Word Count: 638
Prompt: The Innocents (over at still__grrr)
Characters: Dawn and some baby slayers.
A/N: Takes place in the aftermath of my seasonal_spuffy story, Under My Skin, during an AU Angel season 5. This stands alone.
There was jockeying for prime floor space in front of the fireplace, even though the Southern California autumn was just as mild as ever. Finally, the sleeping bags were all arranged, the snack bowls shoved aside, and all the hair that was likely to be braided had been. it was time for a serious debrief.
“What were those nasty demons at the reception, anyways?” asked Yasmin.
“A demon’s a demon’s a demon, way I see it,” said Sasha.
“Dawn said they were after Buffy, though. Right, Dawn?” asked Kumi.
Dawn mentally cursed herself for giving her bedroom to Willow and Kennedy for the night. She ought to know by now that no good deed ever goes unpunished.
“I said they were after the bride,” she corrected. “Could’ve been any bride. It just happened to be Buffy this time around.”
“I never heard of no demons that go after brides,” scoffed Sasha. “What, they have a thing for white dresses or something?”
“Something like that. They’re primae noctis demons. They’ve evolved over the last few centuries to raid wedding parties.”
“What for?” chorused the baby slayers.
“Their reproductive cycle requires ‘untouched’ but mature human females,” Dawn explained, sotto voce, circling her finger to include herself and all of her rapt listeners. They leaned in closer.
“Untouched?” asked Kumi.
“Virgins,” whispered Yasmin, wide-eyed.
Dawn nodded. “Yep.”
“That’s stupid,” said Sasha, leaning back. “Buffy’s no virgin.”
“Well, duh, but the demons didn’t know that,” said Dawn. “Virgin brides weren’t all that rare, until recently.”
They pondered that for a moment.
“So what happens when they find a virgin?” asked Yasmin with a shiver.
“Traditionally, they carry her off, the tribe impregnates her with their demon seed, and then they give her back to her village.”
“Does she raise the baby for them?” asked Kumi.
“It’s more of an Alien kind of scenario. The mothers always die in childbirth.”
Kumi covered her mouth.
“Sometimes their whole village is eaten by the newborn. Sometimes it’s just the local farm animals. You’ve heard of cow mutilations?” Dawn nodded sagely. The slayers nodded back.
“What happens when they get a girl that’s not a virgin?” asked Sasha?
“Ah, that’s the really interesting thing. Apparently, once a girl has sex with a human guy, there’s some enzyme or antibody or something that’s like poison to the primae noctis. Withers ‘em from the point of contact outward.”
“It’s still not so great for the bride, though. In those cases, she rarely gets back to her village. Of course, all this research is way old. There are hardly any of these demons left in North America or Europe.”
“I’ll bet,” said Sasha.
“Yeah,” said Yasmin. “They’d be better off hanging around high schools or something.”
“They aren’t the sharpest demons around,” explained Dawn. “You could probably tell that when they raided a slayer wedding. Sheesh. But even if they were, they take a chance that they’ll be killed every time they ‘do it’. I guess their adaptation worked for a long time, but they’re definitely going to have to change their methods. Maybe they should start raiding lesbian bars next.”
The girls giggled, scandalized.
“Anyway, you guys did great, taking them all out that way. Who knows, maybe they were the last of their kind. I know I’ll sleep better, knowing we all made it through okay. We don’t need any alien babies around here. The regular kind will be strange enough.”
Dawn settled into her sleeping bag, and the others followed suit. “’Night guys. It was fun today.”
There was a comfortable silence, broken only by the occasional pop from the fire. It burned low, barely flickering, but casting a soft glow over the room.
Just before she fell asleep, Kumi murmured, “I still think it’s a weird place for a horn.”
P.S. There is a small hidden joke in the baby slayers' names. Very small.