Title: Living as Lenore
Author: Luna (aka Luna_del_Cielo on lj)
Fandom: Supernatural/Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Cast of Characters: Tara/Lenore McLeod, Fergus McLeod/Crowley, Loki/Gabriel, Anya, Castiel, Kali, Eli, Dean, Sam, Scoobies
Summary: Willow tried to bring Tara back…and she did. Unfortunately, she was brought back to life in 1672. Now 'Lenore' has to deal with witches, demons, pagan gods, and even angels, as she struggles to find the red-haired woman she sees in her dreams.
Pairings: Anya/Gabriel, Tara/Willow, and several others will pop up at the whim of the author ;)
Spoilers: BTVS S6E19 ‘Seeing Red’, SPN S2E3 ‘Bloodlust’. Spoilers for Crowley's past in S6 “Weekend at Bobby’s” and allusions to Loki's past in S5
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If I did then fewer people would have died in each of those shows :)
Read specific chapters here: Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 Chapter 9 |Chapter 10
Or all of the entire story here: Living as Lenore
September 26, 1703
Lenore gasped as her feet landed on solid ground and she took in the sight before her. Lush green grass sparkling with dew stretched on for as far as her eye could see. She was located at a higher elevation and thus could see a dozen homes in the valley below her, many of them just starting to release smoke from their chimneys. The air was crisp and chilly but it felt very clean and pure in a way that Lenore wasn’t used to, even in Scotland. The sky was awash in a peach and pink hues that signaled the arrival of dawn and not one cloud marred the perfection of the clear sky. To the west was a thick forest that seemed to teem with life; she noticed dozens of birds fluttering above it.
Almost afraid to turn around and see who had taken her, Lenore reluctantly faced the person who had rescued her from Castiel. Her eyes widened in surprise. “A-Anyanka?”
The brunette vengeance demon wore a finely cut dress with a plunging neckline that showcased her emerald pendent very well. Her hair was in an elegant up-do made up of spiraling curls that were kept in place by golden hairpins with an emerald set in at the tip. Her face was one of frustration, annoyance, and a great deal of fear; Lenore could tell by the way her hands were gripping the fabric of her dress.
“Yes, it’s me,” she grumbled. Then she turned around and Lenore gasped as she realized the were standing at the foot of a large, glacier-topped mountain. Then Anyanka opened her mouth and shouted, “LOKI!”
Lenore was taken aback – just what were Anyanka and Loki doing helping her?
“No need to shout, Aud,” a smooth voice sounded to their right. Lenore’s right hand went to cover her heart as she stared at the trickster god in surprise. He looked the same as last time, although the highlights in his hair seemed to stand out more in the golden sunrise. Today he was wearing thick brown leggings and boots, a white shirt, and a brown furred cloak. As always, he was in a constant stake of ‘smirk-ness’, that only seemed to grow as Anyanka glared daggers at him.
“L-Loki?” Lenore breathed out softly.
He turned to her and his smirk disappeared for a moment as a sad look entered his amber eyes. “Hey there, kiddo.”
“Loki,” Anyanka hissed. “When you called in this favor first of all I was having breakfast with the former Tsarina Evdokiya and trying to get her to curse Peter. Then when I go and kidnap the vampire I had to take her from an angel – a freaking angel who, oh I don’t know, could have killed me with just one single smiting glare!” Anyanka’s hands were curled up into fists and she was nearly out of breath from her screaming rant as she glared severely at Loki.
“Aud, Anyanka, baby – you gotta look on the bright side. You just dicked over one of those feathered bastards and got away with it!” Loki grinned.
“For now,” she snapped. “I don’t see why you couldn’t get her yourself.”
Loki laughed and gave an exaggerated shoulders. “Because – those guys can kill me!” he chuckled in amusement.
Anyanka just slapped him.
Loki sighed forlornly. “Okay, maybe I deserved that.”
“Damn straight!” she said tersely. “Now we’re even on the whole Baldur deal – right?”
“But of course,” Loki bowed lowly. “Thank you, my most gracious beauty.”
“Yeah, whatever,” Anyanka snorted. Then she shot Lenore a severe look. “And you, you stop getting into trouble, missy.” Then she flung her arms up and disappeared into a cloud of smoke.
Loki chuckled as he shook his head. “Vengeance demons – they just love making an exit.”
“Yeah…” Lenore trailed off in an unsure voice as she cautiously looked at the pagan god. Her shoulder seemed to be throbbing even more after the teleportation spell and Lenore moved her hand to cover the bloody wound.
“You’re hurt,” Loki commented in surprise as he looked her over. “That winged bastard do that to you?” he asked in voice that simmered with anger.
“N-no,” Lenore stammered as her mind flashed back to the moments in her brother’s house. “It was a hellhound.”
“Ah,” he said in an understanding voice after a moment’s pause. “Well then, let’s get you cleaned up, Lenore,” he added as he began walking towards the base of the towering mountain.
The terrain was uneven but quite grassy and pretty. As she began following Loki she wondered where they were heading. Just ten feet ahead the mountain seemed to jump up at a near vertical incline and the area was made of smooth rock.
“Um, are we climbing up?” Lenore asked tentatively as they reached the smooth wall.
He gave her an incredulous look. “Are you kidding? It’s cold up there.” Loki gestured towards the area of the mountain in front of them and suddenly a section of it slid up, revealing some sort of darkened cave. “This is what I like to call ‘home sweet home’,” he grinned as he stepped inside.
With a snap of his fingers an immense chandelier above them exploded with light, revealing every inch of the sumptuous room in all of its glory. Another snap later and a fireplace that was taller than her lit up in a rush of crackling flame. Underneath everything was a thick Persian rug that was colored in earth tones. Arrayed around the room were several exquisite couches and lounge chairs surrounded by a dark mahogany bookcase that bordered two walls and several sculptures that Lenore suspected were stolen from the Vatican, because an art history class taught her about Michelangelo and Bernini and their styles. Plus, she was pretty sure that the one sculpture was ‘Moses’ and was, during the time when she was ‘Tara’, located in a Roman church somewhere.
“Wow, nice place,” she managed to say in the midst of her wonderment.
Loki shrugged. “It works.” Then he shot her an amused grin. “But just wait ‘till you see all the other rooms, Lenore. Then you’ll be impressed.”
Lenore just nodded as she felt drawn to the bookshelves, which featured many leather-bound books as well as several dozen scrolls made out of what appeared to be thin papyrus. She breathed in deeply in astonishment, and then was surprised to also smell the scent of rich mahogany. Wow, Loki sure knew how to live.
“I’ll go grab some bandages. Be right back,” she heard Loki say but Lenore was quite immersed in reading the book titles. There were so many languages displayed here – some she recognized, few she understood, and there were even several that she wasn’t even sure if anyone still spoke that language anymore.
“C’mere,” Loki suggested as he set a bowl of clean water, a clean towel, and white cloth bandages on a low mahogany table that was bordered by the rich blue couch he sat on and a smaller love seat on the other side.
Feeling like she was in a dream – and honestly just feeling shell-shocked by the events of the last eight hours – Lenore complied and sat to Loki’s left.
He began to tear off the sleeve of her dress and Lenore jerked away violently on instinct. Her heart was suddenly pounding like the drums of hell and she found herself panting without knowing why.
“Lenore?” he asked in a puzzled voice. “I need to clean the wound fully before I can bandage that. Don’t worry about your dress, I’ve got plenty of spares laying around,” he said with a wave of his hand, thinking he had correctly guessed the reason behind her reaction.
But Lenore didn’t care about her dress. This was just something she had stolen while on the run. She just…God, she couldn’t explain her reaction.
Slowly she sat down and braced herself as Loki finished ripping off her sleeve. He dipped the towel into the bowl of water and began to carefully wipe away the blood from her wound.
“Lenore, you’re trembling,” he said in a soft voice as he cleaned the torn flesh. “Is the pain that bad?”
His voice was so soft, so unlike what she had been experiencing lately that it was a knock-down drag-out fight to not cry. “I-I’m fine, L-loki.”
“What’s wrong? Are you hurt elsewhere?” he asked kindly as he placed his hand on her wrist in a reassuring manner.
Lenore jerked away from him and gasped, “Please don’t touch me.”
“Lenore?” he asked in surprise as he sat still.
She stood up and began leaning from one foot to another as she hurriedly answered, “I just don’t like to be touched. N-not anymore.”
It took her a minute to understand her reaction but the only time she was touched anymore was by Aurelius ra—hurting her or his cronies force feeding her human blood. Even before that, Connor had routinely forced wifely duties upon her. The only man who’s touch felt okay was Fergus’ because he was her brother.
Well, was her brother.
Loki stared at her for a long time, like he was trying to find answers to unspoken questions, before he nodded. “Alright. How about I’ll show you to the spare room and you can feel free to dress your own wounds there.”
Her expression turned suspicious. “Why are you helping me? I mean, not that I am not thankful or anything for the spell to escape from Aurelius and for sending Anyanka for me, but why? And why let me stay here?”
Loki paused and the normal glow of amusement that his eyes seemed to constantly have faded into some darker emotion that she couldn’t decipher. Then he forced a smile and shrugged. “I get bored sometimes and like to pick up pet projects.”
“So I’m what? Your project?” she repeated slowly.
“Or my pet!” he grinned charmingly. “Now come on, milady. Your room is this way.”
September 29, 1703
Lenore didn’t leave her room for the next three days.
As rooms go, at least it wasn’t a bad one. In fact, it was pretty darn nice. She had a four-poster canopy bed that was covered with emerald green sheets and blanket – her favorite color actually. A smooth mahogany desk filled with various blank notebooks, quills, and pencils sat in one corner and a small bookshelf full of various books, ranging from the topic of magic to classic novels, was next to the desk. The room was kept warm by a small fireplace that seemed to burn by a constant magic. A wardrobe full of a dozen dresses from various cultures – some were made of tartan cloth, some trimmed with exotic fur, and there was even a kimono!
Lenore opted for the kimono but wore it more as a robe and did not deal with the difficult obi, or sash. Every day she just stayed in the kimono as she laid in bed and tried to forget all about her life and how awful it as.
Oh sure, Loki had tried to check on her but she had asked him if she could please just be alone and he, surprisingly, obliged her request. Lenore felt quite rude, treating him like this, but she just couldn’t bare to see anyone right now, much less talk to anyone – especially if he wanted to ask her about anything that has happened to her life in the last two years.
She sighed. Hopefully Loki understood.
Several hours went by as she got lost in a book about magic against supernatural creatures. It was Lenore’s hope that maybe she could find a spell that would take away her bloodlust so that way she could see her children again without consequences Sadly, there only appeared to be spells that helped to kill vampires – which was still helpful but not what she wanted the most.
A knock sounded at the door and Lenore stilled. “Yes?”
“Lenore, may I come in?”
“Um.” She paused. “Maybe later?”
A sigh. “Lenore I understand your need to be alone but you’ve been here three days. Don’t you need to feed?”
Now it was her turn to sigh. Oh yes did she need to feed, but she didn’t want to. Never again did she want to indulge the Need. After all, the last time she did her dear cousin had found her drinking the blood of her brother.
“No, I’m fine.”
Her vampire senses could almost hear Loki’s eyeballs rolling in their sockets. “Fledging vampires can’t go long without feeding. If you don’t feed today you’ll be too weak to hunt tomorrow.”
“”I-I’ll be fine.”
“I’m coming in!”
“No—” but it was too late, Loki had already opened the door.
He eyeballed the room slowly and took an extra amount of time to take in her disheveled appearance and rumpled kimono. “I like the look,” he smirked.
She glared at him for making fun of her. “Good, I’m glad that you’re a fan of the ‘no-shower’ look.”
His smirk turned sly as he corrected her. “Naw, I was thinking the ‘disheveled post-sex look.”
Lenore tightened her kimono and frowned at him, even as a part of her was fairly amused. “Sometimes I can’t tell if you’re the ‘trickster god’ or the ‘god of love and lame come-ons’,” she rolled her eyes.
Loki made a disgusted face. “Ugh, I am most happily not the god of love. That’s Baldur.” He said ‘Baldur’ like it was a dirty word and recognition struck.
“Isn’t that who Anyanka mentioned when she talked about her favor?”
“Yeah,” he grinned. “She was dating him for a while until she realized that the mangy bastard is called the god of love for a reason – she found out he had several other women on the side. Of course,” he shrugged, “since she can’t answer her own wish she asked me for help. So I killed him.”
“W-what?” Lenore gasped as she sat up straight.
“Eh, don’t fret kiddo. It’s pretty damn hard to kill a pagan god and there are still folks who worship the bastard so I’m sure it’s not permanent. Anyways, that’s beside the point. You need to hunt.”
“N-no! I don’t want to kill humans,” she stated firmly.
Loki rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I know. You’re the soft-hearted do-gooder type. But haven’t you tried animal blood?”
“Er, well, yeah. After I escaped that’s all I drank.” She frowned. “It’s bloody awful though.”
“Well yeah it is, especially if you’re feeding off livestock and stray dogs. No, I’ve got something better for you.”
She stood up and looked at him apprehensively. Lenore wanted to feed, no doubt about it, but her depression was commanding her just to stay in the shadows of this room and never leave.
Loki snapped his fingers and suddenly they were outside in a wooded area. The canopy of trees hid the moon from them but her eyes could see easily in the dark. Looking down she realized that she was now clad in a man’s outfit – boots, leggings, and a loose-fitted shirt. “Hey! You changed me.” Lenore wasn’t sure to feel grateful for clothes that would make hunting easier or violated because he changed her.
“I just magicked you something new; no touching and no looking.” He gave her a wide smile. “I guess I’m kind of like your fairy godmother or something.”
“Or something,” she snorted.
“Hey now,” he said in a warning tone. “Don’t make me send you back to the angels.”
“Sorry,” she mumbled quickly.
“No problem!” he said cheerfully as he eagerly rubbed his hands together. A howl pierced the night and Lenore jumped high in surprise.
“Wh-what was that?” she asked Loki as she found herself drawing closer to him. Her teeth began chattering as a sudden chill settled upon her. Flashes of Fergus getting torn apart by the hounds kept passing through her mind’s eye.
Loki made a motion like he was going to touch her in reassurance but then pulled back, for which she was grateful – Lenore still didn’t want to be touched. “Don’t worry, those aren’t hellhounds. Just your average wolf pack.”
“Oh,” she said in relief. “Oh,” she added in worry a moment later. “Will they attack us? I’ve, um, always been afraid of wolves, ever since Fergus read me the story of Little Red Riding Hood.”
Loki started laughing so hard that she almost saw tears in his eyes. “Oh damn, Lenore. I’d keep you in my house forever just to hear whatever crazy thing you’d say next.”
Hands on her hips she gave him a dirty look. “And just what do you mean by that, Loki?”
“Lenore,” he sighed with an amused smile. “You’re a vampire you know. More likely than not the little wolves are going to be scared of you.
“Oh…yeah.” Lenore found herself smiling and gave an apologetic shrug. “So what now? I hunt wolves?”
“No,” Loki quickly replied. When he saw her surprised expression at his reaction he shrugged. “I like wolves. Anyways, I was thinking you should hunt a moose. Your shoulder has healed already, yes?”
“Um, yes. But… a moose? I’ve never seen one but aren’t they…big?”
“Oh yes. ‘Bout six feet tall, sometimes seven. Weigh anywhere from eight-hundred to fifteen-hundred pounds.” Loki grinned. “It’ll be fun.”
“Fun?” she squeaked. “That thing is huge!”
“And you’re a VAMPIRE!” he shouted for emphasis. “Darn it Lenore you need to get that fight back into you again. A life or death match with a powerful antlered beast is just the ticket.”
“I think I hate you,” she said petulantly as she folded her arms across her chest.
“And you’re just the loveliest creature,” he smiled mischievously. “Now come on – let’s hunt!”
Lenore followed Loki stealthily in-between the towering trees. Or well, she tried to be stealthy but Loki kept correcting her. Although she had been a vampire for two years she had never been taught to fend for herself since Aurelius wanted to keep her chained to him, powerless. But Loki was a good teacher; he showed her how to track her prey, how to carefully observe the clues of the forest, how to stay silent, and also just about the wildlife in general. A few hours of hunting had passed but it flew by so quickly that Lenore didn’t even realize the length of elapsed time. Hunting didn’t exactly come naturally to her – she had never been interested as a human, in either of her lives – but Loki made it interesting, enjoyable almost.
“Stop,” he instructed and Lenore halted in place. “Strain your ears. What do you hear?”
Carefully Lenore extended her senses and off to the distance she heard a bubbling brook of some sort. “Water.”
“And that means...?”
“Food. Something will be drinking there.”
“Excellent,” he smiled warmly. “Lead the way?”
Lenore nodded and immediately began sprinting towards the water source. Along the way she took heed of Loki’s earlier advice and her supernatural eyes scanned the forest floor and she was careful to avoid dry leaves, branches, and anything else that may make noise. She ran so quickly that her feet barely touched the ground, which helped her to remain silent. Finally she reached a clearing and there, as she had predicted, a giant moose was walking to the brook.
She wet her lips nervously. “What now?” The beast was impressive looking in size and his antlers looked deadly.
“You kill him.”
Lenore tossed her new mentor an incredulous look. “Kill him?” she repeated archly. “Thank you Captain Obvious.” Hmm. Using Sunnydale slang made her heart pang in remembrance of Willow and her old friends.
Loki’s lips twitched into a lopsided smile as he shook his head at her. “Just go and try it. I’m sure you’ll surprise yourself.”
“Or take an antler through the heart,” she muttered.
He shrugged. “At least the only way you can die is by beheading, so think on the positive side. Only a maiming, not death, lies in your future!”
“Thanks,” she muttered sarcastically as she began to creep towards the animal. His antlers spread out in an arc at least two feet on each side of his head and they erupted in a series of sharp edges – seven on one side and eight on the other side of its head. It was certainly large at six feet and she imagined it weighed about a thousand pounds. Lenore inspected its hooves – Loki had told her to watch out for those. When she attacked the moose would return fire with his antlers and hooves.
Lenore slid from shadow to shadow as she sought to find the best place to attack. However, her moose stilled for a moment and then began running to the east. Damn! Loki had warned her that animals usually had a sixth sense when predators were around. Like lightning Lenore followed it and easily caught up to the animal, although now she wasn’t sure how to attack it. While she was strong and fast she was still small so tackling the beast wasn’t a great plan.
So Lenore leapt on top of it, intent on just biting the creature’s neck. Her hidden fangs ran through her gums and her stomach practically growled in hunger. She bent down and bit into the creature and it made a noise of pain. Taking her by surprise the moose stopped so suddenly that she was flung off and ended up smashing into a tree.
“Ooh, bad idea,” she muttered. Then she heard the moose make a very *angry* sound. Digging its hooves into the ground it charged her, antlers forward, and Lenore very quickly had to roll out of the way or perhaps end up with her head cut off her neck.
It charged her again and Lenore thought quickly. Using her supernatural speed and strength she evaded the antler by jumping to the side and then she grabbed hold of the bony growth and ripped off the left half of the moose’s antlers. It let out a shriek of pain that made her feel horrible and guilty inside. She sought to end his pain so she raised the antler to pierce its jugular when Lenore was caught by surprise by the right half of the antlers catching her under her ribs and throwing her up into the air with force. Since they were in a forest trees surrounded them but luckily she lessened her impact against a thick evergreen by kicking off of it . She landed on the ground hard and the moose loomed over her, intent on crushing her skull with its hoof, when she jammed her stolen antlers into the underside if his neck.
Fluidly she somersaulted backwards and evaded the hoof, ignoring for the moment her bloodlust. The moose let out a guttural groan as it swayed unsteadily on its feet, before falling ten seconds later. The fall of its massive body echoed through the forest and Lenore leapt to it and used that moment to break the animal’s neck, in order to put it out of its misery. Then she fed hungrily – and was quite surprised at how much better the blood tasted. Not human-good at all, but much better than her previous four-legged victims.
By the time she was done she was more full than she had ever been – moose carried a heck of a lot of blood in their systems – and she sank, sated, to the forest floor.
“How was dinner?” Loki asked, appearing out of nowhere like always.
“Good.” Her eyes narrowed as she wiped the blood from her face. “I almost died though – where were you?”
He shrugged and smiled secretly. “I was watching. You were fine.”
Lenore bit back a retort because she knew he was right – she had done it fine enough on her own. “Just fine?” she asked, interested in knowing if she had gained his approval.
He let out a barking laugh. “Nearly getting killed makes you ‘just fine.’ Maybe when you manage to not get broken ribs and tossed around like a tennis ball I’ll give you a higher mark.”
Lenore couldn’t argue with that. “My ribs are killing me,” she admitted grudgingly.
“You can dress them at home.” Then he did the oddest thing – he threw his head back and let out a wolfy howl.
“When did you turn into a werewolf?” she asked uneasily as Lenore’s eyes raked over him in an assessing manner.
An answering howl could be heard and then another. “It would be a waste to leave this animal here. Let the wolves have him.”
Already Lenore could hear them approaching. “Don’t you want to take him back? People love to eat deer back home.”
Loki made a disgusted face. “Meat is not my thing, kiddo. I tend to prefer sweet mead or anything else that’ll ruin my teeth.”
“Isn’t that an odd trait for a pagan god? I thought you lot were rather bloodthirsty.”
“You ask too many questions,” he grumbled before he snapped his fingers and they were back at the house; the conversation was effectively ended.
*sigh* I think we can all breath easier now that ‘lil Lenore is, more or less, safe for the moment.
Thanks to everyone who’s been reading and reviewing – I *love* them and appreciate your input! :D
* Reine, Norwary – Where Loki lives! I picked it because it is very secluded and gorgeous :D (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reine)
*“When you called in this favorfirst of all I was having breakfast with the former Tsarina Evdokiya and trying to get her to curse Peter.---- Evdokiya was Peter the Great’s First Wife and had a notorious poor relationship with him after he divorced her. However, she got her revenge eventually when her grandson Peter II became Tsar and gave her a court of her own! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eudoxia_Lo
* Plus, she was pretty sure that the once sculpture as ‘Moses’ and was, during the time when she was ‘Tara’, was in a Roman church somewhere. --- *sigh* I got to see this sculpture. It is located inside a church in Roman (San Pietro in Vincoli) and is by Michelangelo. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_%28M
*Lenore just nodded as she felt drawn to the bookshelves, which featured many leather-bound books as well as several dozen scrolls made out of what appeared to be thin papyrus. She breathed in deeply in astonishment, and then was surprised to also smell the scent of rich mahogany. Wow, Loki sure knew how to live.---------- Anyone familiar with ‘Anchorman’? Its one of my fav movies and I could see Loki enjoying it, thus the presence of “many leather bound books” and that the place smells of “rich mahogany” ;)