Spike and Dru, Part 3
Spike and Dru Part 3
A/N: Disclaimer's in the first chapter.
Spike spent the better part of the daylight hours interrogating the handful of minions from the Anointed One's pack. And then dusting all but two of them as useless wankers of the first order. One of the two to survive was the tech geek minion, who had surpassed Spike's expectations by surviving tailing the Slayer and her crew several nights running. Lucas was quite the prize. So much so that Spike was considering working on elevating him to Childe status. Lucas wasn't the minion's real name, of course. Spike had christened him with a name suitable for the task he was undertaking.
The other survivor was a quiet, solid bloke who'd said all of about three words the entire day, but had wordlessly set about clearing out the warehouse and setting it up as a proper lair. He'd also kept an eye on Drusilla, who seemed to be improving a bit, all without having to be told or watched to make sure he didn't screw up. Spike could appreciate that sort of competence. Not enough to bother remembering or giving the minion a name, but enough to spare his unlife.
The house cleaning had served as a good warmup to the night's planned events. It was time to deal with Angel. The longer Spike put it off, the more suspect he would be, he knew. He had to establish himself as the top of the hierarchy quickly.
Spike was looking forward to this. It was, really, long past time that someone challenged Angel's place in the hierarchy. The only reason no one had was because no one had known where he was at for much of the last century, and the only one who was lower on in the heirarchy and capable of actually challenging Angel was Spike. Drusilla, as his Childe, technically could challenge Angel's position, but given her insanity, any attempt at a challenge would be laughed off, and in the unlikely event she actually carried out the attack, swatted aside fairly easily.
Spike knew he was young for it. Very young. Most Master Vampires didn't generally challenge Masters of established courts until they were at least Angel's current age, if not older. It generally took that long for a vampire to attain the recognition outside of court hierarchies or to attain the rank inside the court necessary to make their challenge legitimate, nevermind the fighting skills necessary to challenge the average Master with a court. Of course, most clans hadn't been gutted of competent members, or been run by a complete nutter like the Aurelius clan had suffered. It made the challenge that bit easier, because Spike would essentially be starting from scratch.
But it also made it a touch harder, because Spike needed a larger audience for the challenge than the two Aurelius minions remaining from the Anointed One's court in order to spread the word that the Aurelius court was under new, competent leadership. Which meant he'd have to arrange to 'meet' Angel somewhere that vampires hung out, rather than fighting Angel somewhere that was less public.
Had Spike mentioned yet that he was really looking forward to this?
Having learned at least the basics of the Slayer's routine, Spike headed out before the sun had fully, properly set, ducking from shadow to shadow to avoid the last, dying patches of sun. He wanted to be in position before the Slayer started hunting. If Angel followed the pattern of the last few nights, he'd split off from the Slayer's group early on to go looking for Spike.
After due consideration, Spike had decided to stage the challenge at Willy's. The place was always full of demons of every description, not just vampires, which would make it ridiculously easy for the word to spread through the entire demon community. Not only that, but Willy's was the place to go in town to find out information, and Angel had to know that, which meant it would be one of his first stops. Spike made sure to top up on blood before he arrived, knowing full well this was going to be a long, bloody fight. Angel wasn't going to relinquish his position easily.
Willy, being no one's fool, smelled trouble the minute Spike swaggered into the bar, swatting the beads over the door aside with a disgusted grimace. So did the dozen or so demons and vampires in the place. Spike smirked. He did love being acknowledged as the most dangerous bloke in the room.
It didn't take Angel long to show up, maybe fifteen minutes after the sun was fully down. He vamped out the second he spotted Spike, who was by then sprawled artfully on a stool at the bar, his back to the door in a calculated display of complete unconcern.
"Spike, what the hell are you doing here?" Angel snapped.
Spike completely ignored him, fighting down a deeply amused smirk at how pissed off that would make Angel. The wanker never had liked getting ignored. Sure enough, Angel decided that one semi-polite question was his limit, and stormed over to grab Spike.
Except Spike knew better than to let Angel get that close in. Angel, even if they'd both been human, had an advantage in reach and strength. Advantages he was fully aware of and took ruthless advantage of. But what Spike lacked in sheer brute strength, he more than made up in speed, agility and cunning. And right now, that basic physical advantage was about all that Angel had on Spike, as Angel had lost any advantage that his vampiric age would otherwise have conferred on him due to not drinking human blood for the last century.
So Spike flipped neatly over Angel's head before the bastard could get in grabbing range, and wasn't quite able to keep himself from literally kicking Angel's ass, just to further aggravate the big lug. He deliberately kept the kick light enough that Angel only wobbled slightly at the unexpected (and admittedly somewhat childish) attack.
Willy squalled something about not starting a fight in the bar that both Spike and Angel completely ignored. Meanwhile, most of the demons quickly got out of the way, aware that things might well get interesting shortly and not wanting to get caught in the crossfire.
"Sorry, mate, but I don't answer to you anymore. Haven't in a long time." Spike said. "Y'ain't been my sire since you fucked off an' left me to keep Dru from walkin' into the sun." Not quite completely truthful, as Spike couldn't help still thinking of Angelus as his sire because the bastard had taught Spike how to be a vampire, but Spike had been forced to grow up without that guidance very early on. After all, it wasn't like that bitch Darla had stuck around after Angel got cursed, now was it?
"'m thinkin' it's well past time y'got replaced. An' seein' as how I dusted that pitiful wanker the Anointed One, I'm thinkin' I'm the one to do it. 'bout damn time the Aurelius name became something worth rememberin'." Spike said.
Angel laughed uproariously. "And you think you can ... what? You're nothing but an impetuous child."
It was Spike's turn to laugh. "I was, a few decades back." He admitted. "But your information's a bit out of date these days, mate."
Angel scoffed. "I don't think so. You'll never change, Spike."
That just pissed Spike off. "Had to, didn't I? Didn't have much of a choice. You fucked off, and Darla followed not much later. Was just Dru'n me."
"And I've heard all about your exploits." Angel scoffed.
Spike laughed outright. "Yeah, mate. I'm sure you have."
Thing was, there had definitely been exploits. Many of which, from an uninformed outsider's point of view, probably did look like they'd been half-assed planned and executed by an impatient Childe. But Spike had been dealing with Dru, the queen of short attention spans and inability to follow a plan. It was a testament to Spike's abilities that he and Dru had survived this long, never mind that they'd managed to carry out some successful plans amidst the spectacular failures. Not that Spike was going to explain that to Angel. Wasn't worth the waste of time, effort, and air. Especially now.
"The Master is dead." Spike said. "And his ashes scattered to the four winds, never to be resurrected. The Anointed One, the Master's named successor, is also dead, his ashes scattered to the four winds, never to be resurrected. Darla, Childe of the Master, is also dead, her ashes scattered to the four winds, never to be resurrected."
By that point, Angel knew exactly what Spike was planning to do. There was, after all, a traditional ritual for this sort of thing. Angel sort of smirked at Spike, almost tolerantly amused at Spike's presumption.
"Angelus, Childe of Darla, Childe of the Master, you are unfit to lead the Aurelius Clan. Drusilla, Childe of Angelus is also unfit, and unable to challenge." Spike went on. "I, Spike, Childe of Drusilla, hereby challenge you for leadership of the Aurelius Clan."
Angel let out a bark of a laugh. "You really think you can defeat me?"
Spike snorted. "You haven't had human blood in, what, fifty years at this point?" He pointed out. "And hadn't had it for nearly fifty years before that? You may have a hundred years on me, mate, but you might as well be human for all the good it'll do you." He didn't bother pointing out that he had two Slayers to his name, while Angel had none. There was really no point in bragging about that, at least not right now. Later, definitely. Now, not so much.
Angel did not look convinced. But then, Spike hadn't expected him to. Spike waited patiently, willing to let Angel make the first move. Angel didn't waste much time making it, rushing Spike with the clear intention of cornering Spike somewhere where Angel's greater strength and reach could be used to devastating advantage without Spike being able to escape.
But Spike wasn't anywhere near that stupid, and didn't let himself get cornered, ducking low under Angel's arms in an almost acrobatic tumble, one clawed hand reaching out to try and carve up one of Angel's legs as he rolled past. Angel managed to dance out of the way of the strike barely in time, and kicked at Spike while Spike was still in motion.
Spike bounced to his feet and started a series of lightning-fast feints, darting into Angel's range and back out again. He made no attempt to hit Angel at all. His entire intent was to frustrate Angel into making a crucial error that Spike could then take full advantage of.
And eventually, Angel did make that mistake. Irritated beyond the telling of it at his inability to land a hit on Spike, Angel finally lost control of his temper and started flailing around (rather uselessly). In the process, he turned his back on Spike for just a heartbeat.
Spike struck like a snake, landing a brutal blow on Angel's temporarily unprotected back. Angel roared and whirled around, just managing to connect with Spike's already retreating form in the process. Unfortunately, the damage had been done, and Angel was now bleeding sluggishly from four long gashes down his back, courtesy of Spike's claws. For his part, Spike was now sporting a rather colorful bruise.
The Scoobies, meanwhile, were pretty much on the far side of town from Willy's Bar, prowling two cemeteries that were close together, among other places on that end of town. Aware now of the danger Spike presented, Jon was keeping careful watch for that easily-visible blonde hair.
Between that, and the fact they were in a relatively quiet area, Jon finally picked up on the fact they were being followed, though he couldn't immediately spot their stalker. Who (or what) ever it was, they knew to keep out of sight.
"Guys, we're being followed." Jon warned the others.
"Oh, great. Any idea who or what by?" Buffy wanted to know, eyeing their surroundings.
"Pretty sure it's a vampire. At least, I'm not hearing a heartbeat of any kind. Though somehow, I doubt vampires are the only ones who don't have a heartbeat as we know it." Jon pointed out. "Can't really tell where they're at, because they're doing their damndest to be totally silent, which makes pinpointing where they're at more than a little difficult."
Xander reached over and put his hand on Jon's arm. "Try now. See if you can pinpoint them if you're leaning on me." Senses-wise, Xander meant.
Jon cocked an eyebrow, but obeyed, reaching out with his hearing to try to pinpoint the position of their stalker. Fortunately for Lucas, the fight between Angel and Spike got a bit loud at that point, and Jon swung around, eyes snapping open, as he heard Angel's voice.
"Awww, shit. Forget the stalker. I think Angel found Spike. And they're fighting, from the sounds of it." Jon practically whined.
Buffy immediately turned, ready to go to Angel's assistance. "Where are they?"
"Somewhere mid-town. Willy's, I think. Or at least nearby. I can hear him in close proximity, whining about damage to his bar."
"Let's go." Buffy took off at a trot.
After a second, and a shared look between them, Jon and Xander followed, Xander tucking Willow's arm under his to ensure she stayed close.
By the time they arrived, the fight had spilled out of Willy's into the street, and gotten a lot more vicious. Both Spike and Angel were bleeding now, though that was only detectable by the sprays of blood that scattered all over the place.
The fight had escalated to the point that even to Buffy and Jon's enhanced eyes, it was nothing but a largely indistinguishable blur as the two vampires fought for dominance. Spike was partially trackable, thanks to his blonde hair, but he was moving so fast that Buffy muttered something under her breath about the Tasmanian Devil, making Xander snort in amusement.
The Scoobies hesitated to do anything. It was nearly impossible to tell which vampire was where at any given moment, making shooting at them impractical in the extreme, and with the speed the two were moving at, not even Buffy was feeling tempted to jump in with a physical attack.
"Right. Nothing we can do about this. He's either going to win or lose on his own." Jon said. He wasn't overly fussed about Angel's fate. "We better get back to patrol. Something's bound to try to take advantage of this."
Buffy watched the fighting pair for a long moment, visibly reluctant to walk away. After a few moments, though, she sighed. "You're probably right, Jon. We better get a move on." She still lagged behind the others, though, glancing over her shoulder at Angel and Spike.
"If Spike survives that, we're upping our training regimen." Jon proclaimed.
"Not going to get an argument out of me." Buffy agreed. "I mean, I was taking Giles and Angel seriously when they said Spike was a threat, but it's one thing to hear about it."
"And something else entirely to see it in action." Xander said with a nod.
"They were just a blur." Willow said. "I couldn't really even tell what was going on."
"Me either." Xander said.
"I wasn't seeing much more than you two were." Jon said. "Though I think I could tell Spike from Angel. That's about as far as I got with it, though."
Buffy nodded her agreement, and they all headed back to their assigned patrol route. Jon, however, kept an ear out for the conclusion of the fight.
Angel had been aware of the Scoobies' approach, and had increased his attempts to kill Spike, seeking to keep Spike from trying to attack the group. Unbeknownst to him, the attempt was entirely unnecessary, as Spike was concentrating fully on Angel, and had spared only enough attention for the Slayer's arrival to ensure he didn't get staked in the back.
The fight continued for a good ten minutes after the Scoobies retreated, with both Spike and Angel trading vicious blows. By then, they'd attracted quite an audience, as word had spread about the fight and the reason for it. The street was now ringed by various vampires and demons, all watching the fight and waiting to see the outcome.
And then, with a final flurry of vicious punches and slashes, Spike somehow managed to bring Angel down, the both of them crashing to the pavement, Angel facedown with one of Spike's clawed hands wrapped around his throat and the other clenched against his back over his spine, seconds from tearing through and breaking Angel's spine. Spike's knees were buried in the small of Angel's back, putting additional stress on his lower spine. One wrong move, and Angel would be dust twice over.
"Do you yield?" Spike demanded.
It would be possible for Angel to live, if he yielded. After all, not every Master vampire desired to run a court. So long as Angel acknowledged Spike as the winner and new Master, his unlife could be spared. Unfortunately, Spike didn't have a clue as to whether or not Angel would yield.
For one long moment, it looked as if Angel would fight him, and Spike would be forced to dust the wanker. But then Spike felt Angel's body relax.
Spike didn't doubt that Angel had some sort of plan in mind to try to undermine Spike or usurp Spike's newly acquired position. He leaned down and whispered to Angel.
"Don't get any bright ideas, mate. I got no problem with dusting you at a moment's notice." Then, more loudly. "Accepted." Then he glanced up and looked at the surrounding watchers. "Every vampire in town, Aurelius sired or not, has twenty-four hours to swear their allegiance to me or get the hell out of town. Anyone who stays and refuses to swear allegiance will be dust." And there was no guarantee that the ones that swore allegiance would survive, either, but Spike wasn't going to say that. "Court's set up in the warehouse down by the docks."
He got to his feet, dragging Angel with him. "That includes you, Angel." He pointed out, making sure Angel understood that his yielding wasn't going to be enough. "And if I catch you hanging out with the Slayer after, you're dust." Spike wasn't about to tolerate a spy in his Court. At least, not one that was going to be tattling to the Slayer.
Spike gave Angel a completely unnecessary shove to get him moving, and then took off himself to go clean up. He was a mass of bruises and cuts, but fortunately the damage wasn't all that extensive, and would be healed by this time tomorrow.
Angel, of course, wasn't quite as lucky, having collected a number of nasty gashes and at least one broken bone, alongside having suffered defeat at Spike's hands, as well as being more or less one giant bruise.