Spike in the City Of Angels, Episode 3:


In Hope Of A New Beginning


by John Cope







Part Three

"Can you help me carry this guy inside?" Jenny took hold of Altie's feet. "There's something I gotta tell you."

"I really should go and look for Buffy." Giles was rather flustered to find that someone he had written off as probably old and deranged was most definitely neither of those things. "I'm certain we'll get a chance to talk later though, by the way shouldn't you send this chap to hospital?"

"Oh I that might raise too many questions." Jenny was too late to stop Giles putting his hand on Spikes forehead. "I ...wouldn't..."

"Ye gods." Giles reached into his coat pockets for a stake. "This is a vampire, what on earth are you putting him inside for? We should stake him now."

"Cause he's on our side." Jenny put her hands over Spike's heart. "Because tonight he fought beside us and killed vampires for us and that makes him an ok guy in my book."

"Vampires are demons Ms Calendar they don't change sides." Giles brandished the stake. "I think the loss of that young man may have affected you worse than you think. Now please move your hands."

"No," Jenny shook her head. "Don't talk to me like I'm a crazy person I know what vampires are. I've been fighting them for two years without 'expert' help while the Watcher's Council did nothing about the Hellmouth. Now you come here and throw your weight around." The fight went out of Giles as her brown eyes locked with his. "So pick up the vampire and come talk to me inside."

"Very well," Giles put his hands under Spike's arms and lifted him up. "But please make it quick."

"Ok I'm a member of the Kalderash tribe, a Romani, years ago my people cursed a vampire with the restoration of his soul." Giles was looking confused. "Look this will go a lot quicker if you just believe me, anyway we skip a hundred years of the vamp suffering and well..."

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Giles came out of 1630 Revello Drive looking visibly shaken but all the same he managed a smile at Buffy. "You can go in now Joyce is fixing you something to eat."

"Any blood in it?" Buffy noted the reaction and decided not to push it. "God I never knew Mom could swear like that, or that loud."

"A certain atmosphere did develop." Giles hadn't thought it would be that bad or that the two people he'd left on the porch would be able to hear. "But we can discuss that tomorrow."

"Well this place sure looks better that the Watcher's Council financed Motel I envisaged." Buffy picked up her baggage, one crossbow, and after hesitating over knocking went inside. "Goodnight."

"Night Buffy." Karen was on the porch chair. "Joyce can be surprisingly harsh, pompous idiot, English moron, I don't see either of those people standing here."

"Thank you, but I suppose that's because I haven't lost your daughter." Giles looked at his watch and then extended a hand. "Let's forget about research tonight shall we."

"Sure, Willow took off with Oz fast enough." Karen smiled. "I think we should do the same, get in some smooch time. We're gonna wind up old if we sit up and worry about stuff all night."

"Well then," Giles took her in his arms and bending slightly kissed her forhead. "Perhaps we'd better go and find somewhere to lie down."

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"Ow!" Xander tried to say past Anya's tongue as she slammed him up against the closing door of her apartment. *Ok slightly stronger that I thought.*

Her hips moved nearer and he suddenly found her stomach pressed firmly against his erection as she began to work said hips against him. *Oh!*

"Why did you keep looking at her like that?" Anya's fingers were suddenly busy with the fastens of Xander's pants she noted the confused look on his face and clarified with, "The Slayer."

"Who? Me?" Xander tried to look innocent which was difficult with Anya's carefully manicured fingernails swiftly undoing his fly buttons. "I wouldn't look twice at another woman you knoooowww that."

The caress had been feather like, and brief the fact that Anya stepped away from him brought a brief look of concern to Xander's face. Then she started taking off her jacket. "What are we doing?"

"Developing our relationship." Anya's blouse followed, firm high breasts in white lace contrasted with a flat stomach and one of the narrowest waists Xander had ever seen. "I think I need to give you something else to think about than Buffy and in 1,120 years it's amazing the stuff you can learn."

"Is it really?" Xander somehow unglued his legs and stepped towards her, she flushed a little biting her lip and he saw through the act. "Are you sure Anya?"

Her face fell and for a second he though he saw the beginnings of tears. "Don't you want me Xand, I'm offering to...you know?"

And then he was with her his arms round her waist as hers went to the back of neck drawing him down into a searing kiss. *Yes he wants me.* Her cry of delight was stifled by Xander's kiss even as she started helping him out of his clothes.

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Browne spread the map of Sunnydale out on the living room floor where he could get a good look at it. He needed to pick a rendevous site and then pick an ambush point on the route that Treat was most likely to use to reach it from LA. It needed to be far enough out of town for the resultant noise to not be noticed.

Choices were thin.

"What are you doing up this late?" Angel stood in the doorway clad in sweat pants and a black teeshirt. "I thought you were usually upstairs by now cleaning your guns."

"Can't do much up there but worry about Spike an' the Slayer, so I's takin' me mind of it by plannin a chapao." He noted the confusion on Angel's face. "An ambush."

"You figure we knife Treat in the back before he can do the same to us?" Angel answered the smile that crossed Browne's face. "You don't trust him?"

"Take's one badmash to know another." Browne ran the edge of his hand across his throat. "E'd cut our throat's faster than look at us I've no doubt." He pointed to the area of map showing the woodland north of town. "But this h'aint my manor see, I don't know the ground well enough."

Angel had been intending to read a book and brood over the Buffys but actually keeping his mind occupied with vampire fighting seemed like a better plan. "Here let me have a look."

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"And this is your...Buffy's room." Joyce stood slightly behind Buffy as she looked round. "I don't know if it's like your room back home at all?"

"It's how it used to be..." Buffy's voice tailed off as she took in the animals, the butterflies and the umbrellas. "Before...it happened."

"I see." Joyce watched with concern as this new girl who had come into her home picked up Mr Gordo. "Did you change everything then?"

"I grew up, or at least that's what I told myself." She smiled as she looked at the stuffed animal but a sad unhappy smile. "You're lucky you know little guy, my pig went in the trash."

She didn't cry she didn't have to for the pain to shine through it was there written in her face. "I'm never going home you know, not ever."

Joyce went and put her arms around her, this warm breathing girl who was but was not her daughter. "Of course you are, Giles and Willow will have you back there as soon as we're sure it's safe."

"You don't understand." Joyce felt Buffy's tears on her shoulder. "I knew as soon as I saw this place I'm not going back. There's so much evil Giles and I will be stuck here forever, my home's in Cleveland, my friends and family are there, but as soon as he reports to the Council none of that will matter anymore I'll...I'll lose everyone."

"Does your Mom know...about the Slaying?"

"Yes."

Joyce kissed her daughter's cheek. "Then she'll understand, and she'll find a way to be near you, trust me you won't ever lose her."

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Buffy and Spike were sitting on a bench trying not to hear a conversation Wilkins was having with a police Captain on his cellphone.

"Yes Burkalski I know they're all heroes but twenty-three dead civilians and two cops is gonna take some hushing up...yes so that's why my plan is so good...besmirching, have you been reading again? We do not need vampires all over the news...there has to be one without family...ok so you know the evidence to plant then all we need to do is get the cause of death changed to gunshots and sure the town gets a bad rep but ...ok that's my man."

"God I hate politicians," Buffy whispered to Spike. "Couldn't you just say it was a bus crash?" She shouted over towards the Mayor. "Do you have to tell such horrible lies about one of those people>"

"No I'm sorry." Wilkins shook his head. "That would take to much organizing for the time we have. I'll run you to back though before I go see a man about a hunting rifle and thirty spent rounds."

"You are such a sleaze." Buffy shouldered her katana and with Spike tailing her set off walking. "I'd rather have the fresh air thanks all the same."

Left standing behind her, Wilkins shook his head sadly. "I wish I could find another way Buffy but there isn't one, you just can't have vampires on CNN, not in this day and age. A witch hunt like that and we're all in the crap."

Part Four

"I'm hungry, Angel," Cordelia whispered as loud as she dared. "And I've had to...to do stuff in my cell, you know how the Lady get's if I mess up the floor. What she does to me."

"I know." Angel had had to watch Willow punish Cordelia with the biggest strap on he had ever seen numerous times, where she put it depended on what Cordie had done, but it always over the table in front of his cell, that way he could see both girls' faces and hear Cordie scream.

Angel was hungry, too, but he didn't mind. The vampires slaughtered his food before his eyes, letting the blood pour into his dish from which he'd have to lap it like a dog. "But I don't think it's deliberate this time, the girl who was here -- I'm certain she's the Slayer."

"You're crazy, Angel, she was a vampire, did you see how pale she was?" A faint trace of the old Cordelia came through as she added, "Okay, I guess my tan went west a year ago, but hey even I'm not that white."

"Still haven't broken you have they?" Angel couldn't help the admiration that showed in his voice. "Still some of that girl they first dragged in here complaining about the dust left."

"They break me every night, but I glue myself back together the next day." Cordelia wrinkled her nose, she kinda hoped Willow would come and find the mess, pain might be better than this smell. "Or maybe part of me has started to enjoy it. Darla likes to make me cum, do you think I'm turning into a vampire nympho?"

"Not while you have your life, Cordie." Angel tried to stretch his chains so that he could reach the bars. "Always try to keep that in your mind, don't give up on the fact you're human."

With a note of despair clear in her voice, Cordelia replied softly, "I'm always gonna love you, Angel, even when I'm one of them. Whatever they do to me, they won't make me hurt you, even if I am a demon."

"That's not gonna happen." Angel forgot about guards and danger and shouted it. "We saw those vampires going through here to the sewers, you heard the one's leaving upstairs have we heard any come back? No, cause the Slayer's here and she's killing them."

Cordelia looked at Angel's smiling face through the bars and wanted to believe but found that she didn't dare. Why would the Slayer turn up now after all these months? "I've almost forgotten what the sun feels like. I don't expect I'll feel it again. If they are losing, Angel, think what that means. They'll need more vampires and the Slayer will just get to kill me not save me. But I wish they'd come clean up my cell."

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"Gosh I miss my pets." Willow was feeling sorry for herself as well, she might be crunched up in a dry sewage pipe with Xander for the duration of the day rather than in their big comfy bed, or for that matter their Sire's. "This is no fun, and it's not gonna be any fun here ever again if we're not careful."

"Why are we here then, Willow?" Xander was still pissed about getting thrown into the sewer and more importantly its contents. Willow knew he was gonna try and impose his will on her soon, she was so looking forward to it."Why are you having us run out on our Sire like this? The Master will nail us to an east facing wall for going AWOL if we don't go back now."

"He'll be dead soon. It's an hour to sunset. If those people turn up at daybreak with the kind of weapons I'm expecting they will, then he won't stand a chance, Xander. Do you really love Darla that much?" She pouted a little. "More than your oldest, dearest friend?"

"You know I don't baby, but look what she's done for us, made us beautiful forever." Xander crawled closer and sat beside Willow facing her, his lips meeting hers in a hard harsh kiss. "But if you want to leave her then it's on my terms, honey."

Xander slammed Willow's hands up against the bricks of the sewer wall and morphed so his fangs gleamed in her face. "You're mine now like you always wanted to be."

"That's so sweet." Willow licked her lips and looked into Xander's yellow eyes boldly. Grinning, he relaxed his grip, confident that Willow was about to submit herself to his will. It was an utter shock therefore when her head reared back and she butted him straight on the nose. Cartilage and bone crunched under the impact and it took him so much by surprise that with a howl of pain he let go of her hands. "I love you."

Willow's fist connected hard with Xander's jaw. "We're gonna be together forever and be so happy." She pushed the injured vampire back off her and rose. "But ground rules are important in any relationship."

Snarling, Xander tried to fight back only to have a leather clad knee slam into his face. "One, you never contradict me or dare use that tone of voice to me again."

A boot slammed hard into Xander's ribs. "You don't fuck other vamps or vampiresses without asking me nice for permission, you don't turn pretty mortals, boys or girls, unless I get first try."

Xander lashed out blindly with his claws. Willow caught the vampire's right hand easily and locked his arm, and planting her right foot in his ribs she bent the little finger of the captured hand back to breaking point. "Do you give?"

"Fuck you." Xander spat blood, swearing to himself that Willow was gonna pay but at the same time contemplated a hard on that seemed to be about to tear through his pants. "Aaaaarrrrggh!" he screamed as the loud crack of a bone breaking filled the confined space.

Willow smiled delighted by the resistance and moved up to his ring finger. "Do you give?"

"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Xander cursed himself for a coward and an idiot. Why had he run off with this damned bitch rather than stay and die with the others? *Cause you love her man.*

"Good boy." Willow didn't relax her grip though. "We stay here for a few days, feeding on all those idiot mortals who're running around with stakes they don't even know how to use."

She had killed one mortal since dumping Xander in here, a second had easily been knocked out and brought to her beau for his supper. *Nasty ungrateful boy that he's become I wish I hadn't bothered.*

"Oh yeah." Viciously twisting the captured digit till it broke, she shuddered with pleasure at the sound of Xander's scream. "Just remember however we do it I always cum first!"

*****

"I just don't think it's right, fitting some poor guy up like that." Buffy was still brooding over what the Mayor had said. "Couldn't they just release the bodies over a few weeks, make up different accidents? It's not like the family's would argue, they saw the battle, they know how their men died."

"What about their kin from out of town Pet? They wouldn't be very apt to believe vampires did it would they?" Spike was trying hard not to like what Wilkins wanted to do but it seemed logical. "You gotta have some reason for all those deaths, and let's face it, it's the..." He took in the look the Slayer was giving him. "I'm just sayin' ducks."

"Excuse me for a second." Buffy exerted her will, she had tried it the night before but now she exerted her full mind and used all the anger she felt towards Wilkins, the Master and vampires whose agreement with her wasn't total, to try to work a mojo on Spike. "Can you move?"

Spike was stood stock still his lips just barely parted as he forced out. "Slaayyeer, what the fuuurrck arrrre you doin' toooo me?"

"Yes!" Buffy let her mind control slip and Spike slumped forward. "Knew I could do it, knew I could beat the Master at his own game, after all..." She pirouetted and then gave Spike a compensatory hug when she saw the pissed expression on his face. "I'm a vampire Queen, anything he can do..."

"So you're plannin' a rollicking good massacre huh?" Spike liked the hug but he was upset at being used as a guinea pig. His body felt like somebody had clamped it in a vise. "Please don't ever do that again Slayer, if you wanna experiment use Altie, there's a good girl."

"I couldn't do that to William, he's a wild vampire, but he sure has come around to our side easy." Buffy stepped back and fixed Spike with a very inquisitive glare. "What did you do to that poor vampire?"

"Me?" Spike asked all innocence. "Nothin'."

"Bullshit!" Buffy's eyebrows rose and Spike's legs froze like solid ice. "Talk or your balls are next. Did you establish dominance over that vamp?"

"No." Spike wanted to run but couldn't, nor could he tell Buffy the truth. "I chatted to him nicely and he agreed to help us. He's so agreeable he'll do anythin' you say."

"You're up to something, I know it." Buffy's jaw set but for all that she wasn't going to risk damaging anything essential to her own pleasure, so she let the vampire loose rather than just leave him stuck there for the sun to burn. "Guess I'll just go ask your Doppelganger...real, real nice and he'll tell me."

*No he won't Kitten.* Spike had a smug leer on his face as he walked along behind her. *You could bonk him from now till supper time and he won't tell you a bloody thing. I own that vampire good and proper, and I ain't tellin' you how.*

*****

Altie regained consciousness slowly at first but then as the throbbing pain in his head began to wash over him like waves, he came quickly back to full painful awareness.

"Oh god that 'urts." It wasn't a hangover, a rapid examination of his face revealed he had a large bruise on his forehead where the big vampire had butted him. "Bastard! I wonder if they killed 'im for me, I bloody 'ope so."

Well he was still undead and not chained to a wall in the Bronze's cellar, so he had to assume that some how the Slayer had won the battle. He patted his pockets and felt the envelope still there. "I just 'ope Spike's alright. I'm buggered if anything happened to him."

Despite the pain and the throbbing in his ears, Spike could hear an argument going on between a man and a woman just above his head.

"Ok Snobby, are you telling me that evidence I have seen with my own eyes is wrong? The girl morphed god damn it!"

"A vampire would not fight against its own kind without an ulterior motive and never beside humans. You're correct that a turned Slayer can walk in daylight but there is no turned Slayer. Buffy is mortal and with me. Really to suggest that..."

"Huge blue flash did ya see it? I hope your Buffy wasn't standing under it, cause let me tell you there is a wormhole in this town that leads to..."

"To the Alpha quadrant or where ever they call that place on that silly program I have to watch whenever I get trapped near a TV with Buffy's friends. I'm certain it's entirely because of that woman with the metal on her face that Tony insists on watching it..."

"Yeah well I watch it for Chakotay, but that's by the by. I'm telling you that there is a turned vampiric Buffy in this town, and if you don't accept that you better not have a heart condition cause the shock..."

"Are you certain you didn't take a blow to the head in that battle? Which I have to say though laudable would seem to have been terribly public..for...for person's in our line of work."

"Persons? Why you overbearing, English..." Spike heard in his opinion overly loud feet stamping towards him. "I'm off to sunproof my cellar before I say something you'll regret. Go look for your Slayer but don't be surprised if you find Slayers plural."

"Oh you're conscious." She actually smiled much to Spike's amazement, and a very pretty smile it was, too. "You ok? You need me to do that finger holding up thing?"

Spike hadn't really had that much time to notice Jenny when he'd first arrived at her house, he'd been suffering from a severe case of pre-fight nerves, now he had post-fight head trauma and could only smile and faintly murmur, "Not too bad miss, thanks for asking. Er three?"

"That's very good." Jenny tried hard not to laugh at the circumstances of the discussion. "Of course I haven't actually started yet but it shows the right spirit. Now where is the hammer?"

"Hammer?" A worried vampire asked piteously.

"No not for you, silly." Jenny began to pull open draws in the old cabinet that was dumped in one corner of the cellar. "Aha, here it is."

Cautiously, Spike watched the woman get a hammer some nails and some old sheets out and then pulled a set of steps from the corner of the cellar. "You might want to cover your ears, this could be a little loud for a vamp in your state."

Spike covered his ears alright but flinched with every blow as Jenny drove the nails home. "Hope you two will appreciate what I'm doing to my wood work here is all."

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Buffy noted the ambulances driving past and felt like crying . "This is why Slayer's are supposed to work in secret Spike. God those poor guys and their families."

"Freedom isn't cheap love, it never has been." Spike flashed back to Madrid again, not like either side had exactly represented freedom but a very small part of him had been sorry to slip away from his erstwhile comrades when their attention was turned. Of course he would have had a lot more to worry about than Fascists come the dawn, still he was making up for it now. "Sometimes you have to pay a price."

"I know, but we didn't." Buffy put her hands in her coat pockets and shivered a little. "I dragged too many people into my fight Spike. If any of them die, I don't think I'll ever forgive myself."

"Whaddya mean Buffy? Those blokes all ran out of...oh." Realization dawned. "You mean Red, the whelp, the wolf and the Watcher and his lady, oh and Anya and the Rat Girl if Willow ever works her mojo."

"Yeah..." Buffy looked up and did a double take, a familiar figure was moving amongst the crowd of bewildered and angry people on Revello. "Isn't that...?"

"Sure is." Spike's eyes were just as sharp as the Slayer's. "But why's he gone back to wearing tweed?"


Continued

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