Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and Blake Edwards characters are the property of their original owners.
Eyeing the unconscious body of the bloke lying on the hallway floor dressed totally in black clothes just like him tonight, Spike turned away from the stranger he’d crept up from behind and sucker-punched a moment ago. Rubbing his knuckles, this demon now wonderingly stared at the open door of the Paris flat he’d walked into just before, all without the slightest bit of trouble. This was decidedly odd, no question about it. The mystical protections which guarded homes and prevented vampires from entering these residences unless actually invited by their inhabitants were still up on the other apartments in the entire building, except for this exact flat.Here,
however, a bleedin’ army of his fellow fanged monsters could drop in anytime without a single by-your-leave. Spike perplexedly scratched his head, caught up in the minor mystery. The simplest explanation just wouldn’t fly, since the undead Englishman was positive he’d never previously been here in the flat during his entire existence. Anyway, if it’d somehow turned out an invitation to this place had been accidentally given for him in particular, why would it also apply to other vampires? More importantly, how come none of those thievin’ buggers ever spotted the prospect for a free meal and barged in here to have a nice dinner?
Well, as Spike hungrily glanced at the out-cold man still face down on the floor, it was their hard luck. Tonight, he’d feast upon his latest prey, the bloke there-- Oh, ho. From the sounds of things, someone else was also in the apartment, in one of the other rooms off the hallway. Intently listening, the vampire also sniffed the air. *Hmmm…male, mid-forties, good health, fairly fast heartbeat but he’s staying still, smells tense-- Wonder if he heard me?*
Sadistically grinning at the prospect of a little fiendish playtime, Spike vamped out into game face. He went to close the front door, and then while strolling back down the flat’s hallway, the blond demon reached out to tip over a photograph standing upright in its silver frame atop a side table. In the absolute silence of the apartment, this soft, metallic clatter of a picture showing someone in formal dress at a medal ceremony echoed.
Elsewhere, in another room, a heartbeat accelerated. *Ah, that
got his attention. Hullo, he’s moving off to another room. Must be interconnected. Let’s have a dekko at where he was.*
Pushing a side door open, Spike entered a well-illuminated sitting room. Interestedly looking around the large space filled with masculine furnishings, the vampire cocked his head at the frozen immobility of his prey in the other room behind the door there. *Bedroom, probably. He’s not on the phone calling the gendarmes, so that gives me a chance for some more fun.*
Loudly sighing, as if in frustration, Spike turned to stomp out of the sitting room, his footsteps ringing in the still air. Pulling the room door open again, the vampire paused to stand in the doorway, his head with its demonic features poking out into the hall and hidden from sight from anyone entering the sitting room. This indeed happened, with Spike smirking in evil delight as he continued to pretend to be looking outside. Behind the undead blond, the bedroom door opened and someone sneaked towards the figure in black apparently waiting for them to come down the hallway.
*At three, now -- one -- wonder if I can make him drop dead when he sees my face? -- two -- haven’t done that in years -- thr--*
Beginning to spin around, Spike only got halfway into his turn when a Japanese wooden sword known as a bokken and swung with tremendous force now walloped him directly on the left ear. Sent crashing into the doorframe as pain exploded in his skull, Spike bellowed at the top of his lungs with the sudden agony.
” was shouted back at him in an equal decibel level, only this was a yell of pure fright by the man in the silk robe holding the bokken, who’d gotten his first look at his opponent somehow having a horribly deformed face with glowing yellow eyes and pointed fangs. Instinctively thrusting his weapon at his inhuman foe, the unthinking apartment resident wasn’t completely in control of his actions, which sent the hard tip of the practice sword held low shoved forward and down, until it was rammed with incredible force right into Spike’s groin.
This time, the scream ripped from the vampire’s throat was even worse. Contorting to clutch at his lower parts, Spike stood on trembling legs, until his head snapped up to glare at the bloke who’d dared that supreme insult standing a few feet away and gaping at him. Still in his absurd position, Spike hurriedly waddled forward, his enraged expression promising an horrible revenge upon the other in the next couple of seconds.
Backpedaling just as hastily, the man with the bokken frantically glanced around the room, and as he passed a side table, his free hand reached out to snatch up a small lamp resting on top of this piece of furniture. Without a second’s hesitation, the robed man hurled the lamp right at Spike’s face.
However, the moment or two this action took was enough time for the vampire to slightly recover, letting go of his abused genitals and straightening up. His mouth open in a vicious snarl, Spike caught the thrown lamp by the first part of this appliance nearest himself, the lampshade and what it covered. Which was in fact the light bulb and its socket connected down the metal tube of the lamp to the electrical cord -- which was still inserted into the wall socket itself.
This meant when a furious Spike crushed between his fingers the entire top part of the lamp, the shade collapsed, the bulb exploded, and the metal socket was destroyed -- completing a circuit from the electricity running through the wiring system in the apartment to Spike himself.
An immense white flash surrounded the vampire for a fraction of a second, but in this extremely short period of time, Spike’s hair caught on fire, his entire skeleton glowed under his skin, and two perfect smoke rings shot out from his ears. Then, the power failed throughout the whole apartment building, plunging every room in this structure into inky blackness.
In the downstairs apartment, a family in the middle of their dinner paused at the sudden gloom surrounding themselves. They waited patiently for Grand-père at the head of the table to do what was necessary. Sure enough, with wrinkled fingers, this oldster took out a match from its box by his plate, scraped it alight, and used it to ignite a candle before him. This gave enough illumination for the rest of the household at the table to lean over and pick up what was resting on the floor by their chairs. A moment later, a half-dozen umbrellas opened around the family circle, with these protective devices being held over everyone’s heads with one hand and the other hand used to continue eating their dinner.
Throughout the next couple of minutes, numerous screams, crashes, thumps, and other disturbing noises from upstairs sent plentiful pieces of ceiling plaster raining downwards onto the resigned occupants. At the other end of the table, the father of the family once again bitterly reflected upon his mistake in not paying sufficient attention before signing the unbreakable five-year rental agreement for their apartment. He really should’ve been more suspicious about the fact that despite being in a truly fine neighborhood and also three times the size of their previous residence, this was the cheapest lodgings in the whole of Paris.
Long afterwards, a shamed Spike preferred to not think about what’d happened to end it, whether he’d really meant to escape by jumping headfirst through a closed side window, or if this was his opponent’s ultimate triumph in knocking him entirely out of the building in a rain of shattered glass, to then plunge helplessly and land with bone-crunching force onto the hard cobblestones of the side alley running by the apartment building.
Painfully crawling on his hands and knees while departing from the scene of his disgraceful defeat through the garbage-strewn, malodorous alley (however well prepared and elegantly flavored, even French cuisine stinks to high heaven when it’s thrown away), a considerably scorched and battered Spike vowed he’d never come back. Not even to get his revenge by slaughtering the insane bloke up there, since if there was a one in a thousandth chance of the story ever getting out to the rest of the demon underground of why he’d done this in the first place, the risk was simply too great for much more humiliation. Being trounced by a respected foe was one thing; it was entirely different getting beaten by an out-and-out idiot with more luck than fighting skill.
Back in the apartment, the lights suddenly came on, revealing a panting man dressed in a disheveled robe and standing there in the ruins of his house furnishings. He was also holding the bokken ready, just in case his adversary wanted another deathmatch. Looking around at the utter destruction of the entire room, Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the French Sûreté proudly beamed at being once more the winner of the practice bouts he held with his manservant every other week.
Hearing a soft sound behind him, the policeman whirled around, only to relax at seeing Cato staggering inside, with this smaller man gingerly feeling the rear of his skull. Coming around lying on the floor in the darkness a few moments before, this Asian had dazedly replaced the fuses in the apartment kitchen’s electrical panel, and then he’d gone off in search of his employer to learn what exactly was occurring tonight in the apartment.
Resting his wooden sword onto the top of his shoulder, Clouseau haughtily declared, “That was much better than your usual attempts, you little yellow minkey. The horrible mask was a rather nice touch, but of course, it couldn’t fool for long a detective of my keen analytical skills. Well, now that you’ve returned from your tumble into the alley, call the repairers and furnishers again and tell them we’ll need the usual. Leave the door open; I don’t want to be disturbed during my shower.” With those final supercilious words, the chief inspector arrogantly swaggered out of the destroyed room, brushing past a bewildered Cato along the way.
This black-clad servant gaped after Clouseau, his customary Oriental inscrutability having changed into the normal baffled incomprehension borne by those who’d had the misfortune to encounter this supremely self-confident dimwit. It didn’t help either that this Frenchman had spoken in his usual mangled Français which caused even his fellow countrymen to fail in understanding the egoistical policeman. Opening his mouth to begin a confused question about the whole last few minutes, Cato paused, and then he sensibly decided there wasn’t really any point.
Instead, the manservant mentally decided he’d hold the usual open house to have everything repaired and replaced, double the already-expensive bill for what would surely be charged, and pocket the difference, just like the last dozen times. Frankly, it was the only reason he stayed in the service of this crazy, insulting white devil, anyway.
Inwardly smirking in glee at the prospect of an exasperated minion’s revenge, the now-impassive Asian deferentially called after his employer, “It shall be done, inspector.”