Patrick lay on the ground, keeping his head down as Red John moved closer, trying to calculate the distance without looking. A few steps more, he reckoned. Just a few steps more. Then he could make his move.
“You know, Patrick, I did expect more of you than this,” Red John mused. “I thought you’d have more fight in you. Your wife certainly had.” Patrick flinched, but made himself lie still. Just a few more steps. “She fought. I liked that. And your daughter. Pretty Kimberley.” Patrick ground his teeth together, determined to wait. “I liked her the best. I think that was my favourite kill. So small, so sweet.”
Unable to take any more, Patrick looked up and launched himself at Red John, knocking the bigger man to the ground with his momentum. “You bastard,” he hissed, not noticing the way Red John managed to get in a heavy punch to his ribs. Patrick was past noticing any pain as he wrapped the chain around Red John’s throat and pulled. “You bastard. I’ll kill you this time, I swear I’ll kill you.”
He faintly heard Drusilla wail in the background. “Not my Daddy!”
The vampire grabbed hold of Patrick’s shoulder and tried to heave him off Red John, but Patrick was maddened by grief, pain and rage and hung on, despite the new wounds that Drusilla inflicted on him. Red John gasped raggedly for breath as the chain bit into his neck and his fingers scrabbled for purchase. Patrick ignored everything but the sight of his enemy finally dying.
Lisbon walked cautiously down the steps to the basement, trying not to show her nerves in front of Xander, who was close behind her. What she saw stopped her in her tracks. Jane had a chain wrapped around the neck of a man who could only be Red John, apparently intent on choking him, while a woman in white alternated between wailing dramatically and attacking Jane, leaving ragged wounds down his back. She swallowed hard, not knowing how to interrupt.
Xander, on the other hand, had no such problems. “Hey Dru,” he called out cheerfully. “Long time no see.”
The vampire turned and screamed in rage. “You! The Slayer is here as well? You took my Daddy and my beautiful boy from me!” She stalked over to them and lashed out at Xander, who blocked her first blow, but missed the second one which knocked him off his feet, landing painfully on the ground. Drusilla leapt on him and raked her finergnails down his face.
“Lisbon? A little help here please!” Xander called out, shaking her out of her stupor. She took a firm grip on her stake and moved up behind the vampire, still intent on Xander for the moment. Whether from nerves, poor aim or just plain bad luck, her first blow with the stake skittered off Drusilla’s collarbone and the vampire turned around, knocking the stake out of Lisbon’s hands with a contemptuous blow.
Drusilla stood up and grabbed Lisbon’s throat in one hand, squeezing hard. The world went white at the edges as Lisbon gasped for breath, struggling to make the vampire loosen her grip. “No one is singing properly,” she said to Lisbon sadly. “No one is playing the game as they should.”
Lisbon could see Xander still struggling to get up, obviously hurt, and knew she was on her own. She had to do something and she had to do it quickly. Her hand brushed the handle of her gun, and she drew the weapon, chambered a round and shot Drusilla in the stomach in one smooth motion.
The vampire stumbled backwards, letting go of Lisbon in her shock. She touched her hand to her stomach, coming away sticky with blood and she shrieked with pain and anger. Drusilla threw one final punch and Lisbon heard the crack of breaking bone as the vampire’s fist connected with her nose. Then she was gone, running up the stairs and out of the basement.
Buffy let her instincts take over as she fought the vampires, actually enjoying the sensation of just being the distraction for once. This time, there was no Apocalypse to avert, no ritual to interrupt, no hostages to rescues. Her only role was to engage as many vamps as she could and deal with them as only the Slayer could. She moved with a fluid, gymnastic grace, flowing from one blow to the next without a pause. The vampires might have been scared to face her alone, but numbers gave them courage and they surged around her.
She was aware of the CBI agents moving to attack, taking out the vampires nearest them. Blocking a punch with one hand, while staking a different vampire, she called out, “Hey, thought you lot were meant to be guarding the back door? Getting a little stake-happy there, aren’t you?”
The taller one - Rigsby, she thought - laughed and held up two fingers in a V-sign. “Got two already!” By the look in his eyes, he was riding high on adrenalin and Buffy shook her head, amused at their enthusiasm.
“Two? I lost track when I hit double figures,” she taunted, taking a moment to toss one vampire over the heads of the others, before turning to stake one that had been sneaking up behind her. “Wouldn’t want to lose to a girl now, would you?”
She missed Rigsby’s reply, getting distracted by a flash of white that headed towards the now-unguarded back entrance of the warehouse and she sighed. Drusilla had escaped again, then.
Lisbon wiped the worst of the blood out of her mouth as she approached Jane, who was still strangling Red John, unaware of his surroundings. She took one look and winced. Red John was dead. There was no doubt of that: his engorged tongue was lolling out of his mouth, his face was purple and his eyes stared blankly into nothing. But Jane didn’t notice.
Very gently, she touched his shoulder, careful to avoid the worst of the bleeding. “Jane? Jane, it’s Lisbon. It’s OK. I need you to let go now.” He took no notice, didn’t even appear to hear her voice. “Jane? It’s me, it’s Lisbon. I’m right here. Everything is going to be OK. I just need you to let go. Can you do that for me?” He blinked and she took that as an encouraging sign. “It’s me, Jane. It’s Lisbon. Come on. Just let go.”
He turned to face her and she tried to smile at him. “L-Lisbon? Is that really you?”
“I’m right here, Jane.”
He took a deep, shuddering breath and then looked back at Red John’s corpse. He held out his hands, still shackled, as though she was about to handcuff him. “You’ll have to arrest me now, Lisbon,” he said, starting to laugh softly. “I killed him.”
“Oh, Jane,” she said quietly.
Still laughing, he repeated, “I’ll killed him. Arrest me.”
She took in the blood that streaked down his chest, the ragged wounds on his back, the bite marks on his shoulders, the bruise under one eye and the hysterical, hideous laughter and bit back a sob. “I think we’ll put this one down as self-defence.”