For the prompt 'Cards'; Death may be a whizz at chess (and Cripple Mr Onion), but can he play poker?
...When death is on the line
For a long moment their stares met, blue eyes and cold bony sockets...a silence broken by a sudden snort of laughter.
"Oh, you are kidding me."
"I NEVER JOKE."
"You're Death? The Death?"
"Sorry, mate. Too late. Already dead."
"NEVERTHELESS. YOUR TIME IS DONE."
"Think you can take me?"
"YES. I AM INEVITABLE. LIKE TAXES."
"Woah. Put down that scythe. Surely I get to play a game for my life first.? It's traditional."
“All right. And not some poncy game of chess, neither. You ever heard of five card stud?”
"HMMM. NO. TELL ME THE RULES…"
For the prompt 'tie', Andrew has convinced Buffy to authorise some non-standard training methods for his Slayers.
Three dimensional spatial awareness training
The rebel pilot swung the nose of his X-wing around and boosted towards the Imperial TIE fighter. He was completely confident; his deflectors were fully charged, but the TIE had no shields at all. A single burst from his quad blasters would kill it…
…except the Imperial pilot dodged his every shot with superhuman reflexes, then swung around and clung to his tail despite his frantic efforts to dodge, blasting away until his shields failed…
“Yes! Got you again!” whooped Donna. Andrew threw his joystick down in disgust. He’d have to think up a better system of handicapping the Slayers…
For the prompt 'Dominion', we go back 10,000 years to Africa and the First Slayer.
The girl who'd once been Hiywan of the Five Trees Clan crouched in the savannah grass, watching the herd. There was a straggler; old or sick, easy prey for a hunter's spear. Hiywan would have given thanks to the Earth Spirit; her family would eat, and the cycle of life would continue.
Things were different now. The sorcerers needed food. They had - ways - of enforcing obedience.
She stood up, careless of being seen, and ran forward. The herd stampeded; she was faster. The huge bull was dangerous; she was Sineya. This was her art. She was the bringer of death.
Genesis 1:26: And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.'
For the prompt 'Fandom'; in season 4, Willow and Buffy have to negotiate the pitfalls of being roommates.
An introduction to online fandom
"Seeya, Will. Off patrolling."
"Okay. Um - do you know when you'll be back?"
Something in Willow's voice made Buffy pause. Her friend was stretched out on her bed, laptop open. Buffy had assumed she was studying, but...
She stepped over to look at the screen, but was astonished when Willow turned fiery red and practically grabbed the computer away before reluctantly letting go.
" 'Pairing: Hermione/Luna, NC17'… what's that mean?" Her eyes moved further down the screen –
And suddenly she blushed as red as Willow and dashed for the door, squeaking "After midnight!" over her shoulder as she ran…
For the prompt 'Drive', a (tongue-in-cheek) missing scene from 'Passion'.
Restore soul from backup (Y/N)?
"So. His lordship's back. How long does it take to kill one soddin' high school teacher?"
"I've told you, me boy: killing needs artistry. I was arranging a little... surprise for her lover boy."
"Crimson traces all over the floor. Broken flowers like tears. But the words, Spike, the words - I can still hear them."
"What? Angelus, you did smash her computer, didn't you?"
"Her little glass screen thingie? Sure I did. "
"Her…? You gormless prat! Wrecking the monitor's no use, you have to smash the hard drive! Now you'll have to go back there before they realise…"
For the prompt 'hate', we go to 'Angel' late in season 5:
"You offer assistance, but your hate for me shines brighter than your drab little sun. This contradiction interests me. Explain it."
" I would have thought one of your... history would understand hate already."
"I did not trouble myself with the feelings of lesser beings until I..."
"Hate was a tool. The paint on our canvas. To you it is... what?"
"If I hate you, why should I explain myself?"
"And yet you will. Why? Because I remind you of her?"
Because if I cease to hate, there will be nothing left. But all he said was,
For the prompt Space, another look at Hiywan. She may have been born a cave[wo]man, but in her heart she's an astronaut.
Before the dawn
Some nights the warm embrace of her clan feels suffocating. She rises from her furs, picks her way to the cave entrance. Takes a flint-tipped spear to guard against night-dangers and slips a wooden stake inside her wrap.
Soft wind brings the scents of the savannah to her. High above, stars swing around the sky like a thousand distant campfires. She wonders whether people live around them. Whether there's another girl standing up there, gazing down towards her across the vast empty spaces with the same formless yearning in her heart.
She wonders if we'll ever find out. Ever meet.
For the prompt 'Bars', a study in irony. Irony bars. Get it?
Nor iron bars a cage
Never let anyone tell you what to do. Never play by the rules. Want it? Take it. Like it? Do it. If anyone objects, screw 'em. Literally or not, your choice.
Everybody's got an angle. They'll say they love you, they wanna be your friend… but they just want you to play their little games. Love's a weakness. Don't let yourself be tied down, don't let them inside: you'll only be hurt. Again. Keep moving.
Rules to live by.
So why is it only now, as the sunlight streams in through her barred cell window, that she finally feels free?