August 6th Fic-a-Day Ficathon entry. Also posted to ff.net.
All things Buffy belong to Joss; all things belonging to “The Saint” belong to the people who own “The Saint”. I’m making no money from this.
A Saintly Encounter
Buffy shivered a little as she walked down the dark London street, trying to burrow into her jacket. It was chillier here than Giles had said it would be, and even Buffy’s Slayer-enhanced warmth wasn’t helping her much.
‘Just do a quick sweep, Giles said,’ the Slayer grumbled, looking around surreptitiously. ‘Couple of blocks, get to know the area, Giles said. He couldn’t have mentioned that it would be so cold even the vampires wouldn’t be out.’
The one thing Buffy really noticed about her surroundings was that the buildings, which seemed to be small hotels, butted up against each other, and they were stately and old-looking. They were all very well kept, from the edges of the roofs down to the tiny lawns or gardens in front of each one and the discreet plaques on the gates. Other than the window treatments inside and the colors of the doors, they all looked exactly alike to Buffy.
Suddenly, sleek black sedans swarmed from both directions, headlights on low, and stopped in front of a house about half a block down from where Buffy was. She stopped still and watched as car doors opened, spilling out a bevy of black-clad men. They all ran up to a hotel with a black door and entered quickly. Buffy stepped forward to see what they were up to and collided with someone coming out of a different house.
They both ended up on the sidewalk, flat on their butts. Buffy shook her head to clear it as the blond man got back to his feet a little unsteadily.
“Are you okay?” the man asked, glancing over his shoulder at the cars down the block. “I didn’t see you there—I’m sorry.”
Buffy accepted the hand he extended to her and stood up. “S’okay, I’m fine. I don’t bruise too easily.”
The smile he flashed her was wide and bright. “Good thing, ‘cuz I just clocked you a good one.”
Buffy saw him look over his shoulder at the black cars again and made a quick intuitive leap. “You running from the guys in the black suits down there?”
“Kind of,” he agreed. “They’re…uninvited guests, I guess.”
“Well then you’d better get a move on, huh?” Buffy stated as a couple of the men came back outside, looking up and down the street like they were guarding something.
Without asking for permission, the blond man wrapped his arm around Buffy’s shoulders, pulling her away from the cars and setting an easy, strolling pace down the street where she’d just walked. Buffy craned her neck up to look at the man’s face.
“Did I say I was going to help you with the getaway, mister?” Buffy asked, instinctively wrapping her own arm around his waist. “I get the feeling I don’t really want to get mixed up with those spooks.”
The man chuckled. “They’re not spooks; they’re Russian mafia.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Great, even better. What’d you do—steal something from them?”
Clear blue eyes looked down and met her green ones. “Actually, I did. And they want it back in a big way.”
Buffy studied the slight smile on the man’s face and found herself smiling back. “Fantastic. So you steal from people and sell it to other people?”
Buffy shrugged. “Whatever. It’s not my business, I guess, unless I’m going to have help you get all the way to Heathrow or something. My boss is expecting me back fairly shortly, Mr...”
They swung around a corner and the man’s smile got wider. “You work nights, huh? I work a lot of nights myself. And I’d feel better if you didn’t know my name. Trust me, you’d feel better about it, too.”
Buffy nodded. “Sure, whatever. How far are we going, again?”
The blond man stopped next to a little red car parked on the street. “Just this far.”
Buffy surveyed the little car and gave a low whistle. “Nice ride, mister. I guess stealing stuff pays pretty well.”
“Depends on what you steal, and who you’re stealing it for,” was the reply. He fumbled through his pockets for his keys, and something fell to the ground behind him. Buffy picked it up; it was a passport. She opened it for a second before he reached out and gently took it back from her.
“Gotta go,” he said, opening the car door. “Thanks for the walk, miss. You take care out here in the dark.”
Buffy smiled again. “You too, Simon. Stay away from those guys in the black suits. Good luck with the stealing!”