One Wild Ride


by John Cope
Buffy/Dusk Til Dawn/Wild Bunch Crossover



Chapter Three: Ok, I chose a bad time to tell you




Just past San Diego there was a mild mutiny, even Spike felt like joining in once he got the gist of the rapidly spoken Spanish, "Enough with this cold shit el jefe, we want some warm blood, lets go find some gringo's to kill".

Looking at the nearly empty packet he was draining, Spike agreed. He'd had three days of it, as Pike wouldn't let them scatter to hunt at night. *How the hell does Angelus live on this, bet he microwaves.*

However, backed up by Dutch and Angel, Pike quickly suppressed the movement and without violence. "God damn the lot of you, here you are almost in Sunnydale and you want to scatter to the winds. We have to stick together, tomorrow night the Hellmouth will be ours and you'll have the whole town to chew on. You want fresh blood, there's were you'll get it, and think every vampire and demon that wants to visit the Hellmouth will have to pay homage to us, and I mean pay".

Pike grabbed up one of the blood bags. "So drink it and be grateful, do you see me Dutch or Angel bitching and moaning? No, and we're putting up with the same thing, if we can, so can you".

Behind Pike, Dutch shuffled his feet a little embarrassed that he had several cases of bitching and two of moaning to be taken into consideration. Angel just stood and starred at his children, none of whom would meet their Sire's eye.

So it was a guilty looking set of vamps who climbed back into the truck with a good many murmured apologies to a now smiling "El Patron". Even Spike felt like a bit of a git, and he'd intended to rat Pike out from day one.

*Time to find out what the bugger's got planned* Spike thought as he clambered back into the cab, *and I know just the vamp to ask*.

He was getting on well with the Mexican, Angel. Ok they're differing tastes in music had nearly led to bloodshed south of Tijuana, but compromise on Spike's lucky call had ensured subsequent equanimity hence the Spanglish grooves currently blasting from the radio. It was about that time to that the penny had dropped and he'd remembered Lyle and Tector.

He'd met them on his last trip Stateside back in the 60's, they'd been unpleasant red-necked blighters, constantly going on about el jefe, that bastard Engstrom and the "Fucking greaser", blood was blood to Spike he had no prejudice and didn't like those vamps who did. And they were cowards, Lyle being the worse of the pair, this had been proven to Spike when the last straw had occurred. They'd boasted how they'd helped Angelus settle in New York. Mention of that name had done it, his Doc Martins had reduced them both to a bloody pulp, two against one, no problem.

Shortly afterwards, he'd taken Dru back to Europe, not wanting to be on the same continent as his grandsire. But then that bloody mob in Prague. *Forget it mate, all that's over now. Time to think ahead- what the fuck do we do about Pike?*

"So Angel, mate". He began, trying at the same time to concentrate on the road. "What do you suppose Tricks gonna say when you turn up without his minions?" Both Lee and Dave had disappeared during the first days travel, that night on the first blood break Dutch had been laughing with some bandito cronies as they cleaned baseball bats and a hack saw.

Angel thought on the matter, "Trick will just have time to say ouch". He reached for two cigarettes, (They'd stocked up at the first gas station they'd reached, Spike eyeing the clerk wistfully) lighting both he passed one to Spike. "You thought Pike was going to share".

"No mate, credit me with some sense, but still wouldn't it be easier just to take over a little bit more of Mexico?"

Angel looked reflective. "Senor, my people are religious, so when I kill them, I send them to a better place, so feeding on them doesn't bother me. Pike though, Pike has been brooding down here for over eighty years and now he wants to be somebody". Angel looked sad as he went on. "I sired our companeros from amongst the best Villa and Zapata had to offer, and when not feeding on the peons we have tried to help them, killing their oppressors,(not each other you understand, no one oppresses like a vampire), but nothing changes in Mexico, this I have finally learned".

Angel's face took on a twisted leer. "So now I go north to visit with el gringo norte americanos and bathe in their blood".

*It'll stain mate, and dry cleaning won't get it out*. Spike absorbed more nicotine then a point struck him. "What's Pike gonna do with the Hellmouth, pack it full of dynamite and press the plunger?"

"Open the Hellmouth?" Angel spluttered, smoke had gone the wrong way and he'd forgotten he didn't need to breath. "Release the old ones, thousand year old demons who'd kill all the people and treat us how?"

"Like shit". Spike answered, "We'd be the bloody rank and file, so what's the point about the visiting vamps and demons? What's he gonna, do build a theme park? If so, can I run the Ferris wheel?"

"If I've got the postcard concession". Angel laughed and lit up two more cigarettes, a minor landslide from the ash tray landed on the cab floor, but nobody cared."When the vampires and demons who come to the Hellmouth arrive, we will rob them of everything they own, show them the sights, use them as participants in the great vampire gang bang, then send them out of town with a boot up the ass".

"Sounds a plan to me", Spike reflected on some of the powerful demons he'd met down the years, but Pike was he'd concluded the second toughest vampire walking.*The toughest of course is me*.

"What about the people, aren't they liable to notice you, you don't exactly blend in". Spike said ignoring bleached blond hair and a big leather coat."They might take one look and call out the national guard".

"Once Trick and the Slayers are dead, my amigos and I may consider a more modern style of dress". Angel had that leer on his face again. "And there's an army base and an armory in Sunnydale, whose to say we wont beat them to it".

Converting trained soldiers to vamps, Spike had considered it in his struggles with Buffy, but he was old school. Vampires kill with their fangs and they defeat resistance with their bodily strength. They don't cripple their prey with gunshots then drain them whilst their helpless, this was Spikes code and he'd adhered to it for years.

"Still seems a lot of trouble, there's two Slayers to be considered, one was bad enough". Spike shook his head ruefully at a mental flashback of a collapsing church organ.

"That is were it gets personal", Angel looked at his diminishing cigarette, almost time too light up again. "The old Slayer was responsible for Tector's death, that's a matter for personal vengeance were we are concerned".

Spike couldn't believe what he'd just heard. "Some prehistoric monster killed Tector, and anyway, you told me you hated the bastards guts". *Old Slayer, 18's old? Oh right, as in Faith's not been a Slayer as long*.

"Si cabron, but if he had not been after killing the Slayer, the monster would not have killed him. So she is responsible no?" Angel nodded at the logic of his own argument. "And even though he was a bastard before and after he was turned, he once died trying to save my life, this I will never forget".

Neither vampire mentioned Lyle or why he wasn't off to avenge his own brother, they both knew him.

The Mexican Vamp renewed their nicotine supply, then went on. "And then there's Seth Gecko".

"Seth who?" Spike asked, *get him back to the point, what's gonna happen to Buffy?*

"Seth Gecko, a former bank robber and murderer". Angel smiled sadly, he'd had such a fine career back when he had been in that line of work, if only he hadn't shot that puta.

"Old acquaintance is he, former competitor?" Spike tried to sound interested.

"No Spike, he is alive". Angel rested his cigarette on the edge of the ash tray. "Since you must face him, I will tell you his story".

Spike nodded, hoping it didn't take too long. *Wonder if Buffy's in bed yet, I wonder what if anything she's wearing!?*

"After the war had finished, the Mexican civil one, the easy hunting dried up people took more notice of corpses whose throats might have been cut and we had to split up a little". Angel set himself back in his seat and stretched his legs out. "Lyle and Tector set up in an abandoned Aztec temple just across the border from El Paso, and next to it they built a whorehouse. They staffed it with the prettiest vampiress's they could find and targeted the Gringo trade. A lot of men didn't go home to their wives".

"Infidelities a bastard". Spike muttered, *look what my bird did to me*. But as a self respecting vampire he couldn't help but ask, "What were the girls like mate?"

"Ah the senoritas, they were fine". Angel looked like he was years away. "There was one girl, called herself Santanico Pandermonium, she was so beautiful, and there was no perversity she did not partake of. One night she almost broke my back and if I weren't a vampire, I'd still have the marks from her claws".

"Sounds like my kind of vamp". Spike's interest in the story had perked up. "There was a was in there though, mate".

"Si, but I will get to that part. In about 1956, Lyle and Tector became so argumentative and bastardo like toward el jefe that he drove them out of Mexico. So now he has a whorehouse and the whores and it is not our line of work. We are the customers, not the managers, are you comprende? So Pike finds a guy called Razor Eddie, a vampire, he had the knowledge we needed".

"The dollars and the booty comes south, and it gets more and more. Pike sends me to find out why". Angel passed Spike another lit cigarette, seeing his hand was empty. "I found the Whorehouse burned down and the temple turned into a strip club. The Titty Twister, ever hear of it?"

"No mate, but then I didn't come this far south or west last time I was in the states, can't think how I missed it this time though". Spike then got to the point, "So mate, was that Santanico bird pleased to see you?"

"Oh yes, the customers, they never got to see her except dancing in her underwear, cause they killed them whilst they were distracted by her dance".Angel leered, *Damn he's good at that* "But me I got the whole show, limber I believe is how you'd describe her in English".

"Lithe, that's a good one for it, too". Spike was having mental pictures, of a certain blond.

"Si, anyway Razor had advertised the place as a bar for bikers and truck drivers, hence all the booty we we're getting. Of course, there was not much repeat business. But a lot of guys met their deaths smiling". Angels face clouded. "Of course sometimes in the mayhem of the attack Razor would lose a vamp or two. But then one dreadful night he came".

"Gecko". Angel almost spat the name. "What followed was a massacre of our people, he spared nobody".

"Your bird died too, then, mate I'm sorry". Spike pictured how he felt when Dru left him, how much worse would it be if she were dead.

"Si, she was killed and I felt very bad for a while". Angel sighed at the memories but then smiled. "But then I made new fledglings amused myself with them and soon felt better".

*Ah now that's the true vampire way, perhaps I should try a shrink*. Spike shook his head *Bugger that*. "So what happened to Gecko?"

"Well he disappeared for a while, though el jefe searched for him and the girl who had helped him, she went north we think he south". Angel noted Spikes glance at the mention of a girl, "Not a Slayer, just a civilian". Angel shrugged apologetically. "I'm ashamed to say it, but I think that all the easy killing had made them soft".

"Anyway, eventually the hombre Gecko turned up in El Rey, a wild town much like one of those railheads they had up north in the old days. He crawled into a bottle there for a while, but then he began to hunt and kill vampires. Vampires who paid homage to Pike as their Master".

"So what did el jefe do about it?"

"He assembled the boys to crush this bastardo like a cockroach, but when we got to El Rey he was gone. We think he must have tortured the word of our coming from a vampire and fled". Angel grimaced as he continued. "His bath was full of holy water and there was ash floating on it".

Spike didn't even flinch, for finally he was ahead of the game. BUFFY working with a bank robbing murderer. "Don't tell me he's in Sunnydale!".

"Si, according to what Tricks late unlamented minions said to us, he arrived six months ago and has played hell with the vampires there ever since. But it is partly his fault that we are going to the town".

"How's that mate?" Spike was beginning to have the feeling that he was about to hear stuff he wouldn't like, that he wouldn't like at all.

"Sometimes Gecko drinks, and when he really drinks he talks. Some of that talking happened in a bar whose owner works for Trick."

*Me old mate Willy,* Spike thought.

"Now Trick hears about the Titty Twister and he thinks that it sounds good. He gets the Mayor of Sunnydale, who he owns, to grant him a legal licence and sends Pike an offer of mucho dollars to send him some girls and a band for that Latin feel".

"Then the Mayor disappears, no one knows where. Then the town elects an honest incorruptible woman in his place, so Trick goes loco now he wants a grand slaughter with the bodies scattered on every street corner". Angel shook his head sadly. "It must be having two Slayers to put up with, poor fellow".

"Those blokes in the back don't look much like strippers to me mate". Spike made a pointed glance at their dwindling nicotine supply, before continuing. "Unless it's ladies night and you're planning to do the full monty".

Laughing at this, Angel lit up for them both again and passed Spike his cigarette."It is to be like the horse of Troy el jefe said, we will take Trick by surprise. Normally he stays in the shadows, leaving his minions to do things, but the thought of twenty beautiful vampiress's has him thinking with his balls and he'll be there to greet us".

Spike could take no more. "So what's Buffy up to with the bloody bank robber?"

Angel looked offended, after all that was his old line of work. "She is slaying vampires with him, amongst other things".

Cold fingers gripped Spikes dead heart, his voice turned to a snarl and his foot jammed in reflex on the accelerator. "WHAT other things!?"

"Please Senor, calm down". Angel looked at the trucks speedometer as it raced up. "She has been seen in the cemetery, kissing him".

A sound like breaking glass filled Spikes head, his hopes and dreams shattered and his demon rose. Clawed hands now gripped the wheel of the careering vehicle as behind his ridged forehead Spikes mind raced. *How could you do this to me pet, didn't you see the look I gave you as I left? It said. "If it doesn't work out with Dru I'll be back for you", plain as day it was. And now the little bitch does this to me, and as for him*.

"I'LL RIP HIS FUCKING HEART OUT!!". The truck almost left the road as he violently jerked the wheel.

Frantically trying to fasten his seat belt, Angel cried out. "Madre dios, Spike, por favor please slow down". Unthinking he crossed himself. "Ok I chose a bad time to tell you. I apologize, but if we hit something at this speed we burn and die".

Spikes foot eased a little on the gas. "Damn you, why didn't you bleeding tell me this back in Torres?" he snarled.

Angel answered slowly, trying to keep Spike calm. "Because you said you did not love her, senor, but anyway when she is turned, she will be yours, so what does it matter who she loves now?"

*But I don't want her turned, I want her how she is* Spike almost sobbed out, but it was in a voice like ice that he replied. "Your right mate, after that, it won't matter at all".

As the truck sped on, signs for LA flashed past in the night.


*****


The Bronze was half empty, or half full dependant on your prospective in life, but the Slayerettes traditional table was full as ever and there sat Buffy, moping.

*This sucks so badly,* Buffy couldn't help thinking. *This is the summer, vacation time by world wide consensus, but did anyone tell my, my*. She searched for words, *total prat of a watcher no, he lets me have one week, just one week in LA with dad and that's it. This sucks*.

She remembered the disappointed look on her father's face when unable to persuade her to stay longer, he had dropped her back in Sunnydale. How she'd had to physically restrain her mom from going to give Wesley "a piece of my mind*. It didn't help of course that this crisis over Trick had proved her new watcher right, all Buffy could think was. *God, why did they have to do this to me to Giles and to all my friends?*

That was where it got really bad, Willow had turned down her reward for her exam results a Rosenberg trip to Acapulco to stay and help with research into the forces of darkness. She was sat now with Oz enjoying a laughing conversation when she should be partying in Mexico (well maybe not partying). Oz had pulled out of a band trip come tour, god the other guys had been pissed. Amy, not even a full Slayerette, was getting a cappuccino at the bar when she should have been hiking in the Rockies. Xander, who was sat staring across the dance floor, well she was certain the Harris's must do something that resembled vacation, yet as it was Xander's parents were away without him.

Her pleas against her friends actions had been met with the same reply from all," we're a team we hang together".

Buffy thought of Giles again. She knew he had hoped to go back to England for a few weeks this Summer leaving Wesley to guard the Hellmouth with Faith, but had canceled, he wouldn't leave Wesley to risk his Slayer's life. *I wish he was still my watcher so much*.

Following Xander's gaze across the dance floor, she took in with him the weird sight that was a Cordelia Chase in Sunnydale in the immediate post graduation summer months, European vacation, no, she had stayed home this year. But not out of loyalty to Buffy or to protecting humanity no, the answer was who she was dancing close to Wesley Wyndham-Price.

*When did she take the blow to the head?* Buffy couldn't fix it amongst so many events, but Cordy was certainly crazed. She looked back to Xander's pained expression. *Okay, bad break up, but Wesley!!, and dancing with him in public. Her old clique must be laughing their air heads off*.

Willow interrupted Buffys thoughts. "We're gonna dance for a while". As Oz swept her off Buffy caught a definitely pleading glance from her to Xander, interpreted as "Please Buffy help him, I can't do it in front of Oz".

She knew that she had to, but carefully. The hopeless unrequited love was still there, but she must let it lie one more rejection or trauma might push him over the edge. She looked at his face the pain was plain to see, first his failure to win her then the long drawn out self hate over a relationship with Cordelia, then when that was settling down finally at long last and to late he realized his love for Willow. *Ok he's a friend but please! how stupid can he be?* and now here he was, recent receiver of first Faith's sexual favors and then her attempted rape and sexual battery. So when Buffy spoke to Xander, it was very gently.

"Xander". No reply he didn't move his eyes from Cordelia, "Xander!".

"Wha..", Startled Xander looked round and gave her a sad smile. "Oh hi Buff".

"Xander stop torturing yourself". Buffy put her hand gently on his arm. "You look like your not even on this planet, can't you let Cordy go".

He buried his head in his hands. And through his fingers Buffy heard. "I'm in a world of pain, and it's all my own fault".

Buffy was just about to say something, anything to reassure him, when she saw Faith walk in. Faith who they'd had to forgive on Wesley's orders, Faith whose ass she had so wanted to kick right out of Sunnydale when she had seen the bruises on Xander's face.

"Sorry Xand but I think things are about to get worse".

Xander looked across, his comment was brief and to the point. "Aw shit, no".

The arrangement was that Faith and Buffy would make alternate patrols since though Sunnydale was in mortal peril they couldn't stand each other, and since patrolling together might lead to a Slayer catfight with severe collateral damage to anything that got in the way separate patrols had been decreed as a solution.

The blond Slayer was wearing a blue off the shoulder number the hem of which came down to mid thigh and it was slit almost to the hip on the left side, but hey as well as having good legs it was essential to be able to get your kick high if your aiming for a vamps teeth. The brunette, *hell look at Ms. Trailer Trash,* Buffy thought, *how do you fight in those heels.* Faith was wearing a black see through blouse, over a well filled wonder bra, a tiny leather skirt six inch stilettoes and a heavy shoulder bag completed the ensemble. *Has to carry that, cause of course she's nowhere to conceal weapons*. But reflecting on occasional splinters in very uncomfortable places ,Buffy couldn't strictly knock her for that.

"Hi Buffy, nice dress!" Faith said insincerity painted all over her face.

Buffys response was equally contemptuous, "Thanks and I must say I like your outfit too, did it get you much trade?"

Ignoring a jibe that hardly qualified as a single entendre, Faith replied. "No, it's quiet as a tomb out there, not a Vamp in sight, but still off you go girl and make the world a safer place". She moved behind Xander who was ignoring her and trying to disappear. "Hi lover boy, almost didn't see you there". Her hip gently brushed his back.

Xander jumped as if he'd been hit with a cattle prod, he strangled out. "Don't call me that, and I've told you keep away from me".

Leaning in behind him Faith let her breasts brush his shoulders. "Sure baby sure, whatever you say".

With that she set off for the ladies rest room."Just off to freshen up". And as she passed Buffy added. "Careful out there girl, there's all sorts of murdering criminals about, in fact I think I saw one lurking up the street waiting for you".

As her fellow Slayer walked away, Buffy had a mental flash - she was following Faith into the rest room grabbing her hair thrusting her head down a toilet and flushing. *Oh that feels good!*, she though as she picked up her bag. "Xander patrol with me, I cant leave you here with her".

Xander started to get up from his seat then paused, "Are you out with Seth tonight?".

"Yeah, on patrol, so for god's sake come with". Buffy looked at him knowing now that he wouldn't. It hadn't taken much figuring out who had been behind Willow's uncovering of Seth's true identity, but that had turned out to the good thing in the long run, and done out of concern for her she was sure.

Xander on the other hand, knew how close he'd come to calling the FBI and that it had been out of jealousy. It was only the thought of Buffy with another grave to visit or worse making bi- monthly trips to a Texas death row that had stayed his hand. He therefore considered the frying, pan versus the fire. "It's ok, I've got to face her some time, and if the worse comes to the worse if I scream real loud, Willow and Oz will come save me".

Looking at his face, Buffy could see the fear there, and thought about abandoning her sacred duty for the night, but Faith would just rat her out to Wesley who was, after all, just on the other side of the Bronze, so all she could do was pat Xander reassuringly on the arm and say. "Take care, ok?"

As she walked out she thought, *Right a petrified Xander, a murderer for a semi-boyfriend plus, oh joy, my vampiric ex-honey arrives from LA tomorrow night. What more do I need to make my week complete? Oh, 25 new vamps*.

After Buffy had gone, Xander felt his fear returning in its full force. The first time he had with Faith had been good, even though at times he had felt a degree of violence in the girl's passion that had disturbed him. He'd felt guilt though later on knowing that he didn't love her, still hung up as he was on the Cordy-Willow hooks he'd created for himself.

But when he had explained his feelings, she'd seemed cool telling him in was just a good time nothing more.

Later on that month though, it had all blown up in his face. He'd been patrolling the park with Faith when suddenly she had burst into tears telling him how she knew none of the Slayerettes cared if she lived or died, they were Buffys friends not hers, she had nobody just guys who used her and went on their way.

Xander had put his arms around her and let her cry on his shoulder and it was then that things changed, she had begun to come on to him and he had said no. Xander had taken no for an answer all his adult life, Faith hadn't.

Well, the bruises had healed over the past three months and except around Faith, he mostly felt back to normal, but he had mood swings and nightmares and they were getting more frequent. He actually got up to run after Buffy, but then saw Faith coming back and realized he had left it too late. There are times in life where you must run like a man or sit like a frightened rabbit. Xander sat.

Walking over to him with a practiced sway to her hips, Faith smiled, her lips were full and painted bright scarlet, he remembered how they looked as she sneered at him as he lay bloody before her. She pulled out a chair and sat beside him leaning forward so he could get a good view down her bra. "Oh lover boy, here we are, alone at last".

He didn't reply. *Chickenshit little nerd* Faith thought. She crossed her legs "Xander look at me, look at my legs. Aren't they smooth?" She ran her fingers up her thigh. "Don't tell me you don't wanna touch them baby".

Xander couldn't help but look at her, remembering her breasts naked, thinking how her legs had felt as they'd locked round his back and how firmly they'd gripped his hips when she'd ridden him the second time, the sight of her red lips took him back to how she had prepared him for the third sensational slow screw that had concluded their encounter. Then her laughter echoed through his head as he'd heard it whilst she crushed his pathetic attempts to defend himself with her ringed fists.

So Xander looked away again, saying nothing, his vocal cords frozen. However his body was he knew proving traitorous. Faith's blatant display was having some effect on him, he was becoming aroused.

Faith stood up and pressed herself against his back, bringing her lips to his ear she said. "You're so tense sugar, I'm gonna have to loosen you up somehow. Hey baby want a drink?"

Knowing that the girl wasn't talking coffee, Xander found his voice. "Oh yeah, you even think you can pass for 21 now do you? Leave me alone. Please".

Loving the note of pleading she heard, Faith laughed and whispered. "After the time I showed one of the bar tenders last week, he'll get me anything". Moving so Xander could see her mouth, she licked her lips in a manner that spoke volumes. "Yeah lover boy that's right, and if you give me another chance you can have that to. Go on sugar say you want it, you want to cum in my mouth, to see me swallow, I know you do". Then she set off for the bar swinging her leather clad ass, knowing he'd be staring after her.

Xander felt a loathing for her and himself, for his cock was straining against his pants and he was struggling with images of a nude Faith with her head bobbing back and to as she sucked him, combined with the memory of her fist swinging in. He got up to run again.

And almost barged into Amy, who was standing with a cup of coffee in each hand, "Hi Xander, let me sit with you". She put the coffees down.

"But Faith's gonna.." He began but Amy's response was just to put a finger to his lips to shush him and to smile broadly. "Don't worry, sit down".

Xander sat and took the blond girl in properly for the first time, and wondered why he never had before. He didn't know why she was sat there smiling sweetly at him but it lifted such a weight from his mind. Then he thought about Faith. "Look..". He began again but she put her finger to her own lips. "It's gonna be okay. I saw what Faith was doing to you and it stops now".

Naturally when Faith returned with two Whiskeys, she didn't take to kindly to Amy's presence. "Xander and I are having a private conversation Amy, so go find the other Sabrina, before I kick your ass." She put the drinks down and crossed her arms below her breasts, waiting for Amy to run.

Amy just smiled. "And you could, I don't disagree, but just tell me before you start - what's your favorite cheese?" Amy put her elbows on the table and rested her face in her cupped hands, all innocent but deadly.

Picking up the drink she'd bought for Xander, Faith downed it in one. Then grabbed him by the collar, "God little boy, you've found yourself another set of skirts to hide behind. You know, I bought my nice new leather one just for you and a cane to go with it, guess what baby, you were gonna get a chance for just a little pay back tonight. Now I'll wait till I get you alone and use it on you". With that she was gone determined to find a vampire, any vampire, and torture it slowly to death.

Xander breathed out harshly and let his head sink forward to the table top. He was amazed when Amy gently stroked his hair. "There there, Xand, it's over now".

A dreadful fear filled him. "Amy, tell me you haven't been trying out any new love spells".

She giggled, "Duh, like I'd be that dumb. I was standin by the bar watching and even if I'm not in the gang, aren't we still on the same team, one for all, all for one?" She frowned a little, that hadn't come out quite like she'd wanted it too at all. But when Xander brought his head up from the table to grin at her, Amy's frown disappeared.


*****


Buffy and Seth headed silently towards Sunnydale Cemetery, hoping to catch any creeping bad guys by surprise.

Not like there were going to be any, it was way to quiet in Buffy's opinion and in the circumstances this was scary. Nothing further had been seen at the roadhouse, though the flyers still circulated. No trace of any suitable vehicle for vamp transportation could be found in any tri county haulage company's records. She'd begun to think that this was in fact all a very belated vampire April fool with Seth the target, but if that was the case all the vampire had to do was drop a dime and let the FBI do the rest.

Gecko had changed his life style in the past few days, his belongings were now scattered round five address's about town, all of which were rented in different names. It was fortunate that property was cheap in Sunnydale, as even the low rent roach palaces Seth was in would have eaten through his loot at an amazing rate if it weren't. He was hoping his multiple identities and addresses might throw the authorities of the scent, pity though Buffy couldn't help but think that he has a tattoo like a target going up his neck.

They'd met as usual a distance from her friends, not like she was embarrassed by the looks they gave him, (Ok she was but wasn't gonna admit it) and she carried out her usual emergency vampire peril check.

"Ok buster look at me and breathe". She'd be stood not two inches from him looking up into his face. Any trace of liquor on his breath and he'd have a pissed off Slayer too deal with.

Tonight had been a little different he'd looked down at her and said, "Buffy, can't you think of a better way to do this?"

Buffy knowing that he was alcohol clean reached up put her hands behind his neck and drew him down a little till their mouths met. The kiss was long and deep their tongues dueling but finally Buffy broke for air. "Well there's that way, I suppose". She broke away trying to regain control of her breathing, *got to patrol, not jump Seth's bones*.

So they'd set off to hunt, Buffy only half concentrating, *What am I doing? He's too old and for all that he's come over to the side of good, he's still basically a bad guy". Unfortunately however for her peace of mind Buffy knew the answer to her own question, she was lonely and as her previous experience had shown her, any guy she was with who didn't know about her secret life wasn't with her for long.

*So out of despair, I gradually fall in love with Seth, no wonder my friends are worried*. Buffy had a way embarrassing conversation with Willow, well Willow was embarrassed, in which her best friend had tried to persuade her to try harder to date a 'normal guy'. She'd replied gently enough, "Sorry Willow, but a normal guy would just be one more person at risk if he got to close to me, not like many seem that interested in a girl with a rep for violence like mine. I mean, do you see anybody coming into my life with a dozen red roses and a bottle of wine and telling me he loves me? No, neither do I".

No, she was coming round slowly to the concept of Seth, not like she was in any hurry to consummate, no way, and she had an inkling that he felt the same way more on the grounds she was just eighteen than any lack of attraction but as she walked a little bit of her couldn't help but reflect. *Maybe when it come's down to it he just thinks I'm a kid, wonder if he feels skanky when he kisses me?*

Suddenly however, those thoughts vanished as her Slayer sense kicked in, Vampire somewhere up ahead. "Seth". she murmured just loud enough for him to hear. "Bad guy to our twelve".

It being too hot to wear a shotgun concealing coat, Seth produced a stake and his trusted .44, Buffy just drew Mr. Pointy from her bag that and her fists and feet was all the weapons she needed.

They moved along the side walk that ran down the side of the cemetery wall speeding up as Buffy felt the vampire presence grow stronger, then she took off at a run leaving a startled Seth behind her. Her enhanced vision had seen a girl walking towards them and a Vampire running towards her from among the graves.

*I'm to late, she's gonna die, I'm to late* ran through her mind and she was preparing to scream a warning when the scene changed.

As the Vampire sprang over the wall, the girl brought up her left hand holding something aloft, Buffy saw the Vampire cower back its hands over its face *a cross* the girls right hand came into view holding a stake. She dropped the cross, *idiot* Buffy almost screamed, the vampire sprang and exploded into dust.

The girl looked up startled by the sound of Buffy's running feet, Buffy recognized Kate Fuller even as she applied the breaks and nearly slammed into the wall, then gasping for breath she looked at the dust covered girl who'd forgotten the second rule of Slaying, 'always step clear'.

Trying to brush the dust off herself, Kate hopelessly though of logical explanations for exploding vamps, then saw Mr. Pointy still clenched in Buffys fist. "Oh". was all she could think to say.

Buffy stooped and picked up the crucifix. "Nice slay". She gasped out. "But next time get a firmer grip on your cross".

"I dropped it deliberately". Kate explained in her southern drawl. "I could see he was a fledgling from his muddy clothes, and being as he'd be disorientated and all I figured make him come at me...". She tailed off at Buffys expression.

"High score for the theory and its result". She kicked a little dust around. "But Kate for future reference, not all Vampires launder or wash or care deeply about personal hygiene".

Kate began to feel a little pissed, here she was getting a lecture from... "Buffy, are you the Slayer?"

*Oh great, what secret identity. Thank you Vampire Internet pages everywhere*. It was broadly known in the darker sections of the world wide web that not only Vampires and Demons but the Slayer existed. Sunnydale's almost daily quoter of alarming incidents was beginning to be noticed.

Buffy was about to launch into her explanation speech (no use denying it in the circumstances) when Seth caught up to her. He'd seen the vampire explode and stopped running. "Hi nice of you to get here". Buffy began but was distracted when Kate ran past her to throw her arms round him.

"Seth, what are you doing here?" She said as she hugged him. "I though I'd never see you again".

Seth held her in return his arms round her waist. "I'm doing the same as you kid, fighting the powers of darkness".

Kate broke free a little, "But isn't it real dangerous for you, if your recognized you'll wind up back in Texas".

"Kate there's stuff you can't stand by and watch happen. I'm a vampire killer, that means I belong here". Seth might have said more, but Kate grabbed him again.

"I've missed you, I don't know why, but I have".

Watching the couple (she could think of no other term) Buffy felt a little sad, looking at Seth's face she got the impression her problem was over regarding a relationship with him, other than a slaying one that is. She wondered how long it would take him to remember she was there, but eventually he looked at her with an apologetic expression on his face.

Buffy mouthed, "Its ok". Then reached a decision and said out loud. "Seth, why don't you make sure Kate gets home alright?"

Seth looked at her and began, "If you're okay about it.... Before realizing Kate didn't need to know now and swiftly adding, "finishing patrol alone, that is".

"Sure", she said. "It was nice meeting you again Kate, come to the high school with Seth tomorrow. We need to talk vamps".

Kate hardly taking her eyes off Seth nodded and simply said. "Sure".

After they had gone, Buffy lost the smile she'd been forcing, *Well I just did a noble deed, I'm proud to be me, and if I shed a tear or two later on, it will just be for the happiness of two other people*. Then reflecting that though she was single again, at least she'd avoided giving her mom a heart attack if she ever heard. She vaulted up onto the cemetery wall.

"Damn this could take the rest of the night". She said aloud, somewhere out there was a grave, a grave that would look suspiciously like somebody had dug his way out of it. Which meant somebody, *namely me*, is gonna have to break into the ground keepers shed, *again*, steal a shovel and fill it in.

"Well screaming relatives can so worry the populace". She reflected wondering if her mom the Mayor could get her a key to save on busted padlocks. "Where are the guys when you need them? Filling in graves is no work for a girl, I could break a nail".

*Ok your walking through a cemetery, talking to yourself like a crazy person, let's have a react. You just gave up your guy (too old, and a wanted criminal), and the unobtainable Angel's back tomorrow, could things suck any worse?*

Buffy began her search knowing it could still be a long night.



Continued
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