. Just wanted to get the peasants the vote, is all. After that they can vote for Giles if they want to, no skin off my nose.”
Oz’s eyebrow lifted again and then he dropped the subject in favor of something of more pressing importance. He turned to Dalton. “What’s happened to Willow-chan, dude?”
“Is she the little red-haired Shugenza? She has been thrown into a dungeon, together with the Shogun’s mistress and several geishas.”
The snarl that appeared on the wolf-spirit’s face made his true nature suddenly obvious. “We have to get her out!”
“Right with you on that, mate,” said Chopstick. “Any friend of yours is a friend of mine. The minute I’m back on my feet we storm the castle and let the bird out of her cage.”
“We are badly outnumbered,” Dalton said, “but I shall follow you, Chopstick-sama.”
“I hate to point this out, Chopstick-san,” Oz said, “but you’re not likely to be on your feet any time soon. Remember what that doctor-ka said? A back massage from your true love?”
“Well, yeah,” Chopstick said. “That would be… Dru. Oh. I’m well and truly buggered, ain’t I?”
Dalton looked from one to the other with an expression of total confusion on his face. Chopstick and Oz filled him in on the diagnosis made by House of Flying Daggers and the treatment prescribed. “Most unfortunate,” Dalton commiserated, on hearing the full situation. “Drusilla-san has forsaken you, oh Chopstick-sama. I fear you can count on no assistance from her.”
“Totally buggered, like I said.” Chopstick bit his lip. “Well, not just gonna lay around here like a spare prick at the penis festival. Can’t walk, but there’s nothing wrong with my arms, and I can still use a sword. Just need to find some way of moving around.” A tight grin came to his face. “Ever hear the legend of Ogami Itto?”
“Bring her here,” Angel commanded. “Do not let her know that anything is amiss. Make it seem that she is being summoned by Giles.”
“Sure thing, Angel-sama,” Harmony said cheerfully. “You can count on me. Buffy-chan totally won’t suspect a thing.”
“Let it be so,” Angel said. “If you perform well in this task, I shall reward you with a blue robe.”
“A blue robe? Wow, totally cool. I obey, oh Angel-sama.” Harmony bowed and walked away.
“When Buffy arrives,” Angel commanded his guards, “seize her and bind her.” He turned to Drusilla. “I do not know which shall prove stronger, her feelings for me or her loyalty to Giles. It will be safest to make sure that she’s a prisoner before we find that out.”
Drusilla had a frown of suspicion on her face as she watched Harmony leave. She had noticed that the dim-witted geisha had used the intimate honorific ‘chan’ when speaking of Buffy. She dismissed her suspicions. Harmony was too stupid to be guileful. “I agree,” she said. “Buffy defeated Chopstick, and for all his faults he is a mighty warrior. Or was. What shall we do about him?”
“I suppose we’d better bring him in too,” Angel said. “I’ll send some guards along with a palanquin to pick him up. There’s a vacancy for a Taikomochi now. That sounds about right for a crippled poet.”
“He would be an object of pity and mockery,” Drusilla said. “How very cruel, Angel-kun.” She smiled. “That’s why I love you. When can we start torturing the prisoners?”
“Where have you been, Buffy-chan?” Joyce snapped. “I’ve been worried sick.”
“Uh, ninja business for the Shogun,” Buffy said. “I defeated Chopstick last night. There were, uh, some loose ends that I had to clear up.”
“And where were you?” Joyce pressed. “Some soldiers from the castle came here looking for you. You weren’t with the Shogun.”
Buffy avoided her mother’s gaze. “I was patrolling with Angel,” she said. “Some of Chopstick’s guys got away. One of them took the head of the Dread Judge of the Netherworld. We wanted it back.”
“And did you retrieve it?”
“No,” Buffy admitted. “I think he made it to the Post Office and put it in the mail. It’s probably on its way to Tibet or somewhere by now. No biggy.”
“Hmm. You do too much of this ninja work, Buffy-chan,” Joyce said. “It’s dangerous and it causes you to mix with undesirable people. Like that Angel character. He’s a former Yakuza, remember, and I don’t think that he’s very trustworthy.”
Buffy managed to restrain herself from glowering at her mother. “Angel totally is trustworthy,” she insisted. “He’s bound to the service of the Shogun on pain of dishonor and seppuku, and hey, he’s done a lot for this town. Nobody else could have done it.”
“Giles-sama followed the principle of ‘set a thief to catch a thief’,” Joyce said. “I don’t think that he was altogether wise to do so. Anyway, I want you to cut back on your ninja exploits.”
“A ninja’s work is never done, Mom.”
“Have you tried not being a ninja?”
“I can’t just stop,” Buffy said. “Being a ninja is a calling. I’m the best fighter the Shogun has. I can’t let him down.” She batted her eyes at her mother. “Anyway, Mom, I’m home now. I could use some breakfast.”
“A supplicant begs audience, oh mighty Shogun-heika,” a court attendant announced.
“I’m gonna have to get a proper Chamberlain,” Angel sighed. “This guy is just too over the top. Any chance of Snyder-san coming over to our side?”
“Perhaps,” Drusilla said. “He might see reason when he realizes that the alternative is being devoured by a giant salamander.”
“Yeah. He’s an ugly little troll, but he has the protocol down pat. It’s a pity that Travers-san is a gaijin. I like his attitude, but he doesn’t have the right background.” Angel folded his legs, straightened his back, and adopted a suitably regal posture. “Okay, show this supplicant in.”
The girl who entered was quite astonishingly beautiful in a barbaric way. Her garments were of an unfamiliar pattern and her long black hair hung loose. She bowed respectfully. “Thank you for receiving me, Shogun,” she said.
Angel frowned at her incorrect form of address but recognized that she was a gaijin and could therefore be given some latitude. “What is it that you want?” he asked bluntly.
“My name is Ampata,” she said. “I have fled from my native land of Peru to escape from the Spanish Inquisition. I seek sanctuary here. I bring a letter of introduction from my Aunt Lucy, who knew you long ago, but who now resides in the Home For Retired Incas in Lima.” She held out a folded paper.
Angel clapped his hands. A guard took the paper, opened it, and passed it to the new Shogun. Most of the letter was in European writing, which Angel couldn’t read, but there was one line of Japanese characters. ‘Please look after this bearer’.
“She must think that you are Giles-san,” Drusilla whispered.
“Yeah. I never knew anyone called Lucy,” Angel whispered back. He turned his eyes back to the girl. “I see no reason not to offer you sanctuary,” he said. “Welcome to Sunnydale, Ampata-san.”
“Thank you, noble one,” Ampata said.
“Okay, somebody take care of this girl, find out what she can do, get her fed,” Angel called to the room in general.
“Let me,” Quentin Travers volunteered. “I’m all in favor of any enemy of the Spanish Inquisition.” He smiled at the girl. “Greetings, child. I am Canon Quentin Travers of the Church of England. Are you hungry after your long voyage? What would you like?”
“I am,” Ampata admitted. “I know not what food there is in this country. Is it possible that I might have a marmalade sandwich?”
“That’s more like it,” Chopstick beamed. “See? Knew Dru wouldn’t just cast me aside. Okay, give me a hand into the palanquin.”
“You two can go,” the tallest of the three soldiers who were surrounding Chopstick’s bed told Oz and Dalton. “Angel-sama commanded that we should bring this wretch to him. We need no assistance.” He unhooked a set of manacles from his belt and held them up.
“Angel-bloody-sama? Not Drusilla?” Chopstick glared at the soldier. “This wretch? Sodding chains?”
“You are under arrest, rebel,” the soldier sneered. “Resistance is useless.”
“Oh, is that so?” Chopstick’s arm came out from under the bedding holding a bared katana. The blade blurred through the air and sliced through the soldier’s thighs. Chopstick twirled the sword and struck again, driving the point into the stomach of another soldier, and then lashed out at the third man. He pierced the heart and dropped the soldier dead on the spot.
Oz pulled out a knife and finished off Chopstick’s mortally wounded second victim. “Nice swordplay,” he complimented. He looked at the sword as Chopstick flicked away blood from the blade. “That’s quite a weapon.”
“It’s a Suzuki Katana,” Chopstick said. “’Bout as good as you can get, ‘cept maybe for the legendary Honda Fireblade.” He glared at the fallen soldiers. “So they were going to arrest me? Bloody hell. In a bit of a pickle here. I can hide, but I can’t run.”
“So, we might as well take the fight to them,” Oz said. “We got transport now.”
“The palanquin bearers have fled, Chopstick-sama,” Dalton reported. “I shall take the place of one between the shafts, if Oz-san will take the other place.”
“Fine by me,” Oz said.
“Thanks, mate,” Chopstick said. “We’d better get a move on. Angel will send more next time. Anyway, the room’s all covered in blood now. Help me to the palanquin. Once we’re away from here we can look for some wheels.”
“I am so not impressed,” Cordelia said.
“Hey, like you could do better.” Willow abandoned her failed attempt to open the cell door with magic and sat down on the stone floor. “Brrr, cold!”
“We have no herbs, no potions, no talismans, and no scrolls,” Jenny pointed out. “We can only cast the simplest of spells, and they’re not working. There are new wards on the locking bar. I think that Drusilla must be something of a Shugenza herself.”
“So we just sit in here and rot? Bummer.” Cordelia drew her knees up against her chest and wrapped her arms around them. “And yeah, cold and damp. This is so not what I signed up as a geisha for.”
“You could have joined up with Angel the way Harmony did,” Willow said.
“Yeah, like I would ever work for that jerk,” Cordelia said. “I got standards.”
“It surprised me,” Amber said. “I thought Harmony was our friend. She so should have stuck with us.”
“Yeah, I was surprised too,” Cordelia admitted. “But hey, Harmony. The Queen of shallowness. I hope she chokes on Angel’s… tea ceremonies.”
“It’s a trap, Buffy-chan,” Harmony warned. “Angel-san threw everybody in jail and proclaimed himself Shogun. He’s working with that ho Drusilla. When you get there you’ll be arrested and if you don’t agree to be his geisha they’ll throw you in the dungeons too.”
Buffy stared at her with her eyes wide. “I don’t believe you. Angel-kun loves me.” She grabbed Harmony by the front of her kimono and jerked her almost off her feet. “Why are you lying to me?”
“Hey, I am so not lying!” Harmony protested. “I’m putting my life on the line here. Cordelia is in the dungeon. You have to help me get her out.”
“Bitch!” Buffy snapped. She thrust Harmony away so hard that the geisha stumbled and fell. “You are just jealous. Liar!”
Harmony picked herself up and glared at Buffy. “Okay, have it your way,” she said. “I lied. Everything is fine at the castle. Angel-san is stalwart and true, the bad guys are easily spotted by the pointy horns on their hoshikabuto helmets, and you always defeat them and save the day.”
Buffy glared back at her. “That’s better. I hate it when people lie to me.”