Title: Laws are for the Lawless
Series: Pack a Smile
Fandom: Mercy Thompson Series, BtVS
Character(s): Charles Cornick, Buffy, Whistler
Summary: Charles is sent to deal with Veruca.
Prompt: written for the August 2016 Twisted Shorts ficathon
Disclaimer: Only the words are mine, and that's probably up for philosophical debate.
Dedication: the Twisted Shorts gang! Ya'll are some of my favorite writer-people.
Notes: This has been edited since it's first posting, but if you read it .last summer, this story is virtually the same.
It was tempting to look over the description of his quarry one more time, just to make sure he wasn't making a mistake, but it had been years – centuries – since he had needed those kind of reassurances. The description that had come to the Marrok, his father, had been clear and concise. The young female, Veruca, was well known and well-traveled in this part of the country. Rising fame had made it easy enough to cross-reference her movements with incidents of unusual deaths in local papers, as well as find photos of her with her band.
Even light research revealed that while Veruca might have once been careful with her kills she hadn't in some time. Recent evidence pointed to increasing recklessness. He and the Marrok suspected that her uncontested actions were fueling her brazenness. The Marrok was thus partly to blame for the deaths that had happened under her claws. He had therefore sent his enforcer, his son, to handle the situation.
Charles Cornick, son and enforcer and, tonight, executioner for his father, Bran Cornick, Marrok of the North America werewolves, stepped out of his rental car. Tall and muscular, he knew that he was an imposing man. With his distinctly American Indian features – his mother had been Salish Indian – and generally stoic demeanor around all but those closest to him, most people found him intimidating. That his brother wolf was an alpha second only to his own father cinched the impression. There were few who weren't struck by his presence, usually threaded with fear. Humans didn't know why they feared him. They attributed it to his size, to his maleness, his ethnicity or his silence. Other werewolves understood that they were in the presence of a predator greater themselves. Often that was more than enough to get the answers that he wanted, or to enforce his father's law. But not always.
Charles' eyes drifted closed as he scented the air. Brother Wolf's nose was better, but Charles wanted to conserve his energy. It might be the outer edge but he was still in the Slayer's territory. If Charles was the whip in his father's hand, then the Slayer was a campfire tale where most of the stories were true. Unlike many segments of the supernatural community, werewolves were not evil in and of themselves although their immense power couple with their very human natures lent them to it. They occupied something of a gray area on the Slayer's radar. The Marrok's consolidation of power over the North American wolves had meant that the Slayer interfered only rarely. Charles' appointment as the Marrok's arm of justice had turned her into a myth. It had been decades since he'd run into one, and it would please him to keep it that way.
Charles exhaled and opened his eyes. There was hunting to do.
Three days in Sunnydale had proven to be surprisingly unproductive. It was possible, of course, that Veruca had already moved on or, more likely, that the Slayer had gotten to her. Charles doubted it was the latter. Word would have reached the Marrok, and his father would have contacted him. If it was the former, however, Charles would be moving on himself. Humans weren't as organized as werewolves tended to be, but they weren't stupid. Veruca getting caught was a problem for all of them.
There was also the possibility that she had gone into hiding. He didn't think so, however, and neither did Brother Wolf. The spirits he'd encountered in Sunnydale were malignant, if not actively malicious, but even here on the Hellmouth Charles had no doubt that the Veruca's victims would seek justice.
Charles pushed his way into the local demon bar. A handful of the patrons deigned to look up at him, but he went largely ignored. Charles studied the room, letting his presence extend beyond himself. More heads turned. A few demons left. Ignoring them, Charles went to the bar.
The bartender looked up from the beer he was pouring and paled, nearly dropping the glass. "You're back."
"Did you, ah, find what you're lookin' for?"
"I did not."
Several of the demon patrons at the bar got up and moved somewhere else.
"You, ah….you didn't?" Sweat had broken out on the little man's forehead. "That's surprising. Did she, uh, move out of her dorm or something?"
"No one's seen her in quite some time, actually?"
The rest of the demons got up from the bar.
"Are you holding out on me, Willy?"
"I…I would…I would never hold out on a son of the Marrok."
Charles nodded. "Good to know. Now, what else do you know?"
"Am I going to have to call animal control?"
Charles didn't respond.
"Because not only do they kinda suck, they're not open after 10 and, oops! It's two in the morning."
But he did turn. "Slayer."
A petite blond stood well out of reach, a well-cared for battle ax resting on one shoulder. "Aw, you know who I am but I don't know who you are, Tall Hot Guy."
Charles had a strong, and deeply uncharacteristic, urge to grin. "My name is Charles Cornick. My father is the Marrok."
The Slayer frowned. "Uh…he's the head wolf-guy dude, right?"
A very strong urge to grin. "Close enough."
"So, Mr. Son of the Marrok…what're you doing standing in my park in the middle of the night when I should be getting my beauty sleep."
"I'm looking for a rogue wolf."
"Don't got none."
"I believe you had one – a female named Veruca."
The Slayer's nose wrinkled in, probably unintentionally, adorable disgust. But it didn't mask the sudden uptick in tension from here. "Ugh. Skank-face. I hope you didn't like her. We had to put her down."
Spreading his hands in a placating gesture, Charles said, "I was sent here by my father to do the same."
"Oh!" The Slayer's mood immediately brightened. "Yay then."
"I assume I have you to thank."
"Uh, actually, another werewolf. Veruca was going after his main girl and he made with ixnay on killing my girl-ay, and he kinda took her out instead."
The Slayer's eyes narrowed. "What is this 'hmm'? I don't like hmms." And true to her words, her tension level had gone up again.
"I'll have to take it up with the Marrok."
"Hey, even you just said that Veruca was off in loony land. Oz did you guys a favor."
"I still have to take it to my father."
The Slayers eyes narrowed again. "You do that, and if I hear that something has happened to my friend I'm going to be a very unhappy Slayer."
"I'll relay the message."
"Goody. Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm looking forward to never seeing you again Charles Cornick."
"The feeling is mutual, Slayer."
"Buffy. My name is Buffy."
"Buffy," he said, inclining his head to her.
"And you didn't laugh or anything. Please don't hurt Oz. You're kinda nifty."
"Thank you. I think."
Notes2: The whole series is written (for once)! I'm going to try to post every few days or once a week. This will get significantly harder in August because of the 2017 ficathon and my crazy August-life. If you think I've forgotten, I give you free license to poke me :)