“So, now we steal a car?” Dawn asked.
“Well... Not so much steal as borrow,” Xander hedged. “I'm hoping to return it when we're done. Not that the owner is in any shape to notice or complain anyway.”
“Dead?” Dawn asked as they strolled down the street unmolested by anything with half a brain.
“Never alive. Remember your mom's ex, Ted?”
“Yeah, no body so they never declared him dead and he has all his bills paid electronically, so all his stuff is still there. I snagged his keys while we were dismembering him, and once more I sound like a serial killer.”
Dawn laughed. “You should have said dismantle rather than dismember.”
Xander grinned. “Noted, anyway I emptied his fridge and turned off the gas. Things like that, so when he was finally declared dead whoever claimed his property wouldn't end up dealing with a mess and while I was there I noticed a car in his garage.”
“I thought he drove a station wagon?”
“He did, but he also had a mint condition '57 Chevy in there and I have the keys.”
“Ooh, travelling in style.”
“If you're going to borrow a car, might as well borrow one with some class, not to mention one I have the keys to; as I know nothing about hotwiring cars.”
Xander pulled his shotgun off his back and picked off three zombies, while Dawn picked off one on the far right. They reloaded, Dawn dropping her empty shells to the ground, while both hummed the Bonanza theme song.
“We really should learn the words to that,” Dawn said absently while scanning the area for more targets as they walked.
“We're here!” Xander announced as they reached a house with a large stack of newspapers on the front porch but neatly trimmed grass.
“Huh,” Dawn said looking at it. “I guess he had a lawn service hired.”
“I always thought he did it himself. Just goes to show that even android men don't like mowing their own lawns.”
“I'll keep an eye out for zombies, you get the car,” Dawn said, not wanting to enter Ted's place.
Xander nodded and pulled out his key ring, sorting through them for the key to the front door. He closed and locked the door behind him before heading to the garage. Entering the garage he flipped on the light switch and thumbed the garage door opener.
He was surprised to see Ted's station wagon in the garage, as he was sure it'd been towed by the city. Still, he'd offered Dawn a ride in a '57 Chevy so the station wagon wasn't important.
The black and chrome car gleamed underneath the light coating of dust on it and Xander barely resisted the urge to giggle as he opened the door and slid into the driver's seat.
Sorting through the keys once more he quickly found the right one and inserted it into the ignition. Taking a deep breath he turned the key… and nothing happened. He turned it again and sighed as he heard a weak click from the starter.
He checked the dome light and saw how weak it was, showing that it was just a dead battery and not a problem with the starter.
Dawn stuck her head into the garage as Xander popped the hood. “Problems?”
“Dead battery,” Xander explained as he went to check the station wagon.
“So, we're taking the station wagon?” Dawn asked disappointed.
“I said you were going to get to ride in a '57 Chevy not a station wagon,” Xander said firmly. “I just need to jump the battery, keep an eye out for zombies, this shouldn't take long.”
Dawn returned to the street and saw two shambling figures, though they'd probably take a while to reach them. Drawing a pistol she waited impatiently for them to come within range. The sound of one then two cars starting broke the quiet and she decided that if they were here much longer she'd just go over to the zombies and shoot them instead of waiting for them to reach her.
Xander backed out and left the engine running while he shut the garage door. “Hop in Dawn, we're good to go.”
“Where to now?” Dawn asked as she climbed in.
“Car wash,” Xander replied.
“Yep, I just can't abide a dirty car.”
Dawn snickered. “You're crazy you know that?”
“Aww but you love me anyway,” Xander teased.
“Without a doubt,” she breathed.
“What?” he asked, having missed what she said.
“I said give me a shout when we get there, I need a nap,” she lied and pulled one of his arms around her as she leaned into him.
* * *
“Now that is what makes a hero,” one of the guys at the bar said.
The peanut gallery quickly chimed in with their guesses as to what he meant.
“Driving a cool car?”
The guy at the bar laughed. “Nah – though I'm sure those all help. No, what makes a hero is that they turn other people into heroes as well. By all rights Dawn should be a mess, but instead of a damsel in distress that would curl up into a ball and cry, waiting for the end, we got a girl calmly picking off zombies, who can take a nap in between attacks.”
“She was rather impressive wasn't she?” Joyce asked Giles with a smile.
“Most definitely,” Giles agreed.
“I mean she started off kicking and screaming and now she's shooting and napping.”
“Even when she was kicking and screaming she wasn't about to abandon Xander,” Giles pointed out.
Joyce smiled. “I seem to recall her giving Xander a speech and him saying it was his own words.”
“He has been a good influence on her hasn't he?” Giles said as proudly as if he was talking about his own son.
* * *
Kakistos growled, “That broadcast must be stopped. Trick take care of it!”
“Right away sir, I'll contact the Tarakan's for a team,” the black vampire promised.
“And find out where that accursed Watcher and her Slayer have gotten to, I want to stamp them out before they become a problem.”
* * *
The mayor stared at the television with a phone to his ear. “This won’t do at all. Contact Wolfram and Hart, while I hate making the tax payers foot the bill, it’s better to pay the best to solve the problem once, than paying amateurs a dozen times.”
* * *Sunny Wash 'N Go Carwash
Xander grabbed a shammy cloth from the dispenser and admired the car for a moment. Ted may have been a nut, but he took good care of his vehicles.
“How many zombies in sight?” Xander called out as he considered whether he had time to dry and polish the car.
“I've got three, but only one is fresh enough to be able to move at a normal walking speed,” Dawn called back.
“Let me know if you have any problems,” he replied as he started to dry and polish the car.
Dawn moved closer to one of the slower zombies and crippled it with a shot to the kneecap … well, several shots as the first one missed and the second didn't do enough damage. Jogging back to her spot she saw the fresh zombie was almost in range and the older ones weren't going to be close enough to be a danger while she dealt with it.
Empty shells tinkled to the ground while she refilled her pistol. Taking careful aim, Dawn put four shots in its head, which knocked it down but didn't manage to kill it. Dawn turned and put three shots into the head of a lurcher and watched it drop with some satisfaction before turning to the fresh one, that had gotten back to its feet. It took three more shots to put it down and Dawn nailed the crawling zombie with two shots to the head, emptying her pistols.
Xander came up while she was reloading. “Everything good?”
Dawn nodded and holstered her weapons. “Just experimenting a little, Turns out older zombies have very fragile skulls compared to new ones and blowing off kneecaps to slow them down to a crawl is a waste of ammo.”
Xander beamed at her. “Good to know. I hadn't even considered that. Using a shotgun it’s kinda moot, but if we switch to hand to hand that’s important info.”
As they walked back to the car Dawn had to ask, “Ok we've got wheels and weapons, what’s the plan?”
“Well, we need to get away from the city and the nearby desert has little people and a lot of space and most importantly; no graveyards full of zombies just waiting to rise. Sunnydale has way too many graveyards for us to stick around,” Xander explained.
Dawn buckled up as Xander pulled out and returned to the road.
“We'll make some calls when we have a better place to stand,” Xander said while changing lanes to avoid a zombie.
“Let’s pick up some soda and snacks on the way,” Dawn suggested.
“Good idea, I think we could both use some caffeine and sugar to help deal with the trauma of having our movie night interrupted,” Xander said as they pulled into a 7-11. “I gotta leave the engine running so the battery will charge, watch the car for me.”
“Sure, but I better get an extra ration of beef jerky for doing it,” Dawn called, getting out of the car to watch for trouble.
“Sure thing,” Xander promised before heading into the store.
Dawn sat on the hood of the car, watching for things of a lurching nature, while Xander was inside the store, explaining to a nervous cashier that he wasn't there to rob him, he was just on his way to a costume party.
Xander paused at a pay phone outside the store and decided to give Willow a call as she was the closest Scoob to the library and the one most likely to find an answer to their problem when Giles wasn't there.
“Hey, Wills. Yeah… but, I know…” Xander hung up the phone with a slightly annoyed look on his face.
“Whats up?” Dawn asked as they got into the car.
“I tried to call Willow for some help, but she said something about being in a rush and Oz and hung up on me.”
“So us facing a horde of zombies is less important to her than a booty call?” Dawn asked, wide eyed.
It was perfectly understandable given their distracted state that neither noticed when the trunk opened and a figure rolled out of it to drop soundlessly to the ground, the trunk closing automatically behind it was barely a sound.
Whatever Xander was about to say was pre-empted by the driver’s side door opening and a dark haired man pushing Xander into Dawn, as he climbed in and quickly got them onto the road.
“Ted!” the two exclaimed in shock, as the android gave them a pleasant smile and adjusted the rear view mirror. AN: Thank godogma for the typing, because if it was just me doing it you wouldn't get more than an update every couple of months!