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BtVS Ficlet: The Royal Guard - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
BtVS Ficlet: The Royal Guard
Happy New Year to everyone. Here is my first story of 2014. I started writing it before I went into hospital, and I’ve been working on it ever since, but I’d originally intended it to be a drabble and I just couldn’t get it to work. Eventually I gave up on trying to force it into drabble form and let it flow. It ended up as exactly 1000 words. A look at how Buffy Season 1, and indeed subsequent seasons and spin-offs, might have gone if the writers had made a certain spelling mistake that sometimes crops up in fanfic. Rating PG.

The Royal Guard

All evening Buffy had had a feeling that she was being followed but she saw no-one. She tried turning round at random intervals, and even doubling back on her tracks, but still couldn’t catch sight of her follower. It was far too stealthy to be Willow or Xander, only an occasional soft ‘clink’ of metal on metal giving evidence that she wasn’t imagining things, and kept up with her far too easily to be Giles. She believed that it must be an enemy until she encountered, and staked, a vampire. The stalker didn’t take advantage of the situation to attack while she was engaged in combat, which was an indication that he or she wasn’t hostile, but it was still worrying.

Then Buffy entered an alley and was confronted by two vampires. She braced herself for a tough, but winnable, battle and then realized that two more vampires had followed her into the alley. Now she was in trouble. She rushed at the pair ahead of her; she had to finish them off quickly, before the others got into the action, or she’d get boxed in and overwhelmed by superior numbers.

Unfortunately the two vampires were tough, skilful, and fought as a team. It took ages before she could get one into a position where she could drive a stake home. All the time she was expecting to be jumped from behind by the other two but it didn’t happen. Instead she heard the sounds of combat from that direction. The thud of blows, cries of pain, and that same clink of metal on metal that she’d heard earlier.

Eventually she staked one of her opponents and risked a quick glance to the rear. She saw a man in what appeared to be chain-mail, wielding a sword and shield, fighting against the vampires and more than holding his own. One of the vampires had lost an arm at the elbow, and was slumped against the alley wall clutching the stump, and the other was attempting to get past the shield but without success. Buffy just had time to notice that the swordsman appeared to be wearing a helmet, and some kind of mask, before she had to turn her attention back to her remaining foe.

Now that she was fighting a single opponent it didn’t take her long to dispose of the vampire. She turned around in time to see the swordsman bash the uninjured vampire with his shield and then, as the vampire staggered, slash his sword across to take off its head. As it crumbled to dust the crippled vampire made a run for it; Buffy sprinted past the swordsman and rammed her stake into the vampire before it could escape.

She tucked her stake away and turned to face the man in armor. He had moved out to stand under a street light and she could see him clearly. Something about him reminded her of a Viking but the front of his helmet, as she had noticed earlier, was a face-shaped mask that wasn’t like any Viking helmet she’d seen in any movie or history book. It was of steel but had gilded strips to portray the eyebrows, the nose, and a mustache. He was fairly tall, perhaps an inch or two under six feet, and looked to be powerfully built under the armor.

The warrior sheathed his sword, which seemed to confirm that he was on her side, and took off his helm. The face under the mask was younger than she had expected; college freshman age, or thereabouts, she estimated. The mask had portrayed a bushy, ‘Magnum PI’ style, mustache but the real mustache underneath wasn’t that bad. He was fair-haired, blue-eyed, and handsome. An actual knight in shining armor.

Wes hāl,” the knight said. He tucked his helmet under his arm and bowed to her.

“Uh, hi, Wes Hal,” Buffy said. “I’m Buffy. Thanks for the assist but who are you and why have you been following me?”

“I am Osred, King of Northumbria,” the swordsman replied, “at your service.”

Buffy’s eyebrows shot up and her hand went to her hair. “A king? Huh? Like, a real king, not just some guy from the SCA dressing up?”

“I am in truth a king, or was,” the king confirmed. “My realm of Northumbria encompassed all the lands between Mercia and the Pictish kingdom of Fortriu. My father was King Aldfrith, who died when I was eight, and a council of ealdormen ruled in my name until I reached my eighteenth year and attained my majority. I then took my place upon the throne. Yet I was king for but one year, alas, before I was ambushed by Pictish raiders and slain.”

“If you’re a king, and dead,” said Buffy, “what are you doing following me around in Sunnydale? Shouldn’t you be in, like, Heaven or wherever?”

King Osred lowered his eyes. “I was not granted admission to Heaven,” he confessed. “I was pious enough, having been brought up by Bishop Wilfrid, but I had a fault. I did not respect the chastity of the holy nuns. Thus I was deemed sinful and refused entry. Yet now I have been granted a chance to win my redemption. By the grace of God I have been returned to life, and sent back to the world, and charged with the duty of watching over, and protecting, the fair maiden chosen to slay the vile draugr who drink the blood of the living.”

“That would be me,” Buffy said. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Hey, this is super cool. I already have a Watcher, and he’s okay, but he only does research and training. You look to be pretty good with that sword. If you’re going to help with the actual Slaying it will make things way easier. Who was it that sent you, anyway? My guess would be Saint Peter.”

“No, it was Saint Gregory,” King Osred replied. “He told me that I am to be your guardian Angle.”


27 comments or speak 2 me
rebcake From: rebcake Date: January 1st, 2014 11:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee! I see that Angles and Angel have at least one fault in common. Tsk. Buffy beware.

Happy New Year! My first giggle of the year! Bless you.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 1st, 2014 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
ffutures From: ffutures Date: January 1st, 2014 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 1st, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't blame me, the pun was first made by Pope Gregory 1.
thismaz From: thismaz Date: January 1st, 2014 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
*Takes ffutures's groan and adds a chorus (or do I mean crocus?)*
That is awful. And a lot of fun. Congratulations.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 1st, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! Although credit for the pun really should go to Pope Gregory 1.
quinara From: quinara Date: January 1st, 2014 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
*shakes head* I should have seen it coming, but you hear so little about the Angles compared to the others that I never put it together... Well done!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 2nd, 2014 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I think you will be aware of the original source of the pun: "Non Angli, sed angeli."
spikereader From: spikereader Date: January 1st, 2014 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
The anticipation on reading gripped me right until the final word, brilliant!

Happy new year to you - hope you're healing well from your recent op.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 2nd, 2014 03:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Tank you! Yes, I'm healing well; the staples are out and most of the scabbing has gone.
slaymesoftly From: slaymesoftly Date: January 1st, 2014 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
ROFLMAO - I kept waiting for it, and waiting for it... and there is was. The very last word. Great fun!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 2nd, 2014 03:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! Of course original credit for the pun should go to Pope Gregory 1.
sparrow2000 From: sparrow2000 Date: January 1st, 2014 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eek, note to self, don't read S2C drabbles and drink tea at the same time - it's not good for my laptop.

Now you're going to have to do one in which Buffy's guardian Angle defends her against the rouge Slayer. *g*
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 2nd, 2014 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

I've done two drabbles about Wesley as a rouge demon hunter...
From: thenniel Date: January 1st, 2014 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha! I kept reading and waiting to find the pun. And enjoying the fic along the way also. Buffy could have used a Guardian Angle.
vikingprincess From: vikingprincess Date: January 1st, 2014 05:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
To be followed by lots of Saxon violence?
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 2nd, 2014 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
And no Mercia will be shown. Norman service will be resumed as soon as possible.
vikingprincess From: vikingprincess Date: January 2nd, 2014 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)
ayinhara From: ayinhara Date: January 2nd, 2014 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Keep those puns coming, I'm game.

Happy New Year to you and curiouswombat.
syderia From: syderia Date: January 1st, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 2nd, 2014 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
paratti From: paratti Date: January 1st, 2014 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 2nd, 2014 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
From: averageshmoe Date: January 1st, 2014 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was drinking a cup of coffee when I started reading this.

Now I am mopping up a cup of coffee.

Nice to read you again.

speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 2nd, 2014 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Blame Pope Gregory 1, not me.

Thank you!
magnuskn From: magnuskn Date: January 5th, 2014 09:43 am (UTC) (Link)
And thus I was given a lessen in history along with a fine fanfic. A good way to start 2014. :D
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: January 6th, 2014 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! And the history is accurate right down to King Osred being described in the chronicles as a seducer of nuns.
27 comments or speak 2 me