Angels and Demons: B
AN: Yup, slow day at work means an update for you all. Yes,
that we me posting a Batman Xander centric pologue yesterday.
Had to get it out (and its NOT a long lost relative story).
Oh yes, also I'm totally reading each and every review so keep
leaving them! But if you guys want an actual response to
anything, just send me an email. I have a lot more access to
that. Thanks for everything. You guys know you're awesome.
********* Trick or Treat: Chapter Thirty-Three Part B ********
The good Senator had the heat cranked up in his house. Had it
blasting in fact, and while it was probably right cozy inside the
rooms of the mansion, where the windows doubtless let out a lot of
the heat, the attic was like a freaking sauna. Graham wiped sweat
from his brow with the back of one gloved hand while he could,
before things got hairy. And hairy they would get.
Hairiness came hand in hand with the old Sunnydale crew it seemed.
A taint of the Hellhole they had called a home before said crew had
rent the earth in two and gotten the blight swallowed whole. That
was the problem with Buffy and Company- they never played small.
It was never gremlins or Noctuash demon infestations or small,
though admittedly still deadly, evil things. When Buffy Summers
or Willow Rosenberg, or hell, apparently Alexander 'One Eyed'
Harris got into the middle of something, it was always big. Like
the end of the world, or the universe, big.
Even after over six years, which had NOT made the heart grow fonder
since he was pretty damn fond of his heart still beating in his
chest, some things never changed. The riders of the Apocalypse
weren't thundering out of the Hellmouth this time, but Graham had
no illusions about what'd be left of the US government if Ashley's
death went unpunished. If Willow Rosenberg woke up before all
responsible parties were sliced, diced, and roasted over an open
Then, then the proverbial riders would be fleeing back INTO Hell
to get away from one brassed off witch. Graham didn't even WANT
to know how strong Willow had gotten over the years, but he'd
peeked at those top secret update reports the government kept out
of mutual cursory interest over the years. What he'd read had made
some of his hair go gray, and he knew they underestimated her.
Everyone underestimated Buffy and her loyal band of ragtag
followers. The good guys, the bad guys, and everyone in between.
The so named Scooby Gang were legends in the supernatural community
and people still doubted them until the moment came and the good
guys were getting saved and the bad guys were getting slaughtered.
Graham still had nightmares about Adam. About Maggie Walsh. About
all the people who had underestimated Buffy Summers. It was a
lesson he didn't have to learn twice. And that was the root of
it. Why he was crawling around the roof of a US Senator he was
about to help murder. Because in a round about way he was saving
the world as he knew it.
Not that Graham blamed Xander. Hell, he'd grown to respect the
other man a lot through the years and what periodic secondhand
contact he got through Riley. They didn't know each other well,
he and Xander, but there was respect. And if Xander decided to
remake the world, it'd probably be a pretty nice place, but Graham
was a career soldier. Like Riley. Like Sam, damn her.
Soldiers, even those part of a top-secret government project
dedicated to battling the forces of darkness, had to at least
believe in the ideals of the bureaucracy that ran them. That they
bled and sacrificed and died for, even if the reality didn’t quite
match. Graham wasn’t an idiot. He’d been there to see the
Initiative go up in flames lit by the US Government and he here he
was now, about to visit another government official who had
overstepped his bounds by letting innocents die.
Hell, by ordering Ashley Ward’s death.
Maybe Riley’s farmer boy idealism had rubbed off on him over the
years but Graham was indeed a career soldier, and in his heart he
still wanted to protect the good ol’ American way, complete with
democracy and idiot Senators. Sometimes, things just needed a
little trimming to keep the American system healthy.
Like killing Robert Kinsey. There was idiocy, and then there was
pissing off Slayers.
Or so he had told himself as they snuck onto the good Senator’s
grounds, past the gates and security cameras and guards. As they
shimmied up to the main part of the house and into the attic while
the family dog slept soundly on, too old to realize what their
intrusion meant. What the family would wake up to find.
In the end, Graham had never really had much of a stomach for
killing. Maybe that was really why he liked hunting the monsters-
it was easier to spill blood when you knew you actually WERE saving
the world. When your victims had fangs and talons and scales
instead of human smiles and human eyes and human children like
Haley, waiting at home for the only parent left to her.
He’d watch Xander’s back tonight, but Graham knew he didn’t have
the stomach for what was coming. This wasn’t his revenge, just his
duty, and Xander was looking forward to this trimming job with a
fierce bloodlust that kept Graham quiet when normally he would have
been jesting and forcing smiles. The shaggy haired one-eyed man
had replaced the near boy that Graham still remembered when he
thought of Xander Harris. There was steel there that hadn’t been
tempered when they’d last fought side by side. A sense of
responsibility that made Xander more dangerous when one of his
girls was crossed, not less.
He watched as Xander and Riley prepared to cut through the roof of
Senator Kinsey’s bedroom, Riley pale but determined, Xander coldly
efficient, even as the fire burned behind his one eye, and Graham
mourned for the loss of the guy who had worn Hawaii shirts and had
a penchant for forcing some laughter of his own. Responsibility
and love had a way of changing you, and Graham wasn’t sure if it
was entirely for the better.
Not when it led to this.
Robert Kinsey took his antacid pills with a glass of water as he
looked at himself in the bureau mirror with a slight frown. He
needed more sleep, he was looking haggard, and the American public
did not approve of haggard politicians. Hell, Kennedy was a lesson
In the end Washington wasn’t that dissimilar from Hollywood- all
smoke and mirrors and at the end of the day all that mattered was
how you looked.
Tomorrow though shouldn’t be too bad. A day to recoup, figure out
his losses, and how to do something about them. There was still
some confusion over what exactly had gone down at Alexander
Harris’s house the other evening. Robert’s agents had been
erroneously detained by local police officers and, due to some
apparent legislative snafu, had yet to be released.
That, of course, was unacceptable, and heads would roll for it,
perhaps literally if he got his way in the end, but bottom line-
no Slayers had been secured, and one apparently was dead, which
was a shame. Scientists in his (and like minded colleagues employ)
weren’t always as careful as they should be with specimens, they
were blacklisted from legit work for a reason after all, and the
more specimens they had to experiment on, always the better. But
Robert was perfectly capable of taking care of a bunch of children,
no matter HOW strong or fast. He had the resources of the entire
US government at his beck and call. But that was for tomorrow.
The King sized bed was emptier than he would have liked to admit.
Of course, it’d be just about right if his WIFE was in it. She,
though, was sleeping down the hall until he felt fit to ignore the
fact that he walked in on a rather intimate scene with her and the
GARDENER, whose head HAD rolled. It wasn’t that he had been
surprised by that turn of events, but really, how had he married
such a stupid woman?
He at least kept his affairs fairly circumspect. It was only
Robert had turned off the light in the master bedroom and
was just drifting to sleep when he sneezed suddenly and sat up in
bed. When he wiped his face it came away gritty. He turned the
light on with a frown and contemplated the white sandy like
material that had woken him before looking up just in time to see
a section of the ceiling fall away, onto the spot he had been
sleeping before rising to reach the light. His eyes narrowed as
three men, dressed in black and armed to the teeth, lowered
themselves from the attic and into his bedroom.
Apparently tomorrow was beginning earlier than planned.