24 – Cloudy Future
Disclaimer: The characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and Fox studios. This story is not meant to infringe upon anyone's rights, only to entertain.
A/N: Thanks to my wonderful betas 2zen2 and McChick
CHAPTER 24 – Cloudy Future
… Chicago, Illinois … 1948 …
The years passed and our fear of the Order and the clan going after us was now starting to seem like a distant memory. We were still curious about the symbols we bore so anytime we moved to a larger city we visited libraries. We visited them to look for ancient books in the hopes that they might contain information about the markings. It really wasn’t my ideal night time activity, especially when there were more food choices in the bigger cities, but I wanted to bloody know why I had this damn mark on my arm.
I knew we could have consulted a witches’ coven but I was never a huge fan of magic and there was just something about them that never really sat well with me. So we looked through books whenever we could, but unfortunately, we came up with nothing conclusive. The only thing we were able to figure out was that the symbols we bore were related to the Aurelian clan. We did find one other interesting item. Every time the clan was mentioned, a “codex” was mentioned along with it. Apparently, the codex contained a set of prophecies that the clan supposedly believed in. I knew that wasn’t correct. If memory served me correctly, it was the Order that believed in prophecies. Darla and the other gits with her did mention the awakening of a vessel and they were referring to Elizabeth. But a vessel for what? And how was my marking related to Elizabeth’s? There were too many questions that didn’t have answers and part of me just wished everyone would just leave us be.
It was probably on a whim or perhaps more likely boredom, when we decided to have our fortunes told. We didn’t go to some charlatan that charged an arm and a leg to tell you your soul mate will be tall, dark and handsome and you’ll meet them when you least expect it. Despite my slight prejudice against magic, we decided to go to a gifted witch that we had heard was quite a clairvoyant. We had been running for close to half a century and part of me was curious to know what our future held in store for us. We still hadn’t figured out what the symbols etched into our skin meant. I wasn’t that surprised and partly had lost hope of ever finding out what they really meant. The symbols were related to the clan which meant any records of these symbols appearing were most probably kept private and in the hands of a trusted Aurelian.
We sat down next to each other, across from a pretty young lady that held tarot cards in her left hand. She tilted her head looking us over, as if reading something in the way we stood or sat.
“So how can I help you tonight?”
Elizabeth smiled. “Guess just the usual. We’re curious about our future.”
“You do know that whatever it is that I see is merely a possibility.”
We both nodded.
“Very well. Let us begin.” She shuffled the tarot cards then placed it in front of her and offered her hands to us.
“Aren’t you going to use those cards, pet?”
“I had thought about it, but I have a feeling touching both of you would give me a better reading than the cards,” she said with a smile. She kept her hand steady in front of us, patiently waiting for us to place our hands on hers. Part of me was starting to feel apprehensive. I didn’t want her poking around in my head. I looked from her hand to her face then back to her hand.
“I think it will be okay Spike. I feel that we can trust her,” Elizabeth commented.
I nodded slowly then placed a tentative hand on the witch’s after Elizabeth placed hers on the other hand. The witch’s head jerked back as she closed her eyes. Her heart started racing and her breathing started to become erratic. Her lips formed a frown and though her eyes were closed, her brow furrowed deeply with worry. She shook her head a number of times, as if trying to clear it of a horrible image. We both waited patiently until her eyes flew open and she pulled her hand away from me in fear.
She shook her head. “Power to remake … power to unmake.”
I looked at her with concern, but tried my best not to give any other emotion away. It had been years now but I could have sworn I heard those same words pass the lips of another.
“That doesn’t explain anythin’, pet.”
“If there’s something in particular you want to know about, you must ask the proper question.”
Elizabeth looked at me curiously and I nodded in approval of what I knew she wanted to ask.
“Is there anything in your vision about a symbol?” she asked.
“What kind of symbol?”
“We want to know about this,” Elizabeth interjected as she pulled the fabric of her top aside to reveal the deep red marking on her skin.
The witch tilted her head to examine it. “May I touch it?”
When Elizabeth nodded, the witch stood up and walked towards her. Her fingers reached out to carefully inspect the red mark. I looked on with fascination. These markings were always a mystery. They didn’t hurt at all but they looked like unhealed wounds. The one on my arm, similar to Elizabeth’s, was deep red in color and sat proudly against pale skin.
“Vampire, of what clan do you hail from?”
“We do not belong to any family, though we are children of Aurelius.”
“Aurelius? Hmmm… Mediterranean. That cannot be right,” she said with a frown. “Typically symbols or markings that are mystical in nature follow something that the bearer may understand. In this case, the mere fact that you’re asking me about them means these symbols are unrecognizable to you. That then leads me to think that they should at least be in the tongue of your line. But these are in rune language.”
“Wait. You said rune language? These look like runes to you, pet? As in Norse Mythology? It doesn’t look like that to me, luv.”
“But that is what I see. … The magic behind that symbol is ancient and strong. There is no doubt about that. Hmm… I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else read it, the markings would be in a different glyph. What does it look like to you?”
I couldn’t rightly answer. It was ancient, it was nothing that seemed familiar in terms of any language I knew of, but I knew it was clan related. “I’m not sure how to describe it, pet. It feels like family. … When I look at it, it reminds me of a vampire bond.”
She let out a small pout. “It is many things and one thing.” She turned to look at Elizabeth. “What does it mean to you when you look at it?”
“Servant? … Mother? … Companion?
She looked at the two of us with a frown. “The world is a system of balance. If her marking means any of those, which is also what I see in it, then there is someone out there that has a companion marking.”
Elizabeth gave me a look, urging me to show my own marking to the witch. I pushed my right sleeve up to reveal the red stain that had graced my skin for over a decade. She pulled my arm towards her to get a better look but as soon as candlelight illuminated it she dropped my arm as if it had burned her. I gave her a slight glare.
“Sorry,” she said with a fluster that looked like something had really bothered her.
“What did you see, pet?”
“Blood. I saw so much blood. There was death and screaming … and pain… Power… so much frightening power.”
“That’s nothing new to me, luv.”
She shook her head. “No you do not understand. It was beyond what I know a typical vampire would do.”
“You don’t know what I’ve done in the past, luv. I’ve done my fair share of carnage.”
She shook her head. “No. The power I felt was overwhelming. ” She looked at me with slight fear. She reached out for my arm once more. I saw her bite her lower lip as she gingerly touched the mark again. “This rune… it is a warning.”
“A warning? Warning me about what?” I said raising one eyebrow.
“No, not warning you. It is a warning for other demons. Your fate is intertwined with something bigger, much bigger than I nor you can ever fathom. Your destiny will remake or unmake what we believe is true. “
“And that means wot exactly?”
She let out a sigh. “I’m not sure. Like I said earlier, what I see is just one possibility out of many. I cannot see a distinct outcome but both times I’ve touched you the same thing keeps on screaming over and over in my mind. Death. Blood. Power.”
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