Spike in the City of Angels, Episode One: A Soul


by John Cope







Part Eight



After making sure that Willow was okay, and witnessing the redhead saying something nice to Anya!, Buffy had set off across town in her car.

She was going to the Hospital.

Faith lay peaceful, as though in a deep sleep, she was breathing on her own, but there was still the heart monitor beeped away, and the tubes still running into her body.

She was connected to two drips, these with a feeding tube provided her with what nourishment she needed, two catheter tubes ran to a discrete plastic bag on a stand the far side from where Buffy sat. Various wires ran to monitors taped to her body. Buffy could just sit holding her former enemies hand.

The bruises where gone, the kidney damaged was healed, part of the strength of being a Slayer was the ability to heal quickly. But the head trauma was another matter, Faith slept, she would do so till she woke up, or died.

She was wasting away, slowly, not that she was becoming malnourished, all the nutrients necessary to sustain her life were provided, but her muscle tone was gone, her body was weakening, her life seemed to be slipping away.

"The whole things coming undone, I don't know who I am anymore, what I am. Would you believe that now Wesley is starting to be useful? I don't want him to be. If I become human again Angel will leave, permanent soul or not, and you're thinking Spike, but I'm saying not Spike cause Angel would kill him the second he found out about us.

"And being a vampire with a soul, you know if you can walk in the sunlight it's not that bad, and my slay time is so up, fights last for seconds, they're kinda boring actually. The sex thing, well I guess you proved that Slayers have almost as high a drive as vampires anyway, plus it can get narlie, growling demoness in my head all the time, wanting me to jump every cute guy I see. Damned good thing this never happened to you, you'd never have got anything done."

She kept hoping for a sign, for Faith to squeeze her hand back, or to sit up and open her eyes, but that wasn't going to happen. She had never taken a human life, not deliberately, yet here this girl lay, a girl who had taken a thrust from a knife in Buffy's hand.

"You know cures in this game can be bad, look at Drusilla, curing her nearly killed Angel. Curing him got you an me both into this mess. What if the cure involves.....sacrificing a dozen virgins......Angel's death."

Buffy shook her head, this wasn't the sort of thing you were supposed to tell guys in hospital.

"Willow's accepted that Xander should love Anya, I hope you don't mind that, but hey that was just the Slayage horn, right? She and Oz are still totally happy, Giles was out with his new girl....womanfriend last night after we slew, I saw her again to day, you'd like her, or you might be jealous? But that was all a joke, I think." She paused. "I wish you'd wake up, give me another chance, I'd help you get fit again, you could stay at the Mansion with me and Angel, would you like that?"

She fell silent, then began to fell the strangest sensation, her 'Spider Sense,' in broad daylight. She turned and glanced back over her shoulder and saw him.

He was looking in through the glass in the doorway, she could only see his face and shoulders. He was balding and the hair he had left was grey, he wore glasses and was pale, his face just a little lined by age. The white coat he wore suggested he was a doctor, but it was the change in his facial expression that alarmed her, one second he looked in with keen interest but when she turned and he saw her face, the interest turned to horror.

For a second Buffy wondered if she had lost concentration and gone game, a brief touch of her fingertips to her face showed that she was wearing her mortal features. Which meant what....."I'm a bad person, there's the Slayer.......?" Suddenly Buffy remembered the other information Wesley had originally sent them. "Oh shit!"

Taking off at a run Buffy crashed through the door, and into an empty corridor. *No way did he walk, he ran, why would he run at the sight of me?*

*They're out of the loop.* The answer came back, it wasn't one she wanted to hear.

She ran for a phone, slamming in change she rapidly dialed in the store's number. "Giles! Hi it's me, I'm at the hospital, we got us a situation here."



Part Nine



Whistler was pissed, ok he hadn't been sent back to the earths surface to have a good time but this.....the vetala was sat opposite him, this was taking things a bit far.

Demons, they had done wrong, a degree of punishment was entailed in being a demon, working with Angel, Mr Broodsville that would have been punishment, that Whistler could have accepted, but this.

Knowing that the doomed romance with Buffy was finally about to end Whistler had gotten things set up in LA, he had rounded up Doyle, from whatever bottle he had been floating in, got by demonic means the P.I. licence he would need. Sat back and awaited Angel, once he turned up he was off back to the Apple to bother someone else till they agreed to do good.

Angel didn't show. Instead two English psycho's turn up and start to take LA's vampires apart, from the foundations up. He had expected struggles with the dark forces, but not turf wars all over the city, and not gunplay.

That damned Slayer! again she had leapt right in and screwed it all up, now he was having to stay here to try to exercise some kind of control and keep the collateral damage down to a minimum.

Browne, James Cahill of that ilk. Whistler regarded him coldly, he was an ugly bastard, well actually no he wasn't, but he gave off the impression of ugliness, an aura of death hung over him. He was a vampire with a murderous reputation, yet here he sat disgusting boots up on the desk,*Guy can't you at least look what you walk in?*, cleaning his nails with the tip of a knife blade.

"No way man," Whistler shook his head black hat and all. "I'm not gonna give you that information you got enough fucking firepower to start three wars, waddya want more for?"

"Very true son," Browne had asked for the names of all LA's major gun dealers, the illegal kind. "I got enough guns, but I ain't buyin' more, that's not why I wants to know who sells 'em, some bastard is supplin' high tech weapons to vampires, I intends to stop 'im, you got a problem with that?"

"This is our problem." Whistler felt like pulling off his hat and throwing it at the vampire, but he'd seen the guy eat, and didn't want his hat in a curry. "You just ask for one thing after another and don't tell me dick, and your killing people, bad people true but that isn't what we're here for, what would the Slayer........?"

"The Slayer 'as assured me of 'er fullest support, provided she don't 'ave to watch." The vetala swung his boot's down off what was officially Doyle's desk. "I tell you all you needs to know, you know about the gun dealers cause you needs to know, when I finks you need to know more I'll tell you, understand."

"Sometimes......." The demon looked across and wished he had a stake. "Sometimes I think I could do this job a hell of a lot better without you two to worry over."

"This city boy is full of nasty pieces of work like me," Browne was modest about it, he knew really though that there were very few creatures as dangerous as him walking the city's streets. "You wouldn't last two minutes under torture, an as for him." He cast a contemptuous glare at a blanket wrapped heap in the corner of the office. "All they as to do is threaten to take 'is booze away, that's why I don't tell you my plans."

Doyle had staggered in twenty minutes before, gazed around blankly, then after shouting. "God bless all here!" had collapsed into a heap on the floor. Cordelia had walked in afterwards and wrapped him in the blanket before going back to her typing.

Whistler had been amazed by Browne's reaction to the sight of the girl, boots had come down off the table at Cordelia's stern look, fingers had slicked down errant hairs, and the usual look of arrogant self belief was replaced by one more suited to an eager schoolboy with his first crush.

*He's in love with Cordelia!*

But the amusement he had felt hadn't stayed with the demon for long, Browne had started to make what passed for a report, ok vamps where dying but not in the quiet discrete way he had expected. Why couldn't Angel have left straight after he told the girl, why wait for graduation?

"Fine, it's full of bad guys," Whistler had faced any number of such fellows back east, but direct action wasn't in his remit. "You and Spike, your trying to empty it, fine. Yesterday four people died in a drive by in Compton in a drug war you started, one of them was a child of eight. Can't you just stick to vampires for fuck's sake?"

"Maybe, look we offed that bloke for selling crack to kids." Browne shrugged. "We was over eager, didn't stop to fink about the consequences. But vampires is getting harder, their fortin' up, creatin' more minions, it's gettin' 'ard to get at em. So we take out their gun suppliers and the situation gets easier for us."

"Six nights ago I know it was you hijacked that van load of blood of vamps on Rosecrans Avenue, cops found ninety eight empty cartridge cases in the street from what you and the bad guys fired. They chased a black getaway car, four squad cars written off and a police helicopter fired on." Whistler threw up his hands. "What are you trying to do here man, you realize the kind of heat we could get over this?"

Reaching into a jacket pocket the vetala pulled out a revolver and tossed it onto the desk. "Colt Detective, loaded with wooden bullets, before you dare to criticize my slayin' methods again you take that, shove it up some vamps arse, an pull the trigger. I ain't gonna be told what to do by some fuckin' twat who 'asn't even got the bollocks to fight what to do! Spike's a bloody good drive, those fuckin' Peeler's was probably on the take, we should a killed them to."

"Killing, that's all you know how to do." Whistler tapped his forehead. "You don't ever think, what's to stop me from picking that gun up and emptying it into you, I'd be doin' humanity a favour." Browne opened his mouth to speak but Whistler raised his hand and carried on. "You got to think more about what you do, think about repercussions, if I hear of anyone else caught in the cross fire cause of something you and Spike do then the Slayer gets to hear, capice?"

"Rat me out anytime you like boy!" Browne leaned nearer his voice sinking to a growl. "But if I finds you before the Slayer finds me, I'll burn your stupid fuckin' 'at, with you underneath it."

"Feel free to try," Whistler threw the gun back into the vetala's lap. "I'm a demon you idiot, I've been in hotter fires than you could ever light. I suppose while you're here Spike is out killing someone?"

"He's off doin' your man Doyle's job." Browne resisted the urge to spit at the bundle on the floor. "An maybe makin' a useful contact, an don't go tryin' to threaten 'im, cause remember the Slayer........."

A cough from the door snapped both heads away from the heated conversation.

"Hi," Cordelia was standing in the doorway wearing the second hand brown coat she had been reduced to this winter. "I'm going now, but could you guys please make sure Doyle is on his side when you leave, ok he's a demon but I'd hate to find him dead in some gross kinda way......an switch off the lights and lock up after your finished threatening one another."

"Missy." It came out as a squeak, but then Browne coughed and went on. "You want me to walk you 'ome? There's a lot of nasty creatures out there an a girl on 'er own."

"No thank you very much," Cordelia smiled, best to be nice to the psycho. "I'm ok, I've got a stake and a crucifix and I can slay, so I'll be fine, but it is sweet of you to offer, even though you maybe want to get me in an alley and turn me? Which I suppose is a compliment of sorts but not really what I came to LA for."

Backing out of the room Cordie waved. "Bye!" And left hastily before any vampire followed her.

"You got it bad." Whistler smirked at the discomforted vampire. "She'd eat you whole and spit out the pips. You want to turn her?"

"First thing I promised 'er Majesty, no feedin on 'er friends." He repressed a sigh. "But I do so like the look of 'er though, I mean if she got 'er soul back straight away......"

"Maybe one day you'll meet a nice vampiress and settle down." Whistler pointed down at Doyle. "Meanwhile he needs a secretary who can take care of him and don't scream at vampires, Cordie fits, leave her alone or the Slayer gives you a whuppin."

"Soddin' 'ell, I never gets to 'ave any fun." Browne stood up and stashed the gun away. "You got that thing I asked for?"

"Yeah," Whistler pulled a large green duffle bag emblazoned with the USMC crest from behind the desk. "I don't want to know what the fuck you need this for but if it involves subways I'm coming after your ass myself."

Taking the duffle off him Browne laughed his earlier anger forgotten now. "Threat's!, from you, well you know what you can do with em, go tell em to the Marines."

Whistler shook his head as the vampire left the room. "Jeeze Buffy, you sure know how to pick em........"



Part Ten

Spike was on unfamiliar territory, but hey the world was his oyster. All the same though, this was something else.

He was in the waiting room at the main offices of MGM, he had come here to deliver a large brown envelope for Doyle and been surprised when he was asked to wait. So now here he sat looking round at the pictures of Stars and Starlets on the walls, curiously waiting to find out why.

The intercom on the secretary's desk buzzed, she looked up at Spike a look of obvious interest on her face, she was pretty, had it not been for the Slayer he might have looked back. "Excuse me sir, Mr Gelfman will see you now."

"Right," bemused Spike walked over to the indicated office door, he read the sign on it. 'Sol Gelfman, Producer.' It didn't mean a thing to Spike who never really bothered reading the credits of films. So he knocked and entered, he'd got into the building, rooms after that weren't a problem.

The office was plush, carpet that probably got priced by the square inch on the floor, expensive with a E wallpaper, photographs of celebrities, signed. Photo's with President's! hands being shaken.

"Yeah, amazing what those goyishe shitheel's will do for a campaign contribution." A thin bald headed man old enough looking to have come out of the Ark sat behind a large gold inlaid mahogany desk. "Only one I had any respect for was Ronnie, and him, I didn't sleep sound all the time he had that button."

He pointed to a leather chair in front of his desk. "Sit down Spike, let's get to business, you want a drink, a cigar?"

"I'll take a cigar, I'm okay on the drink side." A large wooden box was extended to him, Spike selected a cigar and began making the necessary arrangements to light it.

"Cuban, don't tell the Surgeon General, Bill or the Congress is all I ask." Sol had a half smoked one in his left hand. "They let me have just two a day now, and no booze, shame I'm not immortal like your associate then I'd be able to drink all damned day like him."

"Say what?" Spike nearly dropped lighter he was holding. "How do you?.......I mean."

"I been in this town, this business fifty years, ain't much goes on I don't know." Throwing the pictures on the desk in front of Spike the producer sat back in his chair. "And not much happens that I don't find out about either."

Spike nearly dropped the lighter again. "Bloody hell!"

A cute, black haired girl was getting laid, by an equally cute well hung blond guy. The pictures were high quality though not posed, indeed Spike couldn't help but surmise that neither party knew they had been photographed.

"Amazing isn't it, that a guy whose that much of a lush could have such a steady hand with a camera." Sol broke into Spike's thoughts and his eyes flashed back up to the old mans. "Now you're thinking why am I bringing smut pictures to this old boy. A star on one of my pictures, a guy of fifty three would you believe makes the mistake of marrying a girl of twenty one, despite the advice of his friends."

"You mean," Spike pointed at the pictures.

"Yeah," Sol puffed on his cigar. "I'm two reels in on a six reel picture, this gets to my boys attention, he don't shoot em both he's still in rehab again for a couple of months. The guy with the schlong, he's a two bit actor gets some lines and out of her life. The girl gets an envelope with a friendly warning over her forthcoming smut mag appearances if she don't behave. None of that is why your here."

"Oh," Spike had the feeling bad news might be coming. "Why am I here?"

"Vampires used to be guys who hung around this town just lookin for blood." Sol noticed the blonds eyebrows climb towards the ceiling and smiled. "Every now and then a Slayer would breeze through and boom, dust. Then they started getting ambitious. My uncle had this job before me, back when Mickey C ran the rackets, he lost an occasional new piece of ass to vamps but things wasn't to bad, then the old mob takes a beating in the seventies off the FBI, and Bakull moves in big time."

"The Turk!, he used to have me pay protection, promised to keep his boys from feeding on my people." Spike fidgeted under Sol's smile, he hated people knowing his business like this bloke obviously did. "But he liked his prey young and pretty, he's been a pain in the ass recruitment wise for years. Along comes a bright young kid, I get him or her groomed and voom, missing. Later I used to get a wooden box full of ashes, the Turk would say sorry but I caught the look in his eye as he told me how he'd dusted the vamp that did it."

"Right, take it you didn't like the bugger then."

"Hated his guts, but then oi vey my pain in the ass disappears." Sol smiled at Spike like he was some favoured son. "Boychik you and your pal, you're the best pile cream I ever came across."

"Yeah!" Smile at the nice movie producer, Spike thought as his mind raced over possibilities. "Mr Gelfman, is there something you need?"

"To the point, businesslike, this is good." Sol threw another envelope across the desk. "Before you look in that let me say this, I believe in justice, I believe in what's right. I got no problem with people over 21 doing to one another what ever they want as long as they both like it or one gets paid. Take a look now, see what you think."

Spike opened the envelope, his eyes widened, a look of disbelief crossed his face, then fury, he snarled. "How old!?!"

"Too young. I got that still off a guy who wanted back in with me bad, knew I hate that kinda thing, wanted to get on my good side." Sol watched Spike tear the picture to fragments as he spoke. "He took the fucking pictures, can you imagine, the chutzpah of the guy. He's dead now though, but he did give me the three names on the back of the envelope."

Spike didn't recognize any of them, but he wanted to. "I take it they ain't people the cops would be interested in."

"Their lawyers would tie this up for years, I want justice Spike." Gelfman leaned forward. "When I heard about you I rang round, heard how you helped fill that hole at a certain stadium in New York in 75, solved some union problems for me to. I figure I need guys killed, slowly, you might be useful. You been whacking vamps all round town, I hear you're even working with the Slayer."

*Jimmy Hoffa! He is gonna fuckin' haunt me forever.* The urge to kill someone was difficult to resist, Spike struggled with his demon, who wanted to be let loose now, but he finally managed to snarl. "I'm no assassin, but if they're...they're fuckin' low life pervert scum like this then I promise you they'll die screaming!"

"Then we have a deal." Cautiously aware how dangerous an angry vampire could be the producer extended his hand. "What do you want in return for this, you gotta know I'm going to be feeling generous."

A light bulb went on in Spike's head, he was meeting a certain somebody later, someone he needed a favour from. "I got a friend who wants to.....break into movies, she's real cute and smart....."

Sol didn't snatch his hand back but his face lost a little of the smile. "You must know by now I got no objection to doing business with your people, but girls who go with vamps.......pretty soon they can't work cept at night, so....."

"She's just a friend's friend," Spike remembered his last conversation with Buffy about Cordie and grinned, extending his hand over the desk. "The Slayer's friend, I just want her to get a line or two in a film. Shall I have her call you?"

Sol shook. "Ok, but get her agent to call, it'll look better that way. The Slayer, I got this action pic coming up I want a female lead for, a new face, think she might be interested."

"I'll ask but......." Spike pictured Buffy's name in lights, and what the publicity would do for her slaying chances. "It doesn't really fit with her night job mate, but I'll deal with these bastards for you then Mr Gelfman if you'll......"

"Call me Sol," getting up the old man saw Spike to the door. "Soon as I hear they died, you get your friends friend to ring her agent, I'll be waiting on the call."

Spike left with a spring in his step, he was going to get to do good, killing wise, and Cordelia Chase was gonna owe him big time. The though of that had him laughing all the way down in the lift.

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Wearily Gelfman sat back behind his desk, he should have been home hours before now but vampires. His wife was going to be pissed, but these days that wasn't so unusual.

He opened a desk draw and unbuttoning his shirt pulled up the chain of the crucifix he wore for such occasions. Stars of David didn't work, why? his Rabbi had looked at him like he was insane the night he had asked that question. So now he wore a cross, but only when he had to, out side the room he carried a vial of holy water, and his guards stakes.

Not that a crucifix would have stopped a Master Vampire, for his offices true defense Sol looked up, but not to god.

Years before Sol had a sprinkler installed, separate from the rest of MGM's fire security. He had his own separate tank, and for a generous contribution his local, (But bemused.) catholic priest had blessed it's contents.

The push button trigger was in the floor, his foot had been next to it the whole time.

He had been in the business for fifty years, he'd learned to plan ahead, that was why he was still alive.



Part Eleven



Nervously Cordelia tried not to stare at the people surrounding her. She was in the Palomina, a bar just off Venice, it was a nice, clean orderly kind of place, and she was crazy to be in it.

It was a pick up joint for vampires.

She may not have been top of the class when it came to vampire spottage back in Sunnydale but looking around at all the pale guys in mid-eighties fashions, she didn't have to be Buffy to spot them here. The vampiresses weren't so easy, they tended to keep their fashion sense, the part of her that was still Queen C urged her to ask them why this was so, the rest of her shouted, *Don't be so damn stupid!*

The mortals were even freakier, pale anemic looking guys and girls, mostly young. Polar neck sweaters and neck scarfs were so in here. She kinda wished she'd worn one, to many vampires were looking at her pristine neck in a claiming new territory kind of way. It was off putting to say the least, she almost wished that Buffy was here........almost.

Cordie wanted to bolt her mineral water and run, but she was terrified of what might follow her. *Spike, where the hell are you?*

**************************************************************************************************************************

He was late, a glance at his watch revealed this as he ran across the street, narrowly avoiding a collision with a car. But hell the news he had for Cordelia would very quickly make him her favourite vampire ever.

Spike had been coming here to beg, to beg Cordie to help him out, to save him from his vetala problem. He had to get Browne out of his hair before he killed him, and Cordelia, well Cordelia would be just the distraction he needed. The vetala out with her a couple of nights a week would suit him fine.

"How would you like to be in pictures?" Spike walked through the door with that line on his lips, nobody heard it, but everyone looked up. He smiled at the fear on vampire faces and swaggered to the bar, good news travels fast. He had his reputation back!

"Hullo Cordelia, sorry to 'ave kept you." Cordelia jumped, she hadn't heard him walk up behind her, she was to worried why it had all gone so quiet

"Sorry!" She snapped, forgetting he was a vampire, and dangerous. "So you should be, making me meet you in a skanky place like this, and then being late! I could have got bitten in here.....or worse."

"Well you 'avent." Spike's actual exposure to Cordelia had been limited, therefore he tried reason. "It's not allowed in here pet, biting. Now what I wanted to talk to you about is........"

"Not allowed!" Cordelia reached for her bag. "Since when do demons stick to rules, I'm leaving now, I don't care what you want. And I'm not your pet, goodnight."

A hand locked around her upper arm. "Not the way it works luv, sit down and listen."

"Ow," the grip was firm, Cordie thought about the stake in her bag, with its firmly zipped up top. When she had moved to LA she had bought a bag large enough to carry weapons, determined never to be embarrassed like Buffy had that day at school she had made sure it fastened securely. *Too damned securely!*

Reluctantly she sat, but with a frown on her face. "Ok so bully me, go on. What do you want?"

"Sol Gelfman." Deciding to get it over with Spike went straight to the point. "Ever heard of him?"

"He's a producer......why do you ask?" The frown went, sure it wasn't replaced by a smile, but Cordie certainly seemed more amenable to his company all of a sudden.

"Bloke owes me a favour," Spike saw the gleam in her eye, and threw in the hook. "Straight away I thought of you, how would you like a line or two in his next picture?"

"Oh boy!" Dropping her bag Cordelia hugged a suddenly very embarrassed Spike, people really were staring. "You are such a lovely vampire..........wait, Can I ask you something?"

"Yes." Spike had been expecting this. "Ask away luv."

"Is this a sex thing?" Cordie was eyeing him up and down in a way Buffy wouldn't like. "I've been offered work for sex so many times it's just unreal since I got here, and hey your cuter than most of those guys but I don't do that. Just cause I was a cheerleader guys seem to think that I'll get on my knees for anyone, if you think that then I hope you won't mind me leaving."

"I'm just tryin' to help you." Spike could see this was gonna be a tough sell. "The job I have to do for Sol is something I'm happy to do anyway. I don't want to have sex with you." He realized his mistake as Cordie scowled and hastily added. "Cause I'm in a relationship, if I wasn't then hey I'd have absolutely no problem..."

"Okay," Cordelia regarded him coldly. "But I know you Spike, you want something, what?"

*Shit!* Spike drew in a large unnecessary breath. "I want you to go out with the vetala, with James Browne, you don't have to scr.......'ave sex with him, just keep 'im out of my bloody way......"

Spike stopped, having Cordelia laugh in his face was not a scenario he had envisaged. Now people were really really staring.

"Oh my god," Cordie wiped a tear from her cheek. "This really takes it........you know if you'd said date you, I would have........I don't really like you but making out with you would have been different. I might of liked it. Instead you seriously........suggest!" She picked up her bag. "Goodnight Spike, don't try to stop me okay."

The brunette flounced out, Spike looked around the room, nobody met his gaze. he knew however that they would laugh as soon as he left the room. Seriously pissed off he headed for the door.

*Reputation! thanks a bloody lot Cordelia Chase, you're just what it didn't need.*

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They had moved hide outs again, they were in a house in the Long Beach area. A stolen truck in the building with you wasn't the best of ideas. When he got home Spike found that Browne had blocked both parking spaces to their double garage with his station wagon, the vehicle he used to move hardware.

"That is it!"Spike'd had enough today and went to look for the bloke.

There were no lights on in the house. *The bugger must be in the garage.*

Lifting up the door Spike prepared to shout "OOOOIIII," but instead fell back trying hard not to spew at the foul stench, he gasped as he stepped back. "What the fuckin' 'ell, oh fuck you better not be curryin skunk in there again cause if you are I'm gonna......."

Then he looked up through eyes that were running and his mouth dropped open with shock.

Sharing accommodations can be a tiresome undertaking, it can really piss you off. Coming home and catching your flat mate doing weird stuff can be particulary trying.

Browne was sat at a table.

The table was covered in bullets.

He had a knife in his hand and was peeling something.

He was wearing a full chemical warfare protection suit, gasmask and all.

"Fuckin garlic!" Spike slammed the door back down and ran for the house, he rapidly unlocked the door and bolted for the kitchen, he turned the faucet on full blast filled the sink then plunged his face in trying to wash it clean, no wonder his eyes were bloody burning. "Fuckin garlic!"

Then he looked round for a stake. "A note on the bloody door, would that 'ave been to bloody much to ask. 'Dear Spike, am doin' somethin' 'orrible an fiendish, please wait in the 'ouse.' Oh no, and to think of the trouble I've gone to for him today. GARLIC!"

However even as he contemplated murder a certain sneaking part of him couldn't help but wonder, *So what the fuck has the bastard got planned now, what is he bloody doing crafty old bugger that he is?*

****************************************************************************************************************************

Marcus was back in Sunnydale, it was the last place on earth he wanted to be but here he was.

Spotting the Slayer in the Silver Snake had been the worse mistake of his whole unlife, it had drawn her attention to LA and she had unleashed her tame vamps on the city. He was so lucky that Bakull had just let him lose with a large bag of blood as reward, if he'd been at the mansion! He shuddered at the thought.

Since then though he had run scared, from one lord to another, whilst the winds of chaos had torn through LA.

Now he was here.

"You know Sunnydale," they had thrown him the keys. He had driven the van here, now he sat on the road leading to the mansion.

The Slayer scared him, so did Angel, so did the two silent figures in the back of the van.

"Zombies!" He whispered. "Why does it have to be zombies!"



Part Twelve



Coming out of the Mansion car keys in hand Buffy headed for her jeep, Angel was following on after her carrying the arsenal, one of the new crossbows plus stakes a plenty. They were off on patrol, there hadn't been any calls from Willy but that didn't mean that lone vamps couldn't have snook into town to chow on the populace.

"I don't know why you can't take the keys and me the stuff." Buffy turned to look back at him. "I mean look around it's a new world, girls can carry stuff here, and I'm way stronger that you anyway."

"While you're my girl I carry the damned bag!" Angel was about to add more when the sound of running feet snapped both their heads round to the left.

Her eyes wide with shock Buffy sought to comprehend the sight before her, two creatures were running towards her, each with its hands held high, each clutching a five foot broad sword.

They wore saffron robes, but they sure as hell weren't Buddhist. Over the robes were coats of rusting metal, chainmail. Upon their head's were blackened iron helmets, ear and neck guards enclosed them so only their faces showed. These were green and black, the color of old death.

Then Buffy dived to her left to avoid a downward slash that would have cut her in two lengthways if it had landed and the fight was on.

Angel threw the bag he carried into his attackers legs, the zombie stumbled and missed its mark with a broad swing of its blade. But it was fast and when the vampire tried to close with it he only narrowly avoided a thrust to the chest that would have destroyed his heart and killed him metal or not. Backing away he wondered what on earth he could do.

Buffy speed rolled, the blade striking sparks on the ground as her zombie tried to strike her. Hitting the side of the jeep she jumped back to her feet even as the reanimated corpse brought his blade up to launch another slash at her head.

"Rolling around in the dust again!" Buffy broad her foot up hard, her target was unprotected. "Do you have any idea how much effort......."

The line died, there something about facing a creature you can kick in the balls and not have it even flinch that will do that to a Slayer. She moved......fast, the blade whistled past her nose and embedded itself in the ground.

"Yikes," The sword was firmly embedded, if it had hit her she would have died for sure. Twisting she threw a spin kick at the zombies head, the toe of her boot slammed into its helmet sending it staggering. Buffy eyes darted to the sword she needed to take off the creatures head.

She stopped looking at her opponent for a second, but it was a second to long, his left hand closed round her throat, with his colossal demon madgick enhanced strength he lifted her up clear off the ground. Even as Buffy tried to scream she saw the creature pull a long dagger from a sheath on his sword belt, she had a feeling he wasn't about to clean his nail's with it.

Angel was busy running round the Mansion, his Zombie right behind him, he had no weapons, his opponent had a damned big sword, but Angel was running faster, for now.

As the tip of the dagger blade came clear of the sheath Buffy realized that if she didn't want to suffer carvage that even a vampire would find hard to survive she had to get free.

The zombie opened it's mouth, giving her a close up view of green gums and black teeth that she really didn't need and from the depths of its chest roared, "A MacSheehy!" Even as it reared back the dagger to strike.

Buffy moved, her hands came up, the strength of a vampiress and a Slayer combined slammed into the elbow joint of the zombies outstretched arm. There was a sharp crack as bones broke, the fingers released their grip and Buffy dropped landing firmly on her feet.

The dagger was inbound, she swiftly sidestepped letting the Zombie's arm go past her. Turning she grabbed the leather of his sword belt with her right hand whilst grabbing his arm with her left, his weight slammed into her shoulder but she took it effortlessly as she used his forward momentum to lift him into the air and send him over her shoulder to thud hard onto the ground.

Her boot heal came down in a solid stamp on the fingers of his right hand, then the dagger was kicked free. As the creature tried to rise Buffy kicked it squarely in the jaw, bone shattered and temporarily stunned the zombie fell back.

The broadsword reared up from the ground, Buffy grabbed its hilt in both hands and pulled it free. She heard the creak of leather and the rattle of chainmail from behind her, turning the sword held out before her she smiled at the zombie. "Hey, now let's see, I was saying about how you made me roll on the ground, wanna try it yourself?"

The zombie despite broken fingers pulled a short sword from a sheath hanging down its back, and then came on.

"Did you go to knives are us!" Using the blade two handed Buffy faked a thrust to it's gut, it tried to parry but it's sword met thin air.

Spinning the sword up till it was held above her head Buffy slashed downward. The edge caught the zombie in the shoulder, cleaved through clavicle and ribs to lodge in his breast bone. Staggered the creature dropped to it's knees. Buffy put her foot on his chest and ignoring the foul smelling gore that was pouring out she pushed the zombie back off the sword. Even as he popped clear he tried to bring his sword up again.

"Will you please........" The long blade swung through the air and connected with the creature's neck. "DIE!!!"

A helmeted head sailed away hitting the ground with a sharp clatter and bounced down the drive. The lifeless corpse slumped forward to the ground, a foul stench filled the air as it began to shrivel up before Buffy's eyes.

"Euuuuggh, you have to be the most disgusting smelly monster ever, I mean what is wrong with turning to dust?" Then the sound of running footsteps reminded her of something. "Angel!"

Her Sire came round the corner of the building at high speed, he was panting hard his black coat flapping behind him.

"Hey!" Buffy shouted to him as he ran past, the second zombie flashed round behind him and tried to slow down at the sight of a smiling Slayer waiting for him sword in hand.

Both slashed at each other, using the edge. Buffy ducked slightly to avoid a cut aimed at her head, her blade jarred in her hand as she took the warrior in the waist and the steel met his spine. Then there was an even worse stink as the zombie fell sliced in half.

"Shit!" Stumbling to a nearby bush Buffy bent double as she tried not to spew. She tossed the gore stained sword to the ground and staggered after Angel.

He was lying on the ground, his undead chest raising and falling at an alarming rate, his brain not convinced that breathing wasn't necessary after such exertion.

"Remind me to ring the US athletics team coach," Buffy managed to gasp out. "If we use that training technique we'll really screw the opposite at next years Olympics. It's a great idea, wouldn't you say cause I've never seen you move that fast."

"Threw....the....weapons.....at.....him.......Tried......to......trip........him." Angel managed with a great effort to stop breathing. "That was a new one, have we done zombies at any stage, cause I'd really like not to repeat that experience in a hurry."

"We did them while you were......away." Buffy looked back at the rotting corpses. "Only those disappeared with a neat flash of light and didn't go smelling up my driveway, go get a shovel would you and please bury these guys."

"I thought you said you were stronger, how come if you complain about not being allowed to carry stuff your not keen to dig a grave?" Angel was happy lying down, he liked lying down and intended to keep on doing it till the funny lights in front of his eyes went away.

"Yeah, digging graves." Buffy smiled down at him, she realized she had slain without morphing, a first since her turning. But that didn't mean she was going to go against her principles. "I have a philosophical point I'd like to share with you on that subject."

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Marcus ran back to the van, trying not to drop his binoculars whilst he did it.

Shit the boss was gonna be pissed, or maybe not. After all there were a lot more where those two came from and for a while both those two had been in trouble.

No maybe the boss wouldn't be pissed after all.

Continued

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