For a Friday night, Sunnydale was quiet as a tomb, the vampires had either
gone to the roadhouse or run and the people seemed to have sensed the dreadful
prospect for violence that faced the town for there were few of them on the
streets as well. As she patrolled Buffy couldn't help but think that all that
was needed to make the place look even more like a scene from a western would be
tumbleweed and dust devils.
Anyone who saw the Slayer and her two companions walking towards them that
night cleared the way, an air of menace hung over the trio as they silently
scanned doorways, alleys and fire escape's for rifle armed vampires.
Seth Gecko was unhappy, pissed in fact to discover that he was operating on
the word of a solidly unreconstructed vampire. He accepted Angel without too
many qualms, the vampire had a soul and was on the good guys team, he hadn't met
Angelus and so had no grounds for unease. The only use he had for unsouled
vampires was as targets, if the blond vampire Buffy had told him not to kill
tried anything that smacked of treachery he'd be a problem for Sunnydale's road
Angel had his own very mixed feelings, he doubted his childe's truthfulness
and couldn't figure out what could have motivated his actions, why would he so
blatantly betray his own kind. Spike couldn't possibly be doing this out of
love, but how could he profit from it? One thing was sure though the least sign
of betrayal by his childe would result in the blonds death.
Buffy considered the potential embarrassment of a laughing vampire, but then
cast the idea aside. Instead she thought, *Please don't let me fuck up tonight,
please don't let me give Spike away, he may be a vampire but please don't let me
get him or my friends killed*.
They drew near to the cemetery a half hour or so after midnight and it was as
she drew near to the gates that Buffy and Angel both felt it.
"Vampires", she said simply.
"A lot", he added.
"Do we page?" Seth asked.
"It was 3333 wasn't it", Buffy was trying to remember the agreed list of
codes for the various areas of town the cavalry might have to head for.
"That's the one", Angel was casting his mind out even as he spoke honing on
the source of the feelings he and Buffy were experiencing. "I don't think that
they're all in the graveyard, but Spike is".
"Ok I send the Signal, then in about ten minutes when they've all stopped
arguing with Faith they get Oz's van and the Gilesmobile going and are on their
way here", Buffys right hand reached through the hole she had cut in the thin
material of the old coat she was wearing, she took a firm grip on the shotguns
breech and pulled breaking the cotton that held the sling at half length. She
began to unbutton her coat.
"Guys let's move in on them", she looked around, no civilians were in sight,
but still best not to be seen bearing arms. "Twenty meters in we'll find
somewhere to stash our coats and go after the bad guys".
"Shouldn't we wait for the others?" Angel asked.
"No, my honing may not be as good as yours, but I agree there aren't that
many of them", Buffy looked at her two friends. "I think we should go in there
and find out the truth about Pike now".
"Well better we do it than the kids", Seth freed his own shotgun, "Let's get
Buffy smiled at that, *Aren't I a kid anymore?* She decided to take it as a
compliment, she turned to the vampire. "Angel, what about you?"
"Ok then", Angel unbuttoned his coat and freed his pump action, "It might as
well end here as in some LA barrio, lets go find them".
"Me first", Buffy took the apex of the resultant triangle, Seth covering the
left flank and Angel the right.
"Here vampires, oh vampires where are you?" Seth murmured as he walked along,
shotgun held ready. "Where are you, you cock-sucking bastards?"
"Right here", Angel answered, keeping a straight face as he spoke.
"Hey guys please lets be serious", Buffy tried not to laugh, here was the
hard cutting edge of the Slayerettes, the others could fight yes and they had
the brains and the magick, but the disciplined battle hardened core was here,
and she was leading it. "Let's go find some ass to kick".
They ditched their coats, Buffy felt the coolness of the night breeze on her
bare arms and felt better for it, a vest top might do little to protect
shoulders from recoil but the shotgun felt light in her hands. She felt her
Slayer sense sending its warnings out stronger and stronger as the vampires drew
"How many?" she asked quietly.
"No more than a dozen and just 60 meters ahead". Angel was casting his senses
out, Spike's familiar presence making his task easier.
Looking ahead, Buffy thought she could make out a figure, her hand worked the
shotguns slide and chambered a round, Angel and Seth followed suit.
"Only four each", Seth grunted as they moved forward again his finger just
outside the trigger guard to avoid an accidental discharge. "I feel like we've
been fucking short changed".
"If we find the rest", Angel was trying to make sense of the widely scattered
signals he was getting, "You can have them all with my blessing".
The figure before them grew clearer at 40 yards Buffy knew from the clothes
that it was Pike and took a firmer grip of her weapon.
"I think we're walking into a circle of vampires", Angel hissed going game
faced as the tension eroded his self control. "It's a trap".
"No", Buffy took deliberate aim at Pikes heart. "So long as we have their
leader under our guns, it's just a parley".
Before they reached a range at which the vampire could hear she added, "If it
comes to a fight dust the Anglo's first, their the leaders, the other main
target is a Mexican in a bolero and round hat. Without them the rest will fall
apart and whatever happens to us, the battle will be won".
"Last thing nobody call him Pike, not till we're introduced".
They closed the range, three guns aimed at the outlaw who continued to smoke
calmly wearing his human face. When they were ten or so meters away he looked up
smiled at them and tipped his Stetson in their direction. "Lady and gentlemen
welcome to my Cemetery".
Three very puzzled faces looked back at him after he spoke the words. "I take
it I have the pleasure of addressing Mr Gecko, Mr Angelus and Miss Buffy
Summers, the vampire Slayer".
"Sure that's us", Buffy replied, "We're pleased to meet you Mr Slayee".
She looked him up and down taking in the early 20th century wild west garb.
"You know if you wanted to line dance, you're in the wrong part of town".
Laughing Pike dropped his cigar, Dutch, Angel and Spike emerged behind him
weapons in their hands. They were game faced unlike their boss, Seth and Angels
aim wavered a little as they considered who to shoot first. Buffy held her gun
rock steady aimed straight at Pike, she smiled and winked at him. Pike didn't
*She's a tough one*, the vampire thought *Lets see how she reacts to my
offer*. "My names Pike the boys behind me are Dutch and Angel, Spike you already
know. I must say you don't seem all that fazed to meet me".
"Faith caught a vampire trying to leave town last night", Buffy lied calmly.
"She beat him up a little and he told her bout the new kid in town before he
died, so Mr Johnnie Come Lately you've got tonight to fuck off back to wherever
you came from taking your crew with you or you join Trick in hell, what do you
"Little Lady that's a coincidence", Pike placed a hand on his pistol holster
only the fact it was beneath his jacket stopped Buffy from dusting him then and
there. "I'm gonna offer you and yours a similar deal, but you've got 24 hours to
run, Sunnydale's mine girl, all you can do here now is die, and die bloody.
Think on it. I'll even let you take Gecko and this traitor with you".
"El jefe", the Mexican Angel began, he was silenced by a warning growl from
"No deal", Buffy responded simply she noted the vampire didn't look the least
bit surprised. "So if I'm not going and your not going the answers simple, let's
just kill each other here and now".
Pike had smiled through the first part but the bold ending made his eyes
Both her friends glanced at her for a second then their points of aim shifted
from Pike to Dutch in Seth's case and after hesitation to Spike in Angel's.
Looking at his Sire, Spike couldn't help but feel a pull on his loyalty, of
course he was only pretending to follow Bishop, but his Sire being fully game
faced didn't help matters at all. Then Angel began to growl. *Oh fuck, what are
you trying to do to me?* Spike assumed Buffy had told Angel about his true
loyalty, so either the bugger was acting or *He doesn't fucking trust me".
This was a hurtful sentiment where Spike's feelings were concerned. So
despite the tension of the situation he interrupted whatever Pike was about to
say in a decisive manner. In his right hand Spike held his gun, in his left was
a half smoked cigarette, Spike proceeded to flick the lit cigarette at his
It missed sailing past the vampire by two inches but the growling stopped and
his Sire looked murderously at him.
"Angelus", Spike growled, "You're looking stressed old mate, resouling must
get to you after awhile", he grinned now carefully studying his Sire's head.
"You know, I'd swear your receding".
"Spike, I'll fucking kill you for that" Angel didn't sound like he was
acting, his knuckle whitened round the trigger only Buffy's sudden intervention
with a, "not yet", saved Spikes' unlife.
"Spike", Pike didn't break eye contact with Buffy. "Shut up".
"Slayer, killing you will be so easy", Pike the whistled and from around the
area came the sound of Winchester leaver actions being worked, familiar to
everyone who's ever seen a western, which Buffy had. "You're surrounded one
shout from me and you die, you fire and you die".
"Pike nobody lives forever", Buffys response was icy calm. "You've so
thoughtfully put yourself in front of me, and your lieutenants too, how long do
you think your minions will last leaderless, with you dead? Faith and my friends
will kill them all".
"Did you bring them all this way to die?" Buffy saw consternation at her
courage on the vampires face, she smiled. "Times a ticking if your gonna get
them back to Mexico before my deadline".
"Do you think Mr Bishop will run from you girl?" Dutch shouted covering Buffy
with his own shotgun, not caring about Seth just determined too shoot the Slayer
if she killed Pike. "And from a traitor and a coward".
"Coward!" Seth controlled an urge to cut Dutch down with difficulty. "Mother
fucker are you calling me a coward? If you are I'll kill you and piss on your
"Gringo bastard", Angel's Winchester was aimed firmly at Seth. "You ran from
El Rey when you heard we were coming, you tortured Ramone Calbria with holy
water and then fled to avoid our revenge".
Seth thought hard, a bath of holy water and a screaming vampire came back to
him, "Bullshit, all that son of a bitch told me was were he hid his loot and
that the Hellmouth existed, he didn't give you fuckers away".
"Anyway", Seth knew the situation was on a knife edge but didn't care. "The
yellow bastard here is you, I'm not the one who brought a gang of his amigos
along to the fight. How about it, you and me Mano y Mano?"
"Yes", Angel nodded vigorously. "Lets walk up the path a little and finish
"No", Pike turned game faced. "Stay were you are", he took his eyes of Buffy
for the first time to focus on the Mexican beside him. "This is about business,
not your personal vengeance".
Taking advantage of the distraction Spike winked at Angelus, the dark-haired
vampire nodded imperceptibly to anyone not looking for a return gesture and
slowly tracked his weapon to his namesakes heart. The blond vampire thought
hard, *The Dutchman and my new mates legs or the snipers which to go for first.
The leaders, they go and the bandits may give us a second or two to find cover*.
"Come on already", Buffy teased the outlaws, "Do we party or not?"
Dutch started to say something but Pike held up a hand silencing him.
The new ruler of the Hellmouth could feel the situation slipping out of his
control, Buffy was right he hadn't come to Sunnydale to die and his companeros
were gradually ruining his plan. He had to break away.
"All right then little lady, have it your own way", Pike waved his marksvamps
back and slowly began too retreat. "We'll walk away for now, but you know were
we're going. Why not come visit with us tomorrow night?" Smiling he slipped back
into his human features, "And bring all your friends".
Determined to burn the roadhouse as soon as the sun rose Buffy smiled as she
replied, "Sure thing, we'll bring a bottle, it should be a hot old time".
As they walked back Dutch and Angel looked confused, Spike however took it in
his stride taking another opportunity to mock his Sire. "See you then mate,
don't worry no matter how bad it gets, you'll be dead long before you're
"I'll kill you next time I see you", Angelus didn't sound to Spike like he
was acting. *Not like he ever could*.
"You and whose army?" Spike sent back as a message to both Angelus and the
"You'll die Cabron I swear it", Angel walked backwards his Winchester aimed
at Seth longing to obey his demons shouted commands and pull the trigger, Pike
however had his greater loyalty. "You'll pay for what you did to Santanico".
Confused for a second Seth suddenly remembered the headline act at the Titty
Twister, the bitch who killed his brother. "Mother fucker your a dead man
walking", Seth then realized that technically that wasn't much of a threat just
the literal truth, *Damn*. "I'll see you dust tomorrow".
Dutch didn't say much of anything he just looked grim faced at his boss he
would converse with Mr Bishop out of earshot of their opponents.
Once the vampires had retreated some 20 meters or so Seth pushed Buffy and
Angel off the path unceremoniously, "What the.." the Slayer began as she found
herself behind a memorial.
"They have rifles we have shotguns", Seth explained as he moved across to a
nearby headstone that gave him a view after their enemies. "That gives them the
advantage now, their weapons have greater range".
"But ours are more manly", Buffy felt the tension ease as Seth and Angel
laughed at the attempted joke. "They're getting out of here fast, I can't detect
any vamps but you lurking behind".
"No they all left", Angel laughed again. "I'm not lurking, I'm hiding.
There's a difference, it's subtle but it's there".
"Ok, do we follow the fuckers or not?" Seth asked trying to keep things
serious. "Buffy you seemed mad keen to get us killed two minutes ago, do we sit
on our asses or go get them?"
"No", Buffy watched the vampires retreat out of sight. "The cavalry's coming
here, we have to wait for them and hope those guys don't go and find someone to
kill, I don't want the others driving round town looking for us and running into
something Faith can't handle".
Silently Buffy prayed that Spike would find a way to break clear, *If he
doesn't then he's dust tomorrow morning, he might be a vampire but he's on my
side now*. She tried not to think about how good his mouth had felt on hers.
Dutch waited until he got back to the parking lot of the Funeral Home before
he exploded, he tore off his hat and threw it on the ground and then rounded on
"Goddamn it Mr Bishop! That was the most humiliating experience of a very
long life, did you drag us out here for that, just to look at her and then to
walk away. Why didn't we kill her while we had the chance?"
He went to kick the Stetson then thought better of it, "She's a tough one,
but we could have taken her, but no we have to stick to your plan". Dutch threw
his shot gun after the hat, "Well what the fuck is the plan cause tomorrow that
girlie and her friends will burn us in our lair, tawdry little shit heap that
"You got anything to add?" Pike ignored the fuming Engstrom and spoke to
"Si el jefe", Angel answered calmly. "You have dishonored us, we ran from
them like dogs, I could have killed Gecko so easily tonight, why did you not let
"Because I've died for your mule headed pride once already", Pike took a
cigar from his pocket, he looked away from the pain that crossed Angels face,
the pain that appeared there every time anyone mentioned Mapache and reminded
him how his refusal to stand an offence had got Pike, Dutch and the Gorches
killed and led to them suffering the fate that had befallen them now.
"Come on then", Pike waved the two vampires away from the others. "You want
the plan you can have it".
Spike watched them, saw Dutch's scowl turn to a frown then to a grin, Angel
shrugged after a while then laughed out loud. The blond vampire felt pissed to
be left out, but then guessed that whatever the plan was he was in it as Pike
pointed over his shoulder at him. Buffy wouldn't like it, of this Spike was
sure, he thought about running but then remembered Angel fanning his .45 in the
roadhouse parking lot the night before. *No, best to see what it is first then
try to get away*.
But Pike didn't come to tell him, he went to one of the jeeps and opened the
back handing a small bag he took from the vehicle to Angel and then he, Dutch,
one minion and five banditos somehow crowded into the vehicle which drove away.
Angel walked over giving Spike a big grin as he approached him.
"Take me to the Bronze amigo."
"The Bronze?" Spike wondered what was going on. "Why the Bronze, you looking
for a party?"
"No", Angel handed Spike the bag and headed for the DeSoto, the remaining
bandits got into the other jeep with their reluctant driver whilst Spike lifted
a small bottle out of the bag and read the label. "Chloroform?" He thought about
it for a few seconds then added, "Oh Bugger!"
Chapter 6.3 - To Live or Die in Sunnydale
Close on two in the morning, Buffy was walking back to Revello drive, making
a last patrol on her way back from the high school, she'd been offered a lift by
Giles but had felt more like walking and trying to clear her head.
There had been an intense discussion in the library over what to do next,
Wesley had for some bizarre reason been all for going straight to the roadhouse
and storming it and the devil take the consequences wanting it seemed to die in
a blaze of glory. The solid opinion of everybody else in the room that he was
stark staring mad had put a stop to the proposal however. When he'd tried the
tactic of informing Buffy that she must obey her Watcher's orders and accompany
him the Slayer had laughed in his face.
Not a good idea she considered now, the guy was obviously becoming slightly
The shotgun had been left behind in the arms locker, she didn't want to take
it home and maybe freak her Mom out even worse than she was already. If the
Mayor had her way, then Buffy would be in LA now with Hank whilst Joyce rallied
the townspeople behind her and routed Pike. *Mom is starting too lose it
majorly, or mayorly*. Still, Buffy figured that if it came to it Sunnydale would
be in safe hands after her death her Mom would handle things until the next
Slayer arrived, but she doubted that Giles would appreciate the TV reporters
who'd replace the Vampires.
Suddenly she became aware of a car driving slowly up behind her, a glance
behind her showed it was black with stained windows and was cruising slowly down
the wrong side of the road.
Buffy didn't consider that she was dressed in anyway like a hooker and so
prepared to either kick some Skanky old guys ass or talk turkey with a vampire.
As the vehicle pulled alongside she could see that the passenger side window was
being winded down even as the car eased to a stop.
Bending down Buffy looked in through the window then smiled in recognition.
"Hi Cutie do you want a party?" she put on her best 'Faith' voice as she said
"Don't take the piss Slayer", Spike replied even as he opened the door. "I've
got some real important stuff to tell you".
"My Mom told me never to get into cars with strange vampires". Buffy crossed
her arms and ignored the open door, "And with that hair your a real strange
She was interrupted as Spike loudly shouted, "I'm risking my bloody unlife
for you, Buffy, you could at least take me seriously".
"Sorry I'm sure", Buffy slid into the car, wrinkling her nose at the stench
of cigarettes, "Jeez you could do with an air freshener or twenty in here". When
the vampire just scowled and eased the car into drive and moved off she went on
irritably, "I think the least you should do when an attractive girl makes you an
offer like that is attempt to negotiate".
A sudden dreadful thought occurred to her, "You do think I'm attractive don't
"Yes Pet, very", Spike eased the car into a convenient alley and dimmed the
lights. "I have to say your bloody cheerful for somebody who just nearly threw
her life away".
"I don't know what you mean, I was just showing Pike what he was up against",
Buffy was starting to get pissed, "I was gonna tell you how cool I thought you'd
played it in the graveyard but if all your gonna do is dis me", she made to open
the door but Spike grabbed her arm, hard. For a couple of seconds she feared
she'd made a terrible mistake but when she looked into her eyes she saw they
were blue not yellow.
"Lets kill each other!" Spike whispered then his voice rose till he almost
shouted. "How suicidal can you get, is that what you want pet to die, to be
turned to join the wanker in eternal life? You're lying there dead so he turns
you, Willow casts a spell and wham he's got no excuse to walk away from you
anymore", his voice almost broke as he went on. "Tell me Buffy is that really
what you want, to be with him?"
"Is that what you want?" He emphasized each word, knowing his heart would
break if she said yes.
"Do you think he would, turn me that is?" Buffy answered from what sounded
like a long distance away to Spike. "If I was already technically dead with no
one to do the CPR?" She shook her head at the thought.
"No", Buffy didn't struggle with Spikes major grip on her arm, "Don't ask me
to tell you that I haven't thought about it, dreamt about it even, but I don't
want to be a vampire, to have my friends look at me with fear in their eyes, so
no when, I die I'll stay dead".
"I'm sorry kitten", Spike let go of her arm and very gently took one of her
hands in his instead, she looked down at the black nail varnish and didn't
resist. "Sometimes I can be a terribly bad tempered man, I hope I haven't hurt
Deciding not to mention the fact she wouldn't be able to wear a tee shirt
tomorrow for the finger marks he'd probably left she asked instead. "So what's
the important stuff then? You being here means come sunup we kill Pike".
Looking across at Spike she frowned, "But I bet you know something I don't?
"I think we underestimated Pike right down the line luv", Spike had been told
confession was good for the soul, right now he wished he had one. "He's taken
out fire insurance, and it's a really good policy".
"Huh", the Slayer could only reply then added. "What kind of policy?"
"A Harmony", Buffy shook her head. "The Harmony who I used to go to school
with, Cordelia's former friend".
"The very same", Spike shrugged and stopped looking her in the eye. He'd had
to wait with Angel for half an hour or more for one of the Queen C's cliche to
show, girls he knew Buffy didn't like at all.
"He kidnaped her didn't he", Buffy began to feel sick, realizing what she now
faced. "Where from?"
"Outside the Bronze, she came out at just the wrong time", it had been bloody
convenient in the vampires opinion but *best not to mention that eh*.
"Curious isn't it that its someone I don't even like", taking her hand back
from the vampire Buffy used it to force his chin up so she could look at him
properly. "But then that's no coincidence is it, you were there when she was
taken", he made no reply so louder she went on. "Weren't you?".
"Yes Pet". he stopped trying to look away. "I was told to take them to the
bronze, so I did".
"And you deliberately tried to pick out someone who I won't miss", Buffy took
her hand away, and seemed to crumple a little. "Someone who you think I'd see
dead, a way for you to ruin Pike's plan, to save my life at the price of
"It's not like that pet" the vampire tried to lie, "She's just unlucky, your
fortunate I persuaded them that one would be...." he tailed off as he looked at
"Hell what will one Harmony matter in the scheme of things?"Buffy almost
snarled, "Buffy won't put all her friends lives at risk for her, she can burn
with the vampires". Grabbing hold of the dusters collar she pulled him right
into her face, her hazel eyes bored into his blue ones, "How can you claim to be
in love with someone who you don't even know, do you seriously believe I could
think like that, that I could be that cold, is that really who you see when you
look at me?"
The vampire couldn't think of a thing to say, so just inches from her as he
was he tried a different angle.
Tentatively Spikes hand went too the back of Buffys neck and he drew her
nearer, he was surprised that she didn't resist as he kissed her, the kiss began
gently but warmed rapidly, he was amazed by the heat of her tongue he hadn't
kissed a mortal girl in decades. She felt at home reminded as she was of the
sensation of cold that accompanied kissage with Angel, sometimes she'd been
surprised steam hadn't started rising.
Breaking off Spike, eyes closed, pressed his cheek against hers. "I'm sorry
pet, I should have tried to stop them but I didn't, how can I make it right to
Breathless Buffy didn't speak for a few seconds. "Tell me about the
roadhouse, how the interiors laid out?"
"You'll die if you try to storm it Buffy, it's a death trap pure and simple".
Spike hugged the girl to him, "What does she matter to you? I don't want to see
"I'm the chosen one", Buffy whispered it, but it screamed through Spike's
head. "With your personal experience you should know its what we do best, I have
to try to save her, I have no choice".
She broke the embrace, "Once you've told me what I need to know you can go,
go find Dru, she's got what you need".
"Your sending me away", Spike couldn't believe it and shook his head as tears
almost started to rise. "I'll go back, try to get her out for you at sunset,
damage that damned door, start a fire before you break in, find some way to
distract the buggers, just please don't tell me to leave you". He looked at her
with pleading eyes, "Please Buffy, let me die with you".
This time Buffy kissed him and when they broke apart once more she whispered,
"No, lets live together instead. Tell me about the roadhouse".