The Last Belmont

Author: Lone Wolf <dianod6[at]>

Summary: A horrendous massacre leaves Xander with the ultimate responsibility.

Rating: Not sure, I just know it's not NC-17 in any way.

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". It was created by Joss Whedon but does not belong to him either. Kuzui Enterprises and 20th Century Fox Television own the rights. Joss has creative control, but it's meaningless now that he has run the show into the ground. In short, please don't sue me.

Chapter 1

The rain beat down hard upon the windows of the ancient manor house. Inside, a flickering candle lit the path of an old man as he climbed towards the top floor. His shoes left a muddy trail on the patterned carpets and his dark clothes dripped water with every step. In the weak illumination of the candle, wreaths of flowers could be seen piled along the sides of halls, many dead or wilting.

Eventually, the man reached an old oak door at the end of the series of hallways and stairwells. Opening it revealed a warm, well-lit room. Leather-bound volumes filled the shelves that stretched across three walls of the room. The wall opposite the door was dominated by a massive window that stretched from the carped floor to the painted ceiling. The darkness of the night seemed to stream in through the window and pry at the warmth and security of tiny room.

Suddenly, a crack of lightning forced harsh light into the room, stripping away the color and reducing everything to black and white. The men tensed until the bolt subsided, then waited a few seconds before moving again.

Opening a small cupboard in a corner of the room, he removed a bottle of brown liquid. After pouring himself a glass, he slumped down in a high armchair facing the window and stared out into the night. The soft sound of the rain filled the room, undercut by the thunder rolling through the hills in the distance. As the old man sipped his glass of brandy, his grey eyes softened slightly. He let out a soft sigh, sunk lower into the chair, and gazed out into the darkness.

A final bolt of lightning struck the house right outside the window, casting sparks into the night. The lights flickered and died, leaving the room pitch black. Suddenly a red glow appeared near the entrance, outlining a dark figure.

"So this is how it ends," came a sultry feminine voice. "Honestly, I was hoping for something more climactic from someone of your reputation."

"My will to live died with the rest of my family. I no longer have fear of death, or your kind."

"What a pity. I was so looking to testing that legendary combat prowess of yours."

The man scoffed and pulled himself out of the chair to face the shadowy figure. "You would choose to face an old man after slaying his sons while they slept? You, who killed those who were unarmed, untrained, or unaware of your presence until your hand fell upon them, now seek honorable combat with a man who put the last of his kin in the ground less than an hour ago?"

In the crimson glow a faint smile was just visible on the figure's lips. The rest of the details were obscured, not by the darkness, but by the cloak and hood that hid all but a sliver of the woman's face.

"Honor? I would have thought that you knew me better than that, but if you insist on letting your family line end without a struggle, I certainly won't object."

The man spread his arms. "I have accepted my fate, but know this: killing me will not ensure victory for you or your master. We will continue to fight as we always have, for yours is not the only reach that extends beyond the grave. Your actions here have won you but a token victory."

"Very well." She raised her left hand, revealing a burning red pentagram on its palm. The symbol flared, sending waves of crimson energy at the old man. His eyes widened in pain and his muscles began to spasm. He coughed and a trickle of blood emerged from the corner of his mouth as he fell to the floor in a heap.

The woman sneered and lowered her hand back beneath her cloak. With a look of smug satisfaction she turned towards the door. The light from beneath the door faded as shadow slipped under it. The dark shape condensed and solidified into a black clad figure that knelt before the woman.

"Milady," said the man in a shallow, echoing voice, "we have begun searching the manor. The artifacts should be recovered shortly."

"Excellent," the woman purred. "That leaves one last loose end to tie up." With that she reached within the folds of her cloak and removed a long wooden stake. The dull grey wood had a twisted look to it as if some unnatural power had forced its shape. The woman looked down at its blackened tip and smiled.

"Do you require any assistance, milady?" inquired the man.

The woman scoffed, looking down at the kneeling form before her.

"There is nothing that you could offer that I would require. You may, however, come and witness my moment of triumph."

"It would be an honor, milady." He knelt lower as the woman swept past him, then rose gracefully to follow her. They move quickly through the cavernous house. As they passed from room to room men dressed in similar black attire could be found rummaging through the contents of the house. As soon as the woman entered they would instantly stop and drop to one knee until she had passed.

Eventually, the pair reached a large set of French doors leading out into the storm. The woman reached out and flicked her left hand at the exit. There was a slight ripple in the air, followed immediately by the doors bursting open and spilling wind and rain into the house. The woman's cloak and hood hung limply on her frame, untouched by the gale that blew around her. She smiled and walked out into the night, still gripping the twisted grey stake tightly in her right hand.

As the man following her exited the house, his form began to fade and darken until he completely disappeared into the night. The woman showed no sign of noticing this as she continued walking through the storm. The water that flowed across the ground pulled away as the woman walked past, leaving dry patches that were quickly filled in by the pounding rain.

As she continued across the grounds she eventually passed through an old iron gate. Vines gripped it tightly and spread out across the tall fence. The dark leaves clung desperately to their stems as the elements tore at them. The woman continued, unhindered and seemingly untouched by the storm. She moved down the path, weaving between the tombstones that rose from the darkness. The occasional flash of lightning cast the land into a brilliant white, the storm's light reflecting from the monuments to over a dozen generations. Despite the glare generated by each of these strikes, the woman remained cast in shadows, as if the light strained to avoid her.

After several minutes, the robed figure reached a small marble building. Before the structure lay several fresh graves, each with bundles of weather beaten flowers laying upon them. The woman paused here, her smile growing wider as she glanced across the line of graves. She then moved quickly to the white structure. With a flick of her wrist the door exploded inward, revealing a line of stairs leading down into the earth. She moved briskly down the stairs flowed by the dark-clad man, who materialized from the shadows as soon as she entered. The woman twitched with excitement, her body giving off a pulsing red glow.

In the crimson light, brass panels inlaid into the marble wall were visible. They were spaced evenly along the stairs and accompanied by an inlet into the stone. The woman casually glanced at the names engraved on them as she proceeded down the stairs. They read "Richter", "Juste", "Soleiyu", "Christopher", "Simon", and "Trevor". As the descent continued, the age of these panels became more and more apparent due to the collected dust and tarnish. She paused for a moment at the panel that read "Simon" and scowled, before quickly turning back to the steps.

Eventually the stairs ended and the passage opened to a circular chamber with three stone doors. The one on the left had the name "Leon" engraved above it, while the stone above the right door held the name "Sonia". The woman ignored both of these, focused intensely on the door directly ahead of her. Above the door etched in the ancient stone was the words "Adrian Farenheights Tepes".

Visibly trembling with anticipation, she reached out slowly with her left hand and pressed the palm against the cool stone door. There was a red flash followed by a faint crumbling sound as the door collapsed into dust.

When the cloud cleared a simple stone room could be seen through the entrance. The only visible feature was a large black coffin centered in the middle of the floor. She stepped lightly into the room, still shadowed by the black-clad man. The woman walked next to the coffin and ran her hand over the coarse surface. A mad grin flashed onto her face and the crimson aura that surrounding her grew so bright that its light filled every corner of the room.

Triumphantly, she raised the stake high above her head crying out, "And so it ends!" The lid of the coffin exploded off its hinges and struck the far wall with a thunderous boom. The woman brought the stake violently into the coffin plunging it into... nothing.

The coffin was completely vacant except for a light layer of dust with the impression of a man still fresh in it. The woman gasped, her aura extinguishing itself and casting the room into complete darkness.

"What?" cried her voice from the darkness. "Were the fuck is he?"


The bell on the wall of the magic box jingled as the door swung past it. A pale man rushed quickly through the opening, relaxing once he had taken a few steps beyond the beams of sunlight that shone through the storefront windows. He lowered the collar of his long black coat as he looked around the shop. His face was completely smooth and, except for faint lines of tension around his eyes, looked almost like that of a porcelain doll.

The man scanned the shelves intently, pausing occasionally when his eyes fell on a particular item.

His intense focus was broken by a cheerful voice from the register. "Hello and welcome to the magic box! How may I help you spend money today?"

The man turned toward the register, his long white hair swirling behind his head. A perky blonde tapped her fingers on the counter as she eagerly awaited his response.

"I'll be fine, thank you." He turned back to the shelves, leaving Anya to help a young man examining a stack of candles.

The man moved quickly through the store, stepping lightly between the shelves as he plucked select items from them. Despite the pace at which he moved the other customers paid him no heed. In fact, they seemed to avoid looking directly at him, as if their eyes would slide from one side of him to the other without noticing anything in between.

"Trust me, she'll love slug. It's a really underrated aroma." Anya turned away from the skeptical youth, who was presently cringing at the scent of a large greenish brown candle, to find the white haired man waiting at the counter with an impressive pile of merchandise before him.

"Will this be everything? We still have many items that you can purchase, some of which are on sale."

"No thank you, this is all that I need."

"All right then." Anya began to ring up the pile, smiling cheerfully as she charged some of the more expensive items. When she had finished, the man fished a thick money clip from under his coat. As he counted off the bills, the store's bell rang. He handed Anya the money and turned towards the entrance, and suddenly froze.

A young, dark haired man was struggling to get the large chest he was holding through the door. As he finally slipped through the door, Anya handed the man his change along with a large shopping bag. "Thank you for spending money at the Magic Box. Please return soon."

The man nodded at her as he accepted the bag. He quickly left the store, making sure to avert his eyes from Xander as he passed.

"Xander!" Anya cried out as he hefted the box onto the counter. "Did you bring me a present?"

"Not quite. One of my mom's relatives from Eastern Europe sent this over for me. I picked it up from my parent's house earlier today, though they were fairly insistent that they get a cut if it turns out to be worth anything. I figured Giles would want to poke around whatever's inside this thing."

"And what exactly is this thing that you wish for me to poke?" asked Giles as he emerged from the back room.

"I was hoping you could tell me." Xander stepped aside, allowing Giles to approach the chest.

"Hummm..." Giles put on his glasses and leaned in closer. "The workmanship is superb. I'd say mid seventieth century European. Is it locked?"

"I don't think so."

"Then lets see what we have here." Giles lifted the lid and the three of them leaned forward to see the contents.

Inside the chest in a bed of red velvet lay a light silver dagger, a small double bladed axe, a vial of blue liquid, a wooden cross, a pocket watch, and finally, a long thick leather whip, coiled neatly atop the other items.

Chapter 2

Giles reached into the chest and began examining the items. He removed each object in turn, examined it for a few moments, then returned it to the box. After several minutes of this Xander finally broke the silence.

"So what is it, a middle ages junk drawer?"

Giles gave Xander an irritated look before placing the dagger back into the chest. "Honestly, I'm not entirely certain. Chest like this were commonly used to store heirloom or items of significance to a family, which would explain most of the chests continents, but I just can't make sense of some of this." He reached into the chest and removed the coiled mass of leather. "For instance, this whip appears older than any of the other items, but such a weapon would have be almost unheard of in the time period I think where're looking at here."

"A whip?" Anya leaned over and took the item form Giles. "Wow." She exclaimed. "This will come in real handy the next time we play Indiana Jones and lost American tourist."

Giles coughed and quickly began cleaning his glasses. Xander glanced down at his watch and began to edge back "Well, look at the time. I've got to be getting to work. I'll see you later."

"Yes, I'll see what else I can learn about this, after I finish burning an image from my memory."

"What?" Asked Anya innocently as Giles picked up the chest and mover towards the back table.

The front door swung open casting bright sunlight into the interior of the store. A bouncy red head entered through the glowing passage followed by a graceful blond. They clasped hands as they walked to the resister and greeted the girl behind the counter. "Hi Anya." Called the red head as she shifted her back pack off her shoulder.

"Willow, Tara!" she exclaimed, looking up from some invoices that littered the register. "Are you here to spend money?"

"Actually, were here to see Giles." Answered Tara. "Is he busy?" she added after glancing at the back table.

Anya shot an angry glance back at Giles, who was sitting behind an immense volume of research material. "He's spent the whole day looking up stuff on that package Xander brought in this morning." She raised a hand to her mouth and shouted towards the back of the store. "Which he has yet to let me appraise!" This earned her an extremely frustrated gaze from Giles.

Before the tension between the shop's two owners could develop any further Willow quickly moved towards Giles, leaving Tara to deal with the agitated Anya. "So, what do we have here?" she asked as she pulled a chair up to the crowded table.

Giles sighed and removed his glasses. He set them down on top of several open volumes and turned towards Willow. "Honestly? I'm not really sure. I haven't been able to find anything specific on the items we have here, which would leave me to believe we have nothing but a few keepsakes and antiques, but the continents of the collection are far to varied for me to commit to that theory." He turned back to the books and began flipping through pages. "Theirs something familiar about all of this, I just can't figure out what it is." He sighed again, and then turned towards the chest. "And then there's this" He said pulling out the vile of blue liquid. "I haven't been able to discern its make or purpose, and on top of that the cork seems to be well, stuck"

"Well, let's see if I can't help you with that." Willow replied supportively. Taking the vile from Giles she placed it flat on her palm and made a whirling motion with her free hand. After a few seconds with no response she smiled weakly at Giles and turned back toward the vile much more seriously. She began to chant slowly and made a violent yanking motion with her hand. Sparks flared around the mouth of the vile and a nearby light went out, but the stopper remained in place. Willow clenched her teeth and raised both hands, leaving the bottle floating in mid air. Her eyes darkened and the table began to shake.

"Willow, perhaps you shouldn't…" Started Giles before he was cut off.

"By the spirits of air and passage, I command you, let me forth.

Entara Gashala Vomatus!" As Willow finished her spell the stopper flashed brightly, and then shot into the air followed by a geyser of blue flame.

The unlit neon sign of the Downtowner Apts. Motel hung dull and lifeless in the bright midday sun. On the second story of the dingy building a man in a black coat attempted to escape in the shade of the sign as he worked his key into the worn lock of the motel door. As it clicked open he squinted out into the glare, scanning the hallway and parking lot quickly before entering the darkened room.

He placed the bags he'd been carrying down next to the bed and flicked a switch on the wall, causing the dim lights to flicker on and cast the room in a weak glow. The off white walls had not been cleaned in some time and the few pieces of furniture that littered the room where worn and faded. The only items in the room that didn't seem to carry a coat of grime were a pair of travel trunks that lay by the far wall and a long ornate sword with a sliver hilt that rested, sheathed, in the corner of the room.

The man removed his coat and dropped it onto the bed, allowing his long white hair to flow free. He retrieved the shopping bags and began carefully removing the items and placing them on the dresser. After he finished he quickly glanced over the vials, herbs, charms, and candles, making a mental tally as he went. Satisfied with the collection he began to arrange his purchases in a large circle on the floor of the room. As he cast a momentary glance at the digital clock resting next to the bed a hint of a smile began to appear on his face.


The floor of the magic box had become a sea of blue flame. The blast of the initial opening had knocked Willow to the ground where she lay, struggling against the force of the energy pouring from the small bottle. Giles had immediately leapt from his seat to Willow's side. With waves of fire flowing over him he struggled to get Willow back to her feet. Tara also braved the flames to come to Willow's aid, arriving as Giles began propping up the witch to support her death grip on the fiery bottle.

"We have to find the stopper." Shouted Giles over the roar of the flames. Tara nodded and began to search through the sea of flame that swirled around them. Giles continued to brace Willow who was almost being lifted off the ground by the force of the fire. After a few tense moments Tara rose triumphantly with the stopper in hand. She rushed over and forced it against the torrent of blue flame pouring from the bottle.

As soon as it was secure the vile fell silent. The flames around the store flickered, then faded away. "Whoa." Said Willow as she steadied herself against the table. "Let's not do that again."

"Is any one hurt?" Asked Giles as he returned to his feet and rightened the chair Willow had been using.

"The Money is safe." Called Anya, who had climbed atop the counter during the chaos and was currently shielding the register with her body.

"That stuff didn't really hurt." Said Tara who had moved to support Willow. "It was more of a warm, tickley feeling, you know."

"Still, not again."

"Of course. I think it would be best if we move these out of the main store until we know more about them." He picked up the chest and began towards the back of the store. He stopped just before entering the back door and knelt down. The books on the bottom shelve of the back wall were badly scorched, but the shelves around them were untouched. "Willow, come look at this."

She walked over, still swaying slightly, and knelt down next to Giles. With a puzzled expression she examined one of the books. It was still warm and a tuff of smoke was released when she pulled it from the shelf. She coughed lightly as she opened the book and quickly scanned its contents. "Giles, all of these are our dark arts volumes."

"Interesting." Replied Giles as he stood up. "We'll need to research this further." He turned and carried the chest into the back, pondering the events of the day.

Buffy entered the darkened magic shop moving quickly to the back of the shop where Giles sat next to a table full of books. "Hi Giles!" She called.

"Good evening Buffy. I trust you had a pleasant day?"

"As pleasant as it gets around here. What this about?" She smiled at Giles. "Do we have a new big bad on our hands or did the shelves just throw up?" Buffy paused for a second. "Okay, I know their had to be a better way to put that."

"Yes, Well, we had a little magical mishap this afternoon. I'm trying to see if I can't find anything about it."

Buffy tensed up and turned to face Giles. "Is this serious? I mean, are we talking someone poofing up a friend possessing wall bubble that tries to choke you to death?"

"Aside from some bright lights and a few scorched books their was no damage. Everyone is perfectly safe as far as we know."

"Books?" Said Buffy, visibly relaxed and now with a hint of a smile. "Well, they died doing what they loved. When's the ceremony? I know this guy who can who can do a really touching accordion resection."

"It's nice that after all these years you finally feel comfortable enough to mock me while I try to work. Feel free to join in, by the way." He said offering her a book.

"Sorry, no can do. I just dropped by to pick up my gear before I started tonight's patrol."

Giles looked past Buffy into the street that still shone brightly in the light of the setting sun. "Don't you think it's a bit early? You shouldn't push your self too hard when you're just getting back in to this. Besides, you've already patrolled the past two nights."

"No worries Giles, I'll be fine." She replied as she started towards the back room. "Oh, You good to watch Dawn tonight? Xander was supposed to, but I haven't been able to get in touch with him."

"I suppose, but I really should finish…"

"Thanks!" She shouted before darting into the training room.

Once inside she quickly grabbed a handful of stakes from the table and moved to the weapon racks. After scanning them for a few seconds she turned back to the door. "Giles, do you know where that axe that goes with my red top is?"

She suddenly noticed a chest sitting just under the weapons. Kneeling down she pulled it open and surveyed the contents. "Hey, New stuff." As she pulled a double bladed axe from the chest she called back to the other room. "Never mind, I got it." She began closing the trunk when something else caught her eye. "Ooooo, Shiny!" she said as she removed a silver dagger from the chest.

Tucking both weapons into her belt she set off through the back door and into the failing light.

Anya passed back and forth inside her apartment, glancing at the clock every few seconds. At the sound of the door opening she rushed over to find Xander standing there with a large bandage on one side of his head.

"Xander, are you all right? They didn't say much over the phone and I've been worried in the way that makes you move around a lot."

Xander pulled Anya in close, partially to consol her and partially for support. "I'm fine An. I just blacked out for a few seconds on the sight and wound up with a two by four to the head. I'll be all better in a couple of days; they just kept me until all the tests had cleared."

"Well, you should still stay home tomorrow and rest." Anya began to smile. "In fact, with Giles at the shop I could stay home too and we could do that thing with the oil and the moved furniture."

Xander laughed. "I don't think that would be that restfully on either of us. Lets just get to bed and we can work out tomorrow tomorrow."

With Anya propping him up the two of them turned and walked into the bedroom.

The once dim walls of the dingy motel room now flickered brightly in the light of numerous candles. A large circle made of an elaborate design of sand and powder dominated the center of the room. Numerous small charms and trinkets were arranged strategically around the perimeter, all facing in. In front of the arrangement stood a pale man with long white hair, staring intensely at the digital readout of the clock radio. As the numbers passed from 11:59 to 12:00 he turned to the circle and raised his hands.

"The hour has come." His voice was cold and hollow. It echoed through out the small room, hanging in the air long after he finished speaking. "I call you forth." Silver fire flared around his hands and poured into the circle. "From beyond time and space return here to me." The circle exploded into a massive column of silver flame, bleaching the room in its light. The fire twisted and strained. It slowly began to condense into an almost humanoid shape, then exploded out with a flash. When the light subsided the fire was gone. Standing in its place was the translucent figure of a young woman in a white dress. Her blond hair was tied in a long braid that fell down her back, and her features had sharp yet warm appearance. She looked up towards her summoner and smiled.

The cold mask the man had been wearing began to melt away. His eyes softened as they met hers and a smile spread across his face as he whispered a single word.