Chapter 03 – A Place In The Dirt
With her duffel bag in one hand, her crossbow in the other, Buffy stood on the front porch of the small two-floored hour. What was that street name? Something like Rodeo Drive, but different. She had hardly listenend to Giles when he had told her about this place.
Something about a refuge to keep the vampires from nesting everywhere. From what she remembered, they had worked some proctective magic around the house so that nobody without a key could enter it univited although it wasn’t occupied.
Now, the Watcher was fumbling with a set of keys until he found the right one. “There you go, Miss Summers. You can stay here while you’re in town.” He unlocked the door, then gave her the key.
Buffy rolled her eyes at the man’s clumsyness. She could harldy picture him being a Watcher, muss less fighting vampires in this godforsaken town.
The house was surprisingly tidy. Either the former occupants had left it like this – furniture included – of Giles and his White Hats had done the job. Not that Buffy cared anyway. She had better things to do then getting comfy.
Slaying the Master, to start with.
Giles had filled her in where the vampire resided, about his most dangerous diciples and something else she hadn’t bothered much to listen to. Apparently, the Master was planning something – the White Hats didn’t know what exactly – and she was here to clean up the mess. One more of those days.
“There is food in the refridgerator, the basement is also stocked with mostly canned food. There are three bedrooms upstairs, as is the bathroom. It is nothing special but it should do. If you need anything, my number is beside the telephone.”
Once more, Buffy rolled her eyes. “I told you, I work alone. No foot troops, no back-up. It’s how I work best. I can’t risk looking after other people.”
Giles stuffed his hands into the pockets of his pants in a somewhat indignated fashion. “I can assure you, Miss Summers, that you wouldn’t need to look after us.”
The Slayer snorted. “Right, I saw that when these vampires almost killed you. And that’s why I’m here. Because you have everything under control.” Her voice was dripping with sarcasm.
The Watcher clenched his fists inside his pockets, his nostrils flaring. “I was outnumbered,” he grumbled into his seven day stubble. “But as you wish. We’ll be meeting at the high school tomorrow morning if you care to join us.” His last words were heavy with disdain.
Buffy’s gesture matched her words. “Yeah, whatever, Jeeves.” With that, she picked up her duffel bag again, and stomped up the stairs, her boots heavy on the creaking steps.
Giles looked after the young woman, his face sad now. She wasn’t even eighteen years old. He didn’t know much about her but she had been called almost three years ago. Ever since the weight of the world rested upon her shoulders. And her shoulders only. Of course, she had a Watcher but as much as he hated to admit it, Bufy had been right. Watchers were pretty much useless when it came to the actual fight. He knew how to slay vampires and demons but if he was honest to himself, he had a hard time doing so. He simply didn’t have the strength, and his advanced age didn’t help either. If it wasn’t for Oz, Larry and Nancy he wouldn’t stand the proverbial fighting chance.
And now that the Slayer was in town… well, Giles wasn’t so sure about her. Of course, her destiny wasn’t an easy one., it was all death, violence and destructoin. But he had never thought her to be so… dead.
The vampire named Willow had lead him into the basement of the Bronze. What had once been a storage facilty (or maybe the hang-out for bands and their groupies) now sported as a full-blown dungeon.
Posters of various musicians and bands were fading away on the damp walls. An empty beer keg was gathering dust in a corner. On the right, the room had been devided into several holding cells. The wall to his left was lined by shelves, holding a promising variety of torture instruments; the purpose of some of them not quite clear on first sight.
“Puppy,” Willow sing-songed as she walked up to the first cell, her hand gliding over the sturdy steel bars. “Hello, little puppy. Look who’s here.”
It startled Spike a little how much this woman sounded like Dru, only less fragile. But then, that was what he was here for, make his girl strong again.
What startled the vampire even more was to see who Willow’s puppy was. That, he hadn’t expected.
A tall figure crouched in a corner, his former dress shirt and slack now nothing more than rags on his body. He was shackled to the wall with heavy duty chains which rattled as he moved to look up.
“My, my, my. Look who we have here.” With the most gleeful grin vampirically possible, Spike hooked his thumbs into his belt, all but bouncing on the balls of his feet.
The figure in the cell jerked in surprise and let out a hissing sound. Willow, too, looked surprised.
“You two know each other?”
“Spike,” the figure growled, barring ineffective human teeth.
“Angel.” Although this was all to amusing, Spoike couldn’t keep a good portion of hate from his voice. To Willow he said: “Meet my grand-sire. Or what’s left of him.”
A vicious grin appeared on Willow’s lips as her gaze altered between the two vampires. Obviously, her mind was already forming new wicked plans.
“How did he get here?” As he watched Willow unlock the door to Angel’s cell, Spike leaned against the opposite wall.
The vampiress shrugged her pale shoulder. “Just stumbled in here one day, babbling something about the Slayer. Tried to stop the Ascension all by himself.”
She all but chuckled as she pulled the door open. Within an instant, she was at Angel’s side, gripping the vampire by the hair, and yanked him to the floor. “And then, he became my puppy. The Master lets me play with him whenever I want.”
She sank to her knees, straddling his hips. Her hand closed around his jaw hard enough to leave marks on his skin. “And I just know how to make him bark.”
With little effort, Willow ripped the last shreds of Angel’s shirt apart, buttons flying. From somewhere in her leather attire, she produced a box of matches.
“He knew that the Slayer would come here?” Spike couldn’t help but be surprised. Since when did his grand-sire care about Slayers? That was his specialty. Leave nuns and gipsies to Angelus, and he got the Chosen Ones. It had been as simple as that. And then, Angelus had been foolish enough to get cursed with a soul. What a laugh that had been amongst the undead. A vampire with a soul: unheard of and unbelievably stupid.
Again, Willow shrugged. “He said she was supposed to be here.” She gave the vampire beneath her a pitying look. “For three years, you waited for her.” She an a hand over his bare chest, marred with fresh and slowly fading scars. “And now she’s finally here.”
Angel’s eyes widened in surprise and shock. He tried to struggle out of Willow’s grip but the vampiress had him pinned to the floor. “Buffy?” He croaked, his throat parched. “Buffy’s here?”
For a moment it seemed as if he was actually grinning in triumph. And then, the first burning match landed on his chest, and he howled in pain.
“The Slayer’s name is Buffy?” Spike barked out a laugh. This was better than he had planned.
“Cute, isn’t it?” Willow dropped another match on Angel’s chest. “It’s all he ever talks about. How she’s going to come to kill us all.” A velvety laughter rolled off her tongue. “It’s almost as if he’s in love with her.”
“Yeah,” Spike drawled as he stepped up to the bars. “Always a little bit of a drama queen.” With nothing but revulsion, he looked down on his grand-sire and former mentor.
My, how the times had changed. There had been a time early on his vampire days, when he had looked up to him. When he had let him guide him, teach him. And then he had let Angelus betray him. Ever since then, he hated him. More than he would probably ever hate anyone in this world and the next. And now? Now he almost pittied him. Almost.
With a disgusted snort, Spike turned on his heel.
“You’re not going to watch?” Willow asked after him, obviously disappointed by the lack of audience.
“Maybe later, luv. There is still plenty of time during the day. Now I got places to be.”
“Where are you going?”
“The usual.” He shot Willow a glance over his shoulder. “Crosses to find, Slayers to kill.”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/207811.html