FIC: Hellmouth Heroes (37/?)
Freddy raised his hand to knock onto the front door only for it to swing open before his knuckles made contact. Freddy forced back a gulp as he peered up into Gunn’s eyes. “Hey,” he managed to squeak, “I’m here to pick up Alonna.”
”Oh yeah,” the big black loomed down at him. “Harris hurt her a lot, you’re not gonna hurt her are you?”
“No,” Freddy gulped and shook his head, belatedly remembering the rumours about Gunn kicking Xander’s ass after Xander cheated on Alonna. And if Gunn could do that to Xander, he’d squash him like a bug.
After a second, Gunn nodded. “Good.” The former gang-leader looked over his shoulder. “Alonna! It’s Freddy!”
* * *
The Groosaluug strode through LA’s darkened streets, utterly fearless and completely dedicated to his mission, the protection of the people of this city he had found himself mysteriously transported to several years ago. For a while he’d tried to return home, but finally he’d resigned himself to his new situation, and put his talents to use defending the helpless of his new world, and testing his will and his sword against this world’s wonderful myriad of monsters for him to overcome.
He stopped as he sensed something, reaching across his waist to push his coat aside and pull out his sword. He gasped as a tall, powerfully creature dressed entirely in black with a waxy white skin with the veins clearly visible underneath, inhumanly cold eyes, and pointed ears. “What manner of beast are you?”
The monster smiled, revealing a hideous set of fangs. “I am the Master!”
The Master leapt forward, ducking under his back-handed sword swing to come up with a punch to the chest that lifted him off his feet and flung him into the wall behind. Head ringing, Groo nevertheless managed to twist away from a heel kick to the face then thrust at his opponent’s face only for the Master to slap the blade away and down.
He’d barely managed to pull his guard up when the Master attacked, flashing talons ripping through his leather jacket. Groo writhed and twisted away from the demon’s demented assault then thrust at his opponent’s torso. “Arrrr,” the demon grunted, its fangs showing as it twisted away from the attack, only for the blade to slice across the creature’s hip.
And then the monster launched into him, its weight crashing into his torso as he wriggled away from it. He and the Master spun to face each other, the monster leaping into the night air, grabbing him by his shoulders and flinging him to the ground. Groo groaned as his head crashed against the ground.
Shaking off the pain, he started to jump up, only to double up when a kick crashed into his belly, forcing the air from his lungs, his sword clattering to the ground.
And then he felt the creature’s fangs in his neck.
* * *
Wesley wiped his sweaty palms on his pants and took a breath when he heard his Slayer come through the front door. He’d only returned from LA yesterday, he and Faith had had breakfast together this morning, but he hadn’t worked up the nerve to tell the beauty he’d met someone, knowing how possessive and jealous she could be. “Hello Faith, could you come through here? I’ve something to tell you.”
“Sure,” the curvy brunette sauntered into the lounge and dropped into the chair, draping a carefree leg over its arm, “what’s the what?” Wesley rose and began pacing the floor. After a minute the Slayer cleared her throat. “Not got all night, Watcher-Guy?”
“Yes,” Wesley shot the brunette an apologetic look. “The thing is,” he paused again, “at the gun-show I met someone, a woman-.”
”You’ve got a date?” Faith grinned with that endearing yet bloody irritating cheekiness that was uniquely her. “What is she blind? Mad? Charity worker?”
“She is neither.” Wesley rolled his eyes. This conversation was going about as well as he’d expected. “In point of fact,” he took a breath, “Kate’s a police-woman.”
“A cop?” Faith wrinkled her nose. “What ya wanna do that for?” Wesley groaned inwardly when he saw an all-too familiar impish gleam in his charge’s expressive orbs. “It’s the cuffs right?” Faith threw back her head and laughed. “Ya should tell her to get fluffy hand-cuffs, they don’t chafe as much.” Wesley shuddered as he wondered just how the bombastic beauty knew that. Faith’s mirth-filled eyes met his. “You think we should have the ‘talk’?” The Slayer beauty made a show of looking at her watch. “I’m meeting Xan later, but I’ve got thirty minutes if you need any tips or shit?”
“A serious conversation?” Wesley threw up his hands and shook his head as he strode out of the room, leaving the giggling Slayer to herself. “Why do I bother?”
* * *
Justine Cooper stalked through the shadows, searching for the grave of the ‘barbecue-forked’ death she’d read in the obituaries the previous day. She stopped as her torchlight illuminated a gravestone. “Dennis Sawyer,” she muttered as she crouched, ready for the vampire to burst loose from its earthy prison. It wouldn’t be the vampire who’d killed Julia, but at least she’d make sure it didn’t get a chance to kill any one else’s Julia.
She started when a fist punched its way through the earth. “Damn,” she muttered as she reached inside her jacket and pulled out her stake, she’d only just gotten here in time.
By the time she’d pulled out her stake the vampire’s other fist had punched through to the surface. Justine waited until the creature’s face, in life he’d clearly been a doughy-faced coach potato given his jowly cheeks and multiple chins, was above ground before kicking him between the eyes.
”Owwwww!” the demon’s head snapped to the side before turning towards her, yellow eyes glaring through the darkness. “You kicked me.”
“Let me make it simple for you,” she replied as the vampire continued to climb out of the grave, “you vampire, me vampire hunter.”
“No,” the demon flashed her his fangs. “You food!”
Justine sidestepped the vampire’s charge and thrust her stake at its chest. “OWWW!” Justine winced when the demon parried her attack on its arm, the impact reverberating through her shoulder. Justine ducked under the vampire’s back-handed fist and kicked it in the back of the leg.
The demon growled and stumbled to one knee, but managed to twist to meet her as she ran in, his fist catching her in the gut. Justine grunted as she jammed her stake down, the vampire’s attack knocking her strike off target, her wooden weapon ripping a furrow down his left cheek rather than ramming into his heart.
”Bitch!” the vampire growled as he leapt up, wrapping his arms around her waist and bundling her to the ground.
Justine’s back arched as she hit the wet ground, head bouncing off the unyielding grass. Her knee jammed up and into the demon’s midsection. The vampire grunted as she pushed off the ground and rolled onto the top of the vampire, jamming her stake into the demon’s heart.
Justine panted and gasped as the vampire burst into dust, her heart thundering as it always did at the end of a successful hunt. Justine began to struggle to her feet. “Why you’re a feisty one.”
Justine froze at the dangerous purr behind her then turned her head to look at the two vampires behind her. One was of average height with spikey brown hair, blue eyes, and designer stubble. The second was far bigger with hulking shoulders, a lantern jaw, black hair, and hard, dark eyes.
“Three for the price of one,” Justine bluffed as she rose and turned to face the two vampires. She’d taken two before, but not a duo like these two, these were a pair of more powerful vampires than she’d ever faced before even individually.
The two vampires smiled then launched themselves at her. Justine ducked the taller one’s straight right and twisted away from the shorter one’s kick to the torso. A left hook across the bigger one’s body exploded against her right cheek, blood gushed out of her mouth, her legs suddenly rubbery. The vampires laughed in concerto before lunging in at her.
Justine gasped as her stake jabbed out at the fastest of the pair, the smaller one knocking it aside before butting her in the other cheek. Justine fell backwards as her cheek shattered like it was glass, then doubled up, tears forming in her eyes when a right fist collided with her stomach.
The taller one laughed before grabbing her by her hair and flinging her onto her back. The moment she hit the ground the vampires were on her, kicking her all over until she was just one big bruise. Justine lay there limply, the pain paralysing her as the two demons stood over her. Then one of them, she couldn’t tell which one through her swelling-up eyes, grabbed her by her bloodied hair and lifted her head up, his fangs sinking into her neck.
* * *
“How’s your pasta, dear?”
Jenny smiled at her boy-friend, classical music filtering through the restaurant’s speakers, the other diners and waiters bustling around in the dimly-lit background. “Delightful,” she took a sip of her white wine before continuing. “And your pizza?”
Giles smiled back at her. “Tastes like I’m in Italy.”
“I heard some gossip this afternoon,” Jenny commented.
Giles’ eyes flooded with alarm. “Good lord, what’s happened now?” he groaned.
“Oh don’t worry,” Jenny reached across the table and squeezed his hand, “it’s good news. According to the grapevine, Wesley has found himself a girl-friend.”
“Oh really?” Giles paused in cutting through the last of his pizza. “And do we know anything about his unfortunate paramour?”
“Be nice,” Jenny reprimanded with a smile, “Faith was a little sparse on the details apparently, but she’s someone he met at the gun-show, a policewoman called Kate.”
”A policewoman?” Giles’ brow furrowed as he placed his fork down. “That’s worrying.”
”Worrying how?” Jenny queried. “A girl will be good for Wesley, give him friends outside our group.”
“A policewoman might well get suspicious about lots of things. Wesley’s relationship with Faith, his unexplained disappearances, some of the texts he has at his home, any injuries he might suffer,” Giles shook his head. “Things could get complicated.”
“But on the other hand,” Jenny shook her head as she squeezed Giles’ hand, “he can’t let such worries get in the way of his happiness.”
“Happiness is important,” Giles nodded. “But we have a mission here.”
“What’s good making the world safe for everyone when we can’t be happy ourselves?” Jenny pointed out.
* * *
Rondell smirked as he walked out at the head of his people. The Gunns had left them years ago, god only knew where that nice piece of tail and the limey had taken him, but now he led the Lost Boys, something that would have never happened if he’d stayed. “Listen, we’ve all heard the rumours of vamps down on Hardcastle Avenue,” Rondell said. “That’s way too near to our place, and we gotta make an example of them.”
”Blessed children,” a high-pitched voice trilled out of the darkness, “hunting nightmares, so brave, so foolish!” Rondell’s eyes narrowed a skinny brunette with wild eyes and sharp-features stepped out of the darkness wearing nothing more than a flowery summer dress. “When the monsters are already here!”
Rondell shook off the chill that assailed him at the sight of the brunette swaying in the night wind, her manic giggles filling the air. What sort of monster created a vampire like this?
Shaking off his question as unimportant, he started forward, two of his Lost Boys flanking him. “First we’ll dust this bitch-.”
“I’m afraid that ain’t gonna happen,” a bleached-haired vampire swaggered out of the shadows and wrapped his arm around the woman’s waist.
”Two of you versus us?” Rondell smirked. “You aren’t very good at maths.”
“Listen mate,” the blond’s eyes sparkled with mayhem, “I could take you all by myself.”
“But,” an Irish accented voice interrupted as a tall, muscular man stepped out of the shadows to their right, “why not share the fun around?”
* * *
Faith flung the bowling ball down the lane, skittling the pins with a casual ease. Faith turned towards Xander, disquiet in her dark eyes. “I heard Cordy whispering to Willow that Alonna was going on a date with Freddy.”
“Oh,” Xander stared at the curvaceous bombshell, uncertain as just how his new girl-friend wanted him to react to the news that his ex was dating again.
“Yeah,” Faith stalked over to his side, her sleek hips swinging in her instinctive yet very arousing way, “we kinda screwed her over didn’t we?”
Xander nodded, the guilt almost choking him. “Yeah, we did.”
“Yeah,” Faith ran a soft hand down his face, “I really hope Fred makes a better job of looking after her than we did.” Faith paused, a hope flickering in her black orbs. “You think maybe if he does, she’ll be able to forgive us?”
Xander sighed and shook his head. “Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it.”
“Yeah,” Faith’s shoulders slumped as she let out a wistful sigh, “that’s what I figured.”
* * *
Aurelius nodded in satisfaction as the last of his childes returned, the bodies of their prey carried in their arms. All the pieces of his jigsaw were falling into place. “Excellent, tomorrow night they will rise and you as their sires will teach them what it means to be vampires.”
”And then?” Angelus had a hungry look in his eyes.
”Then my childe,” he patted the boy on his shoulder, “then we will make our way to the Hellmouth and claim it for ourselves.”
* * *
“Hey,” Tucker strode into Warren’s office, a newspaper in his hand, “there’s a problem with your plan, a big one.”
Warren glanced at the paper thrown on his desk. “What’s this?” he queried as he picked the paper up and began idly reading. His interest quickened as he noted the headline. “Brutal Massacre At Local Law Firm.”
“Wolfram & Hart, that’s the firm you were talking about us approaching?”
He quickly read the article, ignoring Tucker’s continuing queries before looking up and grinning. “Whatever killed them is unimportant,” he decided. “Don’t you see? The fact the company’s been hit like this will have them reeling, making them even more desperate for help!”
* * *
Giles groaned as he hurried down the stairs, the frantic knocking threatening to buckle the door. “Whatever it is it better be important!” he warned in a snap as he flung the door open.
”It is,” Wesley retorted as he pushed by him and into the hallway, “I trust from your get-up of dressing gown and slippers you haven’t read this morning’s newspaper?”
“No,” Giles’ brow furrowed as he followed his fellow Watcher into the kitchen, “what of it?”
Wesley dropped the paper on the kitchen table. “Apparently the night-staff of Wolfram & Hart were massacred last night. The day staff opened to find over a hundred torn-apart corpses.”
”Good lord,” Giles’ blood chilled, “what manner of being would dare strike at Wolfram & Hart in such a brazen manner?”