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FIC: Bloodbath (Illyria ficlet)

I have no idea why mommanerd asked for Illyria in a public restroom (I'm imagining a stampede of citizens running for the hills if that happened), but wrote it I did (through not a public restroom as such, more one of Wolfram and Hart's. You might get a client or two).

This one has some dark themes and is tentacle free...

Bloodbath by Bogwitch
(Illyria, AtS Season Five, WARNING: Dark themes)

“Hey! You can’t come in here!”

Illyria doesn’t care this is the men’s restroom. Gender is irrelevant, a human thing she doesn’t understand. All she knows is this is where the one called Wesley goes, time after time, to return with hands that reek of flowery soap and all the despair he’s cried into them.

Illyria gives the staff of Wolfram and Hart the shivers. A hard thing to do; they knew what they signed up for the day they sold their souls, and they’re used to Hammer Horror strangeness of the law firm, but even they take pains to avoid the Old One left wandering their corridors. No one will dare ask again if she’s lost.

An unlucky intern has chosen the wrong time to visit the restroom and relieve himself of his morning coffee. As he aims she stares at him, her disgust as evident as her curiosity, and he shrivels under her pointed scrutiny. His protest for privacy is of no consequence to her, yet she looks up and their eyes meet, blue to blue. He gulps sharply and fervently hopes that there’s still something of the sweet scientist left underneath the chill, but she’s dripping with fresh blood and looking right through him with eyes unblinking, fathomless, and he feels like she’s seen his mortgaged soul and found it lacking.

He tucks himself inside and zips up; somehow shamed that he can no longer do his business. He’ll scurry away and never bother her greatness again, but as he tries to pass her in the doorway, she brushes him aside like she might flick away an aggravating gnat on a summer’s evening. At her violent push, he loses his footing and careens into a urinal, the back of his head cracking against the porcelain. He doesn’t get up. Illyria is satisfied. She will go where she pleases. He’ll get out of her way and like it.

She steps forward. She is to clean in here, in this filthy place, to wash away the gory remains of her slaughter, but the room stinks of piss and the basest of human functions. She’ll never be clean here. The place makes her want to retch, to vomit out her loathing and contempt. These are dirty mammalian secrets and they are laid out before her, hidden shames of waste, contamination and humanity. She’d prefer to taste the acid burn of bile on her dead tongue than the fetid air and harsh disinfectants, which irritate her olfactory senses with their sharp chemical tang.

She avoids the stalls, stalking past them without a glance. She does not wish to touch them and she needs them not. Instead, she pauses as she catches sight of herself in the wide mirror. She looks small, delicate, weak, even as the blood slides slickly downwards, dark against the ghastly pallor of her skin as it’s caught in the soft light. Discomforted, she turns away and looks no more, avoiding the reflection that just shows a fragile mortal shell. She stands then, confused with the modern plumbing, before the basins. Her head tracks through a jerky series of Arecibo scans, every movement assessing her options, seeking the answers she needs. There is water here, surrounding her and she feels it the same way she senses the life in the green. It’s in the small pools deep in the bowls of the toilets, some stained with cigarette butts from a Lawyer’s sneaky smoke. It’s in the curious Pollock patterns drying on the floor, the careless splashes that make the tiles slippery underfoot. It’s surging through the pipes above her head into hidden cisterns waiting in the walls. And something is dripping, drip, drip, drip, in a perfect metronome tempo. But she doesn’t know how to use the faucets and there’s no one left alive to ask.

She finds the drip. Water is leaking into the bowl before her, each drop rolling down the ceramic like tears of sympathy mourning those that have fallen to her savage campaign. She reaches out to touch the tense, perfect droplets. Water is eternal like her and it remembers her deep in its chemical bonds, the way it remembers the rocks it filters through over and over. Such familiarity is a comfort to her now all she knew are gone.

As she moves an infrared sensor is tripped. The water gushes, strands of coppery red spiral away from her bloodied hand into a whirlpool of diluted death. Blood and dust and life spin away down the plughole, purified in the torrent. The time is over when she would wash dutifully for those that thought to run this place, when she must be clean for them and not stain the expensive carpet, as if she cared for such things, all while her degradation gnawed resentfully inside. While she may convince herself that washing away the grime of war is an indulgence or a practicality, nothing more, this compulsion for cleanliness comes from another place, another life, another occupant of this shell. Soon though, when her plans are finished and complete, she’ll ignore the tug of those memories and will delight again in a bath of blood.

She has much to do before she seizes this world for her own and Wolfram and Hart is only the start. She has no need of these benefactors anymore, those who presumed they could contain her, control her. They have learned their mistake in a costly lesson. Like this one, prostrate and bleeding into a puddle of his own urine at her feet, they were cast down before her or were crushed in her deadly fist until dust, and there will be more before she’s done. For now though, she is victorious and victory is everything. There is power in this place, strong and malicious, and it’s hers now by conquest. She’ll take what she needs and move on.

The earth has no Champions left to stop her.

Thanks to jans_intentions for giving me the cherry on top. ;)


Beautiful descriptions and imagery as ever. Wonderful, wonderful Illyria. No-one writes her like you - she's stunning. You really have her to a perfect T. Which is kind of scary...

Wait. She killed my boy???

I did say dark themes!

My ability to waffle on as Illyria for hours and hours is a trifle worrying I agree.

Gorgeous, rich, dark stuff, and I'll second the 'scary.' I loved the idea of the water remembering her, and the fact that even a powerful destructive God can be stumped by a tap. Those electronic ones freak me out anyway...

The tap is one of those times real life pops into my writing. I was baffled by the toilets in the Barbican.

Glad you liked it.

She killed our boy.

But I like you went somewhere dark. I think you have to, sometimes and maybe she'll end up bending time and capture him and use him as her pet.

Very comforting. :)

The dark stuff really pulled this taut.

Spike was at one point going to turn up to help her with the taps, but it didn't work.

Thank you, I enjoyed writing this one.

Spooky but very cool. Possibly the best combination.

Not bad from a rather strange premise!

Eeeh! very dark! She killed them all.

Beautifully written. You describe everything from Illyria's pov so well - the water drops and so on. And I love this line

Her head tracks through a jerky series of Arecibo scans,

I can just see her doing that.

Yay! I was worried about the Arecibo line. I didn't know if anyone would get it, but I'm all for making my readers work a bit.

To Illyria everything is new and beneath her contempt, victory and to never die are her motivations, so water as something as eternal as herself, get her respect.

Wonderful. Scary, cold, regal Illyria voice. You have the Joss touch in getting her down, love. I adore you reminding us of her connection to the naural world- the detail fo her relating to the water, the molecules- terrific. "The song of the green", indeed.

The ending reminded me of when she tried to kill them all on AtS, and we saw her dust Spike, then off the rest of them, before Wes took her power. My reaction here was the same as when I saw that ep-

Fantastic work.

Joss' touch, eh? I suppose I did kill them all!

I have a screencap of Angel dusting in Time Bomb. One day, I'll have me an icon.

Illyria in a restroom. What an odd request! You made it work, though.

I think she was going more for the comedy value. me being me, had to go the other way...

That was definitely worth the wait. Every time you write her it seems so natural. And I have been in the mood for something dark lately. I was actually reading Poe yesterday because I couldn't find anything else to fit my mood, so this was truely perfect timing for me.

And think, once upon a time, a fic this long would have taken me a month to write, not three days!

Dark, indeed, I really liked the use of language, though! From the first Hammer house of horror ref. I watched on my own as teenager and this wsa like on eof those fascinating in its horror. Very visceral, all the ref to smells, blood and water such powerful images sliding in and out and around each other, language tending to the poetic side, The water gushes, strands of coppery red spiral away from her bloodied hand into a whirlpool of diluted death. Blood and dust and life spin away down the plughole, purified in the torrent.

I love Hammer films and all that camp occulty stuff, it comes out a lot I think.

I'm never content with just 'the blood ran down the drain'!

Again with the perfection. She's one cold, hard bitch. But then a God!King would be, because they are superior to all other beings.

The casual killing of the W&H minion, as well as the last line, was very chilling and fit perfectly with her mindset in this piece.

Thank you. I think 'ruthless' describes her well.

This was completely brilliant. Thank you for taking my odd request and running with it. Bravo!

Beautiful, haunting writing as ever - very dark but I think there's definitely scope to explore this sort of thing. Too often we forget just how horrific these characters can be.
It’s in the curious Pollock patterns drying on the floor
Wonderful imagery.

One day I might even describe pleasant things!

Somehow I'm very attracted to all that suppressed violence stored up in some these characters.

Mmm, dark and lyrical goodness. :-)

Thanks, I was in the mood to write something dark.

Excellent work, bogwitch! I especially like the "dead tongue" phrase. Very real and very creepy.

Water is eternal like her and it remembers her deep in its chemical bonds, the way it remembers the rocks it filters through over and over. Such familiarity is a comfort to her now all she knew are gone.

I love this, too. It's a wonderful reminder of the primal, elemental nature of the Old Ones.

Thank you. I find Illyria so easy to write.


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