Spike in the City of Angels, Episode Two:
Welcome to Sunnyhell


by John Cope





Prologue



Not every vampire of course makes his home in abandoned warehouses, there's always the danger that some enterprising relator will sell the property to redevelopers and you'll find your shelter being removed -- in daylight.

No it's far better to own property, at least that was what Otis Jackson figured and in his position of power, nobody was going to argue with him.

He was a large vampire, some who didn't care about life might say fat. He'd feed at every given opportunity, and he didn't care from what -- mortal or animal, if it was red he'd drink it. The fact that he was a Master, therefore, was the grandest of things in his eyes, gave him minions to hunt for him, gave him some time to think.

Think about how to gain control of more of LA. The west of the city was ok, but with Bakull gone, hell the city was open range. How to put together the muscle to deal with two malignant elements in the vampire community who kept trying to piss on his parade. Plus how to stop the assholes he employed from doing dumb as fuck stuff that got the heat down on them like they was standin' in the depths of a desert someplace.

He was sat behind a desk, twenty vamps stood before him, two behind -- Ray and Bobba, the only other two vamps in the room with guns. The building was a warehouse, sure, but in Carson, not Compton, where all these vamps had their home ground, and where 'Big Daddy' usually conducted his business.

But what they had done had been done off turf, which is why he had assembled them here.

Twenty vamps, correction twenty scared-looking vamps, Jackson was pissed, that was obvious to everyone in the room. They were looking at the floor like boys caught with their hands in the cookie jar, and Otis was glaring at them like he meant to have their fingers.

He held up a copy of the morning paper, the vampires looked at it and licked dry lips. "So which one of you shit for brains cluster fucks is gonna explain to me how dis happened?......What no takers, shit it ain't that difficult a question to answer.....Speak up mutha-fuckers or the boys here open up."

The was a shuffling amongst the rank and a vampire got pushed forward, he was dressed like the inner city gangster he had been before getting turned, no more than a decade old he had still earned a murderous rep in the ghetto.

"Fang Master Fang, or Freddy as I recall you was christened." Otis put the paper down and leaned his elbows on the desk. "Shit boy, I might have known your stupid ass would be behind this. What the fuck was you thinkin' vampire? Don't you know the god damned muther-fuckin' rules?"

"Homes...." Freddy was going very pale, an achievement in his circumstances, and he could tell that style of address wasn't gonna get him far. "You sent us out huntin' Mr Jackson, now how was we supposed to know who those kids was...."

"Lights and the cameras, vampire, they must have been a clue." The fat vampires face split into a jovial grin, everyone knew what it mean't. "Bobba did we bring the dust pan? Cause I think we gonna need it."

"Yes sir, I sure did." The vampire was game faced, at five foot six he was dwarfed by the huge silent presence of his partner Big Ray, both vamps had wood loaded M-16's, deadly at close range. Bobba's rat like eyes darted round the room, the vamps had given up their guns too easy, somebody was carrying.

"Good, cause pretty soon we're gonna need it." Otis thought for a second that Freddy might faint, he didn't but he certainly swayed. "Les that is some vampire I could mention gets a whole lot better at explainin', you hearin' me homes, my question was how is it you'all took out the whole mutha-fuckin' central cast of Beverly Hills fuckin' 90210 and didn't seem to notice?"

Blood was trickling down from the corner of Freddy's mouth, he was biting his lip so hard, but all the same he managed to blurt out, "Please sir we didn't know, it's a honkies show we don't watch it. Now if it had been Will Smith up there then....."

"You don't feed on celebrities, shit vampire, even the dumbest minion knows that." Otis tore the front page off the paper. "Massacre on Santa Monica beach, you know what we gonna have next? Muther-fucking Daniel Sullivan and the special investigation branch of the LAPD armed to the teeth and in here huntin' us, and when that happens, I'm gonna feed him your ass."

"No sir, please sir." Freddy put his hands together in supplication. "I don't wanna go out like that. Just stake me now sir and get it over with. I always been stand up for you, this is just a mistake."

"Mistake mutha-fucka, mistake!" The paper tore up in Jackson's hands. "Son of a bitch, thirty dead white folks is not a mistake, it's a fucking death sentence for us all. Ray, you think of any reason not to kill this vampire were he stands?"

Big Ray didn't give his opinion much, so him being asked for it was a bad sign, he though, you could almost see the cogs whirring behind his yellow eyes, and when he spoke his voice was deep and slow. "Well, he did kill Luke Perry boss."

"He did?"

"That's right, sir." Freddy nodded enthusiastically. "And I just now how much you hated that film he was in..."

"Barbi the vampire hunter," Otis morphed and sat back in his chair. "Sure did, most misrepresentative film I ever did see about vampires, but I didn't have no mutha fuckin' argument with the rest of the cast, so that just buys you a head start before I tell the Irishman were to go look.....two hours."

"You gonna let me run Homes?" Freddy bowed his head. "I knew you'd treat me right, like a stand up vamp."

"Why ain't I always been a Daddy to all my......" Otis stopped at the sound of a weapon charger being drawn back behind him, and shook his head as he mouthed the word. "Fuck!"

"Very touching, I'm bloody moved," an English accented voice said from behind him. "Are you moved Browne, 'bought how this bloke was gonna forgive his childe his trespasses?"

"No," a second harder voice replied. "Can we just bleedin' off em now? I'm 'ungry."

"Patience mate, patience. We have the part were he begs for his bloody life to get through yet."

"Mister, with the utmost respect to Mr. Gelfman, but this ain't none of his concern." Jackson's hand slipped under the desk to the pistol holster fastened to the woodwork and the Colt Detective it contained. "You walk on out back and we'll pretend this never happened."

"Yeah right, screw you fat man...."

"Now, now, James, no need to get personal with the soon to be a very large pile of ash fat bastard, it is Sol Gelfman's concern, you broke the bloody code." Spike shouldered his MP5 and aimed it at the heart of one of Jackson's bodyguards. "An' for that you die!"

A whole lot of stuff happened at once. Spike and Brown cut down the two M16 armed vamps before they could even turn, garlic laced rounds sent white smoke pouring from the vampires wounds.

Big Daddy turned in his chair and got riddled as both vamps sprayed him.

Then Freddy and three of his Homies drew pistols and fired back.

Browne took a bullet in the shoulder and spun, still though he managed to rake the scattering group with the remains of a clip. "Bollocks!" he shouted as the pain laced through him.

"Left their guns at the door!" Spike dived as bullets whistled round him. "You tit!"

He rolled away into shadows and brought his gun up, to aim at nothing, just two crippled vamps and a swinging door.

Browne held up a blood stained right hand, then clamped it back to the wound. "Fuck, this keeps on 'appenin' to me ever since I met you, you bloody Jonah, sometimes I wonder why I......."

"Why you what?" Spike carefully removed the near empty clip and loaded a full one. "Don't bugger off 'ome, or maybe take the sensible course of lettin' me do the plans. I told you those blokes wouldn't just 'and their guns over, wear kevlar I said, but oh no you...."

Browne got up shaking his head at the injustice of it and gave Spike a superior look. "Ok smart arse, 'ere's a plan. We leave before those buggers come back with all their mates. That a plan you can go along with?"

"Shit Homes, that's all you had to say."

" 'Omes? look Sherlock I don't know what your game is but....."

Part One



It wasn't often that Buffy patrolled alone these days. Guys were nervous about her, guys toted orbs with them where ever they went with her, guys followed her around like faithful Labradors from dusk till dawn in case she ran off with blond vampires. The guys who were starting to irritate, majorly.

Patrolling Hammersmith could be fun with Angel, with a vampires night vision you could frisbee after dark, *Ok never do it with a cymbal, but that's pretty much a gimme.* And when the bushes weren't too crowded...well, there was other stuff. And with the other guys, rollerblading till dusk then staking and the like after dark, but the vamps were still tending to stick to Weatherly, everything was coolness at Hammersmith still.

*So why am I here on my own?*

She looked around, it was quiet mid-week, no kids around, no transients either, kind of night you could spread a blanket out in the moonlight and really......"Damn girl, you should have brought Angel."

Two weeks from now, though, the place was gonna be packed. Dingoes were putting on a gig at the park and nearly every teen in Sunnydale had bought a ticket, which meant the vamps would be there and Buffy would have to run security instead of partying -- again.

Oz was at practice, Willow was watching Oz practice, Xander was working, Anya was watching Xander work, Giles was with Karen, Karen was.......with Giles, Angel?

Angel was letting her know that he trusted her to go out on her own and not jump into the hay with any passing blond vampire. She appreciated the gesture. "Pity I haven't met a blond vamp all night."

Spike was banned from Sunnydale, only in the direst of emergencies was he to be allowed back into the town, and then only by written invitation with the proviso, as Angel had growled it that he, "Checks his ball's in at the door!"

She missed him, missed his outlook on life, missed his devil may care attitude, missed his sense of fun, missed all the stuff that made him different from Mr Broody. There was so much she missed and she knew Angel was unlikely to give her the chance to be alone with Spike ever again, not that she could blame him. Not after what had happened last time.

The killing still gave her nightmares, but at least she also had the memory of the sex. She didn't exactly keep warm at night, but sometimes alone in her own bed at her Mom's, sometimes it wasn't Angel she thought of before she fell asleep and Craig Flesch ran her through the jungle again.

Buffy walked off the path and over the lawns, hands in pockets, stake in belt. The vamps were starting to overcome their fear, to drift back, keeping to the shadows, avoiding the Alibi, making her hunt. Pissing her off that the easy slayage was over. Thank god for spider sense.

"I know you're out there, show yourselves." She whispered it, she had been sensing vamps in the park since she got here, unusual vamps, vamps who had obviously decided to give Weatherly a miss and go up market. Vamps who were so gonna die.

"Come on guys, don't make me come in there after you, these shoes weren't made for tramping through bushes." She was hoping to catch the last hour at the Bronze with her lover, she did not need mud.

But they didn't come out. "Yellow bastards." Resigned to her fate, pouting, she walked forward.

Stake in hand she stalked into the bushes, she didn't have to go far before the first attacker sprang.

"Good, 'bout time." She said as she wheeled sharply and drove the stake into it's chest. It struck something solid then the wood broke into splinters in her hand. Stunned she just stood there till a fist struck her on the cheek and sent her crashing back onto the ground.

"Now you're in trouble," she growled as she morphed, snarling she looked up and her yellow eyes widened in shock. "Hey, have we met before?"

He was tall, and muscular, his lower body was covered by black knee length boots and black pants, his upper by chain mail armour and a dented breast plate. His hair was long and black and worn loose and his face, Buffy saw the scar that closed his left eye and almost screamed. "You know I think we......" The bushes rustled and two more figures emerged, both armoured the same, both familiar in every detail. "Have!"

"A vampiress." The vampire Buffy had tried to stake started to unbuckle his belt. "Excellent, grab her."

Last time they had wanted her blood, and almost got it. The Slayer vampire realized this time they were looking at her for other reasons, and for a second fear gripped her, this time there was no Angel. *Yeah, but this time I'm stronger.*

Lightening fast her hands came out to grab the vampire standing either side of her by the leg furthest from her and pull them off their feet. She sprang up and aimed a sharp kick into the one-eyed vampire's groin he doubled over, straight into Buffy's upcoming knee. "Nice to see you guys again, sorry I can't hang around to talk over old times."

Stakes weren't gonna work, she wasn't carrying holy water, a crossbow or a damned big sword. But she knew where there were two. Buffy ran for her Jeep.

The Three tried to get up to go after her, but they were tangled up, and hurting. Their leader was too busy crying tears of blood and nursing his bruised pride, and other stuff, to send them in pursuit anyway.

"She'll beg for mercy for that, the bitch," the one-eyed vampire wiped the blood from his face as he struggled up right. "By the devil I'll stake her open for the whole town to use when I'm done!"

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Buffy frantically worked her pager in the jeep, she hoped Giles and Karen had already......been Giles and Karen, she needed research STAT.



Part Two

Research party at the library.

Ok not the real library, that was an empty space now by the new High School. Giles had succeeded in having the mouth of hell left building free, what covered it now was a statue of the late unlamented Principle Snyder set in a small garden. The library was being rebuilt on the opposite side of the school and was almost finished.

But Slayer Central was now the second storey of Giles' store, and so there the gang sat around the reading table.

Giles had turned up in Levi's and a tee shirt this evening. Eyebrows had raised, as they had several times in the nearly four weeks, since it was widely believed he had carped Karen Kochanski. He had either been rejuvenated and refashioned by the experience or the fact he wasn't a High School faculty member had finally sunk home. Tweed was out, casual was in.

The earring had stayed out though, and he still hadn't bought a grown up car.

"So Buffy, would you mind telling us what this is about?" Buffy had been mysterious in her conversations with her friends when she summoned them to an emergency research party. "I was...er...ahem....doing something important."

*At the risk of being nauseous, in that shirt I can see what Karen sees in him, and guess what......anyway.*

Noticing the combined 'get on with it' looks from Willow, Oz, Xander, Anya and the ex-Watcher, Buffy spilled. "Well there I was hunting in Hammersmith park when I ran into old friends, three old friends to be precise or to put it another way the Three. Undead guys somebody told me would offer up their lives in penance for failing to kill me, and therefore were believed dead but arn't!"

"The Three?" Giles hand went straight to his glasses. "Good god."

"Exactly," Buffy looked round for more contributions, they came rapidly.

"But didn't we hear that Darla killed the Three, couldn't it have...." Willow wished she hadn't started her question at the superior look Buffy sent her. "Been....some other vampires?"

"Nope, it was the Three." Buffy sat back and looked at her friends startled expressions with a smile on her face. "Large as death and twice as ugly."

"But......how?" Willow thought hard and a dreadful prospect came to mind. "Do you think someone might have perfected a revocation ritual? Might have used those guys as an experiment?"

"If they died, it was in front of vampires, Willow." Buffy tried not to sound boastful when she went on. "Vampires who I subsequently killed, their ashes would have scattered along ago. There's no way anyone could have gathered them back up."

"If they were killed," Oz was thinking hard even as he went on. "None of you saw them die right?"

"No," Giles shook his head. "But if a vampire fails his Sire then traditionally he will offer his life as penance and the Master was not a merciful creature. The three died. If they hadn't, we would have seen them amongst the Master's forces when he rose."

"I'm a scary vamp," Xander began. Everyone as usual waited for the joke. "I have an even scarier vamp as my boss, I screw up. Do I go back to my boss who's trapped in a mystical prison or do I leave town fast and wait till the dust settles, literally in this case, before coming back?"

"I don't think they would have done that," Anya felt bad about not being able to back her boyfriend's suggestion, but. "The Master was a very powerful vampire. His control over his Childe was intense."

"They would have left him when he became trapped if he wasn't, I don't think you appreciate the strength of the Sire-Childe bond Xander." Giles rambled on about his favourite subject, vampires, even as all the teens turned to look at Buffy, who started to feel very embarrassed. "Minions have no choice but to obey their Sire's every whim....whatever that might entail....indeed they'll submit to..."

Suddenly he realized that everyone had gone quiet, and why.

"Hey." Buffy's cheeks were scarlet, every drop of borrowed blood seemed to have rushed there. "I'm not a minion, I'm an equal partner....I don't submit."

"Quite...yes....er......the Three." Giles hastily got back on track. "Vampires coming back from the dead to be undead again. It is rather disturbing, isn't it?"

"Specially when they hit you, then plan on raping you." Buffy regretted sharing that at the gasps of shock that ensued. "Don't worry they didn't, but I ran after I knocked them down. I wasn't expecting armoured vamps tonight. I didn't have the necessary weapons. Tomorrow night will be different."

"Question," Xander began again. "How do we know they're our The Three?"

"HUH?" A room full of people all said at once.

"We know that there's more than one dimension in existence. How do we know this The Three is ours?"

It was Willow's turn to be the center of attention. "Why is everyone looking at me? I'm innocent. I haven't tried to get anything from other dimensions for anyone." She turned her gaze on someone she formerly hadn't liked. "Anya, you haven't done anything stupid have you?"

"No," Anya defensively took Xander's hand in hers. "I'm too happy being human to try to get my necklace back again."

"Maybe were looking at a tear in the space time continuum." Oz turned quickly to the Watcher. "Sci-Fi reference."

"A wormhole into another dimension." Giles put his glasses back on. "Even though I was always being denied access to the full information I needed, I never heard even the slightest of rumors of The Three still being alive. I believe Xander and Oz may be right, and if they are, we need to find the portal and close it before anything else gets through."

This was the opportunity Buffy had been hoping for. "After all, who wants to be fighting the Master again, or maybe getting to meet a second Angelus who never got cursed? So I call Code Red, we get Spike and Browne here, we capture one of these guys and Browne tortures the location of the door from him, we slay, we seal."

"Giles you ring Angel and break the news to him." Buffy gave her best shy half-smile as she took her cellular from her pocket. "I'll go ring the boys."

"Right......you do that." Giles realized his side of the conversation wasn't going to be pleasant. Words like entrapment sprang to mind. "Why do I have to ring Angel?"

"Cause you do."

Willow watched her friend's face and her heart sank. She had always wondered what had really gone on in LA that first trip between Spike and Buffy. She had a very strong fear that the two were far closer than they gave out. The sex in the cave thing, even more suspicious, why would Buffy the vampire have let herself get so distracted without a prior attraction? No, something wasn't right. God help Angel if he ever found out.

"Can't you torture the vamp yourself?" She felt like offering to do the job herself, but she didn't like to leave marks. "Do we really need Spike?"

Nearly blushing again, Buffy thought fast. "Browne tortures, it's his job. Spike drives Browne to do the torturing. Plus they get left on their own, they don't have anyone to watch their backs, they're coming here, anyone got anything else to say?"

Nobody said a word. Five uncomfortable silent faces looked back at her. "Good."

Buffy got dialing.



Part Three

A call on her pager told Buffy not to meet Angel at the Bronze. Mr Broody was waiting for her back at the Mansion. That was in her opinion fairly typical of the guy and his moods of late.

Part of her said. "Skip it, go home watch TV, maybe do the study thing." But the majority cursed and drove over to Grumpy's house.

She parked the jeep and got out cautiously, no sword armed zombies ran at her, and Angel wasn't on the doorstep with chains and a sack to tie her up in whilst Spike was around. *Not that he'd actually do that cause if he tried it I'd kick his ass, boyfriend or not!*

"Paranoid, and a vampiress." Buffy shook her head as she headed for the door. "Girl you got problems, but then so has......" She opened the door and saw Angel standing in the hallway. "He."

"Why did you get Giles to ring me?" Angel was leaning against a table in the hall, wearing a knee length black trench coat and from the appearance of things, nothing else. "What was there about Spike coming to visit that you couldn't tell me yourself?"

"Absolutley nothing at all......and are you naked?" Buffy's mouth had gone dry, other areas of her body were anything but. "Cause I was expecting....."

"A fight," Angel began to unbutton the coat, as his finely muscled chest was revealed Buffy got her answer, Yep! "With Mr Broody, I don't think so."

Buffy pushed the door closed with her butt, and then locked it by reaching a hand up behind her and turning the catch. Passion tore through her as she gasped. "So this is what?"

"Why you behave yourself while Spike's here." Angel flashed her, he was naked, and very erect. "Don't just stand there Buffy, you go home on weekday nights remember, so unless you'd rather fight?"

He flashed her again.

"Screw fighting, make love not war." Buffy crossed the hall confidently. Angel's arms closed around her and bending slightly he drew her up to him, their mouths locked and their tongues began to dance together. Buffy gasped as Angel's hands dug into her ass, pulling her firmly against his cock, the firm length pressed into her stomach made her forget all about her Spike plans.

Her hand left the vampires neck, and began to pull the coat off his body, she broke her lips free and whispered. "Get naked!"

With a familiar smile he dropped the coat, Buffy raised a very appreciative eyebrow as his muscular white-skinned body was revealed in its full glory. Her hands ran from his shoulders, down his ribs, over the muscles of his stomach and finally gently her fingers began to run up and down his length. "So how come the coat thing works for you but not for me...?" She mused, before realizing that did not matter. Her nails delicately scratched along the skin of his thighs, as she bent far enough forward to lap his glans with the tip of her tongue. "How do you want it....." She sucked the head of his cock into her mouth, then ran her tongue around it, before looking up at Angel's lust filled eyes. "Like this?"

"Later," Angel turned her to face the table. Buffy made no protest letting him lead. He helped her take off the black jacket he had given her nearly four years ago, then fumbled with the fastens of her black cotton trousers.

With a girlish giggle she helped him, the trousers fell to her knees, she opened her finely toned legs as far as they would go and bent forward, knowing what was about to happen to her.

Angel knelt behind her. "Why Ms Summers, no panties, you are getting to be so the bad girl."

"Hey, if I'm commando I don't know......oh Angel.....what you are?" Angels tongue ran from Buffy's clit to her puckered anus and back, Buffy wondered where he intended to penetrate her, but decided to leave it up to her lover, as long as he was lubed, she didn't mind which path he used. "Please Angel!"

"Hold on just a sec." Angel's fingers parted her folds, dripping as they were with her juice and his tongue lapped the secretions before flicking her nubbin hard, Buffy groaned and gripped the back of the table hard.

"Please."

Then Angel stood, his fingers opened her gently and his cock slid into her core. He penetrated her slowly, gently, letting her walls open out gradually to accept his full length. "God Buffy, you're so tight."

"Ohhhh, and so full." Buffy almost felt a heat, even though both lovers were cold as death, but her body responded just as it had done when she lived, and she keened as he pulled back and thrust home, his thrust perfectly placed to touch her g spot. "Take me hard Angel, yeeeeeesss, Angel fuck me now."

Spurred on by her words Angel took a firm hold of her hips and began to thrust harder, but controlled, he didn't want to hurt her with his large cock. Her cries of pleasure grew until finally she reached down her body with one hand and by just touching her clit set herself off. Loudly she screamed out as the intense orgasm gripped her sending her out of control. Her muscles milked his as they tightened around his shaft. Angel shouted out his lover's name as he exploded in her depths.

Buffy slumped forward onto the table, sweat was running down her face. "Oh god Angel, this is so much better than fighting."

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Much later, naked, sated, they lay together in the silk sheets of the four poster bed, Buffy's head lay on Angel's chest, as he gently ran his fingers through her fine blond hair.

"So The Three again huh?" He had a fondness for The Three. They had helped bring stuff out into the open. "Didn't Darla kill them?"

"Your ex did," Buffy playfully bit his chest, fortunately with her blunt human teeth. "But we have a hole in the space time condominium and they're here again, like a rerun I suppose. So we gotta find it and seal it before anymore nasties get through who we already killed........and why mention Darla now?"

"What?" Angel looked started as Buffy suddenly gave him the look. "She killed The Three."

"True, but she's also your ex, she could come back here, too, vampire. I hope you wouldn't be thinking that if she did you and she could have a quick roll in the hay for old times sake. Cause I'm here to tell you that there is no way that I'm gonna......" Angel's kiss stopped the torrent of words.

"If she came back, all I'd do is stake her again." Angel whispered. "You're all the vampiress I need."

"Good," Buffy whispered and snuggling against his body drifted off to sleep.



Part Four

Whistler was in LA again, checking up on his unwelcome helpers, and as usual he found they'd been compiling a list of bloody deeds and committed repeated offences of mayhem with malice afore thought.

"Shoot out in Laguna Niguel, three mortals shot and left dead on a public street." Whistler heard the inevitable. "They was wronguns." But ignored it.

"A demon killed with a hand grenade booby trap in Glendale, how did you know he was gonna open that door first?"

"Well 'e did didn't 'e?"

"A nest of vampires destroyed by a gasoline bomb in Ranchos Palo Verdes. That fire you started burned a block and a half of real estate."

"The 'umans all got out, and they're not a vampires walkin' larder anymore either. Call it urban renewal."

"You're supposed to protect this city, not destroy it, and were the fuck were you guys when vamps were taking out a TV show's whole cast in Malibu?" Whistler shook his head as he pictured the potential newspaper headlines. Thank god the cops had gone for the knife wielding drug addicts. "Do you have any idea the heat I've been drawing on that?"

Spike had been sitting silently, cleaning his nails, as Whistler and Browne argued. Ignoring them up till now, the vampire was bored with the incessant quarreling between the two demons, but sometimes Whistler went too far. "Why should we care? It was a crap show and no one's gonna miss it. We were out slaying when it happened, killin' Kian-si in China town an' nearly getting our arses kicked in the process."

The blond stared down the comment Whistler was about to make and angrily continued. "If you'd given us even the remotest clue that this shit was about to go down, we could have done something, but we knew bugger all about it, a fact tv viewers the world over should be bloody grateful for."

"It's good to meet a guy who cares so much about his job," Whistler said cynically, as he picked up the report into that night's activities. "So how is it that after I got you the address where the vamps who did the killing were hiding out, you went in there and killed the wrong vamps? Otis Jackson had nothing to do with what happened, you should have taken his minions vamps down after he left."

"That fat bastard was killin' four or five people a night," Browne's voice rose despite the vetala's strict no shouting where Cordelia might hear rule. "An' keepin' a couple of Butchers busy, too, was we supposed to let 'im walk away?"

"Big Daddy kept his vamps in line, he would have been on the list eventually but after we'd thinned his family." Whistler noted the scowls at the 'We'd'. "You guys know the rules I work under? I can't intervene direct."

"Very convenient ones." Spike's sneer spoke volumes on the subject. "Sol wanted the bugger dead, his Childer did the killin', he had to pay the price, them's the rules, mate."

"Who do you work for Spike, Gelfman or me? I think it's time you chose." Whistler so regretted the day Buffy died and he got stuck with these two. "Did Buffy send you here to be a hired gun? No she didn't."

"She sent me to kill vamps." Spike knew that there was really nothing that Whistler could do about his activities, post tunnel Buffy had guilt over Cordie, and was more than ready to let the two vamps help her. "But as Sol is happy to pay us to do stuff you expect us to do for free, well......"

"FREE! With the amount of money you're looting from vampires......" Whistler angrily broke in, he stood up behind the desk and snatching off his hat, threw it across the room.

The vampires exchanged glances as he went to retrieve it, Browne sighed and reaching into his pocket pulled out a roll of dollar bills and peeled off a fifty, he'd bet on the demon being bald, he wasn't.

"That money covers our expenses," the grumpy vampire responded. "An the Slayer's, too. Let's 'er an 'er mates get more enjoyment from what bit of life they're gonna 'ave."

"Be that as it may, what you've done is gonna cost lives. Now Otis's minions will fight over who takes control of his turf, and they'll turn people to raise the vamp power to do it, which means tomorrow night and every night till you get the job done you hunt through Compton for vampires." Whistler tried to sound tough, but he could see the vampires weren't fazed. They just smiled at him.

"What now?" He asked with a heavy heart.

"Slayer wants us in Sunnydale. She has a crisis. Sorry mate, you'll have to deal with em yourself, get a crossbow, sober Doyle up." Spike stood up and adjusted his duster to cover his pistol and stake holsters. "We're out of town tomorrow."

"What kind of crisis?" Whistler didn't slay vamps, it wasn't his job, but his hands itched to break a chair. "It's an awfully fucking convenient one."

"Members of the Order of Aurelius, ones who were missing presumed dust." The opposition died in Whistler's eyes. "We can leave those Compton vamps to fight each other for a few days don't ya think? What Sunnydale has is a genuine crisis."

"Ok, for now." Whistler would just have to get Doyle out of Paddys long enough to Slay. He remembered something he had forgotten in the heat of the argument. "Angel sent you this Spike."

It was an envelope. At first Spike suspected a death threat, then he looked at the handwriting.

"Oh fuck." He said no more, he just shoved the letter in his coat pocket and without a word left the room.

"Bloody 'ell, what's 'is problem?" Browne scratched his head worried for his friend, nodded to Whistler and followed. "Goodnight Cordelia." He said cheerily as he passed the brunette.

"Night!" Cordie looked at the flowers on her desk again, and wished Browne would get a pet, but he was handy when she needed a new dress, and undemanding for favours in return, so far.

And Doyle, though handsome as hell, was a drunk.

"Wait up mate." Browne shouted after his co-vampire as he ran down the stairs. "What's the matter?"

"Nothin', nothin' at all." Spike looked up at Browne the pain on his face plain to see. "You mind your own business mate."

He slammed the door open and stood in the doorway. "Now that just puts the tin hat on it."

Browne looked over the shorter vampire's shoulder, and saw their car blocked in by three vehicles, all of which had men stood in front of them.

"Bastards....." Spike began, before he felt Browne's hand on his arm, restraining him.

"Cozzers." Browne whispered.

It was a slang term Spike hadn't heard for years, but then he looked at the suits, the hairstyles and the beer guts. "Old Bill, what do the filth want with us? We're vamps not effin criminals."

"I think we may be about to find out." Browne had heard all about the S.I.B and what happened to vamps who killed celebrities or the members of LAPD officers families, it wasn't pleasant, but as they were clean? "Take it easy mate."

"Don't I always." Spike felt the nervous energy building that so often got him into trouble, the letter burning a hole in his pocket wasn't helping.

The centre car's passenger door opened and a large grey haired man got out, he was in his mid-fifties but still broad-shouldered and athletic looking, the face was familiar to both vamps from a Whistler briefing they'd almost slept through. He had the look of a violent sadistic thug, which was what he was, but an intelligent one, which he was also.

"Fuck me," Browne seldom sounded afraid, now however he did. "It's Captain bloody Sullivan......"

Continued

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