- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 1
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 2
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 3
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 4
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 5
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 6
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 7
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 8
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 9
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 10
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 11
Angel loses his soul.
While Cassie and Xander were fighting off the other students and the Bezoar demon, Beth as the Specter visited Spike. Spike warned her that Drusilla planned on releasing a demon called the Judge and having a party. The vampire warned the Specter that since the ritual, Dru had been acting stranger and stranger. She continually rattled on about becoming like her Daddy.
Giles walked into the library with his nose buried in a book. He absentmindedly walked behind the checkout counter. Someone clearing their throat startled him, and he looked up to find the Specter sitting at the research table, Her pose mirrored the one that Spike had used when he came to talk about the ritual to heal his Sire.
“Specter,” Giles greeted the black clad figure, “Was there something you needed?” He wondered what brought the girl to his doorstep. Giles and Cassie had discussed the Specter in great length. The Slayer confided in the Watcher that the Specter didn’t make the Slayer spidey senses tingle in any way. It was yet another mystery that surrounded the black clad girl.
Giles watched as the Specter tapped a note that laid on the table in front of her. He walked over to the table, and he picked up the note. On the outside of the folded piece of paper was the word ‘Watcher’ written in a neat, flowing script. From the slant of the letters, Giles could tell the author was left handed. He opened the note, and he began to read it.
Dru has it in her head that if she puts together the Judge, he will either burn the humanity out of Angel or put the humanity back into her. If the Judge removes the humanity from Angel we will all be dealing with Angelus. I, for one, have no desire to see that git ever again. It’s bad enough having the ensouled version traipsing around the Hellmouth. If I am able to ‘misplace’ any of the parts, I will send it to you via courier.
Spike a.k.a. William the Bloody
“This can’t be good,” Giles muttered. Then he noticed that something had the Specter’s attention. She had her head tilted as if she was listening to something. “Specter?” Giles said to get her attention.
The Specter put a finger to her cloth covered lips, and then she beckoned for the Watcher to follow her. They silently left the library and moved down the hallway until they were outside a classroom that Giles recognized as Jenny Calendar’s. Inside the room, the Specter and Giles could hear her talking to someone.
“I promise you. Angel still suffers, and he makes amends for his evil,” Jenny argued with guest, “He even saved my life.”
“So you just forget that he destroyed the most beloved daughter of your tribe,” the man growled, “That he killed every man, woman and child that touched her life? Vengeance demands that his pain be as eternal as ours is! If this … this girl gives him one <I>minute</I> of happiness, it is one minute too much!”
“I’m sorry. I thought…”
“You thought what?” the man interrupted whatever Jenny was going to say, “You thought you are Jenny Calendar now? You are still Janna, of the Kalderash people. A Gypsy…”
The eavesdroppers stared at each other in amazement. This certainly put another spin on things, and Giles was greatly saddened that the woman he was falling in love with wasn’t being honest with her reasons for associating with his group. Giles motioned to the Specter to follow him, and they returned to the library.
“I was really starting to fall for her,” Giles murmured as he fell into one of the chairs. He smiled weakly at the Specter when she awkwardly patted him on the shoulder in consolation.
The Specter knew, as well as Beth, the pain that came from loving someone that you could not have for one reason or another. Although the seperation from the one she cared for was different from Giles’, the pain was still just as real.
“Thank you, my dear. Let’s get back to the Judge chap. It’s a legend that he was brought forth to rid the Earth of the plague of humanity by separating the righteous from the wicked. Then, he burned the righteous down. He can not be killed, but he was supposed to be dismembered and his pieces scattered to every corner of the Earth.”
The Specter made a hissing growl when she heard the information. She didn’t like the sound of this one bit. What was Dru thinking? Oh right, she’s not thinking. She’s a looney.
Giles studied the black clad figure carefully. Again, Giles wondered exactly what type of creature the Specter was. She had a strength and a grace that rivaled Cassie’s, maybe even moreso since the Specter killed the Master the spring before with what appeared to be very little effort. Her relationship with Spike, a master vampire, bordered on the strange. Considering the rumors from the demon world, that the Specter had slaughtered every vampire and demon that crossed her path until Spike.
The side of the conversation that Giles had understood between the Specter and Spike during the vampire groupie incident told of jealousy in the relationship. Yet the Specter did nothing against either of the other two women in Spike’s life, Beth or Dru.
“Who are you?” Giles asked. He wasn’t expecting an answer. So, he wasn’t surprised when the Specter just stared at him.
The Specter shook her head. As if he could understand me, even if wanted to tell him, she huffed.
“Right then.” Giles was a bit frustrated. Giles had been busy researching the connection that had occured between the two in question during the ritual to heal Dru, but no where in the research did it say anything about that any mystical connection being made by the non-participants. “Well, hopefully Spike will be able to interfere with Dru’s plan to put the Judge together. The only thing we can do is sit and wait.”
Beth approached the table at the Bronze where the birthday party was going on. She carefully carried the box that Dalton had slipped to her just a few minutes before. Beth was a bit nervous because the Slayer’s boyfriend, Angel, was there. Spike had warned her several times not to let him know about their connection. The last time he warned her it had been in front of Xander. For her own protection, Beth had a feeling that the teenager had told the rest of group to play it cool around Beth when Angel was there. When she arrived at the table with the box, none of them acted as if they recognized her.
“A girl in a black mask asked me to give this to you.” Beth put the box down on the table next to several beautifully wrapped birthday presents.
“Oh, another present for me,” Cassie said warily. She opened the box carefully. “Oh just what I always wanted a blue arm.” She jumped back in alarm when the arm began to twitch. It leapt out of the box towards the Slayer, and it grabbed her by the neck.
Angel leapt to help Cassie fight off the arm. Between the two of them they were able to remove it from the Slayer’s neck and return it to the box. Angel turned to Beth, and he began to advance on the girl. The gleam in his eye didn’t go unnoticed by the others in the group.
Cassie saw the look of terror that crossed Beth’s features when the vampire started to advance on her. She suddenly recalled the conversation with Xander where he had asked the group to keep Beth’s importance to Spike a secret. She knew there was no love lost between the two male vampires, but until that second she hadn’t realized how much menace the ensouled vampire could show.
“Angel, she’s just the messenger,” Cassie stated when she placed herself between the vampire and the young girl. A previous conversation with Giles gave her a good idea who the box was from. When the vampire stopped his advance and backed down, Cassie turned to Beth. “Sorry about that. My boyfriend’s a bit overprotective. You know how it is.”
“My boyfriend’s the same way,” Beth replied in a soft voice, “I need to get back to work.”
“Thanks,” Cassie answered softly. She watched Beth walk away before she turned back to her friends.
Cassie kept her eye on the busily working girl while the gang made plans for Angel to leave town with the arm of the Judge. She wasn’t too happy when he decided he would take the limb to Nepal, because would be out of town for months.
Cassie told Angel that she wanted to make sure that Beth wasn’t frightened anymore before they left. So, she slipped in the seat beside the girl as she took a small break.
“Are you okay, Beth?” Cassie asked, “Angel’s not a bad guy, really. He’s very nice once you get to know him. I’m not sure why Spike doesn’t want him to know about you, but I promise I won’t tell.”
“Thanks, Cassie. I got you something for your birthday.” Beth handed the other girl and envelope under the table. “Xander told me you liked to shop at Honey’s in the mall. It’s from Spike and me.”
Cassie opened the envelope, and she found a gift certificate for $50 inside. She smiled at Beth, and she thanked the girl. Cassie gripped Beth’s hand under the table for a quick squeeze. She was so busy thinking about Angel’s leaving that she failed to notice the coolness of Beth’s hand, and even if she had she would have chalked it up to the girl’s job of loading the club’s dishwasher.
Beth watched the Slayer and her vampire leave the Bronze. A sadness settled over her. She missed Spike’s visits during her breaks, and then his walking her home. Even as a vampire, she still felt safer with him walking her home. Beth wondered if she could work a visit in to Spike later as the Specter.
The Specter stood with her witness on the building opposite Angel’s apartment. She shuddered in the downpour, and she wished she could go home. However, she had a bad feeling that something was about to happen. She called it Slayer intuition.
Spike had sent Dalton in search of her to let her know that Dru had somehow managed to recapture the Judge’s arm, and that the party was on again. Only this time it would be thrown in a location unbeknownst to Spike. Dru’s insanity had slipped a bit more, and she didn’t trust the crippled vamp who was unable to leave the factory now.
The Specter had urged Dalton to raid the local blood bank for Spike’s meal. Somehow she had a feeling that Spke was going to need to heal as soon as possible. His progress was moving too slow, and he needed fully human blood to get better quicker.
The apartment door slammed open, and Angel came crashing out of the building. He stumbled against some trashcans that lined the alley, and he fell to the ground. Angel cried out in pain and fear as he yelled, “Cassie! Cassieee!”
The Specter watched in shock as the vampire collapsed to the ground and acted frightened. A nearby hooker noticed Angel as he laid on the ground sobbing, and she slowly walked towards him. She kept her eyes on the shadows just in case it was a trap of some kind. Her fingers shook around the lit cigarette she was carrying in her hand.
“Hey. You okay?” the hooker asked. She bent down to peer into his face. “You want me to call 911?”
Angel stood up suddenly, and he replied, “No. The pain is gone.”
“You sure, mister?” the hooker asked with uncertainy. The night had been slow because of the sudden storm. So, she was hoping that maybe this guy would help a poor working girl out. The hooker took a deep inhale off her cigarette.
“Yeah,” Angel growled.
The Specter’s nerves crawled as the vampire spun around in full game face. She watched in stunned silence as he grabbed the hooker, and he began to feed on her. In a few moments, he dropped the hooker’s body to the ground, and with a tilt of his neck he blew out the smoke he had sucked from her lungs through her neck.
“I feel just fine,” Angelus growled. He was so thrilled to be finally free he failed to notice his audience. Angelus cracked his neck before he swaggered off down the street to find himself something more to eat.
The Specter leapt off the building, and she landed gracefully beside the body of the hooker. She could tell the hooker was barely alive, but she would last long enough to tell her tale to the girl upstairs still peacefully sleeping. She beckoned for her witness to join her on the street, and he scrambled down the fire escape. The Specter lifted the hooker into her arms. Followed by her witness, she went into the apartment. She laid the hooker on the floor gently before going to wake up the Slayer.
“Huh?” Cassie sat straight up in the bed. She grasped the sheet to her naked breasts as she looked into the glowing eyes of the Specter. “Where’s Angel?” She rubbed her head. She finally noticed the hooker when the dying woman moaned low in her throat, a painful act to make her larynx somehow work again after it had been brutalized.
The Specter growled low in her throat. She threw Cassie her clothing, and she waited until the girl had dressed before she opened the apartment door so that her witness could enter the apartment.
“Hi. I’m Clem,” the demon said to the Slayer, “I’m a friend of Beth’s. Oh, and Spike’s, too.” He shook himself like a big dog to get rid of the excess water on his skin. “The Specter here dragged me along to check something with her. That boyfriend of yours has gone off the pig in a big way.”
“No! He would never do that,” Cassie denied vehemently. She looked at the Specter who was looking back at her with saddened eyes.
“We saw him, Slayer,” Clem said sadly, “He drained this lady here.” He swung his head towards the Specter when she growled something, and he watched as she tapped her mouth and then her wrist. “Oh, Specter says to talk to your Watcher. I love Charades. I always win.”
“T-that guy had a strange face.” The hooker’s dying rasp sounded weak. Her eyes fluttered closed, and she gasped her last breath.
“No, Angel would never…” Cassie broke off for a moment as she had an epiphany, “He lost his soul, didn’t he? He mentioned a curse, but he refused to tell me more about it.” Tears filled the Slayer’s eyes before a look of grim determination crossed her face. There was no way she was going to take this lying down. She had loved all of him, man and monster, but it appeared that while the man loved her, the monster did not. “Let’s leave him a little prezzie. We’ll put her in the bed, cover her up, and leave her there for him to find. We’ll get the cops to come for her later.”
Cassie saw the ‘are you sure’ look in the Specter’s eyes, and she nodded her assent. The two girls picked up the body of the hooker and placed her gently on the bed. They both knew that the poor woman didn’t deserve the death she was dealt. They both told themselves that after she served her purpose she would be treated better in death then she had been in life.
Cassie pulled the covers up over the girl’s head, hiding her from sight. She hoped it would fool the vampire long enough to get the desired reaction from him. Cassie followed the Specter and Clem out into the rain where Clem said his good-byes. Cassie and the Specter made their way through town to the high school library.
“We have a problem,” Cassie announced as she pushed the doors, “I think Angel has lost his soul.” She was greeted by gasps.
“Are you absolutely sure?” Giles asked. He came out from behind the checkout counter. He walked towards the Slayer and the Specter, and he ignored Jenny Calendar completely. He had been holding himself aloof from the woman since he and the Specter had eavesdropped on her.
“The Specter and Beth’s friend Clem saw him kill a hooker in the alley by his apartment,” Cassie answered. “It was right after…” She couldn’t say the words. So, she glanced at the Specter who nodded her head in agreement and understanding. “And Dru’s men got a hold of the piece of the Judge. They were waiting for us.”
“The Judge. Is he…” Giles asked. He removed his glasses, and he polished them with his shirttail.
“I’m sure he’s active, but when we went by the factory the only one there was Spike,” Cassie replied.
“Oh, damn it,” Giles whispered, “What did Spike have to say?”
“He took one look at Angel and clammed up,” Cassie answered, “There is some really bad blood between them two. He did tell me while Angel was searching a different part of the factory that he had no idea where Dru had decided have her little party.”
“Cassie, we have to stop the Judge,” Giles announced.
“You think I don’t know that, Giles,” Cassie huffed, “And what about Angel? The Specter here seems to think I should talk to you.”
“Yes, the Specter and I overheard a conversation that happened here in the school, didn’t we, Miss Calendar?” Giles refused to look at the dark haired woman.
Jenny looked startled that she had been overheard by anyone, especially Rupert. It certainly explained why he acted betrayed all day. She glanced around at the group’s curious and outraged faces, and she realized she might have messed up badly.
“Yes, Miss Calender. Why don’t you tell us?” Cassie’s voice dripped ice cubes. If there was something about Angel that Miss Calendar knew about, she’d better spill it pretty quickly. She was in on mood for any more games this morning.
“I was sent here to watch you. They told me to keep you and Angel apart,” Jenny confessed, “They never told me what would happen. Just that I had to keep him from being happy.”
“Is that why you convinced him to leave with the Judge’s arm?” Cassie asked. Her eyes narrowed as she watched the computer teacher.
“I’m sorry. Angel was supposed to pay for what he did to my people,” Jenny cried, “You have to believe me. I swear I would’ve told you.”
“Why don’t you tell us about the curse, Miss Calendar,” Cassie hissed. She advanced on the woman, and she would have slapped the woman except the Specter grabbed her wrist.
“The curse. Of course,” Jenny murmured, “If Angel achieved true happiness, even just a moment of happiness, he would lose his soul.”
“So, as soon as he was happy he lost his soul and he goes back to being evil?” Xander asked for clarification, “Am I the only one that noticed how illogical that is?” He raised his hand.
“What do you mean, Xander?” Willow asked.
“I don’t know what I mean. It just seems illogical to me. When I figure it out, I’ll tell you!” Xander muttered.
“We need to do an uninvite at my apartment, as soon as possible.” Giles went behind the desk, and he grabbed one of the books. “Has he been in any of your houses?” He glanced up to see that only Willow raised her hand.
“He came by when that Ford guy was in town,” Willow said, “He wanted me to find out some information on him.”
“Okay, Cassie and I will take Willow home and do the spell on her house. Xander and Oz make sure Cordelia gets home safe.” Giles turned to the Specter. “Are you going to be okay? Angelus knows who you are.”
The Specter looked at Giles, and he could see the delight dancing in her eyes. He realized that she was planning on showing off for him. Giles tossed the Specter a stake that was laying on the table beside him. He watched as she hefted it in her gloved hand.
The Specter pointed at the work out dummy across the room that Giles had brought out for Cassie’s workout. She twirled the stake like a baton a few times before she sent it flying towards the dummy. The Specter turned so she could watch the stunned expressions on the other’s faces.
Stunned was an understatement when the Scoobies watched the stake pass through the dummy and bury itself completely in the wall. Sand poured slowly out of both holes in the dummy’s chest. Giles hurried over to look in the hole where the stake was buried.
“Well, it appears that you should have no problems holding your own against Angelus,” Giles announced. He turned in time to see the Specter give a little shrug to her shoulders. She appeared to be quite pleased with herself.
“Why doesn’t the Specter accompany Miss Calendar home? We might need some information from her later.” Cassie suggested. Somehow, she felt that none of the rest of them could be objective with the woman at that moment. “We’ll meet tomorrow after class to start research on the Judge.”
The next evening, shortly after dusk, the Specter entered the high school library. She found Cassie and her friends sitting at the research table with open books spread out all over the place.
“Did you find anything?” Xander asked. He closed the book he was reading, and he tossed it on the table. This earned him a glare from Giles.
“This book mentions the Judge.” Cordelia lifted the book she was looking at. “but nothing useful. Big, scary, no weapon forged can stop him, took an army to take him down. Blah, blah, blah.” Then, she too tossed her book on the table.
“We need some insight, a weak spot,” Xander muttered, “All these books say the same exact thing.”
“Yeah, no weapon forged and it took an army,” Willow said absentmindedly, “Where’s an army when you need one?” She looked at Xander curiously when he snorted.
“Whoa. I think I’m having a thought,” Xander replied in an incredulous tone, “Yeah, yeah, that’s a thought. Now I’m having a plan. I think I may have a way to deal with the Judge once we find him.”
“What do we do?” Willow asked.
“I think I need Cordelia for this one.” Xander looked at the brunette haired girl and smiled. “Oh and we may need wheels. Oz, you up to being a getaway driver?”
“Sure. Sounds like a hootenanny,” Oz replied.
“Okay, we’ll meet at Willow’s in an hour. That’ll give Cordy a chance to put on a shorter skirt,” Xander replied. He smiled when she gasped. Xander knew from something the cheerleader had let slip earlier in the day that her parents were going to be a fundraiser that evening, and he was hoping they could get a little make out session in before he put his plan in motion.
“While you’re doing that, the Specter and I will check to see if Angelus has found his little present,” Cassie declared fiercely. The others all instantly hoped they were never on the receiving end of the Slayer’s anger. Cassie gestured to the Specter, and the two girls left the library together.
Cassie cast sideways glances at the dark clad figure walking next to her. She thought it was odd that she couldn’t get any vibes off the girl. The Specter’s eyes glowed and yet she didn’t feel like a vampire or a demon to the Slayer. She was more petite than the Slayer, extremely lithe and graceful, and apparently wickedly strong. Cassie wasn’t sure she could take the Specter in hand-to-hand combat. She hoped that she never had to find out if could or not.
The Slayer and the Specter arrived outside of Angel’s apartment just in time to see Angelus enter the building. The girls only had to wait minutes before a primal roar was heard from inside. The two girls looked at each other, and their eyes twinkled. They quickly flung themselves up the fire escape of the opposite building to await the departure of the vampire. They got their reward after about ten minutes of waiting.
Angelus left Angel’s apartment in a very bad mood. He couldn’t believe that the Slayer had the guts to play a joke on him like that, especially since there was no way she could have known he was the one that killed the hooker. His sight flew to the top of the nearby building when he heard feminine laughter. Angelus growled when he saw Cassie giggling at him with her companion.
“Bitches. I’ll get you for that,” Angelus spit out, “No one does that to Angelus and lives to tell about it. Maybe I’ll go back to the factory and put that cripple out of his misery.”
The Specter growled one word out at the vampire. Her voice was so filled with such venom that the Slayer and Angelus both gave her a startled look. The Specter removed a stake from her belt, and she twirled it much like she did before in the library. Before she could heft it at the vampire, the Slayer caught her arm. The Specter could see that the other girl wasn’t ready for the vampire to be dust yet.
Angelus made his escape while the two girls were preoccupied with each other. He quickly made his way to the factory where he knew Spike was trapped. Angelus wanted to know exactly what the dark clothed girl had spoken to him. He was surprised to find that Dru had returned with her minions and the Judge.
“Those bitches,” Angelus growled, “Especially that one of yours, Spike. They think they can play me, but they don’t know who the hell they are dealing with. I will make them both hurt.”
Spike burst out laughing, and he rolled his wheelchair closer to his grandsire. “You ever wonder why I’m the only one that’s ever come up against the Specter and lived to tell the tale, Peaches?”
“Because you’re a wimp and run away when the going gets tough?”
Spike chuckled, and said, “Nah Peaches, because she lets me get away.”
“What the hell does this word mean?” Angelus asked. Then he pronounced the word the Specter had said to him the best he could. Angelus remembered that Spike could speak whatever the hell language the Specter used.
“Retribution,” Spike answered. Now he was curious as to what Angelus had said to make her say that. “What did you say to make my girl so pissed off at you?”
“I told her I’m going to stake your sorry hide,” Angelus crowed, “That really got her mad. She showed me her weak spot so easily. Maybe I will dust you just to see what she will do.”
Dru sat dreamily looking at the Judge until Angelus made the last comment. She leapt to her feet, and she rushed to him shrieking. “No, you mustn’t, Daddy. I will not be able to save you.”
“I’m ready,” the Judge rumbled. He headed out the factory door in search of a place filled with humanity.
Angelus bent down to whisper in Spike’s ear. “Too bad you can’t come with, huh? I’ll be thinking of you.”
“I won’t be in this chair forever,” Spike growled. He didn’t want to show that he had no interest in going anywhere with his overconfident grandsire, his insane sire, and their nasty toy.
Angelus took Dru’s hand, and the vampires followed out of the factory. The minions followed close behind. Spike sighed in relief. <I>Alone at last.</I>
The Specter watched the vampires leave the factory. She waited for a few minutes before she slipped inside with her gift for Spike. The Specter had raided the Red Cross on her way. She carefully picked through the bags, and had only chosen blood close to its due date. The Specter knew Spike would pretend to complain, but that he was always grateful that someone remembered him.
“Spike,” the Specter whispered, “I brought you something.” She tossed him the bags of blood.
“You can’t risk coming here now, luv,” Spike announced, “Thanks for the blood though. It means a lot to me that a white hatter like yourself would do this for a creature such as me.”
“Don’t talk about yourself like that, Spike,” the Specter growled, “Your heart is not as black as you try to make it sound.”
“Maybe,” Spike replied cryptically.
“Absolutely,” the Specter said. “I’m glad to see you aren’t dusted.” She reached out to touch Spike’s hand.
“What did you mean when you told Angelus retribution?” Spike asked.
“If he hurts you in any way, he will have centuries to regret it. I will cut off his arms and his legs. I will keep him alive at my mercy until he begs for release from his unlife.”
Spike shivered in response. No one had ever been that fierce in his name before, and it excited him.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/141862.html