Another Disclaimer: Changeling The Dreaming is trademarked by White Wolf Games. The song at the end of the chapter is Demonslayer by Voltaire.
“What the hell?” Lane demanded. “Buffy said you were dead! She said you went all holy light and glowy and burned up! In fact that was her exact wording!”
“I did.” William said, wracking his brain for what to say, some way to get out of this conversation with his secret intact. “In fact I am dead. I’m not here, you’re just seeing things.”
Lane crossed her arms and glowered. “Seeing things like you stake the Vampire I was about to dust?”
“Yes. Must have been an optical illusion caused by all the weird lighting in here.”
In hindsight, he decided what he should have done was deny being Spike. She might have bought that. Right?
She grabbed him by the front of his jacket. “Okay so if you’re a hallucination how come I can touch you?”
“Is there a problem here?”
William and Lane turned to find three bouncer types facing them, their arms crossed.
“Private conversation gents. Bit of a lover’s spat. Nothing to concern yourselves with.”
“That so Spike?”
William frowned. Now that he looked more closely, the biggest one did look kind of familiar. When he went Vamp face, the resemblance was solidified.
“Oh hell.” he sighed. “Didn’t recognize you without the fangs. Lane, former minion. Former minion, Slayer.”
“I thought the slayer was shorter than that.” One of the other Vampires said, confused.
William sighed and leaned towards Lane. “Look, I have my reasons for remaining dead if you know what I mean. Can we keep this just between us?”
“You know Buffy’d kick my ass if she found out I was keeping this from her.”
“So don’t let her find out. I died saving the world.” Twice actually, was the thought running through his head. “Leave it.”
Lane sighed. “Fine. You still remember how to kick ass?”
“Do I ever.”
Vaughn grinned as he handed Juliana her coke. “I haven’t been carded in years, that was great.”
Juliana gave him a slight smile.
“So,” Vaughn continued, seeing Nadia approach subtly. “You come here often?”Oh. My. God.
Juliana thought. A guy the same age as my older brother just gave me the oldest line in the book.
Someone tripped behind her and grabbed her shoulder for balance. “Hey!” she cried, her drink spilling a bit. “Watch it!”
“Sorry.” Nadia apologized, grimacing. “Someone spilled something over here, it caught my shoe.” She shot Vaughn a look, hoping he’d get the message. The tracer was in place. Now if they could get one on Lane Geerson-
Just f-ing perfect.
Sydney had been keeping an eye on Lane. Marshall said that the two she’d been talking to were not in their files, and was running a check. But the man she was confronting now had been in Sunnydale near the end. However he had no records at all.
She backed off a bit when the bouncers got involved. Then all hell broke loose. Lane leapt at the trio of bouncers, and blondie followed suit. Someone in the crowd yelled “Fight!”, and she was almost run down by the crowd of onlookers.
William bashed his opponent with a chair, then noticed the crowd that had gathered. Several people, and other things, were starting in their direction.
“Hell.” He growled. So much for keeping a low profile. He hated running from a fight, but he couldn’t afford to draw this much attention to himself, or his new lady. Time to find Dorian and get out. Lane’s Scoobies were on their way anyway. She’d be fine. Slayers with friends had a way of getting out of pretty tough scrapes.
A right hook from one of the Vampires forced a deep growl from his throat, and reflexively he put his game face on. “Fine.” He hissed.
A mighty heave sent his opponent onto the stage, eliciting a frightened “Eep!” from the multi pierced guitarist who’d been in the middle of his set.
He turned to head in the direction Dorian had gone when he bumped into someone coming in the opposite direction. The Hispanic looking girl gasped at the sight of his face, and immediately began wailing on him.
Fighting her way through the crowd, Sydney arrived at the site of the struggle. Helping one of the fallen bouncers to his feet, she prepared to enter the fray and possibly take into custody a member of the Watchers. She wasn’t expecting said bouncer to sprout fangs and hit her hard enough to send her sprawling.
She landed on the dance floor, sliding a bit before coming to a stop. Reeling, reached up with one hand and felt her stinging mouth. Her hand came away wet. The blow had split her lip. Above her, the demonic visage of her attacker leered down at her.
“Ready to scream yet?”
“Oh there’s gonna be screaming.” She growled. A quick kick of her legs flipped her back to her feet, and a spin brought her heel into his hideous face. The thing staggered back, probably more from surprise than anything, she guessed. Fortunately there was more where that came from.
“Syd!” Vaughn called, fighting his way through the panicking club patrons. He could just make her out between the heads of several Goths. He was going against the current of terrified civilians heading for the exits. But suddenly one face in the crowd stopped moving. And it did not look human.
“Worry about yourself pretty-boy.” She said, grabbing his neck and opening her mouth.
Nadia rained blows down on her opponent, who thus far had yet to put up much of a fight.
“Bloody hell woman!” the bleached blonde British sounding…thing bellowed. “I’m a by stander here!”
Nadia merely quirked a skeptical eyebrow before sending a devastating kick at the man before her, which never connected. He moved faster than she’d thought possible and suddenly had her leg in an iron grip.
“I said,” he hissed through gritted teeth. “To knock it off!” With a shove, he heaved her over the bar, sending her crashing into the shelves.
Sydney saw stars from the head-butt and wavered. Her assailant grinned again and closed in, seizing her arms and pinning her wrists behind her back. “Dinner time. Thanks for helping me work up an appetite.” She gasped as she felt his teeth sink into her throat.
“Hey there’s a brawl going on in the Goth room!” somebody called from the main floor. Dorian whirled, but the seneschal stopped her. “Stay here. The last thing we need is for Kindred to get involved in a mortal brawl.”
“Mah boyfriend is in there.” Dorian growled, rising.
“A lot of people’s boyfriends are in there.” He said calmly. “The bouncers can handle it.”
“Your bouncers are lesser Vampires.” She sneered.
“I know. It makes them very effective. Don’t worry we have them under tight control. And that makes it even more imperative that the Kindred not get involved.” His eyes narrowed and he held her gaze. “Now sit. Down.”
Her body refused to obey her commands, and sat. But the arms of the chair would never recover from the assault they received from her claws.
Using the respite, the William returned his face to what it had looked like before all the ruckus had started. Straitening his coat, he strode towards her calmly. “Now if you’re ready to be reasona-“
Blood erupted from his knee, and he looked down in shock. “What the-“ Two more shots brought him down, if not necessarily out.
“Nadia!” Dixon yelled over the screaming patrons. “Where are Sydney and Vaughn?”
William tried to rise, but was hit by six more shots from Dixon’s gun.
Nadia struggled to her feet, taking Dixon’s helping hand gratefully. “Somewhere in the crowd.” She answered.
“You okay?” he asked.
“I’ll be fine. Is he-“ she pointed to the man Dixon had shot.
A quick check revealed no pulse. “He’s dead. Let’s get our partners and get out of here. This op just got way out of control.”
Vaughn twisted out of the thing’s grip, wishing he’d been given a garment with some sort of pockets for concealing weapons. Fortunately he was far from helpless.
He grabbed the woman’s wrist, twisting it and pulling her into an arm lock. She winced, but brought her leg up in a kick that knocked the wind out of him.
“I like a little spice in my meal.” She laughed and reached for him again. A sudden blow to the back of her head however knocked her cold.
“Jesus Christ,” Juliana muttered, helping Vaughn to his feet. “What the hell is going on?”
Vaughn gasped for breath. “I don’t know. Juliana, we’ve got to get out of here.”
Juliana drew back. “I never told you my name, how did-”
“My name is Michael Vaughn. I’m with the CIA. I’ll explain once I’ve gotten you out of harm’s way.”
Sydney felt the life drain from her as her struggles got weaker and weaker. Dimly, she heard shouting, gunfire, then the roar of what sounded like a lion or something. Then suddenly her attacker was gone and she collapsed onto the floor.
“She’s lost a lot of blood.” Emily said urgently. “We’ve got to get her to a hospital.”
Jason nodded. “Right. Lane! How we doing?”
Lane appeared beside him, brushing Vamp Dust from her jacket. “Vamps are dusted. Where’s Juliana?”
“Must’ve booked when it hit the fan.” Jason said.
“Damn.” She looked down at the almost Vampire food. “She gonna be okay?”
“If we get her medical attention right now.” Her witch friend answered.
Lane nodded. “Okay this mission’s a bust. I’ll call G Man tomorrow. Let’s go.” Lane grabbed her medallion, and disappeared. Jason did the same, and Emily followed, taking Sydney with her.
“Where’s Sydney?” Vaughn demanded as he and Juliana joined Dixon and Nadia outside the club. “I lost sight of her in the fighting.”
“I don’t know.” Dixon said tersely. “Marshall do you have a six on Sydney?”
“Negative.” Marshall said worriedly. “I’ve got a direct feed in the surveillance system and there’s no sign of her.”
“All right we’re on our way back. We’ll decide what to do from there.”
“Excuse me,” Juliana said. “I’m sorry to interrupt your crazy time, but what the hell is going on!”
“It’s kind of a long story.” Dixon said.
“We’re CIA,” Nadia explained. “We’re keeping tabs on a suspected Terrorist organization that we think wants to recruit you as an assassin.”
“Apparently not that long.” Vaughn smiled tightly.
Lane hung up the phone with a relieved sigh.
“Well?” Vexen asked. “Everything okay?”
“Emily and Jason got home fine, our mystery woman from the club is resting in stable condition. The hospital got in touch with her father. So it looks like everything’s fine. Except that we lost our slayer.”
“You’ll find her again.” The sidhe knight assured her.
“Mommy?” a voice said from the doorway. Lane sighed again and went to her daughter.
“What are you doing up you little blueberry?” she asked her.
“There’s a monster under my bed.” The girl told her solemnly. “And I had to go potty.”
Lane smiled. “Well let’s take care of that shall we?” Josephine went potty, Lane checked under the bed. Nothing. Not even when she used the flashlight Willow had charmed to reveal hidden creatures.
“Is it gone?” Josephine asked, coming back into the room.
“The coast is clear Blue.”
“Five by five?”
Lane laughed. The kid had met Faith only once, and was already quoting her. “Yeah kid. Five by five.” She tucked her daughter under the covers and laid down beside her.
“Will you sing to me?”
“Hey how could I deny my favorite audience?” Lane grinned. Stroking her child’s head, she began to sing. “Tell the monster, that lives ‘neath your bed, to go somewhere else instead. Or you’ll kick him in the head. Tell the creature that lurks, behind the door, that if he knows what’s good he won’t come here no more, ‘cause you’re kicking his butt at the count of four. Goodnight, demon slayer, goodnight. Now it’s time, to close your tired eyes. There’s devils to slay and dragons to ride, when they see you comin’ hell they better hide. Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight. Goodnight my little slayer, goodnight.”
William’s eyes shot open. Damn he hated getting shot. And nine times for chrissakes! That had taken some doing to heal. Long enough, apparently for the coroners to load him into their van.
He allowed himself a grin. Well, they would have some explaining to do wouldn’t they. How could you lose a corpse right out from the back of your van? After all, it’s not like it could have just gotten up and walked away is it.
He ripped open the body bag and stretched, sitting up. A tranquilizer dart embedded itself in his neck.
“Bloody hell.” He managed to slur out before collapsing once more.
Jack Bristow calmly lowered the dart gun back into his lap.
To Be Continued In Carpe Noctem: Expositionary Interrogations.
Vexen is a charector created by a friend of mine for the game Changling the Dreaming.