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Chapter 5: Frosty.
~ A few days later ~
“So, how was your date last night?” Willow questioned eagerly.
Buffy held the phone up to her ear, her friend’s energy catching on. “It was nice, we went out for dinner, then saw a movie. He was really sweet.”
“Kissable sweet?” Willow asked, starting with the twenty questions.
“Hey what is this, an inquisition?” Buffy laughed. “No kissage. Not sure if I’m ready for that yet.”
“But when you are ready, Jake will be waiting!” Willow added excitedly.
“Ok Will, I’m cutting off your sugar supply, calm down a little. It was just one date!”
The sound of a door closing caught Buffy’s attention and she realized it was probably Dawn being dropped home by Janice’s mom.
“Dawnie’s home Will, I gotta go. See you in class tomorrow.” Buffy hung up the phone and padded downstairs looking for her sister. She heard her soon enough, in the kitchen. She probably had her head in the fridge searching for something to eat. What Buffy hadn’t been expecting was for someone else to be there, but it sounded like she was having a conversation.
“…it was soooo funny, I nearly died when I saw the look on the teachers face!”
“I can imagine it was, niblet.”
Buffy recognised the voice instantly. She walked into the kitchen, and found Dawn on one side of the counter making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with Spike perched atop a stool on the opposite side of the bench.
“Hey Dawnie, did you have fun at Janice’s?” Buffy asked, completely ignoring Spike’s presence.
“It was great! I was just telling Spike a story about how a teacher at school --”
“Spike, why are you here?” Buffy cut in, looking from her sister to the vampire. “Better question, HOW are you in here?”
They had only done that reverse-entrance spell for vampire’s invitation on her house a few weeks ago, and Buffy sure as hell hadn’t given him access. It wouldn’t and couldn’t have been any of her friends, because only a resident could invite a vampire in. Buffy’s gaze turned to her sister.
Dawn folded her arms over her chest. “I invited him. He’s my friend.”
Spike saw anger flash through Buffy’s eyes so he interrupted before she could start something, answering her first question.
“Had some info I thought you might be interested in is all,” he replied, smiling at her.
“And what, you thought you’d tell me, and we’d go off on patrol together?” Buffy asked sarcastically.
“Buffy,” Dawn said quickly. “You don’t have to --”
“Save your breath niblet, I know when I’m not welcome.” Spike clenched his jaw as he stood up and walked right up to Buffy. Spike faced off with Buffy for a few moments as he warred with himself internally. Tell her now? Or later?
“Your new pal isn’t who he says he is,” he informed as he started to walk away.
“What?” Buffy replied in confusion.
“Wake up slayer, new guy suddenly appears and in no time he’s wormed his way into your life. Ever wondered why he’s constantly checking his cell phone?”
That bit was going to piss her off…
The last couple of days of surveillance a pattern had emerged with the guys movements. Each night he would stop by an apartment complex and disappear inside, returning a few minutes later. After every exit, he would make a call before returning to the dorms on campus.
Spike had tried following him into the complex, but without a direct invite that was sort of impossible.
“Have you been SPYING on me?” Buffy demanded incredulously.
“I was lookin’ out for you. I didn’t trust him and --”
“Get out Spike,” Buffy ordered. “NOW!”
Spike started to object but then gave up, throwing his hands up into the air in frustration.
“Just don’t come cryin’ to me when it all falls through,” he shouted back at her as he stormed out of the house.
Buffy stood there shocked. He’d been spying on her? Of all the nerve…
“Buffy, he’s just looking out for you --” Dawn started.
“I don’t want to hear it.”
“No, you never do,” Dawn replied. She grabbed her sandwich and left the kitchen, climbing the stairs to her room and slamming the door.
“Fabulous,” Buffy muttered.
He stared at the information in front of him, dreading what it meant. He had to go back…
She was in Sunnydale.
It was obvious that’s where she would be, almost too obvious. He just hoped that he got there in time.
Before something happened to her…
Spike paced the Summers front lawn. So much for letting the guy expose his secret himself. Yes he had reason for suspicion now, but nothing concrete. He should have waited. But seeing her out with the guy tonight had just made his blood boil with anger.
He had to run his mouth off, didn’t he? Stupid… he reprimanded himself. He stopped pacing and walked down the path to the street, kicking over a neighbour’s trashcan as he stormed by.
“Looks to me like you have a bit of a problem on your mind there, buddy,” a voice interrupted Spike’s thoughts.
The vampire looked up from his drink and scowled at the bartender, Willy. The snivelling little man ran his fingers through his greasy hair, whipped the dirty tea towel from his shoulder and began polishing glasses with it.
“Back off mate, I’m not in the mood.”
“Oh come on, it can’t be that bad can it?” Willy eyed him closely. “Girl troubles?” he probed.
Spike stood up and leaned across the bar, grabbing the bartender by his shirtfront and pulling him close. He kept his face in its human form, because the second he morphed; the second there was intent behind his actions; his brain would get zapped by the bloody chip that was embedded in his skull.
“Now listen here, I said back off,” Spike growled, letting the bartender go and shoving him away from him.
Willy raised his hands in the air nervously. “My mistake; just thought you might be interested in some advice. I know a guy who knows a demon who can help with girl troubles is all.”
Spike scowled and picked up his drink, slammed the rest of it down his throat and stood up, leaving the bar.
“I don’t need your bloody help.”
After trying to convince Dawn to come downstairs and have some dinner with her failed, Buffy decided to head out on patrol. She left a note for her sister on the fridge door, grabbed her knapsack that was filled with supplies and left the house.
A sweep through the first three cemeteries came up empty, and Buffy was almost ready to pack it in for the evening when a scream ripped through the night, breaking the silence. Running in the direction the scream came from, Buffy found herself in a park.
A young woman was cowering against a park bench, leaning away from a large demon that was looming over her, a beast that had small stumpy wings on its back. Buffy dropped her knapsack and quickly removed the small battle-axe from inside. She crept up on the demon until she was directly behind it. The young woman’s mouth was open as if she was trying to scream but no sound came out. She must’ve spotted Buffy approaching because her eyes suddenly widened. This alerted the creature, which spun around in her direction.
It was ugly… its hide was dark brown in color, and it had yellow pustules all over its torso and head. It had a small beak like mouth, which revealed a long forked tongue when it snapped open and shut. It had eight long talons on each arm that stretched out towards her, snapping like its beak. A low guttural sound resonated from deep within its throat, and its head bobbed like a chicken with each step it took forward, gnashing its beak and talons in her direction.
“Anyone tell you of this fantastic new thing we have here that’s called a manicure? Get one of those and your nails will be looked much more presentable in no time.”
The beast screeched at her, in a pitch that was almost deafening. Both Buffy and the young woman raised their hands to block out the sound.
“Guess you wont be wanting that free gift certificate at the local salon,” Buffy quipped as it paused for a breath, hefting her axe up and swinging it in the demon’s direction.
Her first swipe missed, but the second one connected, cleaving off three of the talons on one hand. Again the beast screeched, this time in agony causing Buffy to once more try and block her ears.
The creature took advantage of its opponent’s momentary pause, swiping out with its undamaged hand, scraping through Buffy’s shirtsleeve and opening up two deep cuts on her upper arm. Buffy yelped in pain, and grasped at her injured arm, feeling the blood running through her shirt and onto her fingers.
“You ruined my shirt! Do you know how much a new one like this would cost?” Buffy spat out.
The demon lunged forward to attack again, narrowly missing her neck as she dropped down on all fours and swung her leg out to try to sweep the demon off its feet. It merely jumped her attack, beating its small wings to hover in the air for a few moments before it landed.
“Hey, that’s no fair! No flying!” Buffy complained as she swung again with her axe.
This time the blade connected, slicing into the beast’s abdomen, spilling its contents across the ground. The demon tried to fly but its energy was fading fast. It quivered on its short stumpy legs for a moment before Buffy launched a feet first attack at it, and knocked it into the park bench. It collapsed to the ground. The young woman screamed as it came near her and inched backwards, daring not to move any further in case it made move to attack her.
Buffy stood on its chest, hearing a gurgling noise rising in its throat.
“More,” it spoke it heavily accented English. “More will come, she will never stop.”
“More of who will come? Who sent you? She who?” Buffy demanded.
The demon shook for a moment, quivered and then died. Buffy sighed, lifting her leg from its chest. She turned to the would-be victim and offered her a hand.
“You’re safe now, it’s gone.”
The girl’s eyes were still as wide as saucers as she looked over at the motionless body of the demon for a moment before accepting Buffy’s hand. “What… what is that?” she asked, fear still etched across her face.
“I’m not sure, but you’re safe now,” Buffy assured.
The girl nodded quickly and stood up, still eyeing the demon. “That… that monster was going to kill me.”
“You’re safe now,” Buffy repeated her assurances patiently.
The girl nodded, giving Buffy a quick nod before turning and running away. Buffy walked over to where she had dropped her bag and put the axe away. Time to head to Giles’ place, he would want to hear about this.
“Are you sure you are alright, Buffy?” Giles asked as he began to pack away the bandages and antiseptic, returning them to his first aid kit.
“I’ll live,” she replied, rolling the sleeve of her shirt over the bandages. “Giles, this demon wasn’t your regular crush-kill-destroy kind. Someone sent it. A she sent it. And it said that more will come.”
Giles listened carefully as he walked over to his bookcase and began removing books. “You said it had wings?”
Buffy nodded. She had a strange feeling about this; she knew this wasn’t a random assault. “Do you think it could somehow be connected to the attack on Thorak?” she asked.
Giles placed the volumes he had selected on his desk and pondered that thought for the moment. The attacks were days apart, and had completely different MO’s, but it was worth cross-referencing.
“I don’t think it’s likely, but I’ll see if I can find any connections between the two cases.”
Handing Buffy a book on winged demons he sat down at his desk and began his search.
“This is it, I’m sure of it,” Buffy identified, bringing the book over to Giles. “Right down to the last boil.” She shuddered as she dropped it in front of her watcher.
“A Bornossiak demon. Interesting,” he read. “It says here that they normally keep away from humans, but there have been known cases of the demons being contracted by another to carry out their dirty work. As payment the Contractor finds the demon a host so that they can implant them with their young. The young Bornossiak gestate for three months, unbeknownst to the host and when they are ready to birth they eat their way through the host body, feeding on it over a couple of days.”
“Okay, eww! Too much information Giles, I really didn’t need that visual.” Buffy scrunched up her nose in disgust. “So, was our lady the host or the target?”
Giles removed his glasses and placed them on the table, rubbing his temples. “There’s no way to really know now, not unless you have a way of contacting her?”
Buffy shook her head. “Sorry,” she apologised.
“No matter.” He thought for a moment. “I have a few more things I need to cross reference. Go home, I will speak to you tomorrow after I’ve had a chance to confirm or reject my suspicions.”
“Suspicions Giles? What’s with the cryptic?”
“Tomorrow, Buffy. Take care on the way home,” he warned.
Buffy nodded, collected her bag and left.
Spike was crossing the road from the Fish Tank; slightly more inebriated than he had planned on being. Why did he let Buffy get under his skin so easily? Cursing her name under his breath he started heading in the general direction of his crypt. After a few minutes he changed his mind and began walking towards her house. He was going to give her a piece of his mind. Didn’t she know that he just had her best interests at heart? He was always thinking of her first. A lot of bloody good it did him though, he might as well be invisible.
Stumbling on the edge of the curb not more than a few blocks away from her house, little alarm bells went off in his head. Someone was watching him, following him. He cursed himself for having drunk so much, then cursed Buffy’s name for making him get in the state in the first place.
“I KNOW you’re followin’ me, why don’t you just show your face and get it over with,” he shouted to the shadows behind him.
One by one vampires crept from behind cars, trees, fences. “Bloody hell,” he muttered under his breath. “I change my mind, go back to hidin’ in the shadows,” he tried.
The vamps began removing weapons from their pockets or underneath their coats. Knives, steel knuckles, and he was pretty sure he saw a stake in there too.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this day, Spike,” one of the vampires spat out.
They inched closer, fanning out as if they planned on forming a circle around him. Spike didn’t see a way out of this without a fight. He was without a weapon, drunk and definitely out-numbered. He counted nine vampires.
“You’ve been killing our kind, and now it’s time for us to return the favour,” another snarled.
“What can I say, I’m not a fan of most of the vamps that live in this town. You’re all a bunch of tossers,” he mocked.
A couple of the vamps to his left growled, and took a few steps closer. This was going to get ugly… and fast.
Then they attacked. Half of the vamps held back as a secondary wave, forming a barrier in case Spike broke free from the other five who had launched themselves at him. Spike began throwing punches wildly into the masses, connecting with jaws, chests and arms. But for each punch that he threw, double came back at him. Some he could block, but the number that were getting through and connecting was growing. He started seeing double, partly because of the numerous blows to his head, but mostly due to the alcohol.
“Hey!” a voice shouted.
The attacking vampires slowed, but didn’t stop completely, the second wave turning to face the newcomer.
“I really don’t want to have to kill all of you, I’ve had a big night and I just want to get some rest.”
“Ssslayer…” one in the outside ring hissed. “I’ve alwaysss wanted to sssink my teeth into a chosssen one.”
“Sorry to disappoint, but tonight isn’t going to be your night.”
Buffy dropped her bag on the lawn and leapt into the air, flipping over the heads off two of the vampires and landing behind them. She struck out at both vampires with a stake, penetrating their hearts from behind. They were dust before any of the others had a chance to react.
“Buffy,” Spike called from beneath the pile of five that were pounding on him. The sound of her voice gave him a renewed strength and he began fighting his way to his feet, throwing one of the demons head first at a tree.
A loud crunching noise sounded on impact and the vamp collapsed to the ground, unconscious.
“Spike, how do you always get yourself into so much trouble? Better question, why do I keep coming to save your ass from these situations?” Buffy spun a roundhouse kick to a vampire on her left, and double her fists together, slamming them into the nose of a vampire on her right.
“ME in trouble?” he exploded in response. “I’m the one always helpin’ YOU!”
Knowing he was unarmed and the slayer was always packing plenty, he asked for a weapon. “Throw me a stake.”
Buffy obliged, plunging her second one into the chest of yet another vampire. Two of the vamps lunged at her at once, trying to knock her from her feet, and they almost succeeded. She heard a roar behind her as Spike fought of the vamps around him, staking two in quick succession. There were four left, and one unconscious.
Buffy disposed of another, but not before his friend gave her a good hard kick to her arm, right where she had been sliced earlier on in the night. She yelped in pain, clutching at her arm.
“I just had that bandaged!” she yelled in fury, as she kicked and punched the offending vampire up against a tree. Once his back hit the trunk he had nowhere to go, and that realization crossed his face seconds before the stake turned him to dust.
She turned around slowly, seeing Spike dispose of the last of the two that had been fighting him. That left the unconscious one.
“Looks like we got ourselves a captive,” Spike sneered as he leaned over and kicked the vampire in the guts. The kick was good but Spike was still feeling the effects of the drinking bender he’d been on and toppled over the barely conscious vampire.
Buffy rolled her eyes, crossing her arms over her chest. “Spike are you drunk?” she accused.
“No,” he denied bluntly.
Leaning towards him, she inhaled deeply and scrunched up her nose at the whiff of alcohol that came with it. “You smell like you’ve been bathing in alcohol.”
Shrugging his shoulders he finally managed to make it to his feet. “It’s not your concern,” he said, and then rethought his answer. “Thought you didn’t care slayer?”
Buffy turned on her heel and started walking in the direction of her home. Spike watched as she walked away from him. He hauled himself to his feet, grabbing the last vamp around his shirt collar and called after her.
“Hey! Thought you were goin’ to interrogate this vamp?”
Buffy stopped, turning to look over her shoulder. “Vampires wanting to kill you, what’s so strange about that?” Without waiting for a response she continued on her way.
Dropping the dead weight on the ground, Spike thrust a stake into the demon’s heart. His body was pleading for rest, so to his crypt he went.
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