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

by John Cope

Part Eighteen

Giles read the spell over again. Willow had found it easily enough, after all she had cast it before at Anya's behest and that was part of the problem.

Last time it hadn't worked. Instead of bringing back the necklace that made Anya into Anyanka it had brought back a vampiric Willow, not an experience anyone wanted to repeat in a hurry.

"Alright we have two choices," Giles said to the company assembled in his living room. "We wait for them to find another rift and pop through or we risk it."

"Do we do it here?" Xander looked around and Giles home. "I wouldn't want a tear in the space time thingumme opened in my house and it's a wreck compared to this."

"Xander kinda has a point." Willow silently thanked the goddess for the delay, she had Oz and Anya frantically searching for a better spell. "If something nasty comes out it...well it might not improve the decor."

"Though then again Buffy is gonna start running up demerits if we don't get her back here soon." Willow tried to avoid Giles' eye as she added. "And then there's the shouting thing."

Joyce had been fairly intense, Giles had to agree, it wasn't a conversation that he'd want to repeat in a hurry.

"Yes, good point both of you." He closed the book and put it under his arm. "Off back to Hammersmith and have a crack at it there then I suppose."

A voice spoke up from the darkest corner of the room where two vampires lurked out of the sunlight. "You can't do it now, Rupert, you'd kill Spike if you bring him back into daylight."

Angel wasn't surprised by the looks his remarks drew, after all he had seemed intent on killing his childe the night before. "It wouldn't be right is all."

"You care?" Xander said, a sneer crossing his face. "Amazing how quickly family can get to be important. I say get Buffy back, get her back now, and leave Junior in there till tonight."

"You little gob shite!" If Angel hadn't held him back, Browne would have run at the whelp, sunlight or not. "Ow do you know you can bring em back separate? They went in together, they come out together."

"Not caring." Xander wasn't phased. Browne had sworn an oath not to harm Buffy's friends of which he was one. "Spike's Order of Aurelius, he's gonna be having a gay old time with his old pals. Shit we should leave him, he's just one less vamp to worry over."

"Sometimes Alexander Harris you can be such an..." Willow struggled with the word, it wasn't one she used. "An asshole."

"Willow!" Xander looked like he'd been slapped. "I was only..."

"Doing what you usually do." Willow set her chin and considered stamping her foot. "The wrong thing before we drag you kicking and screaming into doing the right thing Xander, I mean good god Spike is our friend."

"Ok." Xander threw up his hands. "I don't like to think of Buffy being in there, man anything could be happening! I want her back here where she belongs."

"We all do Xander." Giles patted the boy on the shoulder reassuringly. "And we'll get her back tonight."

"We take crossbows." Willow looked around at the concerned faces. "Anything come's through that isn't Buffy and Spike goes back dust."

"And if that don't work I'm goin' in after them," Browne intoned. "I'm her sworn man -- where she leads, I follow."

"We got enough trouble trying to get them back." Xander shook his head. "We don't need you crashing around other dimensions too, so you stay here, James. You stay here, you're our friend too."

Part Nineteen

"Vampire, you get me those AK's I don't need to be hearin' no excuses." Fang Master Fang tried not to tear his short cropped hair out at the unhelpful attitude of the vampire before him. "I got a mutha fuckin war to fight homes, how the fuck am I gonna fight that war you don't come through?"

His minions were sat round in the tunnel, pump shot guns and crossbows in their hands, but they needed serious artillery for what lay ahead. Not a war with other vampires though, that would a walk in the park compared to what the boss proposed. A war with the LAPD.

"Fuck Sullivan, and fuck those red necked mutha's he leads." Freddy had loudly informed his totally scared troops on hearing the news that the S.I.B's had come looking for him. "Brothers, we are gonna show that son of a bitch that we don't have any fear of him or his."

Which was why they were hiding out in a side tunnel of the LA underground as far from Compton as they could get.

Kelvin was a very unhappy vampire, ok the contract was large, 30 assault rifles, but whatever the colour of their money, these guys were poison. Sullivan would crucify any vamp who helped these boys, then set a bucket above the cross to slowly drip enough Holy Water to take a vampire's skin clean off. Then there would be the part with the straight razor...

Which was why the vampire had struck a deal with another interested party fresh into town.

"You'll get your guns man, you just be cool brother cause they're already on their way," Kelvin shouted over the noise of a passing train. "I got a brother bringing 'em to you right now."

"That's good negro, that's news I like to hear." The Master vampire didn't actually look like he liked to hear much of anything at the moment but then fear will do that to a vamp. "Go on then homes, go hurry that vampire along."

Kelvin headed back into the darkness, the vampire in question waited there with his crew.

Treat had risked going into Sunnydale alone cause he'd heard the turned Slayer was hiring on help and he wanted to check the girl out. See if she was as pretty and as trusting as he'd heard.

She had proved to be dangerous to a degree he'd never seen before and he suspected she was also bottle blond. Obviously this changed matters, former cheerleader or not she wouldn't fool easy. So plan A or B he still hadn't made up his mind. But he could agree on the beauty.

Six vampires recruited over the years from the Bayous of the Mississippi River stood behind him, they were not enough.

LA on the other hand had brothers aplenty, poor leaderless scared boys just waiting for a vampire to come lead em to the promised land. Fortune and glory didn't wait them here or in their ghetto, no for the milk and honey they needed the suburbs where the white folks were at.

And all Treat had to do was persuade them.

"Soon as we get them guns we gonna use the sewers to get into the station house Sullivan's usein' an kill that mutha fucker." Freddy flashed his teeth in a broad grin. "See what this damn city has to say about dat."

"H...homes." One of the Fang Masters minions raised an unwilling hand, he'd been deputized but as he was the smallest vamp the election process had been simple. "We ain't happy bout dat, wouldn't it be better to take them guns an go to Frisco, start again."

*Thank you kindly.* Treat smiled in the darkness, and signaled his crew to move forward. *Way I see's it I's doin' these boys a favour, I'm gonna take em were they want to go.*

Morphing, Freddy closed on the scared as hell minion, a side kick to the jaw sent the creature spinning to land shaken on his back. Freddy pulled out a .45 and pointed it down at the smaller vampire's face. "You wanna run you little rat bastard, you wanna run from that red-necked piece of Irish American...?"

A weapon charger makes a loud noise in a vampires ears, Freddy's yellow eyes looked up into the darkness. "Have you damned English sons of bitches put a fuckin' bell on me, what is your beef with us?"

"Boy you're talkin' to the wrong vamps." A voice laughed out then. Treat stepped into Freddy's sight. A .22 held out before him. "It ain't the Brit's you all need to worry about, it's me!"

"Homes is that piss ant piece all you got?" Freddy held his big old colt at his side. "Go on take a shot bitch, see what good it does you."

"Don't mind if I do." Treat shot Freddy straight between the eyes. And the front of his skull began to smoke as the garlic took hold.

The minions scattered as their Master fell foam starting to pour from his lip's. His legs started to kick as the poison attacked his nervous system.

Treat was gleeful he'd had the bullets made special the evening before, the gun dealer had looked bemused but for enough green he was the kinda guy who'd sell death to anyone.

"Don't ya just love America?!" Treat shouted as his rifle armed minions moved to cover the very soon to be late unlamented Freddy Fang Master Fang's. "Land of the freely available gun."

He strutted over to the writhing vampire and gave Freddy a few sharp kicks to the head to spread the poison. Freddy's writhing stopped and he exploded into dust.

"Gentleman, you stand at the dawn of a bright new future." He smiled around at a cowed group of vamps. "Well not the literal dawn you understand, but I think you boys take my point. You all want out of LA, I'm just the brother to take you."

"We're going on a journey, boys." He held the loaded pistol out before him. "Anybody here that don't want to tag along?"

Part Twenty

The wind blowing in off Lake Erie was cold at this time of year but Buffy didn't mind. Lakefront park was peaceful this early in the morning and she was with the man she loved.

Marty was pre-med, a year older than her and a fellow student of Cleveland State. He knew about her secret and he didn't feel afraid and he'd met her after it had happened and he could look at without staring at her mouth, a minor point but still so very important. Saving him from vampires had been the coolest thing in her short life.

Ok, he'd been pissed at being dragged from their warm bed this early in the morning but with the trip she had coming up she wanted to maximize her time with him. True she could have done that in bed but after last night the poor guy needed a break,(Or he'd be too tired to study.) She'd jump him again after college.

Her buds, Tony and Kati, had patrolled for her with Giles. It wasn't to dangerous for them with the demon and vampire population of Cleveland pretty much whipped the surviving vamps reportedly leaving town as fast as they could run. Heading west.

"Off back to sunny California come weekend." Buffy shivered just a little inside her brown leather jacket but was comforted by Marty wrapping his arms around her . Holding her tiny form to his chest he tried not to let his fears show in his voice as he answered.

"I'll so miss you."

"And I you but don't you worry." She could picture the expression on his face, his usually smiling gorgeous expression replaced by the one with the soon-to-be frown lines. "It can't be anywhere near as bad as the crazy lady makes out."

"Can it?"

Marty had looked at the e-mails a lot earlier than Buffy or her Watcher and they scared him badly. "The mouth of hell, doesn't sound like a fun vacation spot."

"It's the total weirdness," Buffy said, leaning back a little so that her head rested on his chest, with her flat-soled boots, she came no higher. "If Mom hadn't got that better offer just before she signed the contract we would be living in Sunnydale and Giles wouldn't have been so pissed the first two months he knew me."

She looked up. "And I wouldn't ever have met you either." Then he did smile and, turning to stand on tip-toe, she kissed him long and hard.

Hand in hand, they set off walking passing joggers and other early risers as they passed along the lakefront. And as the people neared, Buffy would look away a little, avoiding the looks she would get as people saw the scar that ran down across her mouth and realized they weren't the twosome of cuteness they looked at longer range. They stared at her and looked sympathetically at Marty, handsome boy doing charity work.


She just hadn't expected it from a vampire, the sudden flash of steel as it slashed at her face with a knife. She'd killed that vampire and explained at the hospital that it had been a mugging, but the wound had scarred rather than healed totally as a Slayer's wounds should.

"The blade was cursed Buffy." An almost weeping Giles had explained to his ward. "That vampire must have been looking for you specifically. If only I'd.....I'm so sorry."

"It's ok." She'd some how managed to lie as a tear ran slowly down her cheek. "Least he didn't catch me anywhere fatal. I'm alive Giles that's what counts."

She'd cried again when they took the dressing away.

The rest of her senior year had been a long nightmare. Sure most of the girls had shown sympathy to her face but she knew the lockerroom tattle was that, "Little Miss Likes-to-Fight," finally got hers.

The guys had been worse.

She could accept the horrified stares without flinching after the first month, but it was the other guys who disgusted her. The ones who looked at her and thought still a good body and with that face a sure thing. She'd never had attention like it, one skanky guy after another coming on to her like they were god's gift till it sickened her completely.

She hadn't gone with any of them though.

Her friends had been her rock. She'd cried on Giles' shoulder and he hadn't minded at all he had become like a father to her since that night, a kind man she loved almost more than Hank.

She had saved a lot of people indirectly and a few directly during her time as a Slayer. Most of those had been too shocked by what they'd seen to be grateful or too scared to want to lend a hand. She was, it turned out, extra lucky the night she saved Tony and Kati from vamps. They had been her friends ever since despite Giles' initial misgivings, they were now on her team.

The changes in her had worried so many people. The dresses and the bright colours had gone quickly. Combat pants and vests became her garb along with a fliers jacket she picked up at a second hand shop. Lack of sleep left dark circles beneath her eyes so she compensated with black eye shadow and a new Buffy was born.

A Buffy who lived for the hunt, a Buffy who slew for the joy of it.

Till Marty had come along.

First week at Cleveland State, kids moving into the dorms, kids holding parties and get-togethers so that students could get to know each other.

Buffy had already screwed her chances of ever joining a sorority by telling several of the richest girls on campus in graphic detail what they could do with their plastic surgeons' business cards. She'd decided to veg in her room till judgement until Kati had dragged her to the nearest co-ed party, telling her grandly that she would have a good time or die in the attempt.

She'd stood around scoping for bad guys when a tap on her shoulder had made her wheel and almost drop into a fighting stance. She'd looked up into a smiling face and beautiful brown eyes of a guy who might have been mistaken for a Jock if he didn't look so intelligent.

"Hi." A hand, a large, strong but sensitive looking hand offered her a drink. "You look kinda alone out here."

She'd looked at him, jaw set, waiting for the horrified stare which didn't come. "As someone who's considering a medical career, I hope none of the rich bitch set try what you suggested. I mean forceps would be a necessity."

"I take it your not keen?" She'd answered puzzled that someone so lunchable would want to make time with her. "On them that is."

"They add a certain airheaded glamour to the place." Marty shrugged as he looked over towards a group of waspish looking fems staring daggers at the girl beside him. "But they lack mystery."

"And scars." She whispered loud enough to be heard. "Cut girls a turn on for you?"

"I'm gonna hope you didn't mean to ask me that." Marty didn't run as Buffy had expected or even hoped. "I just saw you here alone and wanted to talk to you cause you look like the most interesting person here. If you'd rather I....?"

"No I'd rather you stay."

And he had.

The learning about vampires part had freaked him, sure. On their first non-move-free date of all inconvenient times. But she'd slain and he hadn't run though she told him he should have.

Now he slew with her when the need rose and they did more than that. He was the man to whom she had given her most precious gift and there love had grown and grown.

But now they were to part.

"I won't be gone long." She assured him as they walked for the bus back to college. "I don't expect things to be anywhere near as bad as Giles seems to think they'll be."

"From what I've read about the Master, he sounds like real bad news." Marty stopped and looking down at her tried again asked her the question he'd put so often. "Why just you and Giles Buffy, why not the rest of us to?"

"You're not from California, you can't claim to have a sick relative you need to go visit." The Slayer patted his arm reassuringly. "Crazy lady has a crew, we'll hook up, dust the Master and the Order of Perspicas or whatever and be back within a week. Right in time for that dance you want to take me to."

They'd walked on, Marty was silent as he thought about what he'd seen in a store window two days before. A red silk dress in Buffy's size.

She'd wear it to the party if she came back to him alive.

Part Twenty-One

Buffy was naked and on her knees.

Helpless .

Her body felt like ice again. The Master had her in his grip literally as well as figuratively. Clawed hands dug into the back of her head to hold her steady as his cock thrust hard into her mouth and down her throat.

The humiliation was total, she could not even raise the courage to bite, knowing that if she did he would snap her neck like a chicken's. If she had needed to breathe he would probably have killed her anyway by choking but as it was all she could do was try not to gag and get him off and it over with as quickly as she could.

There was no gentleness, no feeling, she was a fucktoy to be used. The vampire tasted ghastly, his skin was the colour of decayed corpse, not the fine white of Angel and Spike, but her tongue licked him all the same as she closed her eyes and prayed it would be over soon.

Then dead sperm filled her mouth as the Master roared out in triumph above her. Somehow Buffy choked down all the salty bitter fluid and, as the Master released her, fell forward lifelessly, feeling as she did his remaining emissions dripping into her hair.

"You see my brethern." The Master shouted. "The vampire queen is my consort. Is there any other than I fit to rule our kind, to rule this world?"

"NO!" Screamed a hundred voices from behind her back, every trace of borrowed blood in Buffy's body fled to her cheeks as the total humiliation of being used in front of such an audience sank in. She began silently to cry even as the Master continued.

"But my loyal servants I can offer you not just this reality but another, another were our kind have been hard pressed, where they cry out for our aid, for my eternal rule." The Master's voice rose in Buffy's ears as she realized what he meant. "She is our link, our link to dominion over worlds."

The roar of triumph grew even as the Slayer's tears dripped onto the ground. Her friends were going to die or worse, become as they were here.

Then everything changed.

Tears became driving rain.

The howling of the vampires was replaced by the roar of the wind through the trees and by the distant thud of artillery. Buffy was still on the ground but in drenched fatigues now with webbing straps that were cutting into her flesh as the equipment bore down.

"Leave her Gunny," someone said over her head."We got wounded to carry, she's a fuckin' quitter nothing but dead weight."

"And when the fuckin' S.P.L.A find her she's bound to take their minds of us." Buffy recognized Harris's voice, a guy she'd smacked on the jaw for harassing her at Boot, a guy who'd born a grudge ever since.

"No!" Gunnery Sergeant Rutledge replied. "We don't ever leave a marine down, or at least not in the Corp I joined."

How had it all gone so wrong? The top soldier just couldn't figure it out. They had airlifted straight into a trap that was sure, SAM's and HMG's had flayed their Osprey transport aircraft and driven the Cobre gunships clear or down. All the officers were dead and he was leading the remnants back towards the land column. No radios left intact meant no air or artillery support and no chance of extradition by air. They would have to walk out.

And now PFC Summers, the bright future for tomorrow's Corp had quit on him. Life could not get any shittier.

"Hell Gunnie it ain't like we're gonna leave a MAN down." Harris sneered. "She wanted it, she got it, combat infantry ground zero. She can't hack it tough shit on her. She talked the talk, shame she couldn't walk the walk."

Buffy's M16 lay in front of her were she'd dropped it when her legs gave way. Her hand stretched out and took hold of the plastic pistol grip. Slowly she tried to lift herself to her feet. "I ain't a quitter Gunnie. I'm just carrying too much weight."

A hand took her arm, she looked round into a familiar cam creamed face. "All you have to do is fight Slayer, you don't surrender, you don't kneel and take it in the mouth. Shit girl, you killed that bastard once, all you gotta do is kill him again."

Flesch smiled as he helped her get her feet moving and the column quickly moved off again, towards the sea and safety.


She awoke with a start as the sunlight coming in under the container door reached her hand that lay stretched out before her towards the outside world. Turned Slayer or not, first contact always made her skin tingle.

Buffy glanced at her watch, just an hour's sleep and it hadn't made her feel any better.

*Ok so my dream suggests fairly hopeless battle or mouth full of Master cum, oh that is a difficult choice.* She had retreated to the container where she and Spike had hidden their weapons after she finished vomiting outside the Bronze's front door. She'd crawled inside and curled up on the rags to rest as best she could, the katana bared beside her.

"Leave a note here for Spike," she whispered. "Then go find some more wep's and the people who are fighting the vamps, avoid them staking me and try to persuade them to follow my lead."

Weapons, not guns. She wasn't Browne. She needed something to give her reach though. A shopping list began to form in her head.

A crossbow, why had she dropped hers back in Sunnydale, some fresh clothing and writing paper and a pen. She knew which shops in the mall to go to but she had no money or plastic, which was gonna be a problem.

"Butchers, doctors and the Snitch." Buffy had been blanking out so much of Evil Willow's conversation with her that she had not paid attention to that name till now. "Willy! I wonder if he's paid his taxes yet, cause he sure is gonna today."

Slipping a stake into her pocket and with a renewed spring in her step Buffy set off for the Alibi, hoping to find the proprietor was an early riser

"Might....might as well be tryin to kip in Trafalgar bloody square," an irritated voice emerged from under the rags at the far end of the container. Drink sloshed as a bottle was raised to lips. "Howseeeer...how's a bloke supposed to drink 'is self to death if people keep wanderin' in and out all the fuckin' time."

The bottle raised again then it's owner passed out for the third time that day.


Willy liked Sunnydale, it's vamps had money and paid for their drinks, it's law enforcement didn't dare set foot near his facilities and it had a hell of a lot of girls prepared to do more than pose in order to raise the finance to get out of town fast. He was happy.

Whistling tunelessly, he was dumping empty bottles and blood bags into the dumpster out back of his bar. The body he'd lifted in earlier was neatly covered by a dust sheet, the blood stains already mopped up off his floor. He was gonna have to talk to the Master about where his Minions left their empties and about the insult of them bringing their own drink in with them -- but a lot later and on the phone.

A momentary twinge of fear at the prospect of such a conversation chilled him to the bone but the Master needed a guy to go get stuff in daylight after all. He was safe as long as no one snitchier came along.

Closing the dumpster's lid, Willy was about to turn and go back into the Alibi when somebody grabbed the back of his head and slammed his face into it's red metal side. He dropped back stunned and hit the ground hard.

Red leather clad legs straddled his chest and pinned his arms to the ground. He looked up and nearly pissed himself with fear at the sight of the face of the girl pinning him to the ground.

In full daylight, in direct sunlight, a vampiress had him in her power.

"Hi Willy," Buffy growled as she playfully ran the sharp tips of her claws across the skin that showed above his white vest. "I'm Buffy and you're dead if you don't help me. Now you know that, let's you and me have ourselves a little chat."


The register had $120 in it, not enough not nearly enough.

Buffy had fed for free though. Three large bags of pigs blood had put her in fine fettle. Willy was tied to the cage in the store room making quite plain his views on what the Master would do when he heard about this. The Slayer didn't care.

She was to busy looking for the safe.

Ripping up the floor boards behind the bar with the ply hammer she'd found wasn't hard with her strength. Neither was lifting out the small metal box when she found the loose boards that covered it. Not knowing the combination was a problem also easily solved.

Hammer in hand she stalked into the store room. Giles and Willow weren't here and it had worked last time so why not this.

"Combination Willy." She dropped the safety deposit box on the floor in front of him. "Tell me or it'll hurt."

"I am so gonna enjoy watching the Master and his minions fuck you to death bitch." Willy didn't know what the hell was going on but the Master had forbidden every vampire in town from touching him and the guys word was law. "So you can walk in daylight......what are you doing?"

Then Willy screamed.

It didn't send any thrill through Buffy as the blow landed. It was aimed at Willy's left hand and it crushed his pinkie against the cage.

But his screams didn't bother her either. She'd seen him drag out the body.

"Four fingers and a thumb, each hand." She morphed back to her natural features. "Have I really got to hurt you that badly Willy? It's just blood money after all."

The pain was intense and it took Willy a few seconds to realize yellow eyes had been replaced by hazel. Hazel eyes that looked even deadlier than the vampiric ones.

*Safe as long as the Master needs someone to do stuff in daylight,* the Snitch's mind reeled. *Shit time to get out of town.*

"945187." He reeled off. "I didn't mean it about the Master. I won't tell him a damn thing if you let me go."

"Tell him all you like, he'll just tear your throat out." Buffy worked the combination, opened the safe up and whistled at the colour green. "Business must be good." She pulled out the top two bundles of notes. "Jackson, one of my favourite Presidents."

Untying the Snitch's left hand, she slapped him hard across the face. "Master's gonna die, bitch, and the folks in this town are gonna know you helped him. They find you, I hope they hang you from a real high tree."

Cash on her hip Buffy left the bar even as Willy tried to untie himself with his maimed left hand.


Finch studied the nights casualty figure without any particular interest, he had lost any compassion for the residents of Sunnydale months ago. Anyone so dumb as to live in this town as if nothing was happening out of the ordinary hadn't any right to life.

His family were in Frisco in safety, he lived in his office where the City Hall's guards could give him full protection. Let the rest of the town shift for itself had become almost a motto.

His desk monitor suddenly beeped he put the sheets of paper down and opened the channel. "Yes Elizabeth what is it?"

"Snitch on line one," his secretary replied. "He says it's urgent."

"Put the little bastard on then." Finch glanced at his watch, ok living in his office had it's down side. If the Snitch was ringing this early it had to be bad news.

Bad news he would have to report.

As if Mayor Wilkins wasn't pissed enough already.

Part Twenty-two

Spike was in a delirium of ecstacy so intense he was seriously fearful that he might combust in the arms of the blond vampiress he was screwing into the mattress beneath him.

Ok it was over a century since he had last had sex with the demon-possessed creature whose inner muscles where currently milking him of his fourth orgasm since their encounter had begun. That fact plus Darla in her passion screaming obscenities into his ear as she came again and again made him feel like the most accomplished lover on earth.

Which of course in his own opinion he was. Whatever Drusilla might have said.

His head throw back he cried out as he came again flooding Darla's dead womb with his seed. "Gooood you're good."

Darla laughed a little weakly as the warmest glow she'd felt in decades radiated through her body. "So are you dear boy, so are you. Those Minions of mine may be fresh and, as they'd quaintly put it, totally dollsome but...." She gently kissed him even as she felt him begin to harden again inside her, his tongue tasted of her juices, he had more than repaid her earlier favours. "They lack the skill two centuries of life can bring."

"You poor thing," Spike mock sighed as he pulled back and thrust home hard again into her slick cold core. "And with just four of them to pleasure you."

"Who...can...ever...have...enough...pleasure?" Darla gasped as Spike stoked the fires that raged in her alight again. "Never...I...is...that...ohhhh...little...vampiress...really...enough...for?"

Then her words were stilled as Spike kissed her passionately, rolling them over ever as he did so, barely breaking contact before the vampiress was impaled upon him. Then as she worked her hips they began the spiral towards ecstacy again.


Buffy soon discovered that there were advantages to being in the dangerous end of Weirdsville. Like abandoned cars.

Ok bloody upholstery and broken windows were a turn off, that was a gimme. Some cars were ok though their owners hadn't died inside. She found a station wagon with keys in the ignition and gas in the tank, and after finding a rag to wrap round her hand whilst throwing out the crucifix hanging from the rear view mirror, she was quickly on the road into town.

Boarded up houses and not many cars on the road was one of the first things she noted and took advantage of. Curtains and lengths old carpet went into the back of the wagon. She would need a sunproofed shelter for Spike, assuming he could get out of the Bronze for tomorrow. They weren't going home in a hurry of that she was now sure.

The Mall was a lot emptier, too, and not very convivial for one of her kind. She repeatedly had to skirt round crosses and her sinuses began to give her hell as the aroma of garlic reached them from cloves hanging above shop doorways.

A rapid count showed she'd taken Willy for two thousand bucks. The realization sank in that she was on a kinda vacation and from vacation tradition had it that you brought back presents. Smiling Buffy began to shop.

She found herself drawn to a second hand store. She came out with a brown jacket in a big carrier bag though she didn't recall any reason to have bough it. Wigged though she might have been she went into her Mom's favourite stall to get her present.

So the Slayer had several shopping bags hanging from each hand when she got to the sporting goods store she'd really come to visit. She stepped inside carefully looking for any garlic, crosses or cunningly positioned buckets of holy water that might reveal her secret to the store owner or other customers but there were none. Just one former hunk running now to fat stood behind the counter.

"Hi what can I do for you little Lady?" The man regarded her curiously like he wasn't used to seeing many new faces. She guessed as well that sports weren't that popular in a town where the odds on half your team being dead by the weekend were so narrow. "You want anything in particular?"

They were in a large glass case just in front of the cash desk and there were a lot to choose from. "A crossbow."

The man looked startled but only for a second. He winked as he took a set of keys from a hook behind him. "Target, hunting or home defense?"

Buffy understood the wink, in this town crossbows gave you an anti-vampire edge. 'Flying fatality!'

"Hunting." She pointed to a short black bow that seemed to draw her eyes. It had a black plastic body and grip with a steel bow and string, its folding stock allowed it to be fired one-handed. "That one there, please, plus about thirty wooden bolts."

"You sure?" The storekeeper hesitated as he went to fit the key into the lock on the case. "You could get a long way on a Greyhound on this kinda money."

Buffy counted out eighty dollars and dropped it onto the top of the case. "I'm sure, don't worry about me, worry about them."

"There's a hell of a lot of them." He was a guy in his late forties and his concern seem almost heartbreaking. "What did they do, kill someone you love, your boyfriend?" He sighed deeply before adding. "Get out of this godforsaken place, gir,l you're too young to join him."

He'd never seen a harder set of eyes than the ones that looked back at him now. "I've changed my mind." Buffy peeled off some more notes from her depleted wad. "Make that forty bolts."


City hall next.

She needed plans of the sewer system and she had no Willow to get them for her off the net. So she was going to have to go the old fashioned way to the city planning department and their photocopier. She still had a good few hours till nightfall and the opening of her battle with the Master's followers, time to get what she needed and see if she could find the people who she hoped to fight beside.

The big white building stood untroubled. As a public building though its walls weren't sacrosanct to those who walked by night. Or they didn't used to be.

The sign by the door was large and bold. 'No Entry Without Prior Invitation.' Enough to keep any bloodsucker out, but it being daylight the door guard waved her through without a second glance. Buffy smiled as she walked past, finally somebody with smarts in this town it was almost a relief.

"Public works, public records." She said aloud as she checked the map in the entrance hall. Her finger traced along the list and then suddenly stopped. "Huh!"

"Mayor Wilkins office?" She was stunned for a second, then the implications of the Master's rising hit her. Wilkins needed fuel to ascend, the Master and his many adherents had decimated that fuel. Wilkins must be stuck in his un-demon form in this reality. He might not even get another chance as he had missed the scheduled boat in 1999. "I bet he's pissed."

She had no time to go and laugh at old enemies discomfiture though, instead she headed off down the relevant corridors to find what she needed.


She found the maps quickly enough. Paid the nice lady five bucks for the dubious pleasure of using the fairly clapped out copier and quickly got to work.

They were adequate, she thought, as she looked at the plans. Her knowledge of Sunnydale's underground environs was fairly detailed anyway but she wanted to be positive that her scheme of operation would work before gathering if she could the necessary force of humans to conduct it.

Turning whilst folding the sheets of paper, she failed to look up and walked right into a man's chest.

A brown jacket and pants, blue shirt no tie and an oh-so-familiar face. "Welcome to Sunnydale Miss Summers we've been avidly awaiting you, young lady. Though we were kinda expecting a Slayer who was.....how can I best put this so as not to offend?"

Mayor Wilkins was smiling at her. Buffy didn't see that as a particulary good sign.

"A little more alive."