Nothing the Same, Book 2
Rating: PG13 - NC-17 Individual chapters will carry specific warnings.
Feedback & concrit: yes, please
Disclaimer: don't own them, never will, just playing with them
Spoilers: Anything from Season 1 on.
Summary: sequel to Nothing the Same.
WARNING: THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS EXPLICIT VIOLENCE
Previous parts here
The vampire who seemed to be the leader of their little bondage party snapped out the order, halting the group before they had gone more than fifty feet outside the library doors. The vampire behind Xander jerked him to a stop and he saw the same thing happening to Giles and Wesley.
The lead vampire walked up and back between the three of them scrutinizing them carefully, then his hand flashed out, grabbing Xander by the collar and yanking him out of line. Xander tried to brace himself against the pull, but found himself stumbling forward unwillingly, unable to do much to fight back with his arms tied behind his back. He heard Giles ordering the vampire to leave him alone but the vampire didn’t even glance in Giles’ direction and Xander winced as he heard a muffled thud and Giles’ voice cut off in a pained grunt.
“You. You wear the mark of a Master Vampire.”
Xander’s blood ran cold and he stared wide-eyed back at the vampire, not sure if this was a good thing or instant death. Spike said the mark would protect him because it marked him as Spike’s property in the demon world but Xander hadn’t forgotten the discussion he and Spike had had last year when Angel had temporarily marked him and Spike had admitted that some demons might try to harm him to prove they were stronger than the vampire who’d Claimed him.
The vampire fisted both hands in his shirt front and shook him hard, until Xander was dizzy, then tore Xander’s shirt open, revealing Spike’s mark. Glaring at Xander, he hissed angrily: “Who’s mark is this?”
Xander stayed stubbornly silent, desperately wishing he’d discussed how to handle this situation with Spike. If he survived, he and Spike were definitely having a talk tomorrow about whether giving Spike’s name was the right thing to do or not. He didn’t dare look to Giles for guidance, not wanting to reveal that Giles knew who had marked him. The vampire shook him again, demanding: “Who’s mark do you wear?”
“He’s been Claimed by the Master of the Hellmouth,” Giles’ voice answered from behind him. The vampire stopped shaking Xander and let his grip slacken slightly as he turned to look at Giles. “And if you harm him in any way, there will be no place you can hide from his Master’s vengeance,” Giles finished, his voice hard.
“The Master of the Hellmouth allows his Claimed to assist a Watcher?” the vampire scoffed, giving Xander another shake for good measure.
“He wants the boy to learn everything there is to know about demons. Who better to teach him than a Watcher?” Giles answered smoothly. Xander could hear the tension in Giles’ voice as he answered, filling in the gaping silence left by Xander’s own indecision.
The demon grunted, seeming to accept that and Xander concentrated on not letting out a sigh of relief. It was too soon for that, as the vampire turned back to him. “Why didn’t you claim your Master’s protection when we arrived?”
Xander found his voice. “Would you have honored his Claim?” he asked.
The demon let out a short bark of laughter. “No,” he said flatly. “Our Lord Balthazar is stronger than any vampire. In his service, we don’t need to worry about anyone’s vengeance.”
“Even when he can bring nearly a hundred vampires to the fight?” Xander asked, hoping this was the right way to handle the situation. Really going to talk to Spike - first thing tomorrow. He didn’t think the Court was quite up to 100 vampires, more like fifty or sixty actually, but hey, some of them had to have friends, right?
“In any case,” he continued rapidly, before anyone could get any ideas. “What I said before still goes. If you’re not afraid of my Master, then you need me to make the Watcher cooperate.” He met the vampire’s eyes unflinchingly until he was suddenly thrust away contemptuously.
“Get them moving,” the vampire ordered.
One or two of the vampires looked unhappy about the decision but none of them ventured a protest. Xander found himself herded into a line again with Wesley and Giles as they were quick-marched out of the school.
Spike, Angel and Buffy had met shortly after sunset in the library as agreed. Spike had felt almost sorry for Xander, given the tense atmosphere between the two Watchers, knowing the two men would be sniping at each other all night, with Xander a captive audience. He’d left Xander with a kiss and an amused request for a blow-by-blow description of the Watcher Smackdown, which had earned him a reproving smack and a warm chuckle.
The three of them headed out, with Spike filling the others in on what he’d learned from his Lieutenants - that the Eliminati had taken over a packing warehouse on Devereau Street, a run-down neighborhood not far from the docks. Angel confirmed the information, having gone to several demon bars after they split up last night and having been told the same thing.
Actually reaching the warehouse turned out to be a bit more difficult than they had expected.
Members of the Eliminati were out in force, patrolling the warehouse district for blocks around Devereau street and the first attack came ten streets away: a single vampire, with the trademark tunic and swords, and the Slayer took him out handily, ducking underneath the swords and coming up inside his guard with her stake out and ready. She was still brushing the ashes out of her hair when the next attack came.
They were attacked three more times on their way to the warehouse and Spike was starting to find it annoying. The Eliminati had no sense of teamwork - attacking individually, the next one springing out of the shadows moments after the last one was dust. Came from being a duelist cult, Spike figured, each one more interested in proving their own worth through single combat than in actually winning the battle or accomplishing a goal like keeping enemies away from their master’s stronghold.
Bleedin’ outdated, outmoded idiots, he thought wrathfully, watching Angelus and the Slayer make short work of the next one - tag-teaming him, Angelus holding him and the Slayer going in for the kill.
Sensing movement out of the corner of his eye, Spike leapt forward, dragging the person hiding there out of the alcove and slamming him up against a wall.
“Spike, no!” Buffy yelled. “He’s human.”
“Know he’s human, Slayer,” Spike snarled. “Question is, what’s he doing here?”
It was the Mayor’s assistant and Spike slammed him against the wall again, just because he could. He could already smell the fear rolling off the man and he shifted his grip, bunching his hands into the man’s suit and lifting him up onto his toes. He heard the Slayer and Angelus come up behind him and thought savagely that they’d do better keeping an eye out for more attacks.
“Spike, let him go,” the Slayer ordered.
“Hasn’t answered my question yet.” Spike didn’t take his eyes off the human, glaring at him with yellow-eyed malice. “What are you doing here?” he repeated for the slow members of the class.
“The Mayor sent me,” the man answered, his voice quavering. Spike had not been impressed with the Mayor’s assistant when he’d encountered him at City Hall and was becoming less impressed by the second.
“Why?” Spike growled.
“Spike, we don’t have time for this,” Buffy said impatiently.
“Piss off, Slayer. This won’t take long. Will it?” he asked the Mayor’s assistant, his voice silky with menace. “Not real patient under the best of circumstances,” he informed the man, lifting him even higher, sliding him roughly up the brick wall until his feet left the ground entirely. A stupid move except with prey that was too terrified to struggle, as this man was. “And we have pressing business. So, unless you want me to start ripping off important body parts, you’ll tell me what I want to know.”
He felt the Slayer stirring behind him and hoped she would have the good sense not to interrupt or that Angelus would stop her if she tried. The man looked over Spike’s shoulder to the Slayer, saying desperately, “You can’t let him do this to me.”
“Yes, she can.” Thankfully, it was Angelus who answered. “As he mentioned, we’re in a bit of a hurry.”
Spike let the man slide down the wall again and pinned him in place with one arm, reaching down with the other to grab the man’s goolies in an iron grip. “Answer my questions, or I’ll rip ’em off and feed ’em to the pigeons.”
For one second, Spike thought he’d gone too far and the man was going to faint before answering Spike’s questions. He tightened his grip and the man gasped in pain, his eyes snapping back into focus. Spike just looked at him, eyebrows raised, a smirk on his lips.
“Balthazar,” he gasped, and Spike knew he’d won. “If he gets his strength back, he can cause problems. The Mayor sent me to keep an eye on the situation, there’s an amulet…”
“Yeah, we know about that,” Spike interrupted. “Why does the Mayor care?” He tightened his grip again as incentive and the man screamed.
“He’s the one who wounded Balthazar. The timing is bad. The Mayor can’t take the risk that Balthazar will get the amulet before tonight.”
“What’s tonight?” Spike asked sharply.
The man shook his head, and Spike snarled, twisting his hand until the only thing keeping his prisoner upright was Spike’s arm pressing him against the wall. “Not goin’ to ask again: what’s tonight?”
“The Mayor… there’s a ritual. He’s been waiting a hundred years to perform it.”
“A hundred years?” He’d thought the Slayer had been quiet too long and now the question burst out of her.
“He’s not really human anymore,” the man answered. “He’s made… pacts.”
There was a sudden noise behind them and all three spun around, Spike letting the man drop as he saw two more Eliminati with drawn swords running in their direction. Swearing at the interruption, Spike moved to meet them, fanning out with Buffy and Angelus to force the attackers to choose their targets, leaving one of the three free to maneuver.
Spinning to avoid a sword thrust, Spike got inside the duelist’s guard, where his swords would be of little use, slamming an elbow viciously into the vampire’s gut and grappling with him for possession of the sword. Peripherally, he was aware that the Mayor’s assistant was limping painfully away as fast as he could, but he couldn’t do anything about that now.
The vampire was bigger than him and used his greater weight to advantage, shoving Spike back against the wall of the alley and smashing him into the bricks. Spike grunted in pain but went with the motion, letting his own weight hold him against the wall for the second it took to raise his legs and kick out with both feet. His boots caught the vampire square in the chest, sending him staggering backwards and dropping the sword they had been struggling over. Spike dropped to the ground in a crouch and bounced back up, coming up with the sword and bringing it around in a clean swipe, cutting off the vampire’s head and dusting him.
Angelus and the Slayer were darting in and out, staying out of reach of the two swords the remaining Eliminati held. He was good - lunging at first one, then the other, keeping them back and unable to close, but not overextending himself and giving them an opening. Angelus had a bleeding slash in his upper arm, the swordsman had obviously taught him to be careful. Seeing his chance, Spike moved forward on silent feet and brought the sword around again for his second beheading of the evening.
Before the head had finished turning to ash, Spike said grimly: “Need to find that little piss-ant again.”
“Spike, the warehouse?” Buffy reminded him.
“This Balthazar doesn’t sound like much without the amulet,” Spike countered.
“Maybe, but the Eliminati are out in magnum force. The Mayor can wait.”
Spike hesitated, not sure which was the bigger problem. The closeness of the warehouse finally decided him. They were only a block from their target and City Hall was all the way across town. “Right. Let’s finish off these morons.”
Keeping a wary eye out for more Eliminati, they closed the remaining distance to the boarded up warehouse rapidly but silently. There were no more challenges, they must finally have taken out the last of the vampires on guard. Peering through the window, Spike saw almost a dozen more vampires inside and….
Rage slammed through him. Xander. Those bastards had his Claimed. Spike wasn’t even aware that he was struggling in an iron grip, fighting to get free and go to his Claimed’s rescue.
“Spike!” Angelus hissed, Spike was fairly sure it wasn’t the first time. “Calm down or you’ll get them all killed.”
He was right. Spike forced himself to stop and realized that both Angelus and Buffy had been restraining him and thankfully, had pushed him back from the warehouse door. Ice-cold now, his fury under tight control, he moved forward quietly and saw that no-one inside the warehouse had heard them. Xander, Giles and the new Watcher were safe and relatively unharmed from the look of things.
“We need more weapons than none,” the Slayer breathed, nearly inaudibly except to vampire hearing. She was right. Every one of the Eliminati carried two swords and Spike cursed himself for not carrying weapons when going against vampires who habitually carried them. He looked around for inspiration and a cold smile crossed his face.
“Keep an eye on things, back in two minutes,” he said.
The three of them had been dragged through the sewers for what felt like an endless time and then pulled up into a warehouse. Xander was concentrating fiercely on not showing his fear, admiring Giles’ calm and doing his best to mimic it. Wesley was unfortunately a model for what Xander didn’t want to show: the new Watcher was obviously terrified and unable to hide it.
While sympathizing with his fear - and sharing it - one thing Xander had learned from Spike was that showing weakness was not the best thing to do around demons. Or bullies, for that matter, he thought, remembering his encounter with Jack O’Toole. Vampires were hunters and humans their natural prey and, for many vampires, a terrified victim was preferably to a resigned one. An openly frightened victim could bring out the worst in demons as the scent of fear provoked them into tormenting the person to increase their fear.
Coming face to face with Balthazar, Xander swallowed hard and struggled to remember that and not let his own fear show. Balthazar should had been a comic figure: grossly fat and sitting in what looked like a hot tub, having water continuously ladled over him by members of the Eliminati; he was something out of a comic book. A dark, twisted comic book, granted, but he was over-the-top grotesque in a way that should have been laughable.
Balthazar was cold and alien in the way reptiles and snakes were and Xander had the sinking feeling that humans meant even less to Balthazar than they did to snakes. Balthazar’s red eyes were almost lost in folds of flesh but their malignant gleam was still plainly visible. Having a dozen vampires fawning on his every word wasn't helping. Clearly the Eliminati saw Balthazar as a figure worth serving, not a joke, and Xander remembered that they had followed this demon for centuries.
"Stay calm," Wesley said desperately, sounding as if he was trying to convince himself. "We must all remain calm."
"Well, thank god you're here, I was planning to panic."
Even in these circumstances, Xander felt his lips twitch slightly at Giles' sarcastic reply. He felt the tight knot of tension inside him unclench ever so slightly and stood a little straighter, grateful for Giles' steady presence beside him.
“What is that thing?” The tremor in Wesley’s voice was one of the reasons Xander was staying quiet, he didn’t want to reveal his own fear as plainly as Wesley was doing.
“That would be your demon. You know, the dead one?”
Balthazar, who had been focused on the vampires pouring water over his massive body, suddenly looked in their direction and spoke, ordering his minions to bring them closer. A hard shove sent Xander stumbling closer to the tub, Giles and Wesley being propelled closer as well until they were only twenty or so feet from Balthazar. Xander almost choked as the smell overwhelmed him: a fetid stench of disease and rot hung in an almost visible cloud around Balthazar and the unheated warehouse seemed to grow even colder.
“You know what I want.” It wasn’t a question, Balthazar knew they had about the amulet.
“If it's for me to scrub those hard-to-reach areas, I'd like to request you kill me now,” Giles said with unshakeable calm.
Unlike Wesley, unfortunately, who appeared to be on the verge of losing it. “Are you out of your mind?” he hissed to Giles. “This is hardly the time for games!”
“Why not? They're going to torture us to death anyway.”
“You're not wrong about that,” Balthazar agreed with a malicious smile.
Xander opened his mouth for the first time, but Wesley’s desperate voice cut across his before he could speak. “Now, hold on. We…we can deal with this rationally. We have something you want. You have something we want.”
Xander turned to stare at him in shock, and anger rapidly replaced his fear. They couldn’t give this demon the amulet that increased his power something like a hundredfold. “Shut up,” he hissed, forgetting everything but the need to keep Wesley from talking. Unable to think of any other way to stop him, he kicked out hard at Wesley’s knee. Wesley cried out in pain as his knee crumpled under the blow, sending him to the ground. He landed hard, unable to catch himself with his hands tied behind him and Xander was hit from behind, a stunningly hard blow that sent him stumbling to the floor next to Wesley.
“Stop!” Giles commanded and Xander looked up to see Giles staring intently at Balthazar. “Look, I’ll tell you what, let Captain Courageous and the boy go, and I'll tell you what you need to know.”
“No! Giles!” Xander struggled to get to his feet and felt inhumanly strong hands close around his arm, hauling him up like a child. Another vampire yanked Wesley to his feet, but Xander had no eyes for anything but Giles. “I won’t leave you here alone, Giles.”
“Be quiet, Xander,” Giles ordered, flicking a brief glance in his direction. “I won’t have you killed.” He turned his gaze back to the demon. “Do we have a deal?”
“There is only one deal! You will die quickly, or you will die slowly!” Balthazar was shouting now and his voice continued to rise. “Tell me where it is or I will kill you all.”
The silence that followed was broken only by a small moan from Wesley. Xander shot him a hard look and saw that Wesley was white-faced and shaking, the muscles in his jaw quivering as if he was only just barely able to stop himself from speaking, from giving Balthazar the information he wanted. But at least he wasn’t actually saying anything.
“Lord Balthazar,” the quiet, respectful voice sounded almost unbearably loud as it broke the quiet. The vampire who’d lead the group that captured them, stepped forward and bowed respectfully.
“What?” Balthazar snapped impatiently. The vampire gestured towards Xander.
“This one has been Claimed by the Master of the Hellmouth.”
Xander froze, not liking this development at all as Balthazar was diverted, turning his head to stare directly at Xander. “Hmmm. Bring him closer.”
Giles stirred and shifted slightly, trying to put himself in front of Xander but the vampires held him back as two of them pulled Xander forward until he was almost touching the tub Balthazar sat in. He gagged at the stench and tried desperately to pull back. Held immobile by the vampires, he could only breath shallowly and hope he wasn’t going to puke. Or die.
“Leave the boy alone!” Giles shouted desperately but was ignored as Balthazar studied Xander intently.
“Yes, I can sense the claim. Intriguing.” Balthazar half lifted one of his fat little hands and Xander flinched as the long, black nails flicked drops of water on him. “No, wait, boring.”
Imperiously, Balthazar waved the vampires to step back and Xander found himself shoved back into line with Wesley and Giles again. His relief was short-lived as Balthazar looked at Giles. “You will tell me where my amulet is or I will kill him.”
Xander and Giles stared at each other for a moment, then all hell broke loose.
The sporting goods store was easy pickings. Spike was in and out with three crossbows and a handful of bolts in 30 seconds, leaving shattered glass cases and the door hanging crookedly in the splintered frame. Running back to where he’d left Angelus and the Slayer, he saw a patrol car down the street but was confident they hadn’t seen him.
It didn’t matter. With his Claimed’s life at stake, Spike would have killed the entire police force if necessary, without hesitation or remorse, and dealt with the fallout later.
Returning to where Angelus and the Slayer waited, Spike grinned at the shock on the Slayer’s face. “Close your mouth, Slayer,” he advised. “It’s called break and enter.”
Tossing a crossbow to each of the other two, he ordered: "first target is the vamps closest to the hostages. Don't miss."
He divided the crossbow bolts equally and passed a handful to each of them, keeping a handful for himself. Sliding a bolt into the mechanism and cocking it, he laid another alongside the body of the weapon, ready to instantly reload. Looking up, he saw the Slayer and Angelus doing the same and gave one last order: "Slayer, if my Claimed is hurt because you give away the advantage of surprise by one of your trademark jokes, I'll kill you myself. Make your jokes after the first blow, not before."
Spike hadn’t forgotten the fight with Angelus last year when the Slayer had blown the advantage of surprise, alerting Angelus to their presence before firing her weapon, giving Angelus time to avoid what should have been a fatal shot. Granted, given how events had turned out, he was glad she hadn't killed his Sire in that battle, but it was a bad fighting tactic and he wasn't going to let her risk Xander's life on amateur mistakes.
The others nodded their readiness and Spike lead the way to the warehouse entrance. He checked the door handle and was astonished, but pleased, to find it was unlocked. Turning the handle, he pushed the door open quietly and stepped inside, Buffy and Angelus right behind him.
The Eliminati weren't on guard. They were clustered around their demon master and the hostages listening to Balthazar as he blustered and threatened.
Checking that the other two were ready, Spike indicated the vampire he was aiming at - a big vampire who was gripping Xander by the arms, holding him in front of the demon, who was threatening to kill Xander if Giles didn’t tell him where his amulet was. Spike fought from giving vent to a roar of pure rage at the threat to Xander, bringing his weapon up swiftly and silently.
The click of the trigger mechanism and the twang of the bolt's release were lost in the sound of Balthazar's rantings. Spike heard Buffy and Angelus firing their weapons almost simultaneously with his but the first the vampires in the warehouse knew of their presence was when two of their number exploded into dust. The third screamed as a bolt pierced his chest in a near miss of his heart, knocked backwards by the force of the blow and at least temporarily out of the fight.
Spike had the second bolt in the crossbow before the ashes had settled and he fired again before any of the vampires had gathered their wits enough to find their attackers. His second bolt also hit the mark, and a third vampire died even as Spike dropped his crossbow and flung himself into the fight, hearing the other two take their second shots as he moved.
Giles and Xander exploded into motion as their captors turned to dust, even as Spike slammed into the closest remaining Eliminati in a diving tackle that knocked the vampire away from the hostages and kept him from drawing his swords. They went sliding across the cement floor, both struggling for a death grip as chaos erupted around them.
“Unacceptable! Unacceptable!” Balthazar’s rasping complaint rose over the clamor of battle with the petulant anger of a spoiled child. Even his minions ignored him as all-out war raged across the warehouse floor.
As he struggled to tear himself away from the other vampire, Spike wondered vaguely just who Balthazar thought was listening to his tantrum, but dismissed the thought immediately - the vampire he was fighting with was taking all his attention. Larger than Spike, he obviously had some wrestling experience, and his massive arms wrapped around Spike as he strained to pin Spike to the floor.
Giving up on freeing himself, Spike switched tactics in the blink of an eye. Instead of fighting the motion, he rolled with it. The sudden reversal sent the two of them tumbling over the floor and, as he’d hoped, Spike ended up on top. His opponent’s grip slackened just enough for Spike to tear his arms free and in one quick, brutal movement, he twisted the Eliminati’s head off, thumping to the ground as the body beneath him vanished into dust.
Springing to his feet, Spike threw a quick, assessing glance around the room. The three former hostages were all on their feet and fighting. Giles had come up with a sword and was using it to good effect: beheading a vampire who had the other Watcher pinned. Xander had gotten ahold of one of the dropped crossbows and, even as Spike watched, took out a vampire that was menacing the Watchers. Buffy and Angelus were fighting well and there were only four Eliminati remaining. Xander threw him a quick smile even as he re-loaded and took aim at another vampire. Spike heard the crossbow fire again as he moved to reinforce his Sire who was fighting two Eliminati at once, their swords keeping him from closing with them as he spun and dodged and waited for an opening. than. The Slayer finished off her opponent and reached Angelus first, sending one of his opponents crashing to the ground with a leg sweep. Spike left the two of them to it and turned back to face Balthazar, still paddling about in his tub like an angry toddler. Xander’s crossbow fired again, directly at Balthazar, and Spike frowned as the bolt suddenly jerked in mid-air and was deflected into the wall
He felt Xander come up beside him and fire at Balthazar again, point blank. For a second time, the bolt swerved impossibly and went wide. Xander looked at him in bafflement and let the weapon fall to his side, not wasting another shot.
Despite his concern for whatever power Balthazar had, Spike was glad the crossbow had missed. Now that the fight was over, Spike let the tight control he had kept on his anger slip and his banked rage burned like wildfire. They had survived and Xander appeared unhurt, but this thing had dared to touch what was his and Spike could now afford the luxury of bloody retribution.
Stooping to pick up a sword that had fallen near the tub, Spike spun it in a circle, the shining steel a blur in the warehouse’s uneven lighting. “Your followers are dust, you useless lump of blubber, and you DARED to touch my Claimed.” His voice rose as he spoke until he was shouting. “I’ll cut you to pieces an inch at a time, you bastard, and you will BEG for death before I’m through.”
He stepped forward to follow through on his promise and gasped as he found himself suddenly pulled off his feet, drawn irresistibly towards Balthazar, unable to control his body or stop the forward momentum. The sword dropped from his nerveless fingers and he felt massive clawed fingers close around his head.
He tried to yell at Xander to stay back, but no words came to his lips, his voice as paralyzed as the rest of him.
He felt Xander’s hands close around his arm as Xander threw his entire weight into pulling Spike free, heard a confusion of shouts, then a searing jolt of pain as lightening flared blindingly and he was thrown away from the tub, tumbling across the floor to land hard, dazed and shaken.
“Xander!” Shaking his head to clear his vision, Spike staggered to his feet, looking for Xander. His boy had been thrown clear as well, landing not far from Spike, who stumbled over to him and dropped to his knees beside him, as uncontrolled tremors shook his muscles from the jolt of electricity.
Xander groaned and stirred, lifting his head dazedly and looking around blankly. “Spike?”
“’s me, luv. Are you all right?” Spike pushed the dark hair out of the confused brown eyes with a gentle hand, relieved to see that Xander was looking back at him and seeing him.
“What the hell happened?”
“Dunno, luv. Are you hurt?”
Xander shook his head and let Spike help him into a sitting position, throwing his arms around Spike and clinging to him.
A low rasping whisper sounded above the slight crackle of electricity in the ozone-scented air. “You think you've won?” Balthazar gasped to the Slayer. “When he rises... you'll wish I'd killed you all.”
Blue lightning still crawled across his body and crackled in the tub water, then Balthazar’s red eyes closed and his body stilled, the lightening slowly dying with him.
“Pretentious git,” Spike muttered, but his heart wasn’t in it and a shiver ran through him despite himself. There had been something ominous in Balthazar’s voice and Spike knew from experience that death curses always carried power.
*A/N - Bits of dialogue borrowed from the episode ‘Bad Girls’