Dean sat in the living room and listened as Buffy went over-in extreme detail-everything that happened in Portland. He didn't speak, not once. He just watched her pace back-and-forth, she looked clam and reserved on the outside. Her green eyes told a different story, they were swimming with panic. He picked up on her distress on their ride back to Marblehead. He wouldn't admit this to her, a little part of him was freaked out. He knew this Dracula freak had his sights firmly set on Buffy, which he was not cool with at all, it was bad enough when Spike had been lusting after her, now this douche. God, he could not catch a break. Just a little one, is that too much to ask for here.
Not that he was hoping that Buffy would want to start something with him, he definitely never thought about it. She hurt him, so why would he want to be with someone who didn't have the guts to tell him she was alive. Besides Dean wasn't the settling down type of guy, nope not him. He would never want the nine-to-five job, with a wife who greeted him when he got home with a roast in the oven and apron on as she worked her ass off baking. But he wouldn't mind seeing Buffy with nothing but an apron on.
"You're drooling there, Slick," Faith said pulling Dean out of his thoughts. He didn't realize he was staring at Buffy, but Faith sure did and now everyone else in the room had their eyes set on him. Dean cleared his throat and shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Buffy shook her head and turned her attention back to Giles.
"I didn't even get to the weird part yet," Buffy said. She quickly stopped pacing. Dean took in a deep sigh of relief, he was getting close stopping her himself, the girl was driving him nuts.
"There's more weirdness?" Xander asked with an apprehensive smile on his face. "I thought you've already hit your quota on weird for the night."
"The vamps didn't turn to dust," Buffy said, worry slowly seeped into her calm tone. "We killed them but there wasn't a poof, nothing just dead bodies on the ground. They were vampires right? I wasn't seeing things."
"They were vampires," Giles said cautiously. "They're a different breed."
"Why am I just learning about them now?" Buffy questioned him. "Don't you think this information would've been useful, oh, I don't know like when I first started this gig or maybe when you became my Watcher?"
"The Watcher's council believed they went extinct along with the other breeds that had once existed."
"You mean like my old pal the Ubervamp?" Buffy quipped. "Giles, I want to know what I'm facing here. They weren't extremely strong like the Vampires I'm used to fighting, but they still packed a pretty good punch. What happens if one of them sinks their teeth into me? Do I become like them, because the others had bites but not a single drop of blood on their mouths."
"I'm afraid you are correct in your assumption." Giles took in an easy breath. He removed a white cloth from his jacket's inner pocket and proceeded to clean his glasses. "Their bite or saliva contains some sort of virus that mutates the human body."
"Like a zombie!" Xander said with a little too much enthusiasm. "You know like that Twenty-eight Days later movie."
"I would say more like that lame vampire movie with the fat Baldwin brother," Dean said. "The second movie wasn't that bad, John Bon Jovi was in it."
"I think I saw that one," Xander added.
"Are you two quite finished?" Giles snapped and stared at Dean and Xander like they were babbling morons. He pulled back his frustration and focused his full attention on Buffy.
"I know that stakes still work on them," Buffy said.
"Thank god to that," Faith blew out. "I'm not sure what we'd have done if the little fuckers didn't stay dead."
"The myths and lore still do apply to them," Giles added. "Fire, sunlight, decapitation and from what I read in Mr. Van Helsing's journal, silver has a bad effect on them as well. That's how he was able to trap Dracula for so long."
"Silver?" Dean cocked an eyebrow in curiosity. "Like silver bullets?"
"That's for werewolves, Dean," Buffy huffed and darted a scrutinizing glare at Dean. "Bullets have no effect on vampires. Remember?"
"You don't know that," he snapped. "And silver bullets aren't just for werewolves, y'know. They happen to work on shape shifters, skin walkers-"
"Don't really care," Buffy spat out. "Who even fights a shape sifter?"
"We did, Sam and I ganked one not too long ago. The dude was wearing my skin when I-"
"It's safe to assume bullets are useless against all vampires," Giles cut in before the two of them went at it like children. Buffy shot Dean a look that screamed told-ya-so and quickly placed her attention back on Giles.
"Okay, I'm thinking Faith and I should keep a look out for these 'newbies' when go on patrol."
"I'm not looking forward to the clean up," Faith groaned.
"Buffy, patrolling may not be a wise decision at the moment," Giles wearily said. "We still haven't the faintest idea of what Dracula wants with you. For all we know he could be waiting for the exact moment and-"
"Kill me," Buffy interrupted him. "I can't just sit here and wait for some centuries old vampire to come here and off me. I need to find him first."
"Yeah, cause that sounds like a great plan," Dean scoffed and rolled his eyes.
"What? You think you have a better one," Buffy snapped. "From what I remember, you aren't the brains in your little 'hunting team,' Sam is."
Dean narrowed his eyes on the petite blond standing in the center of the room glaring hatefully at him. This was the same look she gave him when they first met.
"That hurts," Dean said dryly and placed his hand over his heart. "You really broke my heart. I think there may even be tears."
"Shut up," Buffy snapped.
Wolfram and Hart, Boston Office
Dracula swiftly moved through the top floor of the high rise building, he was more than impressed. The small Law Firm came a long way from what he remembered. Before he was captured they only had two locations and now they were bigger then he would have ever imagined. That still wouldn't stop him from ripping their throats out. He wanted to know why they took him from the old Carfax building and shipped him here to the new world. These people had big plans for him and he was more than certain it involved a petite blond slayer.
Usually he wouldn't think twice about such a girl, Slayers were beneath him. But even he had to admit this one intrigued him, the girl died twice, defeated the first and created her own army. In his mind she was the perfect warrior, possibly even an equal. All he had to figure out was why the Law Firm wanted him to kill her. Expect those weren't even his plans at all. This Buffy Summers, she was special. He could feel it every time he dreamt about her. Dracula could feel some sort of connection with the girl, like he was drawn to her and she to him. All he had to do was exploit that connection to find her, but first things first, confront the Wolf, the Ram and the Hart.
A set of golden wooden doors lay in front of him, he slammed his hands against them and the doors shatter of their hinges, leaving pieces behind as they sailed through the air and past the new CEO who sat behind his large mahogany desk.
"You're late," the man said with a think English accent. He had a huge grin plastered on his face. He slid out from behind his desk. "You killed the best men I had on staff." The man clucked his tongue and shook his head. "That doesn't matter now. You've come here for something and I'm just the man to help."
"How's that?" Dracula smugly questioned the man.
"Well, let's see I can find the man who locked you up so many years ago-"
"In exchange for what?"
"A very important client of mine needs help getting rid of a certain pesky slayer."
"Why doesn't he go after her himself?"
"Well if he were to do that he would get the attention of some very nasty hunters and he would much rather keep the Winchesters out of this. He wants Buffy Summers out of the picture."
"He wants me to kill her?"
"Anyone really, but I figured you'd be the best man for the job."
"Why choose me then?"
"All in good time," he said with a grin.
"Who are you?"
"Sorry for the lousy introduction, the name's Ethan Rayne."
"You've got to be kidding me," Buffy groaned and threw herself on the living room couch next to Dean. "Ethan Rayne is in charge of Wolfram and Hart's Boston office. God, this week keeps getting better and better. Next we're all gonna break out in song, because that was so much fun the last time."
Sam stared at Buffy with a perplexed expression on his face, he was lost and Buffy could clearly see it.
"Long story," Buffy said.
"Xander summoned a musical demon, the whole town turned into an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Dawn got captured Buffy saved her and then there was something about mustard," Dean said. "I'm just glad we weren't there for that one."
"Wait, I didn't tell you about that," Buffy said quickly.
"I read about it in your diary," he said smugly.
"I should burn that thing," Buffy huffed and crossed her arms over her chest, sinking herself lower on the couch. She quickly turned to Willow. "Dig anything else up?"
"Not much." Willow shrugged. "Whatever they're hiding, they're doing a pretty good job at it."
"Who's Ethan Rayne?" Sam curiously asked.
"A constant pain in my ass," Buffy groaned.
"The man worships chaos and causing nothing but trouble where ever he goes. Dad ran into him back in 97 when he was working a case in Sunnydale," Dean added.
"Wait, John was in town when almost everyone became their costumes?" Buffy asked. "How come we didn't run into you guys?"
"Sam and I weren't in town. Dad was working that case by himself."
"How many cases did your dad have in Sunnydale?" Buffy sounded suspicious, Dean could hear in his voice and instantly his body tensed as he went into defensive-mode.
"Just a few." Dean eyed Buffy, anger was slowly creeping into his veins. He wasn't thrilled with the idea of someone questioning his dad's motives. If John thought he had good reasons to show up in Sunnydale, who was anyone to question him, even if the Hellmouth had its very own Slayer guarding it.
Not that his father actually talked about the Slayer or who she was. Dean read about them in John's journal, one girl in all the word...Chosen...blah, blah, blah. Sam was more interested in the Slayer lore than Dean. Well, until Dean met Buffy Summers. From the moment he saw her he knew he had to help her anyway he could and even now, after the shit she pulled, the desire to help Buffy still lingered in him. God knows he should have left town by now, but he hasn't and he won't until he knows she's safe and this freak with fangs is dead.
"How many is a few?" Buffy questioned Dean.
"I think three, maybe four cases."
"Giles did you know about this?" Buffy scornfully glared at her Watcher.
"Yes, John came to me a few times for help," Giles said. "Mainly for texts on demon lore and he helped out if we needed him."
"How come I never knew any of this?"
"The identity of the slayer was and still is important. He knew I was a watcher but I never told him about you until he figured it out for himself and showed up in Sunnydale four years ago. He wanted your help."
"Help with what?" Buffy and Dean asked in unison and both shot scornful glares at each other.
"He wanted Buffy's help with finding a demon," Giles said and pulled off his glasses, cleaning them with a white cloth. "But Buffy had prior engagements at the time."
"So, that's why Dad told us to stay behind," Sam spoke up. "He wanted to get on Buffy's good side so she would want to help us find the thing that killed Mom."
"Guys, can we get back on track here," Faith interrupted. "Big bad Ethan Rayne has this Dracula guy hunting Buffy. Why?"
"I couldn't find anything in the Wolfram and Harts files," Willow said. "A whole lotta nothing, a big fat goose egg." She pouted and slouched in her seat, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Then how do we kill Dracula?" Buffy stood up and started to pace the floor again. "I mean there has to be a way to kill the guy."
"He can't be killed, Buff," Xander said. "Giles and I searched through every text, even the fun time life series and they all said the same thing."
"Then Buffy comes with us," Dean said and rose to his feet. "If Fang Boy can't find her if she's on the road around with me and Sammy."
"Yeah that sounds like a good plan," Buffy scoffed and rolled her eyes. "I'll take a joy ride with you two while 'Fang Boy' kills innocent people in my place."
"Do you have any better ideas," he snapped.
"Running isn't a good idea, Dean. In fact it's stupid."
"Fine then, Princess," Dean quipped, "What's your plan? Stand out in the open and offer yourself to him on a silver platter. He can't be killed, Buffy."
"I know that." She stopped pacing and glared at him. "We can trap him." Buffy turned her gaze over to Giles. "You said he was trapped before, that Van Helsing was the one who put him in that silver coffin. All we have to do is get him reacquainted with Mr. Shinny."
"Mr. Shinny?" Dean scoffed and cocked his right eyebrow. "You sound like an airhead when you say things like that."
"You sound like a jackass when you open your mouth," Buffy shot back.
"Yeah well you sound like a bi-"
"I swear, Dean, if you finish that sentence I will kick your ass," Buffy growled.
"Then bring it on, Sweetcheeks." Dean stepped closer to her with a cocky grin on his face.
"Sweetcheeks!" Buffy snapped loudly, she walked over to him and stared up at Dean with a spiteful scowl on her face.
"You are an ass, you know that."
"From what I remember you liked my ass." A cocky grin tugged at the corners of Dean's lips.
"You're a pig."
"Guys this isn't helping!" Willow yelled. "Buffy's in actual danger and fighting isn't gonna help."
"Trapping this guy can't be our only option," Dean snidely said to Buffy, completely ignoring Willow. "I think you'd be safer if just you came with us."
"I'm not running, Dean," Buffy barked back.
"God! Why do you have to be so stubborn all the time?"
"Why do you have to be a jerk all the time?"
"Guys!" Willow snapped. "Enough of this already. Can you two just get along for five minutes?"
"Sorry, Will," Buffy said sheepishly.
"Buffy's right," Sam said. "If we can't kill him, then we trap him."
"And how do we do that?" Dean asked coolly. "Can't just walk into a funeral home and ask if they have any nifty silver coffins for sale."
"No, but silver chains should work," Sam said.
"SO, we wrap him up in silver and then what? We get him a set of matching earrings."
"We burry him under a ton of concrete," Buffy said.
"This plan of yours keeps getting better by the minute, Sweetheart," Dean sneered bitterly. Why could Buffy just listen to him for once?
Dean threw open the motel door, slamming his keys on the bedside table. He shrugged off his coat and tossed it on the bed. Sam followed his brother inside the room, closing the door behind and curiously stared at one visibly upset Dean.
"Okay, what's wrong?" Sam asked.
"Nothing," Dean said casually.
"It's doesn't look like nothing."
"Seriously it's nothing, Sam." Dean sat down on the edge of the bed and drew in a deep breath. Sam gave Dean a skeptical look. "I think this is so stupid."
"Buffy's big plan, lure the freak out of hiding using herself as bait. It's like she has a death wish."
"She knows what she's doing, Dean."
"Sometimes she doesn't and this would be one of the times."
"When has Buffy ever been wrong?"
"Ah, now." Dean cocked his eyebrow. "She can't fight this guy and we both know it. She'll just get herself killed, again."
Sam eyed his brother with an all knowing look on his face. "This isn't about Buffy's decision making skills, you're worried about her."
"I'm not worried," Dean said uncomfortably and shifted in his seat.
"Yes, you are."
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, Dean, you're scared that Buffy could die and it's freaking you out."
"Okay, yeah I'm scared that Buffy could die. Aren't you just a little freaked, too?"
"Yeah, but I know that she won't. She knows what she's doing."
"She knew what she was doing the last time when she took a swan dive off that tower. I can't just sit around and let her die all over again. I can't lose her."
"You can't lose her? Do you have feelings for her?"
"What? No! Don't twist my words on me," he said forcefully.
"I think you do care about her. I think you-"
"No, Sam, don't even go there," Dean snapped, cutting his brother off. "I don't want to talk about this anymore."
"This chick-flick moment is over. We get the job done and then we leave this town."
"Why even stick around? Buffy has this under control."
"You had the vision for a reason and we're not leaving until this freak is caught."
"Why did my vision lead us here? To Buffy? I mean this case has nothing to do with that yellow eyed demon."
"I don't know. Maybe you had it because she's connected to us," Dean mused.
"I guess." Sam shrugged.
"But, don't you think it's odd?"
"You think Yellow Eyes is behind this?"
"It makes sense."
"But why have someone else kill her for him? Why not do the deed himself? This guy is about showmanship, right? You'd think he'd want to take Buffy out. Y'know take on the longest living slayer, gank her himself."
"Maybe he's scared of her," Sam said.
"Or maybe he wants her out of the way."
"Like she could put a kink in his plans?"
"Your guess is as good as mine."
Dean shot out of bed, slipping back on his coat. "We should keep an eye on her," he said quickly and ripped his cars keys of the bedside table.
"We're not spying on Buffy," Sam groaned.
"Stop giving me bitchface, Sammy," he huffed and rolled his eyes.
"I'm not giving you bitchface." Sam's glared deepened as his brother headed towards the motel door. "She doesn't need you stalking her."
"I'm not stalking her. I'm just keeping a cautious eye on her at a safe, unknown distance."
"Yeah, that's considered stalking."
"Bitch." Dean opened the door and stepped outside.
"Jerk," Sam shot back following his brother.
Buffy and Willow stepped out of her house and down the driveway towards Buffy's Mustang. From the corner of her eye she spotted the black Impala, parked behind a few cars, down the street. She mental groaned and hopped inside her car. She knew that Dean was keeping close a, stalker-like, eye on her, but he didn't need to, not in broad daylight anyway.
Well if he's going to be tailing me all afternoon might as well make him suffer, just a little. Buffy smiled and she pulled the car out of her driveway and headed towards the Northshore Mall in Peabody, it was only a twenty minute drive from where she lived and it was the only Mall that had the stores she loved to frequent.
"You know that Dean's following you?" Willow said and glanced in the rearview mirror at the black Impala that was keeping good distance behind them.
"Yeah," Buffy said evenly.
"Are you gonna say something to him?"
"Nope." Buffy shook her head and a sly grinned tugged at her lips.
"What are you planning?"
"You'll see," Buffy said ominously.
Buffy had spent most of the afternoon with Willow at the mall catching up. Willow was still finding new Slayers and bringing them back to the head quarters in England. She did admit to Buffy that she missed living in the states and considered asking Giles about switching the main HQ to Boston. She wanted to be closer to her friend, she missed Buffy and Dawn. Even Xander wanted to move back. Buffy said she would talk to Giles and try to convince him that moving back to the US was a good thing.
Not once did they talk about Mr. Blues eyes or Dean for that matter, it was just Buffy and Willow talking about their lives and how much they missed each other. As the afternoon turned to dusk they went back to her house and Buffy headed out for patrol.
Buffy walked through the dark cemetery with Faith following closely behind her. She clutched on to her wooden stake, spinning around a few times in her hand. They hadn't run into any vampires since they started their patrol at sundown. Buffy thought it was odd how unnaturally quiet the night was, usually they would have dusted about five vamps by now, but there was nothing. Not even the occasional demon that seemed to pop up out of nowhere. The graveyard-no pun intended-was dead, even for a small town like Marblehead.
"Maybe we should call it a night," Faith said and let out a huff. She was bored out of her mind. Buffy could see it written all over her face.
"I'm sure things will liven up soon." she loosely smiled. There was a small part of her that hoped things would pick up and they would be up to their ears with the undead biting to get the chance to take out a slayer. But she knew that wasn't going happen, not tonight anyway. She was itching for a good fight, something to get her blood pumping and mind off the Dracula drama.
"I'm not sure it's a good idea you being out here when you have a-"
"Nasty vampire looking for me?"
Buffy rolled her eyes and spun around to stare at Faith. "Not you too," she groaned. "I can take care of myself, you don't need to worry about me."
"B, I'm gonna worry about you."
"Dracula is just another vampire-"
"Who can't die," Faith cut Buffy off. "Are you forgetting that little detail?"
"No," she sighed. "But he still is just another vampire and we can deal. We always deal."
"I'm actually scared," Faith quietly confessed.
"We’ll get this guy and then we can just go back to our wild-and-crazy lives of vampire slayeage."
A quiet rustling of leaves caught Buffy's attention. She slowly stepped over to the tall grey, stone mausoleum, where she heard the sound. She pointed for Faith to move around the other side. Buffy and Faith stealthily crept towards the back, both had their stakes ready to dust a few vamps that though they had the jump on the two slayers. Her skin tingled with excitement and every nerve was on edge for the upcoming fight. She raised the stake as she moved around the corner only to be disappointed by what she saw.
"Hey guys," Buffy sadly groaned as she greeted Dean and Same and slipped her stake back in her pocket. She thought she'd ditched him hours ago when she left the Mall with Willow. She should have known it wouldn't be that easy to give him the slip.
"Not happy to see us," Dean mused with a sly grin on his face.
"Nope, thought you were nasty vamps," Faith said and put away her stake.
"Quiet night?" Sam asked.
"Yeah," Buffy sighed. "So, how long have you guys been following us?"
"What? No," Dean answered quickly and nervously cleared his throat. "We were just, y'know, in the neighborhood."
"Sure you were, Slick," Faith said and patted Dean's chest. Sam quietly chuckled to himself and bashfully smiled in Faith's direction.
"We were," Dean continued to protest, but neither Faith nor Buffy was buying into his innocent act.
"Give it up," Buffy said as a mater-of-fact. "I know you've been stalking me all day."
"Told you so," Sam said smugly and Dean viciously scowled at his baby brother.
"I just wanted to make sure-"
Buffy quickly cut him off. "Dean-"
"No, don't pull that crap with me," Dean cut her off.
"I'm not," she said defensively. "I'm just sick of you treating me like I'm some damsel in distress, because that's so not me, I don't even wear damsel well, it's bad for my complexion. I get that you're used to being some big hero who gets to save the girl. But this-" Buffy pointed to herself. "is one girl who doesn't need saving." Dean looked past her and smug grin grew on his face.
"Trying telling that to him," Dean said and pointed directly behind her.
Buffy spun around and her breath got caught in her throat. Standing behind was a tall man with bright blue eyes and wavy brown hair. A sick smile turned up the corners of his mouth. Mr. Blue Eyes was standing in front of her, she wasn't dreaming, he was really there and Buffy was frozen in place.
"Hello, Buffy," Dracula said seductively.