Drink Me

by John Cope

Buffy Watched the Ford Cougar disappear even as Spike caught up to her. "Damn."

"Yeah, right." Spike wished he had his De Soto handy. "The buggers are to good at the running thing."

"There's still the sniper," Buffy growled dangerously sending a shiver of admiration through her companion. "Look after Angel and Xander."

Cain didn't know what juldi meant but he understood run. He wasn't going to be left to face the Slayer on his own, rifle or not. Picking up the gun he ran back towards the fire escape he had used to get onto the roof.

There was an eight foot drop from the roof to the top of the iron structure, he had bridged the gap before with a rope and grapple, now he didn't have time to clamber down it. Cain hesitated then jumped.

The hunter landed heavily and tried to roll to cushion the impact, but with his right hand full of firearm he was unsteady. When he put his left arm out to steady himself it slipped between two bars, as he twisted the pressure of the metal locked around it snapping his wrist.


Then he heard the pounding footsteps and looked down, golden hair gleamed in the lamp light , the Slayer was beneath him.

Desperate he tried the rifle, but it was over a meter long, one handed he couldn't bring it to bear. Cain lay back despite the pain, it wouldn't last long.

The ladder of the fire escape was eight feet of the ground, Buffy sprang up to it without even pausing in her run. Her demon was fully awakened within her, it could smell her preys fear, quickly she began to climb.

"Well if it isn't Mein Furier," Buffy rasped as soon as she got close enough to see who the sniper was. "I can't believe even your ass would be dumb enough to come back here after last time."

"Just kill me and get it over with." Cain looked at her and shuddered. "Told you this town was full of monsters little girl, now your one of them."

"Na, I don't think so." Joining him on the upper storey of the fire escape Buffy gently patted his head. "Has the poor ickle doggie caught his paw, would he like me to make it better."

"Screw you you little bitch."

Grinning the Slayer took a firm hold on the material of the right shoulder of Cain's jacket and pulled up hard, the hunter screamed as he was lifted bodily and the broken bones were dragged apart.

"I don't think so again," Buffy dropped him back. "How many helpless animals have you trapped then killed, poetic justice huh. Now your gonna tell me who hired you or die by inches."

She picked up the rifle, "Want to see how strong I am now."

"Please, not the rifle its worth......" Cain watched open mouthed as Buffy twisted the stainless steel barrel into a virtual knot, then tossed the destroyed weapon far into the night.

"You want I should do the same to you," she knelt behind him. "Or worse."

"Fucking get it done." Convinced she'd kill him either way Cain hoped she'd snap and break his neck. "Come on, show some balls."

His coat was suddenly torn from his right shoulder and the skin beneath bared, he felt a cold tongue run across his skin. "Yuck, you taste gross, still....." A befanged face came into his line of vision. "If I don't cut an artery do you know how long I can take over bleeding you to death, if you talk I'll let you live."

Then Cain howled as fangs sliced his back, "You taste good honey, better make your mind up fast before it's to late."

Cain knew she meant it, it wouldn't be fast. Something inside him broke.

"Limeys, two of the bastards," Cain babbled. "We met at a club called The Silver Snake on Ventura, they paid me to help capture you."

"How much," Buffy snarled, her demon wanted more blood. "Come on you little ho, how much to sell out your own kind."

"150 thousand." Cain tried to look round but Buffy held his head forward. "Shit girl they're desperate to get you."

Patting his pockets the Slayer found his keys. "Thanks, you know where the door is." Quickly she set off down the stairs.

"You can't just leave me like this." Cain's arm was still trapped. "Please Buffy help get me free and I'm out of here, please."

"Scream loud enough come daybreak and eventually some one will hear you." Morphing back into her human features Buffy smiled up at him. "Remember sweetness I've tasted your blood, come back here again and I'll drain it all."

With that laughing she was gone, leaving Cain to consider the wrecked rifle below him and the spent cartridges on the roof, Sunnydale police might be derelict of their duty but he'd have a whole lot of explaining to do come morning.

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Somewhat erratically Buffy drove Cain's van round to were Spike waited.

"How are they?" she asked as she threw the door open.

"The whelp's out cold but breathing, the poof's in pain but 'e's used to that, 'e 'as lost a lot of blood though."

"H!, it's a simple enough letter, use it." Storming past the shocked vamp Buffy rapidly moved down the alley and picked up her lover. "Sorry Angel, this may hurt."

Carrying him effortlessly Buffy walked back to the van. "Don't just stand there you blond duffus go pick up Xander."

"Sure," Spike still stared at her then noting the gleam in her eye ran to obey.

"Damn Angel I could have brought you a snack," Buffy wiped his forehead. "I'm sorry, this is all so my fault."

"It's ok Buff, we knew what we were doing," her lover smiled. "Just get me home B."

An unconscious Xander was dropped in beside Angel. "Do you suppose he realized how dead he'd be if that had been a real gun."

"Huh." Buffy stared at Spike open mouthed.

"When he stepped into the line of fire." Spike shook his head. "I can hardly credit it."

Suddenly tears ran down the Slayers face and a startled Spike found himself hugged by a weeping teenaged girl, not the powerhouse who had charged potentially armed enemies mere minutes before.

"Give me the keys luv, and I'll drive us home."

Part 21

Sat in the hallway outside her bedroom Buffy just watched the door, Willow and Giles had ordered her out of the room ten minutes before, saying it was so they could work in peace without her constant apologies for what had happened.

"He'll be alright Kitten," Spike was sat beside her, holding her hand, a fact neither vampire seemed really to notice. "He's a tough old bloke, my Sire, even if he is a complete wimp and a blubber most of the time these days."

"I know," Buffy squeezed his hand gently. "But I shouldn't have taken us down there like that."

"Angel will live an' Xander's snoring away happily just down the corridor." Spike felt slightly light headed himself, close contact with a Slayer could do that to a vamp. "All you 'ave to think about is what we're going to do to the bastard behind this."

"Do ya think its possible to stake someone up the ass with a baseball bat."

Spike winked at her, "I don't know luv, but I'll hold the bugger down whilst you try."

"Maybe holy water first," she looked at the pale skin of their two clasped hands. "Though that's not as much fun as it was before I was a vamp."

"Oh I dunno, get yourself a pair of long PVC gloves and you can splash it all over the bugger to your hearts content." He winked again. "Get a dress to go with them and you'd look quite the vampiress."

"One with a zip that goes right down the front and laces in the side," Buffy felt a fleeting urge to smile. "Hey stop trying to make me feel better here, I'm supposed to be miserable, this is my fault."

"You made a mistake pet, learn from it and move on." Any further conversation was curtailed as Giles and Willow walked out through the door and dropping Spikes hand Buffy shot out of her seat to meet them.

"How is he, will he be alright, can I see him."

"We set the leg," Willow looked pale and drawn. "And we closed the wounds as best we could, pity we can't take him to a hospital but with him being dead......"

"Angel is fortunate to be a vampire Buffy, if he was a human he'd probably not regain full use of it, but given enough blood he will recover fully." Giles was wiping his hands on a towel, it was bloody. "Given rest and time."

"Can I see him." She had a note of pleading in her voice. "Please."

"Alright," Giles held the door open for her and whispered. "Be careful, don't over excite him, and try not to cry again."

Hesitantly Buffy stepped into the darkened room, the shutters and blinds where firmly closed to keep out the sun, but still she could make out her lover lying on the bed his right leg propped up, the upper half of it heavily bound with bandages and splinted. He was morphed, thus better able to bear the pain and to allow him to feed from the bags of blood that lay within easy reach.

Very gently Buffy sat on the bed beside him and leaning forward kissed his lips. "Hey."

"Hi Buff, I'm gonna be ok," Angel managed a grimace rather than a smile. "We won't be dancing for a few weeks though."

"Angel I'm......."

"Buffy you were right, you did what you had to do." He gently ran his fingers up her arm. "You don't need to apologize to me anymore."

"I'll get the bastards behind this," she bent and kissed him once more. "Then we can be together, I need to go speak to the others, but then I'll come back and sit with you."

"I'll be here," Angel did smile this time. "It's not like I can run away."

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The Slayerettes were gathered in the Mansion's living room, Giles was sat by a small table on which he had a few books, Willow sat propping up a still woozy Xander, whilst Spike as usual lurked in the shadows. Buffy paced back and two in the middle of the large room like some caged tigress.

"No way do we sit here and wait for the bastards to come at us again," the Slayer wore her full resolve face. "They've messed with my people once too often, they die and bloody."

"Yes, yes Buffy but how are you going to find them in LA," Giles took his glasses off and began to clean them. "It's a massive place, and what about college it's in the middle of term. Angel isn't fit to fight and I'm afraid I've reached the point where the library is actually taking shape again and I can't just wander off."

"B why don't you at least wait till Oz gets back," Xander started to slip forward and Willow had to struggle to hold him up. "Gee this guys a weight, no more snack food for him."

Oz had been sent to the hospital once it had been confirmed that Cain had been admitted, he was to attempt to secure any information he could, then on his way back, stop off where Spike had hidden the stolen van and trash it for evidence.

"Don't lets go off half cocked here Slayer," an annoying English voice said from the shadows. "Try not to forget who that dart was meant for, if it had hit I don't think you'd have liked where you'd have woke up."

"Xander was such a hero," Willow managed to prop her oldest friend back up firmly. "Don't ya think."

An outraged Slayer is not a pleasant thing, "He acted like an idiot, if the gun had been loaded with real bullets we'd be going to his funeral. Bullets can't kill me, I'd have just been hurt like Angel."

"But......" Willow shut up, sometimes Buffy could het kinda scary since she was turned this was one of them. "I sure hope Oz gets here soon."

By the time the sometime werewolf arrived Giles had seriously begun to worry that Buffy might wear a trench in the floor. All eyes turned to the guitarist as he entered the room.

"Guys you will not believe this, Cain told the Sunnydale police that he was hunting an escaped leopard for a private zoo owner, and they bought it even though he has unfortunate amnesia as to his employers name." Oz looked a little disturbed as he went on. "Guy had a bite mark on his back, made with fangs from what the nurses I chatted to had to say."

"But Buffy I thought you went after Cain whilst Spike stayed with......" Giles looked at his Slayer stunned. "Oh."

"B, how could you do something like that." Willow felt part of her world crumble. "Ok the guys a..a really bad thing, but biting him......feeding on him."

"I wasn't gonna kill him, just scare him a real lot." The demon inside her twitched at the memories of the fear and the warm blood. "I'm in control Giles, don't worry."

"Did you feel the power Buffy, the richness of it, of the fear," Spike stepped a little closer to her. "Kitten once you let the taste for live blood get into you it won't be so easy to stop. Soul boy has all that guilt to keep him on the straight and narrow, you don't. Oh yeah your a nice person, but you still carry a demon, a demon who wants to take lives and if you let her she will command you."

Giles looked round expecting a chill wind to blow, but this wasn't a movie. "Thank you Spike for that timely reminder. Buffy I'll speak to you later, Oz did you find anything in the van."

"A lot of Silver, some guns for Buffy to tie knots in and fifteen thousand bucks." Oz said it nonchalantly and then went and sat beside his girl putting his arm around her in a comforting gesture. "We could buy some good instruments with that."

"A ten percent deposit," Buffy looked around her. "Finance for my LA trip, Giles we have an address, I have bribe money. I go there and I find them."

"But your so well known to Southern California's vampires," Giles knew full well how far her description had circulated. "Your bound to be recognized."

"Not if I disguise myself." Buffy concentrated and then ran her hands through her hair, there were gasps as it turned a rich dark brown. "I'll travel as a vampiress, a brunette one. That way I'll only need to do one glamour at a time."

"No B," Willow was stunned at how powerful a magick user her friend was becoming. "If you go alone we'll never see you again, I just know it."

"I'll go with her."

Everyone turned round at the sound of Spike's voice, Buffy answered swiftly. "Ok, but we use some of the money to get you different clothes, you stand out in that outfit almost as badly as I do blond." When he pouted she added. "Don't look like that, you get the old look back as soon as we're done in LA."

"How can you trust him Buffy," Giles was on his feet and standing by her side. "I could be a trick, he could sell you out to Beresford."

Spike opened his mouth to speak but Buffy beat him to it. "So why didn't he last night, he could have hit me from behind when Xander got shot and sold me then and there. He didn't, he's family."

Turning to the only blond vampire in the room she looked him up and down. "Ok Spike, time to find out if your as tough as you look. We go tonight straight after we torture Willy for everything he knows, guys are finding me to easily I think the little fink is responsible."

"My cars ready pet, and so am I." Spike took in the new look, it reminded him of Dru, but without the crazed look. "And I really like what you've done with your hair."

Part 22

In Harry's opinion a liqueur store could only be beaten by a blood bank as a place to hide out, unfortunately the one James Cahill Browne had secured as an emergency hideaway was derelict and abandoned, but then the vetala always had liked to take the piss. However there were rats and Browne had restored enough facilities to be able to store blood. Also there were people, too many in Greenaway's opinion, and far to much gunplay in the night.

"Face it mate we stand out here." The sun had just fallen and Harry was looking through the slightly open door. "It's not the place for two white vamps from London."

"Rubbish mate, the hubshi won't bother us, I'm a good muslim and we ain't selling booze." Browne was cleaning their weapons, something he did every night. "If some bugger tries to shoot is way in 'ere 'e's gonna 'ave to sneak through yards containing pit bulls to get close enough to do it, an face getting shot at by the locals to boot. We 'ear loud screams in the night we ain't to blame for an we idderao out of here double quick."

"So we sit here waiting for the buggers to find us," Greenaway looked down at his badly chewed nails. "The turks bound to have blokes looking by now."

"Doubt it, little Lord Fautleroy will 'ave pissed his pants by now, metaphorical..allie..ley over what to tell the council, oh dear 'e's spent their money and not even got em a postcard, what ever shall he do." Browne inspected the chamber of a Walther pistol and smiled contentedly. "No time to worry about little old us, off everyone goes to Sunnydale to bag a Slayer."

Putting a clip into the pistol he moved onto the various knives he had acquired on his travels. "Of course if and when the 'eavey mob gets to Sunnydale what'll they find, nothing."

"What the fuck are you on about," Harry looked at his mate suspiciously. "'Ave you been at that 'ookah pipe again."

"Do ya seriously think a Bahadur like 'er will be sat on 'er pretty little arse waiting for us to come and 'ave another go." Very gently the Vetala ran a soft cloth over the blade of his Khyber knife. "She should be in LA 'erself by now, and when she finds our Charlie off come 'is knackers via a blunt razor blade."

"Then we grab 'er and nip 'ome to an 'ero's welcome." Greenaway smiled for the first time since he'd got to Inglewood.

"An all they'd say is shabash lads, 'ere's a couple of thou for your trouble." Browne smiled. "America's a big country son. With my brains and lethality and your......remind me mate what do you do."

"Stop you from cutting bits off people you shouldn't, and 'elp translate your 'eathen yabber into English." Harry pondered. "An sex is more fun with two, so if we can't find bird's..."

"Yeah." Carefully positioning his knives James rose and passed Harry his Walther PPK, he put his own matching weapon in his shoulder holster. "Pity we're on the wrong side, I'd love that bird to be the Slayer who loved me.....or who shagged me. She kills poor Charlie, nobody reports back, bosses assume we're dead and we piss off to New York. I'll be the poor you can be the 'uddled masses, I cut the throats of enough of the local vamps to make em leave us alone and we all live 'appily ever after."

"Sounds ok," Greenaway carefully positioned two small stakes in sleeve holsters. "But I still reckon they'll be looking."

In his days in India and Afghanistan Browne had been hunted by many angry men, Bakull didn't phase him at all. "Let em come, between us we'll send em all to shaitan, now lets go 'unt us up a meal or two."

With that the two vamps left the building, unmindful of the eyes that watched from across the street, and the snooper who then headed for a payphone.

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A vampire could get used to this Spike reflected as he lounged on the bed in his swanky new room. It was a motel sure enough, but a top of the range one, the bed was soft, the sheets were clean and if he hadn't had the Slayer with him he was certain he'd have been able to find something 'educational' on the telly.

But the Slayer was with him, in the adjoining room, probably naked.

He'd had an interesting conversation with Angel before setting off to LA, the poof had snarled at him in a very Angelus type way. "If anything happens to my girl I'll kill you."

"The only way anything could happen to her is over my dead body you great useless nonce." Spike could think of a number of things he'd like to happen to Buffy, most of them involved mutual loud moans. He assumed that wasn't what his Sire had been talking about.

Actually Spike felt rather insulted that at no point had Angelus warned him to keep his hands of his woman. What was he trying to suggest, that Buffy didn't fancy him. Spike intended to see about that.

He was wearing a green tee and black trousers, the Slayer had wanted to really tart him up but had met resistance. Though he had to admit to himself what he had witnessed at the Alibi room had made him seriously consider obeying every order Buffy issued for the rest of her long life. He had expected low level violence, not screams.

Willy wouldn't be selling information about the Slayer again, or walking, at least not for two or three months. Watching somebody get both their knee caps broken wasn't a sight he wanted to repeat in any kind of hurry.

So he bolted upright at the sound of a knock on his door. "Spike are you decent."

"Positively indecent as always Luv, but I've got me clothes on if that's what you mean." He moved onto his side facing the interconnecting door, adopting a suitably relaxed but sexy pose. "Come on in."

"I needed to ask you....." Buffy began to say even before she got the door open. "Is this outfit vampiress enough."

"Bloody hell Slayer I can see your knickers!" Spike lay there eyes wide and felt all the stolen blood he had in his body race for his groin.

The brunette Buffy was wearing a semi transparent blue vest top that left a couple of inches of midriff bare, beneath it a wonderbra forced her breasts up in to a mind blowingly deep cleavage. Her skirt, well in Spikes opinion it was more like a wide belt, covered about the top inch of her legs and was slip that inch to each hip. Her legs were bare and smooth like they'd been freshly waxed, she had on the stilettoes she had worn the night he had returned to Sunnydale.

"You don't like it." Buffy turned round, most of her back was bared and the skirt clung to her bum so tightly......"Should I go change."

"Hell no," Spike was at a loss for words. "But...I.....well......as outfits go there's not much of it, that's all."

"We go to this club, we chat away, we eye up the girls." She smiled at his raised eyebrow. "Vampires swing both ways, that I assume applies to me too. We discreetly ask questions about our target then we pretend we're off to a nightclub to hunt. Now tell me Spike if you were a teenaged boy and a cute girl dressed like this asked you to go somewhere quiet with her, wouldn't you."

"Kitten dressed like that you could suck half the city dry," Though he might get his knees broken Spike couldn't help himself. "And I aint talkin' blood here."

"Think so do you, shame I won't get any tonight" Buffy ran her fingers through her dark hair and wished she could really see herself in a mirror. "If only Angel were here."

"Yeah but he's not, pity I agree." In a spirit of what the hell Spike decided to go for it. "Slayer, you know how the blond Buffy is going with Angel."

"Yes," Buffy folded her arms just below her breasts and breathed in unnecessarily."What of it."

"Is the brunette Buffy going with him to." Spike didn't need to hold his breath but did it anyway.

Letting her tongue play across her red painted lips Buffy thought about it, Spike lay there trying not to combust. "Well I don't know, I guess she is, but maybe she isn't."

"That's no answer kitten." Buffy's legs were in Spike's mind already locked round his hips. "Don't tease me girl."

"And what fun would this be if I didn't tease, Ok maybe the brunette is more vampiress and less Slayer, don't get your hopes up though." Turning away back into her room Buffy went and got her bag which contained the weapons she had nowhere to conceal. "Lets go huh, I'll let you drive me to the club and maybe play with your gear lever on the way."

"If you want to crash and burn you do that." Grabbing his shoes Spike headed after her only to find her room empty and the hall door open, she was stood just through it leaning back against the wall hips forward. "Hurry up William we got us some vamps to catch."

*Is it any bloody wonder they want her.* Spike couldn't help but reflect as they walked down to the lot. *I'd fight armies to get her, and if word keeps spreading round the world I may have to.*

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After a somewhat erratic drive the pair reached the Silver Snake, not only had Spike had an unfamiliar hire car to get used to, but the Slayers legs had been so in sight. He'd nearly died a couple of times when the girl lightly rested her hand on his as he changed gear. He hoped to god and the devil that she wasn't just teasing.

Buffy didn't know what was going on in her head, she felt, different, weird. She wanted to do stuff, to try stuff, either her demon had broke lose and turned her Skanky or the magick was affecting her brain. All day she'd laid in bed thinking about the handsome blond vampire just a door away, and twice she had got up to go ask him, very nicely, to fuck her brains out. She hadn't though, she'd quietly relieved her frustration in other ways.

She had to get back to Sunnydale, before she did something stupid.

"Well pet here we go," Spike had parked. "Play it by ear, if any vamps try to chat you up remember your my bird. That means if arse's need kicking I do it."

"Ok lover boy," Buffy checked her fringe by touch. "I'll be your air head girlie and just sit next to you looking vampish."

"I'm so gonna wind up having to fight people for you." Spike didn't regret the fact at all. "I just 'ope you appreciate it later."

Buffy looked at him for a few seconds then suddenly leaned across and kissed him on the lips. "I think I very probably will."

And with that she was out of the car and standing on the sidewalk, Spike sat stunned then on auto pilot unfastened his door and followed her toward the club.

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Once served and sat the couple took in the scene, mortals and vamps mixed freely here, money and goods changed hands, drop off points for blood were arranged, and ten dollar bills got thrust into garter belts.

The Slayer was morphed temporarily, consuming the blood they'd bought. Spike was sat beside her and was in a similar condition she thought he looked gorgeous. To try to take her mind of that mildly scary fact she looked at the girls instead, they were cute but none of them would look her in the eye.

"Guess vamps aren't as popular here as you might think." She winked at a blond who danced whilst wearing nothing on a small stage eight feet away, the girl was unable to conceal the fear in her brown eyes.

"They think you might be looking for your next meal ducks." Spike glanced around, no familiar faces. "Heard any English accents."

"No, not except yours." Buffy looked around, the club was full of suspicious characters, She thought *Hey, maybe we're doing this wrong, perhaps we need to look for an unsuspicious character instead.*

"Ok kitten, stay here, look sexy and decorative whilst I go bribe the barman to tell me if he knows who Cain hired on with." Spike slipped away.

Buffy looked around, *God there are a lot of vamps in this city, maybe I should come back here afterwards with the others and whittle them down a little.* She scanned the room but didn't see anyone she recognized from amongst the minions who had run with Beresford.

At the back of the room a vampire sat, he was very nervously keying an unfamiliar number into a cellular phone, he prayed to whatever deity he had any faith in that he would get a connection. It worked, he did.

The vampire was a survivor, he had worked for Trick, he had not wanted to work for Wilkins so when his old Master had died by Faiths hand he had fled Sunnydale. On the couples appearance he had firstly wondered what the hell Spike was doing here, then were he had acquired the fine brunette.

He had stared at her, then stared some more. Now he babbled into the phone to his new boss.

"The Slayer, she's in the Silver Snake......"

Silence for a few seconds followed by a voice speaking in clipped English. "You had better be correct, if you are wrong I will have you slowly dissolved in holy water. If you are right you'll get ten thousand dollars worth of fresh blood and a couple of beautiful youngsters to turn. Follow her, find where she is staying, if you lose her remember the holy water."

The line went dead, Marcus swallowed hard and got ready to do some following.

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When the two English vamps got back to their hideout they were weaving badly they had bushwacked a party of five leaving a cantina on the West side, drained four between them and left the fifth with his throat cut. They would regret it in the morning they assured each other. Blood and tequila never did mix well.

"Still old son we're.....we're safe as horses.....safe as houses 'ere....." Brown finally managed to get the door open and both vamps fell inside.

The white van parked across the street pulled out and drove a block up before parking in a side street next to a pay phone.

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

Akhmed Bakull put the phone down and smiled at the vampire sat opposite him. "We have them all my lord. The Slayer is at a Motel on Burbank and we have the location of the rat hole where your two deserters have taken refuge."

"Kill the vampires......take the Slayer." Lord Charles smiled as he contemplated his revenge. "Use every servant you have, mortal and undead but see to it."

Bakull had a million dollars coming his way if he delivered, he nodded, this time there could be no failure.