Disclaimer: I don't own Anita Blake; she belongs the Laurell K. Hamilton. Xander Harris and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; belongs to Joss Whedon and ME productions. I don't own it. One shot
September 30, 1988; Texas
Xander Harris and Tom Maloy, his vampire hunter partner for this job, sat in the rental car, observing an abandoned bus station and waiting for the sunrise.
To say that the brunet wasn't happy with his current assignment was a big understatement. First of all, the bounty spoke of three vampires, there were five. Secondly the vampires had renfields, twice bitten victims whose will have been dominated by a vampire. They doubled as a day guard, and a meat shield for the vampires. There were three renfields. And last but not the least there were two people, that the vampires snatched for a breakfast when they would rise tonight from the coffins.
“As far a jobs goes this one is already slightly off the rails,” said Xander to his friend.
Tom, a tall, blond man of over six feet of height, only grunted his assent to Xander's observation. “At least they don't have lycanthropes. That could turn messy very fast. ”
Alexander shrugged. “If renfields have firearms, it still could get messy.” In his opinion, human thralls could be as troublesome as lycanthropes, just in a different way.
Tom chuckled, and thumped himself on the chest. “We have bulletproof vest. Courtesy of the Boss lady. Thralls aren’t known for their marksmanship skills.”
Granted, Tom had a point, their bulletproof vests helped, but a stray bullet could still kill them.
“You have started making waves, man,” Offered Tom to his companion. Making waves was an understatement if there ever was one. Harris, worked more than any three other vampire hunters put together. And the fact that he didn't shy from demon-summoning sorcerers, only added to his infamy or fame, depending how you looked at it.
“Yeah, so I gathered from the contract on my head,” Xander replied, as he looked up through the front window, as the sun rose up in the sky.
Tom gave him a knowing look, “Well the contract was rescinded on you.”
“It took a bit of work, but I educated the pertinent person about the errors of her ways,” Nothing more was need to be added. Xander still smarted from having a price on his head, put on by, a vampire groupie. He worked the problem out, but it wasn't a clean gig by anyone’s standards.
“Let's get this thing over with,” said Xander as he got out of the car. He pulled his Mossberg 590 from the car's truck and slung it on his shoulder. He put a bullet in the chamber of his CZ-75 and then of his Walther P5. He quickly checked his PLCE webbing; the pouches filled with bottles of Holy water, chemical lights, stakes and other odds and ends, a machete on his left hip - opposite his CZ-75 and a knife, made of silver alloy and blessed by a priest rounded his equipment.
Tom was similarly equipped and garbed like him in dark fatigues and a long sleeved shirt, under his vest and webbing.
They moved to the building; shotguns leading the way. Xander pushed the half way broken door open. A novelty, really, most vampire lairs had solids locks on their doors. On the other hand the state of the building wasn't conductive to having new locks on the door.
The inside was a mess, broken glass and trash littered the floor. Broken wood from banks of the waiting area of the bus station, was gathered in the corner of the room; Xander suspected that the thralls used it as a fuel for their bonfires.
And speaking of thralls, all three of them were charging at them, armed with baseball bats and one with a tire iron. As a rule, Xander tried not to use lethal force, when not necessary, and seeing as three thralls wasn't really a great danger, he aimed his shotgun at floor just before a charging renfield, and fired. The double-ought shot, ricocheting from the floor and striking the bespelled man in his shin. He went down in a howl of pain and was quickly joined by another thrall, when Tom used the same tactic as Alexander.
The third one, armed with the tire iron took a swing at Xander's head. Xander ducked the wild and wide strike and answered with hitting the thrall in the chin, with the stock of his shotgun. Xander heard the dull 'crack' of the man's jaw. Non lethal force, didn't mean that they would be gentle with their attackers.
Xander and Tom used plastic zip ties to bind the downed men. Should they make it out alive from here, they would call an ambulance and police to deal with the three thralls.
“Well, they went down quickly,” said Tom, when he finished securing one of the prisoners.
“Good thing they weren't armed with something more dangerous,” replied Xander. He pulled a roll of gray duct tape, and slapped a piece on the mouth of each of their three captives. It's better if they didn't started screaming.
“On my last job, in May, one of the thralls had a shotgun, she missed her shot but it still rattled my cage,” relayed Tom.
'Last job in May.' Xander had done six different contracts on vampires alone, between May and September. And that didn't include lycanthropes and sorcerers. “In Phoenix, when Patrick and I went after the Master of the City, asshole had a bunch of werehyenas with Uzis and bulletproof vests. Thank God, their whole tactical acumen revolved around squeezing and holding the trigger while they emptied the magazines.”
Tom shook his head at that. “I hate it, when vampires get cute with firearms or arm their lackeys with them.”
Xander stood up from his crouch near the thralls and looked around the large spacious room. Looking for any indication where the entrance to the coffin room might be. Not seeing any clues, he called on his Aura Sight. The world was immediately filled with various colors, mostly dull grays, few blues, and a trail of red leading to what must be the entrance to booking office.
“There,” he pointed with his shotgun at the door, that were stained in red aura of vampires. He allowed the Aura Sight to recede, and the world around him came back to normal perception.
Xander led the way to the door he indicated. On closer inspection, it showed that the doors were new; only made to look old and battered. Xander twisted the doorknob, and was utterly unsurprised when they proved to be locked.
The door may be new, but the frame in which the door's were installed was old. His PLCE webbing came with a small backpack, in which he carried a crowbar and few flares.
Without turning from the door, he said to Tom.”Pull the crowbar from my backpack.”
Tom did as he was told, and taking an initiative, used the tool to pry the door open. As Xander suspected, it was the frame that gave away. They entered the room that had an old desk pushed to the side, and where the small window with a hole in it, should be, from which one could buy a ticket. Was bricked and mortared.
Another door were on the right wall from their entryway. The door proved more of a challenge, and when Xander was about to suggest they use a slug-shot on the locks, Tom manged to open them with the crowbar.
The room beyond the threshold was dark, Xander pulled few chem-lights from one of his pouches and bended the tubes on his leg, shook them a few times and threw the three green, glowing sticks into the room. The interior was bathed in green light. From their place at the threshold they could see few coffins and heard muffled screams and trashing.
With his shotgun leading the way, Xander entered the room, knowing that Tom would be at his back. He quickly took stock of the room. Five coffins, windows bricked and mortared, and two bound and gagged people, man and woman; if the state of their dress was anything to go by, Xander would hazard a guess, that they were homeless.
Xander, shushed the bound people, knelt by them and with his knife cut their bonds. “Wait outside.” he told them quietly, though he doubted that they would listen. Most likely, they would run as soon as they were out of the old bus station.
He heard a soft, “Thank you.” From the woman and she and her partner made way for the door from the room.
Xander and Tom, moved to coffin nearest the door. Tom leveled his shotgun on the lid of the coffin and Xander lifted it open. The moment the face of the vampire was fully visible, Tom fired at it two times. The head turning into so much destroyed tissue, that painted and dyed the interior of the coffin with red, gray and white of the teeth and bone. Not wasting any time, Tom, pulled a stake and a hammer from his pouch and hammered the stake into the chest of a vampire.
Xander preferred to shoot the vampires in the chest with his silver platted hollow points and then pour Holy water into the cavity made by bullets. But everyone had their own style of killing vampires. So he didn't comment on it. They made their way to the next coffin when the lead blew open so hard it ripped the hinges off. His crosses started glowing and he had a moment to appreciate the rotting away flesh of the face and blue eyes, burning like fire. Before the coffin was thrown their way. Xander hit the floor and the coffin sailed over him.
He heard a dull thud, and a scream of pain and more heard then saw Tom going down under the weight and momentum of the coffin. He just got to his feet when the ripped off lid of the coffin slammed in his side knocking him on his ass. Bulletproof vest of not, it still hurt. He once again got to his feet only to see the vampire, now nothing more that a skeleton wearing a suit, looming over Tom.
Xander couldn’t shoot with his guns. Each of his bullets would go straight through the vampire and hit Tom. Passing the shotgun to his left hand, he drew his machete with his right hand and swung it. The blade bit into the column of the spine and went through it. The vampire folded down like a puppet with its strings cut.
Only then did he notice the foul smell permeating the room. It brought to mind the stench of rotten corpse, blotted with heat and twitching with feasting maggots. Oh, how Xander hated the rotting vampires. Not only were they extremely resilient, but when they started rotting, the stench was suffocating.
“Tom, can you hear me? How bad are you hurt?” asked Xander, as he tried to keep the three remaining coffins in his line of sight with his shotgun pointing at the nearest one.
A grunt of pain followed by words hissed from between teeth were his answer. “I think my fucking arm is broken.” Tom stood on shaky legs. He cradled his left arm to his body and with his right he pulled his sidearm; a Beretta M9.
“You will have to open the coffins and finish them off. I will back you up, but I'm not gonna stake anything more today,” said Tom between deep breaths. The throbbing pain pulsing with sharp stabs of torment in his broken limb.
“Fuck it. Let's torch this bastards.” opined Xander viciously. With his friend hurt and in such a small, enclosed space, he wouldn't risk another confrontation with a vampire that wasn't dead to the world during day. He slung his shotgun on his right shoulder and drew his CZ-75, with his left hand he fished a rectangular can of Zippo fuel from one of his pouches. He opened the three coffins as quickly as he could with Tom standing on his side and backing him up as best as he could with his injury.
Xander squeezed the can, and a small stream of flammable liquid squirted on the vampire in the coffin. On their own, vampires were quite flammable, the fuel only acted as an accelerant. He repeated the process two more times. Using a lit road flare, he set the three vampires in coffins on fire. They didn't make a sound as they burned. Along with Tom, they left the room and herded the three bound thralls outside and waited for the fire to consume the vampires.
“Just a bit longer and I will get you to hospital.” he said to Tom, who tried to not move at all with his broken arm.
Xander looked at the thralls. They acted as if they were stoned on some prime heroine, completely passive and out of touch with reality. He wondered if that was because the vampires that rolled their minds were finally and definitively dead.
They were far enough from the main agglomeration, that, they shouldn't worry about a fire brigade showing up. Ten minutes after they set the bloodsuckers on fire, Xander tied a wet bandana around his nose and mouth and with an extinguisher he took from the car he entered the building.
The smoke was too thick for him to see anything and it stung his eyes making them shed tears. He switched to his Aura Sight; the smoke vanished as if it was never there. The room colors were dull gray with barley anything in blue and none of vampire red. Fire had a cleansing quality. And it wiped away any traces of other people auras in the old bus station.
He made his way to the coffin room. The temperature inside was staggering, and even through the wet bandana some heat made it's way to his lungs. Fortunately the room, as well as, the whole building was build from brick, and with five coffins and its occupants as the only flammable things in the room. The fire died quickly. What still burned Xander put out with his extinguisher.
He found the three vampires that he set on fire. They were laying in the remnants of their coffins. His Aura Sight showed them as gray colored bodies. Meaning, that, they were truly and once for all dead. But Xander didn't like taking any chances when it came to the preternatural world. He set the fire extinguisher on the floor and drew his machete; quickly and efficiently he decapitated the carbonized skulls.
Coughing and with tears streaming down his face, he stumbled out of the old bus station. He deactivated his Aura Sight with a miniscule effort of will and pulled the bandana from his nose and mouth. After few deep breaths and sip of water from his canteen. He turned to his friend and said. “Let's put those jokers on the backseat and get out of here.”
Tom Maloy smiled thinly. “That's the best idea I have heard the whole day.”
Xander laughed. “Whole day? That coffin must have hit you harder than I thought. It's barley seven in the morning.”
Tom waved negligently with his right hand. “Eh, whatever. I feel like it's already midnight and I spent the whole day and evening in a gym, pumping iron.”
With some difficulty, Xander was able to put the three bespelled men in the backseat of their rental car. He slowly drove them to the hospital, despite his careful driving Tom still winced from time to time when they stopped at traffic lights or when the car drove through some bump in the road.
Of course driving to the E.R. with three bound people with duck tape covering their mouths, can cause a commotion. That, and being armed. Fortunately Xander had some experience with explaining quickly that: yes, they were vampire hunters. Honest. Those three were vampire thralls. Could you please take a look at my friend, now. Thank you.
As with such situations it didn't take long for the local law enforcement to show up.
“Generally, I would appreciate if I was informed, that there would be vampires hunters in my city.” said a stern looking man in his fifties as he played with a cigarette in his right hand.
Xander signed. “Well we didn't. But we killed those vampires that you had a bounty on. They had two new friends. So in total there were five vamps.”
“Appreciated. You can come by for the check; it will be waiting for you at the police station.” The old detective was now smiling.
“Where did you find them?”
“In the unused bus station. The one with the red roof and a broken clock tower,” replied Xander.
The detective nodded. “I know where that is.”
“You may like to send a squad of fire fighters there. I kind of put some of them on fire. I checked later with a fire extinguisher. They were dead, and what little fire there was I put out. But just to be safe, you can have it checked again,” said Xander as he stood up and made his way to a vending machine, where he got himself can of fizzy drink.
“I think I will do that,” said the detective when he came back.”How is your friend?”
“Broken ulna bone. Six weeks in a cast. Could have been much worse,” Xander said with a shrug of his shoulder. If the coffin had hit Tom in the face, it would probably broke his neck. Broken arm was a cheap price to pay. He was waiting now for Tom to arrange his release from the hospital. If they were lucky, they would get the check for the job and be on their respective trains before sunset.
“Tell him I wish him good health. Your check will be ready somewhere around noon. Goodbye,” said the detective, before turning back and leaving the E.R.
As far as Xander was concerned that particular interaction ranked firmly in the 'Of the Good.' table of content. Compered to some of the receptions, vampire hunters got from the law enforcement, this one was downright friendly.
It was after noon when Tom was wheeled to the waiting area by a lovely nurse. Xander seeing him with a disgruntled expression on his face sniggered. Now, Tom was some six and half feet tall. Him in a wheelchair with a petulant mien was pretty funny.
“Laugh it up, Alex,” Tom snarked at his friend.
“Oh, you poor baby, did the bad nurse refused to let you walk to the exit on your own?” Xander teased.
“Fuck you, Harris. Here I am, with my hand in a cast, and you find it hilarious,” The smile on Tom's face took the bite from his words.
“Don't be such a sour puss. Take some solace, that I already dealt with the cops. ”
Tom perked at that. “How did that go?”
“Surprisingly good. Our check should be ready by now. We will pick it up from the police station.” Xander watched as Tom signed some papers brought to him by another nurse, and he walked near his wheelchair until they left the hospital and the good nurse allowed him to move on his own.
They picked the check and cashed it in a bank, split the money fifty/fifty and went to catch their respective trains. Tom, left first, just after three in the afternoon, while Xander had to wait until six pm for his train to Colorado. He filled his time reading a paperback, he picked from a secondhand bookshop near the train station.
Thanks for reading this story. It's a one shot, done in a greater story, I'm now writing. Feel free to share your thoughts about this little piece of fanfiction.